It is impossible to have the planets line up like in your image. This is done for illustration purposes only. If such an image was to scale, either the bodies would be extremely small and impossible to see, or the image would be extremely large and impractical to use.
For example, the Sun is about 1,392,000 km in diameter. The Earth is about 12,756 km in diameter (so roughly 110x smaller), and orbits at an average distance of roughly 149,600,000 km. If the Sun was a 40 cm ball, the Earth would be about 3.6 mm in diameter and located roughly 43 m away from the Sun-ball. At that same scale, Neptune is about 1,3 km away. (Before COVID, I regularly hosted “Solar System Walks” for the city of Montréal, and that was the size of my scale model.)
Now to get back to “lining up” planets… Let’s define a reference plane: the ECLIPTIC is the plane of Earth’s orbit around the Sun. All the other planets have orbits tilted with respect to that plane. For example, Mercury’s orbit is tilted 7° to the ecliptic, and Venus’ orbit 3.4°.
So there IS a point on a planet’s orbit where it lies on the same plane as the Earth—it’s called a NODE, and there’s an ASCENDING NODE, where the planet crosses from “below” (south of) the ecliptic to “above” (north of) it as well as a DESCENDING NODE where the planet goes from above to below.
1-The Earth is not necessarily in line with the Sun and the planet at that moment (explaining, for example, how the passage of Venus in front of the Sun is such a rare event [last ones were in 2004 and 2012; next ones will be in 2117 and 2125]);
2-Planets don’t [necessarily] cross the ecliptic plane as the same time as other planets; and
3-The imaginary line between a planet’s two nodes is not [necessarily] coincident with that of another planet. For example, Mercury’s ascending node is at an ecliptic longitude of 48.33° while Venus’ ascending node is at 76.68°.
4-Finally, depending on other specifics of each planet’s orbits (its so-called “orbital elements”), a planet’s orbit is not necessarily divided exactly between “above” the ecliptic and “below” it.
So… To answer your question specifically… The planets are indeed in “weird” positions and not in line, but their specific positions “above” or “below” the Earth–Sun line change with time, and it’s basically impossible for them to be in the plane of the ecliptic at the same time, even roughly speaking.
(Addendum: It applies to planetary alignments “seen from above,” but Jean Meeus has an excellent explanation of the impossibility of aligning more than 2 planets at the same time in his book Mathematical Astronomy Morsels [chapter 31].)