Crappy Birthday

May 23rd, 2011

Crappy Birthday - Behind The Awkwardness

“This must have been my 10th or 11th birthday. It was a custom that the cousins would give out the birthday spankings, but apparently it got a little rough. I think I look terrified. It’s like a scene out of “Lord of the Flies.” Notice the John Travolta poster in the background, and the fact that my brother is laughing maniacally and holding a leather belt.”

(submitted by Vanessa)

105 Responses to “Crappy Birthday”

  1. Bonnie B says:

    I think you need to get together with your cousins and recreate the awkwardness!!!

  2. allyson says:

    omg! I didn’t even notice the babydoll…I thought you only had one leg & that little girl was holding your stump…bwaaaaaahahahahahaha!!!!!

  3. rachel says:

    That is a disturbing photo, choke hold, boy with a leather belt, birthday bumps going too far

  4. Ashley says:

    Am I the only one who noticed that questionable liquid spewing out of that poor girls nose!?!?

  5. Sofia says:

    My brothers and I still give out birthday beatings and we’re in our 20’s now. Haha! I love his picture. It’s not dysfunctional, its pure family love and joy 😀

    • Gracie says:

      Hi! My son is in this picture and I can’t figure out where this was taken. I must have been friends with your mom, or you went to the same school as my son. My kid is the boy on the far left side with the smile. I’d love to know.

      • Vanessa says:

        Hmmm… the boy on the far left is my cousin Gabe. So unless you’re my aunt Kathy, maybe your son just looks a lot like him? 🙂

  6. Bri says:

    I had those curtains and the whole matching set when I was little

  7. Hannes says:

    “Birthday spanking”? WTF? I always knew there was something fundamentally wrong with the USA, now I at least know where it comes from…

  8. jill says:

    we totally had those same curtains in our garage!

  9. Ayanna says:

    Hahaha! This is the funniest photo I’ve seen on this site by far. The expression on you and your brothers faces is all I can see. Still can’t stop laughing.

  10. Gwen says:

    I had curtains like that in my room too!

  11. Chelle says:

    Oh my God,I laughed so hard I was crying for about fifteen minutes! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Darrin says:

    I just hope that was a doll in the pic and not an actual baby: ) Good one, thanks for sharing!

  13. hollyh says:

    This picture is awesome! I love the room, the story, and that somehow the way things always go when piles of cousins are around, got captured like this.

  14. Mia Gain says:

    Geez! I had those curtain too! Obviously a popular choice.
    Love the picture. Your brother is hilarious.

  15. jaclyn says:

    This has to be the best ever! I am crying! I love when you can catch the extended family dysfunction on film!

  16. Sara2001 says:

    OMG I wonder what noise she was making LMAO!

  17. Spam says:

    My sister had those same curtains!

  18. Smoked says:

    Nothing like childhood trauma caught on film. Do psychology stalk this website? They may have a new client or two!

  19. Nick says:

    As painful and scarring as this looks, this is one of the BEST photos I’ve seen on this site. Though there are plenty of cringe inducing pics, this one really has a sense of time AND emotion to it. “Why is everyone enjoying this but me?” Who among us hasn’t had this same feeling at some point in our youth?

    All said, a completely hilarious (I laughed out loud) picture, though it helps to turn off the empathy when looking at this one.

  20. Joyce says:

    Gotta love that 70’s decor. I’m glad my kids were boys so I didn’t have anyone going thru the Holly Hobby phase. We just had mustard yellow and puke green walls! And I thought they were beating up an amputee too.

  21. JerseyPam says:

    Vinnie Barbarino: “Up your nose with a rubber hose!”

  22. Jeff says:

    C’mon, how bad can it be if a Sweathog approves?

  23. abba21 says:

    So I guess I’m the only one who, when she first saw this photo, thought the doll head was Vanessa’s leg-stump and that she was falling over because she was an amputee?

    …yeah, I figured it was just me.

  24. hedge says:

    Anybody that thinks this is funny is messed up.

    • Sassy says:

      Well lock me up and throw away the key. This is epic.

    • Juno says:

      Well this is one of THE funniest pictures I’ve ever seen so…….. lock me up with Sassy!

    • Lynn says:

      Leave room for me in that cell, please.

    • jaclyn says:

      Obviously the victim thought it was funny too… or she would have burned it rather than sharing it. that being said, I still I’m going to burn for how hard I am still laughing at this picture.

    • Laura says:

      Thanks hedge, and you are right! But unfortunately, if you watch that popular TV show, about catching “funny things on film,” you will see a lot of physically painful accidents…and the audience just roars with laughter. It used to be as long as somebody didn’t get hurt, or badly hurt, it was funny. Times have changed…now it’s: even if somebody gets hurt or traumatized, if they can crack a smile after coming out of the hospital, it’s funny. “I give up!”

  25. MidwesternMom says:

    This makes me miss all my cousins and family. lol

  26. Carol says:

    At first it looked as if this child had a third arm and it was attempting to strangle her. How many times I have wished for a third arm and hand, but not an evil one.

  27. rachie says:

    Classic!! I love this. Growing up in a large family can be brutal!

  28. Marnie says:

    This is hilarious, I laughed for 15 minutes straight, then when I read the caption, I almost choked cackling! At least I don’t have an arm around my neck I guess…lol

  29. Anne-with-an-e says:

    The glee with which the cousins are carrying on this tradition could be Exhibit A in why the elementary school I attended took more care to keep cousins separate than siblings.
    I didn’t have that bedroom set, but I had some clothes and pillows that were pretty cl

  30. LuLu says:

    I hope you got your revenge on each and every one of those cousins and siblings…rotten meanies! A spanking in one thing, but a whooping with a leather belt is just wrong!

  31. Huh? says:

    ladies ladies Please….It just cracks me up that interposed in the comments about the look on the girls face and how terribly brutal this must have been that you all are sharing about the holly hobby curtains and the blah blah blah….The comments are more awkward than the photograph…and personally… I LOVE this tradition. I think more families should take it up… Bwaaaaaaaaa Hahahahahahaahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa….cough cough cough.

  32. LilyBear says:

    Stayin’ Alive, Stayin’ Alive.

  33. Michael says:

    Love the Choke-Out. It’s an illegal move, however.

  34. Melody says:

    I’ll bet they couldn’t wait to go to the birthday parties, it’s all sugar highs and retribution!

  35. yam says:

    birthday spankings and chokings??? What an.. Awkward tradition!

  36. Susie says:

    Doesn’t anyone find it disturbing that presumably there was an adult taking this picture while this was going on??

  37. Robin Gardella says:

    Another joy-filled birthday to remember! Did it get worse every year? Love the evil look on little brother’s face — NOW’S MY CHANCE!

  38. Mike says:

    “Its always fun until someone loses an eye”… I can’t tell you how many times I heard that when I was a kid. I refused to ever say that t my son!

    • Dw says:

      Ha! My wife says that too! At my house we always say, “it’s all fun and games until you’re momma finds out!”

    • Another Anne says:

      It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt; then it’s downright hilarious!

      • Mary Kunz says:

        an example of which: We had 7 girls in my family and when one of my sisters got her head stuck between two spokes of a chair, everyone was scared to death wondering if she’d have to live like that forever or was she gonna die or what. My Dad was working hard to get her head out when he said, “Now don’t anybody laugh!” Then we couldn’t stop chuckling under our breathes at the thought of how funny it really was.

        • Phrankeh says:

          Ironic: I got stuck in a chair (legs through the space between the seat and the back) while watching AFV. My dad had to unscrew the chair to get me out of it. And the whole time my mom, brother, dad AND best friend (supposedly) were all laughing at me! And all my dad kept saying was that he wished we had a video camera, this was worth $10,000 easy. >.<

  39. heatherweather says:

    Jeepers! Where’s the adult supervision during all this??

  40. Kate says:

    Where are the parents controlling this situation. Oh, yea, taking the picture.

  41. Glenda says:

    I had the comforter that matched those curtains too!! OMG……….they were from

    • Jen says:

      Glenda – So did I! Great catch!!!

    • vanessa but not that one says:

      Ha! I did, too! And the lamp! I looked down to see that the person who submitted this has the same name as me too. Creepy. 😉

    • Erin says:

      So did I!!! The curtains were the first thing I noticed about the picture. I said, outloud at my desk in a quiet office, ‘Hey, I had those when I was 7!”

      • LuLu says:

        I instantly recognized those curtains as Holly Hobby. Like every other late 70’s/early 80’s girl, my room was decked out in that decor. My mom even went so far as to get me a canopy bed with matching canopy. LOL.

    • Lisa says:

      We had those bedsheets!

  42. sara says:

    lol one cousin has her in a choke hold, while the little girl is spanking her hahaha.

    • Kat says:

      I was going to say, “Spankings? Do you mean choke holds?” Holy cow. Did any of them grow up to join the WWF?

  43. Gromit says:


  44. Eve says:

    Its…its… a ballroom blitz!!!

  45. gemjamesd says:

    That’s Shaun Cassidy…I know because I had the same one!

  46. scott says:

    Who has her by the neck? Wow.

  47. Linda O'Leary says:

    Love this! Especially the little bro with the belt!

  48. liz says:

    Oh, I had the matching bedding to those curtains on the windows, mid-70’s, from Sears, I think. I thought it was so pretty.

  49. bethksp says:

    Oh my goodness. I’m glad you’re alive to explain this picture. You look so scared! I had those exact curtains (with matching bed spread) as did a few of my friends. And, if I’m not mistaken, that’s a Madame Alexander “Victoria” doll in the little blond’s arms. My grandmother gave every girl in our family one of those.

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