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Photobomb in Iowa City, 2010

Photobombing is the act of purposely putting oneself into the view of a photograph, often in order to play a practical joke on the photographer or the subjects.[1] Photobombing has received significant coverage since 2009.[2] In discussing a "stingray photobomb" picture that became popular, Andrea DenHoed suggests that the photobomb label "implies a narrative of surreptitious sabotage,"[2] although in the sense of unintended or initially unnoticed people in the background of spoiled photographs, photobombs have existed for much of the history of photography.

In 2014, "photobomb" was named Word of the Year by the Collins English Dictionary after several photos of celebrities photobombing at awards ceremonies had gone viral.[3]

Examples in the media

This image taken in Wales in c. 1853 is possibly the earliest example of a photobomb.[4]


  1. ^ "Definition of photobomb". Oxford English Dictionary. Archived from the original on August 27, 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b DenHoed, Andrea (9 October 2012). "A Few Words About the Stingray Photobomb". The New Yorker. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  3. ^ Shaffi, Sarah (23 October 2014). "'Photobomb' judged Collins' 'Word of the Year'". The Bookseller. Retrieved 2020-05-28.
  4. ^ Edwards, Phil (25 September 2015). "This 1853 image might show the first photobomb". Vox. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  5. ^ Hayner, Chris E. (22 January 2013). "Bill Clinton photobomb with Kelly Clarkson at inauguration goes viral". Zap2it. Archived from the original on January 23, 2013. Retrieved 2017-06-04 – via Chicago Tribune.
  6. ^ Rubenstein, Jenna Hally (11 February 2013). "Kelly Clarkson Pulled Off The Best Photobomb EVER At The Grammys!! (PHOTO)". MTV Buzzworthy. Archived from the original on 2013-02-14. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  7. ^ Kruse, Zach (20 December 2012). "The Best of Aaron Rodgers' Photobombs". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  8. ^ "PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth pulls off epic photobomb". Metro New York. 28 July 2014. Archived from the original on 20 October 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  9. ^ Erhart, Ed (18 September 2015). "The first smile and photobomb ever photographed". Wikimedia Blog. Retrieved 2020-05-28.
  10. ^ Moody, Darrell (10 March 2015). "Skier in giraffe suit executes epic 'photobomb'". WDBO-FM. Retrieved 2020-12-14.
  11. ^ Rosseinski, Katie (30 May 2016). "Prince Harry Photobombs A Model". Grazia. Retrieved 2020-05-28.
  12. ^ Raul (18 April 2016). "Paul McCartney's Famous 1964 Photobombing The Beatles George Harrison". FeelNumb.com. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  13. ^ "Celebrity Photobombers". TooFab. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  14. ^ Innes, Richard (27 February 2017). "Ipswich fan Ed Sheeran swearily photobombing Norwich City legends at East Anglia derby will make your day". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 16 September 2018.