We’ve all gotten a gift we didn’t like– maybe a fruit cake from Aunt Kathy or an itchy sweater from Cousin Joe. Or maybe we’ve given a subpar gift to someone, unsure of what they like or their preferences– are they more of a Backstreet Boys or an NSYNC fan? Do they prefer books, clothes or games? Here at the Science of People, we are anti-boring, so this led us to create an epic list of 30 uncommon goods and gifts that people will actually like. No fruit cakes here.


#1: I’ve Got Your Back T-Shirt

funny tshirt


You know that friend that always wears the funny, weird or ironic T-Shirt? This gift is for them.

#2: Human Skeleton Leggings

funny leggings

I’m a huge fan of funny and crazy leggings. This gift is perfect for a friend or family member who either really likes the human body or making a statement. They are especially fun when you have been sitting at an event and get up to go to the bathroom. Everyone starts to giggle and talk.

#3: Bacon Lip Gloss

funny lip balm

Need we say more? For any bacon-lover in your life.

#4: Alex and Ani Initial Expandable Wire Bangle Bracelet

alex and ani bracelet

Personalize this jewelry with your loved ones initials. Available in a Rafaelian gold or silver finish.


#1: Why You’re So Awesome Fill-In-The-Blanks Journal

why you're so awesome journal

This little book contains fill-in-the-Blank lines to describe some aspect of awesomeness about a friend, sibling or significant other. Just complete each line and voilà: you have a uniquely personal gift an awesome type will read again and again. 

#2: Instant Happy: 10-Second Attitude Makeovers

instant happy

Want to give someone and instant happiness boost? Send them this book and they’re just ten seconds away from a brighter and more centered day.

#3: Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom

julia's kitchen wisdom

Know someone who loves experimenting in the kitchen? Send them this book of techniques and recipes from the master herself, Julia Child.

#4 Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People

captivate, captivate book, vanessa van edwards

Do you wish you could decode people? Do you want a formula for charisma? Do you want to know exactly what to say to your boss, your date or your networking partner? You need to know how people work.


#1: Exploding Bacon Candy

bacon candy

Remember the bacon lip gloss above? Well if that didn’t quite strike your fancy, maybe this bacon candy will? We promise we won’t tell if you decide to keep it for yourself.

#2: Fortune Telling Fish

funny candy

Who said the candy in your office has to be boring? Surprise your clients and colleagues with this fun fortune-based candy.

#3: Unicorn Meat


This makes an amazing Secret Santa gift.

#4: Ring Pops

funny candy

I had trouble deciding if this should be in the edible or wearable category! Gift these to friends who just got engaged, little kids or big kids.


#1: My Name Is Drink Holders

funny drink holder

This is a perfect hostess gift for a holiday or housewarming party. Instead of getting everyone’s drinks confused, get a bunch of these drink holders and pass them out. Great for conversations and helping remember people’s names.

#2: Irreplaceable Mug

irreplaceable mug

Tell your favorite coffee or tea drinker that they are irreplaceable!

#3: Unique Ice Trays

cool shaped ice cube trays

No more boring ice cubes. This is a fun and unique housewarming gift for lego-lovers!

#4: Measured Wine Glass

funny wine glass

The wine lover in your live will rejoice with this hilarious measured wine glass.


#1: Pizza Purse

funny purses

I have experimented with all kinds of fun purses and wallets. Bring a smile to a friend by gifting this find.

#2: Cat Travel Bag

cat travel bag Almost everyone has a crazy cat lady in their life. This bag will make them meeeooow!

#3: Cassette Player Messenger Bag

funny bags

This is totally old school and totally great. This messenger bag looks like a cassette player and is perfect for a music-lover in your life.

#4: Turtle Shell Backpack

funny backpack

This Ninja Turtle Backpack comes with a Ninja Turtle mask! I repeat: This Ninja Turtle Backpack comes with a Ninja Turtle mask! Why wouldn’t you buy this?

#5: Inspirational Throw Pillow Case

inspirational throw pillow case

Bring some sunshine to a friend’s living room or bedroom with this inspirational throw pillow cover.


#1: Purse Post-Its

funny post it holder

Bring some sass to a friend’s desk with these purse post-its.

#2: Moleskine Sketchbook

moleskine sketchbook

Gift a doodler or creative type in your life this beautiful, yet understated sketchbook.

#3: Assorted Funny Note Pads

funny note pads

Fun pads for reminders, honey-do list, shopping list and more.

#4: Amazing Pen Holder

funny pen holder

This is a little morbid BUT ALSO TOTALLY AWESOME! The perfect give for a colleague or boss.

#5: Be Happy iPhone Skin

inspirational phone case

Send a little happy to someone with this “be happy” iPhone skin.


#1: Poop Emoji Slippers

funny slippers

Send these emoji-inspired slippers to your friend who texts the most! 

#2: Hilariously Inappropriate Calendar

funny calendar

I’m a huge fan of sending people memorable gifts that make them laugh. If you know someone with a good sense of humor, send them this calendar so they think of you each day! 

#3: Toilet Mug

funny toilet mug

Yuck, but also hilarious.


#1: The Four-Leaf Clover Kit

four-leaf clover kit

Help a friend grow some luck! This happy-go-lucky kit comes with seeds for growing your very own four-leaf clover.

#2: Air Plant Terrarium

gifts for plant lovers

Channel a friend’s natural side with this easy-care air plant terrarium, available in beach, countryside and nautical themes!

Bonus Gift: Instant Film Camera

instant film camera

This gift is perfect for the amateur photographer in your life. Documenting adventures has never been easier with this mini instant film camera that captures and prints photos in a flash!

These gift ideas are perfect for the holidays, birthdays, get togethers and housewarming parties. Bookmark this page, so you’ll never be stuck giving a boring gift again.

About Vanessa Van Edwards

About Vanessa Van Edwards

Lead Investigator, Science of People

I'm the author of the national bestselling book Captivate, creator of People School, and behavioral investigator.

I’ve always wanted to know how people work, and that’s what Science of People is about. What drives our behavior? Why do people act the way they do? And most importantly, can you predict and change behavior to be more successful? I think the answer is yes. More about Vanessa.

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