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Embarrassing Slide

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"I fly to the moon. I shrink the moon. I grab the moon.
I sit on the toilet... wait, what?"
Milo: OK, um, the first slide is a creature, a creature so frightening that sailors were said to be driven mad by the mere sight of it!
[cue a picture of Milo at the beach in an old-fashioned swimsuit, wearing flippers and a dragon-floaty]
Comms Officer Packard: Hubba, hubba.

Someone decides to show off some photographs to a pal. The friend flips through them, and whoops!

Looks like there's an embarrassing photo in there, perhaps revealing that the owner of the photographs "did some things in college he's not proud of"?

An Embarrassing Slide is when a character is showing a series of photographs, a slideshow of a video to a group of people, and an embarrassing picture, slide or piece of footage comes up that they were not intending to share. The image may be embarrassing because of its content, or simply because it is out of place (e.g., vacation photos turning up in the middle of a business presentation).

This is usually played for laughs, but can sometimes reveal tragic Back Story. Sometimes it is shown as a character doing this intentionally as an attempt to be funny.


Expect the phrase "How Did That Get in There?". Bonus points if the character unintentionally sets them up with a description of what they think is in the next slide, a la the page quote.

A Sister Trope to Embarrassing Old Photo, Embarrassing Ad Gig, and Unfortunate Item Swap. Not to be confused with a character embarrassingly slipping or falling, although the slide might show that.


    open/close all folders 

  • A commercial for fast-food chain Jack in the Box features Jack, the chain's mascot, showing his photo album to the viewer. After flipping past several ordinary enough photos, Jack comes across a photo of himself standing naked in a field holding a strategically-placed guitar.
  • A McDonald's commercial featured a slideshow of a "Bacon Big Mac" with deadpan voice-over shilling the burger. The last slide, however is the of the narrator at the beach.
    Narrator (still completely deadpan): Oops, my vacation. Sorry.
  • In a 2011 ad for Farmer's Insurance, a group of insurance agents are being shown slides of some of the customers by their supervisor. One of the slides is a plate of meatloaf.
    Agent: Sir, that's meatloaf.
    Supervisor: I wonder how that got in there. (switches to the next slide: Meat Loaf, the singer)
    Agent: That's still Meat Loaf.
  • "Hello. It is I, your boss. Great news! The video call went very, very well. Asia is on board. Too bad you couldn't participate. Probably you were worried about overages on that limited data plan you use. Perhaps you shouldn't have uploaded so many vacation photos. Oh. Ah. These shorts are for a younger person, wouldn't you say?"

    Anime & Manga 

    Asian Animation 
  • In Happy Heroes and the Magical Lab episode 15, Huo Haha magics the city's technology into being unable to play sound, and Miss Peach's news show uses signs to explain the situation to its viewers. The person holding the signs switches to a picture of Mr. Lightbulb giving a V-Sign by accident, which freaks out an already nervous Miss Peach, and they quickly switch to the next sign.
  • In the first episode of Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, Mr. Slowy tells the goats to avoid wolves and shows them a picture to illustrate what the animal looks like. It turns out to be a picture of Slowy as a baby instead, and Weslie points out how it doesn't look particularly dangerous while most of the other goats laugh once they realize who it is.

    Comic Books 
  • MAD: In one article, revolving around what people should do before they die, there's a segment about making sure you erase, delete and physically destroy any sex tapes you've might have made when you and your spouse were still alive, just to make sure your family is never accidentally subjected to it.

    Films — Animated 
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire: Milo intends to start his lecture by showing a slide of the Leviathan, "a creature so terrifying that sailors were said to be driven mad by the mere sight of it." Cut to a slide of him wearing an Old-Timey Bathing Suit and a floaty popping up. Description can be seen at the page quote.
  • Despicable Me: After successfully stealing the shrink ray, Gru explains his plan for stealing the moon to Mr. Perkins using slides to back up his story. In between, however, is a drawing his three adopted daughters made of him sitting on the toilet.
  • The animated film Twice Upon a Time did this, when the nightmare-maker Synonimess Botch accidentally puts a photograph of a half-naked woman in his slide show. He claims she was "an old actress I used to know."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Carry On Behind, Professor Crump delivers a narration to what he thinks is a film on archaeology being projected behind him. Unknown to him, the wrong film was shipped and the audience is actually watching footage of a stripper. ("The two large mounds in the foreground are of special interest.") When he finally tumbles to this, the audience demands he put the film back on.
  • In the 1980 film The Hostage Tower the boss of UNACO is showing slides of people suspected of being the criminal mastermind known only as Mr. Smith. One of them is a cheesecake photo, and the woman he's showing them to retorts that even a Master of Disguise like Smith wouldn't look like that!
  • This happens in the movie Hudson Hawk, where the bad guy is revealing his evil plan with a visual aid and accidentally shows some BDSM pictures of him and his wife. Actually, it shows at least five of them, leaving him furiously clicking past slide after slide to no avail.
    Big Bad: Damned Photomat assholes!
  • Idiocracy: Officer Collins has dozens of these. While presenting his project on hibernation to several army officials, he reveals he took a lot of pictures with him hanging out with Upgrayedd, Rita's pimp. He has to mash on the slide button several times to get back to the original presentation.
    General: For Christ's sake, Collins!
  • Killer Party: When Professor Zito shows the Greek letter committee the annual film on the dangers of hazing, he discovers that the Beat Tau frat has swapped it for the film of the sorority girls fleeing naked from the hot tub.
  • In The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015), Illya Kuryakin is shown being debriefed on Napoleon Solo by his handlers. When the slide with Solo's mugshot comes up, it's accidentally been put in upside down. The projectionist sheepishly apologizes, fixes the slide, and they continue.
  • In Pain and Gain the weightlifters/criminals are trying to give a business presentation using slides, some of which are badly misplaced.
  • In The Third Man, Captain Calloway is about to show the protagonist a slide about incriminating evidence that Harry Lime willingly caused the deaths of countless penicillin recipients by watering it down. Instead... he accidentally shows an educational slide of a rhinoceros intended for the Anglo-Austrian re-education programme.
    Calloway: *to his subordinate* Paine, Paine, Paine...

  • Beware of Chicken: Yun Ren travels to Pale Moon Lake City to buy a recording crystal, and upon his return home, shows off to the village the photos he took with it. Including a rather cute picture of the girl who sold him the crystal, whom he's now dating. Which his mother didn't yet know about.
  • Two schoolgirls deliberately slip pornographic slides into a magic lantern display a visiting coffee planter is giving to their school as part of a plan to seduce him in one of the erotic Edwardian novels in The Cremorne Chronicles. It works.
  • A less filthy but recognizable version from Men at Arms - in the middle of Edward d'Eath's slides is an upside-down picture of a vase of delphiniums.
    • Another one is unremarked: after several slides of statuary and portraits of important nobles, d'Eath shows the bust of Lady So-and-So, before commenting that "more of her face would have made it easier to see the resemblance".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrested Development: GOB Bluth presents a video sliming his nephew George Michael's political rival, but his message is followed by the tape's original contents: George Michael recreating Star Wars Kid in the garage.
  • When Beakman's World did a slideshow about libraries, he accidentally put on in with him in his underwear. (And couldn't resist putting one in with him on a slide...)
    Lester: Oh, a slide show! Now I get it!
  • The Bill. A newly-arrived WPC is serenaded by some construction workers, and the whole thing is caught on tape by Detective Tosh Lines who was running a stakeout in the area. Tosh decides to show the tape at a party, only for the WPC to switch the tape with one of Tosh chatting up prostitutes as part of a vice squad operation.
  • Done in Brothers & Sisters with a Home Porn Movie among a collection of clips for a birthday video.
  • The tragic version in the Cold Case episode "Blood On The Tracks". A man is entertaining his friends with slides from their college days when he comes across a picture of a friend of theirs who was killed. Interestingly enough, this slide comes after two precise examples of this trope—someone mooning the camera, someone else in a corny pose. Further flashbacks reveal that they were all indirectly involved in the friend's death and that he deliberately put the picture in the slideshow in order to force them to discuss the issue.
  • Desperate Housewives: When Lynette finds out Tom cheated on her many years ago, she puts a gay porn in his presentation.
  • Father Brown: In "The Daughters of Jerusalem", the Women's Institute is supposed to be watching a film on the educating orphans in Swaziland, only for the film to turn out to a hardcore porno.
  • At the end of one episode of Friends, the gang is looking at old photographs of Monica and find one of what they thing is Monica naked as a baby. Ross says no, it's him. "I was trying something."
  • Get Krack!n: The host of Shopper's Korner, Helen Bedow, tries to throw to some customer testimonials, only to have her online dating video played.
  • An episode of Brazilian sitcom A Grande Família had the sanitation worker protagonist doing a presentation at work... which unfortunately had his slides replaced with gay porn pictures.
  • On How I Met Your Mother, Ted mixes up pictures of drunk Robin on a toilet with his architectural slides for class.
  • A late-season sketch on Mad TV has a hung-over and disheveled lady (Nicole Parker) attempt to give a Power Point presentation that she put together while drunk, and in that state thought it would be fun to include silly slides and Jump Scare sounds and effects in a business presentation.
  • In one of the earlier seasons of Malcolm in the Middle, Francis put some embarassing photographs of Spangler into a slide show. However, Spangler actually bothers to check the slides before the show, and changes the ones that Francis put in with embarassing pictures of Francis himself.
  • Monk:
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion," Captain Stottlemeyer interrupts Monk's reunion dinner to ask the attendees for information on his homicide casenote  Unfortunately, the slideshow projectionist suddenly displays some embarrassing pictures of Stottlemeyer wearing riot gear and violently attacking protestors at an anti-nuclear demonstration in the 1980s, prompting the crowd to boo him off the stage while he makes a halfhearted attempt to defend his actions (the protestors' permit had expired).
    • In "Mr. Monk and the Leper," Natalie finds some photos of Randy in Dr. Aaron Polanski's waiting room, and comments, "Oh, my God, that is so funny! Not funny in a 'ha-ha' way, but funny in a 'Oh, boy, this'll really embarrass him!' way." She does tell Randy about the pictures, and he attempts to deny it, eventually admitting that they were from an undercover investigation where he was posing as a teenager with bad acne. Later, Randy pays Dr. Polanski a visit so he can take the pictures back by prying them off the wall with the receptionist's pen, only to knock a number of other pictures down and ultimately rip the picture in question off with a piece of wall plaster still attached.
  • In the NCIS episode "Shabbat Shalom," Tony goes through some old photos and finds one of Ziva looking pregnant (but not really; it was part of an undercover op), and he's only too happy to annoy her with it. The photo pops up again with Ziva's father, but he takes it in stride and even takes a moment to troll her about it.
  • On The Office, Michael Scott does this intentionally to show off who he's been dating. He oversells it with a smiling "Whoops! How did that get in there?" while no one else is amused.
  • Embarrassing Slides are inserted on purpose in Person of Interest in order to ruin the life of tech billionaire Logan Pierce. The terrorist group Vigilance had decided that Pierce's website had exposed too many people to humiliation and danger, and that he needed a taste of his own medicine. Cue his sex tape going up in the middle of his real presentation.
  • A variant in one episode of The Sketch Show: a professor is going through a slideshow of women in bikinis as part of a lecture on the history of fashion or some such subject. The projector then switches to a slide of an apartment building and the professor sheepishly admits he doesn't know how that got in there.
  • That Mitchell and Webb Look subverts this magnificently; a man is showing holiday snaps to his friend, and it seems that an unpleasant shot, which we have to take their words for, is an anomaly. However, it turns out that the man has delibrately taken pornographic pictures to try to get his mate into it.
  • Veronica Mars does this in the pilot episode with a security tape instead of a picture. She makes an arrangement to swap the video of Weevil's convenience store robbery with her own video of one of Lamb's officers getting some action from a call girl without Lamb's knowledge. Lamb tells his courtroom that the tape they're about to view "shows what happened quite nicely"
  • Invoked in the early UK run of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, during a game called "Expert", where Ryan Stiles, while explaining an obscure subject to Greg Proops, starts up a "slideshow" that leads right into this trope.
    Ryan: "...That's me and the wife, I dunno how that got in there..."
    Greg: "Thank you for your time, professor, now let's get back to you and the wife..."
  • In the Wings episode "Portrait of the Con Artist of a Young Man," Brian decides to play a joke on Joe by taking a close-up shot of a certain private portion of his anatomy with Joe's camera. The joke's on him when he finds out that Joe sent the film to Helen's parents.
  • In an episode of WKRP in Cincinnati, some of the staff make a pitch to land an important new advertising account. As part of this, Andy Travis fires up the slide show: "...I have no idea where that pornographic slide came from."
  • There was a sketch on a German comedy show (yes, they exist) where someone was giving a presentation on bikinis. Somehow an embarrassing picture of a house crept in.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Used in one particularly memorable scene in Professional Wrestling, where Triple H and Shawn Michaels got back at Randy Orton and Edge for ripping off their parodies. Edge and Orton had dressed up as DX and made gay jokes about them, so Triple H put up a few photos of Orton barely covered by a towel as "proof" he's an "icon of the gay community". Triple H then "accidentally" put up one of Michaels's Playgirl shots from 1997, and oops, how'd that one get in there? (As Shawn infamously states "You told me girls bought that magazine!") That scene was also one of the more blatant displays of Ho Yay in wrestling ("you want to do what to my ass?").

    Stand Up Comedy 
  • One of Steve Coogan's live shows featured Alan Partridge giving a motivational presentation to the audience using a Wii controller-like device attached to his computer, and at one point an image of a nude lady accidentally popped up. Partridge laughed it off, but unfortunately, it was apparently the same computer he kept all his porn on, as after this the audience was treated to a tour through an increasingly nasty collage of porn depicting increasingly explicit scenes of bondage, domination, humiliation and a suspicious number of fat naked men while Partridge frantically tried to get rid of it.

  • In Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage version of The Wizard of Oz, Professor Marvel shows Dorothy a slideshow of the Wonders of the World, which turns out to have a slide from his "private collection" accidentally mixed in.

    Video Games 
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day: Somehow, a photo that's presumably of a prostitute ended up in Don Weaso's bomb plan slides. Subverted in that he doesn't draw attention to it and quickly proceeds.
  • In Full Throttle, a slide projector ends up being Corrupt Corporate Executive Adrian Ripburger's undoing. Pictures of him bludgeoning an old man to death scroll over his announcement of his "new, aggressive corporate strategy".
  • In World of Warcraft, at Nethergarde Keep, one of the officers gives a briefing of the various bosses that can be encountered in nearby Naxxramas, with images to match. Every so often, the center image will change to...Mr. Bigglesworth, Kel'thuzad's pet cat, which can be found harmlessly wandering the entrance area when you actually enter the dungeon. The briefing officer has something of a Delayed Reaction; he'll start with an informational briefing, before stopping and slapping the image viewer, wondering why that image was even in the rotation.

    Web Original 
  • In "Trapped in Jedi Academy", one of the stories in Ab3's Binder of Shame, "Deviant Boy" shows the group photos of a trip he and his girlfriend took to a gaming convention. They turn out to include a couple from their private collection, prompting exclamations of "GREAT HASTUR'S GHOST!" and "MY EYES!!!!!"

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius:
    • "Monster Hunt" has Cindy showing slides of a lake monster, only to end up showing a slide of herself in a bathing suit.
    • In "The Great Egg Heist", Goddard accidentally shows a projection of Jimmy's crush.
    • In "Win, Lose and Kaboom!", during a town hall meeting with Jimmy showing slides of a meteor seen throughout history and ended with a photo of Sheen in a snorkel mask with his head sticking out of a toilet.
      Sheen: AAAAH!!! CARL!!!
    • In "My Big Fat Spy Wedding", the leader of the B.T.S.O. Commander Baker tries to brief Jimmy on his mission, only for an image of him in a 50's bathing suit afraid of a crab to show up.
      Baker: Okay, which one of you clowns put that in?!
  • A video version occurs in American Dad!, where Stan is hosting a telethon to fund the CIA's Enhanced Interrogation Techniques and shows some Hilarious Outtakes of torture sessions. At one point, however, he cuts to pornography, planted there by Roger to sabotage the telethon.
  • The Angry Beavers
    • "Stump Looks For His Roots" ends with Stump, his parents, and the beavers going over a slide show. Then everyone else has a laugh at Dagget's expense when a slide of him picking his nose comes up. Well, Norb has a laugh at his brother's expense; Stump and his parents hold up signs reading things like "HO HO HO!" and "TEE HEE!".
    • "Norberto y Daggetto en El Grapadura y el Castor Malo" has Daggett playing the role of a Mad Scientist, and while showing a slideshow of his evil plan, the slide with the big reveal is instead a picture of him doing a photo op with some sailors.
  • Chowder: In "The Heist", a puppet gives a lecture on how sugar sapphires are formed accompanied by a series of slides. The last one is a shot of a sexy Farmer's Daughter, and he excitedly tells them to stay on that slide.
  • Seth Macfarlane seems to like this trope, since it appears in The Cleveland Show as well. Rallo pulls a prank on Junior by slipping a slide of Junior getting out of the shower into his presentation. The prank gets Junior kicked out of his scout troop. Since it was a presentation on nature, he gives a lot of Double Entendre descriptions before noticing the slide.
    Just look at that massive expanse of virgin territory. The dense bushy thicket. And if you look close enough, you can see... my penis and testicles! [sees the picture Rallo took of him coming out of the shower] MY PENIS & TESTICLES!!??
  • Cyber Six has an example in the pilot episode. It was, sadly, the only bit of background the audience got on Lucas: that he was once an anorexic boxer.
  • While Darkwing Duck was educating a superhero with slides on how to be a super-villain, he shows an embarrassing photo of himself at a party.
  • Happens in The Emperor's New School twice during the Michu Pachu episode. A visitor to the school shows the students a slideshow while explaining the legend of the "skeleton anteater". The slide then skips to a picture of his drawers. Then later, Kuzco does the same, but this time the picture of himself wearing the other man's drawers.
  • Family Guy:
    • In an early episode, we see a timeshare presentation where the salesman is showing slides as he speaks. In the middle of his pitch, we see a slide of a giant hairy monster (on loan from Where the Wild Things Are) killing and eating people at the timeshare. He tries to cover it up, but there are quite a few pictures of the "flesh-eating ogre" that he tries to deny exists.
    • In one episode, a science teacher is showing the class a tape of the science documentary series Nova, but warns that there's commercials in it since he taped it at home. It then turns out it's the tape he used to make a home-video porno with his wife, and shuts it off... only to ask if the class is interested in seeing it. He ends up being so distracted by the idea of sharing it with them that he just ends up asking if they want to see it.
      Teacher: Look, can I just please show you this tape of me plowing my wife?
  • Garfield: His 9 Lives has a Villainous Harlequin Court Jester showing a slideshow of decapitations to the composer who'll be executed if the king does not like his concert. With the exception of a slide of the jester in a pool party, which he promptly rewinds to the previous one.
  • In the Valentine's Day episode of Jacob Two-Two, Mrs. Sourberry accidentally shows her class a picture of Principal GreedyGuts in a very sexual position, the class is very horrified by this.
  • Johnny Test: Twice in the episode "Johnny's Turbo Toy Force".
  • Kaeloo: In an attempt to explain to his friends that vampires don't exist, Mr. Cat sets up a slideshow to explain the origin of vampires in fiction, and accidentally shows everyone a photo of Kaeloo which was supposed to be "private" between the two of them. While it's not a nude photo, Kaeloo and Mr. Cat's mortified reactions to the picture showing up on screen suggests that they're treating it like one.
  • Looney Tunes: In the Bugs Bunny cartoon What's Cookin' Doc?, Bugs gets ready to screen some of his best performances and orders the projectionist to roll the film. The screen shows a title card for a "Stag Reel" (with a picture of a stag on it), but a startled Bugs manages to stop the film before it can go any further.
    Bugs: HEY!!!
  • In one sketch from The Mr. Men Show episode "Eyeglasses," Mr. Stubborn (as an eye doctor) is showing slides of various objects to test Mr. Happy's eyesight. After a few mundane images, the slides suddenly show Embarrassing Old Photos of him.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "The Cutie Re-Mark Part 1", Princess Twilight Sparkle is giving a presentation to some students with Spike operating the projector. One of the slides is of Spike relaxing on the beach and the next one is upside down. Since Twilight isn't looking at the slides, he's able to correct it without her noticing.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar:
    • Kowalski attempts to show the security footage to the other penguins, but puts in the wrong DVD and shows a film of himself crying and reciting bad poetry devoted to Doris the dolphin.
    • There's also an episode where Private's in charge of a projector, and accidentally puts on slides of them at the beach. After the first one Skipper goes over to him and you can hear him hit Private every time another beach picture comes up. It then shows a picture of Skipper hitting Private at the beach. After that, they get to the right slides.
  • The Simpsons:
    • A non-sexual one occurs in "Bart vs. Australia," where Evan Conover (a representative from the U.S. Department of State) shows the Simpsons a slideshow of America's love affair with Australian culture in the 1980s. The last slide shows Fidel Castro seen through the crosshairs of a sniper rifle with the words "Plan B." Conover calmly snatches the slide, says, "Oops, let's pretend we didn't see that!", and swallows it.
    • In another episode, Marge was scolding Santa's Little Helper for eating a cake until Bart interrupted her to show a series of photographs of Homer eating the cake. Among the photographs there was one of Bart with his pants down taking a photograph of his reflection on a mirror.
    • Also, Chief Wiggum tried to use a slide show to communicate the dangers of reckless driving, but he apparently mixed up the appropriate slide photos of him at home during his leisure time (which was him in a bathing suit eating a hotdog, with the students being disgusted) humorously by Wiggum saying "This will shock and disturb you" beforehand.
  • In Spongebob Squarepants, Spongebob tries getting Gary into a bath by showing his mind "subliminal messages", which consists of images of a bathroom and a picture of a lady on the beachside, causing an embarrassed Spongebob to leave the room.
  • South Park: In the episode "Cartman Sucks", where Cartman, * ahem* does something questionable to Butters, and winds up showing the slides to everyone in his class for show-and-tell before Kyle can (It Makes Sense in Context). Turns out Kyle never had the photo in the first place.
  • Stōked: In "Grommy the Vampire Slayer", Reef and Johnny are trying to convince Finn and Emma that the new guests are vampires by showing them a series of photos on Reef's digital camera. In the middle of them is a shot of Finn in a purple bikini laying in beach chair. While Johnny and the girls wonder who took that picture, Reef snatches back his camera and then claims that somebody else must have borrowed his camera and taken the picture.
  • The Super Hero Squad Show: In "The Ballad of Beta Ray Bill", Bill uses a Viewmaster to show Thor the history of his people. However, one of the slides shows Bill on holiday, riding a surfboard in a Hawaiian shirt.
  • Totally Spies!: In the episode "Shrinking", Jerry shows the Spies footage of various landmarks being shrunken and stolen around the world. In between however is a clip of himself waterskiing and waving to the camera, to which Jerry reacts in the expected way.
  • Tuca & Bertie: In "SweetBeak", when Bertie is giving Tuca her presentation on her new bakery, one of the slides details on "Why Bertie SHOULD be allowed to have a boy-girl slumber party".
    Bertie: Oops, how did a slide from high school get in there?
  • VeggieTales:
    • A version of this occurs in one of the silly songs: the song is sung along with a slideshow... which eventually stops showing relevant pictures and starts showing vacation pictures instead. The song quickly ends, to the consternation of Archibald, who wonders just what the ending of the song was supposed to be.
    • Heck that gets Silly Songs with Larry cancelled in-universe.
    • It's played straighter in another example during the same song, though we don't see it. Word of God says that it was a picture of Larry in a towel, which is why everyone was shocked and slightly embarrassed.
      Jimmy, Jerry and Junior: Oooooohhhhh.
      Larry: Forgot about that one.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Wrong Footage Gag


The Rhinoceros

The Third Man manages to delicately balance its grim subject matter (sociopaths killing sick people with bad medicine on the black market) with brief bursts of dry humour.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / Bathos

Media sources: