Goofy Photos From The Victorian Era That Prove They Weren't So Uptight After All.

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This might seem like a bunch of people from the 18th century posing for a photo in a garden.

You might assume that people in the Victorian age were obedient, well-mannered, and a bit stiff because that's the way they're portrayed in books, television, and movies. But the truth is that people in the 1800s were not all prudish or humorless. In fact, some of them were way ahead of their times and knew had to have fun in ways that would probably make your eyes pop out. To prove that, here's a collection of silly vintage photos that are sort of weird but also pretty awesome. So, if you ever thought the people from the Victorian era were unable to shock you, you’ll change your tune when you look at the photos.But take a closer look, specifically their faces. Notice anything different? Well then how about what they’re wearing? Give up? Okay, here it is. The men are dressed as women and the women are dressed as men.

Dawn Parsonage

Victorian age kids couldn’t exactly play around with Instagram filters before taking a photo.

They had to get creative and do something that gave their photos some pizazz. So, take a look at these two and you’ll notice that the boy and girl who are all smiles have switched hats for this photo.

Flickr / S. Ray

Taking a photo with your feet on the ground is so boring and even Victorian people knew that.

So, these three decided to really show off their acrobatic skills by standing on a fence. One of them looks like Mary Poppins with her umbrella and the guy on the other end is doing a balancing act on one foot.


This Victorian age photo from 1892 was published in the Strand, and people thought it was fake.

But it turns out that people had a thing for building Snowmen. Well, in this case, it was more like an elegantly dressed snowwoman and they didn’t even mind doing so while wearing an uncomfortable corset.

Strand, via Futility Closet

They look like they were doing a re-enactment of Michael Jackson’s dance video “Thriller.”

Of course, it would be over a century before MJ would release his popular video. Was he inspired by the oh so popular cakewalk dance of Victorian times, which was originally started by African-American slaves?

US Slave

In Victorian Times, men often played the role of women, which might explain this interesting trio.

They’re actually students from Yale, and they’re dressed as women, but they’re definitely men. The photo was taken in 1883, and they were undoubtedly in a play performing as the opposite gender.

World of Wonder

In those days, taking a family photo that was really weird was not necessarily out of the question.

Just look at this lovely group of women who took posing awkwardly to a new level. They’re basically piled on top of each other. It might look uncomfortable but this family obviously loved being close to each other.


Maybe it’s just us, but this guy is looking unusually happy and he even sported an accessory.

In case the unusually brilliant smile wasn’t enough to win you over then perhaps the silly pointy hat would. Then again, this might be a Victorian age version of a birthday hat, and this man was celebrating a milestone.

Flickr / Museums & Archives Northumberland

Victorian women wore so many layers of clothing that some believed they had trouble moving around.

But as this lady proved in this photo, Victorian women might have gotten overheated and had trouble breathing in those constricting clothes, but this gal could still jump rope like a total champ.


This lady deserves a prize for weirdest and most awesome use of her bosom in this photo.

We’re not sure what the story is behind this pic, but if she was some sort of waitress serving tea, then she put a whole new spin on the saying fresh off the rack. It’s people like her that are changing the stereotype of this era.


The exposure time in those days took forever, so when you struck a pose, you had to hold it for a while.

But this lady obviously didn’t mind putting on this ridiculously funny face and holding it there until the flash went off. And obviously, having the photographer asked her to say cheese would have been pointless.

Reddit / Samirna

They say that Victorian women were the epitome of proper etiquette, but clearly, they weren’t.

This lady is dressed up to look all prim and proper, but inside that composed exterior is obviously a clown just waiting to burst out. So, when the photographer asked her to give her best face, this is what she did.

Reddit / smagilante

This lady really thought outside of the box when she decided to make this photo unique.

Looking straight at the camera is one way to do it. But she was obviously eager to try something different. She wanted to stand out, and it didn’t bother her if people thought she wasn’t lady-like with her finger probing her nose.


Queen Victoria may have been famous for always being so serious, but she broke protocol and smiled.

Vicky became known for saying the line “We are not amused,” even though she denied those words coming out of her mouth. But it’s kind of cool seeing a royal cracking a smile and showing some teeth for a change.

Wikimedia Commons

They say that laughter in the face of reality is always best, but it needs to come from the heart.

This lady was certainly laughing intensely because she was savoring 18th-century life and everything it had to offer. Then again, the photographer might have told her a naughty joke to give her the giggles.

Flickr / S. Ray

These photos show the light side of the Victorian age where this couple can’t keep it together.

They try to keep it serious in the first photo, but the wife appears to be having a giggle attack. But she composes herself a little bit in the third photo only to completely fall apart and her husband soon follows.

He looks like the Victorian age version of Mr. Bean because he’s making a funny face for the camera.

Let’s face it. Posing for a photo can be oh so awkward! But instead of looking like a model, you can scrunch up your face and get a laugh out of everyone like this gentleman apparently did back in the day.

Flickr / Museums & Archives Northumberland

Kids do the weirdest things when they’re told to pose in front of the camera.

Even in the 18th century, children like this little boy made silly faces for the cameraman instead of smiling. This little guy also had some breakfast stuck to the sides of his lips. Hopefully, mom didn’t spend too much for this pic.

Flickr / Museums & Archives Northumberland

This might seem like a sweet moment taken of a couple who was having fun on the beach’s shore.

But this photo was shot in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1897 and it’s titled “Say That Again And I’ll Dip You In.” But let’s focus on the positive and assume the couple is just playfully messing around on the shore.

Wikimedia Commons

It turns out that commoners weren’t the only ones who goofed off during a photo shoot.

This photo was taken in 1899, and it has a Russian Tsar named Nicholas II who is taking time off from being serious and royal in order to be silly with his loved ones. This just proves that underneath it all, he was a normal man.

Reddit / smagliante