Ketchup And Aftershave. Ungrateful People Reveal The Worst Present They’ve Ever Received

No matter what the occasion, a gift is a kind and thoughtful token of one’s appreciation. Whether it’s celebrating someone’s birthday or marking a special anniversary, gifts are one of many ways to express gratitude, love, and friendship.

They don’t need to cost a lot of money, either, since it truly is the thought that counts, especially when given to a loved one. And when a child makes something by themselves for their parent, it is, of course, the greatest present ever.

But not all gifts were created equally. Some have nothing to do with the occasion, others are shoddy pieces of craftsmanship, while a few gifts are incredibly terrible. A bit of re-gifting may have been the motivation behind some questionable presents, and it says a lot about the gift-giver when something so lackluster makes its way into the recipient’s hands.

Here are 25 of the worst gifts ever received by the people at Reddit.

Don’t forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!

#25 Temporary Gifts

When I was 11 years old my father’s fourth wife would constantly give gifts to me and my sister, but would often take them back when we were out of the house and return them. So she’d give us really cool things, like a DVD player or even a slot machine, but in a week or so they’d be gone. We were expected to be okay with this.

The only gifts that she gave us permanently were her old clothes. This would have been fine, except that she was a size 20 and at the time I was a size 8/9. She fully expected me to wear her clothes, which were often wrapped in gift boxes, and stopped speaking to me when I said they were too big to fit.

Anyway, my father’s married to his fifth wife now.



#24 Work Exchange

At work, we did a Secret Santa gift exchange and everyone put a lot of thought into each other’s gifts. I bought my person tickets to a Chiefs vs Packers game because they were from Wisconsin but never got to go to a game at Lambeau Field. They were really happy. Other people got free dance lessons and cool stuff like that.

The person who drew my name was the only person at the entire company to take this opportunity to be a jokester. Everyone knows I hate ketchup. He bought me three giant bottles of ketchup and thought it was hilarious.

I just stood there dumbfounded as this person laughed really hard. Everyone else just stood there staring at him.



#23 Thanks, Mom

My mother-in-law pulled out a box in which there was a fire-engine red nightgown. She said in front of the entire family, “This is what you’ll wear when you conceive a son.”



#22 The Nifty Thrifty Gift

My mother-in-law gave me a blanket I had donated to Goodwill just two weeks before. She went there, bought it, and gave it to me like it was a new gift, never realizing it had been in my home. Now I have to drive an hour away to donate anything for fear it will come back to my house.



#21 Best Of Both Worlds

My mom is the worst gift giver of all time. She usually just gives you one of whatever she’s been hoarding that she doesn’t have room for. For a while, it was ceramic lighthouses. Then it was little fountains. I have never been the least bit interested in either. Then one year after my wife and I wondered what my birthday present would be – a fountain or a lighthouse – my mom surprised me.

She had taken a lighthouse, drilled a hole in the bottom, put a pump in it and set it in a ceramic bowl of water so water poured from the top of the lighthouse like it was flooded or something. It was a lighthouse fountain. Well played, mom.


#20 Exact Change

I have an uncle that I’m not close to and who thinks he’s a cowboy. When I was a kid he would give me gifts of things he liked but I definitely did not. One Christmas he gave me a detailed book about automatic weapons and a check for $8.56. The next Christmas it was a horse calendar and a check for $17.02. I eventually figured out that he set out a $30 budget for my gift and would give the exact remainder as a check.


#19 Magic The Non-Gathering

My then-boyfriend bought me a deck of Magic: The Gathering cards for my birthday. I had absolutely no interest in them prior to receiving them, and then he refused to teach me how to play the game. He took them when we broke up.


#18 Hosed By Secret Santa

The minimum for the Secret Santa was $50. His wish list had leather gloves, a knit beanie, gift cards, a cell phone case, and cologne. I bought all the gifts on his list.

The person whose name I drew in the Secret Santa just so happened to be the one who had drawn my name. I got an unwrapped and clearly used (but empty) dollar store flask with a cheap gumball machine sticker of a tiger stuck on it

This was the last time I participated in a Secret Santa gift exchange.


#17 You REALLY Shouldn’t Have

I was spending Christmas with my wife’s family for the first time and her uncle, aunt, and cousins’ gift for me was a baseball cap for use in the mining industry. It had a built-in plastic shell in the cloth lining which made it really uncomfortable and non-adjustable. It was also about five years old and very clearly used; the edges were fraying and the plastic was cracked in one spot.

The same family also got my wife a marble clock that didn’t work and weighed upwards of 15 pounds. We were flying back the next day with carry-on luggage only.


#16 Vegas, Baby

My mother took me to Las Vegas for my 21st birthday. I tried not being mad that she wanted to go on my actual birthday and not like the week after or something. She wanted to surprise me and bought the tickets and room package before asking me. Then she promised some other surprise when we got there.

We left at 6 am the day before my birthday. My mom tells me that we’re staying at the Bellagio. Unfortunately, she lied; she was going to the Bellagio for a blackjack tournament. Since I’m not 21 years old yet, I get to wander the streets during the winter. A few hours later she’s done with the tournament and I find out we’re actually staying at a hotel on the state line 40 miles away.

The next day I turn 21 and I can gamble and drink or just spend some quality time with my mom. That’s not what happened, though. After the 40-mile drive back to Vegas she takes me to the front of a hotel where we wait for a shuttle. It’s taking me to Richard Petty’s NASCAR Experience. I’ve never liked NASCAR.

My mom yells, “Surprise!” and kisses me in front of all the other passengers. It takes all day before I rode in a mock NASCAR for 2 laps which took less than 2 minutes since the track was not official NASCAR size. It was a gross experience because you’re lined up and the person getting out of the car in front of you hands you the helmet and jumpsuit they were just wearing. This was the worst birthday I’ve ever had.


#15 It Was The Garden Weasel

My dad had been asking my mom what she wanted for her birthday and it was between a hutch (a holder for dishes) or a new bed frame. She can’t decide between the two and told my dad to surprise her.

On her birthday, he comes home with a garden weasel, which is a gardening tool used to churn dirt up. She thinks it’s a joke and is looking for the real gift. He assures her that the garden weasel is the real gift and proceeds to go out in the backyard and start churning up the flowering beds.

Well, at least my mom’s dad was nice enough to get her a gift: a birthday card and a check. My mom goes to cash the check at the bank, but the account was negative and the bank had to use the check to cover the negative balance. What caused the account to go negative? The garden weasel.


#14 But, Where’s The Xbox?

One Christmas I really wanted an Xbox just like every other kid. As I was opening presents I uncover an Xbox controller and my heart started pounding. I was so excited to find the Xbox and I tore through all of my presents to find no game system. My mom comes over to me later as I’m holding the controller. She says, “Now you don’t have to borrow Scott’s controller anymore when you stay the night.”


#13 Hear Ye, Hear Ye

I got an earwax remover from my mom for Christmas. I still don’t know why she got this for me. It wasn’t a gag gift, either. I started to laugh when I opened it, but she was offended that I did. She said she was being thoughtful and that I was being rude by laughing at her.


#12 Music To The Ears

For Christmas, in 1992, my aunt and uncle got me a copy of Michael Bolton’s Soul Provider on cassette. Not only were they unaware that I preferred CDs, but they were also under the impression that I was a 40-year-old woman and not, in fact, a 15-year-old boy.


#11 The Unwanted Leftovers

My wife, bless her heart, is the worst gift giver. One Christmas, when we were dating, she gave me leftover Halloween candy. Why was it leftover for two months? Because we didn’t eat it and because it wasn’t the kind of candy I like.

I know being upset about things like that is wrong, but it still upsets me. We’ve done homemade gifts before and there are cheap things we both love. She’s even called me “hard to shop for” which I personally don’t understand. Of course, I had to dodge the “what did you get for Christmas” questions from friends and family for weeks.

We’re married now and this is our first Christmas as a married couple. She’s got some money, but honestly, $5 is more than enough to spend on me. I don’t need gold, I don’t need a blender. And I definitely don’t need any leftover Halloween candy.


#10 Diet For The Tickets

My now ex-boyfriend decided it would be a fantastic idea to put on a massive show at my family Christmas by getting me tickets to a musical I have wanted to see since I was a little girl. He hadn’t actually bought the tickets yet, but had a super cool set up for the gift. It was a mask like the one from Phantom Of The Opera, accompanied by a poster of the dates it was in my town. I was so excited I cried from happiness. He got major brownie points with my whole family. Then, later on, that night he told me he would buy the tickets, but only if I managed to lose 15 pounds. I was 5’5 and 120 pounds at the time. I had never been more devastated in my life. I think the worst part about it was he had known I had a pretty bad eating disorder in high school, and doing something like that would trigger it. We broke up about 3 months after that.


#9 The Country Music Surprise

My best friend gave me two iTunes gift cards for my birthday one year. He thought they were just regular $15 gift cards and happened to have something about country music printed on them. When I put the code in, it turns out it’s for a specific greatest country songs album. And he gave me two copies of that. And I hate country music.

I kept forgetting to delete it and it kept syncing to my iPhone so I would occasionally have it blast out of my iPod by surprise when I had it on shuffle.


#8 Short-Lived Dream(cast)

My brother bought me Kao the Kangaroo for the Dreamcast for my birthday, and I played it all morning until I had to go to school. When I got home I went to play it, but my brother had sold his Dreamcast to a friend that same day, along with the game. He promised to get me another present to make up for it. He didn’t.


#7 Duty-Free

One Christmas I got a bottle of aftershave and a diet book from my dad’s wife. I am female and a UK size 12 and both “presents” were bought from the airport duty-free! Right in front of her I tossed the book to the side and gave the aftershave to my uncle. My uncle is an avid birdwatcher and gets paid to carry out bird surveys and she bought him a beginner’s guide to bird identification. He was more pleased with the aftershave.


#6 No Givesies-Backsies

The worst present I ever got was a chocolate-themed gift set given to me by a “friend” for my 16th birthday (which is shortly before Christmas). It had candles, lotion, an oil diffuser, and a cute notebook and pen that were all chocolate scented. I loved it! After I opened it, the gift-giver got this really sour look, pulled me aside, and said that she “regretted getting me something so nice when she deserved it more, so would I mind giving it back after the party?”

She was miserable for the rest of the day when I refused to return the gift; tossing out constant jabs about how she only got the present to look good in front of the other girls, and how they all thought she deserved the nice present way more than I did.


#5 iPad Mind Games

The worst gift I ever got was an iPad. It sounds like a great present, but here’s the problem. I got it for Christmas. That year my husband and sister each got one under the tree and I didn’t. I was bummed, but I shrugged it off. After all the presents are unwrapped, my dad asks if I noticed I didn’t get a tablet. I said yeah but that’s okay. He laughs and gives me an unwrapped one. He said he just wanted to see me “pout.” Cue my mom, sister, and dad making fun of me for being bummed.

This carried on the rest of Christmas holiday and several weeks after, them laughing at me over being upset, despite the fact that I didn’t even show an outward reaction. It ruined the gift and every subsequent Christmas I’ve had with them to the point that I don’t even like getting gifts from them at all. I ended up selling the iPad instead of keeping it, so at least I made someone else’s holiday nice. I would rather receive nothing than be used for some weird mind game to get something nice.


#4 Step Monster

When I was 12 years old I had the standard kid Christmas list: toys, video games, gift certificates to stores I liked, etc.

My stepmother, unbeknownst to me, decided I needed pajamas. So she told everyone to give me pajamas, rather than share my list with them. Every package I opened contained pajamas. There were pajamas rolled up in my stocking, pajamas in every box, relatives that came over later that day brought pajamas. I tried to put on a brave face because my stepmother always went on about how ungrateful I was, but I was on the verge of tears as I watched my siblings play with their new stuff.

My grandmother and great-grandmother had the sourest looks on their faces all day, while I hung out in my bedroom on my computer working on Christmas break homework to keep my mind off of it. My stepmother spent all day harping on how my “moodiness” was ruining the holiday, and if I wasn’t going to be happy I could stay in my room, which I did.

Thankfully, my grandmother and great-grandmother took me to the mall the next day and pretty much bought me everything on my list and a few other things besides. My stepmother was livid, shrieking about how they were “playing favorites” with me, but my dad took her aside and said something and it shut her up.


#3 Not A Genius

My stepdad’s sister was on the phone with my mom and asked her what I wanted for Christmas. This was the late 80s and I was listening to Jerry Lee Lewis so I said the Jerry Lee Lewis movie, Great Balls of Fire. Then I made my mom emphasize that it was about Jerry Lee Lewis the musician, not starring Jerry Lewis the comedian. So, of course, I got a VHS copy of At War With The Army for Christmas. I think this is when I realized adults are stupid.


#2 Chips

One year, my family decided to do Secret Santa. Everyone knew whomever my dad had to get something for was set up for disappointment. I drew that particular short straw. For Christmas that year, he got me a couple of packets of chips. Real thrifty-brand stuff. Since I was in my mid-teens, I’d pretty much given up on him by that point.


#1 Cold As Ice

My friends and I did a Secret Santa one year and everyone got each other really great, thoughtful, and personalized gifts. Everyone except my roommate, of course, who literally got just an ice tray. He could not hide his disappointment and the person who gave it to him could not hide their embarrassment.