We’ve all been there. Maybe you realize tomorrow’s the day you signed up to bring snacks for Kimmy’s Little League game, and you head to the closest Walmart for a sack of apples and eight sleeves of Ritz crackers. Maybe your pregnant wife has to have Tater Tots now, and no, the ones in the freezer won’t do because they’re not the right brand, and she might go crazy if she doesn’t have some right now. Maybe your drain clogs for the hundredth time that month and you’re out of cleaner. Whatever the reason, you put on your sandals (since shoes take too long), even though you’re still wearing socks, you forget you have on pajama pants already, you throw on the closest coat, only realizing when you get out of the car it wasn’t yours and the sleeves barely reach your elbows. And where are you? Walmart, of course, that haven of hasty late-night purchases.
We’ve all looked our worst trudging the aisles in search of the binder our daughter needs for her school project, or the box of chocolates that doesn’t look too cheap (but is) for our significant other before Valentine’s Day ends. But we’ve gathered some photos from People of Walmart that will make you realize no matter what odd combinations of clothing you stumbled through the automatic doors in, some other customers will still have you beat. From inexplicable outfits to odd behaviors, Walmart is the home turf of all sorts of diverse customers. Ourselves included.
We’ll speculate on what might have brought these customers to where they are in the pictures, as well as ask the question of whether we could see ourselves in a similar situation.
20. Sheepdog Chic
When you shop Walmart by day and herd the flocks by night, this is definitely the outfit for you. We also have to point out the massive flower brooch (or corsage, we’re not really sure) that really pulls the look together.
Why she wore it: Everyone likes a little added volume. Only some can stand an absolute crapton of it. Maybe those Pantene commercials are inspiring some overly committed fans.
19. The Low-Rider
This top sits low enough that it seems the pants could have been pulled high enough to do the job of both garments. The kid in the cart seems to be looking to make a run for it sometime soon, and we can hardly blame her. It seems that fringe could catch on any number of things while sashaying down the aisles.
Why she wore it: Maybe all her other clothes were dirty and she came for another box of detergent.
18. The Front-Butt
Nothing says confidence like having a plumber’s crack slide up from the front of your pants. This guy’s rocking out suspenders and a carefree attitude. We’re not entirely sure that there’s not a small naked person hiding in his shirt with their hiney hanging out, but we certainly hope it’s not the case.
Why he wore it: Suspenders take some work to put on, so we assume that by the time he got them on he didn’t care that his shirt was a size or two too small. We can hardly blame him on that one.
17. The Shamed Child III
The fact that Mr. Dad of the Year ruined not just a jacket but also a pair of jeans all in an assuredly successful attempt at shaming his daughters, earns him a spot on our list.
Why he wore it: While the narrative on this one seems pretty clear, we like to think that his girls were begging for the latest fashion trends, with cute style as a justification. It doesn’t seem their arguments held up.
Would we ever try it: Anything to embarrass a kid is probably worth trying, but ruining that many clothes for the sake of not buying more clothes seems a bit paradoxical. Or maybe his jeans were ripped like that already…
16. The Shamed Child II
Nothing screams trust like being literally handcuffed to your parent, probably in an effort to keep you from running off, shoplifting, or whatever else kids might be tempted to do in a giant superstore. This parent seems to have a clear strategy to make grocery runs as efficient as possible.
Why they did it: It’s simple. Kids don’t listen.
15. The Shamed Child I
For the final installment of shamed children, here’s our favorite. All appears to be normal with the family trip to Walmart – no handcuffs, no low-hanging fringe – except for the giant neon sign screaming I AM A LIAR hanging on the shoulders of the youngest child. It doesn’t even seem like the older brother cares. The humiliation stands on its own, perhaps.
Why they did it: The ambiguity of this storyline is perhaps its draw. What could a child do to garner such confrontational parenting? We’ll assume he tried to cut out of school, or blamed his brother for eating the last cookie.
14. The Not-Quite-Finished
Style statement or extension interruption? This guy’s playing it cool, with a jar of condiments held casually at the side and no sign of apprehension about who may be watching. That’s the beauty of Walmart though, eh? You can half-do the hairdo and still end up fitting in.
Why he wore it: He’s starting a new trend. He’s too comfortable for it to be a half-done ‘do, and maybe just gauging the reactions of his fellow shoppers before venturing into a new environment.
13. The Wicked Witch Of The Rolex Aisle
Dressed in all black from head to toe, the Wicked Witch looks like a hurried “I forgot to think of a costume” costume on the night of a Halloween party. Imagine coming across this guy when grabbing a new watch battery.
Why he wore it: Something tells us there’s not many costume parties for octogenarians, so that explanation is off the table. Or maybe it’s just a distraction, and he’s got some boxes hidden in that hat of his, just high enough to escape the shoplifting detector at the exit.
12. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Butterfly
Camo at a Walmart? Always. Princess outfits? Occasionally. A camouflage-princess-butterfly combo? That’s a one in a million. Everything from the tutu to the bow holding the wings on make this a winner of a Walmart find.
Why he wore it: If you’re gonna hunt birds, you might as well have an outfit that can get you into the sky unseen. While the wings might not be strong enough to hold him, he’ll look glamorous trying.
11. The Cap’n
You’re standing in line and you realize the kids suddenly stopped complaining about not moving through faster. You turn around and see the most full-on Cap’n Crunch outfit you’ve ever witnessed. Even the Cap needs Bisquick and Sharpies, it turns out. From the fanned white moustache to the four golden buttons to the black boots, this costume is on point.
Why they wore it: Maybe they’re the type that didn’t want to be recognized by anyone they knew while buying drying goods that weren’t organic or from the local co-op. With a good enough disguise, being noticeable turns out to be the best way to fly under the radar.
10. The Wig Rack
Oh, honey. This is taking extensions to a whole new level. While it looks like an aerial view of three Wookies trying out for The Human Centipede, the fact that somebody actually tied three wigs together to make their mismatched locks reach their calves is almost more disturbing. Surprisingly enough, not only do none of the colors match, but none of the textures match either. Maybe what we’re witnessing is an audition for a final choice of hair color and style.
Why she wore it: We couldn’t even begin to conjecture.
9. The Salt Laker
Wit, sympathy, obliviousness, swagger: this outfit has it all. He looks straight into the camera, not at all concerned about what the photographer might be thinking, and strides on past. Whoever made the genius ‘SL,UT’ design may not have hit their intended demographic with this one, but they have created an internet star.
Why he wore it: Is he wearing the shirt to be funny? Or because his daughter lives in Salt Lake City, and he bought the shirt at a secondhand shop in order to express his support? Either way, it’s a winner in our eyes.
8. The As-Little-As-Possible
So, we know people are often in a hurry at good ol’ Wally World. But are they in such a hurry they forget all their clothes? It certainly appears that way, at least in this woman’s case, as she even has bare feet, meaning panties and a sports bra are all she’s got on.
Why she wore it: Maybe it was a hot day. Like, melt-the-clothes-off-your-skin hot. Or maybe she’s got a new box of shoes waiting to slip into in the box there.
Would we ever try it: Absolutely. While mildly surprised she was allowed to traipse through the store barefoot, if it’s a kosher practice we might just try our luck next time. Even the classic socks-with-sandals look takes longer to put on than this one.
7. This Guy
Some of the photos from People of Walmart inspire incredulity or even disgust. Others inspire awe. A cart adorned with flags, Captain America, a parrot, a robot and a bunch of plastic flowers? This guy knows how to rock out a shopping trip.
Why he rode it: If you’ve got one, use it. This thing would make a trip down even the darkest aisles a joyful ride. It’s a testament to aging well, and we’re guessing this guy could give some DIY tutorials on souping up your wheelchair.
Would we ever try it: Without a doubt, yes. I can’t imagine a more ostentatious yet wonderful way to roam through a superstore. He’s even got the side bags for his purchases. Yes, yes, yes, two thumbs up.
6. Teen Wolf
Remember how we said some of these pictures inspire incredulity? Here’s one of those. With the ears and the tail, this guy might have earned a spot on our list anyway, but with the ridiculous furry tights and paw-like slippers, Fantastic Mr. Fox clawed his way up to number 6. On one level, his getup is impressive. The tail perfectly (eerily?) matches his natural hair color and texture. The ultra casual jean shorts and winter coat contrast with his very intentional costuming. We also have to wonder if the dog food in the cart in the foreground is for him.
Why he wore it: Who could say, really? Maybe he was trying to keep the rabbits out of the garden.
Would we ever try it: While we can’t imagine venturing into public with such attire on, our curiosity might get the better of us concerning the furry leggings. What company produces something like that? How could they ever be even almost bearable to wear around? Most importantly: how far up do they go?
5. Elsa 2.0
This woman’s riding the waves of Frozen‘s success, it seems, with the frosty all-white clothing and accessories, complete with an icy butt-length braid. Could the addition of a chain-smoking, shoulders-on-hips grandma Elsa give the movie a second wind? We’ll send some suggestions to the writing crew at Disney.
Why she wore it: The easiest way to destroy children’s dreams is to destroy their animated icons. This lady’s crushing them.
4. The Munchies Victim
Two bags of chips and a bunch of poor decisions later, this guy finds himself staring up at the Walmart security team. Though his eyes are pointed at the ceiling, things aren’t looking up for him. While it’s no one’s dream to be found lying supine on dirty linoleum, the bare midriff and low-hanging shorts earned this dude a top spot on our list.
Why he did it: Maybe the munchies hit at a time when his cupboards were bare, or maybe he just took a nasty tumble making a hard turn in the store, but whatever the reason, this shopper might regret this Walmart visit.
3. The Planner
What at first appears to be a total vanilla moment at Walmart (middle-aged women and men standing in the cashier line) becomes unforgettable when you realize the women at the back brought her own stool to prepare for this very moment. It’s a genius and rare plan-ahead moment for Walmart shoppers.
Why she did it: It’s clear this shopper has spent a few too many minutes waiting in lines. Next time maybe she’ll just haul her recliner in.
2. The Salonist
Bizarre? Yes. Strange? Yes. Unpleasant? Supremely. Perhaps the most uncomfortable thought regarding nails of this size is the fact that no matter the season, she can’t wear socks or shoes. So this gross-out toes out business is happening all year round. At some level, it’s amazing that it’s even possible to grow out nails this long without them snapping off in disgusting and horrific ways, but that doesn’t make it more pleasing on the eyes.
Why she did it: We can hardly guess on this one. We’re thinking she’s got some extra nail polish at home she’s trying to use up, and can’t bear to just toss it out.
1. And Whatever This Is
If we ever came across this kind of pink nightmarish version of Violet Beauregarde in a grocery store, we might run away and never return. What strikes us as so impressive about this particular rotund pink costume is that they’ve successfully filled and organized their cart quite well, despite the pink latex mask, through which no eyes can be seen. Also, perhaps the size of the shopper should be noted too. Is it a child, shopping on their own in a pink bubble suit? Seems strange – strange enough to earn #1 on our list.
Why they wore it: Perhaps it’s just a stab at public attention, or some drama kids’ theater assignment. Whatever the intention, the result is a mild mix of surprising and terrifying.
Would we ever try it: While masquerading as a bloated, faceless, pink child has its perks we’re sure, we wouldn’t want to be kicked in the gut by a surprised shopper when wandering the halls like in some type of Pan’s Labyrinth sequel.