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16 hilarious yet cringeworthy prom photos from back in the day

Were your photos as embarrassing as these?

Image: Awkward Family Photos, Ellen DeGeneres

Prom is a rite of passage for high school juniors and seniors across the country. Who could forget driving your parents' nice car for the first time — not to mention the dresses, the corsages and the month of anxiety leading up to the event?

As the middle class expanded in the 1950s, the prom experience became more extravagant and grew into what we have today. 

For a good decade or two, this is what going to the prom was like:

But somewhere in the 1970s and 1980s, things got a little weird. Here are 16 embarrassing photos from that era that will make you laugh, cringe, smile and reminisce about some great memories. Many of these come from the hilarious user-submitted gallery on Ellen. Do you still have your promo photo, your tux or dress?

These trippy props and matching leisure suits could only be a product of the 1970s. 

These teens look like they're straight out of Gunsmoke

We're digging this groovy and hypnotic suit jacket. 

This boy's collar is ready to take flight.

Not only did this couple match his bow tie with her dress, they also wore matching hair. 

Unfortunately, we're assuming no one asked her to dance because no one could see her.   

He wanted to be on The Mickey Mouse Club so bad. 

The tinted glasses make a nice accessory. 

Is that John Travolta in those rainbow plaid pants?

Another dress from the Gunsmoke collection. 

Here's Cinderella, hunting for a pumpkin to turn into a carriage. 

Every home had a floral pattern like this girl's dress in the 1970s. 

Matching outfits, matching mullets. 

Is that Edward Scissorhands? We can't tell because his hands are hidden!

We're digging the vinyl dress!

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