Our parents weren't always parents. Yes, I know, that sounds self-explanatory, but let that sink in. Before these people were changing our diapers, they were young, wild, and free to do whatever they desired. In many cases, their old lives were even more impressive than our current ones. Building motorcycles, stopping bank robberies... It's one thing to hear those stories, but it's another to see photographic proof.

Surprised by and proud of their parents' past, people are sharing photos of their moms and dads on the subreddit r/OldSchoolCool. So continue scrolling to take a trip back in time to when they were rocking leather jackets and high-waisted jeans and when you're done, check out similar Bored Panda articles here and here.

#1

My Mama Circa '83. This Explains Why I'm The Uncoolest Person Ever, Cos She Took It All! Oh And That Bike? She Built It

My Mama Circa '83. This Explains Why I'm The Uncoolest Person Ever, Cos She Took It All! Oh And That Bike? She Built It

reddit.com Report

varwenea
Community Member
11 months ago

Badass and capable mom with a badass bike. 👍👍👍

View more comments

Interestingly. what is considered to be cool changes all the time. Research led by a University of Rochester Medical Center psychologist and published by the Journal of Individual Differences has discovered the characteristics associated with coolness today are quite different than those that gave birth to the concept of cool.

"When I set out to find what people mean by coolness, I wanted to find corroboration of what I thought coolness was," said Ilan Dar-Nimrod, Ph.D., lead author of Coolness: An Empirical Investigation. "I was not prepared to find that coolness has lost so much of its historical origins and meaning—the very heavy countercultural, somewhat individualistic pose I associated with [it]."

#2

My Mom At 18 Years Old Protesting The Kkk In 1976 Atlanta, Ga

My Mom At 18 Years Old Protesting The Kkk In 1976 Atlanta, Ga

reddit.com Report

RadiatorAnkleSpider
Community Member
11 months ago

Your mom is my hero.

View More Replies...
View more comments

Dar-Nimrod and his colleagues recruited almost 1,000 people in the Vancouver, British Columbia, area, who completed an extensive questionnaire on the attributes, behaviors and individuals they associated with the word cool.

They did that by conducting three separate studies. In Study 1, participants generated characteristics that they perceived to be cool. In Study 2, two samples of participants rated dozens of these characteristics on two dimensions: coolness and social desirability. In Study 3, participants rated friends both on their coolness and on a variety of personality descriptors that were identified as relevant in the other studies.

A significant number of participants chose adjectives that focused on positive, socially desirable traits, such as friendly, competent, trendy and attractive.

#3

My Mother When She Was A Tank Instructor In 1984

My Mother When She Was A Tank Instructor In 1984

reddit.com Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
11 months ago

that is amazing!!

View more comments

"Today, ... sociability is considered to be cool, being nice is considered to be cool. And in an oxymoron, being passionate is considered to be cool—at least, it is part of the dominant perception of what coolness is. How can you combine the idea of cool—emotionally controlled and distant—with passionate?" Dar-Nimrod said surprised by the results.

Participants in the study still appreciated the traditional elements of cool, such as rebelliousness and detachment, but nowhere near as strongly as friendliness and warmth.

"We have a kind of a schizophrenic coolness concept in our mind," Dar-Nimrod said. "Almost any one of us will be cool in some people’s eyes, which suggests the idiosyncratic way coolness is evaluated. But some will be judged as cool in many people’s eyes, which suggests there is a core valuation to coolness, and today that does not seem to be the historical nature of cool. We suggest there is some transition from the countercultural cool to a generic version of it’s good and I like it. But this transition is by no way completed."

So I guess, in a way, you could say that these parents were ahead of their time.

#4

My Mom Would Always Talk About How She Was An Editor For Tiger Beat Magazine When She Was A Teenager In The 1960’s. She Would Brag About Spending Time With The Stones And The Beatles. We Always Thought She Was Telling Tall Tales. Uncovered This Pic Cleaning Out Her House Last Week

My Mom Would Always Talk About How She Was An Editor For Tiger Beat Magazine When She Was A Teenager In The 1960’s. She Would Brag About Spending Time With The Stones And The Beatles. We Always Thought She Was Telling Tall Tales. Uncovered This Pic Cleaning Out Her House Last Week

reddit.com Report

Kirsten Kerkhof
Community Member
11 months ago

I think she's entitled to an 'I told you so.' and you're going to have to accept that.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#5

Late 1960s, My Dad

Late 1960s, My Dad

reddit.com Report

Allen John
Community Member
11 months ago

good looking Dad!!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#6

My Dad Made Anything Look Cool (1981)

My Dad Made Anything Look Cool (1981)

reddit.com Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
11 months ago

yes. yes he did.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#7

My Dad Skateboarding At Hyde School 1982. I Think He Was Cooler Than Me

My Dad Skateboarding At Hyde School 1982. I Think He Was Cooler Than Me

reddit.com Report

Maddie Star ⭐
Community Member
11 months ago

😆 Another, suited and booted... But bare feet.❤️

View More Replies...
View more comments
#8

My Dad Sculpting A Bust Of My Mom, 1980s

My Dad Sculpting A Bust Of My Mom, 1980s

imgur.com Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
11 months ago

talent

View More Replies...
View more comments
#9

My Dad And Friends Look Like The Cast Of Stranger Things (1982)

My Dad And Friends Look Like The Cast Of Stranger Things (1982)

reddit.com Report

Julius Martin
Community Member
11 months ago

ITS FROM 1982!!!!!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#10

My Mom, 1954. She Came To America In 1948 At Age 18. She Hardly Spoke English And Was Looked Down On Because She Was German And A War Bride. She Later Did Some Modeling - This Is Just One Of Many Beautiful Photos We Have Of Her

My Mom, 1954. She Came To America In 1948 At Age 18. She Hardly Spoke English And Was Looked Down On Because She Was German And A War Bride. She Later Did Some Modeling - This Is Just One Of Many Beautiful Photos We Have Of Her

reddit.com Report

Maddie Star ⭐
Community Member
11 months ago

Stunning

View more comments
#11

My Mom In ‘78, Glendale, Ca. Newly Immigrated From Japan And Working Her Butt Off -But Still Managed To Save Up And Buy This Chevy Impala For $500

My Mom In ‘78, Glendale, Ca. Newly Immigrated From Japan And Working Her Butt Off -But Still Managed To Save Up And Buy This Chevy Impala For $500

reddit.com Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
11 months ago

nice car! also kudos to yuo, that's really amazing

View More Replies...
View more comments
#12

My Mom Looking Like A Queen On Her Wedding Day 1979

My Mom Looking Like A Queen On Her Wedding Day 1979

reddit.com Report

Maddie Star ⭐
Community Member
11 months ago

Wow, film star alert

View more comments
#13

France, 1985. My Mom Feeding Me Backstage During A Ballet Dancing Show

France, 1985. My Mom Feeding Me Backstage During A Ballet Dancing Show

reddit.com Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
11 months ago

aww... cute baby also that's awesome!

View more comments
#14

My Pregnant Mom At Gunpoint Trying To Get Home. May 1969, Berkeley

My Pregnant Mom At Gunpoint Trying To Get Home. May 1969, Berkeley

reddit.com Report

Maddie Star ⭐
Community Member
11 months ago

Omg, how scary

View More Replies...
View more comments
#15

Mom, Circa 1970, After Completing Her Master's, The First Woman In Her Family To Do So

Mom, Circa 1970, After Completing Her Master's, The First Woman In Her Family To Do So

reddit.com Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
11 months ago

well done mum!

View more comments
#16

My Mother Skateboarding Barefoot In California, 1974

My Mother Skateboarding Barefoot In California, 1974

imgur.com Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
11 months ago

that skateboard is tiny! or is it perspective?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#17

My Mom Was A Boston Park Ranger In The 80s

My Mom Was A Boston Park Ranger In The 80s

reddit.com Report

Sofia Sofia
Community Member
11 months ago

coool and cute

View More Replies...
View more comments
#18

My Mom And Dad Building Their House In 1953. My Mom (91 Now) Still Lives There

My Mom And Dad Building Their House In 1953. My Mom (91 Now) Still Lives There

reddit.com Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
11 months ago

WOAH life goals

View more comments
#19

My Mom's All Girl Rock Band In The 60's

My Mom's All Girl Rock Band In The 60's

reddit.com Report

tomruns12
Community Member
11 months ago

Im starting to think shoes weren't invented until the mid 1980's.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#20

My Dad In The Late 80s / Early 90s. One Of The First Rockers In China

My Dad In The Late 80s / Early 90s. One Of The First Rockers In China

reddit.com Report

Lydia Dean-Melchior
Community Member
11 months ago

OMG... LOVE his hair!

View more comments
#21

My Dad Was A Popstar In Argentina. Here He Is With Ella Fitzgerald, Mid 1960s

My Dad Was A Popstar In Argentina. Here He Is With Ella Fitzgerald, Mid 1960s

reddit.com Report

Lara Löwenherz
Community Member
11 months ago

Omg that's faboulus!

View more comments
#22

My Mom Working As A Dj, Late 1970s

My Mom Working As A Dj, Late 1970s

reddit.com Report

Saint Thomas
Community Member
11 months ago

The real Donna Pinciotti :-)

View More Replies...
View more comments
#23

Me Looking Up To My Fighter Pilot Dad In The Late 1980's

Me Looking Up To My Fighter Pilot Dad In The Late 1980's

reddit.com Report

Alex K
Community Member
11 months ago

such a preety picture

View more comments
#24

My Dad At The 1966 International Science Fair. He Was A Finalist In 65, 66, And 67. In This Picture He Created A Perfusion System To Keep A Rat Kidney Alive When Removed From The Body, Like A Heart-Lung Machine

My Dad At The 1966 International Science Fair. He Was A Finalist In 65, 66, And 67. In This Picture He Created A Perfusion System To Keep A Rat Kidney Alive When Removed From The Body, Like A Heart-Lung Machine

reddit.com Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
11 months ago

wow

View more comments
#25

My Mom And Bob Ross During An Event In Central Park, NYC In 1989

My Mom And Bob Ross During An Event In Central Park, NYC In 1989

reddit.com Report

Maddie Star ⭐
Community Member
11 months ago

Yay, we love the Bob.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#26

48 Beers And A Unicycle. My Dad In The Early 80s

48 Beers And A Unicycle. My Dad In The Early 80s

reddit.com Report

aussie snowdropper
Community Member
11 months ago

i would be lucky to carry 2 cartons of beer riding a normal bike !!!!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#27

My Parents When They Were 16 And 17 (1987). They’ve Been Together For 34 Years Now

My Parents When They Were 16 And 17 (1987). They’ve Been Together For 34 Years Now

reddit.com Report

Sinkvenice
Community Member
11 months ago

That's too adorable.

View more comments
#28

My Mom In The Early 90s. She Painted Her Own Shield

My Mom In The Early 90s. She Painted Her Own Shield

reddit.com Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
11 months ago

amazing!!

View more comments
#29

My Mom And Arnold On A Date In The 70s

My Mom And Arnold On A Date In The 70s

reddit.com Report

Maddie Star ⭐
Community Member
11 months ago

😆 That's too cool

View more comments
#30

My Cool Mom Partying With Robin Williams And Billy Crystal In LA, 1982

My Cool Mom Partying With Robin Williams And Billy Crystal In LA, 1982

reddit.com Report

RadiatorAnkleSpider
Community Member
11 months ago (edited)

Is your mom Glenne Heady?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#31

My Dad Taking A Selfie, Using A Piece Of Wood To Activate The Shutter, Circa 1957

My Dad Taking A Selfie, Using A Piece Of Wood To Activate The Shutter, Circa 1957

reddit.com Report

Maddie Star ⭐
Community Member
11 months ago (edited)

Ooo, inveneter of the selfy stick.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#32

After Their First Fight, My Dad Apologized To My Mom Through Polaroids. The True Og Of Apologies, My Man (1987)

After Their First Fight, My Dad Apologized To My Mom Through Polaroids. The True Og Of Apologies, My Man (1987)

reddit.com Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
11 months ago

aww this is beautiful and such a good idea

View more comments
#33

My Dad Wasn't Famous, But His Moves Were Pretty Cool (1977)

My Dad Wasn't Famous, But His Moves Were Pretty Cool (1977)

reddit.com Report

Kirsten Kerkhof
Community Member
11 months ago

Instant nose job in 3..2..1..

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#34

My Dad And His Partner While They Were Undercover. This Picture Was Taken After They Stopped A Bank Robbery In The Late 70s

My Dad And His Partner While They Were Undercover. This Picture Was Taken After They Stopped A Bank Robbery In The Late 70s

reddit.com Report

Verena Gitterle
Community Member
11 months ago

looks like Pedro Pascal

View More Replies...
View more comments
#35

Found This Old Picture Of My Dad From Back In 1976. I Feel Like The Picture Captures An Awful Lot And Tells A Story

Found This Old Picture Of My Dad From Back In 1976. I Feel Like The Picture Captures An Awful Lot And Tells A Story

reddit.com Report

Kirsten Kerkhof
Community Member
11 months ago

That is a short story in a single picture.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#36

My Dad In Saudi Arabia In The 70's Working As A Us Military Contractor Diving In The Red Sea

My Dad In Saudi Arabia In The 70's Working As A Us Military Contractor Diving In The Red Sea

reddit.com Report

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
11 months ago

Very cool.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#37

My Dad's First Car, A 1939 Ford. He Bought It With His Own Money That He Earned While Farming. He Was 11 When He Bought It, So This Photo Was Taken In 1948

My Dad's First Car, A 1939 Ford. He Bought It With His Own Money That He Earned While Farming. He Was 11 When He Bought It, So This Photo Was Taken In 1948

reddit.com Report

RadiatorAnkleSpider
Community Member
11 months ago

Was he driving it at 11?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#38

My Dad Showing Mr. Rogers The Process Of Designing Toys On Mr. Rogers Neighborhood (1986)

My Dad Showing Mr. Rogers The Process Of Designing Toys On Mr. Rogers Neighborhood (1986)

reddit.com Report

Toasty
Community Member
10 months ago

Anything pertaining to Mr. Rogers gets an instantaneous upvote.

View more comments
#39

My Mom Immigrated To The US From Iran In November, 1978. Here She Is Dressed As Wonder Woman A Year Later

My Mom Immigrated To The US From Iran In November, 1978. Here She Is Dressed As Wonder Woman A Year Later

reddit.com Report

glowworm2
Community Member
11 months ago

Mom is gorgeous.

View more comments
#40

My Dad Taking A Smoking Break While Fighting Saddam Husseins Army In The 80s

My Dad Taking A Smoking Break While Fighting Saddam Husseins Army In The 80s

reddit.com Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
11 months ago

woah

View More Replies...
View more comments
#41

Mom Wasn't The Pilot, But She Was A Tech On The F-4 Phantom Back In The 80's

Mom Wasn't The Pilot, But She Was A Tech On The F-4 Phantom Back In The 80's

reddit.com Report

Lydia Dean-Melchior
Community Member
11 months ago

Ok. Yeah. You're mom was super cool!!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#42

Mom’s Senior Portrait That My Grandma Refused To Let Her Publish In The Year Book (1976)

Mom’s Senior Portrait That My Grandma Refused To Let Her Publish In The Year Book (1976)

reddit.com Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
11 months ago

lol i'd have loved to see that in the yearbook

View more comments
#43

My Dad 1969 Bronx, NY. Speaking Against The Vietnam War

My Dad 1969 Bronx, NY. Speaking Against The Vietnam War

reddit.com Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
11 months ago

your dad is a legend

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#44

My Dad (Left) Looking Like A Young Luke Skywalker, Chile, 1977

My Dad (Left) Looking Like A Young Luke Skywalker, Chile, 1977

reddit.com Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
11 months ago

omg he does!!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#45

Mid To Late 1970s, My Dad Graduating A Class Taught By Chuck Norris

Mid To Late 1970s, My Dad Graduating A Class Taught By Chuck Norris

reddit.com Report

Andrew Gibb
Community Member
11 months ago

not many people shake Chuck Norris' hand and keep their arm.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#46

My Dad's Graduation Photo. Circa 1970's

My Dad's Graduation Photo. Circa 1970's

imgur.com Report

Julia Atkinson
Community Member
11 months ago

He looks like a stage magician - "For my next trick I will pull a fully-grown dog out of my hat"

View More Replies...
View more comments
#47

My Dad And A Tiny Kitten Looking Like A Modern Hipster In The Early 1980s

My Dad And A Tiny Kitten Looking Like A Modern Hipster In The Early 1980s

imgur.com Report

Zoe Hoesley
Community Member
11 months ago

Awwwwww

View more comments
#48

My Mom At 16 Yrs Old With Her Camaro In 1975

My Mom At 16 Yrs Old With Her Camaro In 1975

imgur.com Report

I'manoob!
Community Member
11 months ago

I'm over hear being paranoid of even the slightest showing skin :P

View More Replies...
View more comments
#49

My Mom Voting For The First Time In A Presidential Election In 1972 In Indiana, Pa

My Mom Voting For The First Time In A Presidential Election In 1972 In Indiana, Pa

reddit.com Report

me
Community Member
11 months ago

GO WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE

View More Replies...
View more comments
#50

I Always Knew My Mom Was A Tough Lady. Photo Taken Circa 1985

I Always Knew My Mom Was A Tough Lady. Photo Taken Circa 1985

reddit.com Report

Abhainn
Community Member
11 months ago

Omg, I want hair like hers!

View More Replies...
View more comments

Note: this post originally had 120 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.