So Last Year: Cringe Gifts NOT To Buy For Your Teenagers
Here's what to get them instead
The only thing better than being a good gift giver is being a great gift giver. We all want to avoid the feeling of watching someone’s eyes fill with disappointment and a “how much can I return this for?” stare when they open your gift. But there’s also a huge difference between satisfied appreciation and making your gift recipient squeal and jump for joy. There’s also a huge difference between this year and last year — especially when it comes to what gifts the teen in your life wants.
Whether you have a teenage sibling, cousin, or child, getting them something they will like is the hardest part of the holidays. And since it’s impossible to score Taylor Swift tickets without taking out a second mortgage, you’ll have to find out what they actually like. Which changes faster than the TikTok algorithm.
It’s easier to know what teens don’t like. Microtrends they turn their noses to and deem “cringe” is dead to them — even if it’s something they coveted just months, or weeks, before.
So don’t let outdated gift guides steer you wrong. Here are some gifts that your teen will find cringe, and what to get them instead.
All products featured are independently selected by our editors. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.
DON’T: Apple AirPods, DO: Apple AirPods Max
Teens are always plugged in and trying to get away from the world and further into their phones through their music, podcasts, and videos. Good headphones are also essential for a Hot Girl Walk or a flight. But AirPods are too “finance-bro” for teens these days. Instead, they want large over-ear headphones.
DON’T: LED Strip Lights, DO: Mushroom lamp
Okay, these LED lights might still have a chokehold on some Gen Z kids, but for the teen with taste, a mushroom lamp is all the rage. They can add their own LED lightbulb for the color-changing effects with a more sophisticated decor choice.
DON'T: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, DO: Rhode Peptide Lip Treatment
Laneige used to be all the rage. But TikTok canceled it for being tested on animals. Cruel is not cool. But what remains the coolest beauty gift is anything from Hailey Bieber’s Rhode. Especially this coveted lip treatment.
DON’T: Birkenstock Clogs, DO: Platform UGGs
DON’T: NIKE AF1s, DO: Adidas Sambas
Speaking of shoe trends, there was a time when the ubiquitous Nike AF1 was the staple school shoe for teens and college students everywhere. But now, AF1s are out and Sambas are in. Be warned.
DON’T: Hydroflask, DO: Stanley Cup
Every teen needs an emotional support water bottle. Just make sure you get the right one. The days of VSCO girls with their hydro flasks have been replaced by TikTok teens and their Stanley cups.