11 things to get for your best friend — or worst enemy — to make them smile, up to 60 percent off

·7-min read

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Redbubble is the place for off-the-beaten-track gifts. (Photo: Redbubble)
Redbubble is the place for off-the-beaten-track gifts. (Photo: Redbubble)

Ever heard of Redbubble? Well, you're going to want to get on that. The company was born in 2006 in Melbourne, Australia, with a simple concept: to become a kind of virtual bazaar displaying the work of independent designers from all over the world (there are now more than 700,000 of them represented at the site). Their motto is "Uncommon designs on awesome stuff" and, well, we couldn't have put it better ourselves. 

Mostly, though, Redbubble is fun. A gift-givers dream, it features literally millions of items, from clothing to stationery to wall art. Tonally they run the gamut from cute to cutting to caustic; profound to provocative to profane. And right now, its having a massive site-wide Memorial Day sale through June 1. Everything — from leggings to laptop cases — is anywhere from 20 to 60 percent off with code FINDYOURTHING.

We'd like to turn you on to some of our faves. To be sure, lovers of beautiful landscapes, intriguing geometric art, classic portraiture and cuddly puppies and kitties will find a world of choices at Redbubble, but we wanted to be a bit more focused. As it happens, we're partial to clever, snarky pop-culture referencing and have never met a fresh meme or inside joke we didn't like. Even so, any selection is bound to seem random and idiosyncratic, so be sure to think of our recommendations as mere jumping-off points.

Whether you've got a loved one with a birthday coming up, want to sock away some gifts well in advance of holiday season, give yourself a treat, or just do something nice/not nice for a friend/frenemy, hoo boy has Redbubble got you covered!

Here are 11 of our favorite selections. Because, you know, 10 would be soooo predictable....

 

"Munch" T-shirt

Detective John Munch: the most ubiquitous character in television history. Chew on that. (Photo: Redbubble)
Detective John Munch: the most ubiquitous character in television history. Chew on that. (Photo: Redbubble)

There are many millions of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit fans out there who've been carrying a torch for Mariska Hargitay's Olivia Benson and/or Christopher Meloni's Elliot Stabler. But we want to make a case for Richard Belzer's under-sung Detective John Munch. Why? Well, because not only was SVU not his first rodeo (the character debuted in 1993 on NBC's Homicide: Life on the Street), John Munch made television history by appearing in 11 different series over the years. (The other nine, in case you're wondering: Law & Order, The X-Files, The Beat, Law & Order: Trial by Jury, Arrested Development, The Wire, 30 Rock, Jimmy Kimmel Live and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.) Legend.

Shop it: "Munch" T-shirt, $21.50 (was $29), redbubble.com

Psycho Shower Curtain

Enjoy your shower. (Photo: Redbubble)
Enjoy your shower. (Photo: Redbubble)

Got a friend moving into a new place? Give the housewarming gift that'll send a chill down their spine! This 100 percent polyester curtain is a morbid homage to the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film that traumatized a generation and changed personal hygiene forever. Don't forget to clean behind your ears — Norman and his mom are watching....

Shop it: Psycho shower curtain, $23 (was $59), redbubble.com

"Live, Laugh, Love Kim Jong Un T-Shirt

It's funny because he makes you think of NONE of those things! (Photo: Redbubble)
It's funny because he makes you think of NONE of those things! (Photo: Redbubble)

Speaking of evil...and devilishly funny: Here's a birthday gift for that history-and-politics-obsessed friend of yours. You know, the one who has no time for silly Netflix bingeing or TikToking but who nevertheless has a piercing, acerbic wit. They'll love the cognitive dissonance of this T-shirt's juxtaposing of the ruthless North Korean dictator with one of his actual quotes. In other words: Irony!

Shop it: Kim Jong Un "Live, Laugh, Love" T-shirt, $15 (was $20), redbubble.com

Snoop and Martha apron

Let the doyenne of domesticity and the king of chronic oversee your next BBQ. (Photo: Redbubble)
Let the doyenne of domesticity and the king of chronic oversee your next BBQ. (Photo: Redbubble)

Let's ride this "hilarious juxtaposition" train one stop longer, shall we? It's officially summer-barbecue season and whether you'll be attending a friend's backyard fiesta or manning the grill yourself, you're going to need some protection from all that splattering grease and those gross condiment spills. You're also going to need to flaunt your comic sensibility, not to mention your love for the inimitable stars of Martha and Snoop's Potluck Party Challenge. This apron is 100 percent durable polyester and utterly, deliciously, daft.

Shop it: Snoop and Martha apron, $16.50 (was $20.50), redbubble.com

The Shining Carpet Texture Laptop Skin

You didn't think we'd Overlook this clever cinematic callback, did you? (Photo: Redbubble)
You didn't think we'd Overlook this clever cinematic callback, did you? (Photo: Redbubble)

If the design on this arresting laptop skin isn't immediately familiar to you, well, that's kinda the point. This is a gift for the cineaste — or at least the Stanley Kubrick or Stephen King fan — in your life. They'll immediately recognize it as the carpet pattern in Kubrick's 1980 feature film adaptation of King's novel The Shining. Now are you recalling young Danny Torrance tricycling down the halls of the Overlook Hotel, the same halls that would soon be awash in a tsunami of blood? Available in a variety of Mac and PC sizes.

Shop it: The Shining carpet texture laptop skin, $20 (was $25), redbubble.com

"Columbo — The Murderers" throw pillow cover

The only mystery here is how any self-respecting Columbo fan could pass this up. (Photo: Redbubble)
The only mystery here is how any self-respecting Columbo fan could pass this up. (Photo: Redbubble)

We saved this one for almost-last because we're just gobsmacked by how much inventiveness and love went into it. There were 69 Columbo telemovies, spanning the early 70s to the early 00s. What you're looking at is a pillow cover featuring cartoon renderings of all the murderers ensnared by Peter Falk's inimitable L.A. detective. Awesome, huh? If you're one of the show's many, many fans, you'll never tire of perusing this rogue's gallery. If you gift one of these to a fellow friend, you will. blow. their. mind. 

Oh, just one more thing: These are double-sided, 100 percent spun polyester, and printed to order. (Okay, that's three things, but you see what we did there, right?)

Shop it: "Columbo — The Murderers" throw pillow cover, $25 (was $62), redbubble.com

"You never know what you have until its gone" tote bag

By this point you'll be on a roll with all the awesome Redbubble gifts you've snatched up, so what's more apt than this? (Photo: Redbubble)
By this point you'll be on a roll with all the awesome Redbubble gifts you've snatched up, so what's more apt than this? (Photo: Redbubble)

We thought it appropriate to bring up the rear with this item. Surely there are those who can find multiple meanings in the homespun maxim emblazoned in this tote, but for us it's a cheeky reminder of the early-2020 TP panic that set in at the beginning of the pandemic. As such, and oddly enough, this piece has a way of squeezing a bit of gratitude out of us for having left those bad old days...behind. Isn't that sweet?

Shop it: "You never know what you have until its gone" tote bag, $17.50 (was $22), redbubble.com

"Nicolas Cage's Head" leggings

Nicolas Cage leggings
More like 'Face/On'. (Photo: Redbubble)

We're gonna go ahead and assume that this someone's cracked idea of a sequel to Cage's 1997 action feature, Face/Off: "Let's put his 'face/on' everything!" At press time, the actor's mug can be found on well over 1,000 items at Redbubble (including mugs). These leggings are 88 percent polyester, 12 percent elastane, and 110 percent pure cheese.

Shop it: "Nicolas Cage's head" leggings, $32 (was $40), redbubble.com

James D.M. mask

Morrison mask
Nothing will break on through. (Photo: Redbubble)

You can pony up nine smackers for the dark humor of using the visage of Jim Morrison, who died at the ripe old age of 27 after years of drug and alcohol abuse, to keep harmful substances out of your body, or because this face mask can serve as an advertisement of your undying love for the Doors. Either way, it can't hurt to have some protection against infectious substances trying to break on through to the other side. 

Shop it: James D.M. mask, $9 (was $12), redbubble.com

Vinyl record socks

Vinyl record socks
Your feet will sing. (Photo: Redbubble)

Not everything on Redbubble is designed for dark humor or irony; sometimes stuff is just cute. Such is the case with these colorful, eye-catching socks. That said, music lovers can also use them to wear their love of vinyl on their sleeves (or their feet, as the case may be). They're made of polyester, nylon, cotton, spandex and rubber, and you can knock their price down to $15 if you buy two pairs and $13 for three. 

Shop it: Vinyl record socks, $11 (was $16), redbubble.com

Jaws racerback tank top

Jaws racerback tank top (Photo: Redbubble)
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water... (Photo: Redbubble)

The good news: With the coronavirus pandemic (likely) receding, who isn't dying to spend a day at the beach with friends and family? The bad news: Shark attacks have risen steadily in recent decades, so the possibility of you emerging from a playful dip with a bloody, oozing mess of sinew and jagged bone where one of your limbs used to be is higher than ever. Anyway, Jaws was an awesome movie; this tank will help you remember that.

Shop it: Jaws racerback tank top, $19 (was $24), redbubble.com

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