18 Photos of Animals Trying (and Failing) to Be Dignified

Even Nature’s most majestic beasts have off days

Jack Shepherd

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All photos: Animal Friends Comedy Pets

Nature, in her staggering diversity and variety, has produced such wonders as the African Caracal, whose beautiful tufted ears can pick up sounds from miles away; the Poison Dart Frog, whose kaleidoscopic beauty is matched only by her deadliness; and the Clouded Leopard, whose gorgeous markings mimic the play of light flickering through the treetops. But Nature — it must also be said — is equally capable of serving up some absolutely first-rate goofballs like these guys, so it’s clear she has a well-developed sense of humor as well as an eye for the sublime.

Fortunately, the good folks over at the Comedy Pet Photo Awards are here to capture these magnificent dopes in all their ridiculous glory, so let’s take the opportunity to enjoy some of the distinguished finalists from this year’s competition.

Here’s the cream of the 2022 crop.

An overachieving dog who attempted to go in all the directions at once.

© Jose Bayon Nilo / Animal Friends Comedy Pets

An unimpressed cat whose utter contempt for you fully registers despite the food on her face.

© Karl Goldhamer / Animal Friends Comedy Pets

A big white fluffball with another body where there really ought to be a head.

© Kenichi Morinaga / Animal Friends Comedy Pets

A dangerous but rather huggable chauffeur.

© Mehmet Aslan / Animal Friends Comedy Pets

A diplomatic kitten who has ever-so-slightly miscalibrated the subtlety…

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Jack Shepherd

I have a newsletter about crossword puzzles and a podcast about rom-coms. Formerly editorial director @BuzzFeed. Email: JackAShepherd at gmail