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Bad Ideas for T-Shirts

Updated on February 5, 2011

Modern technology and the First Amendment allow us the freedom (?) to put almost anything on a T-shirt. Most of the time, we end up with something good. The message is hilariously funny, or the wearer considerately identifies himself as a moron for all to see.

We at the Institute for the Painfully Obvious have painstakingly identified several Bad Ideas for T-Shirts, which we graciously present. Feel free to not use them as you plan upcoming wardrobe enhancements.

Halloween may be a suitable occasion for bad T-shirt ideas, but use these suggestions at your own risk. We assume no responsibility nor do we indemnify your fashion sense. If you think your life stinks, these shirts may somehow cause it to become stinkier.

Obama-Palin in 2012 is probably  bad idea for a T-Shirt
Obama-Palin in 2012 is probably bad idea for a T-Shirt

Chuck on a Shirt

Chuck Norris jokes may be funny, but posting a semi-anonymous one-liner on a web site affords some measure of insulation from a potential round-house kick from the Karate King of Hollywood. None of us wants a beat down from Chuck Norris over a poorly chosen T-shirt.

You'll never see him coming, until you wake up in a coma. Calling him out via a chest-mounted message is almost certainly a bad idea. You can think about it, but don't do it.

Inviting trouble from Chuck Norris is probably a bad idea on many levels.
Inviting trouble from Chuck Norris is probably a bad idea on many levels.

Dollars on a Shirt

The United States owes 14 trillion dollars to bond holders, but for better or worse we humans cannot conceive of that much money. Perhaps T-shirt emblazoned with a 14 trillion in base-2 (binary) would be a big seller in Computer Science Departments and Star Trek conventions.

Putting the national debt on a T-shirt, as a binary number, is probably a bad idea.
Putting the national debt on a T-shirt, as a binary number, is probably a bad idea.

Geeks on a Shirt

Is the Internet a passing fad? Will we all someday come to the realization that reality trumps virtualization ? Until that happens, keep your thoughts to yourself lest you be vaporized by a 12th Level Purple Dungeon Wizard with extra senses and levitation power and a crush on Emma Watson. It could happen: don't ask us how we know.

We can dream, can't we? On the other hand, putting our dream on a T-shirt may be a bad idea.
We can dream, can't we? On the other hand, putting our dream on a T-shirt may be a bad idea.

Make Money on a Shirt

Ah, the biggest Internet fantasy. Putting this teaser on a T-shirt probably represents the ultimate bad idea. Every Internet denizen secretly craves the hidden secrets to Fantastic Internet Riches. Don't tease them.

Some things are better left to the imagination.
Some things are better left to the imagination.

Conclusion

Whoop, there it is. We have presented a sampling of the Bad Ideas for T-Shirts, intended to save you from potential holiday embarrassment. Accept our advice as a cautionary tale. Don't do what we do.

Show the world precisely whom you are by donning specially designed cotton outerwear emblazoned with witty aphorisms. You can't get this stuff at the mall, people.

We at the Institute for the Painfully Obvious obviously want you to be successful. It breaks out heart to witness a sentient human sporting a T-shirt without cleverness. We cry at the sight or under-dressed consumers who could easily be poorly dressed with only a few mouse clicks.

Suit up in Brooks Brothers gear. Adorn yourself with a cheap designer watch. Get a haircut from a place that doesn't have the word 'college' in the name. All these things may help you rise up the social ladder.

Rarely will words on the front of your front have a positive impact on your likelihood to score a big promotion or cut in line at Starbucks. Even a barrista has standards. A judiciously chosen logo might help: look for a fox or a lizard or a swoosh rendered in tasteful embroidery.

Proudly wear your favorite sports team, university mascot, or conspiracy theory on your oversized hoodie, but stay away from our bad idea T-shirts.

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    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Up and funny. I don't know if people pay much attention to the messages anymore.

    • garynew profile image

      garynew 7 years ago from Dallas, TX and Sampran, Thailand

      when in thailand, i see all kinds of t-shirts for products and teams that don't exist or that make no sense at all.

    • Jess Killmenow profile image

      Jess Killmenow 7 years ago from Nowheresville, Eastern United States

      I have always been partial to the T-shirt that reads, "I am not a terrorist" in Arabic on the front. Great for the airport!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      nicomp - I saw someone with a bad T-shirt who was so stupid he was wearing an "I'm with Stupid" T-shirt, and the arrow was pointing UP!

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 7 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      These are actually better than those "I'm With Stupid" T shirts with the arrow.

    • nikitha p profile image

      nikitha p 7 years ago from India

      Thanks for a nice hub.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 7 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      And if you don't wear T-shirts, put it on a bumper sticker for all to read!