Forty is the sweet spot for gag gifts. It’s the time of life when a lot of “old age” problems start to crop up, but at the same time, it’s not likely that any of those problems are going to kill you in the immediate future. In other words, it’s a good time to tease someone about their mortality without fear that they’re going to die in the next year.
If you know someone turning forty, you might want take advantage of this chance to give them a funny gift. Once they turn 80, no one will be laughing anymore. Here’s an assortment of 40th birthday gag gifts to give you some ideas.
1. The Sweet Taste of Retro
Ah, the good old days before politically correct candy… candy cigarettes, Big League Chew, taffy heroin. OK, that last one isn’t real, but probably only because no one thought of it at the time. You can help your 40-year-old friend remember his or her sugar-fueled youth with a gift box of retro candy. A lot of this candy isn’t biodegradable, so it survives in pristine form to this day (kidding again).
2. Pain Relievers
Giving someone a nice industrial-sized container of pain relievers offers a preview of what lies ahead. It’s also that rare gag gift that will actually get used. As a bonus, it’s easy to find – making it a great last-minute gift idea.
3. Something That Makes Fun of Balding, Sagging, or Other Humiliations Associated with Aging
The best gifts are always personal, and gag gifts are no exception. If the birthday boy is balding, consider this “hair brush” for chrome domes. Or how about a pair of tweezers for those nose hairs that seem to pick up the hair growth slack as men get older.
For women? Unless you know her real well, probably best to skip to the next idea. You could get into big trouble here.
4. A Bit of Cheesy Nostalgia
Your birthday friend would have been in junior high and high school during the 80s, which was an especially fruitful time for embarrassing cultural artifacts. You can pick up a piece of vintage nostalgia (like anything featuring the New Kids on the Block), or just find some cheesy old music to remind your friend of the questionable decisions that made up his or her youth. Again, personal is better – for example, if you know your friend once adored Milli Vanilli, then your job of buying a gag gift gets a lot easier.
5. An “Age Defying” Product
There’s a whole category of gag gifts centered on the idea of reversing the effects of aging, like this backwards clock that attempts to turn back time. It’s not hard to make your own, either. Try putting some jelly beans in a Viagra bottle – instant hilarity.
6. Adult Diapers
What list of 40th birthday gag gift ideas would be complete without mentioning diapers? This gag has been around for awhile, but some people still get a chuckle out of it. Not me, of course. I’m too mature for that stuff.
7. Something Mildly Obscene
Sex has always been a popular subject for gag gifts, but it’s especially appropriate for someone entering middle age. Sexual performance becomes an issue as we get older – at least without the intervention of certain recently invented miracle drugs. Don’t get too dirty unless you know it won’t lead to awkwardness (unless you want awkwardness, that is). When in doubt, go with a double entendre like the one on this novelty corkscrew.
For a less risque joke, you can try poking fun at other bodily problems associated with old people. Try to find something with a hilariously blunt product name like “Prunelax”.
9. Old Age Props
If you’re having a big birthday party for the 40-year-old, you might want some old age props to decorate the place. The inflatable walker pictured here is one option. For a really nice touch, you can offer the birthday boy or girl a wheelchair when they arrive at the venue.