Peacefully protesting is an American right, and there’s nothing more American than sticking it to the man with a semi-ironic, vaguely funny protest sign. Some protesters are so earnest, open, and sharp-witted you wish you could RT them IRL. To those protesters, we commend you! On the other hand, it’s really not hard to painfully miss the mark.
BEST: I Could Be Brunching But I’m Here
Playing on the tongue-in-cheek stereotype that basic babes are into things like wearing Uggs, sipping on pumpkin spice lattes and having more than just the occasional brunch, this protest sign hits particularly hard.
Yes, this cause is so important girls are skipping their coveted brunches to support the cause.
WORST: This Is The Last Straw
Yes, we totally get it. You’re fed up. It’s just your version of fed up is a terrible, terrible pun that is as trite as it is not funny. We don’t know why this guy is saying is the last straw. We don’t even know what he’s protesting. All we know is that his good intentions seemed drenched in a layer of smugness so thick, it’s leaving a sour taste in our mouths.
You just think you’re so clever, protester dude, don’t you? On the other hand, we are impressed that he somehow managed to procure a giant, bendy straw. If that’s not a commitment, we don’t know what is.
BEST: I Can’t Believe I Still Have To Protest This…
This is quite possibly one of the coolest, most radical signs we’ve seen, and it proves that even though women have been fighting for generations, they’re not going to give up anytime soon.
It’s not just America that has problems when it comes to women’s rights, either. This protest sign is from a rally against a proposed abortion ban in Poland, and based on the sign’s utterly dismal content, things may not have changed in the world as much as we thought. Though Roe V. Wade was passed in the States 40 years, people are still forced to protest for the right to choose.
WORST: I Am A Little Upset
This sign is just flat out lazy. Again, it’s hard to tell what this person is protesting, but they should be more than a little embarrassed.
Think about the scene: this protester is likely standing among a group of activists who are pushing for very real and very important change. These activists care enough to take time out of their day and protest for a cause. Then, you get to this guy, who is basically mocking everyone else there. It’s just not appropriate unless of course, he’s making fun of people campaigning for some bigoted cause. In that case, sass away!
BEST: To All The Little Girls…
In our current political climate, girls aren’t exactly being sent the best messages. With court judges gifting people like Brock Turner, who violently assaulted a woman, with slaps on the wrist and minimal punishment and a president who touted that it’s okay to grab a woman by her “[expletive],” it’s amazing that young girls have any self-esteem at all.
This sign aims to squash the messages the media is sending the most impressionable, young members of our society. Girls, you are strong, powerful and just as deserving of opportunity as anyone else. Don’t let them bully you into thinking otherwise.
WORST: If Lily Potter Had An Abortion, Then Who Would Stop Voldemort?
Unfortunately for this pro-lifer, there’s a simple, easy answer to her question: that answer is Neville Longbottom. Firstly, anyone who read the series knows he-who-must-not-be-named spends the entire length of the books torturing Harry Potter. Without Harry, he wouldn’t have much to do but sit around and watch Netflix. Also, way to throw Neville Longbottom under the Hogwarts Express. The dude single-handedly destroyed the final horcrux allowing Harry to kill Voldermort Anyone could have done it at that point. Plus, there was a prediction made that a boy born in July would kill Voldemort. It applied to Harry AND Neville.
Next time you want to take away a woman’s right to choose, at least pick a better subject. How about Voldermort? What would we have done if his mom had an abortion…oh, wait.
BEST: Without Immigrants Trump Would Have No Wives
If it weren’t for the immigrants Donald Trump is so swiftly trying to keep out of America, he may never have married any of his wives! Both Trump’s first and current wife are immigrants.
Ivana, Trump’s first wife, was born in Czechoslovakia. His current wife, Melania, moved to America 20 years ago and lived here for nearly a decade before becoming a citizen. It was only in 2006, a year after she married Trump, that she became a U.S. citizen. If this sign protesting Trump’s proposal to build a giant wall on the Mexican border isn’t the epitome of irony, we’re not really sure what is.
WORST: Who Needs Oil? I Ride The Bus!
Taking the bus is more environmentally friendly than driving your own car, but boy is this sign misguided. The origins of this relic of human stupidity are unknown, so we can’t say whether or not the person who wrote it is trying to do good and unfortunately falling flat. All we do know is that this person is a total dunce.
We should note that it’s totally possible this person is living in a certain area that uses hydrogen powered buses. While places like Iceland and the San Francisco Bay Area use hydrogen fuel cell buses powered by solar energy, it’s definitely not the norm.
BEST: Yo Momma’s So Hot…
If you don’t like “Yo Mamma” jokes, who even are you? There’s nothing better than a cheesy-as-anything joke mixed with some radically important ideas. This environmental activist is (quite literally) the poster child for how to do protest signs right (unlike the dude who thought buses didn’t run on oil).
Global warming is a very real hot-button topic whose story is often told through terrifying before and after photos and boring statics. Fortunately, humor really gets the point across. If the Earth keeps warming up and the ice caps keep melting, we’re going to have a huge problem, but sometimes things are so messed up that all you can do is laugh.
WORST: Three Words That Will Save The Economy
Okay, we’re all for equal rights here and the cause this man is protesting is a very, very worthy one. Love is important, and the LGBTQ community deserves the same rights as everybody else. Unfortunately, this sign is just a little offensive.
In protesting gay rights, it’s probably not the wisest idea play off of terrible, inaccurate stereotypes. No, not everyone who is gay is a shop-a-holic with fabulous taste. Not everyone who is gay even says the word fabulous. So before you ask if someone is registered at Bed Bath and Beyond or Walmart, you should probably think about the struggle it took them to get there instead of just laugh. Though we admit we did chuckle.
BEST: I <3 Trains
Last weekend’s Women’s March wasn’t solely filled with females. Lots of men came out to support equal rights because it’s true: patriarchy hurts everyone. We have to give major props to this kid who appears to be accompanying his mama during the record-breaking march.
There is nothing more innocent and pure than this little guy confessing his undying love for trains. Thomas the Tank Engine is pretty cool. Trains are pretty cool in general seeing as they’re faster than cars, pretty convenient and drag us all around New York City 24/7. You are an icon, little dude. It brings tears to our eyes.
WORST: Corduroy Skirts Are A Sin
There are two terrible signs in this photo. Firstly, the person protesting homosexuality doesn’t seem very nice and her sign is pretty overdone. We’re totally over it. Go home! Secondly, while we totally agree with the other dude’s sentiment (making this bigoted lady look like a moron) we’ve got to disagree with the content.
Corduroy skirts are awesome and totally stylish. We’ve been totally crushing on corduroy’s put-together ’70s vibe. We admit that this woman’s corduroy skirt is atrocious and a terribly unflattering length, but c’mon – stop lumping all cords into this. You can give us a corduroy mini any day of the week.
BEST: If Her Clothes Provoked You
It’s never easy to approach the topic of assault – especially when you face the facts. Rape is a widely under-reported crime, and even if it is reported, most rapists will never see a single day in jail, which is a terrifying and saddening fact. A lot of this has to do with the stigma a woman faces and the fact that people constantly blame the victim.
Here’s what’s up: just because a woman shows some skin does not mean she’s asking for it. This sign, as aggressive as it may be, really emphasizes the fact that that point is totally moot.
BEST: None Of Us Were Rooting For You
It’s time to face the fact that our current president is a former reality TV host. This beyond brilliant sign plays into the idea of reality TV by quoting one of the most iconic episodes of America’s Next Top Model ever.
In the episode, Tyra is pushed to her limit by Tiffany’s bad attitude. The supermodel TV host begins screaming, “I have never in my life yelled at a girl like this. When my mother yells at me like this it’s because she loves me. I was rooting for you; we were all rooting for you!” Of course, like the sign says, Trump happened to lose the popular vote. Anyway, at least we got this sign out of the deal.
WORST: I Want More Tortillas
Talk about making America great again. Wouldn’t our country be an infinitely better place if our already out of control portion sizes were even bigger? While we’re on that subject, we demand free refills for our giant colas, and we don’t want you raining on our parade when we guzzle down our aspartame-loaded fizzy drinks because some things are just not worth the calories (fajitas totally are, though).
We’re shaking our heads here. This sign is a waste of space and a waste of ink. We feel terrible for the tree that had to die to make such an utterly stupid sign.
BEST: I’m So Angry…
There are so many fabulous protest signs from last weekend’s Women’s March it’s hard not to share them all. This cross-stitched, arts and crafts style protest sign is particularly poignant – especially if you’ve ever tried to cross stitch anything.
Created by Shannon Downey, a self-proclaimed feminist who founded the startup Pivotal, this epic sign nails (or should we say stitches) the fact that women are angry – so angry they’re willing to spend hours stabbing a piece of fabric. Cross-stitching may be a stereotypically feminine activity, but this piece puts power back into the very activities that are typically written off that way. We can’t think of anything more perfect for a women’s rights protest.
WORST: Obama Bring Back Arrested Development
Here’s a hot take: Arrested Development was and is totally overrated. We know the 9/10 rating on IMDB totally disagrees with us, but that’s not the point. Arrested Development is still a show! It doesn’t need Obama to bring it back because its fifth season is coming to Netflix sometime this year.
Even if Netflix never revived the series in 2013, don’t you think Obama has better things to do than push to bring back a TV show? Hollywood can handle that kind of stuff, there are ice caps melting over here!
BEST: Me The Next Four Years
This meme is hot! For those of you who aren’t familiar, the meme shows Kermit the Frog and his evil side arguing about what to do. Usually, it’s an argument over something innocuous like, “Me: Go to bed early and get a fresh start.” “Also me: start and finish the entire last season of Orange Is the New Black right now.” It’s pretty amazing to see it transformed into something radically feminist.
This sign was spotted at one of the various women’s marches that happened over the weekend, and we couldn’t support the message any more than we already do. Smashing the patriarchy and Tumblr-ready drawings? Sign us up because it’s everything we stand for.
WORST: Jesus Built My Hot Rod
There are so many important things to protest – women’s rights, racism, workplace discrimination, unfair wages, and animal rights. Whoever built your muscle car isn’t really one of those important things.
We get spreading knowledge about your religion is important to so many different people. We’ve all seen the evangelists that hand out pamphlets in the subway, but everything about this sign just feels totally unnecessary. Honestly, your hot rod was probably built in a factory somewhere by a low-wage worker who’s struggling to support his family on the little pay he gets. But, it’s cool. We’re glad you enjoy your fancy car.
BEST: We Are The Granddaughters Of The Witches
Whoa, someone’s a bit salty about something that happened 325 years ago – but for good reason. The Salem Witch Trials were one of the many instances where women, particularly those of a lower social standing, were demonized.
Women who were poor, outspoken, or stood out in any sort of way were prime candidates for accusations which were almost impossible to disprove. In some instances, they’d even throw the accused into water. If she floated, she was a witch and burned at the stake. If she sank, she was innocent, but also very, very dead. This was just one of the many historical examples of women having to live up to completely unfair standards.
BEST: Doggos For Science
It appears that this dog took his owner to a march promoting climate change research. While many people like to take their dogs out for walking events, the owner got creative, seeing as the dog couldn’t hold a sign, and made him a sandwich board. The box seems to be the perfect size for the dog – he looks rather comfortable in it too.
The owner also got creative with the Scrabble lettering that makes people take a second look. No doubt they got the message out with this cute doggo and his sandwich board. Maybe we’ll see more of these in the future.
BEST: Now You’re In Trouble
You have to love this woman’s sense of humor as she turns out to support the cause. Rather than sit at home and watch the tube while politics take a direction she didn’t like, this grandma turned out for the rally with a sign and all.
Unlike some other signs that were seen that day, hers is both funny and makes a point. This woman decided she could only sit back for so long, before making her voice heard. We love that she chose to identify as ‘grandma’ and her little angry face painted on the sign doesn’t quite scare us. you go, grandma!
BEST: He Came For The Company
This dude obviously has no opinion about whatever the rest of the marchers turned out for. Maybe he was lonely, saw the people marching with their signs, and rather than pick a side, make his own unique sign to join in. We’re not sure whose job it is to deliver time travel, NASA? But he’s letting them know that’s what the people want!
While some people probably scoffed at his sign, irrelevant to the cause, others couldn’t help but laugh. Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad thing if there were more people at rallies like this, that remind us all to lighten up a bit.
WORST: What Is Your Sign For?
Clearly, this person made the effort of making a sign and showing up to the rally. We’re not sure whether they’re for the cause, or if they’re just there to make people laugh. Maybe it was one of those situations where you friend made you promise to go with them, but you’re not really comfortable jumping on the bandwagon.
This person turned out to the rally, sign in hand, that reads “The People Behind Me Can’t See”. Hopefully, they’re not standing to listen to someone important speak, if so this sign might really piss off the people standing behind him, who are actually there to listen. Either way, this sign received some attention.
BEST: Even Introverts Are Here
If you’re an introvert, then you know how gut-wrenchingly uncomfortable it is to exceed your comfort zone and join a group of protesters. When you’re an introvert, you’d rather stay back and do your part, without having to get in people’s faces and actually confront them, just because you prefer not to be involved in the conflict.
But even introverts know when society is taking a turn for the worst. This person was so passionate about whatever cause they were fighting for, that even they had to step up and say something about it. Even introverts know when to speak up when they know their rights are being violated.
BEST: I Am Changing The Things I Can Not Accept
We think that this woman’s sign says it best: “I am no longer accepting the things I can not change. I am changing the things I can not accept.” She is taking a note from theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, whose Serenity Prayer goes, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.”
Well, in times like these, this woman knows that she cannot accept the things that can be changed, but won’t be. So she is taking a stand by protesting in an act that is one step towards the change that she seeks. This protest sign is surely a lesson in being a tenacious fighter.
BEST: Ninety And Nasty!
One of the most iconic moments of the 2016 Presidential Election was when during the third and final presidential debate, Hilary Clinton was about to answer a question directed at her, when Donald Trump conjectured under his breath (but into the microphone), “Such a nasty woman.” The moment took the nation by storm and millions of people rallied together against Trump’s misogynistic comment by calling themselves “nasty women.”
There are times when people know how to take an unjust and uncalled-for moment and turn it into a call for solidarity. This was one of those moments. This 90-year-old woman took a stand with her fellow citizens to say that although she is 90, she is not giving up!
WORST: Not Usually A Sign Guy
Okay, we get it. You don’t normally make signs for causes, but whatever it is you’re protesting is so absurd, you just had to say something about it. You probably don’t even bother to protest on a regular basis. But if you decided that your cause was so important you decided to protest and make a sign, why not put any effort into making your sign about that cause?
We can see how this protest sign is supposed to be funny and at first glance, we’ll admit, we chuckled. But c’mon! If you truly cared about whatever you’re protesting, then wouldn’t you at least stay relevant to the cause?
WORST: Thanks Trump
Okay, you can look at this sign from two perspectives. On the one hand, the absurdity with which this woman feels Trump is running his campaign (or administration, depending on when this picture was taken) has inspired her to finally take a stand and fight against the changes being made in America.
On the other hand, however, it only took Trump running for (or becoming) POTUS for her to even fight for what she believed in. This tells us that it took the worst possible scenario for her to finally step up and say something. In that case, we wouldn’t necessarily call her a true activist, because if she was, wouldn’t she have been actively fighting even before these problems arose? You shouldn’t have to thank Trump for making you realize that something was wrong.
WORST: Recruiting For Dumbledore’s Army
In a society that is so politically charged and divided, we can understand peoples’ overwhelming need to find a sliver of humor in the dark cloud of oppression. But sometimes, you should be a little more serious with your signs if you really care about what you’re fighting for and want to say something that has a lasting impact.
Let it be known that although Harry Potter references are sure to get a few laughs, it takes away from the significance of the cause (that is, of course, unless the cause was entirely Harry Potter-related, which we’re sure this protest wasn’t). Even more of a worse sign than this is the one behind it. If you look closely, we can see that you’re fighting for your girlfriend’s rights, but that sign is a little TMI and takes a lot away from the weight of the cause.
BEST: Then I Realized I Was Somebody
This protest sign has a similar approach to all the previously seen “humor” signs, but it actually has a profound message. This man wrote, “I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.” A lot of protest signs have a certain angst attached to them, so as to say something along the lines of “why do we even have to protest something like this.”
This guy took that angst a step further by realizing something very important. Yes, he did always wonder why something wasn’t being done about his cause, but then he realized that maybe he needed to forge the change that he sought. It only takes one drop of water to send ripples through a body of water, after all.
WORST: My Arms Are Tired
Okay, this protest sign is a little ridiculous. We get that they were trying to be funny, but this sign just seems a little counterintuitive, if you ask us. If your arms are tired, then why bother showing up to a protest with a sign. It just sounds more like a complaint or something irrelevant to complain about in the midst of people fighting for something they actually think should be addressed.
If you’re going to show up to a protest, don’t do it just to complain. We get that your arms might get tired from holding up your protest sign, but if you’re going to protest at all, shouldn’t you at least make a more profound statement?
WORST: Anyone For Scrabble Later?
Again, another protestor who is just trying to make people laugh. Sometimes we wonder if these kinds of people actually care about the cause at all or if they’re just showing up to waste everyone’s time and take away from the importance of the protest.
This person went into the middle of a protest crowd just to hold up a sign to look for potential Scrabble opponents. An interesting decision nonetheless and rather desperate if he resorted to this just to look for people to play a board game with. Or should we say bored game?
WORST: I Was Told There Would Be Cake
Will these ridiculous signs ever end? It’s signs like these that make people wonder why the people holding these signs even bothered to show up. This sign says, “I was told there would be cake.” This person was trying to be funny, but it actually just made them seem callous and selfish.
It actually suggests that the only reason this person showed up for the protest was because there was cake—which there probably wasn’t. If you have to bribed to show up for an important cause, then maybe you should reevaluate what causes you think are important enough to dedicate your time to.
WORST: Stop Premature Christmas Decorating!
Well, at least this person is protesting something they believe in? Even we’ll admit that some stores get a little overzealous when the holiday season is approaching, sometimes even putting out Christmas stuff before Halloween! But still, it is a ridiculous thing to protest if you ask us.
At least this guy isn’t fighting his cause in the middle of a huge protest from what we can see in the picture. This was probably a bit of comic relief that most people agreed with, in the midst of whatever everyone else is protesting in the background.
BEST: They Didn’t Know We Were Seeds
This sign can go down as a great sign on our list! This person thought of a powerful message: “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” This protest sign is a great example of someone whose voice was stifled but that didn’t stop them from fighting in what they believe in.
Although they were ousted by they oppressors, their sign symbolically suggests that although they were quieted for a second, they will come back even stronger. After all, sometimes it’s the people who get in your way who encourage you to fight back even harder.
BEST: No Means No
This adorable dog was probably at a protest for women’s rights and consent. The doggo pictured here is outfitted with a sign that reads: “Even I Understand No Means No.” It is a powerful message towards people who just can’t seem to understand the importance of a woman’s consent when it comes to her own safety and body.
If a dog can understand when a human means “No,” then why can’t other humans? There are some people who don’t respect a person’s right to say “No” to things and this dog and its owner are here to stand up against that.
WORST: I Don’t Have Time For This
Well, if you don’t have time for this then why did you even bother to show up? Obviously, this person is contradicting themselves with their attempt at a funny sign. If they really didn’t have time for this, then they wouldn’t even be at the protest in the first place.
Obviously, they did have time to show up to a protest—and make a sign—so why would they waste that time on a failed joke? If they really cared about what they were protesting, they would have made it more worthwhile by thinking of a more meaningful protest sign, wouldn’t you agree?
BEST: This Is What A Feminist Looks Like
First of all, we just want to say that if this isn’t the most adorable picture taken at a protest, then we’re not sure what is! This elderly couple is protesting together for women’s rights, presumably at the Women’s March of early 2017. This man is not afraid to march alongside his wife and call himself a feminist.
This just goes to show that it takes a real man to stand up for a woman’s rights and this man is certainly one of them. You don’t have to look or act a certain way to believe that women deserve equal rights as everyone else!
BEST Or WORST: Not Enough Sign
This might be the best-worst sign or the worst-best sign on this list, depending on how you look at things. On the one hand, it’s kind of a terrible sign for how lazy it seems.
But on the other hand, its simplicity says a lot about what this woman believes in. It’s true, there are a lot of issues going on in today’s society that warrants a hearty protest, as you’ve already seen by going through this list. This woman probably didn’t have a big enough poster board to list all the things she has an issue with and we’ll admit, she’s not wrong.