Having the perfect family portrait is every mom’s dream, but actually getting that shot? Well, that can just as easily turn into her worst nightmare. Getting kids to not only sit still but to pose with one another and smile like they mean it just seems to be too much to ask of them all at once.
Snapping a perfectly timed shot becomes even more difficult if you’ve got more than one kid thrown into the mix. The chances of two or more kids being in a cooperative mood are probably close to about one in a million. If they know their parent’s hearts are set on that perfect portrait, the odds of making it happen seem to slim up even further.
Sibling rivalry is the stuff that legendary family portraits are made of, though. Some of the best pictures out there are of siblings battling it out, pulling an epic prank, or just being plain old creepy. Granted, if it weren’t for mom and dad always trying to snap the perfect pic, a lot of comedic gold would be lost to the world.
Fortunately, it doesn’t seem like parents are going to give up on that unicorn family photo anytime soon, and in the meantime we get to enjoy all the ones that couldn’t make the cut. Prepare yourself to see these siblings at their finest in this list of 30 family portraits that went horribly awry.
1. Sorry, sis! Ya snooze ya lose!
The story goes that these two siblings were out for a simple canoe ride. Neither of them had any fishing gear on them when they saw a colossal-sized grass carp hanging out in the shallows. The main difference between the brother and sister? He didn’t care about the proper way to catch a fish and just went for it!
2. Are those perma-mullets?!
Oh how you have to love the 80s! These poor sisters had a grandma with a wicked sense of humor. Apparently, forcing a mullet haircut onto her granddaughters just wasn’t enough torture. To make it right, she actually permed their mullets! At least she gave them something to laugh at later in life.
3. That is one nice-looking onion ring…
Kids hate to be outshined by their siblings, it’s just a simple fact of life. When their sibling is getting more attention than them, some kids respond with temper tantrums. Others, though, always find a reason to shine.
Like this girl, for instance. When her brother was having a photo-op with his trophy after a hockey game, she knew that even though he had a trophy, she had one hell of an onion ring!
4. Heavier than she thought
Little girls always want a baby sister until they find out what it’s like to actually have one. This little girl had been playing with dolls her whole life and couldn’t wait to meet her baby sister. When she got to hold her for the first time, though, reality quickly began to sink in.
5. “This is a photo of me with my sisters”
This picture gives a whole new meaning to being the black sheep in the family. It just goes to show that even though siblings share the same blood, it doesn’t mean they share the same interests. We’re pretty sure that this sunny family beach portrait isn’t exactly the one that her mother was hoping for but hey, at least she showed up!
6. When you want them to know they should be scared from the very beginning
One of the very best parts about having a younger sibling is how much you get to torture them fresh out of the womb. Apparently, this little girl is getting as early a start as possible. She’s only 2 1/2 in this photo and she refuses to hold her newborn baby brother in any other way. We’re betting he’ll be a tough one to spook once he’s older.
7. The hills are alive
According to the original poster on Reddit, this boy and his sisters were deeply entrenched in their “Sound of Music phase” at the time this photo was taken. When you don’t have the appropriate costume, you just have to get creative. The poster says, “Yes those are our underpants.”
We can definitely see why their parents snapped the photo; they’ll always have dirt on their kids.
8. The odd man out
There is so much going on in this photo that we don’t even know where to begin. Matching white turtle-neck sweaters? Really? At least all three kids are smiling in this photo, but the middle one does look a little frozen. Moral of the story; don’t be the guy that sits right in between the angry dogs.
9. “I never truly understood what it’s like to grow up with siblings until I found this gem of a photo in my wife’s family album…”
It’s really hard to explain what it’s like to have brothers and sisters growing up to an only child. Fortunately, most parents are camera happy and there’s a ton of pictures out there that capture the epitome of what it means to grow up with siblings. For one, everything is always a battle, but playtime is a lot more fun!
10. “Some things never change.”
Speaking of the epitome of having siblings, one of the perks of being the big sister is that endless power you have over your younger siblings. This birthday picture displays it perfectly. Think you’re gonna blow out my birthday candle? Ya better think again!
11. “I REALLY didn’t want to hold them”
Though older siblings may have power over their minion little brothers and sisters, they don’t have any power over their parents. There are days when you won’t want to be an older brother or sister, and it’s those days that your parents love to force every bit of it on you. Just rest assured you’re not alone, parents always get the last laugh.
12. “cute picture of me and my cousin, and my psycho brother in the background.”
One thing that any brother or sister learns growing up is that you always, always, need to watch your back. Just when you think that you’re having a gay old time, that’s when your siblings have you right where they want you. The good part about those silly little psychotic moments our siblings have is that they always make for family photo album gold!
13. “This was the best photo they could get for my first Christmas….”
To be fair, whose fault is that really? It can be very hard to get a baby to sit still for a photoshoot, and even harder to get that snap-second shot where they are actually smiling. Who knows? Maybe they did have a more “traditional” photo but opted for this one instead to get revenge. Just saying, stranger things have happened.
14. “My sister is behind me and about to have a really bad day.”
Halloween is a fun time for every kid that gets to dress up and go play trick or treat…until it’s not. All we know is that this photo is a once-in-a-lifetime shot. Hopefully, the little girl wasn’t too hurt but then again, maybe his sister was supposed to be Humpty Dumpty that year.
15. Family road trip, pre-smartphones
Nowadays if you’re stuck with your parents and sibling in the car for 10+ hours it’s not so bad, as long as you have a full battery and a strong WiFi signal.
Believe it or not, though, there was a time before smartphones when people had to actually talk to each other, and no, it wasn’t always pleasant. That’s why just about every family road trip photo album has at least one picture of miserable looking teens against a gorgeous backdrop. It’s just what you did back then.
16. “My brother and I peaked in ’97”
Having a younger sibling doesn’t always have to end in rivalry. A lot of siblings make the best partners in crime, even way into adulthood. When you’re dressed as badass cowboys before you’re even in the double-digits with a burly bag of loot on your lap and your kid pistol in hand though, well then yeah, we can see how it would be hard to go up from there.
17. “Don’t look back.”
The 80s were a very imaginative time. Everyone back then only had eyes for what the future held. Virtual reality, jet packs, and hoverboards were all going to be the rage in the not-far-off future (so they thought), and everyone dressed like it, too.
There would be a lot less laughter in the world if it weren’t for the bold colors, geometric shapes, and cheesy fashion that dominated the times.
18. “my mom made my brother and I outfits from the drapes that came with our beautiful couch.”
when your mom makes you an outfit, you had better wear it dammit! Bless these brothers’ hearts for humoring their sweet mama and dressing up like the furniture. Their street cred may be gone for good, but their suburban camo and the sound of their mother’s laughter will last for decades to come.
19. When you face swap and nothing changes
Face-swapping has become a popular pastime with all sorts of people, and why not? Seeing what you look like with someone else’s face can be hilarious. Though, nothing is quite as funny as when you face-swap with your sister just to find out that you both still look exactly the same!
20. When you do as the photographer asks
From the looks of this photograph we think it’s pretty much safe to say that you can’t always trust the photographer. He kept telling the brothers to look to their right. Clearly, he didn’t know how to communicate very well because they couldn’t quite understand why he kept on telling them to look right. To be fair, they did do exactly as they were asked.
21. “the time I realized we were keeping her and I was no longer an only child.”
Everyone wants a kid sister or brother when they’re growing up until they actually get one and realize that easy street is over for them. No more getting all the attention and having plenty of free time to play with your toys. Now you’ve got responsibilities and you have to put your own wants aside to make room for your baby sister, and that is precisely when the rest of your family photos end up looking like this one.
22. “Dad got mad when we weren’t cooperating for our family Xmas photo”
A parent can try and try and try to get their kids to cooperate for a family picture, but at some point, they just have to accept defeat. Unless, of course, you’re the dad who takes pictures like these. If you can’t get them to smile it’s all good. You can just laugh at them later when you turn their ugly-crying faces into the family Christmas card.
23. “Sibling Xmas photo circa 1980. I’m the one grabbing my crotch. This is the picture my parents chose to display.”
Can you blame them? Hey, if they are going to go to all the trouble to make sure their kids look nice and festive for a holiday portrait, and this is how you choose to pose, well, that’s on you. Really, the kid should be proud of this moment. He might have been a bit embarrassed, but he ended up giving everyone who sees it the endless gift of laughter.
24. “My brothers and I back in the sweet 90s”
They really were sweet times, weren’t they? Parents could get away with dressing their kids up like the bad-boy version of the Hansen brothers and not feel even an ounce of guilt. We especially love how the brothers in front are dropping their glasses and leveling a serious gaze at the camera. Wouldn’t ever wanna mess with these tweenies looking so hardcore.
25. “Me and my sisters with balloon hats. I think my sister in the middle got the best one.”
From the looks on his sister’s face, she seems to think so too! We aren’t sure if the parents actually failed to catch onto what their son has, or if they knew exactly what they were doing and just went for it. Based on the very sardonic sense of humor most of the parents of these kids seem to have, we’re betting the balloon hat is precisely why they pulled out the camera.
26. “Embracing the weird!”
If you and all of your sibling had headgear growing up, we’re sorry. That totally sucks. If your parents made you all get together and pose for a professional photoshoot to have permanent proof of the fact you were all in headgear at the same time; we’re still sorry because that is totally freaking hilarious!
27. “by far my favorite pic of my twin brother and I”
If you’re partners in crime then chances are you’ll be partners doing time, too. It looks as though these twin brothers were a handful for their parents in the early years. It also looks like their parents came prepared for it. This might be considered borderline child abuse today, but back then it was called ingenious parenting skills.
28. “Our worst portrait sitting ever!”
The look on this poor older brother’s John Belushi-looking face says it all. It’s that classic “kill me now” sort of look that indicates he has had his fill of his little brother’s crazy antics. From the looks on his little brother’s face, though, he’s having the time of his life and he’s only just getting started.
29. “Embarassing childhood photo. I’m the unfortunate soul on the right.”
When a mom has an awesome sense of humor, a lot of times she’s going to make herself laugh at her kids’ expense. When these two sisters posed for this photo they probably thought they looked adorable as ever, and they do. They just had no idea that the purpose of the photo was to make them the butt of mom’s joke. Who needs tomaters when you’ve got dicktaters?
30. “I was the only girl on the wrestling team. My brother was on it as well and to save money, we decided to take our picture together. I now regret that decision.”
While we understand where this girl is coming from, she should really learn to count her blessings. This photo easily could have been taken the other way around, with her kneeling on the floor in the front. We are guessing that no one regrets this photo nearly as much as her poor brother.
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That completes our list for 30 of the funniest family portraits taken of siblings. Hopefully, these pictures have made you feel a little bit better about the years of humiliation locked up on your own family photo album. If they didn’t, we seriously hope you’ll consider posting your worst family photos to the internet and give the rest of us a good chuckle, too!