40 Times People Should Have Looked Behind Them Before Taking A Photo

Taking the right selfie, perfect family picture, or most artfully composed photo of your cooking is almost a full-time job on the internet these days. We all love to show off pictures of our everyday lives on the web, after all. What happens, though, when you accidentally take a photo that features amusing or incredible events happening in the background? Well, they get collected in lists like this for the world’s entertainment. You’re welcome.

40. Toilet or drinking fountain, that is the question

Imagine, if you will, the sheer rush of excitement felt by this young man when he put on his gleaming white prom tuxedo. He looked fresh. So fresh, in fact, that he took a selfie and sent it to his buddy, who ruined everything by telling him that his cat was in the background trying to drink out of the toilet. To add insult to injury, he then put the picture on the internet. Nice.

39. Where’s the third man?

Sometimes photobombing is an obnoxious attempt to make yourself the center of attention. But, on rare occasions, it is so subtle and downright brilliant that it can take people years to realize it even happened at all. The person who posted this picture on Reddit said that they had it on their fridge for six long years before they noticed anything was amiss. Amazing.

38. Rear view mirror

A cursory glance at any list of photographs with background fails will reveal that the humble mirror is often our enemy. Mirrors are always lurking in the recesses of photos, determined to show people’s embarrassments to the world. But sometimes mirrors use their powers for good, exposing questionable store employees who should really keep their eyes above waist level.

37. A prefect idiot

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The person that sent this message, presumably to some excited family members, should be teased about it until the end of time. Yes, for the fact that they misspelled “perfect” not once, but twice. But mainly because they thought they were getting one over on the family by keeping some information to themselves, when in fact they were broadcasting it for anyone with half a brain to see. D’oh!

36. Surf’s up

This photo was posted on Reddit by a man named Gary Gronk, who felt the world needed to see his ill-fated attempt at looking like a surfing superstar. The family picture was taken on Whitehaven Beach in Australia, in some of the most crystal clear waters you’re ever likely to see. Gary saw the water up close and personal, all right. Because he plummeted headfirst into it.

35. A caffeine cry for help

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Everyone loves their morning coffee. That much is a fact. This gamer loves the stuff so much that they wanted to post about their morning caffeine boost. Unfortunately, they may have unintentionally revealed something a bit dark about themselves in the process. Who knows, though, maybe they’re just writing a novel? Yeah, that’s it. They’re writing a novel.

34. The bunny nightmare

The internet loves delightful childhood experiences that are actually total nightmare fuel if you look a bit closer. This one certainly fits that bill. Look at the older child’s happy smile. He’s having a great time. His little brother looks slightly perturbed, though. Maybe it’s because he’s noticed the sinister eyes inside the bunny’s mouth, staring a hole in his soul.

33. Speed racer: exposed

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This U.K. girl racer must have wanted some sympathy from friends or family, so she took a picture of the letter saying her driving license was being revoked. Unintentionally, though, her photo revealed exactly why it’s a good idea that she won’t be driving anymore. We don’t think you’re meant to take photographs when driving at 40 miles per hour on the road.

32. Friday The 13th Part 11: Jason Takes The Wedding

Admittedly, this photograph was almost certainly staged. It’s impossible to miss the hockey mask-wearing maniac in the background. We still wanted to include it, though, because it gives us a chance to make the “Jason Takes The Wedding” joke. Get it? Because one of the movies was called Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan! Not even a giggle? Bah. That joke would’ve killed at Comic Con.

31. An unwelcome eight-legged guest

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In 2014 two teenage girls from Essex went viral when selfies were uploaded to Facebook and Tumblr that showed them reacting with horror at an unwelcome eight-legged guest. Kirsty’s realization and scream were caught by her friend Jair on camera in several pictures. Even though it was later revealed that the spider was a fake, planted by Jair, the girls still experienced their 15 minutes of web fame. Get it? Web!

30. LET ME IN, HOOMAN

This photo is brilliant because it looks like the dog in the background is possessed by a demon. Look at those glowing eyes and snarling visage as it ferociously licks at the glass. Either that, or the dog has been throwing itself against the glass to try to get its owner’s attention, and the picture has just caught it at peak desperation. Let me in, hooman!

29. Beyoncé KNOWS

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Look, we get it. Sometimes when you’re out and about, you notice a celebrity and want to take a picture of them. But maybe you’re too bashful to ask them for it, so you try to disguise it by taking a fake selfie. The result, sadly, can end up like this guy’s attempt to secretly snap Beyoncé. She knows, dude. Queen B always knows. And she’s none too happy about it.

28. Is that Al Bundy?! Wow!

Ed O’Neill is a television legend. The star of Married…With Children and Modern Family, he’s been entertaining viewers for more than four decades. The person who posted this photo to Reddit and the girl in the photo seem to recognize how famous he is. But their awe pales in comparison to the guy in the background, who seems absolutely dumbfounded to be in O’Neill’s presence.

27. An unfortunately placed mirror

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This photo is a smorgasbord of distractingly placed mirrors. Well, two distractingly placed mirrors, to be exact. The one in the bottom left of the foreground is the most problematic, as it’s one of those fancy magnifying beauty mirrors. And what it is magnifying here, unbeknown to the selfie taker, is just a whole lot of nostril. Whoops.

26. Traffic, you say…?

This is a photo in which, yet again, a pesky reflection has exposed the taker for the lying fibber they are. She’s got the pout, the coffee accompaniment, and the perfect pair of shades. Surely this is selfie nirvana? Well, nope. Because the reflection in the shades shows there’s no traffic at all, and she’s actually endangering herself and everyone around her by taking selfies while driving on the open road. Not cool.

25. It will be mine

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Listen, we all love ice cream. It’s delicious and fun and amazing. There’s always room for ice cream. The problem, however, is that our furry friends love ice cream too. This is why you can’t take a selfie in your car with an ice cream cone and expect your dog, sitting in the backseat, not to eyeball it like he’s about to attack at any given moment. Oh yes. It will be his.

24. The REAL shower scene

The shower scene in Psycho is one of the most iconic scary scenes in cinema history. Seriously, it’s terrifying and will almost certainly make you nervous the next time you step in the shower. Maybe the guy in the shower in this hilarious snap is thinking about Psycho as he waits to scare the unsuspecting selfie taker. Is that a tenuous link to make? Probably.

23. Daddy, is that you?

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A dad named Ron posted this brilliant selfie in 2013. His daughter’s bemused expression says more than words ever could, although it’s our job to add some words to the conversation, so that’s what we’re going to do. The aghast look says, “Daddy if that is actually you, we need to have a talk. Why am I not going to this Ke$ha party too?”

22. “Sleeping” Beauty

It may be possible that this photo was staged for comedic effect but, if it wasn’t, it’s a hilarious insight into the thought processes of social media selfie queens. Either way, the Imgur user KindaHotInTheseRhinos had the best response to the pic. He wrote, “Bae caught me chippin’.” To be honest, we’re not sure we can top that.

21. Selfies (squared)

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In what is perhaps a meta commentary on our modern selfie-obsessed society, this man was photobombed by his own girlfriend taking a selfie. After climbing a mountain together, alongside their trusty pooch, they naturally wanted to take some pictures to document the accomplishment. The result was this selfie-within-a-selfie. We hope they at least took some photos together as well.

20. Judging mommy

Some members of the older generation simply don’t appreciate the fine art of a good selfie. It’s not their fault that they’re old and out of touch, right? That’s what we tell our parents, anyway. In this photo, the mother’s facial expression portrays so much confusion and disdain for her daughter’s life choices that we can’t help but laugh. She’s judging her life choices, for sure.

19. Cannon fodder

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An Imgur user uploaded this photo, taken by one of their friends, and it’s truly one of the most random background photobombs we’ve ever seen. It’s just a lady and her daughter, embracing and smiling for the camera. They’re having a lovely time. But then you see the children in the bottom left, stuffing a toddler into a cannon. Boys will be boys.

18. Baby backscratcher

This background intrusion is one of two things. It could be that the photographer has accidentally captured a father and his child a few seconds away from disaster. But it could also be that they’ve simply caught the man experimenting with an ingenious new method of backscratching. We prefer to think of it as the second option.

17. Plug-in lasercat

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We all know cats’ eyes glow when light is shining on them. Such as when the flash of a camera hits. However, in this wonderful picture, the glowing eyes are accompanied by an amusingly placed cable that leads to the wall socket. Apologies to Sharon, who is attempting to show off her new insulation, but we’re all much more interested in the plug-in lasercat, thank you very much.

16. Mind your own business, please

Judging from the replies on Reddit, this pic was taken at the Keene Pumpkin Festival in New Hampshire the same year that riots broke out when Keene State College parties got out of hand. But we’re not here to discuss serious issues like that. We’re here to chuckle at the woman in the background of the photo who is clearly grossed out by public displays of affection.

15. I don’t want to go to school

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Someone named Madison posted this solid gold picture to the Awkward Family Photos website, and it’s a doozy. We’ll let her set the scene in her own words, “My first day of school, age five. Please notice my older brother, face down on the pavement beside me. Not quite the same excitement about school.”

14. Say cheese

Animal photobombs are brilliant, but they do tend to involve the animal in question going to the toilet at an inopportune moment. This photobomb, on the other hand, gives us a considerably more wholesome laugh. Science tells us that horses can indeed smile, quite like how a human would. Sort of. This certainly looks like a big cheese-eating grin, so we’re treating it as such.

13. He’s right behind me, isn’t he?

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You know, if someone had asked us if a fish could look shocked before making this list, we’d have said no. Yet, here we are now, looking at a picture of a fish looking like it’s just seen a ghost. An element we love about the picture is how, initially, the background is fuzzy and hard to make out. Then your eyes adjust, and you see just why fishy wants to swim for the hills.

12. Turn around, you’ll like what you see

This brilliant image was posted to Instagram by Slash’s girlfriend Meegan Hodges in 2015. It’s fun to imagine the lady turning around to see her Guns n’ Roses guitar hero standing behind her. Slash’s grin says that he’s waiting for the big reveal too, which is sweet. We hope she had the photo emblazoned on a whole new T-shirt.

11. Rejected Elmo

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This pic is so perfectly composed that it’s hard to imagine the photographer didn’t see the despondent figure loitering in the background. The expression on the Elmo costume’s head, coupled with the slouched shoulders, portrays pure innocence and abandonment. It works perfectly with the smiley happy face of Woody in the foreground. Poor Elmo.

10. Ouch

Posted to Reddit under the title “Cheerleading Practice,” this picture is funny and brutal in equal measure. Naturally, we hope the woman in question was okay after the nasty spill. Otherwise, our laughter and teasing on the internet are especially mean-spirited. We’re going to assume that it’s okay to chuckle at because of the amusing headline chosen by the poster. That’ll help us sleep at night.

9. The Dork Knight

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This musclebound gentleman was attending the Rhode Island Comic Con wearing a Batman T-shirt. He stopped for a quick photograph in front of a life-size replica of the Tumbler Batmobile from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy. So far, so Batman. We bet he didn’t think he’d be photobombed by the Caped Crusader himself, though!

8. My brother is a psycho

When Leah Kray uploaded this brilliant childhood photograph to Reddit, she took the chance to call out her “psycho brother.” We hope he’s mellowed as he’s gotten older. Her response to a user writing, “I want to know what happened right after the picture was taken” was superb, though. Kray replied, “I actually have a hard time recalling the next two years of my life.” Genius.

7. I found Waldo

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To be fair, compared to some of the fiendishly complicated and incredibly detailed Where’s Waldo? double-page spreads we’ve seen in our time, this one is a cinch. There he is, sitting a few tables behind the two birthday party revelers in the foreground. Presumably, he’s on his night off from hiding among large crowds, chowing down on a serving of baby back ribs. Waldo’s got to eat, right?

6. When Mickey gets the munchies

We’re sure the harrowing event taking place in the background of this picture is just a simple trick of perspective. The man in the Mickey Mouse costume isn’t really trying to devour the little girl in front of him. Right? That would be ridiculous. The Disneyland top brass surely wouldn’t stand for their employees cannibalizing customers, for one thing.

5. Kids’ toys are intense these days

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On first glance, yes, this looks like the cute as a button two-year-old is carrying some kind of melee weapon that would be more at home in The Walking Dead than in real life. She could do some serious damage to hordes of zombies with that thing. Of course, then you realize it’s actually just a branch, with an amusingly situated piece of modern art in the background. Oh well.

4. “Why you little…!”

This charming photo, taken in front of Mount Rushmore, is likely a poignant reminder of a wonderful family holiday. For the family in the foreground, we mean. Not for the little boy in the background, seemingly being strangled by his mother. To be honest, it looks like she was a graduate from the Homer Simpson School of Parenting.

3. Faceplant

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Capturing a great photo of someone in the process of executing a feat of athleticism is an amazing thing. This hurdler in mid-flight is glorious to behold. Unfortunately for her, though, the eye can’t help being drawn to the poor competitor behind her, faceplanting into the ground. Adding to the hilarity is that the hurdles show us where the race was taking place. Wichita Falls.

2. My sister is about to have a really bad day

“Halloween 1989. My sister is about to have a really bad day.” A Reddit user named Bryan chose that title for this alarming family picture posted to Reddit in 2014. It certainly looks like the little girl is falling headfirst off the swing, although in the replies, someone has made the argument that she’s actually flipping while holding on to two black handles. If you can actually see these handles, though, you’ve got better eyesight than us.

1. FrankenShake Envy

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Everyone has experienced “order envy.” It’s that feeling of jealousy you get in a restaurant when you steal a glance at a nearby table’s meal and realize that, yes, they ordered much, much better than you. This little boy is definitely suffering from order envy as he stares, transfixed and astounded, at the preposterously stacked FrankenShake. Poor kid.

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