Maybe it is an awkwardly posed holiday picture where it is obvious nobody wants to be there, or maybe one of those candid shots where someone's true feelings are caught as they fleetingly cross their face. Whatever the image or the moment, there probably isn’t a single family album anywhere, either digital or hard copy, that doesn’t have at least one or two cringey photos in it.
Everyone has a different idea of what is an appropriate way for families to interact. Some are free and easy with their affections, while others are more conservative in the way they express affection to their loved ones.
Setting aside all of the debates about what is and what is not ‘proper’ there are some photographs that the majority of people would at the very least, find cringey. Sometimes it is just the photograph itself that is enough to make you say eww gross, and other times it is the story that goes with the photo that makes it so cringey.
So sit back and get ready to feel really uncomfortable as we walk you through some of the cringiest celebrity family photos ever to grace your screen. Some will make you squirm, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
15 The Houston Brother-Husband Situation
This is a controversial choice, with which to begin. Is this just a photograph of a young couple in love or is it an image that shows an inappropriate relationship between siblings?
Nick Gordon was twelve years old when Whitney Houston brought him into her home and raised him, alongside Bobbi Kristina, as her own. The young boy had been abandoned by his birth mother and Gordon said Houston "treated me like she gave birth to me," and that he called her mom.
During an interview with Gordon and Houston Nick said,
“We were young. Krissy looked at me as an older brother, and I looked at her as a little sister.”
While there is nothing illegal about their relationship, they are in no way biologically or legally related as Houston never formally adopted Gordon; there is still a feeling among many that two children raised as siblings getting together are more than a little cringey.
14 Justin Bieber And Dad Before Fame
This image falls distinctly into the “we’re going to drag this photo out every Christmas to embarrass you” category of cringey family pictures. Of course, Justin Bieber has an entire lifetimes worth of possibility embarrassing photos now, but this “before he was famous” shot is a cringey gem.
Who among us would like this one pulled out of the family album if we were starring in it? I am not sure whether it is the topless and low slung shorts element, the way they are both so obviously posing or the cliched cowboy hats. Whatever it doesn’t really matter, we just know that this one is difficult to look at for too long and is a prime example of how not to pose with your kids.
13 Ozzy And Kelly Osbourne Face Plant
This one is uncomfortable for two reasons. First, it is always sad to see someone who was once a worldwide music sensation still trying to be who he was 30 years ago. Second, there is the glaringly obvious cringe factor of a father puckering up and kissing his daughter smack bang on the lips.
Of course, some people say that this is an entirely acceptable practice
and that just because you kiss someone on the lips, it doesn’t mean there is anything inappropriately intimate about it. However, personally, I find it more than a little bit cringey to see a parent and their adult child bumping mouths. Even a parent kissing their younger children on the lips seems a little cringey to me, but it is not as bad as when they are all grown up.
12 Really O'Neal? At Your Wife's Funeral?
Another father-daughter kiss that raised eyebrows was this one between Ryan O’Neal and his daughter Tatum O’Neal. Not only is there that element of “how old is too old to kiss your child on the mouth?” but there is a backstory guaranteed to gross you out.
You see, when Ryan O’Neal married Farrah Fawcett, his daughter was 16, and he started to see less and less of her until they had not been in contact for several years. At Fawcett's funeral, the actor was so grief-stricken that as her casket was loaded into the hearse, he started hitting on a beautiful blonde woman who came to hug him. That woman was, yep you guessed it, his own daughter, who he hadn’t recognized.
Ever since they have had what they’ve termed a “love, hate relationship.” This photo must have been taken on a love upswing.
11 Khloe And Rob's Intimate Moments
Khloe and Rob are either unnaturally close, extremely thoughtless when they post things on social media or, and this is most likely, experts at trolling the media to gain exposure.
The cringe factor for this pic comes in when you find out this is not the only intimate strokey hair moment they have had on camera.
In one episode of Keeping up with the Kardashian, Rob went to visit Khloe and discovered her in bed with menstrual cramps.
His sister invited him to join her in bed, and they spooned while he stroked her face.
Out of nowhere Khloe asks, "Do you remember when you [did] the girl who won the Kim Kardashian look-alike contest?” When Rob avoided answering she asked him, "Why didn't you ever sleep with someone who won a Khloe Kardashian look-alike contest?"
That is way up there with the time Rob posted a picture of Khloe's butt in tight yoga pants and called her his woman crush.
10 Vroom Vroom Kardashians
The Kardashians could, of course, provide the material for an article entitled “1001 cringey and awkward family photos.” This is especially true when it comes to the famed Kardashian Christmas card series.
Once “Keeping up with the Kardashians” began to air the family upped the ante quite a bit with spectacular Hollywood production style photos but it was not just fame that induced them to create this gems.
Way before they were famous the Kardashians were dressing the same and posing in a studio to share their particular kind of Christmas wishes with the world. This Jenner and Kardashian spectacular was put together in the mid-nineties and appears to star a motorbike. The supporting cast of the parent and kids are perfectly coordinated in matching black leather jackets and dark jeans that had apparently never seen the light of day before they were bought out for the camera. Be glad this isn’t what your family made you do this year.
9 The Duggar Family's Unhappiness
The plastic smiles and downcast eyes on the faces of many of the Duggar children in this shot scream
“I don’t want to be here.”
Even the ones who are looking at the camera seem to be unsure about the whole thing.
Of course, there is the knowledge now that Josh, standing at the back and looking off to the side, had abused some of his sisters, who are here in the photograph with him. The church to which the Duggars are attached released a worksheet to be used with victims of abuse. As part of this worksheet, the victims are asked if they had done anything to induce the abuse and that having their body violated shouldn’t be an issue for them if they “devote their body to God.” This raises the discomfort level of this image significantly.
8 Take That Camera Away Woody
You know that photo that great aunt Betty took of you and your parents when you were arriving at her house, and mom and dad had a blazing argument in the car on the way over and weren’t speaking? It caught that cringey moment where mom tries to smile, the kiddo tries not to look glum and dad trails along behind, looking at the camera as if to say “clear off” or something similar.
The thing about this version of that classic family cringe moment is that the dad in this image is Woody Allen, mom is Mia Farrow, and kiddo is Mia’s adopted daughter In 1978 Farrow and her then partner, André Previn adopted Soon-Yi Previn, from the slums of Seoul.
Farrow and Allen became a couple in 1980 and raised their biological and adopted children alongside Mia’s kids from her previous relationship.
The couple maintained separate homes in New York and one day in January 1992; Farrow found nude photographs of Soon-Yi in Allen's home. Allen admitted he had taken the pictures the day before, about two weeks after the pair had first been intimate. Unsurprisingly Farrow ended their relationship, but rather uncomfortably Soon-Yi married stepdad Allen.
7 On Being The Third Royal Wheel
Nobody likes to play gooseberry but what can you do when you and the bother you spend lots of time with have tickets to a game, and he brings along his girlfriend?
This cringey moment says everything there is to say about being the third wheel
and my toes curl up in discomfort for Harry as he sits there looking so bored while William and Kate laugh and chat away with everyone else surrounding them. You can tell he had done this before by the way he came equipped with music to fill the deafening silence whenever he tried to talk to his big brother.
This was, of course, before the most eligible bachelor in Britain was snapped up by Meghan Markle and became one half of a loved-up couple himself.
6 Obama Girls 'Don't Want To Be Here'
The majority of teenagers are more than happy to avoid their parents like the plague in public. Nobody wants their friends to see how hip and trendy dad thinks he is let alone be dragged along to his place of work to stand beside him and try and look interested.
The Obama girls have that exact face. They quite clearly did not want to stop what they were doing, get dressed ‘properly’ and go to work with dad for the annual turkey pardon. Like every other teen their age, both girls would have rather spent the afternoon in their room or out with friends.
This just goes to show that being the leader of the free world does not exempt you from appearing in cringy family pictures with your uninterested teens.
5 Trumps Lost In Music?
Another icky father and daughter moment, this time a blast from the past, many years before a certain somebody rose to the pinnacle of the political world stage.
There is nothing wrong with a daughter sitting on her father's lap. Even when the daughter is that bit older, as she is in this image, it is not inherently uncomfortable, in fact, it is quite lovely if parents remain affectionate and cuddly with their grown kids, up to a point.
I think the thing about this photo that makes people uncomfortable is that
the daughter is wearing short shorts and a little spaghetti strapped top and appears to be almost writhing around on pops lap.
Even the old guy in the magnificently patterned jacket appears to be thinking the same thing.
4 Are You Hinting At Something, Serge Gainsbourg?
Do you sometimes wonder what it is that runs through someone's head before they do something? Like why Serge Gainsbourg would write an inappropriate song to perform with his 12-year-old daughter Charlotte. Just in case you were in any doubt the song is not a just a smart or edgy title, it is actually about a father and daughter's inappropriate relationship.
Just to clear things up, two years after this song daddy Gainsbourg wrote a movie called “Charlotte For Ever” in which he and his daughter starred in the story of a father who forms an inappropriate relationship with his daughter when his wife dies.
With that kind of background, this intimate looking kiss, that is also grossing out the guy in the background, only seems a little cringey.
3 Hogans Getting Oily, Greasy, And Cringey
It is entirely reasonable for a parent to rub sun protection onto their child's skin. It doesn’t matter if it is mom or dad, son or daughter, but there are limits.
Take, for instance, this moment with Hulk Hogan and his daughter Brooke.
I know it shouldn’t really matter where his hand is but I can’t help but feel a bit grossed out by the way she is laying with her legs apart while her dad oils up her inner thigh. Is it absolutely necessary that a father should do this for his daughter and it’s not just a father-daughter thing either? I would find it just as inappropriate if it were her mother doing it or Hogan oiling up his son. Lets just all agree that parents shouldn’t be oiling up their adult children's inner thighs and that’s that.
2 TMI Steven Tyler
Steve Tyler is a rock legend, but Liv Tyler didn’t always know he was her father. Liv was raised by Todd Rudgren, her mother's partner at the time of her birth. "Todd was such an amazing [man]," says Liv, "It's funny because people only ever talk about Steven and they always tell all these stories but [Todd has] been such a beautiful, wonderful influence in my life and I still consider him my father."
Lucky for Liv because daddy Steven once said, “How can a father not be attracted to his daughter, especially when she’s a cross between the girl he married and himself? Unless he’s an ugly man, a father is always gonna be [...] attracted to his daughter on a certain level.”
Which is why this family snap is so very cringy.
1 Bizarre Harper's Photo Shoot With Stephanie Seymour And Sons
In the interest of equality, we would like to show that moms can also star at the center of cringey family photos. This shoot for the famed Harpers Bizzare magazine had plenty of images showing Stephanie and her sons Peter Brant Jr. and Harry goofing around, apparently having fun together. However, there were also a number of other photos like this one with mom and sons in poses that most of us would consider less appropriate for a family picture.
Can you imagine flicking through the family album and looking at photos of you and your mom like this?
This is the second time the mother and sons have raised eyebrows with their public display of closeness. When Gawker published photos of them on the beach being pretty touchy-feely, Brant Jr. told everyone, via his Facebook page, that it was OK, he's way gay, so there was obviously nothing going on. Um, OK then, that’s far less cringey now.