America's Next Top Model has given society many things: the word "smize," the philosophical concept of "pot ledom," and—of course—the haunting knowledge that at any given time, Tyra Banks only has one picture in her hands. It's also gifted us with 24 cycles of completely *wild* photo shoots, the likes of which would probably never happen in the real world. Ya know, if we had to guess.
While there were confusing America's Next Top Model photo shoots aplenty, we've rounded up 40 that can only be described as WTF. Like, remember when everyone was lowered into an eight-foot-deep grave for a shoot that was simply themed...dead body? Happy times. ❤️ Also, just an FYI that we tried to stay away from the most problematic and offensive shoots on ANTM, as I think we can all agree they don't need anymore attention. We've been through enough!
On that note: I only have 38 photos in my internet-hands, and all of them represent some of the wildest photo shoots from this forever-iconic show. Now isn't a time to pick favorites, but if forced, I'd like to issue a special shoutout to Diana from Cycle 8, who had to pretend her "organs were stolen by a model" in a corpse-themed shoot that left me without words.
The Snake Shoot: Cycle 1
No further comment beyond this photo.
The Shoot Where Everyone Was Suspended Over a Huge Hole: Cycle 2
The concept of this shoot was...literally just....posing over a giant hole. And there was an ambulance lurking on set just in case anyone fell into said hole. Hmmm.
The Spider Shoot: Cycle 3
Jay assured everyone that this eight-legged friend was safe to be around, but noted that they also had "EMS on the side." Begging the question...why did EMS need to be there if the spider was safe?
The Zodiac Signs Shoot: Cycle 4
Waiting for Tyra to apologize to the astro girlies for this entire shoot.
The Zodiac Signs Shoot: Cycle 4
Just want to add that the advice for cradling this vase was: "Think of it as your infant."
The Grave Shoot: Cycle 4
In which the models were taken to a literal graveyard, put into coffins, and asked to pose at the bottom of an eight-foot hole in the ground. One of the girls was just, like, inexplicably covered in lettuce and grapes? Oh, and at one point, Jay helpfully said, "The next time you're lowered down, you'll probably be dead." Welp.
The Lubriderm Animal Shoot: Cycle 4
To whoever thought it was a good idea to have the models dress up as animals and pose with bottles of Lubriderm, call me. I just wanna talk.
More from the The Lubriderm Animal Shoot: Cycle 4
Couldn't move on 'til everyone had also seen this photo, apologies.
The Plastic Surgery Shoot: Cycle 5
I think this was....social commentary? Or something? Either way, Janice Dickinson made someone cry on set—just another regular day in ModelLand™!
The Shoot Where Everyone Was Forced to Cry: Cycle 6
Tyra's instructions for this one? "I'm so sad, but God, I'm gorgeous."
The Circus Shoot That Involved a Literal Cannibal: Cycle 7
Friends, the words "good morning and welcome to the circus" have never been more sinister. While this shoot featured all sorts of questionable elements, special thoughts and prayers go out to A.J., who was given the "cannibal" assignment and posed in a cage with what appeared to be raw chicken breasts.
The Celeb Couples Shoot: Cycle 7
If you're wondering whether or not someone was forced to dress as both Donald Trump and Melania Trump, the answer is, regrettably, yes.
The Romance Novel Shoot: Cycle 7
Fabio, buddy, you good?
The Freezing Water Shoot: Cycle 7
CariDee straight-up got hypothermia from the temperature of this water. But as Tyra wisely put it: "This is real real modeling, guys—being cold as heck."
The Naked Ice Cream Shoot: Cycle 8
These poor, innocent aspiring models were quite literally covered in Jelly Beans, forced to hold an entire fistful of ice cream, and told that's what it takes to be a model.
The Shoot That Was Literally Based on Crime Scenes: Cycle 8
This one involved the models acting out being poisoned, pushed off rooftops, and having their organs stolen. The sentence "you're all gonna be dead in your photo and the twist is you've all killed each other" was uttered in complete seriousness.
The Shoot Involving a Rock Climbing Wall: Cycle 9
If you're asking yourself "why?" please know that we are right there with you. Can only assume the producers found out someone was terrified of heights and decided to prey on their fear in the name of good TV.
The Eco-Friendly Shoot: Cycle 9
Someone get Greta Thunberg on the line, this is an emergency.
The Raw Meat Shoot: Cycle 10
I mean, what model doesn't look back fondly on her days posing with a bunch of hanging carcasses? It's basically a rite of passage.
The Election-Themed Shoot: Cycle 11
Their task? Convince the younger generation that "voting is sexy." Mission not accomplished, if I'm honest.
The Underwater Smize Shoot: Cycle 11
Her eyes are screaming "help me."
The Natural Disasters Shoot: Cycle 11
I mean, if that hairdryer doesn't represent the devastation caused by the Santa Ana Winds, I'm not sure what does.
The Natural Disasters Shoot: Cycle 11
The Windmill Shoot: Cycle 11
Not pictured: the wooden clogs everyone was forced to wear.
The Birds Nest Shoot: Cycle 12
Tyra had several nuggets of wisdom for this shoot, including: "Okay, so you are a bird-y owl-slash-pterodactyl" and "you're going to be doing a lot of squatting." Helpful!
The Vampire Shoot: Cycle 14
We know ANTM loves a shoot involving some blood and corpses, so vampires were an inevitability. As a fun (read: not fun) twist, everyone was forced to wear white-out contact lenses that obscured their vision—but the whole ordeal was NBD to one of the model who volunteered as a mortician as a "side job."
The Completely Random Sheep Shoot: Cycle 14
The Hobbit House Shoot: Cycle 14
Frodo did not walk into the fires of Mount Doom for his front door to be treated like this.
The Underwater Sea Creature Shoot: Cycle 15
Imagine thinking you're going to learn how to model and instead, you get shoved on a slab next to a live lobster.
The Killer Bees Shoot: Cycle 16
Just when you thought things couldn't get more untethered from reality, Tyra busted out some bees and forced the models to pose with them.
The Dump Shoot: Cycle 16
So, yeah, by the sixteenth season of this show, producers had resorted to taking the models out to local dumps and having them pose with trash.
The Custom Hot Dog Shoot: Cycle 17
They had to design their own hot dogs and then pose with them. Ashlee Simpson was somehow involved? Honestly, I've blocked it all out as a self-preservation method.
The Absolutely Iconic Greek Salad Shoot: Cycle 17
Hey, Greek Salad Shoot? You'll always be famous.
The Kardashians Shoot: Cycle 18
In which Kris Jenner showed up and spoon-fed baby food to a model playing her toddler while Kylie watched.
Another Moment From the Kardashians Shoot: Cycle 18
Sorry, couldn't decide between this picture and the other one, and, honestly, both feel absolutely vital.
The Maple Syrup Shoot: Cycle 18
At this point, if you're applying to ANTM, you should know Tyra will force you to pose with some kind of edible condiment.
The Taxidermy Shoot: Cycle 19
I. Am. Not. Okay.
The Prison Mug Shot Shoot: Cycle 19
SOMEONE HOLD ME.
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