Knitted sweaters, questionable Santas, and a sock-full of mandarins. Ah, Christmas. The only thing missing now is a photo that captures all of the chaos.
Awkward Family Photos is a friendly place online where everyone can come together and share their uncomfortable family moments. Mike Bender and Doug Chernack started the project by posting a few childhood photos of their own, and the site quickly took off and became an Internet sensation.
Bored Panda covered Awkward Family Photos some time ago but since the holiday season is just around the corner, let's not forget what matters at this time of year—laughing at yourself and your loved ones. Oh, and cherishing the memories you shared, of course.
My Uncle, Comforting My Father After Breaking A Toy On Christmas Morning, 1969. That’s Brotherly Love
Bender said that holidays really do mean more awkward shots. "Families are more likely to get together and take photos," he told Bored Panda. "Plus, a lot of families have holiday traditions like dressing up in matching outfits which always leads to [even more] awkwardness."
But Bender said there are other occasions that produce these pictures too. Like birthdays. Someone will undoubtedly capture the kids in their most (you guessed it) awkward stages of life. And weddings. "You are bringing together not just one awkward family but two and generally, people are intoxicated and I don't think I have to explain how that can get weird," he pointed out. Lastly, he mentioned hospital delivery photos. The mothers never seem as enthusiastic about taking pictures as the dads!
We Were Taking Our Family Christmas Photo, And Let’s Just Say The Dogs Weren’t In A Holly Jolly Mood. This Photo Was The Worst Of The Batch, But Now It’s A Conversation Starter. We Keep It Right By The Entrance Of Our Home Here In St. Louis
"The pandemic has brought all families closer together. We're spending more time with each other and so we're also taking more photos. Also, we truly can't get away from our family when we're in quarantine so that ensures lots of awkward moments. As far as Christmas, we like to say it's the most awkward time of the year and the gift that keeps on giving."
Being In A Family With Five Children, You Hardly Ever Get A Great Photo With All The Kids. 27 Years Later My Sister Decided We Should Reenact This Photo On The One Day A Year We All Get Together
Christmas 2009. We Went To The Mall To Take A Picture With Santa And Seemingly Nothing Went Wrong… My Son Didn’t Cry, The Line Was Manageable But Santa’s Attention Was Focused Elsewhere
My Boss, Who Has 6 Kids, Captured Every Sibling Dynamic Possible In One Photo
The Infamous Christmas Photo Shoot Of 1984. Dad’s Short-Shorts And High Socks Highlighted His Fashion-Forward Attitude And Athleticism; My Sister’s Cheerleading Perfection Revealed Her Vow To Never Look Bad In Any Photo- Ever, And My Single Jazz Hand Stance Complete This Awkward Family Christmas Card From Over 30 Years Ago
This Was The Picture That My Family Sent Out As Our Family Christmas Card Back In '91
This Is The Photo My Grandmother Sent Out As Her X-Mas Card In The Early 70s
She didn’t like my dad’s not-smiling face so she cut out one from a different picture, pasted it in place and sent it to the printers. Note the glue on my dad’s face where grandma had attempted to affix the smiling face before it shifted during printing. Still one of the funniest things ever sent to more than 200 friends and family
Merry Christmas From Your Friendly, Neighborhood Mall Goths, 2005
Our Aunt Helen Made These For The Three Of Us And While I Know She Worked Very Hard On Them, I Was Mortified. That’s Me On The Left. I’m Smiling But My Eyes Are Red From Crying Because I Didn’t Want To Wear It. The Compromise Was That I Didn’t Have To Wear The Bonnet. I Don’t Have Much Of A Fashion Sense But Even Then, At A Tender Young Age, I Knew This Was Wrong, Very Wrong
My Memories Of Meeting Santa Are Fond Ones. I Came Across This Pic, However, And Was Startled By The Look On This Particular Santa’s Face. He Looks A Little Less Interested In What I Want For Christmas, And A Little More Interested In How I’d Taste In A Stew
We Took The Kids To Take Pictures With Santa. Needless To Say We Were Shocked As We Scrolled Through The Photos And Saw Our Daughter’s Middle Finger Up With Her Head Turned And Smiling
We Were Trying To Create A Winter Wonderland Scene And Save Money By Shooting Our Own Picture. We Ended Up With Almost 90 Photos That All Looked Like This, So We Just Went With It And This Year I Got Actual Requests To Post This Card
Our Photographer Sent Us All The Images From Our Holiday Photo Session Including This One And I Love It
Mom, There’s A Reason There Wasn’t A Line To See This Santa…
I Tried To Get Some Christmas Card Photos With My Boys This Year. My 5 Year Old Was Not Having It And Refused To Cooperate (Look Under The Sign). But This One Took The Cake For Me Since The Baby Is Puking As Well
This Is The 2006 Christmas Card Photo That We Sent Out, With Our 6-Year-Old English Bulldog, Joan
This Is A Picture Of Me And My Dad At Christmas Time. Dad Was Smoking A Cigarette And Reading
This Is A Picture Of My Dad And Uncles Sitting With Santa. My Uncle Tex Is The Youngest Who Was Clearly A Bit Nervous
The Year My Father Got My Mother A Hoover For Christmas, 1984
Every Romanian Child's Christmas Summed Up In One Picture
My Sister And I Thought It Might Be A Good Idea To Have Our Kids’ Photos Taken As A Christmas Present For My Mom. With Two Hungry, Tired Newborn Babies And A Bored 3 Year Old, It Was Quite Possibly The Worst Day Of Our Lives. This Was The Best Pic We Could Get Of All Three Of Them
Just A Good Old Holiday Pic With An Innocent Little 4-Year-Old, A Creepy Santa And A Scantily Dressed Miss Piggy! Even More Disturbing, Why Does The Costume Even Have Those Body Parts Sewn On?!
This Is A Picture Of Me Around Age 3 Or 4, Meeting St. Nicolas Himself In Poland. This Would Explain My Fear Of Clowns
This Was Supposed To Be Our Christmas Card. It Turns Out She Just Hated That Sweater
Me And My Parents, December 1992
Christmas In Frankfurt, Germany, 1998. My Grandma Knitted Sweaters For My Granddad, Cousin, Brother And Me
One Year Old Me, Santa In Furry Slippers And The Most Disturbing And Scary Befana Ever. Italy, 1996 (In Italy The Befana Is Supposed To Be An Old, Kind Woman Who Deliver Gifts To Kids On Epiphany Eve
This Photo Is From Azerbaijan Which Is Old Ussr Country. I Was 6 Years Old In This Last Day Of 1999. It Is Nice To See How East And West Meld In One Photograph
Christmas Sometime In The Early/Mid 90s And This Is Me And My Two Sisters. My Neighbor Worked For Marlboro Cigarettes And My Mother Decided That Since Their Company Sweatshirts Were Red, We Should All Wear Them For Our Christmas Pictures
So Many Amazing Things About This Picture. I Am The Beauty With The Middle Part Bangs Accompanied By My Life Size Barbie. My Mom Is Clearly Feeling What Every Mother On Christmas Feels While My Dad Is 90’s Fabulous
When I Was A Kid, My Mom, Who Is A Seamstress, Would Make Funky Gifts Every Year For Christmas. Sometime In The Late 80s, She Got Her Hands On Some Giant Men’s Underwear And Made Sports Bra’s Out Of Them. Hence, My Two Aunts And Grandma Modeling Them On Christmas Eve
Christmas Morning, And Everybody Except Young Tim (Middle) Gets A New Bike. We As Parents Should Have Anticipated The Reaction
The Santa Display Was Sad, And Santa Looks Even Sadder. I Found This Pic Of Me With Santa And Couldn’t Help But Notice The Surroundings And His Miserable Look
Me And Another Small Town Goth Going Dancing At A Winter Formal
My Brother And Me, Circa 1977, With The Credit Union Santa And His Creepy Bear Sidekick
This Picture Was Taken In About 1952. The Boy Sitting On The Lap Of ‘Santa’ Is My Husband’s Cousin, Teddy. ‘Santa’ Is ‘Uncle Bob’ Who Apparently Didn’t Notice That His Mask Was Melting Off. My Husband Thankfully Doesn’t Remember Any Of This. No Word If Little Teddy Ever Recovered From The Trauma
My Mom Took My Brother, Sister And I To The Mall To Get A “Nice” Santa Photo Taken. When She Picked Up The Photo, She Was Outraged
Note: this post originally had 61 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.
By the way, if your Christmas shopping isn't done yet, but you are running out of ideas, consider the latest book Awkward Family Photos which has just been released. It's an old school search-and-find puzzle for immature adults and makes the perfect stocking stuffer. It's also available anywhere in the world!