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The Best Cheerleading Mishaps



Cheerleading is often overlooked as an instrument of fanfare, and a way to keep the crowd engaged during the dragging moments. But the athleticism of cheerleaders is commonly disregarded, despite the fact that their stunts are pretty terrifying and unimaginable for the normal human being.
That being said, with great difficulty and technicality comes the ability to make mistakes, and although they’re common in cheerleading, it only takes one thing going wrong to make a situation turn badly. Thankfully these trained athletes can often laugh about these moments later, although it’s undoubtedly embarrassing in real time. Click here to see some blunders!


Imagine just doing your job, cheering on the NFL sideline, and then all of a sudden a 6-foot-something, 200+ lb. football player comes flying into you at full speed. I suppose the face says it all.

We All Fall Down

Full team set pieces are always tricky because they require everyone to be on the same page throughout the exercise, but when someone loses balance or an entire side isn’t perfectly on time, things go south fast. Literally.

Bowling Pin

Though the idea of a professional athlete flying at you is terrifying enough, you can’t forget about how balls and other projectiles serve just as much of a danger, especially if you’re not paying attention!

Facial Awareness

If there’s one thing about cheerleaders, it’s knowing that a still frame capturing any one of their routines is sure to bring out some of the craziest facial expressions you will ever see. I mean, you can’t fault them for being into it!

All Hands on Deck

When you see someone fall, help them up! Er, well in this case, everyone just throw your hands up and hope she doesn’t land awkwardly on the ground. Not sure what the other still vaulted cheerleaders thought they could do, though.

Don’t Look Up

For those cheerleaders serving the role of spotter, you can almost imagine the stress of being responsible for your teammates who are flying under your supervision. However, it appears that there are also sights some spotters would rather avoid seeing.


A nice thing cheerleaders get to do is take part in hyping up fans during intermission activities, such as the half-court shot. However, as seen here, fans are not necessarily athletes, and this rogue dribble seemed to find its way under the foot of an innocent cheerleader. Ouch.

Like Jenga

Team sports are tough for the sole reason that everyone must come together to achieve success. This is not what success looks like, unfortunately, but what you must appreciate is everyone’s incentive to do everything in their power to catch every falling piece. Just like you do in Jenga.

No One Saw That

Embarrassment is certainly an aspect of cheerleading that people don’t consider enough, mainly because most of us wouldn’t even admit to stage fright, or be willing to perform in front of crowds. In this case we see a fallen teammate, too bummed to even want to continue on.

Upside Down

This isn’t as much a failure as it is an interesting look at a moment when these cheerleaders are still unsure if they’ll stick the landing. Tumbling is by far one of the most advanced techniques one can learn, but doing it on hardwood makes the challenge that much greater.


This is one that hardly needs explanation from the fail perspective, but what actually went wrong here is hard to determine. Did she get dropped, or perhaps just get up wrong? And if she flipped into him deliberately, well, that’s not the best trajectory. Lots of questions here.

Oversized Jersey

Back in the day, oversized everything was the style, especially when it came to jerseys. Well, giving these cheerleaders the players’ jerseys for a particular routine is good in theory, but the girl second from the left appears to have gotten herself in a bit of a predicament, with the jersey getting completely stuck over her head.

Near Disaster

This debacle was seen by millions of people on national television during a college football game. As Ohio State was taking the field in typical stampede fashion, a cheerleader was caught in the bustle and was nearly trampled by hundreds of athletes much bigger than her. Thankfully the players did their best avoiding her, as a fellow cheerleader came to the rescue.


One of the best parts of being a cheerleader is feeling that you too are a part of the team, so when they win, so do you! And that’s never been more evident than looking at the reaction on this young lady’s face, as she can’t believe her team really pulled off that win.

Double Dangle

Male cheerleaders take on a lot of responsibility from the strength aspect in the sport, as they usually facilitate some of the more physically demanding maneuvers. This guy looks like he’s had more than he can handle though, as we can only hope the girls in free fall are okay.

Flying Skirts

Now you would think that the wardrobe for most cheer routines would take into account that if one is flying, a skirt isn’t necessarily the outfit of choice. Nonetheless, the girl in the middle realizing it and then trying to keep it down is quite a good shot, mostly because of her face.

Official Timeout

It’s one thing if you fall and you’re on the sidelines, but when you take a spill so bad that the referee has to stop play to make sure you’re okay, you can only feel bad for the injured cheerleader. No one ever likes seeing an injury, let alone a serious one.


This poor girl was probably hoping for a considerably cleaner dismount, but in this moment she trusted in her partner to help her complete her flip safely. Sometimes with a bit of help, a crazy blow can be softened thanks to a gracious teammate taking one to the face.

Bad Mascot

Placement is, well, important. And although the poor cheerleader in the front probably fell forward and and was caught judging by all the hands up, let’s just say the optics on the mascot’s use of hands could’ve been better.


To put more emphasis on the hardwood floors, there’s no way this felt good, and you could probably assume this poor young lady took the rest of the night off after this. There’s likely no more helpless feeling than getting the wind knocked out of you after falling on your back.

Blegh Face

In another episode of “what on Earth is that face she’s making,” we this young enthusiastic woman hitting the stank face while performing what we’d assume to be one of the more funky moves in the routine. These essentially never get old.

Got Your Feet

It’s slightly difficult to understand what the girl on the right is thinking here, because there’s a perfectly capable group below ready to catch her, but perhaps she drifted just a bit to the right and into the other formation. Hopefully she didn’t go head-first and mess up the timing.

We Don’t Need You

While this is inherently strange to look at, once you realize the girl on the right is completely appalled by the invasive guy, you can almost see the confusion on her face. The girl above may even be unaware, which makes it more weird, but hey, we were all young once.

Early Lunch

In one of the most hilarious and strange sequences in recent football history, this mascot has a tradition of swallowing up a helpless cheerleader thanks to the development of an oddly large enough costume. She goes right into the mouth and never comes out! Must be spacious in there.

James Corden?

Excuse us, James Corden, but what in the world are you doing in an all-out cheerleading outfit, for the Los Angeles Rams nonetheless. Oh yeah, that’s right, probably another one of his television stunts that arguably raise the question of “who exactly asked for this?”

Free Dive

If you’re the lone high flier in the squad, then you probably have a lot of pressure on your shoulders to hit the most elegant aerial anyone has ever seen. This outrageous picture truly shows the intense heights these athletes reach, and boy, it’s unnerving not knowing for sure whether you’ll be caught.

Take That

If you’re front and center in the formation, there’s no doubt your teammates and coaches trust you with delivering an energetic performance, and sometimes that needs to be coupled with a bit of attitude in this sport. As you can see here, their fearless leader is letting the opponents know what’s up.


As we mentioned before, oftentimes cheer photos will not be flattering, especially at the amateur level where even the photographers are new at what they’re doing. However there will always be hilarious shots that are forever cherished based on their ridiculousness, and lack of unison.

’O’ Face

To a certain extent, you almost have no clue whether this young lad was purposely making that face, acknowledging something awful happening in front of him, or is terrified of having his photograph taken. Either way, singling in on a person is strange, but the girl feels left out.

The Irony

This old school advertisement aiming to recruit young, talented, and aspiring cheerleaders really should have taken it back to the drawing board with this one. This poor girl’s face looks to be in ultimate panic mode, which surely isn’t reassuring for any young person hoping to join a squad.

Eye Control

When you get into the mindset, your body starts doing things you can’t even control. For cheerleaders, they know their routines by heart. They’ve done them hundreds of times. They were prepared for this. And when the performance is on, you bet the energy elicits some insane facial expressions.

Say Cheese

There always comes a time when you’re called to strike your finest pose in a routine, but here is more proof that you should be conscious of what you do at that moment, because chances are someone is zooming in on you. Probably not his finest grin.

My Hands

We all know that feeling – what do I do with my hands? Well, this picture is an embodiment of that phrase, because each individual here seems to be struggling with the same question. Not to mention the priceless facial expressions being exhibited amidst this segment.

Open Wide

This guys looks like he’s the dentist’s favorite patient, because with his mouth open that wide, we all have to question whether he’s yelling louder than ever, or genuinely scared to be on stage. But hey, for what it’s worth, his enthusiasm was likely appreciated by the crowd.


Not everything goes according to plan on the sidelines, and when the base makes a mistake, a flier would hope their teammates do everything in their power to catch her. Well, in the frantic effort shown here, it’s not looking for the girl coming down, as noted by the girl on the right’s face.

Extension Height

Shout out to this guy for not only doing an absolutely killer jump-splt, but we also have to acknowledge just how much height he’s getting. Even he looks surprised based on the look on his face, although that could just be the strain of such a move.

Betchya Can’t

This girl seems almost too stoked that she’s able to pull off the leg behind her head maneuver that she’s literally taunting the judges with a shooter hand gesture. This girl came to perform and leave nothing on the table, which seems to be precisely what she’s done.

We Did It

Another part of being a spotter is realizing that despite the fact that you’re responsible for what’s going on above you, you also have to consider the fact that the crowd’s eyes are still on you. This girl seems enthusiastic to know they successfully lifted their teammates, a pleasure that probably is always relieving.

Look At This Baton

Halftime performances are one of the most exciting parts of amateur football games, between the marching band and the cheerleaders, dancers, and all the choreography. What you surely can see is that everyone brings their A-game for this poignant moment, and you better enjoy it as much as her!

Everybody Rejoice

There’s no better feeling than realizing your team has won, and now you get to celebrate with all of your teammates and friends. This picture does a great job of finding the magical emotion of the result, and seeing how the cheering and celebrating are almost synonymous.

Transition Segment

Nothing is more chaotic than the parts of the cheer routine when everyone must run around to different areas and get in different positions. Some are still dancing while others fall to their knees and slam the ground. Makes for an equally confusing shot.

Proud Dad

Every cheerleader has parents and they like to attend games and competitions to cheer on their own athletes, just like the rest! This guy is just a bit more enthusiastic than the average parent, but hey, he’s getting into the spirit too! Good on you, dad.

About Face

The girl in front may be stealing your attention with her excitement and quick arm motions, but we have to feel for the individual behind her, who seems to have fallen and also gotten turned around, making her probably more confused than it already would be after missing a single beat.

Forearm Flex

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of being a male cheerleader are those solo flies, where you have to single-handedly hoist a girl above your head using only your hands. Obviously this requires incredible upper-body strength, but the responsibility (and cheerleader) is on you if you mess up.

Young Protege

This young boy appeared fearlessly in front of an entire NFL stadium and led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders in a routine that obviously saw him stealing the show. Just goes to show that with encouragement and some opportunity, a young star can be born and uplifted.

Unique Aesthetic

Male cheerleaders may catch flack for participating in a sport where they’re not seen as the normal example, but what matters most is the energy and effort they put forth, and whether or not they are good teammates to the other members of the squad. Regardless of the outfit, they serve and important role.


That whole single-flier male cheer stress is back and evident as ever in this shot, where the young man is using all his strength and focus to make sure she’s both stable and balanced. As you can see well from this photo, the thumbs pressed against the heel while the shoe’s on the palm is the correct form.

Onward Tree

Mascots have a pretty symbiotic relationship with cheerleaders mostly because of the fact that they are there as entertainers to induce hype, but you always have to love when opposing teams have to deal with the home mascot. However, these cheerleaders love the Stanford tree so much, they may take him to the ball!

Don’t Mind Me

Where there is a strange formation, there is a person left out in the back with a very disgruntled expression on their face, and safe to say for this guy, the formation itself presented itself to be more awkward than expected.

Minor Damage

It’s a good thing sports teams keep medical staff on hand, because it’s not just the players who need them sometimes. This USC cheerleader needed to be tended to after suffering a blow of her own, and the nice team doctor was promptly there to get her bandaged up and send her back out there.