Awful gifts for annoying people

SN&R’s guide to the delicate art of shopping for frenemies

Not sure what to buy the friend who dishes out backhanded compliments, the obnoxious roommate who keeps you awake with his partying or the smug marrieds who won’t stop asking when you’re giving up the single life? Look no further than SN&R’s frenemy gift guide! These suggestions, ranging from the bluntly crude to the deviously passive-aggressive, will inspire you to find gifts that say what words never can. Specifically, “You annoy me, and I hope to see less of you next year.”

Fat Girl spa products

Price: $29-$38 at Ulta

Ideal for: the lunch companion who only orders salad and never fails to comment when you clean your plate

These beauty products are made by swanky New York day spa Bliss, but anyone unwrapping them is unlikely to be flattered. The Fat Girl creams for “problem” areas claim to promote weight reduction through the topical application of encapsulated caffeine molecules. You can mix and match any variety of Fat Girl items in a gift bag, but be sure to include a jar of Fat Girl Sleep—“for soothing overnight blub-busting”—to make sure your gift insults 24 hours a day.

Air Zone Punisher Gatling Blaster

Price: $34.99 at Toys R Us

Ideal for: überparents who never stop talking about their children’s peewee-football victories

The Air Zone Punisher punishes no one more than the parents of the child lucky enough to receive it on Christmas morning. The toy gun requires six pricey D batteries to create a realistic gatling sound, sure to enliven the atmosphere in any home. Even better, it shoots 30 darts—at parents, other small children, pets and fragile family heirlooms—in less than 20 seconds. As one young fan enthusiastically raved on the Toys“R”Us website, “The darts leave welts on you, but who cares?” If the parents manage to dodge the onslaught, they’ll be finding the darts weeks later underneath couch cushions and inside the dog’s mouth.

Imitation Ed Hardy cologne by Jean Philippe Paris

Price: $1 at Dollar Tree

Ideal for: the partying roommate who turns your living room into the Jersey Shore

Thanks to endorsements by unsavory celebrities like Jon Gosselin and The Situation, the Ed Hardy brand has become synonymous with douche-baggery in popular culture. You could spend upwards of $30 an ounce to tell someone you think they’re a jerk, or make the same point for a lot less money by shopping the Jean Philippe Paris “Famous Scents for Fewer Cents” cardboard display at your local Dollar Tree. Stink more, pay less.

Break-up manuals

Price: $12.99-$14 at your local bookstore

Ideal for: on-again relationships you wish were off again

Too timid to break things off with your controlling significant other? Stash a wrapped copy of Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt’s It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken, or Rhonda Findling’s Don’t Call That Man! A Survival Guide to Letting Go under the tree this year. Hint taken.

Perfect Fit Button

Price: $9.99 at Walgreens

Ideal for: thoughtless in-laws who always send you holiday sweaters two sizes too small

As seen on TV, this spare metal button adds an inch to any pant waist in seconds. It’s the gift that says, “I care enough to notice your beer gut, but not enough to buy you a nicer pair of pants. How about another Christmas cookie?”


Price: $9.95 for 2 oz. bottle at

Ideal for: the burrito-loving co-worker who routinely renders the company bathroom unusable

If a product’s brand name includes a scatalogical pun, you know it’s classy! This spray is made to spritz into the toilet before making a deposit. Order now for the limited edition Santa Poo-Pourri 2010 scent, a blend of citrus and holly aromas, charmingly decorated with a cartoon Santa running with a roll of toilet paper in his mittened hand. Ho-ho-horrible.

Bitch bags

Price: $10 at

Ideal for: the friend who morphs into a mean, mouthy drunk at cocktail parties

Old World Gourmet’s Bitch Bags come in flavors like Wine-E-Bitch, Cosmo Bitch and Dirty Bitch Chocolate-tini, and contain everything your angry lush of a friend needs to make a dozen drinks (except the booze). Sure, you could find a less antagonistic beverage mix at BevMo!, but your friend knows you’re only kidding when you call her the B-word. Just like she insisted she was kidding when she drunkenly told everyone at the office party you made out with your boss in the mail room. Cheers!

Kangaroo scrotum purse

Price: $20-$50 with free shipping at

Ideal for: absolutely everyone

The website is full of lore about the good luck to be gained by carrying your spare change around in desiccated kangaroo balls, and who are we to challenge Australian culture? The passive-aggressive joy here comes from watching your intended recipient try to be polite as they open this gift. We recommend the anatomically correct, if unattractively withered, “collectable” double bags for maximum effect.

Sarah Palin Christmas ornament

Price: $9.99 at

Ideal for: the co-worker who (ironically or seriously) forwards you tea party spam

Curiously, offers the Sarah Palin glass ball ornament in a package deal with the Barack Obama ornament for $19.98, although it is hard to imagine the customer who would buy both. The Palin decorative orb makes a terrible gag gift for your Democrat friends, but it’s bad for Republicans, too. The sight of Palin’s smug and polarizing portrait on the tree is sure to ignite hours of family political infighting at the holiday dinner table. And to all a bitter partisan good night!