Most kids take their significant others or a friend to the prom. But sometimes circumstances, luck, or imagination intervene to pair a promgoer with someone—or something—very unexpected for that special occasion.

1. A CAT

Sam Steingard of Germantown, Maryland, didn’t have a date to his senior prom last year, so he looked around and found an adorable companion right in his own home: his cat, Ruby. Ruby was dressed to the nines in a pink frock to match Sam’s bow tie and vest. In their portrait, Ruby gazes adoringly at Sam for a picture that charmed everyone who saw it. Unfortunately, Ruby wasn’t allowed into the prom venue, but Sam wasn’t planning to stay long anyway. You can see more pictures of Ruby at her Instagram page.

2. A CALCULATOR

Regina Reynolds

In 2012, high school junior Regina Reynolds declared that if no one asked her to the prom, she would go with her calculator. When the time came, she had to make good on her word. Reynolds dressed her TI-84 Plus up in a little tuxedo with a tie and boutonnière, and even danced with it. That may sound like a sad tale of an unpopular geek, but Reynolds had the last laugh. The next fall, as a senior, she was voted Homecoming Queen.

3. A DOG

Erin Condrin via Buzzfeed

Last year, Erin Condrin—who has Classical Type Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome—began using a service dog named Lacey for assistance in many tasks. For her senior formal, she had a dress custom made, and asked the dressmaker to use the leftover material to fashion a matching dress for the pup. Lacey wore her fancy dress to the hairdresser’s salon with Condrin to prepare for the prom, but Condrin ultimately decided the dance might be too much for the dog, and went without her. “We’ve only been a team for a few months,” Condrin told BuzzFeed at the time, “so I didn’t feel ready to take her to an event with a massive crowd and so many flashing lights. I can’t wait to take her to formal events in the future, though.”

4. A PINEAPPLE

Tiffany had a sense of humor, but no prom date—so when she received a message that contained a picture of a pineapple and the text, “Tiffany if we buy this for you will you let it be your date for the prom?” she said, "Of course!" Tiffany even posed for a prom portrait holding the admittedly good-looking pineapple. Tiffany wore a blue gown; the fruit wore a bow tie. She said,

The guys hooked me up with a good looking pineapple for prom. I “sedjuiced” him later
I regret nothing
And that’s how I ended my senior year
Lesson: Never be ashamed to go alone

5. BERNIE SANDERS (OR A REASONABLE FACSIMILE)

Chloe Raynaud decided to take matters into her own hands when her senior prom approached and she didn’t have a date. “I hadn't gotten asked yet and prom was approaching quickly, so I was thinking about who would make a good prom date,” Raynaud told Revelist. “I really identify with Bernie's political standpoint so I just went for it!” She ordered a life-size cutout of the presidential candidate from an internet vendor. He was already wearing a suit, so all he needed was a boutonnière and he was ready for the prom. Raynaud posed for all the traditional prom photos with the cutout, even a group photo with other couples. The Sanders cutout was such a hit that it went crowdsurfing during the dance.

6. NETFLIX

In 2014, Chicago teenager Muthana Sweis tweeted at Netflix and playfully asked the company to go to the prom with him. Surprisingly, Netflix took him up on his offer. Sweis already had a date, but Netflix—which announced in a tweet that it was "third wheeling to #Prom2014 with @muthanasweis and his date"—still helped him out with movie-themed gear of his choosing for the big dance. Sweis selected a James Bond tuxedo and a car and driver straight out of Grease. Netflix also hired a camera crew to document the whole event.

7. MOM

Make-up By MelissaRoshan via Facebook

MelissaRoshan Potter was a teen mother going from a foster home to a homeless shelter when her prom came and went, and she did not attend. That was 18 years ago. This spring, her son Trey attended his senior prom—with his mother as his date. He asked his mom to accompany him because he knows how hard it was for her to raise him.

"I was initially shocked because it's an incredibly selfless act and my heart was just overwhelmed with gratitude because it was so sweet," she told ABC News. "I felt very stoked and excited. I was like, 'Oh my God. I'm about to get the best dress and turn up at the prom!'"

Potter, who now works as a makeup artist and is an advocate for children in the foster care system, wore a Vera Wang dress to the Gahanna-Lincoln (Ohio) High School prom on April 16.

8. TIM TEBOW (SORT OF)

When Iowa student Rachel Bird asked Tim Tebow to prom via Twitter in 2012, he didn't respond—but Bird was determined to have him by her side anyway. "I didn't want to go with just anybody just to have a date," Bird said, so she and her dad made a life-sized cutout of the football player, which wore Mr. Bird's cologne to cover its natural odor, eau de wood glue. After word got out about Bird's date, Tebow's team sent her a signed jersey.

9. GREAT-GRANDMA

Delores Dennison of Hartville, Ohio, never got the chance to attend her prom because she didn’t finish high school. But that all changed in 2014, when her great-grandson Austin Dennison, a senior at Parkway High School in Rockford, Ohio, called to ask her to be his prom date. Delores was 89 years old, and wasn’t sure she’d be able to do it, but accepted anyway. She bought a new dress, and Austin bought her a pearl necklace to wear with it. On the big night, he serenaded her with his guitar, and took her out for a meal at a Bob Evans restaurant before the dance. Austin, a volunteer firefighter and an Eagle Scout, had arranged for a special dance just for Delores. They played the 1941 song “Dolores” by Frank Sinatra—the song Delores’s husband used to sing to her.