Most of us will never drive the Batmobile or Mystery Machine, but that doesn’t mean we can’t stand out while cruising down the highway. These days, there are countless ways to trick out your vehicle so it reflects your personality. Sadly, just one ridiculous modification can turn your sweet ride into a clown car.
All of these auto fads look laughably awful, and yet it’s not too hard to spot them in your own neighborhood. Beware of any mechanic who tries to sell you on a wacky paint job or gigantic accessory. Otherwise, you’ll be too embarrassed to ever pull out of the garage again.
1. Oversized Lifts: Real gear heads lament the rise of the “bro truck,” a term describing pickups with ridiculous features and gaudy exteriors. Why do they make their vehicles so high? Probably so they have room to play beer pong underneath.
2. Bumper Sticker Overload: It’s one thing to point out that your child is an honor student. But stickers become a serious problem when you plaster your entire personality over your vehicle. Besides, they’re an invitation for bookworm drivers to tailgate you.
3. Car Faces: You ever notice what seems like a human face on a car or other inanimate object? That’s a neat phenomenon called pareidolia. What’s less neat is when drivers try to make their cars look like Herbie or Lightning McQueen with goofy facial features.
4. Ugly Wraps: Just because you can put any design on your car doesn’t mean you should. Clearly, the creator of this Louis Vuitton wrap thought it was the epitome of class, but the logos make it look like a giant purse.
5. DIY Body Work: Some speed racers out there mod their cars with supplies bought at their local hardware store. That lame teardrop shape won’t make this guy’s ride more aerodynamic, but his lack of friends in the car should help his MPG.
Reddit / stk58
6. Scissor doors: If you’re climbing out of a Lamborghini or DeLorean — you lucky time traveler — vertically rotating doors are a nice touch. But if you install scissor doors on an economy car, you’re just polishing a turd.
7. Fake Logos: There’s no shame in driving a standard sedan or mid-size car. But attaching a Ferrari logo to a regular vehicle is just embarrassing. It’s basically the auto version of a tuxedo t-shirt.
8. Novelty Interiors: Responsible auto owners know the inside counts as much as the outside. Still, it’s not a good look when you deck out your interior with a cartoonish theme. Anyone driving a Hello Kitty-mobile probably isn’t responsible enough to own a car.
9. Lopsided Wheels: For starters, adjusting the camber of your tires to such a steep angle makes your car look drunk. But on top of that, the mod barely gives you any clearance above the road. One speed bump and you’re done for!
10. Flames All Over: Cool off, Guy Fieri. A couple flame decals are tacky enough, but an entire ring of fire tells everyone that your aesthetic tastes haven’t changed since you were 10 years old. Didn’t you have some Hot Wheels with the same pattern?
Reddit / theghostofme
11. Gigantic Stereo Systems: There’s something magic about listening to your favorite tunes behind the wheel — unless you blast them so loudly that your entire car vibrates. A stereo that takes up your whole backseat is just an expensive way to go deaf.
12. Donks: No, this isn’t a slang term for butts. A “donk” is a custom car that has oversized wheels that lift the body off the street like an old-timey bicycle. Not even a clever pun like “Donk’n Donuts” will soften the blow of wasting so much cash.
MotorTrend / Brandon Lim
13. Underglow: Neon strips are for diner signs, not the underside of your car. This accessory might look impressive the first night you try it out, but ultimately it turns your automobile into an overpriced Lite Brite.
14. Fart-Cans: The biggest idiots on the highway just have to prove that they have a bigger engine than everyone else, even if they don’t. These oversized exhausts help desperate liars by making every rev obnoxiously loud — and stinky too.
15. Six wheels: Unless you’re steering a tractor-trailer, you really don’t need more than four tires. An extra pair will make onlookers think that either your car is about to fall apart or that there’s been a glitch in the Matrix.
16. Tail Light Text: Police will give you a ticket if your tail light is out. But society will give you the cold shoulder if you turn your lights into troll-worthy messages. You can only be so clever with six characters.
Reddit / timwang6
17. Too Shiny: You know that beautiful gleam of a freshly washed car? Well, metallic paint jobs ruin that wonderful sight. Not only does this style look tacky, but it’s also likely to blind everyone else on the road.
18. Custom Pickup: Driving a truck can make you feel supremely macho, but homemade versions are never as cool. One big no-no is transforming a regular car into a pickup, especially when it’s as small as a Mini Cooper. Have fun hauling a single cardboard box.
19. Oversized Spoilers: When it comes to movies and automobiles, you want to avoid big spoilers. An accessory fit for a Formula One racer looks very out of place when you’re scanning the Target parking lot for a space.
20. Fake Wood Paneling: Why are retro-minded road hogs obsessed with making their doors look wooden? This design isn’t making your ride any more eco-friendly. What’s really unfortunate is that people with disastrous DIY car mods often make the same mistakes everywhere else.
Twitter / Brian Libby
21. Like in their homes! This design alleviates the hassle of having to walk a long distance from the bed to the bathroom when you really gotta go. However, it doesn’t fix the problem of everyone watching you while it happens.
22. Looks like someone finally splurged and got some air conditioning. Unfortunately, now they need to enjoy the cool air from a place other than their bed seeing as they positioned this behemoth directly on top of it.
23. Well, the one positive thing you could say about this structure is that the person definitely measured correctly. But, they’re in a world of trouble if they ever need to get into that toilet’s tank.
24. This is the result of someone MacGuyvering a mop in an attempt to unscrew a light bulb. Now, the only thing they have hanging from their ceiling is a massive blunder.
25. What the heck is going on with this thing? This homeowner is living on a prayer if they think duct tape will hold up a 20-pound porcelain toilet tank forever.
26. Hey, when you gotta go, you’ll literally look for anything that will immediately help alleviate the discomfort. But, sitting on tire treads and rope while trying to find solace may not be the way to do it.
27. This piece of equipment was so old and busted it needed a light switch rigged up to work. Imagine having company over and explaining your television works via a light switch.
28. Whoever screwed this seat on must have done it while the thing was folded or else they would have immediately realized they were going about things very wrong. Best to stand rather than take this seat.
29. You can imagine this family saw the picture of the snowman tree and couldn’t wait to build one for their home. It’s just too bad their final version looks like something out of a nightmare.
30. When someone tells you they have an island in their kitchen, it’s hard not to feel impressed. When they tell you the island is the size of a water fountain, it’s hard not to feel embarrassed.
31. It doesn’t look like much entertaining will get done with a backyard dinner table broken into thousands of pieces. They should just lay some wood on the frame. Boom, good as new.
32. Seems like a pretty good way to ensure a bolt doesn’t unscrew on its own… not! While this may be a temporary fix, something like this really requires a professional’s touch.
33. This must be like platform nine and three quarters in the Harry Potter world. Just charge up the steps as quick as you can in hopes you’ll pass through the wall onto a magical train platform.
34. Drawers. Yea, they’re pretty important when you have stuff you need to keep off the counter tops. A design like this ensures you’ll never see some of your stuff ever again.
35. Pool safety is of the utmost importance if you plan on inviting neighborhood kids over to swim, but this homeowner certainly missed that memo. Unless, of course, they were trying to rid the neighborhood of those pesky kids.
36. This is the last sink you’d ever want to wash your hands in. It looks like a team of toddlers was hired to glue down these tiles with those clunky glue sticks we all used in grade school.
37. This person tried as hard as they could to put together one of those headache-inducing IKEA products. Unfortunately, a panic attack was always just minutes away, and they succumbed to it.
38. Okay, this might look a little tacky, but if we’re talking practicality? For someone who clearly doesn’t have the money to turn two faucets into one, it actually works really well.
39. If any member of a fire department walked into an apartment and saw this absolute disaster, they’d evacuate the building until the person who did this received some serious fire safety training.
40. This is comedy gold. Someone wanted to engrave this very important piece of advice into a plaque and they themselves didn’t follow their own rule…or they’re in on a rather clever joke. Either way, it’s good for a laugh!
41. Most people would agree that a pop of color would brighten any room, but seven different colors is a bit too festive don’t you think? Still, Barbies used as casual decor is pretty special.
42. Usually, when you see marble in a kitchen it’s stunning… and it’s also real and, you know, not sponge painted across every single cabinet. This looks more like a crime scene than ancient Rome.
43. From the decorations in the room, it’s clear they were going for a western theme, but they missed the mark on the island. What, we think, is supposed to be a large kidney bean just looks like a large… well, human kidney.
44. After finishing the renovation to this kitchen, they realized they forgot to leave room for the refrigerator. Clearly, the perfect solution is to create a smaller hut in the middle of their open-concept kitchen to house it. Problem solved.
45. At first glance, this kitchen looks spacious, stocked with built-in appliances and a pantry with extra storage. Then you realize that opening the doors is a problem: if you need them all open at once, you have to work through a puzzle first.
46. Somebody didn’t measure the space available before ordering these office kitchen cabinets. It’s fine, though. They’re just for an office so no one is really going to want to store disposable kitchenware for company meetings or anything.
47. Tiny houses are all the rage these days. They’re small living spaces, but they have all the amenities. The lofted toilet right above the kitchen, however, is a poor design choice.
48. Putting any sort of appliance with a door in the corner is sure to backfire. The first time anyone tries to open the dishwasher door, it’s immediately followed with an instant “facepalm” gesture. This is a classic kitchen mistake.
49. Double sinks are great for separating dishes into two loads: one for rinsing and one for washing. Unfortunately, this faucet wasn’t designed for this duel sink action. Maybe the second sink can be used for drying because no water is ever going to reach it.
50. With this renovation, after binging on a four-course Sunday dinner, you can just draw yourself a bath and let the digestion process begin. You don’t even need to wait for your guests to leave because you can still entertain them from the comfort of your bathtub. Maybe this design fail is actually a success.
51. Green is a nice color. Bathrooms look good painted green, bedrooms look good painted green, dining rooms look good painted green. Kitchens do not look good painted green. Spearmint gum was not the way to go with this kitchen renovation.
52. Not really sure what’s going on in this kitchen. Ignoring the fact that there’s an open toilet in the same vicinity as a microwave, there’s also a clear shower in between said toilet and microwave. Talk about an open concept.
53. It’s silly to expect to be able to open all of your drawers without having to move something out of the way, isn’t it? Doesn’t everyone have to open their oven door just to open the drawer that stores the oven mitts?
54. Islands are great for extra counter space. This tiny island, on the other hand, doesn’t really cut it in the space department. Guess you could say this island is… a little remote.
55. Assembling your own furniture is really complicated. See exhibit A below: we wouldn’t suggest sitting on this chair, but it makes for a great statement piece. And did anyone notice there’s an oven next to a washing machine in the background?
56. Hello Kitty is a wildly popular franchise, but who knew they made kitchenware as well? Here, it must always feel like you’re cooking in a play kitchen. Imagine what the rest of the house looks like…
57. Exposed ductwork is the new exposed brick these days. The shiny chrome coloring goes great with the stainless steel appliances and definitely adds character to the plain finishes on the cabinets and countertops.
58. If green or pink aren’t your colors, then purple definitely is. The contrast between the royal, glossy purple cabinets and the gray and white accents is nothing short of noble. Not to mention the mirror in the corner so you can watch yourself prepare raw chicken.
59. Nothing beats doing dishes with a view. This kitchen gets bonus points for allowing you to watch the sun glitter on the lake, observe birds in their natural habitat, and soak up nature at it’s finest… if you could just see over the barbecue.
60. What might have looked good in this designer’s head was not executed very well. It looks like they just took extra cabinet doors and glued them to the front of a stainless steel refrigerator. It’s surprising the oven doesn’t have wood finishing either, but maybe that’d be too much…