Photographs capture a moment in time, preserving it forever just as it was when it happened. This can be wonderful, as it allows you to take pictures of loved ones or events that you want to remember. But sometimes, photos can capture something embarrassing or unexpected, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
We’re not talking about funny faces or unflattering poses (although those happen too) – we’re talking about those crazy things that you accidentally capture in the background of your selfie or vacation picture. It’s not always obvious right away, but once you see that there’s a hilarious photobomb or unexpected sight captured in the back of the photo, you’ll never see it the same way again.
We live in a time where it is so easy to take pictures wherever you are – you just need to pull out your phone and push a button. And so many people take selfies these days in all sorts of places – not just in front of a nice view but also in places like their car, the bar bathroom, and their kitchen. This makes it easier than ever for things to go hilariously wrong in the background of a photo.
From photobombs to unfortunate reflections to animals acting up, we think these crazy backgrounds make the photographs so much better. Here are some of our favorite photos where the background steals the scene.
Caught in the act
Have you ever noticed how people on the subway tend to mind their own business, trying to avoid making eye-contact with strangers? These girls are certainly doing that, taking a selfie in their own world, enjoying a night out on the town. They’re looking their best, dressed in black with their makeup and hair done, and they’re feeling good. But what they failed to notice (maybe because those sunglasses make it hard to see) was that the woman behind them definitely wasn’t feeling quite as great as them. Maybe she drank too much or maybe the motion of the subway didn’t mix well with her dinner, but either way, her unfortunate end to the evening was caught on camera.
We’ve all been photobombed at least once in our lives, when we think we’re taking an Instagram worthy selfie but suddenly notice an unexpected presence in the background. Usually, it’s just our little brother or annoying friend, but these girls were photobombed by something much more sinister. They were just trying to take a cute selfie together when they abruptly realized there was a third figure in the picture – and not a welcome one. A giant spider perfectly positioned itself to steal the show, to the horror of the girls. We understand the look of fright on the face of the girl on the left – it’s never nice to find a spider in your bed, and this one is huge!
Outdoor concerts can be a lot of fun in the summer – you get to sit outside and enjoy your favorite songs. But you never know who you’ll run into at such events, since apparently anyone can show up, even the Dark Lord. The girls in this picture were taking a selfie when they noticed something strange behind them: Lord Voldemort himself was sitting on the grass. We don’t know what band was playing that day, but we do wonder what kind of taste You-Know-Who has in music.
The first thing we noticed when we looked at this picture was the unbelievable mess all over the floor of the room. Then we shifted our gaze and realized that there is actually a girl taking a selfie in the foreground of the photo. She is dressed up and posing, clearly trying for the perfect shot, almost as if she doesn’t notice what’s going on in the room behind her. We truly don’t know how a room can get this messy but it looks like it’s time to clean up.
Check the stall
Ah, the bathroom selfie, a classic way to demonstrate that you’re out having a good time and looking your best. There are often good mirrors and lighting in the restroom, and you can get the shot right after you finish touching up your makeup. But sometimes, mirrors can reflect more than expected – first we noticed a leg sticking out from under the door of the stall, and then we realized that there’s a woman lying on the floor! We laughed, but hope she’s okay.
Mothers and daughters frequently have different ideas about what is acceptable. This girl, for example, thought it would be a good idea to take a selfie in a dressing room, in a very tight and short dress (or is it a shirt?). Her mother, however, didn’t approve. There’s mom, captured in the selfie, poking her head through the door and making a very disapproving face. Watch out girl, she looks like she might be angry enough to ground you!
Driving her crazy
Some people simply can’t resist the temptation to ruin other people’s selfies. Take this guy, for instance. He saw a young girl taking a selfie in the car, holding up a peace sign and making a pretty standard selfie face. So he jumped right in, ruining (or possibly improving?) the picture, making a very different sign with his hand. We understand, sometimes you see an opportunity and you simply have to take it, but it’s not nice to ruin other people’s photos. At least she can always take another one.
It’s known that girls often go to the bathroom together when they’re out at a restaurant or bar. And usually, they have a sort of unspoken code, a way that they look out for each other, perhaps standing guard by the door, while their friend is doing their business. This girl disregarded that completely, not only taking a selfie in the mirror while her friend was still on the pot, but also invading her privacy completely. It’s funny, but yikes, we wouldn’t want to be caught in this situation!
Sometimes people intentionally photobomb other people’s pictures, and sometimes it happens completely by accident. This photo appears to be the latter. A girl at some sort of event posed for a picture with her drink and a very tall and sinister looking tree person. The branches, however, very clearly framed another woman’s torso in the background, cutting off her head and legs but leaving a very clear view of her midsection. It makes for a very weird yet hilarious picture.
Baby selfies are always adorable and funny, even without crazy backgrounds. This dad wanted a photo with his little kid, who is making just the cutest face ever, and he probably didn’t look behind him before capturing the shot. His dog just happened to be doing its business in the backyard right behind them. And so, thanks to very good timing, he ended up with this wonderful picture where it looks like a dog is marking its territory right on top of the baby’s head.
Photographs have the ability to freeze a moment in time forever, and that’s exactly what happened here. The girl in the middle is posing for a photo, unaware of the shenanigans going on around her. And somehow, someone’s cup went flying just as the photographer captured the scene. The guys all realize what is about to happen, and their looks of horror are plastered on their faces for eternity. The girl however, hasn’t caught on to what’s about to happen, so she’s just smiling happily.
It’s a zoo out here
Kangaroos are arguably one of the coolest animals on the planet, so we understand why Paris Hilton wanted to get a photo with one. However, even if these kangaroos are usually around people, they’re still wild animals and do not filter their behavior when someone pulls out a camera. That explains the two kangaroos engaged in some personal behavior in the background, unintentionally stealing the show from Paris. It’s okay, Paris has plenty of opportunities to shine.
It was supposed to be the ultimate romantic couple photograph, but it turned into something else entirely. The happy couple seems to be having the time of their lives, riding horses into the beautiful blue water and posing for a photo mid-smooch to preserve the moment forever. But they look like they have forgotten about their guide, who is holding the horses still at the expense of his own safety and comfort. Someone get that guy a life preserver!
Let me out!
If you’re a parent, your child is usually the center of attention, but there comes a time when you just want to take a selfie by yourself. This mother went outside to try to get the most flattering shot of herself, but her child was having none of that. The little kid stood up against the door demanding mom’s attention, but somehow the reflections created a dark figure behind the child. The longer we stare at it, the less we understand what it is. Spooky!
This beach really does look like the perfect setting for family vacation, with its perfect blue water and white sand. There are no waves which makes it safe for the little kids to play, too. Three generations came together to memorialize this perfect, relaxing day off, posing for a group photo. But somehow, despite the still water, the surfer in the background suddenly went head-over-heels right as picture was taken. It may not be the photo they had in mind but it makes for a funny vacation relic.
What are you looking at?
Who doesn’t occasionally take a selfie while trying on funny glasses? On first glance, this looks just like a regular harmless picture of a girl doing just that, but when you examine the picture more closely, you notice something else going on here – there’s a man standing behind her! You can see the back of his head clearly in the mirror, and it looks like he’s checking her out without her knowledge. She probably wasn’t so thrilled to see that reflection when she looked at her selfie later.
We see what’s going on here. This girl was trying to feign a scene in which she fell asleep eating potato chips, but was caught in the act. However, she failed to notice a giant mirror behind her, perhaps because her eyes were closed as she snapped the selfie, so she was caught in an entirely different embarrassing situation. The question still remains as to why she was trying to stage this scene in the first place.
One of these things is not like the others
When a bunch of women wearing matching white bikinis gather on the beach, there must be some sort of photo shoot going on. One man, however, was going for a walk by the water and accidentally stumbled across this scene, ending up in the background of what would have otherwise been a stunning photo. Strangely enough, he doesn’t really seem to care or think that anything out of the ordinary is going on, and isn’t even looking their way.
There’s something outside
Somehow, this dog knew exactly the right moment to jump up on the window and strike a pose, just as its owner had achieved the perfect selfie posture. While the girl is clearly trying to look steamy in her selfie, the dog looks just like a possessed creature trying to get into the house – the flash even makes its eyes look green! It almost looks like the dog is mocking the girl’s selfie pose, but that doesn’t really seem possible, does it?
I’m over here
Ah, a young couple in love. There’s nothing quite like falling in love for the first time, and when you do, you want to flaunt it. Perhaps that’s why this couple requested a photograph of them kissing on a bench one quiet night. However, they failed to notice that they weren’t alone in the park, and their PDA didn’t go unnoticed. There was a guy sitting nearby who just couldn’t resist the urge to make a silly face, arguably ruining the photograph, but also making it oh so much funnier.
Rush hour, am I right?
When you take a selfie, you can usually post it with whatever caption you want and assume that people will believe you. After all, why would you lie? That’s a good question. This girl posted a picture of herself in the car with the words “This traffic ugh” underneath. Unfortunately for her, her sunglass show a perfect reflection of the road ahead of her – and it’s completely empty! Not only is there no traffic but she’s taking a selfie while driving, and that’s dangerous.
Trips to the supermarket are usually fairly uneventful and mundane. That, however, does not seem to be the case in this picture. The girl looks inexplicably excited to be photographed in the supermarket, but even more surprising is what’s going on behind her: There is a child inside of the refrigerator! While we have no idea how he got in there, the excitement on this girl’s face is suspicious and we wonder if she had something to do with it.
It turns out that the enigmatic Waldo is not so difficult to find after all. After we spent hours looking for him as children, combing the pages of books and pictures trying to get a glimpse of the red and white scarf, these two friends found him accidentally, in the background of their photo. They were just trying to get a memento of their tasty meal together but instead accidentally uncovered the true location of the infamous cartoon character. Nice work, guys.
If you are a father, and you walk in on your daughter making this silly selfie pose, what do you do? There are some dads who will simply ignore it and continue on with their business, some dads who might try to engage their little girl in conversation, and then there’s this dad, who took the opportunity to make his own ridiculous face in the background of his daughter’s photo. No matter that he wasn’t even wearing a shirt, he struck a pose, and made this picture pure selfie gold.
This way up
The person who took this picture accidentally captured something very strange and unexpected on camera. At first glance, it just looks like a nice picture of a man at a fast food restaurant, but if you look a little more closely you can see something concerning going on over his shoulder. There’s a person holding a child upside down over his head! We don’t know what’s going on there but we hope the kid is just enjoying the ride.
Two friends were photographed playing an innocent game of beer pong, but when they looked back at the photo later, they discovered something that they never expected hidden in the shadows. Somehow, the shape of their bodies and the angle of the sun at the moment that the picture was taken created a shadow that made it look like they were doing something completely different than playing beer pong. It just goes to show that even photographs can be deceiving.
As we have already seen, taking pictures near mirrors can be challenging, because the mirror reflects back what is really going on behind the camera. In this case, the picture in the mirror reveals the photographer, who might not be the person you would expect. This bulked up guy wanted a picture showing off his muscles, and he seems to have asked his mom to take it. Not your usual choice but we think it’s pretty sweet.
On a boat
When this family leaned together for a picture during a boat ride, they didn’t even stop to think about the man sitting behind them, because why would they. Only later, when they saw the picture, did they realize what had happened. Due to the angle of the seats and their bodies, the man’s legs blend into the woman’s shirt, making it look like he is actually a tiny man, sitting on top of her. With his hand on his hip and his face to the sky, the illusion is complete.
Hang in there
These kids look like they’re having a pretty good day, all dressed up for Halloween and playing outside on the swings. However, it can be tough for just one teacher to pay attention to all of the kids, even under the best circumstances. While the teacher pushes one kid on the swing, the little girl next to him seems to have forgotten which way is up, and the priceless and adorable yet slightly scary moment was captured on film.
Ice cream, you scream
There’s nothing like a nice cold ice cream cone on a hot day. That seems to be the message that this girl is trying to send with this ice cream selfie, and the dog in the back seat seems to agree. It is making a very funny face that is the epitome of jealousy – it wants some too, and to be honest, we understand that feeling completely. What would have been a pretty vanilla selfie turned into a hilarious dog photobomb.