Remember when you were a kid, and your mother made you dress up in something nice before dragging you down to the mall on a weekend to get your photo taken? Snapping family photos certainly wasn’t a fun way to spend your Sunday afternoon, especially after already having to sit through church (we all just want a day of rest as well).
Most of the time the family photos turn out pretty well, except for the combed hair and glasses that made you look more and more like a doofus as time passed. Even though everyone has taken bad family photos at one time or another, some people just don’t get very lucky and up taking a photo that will embarrass them for a lifetime; these family photo fails will hardly make it on that year’s Christmas card, but it will be burned in the back of your memory forever (until you can replace it with even more embarrassing memories of your children).
But which family photos have turned out the absolute worst? Get ready to cringe when you see some of these timeless classics: here are the top 11 super awkward family photos that are more likely to actually tear the family apart.
#11 – Onlooker
This family photo is so awkward that variations of it have been made into a popular internet meme. The father in this photo appears to be having an existential crisis about why he’s here and not at home watching football, and it comes complete with some of the most out of touch hairstyles that we have ever seen. How could someone with glasses that big not be able to see how horrible of an idea this is photograph is? Nobody thinks of an ominous floating head when they think of family time unless they’re a serial killer.
#10 – Common Centaurs
It can already be pretty embarrassing when your parents decide to drag you to the Renaissance Fair, but it’s even worse when they go all out and dress up for it. The mother’s costume isn’t all that bad, but dad is making it super awkward by looking like the first ever centaur from Norway (I’m not saying anything to him though, that guy looks like he eats skulls for breakfast). And what’s up with the wheelchair in the background? This is a medieval period, honey, and you’re killing my suspension of disbelief: just pick up a saddle from the local tannery and ask for a horseback ride from your pops, I’m sure he’d be glad to get into character.
#9 – My Fam
It isn’t unusual for a single person in their 20s to be sending out Christmas cards, but when you are in your 40s, grow an unusual mustache, and start taking pictures with dressed up animals and dolls: you’re going to be getting some weird looks. It’s all right to not send a Christmas card, just give everyone a call and give them a personalized greeting they’ll understand. Look I’m all for showing some holiday cheer, but this is the kind of stuff that spreads holiday fear.
#8 – It’s Who I Am, Mom
This poor mother just wanted to take a normal family photo with her two little girls, but she is doing it in the wrong era. We’re not sure whose idea it was to select the celestial background in this photograph, but it just makes the whole thing even funnier when these teens look like they could wolf out at any moment; the two children in the photo look like they would rather go to a Flock of Seagulls concert than go to the mall with mom, but let’s be honest: I’d rather see Justin Bieber live than go to the mall for photos.
#7 – It’s Not a Phase!
We already saw what a pair of punk teens looked like with their perfectly normal mother, but this one is even more awkward in the great outdoors. While the three siblings are more concerned about dressing appropriately for the beach, it’s always dark out for the one on the left; Goth never takes a day off, no matter what part of Hawaii you happen to be in. She needs to be careful with all that sun around; she might screw up her pale complexion.
#6 – Monkey Business
Here we have another glaring example of what happens when people without kids start to get a little older (or perhaps they have a severe case of empty nest syndrome). Either way, having this many monkeys living in your home and wearing more stylish clothes than you is simply not natural. Is it even legal to have that many primates in your home, let alone one? Exactly how much house work do you need to do to clean up all of their monkey business?
#5 – Beached
It’s OK if you have some sort of weird kink where you want to dress up as a mermaid and mess around, but for the sake of everyone trying to eat their lunch at the beach, please make sure to leave that at home. Heading to the beach and playing out your fantasies in public, and then sending photo recreations to your friends and family, is just plain weird. I get it, you’re in a new relationship and you want to show everyone that someone wants your trident, but Poseidon keeps his fishy stuff under the sea, pal!
#4 – Like Toy Soldiers
For some unnerving reason the three children in this photo don’t look as if they have a murderous rage about them: either that, or the red circles on their cheeks are hiding the tremendous amount of embarrassment they’re feeling. Parents always seem to want to take awkward family photos like this where everyone is dressed in a theme; you can try to talk them out of it but they can be a real nutcracker. Sorry kids, you’ve been recruited into your family’s cult militia, and there’s no going back now.
#3 – Coney Island
Remember when people thought the “Coneheads” were actually funny on “Saturday Night Live,” No? Yeah, me either. Despite the overwhelming lack of humor in the Conehead skit they decided to make a movie anyways (what a bunch of cone heads). This family decided that the one thing their pictures have been missing for all of this time is some terrible prosthetics, and a questionable skit that spoke to them. While the youngest son looks like he’s enjoying himself in this photo (which seems alien in and of itself), the older sibling looks like he is thinking about smashing the camera. Also, don’t these parents know how un-cool it is to dress your kids up in the same kind of glasses you wear?
#2 – Oh Brother
It seems like the parents of this family probably wanted a son at some point, but ended up having four daughters who all look like they could be “Full House” characters (just look at their ridiculous hair). In order to fill the void in their hearts they ended up getting a cat, a dog, and…a ventriloquist dummy? If you really want a son that badly, maybe you should just adopt one instead of going full creeper with it. I have read enough Goosebumps in my day to know how this kind of scenario plays out.
#1 – RainbOMG
As children, we did some really stupid things to please our parents, and getting dressed up for family photos was one of them. With that being said, if my parents were cruel enough to make me dress up like a blackface Teletubbie and lie down in the yard in some kind of spooning train, then I might have to reconsider how committed I was to their affection. One poor oversight by the family here is that the shoes don’t match, come on, is this your first time dressing up as rainbow nightmare creatures? Amateurs!