40 Funny Roller Coaster Photos That Should Be Archived For Future Generations

By Abigail T

Your first roller coaster ride is like a rite of passage. Do you even remember your first time? Scratch that. Do you remember the first time you ever entered an amusement park? The sweet smell of cotton candy fills the air while the roaring sounds of roller coasters thrash and cut the wind at maximum speed. It’s a whole experience. And chances are you remember the first few times you set foot in this unworldly place.

For the adrenaline junkies out there who enjoy being propelled through the air at hundreds of miles per hour, suspended upside down in mid-air, and going loop-de-loop over and over again, this is heaven on earth. However, these kinds of rides are terrifying for the less brave of the bunch. Every roller coaster is a Tower of Terror, even the fun ones at Disneyland that don’t go that fast. No matter which group you fall into, one thing is sure: roller coaster rides make for some great photos.

Roller coaster photos have been a thing since the 90s, but the ones you’re about to see belong in a rare roller coaster archive for future decades to marvel at. From the looks of sheer panic, passing out, and playing video games to the nonchalant expressions of those unaffected by the ride, this wild ride of a list has it all!

There are three types of people

Unless you’ve been on the ride before, you won’t know when to expect the cameras waiting to take the most flattering photos of you. When you get off the ride, you realize just how ridiculous your expression was. In this one snap, we can clearly see what kind of time they are having.

Photo courtesy of Amber (Awkward Family Photos)

The first one is the little boy. He clearly noticed the camera and made sure to pull a cool look right as it snapped. The second is the lady behind him. She’s absolutely terrified. The last is the man at the back. He seems indifferent to the whole situation.

Rock on, dude!

Going on roller coasters is much more thrilling when with friends. Sometimes, watching their reaction is more fun than the ride itself. But when you drag your girlfriend, who hates roller coasters, along for the experience, chances are she won’t be smiling.

Photo courtesy of darebare92 (Reddit)

Maybe this girl was just trying to be a good sport. But while her boyfriend rocked on, obviously knowing where the camera was, she wasn’t having any of it. Her look screams, “Get me off this ride, RIGHT. NOW.”

Lifelong trauma

Sometimes the only way to get your kid to do something is to do it with them. This dad doesn’t have a problem with going on a roller coaster. He probably thought his kid would have fun and feel safer if he was by his side.

Photo courtesy of Rauglothgor (Reddit)

Unfortunately, instead of making his son feel safe, he has probably traumatized his kid for life. You can see it on the poor boy’s face. “We’re going WAY TOO FAST, DAD. I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU SAID THIS WAS GONNA BE FUN. I AM NEVER TRUSTING YOU AGAIN.”

Can we hang with Gramps, too?

Roller coasters can also serve as a spot for heartwarming moments, surprisingly. This grandfather sure made the most of this ride. He was diagnosed with COPD a few years before this photo was taken. The diagnosis mainly meant that he would have difficulty breathing.

Photo courtesy of majahelenelarsen (Reddit)

However, he didn’t let that stop him from having some fun in his old age! It seems that he went with his granddaughter, and they both had an awesome time together. Just look at the smile on his face. What a trooper!

Before and after

You know that specific moment on a roller coaster where the ride is just cruising at a leisurely pace, pulling away from the station? At this point, you’re still calm. You’re collected enough to even take a photo for your parents, holding your two thumbs up.

Photo courtesy of parasiticp***y (Reddit)

But once the ride reaches the drop, and you go plummeting through the air at maximum speed, all that calmness flies out the window. Instead, it’s replaced with fear. And you have no energy to even smile, much less hold your two thumbs up.

Cool grandma

The grandfather we saw before isn’t the only senior citizen brave enough to ride a fast roller coaster. This lady hopped on the Stanley Falls ride at Busch Gardens in Florida and truly showed everyone how it’s done.

Photo courtesy of EvolutionIXMR (Reddit)

Her face remains expressionless, even as the roller coaster drops down the slope. She’s probably seen too much in her life to be affected by physically harrowing experiences such as this. Nobody is cooler than this woman. Hats off to her!

Happy anniversary

Different couples choose to celebrate their anniversaries differently. Some choose a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant. Others return to the spot where they shared their first kiss. Others prefer a quiet night in and a movie. There is no right or wrong when it comes to this celebration.

Photo courtesy of Jetsetter (Reddit)

This couple decided to spend their wedding anniversary at an amusement park. It’s safe to say that it was only amusing for the husband. His wife looks to be having a horrible time. We’re not sure if she’s regretting agreeing to the roller coaster or the marriage!

Hanging on for dear life

Splash Mountain is one of the oldest and most popular rides at Disneyland. Not only are you thrown about in the wind on a roller coaster, but you’re also moving through water. The combination of more than one of the elements may be too much for some to handle.

Photo courtesy of Reddit_PI (Reddit)

As you can see from the photos, there seems to be nowhere you can hold on to. So what do you resort to when you need a bit of stability? Apparently, you hold onto the face of the person in front of you. This probably happened out of nowhere, and this guy had no idea what was coming!

Group proposal

A lot of people will choose to enlist the help of their friends when proposing to the person they love. It’s great to be able to celebrate the love of your life with your friends. This guy had a great idea to propose to his girlfriend on a roller coaster ride.

Photo courtesy of missscottfraser (Reddit)

Luckily, everyone seemed to have enjoyed the ride, and the guys held up the signs right on time for the camera to snap! We’re really curious to see how this girl reacted when she saw this photo and realized the gravity of the situation!

Protect the hair at all costs

Sometimes you have to be a good sport and get on the ride that the group wants to go on. For this lady, that ride happened to be Splash Mountain. But there’s one thing she really didn’t want—to get her hair wet.

Photo courtesy of Cyndi (Awkward Family Photos)

Fortunately, she came prepared. She used a plastic bag to cover her head during the parts of the ride where water was splashing on her face. What a smart move! Ladies, this is how you protect your hair at Disneyland!

The Scots take over

We’re not sure if these men are Scots from the highlands or if they’re just a group who decided to have a day out in complete costume form. Either way, them riding in an entire row of seats together makes for a pretty epic picture.

Photo courtesy of malleeman (Reddit)

We’re scratching our heads, wondering how these guys managed to keep their large headpieces on the entire ride! Surely the wind would have blown them all away. The fact that their outfits matched the seats also brings the whole photo together.

The horror ride

There are plenty of roller coasters out there that have a back story. You can count on at least one or two horror rides. These ones aren’t for everyone because the fear factor is doubled with just how creepy the ride is.

Photo courtesy of Djblee (Reddit)

This little girl was not a fan of the sounds that were playing as the ride passed through a dark tunnel. It’s usually sounds of witchy chuckling, the raspy voice of an older man, or eerie children’s laughter. All this girl wanted was to get off!

Poker face

Some people are so unfazed by roller coasters that they get bored. Some rides are indeed less intimidating than others. But even so, you’d expect there to still be some facial expressions plastered across people’s faces while being plunged through the air.

Photo courtesy of kyle-tisdel (Reddit)

There are only two explanations for the way this guy looks. Either he really is unimpressed by this roller coaster ride, or the camera just caught him in a brief moment of calm. Whichever it is, he definitely has his best poker face on.

Fly away keys

Something most people don’t factor in when getting on roller coasters is that anything in your pockets has the chance to come flying out at some point. This is especially true for rides that have to go upside down in a loop or slide backward.

Photo courtesy of Bitterbal95 (Reddit)

This photo makes it look like these two guys are playing catch with someone’s car keys. In reality, the guy in front dropped his keys, and the guy behind him used his Spiderman-like reflexes to catch them. Thank goodness for that guy!

Gotta chill

Some people live by the words on their t-shirts. Whether that’s “Live, laugh, love,” “#Blessed,” or simply “Chill,” printed t-shirts remind people of what they value. For this kid sitting in the front of the roller coaster, he values being chill in any situation.

Photo courtesy of baconiswow (Reddit)

Holding his arms out in this pose, he looks to be signaling to his friends behind him to stop freaking out and just chill. That’s probably not the best advice for people on a roller coaster, but hey. To each their own!

The look of sheer terror

Adults who go on roller coaster rides may feel a sense of pride. They may be freaking out inside, but they don’t want to look too scared on the outside. Kids, on the other hand, wear their emotions on their faces without reservations.

Photo courtesy of PugLover5533 (Reddit)

The little girl in the front and the younger boy behind her are definitely terrified. Whatever they’re looking at, it’s not kid-friendly. She was so scared that she had to hang on tight to her stuffed doll, while the boy was sitting up in his dad’s seat as if he was ready to jump off at the first chance he got!

Family photo

This isn’t your usual family photo. It’s not taken at a wedding, birthday, or vacation. Nobody is dressed up. It’s not a special occasion. It’s just the entire family aboard the Millennium Force roller coaster, with a fun little twist to their family outing adventure.

Photo courtesy of t**sforf**k (Reddit)

If you notice, each member of the family is miming some sort of morning ritual. The girl on the left is doing her makeup, and her younger sister is brushing her hair. The dad in the back is literally brushing his teeth, while his son shaves!

Choker

Do you remember the lady on Splash Mountain from a few pictures ago who grabbed the face of the man in front of her as the ride zoomed down a slope? We have a similar situation here, except it’s a little more of a hazard than the previous case.

Photo courtesy of Will (Awkward Family Photos)

This guy in the front is being choked by the person behind him! We wouldn’t recommend holding onto the person in front of you on a roller coaster unless you want to accidentally strangle them! You should hold onto the back of their seat instead.

So whatever

We know teenagers have a little bit of an attitude, but we didn’t realize that it would apply to Splash Mountain. Take a look at this girl’s facial expression as the roller coaster drifts down a steep incline. She does not care at all.

Photo courtesy fo BGally24 (Reddit)

That eye roll is next level. You can’t even see her pupils! We can imagine her parents’ frustrations in trying to deal with her when she gives them this look. She’s probably thinking, “This ride is so lame. I’m too old for this.”

Readers of today

You know what they say—today’s readers will be tomorrow’s leaders. The adage doesn’t specifically mention what the reading material is or where the activity of reading is carried out. So this group decided to do whatever they wanted with it.

Photo courtesy of ElNickCharles (Reddit)

This photo was taken on Splash Mountain, and it’s safe to say that those books did not survive the ride. We don’t know how they could have kept those paperbacks safe. But kudos to them for the acting skills, making it look like the speeding downhill wasn’t affecting them at all.

Scream!

You never really know how your face reacts to scary, life-threatening situations until you see a photo of yourself. This person riding a particularly adrenaline-pumping roller coaster looks like they came straight out of that painting called The Scream.

Photo courtesy of lasirenita79 (Reddit)

The way their open mouth elongates their face is almost exactly the same as the person in the painting, don’t you think? If you’re not familiar with this reference, maybe you’ll agree that they also look like the Ghostface mask from the horror movie Scream!

Revenge is sweet

The story goes that these two brothers were having a family day at a theme park when the older brother started picking on his younger sibling. Classic sibling behavior, right? Well, the little brother waited for the perfect to take revenge.

Photo courtesy of Amanda (Awkward Family Photos)

Instead of punching his older brother in the face right after their little quarrel, the younger brother waited until they were on a roller coaster together in front of the camera. Getting decked in the face hits different when you’re plummeting downhill full force!

A renaissance painting

The internet has pointed out that multiple absurd things always seem to be going on in a renaissance painting. Well, the following roller coaster photo can definitely fall under the same category. Just take a look.

Photo courtesy of GrayHood Graysoon (Tumblr)

We’ve got the lovers kissing the front seat, except one of them is wearing a horse head. They’re blissfully unaware that other people are watching. Behind them, a young boy absolutely disgusted by what’s going on. He’s trying to protect his little sister from witnessing such a bizarre display of affection.

Mama’s first time

Most people’s first time on a roller coaster took place in childhood. That’s usually how they decide whether they enjoy it enough to go again, or whether once is enough. This Reddit user’s mother never went on a roller coaster growing up.

Photo courtesy of MarshmallowMark (Reddit)

Her first time happened when she was 67 years old, with her son who, by that point, was all grown up! Here they are riding in one car together. Her son is clearly having a good time. We’re not sure about her, though!

An exorcism is in order

The thing about roller coasters is that when they take the big drop, you feel the intense wind coming from all directions. Often this wind will push the skin on your face upwards! Looking at this guy, it seems the wind also blew his pupils up!

Photo courtesy of Mojotuff4 (Reddit)

This man looks demonized; we almost think an exorcism is in order. Just look at how red his face is, and how his pupils have almost disappeared around the back of his head! We don’t know whether to laugh or be concerned.

Thanks for the trauma dad

When parents bring their kids to amusement parks, they have to be troopers too. Obviously, little children can’t go on rides alone, so their parents will have to go with them. This dad went on the same ride three time with each of his daughters.

Photo courtesy of vulgarly_dressed (Reddit)

These girls do not seem to be enjoying the ride. If anything, they look like they’re going to forward their therapy bills to their dad when they get older! They’re probably traumatized forever, and they’re never getting on another ride again.

Hurl ride

Content warning: vomit. The number one rule for going on a roller coaster is to not eat a big meal before that. Otherwise, you’ll upset your stomach as you get tossed around in the air, and everything you just had for lunch is going to come back out.

Photo courtesy of Dave (Awkward Family Photos)

This dude should not have had lunch before the ride. He should have held off and gone to eat after. He’s sufficiently dirtied and grossed out everyone on the ride. Puking mid-air means it goes literally everywhere! The guy next to him looks like he would sue.

The kiddy ride

Every theme park has at least one or two kid-friendly rides. This just means that the ride is not too high off the ground, involves little to no extreme loops, and goes at a nice, non-traumatizing pace.

Photo courtesy of Pamela (Awkward Family Photos)

Kiddy rides are great for introducing first-timers to the world of roller coasters. However, it seems like even the kiddy ride was too much for this little boy. While everyone else is clearly enjoying themselves, this kid just wants it all to be over.

Jenga in the air

We have no clue how these boys are pulling this off, but you gotta say it’s pretty impressive! The only way this would be possible is if those Jenga blocks are glued together! If so, they posed at the perfect time for this photo.

Photo courtesy of Foody98 (Reddit)

The kid in the seat behind them looks equally as confused as we are. We’re just wondering what made these two kids come up with this idea. “Hey, we’re going on a roller coaster. Let’s pose while playing Jenga!” Doesn’t seem like a particularly logical train of thought.

Silly face

You know how when you take a group photo, there’s always someone who yells out, “Can we do a silly one?” That’s what we’re imagining happened on this ride. They probably took a normal one for the previous camera.

Photo courtesy of Cherie Caceres (Pinterest)

When they were nearing the second camera on the ride, somebody screamed “SILLY FACE!” and everyone assumed a silly facial expression. We’re amazed at people who still have the mental capacity to make conscious decisions while they’re on roller coasters!

This should be illegal

Technology and concern for safety have greatly improved since the time roller coasters were invented. In the past, and by “the past,” we mean the ‘90s, roller coasters were less safe to go on just because the technology hadn’t reached the level it is today.

Photo courtesy of wavy-moo (Awkward Family Photos)

Just look at this father and daughter plummeting down a steep decline. His baby is literally almost falling off the ride, and he has to hang on to her! Otherwise, she’d fly out. What a nightmare experience! We hope they have since included safety rails on this ride.

I never wanted to be here

Sometimes when you’re going to a theme park as a group, you have to make compromises. You may not get to go on all the rides you want to go on because you have to go with what the majority wants.

Photo courtesy of Blackthorne519 (Imgur)

This is what we suspect has happened to this woman. The rest of the group wanted to go on Splash Mountain. It’s the staple ride when you’re at Disney, right? But she didn’t particularly enjoy it. And you can clearly read it on her face.

G-force

Theme parks aren’t responsible for the way your face looks when G-force hits. You may be a perfectly handsome person, but once that gravity hits you, it’s anyone’s game. Just look at this photo of a boy on the roller coaster ride called Skyrush.

Photo courtesy of bombingofdresden (Reddit)

There’s the photo of him looking normal, without the force of gravity to alter the way he looks. The photo at the top is the horrific image of the same kid as gravity overtook him. The irony is, his shirt says, “Smile More!”

Bringing the game to Splash Mountain

Before we go on any further, we’d just like to comment that a lot of these photos took place in Space Mountain, so you know it’s a favorite for a lot of people. This family, in particular, wanted to create an iconic family photo on Splash Mountain.

Photo courtesy of Jason (Awkward Family Photos)

The dedication is incredible. They printed out a life-sized TV with the Donkey Kong game on, and they even brought their PlayStation controllers on the ride. They could have just posed with their portable Nintendos, but they said, “We’re going all in.”

MOM WHY DID YOU MAKE ME DO THIS

Another popular theme park is Legoland, where you can also go on Lego-themed rides. You would think that rides at kids’ parks wouldn’t be as extreme as, say, the rides at Six Flags. But this little guy couldn’t handle it.

Photo courtesy of Carlycross (Awkward Family Photos)

This kid is crying, screaming. “MOM WHY DID YOU MAKE ME DO THIS? I WANNA GET OFF THE RIDE NOW.” And even worse, his mom was also scared! This kid has no reassurance that he’s going to make it out alive because his own mother is kicking and screaming next to him.

Chilling and relaxing

A family of three decided to go to an amusement park on a Saturday. The mother thought it would be a fun outing for everyone since they’ve all had pretty stressful weeks. What she didn’t take into consideration is how much more stressful the roller coasters would be.

Photo courtesy of rminton (Reddit)

Out of everyone in this picture, the mom is the only person smiling. She seems pretty relaxed and in her element as her roller coaster zooms past the trees. Meanwhile, her husband is trying hard not to pass out behind her, and her daughter is holding on for dear life.

She’s about to blow

Remember what we said about not eating before going on a roller coaster? This girl doesn’t seem to have heeded our advice. She looks like she’s about to blow, and the people around her are blissfully unaware of what’s about to go down.

Photo courtesy of hgnsalley (Awkward Family Photos)

Meanwhile, the little girl behind her is screaming her head off because she can’t handle the ride. And, why are they sitting in the back? Truly, there are many different bodily responses to being propelled through the air. Screaming, crying, vomiting, you name it.

Phone go bye-bye

We’ve seen keys flying out of pockets. It’s not very difficult to get replacement keys, and it’s usually not too costly. But when cell phones fly out of your pocket on a roller coaster ride, you’re bound to be annoyed.

Photo courtesy of moonshine12 (Reddit)

Phones cost a lot of money, even back in the day. Having to get a new phone may not be in your budget. Plus, before the days of the cloud, losing your phone meant losing all your contacts! Can you guess which one of these passengers lost their phone on the ride?

Another renaissance painting

Here’s another image that looks like a renaissance painting, simply because there’s so much going on in this photo! Let’s start with the guy in red on the far left. He’s just laughing at the guy in front holding a peace sign up.

Photo courtesy of PassedMyPrime (Reddit)

The mother next to him is trying to console her daughter. The guy in green is so confused that the person next to him has his shoe up to his ear. The woman on her phone doesn’t seem to care about the ride. The kid in orange looks like he’s trying to figure out a math equation.

I can handle it

A little competition in a relationship is never a bad thing. The woman in this picture told her boyfriend time and again that she could handle roller coasters, but the boyfriend begged to differ. So they put her to the test.

Photo courtesy of madirishman03 (Reddit)

They went on two rides together, and in both, you can clearly see who’s having a good time and who’s suffering! Guess she can’t really handle roller coasters after all. Not that it matters—it’s not like it’s an important life skill to have.