150 Times People Spotted An Epic Thumbnail Fail And Just Had To Share It Online

They say that we should never judge a book by its cover—oh, but we all do! The title and cover image that content creators use can make or break their online career. And the sad truth is that no matter how good your content is, nobody will read or watch it if it’s not marketed the ‘right’ way. And a lot of that depends on pandering to constantly-changing algorithms, whether YouTube’s, Facebook’s, or something else.

So, naturally, content creators learn to adapt (their livelihoods depend on it!) and change how they make thumbnails, in order to please their AI overlords and capture their (potential) audience’s attention. However, the result is that some creators go waaaaaay too far.

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The thumbnails they make are so over-the-top, so ridiculous that they’re in a league of their own. Here at Bored Panda, we’ve collected the most epic fails from all over the net to share with you. Check out just how bad things can get below, and don’t forget to upvote your fave worst offenders, Pandas! Are there any clickbaity thumbnails that you’d actually have clicked on? Tell us in the comments, we swear we won’t judge you.

#1 Doing Yoga With A Baby

Image credits: professor_abee

#2 Oh, This Thumbnail Sure Is Unforgettable

Image credits: Paparazzi14

#3 Why? Just Why?

Image credits: TheTipArrowNations

It’s best to think of thumbnails as small and highly colorful digital signs: they’re all vying for your attention. The most intriguing and eye-catching ones usually get clicked on, especially when paired together with a title and topic that the audience is interested in.

And no matter how immune to ads and digital influence we think we are, many people have clicked on ridiculously over-the-top thumbnails before simply because they wanted to see what the ever-loving frick the video or article was going to be about.

#4 Great Chase

Image credits: Top_Celery9396

#5 Are You Still Going To Complain About Leg Space In Economy Class Flights?

Image credits: magnemist

#6 Yes, That Looks Very Real

Image credits: buttercream-gang

Some time ago, Bored Panda spoke about clickbait with media expert and comedy writer Ariane Sherine, from the United Kingdom. She explained why it is that clickbait works.

“Clickbait works because people are desperate to know the ‘one weird trick that doctors don’t want you to know!’ or similar. When it turns out that the trick is actually something really mundane, readers feel cheated,” she noted that the audience can have wildly different expectations from what the content offers.

#7 Wow, Spider-Man Got Ripped

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Image credits: Dibbik

#8 Not A Single Element In This Thumbnail Is Real

Image credits: Camwood7

#9 I Can’t Stop Laughing

Image credits: wakugandan-chubungus

“This instinct towards drama and not empathy doesn’t show humanity in its best light,” she noted why ‘bad’ news tends to be more dramatic.

“[People] want to ogle at what’s happened because it’s dramatic and entertaining and scary, but it’s also a warning of what could happen to them if they’re not careful.” It’s why people tend to migrate towards more negative news topics than positive ones.

#10 This Clickbait. Yes, So Many People Have Toe Teeth

Image credits: GeezerEbaneezer

#11 Wow Gordon, That Cookie Must’ve Been Delicious

Image credits: reddit.com

#12 Talk About Thumbnails

Image credits: Phone_Confident

However, the media expert warned that clickbait has to pay off. For instance, if you have a headline that draws the reader in, you’ve got to back it up with quality content. Otherwise, you might lose a potential long-term audience member.

#13 This Youtube Ad

Image credits: Drummer_0000

#14 Amazing Thumbnail

Image credits: adamboultwood

#15 Youtube Clickbait Thumbnails That Get Millions Of Views

Image credits: DanFlaylen

Now, whether or not the content creator is focusing on short-term rewards or long-term growth is another question entirely… Unfortunately, if someone relies on clickbait, it’s usually the former. Good content creators need to intrigue internet users and hook them in, but don’t feel the need to lie to them.

#16 This Clickbait

Image credits: Elatedwanted

#17 Scariest Bridge

Image credits: Silvanarix

#18 The Thumbnail For This Fake Story Is A Call Of Duty Map

Image credits: Laggin-N-Swaggin

Professor Lisa McLendon, from The University of Kansas, told Bored Panda earlier that signs have to put clarity and brevity above everything else. “You only have a second or two to get your message across, so you want people to understand quickly with zero confusion.”

Meanwhile, taking the time to edit and proofread your material is essential. Checking in with someone who might tell you if your sign/thumbnail/cover works can also help you down the line.

#19 Seriously, Who Allows These Thumbnails?

Image credits: Kitkats213

#20 Duck vs. Car

Image credits: DiverGaming

#21 This Youtube Thumbnail I Came Across

Image credits: Random_Cat66

“Don’t carve an error in stone. It’s embarrassing and expensive to fix. Proofreading before you produce, whether it’s stone or not, is absolutely necessary,” the professor said that proofreading is cheaper than having to fix the mistake later. However, that works mainly for physical signs (the embarrassment part still applies, though). In the digital sphere, it’s far easier to edit and adjust on the fly… though ideally, you won’t have to!

#22 This Shameful Clickbait Thumbnail Of Liv Tyler

Image credits: idigholes

#23 Cursed Clickbait

Image credits: chandlerriggs

#24 Her Posture Was So Bad It Made Her Arms Bigger And Bent The Door Behind Her

Image credits: LambSauce26

“Choose your font with readability in mind. It should be clear and readable at a distance; you don’t want to make people puzzle through a swirly script,” the professor noted that the font that you use is very important for readability.

And readability is actually incredibly important. Matt Johnson, from Hult International Business School and Harvard University, previously told Bored Panda about the fluency effect, “the relatively robust behavioral science phenomenon that the more fluent a font is written in, the more likable and trustworthy the message.”

#25 Worst Thumbnail I’ve Ever Seen

Image credits: Sxy_rexy

#26 Think Someone Used The Completely Wrong Thumbnail

Image credits: bmartin1989

#27 No Way

Image credits: FerencS

It’s in part due to the fluency effect that more and more brands are opting for similar-looking logos, especially in the online space. Readability means getting the message across, meaning the (potential) customer is left satisfied… or at least far more satisfied than they’d be if they were left to puzzle out what was going on.

#28 Fast Dogs

Image credits: Cuber_01

#29 Bald People

Image credits: masarusenpai

#30 Is This Where Milk Comes From?

Image credits: vivo78

#31 When You Only Have One Thumbnail For News From NLR

Image credits: orangutantrm88

#32 He Could Have Photoshopped More

Image credits: DylanTop5

#33 This Youtube Thumbnail

Image credits: roxyclean

#34 Crazy Basketball Thumbnail

Image credits: Harvickfan4Life

#35 I Deserve An Award For Finding The Worst Thumbnail Ever

Image credits: IGotAccountToAskthis

#36 Youtube Thumbnail Gone Too Far

Image credits: Kage_BunshinNo_Jutsu

#37 Lizard Brain

Image credits: ocso639

#38 Bidinflation

Image credits: Dr_Occisor

#39 I Have Multiple Questions

Image credits: POGO_BOY38

#40 Remember This Match Arsenal Scored A Powerful Goal Against Chelsea That Broke The Goalpost

Image credits: paddyarsenal

#41 Channels That Clickbait You With Red Circles On Nothing

Image credits: yomyoo

#42 These Clickbait Youtube Videos

Image credits: Hipped_Orange22

#43 Third Most Subscribed Youtube Channel Uses The Most Questionable Thumbnails I’ve Ever Seen. Some Of Them Encouraging The Use Of Hot Glue In Extremely Dangerous Ways

Image credits: HaC3rPr0

#44 Eh, Close Enough

Image credits: JohnMuirIsMyHomeboy

#45 Thumbnails Like This

Image credits: Laslas19

#46 Pretty Sure The Second Image In This Thumbnail Is A Dog Holding A Pinecone

Image credits: FlipSide97

#47 Gain Muscle Fast

Image credits: ilikegirls86

#48 Idc Bye

Image credits: 7olenge

#49 It’s In The Water, It’s A Mammal, Probably A Dolphin

Image credits: CIoverload

#50 They’ve Gone Too Far

Image credits: FighterX9

#51 Fighting Through The Tears. Remember To Like And Subscribe, Guys. This Is So Hard. Merch 20% Off

Image credits: jimmyraid

#52 Anything Helps, Photoshop Lessons Might Help Too

Image credits: CrapInMyCornFlakes

#53 She Has Clearly Never Looked That Way

Image credits: paintingscars

#54 Nice Arm, Ted

Image credits: SugarSpunSister90

#55 Bro What

Image credits: we-r-all-redit-fish-

#56 Why Is She Like That

Image credits: emlgs

#57 Yep. Perfect Thumbnail

Image credits: Kaine_Kid

#58 Firstly, Why Is This In My Youtube Recommended? Secondly, The Second Image Doesn’t Even Look Like Earth. Like Seriously, What Continent Does That Even Resemble?

Image credits: burningchihuahua

#59 Obviously Fake Thumbnail For Views. Shocking

Image credits: The_Moral_Quandary

#60 This Stupid Ad Literally Running On Reddit Right Now

Image credits: jayphat99

#61 Shapespeare

Image credits: artjin0

#62 These Journalist YouTube Channels Make Thumbnails Like This To Review An IFV

Image credits: MudSnout

#63 Hope The Dog Is Ok

Image credits: meeperton

#64 The Thumbnail On “25 Things You Missed In Lucifer” Isn’t Even From A Scene In The Show

Image credits: NutSpreadMan

#65 I Keep Seeing This Channel Pop Up On Youtube With These God Awful Photoshopped Thumbnails

Image credits: lilrs

#66 Easily Cured Baldness

Image credits: INXDXNXI

#67 This Youtube Thumbnail

Image credits: maxphoenix9

#68 Chicken vs. Lava

Image credits: iOnlyPlayAsLynx1

#69 This Was #8 On Trending

Image credits: KagariYT

#70 Poor Baby

Image credits: werderwayne

#71 Look At How Much Of A Psychopath He Is

Image credits: FlyingCatapult

#72 Amazon Prime Video Missed A Thumbnail, Spoils Finale Of Hell’s Kitchen

Image credits: DeekFTW

#73 These Clickbait Photoshopped Thumbnails

Image credits: Lady_Lucks_Man

#74 Imagine Being So Desperate For Clicks That You Write An Article Like This (Thumbnail Photo Is A Scene From The Titanic Movie By James Cameron)

Image credits: WindlessBoi

#75 This Kind Of Thumbnail

Image credits: lxac1911

#76 Onision’s Most Recent Videos. What A Variety Of Thumbnails

Image credits: NoWhisperer

#77 Oh YouTube Thumbnails Never Change

Image credits: Shallowstannis

#78 Football’s Darkest Days

Image credits: adamboultwood

#79 When Zidane Slapped Hazard

Image credits: afcgoatanelli

#80 Imagine This Is An Actual Chess With Lasers Shooting At Each Other

Image credits: CosmonautMarcus

#81 Death Dancers Has A Nice Ring To It

Image credits: Garrett_Watts

#82 This Thumbnail. You Can Still See His Hair

Image credits: buff730

#83 Ah Yes, The Clickbait Thumbnail

Image credits: hasnizan123

#84 Why The Fake iPhone Colors? This Channel Has Gone Downhill

Image credits: GANdeK

#85 I Keep Getting Recommended “Ghetto Smosh” In My Youtube Recommendations, And The Thumbnails Are Unhinged

Image credits: thotkrimez

#86 The Clickbait Is Strong With This One

Image credits: sezdawg7

#87 This Insane Ad On Youtube Accusing Democrats Of Child Sacrifice

Image credits: garbonzo82

#88 This Thumbnail Wasn’t Well Thought Out

Image credits: JLirl

#89 Thumbnail Announcing An Actor’s Tragic Death Featuring A Completely Different But Much More Famous Actor Who Is Still Very Much Alive

Image credits: Gordopolis

#90 Picture Looks Very… Stretched And Compressed

Image credits: sonellie2

#91 Try Not To Laugh

Image credits: AUSTINBOSS236

#92 Very Realistic Youtube Clickbait Thumbnail

Image credits: cv210

#93 Well, That Looks Natural

Image credits: jerryleebee

#94 It’s Interesting That Even His Skin Got Lighter

Image credits: MyParentsRTheNormal1

#95 These Clickbait Thumbnails

Image credits: Dragonflame81

#96 Oh No

Image credits: chris12131405

#97 More Youtube Thumbnails

Image credits: seanman6541

#98 This Looks Like It Was Made On MS Paint

Image credits: RealAndGay

#99 Gorgeous Clickbait Ad

Image credits: alloy1028

#100 Hmm

Image credits: AsFrostAsDuck

#101 A Glitch Changed This Video’s Thumbnail Into Another One. But I Think It’s Just YouTube Sending A Message

Image credits: MINHTENGI

#102 Using A Currently Working Actor (Dylan O’Brien) For Your Terrible Clickbait

Image credits: Jacobthezombie

#103 Score 90 Used To Be Class. I Don’t Know Why They Succumbed To This

Image credits: trashleftback

#104 Matto’s Lack Of Geography Knowledge Continues With His New Thumbnail

Image credits: ZingerStackerBurger

#105 Not Sure Why That Movie Showed Up As A Romantic Movie, But The Thumbnail Definitely Makes It Look Like One

Image credits: MCCGuy

#106 When You Take Your Video’s Thumbnail From Ark

Image credits: Finr3kt

#107 They Did Do The Shadows Though

Image credits: YEEEHAWWBOIS

#108 This Road Looks Totally Real

Image credits: ChilledRecipe

#109 This Animal Battle

Image credits: Crescendo104

#110 Found This Gorgeous Thumbnail

Image credits: OXtelevizija

#111 Man Without A Torso In Youtube Thumbnail

Image credits: seanman6541

#112 Buff Bois Behaving Like Big Bad Bouncers Bashing You Out Of Your Own Besieged Abode

Image credits: CapnCabbage

#113 Oh No

Image credits: rkolarikk

#114 Eggs

Image credits: kermy_the_frog_here

#115 Unlock The Woman

Image credits: ScratchE25

#116 Thumbnails Like These That Point At Nothing

Image credits: ThePessimisticLemon

#117 Found One In The Wild

Image credits: SovietFemboy

#118 It Is Just Horrible

Image credits: GoldenShibaRetriever

#119 Stealing A YouTube Thumbnail For Views

Image credits: HornyScientits

#120 This Thumbnail I Saw

Image credits: getyoursqueakon

#121 Puts A Progress Line In His Thumbnail, So It Looks Like You Already Started Watching It

Image credits: anamkay

#122 These Kinds Of Thumbnails And Videos

Image credits: Maxitaxi43

#123 Annoying Thumbnail Glitch Where The Title And Thumbnail Don’t Match. (Have Reported Glitch Several Times, But Have Heard Back Nothing)

Image credits: swgylbst

#124 Clickbait About Miscarriage Just To Be Trending On Youtube

The thumbnail is so dramatized and insensitive. They edited the saturation and monetized the video to make it exactly 10 minutes long so they could put two long advertisements in the middle for maximum profit.

Image credits: KingNanoBunny

#125 Clickbaiting, But Showing The Result

Image credits: Stop Clickbait

#126 Blurred Thumbnails

Image credits: SpiralDesignn

#127 What Did They Do To Kendall’s Face In This Thumbnail. I Can’t Stop Laughing

Image credits: watermelonz86

#128 Found These Two Videos With The Same Thumbnail, Just Flipped Horizontally

Image credits: Visual_Musician1538

#129 Knock It Off With That Thumbnail YouTube

Image credits: frying_hi

#130 Never Seen This Before, That’s True

Image credits: magnemist

#131 Don’t Freak Out

Image credits: trouble-in-space

#132 This Thumbnail

Image credits: its-paladin

#133 If You’re Going To Photoshop A Couple Amazon Packages Onto Your Youtube Thumbnail, At Least Make Them Look Convincing

Image credits: McCarty_Bedell

#134 The Thumbnail Is From Texas 2018

Image credits: its-time-was-gone

#135 Hippo Save Baby From Lion

Image credits: ladimon

#136 This Badly Photoshopped Mask On Music Video Thumbnail

Image credits: foreignerpakinibba

#137 I Mean Really… Whoever Made This Has Never Seen Dimension

Image credits: Archist-

#138 Wow Such An Interesting Thumbnail

Image credits: gogogothomas

#139 Some Ordinary Gamer Leaked GTA 6

Image credits: ThisSiteScaresMe

#140 The Age-Old Question

Image credits: dan_da_meme_man

#141 The Guy’s Mouth Though

Image credits: kiwi4377

#142 That’s Not How It Works

Image credits: Skyforce645

#143 Ah Yes When Cristiano Ronaldo Used His Middle Finger As His Celebration

Image credits: reddit.com

#144 Am I High Or Did They Make A Typo On The Thumbnail

Image credits: Donghoon

#145 Cool Thumbnail

Image credits: ras_kei

#146 The Thumbnail They Used For This Serious Instructional Video

Image credits: Amir96r

#147 Perfect Thumbnail

Image credits: TotalSpaceNut

#148 Those Scores He Photoshopped On The Thumbnail Isn’t Even Real

Image credits: DGH1993

#149 Thought This Was Kinda Funny How Two Videos Thumbnails “Combined” Together

Image credits: FilGoncalves

#150 How The Years In The Thumbnail Are Ordered

Image credits: KureKureciCZ

Source: boredpanda.com

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