People Sum Up the Worst Gifts They've Ever Received in Six Words
Illustrations by Brandon Celi.


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People Sum Up the Worst Gifts They've Ever Received in Six Words

“A used copy of 'People' magazine.”

Not every gift you get this holiday season is going to make you leap into the air like you’re starring in a ‘80s Toyota commercial. Occasionally you might receive some truly inappropriate, ill-conceived, or tacky presents—items that make you wonder if the gift-giver has ever even met you before. Random, ill-fitting clothing, half-eaten food, literal trash; it’s enough to make you seethe, “ No, you shouldn’t have. You really shouldn’t have” between gritted teeth.


We asked friends and co-workers about the worst gift they’ve had the displeasure to unwrap. Here’s what they said:

“Booze-filled chocolates. I was five.” - Liz, 29

“Fugly necklace boyfriend bought from casino.” - Courtney, 26

“Was re-gifted a broken popcorn maker.” - Billy, 25

“A used copy of People magazine.” - Alia, 30

“Jumpstart cables for my new car.” - Livia, 29

“Dog shampoo for my own hair.” - Stephanie, 27

“Gameboy game. (Didn't own a Gameboy.)” - Maria, 34

“Ugly shirt with detachable Velcro letters.” - Jenna, 29

“At work: white elephant Squatty Potty.” - Allegra, 25

“Fat analyzing scale for 16th birthday.” - Megan, 33

“A used bottle of nail polish.” - Tanya, 33

“Socks when everyone got Game Boys.” - Chris, 37

“In junior high, a jump rope.” - Nicole, 35

“A thighmaster from my kid brother.” - Carie, 41

“A massive Santa ornament. I'm Jewish.” - Chelsea, 32

“Plaster cast of an ex-boyfriend’s hand.” - Kelly, 33

“Half-eaten heart cookie on Valentine’s Day.” - Julia, 26

“Broken Halloween salt and pepper shakers.” - Corey, 31

“Steve Urkel shirt. I wore glasses.” - Mike, 37

“Guidebook on sorting your life out.” - Nicola, 33

“A set of partially-consumed bitters.” - Shawnté, 39

“Got a vape pen. Don’t vape.” - Ellie, 34

“My mom just got me tweezers.” - Kari, 22

“From my boyfriend: a bread loaf.” - Laurenne, 37

“Floor-length pink flannel granny nightgown.” - Brianna, 37

“Inexplicably, an entire bag of scrunchies.” - Beth, 32


“Pregnancy test from my mother in-law.” - Kate, 36

“Sugar-free black-bean 'chocolate' cake.” - Molly, 28

“Picked from trash. ‘Better than nothing.’” - Alice, 34

“Pair of white XL granny panties.” - Amy, 25

“Fish tank and accessories. No fish.” - Erika, 36

“Barbies from grandma. I was seventeen.” - Ana, 26

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