5 Misplaced Items in Thrift Store Halloween Section

There’s always things in the Halloween section at the thrift store that aren’t necessarily Halloween items, but which the employees have helpfuly categorized as Halloween, in case you should work it into your costume or Halloween display. Alongside half-burnt orange tea lights and Avon witch ceramic centerpieces, there’s stuff like feather boas, high school basketball jerseys, and a Minnesota State Fair cowboy hat from 1993.

And then there’s stuff that doesn’t belong at all, stuff that has been laughably and perhaps depressingly thrown in with the Halloween items. Stuff like this:

Darth Vader Christmas Stocking:


This is employee apathy. Unless the Great Pumpkin has started filling Halloween Stockings, there’s no excuse for this. What’s next? Throwing Santa caps in with the display in case anyone wants to be Santa for Halloween?

Next, another example of mistaken holidays, the Halloween/Valentine’s crossbreed:


An example of employee incompetence, here only because the the box is orange and black, and everyone appears to be wearing a costume. Still, the word VALENTINES is pretty obvious on the box.

But this also reminds me of the gross crossbreeding of holidays that’s been going on.

What’s up with Halloween greeting cards? Since when do we give out Halloween cards to people?

Or Pin The Head on Frankenstein? When did Halloween become a birthday party?

Halloween Gingerbread Houses? Is it Christmas already?

Or the worst offense of them all—“Halloween Hunt” Eggs? THERE’S NO SUCH THING as a Halloween Hunt, you bastards.

Pretty soon, all the holidays are going to be one big year-long glob of freakish Santa-o-Lanterns and Fourth of July Trees. They’ll call them Patriot Trees, with Sarah Palin ornaments, and a red white and blue star lit up on the top. I’m probably terrifying you now. It is, afterall, Halloween.

Then, in the mistaken Halloween prop category:


This isn’t just a prop plastic guitar, it’s a Rock Band Playstation Controller. I can just see some oblivious mother purchasing this for her kid’s rock star costume. Depressing. Kid, you’d be better off carrying an air guitar around. It’d be less humiliating, and besides, it’s more rock and roll.

Next, here’s another toy mis-identified as a costume compenent:


NERF Velcro Targets. These are part of a game, the targets kids wear to catch the velcro NERF balls thrown at them. What a depressing costume this would make. What would you be? The NERF Catcher? With a cape, the SUPER NERF Catcher? I don’t know.

Finally I’ve got the number one misplaced item. This one is so good that I purchased it. I wanted to bring it home, take it out the packaging, get a real good look at it, and then go cry in my bathtub. Because it’s depressing, strange, and a little scary.

As the first blog in history to photograph and document the existence of Troll Masks, Super Stinkers Water Guns, and Hook Movie Trading Cards, I add another historical first to that monumental list—presenting Bubba Gum:



At first, this may seem completely innocuous—fake teeth. But these aren’t just fake teeth, they’re candy. In itself, the idea is completely awesome. But as a part of the thrift store’s Halloween section, it’s scary. These are expired! 5 years old!

And a look at the no budget website, Bubba Gum, makes me think there really wasn’t a Las Vegas “all expenses paid trip for a family of three” contest. And even if there was, who paid for it? Bubba? And doesn’t “family of three” seem arbitrary?


I dreaded the idea of someone buying this for their kid for Halloween. I couldn’t imagine a parent loving their kid less than handing them an expired pack of candy that was stale and broken, and pawning it off as part of their monster costume. They’re not meant to be a costume. They’re just for playing around and eating—five years ago. Can’t anyone at Value Village see this? What about the people who donated it? God forgive them for so many points of failure.


I do like Bubba Gum’s DIY aesthetic, and after some research, I learned the owner of Bubba Gum did all the teeth molds and packaging design himself. The tattoo here is charming. The whole packaging and idea seems a crossbreed between candy wax vampire fangs and the characters from the Skate or Die video game. Crossbreed is the word for today.

Anyway, I just wrote 400 words on Bubba Gum, and having been the first and only person to do so, I’m thinking I should get that prize to Las Vegas. Also, having been the person to take this off the sale shelf and potentially saved a kid’s life, I’m thinking I should get the Nobel Peace Prize.

5 thoughts on “5 Misplaced Items in Thrift Store Halloween Section

  1. Do you deserve a Nobel? Yes. The Nobel Prize for being AWESOME.

    It looks like employees are just putting the opened returns into the Halloween section hoping they’ll sell. WTF?!

  2. I’m so glad that you didn’t try on those bubba gums in the name of entertainment. Who would donate that? And why doesn’t anyone act as a filter when sorting through donations? What if someone donated something completely inappropriate?
    Goodwill hires ex-cons so they probably don’t care, but what’s Value Village’s excuse?

  3. I can’t really explain the random extremes my mind has just gone to,
    That gum/candy/whetever… that is strange, specially for us in the UK, never seen that before.
    Then to be 5 years out of date… made my stomach churn.. oh my..

  4. Another “oldie but goodie” of yours. You write on topics that are soooo totally and completely up my alley that I’m having to tear myself away from my obsession with nostalgia and get on with some work today. Glad you finally surfaced in my reader today!

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