Family photos show our most special moments, the ones that we want to secure and keep forever. They fill our albums, scrap books, and social media feeds with previous memories. They remind us of the days gone by and the times that we will always cherish. They forever capture the holidays, birthdays, celebrations, and gatherings that we will never get back, but hope to always fondly recall.
Sometimes, though, that perfect instant of familial bliss turns into something a little more awkward. These pictures capture those totally awkward moments that most families might like to forget. Luckily for us, though, the camera was there and we can laugh at them forever. Read on to see some of the most awkward family photos in existence.
Don’t Put Baby in a Crock Pot
Family dinners are a great way to bond with your loved ones. Sharing a warm meal together can smooth over the tensions of a difficult day at school or the office. It prompts conversations about the daily grind and life in general, helping to connect everyone on a deeper level. In this picture, though, all that can be said is, “That’s not how this works! That’s not how any of this works.”
This newborn photo shoot reimagines the baby as the lobster, its mother as the cook, and its father as the diner waiting pensively for his seafood dinner. All the unanswered questions aside (Is she, for instance, serving him the lobster raw or cooking it at the table?), we see here the essence of the awkward family photo. The people are sincere rather than sarcastic, and at least one of them is sure to be embarrassed about this in the future.
Hook, Line, and Sinker
This grandpa wanted to teach his grandson a few pointers about catching fish and respecting nature. Their day on the lake was a success. The grandson caught a fish and wanted nothing more than to show off his prize to his family, posing for a picture with the mentor who taught him all about life in the great outdoors.
The grandson, however, has tapped into his inner beast and is letting out a savage yell. The grandpa is all smiles, ready for a nice photo by the lake that’ll show off how his grandson is a natural sportsman. The kid, however, feels the primal call of the wild and isn’t afraid to let everyone know.
Loose Dress Code
Some people dress conservatively, others let it all hang out. Three of the people in this photo are siblings. The one in the bunny ears, though, has married into this family of dour dressers and is intent on showing them how to have fun and live life with no regrets.
The four people in this picture are attending a pop culture convention. While the one in bunny ears is certainly outlandish, her get-up is a tame example of cosplay compared to some of the other folks that are surely attending. The brother and sister on either side of the married couple might be a little embarrassed, but they should feel happy that their sister-in-law is such a fun-loving and free spirit.
You’re My Best Friend
Everyone wants that best friend who will stick with them through it all. Finding that ride or die can be difficult, but you know it when you find it. Their jokes never fail to make you laugh. If you need them, they’ll drop everything to be there for you. They’re the person who gets you better than anyone else and who will be by your side no matter what.
This kid, however, would probably be better off if their best friend was imaginary. The bond between a child and their dummy can be off-putting at first, but the happy look on their faces proves that this bond is strong. Hopefully the kid leaves Bozo behind, though, when he gets invitations to overnight parties with his classmates.
Centaur of Attention
Renaissance Faires can be a great way for friends and family to experience something unique and out of the ordinary. Turkey legs, craft booths, and games on the midway create fun for all ages. Really authentic ones even offer entertainment like jousting. The Dad in this photo, though, is taking everything further than anyone ever expected.
The daughter in the front looks mortified, while the girl in the background is doing everything she can to look like she’s not related to the centaur and his kin. The centaur’s princess bride seems pretty okay with everything though. The air around them looks pretty warm, so let’s hope that no one is playing the centaur’s rear.
They say you can’t choose your family, but this group is clearly made for each other. Their smiles are just glowing through their crocheted outerwear. They may or may not be related, per se, but that doesn’t matter. This is the picture definition of a family. As sweet as the scene is, that doesn’t stop it from being awkward.
Firstly, the way they’re all piled up is so haphazard that it looks uncomfortable. The inability to tell what any of them is supposed to be, exactly, makes it seem like these costumes could scare small children. While they, overall, are probably a wonderful family or group of friends, they also seem like they’d be annoying to share a park with.
Wildlife can be a lot of fun, especially when encountered unexpectedly in the wild. But when the weather has turned for the worse, and there just aren’t that many opportunities remaining to get that perfect picture, it’s best to steer clear of interloping animals ready to ruin your compositions.
Here this couple was, enjoying a nice wintry afternoon, when they were descended upon by a band of photobombing llamas. The offending alpacas gathered round the couple’s camera and pushed the lady out of the way. Now, they take up nearly the entire frame.
Bunny of Terror
Childhood is full of opportunities for making memories that will last the rest of your life. Many parents keep their camera (or, more likely now, their phone) primed and ready to capture those wonderful moments that leave children smiling and laughing and, overall, happy.
The weirdest part of this picture is how calm the child looks while sitting with that monster. Even its relatively normal aspects, like the yellow bow, only serve to highlight the gaping, mishappen eyeholes. It’s like staring into an empty soul. If the kid needs therapy in the future, all the parents have to do is look at this photo to know why.
Sick of the Photoshoot
Sometimes you need to bring in a professional photographer to get that perfect family photo ready to send out as this year’s Christmas card. Photographers know how to manipulate the light just right, and how to edit the photo to even out the colors and get that crisp and polished look. But even the most professional of photographers can’t control what’s going on in a baby’s stomach.
The boy’s face in the background says it all. Everyone was on hand to find out it was puke-o-clock. The baby in question is handling it like a champ. With the spit-up out of the way, the baby looks right into the camera, ready for his close-up. The photographer, at least, is probably feeling a little awkward.
Moping on the Mountain
There can be a lot of personality conflicts in a large family. Space is limited and everyone needs to share. Some people need more personal space, while others feed off of high energy. The little girl in the background of this picture clearly had enough with whatever was going on before the shutter clicked.
Everyone else might be oblivious to the fact that she’s walked off. Whatever the reason, the family picture must go on. This is a necessary compromise, especially as kids get older. If they don’t want to be in the picture, just let them stay out of it. Chances are the photo will be less awkward. Although, that didn’t help the family in this case.
Sometimes, people just know what they want. This kid is apparently looking at this ice cream cone demon and screaming out, “Mama, Mama!” Not, it seems, to get his mother’s attention but as if the statue itself is his Mama.
The Dad looks down at his child like they have all been through this situation way too many times before. The child wants the sweets. And the parents look on knowing that they have the most thankless job of all.
Don’t Drop the Baby
Being a parent is tiring. If there are multiple kids in the household then a parent can forget about any real, meaningful rest until their youngest is old enough to sneak out of the house at night. This parent decided to keep a close eye on one of his rambunctious rugrats by tucking them under his arm.
As the Dad nonchalantly stands, like he is holding a football or a bag of groceries, the baby’s sibling stares on astonished. The look of the photograph shows that this picture was taken many years ago. That means the parent either had the camera out and ready to shoot or that the father stood in place with the baby for long enough that the camera could be retrieved. Either way, let’s hope someone put a helmet on that baby.
A True Kodak Moment
Baby’s first word. Baby’s first haircut. These are moments to be remembered and, especially, captured by doting parents in awe of all of their little one’s achievements and milestones. Marveling at the beauty of raising a little person, we absolutely appreciate looking back at these wonderful moments in time.
While potty training isn’t an easy task for most parents, and is certainly recognized as a milestone, we don’t usually see how kids graduate from diapers to toilet time. Hopefully this picture doesn’t represent all their other albums and keepsakes. It seems that little brother in the background agrees that this private moment is more than a little awkward!
Being a teenager is hard. The younger siblings in the photo have no idea what they are in for when they wake up one day and are 13 and in the midst of puberty. They smile, so blissfully unaware of the impending hormones that will rage within them one day maybe leading them to decorate themselves with black eyeliner and pitch black hair dye.
Dad, however looks incredibly proud of his little black sheep. He smiles wide at the camera and holds her tight. Despite this hodge podge of a family photo we gather this is one happy family.
This probably isn’t what Christmas song writers had in mind with deck the halls, but someone sure has decked Santa! Check out that shiner! He must have been a Bad Santa. Is he on Mrs. Claus’s naughty list? Did he make the mistake of giving the wrong kid coal? Only Santa knows.
The kids in this photo are such a contrast from this defeated mall Santa. Nothing but sugar plums and toys dancing around their heads. Hopefully Santa learned his lesson the first time. Otherwise, he might wind up with a matching shiner around his right eye.
Eyes Wide Open
It’s hard to take a family picture. Especially one where everyone is looking at the camera. Let alone, a picture where everyone has their eyes open. This couple, however, took that to a new level.
Did someone just make a wildly inappropriate joke? Did someone fart? We’ll never know. Whatever caused their shocked expression doesn’t matter at this point. The photo is taken and out there for the world to see.
Life’s a beach
Family travels are a longstanding tradition, and definitely make for some of the best photos. This photo fully encapsulates what it’s like for those brave Moms and Dads out there traveling with young children –– especially kids who are going through their terrible twos.
The three generations of family and the scenic beach makes this photo one of the best we’ve seen so far. The smiles are genuine, and everyone looks happy enough. The only problem is that the kids are clearly not relaxed. They say parenthood is a beautiful experience, but it’s also a lot like herding cats! These adults likely agree.
Never Losing, Always Twinning
They say the apple never falls far from the tree. That idiom could not be any truer than here. While it’s always good to be close with family members, these two take it to a whole new level.
This mother and daughter duo definitely share the same genetics as observed in their perfectly quaffed hair and thick-rimmed glasses. The shared fashion sense displayed in this photo makes me think that matching tattoos are in their future. Their twinning attitude surely never stopped, and this photo is a testament to their deep bond.
Set it and Forget it
With photographs, sometimes all you can do is set the timer and hope for the best. The clothed dog clearly feels like his humans should have a better grasp of technology by now, especially when they wind up taking an awkward photo like this.
Like the dog in the photo, the child is less than amused by his family’s lack of photo skills. Propped up in a directors chair, the boy looks annoyed. He and the dog make eye contact expressing their discontentment. Take two, anyone?
Many people work hard to craft an enviable summer physique. Hours at the gym tones and hones muscle until it is perfect for strutting around the beach. Nothing, in fact, tells your co-workers that you and your family had the best summer ever than returning to the office with family pictures showing off your healthy tan.
This picture, however, shows the farmer’s tan to beat all farmer’s tans. He’s looking into the lens like, “Yeah, what, jealous much?” All the viewer can do is shrug and think, “No, not really.” His lady companion seems used to this behavior and should consider finding a less awkward person to be with.
Three of a Kind
Looks like someone got tired of trips to the barber and decided to become an at-home hair dresser. The Dad and the two kids share the same bowl cut that also has a hint of a mullet’s business in the front and party in the back attitude.
Instead of looking ready to rock out, however, this family looks ready to go to a hoedown. Granted, the quality of the picture makes it seem like this was taken at least a few decades ago. But Mom, Dad, and the kids are all dressed like they have just returned from a journey over the high plains of the Old West. Hopefully the kids decided to take their hair game into their own hands by middle school, otherwise that was probably a rough ride to graduation.
Shopping for a Halloween costume is expensive. Every kid wants to dress up like their favorite cartoon character or superhero, but sometimes it just isn’t in the budget. Instead of shelling out $50 or more on a costume, many Pinterest masters think they can become overnight design stars and zhush up some household items into a sensational costume overnight. This photo proves just how foolhardy that quest is.
The larger Mickey Mouse here looks like the kind of toy you’d find laid out on a mat in the middle of downtown, labeled “Bickey Bouse” to avoid any obvious copyright issues. The kid’s “STAY UGLY” shirt seems to be a silent protest to the indignity of being posed with this rodent poseur.
Grandma, Watch This!
Grandparents are treasures. They have so much to teach us and are always invested in the happiness and success of their grandchildren. Those lucky enough to still have their grandparents around should take every opportunity they can to show them how valued they are. The grandkids in this photo are, simply, not doing that very well.
It seems that grandma asked the grandkids to pose for a photo without specifying that she wanted to see their fronts instead of their rears. The wise, sage old lady seems like she’s having a good laugh about it. Which is great, except now the photo is out in the world and the rest of us have to endure all the awkwardness.
Clowns on the Loose
Themed family photos can be a lot of fun. They can make the photo shooting process a lot easier, making the smiles less staged and leaving everyone a little more relaxed. Themes, however, are one of the quickest ways to derail a photo from being quaint, charming, or different and take it straight to unbearable awkwardness.
These people have clearly taken their obsession with clowns and stage makeup way, way too far. Some people are legitimately afraid of clowns (coulrophobia). While this photo might have been meant for a laugh, this family has made it so that any coulrophobics who see it could have a panic attack or worse.
Well-behaved fur babies are a constant fixture in a family photo, and for good reason. Everyone loves their family pet, doting on them to provide food, shelter, and toys galore. A cat is the perfect companion for people that, similarly, enjoy personal space and believe in exercising a lot of independence. These people, while clearly big cat fans, are not following the way of the cat.
They’re not really following the way of the decent human, either. These nudists are covering their bare bodies with their poor, and obviously miserable, cats. The one on the left looks like it is ready to bolt out of the frame while the one on the right looks like it is used to this treatment and just wants to get the picture over with. It is all more than a little awkward.
The Great Outdoors
Camping brings families closer together for many reasons. Above all else, it offers the perfect chance to unplug and be present with each other. There’s no cell reception or Wi-Fi to distract kids with the latest viral meme or for parents to sink into work email. So long as you have battery power, though, cameras still work and awkward pictures like this can get captured.
It’s nice to see the dude on the left handing his brother a fresh, cold brew to help get through visit to the loo. Even more endearing is the brother to the right holding a roll of toilet paper. The girl, however, has it right with that look that says, “Get me outta here!”
Close for Comfort
The people who marry into a family can sometimes become our best friends, in addition to our family members. Here, we see two people becoming a little too close. As in, they’re just on the verge of merging into one person.
These sisters-in-law are absolute besties and they want everyone to know. Here they are practically spooning together in public, all for that perfect pic to post to social media to prove how much fun they had with each other on their night out.
People that say becoming a parent gives you superpowers. You have to be super fast to keep up with a roaming toddler, and equally quick to figure out when things in the house sound a little too quiet. Going out into the world, you have to be on the lookout for anything that may hurt your baby. This Mom, however, is a force to be reckoned with.
Whatever’s going on off-frame, she seems ready to rush in and shut it down. The baby attached to her is cool as a cucumber, though. He’s hanging out and enjoying the ride. But we’re all looking on wondering who would think this picture was a good idea to take, anyway?
This last photo is the perfect example of everything a family portrait could be. All members of this family seem like they’ve put on their Sunday best and practiced their on-camera smiles for weeks. That is, except for one.
The girl in the bottom right has scrunched up her face as if she’s smelled something really rank. Maybe the photographer brought a selection of fine cheeses, or maybe her brother to left has done something more insidious. Either way, the moment is ruined and we’re all left feeling so awkward it hurts.