55 hilarious White Elephant gifts under $50 that are guaranteed to get a good laugh

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Etsy $US22Etsy‘A picture is a poem without words.’ – Horace

When it comes to gift swapping games like White Elephant, Yankee Swap, or Nasty Christmas, the master gifters must first forget everything they know about holiday gifting.

Gone are the cashmere scarves, Belgian chocolates, and those porcelain baby angel figurines Aunt Sharon collects. In their place, Renaissance-style portraits of pets, life-size cardboard cut-outs of your face, and DIY books like “Crafting with Cat Hair” with a reviewer base evenly split between “this is a hilarious gag gift” and “I wish they taught you more than just finger puppets in here.”

Gift swaps reward the niche, novel, and irreverent, with bonus points going to those who can check the boxes of funny and useful. So, below, we rounded up 55 gifts that are perfectly primed for this occasion, and, admittedly, perhaps no other.

Below, you’ll find 55 of the best White Elephant gifts under $US50 on the internet.

Looking for more gift ideas?Check out all of Insider Picks’ holiday gift guides for 2018 here.


A hauntingly beautiful sequin Nicolas Cage pillow

Etsy

Nicolas Cage Face Sequin Pillow, available on Etsy, from $US32.09

A Banksy painting went for $US1.4 million before self-destructing at auction this year. This red sequin pillow from Etsy is a bargain for a slightly more lasting version of this now it’s here, now it’s not trend. If you’re partial to the “Y tho” meme you can find one catered to you here.


A calendar of dog-shaming photos

Amazon

Dog-Shaming 2019 Day-to-Day Calendar, available on Amazon, $US11.53

Whether they also have a dog whose diet consists of chair legs, car keys, and their favourite pair of slippers, they will get a kick out of this dog-shaming calendar.


A set of ‘Golden Girls’ wine charms

Etsy

“Golden Girls” Wine Charms, Set of 4, available on Etsy, $US14

Wine time is already a highlight of many social groups. Make it even better with handmade glass wine charms that honour “The Golden Girls.” Just make sure to allow 7 to 10 business days for them to arrive before your White Elephant exchange.


An adult colouring book full of swear words

Amazon

Maybe Swearing Will Help: Adult Colouring Book, available on Amazon, $US7.19

Adult colouring has had a resurgence in recent years as a great de-stressor (Kate Middleton is a fan). But before then, humans used swearing as the next best thing. Why not pair the two together for a truly balanced catharsis?


A parody cookbook

Amazon

Fifty Shades of Chicken: A Parody in a Cookbook, available on Amazon, $US12.11

Useful, funny, unexpected, and – dare we say it – provocative … this spoof cookbook is one of the best conversation starters and White Elephant gifts under $US15 you’re likely to find.


An PopSocket Pickle Rick from “Rick and Morty”

Urban Outfitters

PopSockets Pickle Rick Phone Stand, available on Urban Outfitters, $US15

Know a fan of “Rick and Morty”? They will love this Pickle Rick PopSocket from one of the show’s most recognisable episodes.


A funny meme-inspired card game for adults

Uncommon Goods

What Do You Meme Game, available on Uncommon Goods and Amazon, $US30

What Do You Meme is the second wave of whatever Cards Against Humanity was – and it’s really fun. The game is currently backordered on Uncommon Goods until December 27, so order from Amazon if your exchange is before Christmas.


Porcelain dinner plates that celebrate the fact that beards feed themselves, like Venus Flytraps

Uncommon Goods

Food In My Beard Face Plates. Set of Two, available on Uncommon Goods, $US25

In a stroke of pure genius, “Food In My Beard Face Plates” were born. Have a friend who’s got a Civil War, Lumberjack, or 19th-century Russian author beard that’s known to take a few accidental morsels home with him? Say no more.


A NSFW version of the popular Watch Ya Mouth game

Amazon

Watch Ya’ Mouth Party Game, available on Amazon, $US24.34

Watch Ya’ Mouth is a quick addition to the canonical “best board games” short list – and this NSFW adult bundle is made especially for playing with friends.


A screw-on top that turns a wine bottle into a glass

Amazon

Guzzle Buddy Wine Bottle Glass, available on Amazon, $US17.99

If you bring a bottle of wine to a gathering intending it to be your bottle of wine, why not simplify things?


A 2019 calendar celebrating only the cringe-worthy awkwardness of timeless family photos

Amazon

Awkward Family Photos 2019 Day-to-Day Calendar, available on Amazon, $US7.57

Matching outfits, terrible stage direction, and a collection of 365 photos that will make you recoil in either recognition or secondhand embarrassment.


A punny breakfast bowl that works especially well for horror fans

Etsy

Cereal Killer Bowl, available on Etsy, $US22

This handmade ceramic bowl is punny on its own, but it will go over especially well with any true-crime or horror fans in your life.


A pillow that immortalises their best friend (who isn’t you)

Canvas Pop

Custom Pet Pillow, available on Canvas Pop, from $US39

If you’re shopping for a pet parent, you can probably stop here. Not many novelty gifts are guaranteed a prominent spot in your friend’s apartment, but this one probably won’t leave the living-room couch. Plus, in the days of dog and cat Instagrams, it’s not too hard to find your own mini album of options.


A gift that immortalises their best friend (who is you)

Amazon

Three-Foot Customised Big Heads Cardboard Face Cutout, available on Amazon, from $US27.99

Michael Scott once said that gifts were great because you can point to them and say “Hey, man, I love you this many dollars worth.” This gift also says “I love you this huge.”


Slang flashcards for the friend who asked you what GOAT means

Amazon

Knock Knock Slang Flashcards, available on Amazon, $US11.55

If you have to remind yourself not to use acronyms while texting them, you may want to grab these Slang Flashcards. They’re the closest thing we have to a physical Urban Dictionary.


A sweatshirt of Elon Musk smoking on the Joe Rogan podcast

Etsy

Elon Musk Smoking on Joe Rogan Podcast Meme Sweatshirt, available on Etsy, $US19.99

If your friend is obsessed with either Elon Musk, Tesla, SpaceX, or meme culture, you’re probably going to win the holiday season with this one.


A “This is Fine” meme mug

Etsy

The This is Fine Mug, available on Etsy, from $US9.99

Gift them the appropriate accessory to most of day-to-day life: subway delays, eternally empty coffee pots, and an influx of urgent 6 p.m. emails.


Socks that mimic some of the most famous paintings in history

Amazon

Chalier Famous Painting Socks, 4-Pack, available on Amazon, $US14.99

Klimt, Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Munch – the gangs all here. Whether they’re an art buff or just love socks that are fun but still functional, these are a great $US10 gift to tack on.


A saint candle with your friend’s face on it — or their pet’s

Etsy

Custom Prayer Candle, available on Etsy, from $US22.50

You tell your friends you love and respect them, but what have you done to prove it lately?


A gimmicky present they will actually wind up using

Amazon

Tweexy Wearble Nail Polish Holder, available on Amazon, from $US9.99

If you’ve ever painted your nails, you can sympathize with the hassle of finding a safe spot for an open bottle of gooey, brightly coloured polish to hang out while you work. This $US7 nail polish holder looks gimmicky, but it’s actually useful.


An all-in-one breakfast sandwich maker

Amazon

Hamilton Beach 25475A Breakfast Sandwich Maker, available on Amazon, $US18.99

This is another could-be-a-gimmick-but-isn’t tool that people actually genuinely love. It takes up less space than it seems like it would from the image above, and it has over 3,500 five-star reviews on Amazon.


A beer-drinking board game

Uncommon Goods

Beeropoly, available on Uncommon Goods, $US35

If your ideal drinking game includes dance moves (preferably from peers rather than you), Never Have I Ever, and the beloved yet despised “pour one drink into the community cup,” you may get a kick out of this Beeropoly master game.


A pet portrait done in the classic Renaissance style

Etsy

Custom Pet Portrait, available on Etsy, $US19.99

Do yourself and your friends a favour and have a custom pet portrait done in the traditional Renaissance style. Perfect for the hearth, Great Hall, or above a dresser done in the IKEA Scandinavian minimalist style.


A jokey (or completely serious) how-to book on using your cat’s hair to craft

Amazon

“Crafting with Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat”, available on Amazon, $US12.59

“Crafting with Cat Hair” shows readers how to “transform stray clumps of fur into soft and adorable handicrafts.” Comments are split: some people got it as a gag gift, some people make finger puppets from their cat’s hair, and some people bought it because they were “tired of people sitting too near on public transport.”


A kitchen towel that has a chart of beer and food pairings on it

Uncommon Goods

Beer and Food Pairing Guide Towel, available on Uncommon Goods, $US14

If they’re the friend who will be brewing beer in their garage in a few months, urge along the process with this beer and food pairing towel. It will give them great ideas for foods they may want to cook to complement beers they already have, or vice versa.


An SNL-inspired parody hat

Etsy

Make Kanye 2006 Again Hat, available at Etsy, $US15.99

Perfect for the friend who loves the “old Kanye” and may be having a small personal crisis in 2018.


An emergency pizza rescue kit engineered by a group of New York pizza aficionados

Uncommon Goods

Pizza Rescue Kit, available on Uncommon Goods, $US15

A group of New York pizza aficionados are the masterminds behind this “Pizza Rescue Kit,” which can turn even the most underwhelming slice of pizza into something worth writing home about. The emergency kit consists of Italian black truffles with Atlantic sea salt, organic Italian herb mix, and Aleppo chilli pepper.

The kind of puzzle all non-puzzle lovers will find barbaric

Amazon

Ravensburger 654 Blank Piece Jigsaw Puzzle, available on Amazon, $US19.49

This is exactly the kind of puzzle that makes non-puzzle lovers horrified. But to the initiated, this 654 piece blank jigsaw puzzle is a fun challenge rather than a mainstream version of masochism.


Prison Mike exercise headbands, in homage to “The Office”

Etsy

Prison Mike Headbands, available on Etsy, $US9.99

The “Prison Mike” phenomena began with the quote “Do you think doing alcohol is cool?” and get better from there. These headbands are built for exercise, meaning they stay put and wick sweat – perfect for your misfit softball league.


A Nicolas Cage activity book

Amazon

“Snake Eyes: A Nicolas Cage Activity Book”, available on Amazon, $US10.40

Join this Snake Eyes version of Nicolas Cage on puzzles, games, colouring pages, and “the best of times.”


A Bob Ross chia pet

Urban Outfitters

Bob Ross Chia Pet, available on Amazon, $US20.99

Not only is a chia pet one of the easiest plants you can possibly take care of, but it also comes in the shape of the beloved Bob Ross. It comes with enough chia seeds for three plantings, and after that they can re-use the planter with anything from basil to alfalfa to thyme.


Pizza-themed socks arranged like a pizza

Amazon

Pizza Socks Pepperoni Box, available on Amazon, $US25.99

It’s meta, it’s daring, it’s weirdly useful: it’s pizza-themed socks arranged in the shape of a real pizza. You can even get just one pair in the shape of a slice.


A book full of serious scientific answers to far-fetched hypothetical questions

Amazon

“What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions”, available on Amazon,$US13.99

Randall Munroe is best known for his cult-favourite stick-figure drawings about science, technology, language, and love. In this book, he gives fans serious scientific answers to the hypothetical questions people ask him. The hilarious answers are the results of stacks of declassified military research memos, differential equations, and interviews with nuclear reactor operators, and are accompanied by his signature comics.


Baking cups that make actual muffin tops

Amazon

Fred Muffin Tops Baking Cups, Set of 4, available on Amazon, $US12.08

There’s something absurdly funny about tiny, low-slung jeans with baked muffin tops coming out of them. Here’s how to give that joy to someone in your life.


A baking pan that makes edible cookie spoons

Uncommon Goods

Cookie Spoon Pan, available on Uncommon Goods, $US18

What’s more fun than dipping cookies in milk? Replacing all the silverware in your home with cutlery made out of cookies like a second grader who became president for a day.


The best Game of Thrones fandom gift you’re likely to find

Etsy

Hodor Doorstop, available on Etsy, $US24

No spoilers here, but your “Game of Thrones”-obsessed friends will probably consider this wooden block with a nonsensical word embossed upon it as one of the best gifts they get this year.


A binge-watching survival kit for the deep Netflix rabbit holes

Barnes and Noble

Pinch Provisions Binge-Watching Survival Kit, available on Barnes and Noble, $US19.95

This binge-watching survival kit is especially perfect for the friend who’s always complaining about the thinly-veiled disapproval in Netflix’s “Are you still watching?” notification.


An Owen Wilson “wow” meme-inspired mouse pad

Etsy

Owen Wilson “Wow” Mouse Pad, available on Etsy, $US9.99

In the depths of the internet, alongside the most developed Loch Ness Monster and Big Foot theories, are a horde of videos dedicated to the way Owen Wilson has been saying the word “wow” since 1996. If your friend loves memes – or Owen Wilson – they’re probably a fan.


A microwavable dish that makes eggs especially for bagels

Uncommon Goods

Egg on a Bagel Maker, available on Uncommon Goods, $US25

This handmade ceramic dish makes eggs specifically for the shape of bagels, and it takes about a minute in the microwave.


A set of “Drink Time Continuum” tumblers with prominent thinkers on them

Uncommon Goods

Famous Scientist Tumblers, available on Uncommon Goods, $US15

These “Drink Time Continuum” tumblers are illustrated with some of history’s greatest minds, from Albert Einstein to Marie Curie. If your friend loves the intersection of clever wordplay, smarts, and creativity, they will probably love – and actually use – these.


A mug with a built-in basketball hoop

Uncommon Goods

Giveback Mug with a Hoop, available on Uncommon Goods, $US25

Turn hot chocolate with marshmallows or cereal into a game with this mug made by an eight-year-old kid-preneur. Plus, $US5 of every purchase supports an online resource for parents of kids with learning disabilities.


A pie dish with a geeky pun baked right in

Uncommon Goods

I eight sum pi dish, available on Uncommon Goods, $US45

Do they love puns, maths equations, and/or pie? This popular “I eight sum pi” dish is a great intersection of them all.


A Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon mug layered over two other Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon mugs

Amazon

Novelty Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon Mug, available on Amazon, $US16.99

If you want to send your own image for them to print, you can do that too.


The ancient symbol for knowledge made out of computer hardware

Uncommon Goods

Apple Byte Desktop Sculpture, available on Uncommon Goods, $US34

If your intended recipient would identify as a geek – or if they love symbolism, IT, Macs, or objects with a great story behind them – they’re going to love this desktop sculpture. Apples are an ancient symbol for wisdom, and this art piece is made out of salvaged computer components as an artistic, nature-plus-technology statement.


A Kevin Malone desk clock from an infamous TV moment

Etsy

Kevin Malone Desk Clock, available on Etsy, from $US16.95

Who can forget Kevin Malone carrying a pot of chilli into the office? It’s one of the most-loved moments in “The Office,” which is one of the most-loved TV shows in history. Whether they actually keep this on their desk or not, it’s a gift they’re not likely to have found on their own.


A to-go sriracha sauce keychain for the hot sauce fiend

Urban Outfitters

Sriracha Sauce Keychain, available on Urban Outfitters, $US8

Perfect for the friend who asks for hot sauce before the food has even come out of the restaurant kitchen.


An eerily accurate poster

Socety6

Coffee Talk Art Print, available on Society6, $US22.99

If they’re never further than 45 feet from a coffee pot, they will probably appreciate the gallows humour of this spot-on poster.


A hilarious NSFW card game you can play together

Amazon

Cards Against Humanity: Red Box, available on Amazon, $US20

Most people already have Cards Against Humanity, and this extended “Red Box” version comes with 300 fresh cards to add into the mix (230 white and 70 black). The company also notes that it “transforms your deck of Cards Against Humanity into a better bludgeoning weapon against home invaders.”


A funny cookbook made especially for hungover, demoralising mornings

Amazon

The Hungover Cookbook, available on Amazon, $US12.33

This cookbook was built to handle hangovers – six types of them to be exact. Recipes are tailored to the specific hangover and are bookended by insights into hangover science, quizzes to see if you’re maybe just still drunk, and witty jokes.


A “Die Hard” Christmas ornament so it looks like Bruce Willis is army-crawling out of your tree

Etsy

Metal Die Hard Christmas Ornament, available on Etsy, $US29.24

Move aside, ornament you made from Popsicle sticks in kindergarten, and make room for this ode to “Die Hard.” It also looks an awful lot like Bruce Willis is crawling out of your tree.


A crowd-pleasing gag gift mug

Amazon

BigMouth Inc Toilet Mug, available on Amazon, $US12.99

This ceramic gag gift mug has become a bit of a mainstay in the genre, and it holds up to 12 ounces of their favourite drink.


An inspirational poster for fans of The Office

Etsy

Michael Scott Wayne Gretzky Quote Poster, available on Etsy, from $US14.99

Makes you think. `


A topical “spill the tea” meme pin

Amazon

Kermit None of My Business Meme Pin, available on Amazon, $US9.95

Perfect for the friend who is always around to spill the tea – discretely or shrewdly.


A fun but practical kitchen utensil

Amazon

Nessie Ladle, available on Amazon, $US15.40

The Nessie Ladle stands in pots using its tiny feet, and it’s dishwasher and microwave safe.


A punny mug made by an independent artist

Society6

For Fox Sake Mug, available on Society6, $US15.99

For the friend who loves puns, has a penchant for swearing, or appreciates a nice ceramic mug that pretty much works like every other.

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