An Ode to Tacky Souvenirs

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A while back, I received a copy of a little book filled with photos of some of the silliest, tackiest, kitschy-est souvenirs from all over the world.

The sarcastic geek in me loved this book.

Crap Souvenirs

Called simply “Crap Souvenirs,” the book compiled by Doug Lansky “celebrates the best and worst of crappy souvenirs.” Each photo is accompanied by a snarky caption that only makes the funniest souvenirs funnier.

Souvenirs like:

Kangaroo ball souvenirs

Kangaroo testicle lighters and bottle openers


The “I swallowed a Snow Globe” bear with demon eyes

Canned Fog

Canned fog from San Francisco

Paging through this treasure trove of kitsch (there are dozens of brilliant and hilarious entries) got me to thinking about some of my own souvenirs, and the souvenirs I've been known to bring home as gifts for friends and family.

I have to admit — I am often drawn to the most random, useless things I see in a souvenir shop. Sure, I'll buy people things like shot glasses, magnets, and t-shirts. But I've also been known to bring home things like toast-shaped wallets, extendable forks, and mustache band-aids.


Here are 5 of the most random things I have been drawn to in souvenir shops around the world. (Thankfully, I only actually purchased one of them…)

Texas turd-birds

My sister and I spied these in the gift shop of the Big Texan steakhouse in Amarillo, Texas. Though I also really liked the “Bullshit repellant” and tornados in a can we found there, these turd birds (accompanied by the “God bless Texas” sign) were by far my favorites.

Turd Bird

Shakespeare rubber duckies

Nothing would commemorate a trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon quite like a Shakespeare rubber ducky.


Tentacle finger tips

Because who doesn't need a set of these? (Found at a souvenir shop in Portland, Maine.)


Last supper lunch box

While browsing through a hilarious kitsch shop in Apalachicola, Florida, I stumbled upon this gem. I was *thisclose* to buying it, but went for the “Don't Have Ugly Children” gum and a Nelson Mandela air freshener instead.


Sarah Palin mints

Out of these 5, this is the one I actually purchased. These mints were my one and only purchase from the Sarah Palin Store in Skagway, Alaska.


Maybe I'm just a bit immature. Perhaps I just have a weird sense of humor. But I'm ALWAYS drawn to things like this when I travel.

I suppose my family and friends should be thankful that I usually travel light, leaving little space for crap souvenirs to accompany me home!


What kind of kitschy souvenirs have YOU brought home from your travels?


*Note: I received a free copy of “Crap Souvenirs,” but all opinions and predilections toward useless trinkets are completely my own.


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