The gag gift industry is an extremely lucrative business. Given the popularity of Spencer Gifts stores, and numerous websites, it is no surprise that the gag gift industry is a profitable one. People enjoy humor, and gag gifts are a great way to incorporate humor into a gift. In this article I will provide unique gag gift ideas for a variety of occasions.
Before you even go to shopping, it is a good idea to consider the recipient’s sense of humor before choosing a gift. For example, would Jennifer be offended if I gave her a toy cow that poops candy? There are many different kinds of humor, and you’ll also want to take this into consideration when choosing a gift (i.e. Is Melissa sarcastic? Or is she just silly?). You might also want to get a gift that is personal. A gift that screams “I know you and I know what you like!” is what I mean by personal. People are more appreciative of gifts that show you put thought into them.
It’s also a good idea to make sure the gift is functional. Ask yourself if Uncle Bill is actually going to use that Pet Rock before you buy it, or is it just going to sit around in the package, unused. An additional point is that gag gifts usually are not gifts that stand on their own, meaning that gag gifts usually accompany other gifts. To put it bluntly, buy Dad a movie and a nice Birthday card to go with that “old man cane”! With these points in mind, you can choose a gag gift that suits the person it is meant for.
Disclaimer: If, after considering the above advice, you decide you’re dealing with a recipient who would not appreciate or find these gifts funny, it’s better to skip the gag-gift route altogether and go with something more traditional (or boring) instead.
Let’s start with that “older” person in your life. Growing old is inevitable (unless of course you die before you are given the chance to get older!), but everyone loves to rag on their friends and loved ones for being “over the hill”. Certain ages become milestones, including age 30, age 50, and age 60, among others. “Over the Hill” type gifts, including jars of jellybeans disguised as pills for different ailments that “old” people suffer from, are everywhere. In my opinion, that “over the hill” joke’s ship has sailed. It’s just not funny anymore. I want to provide you with something better and more personal than a bunch of clichés. So put down the Fart spray and read on.
Let’s say that your friend Bob is turning 30. Instead of running out buying Bob any generic “over the hill” stuff, stop and actually think about this person! What is Bob’s sense of humor like? Does he even have a sense of humor? What are his hobbies? After thinking about it, you decide that Bob is the sarcastic type. Bob works in an office, and he likes to play golf. Those three bits of information are all you need. A great gag gift for Bob (and any other sarcastic people in your life) is The Sarcastic 8-ball. Remember those “magic 8 balls” that supposedly revealed the answer to any question you asked it? The Sarcastic 8 ball works just like that, only this little gem provides sarcastic answers! Bob also works in an Office, so buying Bob the hilarious movie Office Space would be a great gift idea as well. You can also buy Bob a gift that pertains to golf, such as the movie Happy Gilmore, or golf balls personalized with something along the lines of “The Price is Wrong…” which is a funny line from that movie.
What about a gift for the psychology-guru in your life? I’m glad you asked! If you know someone who is going to college for psychology, a great gift idea for that person is the “Tickle Me Freud” doll. The doll is based on the trendy “Tickle Me Elmo” dolls from a few years ago. But instead of tickling Elmo, you get to tickle Freud! Other Freud-inspired gifts include “Freudian Slippers”, which are slippers featuring the famous Freud. You can also get a cool Freud action figure, which comes complete with a suspiciously phallic-looking cigar! These gifts are available from www.stupid.com. Be sure to remember your psychologist or psychiatrist when buying gifts too.
How about some great gift ideas for new parents? In addition to your run-of-the-mill baby blanket, you can get pregnant Judy a book. How to Con Your Kids (“simple scams for mealtime, bedtime, bath time-anytime!) by David Borgenicht and James Grace, is a book that might come in handy for your pregnant friend in a few years. Another fun gift for the pregnant woman in your life is the Anne Taintor Baby Album, which features a happy mother on the cover. The caption on the cover says “Wow! I get to give birth AND change diapers!” For the clueless Father-to-be, I suggest the books How to Make a New Mother Happy by Uzzi and Yfat Reiss, and How to be Dad by Nick Kelsh. For the new baby, A short sleeve Sleeper that says “Mommy
Needs Sleep” is the perfect gift.
Holiday gag gifts are everywhere, so finding a good one is easy. This past Christmas, I found plenty of ideas at Walgreens. A “lump of coal” for those naughty people on your list is a passive aggressive, yet effective way to get your point across! Other holiday stocking stuffers include Toy Santas that poop candy (pooping reindeer, cows, pigs, and other animals are also available), and of course, a shiny new shovel for the drive-way shoveler in your life.
Of course, gag gifts are not just limited to Christmas. There are many holidays throughout the year, each one is another opportunity to have fun with your gift giving. Since Valentine’s day is quickly approaching, I’d like to recommend the book Love on a Rotten Day by Hazel Dixon Cooper to the Astrology buff in your life. Even if your sweetie is not the least bit interested in what the stars say, this book is extremely amusing.
For the alcohol enthusiast on your gift list, coasters with amusing quotes are an appropriate gift choice. Also available from www.dwellinpossibility.com are Quote Pilsners and shot glasses, which feature quotes about beer/alcohol by Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and even Plato. Magnets with hilarious quotes pertaining to alcohol (by Anne Taintor ) are also sure to please.
Do you know an agoraphobic with a great sense of humor? If so, The Expert’s Guide to Life at Home, by Samantha Ettus is the gift I recommend. The Pop-up Book of Phobias and The Pop-up Book of Nightmares are other great books (available from www.signals.com) I highly suggest to the phobia sufferer in your life.
For the writer on your gift list, a jar of “Writer’s Remedy” (a jar of magnetic words by the magnetic poetry company) is just what you need to cure writer’s block in a pinch. A William Shakespeare action figure and Shakepearean Insult mug (also available from Dwellinpossibility.com) would be a nice complement to that jar of Writer’s Remedy. Lastly, How Not to Write by Terence Denman is another good option.
There are probably many people in your life. Each person on your list has her/his own unique personality, complete with quirks and inside jokes shared between the two of you. Every joke, every annoying habit, and any little-known fact that you are aware of is another clue that should point you in the direction of the perfect gag gift for every person on your list.
- Websites: www.dwellinpossibility.com, www.stupid.com, www.signals.com, and www.hottopic.com. ; Stores: Spencer Gifts, Hot Topic Books: How Not to Write, The Pop-up Book of Phobias, The Pop-Up Book of Nightmares, Love on a Rotten Day, The Expert’s Guide to Life at Home, How to Make a New Mother Happy, How to Con Your Kid, How to be a Dad.