Let’s all be honest with ourselves for a moment. Most prom photos are going to be somewhat awkward. And that’s because most high school students are going to be awkward. Getting your hair done and dressing your very best isn’t going to change the fact that you look like you’re still waging a losing battle against puberty.

We’re not here today to look at some garden-variety awkward prom photos. These prom photos are so exceptionally awkward, they tower above their awkward peers like an oak tree that really does not like being the center of attention, even for a like a minute. We’re talking regrettable hair choices. Unfortunate poses. 80’s-tastic outfits. And above all, a sense that everyone would rather be somewhere else.

Together, we can relive our high school awkwardness–and be glad knowing it could have been so much more awkward.

1. Caution: Sharp Objects

Photo Credit: Guff

With enough hairspray, their hair qualifies as a weapon.

2. A Rare Sighting

Photo Credit: Vintage Everyday

Behold, the fabled Dadsquatch. Is he real, or is he a myth? And how can we get him to put on a shirt?

3. The Chameleon

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This young lady is demonstrating a useful prom survival strategy: blending in with your background to confuse predators. If a young male sees through her ruse and asks for a dance, she will emit an ink cloud in his face.

4. Lady And The Skunk

Photo Credit: Vintage Everyday

Maybe he’s just a really big fan of Pepe Le Pew.

5. The Cranky Photographer

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Pro tip: If your photographer says, “Don’t worry, I’ll totally crop that out,” and THEN mutters, “You little shits,” ask for a retake.

6. Sonic Boom

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He had to leave prom early so he could make it to his big fight on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

That’s a Street Fighter reference, to those you who have a life.

Photo Credit: Wikia

7. Cat Scratch Fever

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In a clever twist on a hallowed prom tradition, this gentleman got herpes BEFORE the dance.

8. A Classic Love Story

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I love it when an unemployed Ska musician falls in love with a half woman/half piñata. It’s a tale as old as time.

9. Far Out

Photo Credit: Guff

That year’s prom theme? LSD.

10. Victoria’s Secret

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Whereas this year’s prom theme was, “Let’s see if we can double the teen pregnancy rate all by ourselves.”

11. Wise Beyond His Years

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This has to be a Doogie Howeser situation, right? That boy is no more than 12 years old. He’s probably a genius.

12. Young At Heart

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Meanwhile, the gentleman on the left holds the distinction of flunking geometry 16 years in a row.

13. Herd Mentality

Photo Credit: Guff

The nice thing about taking a group prom photo? No one can tell you came alone.

14. Spare No Expense

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The school couldn’t afford to have prom in New York City, so they did the next best thing.

15. The Backup

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In case something happens to your prom date, it’s always good to have an understudy.


h/t: Vintage Everyday