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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"?

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 a were not intending to share.

This is usually played for laughs, but can sometimes reveal tragic Backstory.

Sometimes it is shown as a character doing this intentionally as an attempt to be funny.

Examples of Embarrassing Slide include:


  • 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 schilling 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: Sir, that's also Meat Loaf.



  • 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."
  • 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 popping up.
  • This happens in the movie Hudson Hawk, where the bad guy is revealing his evil plan with a visual aid and accidentally shows some sexy pictures of him and his girlfriend.
  • 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 an elephant intended for the Anglo-Austrian re-education programme.

  Calloway: *to his subordinate* Oh, Payne...

  • 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.


  • 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.

Live Action TV

  • 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.
  • Done in Brothers and Sisters with a Home Porn Movie among a collection of clips for a birthday video.
  • 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."
  • 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!

  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In one of the earlier seasons of Malcolm in the Middle, Francis put some embarassing photographs of Spangler into a slide show (I think the slide show was to do with STDs?) 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.
  • 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..."

  • 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"
  • 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.
  • In "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion," Stottlemeyer on the last day of the reunion at Berkeley attempted to get a volunteer from the audience in trying to identify who murdered the retired nurse, as they discovered a class reunion pin at the crime scene that would indicate that the murderer was at the school reunion. Unfortunately for Stottlemeyer, during this time, slides of Berkeley from the late 70s-early 80s were being shown during the dinner, and some slides of the no nukes protests, and especially some of a then-SWAT officer Stottlemeyer attempting to stop the protests due to their protest permit expiring were playing right as he was speaking, resulting in unanimous booing and jeering from the audience.

Manga and Anime


 Subaru: Ack! You- You didn't see that! (They're private)

Nanoha: Ah~ Yup yup, such close friends <3


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? That scene was also one of the more blatant displays of Ho Yay in wrestling ("you want to do what to my ass?").


  • 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.

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!!!!!"

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • Cybersix 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.
  • 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.
  • A version of this occurs in one of Veggie Tales' 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.
  • 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.
  • A non-sexual one occurs on The Simpsons episode "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).
  • 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.
  • 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 the episode where Private's in charge of a projector, and accidently 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.
  • In an early episode of Family Guy, we see a time share 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 time share. He tries to cover it up, but there are quite a few pictures of the "flesh-eating ogre" that he tries to deny exists.
  • 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.
  • Johnny Test: Twice in the episode Johnny's Turbo Toy Force.
  • Jimmy Neutron: In the museum robbery episode.
  • Cybersix: The happens to Lucas in the pilot episode.
  • Happens in The Emperors New School twice during the Michu Pachu episode. A visitor to the school shows the students a slide-show, 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.