Traditional Christmas ornaments are kind of bland, aren’t they? Armies of Santa Clauses, snowmen, reindeer, doves and baby Jesuses generically capture the spirit of the holiday, but everyone’s got them. What you need is a way to turn your Christmas tree into a giant, glowing beacon of all the more modern things you enjoy. There are plenty of ornaments that let you proclaim your love of pop culture to visiting in-laws, with standard depictions of characters like Spock and Snoopy. But that’s only the Titanic debris-covered tip of the iceberg. If you dig around online and even into the darkest corners of the Hallmark store, you’ll find some ornaments that pay very odd and specific tribute to various cultural icons. And some are just plain WTF?! Here are the 16 most bizarre pop culture Christmas ornaments we found on Etsy and eBay that you can find for sale this yuletide season.
16. Dark Knight Rises Batman and Bane:
Some eBay sellers seem to have made a cottage industry of ramming metal rods through the heads of cheap action figures and calling them Christmas ornaments. That explains why you can find ornaments of obscure Star Trek characters Miles O’Brien and Commander Riker’s transporter clone brother, Tom, repurposed from their fairly worthless Playmates action figures. You can also purchase these Batman and Bane figures, unfortunately, depicting a fool’s-gold-plated Batman and a slowly starving Bane. These dollar store action figures already failed miserably as toys, so why not give them a place of honor year-after-year in your holiday d?cor?
15. Darth Vader Peekbuster:
Darth Vader wears a Santa cap and red cape and gloves as he wields his lightsaber and sternly warns you not to peek at your Christmas presents! If a Force choke had always been the punishment for this offense, who knows how many of your Christmases would have gone unspoiled? Like the one year you sneaked a look at the present from your crazy aunt – which you thought contained LEGO but actually turned out to be the dessicated remains of a Thanksgiving turkey she mistakenly wrapped five years prior.
14. Merry Kiss-mas with Pep? Le Pew:
What’s more disturbing about this (aside from the pun)? The fact that the lecherous skunk Pep? Le Pew is luring you in for a kiss under the mistletoe, or that the mistletoe is attached to the tip of his pointed tail, which is EXACTLY HOW SKUNKS SPRAY THEIR VICTIMS?! (Pointing the tail when spraying, that is, not the hanging of mistletoe.)
13. Winkie Guard from The Wizard of Oz:
I’m not even sure who this guy is but I don’t want him to guard or otherwise go anywhere near my winkie!
12. Pillsbury Doughboy:
Would you want this crazy-eyed, maniacally giggling plop of living cookie dough corporate mascot to be in charge of making your Christmas cookies? Is that a blood filling?!
11. Wreath of Khan:
It’s a simple ornament any of us could have made during grade school holiday arts-and-crafts time, but the pun is so audacious that it belongs on any Trekkie’s tree.
10. Ralphie Sees the Light:
Ah, yes, the classic moment in one of the most classic holiday movies in which a boy becomes a man by groping the leg of a can-can girl in the form of a lamp. Ralphie’s leering expression as he experiences his first hormonal explosion due to his encounter with the Old Man’s great prize in A Christmas Story is now ready to come home with you and arouse Christmas discomfort.
9. The Hamster Dance:
This ornament was released in 2012. When was the last time the Hamster Dance was relevant? Back when your Geocities page was covered with looped animations of rhythmic fuzzballs and “Under Construction” cartoons, that’s when.
8. Super Mario Bros. Christmas Tree Star Topper:
Look, we’re not to blame if you find your head embedded in the tile ceiling after leaping at the top of the Christmas tree in a bid for invincibility.
7. Quick Curl Barbie Beauty Center:
If you were a little boy obsessed with action figures, you might not have fully comprehended – and even laughed at – your sister’s love of Barbies, but you basically got the idea. Barbie was just the female version of Optimus Prime. But if your sister suddenly got a Quick Curl Barbie Beauty Center for Christmas, your world was suddenly interrupted by terror previously unknown. Here was this life-sized, disembodied head whose cold eyes seemed to bore into your soul as your sister blithely curled the monster’s hair. And your sibling didn’t even flinch as you cowered in the corner! It was at that moment that you realized what balls you sister had. And now you can relive this childhood trauma thanks to Hallmark.
6. “Let’s Get It On”:
“Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye is one of those songs that will forever be a part of our collective subconscious since commercials, television shows and movies constantly use it when the mood calls for humorous romantic entanglements. You can also hear the song every Christmas when it’s played by this ornament, a puzzlingly official Hallmark product that depicts an immediately pre-coitus moment between a gingerbread man and a glass of milk. Why do I feel like we now know where Master Shake from Aqua Teen Hunger Force really came from?
5. Weeping Santa:
Every decade, Doctor Who seems to introduce a new horror upon the viewing public that sends kids hiding behind their couches in fear they can’t totally look away from. In the ’60s it was the Daleks. The ’70s brought forth the Autons, creeptastic and deadly mannequins who menaced 3rd Doctor Jon Pertwee. And in the ’80s it was 6th Doctor Colin Baker’s eye-searing, patchwork clown coat that struck fear into the hearts of viewers. The new Doctor Who has given us the Weeping Angels, creating the paranoia that every statue is secretly sneaking up behind you – only when you’re not looking – to secretly sap out your life force. And now you can welcome this horror to your Christmas tree with this Weeping Angel version of Santa, who is certainly raiding your cabinets for cookies whenever you turn your back!
4. Dexter Blood Slides:
America’s favorite, fun-loving serial killer normally keeps these prized DNA samples from each of his victims locked in a hidden box in his air conditioner. But once a year on the special occasion of Christ’s birth, Dexter dangles his blood slide trophies from the Christmas tree for all to see and be horrified by. And now you can, too, psychos!
3. Engraved 5-Piece Def Leppard Set:
There are plenty of KISS ornaments this year and that makes perfect sense. They’re more a marketing machine than a band, after all. But here, in all its confusing glory, is this five-piece, 2012 (faux) gold-plated Def Leppard band set depicting each member with inspirational words of wisdom like “It’s All About Believin” and “Rock Rock Till You Drop.” If you ain’t “Foolin'” and wanna “Pour Some Sugar” on your Christmas tree, these are the ornaments for you!
2. Zombie Gingerdead Men:
Do you ever feel guilty eating gingerbread men? Like their little mouths are screaming in terror as you bite off their legs and enjoy the gingery goodness? The character in the Shrek movies certainly doesn’t make things any easier. Well, what if I told you that there is life after death for gingerbread men? And even better, that they can come back as zombie monstrosities right out of the North Pole edition of The Walking Dead in order to enact payback on your thankless, hungry soul??
1. A Cthulhu Christmas:
The children were nestled all snug in their beds, as visions of Cthulhu danced in their heads… Suddenly, that poem is a lot more menacing! But why just dream of frightful cosmic deity Cthulhu snoozing in R’lyeh when he can bring instant insanity and doom right to your very own, festive living room? That little Santa hat he’s got on is adorable, but keep in mind that Cthulhu probably devoured Saint Nick when the old elf bumbled down the chimney and then kept the hat as a trophy. Following that, Cthulhu enjoyed a warm glass of eggnog and went back to his ages-old slumber. Merry Christmas!