Photos That Prove We All Had An Awkward Phase

No matter how good looking you are now or how confident you are in who you’ve become, there are probably a couple of photos floating around from your youth that are…less than flattering.

Chalk it up to bad fashion or a bad haircut, or maybe a costume your mom should not have let you leave the house in. Whatever your excuse, everyone went through an awkward phase at some point in their life, and all we can do now is laugh about it.

It Wasn’t Fashionable Even At The Time

two boys in denim cutoffs
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

Bad fashion choices can often be explained by saying “it was the ’70s” or giving a time frame for reference, but this look wasn’t fashionable at any point in time, even in the ’80s when this picture was taken.

Say Cheese!

sibling smiles
Photo Credit: Reddit / ZoutSlayer69
Photo Credit: Reddit / ZoutSlayer69

When the school photographer told you that you needed to smile with your teeth, this is not the smile they wanted. Unfortunately, this was the only smile you’d give them.

Chewbacca In The Flesh

boy with so much hair he can't see
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

Your son went away to camp looking like a normal teenager, but when he was returned to you, it looked more like someone was trying to send Bigfoot home with you.

This Fit Ain’t It

white face mask of paint at the mall
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

This boy voluntarily and repeatedly went out in public with white paint all over his face for reasons that are unknown to him to this day. While that’s unknown, what we do know is that his parents were definitely thrilled when this phase was over.

Grease Lightning Lookalike

rizzo age 12 school photo
Photo Credit: Imgur / HubieJunior
Photo Credit: Imgur / HubieJunior

This actually wasn’t supposed to be a Grease-themed photoshoot, this 12-year-old girl just happened to look a lot like Rizzo in this moment and now has glamour shots to appreciate for life.

Miss Maturity

miss mature turned into miss sunday school
Photo Credit: Imgur / Hubiejunior
Photo Credit: Imgur / Hubiejunior

You were trying to look more mature in your photo, but you jumped a few too many years ahead and ended up looking like a housewife with three middle-aged kids who love to bake.

You Can’t Judge Art

dance break in the living room
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

We all had moments when we felt the need to perform a dance in the living room for our parents after dinner, and sometimes we got a little too into it. You can’t blame her for her love of dance.

You Could’ve Fooled Us

kindergarten photoshoot that looks like PTa
Photo Credit: Reddit / DragonfireEsq
Photo Credit: Reddit / DragonfireEsq

Were you attending your first day of kindergarten, or were you hosting a charity bake sale at the school in order to raise money for the upcoming field trip? The earrings are really what pushes the vibe.

Nothing Says “Beach Day” Like Denim

jeans at the beach and a bad attitude
Photo Credit: Reddit / enaranjaj
Photo Credit: Reddit / enaranjaj

If you were to just quietly go to the beach with your family and dress normally, then no one would know that you were going through your angsty teen phase, which is why you had to pull out the jeans at the beach.

“I Loved Cats”

mall photoshoot pose with a boa
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

When they posted this photo, the Imgur user felt the need to add a bit of background to this photo and said she loved cats at the time… We could’ve guessed that.

The “Dad” Friend Of The Group

14 going on 50 dad friend
Photo Credit: Reddit / pachewychomp
Photo Credit: Reddit / pachewychomp

They say that people of older generations looked a lot older than they were because of the dated fashion, but we have to say that’s a lie because, regardless of fashion, 14-year-old boys didn’t typically look like 35-year-old men.

The Glowup Was Real

glowup girlfriend
Photo Credit: Reddit. retrospectr3
Photo Credit: Reddit. retrospectr3

It’s hard to believe these are even the same two people, but clearly, time was very kind to this woman after being not so kind to her during her awkward childhood phase.

A Party In The Front And The Back

mullet photo at the mall
Photo Credit: Imgur / ShadesOfNeon6
Photo Credit: Imgur / ShadesOfNeon6

Nothing says awkward childhood photo like a mullet and a themed photoshoot that your mom probably made you participate in against your will because she needed new photos to send to your grandmother.

The Belly Came Before The Beer

beer belly as a child
Photo Credit: Reddit / Strid3r21
Photo Credit: Reddit / Strid3r21

For some kids, the awkward phase started young. Take this little boy, for instance, who looked like a middle-aged man with a beer belly before he was old enough to hold a coherent conversation.

Just A Regular Tuesday Look

goth years awkward makeup
Photo Credit: Reddit
Photo Credit: Reddit

Sure, if this was a Halloween costume, then there would be no problems with it and it would be like any other festive photo. But this was just a regular everyday look.

Family Road Trip Fun

roadtrip to lake louise that kids aren't happy about
Photo Credit: Imgur / OatmealBreafkast
Photo Credit: Imgur / OatmealBreafkast

We get it. You didn’t want to take this dumb family road trip anyway, but you were roped into driving four hours to go see Lake Louise, and the people need to know that you’re upset about it.

Thirteen Going On Married With Two Children

13 year old middle age at a concert
Photo Credit: Reddit / PossibleSnail
Photo Credit: Reddit / PossibleSnail

The canvas over-the-shoulder bag that looks like seatbelt strap really seals the deal on the overall “mom tagging along to a concert with her kids” vibe that’s going on here.

The Hills Are Alive

sound of music photo
Photo Credit: Reddit / digitag
Photo Credit: Reddit / digitag

We all went through a phase where we had one movie we watched repeatedly. These boys just happened to love The Sound of Music and chose to wear underwear on their head to show their love for it.

Try To Top This One

top hat tops this
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

Two out of these three couples are your classic awkward early 2000s prom couples, but the third couple is the one who chose to share this wonderful photo to highlight their awkward phase… You can take a guess which couple is still laughing.

Did She Already Play The Game?

soccer hair style
Photo Credit: Reddit / beautifully_ignorant
Photo Credit: Reddit / beautifully_ignorant

Did someone’s parent not remember that there were going to be pictures taken on this day, or is her hair just beyond help at this point and they decided to let it happen?

Thank God It Really Was Just A Phase

awkward hairstyle photo
Photo Credit: Reddit / Atyrius
Photo Credit: Reddit / Atyrius

With a hairstyle like that, even you can’t help but laugh at the fact that you actually thought you were making a statement by spiking your hair up for school picture day.

This Haircut Is Bangin’

man bangs at prom
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

Giving yourself bangs in a moment of crisis was one thing, and it usually tuned out awkwardly, but what is everyone’s stance on men with bangs? This man fully admits to the awkwardness of them, so you’re allowed to laugh.

One Big Happy Family

awkward family photo with angry dogs
Photo Credit: Reddit / Sir_Charge
Photo Credit: Reddit / Sir_Charge

The kids might be alright, but clearly, something is going on with these dogs, and this boy in the middle knows he’s about to take the brunt of whatever they’re feeling.

You Catch More Fish With Your Hands Than A Rod

jumping in the water to catch the fish
Photo Credit: Reddit / ontheoffbeat
Photo Credit: Reddit / ontheoffbeat

It may not have been the most conventional way to catch a fish, and clearly his sister is as shocked as we are, but this dude wanted the fish and he caught the fish.

The Higher The Better

soccer shorts pulled up high
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

Were you wearing your soccer uniform properly if you didn’t have to pull the waistband of your ridiculously long shorts midway up your chest? And this little girl wanted you to know that yes, she did play games with her shorts this high.

Oh, You Were That Girl

awkward pose in front of statue
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

As parents, we always encourage our children to be themselves and be true to who they are, but then you end up with a kid who poses for photos like this and you regret ever encouraging them.

Parasol Posing

parasol posing for a photo
Photo Credit: Reddit / Sgt_Pepsi
Photo Credit: Reddit / Sgt_Pepsi

Not only did the parents allow this photo to happen, but some photographer in the mall or in Sears also agreed to let this happen. Multiple adults approved this photoshoot for this little girl.

She Was Next In Line

woman in ruffled shirt at disney
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

For clarification, the woman in the back of the photo is not actually related to the little boy and has nothing to do with this photo, but she was still ready for the picture.

The Self-Proclaimed Blunder Brothers

the self proclaimed blunder brothers
Photo Credit: Reddit / dame_condor
Photo Credit: Reddit / dame_condor

The only upside to this photo is that it wasn’t just one brother going through an awkward phase—it was a whole sibling clan of awkwardness, so they couldn’t make fun of each other.

Time To Blend In

shirts that blend in to the couch
Photo Credit: Imgur / Yborctyalmstkilledme
Photo Credit: Imgur / Yborctyalmstkilledme

This photo screams “grandma made us matching outfits” and we’re not upset about that. What else are you going to do when you have a spare set of curtains? You’re not not going to sew some floral day wear, that’s for sure.

It’s A Party In The Front And The Back

bowl cut mullet hairstyle on one person
Photo Credit: Reddit / Dranetheblod
Photo Credit: Reddit / Dranetheblod

You were cool if you had a bowl cut and you were cool if you had a mullet, so if you combine the two haircuts then you’d basically be the most popular boy in the eighth grade. The logic is sound, don’t debate it.

Pose Like It’s 1999

senior photos from 1999
Photo Credit: Reddit / WeddingPicture
Photo Credit: Reddit / WeddingPicture

1999 was a dark year for fashion and for the world all around. People were making crazy decisions with Y2K looming over them. Crazy decisions like choosing these photos to be their senior yearbook photos.

6 Going On 60

looking like a middle aged woman in school photo
Photo Credit: Reddit
Photo Credit: Reddit

She might be a child in elementary school or she might be the librarian who helps kids pick out the next chapter book they want to read. It could go either way.

You’ll Never Lose Him At Night

highly reflective pants for shuffling
Photo Credit: Reddit / downfall104
Photo Credit: Reddit / downfall104

In order to be the next great shuffling sensation as a child you needed to have the perfect outfit, and this boy had it. Even after he quit shuffling, the pants will still be fire.

Fun For The Whole Family

mom dad and kids with same haircut
Photo Credit: Reddit
Photo Credit: Reddit

If a haircut looks good on one member of the family, it’s going to look good on every person in the family, right? That’s what this family photo has proven.

I’m Not Mad I’m Just Disappointed

bad haircut angry face on child
Photo Credit: Reddit / sarahkelleher
Photo Credit: Reddit / sarahkelleher

She’s just as confused as the rest of us about why her parents would allow someone to give their child this haircut… And she’s clearly a little angry about it as well.

The Higher The Hair, The Closer To Jesus

hair a foot tall
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

Both the best and worst part about this hairstyle is knowing how much effort went into creating this look. Someone spent a lot of time and energy perfecting this for picture day.

Two Peas In A Pod

best friends awkward phase
Photo Credit: Reddit / chillaxxin
Photo Credit: Reddit / chillaxxin

They only need one person’s encouragement in life so it doesn’t matter whether or not you liked their outfits, they had each other to lean on for support. They knew they looked cool.

Someone’s Watching Over You During Your Karate Match

karate photo with closeup of boy in background
Photo Credit: Reddit
Photo Credit: Reddit

Any photo that features a closeup photo of yourself as the background is an excellent photo in our books, and one that should be shared widely for all those around you to enjoy.

This Was Sure to Get All The Ladies

tie dye king for junior year
Photo Credit: Reddit / PRAISEninJAH
Photo Credit: Reddit / PRAISEninJAH

This young man would like everyone to know that not only did he wear this ensemble for his first day of junior year, but the outfit included matching boxers as well so it’d be complete.