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Easily Embarrassed Youngster

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"So embarrassing..."
Judy Brown, Paddington (2014), about her mother, her brother, Paddington and... well, practically everything.

This trope is about a rather common character type: a child (usually between the ages of eight and twelve) or a teenager who's very easily embarrassed. They tend to find their parents and other family members embarrassing, as well as anything that's stereotyped as being for the opposite sex or people older or younger than them, certain emotions such as romance and fear, and anything even slightly nonconformist (although they may secretly enjoy them). They also tend to find any reminder of their earlier years embarrassing, especially baby photos.

Some Easily-Embarrassed Youngsters might develop a mouthy attitude to either hide or express their insecurities. It might be, for instance, why the Bratty Teenage Daughter is so bratty or it might be the reason behind a schoolyard bully, particularly of the stereotypical "snobby girl" variety. The bully's sidekick (who could be a Beta Bitch) might also be insecure, which could be the reason they hang out with a bully in the first place; they're too insecure not to. Sometimes, this attitude problem manifests as arrogance, which leads to an Inferiority Superiority Complex.

On the other hand, many Easily-Embarrassed Youngsters wouldn't hurt a fly. These types are often meant to be relatable to young audiences and are generally the victims of the aforementioned bullies. They will generally learn a valuable lesson on accepting yourself for who you are, and/or about how following trends isn't worth it. They might also find out that "cool kids" are insecure too, and might not even like their "cool" apparent interests. Both types generally strive to be popular and/or hang out with the "cool kids". Both types may also act serious to appear mature, resulting in Wacky Parent, Serious Child if one or both their parents are wacky.

It's important to note that this isn't just a young character who's been embarrassed before, has one or two things in particular that they find embarrassing, or is embarrassed by standard things such as a stranger walking in on them in the shower. It has to be a personality trait for it to be this trope.

Might overlap with Teens Love Shopping if the teens are shopping in order to follow trends, and can also overlap with Closet Geek, Affection-Hating Kid, and Embarrassment Plot. Compare Shrinking Violet, Nervous Wreck, Lovable Coward, Dirty Coward, Prone to Tears, and The Eeyore for other ways in which characters might be sensitive. These characters also tend to do Lame Pun Reaction's and Acquaintance Denial's and might be mocked by a Carload of Cool Kids.

Sometimes Truth in Television: many, although by no means all, people go through an easily-embarrassed phase around puberty.


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    Films — Animation 
  • Violet Parr in The Incredibles. Her power of invisibility is (initially) linked to teenage insecurity and a sense of awkward embarrassment. Over the course of the two movies, she gradually loses the embarrassment but keeps the power.
  • Implied in Inside Out with a background character who is a girl Riley's age in punk clothes. When we see inside her mind, her emotions are talking about how they're frauds and how it's so hard to be "cool".
    • Riley herself has a moment at the end when, at a hockey match she's playing in, she cringes in mortification when her parents turn up wearing facepaint, hockey jerseys and cheering raucously for her. A quick jump inside her mind reveals Disgust frantically controlling her emotional response and insisting to the others that, while she agrees with them that it's actually pretty cool her parents did this, "we can't show it!"

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Paddington (2014), Judy Brown is (initially) so easily embarrassed that Paddington describes her as having "a serious condition called embarrassment".

  • Camilla Cream of A Bad Case of Stripes is very easily-embarrassed and doesn't want to admit she likes lima beans, which leads to her changing shape and colour whenever something is suggested.
  • Greg Heffley, the twelve-year-old protagonist of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, is very easily-embarrassed. This leads to many amusing shenanigans about him being in awkward situations, and it makes him pretty bossy because he believes that his conventional lifestyle is the only option.
  • The main character in Fifteen is easily-embarrassed because she's fifteen years old, so she wants to appear grown-up, but she's worried that she'll be seen as immature for not liking coffee among other things. She's also embarrassed by her cat washing his bottom in front of her boyfriend.
  • The Locked Tomb: At just fourteen, Jeannemary and Isaac are younger than the rest of the cast of Gideon the Ninth, and are constantly embarrassed by everything from Magnus's lame jokes and stories, to anything each other says.
  • In I'm So Embarrassed by Robert Munsch, the main protagonists are a boy named Andrew and a girl named Taylor-Jay, who are very easily embarrassed. At one point, they get so embarrassed, they hide in the trash.
  • In Midnight, thirteen-year-old Violet is embarrassed by her lifestyle, because she only has three friends at school, still plays with toys, and likes unconventional books.

    Web Original 
  • Dungeons & Daddies has two:
    • Terry Jr. is a more typical example, being a moody preteen who has a very big chip on his shoulder about his mother's remarriage. But despite his hostility, his acrimonious relationship with step-dad Ron is treated pretty sympathetically, since he is still just a kid, and Ron is... Ron.
    • Grant, on the other hand, is a bit more subtle. He's a pretty reserved and thoughtful kid, so he isn't the type to whinge about his dad or act immature. Unfortunately for him, his dad's way of showing affection tends to be extremely overbearing, sometimes to the point of deliberately embarrassing, and his first appearance in the show coincides with the development of his very first crush... which Darryl picks up on instantly and dances around with all the grace of a drunk elephant. So naturally, there are few scenes where Grant doesn't seem at least somewhat embarrassed about something.

    Western Animation 
  • Arthur:
    • Arthur himself is eight and is quite easily embarrassed. A lot of episodes are about him finding something embarrassing. He's also gotten embarrassed by D.W.'s behaviour, even though she's only four.
    • Downplayed for nine-year-old Binky Barnes, who has an insecure side. He's got a "tough guy" personality, so he's embarrassed by anything that might make him seem less tough, but other than that, he's pretty confident.