[[quoteright:350:[[Website/{{Cracked}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/NostalgiaGoggles.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:The nostalgia goggles you get today are crap; they were ''so'' much better back in ''my'' day.]]

->''"Even if the good old days never existed, the fact that we can conceive of such a world is, in fact, an affirmation of the human spirit. That the imagination of man is capable of creating the myth of a more open, more generous time is not a sign of our folly."''
-->-- '''Creator/OrsonWelles'''

There is a tendency for some adults and some teenagers to see newer material in a medium (be it music, film, animation, or comic books) as inferior to the older classics that they knew in their youth.

There are many causes for this. First, people's tastes are generally based on the art they knew as they grew up, and they continue to inform themselves on this basis. This is especially problematic when ValuesDissonance comes into play: Modern day art (be it music, film, television, etc.) may positively depict contemporary societal norms and developments that would have been frowned on when you were growing up. Second, tastes can refine or limit as one ages; what may have seemed brilliant to a child or teen would seem crude or laughable to most adults, but the memories of how great something from one's youth seemed linger long afterward, making the familiar examples seem better than more or less equivalent modern ones in comparison. Third, change in most art forms comes in waves, rather than developing continuously, and the transition from one wave to another can be jarring and unfamiliar -- while the periods between waves tend to be uninspired across the board.

Another possible important cause of this nostalgia is a consequence of SturgeonsLaw combined with the passage of time: As new material is released, the vast majority will be of mediocre or worse quality, but over time, a powerful selection pressure causes all but the best material (and in some infamous cases, the [[SoBadItsGood worst]]) to be rapidly forgotten, leaving an increasingly inaccurate impression of the overall quality of the genre over time. This is known as "the nostalgia filter", and can be easily demonstrated by a careful review of the period works that are ''not'' remembered today. The distance of time also compresses the memories of past eras, causing the best work to seem more continuous than it was, whereas "new" is a continually moving frontier: between this memory compression and the selective memories of "the good stuff", the past of the genre is remembered as a time when "it all was good".

The most impressionable time is during pre-adolescent, adolescent, and teenage years (with the absolute latest being the twentysomething years). These are the years where one is young and undistracted (or less distracted in the case of twentysomethings) by the full responsibilities of adulthood and the burdens of getting older. For boys, this may also be the time before they discovered girls or sex. Apart from schoolwork, they simply could afford time to absorb the pop culture or cult genre of the time, be it film, music, video games, or TV shows, and give it more attention, allowing it to ingrain itself on the senses, thus influencing one's tastes for the rest of their life.

One final possible reason: most developers/authors/artists/musicians/etc. create whatever is popular at that day and age. This means that what was popular last year isn't being produced in the same density. If a person's preference is for something that is out of fashion right now, they may have little choice besides 'hang onto the older version' or 'give up on it completely'.

Of course, this is certainly not to imply that newer is automatically better or that the Nostalgia Filter applies to every single case; just because a person prefers an older work to more modern things doesn't mean they only like it because of nostalgia. Sometimes the older work ''is'' better, or at least has its own appeal that the present things don't -- even beyond "Charm", which is often thrown around to describe stuff mostly to just mean "It's nostalgic".

Sam Viviano, art director of ''Magazine/{{MAD}}'', has a saying which defines the NostalgiaFilter: "''MAD'' was at its best whenever you first started reading it." A corollary to that is that, if you didn't like ''MAD'', it was at its best shortly ''before'' you started reading it.

You'll notice that this trope sometimes overlaps with the PeripheryHatedom. Almost always, when people complain about how new stuff sucks, they bring up examples of things which were marketed towards the youth of their own generation as examples of "good" or even "classic" works in the genre. Never mind that 20 years ago, when it was being marketed towards them, many of the adults back then were saying the ''exact same thing'' we are today. It's a neverending cycle. This trope also frequently overlaps with FutureLoser, where the individual (consciously or not) feels ''his own life'' was better in those days than it is now.

It most importantly must be mentioned that ''not every adult uncontrollably succumbs to this.'' While adults abusing the NostalgiaFilter has become a bit of a cliché (particularly in media aimed at teens and/or preteens), there are ''many'' RealLife adults (of various ages) who enjoy both old and new media in equal measures. This is especially true for those who are socially active and hang around a diverse group of people. How many real people subscribe to it is highly debatable. However, one thing is for certain: [[VocalMinority Those who abuse it or abuse the concept of it tend to be very vocal about it.]]

See also NothingButHits, TheyDontMakeThemLikeTheyUsedTo, NostalgiaAintLikeItUsedToBe, and AppealToTradition. Another reason for this trope is that TrueArtIsAncient. Contrast DeaderThanDisco and TheyChangedItNowItSucks. DiscoDan can be what happens when someone puts the Filter on and refuses to take it off to the extent that they act like they're still living in their favourite time period.

[[Administrivia/InUniverseExamplesOnly Please list examples of Nostalgia Filters worn in works]]. Pretty much any genre or form is subjected to this in RealLife, so such examples aren't really necessary. Plus, such examples are [[FlameBait very prone to age stereotyping]], which we don't want on this page. [[noreallife]]


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Invoked in ''Anime/CodeGeass'', with a drug called [[http://codegeass.wikia.com/wiki/Refrain_%28Drug%29 Refrain]], that causes one to experience hallucinogenic flashbacks to past pleasant experiences.
* A common device in ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena''. The first we get is Miki, who yearns to return to his childhood, when he and his sister were musical prodigies. [[spoiler:In truth, his sister was a poor piano player and he was the real prodigy]]. The second is [[spoiler:Utena herself]], when we find out that [[spoiler:her childhood wasn't as fairy tale-ish as we're led to believe]]. The third is [[spoiler:Souji Mikage, the second arc's antagonist]], who longs to [[spoiler:return to the past when he lived happily with the Chida family.]]
* ''Manga/FairyTail'': Subverted where the titular guildhall, a simple two-story pub, gets demolished by an enemy guild and renovated into a much bigger, more lavish building. Natsu, a guild member by six years, is the only one put off by all the changes made (though in the dub, he does mumble out that he isn't good with change)--now there's a stage, an outdoor pool, a rec room, and [[HeelFaceReturn the guy who destroyed the old guildhall is a member]] ([[ReformedButRejected though]] ''[[ReformedButRejected everyone]]'' [[ReformedButRejected agrees with Natsu on this]])--but once a huge BarBrawl breaks out like it normally would, he quickly feels right at home.
* England from ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' has a tight pair on when it comes to his days as [[UsefulNotes/TheBritishEmpire an empire]]. Especially with America. England is often moping about how America was so cute and obedient when he was a child under his rule, unlike the brash and rude country he's grown up to be. Then we see flashbacks of adorable little colony America yelling "go to hell, Engwand!".

* Creator/LewisBlack once said that no matter how old you are, the best music is whatever was on the radio when you first got laid.
* Subverted by Alonzo Bodden:
-->They're always talking about America in the good old days. 'Bring back the good old days!' I'm black. We don't have good old days. Do you think black people are sitting around, 'Oh man, remember the back of the bus? Oh, you could always find a seat in the back of the bus.'

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The ''Franchise/{{Archie|Comics}}'' comic [[http://www.misterkitty.org/extras/stupidcovers/stupidcomics210.html "Nostalgia Gets Ya!"]] plays this trope obnoxiously straight, talking about how much better life was back in TheGayNineties when policemen were always treated with respect, women were put on pedestals, and nobody worried about pollution.
* ''ComicBook/{{Viz}}'' has a running joke about how it "isn't as funny as it used to be".
* The CrisisCrossover ''ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis'' basically revolves around this trope, which the surviving heroes of ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'' hold to with varying degrees of fanaticism; having decided that the universe that resulted from the end of the earlier crossover has gone wrong and that their more innocent worlds were 'better' than the current status quo, they have decided to change the state of affairs by any means necessary. It has been noted that this has a certain similarity to frequent fan-criticisms of the current DC Universe. In the end, while Superboy-Prime and Alexander Luthor ended up crossing the MoralEventHorizon because of this, Earth-2 Superman's belief in this trope and the 'perfection' of his universe was shaken and ultimately defied by an observation his alternate self made about the universe he came from:
--> '''Superman:''' If you're from this Earth, it can't be perfect. [[NoPlaceForMeThere Because a perfect Earth doesn't need a Superman]].
* ''ComicBook/TheFabulousFurryFreakBrothers'' had a mid-70s story where Fat Freddy is raving over how great the 1950s were. He fondly recalls a New Years teen party that we see from Phineas's perspective - everyone converges at his parents' house over his objections, people get stupid drunk, he and Franklin get beaten up by hoods who crash the party, and the house and family car end up destroyed just before the parents get home.
* In ''ComicBook/TheSandman'', there's a scene in the 1480s, where the immortal Hob Gadling, now about 130 or so, overhears an old man complaining about these newfangled chimneys, and reminiscing about the days when "we did have a good honest brazier in the house," when nobody suffered from "rheumes and cattarhs" and the smoke was "good medicine for the man and his family." Hob mutters to Dream about how foolish the old man is, and how back then everyone was coughing and wheezing from the smoke, and occasionally you'd find whole families that had asphyxiated in the night. In the book's final volume (wherein he's ''several'' hundred years old) he attacks people nostalgic for times when they weren't even alive by criticizing the very ''concept'' of a Renaissance Faire.
* ''Music/LadyGaga #1'' has a middle aged man moping about how the music in the present is nowhere near as good as the music in his day (i.e. the second half of the 1970s).
* Toyed with in an issue of ''ComicBook/TheBraveAndTheBold'' dealing with Brother Power. The character fondly reminisces about how much "better" everything was in the 60s and 70s, before remembering the violence, racial unrest, and turmoil of the era.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Inverted with Miho in ''Fanfic/NecessaryToWin''. As a result of the circumstances of her departure from her old school, Black Forest, she initially only has less than fond memories of that school, and of tankery in general. However, in the course of telling her story to her friends, she starts to realize that she had some good times there, and made some friends. She also comes to the realization that she never disliked tankery, but merely the [[SeriousBusiness Nishizumi approach to it]].
* In ''Fanfic/HauntedMansionAndTheHatboxGhost'', the Hatbox Ghost has a gigantic nostalgia filter on about any changes made to the Haunted Mansion ride since 1969. If we were listening to him, the souvenir records of the ride would still be vinyles, you know.

* This is a big part of the plot of Creator/WoodyAllen's ''Film/MidnightInParis''. The story features Gil, a writer played by Owen Wilson, who is writing a novel about a man that runs a nostalgia shop, and the writer himself has a nostalgic view of the 1920s in Paris as a sort of Golden Age, something that his fiance and her family constantly rag on him for. Eventually, Gil discovers a mysterious taxi cab that arrives every night at midnight and transports him back to a nostalgia filtered 1920s Paris, where he meets many famous authors and falls in love with Adriana, a woman who is at the time Picasso's mistress. As time goes on, the writer discovers that Adriana has feelings for him too and decides to live in the 1920s with her. However, soon after Gil confesses his love for Adriana, they are picked up by a mysterious carriage that transports them back to LaBelleEpoque of the late 1800s, where they meet various artists, writers, and other famous folk. Adrianna immediately proposes they stay here, as in her mind, '''this''' is the Golden Age of Paris. However, the artists of ''that'' era pine for UsefulNotes/TheRenaissance. [[spoiler:Gil decides that despite the allure of the nostalgia filter, it's best to take the present for what it is, and decides to go back to the present.]]
* Fifties nostalgia was [[SubvertedTrope subverted]] by the film ''Film/{{Pleasantville}}'', which initially presented its idyllic '50s sitcom world through the nostalgia filter, then slowly stripped it away and highlighted the racism and sexual repression of the era.
* ''Film/StandByMe'' is nostalgic, but presents gritty truths as well. After all, the kids are out to find a stranger's dead body. Oh, and the main character's parents ignore him, not to mention his older brother had been recently killed. [[EverybodySmokes Also, all four boys smoke. At age twelve.]]
* ''Film/AChristmasStory'', with its nostalgia for old toys, radio programs, music, Christmas decorations and still believing in Santa Claus. But while it had all the great holiday memories, it didn't leave out the anger, disillusionment, disappointment, frustration, humiliation and other crappy things about being a kid at Christmas that most movies filter out.
* In ''Film/StarTrekGenerations'', Picard and the ''Enterprise'' command crew are holding a promotion ceremony for Worf on a holodeck version of HMS ''Enterprise''. Picard gets all nostalgic for the age of WoodenShipsAndIronMen. The ever-practical Riker, on the other hand...
-->'''Picard:''' Just imagine what it was like. No engines, no computers. Just the wind and the sea and the stars to guide you.\\
'''Riker:''' Bad food, brutal discipline, no women.
* ''Film/GoodByeLenin'' plays with this for the old East Germany (the phenomenon [[TruthInTelevision known more broadly]] as [[WhyWeAreBummedCommunismFell ''Ostalgie'']]). The whole idea revolves around the main character, Alex, trying to pretend to his mother (who was in a coma and missed the fall of the Berlin Wall) that Communism still exists and there is no re-unification process going on, to the point of creating fake news broadcasts and putting capitalist products in old-style communist-brand packaging. Many of the older supporting characters (who have ended up losing their jobs and security) find the environment to be something of a refuge from the changes happening around them, and Alex himself begins to become almost nostalgic, not necessarily for the real East Germany (he is seen protesting in the beginning of the film) but for the country that could have been, and the ideals it claimed to represent. The film itself is careful to show the good and bad sides of both capitalism and communism (or at least, the former's absurdity).
* In ''Film/TheRef'', Caroline has this for the days when she and her husband Lloyd were a young couple living in New York, and she'll go on and on about it, especially when she's had enough to drink. Towards the end of the movie he finally calls her out on this, her SelfServingMemory, and blaming him for everything that has gone wrong their lives since.
-->I told you what moving here could mean, but ''you'' were the one who said we should consider it! Not the actual ''moving,'' just the ''considering.'' The actual moving ''in'' part was left to ''me!'' Why? Because you didn't know what to do. You were... confused, you didn't know if it was the right thing. But you were sure as hell sick and tired of living in a one-bedroom apartment in New York City, so don't hand me that 'it was the best of times' bullshit! You didn't want to work anymore and you didn't want any help with the baby because you wanted to do it all by yourself! And you ''hated'' New York because we weren't as rich as your college friends were to enjoy it! We couldn't afford a bigger place, and you were ''miserable'' being around people who ''could!'' AND... we were up to our EARS in debt!
* In ''Film/SnowWhiteAndTheHuntsman'', when William starts talking about how he used to follow Snow White everywhere and she inspired him, Snow White remembers it quite differently and mentions how they used to fight a lot. [[spoiler: In actuality, this was the first clue that it's not the real William but Ravenna in disguise.]]
* Eddie Felton in ''Film/TheColorOfMoney'' has this in regards to the present-day popularity of nine ball pool, which he thinks is simpler, faster, and easier than the straight pool he used to play.
-->'''Eddie:''' This ain't pool. This is for bangers. Straight pool is pool. This is like hand-ball, or cribbage, or something. Straight pool, you gotta be a real surgeon to get 'em, you know? It's all finesse. Now, every thing is nine-ball, 'cause it's fast, good for T.V., good for a lot of break shots.
* In ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartIII'', Doc Brown goes on about how the Old West in the 1880s is his favorite time period, but after a HideousHangoverCure due to [[CantHoldHisLiquor drinking a single shot of whiskey]], he mentions how much he misses Tylenol in 1985.
* Randy and Cassidy in ''Film/TheWrestler'' believe that the '80s were the golden age of rock music thanks to bands like Music/GunsNRoses, Music/{{Ratt}}, and Music/DefLeppard, and that {{grunge}} was the downfall of rock, the two of them calling Music/KurtCobain a pussy who didn't know how to have [[SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll a good time]]. This scene only highlights the problems that Randy and Cassidy face, the two of them both being stuck in the past (Randy being a washed-up pro wrestler and Cassidy an aging stripper) and unable to face the modern world.
* In ''Film/HotTubTimeMachine'', at first Adam can't remember ''why'' he broke up with his old girlfriend, Jenny, and because he only recalls good things about her he believes that he made a huge mistake by dumping her. [[spoiler:Once we actually meet her in the past and find out how shallow and crazy she is, it's not hard to see why Adam dumped her. [[TheFatalist But he was still unhappy with the whole situation]]]].
* The experimental film [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voMDL1TgTh4]] ''Nostalgia''
* ''Film/{{Help}}'': "Help", thinking about "when I was younger, so much younger than today. I never needed anybody's help in any way".
* ''Film/TheGleanersAndI'': The locals in the cafe talk about what gleaning used to be like and that it's a dying art.

* Famously lampooned by Creator/CharlesDickens in the opening passage of ''Literature/ATaleOfTwoCities'':
-->It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way -- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
* In ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' there is an in-universe example: at the end of the series, Marco sees the years he spent fighting Yeerks as the "good old days". He remembers life-and-death battles as "cool, rock 'em sock 'em battles". He doesn't really seem to remember how much they scared the crap out of him at the time. But then, it's said that Marco has a much easier time adjusting to civilian life than the others, because he doesn't feel guilty about the things he's done.
* In the ''Satyricon'', published some time in the 1st century AD (and in the very, very strange Fellini movie), the poet Agamemnon complains about the failing quality of contemporary literature and poetry, compared to the good old days, making this at least OlderThanFeudalism.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's Literature/ConanTheBarbarian story "Literature/ThePhoenixOnTheSword", the last king is viewed with this, especially by Rinaldo.
-->''"Now in Mitra's temple there come to burn incense to Numedides' memory, men whom his hangmen maimed and blinded, men whose sons died in his dungeons, whose wives and daughters were dragged into his seraglio. The fickle fools!"''
** The epigraph from Chapter II of that story sums it up neatly:
--->When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,\\
The people scattered gold-dust before my horse's feet;\\
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track\\
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.
* Creator/WilliamShakespeare's Sonnet 106 complains that the ancients, who did not see this beauty, could have expressed it worthily, but mere current day poets aren't up to it.
** This and the example from the ''Satyricon'' above are examples of this as applied to the field of linguistics. Language was always at its best when your grandparents were speaking it. You can trace a line of bitching critics from decade to decade to the fifteenth century in English alone.
* In ''Literature/TimeAndAgain'', Si Morley does his best to consider the ways in which life in New York in 1882 was inequitable and harsh... but after he goes back to the present (1970), he becomes overwhelmed by a preference for the lifestyle and people of 1882. Even though he's well aware of what working conditions are like for ordinary people, and his reason for returning was to escape from corrupt policemen who have not heard of Miranda rights...
* In at least two of his books, including his autobiography, Creator/IsaacAsimov recounts the following:
-->'''Mrs. Asimov:''' I wish we lived a hundred years ago, when it was easy to get servants.\\
'''Asimov:''' That would be terrible!\\
'''Mrs. Asimov:''' Why?\\
'''Asimov:''' Because [[OriginalPositionFallacy we'd be the servants]].
* ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'': '''Big''' plot hinge in "The Hunger", the series' last book. [[spoiler: Due to nostalgia, the now-grown children of a doomed exploration team don't realize what a desperation move by their parents [[NoPartyLikeADonnerParty feeding them meat from the corpses of the deceased members]] of the team was. Thanks to the nostalgia filter, they view human meat as a cherished childhood dish. It takes a Force-induced restore and replay of the log record to show them the truth.]]
* In ''Literature/TheExtinctionParade'', the narrator describes [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malayan_Emergency the Emergency]] and the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/13_May_incident_(Malaysia) 1969 race riots]] in Malaysia through such a lens. They sucked for humans, obviously, but for vampires like her and Laila, they were a buffet, as the backdrop of war and civil unrest made it easy to get away with murder.
* Invoked in ''Literature/ThreeMenInABoat'': The narrator muses on the Victorian fascination with antique items with no real value apart from being old, and wonders if, in the 20th and 21st centuries, people will adore commonplace knick-knacks from Victorian England and display them in museums, with Japanese tourists lining up to buy them and take them home as precious antiquities. Almost prophetic...
* Scottish comedian Creator/FrankieBoyle criticized this approach in his autobiography, ''My Shit Life so Far'':
-->"How long will it be before you're standing at a bus stop and you hear someone saying, 'Say what you like about UsefulNotes/{{Saddam|Hussein}}, but [[UsefulNotes/{{Iraq}} that country]]'s gone to hell without him'?"
* In the ''Literature/DiogenesClub'' short story "The End of the Pier Show", a group of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII veterans in TheSeventies have used the psychic powers of one of their wives to create a bubble where it's still TheForties. Jeperson, a Holocaust survivor, is horrified by their belief that you can bring back the StiffUpperLip, Dig for Victory attitude without getting the Nazis as well.
* Defied by Literature/HerculePoirot in ''Literature/{{Curtain}}''. When he reunites with his old friend, Hastings, the latter began to reminisce about the good times of his youth, until Poirot reminded him that the old times weren't as all good and jolly as Hastings remembered it to be.
-->'''Poirot:''' But indeed, my friend, you were not so happy as you think. You had recently been severely wounded, you were fretting at being no longer fit for active service, you had just been depressed beyond words by your sojourn in a dreary convalescent home, and as far as I remember, you proceeded to complicate matters by falling in love with two women at the same time.
* Definitively summed up in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/TheLastContinent''. Ponder Stibbons knows that the answer to any suggestion of his will be “You don’t get proper fill-in-nouns these days--remember old ‘nickname’ ancient-wizard-who-died-fifty-years-ago-who-Ponder-wouldn’t-possibly-be-able-to-remember? Now ''there'' was a chap who knew his fill-in-nouns.”
* This is pretty much the entire novel ''Literature/ComingUpForAir'' by Creator/GeorgeOrwell.
* ''Literature/BestServedCold'': Discussed. When a notary claims that "mercenaries aren't like they used to be," the mercenary Nicomo Cosca counters that it's only natural for people to mistake the past as better than the present because they were younger and more idealistic. Some people get better and others get worse, but the world stays the same.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''Series/TheSopranos'', a common theme is various gangsters missing the good old days, when the Mafia had more power, men were more honourable and acted like "the strong, silent type". The flashbacks we see make it clear that men like Johnny Boy and Junior were as bad, probably worse, than the current generation.
* The opening theme for ''Series/AllInTheFamily'' has Archie and Edith singing about how ideal their childhood was. Thing is, they both grew up during the Great Depression.
* Several American sitcoms are set in a rose colored idea of two decades ago: ''Series/HappyDays'' was a 1970s sitcoms about TheFifties, ''Series/TheWonderYears'' a 1980s sitcom about TheSixties and ''Series/That70sShow'' a 1990s sitcom about TheSeventies. These shows concentrate more on the fashions and pop culture of those decades than on the RealLife problems that were current hen.
** ''Series/That70sShow'' is something of a subversion. While the other series showed life in those past eras as simpler and with more innocence (to a degree), ''That 70's Show'' highlighted youthful rebellion, job loss, divorce and other such delightful topics. Unlike the other sitcoms, which implied some things but showed us nothing, ''That 70's Show'' openly stated that the teens were having sex, drinking and smoking pot.
* In ''Series/AuctionKings'', Paul loves the 1980s. Jon loves old toys. Neither of them are knowledgeable enough to bypass calling an expert when items of the appropriate era show up though.
* Savagely mocked in [[http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-january-5-2010/even-better-than-the-real-thing this]] segment from ''Series/TheDailyShow'' which satirizes conservative pundits harking back to a simpler, better America than the one they believe is being ruined. After interviewing several people from each of the periods (along with footage featuring pundits such as Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly) grew up in which they discuss how things weren't really that great, John Oliver comes to the "realization" that the reason these pundits constantly look back to these times as happier and less complicated times is because those were the periods when they were children, and the world generally seems happier and less complicated when you're a child.
* How the Doctor chooses to remember the Time Lords in the new series of ''Series/DoctorWho''. Of course, viewers of the original series know they weren't sweetness and light, and when they [[spoiler:do turn up for a moment in the new series]], it's clear the Time War [[OmnicidalManiac disimproved them]]. Such that [[spoiler:the Doctor [[BatmanGrabsAGun takes up a gun]] immediately upon realizing their return]].
** Though "[[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor The Day of the Doctor]]" seems to show that most of the Time Lords weren't actually bad, just the leaders like [[EmperorScientist Rassilon]].
* In ''Series/GameOfThrones'', King Robert is fond of reminiscing about the good old days, before he was king. His brother Renly eventually gets sick of this and asks him exactly which days he's talking about - the time when the entire country was plunged into a bloody civil war, the time when [[TheCaligula Aerys]] roasted people alive because of the voices in his head, or the time when dragons went around burning villages to the ground.
** This is somewhat subverted, in that Robert was a BloodKnight who really ''did'' find the earlier era of war and destruction more to his liking, and was frustrated by years of peace. Ironically, after his death, [[{{Hypocrite}} Renly]] proceeds to contribute to a war by [[TheEvilPrince attempting]] to [[TheUsurper usurp]] the throne.
* ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'':
** Dennis and Dee take a trip to the Jersey Shore because they have fond memories of visiting there during their childhood years. When they arrive, they are subjected to a series of painful and terrifying experiences that completely shatter their previous conceptions of the Jersey Shore.
** It was eventually revealed that Dennis was nowhere near as popular in high school as he made himself out to be.
** Also used in the Christmas special with Charlie and Mac. The two fondly tell each other about their favourite Christmas traditions from their childhood, but after the other hears about it they realize that they aren't in any way near as positive as they remembered: Mac's family stole Christmas gifts from other homes, while Charlie is horrified to realize that his mom was a whore who had sex with a bunch of men (poorly) dressed up like Santa.
* The show ''Series/MadMen'' does a lot to show how with all the awesome music and fashions of the '60s came [[ValuesDissonance rampant sexism, racism, and homophobia]], and how the values of [[TheFifties the previous decade]] held over and were difficult to dismantle. Considering how saturated the culture was (and still is) with '60s nostalgia when the show first debuted, it was exactly what the doctor ordered.
** The show [[LampshadeHanging invokes nostalgia]] during Don Draper's best pitch ever, rebranding [[Creator/EastmanKodak Kodak]]'s slide projector as [[http://youtu.be/R2bLNkCqpuY The Carousel.]]
* ''Series/ColdCase'' was every bit as brutal as ''Mad Men,'' but spanned a lot more eras. Often, the murderer was sympathetic, and the attitudes about race, gender, and sexuality were the ''real'' villains.
* ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'': Creator/DanaCarvey's recurring Weekend Update character, the GrumpyOldMan, parodies this by being nostalgic for the ''bad'' things about the past, such as having no water filters, no air conditioning, no improved technology, and even no Christmas Caroling.
* ''Series/TheTwilightZone1959'':
** "[[Recap/TheTwilightZoneS4E117TheIncredibleWorldOfHoraceFord The Incredible World Of Horace Ford]]" has a toy designer who keeps lapsing into daydreams of his idyllic childhood while ignoring his slowly collapsing present. [[spoiler:In the end, it turns out he was repressing the memory of the day the other kids beat him up because they weren't invited to his birthday party, and he's forced to come to grips with the brutal truth that his childhood wasn't nearly the fairyland he wanted to believe it was.]]
** The Season 1 episode, "[[Recap/TheTwilightZoneS1E5WalkingDistance Walking Distance]]", had an advertising executive in Manhattan go back to the small town of his youth to relive parts of his childhood. While his childhood is shown as having been a happy time, his father tells him that it doesn't have to be the best time of his life and he can be equally happy with his current life in New York.
** In the comical episode "[[Recap/TheTwilightZoneS3E78OnceUponATime Once Upon A Time]]" Creator/BusterKeaton plays a janitor to a scientist in 1890 who uses a time-machine helmet to travel to a more peaceful, less hectic time - and ends up in the much worse (1960) present. He encounters a scientist who wishes to go back to the good old days of 1890, where they both end up back in. The janitor is glad to be back, but within a week the scientist laments the lack of all the amenities he knew.
** In "[[Recap/TheTwilightZoneS4E116OfLateIThinkOfCliffordville Of Late I Think Of Cliffordville]]", a CorruptCorporateExecutive makes a DealWithTheDevil to go back in time and re-live the fun of making his fortune. The lovely Cliffordville from his memories is not nearly as nice in reality, however, and the girl he always reminisced over is much less attractive and charming also. The Devil he made the deal with mocks him for indulging in this trope after he accuses her of altering the past, telling him that the past is exactly how it was--it's his own fault for not remembering it right.
* ''Series/TopGear'' did an episode where James May finally got to drive the Lamborghini Countach that had adorned his bedroom wall back in the day and found out that it was a truly awful car.
* This trope was deconstructed by Penn and Teller in the ''Series/PennAndTellerBullshit'' episode "The Good 'Ol Days".
** They make a point in the episode about part of what causes this. They show several politicians who cite different decades as a time when things were simpler than they are now. Penn Jillette then asks, what did all these different time periods have in common? The person talking about them was a child at the time. Of course things seemed simpler when you were a kid.
* A hilarious InUniverse case happens in ''Series/{{Rome}}''. Octavian asks his old friend Titus Pullo to accompany him on the invasion of Egypt, saying that it'll be just like one of their old adventures. Pullo gives a nervous smile because he remembers that the "old adventures" tended to include torturing and murdering people.
* ''Series/{{Continuum}}'' has an in-universe FantasticDrug Retrevinol or "Flash", first appearing in episode 'Second Thoughts', that causes hallucinogenic flashbacks to pleasant past experiences that are far more satisfying than was the actual event being remembered, meaning the drug "cannot be trusted".
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': When he and Dean are planning to confront {{Satan}} and TheGrimReaper, Sam asks if Dean remembers how "simple" things were back when they [[VillainPedigree just hunted Wendigos]]. Dean replies: "Not really".
* Mocked in the ''Series/{{Portlandia}}'' episode "Take Back MTV", where Spyke and Iris try to take over Creator/{{MTV}} and return it to its GloryDays before [[NetworkDecay it turned into a tween-oriented reality TV network]], hiring the real Kurt Loder, Tabitha Soren, and Matt Pinfield to storm MTV headquarters. As it turns out, there isn't much of a market for a channel devoted to aging Gen-Xers reliving their GloryDays, and people soon start tuning out.
* ''Series/{{Community}}'' - Britta rents out the 50s-theme diner she works at for the gang to throw a ''Film/PulpFiction'' theme birthday party for Abed. When Abed doesn't show and time drags on, the owner points out that it's cutting into prime time for nostalgia-themed diners - after the evening news when frightened customers seek "the comforting foods and soothing music of a pre-racial America".
* In Season 7 of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', various Scoobies come under a LoveSpell. Xander has a FlashbackCut to a horde of spell-crazed women trying to murder him and Cordelia in Season 2's "[[{{Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS2E16BewitchedBotheredAndBewildered}} Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered]]". Cut back to Xander sighing happily. "Good times."
** Averted with Willow.
-->'''Buffy:''' Remember when things used to be nice and boring?
-->'''Willow:''' No.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "[[{{Recap/StarTrekS1E22SpaceSeed}} Space Seed]]", the crew revives a 21st-century dictator named Khan Noonien Singh. Kirk, Scotty, and Bones practically fanboy over him, speaking with much admiration about how he was the best of the warlords, because he wasn't ''as'' brutal as the rest, and [[ManOfWealthAndTaste he had a respect for culture and knowledge]]. Spock tries to remind them that they're still talking about ''a totalitarian autocrat'' and that "did not commit quite as many atrocities" is really not a basis for such praise. They brush him off until, surprise surprise, Khan and his superhuman followers (and a traitorous lieutenant) take over the ship and treat the crew brutally.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': The episode "[[{{Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS6E4Relics}} Relics]]" has Picard and Scotty drinking together and reminiscing about their first starships (The Stargazer and the original Enterprise, respectively). Both bask in nostalgia for the earlier days and fondness of the old times, but Picard admits that the Stargazer is, in basically every aspect, inferior to the Enterprise-D, and Scotty eventually gets disgusted with himself for getting so hung-up on the past, realizing it's time he moved on.

* Nostalgia for the classical period of ancient Greece and Rome and the idea that the Middle Ages were 1000 years of Dark Ages was one of the things that inspired the Renaissance. Yeah, it's a real-life example, but still technically woven into works considering that it fueled a lot of the artwork at the time.
* Similarly, the art, literature, and poetry of the {{Romantic|ism}} movement of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries looked back to an idealized version of TheMiddleAges for inspiration, in part because it was characterized as [[RomanticismVersusEnlightenment a reaction against the more progressively-oriented, future-looking]] [[UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment Enlightenment]].

* "The Green, Green Grass of Home," with two popular versions – country, by Porter Wagoner, and pop by Music/TomJones – abounding. The song begins with a picturesque homecoming, obviously after a long time away, with a man stepping off a train and being welcomed by his family and his girlfriend, Mary ("hair of gold and lips like cherry"). The young man walks through his hometown, and it hasn't changed a bit ... even the old oak tree he used to play on is still there, majestic in its glory. It sounds too good to be true ... because it is. The scene suddenly takes a dark turn as the man awakens from what's to be his final night in bed ... he was only dreaming, and he's staring at four dank, dark gray walls. He's in prison, presumably a prisoner of war and awaiting execution at dawn ("For there's a guard, and there's a sad old padre/Arm in arm, we'll walk at daybreak"). That he'll be laid to rest beneath that green, green grass of home gives him little comfort in his final hours.
* "20 Years Ago" by Music/KennyRogers, who reflects on a simpler time – the mid-1960s – in his 1987 hit, noting about good times at the drugstore counter and the now-recently closed movie house, and noting that an ordinary dime had lots of buying power. However, the nostalgia is tinged with bitterness and darkness, particularly as he reflects on the death of a close high school friend who was killed in action in Vietnam.
* Music/TheStatlerBrothers found great success with a number of songs reflecting on old times, sometimes fun -- "Do You Remember These," a 1972 top 5 hit reflecting on popular culture from the late 1930s through the end of the 1950s; and "The Movies," a 1977 country hit that was a roll call of all the great movies from the earliest days to the then-present -- and sometimes bittersweet, most notably "Class of '57."
* Music/MerleHaggard: For as many songs he recorded that bitterly recalled certain memories, the "Okie from Muskogee" recorded many songs that recalled good times. Some examples:
** "Okie From Muskogee": A 1969 song paying homage to small-town life, where conservative values were the norm and outsiders with ideals contrary to the established way of life – e.g., patriotic values, with residents not using drugs, adopting hippie lifestyles, attempt to dodge the draft or challenge authority - were considered just that ... "outsiders."
** "The Roots of My Raising" and "The Way It Was in '51": A two-sided hit from 1976 which played upon the values of home and growing up in a carefree era. "The Roots of My Raising," about a young man who visits home for the first time in several years, reflects on such childhood memories as the one-room schoolhouse, the homestead, father and bankers who had absolute faith in their customers' ability to repay loans. "The Way it Was in '51," which became a minor hit of its own in 1978 (and still gets classic country airplay today as a "B"-side) spoke about a now middle-aged man's teenage years, before rock music and Interstate highways, when camaraderie was found amongst small town residents and neighbors and Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell were unquestionably the most popular singers of the day. "The Way it Was in '51" made a reference to the Korean War, and the line "servicemen were proud of what they'd done" was perhaps a sly reference to the Vietnam War, where not all veterans were "proud" of their service and they were shunned when they got back.
* The song "I used to love H.E.R" by Common just reeks of this trope. In this case Common is reminiscing about how Hip-hop changed with the times, but at a certain point it's clear he feels saddened by what it eventually became.
* The Futureheads song "Christmas Was Better in the 80s".
* Music/BobSeger basically built his career on nostalgia, with songs like "Old Time Rock and Roll" and "Night Moves".
** And "Against the Wind" and "Like a Rock" and "Still the Same" and "Main Street." Pretty much every song is about how awesome things were when Seger was younger.
* "Summer of '69" by Music/BryanAdams could be considered to use this in response to the GloryDays trope, though it doesn't look back at 1969 as much, [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar never mind the sexually position of the same name]], done in that wonderful summer.
** Also "Boys of Summer" by Don Henley. Though in that one the singer acknowledges his foolishness becase "those days are gone forever, I should just let 'em go":
--> ''Out on the road today, I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac''
--> ''A little voice inside my head said "Don't look back, you can never look back."''
* The most popular interpretation of Music/DonMcLean's epic ''Music/AmericanPie'' is a tribute to the rock 'n' roll of the 1950s, and an indictment of where rock music had gone astray from there by the early 1970s.
* Music/TheKinks would often wax nostalgic for a bygone England that possibly never existed, but could also show some perspective, like "Where Have All the Good Times Gone", heard [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnB3CHwPipU&feature=related here]].
** On a semi-related note, Music/SteeleyeSpan's "Hard Times of Old England" is more or less the inverse of this trope, though it concludes on the hopeful note that the singer is looking forward to a day when he'll be able to play the trope straight and look back on "jolly good times."
* "It Was A Very Good Year", sung by Music/FrankSinatra. A song being sung by an old man reminiscing over various periods in his life and the women he enjoyed.
* Music/MeatLoaf, kinda. From ''Bat out of Hell 3'' is the song "The Future Just Ain't What It Used to Be". So, [[CaptainObvious all about how the future looked brighter when he was younger]].
** Also, the tail end of "Paradise By the Dashboard Light".
-->Well, it was long ago and it was far away, and it was so much better than it is today...
* "From a Dead Beat to an Old Greaser" by Music/JethroTull has the main protagonist, Ray Lomas, bump into a man waxing nostalgic about his beatnik days. Lomas takes no interest in the beat's stories, saying "I didn't care, friend. I wasn't there, friend". If the comic from the sleeve of the song's parent album, ''Too Old to Rock 'N' Roll: Too Young to Die!'', is any indication, Lomas is just as prone to this, especially in the title track.
* Averted by Music/BillyJoel's "Keeping the Faith":
-->You know, the good old days weren't always good, and tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems!
* "All Summer Long" by Music/KidRock looks back at the summer of 1989 as a carefree time of young love and having fun down at the lake [[AnachronismStew (though ironically while sampling a song from 1974)]].
* [[SubvertedTrope "Wasted Years"]] by Music/IronMaiden.
-->So understand \\
Don't waste your time always searching for those wasted years \\
Face up, make your stand \\
And realize you're living in the golden years
* "The Way We Were" by Music/BarbraStreisand.
-->Memories can be beautiful, and yet\\
What's too painful to remember\\
We simply choose to forget...
* Some of Music/FuneralForAFriend's fanbase complained when the band went slightly poppier for their second album ''Hours'', and even more for their progressive third album ''Tales Don't Tell Themselves''. The band realised this and have based the subsequent part of their career around 'getting back to their hardcore roots', specifically their first two [=EP=]s and first album. They like to remind people of this with playing their first two [=EP=]s live in order, calling the four songs recorded for their best of 'an [=EP=]'s worth of new songs', bringing back screamed vocals, releasing an independent EP called ''The Young and Defenseless'', of which two songs went on the album and two didn't (mirroring their EP ''Four Ways to Scream Your Name''). Their album ''Conduit'' is a return to the hardcore roots they had before they even recorded an EP. Despite this, some fans still say they aren't as good as those early works, even though they've produced many songs in that style since.
* Music/BowlingForSoup's song "1985" is about this. A middle-aged suburban soccer mom can't cope with the fact that it's not TheEighties any more, that she's not going to be a star, or that the musicians she grew up listening to are now played on the oldies and classic rock stations, and she wants to go back to when she was a teenager.
* Music/BoardsOfCanada's music, despite being entirely instrumental (with the exception of [[{{Sampling}} occasional voice samples]]), is suffused with a sense of vague nostalgia, frequently described by both reviewers and listeners as sounding like hazy, half-forgotten memories or something along those lines.
* One of many things mocked in "God Save The Queen" by Music/TheSexPistols, which basically says that there is no future if you try to use a Nostalgia Filter to solve your problems.
* "Back in the Day" by Ahmad, a hip-hop song that's filled with syrupy nostalgia. It's arguably the poster child for nostalgia in the hip-hop community, along with songs like "T.R.O.Y." by Pete Rock & CL Smooth, and "Passin Me By" by Pharcyde.i
* In "Put Your Hand Inside the Puppet Head", by Music/TheyMightBeGiants, the first verse touches on this, with lines such as "It was not, not, not so great"
* "Baggy Trousers" (from ''Music/{{Absolutely}}'') and "Our House" (from ''Music/TheRiseAndFall'') are both nostalgic songs by Music/{{Madness}} about their school boy days and living with their family at home. Despite being sentimental, they are also comical since they basically depict the children as having all kinds of hijinks and misbehaving.
* "Those Were The Days" by Mary Hopkin is a nostalgic song about the joys of the past. It was released during TheSixties, but is ironically often used in nostalgic TV shows about the 1960s, even though it originally didn't reflect on that time period.
* "As Time Goes By", made famous by the film ''Film/{{Casablanca}}'' looks back on the memories of a love from long ago.
* "Things We Said Today" from ''Music/AHardDaysNight'' and "In My Life" from ''Music/RubberSoul'' are Music/TheBeatles songs who are both an example as well as an subversion. They look nostalgically back at now from the viewpoint of the future.
* "We'll Meet Again" by Vera Lynn has become extremely nostalgic for people who went through World War Two in Great Britain. It's united the country in a way that was so powerful that virtually every World War Two film or series set in Great Britain has to resist the tendency to use it, because it has become such a StandardSnippet. Which is odd considering that the time period looked back on was when Britain was bombed by German airplanes and people had to tighten their belts because of rationing. Now, it's mostly known ala ''Dr. Strangelove''.
* "Mon Enfance" by Music/JacquesBrel looks back at his childhood and how the illusions were destroyed by World War Two. "Rosa Rosa Rosa" is a more playful song about his school days as a young boy.
* "They Can't Take That Away From Me" by Music/GeorgeGershwin is about the good memories the protagonist has about his loved one. It was covered by Music/FrankSinatra on ''Music/SongsForYoungLovers''.
* "Play Dough!" by Music/TheAquabats is about a nerd reminiscing on the carefree days of his childhood.
* German hit from 2013/2014, "Lieder" from Adel Tawil, is a trip down memory lane to all the music that was important to him becoming what he was. Most pieces of music referenced are from the '80s, though references stretch from the 1850s to quite recent pieces.
* The song "Früher war alles besser" by German mittelalter band Saltatio Mortis mocks this trope. It starts out seeming like another song reminiscing about the good old days, when everyone could find a job and the banks weren't corrupt, but the chorus tells everyone to stop thinking in such a way. It even outright calls anyone who believes in the 'good old days' an idiot. The claims about how things were better in the past get progressively more ridiculous as the song goes on, getting to the point where it's claimed that back then, the ice never melted in your drink.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Parodied in a ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'' series in which Andy has to pick a strip in the newspaper she works for to cancel. Roger gets upset that she picked "Captain Goofball," because it was his favorite strip as a kid, but Andy tries to prove her point by bringing out the last month of strips and showing that it hasn't been funny in a long time.
** Also, the Steve Jobs tribute comic. Recall how the iFruit used to torment Jason to no end a decade ago. Although Bill Amend is a Mac fan from day one and Jason did eventually make peace with the iFruit, this comic still comes down with the trope if you read the comic and then jump to one that's 15 years older.
* Lampshaded in a comic strip of ''ComicStrip/{{Zits}}'' where the Duncans take a trip to a cabin where Walt went when he was younger. Jeremy ''hates'' it, but Walt, for some reason, has all these pleasant memories of the place. Yet, Jeremy finds a tree into which Walt had carved, "I hate this %^@&% Dump!!" and Walt mentions, "Wow, time has a way of blurring things, doesn't it?"
** In another strip, Walt gets angry at a song Jeremy is listening to, resulting in this exchange,
--->'''Walt:''' Did I hear what I think I just heard?!\\
'''Jeremy:''' Dad, it's just a song lyric.\\
'''Walt:''' Don't give me that! I'm sick of this new music that's [[MoralGuardians nothing but drugs and sex]]!\\
'''Jeremy:''' You mean like, "[[Music/NashvilleSkyline Lay Lady Lay]]", "[[Music/SgtPeppersLonelyHeartsClubBand Lucy in the Sky]]", "[[Music/AreYouExperienced Purple Haze]]", "[[Music/StickyFingers Brown Sugar]]"?\\
'''Walt:''' [[MoralMyopia Hey, that's different! Those are classics!]]\\
'''Connie:''' Ouch. Score one for the teenager.
* ''ComicStrip/TomTheDancingBug'' advanced a theory that popular culture was at its height when you, the reader, were twelve years old.
* In ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' Calvin's dad was this UpToEleven, he was often seen complaining to Calvin or his wife about how everything was better back in the day and how evil modern technology is. Calvin hates this, once saying that he is "a 21st century kid stuck in a 19th century family."

* The four audiobook volumes of ''The Alan Cross Guide to Alternative Rock'', based on the author's radio series ''The Ongoing History of New Music'', appear guilty of this: most of the bands are from the 1980s or early 1990s, several are from the 1960s and 1970s, and the ones from the 2000s that are covered are treated briefly. Cross, a history major, averts this by noting it's far easier to objectively measure the cultural impact of older artists, while for most newer artists it's too soon to tell if they'll be influential.
* ''When I was a kid, my mother would send me down to the corner store with a dollar, and I'd come back with five pounds of potatoes, two loaves of bread, three pints of milk, a pound of cheese, a packet of tea, and half a dozen eggs. You can't do that now. [[spoiler:Too damn many security cameras.]]''
* When Windows XP came out, people reacted to the new user interface in the same way, as they did now to the Windows 8. Endless rants were on forums and computer magazines about how childish it was, its impact on system performance was even worse (that time, only a minimal graphic acceleation was used for the GUI, most of it was done by the CPU). But well, first you could turn it off, second it followed the god-awful Windows ME, third it was a long runner and almost everybody forgot about it.
* Regardless of the time period, some people will always think that language was somehow better in days long past. This is partially why the older generation is always complaining about textual abbreviations like "lol." Even hundreds of years ago, speakers of European languages lamented that their languages were not like Latin.
* Not only many men, but a surprising number of women too, seem to be disgusted by [[YouGoGirl the "chick"/"bitch"/"girl-power" (call it what you like) aesthetic of modern femininity]], with girls and women drinking, doing drugs, playing rock music, sporting tattoos, riding motorcycles, etc. It's not that these people ''want'' women to be repressed; they just long for pre-1980s standards of "ladylike" behavior, when second-wave feminism was still largely a fringe movement and women actually acted and sounded and looked like women and had some flesh on them, dammit. The fact that very few of these people can accurately recall the swingin' pinup/''Magazine/{{Playboy}}'' culture of the 1950s and '60s - let alone Victorian gentlewomen or medieval damsels - is of no consequence. And never mind that many of the above "bad" things ''[[OlderThanTheyThink were]]'' [[OlderThanTheyThink part of mainstream culture prior to 1980]].
* A Russian joke:
--> '''Grandson:''' Grandpa, do you think life was better back in the Soviet days than it is now?
--> '''Grandfather:''' Of course!
--> '''Grandson:''' And why do you think so?
--> '''Grandfather:''' What do you mean "why"!? Back then I could get a boner, and now I can't!
* Another:
--> An old woman asks her granddaughter: "Granddaughter, please explain Communism to me. How will people live under it?" "When we reach Communism, the shops will be full – there'll be butter, and meat, and sausage … you'll be able to go and buy anything you want..." "Ah!" exclaims the old woman joyfully. "Just like under the Tsar!"

* Literature/TheBible alludes to this at Ecclesiastes 7:10, making this OlderThanDirt.
-->"Do not say: 'Why has it happened that the former days proved to be better than these?' for it is not due to wisdom that you have asked about this."

* Weaponized (of course) in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}''. Dwarf Longbeards are, well old dwarves who've SeenItAll, and "always grumble about how today's Goblins are smaller and weedier than they used to be, and how nothing is as well made today as it was in their days". Dwarves near them do their best not to fail Leadership tests lest it set off another round of GrumpyOldMan complaining.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Gorkamorka}}'': A line says that orks sell their craptastic first gun as soon as they can to buy a better one. Once they get older and better equipped, seeing younger orks running around with their own craptastic shootas make them briefly nostalgic.
* ''Tabletopgame/BattleTech'': The Star League, a FictionalUnitedNations of sorts which has been long dead for 300 years, had numerous secret civil wars between the founding Great Houses, and waged wars of aggression against the independent Periphery states, bringing them under the Star League's heel in brutal wars with numerous atrocities committed. After an EvilChancellor usurped power and inadvertently sparked [[ForeverWar 300 years of total war]] and the subsequent [[LostTechnology devastation of the technological base]], everyone ''not'' in the Periphery looks fondly upon the old days of the united peace of the Star League. The leaders of the Successor States all long to become the First Lord of a reborn Star League.

[[folder:Print Media]]
* The ''Magazine/RollingStone'' magazine article: "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time." Written in 2004, it included only 3 songs from the 2000s and a truly ''massive'' number from the 1960s and early '70s, roughly coinciding with the rise of the magazine itself. Probably 400 or so of those songs (and their artists) were [[PopularityPolynomial regularly]] [[VindicatedByHistory panned]] by the magazine when they were [[ItsPopularNowItSucks the Top 40 of the day]]. This is to say nothing of the fact that only a small fraction of the songs are from ''before'' the 60s.
* ''TV Guide'' compiled a list of the greatest TV shows in history. It was revealed later that the hardest decision they had was which of two shows should be named #1: ''Series/ILoveLucy'' or ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}''. They decided go with ''Seinfeld''. The decision was met with quite a lot of backlash [[WildMassGuessing (too Jewish, postmodern and/or cynical?)]].
* Chicago Tribune writer Mary Schmich, in her column [[http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-schmich-sunscreen-column-column.html "Advice, Like Youth, Probably Just Wasted on the Young"]] (which was later used as the basis of the late-90s dance hit [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTJ7AzBIJoI "(Everybody's Free to) Wear Sunscreen"]]) referenced this trope frequently; early on she advised her young readers, "Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked." Toward the end of her column she added, "Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth."

* ''Theatre/AvenueQ'': "I Wish I Could Go Back To College" is this combined with GrowingUpSucks.
* ''Theatre/JerseyBoys'': Bob Gaudio's narration segment about the band's rise to fame makes it seem like everything was smooth sailing until the end of Act One when Tommy [=DeVito=]'s gambling problems are revealed. However, when Nick Massi takes over at the beginning of Act Two, he reveals that several incidents caused tension to build up in the group long before that happened.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''[[VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice Sam & Max]]: The Devil's Playhouse'', Sam comes across a bucket of fish from the original Lucasarts game ''Hit The Road'' and fondly remembers how much simpler things were back then. Max quips that things were [[NintendoHard a LOT more complicated back then]].
* ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry'': Cranky Kong ''is'' this. Three-fourths of the time, he's grumping on how better much games were back in [[VideoGame/DonkeyKong his]] day, and how overrated our current gaming features are. Not to say he hasn't good reason to be bitter; he's supposed to be the the original VideoGame/DonkeyKong from the arcade game.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIVTheBalladOfGayTony'' has the eponymous Tony Prince, an aging, [[CampGay flamboyantly gay]] nightclub entrepreneur who grew up back when the gay rights movement was still on the fringes of social discourse. In one scene, he longs for the days when most [[TheTwink young gay men]] were runaways and exiles from a disapproving [[FlyoverCountry middle America]] who were lost in the big city and easier to seduce, and claims that gay culture has lost its touch now that growing numbers of LGBT people are settling down, getting married, raising kids, and becoming "normal".
* Likewise, ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'' has the song [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwM5qouf3Ns "I Like Things Just the Way They Are"]] by Samantha Muldoon, who performs it during her appearance on [[Radio/GTARadio Blaine County Talk Radio]]. It's a DeconstructiveParody of the use of this trope in contemporary (late '00s/early '10s) CountryMusic, with its idealization of small-town Americana barely concealing a vicious streak of [[BreadEggsMilkSquick reactionary politics, racism, and militant Christian nationalism]], heavily implying that the ''real'' reason the singer is nostalgic for the 'good old days' (or at least, pretending to be for the sake of [[PanderingToTheBase shamelessly pandering]] [[{{Sellout}} to her audience]][[note]]Samantha, who was portrayed as a parody of Music/{{Madonna}} in ''GTA IV'', is strongly implied to have reinvented herself as a right-wing country artist purely for the sake of appealing to the older white demographic that "[[ConspicuousConsumption doesn't save money and buys all kinds of superfluous stuff]] and [[DigitalPiracyIsEvil doesn't have a clue what downloading is]]."[[/note]]) is because it was a time when it was okay to openly bash and discriminate against ethnic, sexual, and religious minorities.
* Arthur Geis of Rebel FM stated that the UsefulNotes/XboxLiveArcade game ''[[VideoGame/PerfectDark Perfect Dark HD]]'' was what gamers ''remembered'' what the original version of ''Perfect Dark'' was like.
* Similar to the above, this trope has also been discussed by some gaming commentators regarding the HD version of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess''. When footage of the HD version was first released, some gamers complained that the new version barely looked any different from the 2006 original. Then when comparison videos were released showing that there is a pretty big difference in areas such as texture quality, lighting, shadows, anti-aliasing, and of course the HD version runs at a native resolution much higher than the original's 480p, people began to realize the "issue" is more that the HD version simply looks like how people ''remembered'' the 2006 original.
* IGN's [[http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/07/11/another-world-20th-anniversary-review strongly critical review]] of the 20th anniversary rerelease of ''VideoGame/AnotherWorld'' claims that, while it was a classic game in its time, the only reason why it's still a classic ''today'' is because of this trope, and that time and nostalgia have caused people to forget about the game's poor controls and frustrating gameplay.
** They lobbied the exact same comment at the Wii virtual console rerelease of ''Cruis'n USA'', arguing that it was "never a good game" despite what this trope might suggest.
* Crossing over with Meta above, this is why RetroGaming exists. The RetroGaming movement is the result of this trope getting tangled with TechnologyMarchesOn. Those bitten hard by the retrogaming bug will even go through great lengths to procure hardware and games they played in with their childhood, never mind if they actually developed a hatred of the game shortly after and forgot about it, due to the filter. Classicgaming.com even had a name for it: "happy sappy delusion syndrome", with the sappy part kicking in shortly after the reality incursion and the goggles self-destruct, and the hatred rediscovered.
* This is the whole reason behind the existence of ''VideoGame/ShovelKnight''. It's a {{Retraux}} game that borrows liberally from what are widely considered to be among the best games ever on the UsefulNotes/NintendoEntertainmentSystem.
* Defied in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' - when Shepard asks Joker if he misses how things were in the first game, he's quick to point out that those only seem like "the good old days" in retrospect.
* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'' ''Trials & Tribulations''. Victor Kudo, a grumpy-beyond-reason old man. He constantly laments the old days and how everything was better and how he hates all the new gadgets and all their fancy names. Feels all the more awkward considering he occasionally rants about "the old bushido values of Japan" among all things, while [[{{Woolseyism}} localization made the setting clearly American]].
-->''Victor Kudo:'' In the good old days, we would have drank every last drop, eaten the cup, and then died!
-->''Phoenix:'' (Congratulations. You have earned the title of Battiest Man To Grace A Courtroom.)
* The 61-year-old Reinhardt in ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'' is not particularly fond of 2070's "techno music", and tries to get younger folks like his fellow Hero Lucio to listen to "the classics" such as Creator/DavidHasselhoff.


* Webcomic/PennyArcade summed it up pretty well in [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/4/21/ one strip.]] "It's the job of young people to make things which old people despise. It's the job of old people to denigrate the work of the young. That is the system. Someday, we will hate them ourselves."
* ''Webcomic/NotInventedHere'': Desmond feels like a kid again when his first computer is mailed to him by his uncle Lou. He snaps out of it when Geordi mentions every remaining computer of that model working together would roughly equal the computing power of one iPhone, but use way more electricity.
* ''Webcomic/TheWhiteboard'': Sent up in the paintball domain [[http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autotwb1143.html here]] and in the next strip, comparing paintballing in the past to that in the present.
* Parodied in [[http://explosm.net/comics/3363/ this]] ''Webcomic/CyanideAndHappiness'' strip. The old man misses the "good old days" ''because'' of the [[RacistGrandma rampant intolerance]]. His younger relative cheerfully claims this is why he never visits.

[[folder: Web Original]]
* Mocked many times by ''Website/TheOnion''.
** A cantankerous old man writes the editorial: [[http://www.theonion.com/articles/in-my-day-ballplayers-were-for-shit,10792/ "In My Day, Ballplayers Were For Shit"]]
** "[[http://www.theonion.com/articles/area-man-always-nostalgic-for-four-years-ago,1392/ Area Man Always Nostalgic For Four Years Ago]]"
** "10 Things That Will Make You SUPER Nostalgic For [[TheNineties The '90s]]" is a 2013 slideshow of real photos of all the great times/things of the era -- starting with Rwandan genocide corpses and going on to UsefulNotes/{{Columbine}}, the Oklahoma City bombing, Somalian refugees, etc. (Plus, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking for some reason]], Alan Alda!)
** There's also "[[http://www.theonion.com/articles/grandfather-seems-proud-of-how-many-people-polio-k,37291/?utm_source=Tumblr&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=Default:1:Default Grandfather Seems Proud Of How Many People Polio Killed]].
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic's job is showing the world that the '80s and early '90s had their fair share of utterly terrible shows and movies, as you can guess by his name. The Nostalgia Filter attitude was also mocked in the end of his ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}: [[TheMovie The First Movie]]'' review, where after spending a good portion of the review complaining about the weirdness of the premise, comes to the realization that popular eighties cartoons like ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|1987}}'', ''WesternAnimation/AlvinAndTheChipmunks'', and ''WesternAnimation/TheCareBears'' had pretty ridiculous premises themselves before shouting "THOSE WERE THE DAYS!".
** In a video where he watches the first few episodes of the 80s Ninja Turtles cartoon, he's forced to admit that the whole thing is kind of dumb, [[RuleOfFun but that doesn't make it any less fun]].
** When reviewing ''Film/FollowThatBird'' Doug eventually breaks down and says he can't bear to criticize a movie he has such fond memories for. So he gives the job to his character Chester A. Bum.
** The episode [[http://channelawesome.com/nostalgia-critic-the-dark-age-of-film/ "The Dark Age of Film"]] is all about tearing apart nostalgia for '90s blockbusters. He refers to the second half of the '90s as a DorkAge for the SummerBlockbuster, with many films stuffed with overblown {{spectacle}} and [[ConspicuousCG abuse of the new technology of CGI]], at the expense of plot and characters (which often amounted to annoying {{nerd}} stereotypes fighting for survival against StuffBlowingUp). In his opinion, this is a big part of the reason why films like ''Film/FaceOff'', ''Film/TheMaskOfZorro'', and the first ''Film/MenInBlack'' are so fondly remembered -- they were among the few legitimately good, clever, and creative summer action movies to come out in that era, standing out that much more in the sea of suck around them. He's baffled that anybody could be nostalgic for this era, arguing that, as many problems as blockbuster filmmaking may have today, we should be grateful that it doesn't suck as badly as it did back then.
** WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick does this too, just with girly movies and the occasional male-geek-adored CultClassic like ''Film/{{Dune}}'' and the ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' film. She also did [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9dCWUuJZLw a video]] on how Creator/{{Disney}} built its brand around cuddly, feel-good nostalgia and historical revisionism, and how the film ''Film/SavingMrBanks'' explored this.
* Creator/JamesRolfe, aka WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd, did this, too, but for video games. Because, sure, the 80s-90s generation have fond memories of playing ''Videogame/SuperMarioBros1'', ''Videogame/TheLegendOfZeldaI'' and ''Videogame/MegaMan1'' for the old UsefulNotes/{{NES}}... But the games that are fondly remembered are in no way indicative of the average production values back in those days, they were more like diamonds in a steaming heap of crap, and James made sure to remind us all of this fact by producing over 120 episodes dedicated to shitty games that suck ass.
* In the ''Gundamn!'' podcast's segment on ''WesternAnimation/TheTransformersTheMovie'', they mention that most of the fanbase's regard for ''TransformersGeneration1'' really comes from the movie, rather than the TV series, which was pretty formulaic ("What stupid plan will Megatron come up with to steal more Energon cubes? How will Starscream try to betray Megatron and fail ''yet again?''")
* ''Website/{{Cracked}}'' has done multiple articles about this trope.
** [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18983_5-complaints-about-modern-life-that-are-statistically-b.s..html "5 Complaints About Modern Life (That Are Statistically B.S.)"]], in which it's noted that complaints about the rising cost of living don't account for rising wages, that there was just as much LowestCommonDenominator pablum in pop culture then as there is now (the writer explicitly compares Film/TheThreeStooges to the cast of ''Series/{{Jackass}}''), that the '50s had ''way'' more processed food than we do now, that crime rates have plunged since the '80s, and that our memory of the '60s and '70s as a GoldenAge for pop music obscures all the now-forgotten crap that ''actually'' topped the charts back then (and that a lot of acts that are now classic [[VindicatedByHistory were dismissed at the time]]).
** [[http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-bullshit-complaints-about-modern-rap-music/ "4 Bullshit Complaints About Modern Rap Music."]] Things like [[GlamRap party rap]], trend-hopping, and mediocre rappers getting airplay have always been around in rap music, even during UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfHipHop and the era of GangstaRap.
* [[Website/FourChan "Remember when /b/ was good?"]] [[MemeticMutation "/b/ was never good."]]
** For those who don't speak internet; the imageboard /b/, [[SmallNameBigEgo the source of most memes]], is full of people who have matured to the point where the rather immature, gross-out and horrible humor of /b/ no longer amuses them, and complain about the new users, claiming that they are the "cancer that is killing /b/."
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_APoSfCYwU As SMBC points out,]] nostalgia has been a staple of humanity since before it ''was'' humanity:
-->Biggest rock is best rock\\
But sometimes small rock is good rock too\\
Don't give me that liberal bullcrap.
** [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2253#comic And again.]]
* Skewered [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx0DsbxZHa0 here]] by WebVideo/{{Benzaie}}, who alleges that all the problems that gamers complain about today ([[FollowTheLeader genre oversaturation]], {{Mission Pack Sequel}}s, etc.) were just as present in TheNineties, the "golden age" of gaming.
* This [[http://twitter.com/#!/Discographies/status/5687865124069376 tweet]] by Discographies on Music/{{Journey}} sums up the phenomenon perfectly. The channel itself is a ruthless aversion, stripping away the filter with pithy and accurate sum-ups of the output of classic bands across the spectrum:
-->''"Journey: 1-3"You are getting sleepy..."; 4-13 "When you wake, it will be the future, and no one will be able to remember how lame this was."''
* WebVideo/{{Hadriex}} seems to revel in old games like [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGudlj4kxSo&index=19&list=PLSQLREUw9vwmE8HYXkE0uYgR6ur64hjIQ Simon's Quest]], but every once in awhile he admits that one of his [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rw0DHByugVo&index=34&list=PLSQLREUw9vwn26DcWQA_2b4eDD1uf6VCF favorite childhood games]] isn't actually very good.
* ''DarthWiki/CandleCove'' starts out playing this trope straight, but then we learn about all the gory details.
* Pitchfork of Socks Make People Sexy is quite guilty of this; tasked with doing a Final Fantasy Retrospective, he started with declaring his blind admiration for classics and then to...well, let's just say that ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' didn't help. At all.
* On an episode of ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightvale'', guest host Leonard Burton hates that anything has changed from the way things used to be, including the sun moving in the sky.
-->'''Leonard:''' The past is always better than the present, and the future is worst of all.
* Any [[http://www.sporcle.com/games/category/music Sporcle music quiz]] regarding recent music (Billboard year-end lists, United States of Pop, #1 hits...) will be filled with comments both blasting today's songs and praising the ones from their age.
* Creator/BobChipman has discussed his own (quite strong) nostalgia filter for '80s and early '90s gaming on several occasions.
** Played straight and averted, respectively, with his treatment of TheEighties and TheNineties. Bob is ''not'' a fan of the latter decade, frequently accompanying mentions of it with a stock photo of [[Film/TheWrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson]] with the caption "The '90s sucked", and he has little love for most of the pop culture trends of that era ({{Nineties anti hero}}es, [[PostModernism post-modern]] teen horror, et cetera). On the other hand, he loves the '80s, cheesiness and all. He states that this was because the '90s were his awkward, schlubby teen years that came in between his wondrous childhood in the '80s and his present-day success as an internet personality.
** Bob later [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/the-big-picture/6962-The-90s-Didnt-Suck re-examined]] his original view of both the political and pop culture attitudes of the 90s. While admitting 90s did have some [[WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries good]] [[Film/PulpFiction stuff]], Bob considered the time to be a cultural dead zone with no real identity outside of references to previous eras like the 70s and 50s. He finds the answer to this in Francis Fukuyama's famous treatise ''The End of History'', stating that the West's victory in the UsefulNotes/ColdWar had produced [[WhyWeAreBummedCommunismFell a sort of ennui]] that, in turn, produced a culture of nostalgia and introspection. [[TheWarOnTerror 9/11]], of course, quickly shattered that culture.
** Averted, and examined, with [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/the-big-picture/5140-The-Simpsons-Is-Still-Funny-Pt-1 his treatment]] of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. While going over the older seasons, Bob noticed that most of the episodes he thought were comic gold as a kid didn't age well, while the episodes he thought were boring when they first aired became much better now that he was [[ParentalBonus old enough to appreciate the humor]]. He concludes that ''The Simpsons'' didn't jump the shark like its fans thought it did, but rather, its fans grew up and their tastes in humor changed, and the show didn't change with them. Plus, there's the fact that the show, a broad satire of the greater pop culture, is [[UnintentionalPeriodPiece a relic]] of a time stretching from roughly 1950-2000 when pop culture was largely monolithic[[note]]As in, most mainstream Americans, apart from those on the cultural fringes, watched the same three or four TV {{networks}} and the same movies, received the same news, listened to the same music, read the same books, et cetera.[[/note]] — the early '00s, the time most commonly cited as when ''The Simpsons'' "stopped being funny", is also the time when the internet and cable television fragmented pop culture into a million little shards and UsefulNotes/{{subcultures}}.\\
When he [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/moviesandtv/columns/highdefinition/12188-The-Simpson-s-Maude-Flanders-Isn-t-as-Good-as-She-Seems revisited the show]] during Creator/{{FX}}X's marathon of every episode in 2014, not only did it reinforce his opinion that this trope was in full effect on the earlier seasons, it also caused him to notice a microcosm of this trope in how Maude Flanders was portrayed. After she was [[McLeaned killed off]], both the characters on the show and many viewers came to [[NeverSpeakIllOfTheDead remember Maude as a paragon of saintliness]], yet as Bob watched the old episodes she was in, he mostly saw her acting judgmental, acidic, and catty, to the point where [[AndThereWasMuchRejoicing he couldn't wait for her to be killed off]].
** He's [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/moviebob/9204-Advice-From-a-Fanboy-Akira argued]] that, while ''Manga/{{Akira}}'' is a good movie, the reason why most Americans view it as a classic is because of this trope, saying that it was most Americans' first "real" experience with {{anime}} that hadn't been [[{{Macekre}} watered]] [[{{Bowdlerise}} down]].
** In his review of ''Film/TruthOrDare'', he decides to look up the cast members to see if they were famous for anything, as he was pushing forty and was out of the loop on teen culture. He was surprised to learn that they made a [[Series/TeenWolf TV adaptation]] of ''Film/TeenWolf'' (''Truth or Dare'' starred one of that show's lead actors, Creator/TylerPosey), a movie that he thought sucked, and used that film as proof that younger generations shouldn't always listen to people like him when they tell them that everything made in TheEighties was golden.
* WebVideo/HonestTrailers' TakeThat on Creator/MichaelBay's ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2014'' ends with the narrator fighting with a young kid on the quality of the movie. When the kid suggests that the turtles weren't as good in his time, the narrator snaps back that they were. [[GilliganCut Cut to an incredibly campy scene]] from 1991's ''[[Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesIITheSecretOfTheOoze The Secret of the Ooze]]''.
-->'''Narrator''': Ugh. Touche.
* Parodied in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pa6SGYWADU this YouTube video]] by user Ukinojoe about "90s Kids."
** This sort of thing is also skewed by [[WebVideo/RebelTaxi Rebel Taxi]] in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uWKkndwrCs this video]].
* Discussed in [[http://kotaku.com/5983704/two-major-features-every-retro-game-service-needs this article]] on Kotaku about how to improve "retro" gaming services like the UsefulNotes/PlayStation3's [[UsefulNotes/PlayStation PSOne Classics]].
-->"This week, thanks to the big ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' sale, I bought ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX FFIX]]'' on PSN to play on my Vita. I wanted to play it again with fresh eyes. Problem is, when you play a game with fresh eyes, you suddenly start to notice problems that you forgot about over the years, like the ridiculous random encounter rate and the 5-10 seconds it takes for the 'disc' to load before each battle even starts. I put 'disc' in scare-quotes because, remember, there is no [=PS1=] disc. This is an emulator on my Vita running the game."
* [[http://makingstarwars.net/2013/08/star-wars-episode-vii-cgi-versus-practical-effects/ This article]] examines the special effects from the ''Franchise/StarWars'' franchise, focusing on [[NewMediaAreEvil the backlash against the use of CGI]] throughout the Prequel Trilogy, noting that the methods used [[NotSoDifferent are ultimately not that different]] from those of the Original Trilogy.
--> ''The thesis that limitations lead to genius is just flat-out illogical. If we gave Music/TheBeatles crappier guitars or we gave your new favorite band vintage equipment, would they make better music? No. They would make music with the tools at their disposal.''
* WebVideo/BennettTheSage Discussed this in his Anime Abandon Videos. He feels that Anime was at its best in the nineties, but also at its worst, which is where a good backbone of the show comes from.
* When he [[http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/gears-of-war-review/1900-6161188/ originally reviewed]] ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'' in 2006, Jeff Gerstmann showered it with praise and gave it a 9.6 out of 10 (on Gamespot's scale), but when he [[http://www.giantbomb.com/reviews/gears-of-war-ultimate-edition-review/1900-709/ returned to it]] for its [[UpdatedRerelease Ultimate Edition rerelease]] on UsefulNotes/XboxOne in 2015, nine years and countless [[TakeCover cover-based shooters]] later, he felt that it hadn't held up well, giving it just two stars out of five (on Website/GiantBomb's scale) and arguing that people's continued affection for it came down to this. With SeinfeldIsUnfunny syndrome rendering its gameplay innovations old hat, its problems, such as [[ArtificialStupidity dumb AI]], repetitive gameplay, and a bare-bones online multiplayer mode, became more readily apparent, especially in light of its own sequels that managed to refine and improve upon its foundation.
* Mocked in a series of ''Deadspin'' articles by Drew Magary called [[http://deadspin.com/tag/why-your-childrens-television-program-sucks "Why Your Children's Television Program Sucks"]], devoted to explaining why the popular kids' TV shows that parents have to suffer through, past and present (''WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine'' and ''Series/SavedByTheBell'' are not immune), are so terrible. [[http://deadspin.com/why-your-childrens-television-program-sucks-jessie-1462152297 His article]] on the Creator/DisneyChannel KidCom ''Series/{{Jessie}}'' is especially pertinent.
-->"Because that's exactly what my kid needs to see: a bunch of materialistic little shits running around a penthouse with a goddamn pet komodo dragon at their beck and call. It wasn't like this when I was growing up! Back in my day, television shows depicted kids living in TOTALLY REALISTIC circumstances. Shows like ''Series/DiffrentStrokes'' and ''Series/SilverSpoons'' and ''Series/{{The Fresh Prince of Bel|Air}}''— OH MY GOD NOTHING HAS CHANGED."
* Science fiction and fantasy writer Creator/JoWalton refers to the process of having one's Nostalgia Filter broken as being paid a visit from the [[http://www.tor.com/2010/09/28/the-suck-fairy/ "Suck Fairy"]]. She describes it as happening most often when people go back to revisit books that they loved as kids, before their tastes in literature evolved, with ValuesDissonance and the recognition of [[DeadHorseTrope overused tropes]] and {{cliche|Storm}}s being among the most common causes.
* Chris-Chan, the messed-up creator of ''Webcomic/{{Sonichu}}'', pines for the days of his High School years, seeing them as the absolute high point of his life in which he had friends and was "One of the kids". However, [[https://sonichu.com/cwcki/Song_of_Christian A video he filmed of himself back when he WAS in High School]] shows his teenage self complaining about getting an "F" (Failing Grade) in his assignments and how lonely and isolated he felt. He was regularly bullied by a number of students as well. The cherry on the crap sundae: his pals were merely acquaintances whom he only saw every other day in school who only hung out with him out of pity.
** That said; [[BasementDweller Considering]] [[https://sonichu.com/cwcki/Chris_and_health the]] [[https://sonichu.com/cwcki/26_December_2014 nature]] [[https://sonichu.com/cwcki/Tour_of_Chris%27s_House of his]] [[https://sonichu.com/cwcki/Trolls adult]] [[https://sonichu.com/cwcki/Greene_County_Conspiracy life]], his teen years do [[https://sonichu.com/cwcki/Manchester_High_School look awesome]] in comparison (He wasn't as ugly, his parents were a bit more functional and actually took care of their house, he had his pity-friends...).
* ''WebVideo/TheHappyVideoGameNerd'': Averted and/or subverted; HVGN proves that there really is some stuff in the past that is really good, some of it just got passed over.
** Played straight in his reviews of ''VideoGame/MegaMan9'' and ''[[VideoGame/MegaMan10 10]]''. He acknowledges that he rated ''9'' -- which helped kick off the recent {{Retraux}} trend -- as highly as he did partly for this specific reason. Now that "all that's old is new again" is getting...well, old again, he was able to take off his nostalgia-tinted lenses for ''10''. He does stand by his original review for ''9'', though, and cites other reasons why ''10'' is a weaker game.
* The podcast ''80s All Over'' was created by critics Drew [=McWeeny=] and Scott Weinberg partially as a response to this trope getting in the way of genuine discussion and analysis of cinema of TheEighties, noting that only about 35-40 films of the decade they grew up in were regularly celebrated/revived. The format has them look at the decade '''month by month''', revisiting every major and most of the minor U.S. film releases that came out and seeing "what worked then, what endures now" (as the intro puts it). As they track the trends and styles that rose and fell over the decade, they freely admit that for all the movies that have aged well -- famous hits, ones that were big in the day but have ''not'' entered SmallReferencePools, and ones that just flew under the radar -- there are plenty that haven't (they've noted more than once that they're dreading having to revisit ''Film/TopGun'', and have a grudge against most of the teen sex comedies of the era for their morally abhorrent lead characters and alarming treatment of women), and take the time to put their success or lack thereof into the larger socio-political context of the decade.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* This trope is played with in ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'', when Vince apparently does not notice that his brother (who was revered by Vince's peers around his age) was a stereotypical nerd, remembering instead how "cool" he used to be. The other kids later realize that it only made sense since no 'cool' older kid would ever have willingly played with them when they were younger.
** He's still cool in his own way. When a bully that Vince stopped brought his older brother, Vince's own brother threatened to quit being his tutor. He backed off immediately.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'': In one episode, Timmy's dad constantly speaks of his fond childhood memories of spending time in an Old West town, and Timmy goes through the trouble of [[ChildhoodMemoryDemolitionTeam making sure it doesn't get torn down for his dad's sake]]. However, actually being there again makes Timmy's dad realize how much his childhood sucked and he sells the place to the developers for a few bucks.
** And another episode, in when Timmy and his dad were cleaning their attic, Timmy finds his dad's tiny box of dreams. He picks it up and it breaks. Timmy's dad was OK with it though, because his dreams were crushed many years ago.
--->'''Timmy:''' How ''many'' years ago?\\
'''Mr. Turner:''' How old are you?
** In another episode Mr. Turners dad Pappy babysat Timmy. Within the episode, Pappy complains that things in the present aren't as good as things he grew up with. Among his complaints is how much more expensive candy is, Chip Skylark III being inferior to the original, and modern cartoons being more lame than ones from the 1930's.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'': Phineas reflects on the little kiddie rides outside of the mall, leading to an exciting scene of young Phineas flying into space and shooting lasers off with Ferb. Cut to him riding it in reality...
-->'''Phineas:''' You know, in retrospect, I may have over-romanticized those memories...
* This attitude is called out in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters'', where Ray is talking about how the fifties were a much simpler time. Egon points out that there's no inherent proof of that, as each decade has its own individual challenges.
* In the BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'', Billy's dad wants to relive his high school days. He soon realizes it wasn't as good as he thought it was.
* Given a quick jab in the ribs from ''WesternAnimation/TheOblongs'', as Bob wonders fitfully about his children being sold drugs.
-->'''Bob:''' This stuff wasn't around when we were kids.\\
'''Pickles:''' Bob, we grew up in the sixties. Drugs were everywhere.\\
'''Bob:''' ...No, I think you're wrong.
* WesternAnimation/{{Daria}} once called a guy Jane was dating out on this.
-->'''Nathan:''' Well, I've always dug the beauty and elegance of post-war American design. People had a sense of timeless style and civilized decorum back then.\\
'''Daria:''' Well, yeah. But you also had the timeless style of Cold War conformity and the civilized decorum of segregation.
** Another example occurs when Jake finds some old home movies from back when he was a kid and is eager to see them despite Helen's failed attempts at reminding him that his childhood wasn't that great. The truth comes rushing back to him once he watches them however. Helen later lampshaded this tendency in Is It College Yet.
---> '''Helen:''' Your father needs to maintain certain illusions about his youth in order to function. It's... cute...
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'':
** In "[[Recap/SouthParkS15E7YoureGettingOld You're Getting Old]]", as soon as Stan turns ten, he ends up hearing and seeing all the "[[YoungerAndHipper new and hip]]" stuff around him to be literally "shitty," ranging from tracks from band called "Tween Wave" featuring nothing but funky beats with fart sounds in the background to seeing turds in movie trailers and in various parts of the town. A doctor explains that changing tastes are normally just part of getting older, but something's gone wrong and it's causing Stan to see ''everything'' as shit, even things older people normally enjoy ("It's a disorder we call 'being a cynical asshole'."). [[spoiler: It completely alienates him from his friends.]] In the second part to this episode, [[spoiler:he has to resort to taking alcohol in order to stop seeing things as shit.]]
** Also makes up the plot of "[[Recap/SouthParkS4E11FourthGrade 4th Grade]]". After moving up a grade in class, the boys dislike it and wish they could still be in the 3rd grade instead as things were so much better back then. At the very end, Kyle realizes that it's a load of bull and they hated the 3rd grade just as much as the 4th.
** Also briefly mocked in "[[Recap/SouthParkS5E9OsamaBinLadenHasFartyPants Osama bin Laden Has Farty Pants]]", the first episode produced after the tragedies of September 11th, 2001 in New York, New York, Arlington, Virginia, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It opens with the boys at the bus stop wearing gas masks. Kyle remarks, "Remember when life used to be simple and cool?" To which Cartman replies, "... Not really."
** The Season 20 StoryArc is a giant commentary on this very subject. One part of the season's BigBadEnsemble, the [[FantasticFruitsAndVegetables member berries]], are talking grapes that constantly reminisce about nostalgic things (especially nostalgic pop culture), and they invoke a sense of euphoria in whomever consumes them thanks to this nostalgia. However, the moment the berries suddenly begin to say things like "'member when there weren't so many immigrants in this country?" and "'member when marriage was just between a man and a woman?", Randy Marsh, who had been eating the berries, suddenly stops and goes "what the hell is up with these berries?", showing that not all nostalgia is inherently good, as, similar to the ''Grand Theft Auto V'' example above, some people's idea of the "good old days" are the days when open prejudice against certain people was considered socially acceptable. Member berries have also been made into wine and may be responsible for [[spoiler: Gerald's massive TookALevelInJerkass]] and [[spoiler: continued interest in Mr. Garrison's presidential campaign]]. This parodies both UsefulNotes/DonaldTrump's presidential campaign (particularly the "Make America Great Again" concept) and the CreativeSterility that overtook popular culture in TheNewTens, with most popular mainstream entertainment being adaptations, sequels, reboots, remakes, and {{Genre Throwback}}s instead of fresh concepts.
* Mocked in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}'' episode "Doug's Shock Therapy," when a temporarily insane Mr. Bone mis-remembers his own childhood as (literally!) a "magical time with rainbows and lakes of hot chocolate."
* Toyed with in the ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' episode "Legends," where the team meets a [[CaptainErsatz pastiche]] of the [[ComicBook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica JSA]]. It's all about the fondly-remembered "GoldenAge" but also includes casual sexism and racism Comicbook/GreenLantern encounters.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' features a CIA holodeck machine that scans the memories of people and projects them into the holodeck. The machine has a literal nostalgia filter. When Stan revisits his childhood with the filter on, it's bright, warm, comforting, and his dad is a nice person. Turned off, the place is a dump and his father is cruel, as it really was (not that Stan is bothered by it).
--> '''Barry:''' I remember a time when we didn't need a nostalgia filter. Oh, those were the days.

->''This page was so much better back in the day. But today...it just sucks.''