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The 17 Most Unintentionally Hilarious Propaganda Posters

Using a single drawing and a few sentences of text--the same raw material used to create Marmaduke--propaganda posters were supposed to influence the way people thought about their government and even their fellow man. As the below collection of posters demonstrates, no matter how unsuccessful the poster, propaganda is invaluable at teaching two timeless lessons: Your government thinks you're stupid, and when faced with unreasonable expectations, some people will lose their shit in hilarious ways.

#17.
The Korean War (China)

The Message:

"Long live the victory of the Korean People's Army and the Chinese People's Volunteers Army!"

The Problem:

First of all, those guys could not be using their guns more incorrectly.

But more importantly, who the fuck are we supposed to be rooting for in this picture? The wild-eyed robot giants? The sad little American cartoons? We don't care where you're from, the only discernible message you're getting from this poster is, "Don't take acid with the Chinese military."

#16.
Take a Bath (USSR)

The Message:

Hey, we couldn't help but notice that disgusting layer of filth currently coating your entire body, how about hitting a bath house after work, you nasty goon?

The Problem:

Is that guy going to be at the bath house? Because if so, we're not fucking going. Scientific studies indicate that bathing in the same room as a zombie in blackface clutching a freshly removed human heart can, in some instances, lead to being attacked by a zombie in black face clutching the human heart he's just removed from your chest. We'd rather go to Watts covered in our racially insensitive layer of soot than go anywhere close to this guy, who is either the most racist thing ever drawn, or works in the tailpipe of a diesel truck.

#15.
Shame On You Chatterer! (Nazi Germany)

The Message:

Factory workers who can't keep secrets are hurting the Third Reich's war effort.

The Problem:

Is this supposed to be hilarious? Because it is. Damn adorable too. As far as the apparent irresponsible workforce problem, maybe don't hire such irrepressible water fowl to build your Nazi death drones. As Disney demonstrated, those adorable little bastards hate Nazis.

#14.
Save Up and Buy a Car! (USSR)

The Message:

How awesome is the Soviet Union? So awesome that anyone can afford to buy a brand new car. If that was a lie, would this man be sitting in a brand new car?

The Problem:

Has anyone ever looked less capable of driving a car? Rather than paying even a little bit of attention to the road he appears to be plowing down the exact center of, our driver is turned around, shooting us the unmistakable leer of the shitfaced. Like Nabokov's Lolita, the poster gives us a doomed point of view--the back seat of a car driven by a man who shows no signs of turning around until you quit shouting about lakes and come sit on his lap.

#13.
Riding In a Car With Adolf Hitler (USA)

The Message:

If you don't carpool, you're a fascist dick.

The Problem:

If the ghost of chalk Hitler is so pleased by people driving alone, why does he look so terribly sad? Maybe because the stone cold pimp in the driver's seat just made him watch while his dick played hopscotch with the ghost of chalk Eva Braun. The exact opposite of Russia's self-loathing attempt at instilling driving pride, America tried to draw a cautionary tale, and ended up with a man whose only worry seems to be not getting his huge balls caught when he drops the top on his pimp ass Caddy.

If this were a smoking ad, you wouldn't be reading this right now because your dad would have died of lung cancer when he was 11.

#12.
Building a Better Tomorrow (USSR)

The Message:

The Soviet Union is building a better tomorrow. And we've got the modest, one-bedroom apartments to prove it!

The Problem:

Look, we get that it's probably hard to convey emotions like pride when you've never seen anyone smile without the assistance of vodka. But the star of this poster doesn't seem to be saying, "Welcome to your new apartment!" so much as, "Oh God, they took everything!" Propaganda 101: Never use a bereaved man whose left eye appears to have been beaten halfway shut to make you feel good about the future.

#11.
Quiet! (USSR)

The Message:

"Don't use the telephone! The enemy may be listening!"

The Problem:

Throw a suit and tie on the seated youngster and his creepily looming superior, and this could easily work as a warning against sexual harassment in 1970s American offices. The boss has apparently just ended the phone call, so the gesture he's making with his left hand is either wholly unnecessary, or a reference to what's about to go down between the young man's hand, and the old man boner currently jabbing him in the ribs.

#10.
Eating Sensibly (USSR)

The Message:

If you overeat, you're a capitalist pig.

The Problem:

Unless there's something we're missing, it looks like this guy just threw down on half a fish. How fucking hungry is Russia that half a fish sends you spiraling into a food coma? Either that, or he's passed out from the booze, and since when have Russians passed out from just one bottle of anything?

#9.
Wanted! (USA)

The Message:

Shut your dirty whore mouth, woman! If you spend your day blabbing about the war instead of making dinner and babies, the Communists win.

The Problem:

Of all the posters to use a real woman's photograph in, they chose the one that uses size 15 Brick Shit House font to accuse a woman of murder? What woman in her right mind would pose for this poster? You know how sometimes actors on America's Most Wanted are mistaken in public for the criminals they portray on the show? This poster is that minus the big television budget plus a society in which domestic violence was a spectator sport.

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