Getting together with the fam often results in untold amounts of weird, and such has been the case for centuries. All it takes is one quick skim through a history book to find that out. Whether it's a backyard barbecue or an annual holiday get-together, when someone finds themselves locked in a room with their parents, their siblings, their aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins, it's only a matter of time before it all hits the fan in one way or another. When it does, all that anyone can do at that point is hope that it all ends as quickly as possible. And smile for the camera, of course.
When the family gets together and starts chatting, that's when the bad ideas start spewing out like a gush of idiocy from a geyser of stupid. And being together all at once does nothing to help this situation, as it often causes the relatives to egg each other on, even if they each know, deep down in their hearts, what they're doing makes little to no sense. One of the instances in which this phenomenon is most evident is family photos, so without further ado, here are 25 awkward family photos that we can't even begin to try to explain.
25 The lizard was a nice touch
Look, having the family all line up against a gray marbled background, shortest to tallest, oldest to youngest with each person putting their hand on the shoulder in front of them? That has been done to pieces! It's boring, it's dull, it's uninteresting. That photo posing choice was nowhere near good enough for this family. They couldn't settle for something so humdrum and blase. They wanted more from their family photograph. They wanted something that captured the essence of who they were, not just as individuals, but as a group. So they dreamed up whatever the heck this is, and now we have to look at it.
Alright, so we guess we don't have to look at it, but now that we've started, we just can't look away. It's obvious to us that not everyone in this picture believes in hairbrushes, or conditioner for that matter, and we can say this with absolute certainty. That little kid in the green sweatshirt would rather be staring into a TV than a camera right now. But, for all its faults, we think deciding to bring Stephan's lizard to the photo shoot was what really makes this picture so great. It raises the SMH factor considerably. Very well done.
24 Oh, don't mind the rubber shadow. It's always there
Um...we, uh...we don't know how to say this, but we're concerned, here. We're not sure if we're the only ones who can see that black be-suited person, or if the family knows that that person is there, too. Because they're sure acting like they don't realize a pleather coated person is in their midst, and that has us wondering if this isn't some kind of paranormal, supernatural situation. What if that's a spirit? Sure, it's easy to brush that off and laugh at the idea, but how can anyone prove it's not? We find this highly suspicious and we're uncomfortable.
Grandma knows something's up, but she's got a look on her face that says she's ignoring the heck out of it, whatever it is. But that kid laughing with the man to the right? They could not be more oblivious! We have a feeling this strange being's spiritual presence was the only thing that could be detected, and then, only by highly sensitive and empathic individuals, like Babushka Granny, there. Seeing this thing caught on film is chilling. It's enough to send a shiver down anyone's spine. We hope this family has a cabinet full of bottles of holy water. Looks like they're gonna need it.
23 Barnyard Christmases are the very best Christmases of all
Pets are part of the family, too, so it's only natural to want to get the four-legged friends in on the picture taking action. The only problem is, that idea can translate really weirdly if everyone involved in the photo planning isn't too careful. It's just too bad that these people didn't read that before they decided to go forward with their Christmas card pictures. We don't know, maybe it's just us who feel like this, but it seems like this photo is dripping with awkward. We mean, we like it, or at least, we certainly don't dislike it.
But it conjures up feelings of secondhand embarrassment in the viewer, and when a family photo does that, it's never a good sign.
Honestly, we aren't even gonna try to explain what string of events went on that lead to the creation of this picture. We haven't got the foggiest of ideas, so anyone's guess on that is as good as ours. We do, however, feel bad for the people of the photographer's studio who undoubtedly had to clean up after that llama and that sheep. Oh, sure, they're cute as a pair of buttons, but we shudder to see what their opposite ends are capable of.
22 Maybe a toddler meltdown photo shoot wasn't such a good idea
This picture is a real treat, not because it's awkward, but because it looks pretty new. It hasn't got the vomit colored undertones of a picture from the '70s, nor the infamous bad hairdos of the '80s, nor the colorful and vibrant windbreakers of the '90s. We would venture a guess that this picture was taken within the last five to ten years, easy, and while that has done absolutely nothing in the way of lightening the load of "what in the world is going on, here?" at least it hasn't got that discomforting, otherworldly vintage feel working against it. That's something.
Big brother's having a diva meltdown. Clearly the amateurs working this photo shoot couldn't get their crap together long enough to meet the list of demands that he had his agent send over ahead of time (he told them NO brown M&M's, and if they think he didn't notice the lack of action figures available, that's where they're wrong). Meanwhile, little sis is begging him to take control of his emotions long enough to provide her with some much needed neck support. Not even out of the womb for a year yet, and she's already got to deal with more bull than she can handle.
21 When the grass starts walking around, that's when you know it's time to mow
We don't know about you people, but one of our favorite pastimes is getting together with our close relatives, dressing up as blades of grass and standing in the mudroom of our parents' house with our hands up in the air, in a gesture that says, "Please, sun. By all means, give me some photosynthesis," while we wait for someone to take a picture of the event. We mean, if there's a better way to spend your free time, please let us know, because we have yet to discover a more fulfilling hobby than that. We've got scrapbooks gull of pictures of us dressing up like blades of grass.
It's not weird.
We're so early in the lineup still, it seems too soon for these pictures to venture out of the realm of awkward and enter the territory of there are good reasons for this, don't make your head hurt trying to come up with a logical explanation, but if crying makes you feel better, let those tears flow, fam, we're here for you. If this grass family showed up on our lawn, we would turn the sprinklers on them. Actually...know what? Maybe that's what they want. We'd ask them, but we're too afraid of them.
20 Prenup on aisle 3
The family that shops together stays together. We don't know what kind of strange logic that is, but it looks like that's this group's motto. And since purchasing groceries and personal hygiene products is such a big deal in this family, it only made sense for Mark and Cindy to tie the knot at a grocery store. So romantic, right? Ugh, we love weddings! Oh, we're already crying. Where are the tissues? Anybody got any tissues? We told ourselves we weren't going to do this, but, well, look at us now! Ha ha! Our mascara is going to run. Oh, dear.
Wait. Hang on. These aren't tears of happiness. We don't have that undeniable feeling of squee in our heart. No, these tears are being caused by something else entirely, and we think that something else is three-tiered cake of SMHery, iced to imperfection with facepalmitation. What is that, a Walmart? A Walgreens? A Randall's? We don't know what kind of store they picked for this most special of occasions, but we think somebody got confused when they heard the expression "walk down the aisle". Looks to us like they took that phrase a little too literally. Oh, well. Live and learn.
19 Fly from "Babe" knows something's not right here
That dog on the right is the only person in this picture having a normal reaction to this shenaniganry, and she's not even a person at all. If your dog is questioning your decisions, you need to put the Kodak camera down for a sec and rethink your life choices. We hate to diss anyone, even though that's a complete lie manufactured for the sake of segueing into what we really wanted to say, but ushering that stuffed, half-wolf, half-boar into the living room was a bad decision, and having the kids pose with it for a picture was an even worse one.
Fly from Babe is having no part of this. She did not teach a pig how to herd sheep just so she could have her family snap a picture of her next to this...thing.
Look, let's be honest, taxidermy is always a little unsettling, even when it's done well. We've all seen those poorly stuffed animal pictures floating around the world wide web, and there enough to send even the stiffest upper lipped among us to tears. And while this thing isn't nearly as spooky as those bad dream-inducing things, it's still not something you'd want your kids to pose with for a picture.
18 Oh, have the aliens invaded already?
This picture is so unsettling, it's like we're on board with it. Creepy, huh? So that's the family hobby that you've all chosen to get on board with, eh? Alright, that's fine. We can support that, we suppose. Maybe doing spooky, upsetting stuff together isn't how you and your family roll, but don't drag this family for doing their own thing. Don't hate them 'cause you ain't them. There's no call for jealousy here, we're all adults (well, except for that little one in the middle), we can respect everyone else's choices, even if they aren't in line with our own. It's cool.
Actually, it's not cool, it's disturbing. We're uncomfortable right now. Oh, so uncomfortable, but at the same time, we would still like to try to be supportive, so we guess we're on board with...this. Our only hope now is that they commit themselves entirely to the creepy. Hide in bushes together. Jump out and scare strangers by immediately initiating well choreographed a capella renditions of "Jesse's Girl". Feed off of the screams of small children and allow it to make you more powerful. You're already in so deep with the freakiness, just go all the way, why don't you?
This samurai warrior got himself one heck of a deal. All he had to do was trade his armor, and do you know what the guy he sold it to gave him in return? A pair of happenin' striped gaucho style pants, a whole slew of random luggage, complete with a table to arrange them on, and a festive garland of fake flowers for decorative purposes, so that everything could be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. And, to top everything off like a delicious cherry on top of an already perfect sundae, the guy also gave him a dog.
This man made out like a bandit, and he knows it, that's why he looks so smug.
Oh, and, we forgot to mention this, but the guy also gave him a time machine. See, all of this went down in the mid 1800's, but the guy who traded all of this stuff to him led him to a police box, said, "Hey, man, this is a TARDIS, it'll take you whereves," and this guy was like, "Alright, sweet, I'm going to the late 1900's to have a weird picture taken of me and my new stuff," and that's what he did. Sounds ridiculous, we'll admit, but we have proof.
16 What?! We can't hear you over how loud these outfits are!
That half smile tells us that Dad had to be sweet talked into this. Mom had to do some real fancy footwork in order to convince him that this photo shoot was a worthy endeavor, and even though she managed to get him to go along with the operation, he's still got his reservations about the whole thing. We mean, he knows this is awkward, and he knows everyone who sees these pictures will know that they're awkward. He's just resigned himself to that fate. But why has he done so, you ask? Why has he allowed himself to be made a part of this ill-advised scheme?
Well, hypothetical question asker, we think the answer to that is obvious. This guy for sure as heck knows this whole situation is odd, but he went along with it anyway because he loves his family. He's less than stoked about this, but look at how happy everyone else is. Sometimes it's not your own smile you do things for, but the smiles of those you love. Besides, his wife spent two months making these shirts and planning this thing out, and if he thinks he's getting out of it with a simple "I don't want to," he can guess again.
15 Nobody knows what's going on, and we definitely don't
Photography...*pauses for effect*...is an art! So many people—far too many people, if you ask us—believe that there's nothing to snapping pictures of people. "How hard could it be," they ask themselves before pressing the button on their disposable camera or their camera phone. Only, is the resulting photo a masterpiece? A work of fine art that could be placed on the wall of a museum? Or is it a badly botched snapshot featuring what might be a person's leg and what might be a flower, but it's too hard to tell for sure because half the lens was covered up by their finger.
Everyone thinks they can be a photographer, but everyone is wrong.
This photographer knew this family needed something more than the run-of-the-mill "Mom and Dad sit at the front, daughter stands in the back with her hands on their shoulders, everyone smiles" pose. That's why they chose to take the picture as the daughter ran into the shot looking utterly appalled, like she just saw her dad eat a grasshopper or something. It looks like she's taken aback because she's seen the future, and the reality is this picture is a whole lot more awkward than she signed up for.
14 Someday she'll be a real girl
June and Greg were thrilled when they learned they'd been accepted as eligible parents for a child with the adoption agency that they had signed up with. They waited with anticipation, crossing their fingers and sitting by the phone constantly, waiting for the call that told them their dream of becoming a mommy and daddy were finally going to come to fruition. And, at long last, it happened. The phone rang. A baby was there waiting for them. They could hardly stand it, they were so excited as they drove down to the address the woman on the phone gave them.
Only when they arrived at their destination did they realize that what they thought was an adoption agency was actually a doll hospital, run by a little old lady who had gone off her rocker. But when they lady who had lost all of her marbles handed the new parents their little bundle of inanimate joy, they vowed then and their that they would raise her just as they would a normal, living, actual child. Sure, others might find that a little bit odd, but they're not living for others, they're living for themselves. And that's what makes this picture so weird—er, magical. We meant magical.
13 Ah, the awkward family vacation photos. Classic
Back when camera cellphones were nothing more than an embryo of an idea, family vacation pictures were typically taken with a disposable camera, and the thing about disposable cameras is you only get so many chances to snap a pic. You can't take thousands upon thousands of photos, okay? You can't take a picture then look at it to see if it's worth keeping and erase it from your camera if it's not. Heck, you didn't even know what your pictures looked like at all until you took the film to a photo center and had them developed.
Because you couldn't take a billion pictures and just delete the ones that weren't any good, you had to be careful with the pictures you did take. They had to mean something.
If you were going to use the disposable camera, you had to have a good reason for it. The parents of these children knew that. They knew pictures didn't grow on trees. They were a serious matter to be taken seriously and with the utmost seriousness. That's why they had the kids stand in front of the South Dakota sign, and that's why they all look so stinkin' thrilled about it! Hey, they're just happy to be here!
12 Broadcast weddings are the future
Darlene was *so* excited about tying the knot with her beloved high school sweetheart, Harold. They had always been in love, ever since that day when Herald dipped Darlene's pigtail in glue in second grade, and Darlene immediately whipped around in her chair and punched him in the nose. It was as they both waited outside the principal's office that they got to know each other. Later, they humorously considered that their first date.
Oh, sure, they had their spats along the way. They bickered about sports teams and hobbies and opinions, just like any couple would. But that never changed things. Their love for each other grew over time. Harold knew Darlene was serious when she said she loved him because she stayed with him, even when he grew his first crappy little mustache in ninth grade. She never even said anything when he continued to grow his crappy little mustache after graduation. At one point, she even said she liked his crappy little mustache and, well, that was it for Harald. He knew he'd found the one. As for Darlene, she knew she'd found her soulmate when Harold agreed to stay miles away from her and only wed her via a broadcast across town. Ah, so romantic.
11 So lizard people aren't a myth, after all
Guess we owe our Uncle Gavin a call. We always brushed him off as a nut when he pulled us aside during family gatherings and attempted to explain to us the ins and outs of his convoluted conspiracy theory that lizard people are among us, masquerading as people and starting families. We figured those assertions were nothing more than the crazed ravings of a mad man, but we guess we owe him an apology. It looks like there's actually something to his hypothesis after all. Who ever could have guessed it?
The world is being infiltrated by lizard men and women. Isn't it obvious by now? Wake up, people!
The way our uncle explained it, the reason that these lizard people can get away with starting relationships with people, settling down and starting families is because some people are blind to their true visages. Mm-hm, oh, it's true. While we can see this lizard man for what he truly is, that woman and that kid? They don't see nothin' but decent, hardworking man who wants to take care of his family. Fortunately, also as explained by our uncle, these lizard people don't want world domination or anything. They just want to live middle class lives. Hey, don't we all?
10 After this, ice cream cones and rabies shots all around!
If there's one thing that we like in a family photo, it's a chance at contracting rabies. Hey, don't get us wrong, we think that little racoon there is precious as all get out. Look at its face! This photo shoot is like a scene out of a live action Bambi. Anytime woodland critters are involved in anything, we are so down for that. But even we, with all of our love for these precious animals, can't deny that the possibility of walking away from this photo shoot with "the hydrophoby" as our grand pappy used to call it, is very, very real.
We don't know if that little guy is the family pet, or maybe if the dad just walked into the photographer's studio, found that the employees were all in a panic because a raccoon had someone gotten in overnight, and he did them a deal. He was like, "Hey, I'll catch the racoon with my bare hands, risk developing a potentially fatal illness, and you take a picture of me and my family for free, alright?" The photographer, knowing that this man was capable of wrastlin' a wild animal just based on his appearance, quickly agreed to the trade. And, well, there you have it.
9 Rub some dirt in it, Jamie
"Ha ha. Oh, man. Remember that time Uncle Ron came over for your birthday and gave you those boxing gloves, and later, after he got into that 'special punch' that Mom made only for the adults, he started to think that he was Muhammed Ali, and he just kept shouting, 'I want Joe Frazier! I want Joe Frazier!' And he thought you were Joe Frazier, on account of him being so freaking hammered, and then he nailed you in the face and you had to be taken to the hospital cause your face was broken? Ha ha ha! Whew! That was hysterical! Good times...good times..."
Glad this family has a picture to remember the precise moment Uncle Ron KO'd Jamie on his birthday. That's one precious moment nobody will ever want to forget.
Here's hoping the head injury this kid just sustained left no lasting injuries. Thanks, Uncle Ron, for coming down to help your family celebrate the kid's birthday. You've really cemented yourself as the official Cool One™ of the family. Hey, maybe the next time you come down, you can hit someone with your car or use your head as a battering ram and shove yourself into someone's gut! Wouldn't that be great, you flipping psycho?!
8 Off-putting and classy don't mix
Here's a pro tip for you: never make "creepy" the theme of your family pictures. You shouldn't chose this particular photograph aesthetic not because you won't succeed, because the fact is that you definitely will, no matter which route you take, and therein lies the problem. See, it doesn't matter how you choose to be creepy. Maybe you'll wear a hockey mask and wield a chainsaw while standing behind the rest of the smiling members of your family. Or maybe you'll do that weird half smile thing where one of your eyes is a little squinted, but it comes off as menacing, while you hold a parrot. There are a million ways to be creepy in a family photo, and you should avoid all of them.
It's tricky, we'll admit it, but it's not impossible to walk away from a family photo feeling proud of yourself and confident that you haven't made a ninny out of yourself. Taking a family photo is like walking a minefield. There are so many things you have to avoid or you risk running into a catastrophe. We're giving major props to this family for making an effort. But the overall effect? Uh...yeah, this reads as a little sinister, not gonna lie.
7 The "wot" level is off the charts
'Kay, so, going back to that whole "you really want to avoid looking creepy in your family photos" concept that we were discussing not two minutes ago. Allow us to reiterate that. Again, for the second time, we repeat, when taking a family photo, do your best not to be creepy, because the end result will be creepy, and nobody likes creepy. It's just creepy! So, please, on behalf of everyone everywhere, most especially those who will be forced to look at the photographs once all is said and done...don't be creepy.
From the brother with the clown suit to the sister with the ventriloquist dummy to the other sister with the clown suit and the ventriloquist dummy, dis tew much.
Not only is this creepy absurdity too much for us to handle, we would even go so far as to say that this is a level of creepy absurdity that is more than any human body is equipped to handle. We don't have the mental technology to comprehend this. We don't have the physical stamina required to bear witness to this. And, do you know something? We don't want to have either of those. The only thing we really need now is to forget.
6 Rats aren't photo props, they're plague carriers, Karen
Karen's blank stare doesn't reveal too much, but we're getting two very distinct vibes from this photo, so we're going to say that there are only a couple of things that could be going on here. The first option, and the one that we're really crossing out fingers and hoping is the right guess, is that Karen made a bet with her coworkers, and she lost. She lost so miserably that, in order to make good on her part in said bet, she had to take a picture with a bunch of rats on her shoulders. It's not an ideal explanation, but it's preferable to option number two.
The second possible explanation for this is that Karen has loved rats ever since she was little, and she's taking this picture with them in all seriousness, and, in so doing, has neglected to see how this picture might be viewed as kind of strange. And, not only is it a little weird, it also comes off as pro-bubonic plague. You mean to tell us you're cool with the bubonic plague, Karen? We mean, we liked Ratatouille as much as the next Disney lover, but let's not blow this thing out of proportion, alright?
5 Awkward family photo or crime scene? You decide
We've searched this picture from top to bottom for signs of sanity, but it comes up short no matter how many times we look it over. The most upsetting thing is that we can't even figure out what part of this picture is the worst part of it. Is it the dad wearing the disconcertingly short shorts and the clerical collar, acting like he's too full of the holy ghost to realize he looks like the comic relief in a British movie? Or is it the sister looking on with vague approval as her crazed brother, who may or may not be under her mind control powers, strangles their mother?
There's a lot to take in with this picture. None of it good.
We don't know what events unfolded that led to the taking of this picture, nor do we know what happened afterward. All we can say is, we hope that mom made it out of there in one piece. We would hate to think that this family photo also had to serve as a piece of evidence in the court of law when this family was arrested for attempting to choke the life out of that woman in the middle of a photographer's studio. So awkward.
4 Who's the Big Bad Wolf now?
This kid looks like he just personally rescued Little Red Riding Hood from that Grandma impersonating wolf, and now he's like, "That's right. I slaughtered this forest canine. Who's the 'Big Bad Wolf' now, eh? Yep, there's a new sheriff in town, and his name is me. Tell your friends!" We're scared of him, we'll tell you that much right now. He takes down wolves, then he goes medieval on their canine backsides and shoves their taxidermied heads onto spears and poses with them in pictures so other wolves can see what he's capable of. Don't let the Boy Scout garb fool ya none. This guy is a force to be reckoned with.
And, heck, would you just look at the smile on this kid's face? That is unbelievable! Does he look like he has a single ounce of care left in his tiny little boy body to give about the wolves he just unceremoniously turned into rugs and caps? No. No, he does not. He harbors no regrets because #YOLO, that's why. And, sure, so the YOLO hashtag wasn't even a thing when this picture was taken, but whatever. This kid is too powerful and too self-assured in his power to be slowed by anything as silly as a conscience.
3 You okay?
Parents and grandparents always insist that they don't have favorite children or grandchildren. We don't know if that's true, but if it is, and these adults genuinely love all of their kids and grandkids equally, then how can this guy explain this picture? Looks like you just got caught between a rock and a hard place, fella. We don't see how he can possibly think he can finagle his way out of that conversation.
Once Felicity Fall Down back there sees this picture, that guy's gonna have a whole lotta 'splainin' to do.
"Grandpa Frank, how come you don't love me as much as you love Sandra?"
"What? Felicity, of course I love you as much as I love your sister!"
"You don't have to lie, Grandpa, I know. I saw the picture of you and Sandra smiling as I took a nosedive off a swing right next to you."
"Felicity, I just, uh...didn't see you! Yeah, that's it. I'm getting older, sweetie, my peripheral vision's not what it used to be. That's all. I love you almost as mu—I mean, just as much as your sister, Sandra. Of course I do! I'm not lying."
Yeah, even we have our reservations about that one, Gramps.
2 She's been shunned by reality TreeV
"Psst. Photographer! Hey, over here! In the tree! See that woman over there? She can't see us, can she? We're all concealed well enough that she won't notice? She doesn't know we're here at all? Okay, good. Thanks for helping us out. You've been a real pal. Say, while you're standing there, would you mind snapping one of the most awkward family photos in the history of the world for us? That'd be real swell of you, real nice. I'd appreciate it."
It looks like that family is in a reality TV show in which everyone stays in that tiny, too small set of trees. Every week a new family member gets voted out of the tree by the viewers, and this week, Samantha didn't luck out. Yeah, sorry, Samantha, you had a dedicated group of followers from the very start, but they were a small group of people. Too small to do you any good. So, when push came to shove, they never stood a chance, and we guess that's just the way the cookie crumbles, sometimes. Don't worry though, Samantha, we've got a lovely parting gift for you. It's this awkward family photo! Yay! Woo hoo! Hooray! Let's give it up for Samantha, everybody *claps* Samantha!
1 All hail the royal llama family
Now, now. We know what you're thinking: "What in the heck...?" And, honestly, we couldn't agree with you more. But there's actually a very logical explanation for this picture, and if you'll permit us, we would be more than happy to share that story with you right now. See, deep in the rural recesses of Kentucky, there's a small cult that worships llamas. Why do they do this? We don't know, we guess they're just super passionate about animals that look mean and spit at you in the face. To each her own.
Here, we see the llama cult's leaders, the King and Queen of the Llama Kingdom, and their son, young Prince Llama Leader Dwayne.
Behind them is, of course, the Whyte House, an iconic residence easily recognized by anyone within the Llama cult. And, sitting in the driveway is the royal llama leaders' family vehicle, known by the llama Secret Service as "Llama-sine One". This picture was taken the day after the King and Queen of the Llama Kingdom announced that they would be taking an awkward, completely inexplicable family photo out on the Whyte House front lawn the following day, to be featured on the cult's national currency, which is, of course, the Dollar Llama.