Category Archives: T-Shirts That Shouldn’t Exist

T-Shirt Fail

T-Shirt Label Win
T-Shirt Pricing Fail
Matching T-Shirts

I’d like to ease myself back into updating this blog, and I’m going to start by posting a few t-shirt related fails from award winning website Fail Blog is always good for a few laughs, and unlike this site, it’s updated several times daily. It also has a store called the Lol Mart, that features a collection of t-shirts dedicated to some of the greatest internet fads.

Now that I’ve got your attention, I’d like to tell you about a new website that I’ve been working on. It’s called Book Fail, and it’s all about funny, off-beat, and weird books. Some of my favorites so far are The Zen of Farting, and How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art. I’ve worked up quite a list so be sure to check it out, and subscribe/bookmark.

T-Shirts that make you scratch your head.

If you haven’t yet noticed, I sometimes write about shirts that I wouldn’t recomend anyone wear, yet are interesting in some way.  Sometimes I just like to see what qualifies as a ‘good t-shirt idea’ in somebody else’s head.  A lot of times those t-shirt are pointless, or grossly offensive, and here’s an example of each.

Texas Blast T-Shirt

“Texas is Blast” is up for sale at Loiterink, which used to be the well respected LuckyThreadz before changing their name last year.  I’m not sure what justifies making such a macabre reference to President Kennedy’s assasination, although the illustration is beautiful.  Even worse, the shirt is available in kids sizes.  What’s up with that, Loiterink?

Sex or Rape T-Shirt

The second t-shirt is from Cafepress, the home of the do-it-yourself publishing community.  I’m not quite sure why the shirt’s slogan needs to be said, and there quite a few interesting and meaningful designs on the topic.

If you’re interested in reading about more off-beat shirts, please subscribe to my mailing list.  You will only receive any email when I make a new post.

Obama T-Shirt Roundup

With almost two weeks to go before the election, it’s about time for me to do a full roundup of campaign t-shirts for each candidate. I will start with Obama, given the overwhelming amount of e-mail and comments I have received. Every day people are buying Obama shirts, desiging them, getting suspended from school because of them, and even getting shot with BB guns for wearing them. Before I begin, I’ll make a brief disclaimer that this round-up isn’t comprehensive, and there are thousands of shirts that didn’t make this list, in fact some really good ones. I also want to thank everyone who’s emailed me with their submissions.The Best

Obama Superman T-Shirt
Yes We Can Obama T-Shirt
    • An inspired and inspirational design, Audacity from Enstru-Mental relates another one of Obama’s campaign slogans.
Yes We Can Obama T-Shirt
    • There is no doubt this election has been closely watched from all corners of the globe, and Yes We Can attempts to translate Obama’s message into at least thirteen languages. Knowing how diverse this blog’s readership is, I think that many of you will find these shirts interesting.
Yes We Can Obama T-Shirt
Obama Hope T-Shirt
    • I would be hard pressed not to include the iconic Hope by Shepard Fairey, even though I am not sure if you can still buy an official version. You can try finding one on Ebay, or here.
Bros Before Hoes T-Shirt
    • Like it or not, “Bros Before Hoes captures one of the more significant aspects of the 2008 election.
Yes We Can Obama T-Shirt
  • “Obama is my Homeboy” was one of the earliest Obama t-shirts. They also had one for Hillary and just about anyone else you could think of.

Honorable Mentions

  • Obamarad – This only goes to show that three young, politically minded individuals can do it all themselves, whilke supporting their candidate of choice in the process.
  • Y Label Clothing has several artsy Obama designs for sale.
  • Do You Smell What Barack Is Cooking? There have been many puns made on Barack Obama’s name, and this is as good as any of them.
  • Prez Dispencer is a foray into t-shirt design by fellow blogger Karl Long of tcritic. He has also started compiling a list of his favorite Obama shirts which has little overlap with mine, so be sure check it out for even more Obama designs.
  • Gobama shows that In the age of Cafepress, all you need to start selling t-shirts online is a decent idea and some rudimentary design skills.
  • Obama Speech Shirt by LA Pop Art. The makers of this shirt specialize in similar designs which utilize text to create shape and value changes, like this Scarface tee.

The Head Scratchers

Some of the more entertaining t-shirts are often those you would never be caught dead wearing. With that in mind, here are some tees that either went too far, or didn’t go far enough.

  • Regulate the Banks – Whenever anyone makes a concerted effort to create something, I believe it to be a positive, even if the end result falls short of success. This is why I never like to rag on someone else’s t-shirt making attempts (anything that involves Mike Hunt notwithstanding). Ultimately, this shirt is underdesigned, and it conveys a muddied message by virtue of combining two disparate issues.
  • Obama Ride – This is definitely a headscratcher in the purest sense of the term. It is a strange caricature of Mr. McCain carrying a hot-dog wielding Mr. Obama on his shoulders, presumably to the White House. The only possible explanation is that this shirt is made by an artist commune, which I think is pretty much the case.
  • SuperBadTees – Dare I say… underdesigned? (NSFW)
  • Pop Goes Obama – I happen to think that copying the whole Marilyn Monroe “pop art” motif just doesn’t make any sense nowadays. Not only because it’s formulaic, but because Warhol’s ideas lose their value without their context. Besides, the colors used are just hideous.


  • Obama Antichrist – Coming from T-Shirt Hell, this shirt is pretty much an endorsement, although for some religious fundamentalists it may represent a very real fear. For what it’s worth, “Half Honkey, All Donkey” is now gone from T-Shirt Hell.
  • Nobama (keep the change) – “Nobama” has been one of the most common campaign slogans on the McCain trail. This one does it with a clever twist.
  • The Man, The Myth, The Legend. I’ve written about ThoseShirts in the past, and while I don’t agree with some of their heavy-handed slogans, I do suspect that plenty of conservatives find their shirts spot on.
  • I wrote about the Obama/Curious George tee in an earlier post.
  • Jews Against Obama. Ok, so the wheels are really starting to come off the wagon. If you are interesting in knowing more about this $200 shirt go here and here, but don’t read into things too much.

That’s it for Obama. Stay tuned for Palin and McCain t-shirts soon, which should be a lot easier since there won’t be nearly as many shirts to sift through. If you’d like to receive e-mail updates every time I make a new post you can subscribe by email. As always, feel free to add to this list in the comments.

Alledgedly Racist T-Shirt Likens Obama to a Banana Eating Monkey, Gets Sold in Georgia Bar

Obama Monkey T-Shirt

I was trolling Digg and Cafepress to see if I could find any interesting campaign related t-shirt, and instead found something to file under t-shirts that shouldn’t exist. What I found surprising was some of the user comments in response to the bar owner’s assertion that, “. . . the hairline, the ears, he looks just like Curious George.”  Have a look:

I support Obama and I think this shirt is hilarious. I would love to wear one and see peoples reactions. This is just the kind of thing we need to open up discussion on racism.

Really?  I’d never wear a shirt like that, whether I support Obama or not, because the shirt is in bad taste.  The next comment, however, cuts to the truth with a heavy dose of sarcasm:

Yeah, that’€™s racist as hell. Nobody ever made fun of Bush by saying he looks like a monkey.

Phew, that almost went over my head.

So is there anything inherently racist or offensive about comparing a person to a member of a different species? After all, the current president has been lampooned in much the same way.  What makes this t-shirt racist is the racist lore from which it draws it’s imagery.

[StraightFromTheA via Digg]

T-Shirts That Shouldn’t Exist, Part 3: Right Wing Madness

Gun Control T-Shirt Hang a Journalist T-Shirt
I survived Roe v. Wade T-Shirt I Bite Liberals T-Shirt

What can you conclude about a site with with at least five different shirts displaying President Reagan’s image? That’s gotta be some seriously conservative t-shirt site! No, I’m not talking about Deez Teez, it’s Those Shirts that got liberals all worked up. We’re talking about saving paving whales, nuking mecca, even neutering pets! Still not interested? How about blonde and brunette Texan models wearing Che t-shirts, baring mid-riffs and toting AK-47s?

T-Shirts That Shouldn’t Exist, Part 2: Dirty Rotten Style

F*** The Police T-Shirt Cocaine T-Shirt
I'm Better Than You T-Shirt UBS T-Shirt

Recently, one of my readers left a comment asking if anyone’s ever heard of, and whether they are to be trusted.  After a quick look at the site I’m left wondering the same thing – what with the amateurish design and abundant colloquialisms.  One the other hand, I can’t help but admire the enthusiasm of the site’s creators.  Seems like a bunch of lads from the ‘hood’ got together and made it happen - a few t-shirt designs, a printing press, a website and a shopping cart, and free shipping doesn’t hurt either.  I still would trust them with my credit card I got from the The Ascent best reviews.

T-Shirts that shouldn’t exist.

Some t-shirt sites make their living selling offensive t-shirts. The Worse Than Hell section of T-Shirt Hell, for example, makes light of some of humanity’s greatest tragedies. Personally, I’m not someone who is easily offended, in fact I sometimes laugh at things that probably shouldn’t be funny. However, the more offensive a joke is, the more clever or funnier it needs to be to balance out the crassness. Especially if you’re going to put it in on a shirt. Here are some examples of tees that fail at this balance, starting with an awful reference to Steve Irwin:

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