Perhaps something smells bad?

Maybe I’m just showing my age, not getting some fundamental part of youth culture, but can someone humor the old codger that writes this blog and please explain to me why half the people who send me photos are making some variation on this facial expression?


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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

113 thoughts on “Perhaps something smells bad?

  1. Because it’s the cool, non-conformist face to make these days. Thank the scene movement for that. Also, why is she wearing a bonnet?

  2. It’s the “cool” face, Shannon. Jeez. Get with the times :P I find I often make a variation of this face when told to “act cool” though my mouth is usually tilted to the side, haha.

  3. It’s the “cool” face, Shannon. Jeez. Get with the times :P I find I often make a variation of this face when told to “act cool” though my mouth is usually tilted to the side, haha.

  4. I dont know about most people but for me… you KNOW you will look not exactly like you but funky faced. as opposed to trying to look cute or nice, and it not working out

  5. They ate a very sour lemon. And you are not alone in not understanding this expression – I’m about the age of most people that do it, and I don’t see what is so cool about it.

  6. I make that face in a lot of pictures, but I also make various other silly faces. I think I have some kind of illness that prevents me from ever making a serious face in photos.

  7. Because its suppose to be “hard” or “punk rock.” I think it all started with either Sid Vicious or Johnny Rotten but somewhere somebody decided to make that face being a copy cat and thought it looked tough. Then well you know teenagers are if he did it she did it then they did it and now everyone does it. :P

  8. I make faces similar to these when I don’t want my picture being taken, but since she submitted it … I can’t help you there.

  9. I figure it’s supposed to show you her personality in a single picture and you don’t have to go through the trouble of meeting her.
    She’s not afraid of being silly so she can be one of the guys, and the bonnet shows that she’s still girly and cute.
    she has found the perfect balance between these two and no one else can rival her. we all wish we could know her and hang out with her because it’s a guaranteed good time, and it’s apparent. this picture is a statement of who she is and she is bonnet-girl.

  10. Yay Area! does have the most specific answer. While it has become a standard expression these days, it hsa reappeared in pop cultlure due to the hyphy movement in the Bay (Yay) Area. Mac Dre’s song The Thizzle Dance describes a good thizz face as putting “a look on my face like I smell some piss”.

    Crude, but true. The thizz face can also be accentuated by forming a T with your hands or . Google “thizz face” in google images and you’ll see many variations.

  11. tommy lee has been making that face since the early 80′s. i bet if you google image search tommy lee, at least 70% of his pics will have that face.

  12. I think it falls under the same category as having a ridiculously long scruffy fringe that covers your eyes so you can’t see

    it’s apparently ‘cool’ and makes you look like you have the mental age of a four year old

  13. I make it because no matter what face I make I’ll look like a moron, and with that face, at least I can say that I looked like a moron on purpose.

  14. omg itz obv s0 x.scene.x

    i dunno. it is popular… tho not particularly flattering at all.

  15. that is not a “thizz” face. thizz requires the snarl of one side of the lip, wrinkling of the nose, and a squinting of the eye on the same side of the face as the snarl.
    this is just unattractive.

  16. I think it’s supposed to be the “I’m trying to be gangter” face, that you just can’t really pull off unless you’re a gangster?

  17. I suppose they think looking silly on purpose rules out the possibility of looking silly by accident. And a big thank-you to for making this face far more prevalent than it should be in any stable society…

  18. i do faces similiar to that sometimes, but only when i know someone is taking a picture all close up of my face. i never look good in pictures like that, so i decide to look funky instead.

  19. #34 “hanky” isnt an american phrase,my great granny used to say hanky,that was before america was even invented :P

  20. its a thizz face, with the help of our friend mac dre all the kids are usin it, but most dont even know why it is what it is. “make a face like you smell some piss” its a song lyric… mmm kids.

  21. While I agree its a thizz face, I believe it more from this definition than the others

    The facial expression on one’s face after taking ecstasy/MDMA. A proper thizz face includes one’s teeth grinding together or having their mouth closed. The facial expression is often compared to the one in which a person smells urine.

  22. Also known as Duck lips.

    It all started with Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen
    duck lips

    then it spread to other celebrities like jessica simpson:

    jenna jameson

    and then ‘popular’ scene kids started doing it to be like the celebs and then …well …not so popular scene kids started doing it to be like the ‘popular’ scene kids …

    and here we are.

  23. myspace, I think people make this face because they are insecure or mite not take themselves to seriously idk but I make those weird faces somtimes just for a silly mood I suppose.

  24. haha here in new zealand if you make that face it’s kinda like having maori lips. people do it to look staunch :D

  25. lawlz when in doubt, i blame it all on myspace
    *makes retarded face in mirror and takes a picture (with visible flash reflection*

  26. Because, to take oneself seriously is to act accordingly with adults. Plans, ambition, self-respect… these things are cool for most young nihilists. They’re concerned with impulse, which requires apathy, and self-deprecating humor. When impressing peers is a primary preoccupation, youthful pride has its own social consequences: namely the insecure projections from others that the prideful are too good for them, that pride is not a malleable trait that can be adapted cohesively into the social group. Fortunately, most of us grow into mature, boring adults who take our own brand of photos: mundane, banal, and redundant.

  27. I’m casting my vote for a result of the “scene.” If they have a lip ring, septum, blonde and brown extensions in their hair or any combination or the three and they look between 14-20 years old then definitely. I would bet money that the majority of the pictures you get of (mostly) girls doing that are “scene kids.”

  28. I can’t even make that shape with my lips!

    It just looks like I’m pouting badly… which I’m really quite thankful of.

  29. In the bay area its called the “thizz face”
    Its the face you make when you chew up an e-pill

  30. Here I thought I had my late 20s finger squarely on the pulse of youth culture and yet…I’ve never heard of a “thizz face” until this very moment. I feel so old and yet so superior.

  31. Hm lets see. Terrible expression, awful fashion. Why even bother posting this? It’s just another scene sheep making a stupid face to get attention for the ugly picture.

  32. i’m on the boat with the person who said everyone is reading *way* too far into a stupid facial expression.

    someone start on the bonnet… that’s not even a possible fashion statement

  33. really. it is just a facial expression.
    i try to smile nice in all of my pictures – but i always look like i’m trying to pull off a big shit-eating grin.
    it’s pretty awful.

  34. Jesus titty-sucking Christ! This place reminds me of that episode of the Simpsons when all the adults disappear to have sex constantly.

    So we’re in agreement? It’s the scene kids in conjunction with the myspack mafia, controlled by the reverse vampires and using clones of Dre as footsoldiers?

    Or my theory:

    They’re all fucking ugly.


  35. she was going for a smooch, the wind changed and her face got stuck like it!

    Thats what i was always told, if the wind changes your face gets stuck!

    (the things you believe when you are a child)

  36. wow i guess im lucky that im rarely in contact with the kind of self assured dumbasses who think that pro actively being “cool” doesn’t defeat the fucking purpose
    i know im a hater


  37. Because every white kid with a scenester haircut thinks they’re a gangster. I really don’t understand it and it’s my “peer group”. Maybe people don’t know how to smile anymore? Or maybe they have fucked up teeth like me so they don’t smile.
    Still, an awkward smile is still lower on the douchebag-o-meter than any sort of pursing of the lips. Especially if taken at a flattering angle. With lots of black eye liner.
    I think it stems from some sort of low self esteem or insecurity issue.

    Whateva, I do what I want!

  38. It’s a “no future”, “fuck life” expression.
    Squatters, anti-globalists, international socialists and other freeloaders make this expression during riots (at least when they don’t cover their face)

  39. It’s a by-product of all the junk food young people eat that constipates them to the point of pain lol.

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  41. It’s a terrible photo of her, and reminds me of one of my bitch ex girlfriends from high school. She held that face fairly regularly. If and when I submit photos of myself onto the web, I generally want them to be natural and thus nice looking (hah, yes, go me and my self confidence), and it’s nice when other people on here look natural, too, not some… mutated duck… thing.

    Unless it really IS cool, and I missed the memo. A lot of these comments are making me think that might be the case…

  42. I don’t understand why everybody automatically hates her and makes fun of her style. OH MY GOD! She wanted to wear a bonnet, has a different hair cut, and SHE MADE A WEIRD FACE IN A PICTURE!!!!!!!!!!
    WE MUST KILL HER… and if that is to extreme, at least talk shit on her even though everyone on here is part of a “scene” themselves.

  43. Please, may I have another 80 comments ridiculing someone for how they choose to look? If we could follow it up witha post about someone losing their job at Walmart over an eyebrow piercing with another 80 odd comments about how unfair it is to be judged for how you look, that’d be especially rich.

  44. BTW, I was genuinely interested in the reason that people make this face so consistently, and I do appreciate the answers that actually address that.

  45. FYI it’s a mobcap not a bonnet. I just wonder why people make this face and label it “Me being dorky” when we all know it’s really “Me being sceney”.

  46. LOL it’s nothing more than a Thizz face… the Thizzle dance got popular when I was a senior in HS 2 years back. It’s hip hop/ rap related LOL, NOT SCENE! ahh…to live in Cali.

  47. I’m stickin to the scene theory. Every scene kid I know (many if not most of which have monroe piercings) has at least one of these pictures on their myspace.

  48. I love funny faces…they make me smile.

    I think the younger kids might be making a statement that they don’t necessarily need to be attractive and taking themselves seriously all the time?? Just a theory.

  49. Im not making an attack on that person or scene kids, i just personally think thats one the stupidest facial expressions that i see people use these days.

  50. Unless she’s in the medical industry, no one has worn mob caps since the 18th century. Still pretty dumb.

  51. My boyfriend makes that face in like every picture & I didn’t realize what an idiot he is until right now. Thanks for bringing that to my attention, Shannon.

  52. My boyfriend makes that face in like every picture & I didn’t realize what an idiot he is until right now. Thanks for bringing that to my attention, Shannon.

  53. hmm, let me see it’s a fat unnattractive scene kid trying to distract you with her ducklips,a story as old as myspace itself.

  54. when you know you’re going to look stupid anyway, you play up to it. when you know you’re not “pretty” anyway, you’re more confident to get that smiley piercing and big stretched lobes. why the fuck not?

  55. it keeps you from looking like you were trying to be cute and failed. no idea where it started though.

  56. why the fuck does it even matter?
    is this what we spend our brains thinking about?

  57. Damn that godforsaken face to the pits of hell. It’s everywhere! I hate it! Argh! *Kuato busts out of chest*

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