When people strike a special pose, they rarely check their background. How often can a nearly-perfect shot be botched when the background action ruins the beautiful picture. And the background often even gets significantly more attention than desired.
But there is no reason to be angry about that. Some pictures became so funny and unique in this way that they were included in our list and thus achieved fame. No matter whether people, animals or even celebrities. There are some crackerjack ones included here. Have fun with our 21 best photographs in which the background took on the actual leading role:
1. The man in the mirror
When it’s time to take a photo before the prom, the photographer literally has only one job: to take a photo that is beautiful enough for the family album. There is no need for fancy editing or posing, it’s just a photo.
But obviously this boy’s father was not all there and failed to do one of the simplest tasks of his life. In the photo of his son, he immortalized himself. Unfortunately, the mirror was at exactly the same angle as the father, so he will always be reminded that he was only wearing underwear when he photographed his son for the prom.
2. Grandma is the best
Another photo where the photographer had only one job: take the picture and not be present in it by herself. This guy thought it was time to take stock of his muscles after putting a lot of time and work into his body.
Apparently, he asked his grandma to take the photo, and she forgot that she shouldn’t be in the background. At least she looks quite proud while she presses the shutter.
3. Off to prom
Another prom photo that went completely wrong, but this time at least the father was having a laugh. We all know those fathers who always try to be funny and make jokes. This father has outdone them all.
When his daughter quickly posed for a photo before her date arrived for the important night, the father made sure he was immortalized in the photo too. What his intention was – putting himself, shirtless, in the background – we don’t know either. To make it even better, he didn’t tell her until she came back from prom and looked at the photos.
4. Mr Mustache
It’s impossible to look at this photo without our attention immediately turning to the guy in the background. It may look like a very important meeting in Congress or a court hearing, but then the gentleman with the moustache would be completely out of place.
We do not know what kind of meeting this really was. In any case, the gentleman with the moustache has remained in our memory. This photo proves that the interesting things often happen in the background.
5. Off balance
Golf is supposedly one of those quiet sports that successful people use to unwind from life’s various challenges. But according to this picture, anything but relaxation is the order of the day on the golf course, because something has gone wrong in the golf cart in the background. Apparently the guys in the cart had a bit too much to drink and are now making the course unsafe.
When this guy asked his golf partner to take a photo of his serve, he also caught the mess in the background.
6. A day at the zoo
While posing for her parents at the zoo, this little girl had no idea what was happening in the background. It’s not sure if the person who took the photo actually saw what was going on in the background. But we wouldn’t be surprised if it was done on purpose to capture this funny moment.
One day, when she is grown up, she will have a wonderful photo to remind her of the great day she spent at the zoo with her parents – and a great laugh, too.
7. Head over heels
Taking a family portrait is not exactly easy, especially if it is a family with more than two children. If there are children and teenagers, it is even more difficult to get them all in the pose at the same time.
During this family’s trip to the sea, they asked a passer-by to take a photo of all seven family members. But they didn’t notice that the guy on the surfboard was way too close to them and so the family photo was taken at the exact moment the guy fell headfirst into the water.
8. Bad mood
There are many things that stand out in this picture, in addition to the mean-tempered girl in the background. First of all, the guy’s face looks extremely strange for a cute couple photo.
His partner is completely unaware of what is going on and innocently poses for a cute photo to post on social media. But unfortunately, both her partner and a random person in the shop decided to show a strange side of themselves in the split second the photo was taken.
9. It was probably urgent
While heartbreaking dog videos of four-legged friends meeting their human siblings for the first time are the cutest thing ever, dogs can also be in the wrong place at the wrong time. We have no idea why this dog had to do his business right there, but he certainly ruined this happy pregnant lady’s photo.
As she posed, stroking her baby bump, the dog decided to satisfy its needs at that moment. At least they will have a fun moment to remember when the baby is born.
10. Sniffing trio
Dogs do whatever they have to do to recognise other dogs and know whether they can trust them or not. But when this dog owner decided to take a cute photo of his four-legged friend on the beach, he captured the exact moment when all the dogs were sniffing each other.
And when dogs smell each other’s bottoms, they don’t do it with decency, they don’t care, because they are dogs. So now this dog owner has a picture of his dog and three strange dogs sniffing each other.
11. Right through the picture
If you are planning to get married, you surely have precise ideas about the wedding. You probably want photos to commemorate the occasion and probably some with your loved ones against a beautiful scenic backdrop, right? This wedding couple had all the above plus an uninvited guest who definitely violated the dress code.
This guy wasn’t even watching where he was going and walked right into the middle of the beautiful photo. Let’s face it, he exudes a great carelessness. It seems like he only cares about one thing: getting a seamless tan.
12. The wedding photo
Wedding and birthday pranks are probably the funniest pranks of all. They are important moments for people and often they are so serious and full of posed photos. So instead of having his friends take another posed photo at their wedding, this best man decided to add some spice to the picture.
He literally climbed onto the background and lay there on his stomach, doing the most embarrassing pose ever. Years from now, the couple will look at this photo and have a good laugh.
13. I feel sick
Perhaps the boy in the back row felt ill before the game and would have been better off spending the day in bed. Possibly his team spirit drove him to attend today’s match and the photo afterwards after all.
He should have thought twice about that…
Obviously, at that very moment, when the proud team was being photographed, he was overcome by a very bad moment in which he automatically had to turn his innermost self inside out. A very memorable photo was taken in this way. However, we doubt that it will hang on too many living room walls of the proud parents…
14. Permissive kangaroos
What a cute picture of Paris Hilton posing next to a kangaroo while in Australia. It seemed absolutely tame and trusting and was clearly curious to model next to the famous Paris. But what only catches the eye at second glance in this picture is extremely unusual.
In the background we see two kangaroos, which are in a clear pose. The photo became very famous because of this “incident”. And Paris also found it quite amusing. Maybe the two bouncers were inspired by their video “One night in Paris”, which they shot years ago? Possibly there is a connection in this respect…
15. Shortly before the attack
These stunning ballerinas had no idea that their group photo was about to be ruined by arguably one of the best photobombs we have ever seen. As the girls posed for the picture, all in their tutus most likely after a show or at a fancy dress party, a shirtless man appeared out of nowhere and cheated his way into the picture.
But he didn’t just happen to pose there, he actually jumped in the air while mimicking some kind of attack. We suspect it was a fellow dancer or classmate playing a funny prank.
16. A cosy beer
In the foreground a heated argument, in the background an elderly gentleman helping himself to his beer with relish. What a funny scenario. Obviously, there was a violent disagreement during a sporting event. With subsequent fisticuffs. Was it solely related to the sporting performance of the favourite team?
Visually, the man in the headlock is a little reminiscent of Sylverster Stallone. But instead of interfering, the man in the background merely enjoys his cold beer and calmly observes the action. This scene seems almost symbolic in a figurative sense. Too many problems in the world – too many people passively watching.
17. The happiest person in the photo
We don’t know for sure if this photo is posed or if it is an authentic representation. A group of beautiful women, who visually almost resemble models, are happily posing in the group for the perfect shot. But what is that in the background?
It’s another woman who is clearly in the process of eating chips. And not exactly discreetly and gracefully. If one had to interpret this photo, one could say: opposites attract or life is simply too short! The woman with the bag of chips clearly knows how to enjoy her life – even without model measurements.
18. The world is upside down
This strapping fellow probably just wanted to pose for a photo for his social networks to upload later. Whether he was aware of what was happening immediately behind him, we do not know. In any case, a father “balancing” a little boy on his shoulders clearly stole the show.
It looks like the little one is about to fall backwards and head over heels. When playing and romping with toddlers, it is very important to keep balance and gravity in mind at all times. Hopefully the whole situation turned out well in the end for everyone involved.
The fact is that there are always crazy fans who try to get as close as possible to their idols. This was also the case here with the victory of this baseball team. One fan tried to storm the field to celebrate the victory with his idols. However, trained security guards stopped the fan in time and stopped him.
After rapid intervention by security, the pushy fan quickly found himself on the ground instead of with his team. It is uncertain whether he had to expect a punishment. However, even the punishment of being humiliated in front of thousands of people and his favourite team should be high enough.
20. Live on TV
This picture has taken the internet by storm and the reason is too very funny. Well-known Palestinian activist Mustafa Barghouti was filmed during a news update on live television with his own live image in the background as he spoke to viewers.
Unfortunately for him, everyone caught it and even those who didn’t caught it came across it in their social media feeds. At least from what we know about the doctor, politician and activist, he is probably saying something very important.
21. A truck on the set
With this film mistake, the production company of the hit series “Game of Thrones” literally ran itself over. A fan noticed a truck in the background. He immediately posted this discovery in the public media – and found a lot of support. How could such a massive film mistake happen in a series of this magnitude?
Possibly the producers themselves overlooked it or thought that since the white truck was in front of the white backdrop, no one would notice it anyway. However, it was noticed. Well, even the best series can’t be made without technical aids. Hopefully the actors got a decent delivery service during their break…
22. Amy in the background
It is always a pleasure to see that celebrities also take part in everyday events and are just as human as we are. They are not flawless either, they fall in love as well and are often literally bombarded with photos and autograph requests. They are almost inaccessible and somehow always guarded. Or are they not?
In this shot we see Amy Schumer in the audience, obviously attending a hearing. She certainly made the defendant’s day at least a little bit better when he noticed that there was a big star in the audience. Or possibly even more embarrassing?
23. Hello Chewbacca
At first glance, these guys just seem to be posing in front of Chewbacca as he walks by in the background, trying to go unnoticed. But if we look really closely, we can see that it was just the elaborate hairstyle of a woman walking past right then.
Like most people, friends didn’t realise how funny the background was until they posted it on social media. Others were quick to comment that the woman’s hairstyle was either a brilliant piece of art or she actually intended to look like Chewbacca from behind.
24. Where’s Waldo?
Waldo, is that you? These two young men were celebrating a birthday and, as with every birthday, they took several photos to remember the special day. When the birthday boy took a photo with his brother, he had no idea that his picture was about to go viral.
When he posted it on social media, people suddenly started commenting “Where’s Waldo?”. When he finally realised that a guy dressed exactly like Waldo was in the background of his birthday picture, he just couldn’t stop laughing.
25. Three highlights in one photo
First of all, the main focus falls on this ostrich, which clearly had a lucky day. He was spoiled with a complete bowl of goodies. Furthermore, we see a llama in the rearview mirror, which is watching expectantly and obviously also wants to have some.
But that is still not enough. In the car across the road, we become aware of a screaming girl who was clearly having a bad day. Did she possibly want to linger longer in the petting zoo? Or is she just pissed off because she’s not getting any of the peanuts? No one really knows. Maybe she just wanted to go home and was annoyed.
26. Lord Voldemort?
We don’t know exactly what this man, who looks like Lord Voldemort, was doing in the background of this photo. However, we can imagine that the two girls were quite astonished when they took a closer look at their selfie. Is this a shrink-wrapped fan, a double on his lunch break or just a coincidence?
Was this a costume or a striking resemblance? Was there a cosplay meeting somewhere or something similar? Or did this man simply bear an incredible resemblance to Harry Potter villain number 1? We will probably never know. But this photo will remain a legend.
27. Lifting weights
Well, there are several things in this picture that can catch your eye. First of all, you get the feeling you’re looking at a picture of Will Smith’s long-lost brother, because the guy in the green cap looks a lot like Will Smith. But even better is the guy in the background with the ingenious slogan on his T-shirt that says “Weights Before Dates”.
This means that this guy prefers to exercise his muscles instead of going on a date. He definitely has interesting priorities in life.
28. Thirsty cat
A lot of people take selfies in all sorts of places these days. Even in the toilet has become a normal place for photos. Especially before prom, a souvenir photo is very popular. No matter if it is in the toilet or with the date in front of the limousine.
But if there is a cat in the room, obviously quenching its thirst in the toilet bowl, the souvenir photo is marked by a very special memory. Obviously, in all his anticipation, his master had forgotten to refill his pet’s bowl. Well, tough luck. The complete attention of this shot lies solely with this thirsty cat.
29. Wrong door caught
No matter who these three people are. They look absolutely stunning in their outfits. Almost like characters from a real fairy tale. It is all the more annoying for them that just at the moment of this shot, another “princess” stole their thunder, who was just coming out of the toilet in the background.
But wait a minute: was this other princess even on the right “throne”? Judging by the sign, she was visiting the “princes'” quiet room. Why do you think this lady went into the wrong toilet? Was the ladies’ room possibly occupied? Or could she not stand it any longer and disappeared into the toilet for princesses?
30. Nice and warm
Most of us, in unnoticed minutes, occasionally put our hands where it is warmest. Some, however, seem to do so in public. Without minding that they are even photographed in that pose. By chance, of course.
Actually, it was only supposed to be a shot of a couple posing for the photo. We don’t know if it was pure coincidence that to their left is a man who is obviously trying to warm his hands in his crotch. Fortunately, the photographer was kind enough to make all the faces unrecognizable. Lucky…
31. Hello Ladies
This young man really deserves credit for some truly fantastic photobomb skills. When this group of girlfriends took a photo to post on social media, they had no idea that someone would make the picture even more special.
What’s particularly interesting is that absolutely no one else in the background even noticed that the ladies were about to take a photo. All except this guy, who found the perfect moment to share his funny grimaces with the world.
32. Just held
There are many different reasons that could explain what is happening in this picture. While this professional player is highly concentrated on his next move, he has no idea that chaos is going on in the background.
A father holds his child upside down while the other children standing next to him observe the situation. Maybe the child has dropped his ball on the field and his father is helping him to get it back as quickly as possible or it is a strange father-son game.
33. Shut up
This happy family visited Mount Rushmore and posed for a nice souvenir photo. It is just too amazing how much the daughter resembles her mother and the son his father. Like a spitting image. How nice when good genes are passed on!
But there was another family in the background taking a trip to Mount Rushmore. This moment did not seem quite as harmonious on the outside as it did from the family posing for the shot. The big sister was literally at her little brother’s throat. Isn’t unconditional love between siblings something very special? Well, most of the time…
34. Dog lovers
The first day of school is an important day for the children, but an even more important one for the parents. The parents are proud and have longed for the day for a long time, especially after the long holidays. Then the parents are often at a point where they no longer know how to entertain their children.
So when these parents took the typical first day of school photo, they had no idea that their dogs would see it as its own important moment. They decided to do something at that very moment that was not necessarily going to be caught on camera.
35. Hello Baby
What a sweetheart! Growing up with animals is the best thing that can happen to a child. No matter whether it is a dog, a cat, a hamster or a rabbit. An animal is an enrichment for every family and every child! And for playful little babies anyway.
The cat of this family thought she had to be in the picture when the little one was photographed lying on her belly. However, at the last minute she was a little averse to the flash and hid behind the little sunshine. Only the tail came out. And it even gave the impression that it belonged to the baby.
36. Creepy Clown
These three teenagers asked the waiter of a fast food restaurant to take a funny group photo of them. So far so good. But what clearly escaped his attention was a clown who just passed the drive-in in the background with his car. He was also grinning into the camera. Creepy! How did this clown know when exactly the photo would be taken? Was it Ronald McDonald who wanted to eat out of town for a change?
Or just a playful passer-by who likes to dress up once in a while? We don’t know. But what we do know is: This performance was worth it!
37. Pyjama party
The dog of these two girls clearly felt a bit neglected during their selfie session. And expressed this by presenting his rear end to the shot. He couldn’t express his attitude more clearly, could he? Shame on you girls for neglecting your darling like that! Perhaps the girls found the end result extremely amusing and chose to share this shot on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere.
In this way, it was also possible for us to present another hilarious shot in which the background action clearly dominated. Well done, doggie!
38. The party goes on
Quite the opposite of the ad in the news, these young men in the background of the reporter want to keep the party going for quite a while. The reporter was about to announce that the party was over. But the good-humoured passers-by clearly had something to say about that…
It was obviously a boisterous Christmas party. The men were jumping around like crazy, shouting in the reporter’s ear and gesticulating wildly. Did he expect this spontaneous interlude, which clearly stole his thunder? Probably not. But no matter how long the party went on: This recording is for eternity.
39. Head off
We’ve all seen those images that simply couldn’t have been timed more perfectly. Crazy angles, lighting and skill create the illusion of something that isn’t actually happening. Well, it seems like this child and the person who took the picture have a brilliant future ahead of them, because the baby seems to be grabbing the head of a guy walking along the beach.
The toddler seems very focused on grabbing the man’s head with his huge hand, but we doubt that he understood that he was creating a work of art.
40. Perfect angle
When travelling to a new place, it is common to take typical tourist photos. While these vary depending on the place visited, there is a typical pose for each landmark that is meant to create the illusion that a person is “holding” a huge monument. This woman asked her travel partner to photograph the perfect angle while trying to give the monument they were visiting a high five.
She didn’t know that the man behind her was doing exactly the same thing and the angle made it look like he was touching her from behind.