What's Wrong With This Picture?

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This page is about a screamer or shock site of which the original copy was deleted.

What's Wrong With This Picture?, also called What's Wrong? or What's wrong with this image? is an infamous internet screamer created by Jaybill McCarthy, originally posted to his personal website "Jaybill" in February 2002.[1] Many copies have since appeared on the internet, and is an example of an early e-mail chainletter prank.


The animation disguises itself as a normal stock photo of a dining room; depicting an open window, table, chairs, paintings, and flowers. The viewer is then asked to find something wrong in it, however, there are no actual errors in the picture itself. After about 30 seconds the screen cuts to a grainy black and white closeup of an eyeless woman with a wide mouth putting her hands around the sides of her face with her pinky fingers raised, accompanied by audio of Mrs. Mae Kilgore (from the 1957 film From Hell It Came, played by Linda Watkins) screaming, albeit muffled, distorted and echoing. The animation repeats afterward,

The screamer face itself originates from gettyimages[2], and was created by photographer 'Gandee Vasan' in 1998 as a stock photo inspired by The Scream painting by Edvard Munch. This stock image was also used (albeit heavily edited) for the cover of the 2001 film "Maniacts."

Jaybill himself is the one who doctored the stock photo into its now infamous form we know today, starting with this screamer and then the ones succeeding it.[3]


NOTE: This section is about the histories (and the rise) of WWWTPs.

The Screamer gained traction rather quickly, with 5,000 page views an hour (6 million per month) shortly after its release.[4] Ironically, many viewers did not get the "joke" the first time... so Jaybill made an alternate version of the screamer titled the "observationally impaired" edition. This version added a bunch of text pointing out all the things it wasn't, then would warn the viewer the scare was coming with big arrows saying "this is it! this is what is wrong! the original image was just to deceive you!" This version is currently lost.[5]

Sometime after this screamer was made, Funshack released their own version, which featured a living room and the need to figure out what's wrong with it; after 10 seconds, a mouse (from Liquid Generation's Optical Illusions) appears with a shriek.[6] A Spanish version of the original was released in March 2002 by Jaca101 on the website Jaca101.com.[7] Another comparable version also exists, but there are no links to it, though ScreamerCentral uses the .swf file as a showcase video for “What's Wrong?”, which can be accessed here.[8] Liquid Generation made a series of WWWTP in April 2002, only 3 animations were made altogether. from April to December, many copies began to appear, though most of them were deleted.

Weasel Circus also created its own version of WWWTP in 2003. In 2009, Amendia uploaded a YouTube video which has reached over 1.7 million views. WikiHow also used the screamer as a reference to “Internet Screamers”.[9]. However, many screamers like this began to appear, they aren’t well-known in the new era.


See Also: Reaction videos

The animation has been reuploaded on multiple websites including YouTube, where it has gained many views. The screamer has also been featured on America's Funniest Home Videos (used there as a substitute screamer in place of Regan MacNeil in The Maze) numerous times. Screamers of this kind became more and more popular as they began to circulate on the Internet. A few more examples of this are What's wrong with this picture?, Zoeken, Forest-wmv and Basement Ghost.

The screamer gained so much traction in its day, that it actually managed to land a spot in the New York Times on April 22, 2002. The article hosts a small interview with Jaybill, who describes both his website and the screamer which was made "exclusively for the purpose of scaring my girlfriend."[10]

Interestingly enough, the very *first* screamer reaction video on the internet may have originated alongside this screamer. In mid-2002, Jaybill posted an article on his website in regards to a video sent to him from a subject reacting to this screamer. The subject/victim of the video is named "Jose."[11]



NOTE: The following animation contains a screamer!

  • tekzoned.com/whatswrong/
  • Raw .swf: winterrowd.com/whatswrong/whats-wrong.swf
  • Rum Design .swf Archive: web.archive.org/web/20050514064626/rumdesign.com/wrong/wrong.swf
  • winterrowd.com/whatswrong
  • Raw .swf from TekZoned: tekzoned.com/whatswrong/whatswrong.swf
  • Showcase Video: youtube.com/watch?v=f0VXgx1tegk



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