Awkward Mormon (?) Family Photos

Along with sites such as icanhascheezburger and Cake Wrecks, one of the web’s great mindless time-wasters is Awkward Family Photos. As I was perusing the other day, I noticed a few that I thought just had to be LDS families. It’s a fun little game to speculate, so I thought I would open it up to BCC readers.

Here are several Awkward Family Photos. For each, dear readers, tell us, is this “A Mormon Image”?

Family #1: Pop Your Collar

Family #2: Hand on a Hardbaby

Family #3: Roots

Family #4: Supersized 2

Family #5: The Milkmen

Family #6: See Me

Family #7: The Three Bears

Family #8: Feeling a Little Faint

Particular evidence, reasoning, and rebuttals are encouraged in the comments. You may also give your own custom probabilities in the comments, since the poll format unfortunately limits precision of your choices.

Bookmark Awkward Mormon (?) Family Photos


  1. I just want to say that while this is supposed to be a fun/funny thread, I hope it isn’t too mean a thread. Let she or he who doesn’t have at least one self and/or family photo more embarrassing than any of these cast the first stone! (That most certainly wouldn’t be me. Too many perms and ill-fitting hand-me-down clothes in the 80’s anyone?)

  2. I just want to be the first to say that none of those young men have 8 cows.

  3. “See Me” has unfortunately become the pose for LDS couples in Utah at least.

  4. In addition to the short sleeve white shirts and ties, there are a lot of undershirt sleeve lines visible in “Feeling a Little Faint”.

  5. I would direct your attention to the tell-tale sign located near the armpit of the woman front-left of “Hand on a Hardbaby.”

  6. Gold star, Scott B.

  7. John Scherer says:

    I know a vote of 100% is a little strong, but the probability of the last family being LDS is at least 99.5%. I particularly like the one dude who refusues to wear a tie.

  8. John Scherer,
    He’s the token less-active brother-in-law who married the younger sister. (Did I get that right, KLS?)

  9. The “Faint” is obviously LDS, as the only guy in the picture with facial hair also does not wear a tie. Also, it appears that all the men who might be of recent missionary age, also seem to tie their ties with the huge, fat, correlated by mission presidents everywhere Full Windsor Knot. So 100% LDS.

  10. I detect a hint of “mormon underwear” on the sleeve of the grandfather in the fainting pic.

  11. Cythnia, this was pretty darned funny.

  12. I don’t think the roots one actually is depicting Mormons, but that is some major Utah girl hair!

  13. #4 & 5 I saw those tell-all signs as well.

  14. Peter LLC says:

    Number 1 reminds me of how Utah photo studios rolled circa 1995. I dated an employee of one and we had eerily similar “glamour” shots done.

  15. Not sure what made the faint so awkward. 100% LDS though.

    See me had to be as well.

  16. Peter LLC says:

    And for “See Me” it’s the poorly ironed shirt cuff that gives it away. Gentiles who get stuck wearing white shirts have the means to get them done at the cleaners.

  17. aarondavidson says:

    This is really funny Cynthia-though my least favourite LDS stereotype pose must be young elder missionaries pretending to be “ghetto” or pulling various grimaces! Am I the only one who hates those photos?!

  18. MikeInWeHo says:

    This is fun. I thought Pop Your Collar and Roots both looked more like Texans than Mormons. It also reminds me of those “Gay or European?” photo polls that float around the internet.

  19. Peter LLC (14.)

    I dub thee Deb!

  20. MikeInWeHo says:

    Oh by the way: Is this post a tongue-in-cheek response to Kaimi’s “Mormon Images” series over at T&S?

  21. The foliage in the background of “the Milkmen” looks much more Midwestern than Intermountain western.

  22. #20 Shhhh!!!

  23. Your take is even better, Boz.

    My responses from the beta testing last week:

    Pop Your Collar: 0%. JonBenet Ramsey was not LDS.

    Roots: 10%. The girls are nearly perfect YW, save the one plunging neckline. But the mother is an unconvincing amalgam of east and west SL valley culture: huge diamond, expensive manicure (east) plus trashy hair and make-up (west). Plus, there’s only 2 kids.

    See Me: 95%. White shirt plus garment top plus UVSU photogenics.

    Supersized: 15%. Way too much facial hair, and the kid-to-adult ratio is 1:1.

    Hardbaby: 95%, based on overall vibe. (laugh if you must, but the image of all those women laying hands on the pregnant belly made me misty-eyed.)

    Feeling A Little Faint: 100%. The white shirts! The garment sleeves visible! The caboose kid! (top, far left) There’s even the token semi-active sullen guy (no tie). I would put big bucks on this one.

    Milkmen: 75%. GC vibe: “When I was growing up on the farm in Idaho…”

    Three Bears: All I can say is, keep these people out of my primary.

  24. #1 – 75% – I would say it is possibly Texas, but the smiles are so Utah.
    #2 – 100% – I see G’s peeking from the sleeve of the lady in the front, left.
    #3 – 25% – I’m not convinced of the Mormon-ness, but I could be. Need more evidence.
    #4 – 25% – It looks like 4 couples with an average of 2 kids each. Again, I’m not convinced.
    #5 – 25% – Need more evidence.
    #6 – 75% – Definitely the look of a returned missionary.
    #7 – 25% – Need more evidence. Overzealously costumed young family does not equal Mormon.
    #8 – 75% – Probably, definitely Mormon, for the reasons stated by others.

  25. I look at necklines and overall vibe.

    The most Mormony pictures seem to be Hands on a Hardbaby, See Me and Feeling a Little Faint. Pop Your Collar, Milk Men and Supersized 2 could go either way. The others need more evidence.

  26. No way, Madhousewife. Mormon until proven innocent.

  27. You left out my all time favorite awkward family photo. Surely they’re Mormon. (OK, maybe not)


  28. mmiles, NSFW!


    A little Brigham Young-era Mormon family photo.

  30. Natalie K. says:

    I think the little blonde girl sitting on the lap front and center in See Me is my older sister…..

    But that’s not my family.

  31. Natalie K. says:


    K. Feeling a Little Faint is 200% Mormon.

    I give you, as evidence, this from “Sonia” in the comment section (which is laugh-yourself-to-tears hilarious, btw):

    “She really did faint. The guy on her left is her husband. (i know because I read her blog)”

  32. Stephanie says:

    Re 28. Um. Wow. Hope they took that picture themselves.

  33. Re: #30
    Who knew that photo-bombing had 19th Century roots?

  34. It’s too bad we can never know for sure. Great idea for a post, though. =)

  35. alextvalencic says:

    Pop Your Collar: way too much make-up on that little girl for her to be LDS. Even for a photo shoot.

    Roots: I’m going to nix it because of the plunging necklines. Also, il Papa is not wearing a wedding band. What kind of self-respecting Mormon dad lets his family picture be taken without squeezing on that ring that definitely needs to be resized, lest people think his family is illegit?

    See Me: I initially thought that those kids don’t look old enough for the pictures to be engagement photos, but then, after I voted, I remembered my two mission companions who looked like they were twelve years old.

  36. living in zion says:

    The older I get, the less interested I am in sitting for any photos. I thought it was my vanity getting in the way, but now I see it as amazing protection from this sort of humiliation.

    Also – #28 – Must Comment —- What is that poor child going to think when it is old enough to realize how truly freaky this photo is? I sense A LOT of therapy in that child’s life, and most likely a reoccuring role on the “Jerry Springer Show” of the day. It is the perfect example of what prolonged abuse of drugs leads to.

  37. Alpha Echo says:

    Something new to pray about. Please, please do not let any of my awkward family photos end up on that site.

  38. My first reaction: Why are we mocking some of God’s precious children?

    My reaction after looking at the photos: Oh, so that is why we are mocking God’s precious children. :-)

  39. MikeInWeHo-I have to admit that after the first few i was thinking “have these people never seen Texans?”

    28-really we’re good, we trust that your pregnant and don’t need a play by play.

  40. Aaron Brown says:

    It’s all about the g’s.

  41. you’re


  42. I happen to know the three bear family, who are lds (and live far away from Kathryn Soper and her primary) and the picture was taken for a costume designer. They seemed to take the pilfering of that picture from the designer’s website with good humor, fortunately.

  43. Is the first picture of a family with two mommies?

    I’ve lived in a ward where the second picture might have been a regular occurrence at some of the members’ houses.

    Yeah, the Utah wedding picture look is one I’ve seen about 12,000 times too often.

  44. Stephanie says:

    Note to self: Next time you decide to leave a picture like #28 up on the computer for your husband to see and laugh at, be sure the children have already gone to bed. (or else you will spend the next hour explaining how it isn’t p&rn and please don’t tell your friends about it lest they go home and tell their parents and everyone in the ward thinks your mommy looks at p&rn)

  45. Awesome, sar! And I’m so proud of myself that I picked that one with no give-away clues! The mom’s smile wast just so bright, it had that vibe. Give them my best.

  46. Thanks for all the laughs, Cynthia!

  47. It is proposed that the Church Handbook of Instructions be amended to include the following:

    Confidential draft

    Family Portraits of Church Members

    From time to time the Brethren receive inquiries as to the suitability of family portraits of Church members. While the Brethren do not take any official position on family portraits, we strongly encourage members of the Church to avoid taking or participating in any family portraits involving: costumes, heavy makeup, gratuitous cleavage and/or posing naked with a pregnant spouse, posing in clothing that reveals your temple garments, facial expressions that makes you look like a jackass and any photograph that leaves the viewer with the perception that the Church participates in the practice of polygamy or marriage of underage girls (applies only in Utah).

    All in favor, please manifest by the usual sign.

  48. Brian Duffin wins.

  49. chococatania says:


  50. StillConfused says:

    Okay, this is spooky. How do you know my favorite time wasters? CakeWrecks and AwkwardFamilyPhotos are my favorite and I hit the icanhascheezburger sometimes too.

  51. #48, HaHaHaHa!

  52. Stephanie, hilarious!
    A friend of mine took a rather *private* photo of his wife on a vacation. Transferring the photos to the computer when he got back, he was distracted, and forgot to remove said photo.

    Next day: visiting teacher stops by, oh, and by the way, can I use your computer to just map this address to this inactive sister? Of course (because there is a God) it’s *the* picture up on the screen saver at the moment they walk back into the office.


    Loved this post.

  53. alextvalencic says:

    Scott B (49) – Agree. Brian Duffin FTW!

    Re: #28 & #53: Note to self: never take “private” photos of self and/or spouse. Seriously. It will only lead to trouble. (Look for the picture from October 31st of this year for further evidence.)

  54. Anonymous says:

    I can confirm that #8 is actual mormons. I grew up with them.

  55. Ha!! Confirmation wasn’t really necessary in that case :-) but that’s awesome of you to stop by, Anonymous. Thanks!

  56. I’m guessing “Supersized 2” is a photo of Bridget Jack Meyers’ extended family.

  57. Okay.

  58. No really. It was a serious guess.

    But, on the other hand… it’s easy for 1970/80s photos to start to look similar to each other. That washed-out faded look doesn’t help either.

  59. I suppose they look a little bit like my family, though we’ve never been that fond of the bowl cut. With all the military in my family, most of the menfolk are doomed to crew cuts. I also have a hard time imagining that many men in my family wearing ties at once.

    I have a picture of me and Paul making out on one of those roller coasters that takes your picture as you’re going down its biggest hill. I thought about submitting that one to Awkward Family Photos.

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