This '90s AI portrait trend is taking over TikTok

AI generated yearbook photos
(Image credit: Epik via App Store)

No matter how hard we try, there's no escaping those embarrassing pictures from our school days that haunt the walls of our family homes. But fear not, a new AI photo generator has just dropped, allowing you to reimagine your awkward teen yearbook pictures, with an ultra-glam '90s twist. 

Whether you're a Gen Z like me, with major retro FOMO, or a '90s baby that gets a chill when the old yearbook is cracked out, this trend is a super-fun use of AI that's got the internet like, totally buggin'. (if you want to create your own yearbook portraits from scratch check out our guide on how to download Photoshop).

AI generated images of Keke Palmer and Bretman Rock in a '90s yearbook style

(Image credit: Keke Palmer/Bretman Rock)

Using the AI photo editing app Epik, users can generate their own yearbook pictures by submitting eight to twelve selfies for the AI to transform. The generator is capable of concocting up to 60 different personas ranging from preppy cheerleaders to the football team captain. Even the stereotypically 'nerdy' portraits all have a familiar (and slightly uncanny) filtered effect to them, meaning that even the supposed 'unflattering' prompts will probably be more fetching than our awkward teen selves. 

The app is available via the App Store and Google Play Store and is free to download. However, the yearbook AI function is a paid feature, setting you back a mighty $5.99 (and $9.99 for its speedier service). But if that hasn't deterred you, Epik has shared a tutorial to its TikTok account, showing users how to recreate these retro AI renditions. 


♬ baby one more time - kpopvrycs

The app has been embraced across social media, with users sharing their AI-generated pictures on TikTok and Instagram. While the AI images are a fun (and overly flattering) reimaging of our past selves, there's a general consensus across social media that the portraits are certainly a lot more favourable than our school year selves. 

Even celebrities took to Instagram to share their peculiar portraits, such as actress Keke Palmer, who felt the AI pictures were a little uncanny, captioning her post: "Idk y’all.. I feel like mine ain’t me fr." Influencer Bretman Rock was equally disturbed by the results, asking "Who are these people," in a confused post. 

While most results were a little removed from reality, other AI-generated yearbook pictures were downright ridiculous. Instead of applying his own pictures, TikToker Joe Mele decided to insert snaps of his dad into the AI generator, and the results were suitably strange – oddly, he's a total '90s bombshell. 


♬ original sound - Dose of RX | A dose of life ✨️ - RX | A dose of life ✨️

If you're after more AI-generated silliness, check out the AI app that encourages you to BeFake, or take a look at the creepy AI app that lets you talk with anyone you please – dead or alive.  

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Natalie Fear
Staff Writer

Natalie is Creative Bloq's staff writer. With an eye for trending topics and a passion for internet culture, she brings you the latest in art and design news. A recent English Literature graduate, Natalie enjoys covering the lighter side of the news and brings a fresh and fun take to her articles. Outside of work (if she’s not glued to her phone), she loves all things music and enjoys singing sweet folky tunes.