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Originally an all-male endeavor, cheerleading began in the 19th century as as a way to motivate exhausted athletes during gameplay. As time went on, cheering evolved into a sport in its own right. Competitions are now held all around the world and feature groups of incredibly talented cheerleaders.
For a sport so focused on gymnastics and routines, there's a lot of work that goes into making the perfect cheer! Luckily for us, that means there's plenty of hilarious photographs of what happens when something goes wrong.
We've put together a list of 29 epic cheerleading fails that were captured right at the perfect moment...
We can all learn a profound and important lesson from this young girl's humiliation. To be successful, we must remember to stay humble, thank our teammates for their unique contributions, and consistently work hard at achieving our goals.
Also, you shouldn't eat Taco Bell on game day.
In the cheer jungle, there's a dominance hierarchy where each cheerleader must fight to defend their position.
The alpha that reigns from the top of the pyramid must fend off a litany of ambitious challengers. This cheer queen's preferred method of combat: sassy face kicks!
More than likely, the young lady featured in this perfectly-timed snapshot is a textbook example of classic, all-American good looks. And we would never stoop so low as to call someone "ugly."
This is 2018 and we'd like to think that, as a society, we've moved beyond judging our peers based on their physical appearance. We'll leave that task up to you.
And if you thought the explosive diarrhea on this page was bad, well, you ain't seen nothin' yet...
While we definitely feel for this blissfully unaware cheerleader, we can't help but crack a smile at her misfortune.
Was it the spicy Mexican food she had for lunch? Or maybe she's got a touch of that stomach bug going around? Either way, she's going to need some serious bleach to overcome that doo doo stain.
This unmistakable mixture of arrogance, inflated self-importance, and cattiness is serving us 100% Mean Girls sass.
Well, we hate to burst your bubble honey, but in fifteen years — after your looks start to go — your cheating husband is going to trade you in for a younger model. By then, you'll be too knee deep in red wine country to care. So just keep smiling like that...
Who knew that high school cheerleading was a contact sport? This pep squad leader looks like she endured a real life episode of Game of Thrones as opposed to just attending a pep rally.
We have to give her credit for her dedication. And yes sweetie, that's gonna leave a scar.
From these girls' facial expressions, you'd think that something straight out of a horror movie was transpiring underneath those polyester pleats!
Are aliens hatching out of their cosmic cocoons? Or has a portal to another dimension opened up? Nahhh... they probably just forgot to wear underwear that day.
Up next, we've got a ravenously hungry mascot — just don't ask what he eating...
This monster mascot later told the police that it was "justifiable homicide," because he was "just really hungry."
"The truth is that he had been planning on eating Jessica for a long time," said fellow cheerleader Kristen Johnson. "A couple of years ago he ate a blonde checkout girl at Walmart."
You could blame it on the timing of the photograph, this cheerleader's penchant for drinking before practice, or even the possibility of inbreeding... But the real deal is that this poor girl suffers from plain, old-fashioned "butt ugliness."
Your grandmother suffered from it and so does your childless, 43-year-old neighbor Helga. It's an epidemic, apparently.
Okay, so this unfortunate cheerleader didn't actually die as a result of her injuries. She did, however, sustain a rare brain injury that has her randomly shouting cheers, enacting choreography at improper times, and executing tumbles during dinner.
We wish her a speedy recovery.
Up next, we've got a male cheerleader that's, um... being inappropriate...
Did you know that women didn't begin cheerleading until the early 1920s? The University of Minnesota was the first college to permit a trickle of female coeds in their program and a few other institutions begrudgingly followed suit.
Okay, enough of the history lesson — what's up with this dude looking at her lady parts? What a creeper!
This dirty dog of a school mascot knew exactly what he was doing when he saddled up for this photo op.
And judging from this cheer queen's facial expression, so did she.
High school cheer captain Natalie Koontz didn't die during this bungled execution of a reverse handspring. Nope, she kicked the bucket two days later in a freak parasailing accident.
"She just kept sailing up into heaven," said her mother. "She's with the angels now."
And speaking of freak accidents...
Back in the day, it was commonplace for majorettes to light batons on fire during their routines. After more than a few young ladies were injured, this practice slowly fell out of favor.
And while we've got to hand it to this gal for going "old school" and putting on a great show, let's give the fire department a break next season and keep it simple.
A big part of cheerleading is rousing enthusiasm in the audience and spirited facial expressions come with the territory. That having been said, this particular cheer queen may have taken it just a little bit too far.
Eyewitnesses confirm that moments after this photograph was taken, her eyeballs literally shot right out of her head. Asked later about the incident, the cheerleader explained that she "just couldn't contain that kind of joy any longer."
Up next, we've got the surprising difference between boys and girls...
Men, as a species, are fairly consistent. They will lie to avoid housework, only wash their hands when someone's looking, and can't help themselves when it comes to looking at shapely, female booty.
I guess we'll have to cut the poor guy in the photograph some slack then.
No, we're joking! That's how she really looks.
Remember when your mother used to tell you, "Don't make that face or it's going to get stuck like that?" Turns out mom was right all along!
Up next, find out what happens when you combine cheerleading, vodka, and a low IQ...
They say that you've got to hit rock bottom before you're able to get clean and sober. And nobody knows this hallowed truth better than a drunken cheerleader.
We're happy to report that this pep rally princess has a sponsor, attends meetings, and just received her one year chip. Good job!
Have you ever lost your car keys and then been surprised to learn that they were in your hand the entire time?
This is something similar to that. Except in this case, the entire stadium knew exactly where this cheerleader's phone was hiding! We're still wondering why it was turned on vibrate, though.
And next, we've got the worst backflip fail we've ever seen...
To make the cheer squad, you have work hard, religiously practice the routines, and exercise every single day.
Or, your dad could be the school principal and you could just make it that way. Can you tell who worked hard and who took the easy route?
Unfortunately, cheerleading as a sport doesn't have rigorous intelligence requirements.
All this vacuous pep squad captain had to do was hold up a sign. Maybe next time she can be in charge of sitting quietly on the bench?
And next, who says that heavier girls shouldn't be cheerleaders? Well, the guy holding this one up for starters...
We have to applaud this young man's valiant efforts.
"Next time I'll call in reinforcements," he later commented. "This is really more of a two man job."
Let's just call a spade a spade, shall we? Human beings are, by and large, a sick bunch. Most of us take a secret, perverse pleasure in observing the catastrophes of others.
Well, we're just as dysfunctional as the next person, and we love this little GIF!
And next, we've got a little boy who just wouldn't take no for an answer...
After the surprised cheerleader didn't return his phone calls, the little boy kissed her best friend, posted ugly things on her Facebook wall, and spread a rumor that she had an STD.
Rejected dudes (of any age) can act like such turds.
At first, this girl's University of Memphis sisters thought that she was just excited about winning the championship. Then, they wondered if she might be having a grand mal seizure.
However, it became apparent that Lacy was possessed when she demanded a glass of pig's blood to "celebrate the win." When her request was denied, her head began spinning a full 360 degrees.
Turns out that aliens have been living among us ever since that UFO crashed in Roswell back in the 1940s.
Their intentions are completely benign and according to scientists with the Defense Department, they just want to "spread cheer throughout the galaxy."
If you photoshop'd this girl out of the picture and just isolated her, you could make some hilarious memes! She was caught at just the perfect moment during her routine and ended up looking completely bizarre.
We still think the real culprit is a lack of fiber in her diet, though.
Abigail's worst fears were realized when the cheer squad threw her way up in the air, decided to take a Gatorade break, and walked away. As she plummeted back down to Earth, she had time to contemplate the nature of existence and her life up until that point.
Her only regret: She never finished binge-watching Breaking Bad. Well, spoiler alert, everything ends badly.