The only thing more fun than seeing the evidence of your favorite celebrity’s young awkward stage is seeing them react to it.
Where a polished famous person shines, a mortifying yearbook photo endures and lucky for us, interviewers are obsessed with presenting celebrities with all their clips and photos of yesteryear. The best part — their reactions — range from good-natured to mortified, but everyone cringes at least a little. When it comes to these blasts from the past, symptoms include fanning themselves and laughing uncontrollably.
Below, watch 10 celebrities react to the photos and videos proving just how dorky they used to be.
Jimmy Kimmel revealed a photo capturing Margot Robbie as a diehard 13-year-old Harry Potter nerd, braces and all on an episode of his show. Robbie’s reaction: “Literally the most embarrassing photo of my whole life.”
Ben Affleck — also known as Matt Damon’s forever bud — was kind enough to supply the public with a choice 1988 snap of Damon during the Australian radio show Smallzy’s Surgery. “That’s nice of him,” Damon said dryly of Affleck’s move. Watch him address a snazzy snapshot of him in leather jacket and a very interesting hairdo.
Few throwback photos are more iconic than Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson exuding sky-high confidence levels in a fanny pack and turtleneck. Here, he explains the story behind the image, cringing ever so slightly at his old look.
The Graham Norton Show helpfully dug up comedy head shots of McCarthy when she was in her 20s. “I’m in a full sweat,” she said as she explained why she was wearing a stylish Western Barbie cowboy hat that should inspire a worldwide shortage.
Ever the good sport, Gosling cringes through a video of himself dancing in a silky blouse and drop-crotch pants to the slick number, “Touch Me,” by Cathy Dennis.
“I wish I could say someone said, ‘Here you have to wear this,’ but that was my idea,” he admitted. “I thought, ‘I have a vision for this number. It’s lots of purple and silver Hammer pants.'”
Just because Beyoncé shares a throwback photo of you doesn’t mean you have to like it. When Jimmy Fallon displayed an image of Minaj that was taken before she was famous, she said “I do hate this picture,” with the appropriate combination of seriousness and side eye. To even the score, he showed an awkward photo of his own, which she treasured.
At the young age of 20, the actor trusted a random man to take his head shots at his private home. He may have walked away unscathed, but the end result was this “embarrassing” self-serious photo. “That was a guy who clearly couldn’t afford a haircut let alone a head shot,” he explained.
Bell produced her own throwback photo on The Late Late Show with James Corden in which she shows a megawatt smile and a mullet that deserves its own trend piece.
“I was pretty scrappy,” she said. “My mother made sure that I would not take any flack from anybody because she gave me a real sort of disastrous kind of haircut.”
Tina Fey is best known as 30 Rock’s eye-rolling heroine, Liz Lemon, who’s always having flashbacks to her extremely nerdy past. Like her alter ego, Fey once rocked an unfortunate-because-it’s-out-of-style-now haircut, and this is proof.
Watson doubled over in embarrassment when Jimmy Kimmel played an outtake of the young actor mouthing everyone else’s lines in an outtake from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone during a March episode of Live! In her defense, it was very on-brand behavior for Hermione.
Watson also cringed during a look back at her peak Hermoine days on the red carpet on The Ellen Show.