Whether you’re giving or receiving, there are few things better than a gift. It feels great to get one, it feels wonderful to give one, it’s just a nice thing. Gifts in movies are kind of the same. They represent a bond between characters that can be layered with meaning. The person getting the gift can be either appreciative or disappointed, the person giving it either sincere or malicious. There’s just so many ways you can go with it.
Being as it’s the holiday season, we decided to pick out our favorite gifts in movie history. Not necessarily the best ever, just our favorites. That means not all of these are “good” gifts. Some, in fact, are awful. But it’s the act of giving them, whether in the context of an overall film or series, that makes them awesome and memorable. So, below, we count down our 25 favorite gifts in movie history.
Okay, first up here’s the criteria I placed on this. The gift-giving can’t be implied. You either have to see the gift given on screen or hear someone talking about giving a gift. It can’t be something purchased by a character for themselves. It doesn’t have to be for the holidays and, it doesn’t have to be good, just memorable. You’re limited to one gift per movie or franchise. Also, it doesn’t have to be a traditional gift. Just something passed from one other to the other with nice intentions. And finally, I couldn’t find good clips for all of these so, some are just images.
So, without further ado, the list:
25. Bath Towels – Scrooged (1988)
Frank Cross is the ultimate holiday a-hole. And what’s better than the scene when he and his secretary decide which gifts he’s giving to which people. The VCR, especially in 1988, was a good gift, so it’s the terrible but hilarious bath towels that get the nod here.
24. Turtle Doves – Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
I know what you’re thinking. “What about the Talkboy?” Well, we assume the Talkboy was a gift but we don’t see Kevin get it, so it’s out. Plus, the Turtle Doves are given not once, but twice. In the scene above – when Mr. Duncan gives them to Kevin – and in the scene linked here when Kevin gives them to the bird lady.
23. The Portrait – Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
There are a few good gifts in Napoleon Dynamite, but we’ll go with Trisha’s portrait. It’s so much more uncomfortable and so much funnier than the cake Pedro gives to Summer. Plus, this one actually works. Napoleon gets a date out of it.
22. The Breadmaker – Old School (2003)
“It’s got three speeds!” I still laugh thinking about the ultimate re-gift, originally given from Mitch to Frank, then almost given back to Mitch from Frank, then almost given from Frank to Beanie’s son. Just hilarious.
21. Hat and glove – The Sandlot (1993)
A lifelong friendship is officially formed when Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez gives Scotty Smalls not only his old baseball mitt, but his old hat too. It’s just so sweet and off the cuff and important to both characters.