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Explainer: The worst gifts ever

  • Image: Shake Weight
    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    At this point I would hope that all of the shopping has been done for Christmas and you are feeling pretty good about your gift-giving choices. However confident you might be, I suggest taking a look at the following gifts just to make sure that nothing even remotely similar turned up on your list this year. Seriously, these gifts are so horrible that it has the power to bring down holidays, friendships and relationships. Even a box full of coal would be an upgrade.

  • Animal weighing scales

    Image: Animal weighing scale
    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    Common sense dictates that you should never give someone a gift that could be misinterpreted as a hint that they might need to lose a little weight. This includes gym club memberships, exercise equipment and, most importantly, scales where pounds are represented by farm animals. Seriously, I don't think I could stress that last example enough. $41.38 - Lazybone

  • Spyder III laser

    Image: Spyder III Laser
    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    Wicked Laser's Spyder III is quite simply the most powerful handheld laser that you can legally own. In fact, when it was released earlier this year, references describing it as a "lightsaber" were enough to catch the attention of George Lucas' legal team. That having been said, its 1,000 mW blue laser output is powerful enough to burn holes in plastic, flesh, eyeballs, etc. — and this brings me to my point. Nothing good can come from owning one. The only real function of the Spyder III, it seems, is to draw the attention of the police should you ever point it at someone else or at any aircraft that happens to be flying overhead. $299.95 - Wicked Lasers via Nerd Approved

  • Handerpants

    Image: Handerpants
    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    Don't be surprised when you are written out of someone's will after showing up for Christmas bearing a pair of tighty whitey underwear that is worn on the hands. Plus, much like your actual underwear, these have holes in them — so they aren't even going to be very warm. I'm more of a boxer guy anyway — but it's really hard to use your hands in the cold with boxing gloves on. $11.95 - Archie McPhee via Fashionably Geek

  • Dancing Pet speakers

    Image: Dancing Pet Speaker
    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    If your goal is to get a gift that the recipient will enjoy, stay away from these Dancing Pet speakers. However, if your goal is to get a gift that will absolutely terrify the recipient and scar them for life, by all means, pick one up. Connect one of the pets to an MP3 player and watch it project and dance along to the music in a way that is truly haunting. (Check out the video of the speakers in action to see what I mean.) $40 - Urban Outfitters via Nerd Approved

  • Office bed chair

    Image: AnyChair
    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    At first glance, the AnyChair seems like an awesome gift. Anyone that works in an office would love to have a chair that can easily recline into a bed. But here's the thing — guess who they are going to blame when they get fired for sleeping on the job? $594 - Thanko (Japan) via CubicleBot

  • Other terrible gifts from Nerd Approved:

    OMG,WTF,KFC: USB Chicken Burger 4-Port HUB
    Carrying Case Protects The Nuclear Donut
    Oh God No! It’s The Snazzy Napper
    Buzzing Mosquito Alarm Clock
    Men Crying Magnet Set: Get In Touch With Your Inner Wuss

  • Personalized toilet bobblehead

    Image: Custom Bobbleheads
    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    Having a bobblehead custom made using a friend or family member's likeness isn't necessarily a terrible gift (especially if the person in question is kind of conceited), but go ahead and scan to the far right of this product image. Yeah, who wouldn't want a bobblehead of themselves on the toilet? Your mother would love it! $99 - Entertainment Earth via Nerd Approved

  • Inflatable fruitcake

    Image: Inflatable fruitcake
    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    What's the only thing worse than getting the classic horrible fruitcake gift? How about an inflatable fruitcake? Indeed, this inflatable faux fruitcake can be easily mailed to friends and family using the included envelope. Heck, it probably tastes about the same as the real thing, and may even be less toxic. $6.95 - Archie McPhee

  • Shake Weight

    Image: Shake Weight
    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    Remember what I said earlier about getting people exercise-related gifts? Well, that rule is especially true when the product in question is a complete waste of money. As a former personal trainer I can tell you that these bizarre shakeable weights are nothing more than a gimmick. You'll feel a burn using it, but that doesn't mean you will see results — especially if you are only exercising for a few minutes a day. And even if it did work, let's be real: How embarrassed would your gift recipient be to use this thing, even if nobody, not even the dog, was watching? $20 - Shake Weight

  • Razor blade soap

    Image: Razor blade soap
    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    Soaps, lotions and oils are old standby gifts during the holidays, but this soap helps you clean those hard to reach areas … like the ones underneath your skin. Yes indeed, that's a real razor blade in there — and the glycerin in the soap will oxidize the metal over time. So how about a simultaneous shower and a shave with a rusty metal blade? Let's just hope that it comes with a tetanus-fresh scent. $6.95 - Feto Soap via Nerd Approved

  • Prank Packs (Bonus)

    Image: Prank Packs
    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    We've covered some pretty terrible gifts on this list, but if you purchased a decent gift, consider boxing it up in one of these Prank Packs. For a fleeting moment, it will make the recipient feel as though they are about to receive a completely ridiculous product. And when they open up the box, your gift will look all the better for it. This is especially helpful if your gift is mediocre — the tactic is called "lowering expectations." $8 - Prank Packs

  • Nothing

    Image: Gift of Nothing
    Courtesy of Nerd Approved

    And now, the worst gift of them all — probably the worst gift of all time. It's Nothing — packaged nothing to be more precise. A bubble filled with air. The person that gives this gift isn't even trying to disguise their intentions. I mean, even getting coal is getting something. I could burn it for heat. But nothing … you can't do anything with nothing. And since it comes in one of those dreaded blister packs, you actually have to work hard to get at your nothing. Someone paid $9 to give you nothing. It's holiday cruelty of the highest caliber. $9 - iwoot via Nerd Approved

  • Other terrible gifts from Nerd Approved:

    OMG,WTF,KFC: USB Chicken Burger 4-Port HUB
    Carrying Case Protects The Nuclear Donut
    Oh God No! It’s The Snazzy Napper
    Buzzing Mosquito Alarm Clock
    Men Crying Magnet Set: Get In Touch With Your Inner Wuss

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