100 Dreadful Examples of Bad Instagram Captions

Are you serious about building your Instagram presence? You know you’ll have to work on your captioning skills to stand…

Are you serious about building your Instagram presence? You know you’ll have to work on your captioning skills to stand out in today’s ultra-competitive version of Instagram, starting with avoiding caption styles that make most Instagram users run for the hills.

Learning what not to do gets you more than one step closer to writing captions people actually can’t wait to comment on, so feast your eyes on the worst Instagram captions possible and learn to steer clear.

Think of this guide to bad Instagram captions as a fun crash course on stuff to avoid… and if you’re brave enough, make a mental checklist of social media faux passes you’ve committed.

What Makes Bad Instagram Captions so Terrible?

Good Instagram captions do many things:

  • They add context, so your followers and viewers/readers know what your pictures are all about.
  • They give your audience a chance to get to know you, because they show off your unique personality in all its glory.
  • They connect through humor, bold statements, or authentic stories.
  • They leave a little mystery, encouraging your followers to comment so they can find out more and continue the conversation.
  • If you run a business, they have a compelling call to action that inspires Instagram users to connect on a deeper level.
  • They make your Instagram audience feel something.

Ultimately, all these points come together to create one result — a better engagement rate and honest, deep conversations that matter. Beautiful pictures are eye candy, but captions are a way to connect.

Bad Instagram captions miss the mark. At best, they fail in their purpose of connecting with your followers, causing them to keep scrolling and forget all about your post. At worst, they force people to unfollow you because they never want to see the kinds of messages you posted again.

There are at least nine types of bad Instagram captions, ranging from overused cliches to genuinely offensive captions and captions that aren’t relevant to the photo you post at all. Curious to see them in action? You’re in for a treat, because we’ve made a massive list of the worst Instagram captions most people have already come across.

Bad Instagram Captions With Overused Cliches

The first category of bad Instagram captions we’d like to highlight consists of terribly overused phrases. These captions can trip you up because they’re often actually pretty catchy and impressive. They’ve just lost their power after everyone and their dog posted them to Instagram millions of times.

The vibe these captions give off? “Seen that, posted it. Thank you, next!” If sparking conversations is your main goal, you want to avoid them like the plague.

1. Don’t catch feelings. Catch flights!

2. Felt cute, might delete later.

3. It’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey.

4. Too glam to give a damn!

5. I woke up like this.

6. Never judge a book by its cover.

7. I lost track of time…

8. I’m not a snack. I’m the whole damn meal.

9. No caption necessary.

10. Sassy, classy, and a little bad-assy.

Terrible Instagram Captions With Grammatical Mistakes

We’re all familiar with captions filled with typos or grammatical errors, too. Some are the inevitable result of drunk posting (not recommended, by the way!). Others come from English learners, who should mostly get a pass.

Grammar and spelling checkers will help you avoid most of these, but not always. Some sentences are grammatically correct while completely changing the meaning of your message — and you’ll find some awful examples down below. The moral of the story? Proofread your Instagram captions every time!

11. I’m gorgoeus and ready to show it of!

12. sharing is carin’g so share my posts with youre’ friends.

13. Live you’re truth and don’t forget to like and share.

14. No all who wonder are lost.

15. Yoga speaks to my sole, and I’m floating.

16. Packing my bags and get ready to catch a fight.

17. Lets go where the lights are bright and lightening is my heart.

18. Love is so sweat, I could stay here forever.

19. Do you want to steel my heart?

20. Enjoy our generous discount, 40% of.

Some of the Worst Instagram Captions Devoid of Personality

Instagram captions that match your photo very well and are pretty catchy, but lack that personal touch that make them special, are tricky. If we’re going to be honest, we’ve all used them. These captions may rely on overused cliches, or they may simply be so generic that they fail to touch anyone. What’s missing from them is you — and you’re a pretty essential ingredient if you’re hoping to create a real community on Instagram.

21. Be a voice in a world filled with echoes.

22. Chasing sunsets.

23. Happiness is a choice. I make it every day.

24. Do what you love. Love what you do.

25. Comment “awesome” if you read this post.

26. You were my cup of tea, but I drink champagne now.

27. Seas the day.

28. I’m in it to win it.

29. Coffee is a hug in a mug.

30. Your smile is my reason to smile.

Narcissistic and Self-centered Bad Instagram Captions

Admit it — you’ve got someone in your feed who actually writes these kinds of captions, and they make you want to block that person every time you see them. There’s a fine line between health self-promotion and loving yourself and turning that narcissism volume up to the max.

There’s one exception. If you use these sorts of Instagram captions ironically, you rule. (“I started at the bottom and now I’m here” definitely works for a hilarious photo of you falling off your skateboard, for example.)

31. Every day is a me-day.

32. I’m here for me, and I hope you are, too.

33. Bow to your Queen, b*tches.

34. Confidence is my favorite accessory, and I deserve every ounce.

35. I’m my proudest accomplishment. Sorry, not sorry.

36. Move over, losers. I’m coming through.

37. My life is literally over because nobody liked my last post.

38. I’m a pro at being me, and I rock.

39. Slaying all day is, like, literally my middle name.

40. I started at the bottom and now I’m here. If you want it, work for it!

Worst Instagram Captions With Excessive Self Promotion

Are you an aspiring influencer, or do you run a small business? Your Instagram page is unquestionably a wonderful platform to promote yourself — and there’s nothing wrong with some savvy marketing! However, overly self-promotional and in-your-face sales tactics almost always backfire.

Some of these examples simply take things a step too far, while others attempt to use emotional manipulation to get likes, comments, or followers. Instead, try to forge genuine connections with your audience, and make sure that your promotional materials fit into your brand voice perfectly.

41. Did you know? Nine out of 10 house fires happen to people who don’t like my Instagram posts!

42. Like this post if your heart breaks every time a kitten dies.

43. Today’s sponsor? Me! Like and follow to stay up to date on the best content ever!

44. Hiking? I’m in it for the views, but likes don’t hurt, either! Go on, do it!

45. I climbed all the way up this mountain just so you can see it. Don’t forget to like and comment.

46. Like this post if you’re proud of me!

47. Instagram comments are my love language, and you don’t want me to feel sad, do you?

48. Never miss out on amazing posts like this one again and make sure to follow!

49. Follow now for more!

50. Challenge: Check if you can hit the like button in two seconds or less!

Insensitive and Offensive Bad Instagram Captions

We won’t post examples of the worst offensive Instagram captions — because they’re really bad and can have real-life impacts. They also violate Instagram’s Terms of Service, and for good reason. You know the type we’re talking about; bullying, slurs, or other genuinely offensive and inappropriate comments.

Even if you steer clear of the kind of territory that could get you banned from the platform, you can still end up writing insensitive captions that you’ll regret later. Some of our examples involve gossiping about people who may end up reading your captions, while others are simply distasteful. Either way, this is never the best way to build a strong Instagram presence!

51. You look like something I drew with my left hand.

52. You’re the toilet water to my Fiji water.

53. Counting the days until I can quit this horrible job and kiss my nasty coworkers goodbye.

54. Just flexing for my ex. I’ve moved on, but you’re still stuck in the past!

55. I love the sound you make when you shut up.

56. Here’s a picture of my little sister’s awkward phase. Enjoy!

57. I’m not like those other girls… I’m worse.

58. That feeling when you really hate your boss and you wish you could punch him in the face.

59. You’re the loser to my winner.

60. Error 404: Brain not found.

Worst Instagram Captions That Are Too Long or Too Short

Don’t get us wrong — very long and ultra-short (including one word) Instagram captions can both work very well. You’re in trouble if your short Instagram captions fail to add context or personality, and if your long captions ramble unnecessarily without adding any value to your post.

Here, we’ve alternated examples of both. How do you avoid this? The magic lies somewhere between the two extremes, but it’s most important to make sure that your caption flows nicely while being relevant to the photo or video you post it with.

61. Like this post.

62. Do you ever get the feeling that you’re stuck in life. No matter what you do, you don’t seem to get anywhere? That’s how I feel today. Nothing I do seems to help. I feel stuck. Like I’m not going anywhere. Help me out here, please. I don’t know what to do.

63. When you’re at the beach.

64. We’ve been standing in line at Universal Studios for three hours so far. It’s moved maybe one inch. OK, exaggeration. But seriously, we thought we were going to enjoy crazy lines and now it’s like our amazing trip has turned into a new sport. Queuing up! Seriously disappointed right now.

65. Stargazing at night.

66. Let’s be our own biggest fans. Our own best cheerleaders. Our own competition. Our own pat on the back. Our own bosses.

67. But first…

68. I’m dreaming of really good food. I’ve been dreaming of this particular food for a while now, but I never knew where to get it. Until today, where my dream of eating really good food came true. I’m really happy that I finally found a place that sells the food I like.

69. Me and myself.

70. Today has been a really great day. I got up, went for a jog, had a coffee, and came back home to read for a while, and then I saw this butterfly in the garden, so I went out to take a photo of it. Enjoy!

Bad Instagram Captions That Are Irrelevant to the Photo

There are roughly three ways to wind up with bad Instagram captions that are completely irrelevant to the photo they’re posted in, to the point where your followers get quite confused:

  • You’re trying to level up your caption game by making your posts more poetic, but you take things a bit too far.
  • You’re using a social media calendar to plan out your posts, and you accidentally post the wrong photo with the wrong caption.
  • You have no idea how to caption your photo, and you either write something random or you take an unrelated caption idea from a website.

The result is never good, and these examples illustrate why. Take the time to ask yourself if your caption works well with your photo. Yes, your message should flow well — but all your hard work is wasted unless you also make sure it’s relevant!

71. Watching the sunset and dreaming of big things. (Photo: A selfie of you at your desk.)

72. Adventure runs in my veins and I’m ready to explore the world. (A picture of you eating pizza.)

73. Take root where you’re planted, and smile. (Photo: You on the bus.)

74. Nothing says happiness like a purring cat. (A picture of your dog.)

75. That feeling when you skip leg day… (Photo: A beautiful mountain.)

76. I’ve got adrenaline in my veins and I’m ready to win it all. (A picture of you sleeping.)

77. English is my first language, but I’m also fluent in sarcasm. (Photo: You eating a huge ice cream.)

78. Ready to change the world for the better, one step at a time. (A picture of you gaming.)

79. On Wednesdays, we wear pink. (Photo: Your new yellow car.)

80. The woods are beautiful, I love camping. (A picture of a restaurant.)

The Worst Quotes to Use for Instagram Captions

Quotes are one of the best ways to craft wonderful Instagram captions, especially if you’re not feeling super creative. After all, our favorite celebrities (especially authors and poets!) are usually much better at writing beautiful messages than we are — and a good quote can make your Instagram photo look very sophisticated.

Unfortunately, not all quotes are great Instagram material. The two things to avoid if you want to make an impact? Choosing really obscure quotes from people none of your followers have heard of, and using the same quotes literally everyone else regularly posts on Instagram.

The examples below fall into the second category. They’re all actually amazing quotes, but they’ve lost their power over time because they’re everywhere on Instagram. You may still choose to post one of these if these quotes have a special meaning to you, but they’ve become “stale.”

81. “Not all who wander are lost.” — JRR Tolkien

82. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” — Steve Jobs

83. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” — Oscar Wilde

84. “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” — Audrey Hepburn

85. “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” — Abraham Lincoln

86. “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” — Dale Carnegie

87. “God will never give you anything you can’t handle.” — Kelly Clarkson

88. “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi

89. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

90. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” — Wayne Gretzky

Bad Instagram Captions Generated by Ai

The advent of artificial intelligence has completely changed our social media landscape, and you certainly wouldn’t be the first person to ask ChatGPT or another AI model to help you out as you brainstorm good Instagram captions. Doing a Google search for Instagram captions on a particular topic is another way you may accidentally end up with an AI-generated caption — because many sites now post AI-written content routinely.

Unfortunately, AI still can’t beat human creativity. Not only do AI models tend to come up with the same, unoriginal content every time, but they also get pretty weird. The following examples aren’t actually AI-generated, but they’re a “composite” of the sorts of captions large language models often produce.

91. Weaving a tapestry of beautiful memories from a symphony of sunsets.

92. Enhance your life now with our amazing line of new products!

93. Picture this: You’re living your perfect life with our amazing new skincare products.

94. Self-love is my favorite filter, and I use it to enhance every minute.

95. I want to remain a classic in a world full of trends.

96. I’m a big fan of long, romantic walks down the wine aisle.

97. I’m not arguing. I’m just explaining why I’m always right.

98. I’m not short. I’m fun-sized!

99. In a world where you can be anything, level up your self-esteem by being kind.

100. Transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary, one caption at a time. Together, we build dreams!

FAQ About Bad Instagram Captions

OK, so how do I avoid bad Instagram captions?

Excellent question! There’s no easy answer, or you’d never come across the types of terrible Instagram captions we just looked at, but we do have a few pointers. The best tips that will help you avoid the worst Instagram captions include:

  • Never post captions while you’re drunk, high, or highly emotional.
  • Make sure your caption is highly relevant to the photo you post it with.
  • Edit and proofread your captions before posting them — every single time.
  • If you’re not sure whether to post a particular caption, run it by a friend!
  • Stay away from overused caption ideas, unless you add a fun new twist.
  • Ask yourself what impression your caption would make on you if you came across it in the wild.

Do all that, and you’ll definitely do better than most Instagram users!

Do longer messages always make for bad Instagram captions?

Not at all! Instagram has a very generous caption character limit of 2,200, and “micro-blog” captions have risen in popularity in recent years. Longer captions can be very powerful, as long as every word adds value and you add proper line breaks. It’s rambling that you want to stay away from!