The 21 Worst Apple-themed wallpapers ever - Macenstein

The 21 Worst Apple-themed wallpapers ever

“Good Art” is a subjective thing, but really bad art? Well, that’s universal. In order to prove the point that it takes more than simply a copy of Photoshop to make a well-designed desktop wallpaper, we have compiled a list of the top 21 worst Apple-themed Desktop wallpapers to help serve as teaching tool for aspiring desktop artists. We defy you to imagine using any of these for your Mac’s desktop (and on the odd chance you already are, well, then may God have mercy on your soul). So here they are, in no particular order:


Entitled “Crop Circle”, this desktop bears a striking resemblance to the Nazi swastika. So much so, in fact, I have a hard time believing it is unintentional. And while Nazi Aliens would likely make for some great movie bad guys, I want them on my desktop as much as I want them anal probing me (which for the record, is not all that much).


“Joy To The World”? We’re betting this desktop has never brought joy to anyone. The muted colors, the lame faux Aqua look, and the “Joy To the World” tag (easily the lamest of all holiday sentiments), combine to make this a desktop no one would even run.


Wow. This one is all kinds of wrong. First, it has 2 Apple logos, one taking the place of an “a”, and the other stands in for an “o”. Second, there are three words, and 3 fonts being used. Top it off with Photoshop’s lens flare filter, and you have a recipe for disaster.


OK, I’ll buy almost anything that has a beautiful girl standing next to it, but this is just plain bad. Aside from a horrible initial concept, this desktop suffers from a horrible sense of scale. Assuming the water drops in the background are our reference point, the girls are about 4 inches tall, and the PowerMac measures only 2 inches. I mean for crying out loud, Smurfette was three Apples tall. How are we supposed to get excited about playing with either?


It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s painful to look at… it’s Super Apple. This one is “super” lame due mainly to the fact that it is just picture of Superman with the barely legible words “Super Apple” inexplicably thrown in, other than that, it has nothing to do with Apple.


You’ve already spent more time looking at this one than the “artist” spent making it. The incredible dithering/banding in the Apple logo is a nice touch, and takes us back to a time when the Mac could only display 256 colors.


Think… Gyllenhaal…? Hmmm…OK…. I am thinking Gyllenhaal… but I can’t think of why I want this as my desktop. Even if I were into Gyllenhaal (although, let me just stress that I am not, not that there’s anything wrong with it) I would imagine the sloppy cutout job, text butting up against the image, and stark white background would quickly make me want to switch back to that “Joy to the World” desktop.


Ok, so, let’s say you want to make an Apple desktop wallpaper with a pool table theme. Most pool tables I have seen, even the ones in Tom and Jerry cartoons, have pockets, allowing players to eventually win the game. This game seems like an exercise in futility, as all a player will be able to do is bump those 4 Apple logos into each other for all eternity. But really nice job on the green bevel of the table. [Edit: I’m told this table is possibly a Korean variant of a regular snooker table which is not supposed to have pockets (although I have never seen one without pockets). Yet somehow even with that knowledge my opinion is unchanged.]


I know, we all love anthropomorphizing our Macs, and we all want to think our Mac is happy, but I guarantee you, if you make this wallpaper your desktop, you will have the saddest Mac ever.


“Stretching the Possibilities”. This one is illustrative of a whole genre of bad Apple-themed desktops where people take an existing photo and then just put the Apple logo on it somewhere. I chose this one to serve as the poster boy (girl) because of the horrible tagline, the very un-Apple font, the ghosted text placed edge-to-edge along the doorway making it hard to read, and because this girl has an amazing ass.


This one fails for one reason, and one reason only. There is no unicorn. You can’t take an idea this good only halfway.

(Story continues on page 2)

37 Responses to “The 21 Worst Apple-themed wallpapers ever”
  1. Andreas says:

    Oh dear…. best post of the day.

  2. Pietro says:

    On no. 19 “Mac OS XXX” is only missing a loaded cup for it to become meaningful in an insidious way.

  3. Jeremy B says:

    Thanks Doc; for making me laugh out loud at my desk. The kid and the chest hair really did it for me.

    The worst thing about Photoshop is anyone who gets it thinks they’re awesome at it. . .it’s like MySpace and everyone’s custom CSS.

    How about a post about the 21 worst myspace pages? It may take you a year of looking through every profile, minus the private ones, but that’d be interesting. Or hey, the 21 worst apple themed myspace pages. I’ve seen them, they exist. . .

  4. Alex says:

    I find the whale in the Apple logo in space to be very poignant and a very strong metaphor. Of what, I don’t know yet.

  5. Okay, gotta admit, “[a]t least they didn’t shave the Apple logo into the kid’s chest hair” made me laugh out loud. Well done.

  6. Sam says:

    #11 reminds me of the whale in “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

    “..hey, what’s this roaring sound, whooshing past what I’m suddenly gonna call my head? Wind! Is that a good name? It’ll do.”

    What’s this I’m flying past? It’s pretty! I’ll call it Apple. What kind? Rome! No. Gala? No. Macintosh! Yes, I’ll call it Macintosh. I wish there was a unicorn for me to fall on. Wait, what’s a unicorn?

  7. Hedi says:

    Hahahahahah!!! And there are much more on the web!!!

  8. Adolf says:

    the swastika doesn’t necessarily mean Nazi… asian temples are full of these symbols 😛

  9. 3 swastika’s in 1 post… That’s what separates Macenstein from the rest!! lol

  10. Blesst says:

    Well done! Very nice compilation of really bad wallpapers.

    You could have said about #21 that the maker also failed in using the colors of the apple logo. He completely dearranged them!

  11. pm says:

    Well, many pool games are played on pocket-less tables. Personally, I dont think the games on tables with pockets are the most interesting ones…

  12. Ikue says:

    I always knew Batman was a mac user!

  13. Chris says:

    The whale in #11 is an orca, which incidentally is the mascot of GNUstep. So it kinda fits.

  14. Ellis says:

    I can see you put a lot of time and effort into this. In fact, I laughed hysterically at several of the captions.

    But… Mac Chick? Please?

  15. thefreemac says:

    Maybe Ellis would like you to balance the MacChick with an “Ugliest Mac User of the Day” feature. Or maybe a Mac Hunk?

    ..or even a cutest pet sitting on a Mac of the day


  16. Keegan says:

    #8 is a snooker table, it’s not supposed to have pockets. Other than that it is a horrid desktop.

  17. limey says:

    I’d like to know how you win a game of snooker without pockets to sink the balls into.

    from the first line of the wiki entry (
    Snooker is a cue sport that is played on a large baize-covered table with pockets in each of the four corners and in the middle of each of the long side cushions.

    -limey snooker player

  18. JordanUK says:

    Since when did snooker tables not have pockets?

  19. Drew2 says:

    These are some of the worst….but thank you for giving us one of the best Apple themed wallpaper in the history of man…er…hot woman.

  20. Drew2 says:

    I mean WOW- look at her touch dials…

  21. Required says:

    Carom games are the ones that require pocket-less tables

  22. Bike4Life says:

    Waiting for proof of Godwin’s Law.

  23. Liz says:

    “Think Gyllenhaal” …that one made me LOL

  24. newbill123 says:

    Picture #6: The Mac was capable of “millions of colors” back to System 6 days (with extension) and System 7 days (native). The bondi blue stripe in #6 is obviously for Mac OS 9 icons running down the right hand side of the desktop. This is confirmed by having the light source in the upper right rather than directly overhead. Yes, it may seem silly in OS X, but people make cut outs for the dock along the bottom.

  25. John Thomas says:

    Wow, some pretty hot looking chicks there. Hey Now!


  26. imajoebob says:

    It’s pretty obvious all these “artists” were torn. “Clever or Thoughtful? Clever or Thoughtful? Clever..?” In they end they all came to exactly the same decision:


  27. You owe me some new pants.

    That was the most deliciously decadent piss-pantsing laughter inducing list _ever_.

    Great list.

  28. Benjamin says:

    Of course, there were Nazi aliens on Enterprise, if you don’t mind that show’s whole “Temporal Cold War” plot.

  29. Thomas says:

    BS about the Swastika, it doesn’t look at all, just because it’s a circle doesn’t mean it’s intended.

    But, good post! 🙂

  30. odin says:

    Thomas look again, the apples look like a swastika totally.

  31. Wendy says:

    Absolutely hilarious! People actually spent TIME to make these??? …. well, not much…..

  32. Boyo says:

    Is this the Officaul Butt Pirate logo? And you think they ride big Wheels?

  33. Sergio says:

    This is definitly the worse set of wallpapers I’ve ever seen.

    As for the snooker without holes, I’ve seen people play that game. I don’t know the name, but it goes like this:

    The idea of the game is to control the cue ball. You have only three balls on the table, Cue (white), 1 red and 1 yellow. The purpose of the game is to hit the cue ball into the first colored ball, and then, make it bounce and hit the other ball, all in the same strike.

    It’s an amazingly hard game, only for the elite gamers, as I have never seen a man below the age of 45 play it.

    That’s why it doesn’t need holes, because the object to hit the two balls, and when that happens, its your opponents turn to hit them. Very simple idea, but very very hard to do.

  34. Chris says:

    Almost half the Mac computers in the world are outside the US – pocketless biliard tables are common in Europe, especially for French versions of the game of Caromb

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