Families, man. We all have them. We all probably have a vision of what a family is “supposed” to look like. It’s hilarious.
No one is perfect — and if we were, it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting to be a human spinning through space on a huge blue-and-green sphere powered by a (sort of) nearby ball of burning gas (aka the sun).
I guess my point is that as we all go through life and define what is normal, and what is not. It’s probably a good idea to keep in mind that all of this is pretty entertaining, and I, for one, feel pretty lucky to be here, and even luckier to be able to observe humanity through the eyes of a writer.
So take heart, dear readers, and have a chuckle, even, at these 20 family portraits that earn their place in the cringe hall of fame.
20 Let's Talk About Personal Boundaries
Teething is a very real baby thing. Some babies continue to suck on fingers or objects for comfort even as they get into those toddler (or, in rarer cases, preschool or even elementary school) years. This little pic, however, shows many generations of finger suckers. And for some reason, the third generation portrayed is wearing a full face of (circus?) makeup.
19 For Some, Family = Fowl
Okay, okay, hold on. Is anyone else getting some serious Steve Buscemi vibes right now? I mean that in the absolutely best way possible (and kind of want to go watch The Big Lebowski or even some of those later episodes of Portlandia right now, BTW). Guys, I don’t think this portrait is a joke. I think this guy just really likes his feathered friend!
18 The Use Of Symbolism In Wedding Portraits
Ummm… So there’s a melon. There was a wedding. Now the bride is holding what’s left of the melon. Now the groom is eating a big, juicy slice of the melon. I’m not going to really say much more about that. Okay, wait, though, because something has to be said about the expressions on this happy couple’s faces…
17 Mommy & Daddy & Me Hairstyles For The Win
I was a child of the ‘80s, but to be honest, I was raised in a pretty dang 1970s family, as far as fashions, family choices, and all the rest of it. Thank you, thank you, beautiful universe that my parents never did anything like this to me. No one ever applied hairspray to my long locks, and for that, I am grateful.
16 It's The Positioning Of The Pooch That's The Problem
English bulldogs are SO cute. What’s not to love? I mean, look at that face! This character is obviously truly a part of the family group, and why not include him in the family portrait? Just… maybe think a little longer and harder about how the whole gang poses next time.
15 Ain't Nothing Wrong With Purple, or Cats, Or Sparkles
I like purple. I like sweaters. I like cats just fine. When you put them all together, what do you get? This. I think it’s the sparkling outer-space background that I love the most. Well, no, I think it’s the cowl-neck velour top the Mrs. is wearing. No, no… I take it back. It’s the matching cats that really win it.
14 This Is A Real Couple's Portrait, Looking Real Good
This is a picture of two people, one grasping the shoulders of the other. The female in the front wears a dazzling red cardigan, complete with a headband and rouge lip, and quite a happy grin on her face. Behind her stands… that guy. His sweater and the backdrop have wintery fun written all over them, right?
13 Family Photo Rule: Guys Cup Their Cheeks, Girls Clutch Those Belt Loops
Even if you just saw the jeans in this photo, it would be pretty entertaining, no? But then there are also the hairstyles and the lineup from tallest on the left to shortest on the right. And how about how all the boys are sticking their hands in their back pockets, while all the girls have that belt-loop grab happening? Nice.
12 When Someone Is Serious About Being A Cat Person #Mullet
Every family, I’m convinced, has a truly epic portrait captured in front of a laser-light background. We have one! Those grade-school days produced some truly hilarious shots. This guy seems a bit advanced in years to be posing like this, though, right? At least he has his feline friend — and his mullet — to keep him company.
11 A Tree-Straddlin' Good Time For All
Remember how when you were growing up, you’d climb up the tree in the front yard with mom and dad and your brother, wearing matching outfits, and straddle the biggest branch while smiling ecstatically? No? Me neither. Please remind me to make my own family do this sometime soon, though.
10 A Brotherly Embrace, Sort Of
What? Nothing to see here. This is just two brothers who are wearing plaid pants and sporting fresh bowl cuts. They are grinning and clearly having a great time as they pose for this little photo session. I bet this photo hung in the family home for years! I hope it’s still there.
9 Holding The Cats Makes This More Comfortable For Everyone
This really captures the joy that this family experiences when they spend time together. And hold cats. What I really enjoy about it is that the man of the household is front and center – usually, the children are seated in front, right? I hereby name this portrait “Tres Gatos” (“Three Cats”).
8 I Just Want Some-bunny To Love
Are they siblings? Are they lovers? Maybe they are just really good friends who like to lounge around on their stomachs and take care of their rabbits together. I don’t know. But what I do know is that those blue and pink floral arrangements are nudged in really close, and that this is a very carefully created scene.
7 Putting It All Out There
More outer space! More cats! And this one is really being thrust out there toward the camera, rather than snuggled close in the owner’s lovin’ arms. Both of the humans have huge, excited smiles. The cat? I’m no expert, but I don’t think that little guy looks all that comfortable with the whole situation.
6 Cherished Family Moments
Sometimes, you just wanna let loose and have a little fun with family face painting. I think. Actually, it does not really look like everyone here is having all that much fun, right? Also, why are they not all wearing shirts? Maybe it was a rather warm summer day. It’s a thinker.
5 Create Your Own Family #NoBoundaries
I do not think that three’s a crowd. I think a set of three friends can make for some of the best times ever, including quite interesting dynamics all around. When ones not there to support the others, well at least the third figure is. And in this case, clearly all three are there to have a great time, to lift each other up when they are down.
4 'What, This Is What I Sleep In..."
Dude, I LOVE matching PJs. In fact, I love matching family outfits, in general. What’s not to enjoy about that? And the pictures you get to then share with everyone you know? Even better. Someone in this group, however, didn’t get the memo. Or maybe he did but just didn’t really feel like wearing full pajamas. How many of the men in your life sleep in full flannel sets?
3 Let Me Guess — Middle Bro's Name Is Cain?
What? It’s a loving embrace, right? Except for that the older brother standing in the back seems to be clutching his sibling’s neck just a little too tightly. The papa of the group sure looks proud, in any case, pants up high and chest puffed out to pose for this memorable family shot.
2 Pretty In Pink
It’s almost like they are all wrapped up in the same mauve bedsheet, gazing lovingly if awkwardly at each other rather than staring directly at the camera lens as is so often the case in these posed group shots. A soft pink glow radiates from this wonder of a portrait.
1 All Four Are Actually, Literally Cringing
One thing is for certain: Everyone in this family photo is super happy to be here today. Mom looks like she’s in some sort of pain. Older brother has some sort of disgust plastered on his face. The younger of the two girls seems a bit entertained, at least, by the whole thing, while the younger girl in the front looks… surprised? Scared?
Sources: Awkward Family Photos, Bored Panda