Since the dawn of time, holiday sweaters have been both hated and beloved by folks the world over. Often decorated with dizzying patterns of candy canes, pine trees, reindeer, and snowmen, for years these sweaters toiled in obscurity, gathering dust for most of the year while less “ugly” sweaters grabbed all the attention. Well, no more!
The holiday sweater has been reclaimed by the wonderful world of pop culture: the candy canes have been swapped with lightsabers and the snowmen with dancing, snuggly Drake. The Internet is swamped with these things and, for the everyday buyer, it’s become tough to sort through the trash to find the treasure. Well, today is your lucky day, because we’ve ranked all of the best pop culture sweaters in this handy slideshow. Joy to the world, everyone!
15. Super Mario Bros. Christmas sweater, $44.99
For your mom who loved the original NES Mario game, but who now complains, year after year, that your “Playbox” controller has more buttons than she can handle. The sweater itself could be better, as it seems the image is just printed on to the fabric, which is pretty lame and totally out of line with the craftsman ethos of Mario and Luigi.
14. Sofia Coppola’s Bill Murray sweater, not for sale
For your nephew who just finished his first semester at his liberal arts school, but also for his dad who really wants his son to share his great taste in classic comedies. This one would be ranked near the top of the list, but the fact that it isn’t really a thing to buy and is just something Sofia Coppola wore once kind of hurt its chances.
13. Blink-182 2015 Christmas sweater, $44.90
The California punks release a new holiday sweater every year, which is surprising, considering these dudes barely ever wear clothes. Plus, these colors look a little washed out so who even knows the quality of this thing’s knit. Pretty lame, Mark, Tom, and Travis. Pretty lame.
12. Brock Lesnar “Suplex City” sweatshirt, $29.99
The WWE store has a whole pile of these things, one for each of your favorite WWE superstars, but none so perfectly embodies that unique feeling that comes at the end of a week spent holed up with your parents. Unless you’re like me and you love your perfect family and could never imagine suplex-ing any of them, which is why this isn’t ranked higher on this list. [Awwww bless — Family Ed.] Take that, holiday cynicism!
11. Foo Fighters elf sweater, $29.99
“Dave Grohl is still cool, right? And nothing is cooler than an ugly sweater — so, combine the two, and this is the apex of coolness,” said my dad, who is perhaps the core audience for this sweater. The only thing is, even he would never wear a sweater comprised so largely of this garish shade of green. And this is a man who loves the color purple!
10. “Dreaming of a Betty White Christmas,” $21.99
Your grandmother, unaware of Betty White and her continued, amazing cultural relevance, will appreciate the fact that you bothered to have this custom sweater handmade to feature her portrait. She will be confused, but adoring, and may pinch your cheeks because of it. Unfortunately, this shirt’s portrayal of Betty White looks kind of like a cave-dwelling hobbit, so your grandmother might also be insulted, depending on how good her eyesight is.
9. The Descendents black holiday sweater, $54.99
Milo Goes Back Home For The Holidays And Sings Songs And Eats Candy And Drinks Hot Chocolate And Goes Shopping At His Local Mall While Avoiding The Girl He Took To Prom Except He Never Went to Prom. Unfortunately this sweater’s high price and seemingly lax structural integrity stopped it from moving up the list. Maybe next time, Milo.
8. Star Wars Christmas sweaters, $49.99
There are plenty of great Star Wars sweatshirts on the Internet, but this is an actual sweater, apparently, not something that’s screen printed. And because of that, I declare the Force to be with these ones, I guess, or something like that. I’m sure you could even get away with wearing it to a showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, basic Star Wars fatigue forbids me from placing these anywhere near the top five. Sorry, nerds.
7. Fargo Season 2 Christmas sweater, $49.95
Probably not adequate for a Minnesota winter, but surely thick enough to weather your family’s yuletide incompetence. Somber palette and generally unambitious patterning really stop this thing from reaching its full potential, though. There could at least be a little more blood.
6. The Roots crew holiday sweater, $45
The model in this photo can barely see his cool Roots sweater because his cool Roots hat is covering his eyes, but if he could see his cool Roots sweater he’d be pretty stoked that he was wearing a sweater that featured full-color images of all of the Roots. It’s a pretty cool sweater featuring the Roots.
5. Jurassic World sweater, $24.95
A perfect gift for your friend who is a big fan of women running in heels, Chris Pratt being a bonafide superstar, or Stephen Spielberg getting just that much wealthier. However, no self-respecting dinosaur would ever wear a Santa hat. Factual inaccuracy holds this one back from our top spot.
4. Morrissey, “Meat Is Murder” sweater, $25
Meat might be murder, but is Santa’s use of reindeer for transportation an immoral form of animal slavery? Regardless, the real Moz would never force beautiful, free animals to pose for any kind of photoshoot. Still, his likeness is pretty incredibly realized, and the only thing better than seeing yourself in the mirror is seeing Morrissey in the mirror.
3. Rick and Morty Merry Rickmas sweater, $20-35
Rick and Morty is a popular animated series, especially here on Flavorwire. The only thing that could’ve bumped this sweater up a few spots would’ve been to replace have hidden an actual nude photo of Dan Harmon within its design. Why? Just because. No reason.
2. Run the Jewels, “Run the Yules” sweater, $50
Killer Mike and El-P have the best sense of humor in the music business, so it’s no surprise that this “Run the Yules” sweater is available on their merch page. They’re lucky they’ve got such lovable mugs, though, because the overall design of this thing is severely lacking.
1. Drake, “Holiday Bling” sweater, $25 (sold out)
This sweater is pretty good, we’ll admit, but it tops the list for one main reason: Drake would wear this sweater, because Drake would wear every sweater. And everyone should be more like Drake.