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The Weirdest Impulse Purchases VICE Readers Made During the Pandemic

Last year, we all had times of confusion, weakness, and desperation. Here are the purchases VICE readers made in those moments.
random stuff vice readers bought during covid
Composite by VICE Staff

After a year of pain, loss, anxiety, and stagnancy, we're suddenly hurtling toward a more "normal" version of society faster than many of us can process in real time—and simultaneously struggling to make sense of, uh, WTF just happened to all of us last year. 

We hardly laughed, we definitely cried, and we all felt like we were in a really demented IRL version of Groundhog Day. We witnessed (and participated in) protests, a presidential election, and a push for major societal change. We also spent a really troubling amount of time putting permanent dents in our sofas with hours-and-hours-long viewings of The Great British Bake-Off, miscellaneous true-crime docuseries, and our fourth rewatch of The Sopranos in its entirety. And while we spent all of that time at home, like little hamsters in piles of wood shavings, we looked at stuff on the internet. Lots of stuff. And much of that stuff, we bought. At first, it was toilet paper and face masks and hand soap and sanitizer, but as time went on, things got a little stranger. We bought home trampolines. Highly specific baking equipment. Exotic pets. Highly extra clothes we would previously have stayed far away from—"for when this is all over." That new era, or some version of it, is rapidly approaching. What will we do with our bizarre bounties now?

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We took to VICE's Instagram story to ask our readers (whom we love; hi, guys) what their most deranged purchases were over the course of this long, strange, amorphous period of time we now know colloquially simply as "quarantine." Here's what y'all told us. Don't worry—we're keeping it anonymous, since some of you wanted to be honest about the fact that you picked up Fleshlights, bidets, and custom Playgirl blankets.

"An indoor s'mores maker." 


$24.89 at Amazon

$24.89 at Amazon

"A Fleshlight :/"

$69.95 at Amazon
$69.95 at Fleshlight
$69.95 at Amazon
$69.95 at Fleshlight

"32 new houseplants and a $200 humidifier."


$48 at The Sill

$48 at The Sill

"A bidet!"


$99 at Tushy

$99 at Tushy

"One of those woven picture blankets featuring Peter Steele's Playgirl spread."


$139.98$69.99 at Shutterfly

$139.98$69.99 at Shutterfly


$285 at EBay

$285 at EBay

"A fishnet tank top."


$29$24.99 at Urban Outfitters

$29$24.99 at Urban Outfitters

"A koala head mask."


$36.90 at Etsy

$36.90 at Etsy

"Expensive rose-scented pink toilet paper from France."


$4.68$3.27 at Perfumes Club US

$4.68$3.27 at Perfumes Club US

"A sperm count test kit. Not married, no kids, millennial. 'Twas an interesting afternoon with the GF."


$89 at MYLAB BOX, INC.

$89 at MYLAB BOX, INC.

"A mini trampoline!"


$109.99 at Amazon

$109.99 at Amazon

"My husband got a 3-D printer…*face palm*"


$399.99 at Walmart

$399.99 at Walmart

"Birdbath and solar bubbler. I LOVE IT."


$61.99$57.99 at Wayfair

$61.99$57.99 at Wayfair

"A ukulele. I play it every day now."


$65.99 at Amazon

$65.99 at Amazon

"18 stained glass windows."


$61.87 at Etsy

$61.87 at Etsy

"A disco ball… I live alone."


$20.99 at Amazon

$20.99 at Amazon

"A dog bathtub"


$149 at Amazon

$149 at Amazon

"Magnolia Bakery banana pudding *heart eyes emoji*"


$29.99 at Goldbelly

$29.99 at Goldbelly

"A 1,000-pack of condoms."


$153.85 at Amazon

$153.85 at Amazon

"Mushroom growing kits."


$30 at Uncommon Goods

$30 at Uncommon Goods

"I bought my girlfriend a $300 collectible tattoo book which is as heavy as my five-month-old baby."


$175 at Taschen

$175 at Taschen

"Emergency heirloom veggie seeds."


$94.99 at Amazon

$94.99 at Amazon

"Pole-dancing shoes."


$56.95 at Pure Upscale

$56.95 at Pure Upscale

"A ring light to shoot porn."


$94.99 at Amazon

$94.99 at Amazon

"Crayola 'Silly Scents' scented silly putty six-pack. I'm 30 with no kids."


$7.19 at Amazon

$7.19 at Amazon

"A hot tub."


$4499.99$3099.99 at Wayfair

$4499.99$3099.99 at Wayfair

Well… we’re happy for all of you. Now that we think about it, we want a hot tub, a trampoline, and a 1,000-pack of condoms, too. Y’all did well.


The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.