Pumpkin Carving Fails So Bad They’ll Make Amateurs Feel Like Professionals

Every October, kids and adults look forward to creating jack-o’-lanterns. The more impressive pumpkin carvings end up going viral on social media. But while the detailed carvings are fun to look at, jack-o’-lantern fails are far funnier.

Many people have a blast carving their pumpkin until it falls apart in front of them. Others try to remedy it using string or duct tape. They’re all bad. These pumpkin carving fails will give you a laugh and help you feel better about your own Halloween decorations.

It’s…A Roller Coaster!

Pumpkin that collapsed after too much carving
Twitter/@geoffkulawick
Twitter/@geoffkulawick

There’s only so much pumpkin that you can carve. Although this sounds obvious, it’s easy to think that you can always carve just a little bit more. At least, you’ll believe that until this happens. That’s a perfectly gutted pumpkin, gone.

Depending on how you look at it, this pumpkin could be a roller coaster ride or a modern art piece. But you can’t place a candle inside of that. Well, you could, but your pumpkin might catch fire.

Frankenpumpkin

Jack-o'-lantern
Instagram/@yuliyabee
Instagram/@yuliyabee

Words just can’t describe what became of this pumpkin. Did the artist attempt surgery? Is that piece in the middle actually pumpkin or is it a carrot? Does the band-aid keep pieces together, or is it just for effect?

What was it supposed to be in the first place? Perhaps this carving was intended to look like an owl. If so, it may have been saved. But that pumpkin will not stay standing after a couple of hours.

All Hail The Pumpkin Portal

Pumpkin with a large hole cut into its side
Twitter/@SarahBethBrooks
Twitter/@SarahBethBrooks

“Don’t call it a pumpkin fail,” wrote the Twitter user who posted this. “I very specifically and intentionally carved a portal to another world.” That’s far more terrifying than any scary face sculpted into a pumpkin!

We’re certain that the time travel portal design was intended from the start. Surely, no one could have messed up this badly and come up with an excuse. Honestly, we’re not even sure why this photo is on the list.

No One Will Even Notice

Carved pumpkin remedied with tape shaped like the Avengers logo
Instagram/@justinnichols_
Instagram/@justinnichols_

“When you can’t carve the design you want, use tape instead.” So goes the ancient proverb of pumpkin-carvers long past. Surely no one will notice this substitution on Halloween night when the candle might set the paper on fire.

The biggest question–which the poster never answered–is, did they start carving the Avengers logo? Perhaps they tried, but the jack-o’-lantern didn’t work out. Can we accurately call this a pumpkin carving fail if they didn’t even try to carve the pumpkin?

Maybe String Will Help

Pumpkin carving altered with black string
Instagram/@aprilc
Instagram/@aprilc

The original poster, April C., explained that the strings are “emergency surgery” on the jack-o’-lantern. “It looks super creepy now,” she wrote, and she wasn’t kidding. This pumpkin looks more like a Coraline doll now.

Unfortunately, you can’t light a candle in that pumpkin, or else the string will catch on fire. But this pumpkin is a goner anyway. On the bright side, it looks effectively scary now. “Pumpkin zombie” may be an appropriate name for this masterpiece.

It Was Great While It Lasted

Cat jack-o-lantern carving fell down
Instagram/@kendrasonia
Instagram/@kendrasonia

Few pumpkin carving tales tell a story as poignantly as this one. When the Instagram user first carved it, the pumpkin probably looked phenomenal. But now it’s included in a pumpkin fails compilation.

Unfortunately, this case is less of a pumpkin fail and more like a pumpkin accident. If the legs had held up, it would have made a great Halloween decoration. Let’s share a moment of silence for this poor pumpkin kitty. Rest in pieces.

The Pumpkin Of Nightmares

Jack-o'-lantern's eyes and nose stuffed with pumpkin seeds
Instagram/@k_w_v_u
Instagram/@k_w_v_u

This is what a sleep paralysis demon looks like. Jokes aside, this pumpkin is what happened when a carver gave up. It’s certainly ‘creative,’ for lack of a better term. Pumpkin seeds aren’t usually stuffed back into the pumpkin after it’s gutted.

This jack-o’-lantern has a 3D design that most other carved pumpkins don’t. Trick-or-treaters may certainly feel surprised when they see a pumpkin with a hat. But those seedy eyes are hard to look away from.

This Pumpkin Is A 2001 Test Message

Pumpkin with a carved sideways smiley face
Twitter/@parentallife
Twitter/@parentallife

Ah, the sideways winking smiley. This iconic 😉 was widely used before emojis became popular. This pumpkin is a blast from the past. Was this design intentional? Probably not. But it’s an amusing nostalgia trip more than a pumpkin fail.

The eyes in this pumpkin need some deeper carving. Once it’s cleaned up, it could look great on Halloween night. While this pumpkin may not be scary, it’s charming, and a few parents can chuckle at the reference.

The Intention VS The Result

Brother holds up a pumpkin carving fail next to the intended design
Instagram/@natalieedith
Instagram/@natalieedith

When carving a pumpkin, you may want to use a reference. That’s the smartest way to ensure a quality design. But start with the inner details; don’t begin by carving the outline. If you need proof, look at this picture.

This photo shows a man comparing his goal with his actual result. When you look at the pumpkin, you can see the outline is pretty spot on. Too bad that he won’t be able to carve the rest of the design.

It Could Have Been Cute

Pumpkin with poorly-cut starry eyes
Twitter/@JanellleAyala
Twitter/@JanellleAyala

Pumpkins with starry eyes make the cutest Halloween decorations…if they’re cut well. It seems like this poor pumpkin has run into some trouble. Its expression looks like it’s moaning, “help me.”

If there’s a lesson to take away from this, it’s to start small. You can always cut more off of the pumpkin, but you can never stick it back on. And as a second lesson, the star eyes carving is harder than it looks.

It Melted, And It’s Not Happy About It

Carved pumpkin that melted
Twitter/@KatieMcSpadden
Twitter/@KatieMcSpadden

If this pumpkin carver was aiming for an angry look, they achieved it. But they probably didn’t intend for the pumpkin to fall apart. The jack-o’-lantern appears more terrifying now than it did when it was standing.

Two things may have happened to this pumpkin: either it melted, or the bridge between the eyes and the mouth couldn’t hold the pumpkin’s weight for long. This is why people should wait until the last minute to carve their pumpkins.

What Happens When You Drop A Jack-O’-Lantern

Instagram user dropped their pumpkin and it cracked
Instagram/@hakanheed
Instagram/@hakanheed

“Spent two hours creating my very first Halloween pumpkin yesterday afternoon,” the Instagram poster lamented. “When I put [it] out this morning, I dropped it.” That’s a depressing caption.

In a way, the crack makes the pumpkin look more like a Nightmare Before Christmas character. But this jack-o’-lantern won’t hold for long. Although it looks like a zombie, it still won’t survive as decor. Take this picture as a lesson to never drop your carved pumpkins.

Pumpkin…Raccoon?

Attempted pumpkin carving of a raccoon
Instagram/@ianwilderesq
Instagram/@ianwilderesq

According to the original poster, this carving was supposed to be a raccoon. They nailed the whiskers. But we can’t entirely tell where the eyes are. Maybe it’s an abstract representation of a raccoon.

When this jack-o’-lantern lights up, will it look better or worse? Perhaps this picture is a work in progress, and the carver vastly improved it over time. But until we see photo proof of an improved version, this is a legitimate pumpkin fail.

When In Doubt, Duct Tape

Pumpkin carving covered with duct tape
Instagram/@jennyj1113
Instagram/@jennyj1113

What could have happened to cause someone to revert to duct tape? Nobody knows except the carver. But this pumpkin is beyond hope. Unlike other pumpkin fails, the added tape doesn’t contribute anything to the design.

If you own orange duct tape, you might be able to pull off some minor repairs. But this thick blue tape does nothing besides hold the pumpkin together. They might as well let it fall apart; it’s done for.

Yikes

Jack-o'-lantern with tiny happy face
Twitter/@Fred_Delicious
Twitter/@Fred_Delicious

We’ve never felt more horrified of a happy face before. If the creator intended to carve a scary pumpkin, they succeeded. We’re guessing that they didn’t though, because they captioned the photo, “What have I done?”

If they tried to carve a cute pumpkin, it backfired. This is the one situation where a tiny smiley face doesn’t make the pumpkin cuter. It looks like a demon tried to disguise itself as an adorable jack-o’-latern and failed miserably.

Dress Your Pumpkin Like Swiss Cheese

Pumpkin carving with randomly-placed holes
Instagram/@jnriche
Instagram/@jnriche

“When you’re trying to be fancy…but the Universe has other plans,” the original poster wrote. If they tried to make their pumpkin look like Swiss cheese, they succeeded. Otherwise, we’re not sure what they were going for in the first place.

Perhaps they aimed to carve a constellation into the pumpkin. It may not have worked, but those circles all look very neat. This carver has a steady hand even if their design didn’t turn out how they wanted.

If You Can’t Carve It, Use It

Failed pumpkin carving is repurposed as a vodka container
Instagram/@samiisinstagram
Instagram/@samiisinstagram

This person gave up while they were ahead. They didn’t even take the knife out of the second triangle before repurposing the pumpkin as a vodka holder. If you’re wondering how to put your carving fails to use, here’s an idea.

Maybe this is a new method of creating pumpkin-flavored vodka. The carvings are just added decor. Also, what was the pumpkin carver going for this with this design? Was it the classic pumpkin triangle face with an abstract twist?

They Tried

The goal pumpkin carving is on the left; the recreation is on the right.
Instagram/@shelbi.angel25
Instagram/@shelbi.angel25

Here’s another example of an intended art piece versus the result. This person tried to replicate a pumpkin carving of a dog. The key word there is “tried.” Although, it still looks like a dog.

Lighting a jack-o’-lantern either makes it look better or worse. In this unfortunate case, the candle makes the design look worse. But this attempt is still far better than other pumpkin fails out there. After all, the pumpkin still stands.

Looks Just Like Her

Pumpkin carving of someone's face
Instagram/@vanessagaydosh
Instagram/@vanessagaydosh

It must be charming to have someone carve your likeness on a pumpkin. But would you feel as flattered if it looked like this? To give the carving some praise, it still looks like a person and hasn’t fallen apart, which is better than most other pumpkin fails out there.

If you want a creepy jack-o’-lantern, this design could work. Imagine the hair and face lit up. It’ll scare off any potential trick-or-treaters before they reach the house.

It’s Supposed To Be A Minion

Pumpkin carving of a minion from Despicable Me
Instagram/@lanner84
Instagram/@lanner84

This carving is one person’s recreation of a Minion. Once you know that, you can see the silhouette of a minion from Despicable Me. But most people probably wouldn’t know that unless they were told.

The lines on this carving are neat and clean. If the design had more detail, it would be an impressive Halloween decoration. This photo is another example of why you shouldn’t start with the outline while carving a pumpkin.