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Old Shame

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"I've come to hate my own creation. Now I know how God feels."
Homer Simpson (on his song "Everybody Hates Ned Flanders"), The Simpsons, "Dude, Where's My Ranch?"

Sometimes characters are ashamed of things they did in the past. Whether it's doing something embarrassing to ease financial problems, doing something that others won't let them live down, or creating a Show Within a Show that they end up regretting, these past actions all end up being regretted.

Supertrope to I Was Young and Needed the Money and Once Done, Never Forgotten. Compare My Greatest Failure, which is when the hero is motivated by this and Dark Secret, which is when the thing done in the past isn't just embarassing to the character, but potentially ruinous and legitimately troubling.

In-Universe Examples Only, please. Real life examples go to Creator Backlash, which is for when a real life creator ends up regretting a past work of theirs, and Bury Your Art, where creators are ashamed of their work so much that they try to suppress it.

In-Universe Examples Only

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Asteroid in Love, Mira met a boy called Ao and made The Promise when they were children. When they reunited many years later, it turns out Ao has always been a girl. Because of this, Mira sees all the romance manga she made on her own in the intervening years like this, since they're effectively her romantic fantasies of Ao.
  • In Bakuman。, after hearing that Eiji came up with the idea for his incredibly popular series "Crow" while younger, Mashiro decides to look at his drawings for inspiration. With most of them, he is surprised at how much he sucks, but he does actually manage to find one that serves as the basis for his and Takagi's first serialized manga, "Detective Trap".
  • Cells at Work!: Immune cells get Activated when Dendric Cell shows embarrassing pictures of them when they were younger. For example, NK Cell Activates when she sees a picture of herself as a teenager wearing an Elegant Gothic Lolita dress, while a random white blood cell Activates as a result of being reminded that he used to be a fat crybaby.
  • In City Hunter, near the end of the story arc of Eri, a Cloud Cuckoo Lander who treats fashion as Serious Business, she decides to create a coat inspired by Ryo's Badass Longcoat and the weapons and other needed items he hides in it and make it elegant by using the weapons as decoration after seeing him utilize his coat and the equipment hidden within it in action, but it's so ridiculous she's embarrassed by it in the very following chapter.
    Eri: [in audible whisper] You don't need to emphasize that. I also know that time was a failure. Who hasn't made a mistake...?
  • Dramacon: When Christie presents her favorite manga artist Lida Zeff with a copy of her first published work to autograph, Lida's reaction is a brief Heroic BSoD, lamenting that she thought "that atrocity was finally out of print", followed by her putting on the puppy dog eyes to persuade Christie to Kill It with Fire. Christie refuses, and is able to convince her to sign it. Eventually.
  • Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!: Knowing the kind of weird things you did because you just want to be special is shameful indeed.
    • Getting away from this seems to be one of the motivations of the Yuuta, because he really couldn't stand the All the Other Reindeer treatment he had due his very extreme adolescent delusions.
    • Like Yuuta, Shinka resents her past life as "Mori Summer". Unlike him, however, she's not as good as him when it comes to facing the fact that her past delusions will always haunt her.
  • In an episode of Lucky Star, Hiyori invites friends over to her house, only to be horrified when she finds them skimming through old sketches in her artbook.
  • Ayame in Magic of Stella seems to treat most of her early teen years as this, which means her Childhood Friend Shiina has tons of stuff to blackmail her for:
    • The old stories she wrote. They're of a very adult nature and she would rather that no one ever know of them, not to mention they're pretty much stereotypical examples of Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue".
    • The fact she was more tomboyish, liking black clothing and used masculine pronouns.
  • Lucoa from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid freaks out whenever Tohru brings up that one time she slept with her sister.
  • In Nana, one of the Nana's is embarrassed and ashamed about the affair she had with a married man when she was a teenager.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Chisame Hasegawa has a little Freak Out when she's reminded of her first time on the Internet. In fact, the face she makes just for remembering it gets Jack Rakan's approval as a fine "bad face".
  • In Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, episode "Sex and the Daten City": Panty and Stocking are set to debut a movie starring them, and Panty accidentally reveals that she acted in a porno without realizing it at the time. The episode revolves around Panty thereupon setting out to destroy all the copies of the porno in existence. Panty then decides to edit Stocking out of the movie, and Stocking responds by uploading a secret copy of the porno to YouTube, where everyone can see it.
  • In Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth, Sasuke considers imperfectly copying Rock Lee's taijutsu to be this. Suigetsu considers it hilarious.
  • Shirobako uses this trope with the director character, Seiichi Kinoshita, whom had found early success in the anime industry but then directed the laughably bad Jiggly Heaven before restoring his reputation with Exodus! and Third Arial Girls Squad.

    Comic Books 
  • The Avengers: Wonder Man is not exactly proud of his involvement in a children's TV show as a character called Mr. Muscles, who dressed as a jungle man with Simon's sunglasses and, in character, was a Dumb Muscle brute who took a pie to the face. Beast found the show channel surfing and got a laugh out of the whole thing.
  • Batman: In the 3rd issue of the spinoff comic The Joker, the Joker kidnaps a cartoonist named Sandy Saturn who created the Peanuts parody Cashews, who as it turns out hates the strip and only draws it because of his contract. He gladly complies with his captor's order to draw pictures of the Joker beating and killing Charlie Cashew.
  • Champions (1975): Most of the characters involved in the ill-fated team are none too proud of it. They tend to share the same criticisms that fans made of the team in real life—the team had no meaningful relationships, barely accomplished anything apart from defending its own headquarters, and failed entirely at its stated goal of being "the heroes for the common man." The only exception is Hercules, who seems to view it more fondly.
  • Maus: There is a scene in which Vladek discovers Art's comic Prisoner on Hell Planet, which he created in an attempt to deal with the emotional fallout from his mother's suicide. Art is clearly ashamed and attempts to hide the work from Vladek. Vladek, on the other hand, is disturbed both by the art style and the subject matter but is also very happy that his son found a constructive way to cope.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • Captain Super Fox Man: The Mutant Cyborg Clone was apparently this for Tails, as he never showed the project to anyone... which makes Espio knowing about it just a touch creepy.
    • Sonic's treatment of Tommy Turtle when they were younger (i.e., mocking the terrapin for being slow).
  • Spider-Man: In The Amazing Spider-Man (2018), it's mentioned that Peter is not being particularly fond of a period in his college career when he read some Ayn Rand and thought himself the new John Galt. This doubles as a Mythology Gag to a contentious scene in The Amazing Spider-Man (Lee & Ditko) in which he brushes off a group of (entirely non-political and jokey) protestors who want him to participate, which many readers have surmised was the heavily objectivist Steve Ditko going full Writer on Board.
  • Superman: The "Toastmaster" BFG is this for John Henry Irons, as he never wanted the weapons getting out because they were way too powerful. When they ended up in gangs' hands in Metropolis, he forged the Steel armor and fought to get rid of them.

    Fan Works 
  • In Amazing Fantasy, All Might recorded a Christmas album that was only released in the United States while drunk during the holiday season and strapped for cash. He's clearly embarrassed by some of the tracks, which include "Let Us Smash! Let Us Smash! Let Us Smash!", "I Saw Mommy Kissin' All Might", and "All Might Has A Little Dreidel".
  • In Batman 1939, Zatanna regards any of the times she was made to do the Ethnic Magician routine as part of her act to be troubling and wrong, largely because one of her very first times doing so saw her adopt the persona of "Esther", a Jewish mystic, and she was mistaken for the real deal by a bunch of Orthodox Jews who took her to a very embarrassing dinner after the show. She only is willing to do them at all because some managers won't pay her otherwise.
  • In Erika the Radical, Erika discovers Miho Nishizumi's old Tiger I (No. 217) collecting dust in the spare tanks hanger. While the tank in question had been fully repaired and ready to run since the end of the 61st Sensha-do Nationals, no one in the Kuromorimine team wanted to use it due to the stigma of it being formerly commanded by the person who had lost them their yearly winning streak.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfic Fluffershy (no link because it is NSFW, even if it is not a Lemon) is about her friends trying to find out if Fluttershy has an old shame. Pinkie Pie accidentally found a pornographic video which seems to have Fluttershy's rump on front, and a mixture of lecherous curiosity and genuine concern causes her friends to investigate. She both has and hasn't. She was just an extra in the film and didn't do anything remotely sexual, but still considers it an old shame. The filmmakers put her flank on the cover even if you don't get to see her have sex in it because Covers Always Lie.
  • Titania Falls, a Fairy Tail and Gravity Falls Crossover Fan Fic, shows that Ford is a huge Star Wars fan that only managed to watch up to The Empire Strikes Back before he was stuck traversing The Multiverse for thirty years. When he finally watches Return of the Jedi, a subsequent gag scene shows him burning his old Luke/Leia Fan Fiction.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Frozen II, Elsa comes across a flashback of herself singing her iconic "Let It Go" song. She's clearly embarrassed by this and cringes hard.
  • Ratatouille: Gusteau's "Sweetbread a la Gusteau", which even he wrote off as a complete disaster due to its unappetizing mix of unusual ingredients—cuttlefish tentacle, a seaweed salt crust, dried white fungus, etc. It takes some rapidfire improvisation by Rémy to completely reinvent the dish.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has the Peter Parker of Miles' universe discussing his life, including his Old Shame of reenacting the emo dance from Spider-Man 3, except in full costume.
  • Toy Story 2:
    • Woody finds out that he's part of a popular show from The '50s called Woody's Roundup. Woody is overjoyed to discover this while Jessie and Bullseye are just as thrilled to see their old selves again. Stinky Pete on the other hand is disgraced by his portrayal, giving a Face Palm after his character is introduced.
    • When Buzz encounters a Utility-Belt equipped version of himself while he's searching Al's Toy Barn for Woody, he has this to say when it turns out this Buzz still thinks he's a space ranger:
      Buzz:Tell me I wasn't this deluded...

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Airheads, Chazz is forced by the SWAT leader to reveal to that he was a high school dork. Instead of losing the metal crowd that had gathered, however, his confession spurs people in the crowd to their embarrassing secrets of geekery. By the end, the crowd is even more supportive of the Lone Rangers' hostage-taking.
  • In American Dreamer, the writer of the Rebecca Ryan books has his mother claim to write them, as he feels the books are just pulp trash.
  • Axe Murdering with Hackley: In The '80s, Hackley was in a Music Video. Nowadays he seems embarrassed by it, as shown when his colleagues are seen crowded in a cubicle, watching it.
  • In Billy Madison, Principal Anderson used to be a professional wrestler known as "the Revolting Blob" until he accidentally killed an opponent during a match. Eric Gordon uses this to blackmail him into claiming that Billy bribed him into passing his classes.
  • The movie Galaxy Quest shows the cast of the Star Trek knock-off despising the show for both derailing all their careers and being their only means of support. Ironically, the Shatner counterpart is the only one who doesn't mind it.
  • In Music and Lyrics, Alex Fletcher openly concurs with the general critical consensus that his only solo album was, in the words of what was apparently the kindest review, "a crass, contrived effort not fit for a dentist's chair." When Sophie reveals she's bought and listened to a copy, he immediately produces his wallet to refund her.
  • This trope is part of the plot of Notting Hill, where the female lead is a movie star whose pornographic past turns up in the press halfway through the movie.
  • In Peter's Friends, Andrew, a Brit, is deeply ashamed of the crude American sitcom that he created and his wife Carol stars in.

  • In Lois Lowry's Anastasia Krupnik series of children's books, the eponymous character's father is a literature professor who has published three poetry collections. In an invocation of the trope that authors always think their early work is terrible, he is so embarrassed by the quality of the first collection that he tries to discourage Anastasia from reading it.
  • Sharyn McCrumb's novel Bimbos of the Death Sun features an author who despises the series of cheesy Conan the Barbarian-style novels to which he's become metaphorically chained by success and merchandising, all the while wanting recognition for his use of Celtic mythology in the books.
  • Date A Live:
    • Shido is horribly embarrassed by many things from his middle school days, including bad poetry, playing guitar, and general chuunibyou tendencies. Kotori is merciless in using these against him by threatening to make recordings public if he doesn't meet her standards.
    • Five years before the main plot, Kurumi used to wear an eye patch that covered her clock pattern eye. When Shido asks about it, the current day Kurumi's refusal to explain seems to indicate it's an embarrassing topic.
  • Glory in the Thunder: Knight in Sour Armor Tsovinar wrote optimistic adventure stories in her youth which she is less than proud of.
  • In Frank Stockton's short story "His Wife's Deceased Sister", the protagonist writes the eponymous novel, which is so wonderful that he instantly becomes famous. However, this work is a one-off, and it is so good that it sets an unrealistically high standard to which he is held; every other novel he submits is rejected, with the editors being insulted, thinking he is foisting his rejects upon them. Driven to financial ruin, he comes to regret ever writing his masterpiece, and must write under a pseudonym to make ends meet. Eventually, when he manages to write another masterpiece, he ends up destroying it, fearing that it will again ruin his career.
  • Misery is about an author who hates his popular character (named Misery) and decides to kill her off. In fact, he hates her so much that he pens a short story about her having sex with her love interest's dog and circulates it among his friends for a lark. But then he gets badly injured in a car crash and is rescued by a Battleaxe Nurse who isn't thrilled about Misery's fate and demands he fix it... or else.
  • Murder for the Modern Girl: Dr. Keene is ashamed of his research on tricolorforms as it's what got him fired from his university job, lost respect from his scientific peers, and has to work as a medical examiner at a morgue as a result.
  • The case of Eita of Oreshura is somewhat similar to Yuuta, above, in which he was also trying to hide a bout of Chuunibyou. This is an important plot point—a notebook containing his fantasies was used by Masuzu to Blackmail him into her fake boyfriend.
  • Star Wars Legends: In the X-Wing Series, Garik "Face" Loran starred in some pro-Imperial holodramas during his youth, which he naturally regrets doing after joining the Rebellion.
  • The Underland Chronicles: In Gregor and the Code of Claw, it's revealed that Bartholomew of Sandwich resorted to poisoning the moles to get their land. It was thought they were all killed by this tactic, and it poisoned everyone else's opinion of the humans.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In a 3rd Rock from the Sun episode, Mary discovered a thesis she had written years ago and which she had thought was brilliant at the time. She read it again only to find it was crap.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. reveals in the first season that modern-day HYDRA agents are sick of being reminded of their organization's former association with the Nazi party. Sure, they're all for totalitarian dictatorship and the removal of free will, but racist genocide is a step too far.
  • In Angel a dream sequence reveals that Angel attended Barry Manilow concerts. Which turned out to be a kind of accidental psychic torture for his alter-ego Angelus.
  • Babylon 5: After G'Kar's writings are published without his permission and he gains a large following, he finds some of his earlier views (such as bitter hatred for the Centauri) embarrassing, and encourages his followers to think for themselves rather than accepting everything he wrote.
  • The Big Bang Theory Penny's role in "Serial Ape-ist" and its sequel are destined to be this if she ever realizes her dream of becoming a famous actress. She reluctantly accepts the sequel job after a talk with recurring guest star Wil Wheaton that touches on this trope in relation to his post Star Trek movies. He is later revealed to have been cast in the same embarrassing movie as Penny.
  • Bones: Medical Examiner Camille "Cam" Saroyan appeared in a low budget, very cheesy vampire movie called Mother Suckers to help pay for medical school. Upon learning this fact her co-workers of course track down a surviving copy to see just how bad it really is. Much to Cam's embarrassment.
  • Castle:
    • Richard Castle joins the murder investigation in the pilot episode partly because his curiosity is stoked over why the killer decided to base his murders on Castle's self-described 'lesser works' rather than his later, better ones. It also helps him peg Detective Beckett as a Fangirl of his works when she accidentally reveals that she's familiar with those lesser works.
    • Despite not being involved in the creative industries, Detective Beckett also has an example, curiously enough — it involves photos of a shoot during her short-lived career as a model when a teenager.
    • In "The Final Frontier", this trope actually leads to the murder: The actress who played Lt. Chloe on the short-lived Nebula 9 hated the show so much that when she found out that the woman who owned the rights to it was selling them to a major film company so it could possibly remake the series, she killed her before she could finalize the deal.
  • In Community, when Jeff and Annie are running for student government president, Annie brings out Jeff's audition tape for The Real World: Seattle. It begins with him singing a parody of George Michael's "Faith", "Gotta have that Jeff, Jeff, Jeff".
  • Doctor Who: In "Vincent and the Doctor", upon being brought to the future to see his work exhibited in a museum, Vincent van Gogh is embarrassed that the "Haystacks" series is part of the gallery.
  • In Extras, Andy Millman (Ricky Gervais) finally achieves his dream of writing and starring in his own sitcom, only to see Executive Meddling and Fan Dumb turn the whole thing into a total (though very successful) embarrassment.
  • On an episode of Frasier, the title character imagines a conversation with his three biggest failed romances: Diane, Lilith and his first wife Nanette. Nanette reveals that she and Frasier met in college when Frasier was reciting a poem and she got up accompany him on her guitar.
    Nanette: Would you like to hear it?
    Frasier: No!
    Diane: Yes please.
    Lilith: Oh yes.
    Nanette: It's called "Bangladesh, Dhaka Before The Dawn":
    I dreamt that I was riding a candy unicorn,
    As I went to meet my lady in the dewdrop crystal mooorrn…

    Frasier: (beat) The Bangladesh part's coming.
  • On one Clip Show episode of Friends, which has a Frame Story of being Soap Opera Digest's interview with Joey, several of Joey's acting roles depicted in early episodes are implied to be this. Such roles include his lead role in a musical about Sigmund Freud and his role as an extra in a porno (taken after he couldn't bring himself to be the lead). The most bizarre one is in a play that we are only shown a small part of, which seems like a normal play until a lit-up ladder comes from the ceiling and Joey's character explains that he is going to "Blargon 6" and will return in 200 years.
  • Hikari Sentai Maskman has an episode where Takeru/Red Mask bragged that he was a model student, which was probably true, though through a Time Travel plot, the team came across young Takeru, who was instead a Bratty Half-Pint extraordinary. Apparently, after his future self encouraged him to be a man that faces every challenge, young Takeru started his Character Development to be a better man, but was so ashamed of his bratty self that he preferred to skip about that bratty phase when asked about his past, or just use the 'model student' lie.
  • House:
    • House discovers Wilson starred in a student film that was later turned into a porno by adding sex scenes from another actor. This is quickly spread to the entire hospital, and House replaces Wilson's usual movie posters with posters from the porno.
    • In one of House's more convoluted plans to attract Cuddy, he allows Lucus to find a picture of him as a college cheerleader. Lucus originally believes that the picture was planted by House to manufacture false embarrassment—which was probably House's plan, but Lucus is able to determine that the picture was real. When confronted, House explains that he did it for a girl, which Lucus believes makes it more shameful.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • Robin was a Canadian pop star "Robin Sparkles" and her hit songs "Let's Go To The Mall" and "Sandcastles In The Sand", as well as staring in a Canadian edutainment show. She is so humiliated by this that she would rather admit to being secretly married or doing porn before admitting to being Robin Sparkles.
    • Ted feels this way about his "rereturn" where after he had confessed his love to Robin, he "rereturned" to her apartment to try and kiss her but was so drunk that he threw up on her carpet and ran away.
    • The above incident was covered in the episode "Game Night" where it revolves around each of the character's Old Shame:
      • Marshall was seen on the toilet by Lily's kindergarten class.
      • Lily recalled how Marshall's mother overheard the couple having sex via phone call.
    • Barney's video to his girlfriend Shannon, begging her to come back to him (and serenading her) while as a hippie counts.
    • Future!Ted is often embarrassed by Present!Ted's antics in some stories. Similarly, Present!Ted is often embarrassed about College!Ted.
  • In Lucifer (2016), Chloe Decker once starred in an in-universe movie called "Hot Tub High School", where she had a topless scene. Hilariously, when she tries telling her daughter this fact, said daughter reveals she has long since seen that movie on the internet in HD.
  • From Married... with Children: Gary remembers bitterly of that one time when she invested her money into one of Larry Storch's schemes, which lost all the money she put into it. Even when she's quite well-off in the present time, she claims she would exact revenge should she see Larry again. Sure enough, Larry shows up at her shoe store a bare minute later, and Gary proves she meant business by punching his lights out (though she winces from the recoil afterwards).
  • In Party Down Henry is constantly reminded of his role in a series of beer commercials by party guests recognizing him from them. Again, he is embarrassed when Casey recognizes him from an old indie movie in Steve Guttenberg's collection.
  • On Star Trek: Enterprise, United Earth Minister Nathan Samuels was once part of an Absolute Xenophobe movement called Terra Prime, though he severed his ties with the group and admits his folly. When Captain Archer finds out about this, he doesn't expose Samuels but does use this bit of intel as leverage to take control of an investigation of Terra Prime activities.
  • There are a couple in Zoey 101:
    • Quinn participated in pageants when she was a little girl.
    • Zoey was the model for baby suntan lotion, with her naked butt on the bottle.
    • When PCA was still all-male, Chase was cast as the female lead in a school play.

  • Invoked by the Chely Wright song "Back of the Bottom Drawer", which is about a great deal of detritus gathered from former boyfriends, such as stolen hotel keys, napkins with poetry on them, et cetera.
  • Also, "'Fore She Was Mama" by Clay Walker. The narrator recalls finding a box full of photographs that show his mom as a rebellious, motorcycle-riding, marijuana-using wild lady, and is incredulous that she used to be such a person. He and his brother tease her about it, and she ends up burning the box.

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • Ivy once created a Sonic the Hedgehog OC called Ziz the Eagle. She's now deeply embarrassed about it, and would be aghast if anyone found it out. That said, she still has enough sentiment towards it that she named her drone after it.
    • When she was younger, gang leader Nadine was once signed up for tap-dancing classes by her mother. Once.

    Video Games 
  • In Fable III, deceased playwright Phillipith Morrely views his lost play The Ham Sandwich in a less-than-favorable light. He turns out to have good reason.
  • In Façade (2005), Trip regards the fact he worked in a crappy bar through college as this, being mortified when Grace reveals she knew about it all along.
  • The Hex has an example in the backstory. Lionel Snill claims that Super Weasel Kid, a mascot platformer, was his first game. The finale reveals that his actual first game was Rootbeer Reggie, a janky Tapper clone that Lionel became ashamed of, so he had his virtual assistant Irving get rid of it- which Irving did by crippling the titular Reggie and shutting down his establishment. This led Reggie to mastermind the events of the story to seek revenge on Lionel, eventually killing him.
  • In Jagged Alliance 2, one of the mercenaries from the previous installment, Reverend Clyde Potter, is missing from the current A.I.M. roster. His bio states that he has returned to his original ministry, returns his retirement checks and denies ever having been affiliated with A.I.M..
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven: Due to the time-travel premise, you can pit characters against versions of themselves from different eras. One such match is between Old Joseph from Stardust Crusaders and 'Tequila Joseph' (young Joseph from Battle Tendency being really bad at drag). He'll be utterly horrified at the reminder of the stupid stuff he did when young.
  • In Love & Pies, Yuka admits that she had a fight with Amelia when they were 13 because Amelia lost Yuka's favorite Mysteries of Miguel book. Yuka still regrets it and believes that she was a "terrible" friend to her, but Amelia reassures her that she's long gotten over it.
  • In Mass Effect, if Shepard has the Earthborn background, then during the Commander's youth, they were part of a street gang on Earth that since then has become a staunch anti-alien extremist group. One of their members, Finch tries to coerce the newly-minted Spectre to help another gang member get out of a turian prison by threatening to reveal to the Council that they formerly belonged to the xenophobic group. Shepard can express feelings akin to this trope about their former ties, or they can turn it around on Finch and proclaim that no matter what they did in the past, they're a Spectre now and they'll help an alien as much as a human when needed.
  • In Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? (1997), the entire plot revolves around a convoluted plot by the title character to erase her history as an ACME detective.
  • In Wipeout, Pacific Islander racing team Goteki 45 was infamously known as the most violent of all the racing teams that participated in the events of Wipeout 3, dangerously bordering on Ax-Crazy territory. When they resurfaced for the FX300 in the events of Pure, they have done a full Heel–Face Turn and focused on being the most technologically advanced team in the field. This is actually part justified, since their headquarters in the artificial island of Makana were leveled down by unknown bombers in 2137. Not only that, Makana hosted the entirety of the FX300, and since Goteki had the Home Field Advantage it was in their best interest not to play aggressively because it would've tarnished the island's image.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Heart of the Woods, Madison "Maddie" Raines, a twenty-something young adult and college dropout turned manager for her best friend's Vlog Series, is "Still tortured by her teenage goth phase," according to her character profile.

  • In Dumbing of Age, Dorothy and Joyce discover that Walky had appeared in an old episode of Hymmel the Humming Hymnal as a pink mouse. Walky had forgotten about it until he saw the video, and immediately considered it this, partly because of the aforementioned pink mouse and it being a Christian propaganda video, but also the fact that he's in it, and his twin sister isn't, makes Walky realize that Sal may have a point about the Parental Favoritism stemming from racism.
  • Extra Fabulous Comics has a strip where a man records his voice, jumping to his smashing the recording with a hammer out of discontent with the results before setting it on fire just to make sure.
  • In one Oglaf sequence, a follower of Sithrak, who supposedly inflicts endless afterlife torture upon everyone who dies, has a near-death experience. Sithrak is surprised than anyone still reads the "Book of Dismay" (the Sithrak religion's scriptures), and describes it as old teen poetry he wrote while in a bad mood. He sends his follower back to explain this; however, the follower concludes that Sithrak is messing with his head and is even more malevolent that he'd realized.
  • In the xkcd comic Old Files, Cueball has this reaction to looking through his high school work and discovering he wrote poetry. The Alt Text has him finding an Animorphs fanfic and quickly deleting it.

    Web Original 
  • Yamcha of Dragon Ball Z Abridged recorded a hit song. According to him, he needed the money, and no, it wasn't worth it.
    Cat loves food, yeah yeah yeah yeah, cat loves food, yeah yeah...
  • Strong Bad of Homestar Runner refers to his first attempt at drawing a dragon as the "S-is-For-Sucks" Dragon. However, in the Trogdor's 5th birthday toon, he sings a song about the S is For Sucks Dragon, then indicates that he's sick of Trogdor, claiming that "you Internet types" ruined him.

    Western Animation 
  • In Code Lyoko, Jim once starred in a movie called "Paco, The King of Disco", which including him disco-dancing. He's so embarrassed by it that Jeremie once blackmailed him with it. Later, the entire student body finds out about it thanks to Sissi overhearing Odd talking about it and reporting it on the school news. This actually helps Jim get over as it eventually gains popularity with the students. It's also implied that Jim has a lot of these, but as he often says, he'd rather not talk about them.
  • On Family Guy when Brian and Stewie go to Germany they discover that the pamphlet lists nothing happening between 1939 and 1945 and the tour guide furiously denies itnote .
  • After the events of the Thanagarian Invasion in Justice League, Shayera considers her original costume and even the name "Hawkgirl" to be this, changing into a new, more down-to-earth outfit and referring to herself only by her real name.
  • Kim Possible:
  • Pickles from Metalocalypse did not originally gain fame from his current band Dethklok, but from a much cheesier glam metal band called Snakes n' Barrels which he does not like being reminded of.
  • In Milo Murphy's Law, Zack's old shame is that he used to be in a regionally-famous Boy Band called the Lumberzacks. His friends discover video evidence.
  • "The Man From Pluto" is this to Wally in Mission Hill. It was meant to be his magnum opus, until he spotted Gus and couldn't keep his love life separate from his work. He actually changed his name to avoid any association with it. Towards the end he does come to accept it, though, when he realizes the movie is one huge valentine to his lover, and when he sees how many people love it.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:
    • In the episode "Sonic Rainboom", Rarity enters the Best Young Flier Competition with a set of magical wings. She flies too close to the sun, causing her wings to disintegrate. After she knocks out the Wonderbolts during their attempt to rescue her, Rainbow Dash saves them mere inches before they hit the ground. When these events are brought up much later in "Sleepless in Ponyville", Rarity blushes, clearly regretting the scare she caused.
    • In "The Crystalling Part 1", we see that Starlight Glimmer is really not too happy over her actions as the main antagonist back in Season 5, becoming The Atoner yet not feeling worthy of being Twilight Sparkle's student in friendship. In the following episode, we find out that Starlight's old friend, Sunburst, the pony who accidentally started her on her evil path, is equally in the same boat - turns out that he's great with magical theory but is nowhere near the powerhouse Starlight thought he was and he was too embarrassed to admit that to her.
  • In The Owl House episode "Reaching Out", Alador dismisses his past as a tournament fighter as "nonsense" and tells Amity that she shouldn't waste her potential on such things. That said, the small smile he gives at the time implies that he has more fond memories of it than he's willing to admit and is touched by his youngest daughter's desire to follow in his footsteps.
  • On Phineas and Ferb, Linda Flynn has mixed feelings (mostly embarrassment) about her short-lived career as a pop singer, Lindana, back in the eighties.
  • In the Rugrats episode "Baby Commercial", Betty regrets having Phil and Lil star in a commercial for diapers. When Didi sees it on television, Betty briefly mentions the horrors she experienced with Phil and Lil on the set before quickly offering a cup of coffee. When the director of the commercial stops by to recruit the twins for another gig, Betty refuses and slams the door in his face when he persists.
  • In Scary Larry, Victoria wrote a song called "Kitty cat, kitty cat, you're so cute" when she was a kid. When she gets older and become a rock singer, she wants everyone to forget about it.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Krusty Gets Busted", Sideshow Bob takes over after framing Krusty for armed robbery. Bart reminds him of the times Krusty would shoot him out of a cannon, and Bob glares at him for doing so. After Bob is exposed, he admits that he framed Krusty because he was sick of being Krusty's Butt-Monkey.
    • In the episode "Bart of Darkness", Krusty the Clown is extremely embarrassed by his 60s "Classic Krusty" shows, which were more like a late-night talk show a la The Mike Douglas Show.
    • Not as embarrassed as by the time he imitated Jim Morrison. ("Oh, man, what was I on?")
    • Another episode, I'm Spelling as Fast as I Can, has the KBBL Booberella show Matine of Blood and Comercials showing Frankenstein and the Harlem Globetrotters Meet the Mummy and the Washington Generals starring a young Ray Romano. The broadcast stops as Booberella warns that Romano sued for a temporary injunction to stopping them from showing the movie, and that they will fight the injunction as they show something else.
    • Richard Dean Anderson's Creator Backlash against his most famous role was parodied In-Universe in one episode where Anderson guest stars. Patty and Selma are ecstatic to meet the star of MacGyver in person, only for him to proclaim disgust for the series and refer to it as "just another paycheck".
  • In Slacker Cats it turns out Mrs Boots had done some "mistakes" as a kitten like dressing up as a pirate and a fireman in "Cats Do the Cutest Things". Eddie and Buckley blackmail her with it.
  • The South Park episode "It's a Jersey Thing" has Sheila hiding her past as a hardcore partying Jerseyite.
  • In Total Drama World Tour, Sierra brings up Chris's earlier career (making bad movies about talking cats, being on a cooking show that lasted one episode, and being in a boy band). Chris is not amused, to say the least.


Video Example(s):


Not Top 10

The dudes revisit some of their most embarrassing past videos in the Not Top 10 during a special Opposite Week edition of Overtime.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / OldShame

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