Sports athletes are, generally speaking, pretty good at what they do. After all, performance is how they make their living. Of course, they are still human, and no matter how good one may be, all humans fail. On the other hand, there are some incidents that are just bad luck and can’t be avoided regardless of how hard someone tries. Thankfully for us internet denizens, such moments are often caught on camera, and we can now laugh at them in relatively good humor: that’s what we’ll be doing here!
Before the Dive
Speaking of a hilarious image taken at the worst time possible during some aquatic athletics, we have this one right here. We’re assuming this was taken right before they dived into the water or something, which is why they are making those faces. Gasping in that air, we assume?
The freaky poses are also something that must be the result of catching the athletes in motion. Stop to see every individual pose a human makes as they move around, and you’d be surprised how many weird things you end up seeing.
Lots of strange things go down in wrestling. However, we’re not sure how a situation like this would come about. Was this actually an accident? Was this intentional, for some completely insane reason? Both options sound crazy to us.
Regardless, you can find humor in the situation as well as confusion. Whatever these athletes are up to, intentional or not, deserves some raised eyebrows at the least.
Doing it Backwards
There are few things that make you look as silly as holding a sign the wrong way. Everyone sees it, everyone sees you being oblivious to the fact that you are holding it wrong, and ultimately, you just look really silly.
In fact, we would say the oblivious nature of a person in such pictures is the most embarrassing part of all. So naive, so innocent: not even realizing that everyone is giggling at them, or just being clueless as to why everyone is laughing.
Hang on Tight
Gymnasts and acrobats may be equal to figure skaters in regards to gracefulness while performing, but just like all other athletes, they mess up too. They may make it look easy, but rarely is it actually as simple as it appears!
Even the best gymnasts fall off the balance beam from time to time, it’s just that only a few of them manage to hang on after they fall off, and that looks pretty funny to laymen like us.
An Appropriate Reaction
In a game that is mostly about throwing legs and around and kicking balls, something like this is bound to happen eventually. We all know about the weird penchant for soccer players to fake injuries, but when something like this happens, it probably isn’t fake at all.
We’re pretty sure this was an accident, and we know we shouldn’t laugh at men suffering from something like this, but we have to admit, the image is pretty hilarious. We just can’t help ourselves.
Ball to Ball Contact
One of the most important pieces of equipment in any and all sports is the one that keeps a male player’s important bits safe. Why? For reasons such as this, of course. You never know when a ball is just going to fly right into an unintended location.
Even the best pitcher makes mistakes sometimes, and in such situations, you are much better off wearing the gear designed to counter this! One way or another, we manage to get a pretty funny picture out of it.
This picture is an example of things that look hilarious only because they look like something else entirely. We’re assuming that no one intended to actually punch this poor baseball player. At least, it would be pretty crazy if a fan just wanted to punch one out for no reason.
It was probably just an unfortunate accident that ended up having this player get punched in the face, but one way or another, it ended up being pretty funny to see.
Right in the Face
Running track is probably not a sport that many people imagine to be dangerous, but accidents happen fairly often. Unfortunately for the athletes, some of those accidents happen to be hilarious. That’s fortunate for us, of course.
After all, we end up getting up this hilarious picture of some unknown athlete smacking into a hurdle face first. We feel for them, but can’t help but laugh. At least athletes can wipe away shame by performing better next time.
For all the hand-eye coordination that good athletes have, even they miss the ball sometimes. And when that happens, the ball could easily hit you in the face. And if that happens, the athlete may make a very hilarious face.
We don’t want to mock someone that got beaned in the face by a volleyball, but remember kids: pain is always funny as long as it doesn’t happen to you!
Basketball includes a whole lot of dunking, although most of it is physical. Even so, a lot of it can be metaphorical instead. Situations such as this one are of the metaphorical variety, and we don’t think it needs too much explanation.
Considering how much jumping is involved in basketball, we assume this is the sport with the highest risk of this kind of thing happening. A very unfortunate hazard that goes along with the territory.
With all the jumping and running around athletes have to do, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that they take tumbles every once in a while. Such embarrassing falls usually lead to some pretty funny things for folks like us to laugh at.
Not that we have too much room to laugh, since those athletes are often doing something that we couldn’t possibly hope to match. Still, it’s alright to laugh about things like this as long as you respect their abilities at the same time.
The Pile Up
There are plenty of humiliating accidents in cycling as well. In fact, such incidents can be super humiliating, because most of them are caused by the mistake of one person. Imagine being the cyclist that crashed, then caused the pileup you see here!
That’s the price one pays for being ahead of other cyclists and messing up. No one is going to notice if you are in the back and you make this mistake. Athletes that are in the limelight are that much more humiliated when things go wrong.
The Epitome of Grace
Figure skaters are, compared to most athletes, viewed as the most graceful of their kind. In a way, that makes it even more humiliating when they make a clumsy mistake. Unfortunately, even figure skaters experience these types of things from time to time.
We’re not quite sure what happened here: maybe the figure skater just lost control and couldn’t stop themselves. Either way, we’re sure they had a tough time living this down.
Speaking of figure skaters and their occasional but hilarious flops, here’s this one, which looks a lot like someone dancing in the ’70s. The look on her face really says it all: she knows she has messed up and is freaking out about the result.
The moment afterward is probably when she felt incredibly embarrassed about flopping over in front of that big audience. We’re laughing at this funny picture, but honestly, we do feel kind of bad for her. Nobody would want to be in her shoes at that moment.
Get Out of the Way!
Falling over when running on the track is always bad, but where you fall can be a big contributor to exactly how bad that is. It’s kind of like that cycling one we talked about: falling in the back isn’t so bad, but falling in the lead is a recipe for disaster!
This poor track runner seems to have flopped right in front of a bunch of runners behind her, which seems like a bad situation. Also kind of funny, but bad. Hopefully, all those athletes managed to leap over her, or she rolled out of the way pretty quickly.
Someone Call an Ambulance!
You know, there’s something unsettling about the fact that people find humor in the pain of others. You see something that looks really bad, and you laugh instead o being worried. But it’s fine as long as the person you’re laughing at was actually fine, right?
This little flop on the ice certainly looks bad, but not to worry: this athlete was just fine. And that means we can all laugh at her great misfortune because we’re bad people. Hooray!
What Even Happened Here?
Honestly, we’re not sure what’s happening in this picture. We’re assuming it’s just one of those things where you catch a picture of people at a very inopportune time. You’d be surprised at how many stupid faces people accidentally make as they go about their business.
In fact, many people make really silly faces when they are making some sort of intense effort, and that means a lot of athletes end up making silly faces. Well, even they can laugh at things like this, right?
Not How To Play the Game
Despite the excellent dexterity of pro athletes, sometimes the ball just ends up somewhere you weren’t intending. And sometimes, those unintended positions make for extremely hilarious-looking photos. That said, the guy on the left doesn’t look too happy.
Of course, he also seems to be taking that basketball right to a very sensitive place, so there’s no mystery as to why he might be unhappy. Well, his misery is our humor, and that’s all that matters.
Considering how much this guy has to squat during a baseball game, it’s really a wonder that this kind of thing doesn’t happen more often, don’t you think? The real problem is, would they really stop a match just so he could change his pants? Or would they have a replacement for him?
One way or another, this is a classic humiliating scenario for anyone, but it’s much worse for an athlete in this position: all the eyes are already on him, so it’s not like anyone could have missed it!
The most embarrassing thing about this photo is that you can see that this poor guy attempted to kick the ball. We’re just not sure if he missed entirely or if he accidentally kicked it into his own face. Maybe the mystery actually makes it even funnier.
On an unrelated note, isn’t it crazy how far the nose can bend without actually breaking or anything? It’s a wonder how that guy’s face could look like that in this picture, but probably be fine ultimately.
The “Oh Crap” Reaction
Speaking of balls to the face, it’s a wonder how quick human reaction time is: even with that baseball flying at dozens of miles an hour, there’s enough time for athletes to make silly faces like this one. Unfortunately, there’s generally not enough time to get out of the way.
We actually feel a little bad about laughing at this, because getting hit in the face by a baseball at high speed definitely hurts a great deal. But then again, insensitivity is a crucial part of getting a laugh out of some things.
Ninjas at Play
This is one of the few images we have that are hilarious, and not because someone is getting hurt. In fact, we’re not sure what led to this extremely odd and funny picture. Is this how this game is played? Are you supposed to do sick ninja kicks in this sport?
Or, are they just getting wild with it because they can? One way or another, these two athletes got caught doing something really weird in a photo.
Give Me That Ball!
Sports where athletes are likely to make physical contact with each other always lead to some wacky and hilarious photos. Most of them are accidents, but there are also a lot of athletes that get intentionally physical with other players.
That said, we’d be confused about the purpose of pinching your opponent’s face while in the middle of the game. Maybe he’s just really unhappy that he doesn’t have the ball, but is this the best way to get it? Or even a legal way?
Probably Not The Desired Result
There’s always a desired end result when athletes are doing their thing. However, it’s a toss-up as to whether or not that end result actually happens, or if you go down in a flame of tragic but hilarious glory. You can probably tell which one this is.
We hope he’s OK, assuming that he hit his chin on that bar. Who knows, maybe he actually didn’t hit it in any bad way, and this image is just super misleading. Funny, but misleading.
Cleaning the Ice
Usually, it’s the male lifting the female in skating, simply based on physical strength, which makes it an easier prospect for them. Of course, that doesn’t mean it always goes that way. Sometimes this happens.
We actually think that this picture was taken in the midst of a fancy move and that no disaster actually occurred. But at the same time, it looks like the woman is piledriving this poor guy into the ice, or trying to clean it with his hair. And you know, that thought is pretty funny.
Hit Them With Your Best Look
When you are extremely focused on your sport, it can be easy to lose control of your facial expressions. This tennis player was so focused on hitting the ball that she didn’t realize that her tension and stress could be easily seen on her face.
Her clenched teeth and furrowed eyebrows were on full display as she tried her best to hit the ball. While this may not be her best look, we’re sure that fans were more concerned about her athletic ability.
Do You Smell That?
When you’ve been playing sports or doing another intense activity for extended periods of time, it can be easy to develop a less-than-pleasant body odor. Though sweat is usually blamed for body odor, it is actually the bacteria on our skin that causes the smell.
As bacteria break down the acids found in sweat, they produce a strong and often unpleasant odor. This picture looks like this basketball player is asking the other player to make sure his deodorant is working.
When you’re a professional soccer player, there’s always a risk that your opponent or even teammate may mistake you for the ball. This perfectly-timed photo shows a soccer player feeling the wrath of his opponent.
It seems like this photograph was able to capture this player trying to bump the ball with his chest as the other player tries to kick it at the same time. Either way, we feel bad for the player in the dark blue jersey. This just looks painful!
Rough Rugby Players
When most people think about pantsing or depantsing, they think of a school bully or a silly prank. This rugby player decided to take this old-school move from the schoolyard to the rugby pitch. The result? A hilarious picture featuring a rugby player almost losing his shorts.
While we’re no experts when it comes to the rules of rugby, pulling someone’s shorts down just seems wrong. Perhaps these players will consider wearing two pairs of shorts to future games.
Simone Biles may be the most decorated U.S. women’s gymnast in history, but she’s still capable of taking some less-than-flattering photographs. This photograph shows Biles rotating in the air in a gymnastics move called the twisting Yurchenko vault.
This gravity-defying move makes it look like the gymnast was launched from a cannon. While the daring move had audiences and judges holding their breath, it seems that Biles was equally nervous.
Snoozing Instead of Splashing
Water polo is often described as one of the most difficult sports in the world. Players must keep themselves afloat as they try to score goals by throwing the ball into the other team’s goal.
Playing this physically strenuous game can leave players feeling a bit exhausted, like this player in the photo. He looks like he’s ready to hit the hay, not the ball. With all of that treading water, we don’t blame him!
Spanish professional tennis player, Rafael Nadal, is known for his serving skills on the court. However, there is another on-court activity that he is famous for – picking his wedgies.
Nadal is known to routinely adjust his underwear and shorts in between games, regardless of who’s watching. His wedgie picking even led to GQ magazine to ask the tennis player why he must adjust so frequently. Nadal’s answer? “I cannot change.”
Peculiar Ping-Pong Faces
While many people consider ping-pong or table tennis to be a fun pastime, it is actually a real sport. In fact, table tennis was officially made an Olympic sport in 1988. When played competitively, ping-pong is a fast-paced sport that requires the player to focus on both the ball and the opponent’s moves.
It is this extreme level of concentration that probably led to this funny face made by a competitive ping-pong player.
Most people would be surprised to know that North Korea is home to some of the world’s most talented Olympic weightlifters. Rim Jong-sim is one of the country’s most successful athletes. In 2012, she took home the gold medal in the women’s 69-kilogram category, during the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Considering Jong-sim was hoisting about 152 pounds over her head, it’s no surprise that she made this hilarious face. The sheer momentum of lifting this heavy weight even caused her hair to stand upright!
New Party Tricks
Hockey players aren’t exactly known for their perfect smiles. Though some players choose to wear a mouth guard or other form of facial protection, many simply accept that broken or lost teeth are just part of the game.
Between rogue pucks, collisions with aggressive players, or ill-fated interactions with hockey sticks, trauma to teeth is all too common in this sport. Luckily, this hockey player has turned his injury into a special party trick.
Move it or Lose It!
Some sports, like basketball, are not for the faint of heart. During these intense games, things can get pretty physical between players. In this particularly fierce game during the 2020 Summer Olympics, American basketball player Allisha Gray had no qualms about pushing her Japanese opponent out of the way.
While some may see this as aggressive, Gray’s moves helped the United States take home the win in the basketball game against Japan.
Shall We Dance?
While wrestlers are known for their roughness, this photo also shows that they have a more sensitive side. Most wrestling matches begin with the two contestants facing each other while still standing. At the blow of the referee’s whistle and command of “wrestle”, the two hit the mat and begin their match.
This perfectly-timed photo shows these two wrestlers who look like they are about to dance the waltz, not engage in a violent full-contact sport.
Blinded by the Dress
Picking the perfect costume for an Olympic event can be difficult. Even after you’ve chosen the perfect outfit, your choice in fashion may cause an unforeseen fashion emergency. This German ice dancer thought that this emerald gown would wow the judges and complement her smooth moves on the ice.
Unfortunately, the flowy fabric of the dress ended up covering her partner’s face during one of their routines. Luckily, ice dancers Alexander Gazsi and partner Nelli Zhiganshina, haven’t let this dress disaster keep them from their sport.
Sealed With a Kiss
Rugby can be a rough and full-contact sport, that doesn’t mean rugby players aren’t capable of showing a bit of tenderness now and then. These two female rugby players were both trying to make a play for the ball when their faces collided, resulting in this picture.
Rugby may have started in England, but the sport has become popular across the world. While this picture may be funny, we hope that these two players are okay.
Hazards of Being a Ball Girl
While most professional tennis players are household names, their success is often due to other, and less popular, members on the court. Ball girls, or ball peop;e, are people who assist tennis games by quickly collecting and supplying balls to the players.
While these behind-the-scenes heroes are well-trained and prepared for any scenario, nothing could have prepared this ball girl from experiencing the shock of having a tennis player fall on her. In 2009, this young ball girl was taken by surprise when French tennis star, Michael Llodra accidentally fell on her.
While no one likes a sore loser, an ungracious or bragging winner is just as bad. This photo was taken of Argentinian soccer player Carlos Tevez, as he seemingly mocked the other team or gloated about scoring.
This gesture caused him to be dubbed by one Italian news outlet as “the pied piper.” While the pied piper may have attracted rodents with his pipe, Tevez’s talent has collected trophies and awards.
That’s Going to Leave a Mark
With so much going on during a soccer game, it can be easy to lose sight of the ball – even when it’s right in front of you. This soccer player was trying to kick the ball past a goalkeeper in order to score a goal for his team.
Unfortunately, he missed the ball and kicked the goalkeeper’s face. As if a swift kick to the face wasn’t painful enough, the soccer player was wearing cleats lined with sharp pieces of metal.
Don’t Lose Your Head
Rhythmic gymnastics is a unique sport in which gymnasts use props such as hoops, balls, ribbons and other items to enhance their performance. Their routines combine gymnastics with dance, set to music. Gymnasts may include leaping, contortion, and perfectly timed dance moves in their routines.
One popular prop that rhythmic gymnasts use is a ball, like this Bulgarian gymnast, Silviya Miteva. Miteva’s flexibility, combined with this photographer’s skills, make it look like her head has been replaced by a silver ball.
Stretched to the Limit
Professional football is a rough sport, but it can be equally tough on your clothing. Between grass and sweat stains, it’s difficult for professional football players to keep their clothes looking their best.
This player, Detroit Lions running back Ameer Abdullah, had the limits of his shirt tested when an opponent grabbed hold of his top during a game. While we’re sure that the shirt had to be thrown out after the game, the extreme stretchiness of the fabric is pretty impressive.
The Ball Goes in the Net, Not You
It’s every athlete’s dream to take part in the Olympic games. While it can be great to have most of the world watching as you compete, it can also be embarrassing.
Polish Olympic handball player, Karol Bielecki, realized that all having that many eyes on him wasn’t a good thing when he accidentally fell into the goalie’s net during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. We’re sure he didn’t appreciate having his blunder broadcasted to the world.
Keep Your Eye on the Ball
Though most people think of ping pong or table tennis as a recreational sport, it is actually recognized as an Olympic sport. Unlike the ping pong games played at home or for fun, these competitors take the game seriously.
This photo shows just how concentrated Team China’s Liu Shiwen is as the ball appears near her face. This photo from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games looks almost as if someone photoshopped a picture of a ping pong ball onto her eye!
Foot to Face
For a sport with the name “hand” in it, this handball competition features a lot of foot action! This perfectly timed photo shows the Russian and Brazilian women’s handball teams duking it out at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
In the photo, Brazilian player, Bruna de Paula manages to jump high enough to grab the ball. Unfortunately, her quick ascent resulted in a Russian player getting hit in the face with her foot.
Stay, Don’t Go!
Indian wrestler, Vinesh Phogat, is one of the most celebrated female athletes in the world. Not only is she a champion wrestler, but she has made many strides in terms of female representation in the world of wrestling.
That said, she has also been the feature of several funny and perfectly-timed photos. This photo, taken during a match against Swedish wrestler Sofia Mattsson, makes it look as if she is holding onto her opponent and begging them not to leave.
Though it is often overlooked, figure skating is one of the most difficult and intense Olympic sports. This competitive sport requires athletes to maneuver their bodies into graceful and intricate movements all while balancing on slippery ice.
This photo, shows Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva executing a quadruple jump at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. Not only did she make history as the first woman to do so in Olympic competition, but she actually did it twice!
Scary Synchronized Swimmer
When most people think of synchronized swimmers, we think of old-fashioned pools and floral swim caps. This picture, however, looks more like a scary mythological figure emerging from the water.
We don’t know if it’s the swimmer’s intense look or the wall of water around her, but this definitely looks like a scene from a fantasy movie and less like a scene from a sports competition. The theatrical makeup doesn’t help either!
Don’t Hold Your Breath
There are many times when we hold our breath without even realizing it – these moments can be when we’re stressed, excited, or overwhelmed emotionally.
According to some experts, there is some medical benefit to athletes holding their breath, especially in sports that require large amounts of effort for just a short period of time. Perhaps that is what this tennis player is doing in this photo – holding her breath as she makes her next move.
Basketball on Your Mind
We can’t imagine how stressful being an Olympic athlete must be. It’s not surprising that all of that stress and obsession over basketball might get inside your head.
While basketball is certainly on Serbian player, Aleksander Ratkov’s mind, it also seems to have taken over his head. This perfectly-timed photo of Ratkov playing against China’s Olympic basketball team makes it seem as if his head was replaced by a basketball.
Reach for It
Watching a gymnastics competition can leave you shocked as you see just how flexible the human body can be. American artistic gymnast, Lauren Hernandez, appears to be made out of rubber as she bends over backward on the balance beam during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
In this perfectly-timed photo, it seems that not only is her body bending backward, but even her eyes also seem to be rolling back!
Here Goes Nothing!
Most of us remember the first time we attempted to jump into a pool or other deep body of water. German gymnast, Marcel Nguyen, looks like most of us when we’re unsure about jumping in.
In the photo, Nguyen is mid-competition on the parallel bars during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Before retiring recently due to an injury, Nguyen won two European gold medals and a silver Olympic medal in the parallel bars category.
Though most people assume that the most commonly used body parts in soccer are feet or legs, many players actually use their head to hit the ball in a move known as “heading”.
Though this move can help teams score, it does not come without risk. Concussions in soccer are far more common than people think, there is also the risk of two players colliding heads. We’re not sure exactly what happened to these two soccer players, but we’re sure it was painful!
Olympic Sponge Bath?
Most people typically associate sponges with car washes or luxury baths. It turns out, however, that sponges are also often used to wipe the sweat off of athletes or help make them feel cooler in between competitions.
Though we’re sure this make-shift sponge bath feels cool and refreshing, Chinese boxer Zhao Minggang seems a bit shocked to be sprayed with the mist. Photographers were able to capture his surprised reaction during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Going in Different Directions
As we move, our body parts including our muscles and bones sometimes move in different directions. Though these movements are happening under our skin, they can result in some pretty funny facial expressions or movements.
This tennis player went to hit the ball with his racket, but it seems like his facial muscles also moved, resulting in this contorted facial expression. Though his body and face seem to be moving one way, his t-shirt is going in another direction.
Even Olympic cyclists are no match against mother nature. Dutch cyclist, Mathieu van der Poel, learned this lesson the hard way as captured in this photograph.
During the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Van der Poel crashed his bicycle in the first lap while attempting a rock jump called the Sakura Drop. Though Van der Poel was able to heal from his fall, he was forced to take a break from competitive cycling.
That’s a Heavy Load
Though weightlifting has traditionally been a male-dominated sport, many women are now competing on a professional level. Mercedes Pérez, a Colombian weightlifter, has competed in multiple Olympic games. This picture was taken during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
As Pérez typically competes in the 63 kg division, she is lifting almost 140 pounds in this photo – an amount close to her own body weight! No wonder she looks like she’s trying hard to concentrate!
That Looks Painful
Though few people are familiar with the sport of handball, many people recognize this now-viral image of Danish handball goalkeeper, Althea Reinhardt. This photo was taken shortly after the game between the French national team and Denmark’s team began at the World Cup semi-finals.
Naturally, Reinhardt had to step off the pitch following her dramatic injury. Fortunately, she was able to get back into the game after a short period of time. Unfortunately for the goalkeeper, this embarrassing and painful moment was immortalized forever as a graffiti mural in Copenhagen.
The Worst Moment of Them All
We’re actually inclined to call this moment terrifying more so than hilarious, but there is a sense of humor to be had here if you really don’t mind a bit of dark humor at the expense of someone’s pants.
Don’t worry, he definitely survived this, but oddly enough, this kind of thing actually happens a lot more often than you would think. That thought really just makes motocross seem even scarier, but we suppose some people are just thrill-seekers.
Moments Before Disaster
Lots of funny photos are of this variety. Things are going pretty well, and a photo gets taken right before they aren’t going so well. And yes, this business with dogs is a real sport, before anyone asks.
Regardless, this photo is pretty hilarious if only because we all know the dichotomy between everything going well and impending doom. We gotta ask though, what did she ask that dog to do that it reacted like this? Or does it just have very bad aim?
The One Flop
One of the reasons athletes can be embarrassed so easily is because they are constantly compared to other athletes. And if those other athletes don’t mess up and you do, you look all the more silly. It’s only fine if everyone messes up together!
So unfortunately for this track runner, being the sole athlete to flop like this doesn’t do a whole lot for her image in that moment. Doesn’t help that there is no way to recover and catch up for a win in such a situation.
Not so Synchronized
We’ve made it no secret that awkwardness from graceful athletes is more humorous than anything else. Synchronized swimming falls securely into that field since it is by its nature intended to be very graceful. This image is… hilarious, more than anything resembling graceful.
Have you ever paused an animated movie or show in a transition frame, resulting in a totally wacky screenshot no one was ever meant to see? This is kind of like that, isn’t it?