[[quoteright:322:[[Webcomic/{{Hiimdaisy}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/conveniencegift2_851.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:322:[[VideoGame/{{Persona4}} He got his nephew a speedo.]]]]

->'''Wise Men:''' ''O Baby Jesus, we bring you... a pack of cigarettes... a Diet Coke... and a sack of charcoal!''
-->-- '''Creator/EddieIzzard''', ''Glorious''

A gift which the giver has clearly put little time or thought into, and usually of little use/relevance to the recipient.

Alice is all ready for the office Christmas party and on the road when Bob calls to make sure she's on the way. "I sure had a hard time picking out a SecretSanta gift for Carol!" he mentions. Alice just then remembers that she drew Zachariah in the Secret Santa exchange, and never got around to buying anything. He just transferred into the department last month, Alice barely knows the guy. And it's 8 PM on December 24th, nothing's going to be open--what luck, there's a Gas-N-Go on the next exit! Now, present, present...store's nearly been picked clean! And Alice leaves the shop with a box of Cloud Cakes[[TradeSnark ™]] and a gift ribbon....

There are many gift-giving events throughout the year, some of which you can dodge, and others that you really shouldn't for reasons of family tranquility, office politics or simple etiquette. But sometimes you just don't know a person you're giving a gift very well, or they're difficult to shop for, or you have no imagination, or you put it off until the very last minute. So you just grab the first thing that seems vaguely appropriate, and give that. Some "white elephant" gifts have been making the rounds for years, being regiven over and over.

Gifts that fit this trope tend to fall into one of two categories:

# The cliché gifts that "everyone" gives for certain events, such as ties for Fathers' Day, toasters for weddings, fruitcake for Christmas, etc. Often there's a scene with the recipient putting it with all the identical items from previous years/other givers.
# Gifts clearly chosen with little or no thought about what the recipient might like. This can range from quite nice but not suited to the personality (a pink frilly dress for the {{Tomboy}}) through decent but generic ("everyone's getting Enya [=CDs=] this year; they were on special") to WhatWereYouThinking (dental floss.) Special bonus points if it's obviously just been picked out of the garbage or the neighbor's yard. Even more bonus points if the present is completely useless, harmful or even spiteful to the recipient (giving a music player to a deaf man, giving a roasted ham to a kosher-keeping Jewish woman, etc.)

Monetary gifts generally don't count for this as the recipient can easily use money, unless it's obviously a last-second resort (crumpled, sticky dollar bills, say.) Likewise, gift certificates or cards are usually not this unless it's restricted to a service or store the recipient isn't likely to use. ("A $20 gift certificate to the Bouncing Baby Boutique. How nice. Have I mentioned lately that I'm childfree?")

Often overlaps with MyNewGiftIsLame. If the giver is especially confused they may give a ShoddyKnockoffProduct as part of this trope. The recipient might say "You shouldn't have!" as a result. See also GiftGivingGaffe.


* In one commercial for Shoppers Drugmart, a man sees his wife coming home with a bunch of Shoppers bags. When he asks what's inside them, the wife says that they're Christmas gifts. The husband then imagines his family opening gifts on Christmas morning, with him getting toilet paper, his daughter getting mouthwash and his son getting soap.

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Zan Manga/SayonaraZetsubouSensei'', when devoting one of its ThreeShorts to discussing emergency measures, had the entire class partake in this kind of gift giving for Nami's birthday.
* In ''Manga/SoulEater'', Maka's father wants to give her a present for passing her exams with top marks. He's actually savvy enough to realize that she'd prefer a book, but he doesn't know which ones she already has, so asks [[CatGirl Blair]], who's been living with Maka, to use his money to make the purchase. [[MsFanservice Blair]] gets distracted and spends the money on something ''she'' wants, naughty underwear. Remembering her actual mission too late to go back to the store, [[TheDitz Blair]] simply uses her magic to shrink the undies to Maka's size. This naturally gives Maka the wrong idea about her father's intentions.
* Subverted in ''Anime/FutureWar198X''. After the President of the USA makes quite [[ANuclearError the messy nuclear error]], he sends a box of cigars with a note asking for renewed friendship to Russia's leader for Christmas the next day. While they were expensive cigars, Orloff scoffs and is insulted at the "thoughtless gift", assuming that they are cheap and can be bought conveniently. He brands the president [[AmericansAreCowboys a stupid American cowboy]] [[HypocriticalHumor while smoking it anyways.]]
* In ''Manga/HoneyAndClover'', everyone is sitting around chatting when all of the sudden someone asks, "So, why did we gather today again?" Takemoto, the resident ButtMonkey, informs them all, with a [[StepfordSmiler smile plastered on his face]], that it's his birthday. Cue people running around trying to set up some kind of party for him, including Takumi running out and coming back with a bunch of assorted convenience store cakes that he pushes into a whole cake and decorates with altar candles. The whole scene will make you want to [[CrowningMomentOfFunny laugh]] and [[TearJerker cry]] for [[TheWoobie Takemoto]] at the same time.

* ''Harry Potter and Future's Past'':
-->'''Hermione:''' I should have been more suspicious of that perfume, but growing up, giving cheap perfume was a joke in our house. It meant you waited until the last second and only some late night store selling cheap stuff was open. It seemed so like Ron that I didn't think he wasn't out shopping the night before.

[[folder:Film - Animated]]
* From ''Disney/{{Zootopia}},'' Mayor Lionheart's gift to his assistant mayor Dawn Bellwether is a "World's Best Dad" mug, with "Dad" scribbled out and "Assistant Mayor" written in the tiny space above it. He may not even have bothered with the Convenience Store; he might've just pulled the mug out of a cupboard.

[[folder:Film - Live-Action]]
* ''Film/OneCrazySummer'' has the sister being given a tiny teddy bear as a present. This apparently isn't received well, for she promptly feeds it to her dog.
* In ''Dieu seul me voit'' (by Bruno Podalydès, 1998), the main character needs to buy a gift at the last moment, and grabs a table lamp from the nearest store. That lamp ends up being repeatedly given around as a way for every recipient of the gift to get rid of it.
* Ultimately subverted in ''Film/AntMan'' When Scott shows up at his daughter's birthday party (that he wasn't invited to) he brings along an incredibly ugly and slightly terrifying rabbit toy that says "I love you". Later scenes show Cassie being honestly fond of the present.
* In ''Film/{{Scrooged}}'' we see a typical Christmas present Frank got as a child from his father: A five-pound lump of meat. Courtesy of his AbusiveParent dad.

* ''Literature/TalesOfAFourthGradeNothing'' by Creator/JudyBlume has Peter being given a picture dictionary, more suitable for a preschooler than the preteen that he is. Ugh. At least he has enough tact to pretend to be enthused. Fudge, on the other hand, brings out their old copy of the same book.
* Robert Fulghum writes about a White Elephant gift exchange at an office party. One grouchy guy gets the proverbial piece of junk and grumbles that too many people hide behind the "good thoughts" excuse.
* Creator/DaveBarry writes that one time he saw his wife buy one of those ridiculously small decorative boxes (you know, the ones that could maybe hold a walnut, if you're lucky) without even knowing when or for whom it would be used as a present. Apparently this trope can even strike when you aren't actually shopping for a specific reason.
* The Creator/TomHolt novel ''Grailblazers'' reveals that SantaClaus is really one of the Wise Men who gave gifts to the infant Jesus, doing community service as punishment for the fact that (unlike his colleagues, who planned ahead and brought gold, frankincense and myrrh) he left it until the last minute and couldn't come up with anything better than a pair of socks.
* The protagonist of Douglas Coupland's ''Girlfriend In A Coma'' does this. Justified because Christmas isn't currently his top priority, what with [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin his girlfriend being in a coma]].
* It happens in ''[[Literature/LittleHouseOnThePrairie By the Shores of Silver Lake]]'' when Mr. and Mrs. Boast show up unexpectedly on Christmas Eve. Ma gives Mr. Boast a pair of wristlets she had made for Pa and Mrs. Boast her Sunday handkerchief. The wristlets sound fine, but one hopes Ma considered the handkerchief too nice to actually use.
* ''[[Literature/ASeriesofUnfortunateEvents The Wide Window]]'' features the second type, of the "trying, but clueless" variety. The well-meaning Aunt Josephine gives Violet a baby doll, Klaus a model train set, and Sunny a rattle, not realizing that Violet (at fourteen) is not interested in dolls, that Klaus has never liked model trains, and that Sunny finds rattles irritating.
* Swedish musician and comedian Povel Ramel mentions in his memoirs how he once did this kind of shopping on Christmas Eve in the only store he found that was still open - a ''pet store''. Among other things, his then-girlfriend got a monkey for Christmas...
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': Christmas gifts from the Dursleys over the years include a toothpick, a fifty-pence, and a single tissue.
** In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire'', after receiving an unexpected Christmas gift from Dobby, Harry scrambles to find something to give in return, in an effort to be polite and pretend he already had something as a gift. He ends up settling on an old pair of Uncle Vernon's socks, which were lying in the bottom of his trunk. In a subversion, Dobby loves them so much [[note]]Dobby used to be a slave, and one of the dehumanizing conditions of his servitude was that he wasn't allowed to own or wear actual clothing.[[/note]] that Ron throws in his own Christmas socks and promises Dobby the next sweater his mother gifts to him.
* In ''Literature/DoomsdayBook'', Mr. Dunworthy notices that all the presents his friend Mary has gotten her great-nephew Colin are sweaters and the like, so he tries to get better presents... unfortunately, between it being Christmas Eve and the quarantine, the only place open is a convenience store. He does manage to buy some interesting candy and between that and a well-picked book, he gives Colin a satisfactory bunch of Christmas presents.
* Averted in ''Literature/ThePrincessDiaries'' series; Mia encounters this situation with her Secret Snowflake Tina, but manages to get her a last-minute gift that's both heartfelt and appropriate.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'' loves this trope.
** In season two, Joey and Chandler get caught up before buying their gifts, and end up shopping at a gas station on Christmas Eve. Rachel gets wiper blades, even though she doesn't have a car (but they give an odorizer so she can feel like she's inside one), Phoebe gets a package of toilet seat covers, Monica gets a box of condoms, and Ross gets two cans of pop (the last two trade each other's gifts...).
** Monica and Rachel are throwing a baby shower for Phoebe. None of the usual (cliched) gift ideas will work, since Phoebe is being a surrogate for her brother, so everybody shows up with things that Phoebe can't use until after the birth, such as leather pants and tequila. What with pregnancy mood swings, this doesn't end well.
** In one episode, Chandler and Monica agreed to make each other presents for Valentine's Day. Monica ended up giving Chandler a sock puppet Phoebe had made. Chandler gave Monica a mix tape he had lying around in his closet (and it transpired that the mix tape had been made for him by Janice for an earlier birthday).
** And on one occasion, Chandler gave the group letters saying, "A donation has been made in your name to the New York City ballet." Bad enough on their own, at least for someone who doesn't care to support the ballet, but the act earns double trope points due to the fact that he took the letters from the Christmas bonus pile at work.
** At Emma's first birthday party, Joey didn't realize they needed to bring presents. He improvises, and does a 'dramatic' reading of one of Emma's favorite books. It sounds like a recipe for disaster, but he earns bonus points for moving everyone to tears.
** Joey's birthday present for Cathy: it's a pen AND a clock.
* In ''Series/FamilyTies'', Alex also did the Christmas shopping at a gas station and his family ended up getting presents like motor oil and a car air freshener.
* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' (birthday variant): One hundred eighty-two dollars exactly (plus a terribly worded card). Elaine says: "What are you, my uncle?" Earlier in the episode, Jerry told George to only spend half as much on his gift since Jerry and Elaine are back in a relationship, so George gives her ninety-one dollars. (Kramer, miraculously, gives her not only the unusual gift she wanted, but a poetic and thoughtful card.)
* On ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' Carla tells Turk NOT to do this as a relationship test. He comes up with a nice pen, since she likes to write letters by hand. Admittedly, he grabbed it out of a box of items [[AssShove extracted from patients' rectums]] as he had zero prep time, but his heart was in the right place.
* ''{{Series/Psych}}'': Shawn and Gus have brought baby gifts for DaChief (Gus' is a stuffed toy, Shawn's is a ''pineapple''), but Lassie and Juliet haven't, and they have to find gifts at a minute's notice. Juliet gives Da Chief a box of Tic-Tacs, and Lassie brings The Club from his car.
* On one of the ''{{Series/Monk}}'' Christmas specials, Monk's truck driver father is ordered to drive around the country by his boss and give "presents" fitting this tropes (such as dreidels and other misc objects) to orphanage children. [[spoiler:The boss wanted to overwrite the memory of the truck's GPS by maxing out the miles it could store so it would overwrite evidence of him killing someone by shoving them into the engine. For some reason he forgot to clean the engine itself...]]
** It was also implied that this trope was at least one of the reasons why Monk hated all the Christmases in his ''life'' barring those during his years with Trudy. In 1964, his father gave him only one walkie talkie - not a ''pair'' of walkie talkies, but literally just ''one'' walkie talkie out of a set. The stinger? He knew it was a useless gift, but gave it to him because Monk doesn't have any friends anyway.
* On one episode of ''Series/ILoveLucy'', Ricky, thinking he's forgotten Lucy's birthday, gets a box of candy from the bedroom and gives it to her. Lucy says that it isn't her birthday (they were really talking about Ethel's), which means Ricky has to explain why he has a gift for her. Ricky confesses that the candy is an "emergency present" that he's had for three years. He even has tags for it for every occasion.
* On one episode of ''Series/{{Wings}}'', the gang throws an office party for Casey. Not wanting to go to any effort, Brian just takes a book off his bookshelf and gives it to her. Which he might have gotten away with, except the book turns out to be called ''101 Ways to Pleasure a Woman''. Roy, on the other hand, simply grabs a jar of charity money off of his counter and hands it to her as-is. (He then admits that it isn't a real charity anyway; he made it up.)
* On ''Series/ThreesCompany'', Stanley gives Helen some flowers.
-->'''Helen:''' Oh, they're beautiful! You even enclosed a card.
-->'''Stanley:''' I did?
-->'''Helen:''' ''(reads)'' 'To Granny, Rest in Peace'? You stole them from the cemetery!
* In "A Very Series/{{Supernatural}} Christmas" Sam doesn't want to celebrate Christmas because Dean's due to die within the year thanks to a DealWithTheDevil, and he thinks it will just be depressing. At the last minute they decide to celebrate anyway, and both turn out to have shopped for gifts at the local 7-11. Neither makes any fuss, though, considering they've been a little busy defeating the MonsterOfTheWeek and the gifts, while cheap, are at least somewhat practical (Dean got candy bars and motor oil; Sam got shaving cream and skin mags.) Flashbacks in the same episode show another example of this trope: one Christmas when Sam and Dean were kids, their dad didn't make it back for the holidays, so Dean breaks into someone's house, steals some presents, and tells Sam their dad brought them. Sam starts to get suspicious when he opens one and it turns out to be a Barbie.
* The title character of ''Series/TheRedGreenShow'' tends to do this for his wife, Bernice, around Christmastime. He then tried to justify it by saying that the Sunoco logo on the free gas station mugs matched their kitchen.
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' uses this a couple times, of the 'grab whatever's nearby' variety. Roz gives Frasier a book that had been hers (complete with the usual incriminating inscription), and in a later episode Niles gives Roz a broken old cheese crock with a dead bee in it.
* Two types used on ''Series/TopGear'', since the presenters buy each other useless "presents" all the time. One of the best was a tacky golden rooster which has since become the trophy for the coveted "Golden Cock Award." They also give each other fairly good, but inappropriate presents as well.
* In the first episode of ''HoldTheBackPage'', Ken Wordsworth forgets his son's birthday and so hands him the dictionary his co-workers gave him as a joke present at his farewell party earlier that day (he was journalist leaving an upmarket paper to work at a tabloid). He did this mostly so his ex-wife wouldn't realise he had forgotten, but it turns out the son quite appreciates the dictionary.
* One [[ChristmasEpisode holiday episode]] of ''Series/{{Thirtysomething}}'' had Michael, who is Jewish, acting really grumpy throughout the holiday season, mostly over differences with his gentile wife over how to celebrate their baby's first Christmas/Chanukah/whatever. At the end, when [[spoiler:he finally caves and asks Gary to help him bring home a Christmas tree]], he thanks Gary for his help and offers him a Santa Claus Pez dispenser as a Christmas present. Gary is touched but bemused; Michael then confesses that he stole the Pez dispenser off his business partner's desk at the last minute.
* The Scooby Gang on ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' managed to avert the "thoughtless and/or impersonal" part of this trope despite the exigency of circumstances, when rushing to the airport to see Giles off. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in this case - he purposefully didn't tell them he was leaving to prevent a painful goodbye.
-->'''Anya''': Um, we, uh, brought you some lovely parting gifts. [offering prepackaged snack pie] It's American. Get it? Apple pie? To remind you of all the good food you won't be eating.
-->'''Tara''': A-and a monster. [offering little rubber finger puppet] Sort of a Sunnydale souvenir, we thought. [[VanityPlate Grr! Argh!]]
-->'''Giles''' (smiling): Thank you.
-->'''Xander''': And I wanted to buy you a can of Old English 800, 'cause, you know, England, and you, and because at the time it sounded really funny. But the guy who lives in the box in front of the store, he, uh, wouldn't buy it for us.
-->'''Dawn''': We got your presents at the gas station. We were kind of in a hurry.
** Played with in another episode, where Willow gives Joyce one of those beers hats while she was in the hospital. It ''seems'' like this trope, but Willow actually did put thought into picking it out...but when she actually gives it, admits that in hindsight she doesn't understand ''why'' it seemed like a good idea.
* Subverted in one episode of ''Series/TheKingOfQueens'', where Doug and Carrie think another couple has given them this kind of gift (a gravy boat) for their wedding. Turns out it had a check for a few thousand dollars inside, but by the time they finally discover this, the check has long since expired and they can't cash it.
* ''Series/CornerGas'':
** In "Road Worthy," Oscar tells Wanda that he can't decide on a gift for Emma, to which she says, "Well, coming to the gas station was a great start. There's motor oil, antifreeze, two-liter bottles of pop ..." Oscar says that Emma likes pop, but Wanda tells him, "Don't get her pop."
** In another episode, it's revealed that the bracelet Wanda bought Emma is from the dollar store... when they go shopping together at that same dollar store and the clerk accuses Emma of stealing it. Emma is not pleased.
* On ''Series/That70sShow'', in a case of NotSoForgottenBirthday, Red and Eric buy Kitty a few balloons and a funnel from the gas station at 11:40 P.M. She is somewhat unimpressed, and they have to take her square dancing to make up for it.
* In the ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'' episode "White Lie Christmas," Earl is remembering how he never gave Joy any good gifts. His past presents included keys (they were Joy's already) and condoms ([[CompletelyMissingThePoint they were flavored!]])
* One Series/MADtv [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCb07gXx6kE sketch]] has a couple forgetting to get Christmas presents for their children, forcing them to scrounge through their closet and bathroom. The kids received toothbrushes, used aftershave, high-heeled shoes and a tie.
* On ''Series/MurphyBrown'', the characters had agreed not to exchange gifts at Christmas, but of course someone broke this promise, and so everyone rushed out late on Christmas Eve to get something at the last minute.
* ''Series/{{Roswell}}'': Michael tries to buy his on-off girlfriend Maria a Ladyshave for Christmas, and actually does buy her a car bumper. Luckily, Isabel knows how terrible he is at presents, and got Maria a lovely set of earrings in his name.
* ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'':
** A sketch from TheNineties has one of the Three Wise Men (guest host David Alan Grier) resort to this on the way to Bethlehem when he realizes his partners are bringing gold and frankincense to the Christ Child. Of the gifts that result from this, Baby Jesus likes the bubbles best.
** A parody of sparkly '90s Christmas ballads begins with a woman rummaging her closet for a present for a co-worker she barely knows, deciding upon a cheap unused candle. The second verse reveals that the recipient of the candle gave it away to her son's girlfriend, then ''she'' chucked it onto one of her own acquaintances. According to the last verse, the candle was "...passed to every single woman, and most gays", providing them all with "the gift of having a gift to give away."
* One episode of ''Series/FullHouse'' had D.J. forgetting best friend Kimmy's birthday because it happens to coincide with D.J.'s anniversary with boyfriend Steve. She appeals to her family for help, and they throw Kimmy a spontaneous surprise birthday party, doing things like using toilet paper for streamers and making the only cake they have on hand - a large pan of hashed brown potatoes. Kimmy is obliviously delighted until she realizes what actually happened.
* ''Series/TheGoldenGirls'' used this quite a bit, starting off with Sophia's son Phil giving her dental floss:
** In one episode, the girls decide to avoid shopping and give each other gifts they made themselves. Rose takes back a set of earrings Dorothy fell in love with and instead gave her a hand-whittled maple syrup spigot (Dorothy first thinks it's a "wooden brooch in the shape of a turkey's head.")
** In another, Dorothy mentions how she always tries to buy her grandchildren better gifts than she got from her grandparents, mentioning a set of soap in the shape of the Seven Dwarves (Dorothy: "What kid wants to play with soap? Besides, after a couple of baths, they looked like Seven Suppositories.")
** Sophia says later Phil's traditional Christmas gift is a Nativity Scene made out of cheddar cheese (Sophia: "I'm Catholic, I can't spread a wise man on a Ritz cracker.")
* An episode of ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'' takes this literally; Lois gives the boys thirty dollars to buy her a nice birthday present from the convenience store where she works. She drops a not-so-subtle hint that she might like a foot massager, currently on sale for thirty dollars. The boys end up buying her earplugs, generic cough medicine, and a dirt bike magazine (that Reese said he wanted to "borrow" when Lois was done reading it) so that they could spend twenty dollars on candy for themselves.
* ''Series/GameOn'': When Toby forgets his mother's birthday, he sneaks out of the house and down the block to the only business in the neighbourhood open early on a Sunday morning: the gas station. He winds up buying her an umbrella hat, and wrapping it in a free road map. He manages to salvage the situation by linking the hat a childhood memory of spending time with his mom.

* In Music/OwlCity's "Peppermint Winter":
-->I rip off the wrapping and tear through the box
-->'Til I end up with forty-five new pairs of socks!
** However, he sounds overjoyed about it.
* Music/TomLehrer isn't really a fan of this trope. From "A Christmas Carol", on the album ''Music/AnEveningWastedWithTomLehrer'':
-->''Relations, sparing no expense'll''\\
''Send some useless old utensil,''\\
''Or a matching pen and pencil.''\\
''[[SarcasmMode "Just the thing I need! How nice!"]]''
* In relation to the literature entry above, Swedish musician Povel Ramel wrote the song "Don't buy a zebra", wherein the viewpoint character asks his acquaintances for advice on a proper gift for someone, but everyone gives him the unhelpful instruction in the title. Naturally he eventually runs out of time, all the good gifts get bought up... leaving only the zebra as an option.
* ''Series/TheAdamAndJoeShow'' BBC 6 show gave us the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7zUegHjOKM "All Night Garage"]] song:
--> ''Hello there mate, how are you doing? I've got to buy some stuff or my Christmas will be ruined.''
--> ''I've got dirty mags, logs and coal, After Eights, and unleaded pet-rol.''
--> ''Is that a DVD of Fists Of Fury?''
--> ''No it's a double-disc set with ''Film/RunawayJury'', or ''Film/SilentRage'' and ''Film/DeltaForce 2'' in an action pack.''
--> ''That'll have to do... I'm not quite sure my Auntie Doris appreciates the ouvre of Creator/ChuckNorris. But I've left it late and it's starting to rain, and on Christmas day she can't complain.''
--> (Chorus) ''All night garage, all night garage, Christmas shopping at the all night garage.''
* Music/BobRivers dedicates a couple of his ''Twisted Christmas'' {{Anti Christmas Song}}s to these, such as a verse of "The Buttcracker Suite" talking about why you don't get someone a g-string for the holidays and the whole of "Didn't I Get This Last Year" where the child gets socks and underwear a size too small, the uncle gets a ridiculous tie, the neighbors give a random plant dug up from the yard and shoved in a repurposed mayo jar, and the father of the family gets a coupon for free fries.
* The Lancashire Hotpots song ''The Trafford Centre'' takes this from another angle: The main character did order presents for his family from Amazon, but they haven't been delivered on time so he has to participate in this at the last minute.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* A ''ComicStrip/{{Zits}}'' strip has Jeremy and Sarah exchanging gifts for Christmas, but Sarah forgot. She quickly grabs the first thing she sees, wraps it and gives it to Jeremy. Cut to Jeremy and Hector examining the very loud, wide necktie:
-->'''Jeremy:''' What do you think she's trying to say?\\
'''Hector:''' I heart geeks?
** A second strips has Jeremy's dad invoking the trope by walking up to Connie one early morning, kissing her and wishing her a happy Mother's Day. Cue Jeremy panicking and dashing out to grab a gift. Turns out Dad was just messing with him.
* ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'' has a running joke relating to this trope, although it is not strictly limited to Christmas as much as really any gift-giving holiday such as Mother's Day or Valentine's Day. ("Ever wonder why none of our kids have birthdays in November?")
* ''[[{{ComicStrip/Dilbert}} Dogbert's Clues for the Clueless]]'' shows how to torment friends by giving them home-made gifts and how to treat people who give bad gifts.
* ''Boomerangs'' has Jane (a single mother forced to move back in with her parents) apply this to cooking as she's already late making supper. "Why is this fettuccini crunchy?" "Those are the Skittles."
* Played with in one ''ComicStrip/BabyBlues'', where Darryl bought deadbolt locks to Wanda specifically because he knew she would love it (it's for their bathroom door, thus giving Wanda some privacy from the kids whenever she takes a shower).

[[folder: Radio & Audio Drama]]
* Subverted in the ''Radio/CabinPressure'' episode "Fitton". Douglas is giving his wife Helena a bottle of brown sauce for their anniversary. Helena greatly enjoys a certain formulation of brown sauce which is unavailable in the UK and which Douglas has tracked down and imported.
* In the ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'' story "Return of the Rocket Men", Dodo (who the Doctor picked up in 1966) finds out it's Steven's birthday and the Doctor gives her free reign to find something in his collection to give him. She chooses a 1967 diary, because "it's next year's", without ever considering that Steven is from somewhere between the years 2200-3000 and both of them are now living in a time machine. Steven feels cheated and that the gift was insensitive and reacts with sarcasm, but the Doctor tells him to shut up and appreciate that Dodo thought of him.

[[folder:Stand Up Comedy]]
* The page quote from Creator/EddieIzzard's skit on the Nativity. Jesus was delighted with his Christmas presents of gold, frankincense and myrrh, but when he asks "...and now for my birthday presents?" they're stumped. Of course, [[InsaneTrollLogic since it's Christmas Day, the only shop that's open]] is the 24-hour petrol station...

* In Creator/GilbertAndSullivan's ''Theatre/{{Ruddigore}}'', Rose makes her entrance carrying a basket of gifts, which she lists:
-->''"Lo, here is some peppermint rock for old gaffer Gadderby, a set of false teeth for pretty little Ruth Rowbottom, and a pound of snuff for the poor orphan girl on the hill."''

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/PvP''[='=]s Christmas Special involves Francis getting a last minute Secret Santa gift at the gas station across the street.
** Brent's gift-giving philosophy used to [[http://www.pvponline.com/comic/2002/12/21/sat-dec-21 revolve around it]].
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' Torg and Riff tend to give each other a beer for Christmas. At this point, it's become a tradition they both look forward to.
* Parodied in [[Webcomic/{{Hiimdaisy}} Peachi]]'s ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' comic (seen above). [[AbusiveParents Dojima]] gives Nanako a gift for Children's Day, which turns out to be a T-shirt clearly labeled "baby boy". [[MyNewGiftIsLame Nanako tries to not sound disappointed]], all while Dojima says it was on sale. [[TheWoobie Poor Nanako]].
* Nelson 're-gifts' presents from his office Christmas party (such as a hot cocoa sampler pack) to his fellow gamers in ''WebComic/FullFrontalNerdity''.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* A GagDub of one ''LightNovel/DirtyPair'' episode in which Yuri almost gets married had all the wedding guests reveal that they'd given the happy couple toasters. The MadScientist at least gave them a toaster that shoots laser beams.
* ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'':
** In "Homestar Presents: Presents", Homestar accidentally forgets to do his [[YouMeanXmas Decemberween]] shopping until it's ''[[RidiculousProcrastinator 10 PM on Decemberween]]'', and ends up getting a bunch of Bubs' old "Aught-Four Crap" for everyone, including getting Pom Pom a roll of electrical tape and Coach Z a rusty steak knife. Lucky for him, Marzipan actually liked her gift. Wire clippers were ''perfect'' for [[GranolaGirl freeing baby seals]] from the crab traps down by the wharf.
--->'''Strong Bad:''' Foolish Homestar. Decemberween is not about getting people presents. [[SpoofAesop It's about getting people good presents!]] ''Good'' presents!! Not this last-minute discount crap you're trying to foist on us!
** In the WebAnimation/StrongBadEmail "what I want", Strong Bad and (of all people) Marzipan sarcastically shill bad gift ideas on a mock home-shopping channel. These include ornaments ("There's no better way to say 'I have no idea what your interests are' than to give someone a present that ceases to be useful the moment it's opened."), singing-and-dancing toy "no-bots" ("These things just ''scream'' 'I stopped at the drugstore on the way over.'"), home-made gifts ("These seashells have office supplies hot-glued to them for absolutely no reason."), and worst of all, [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs home-made ornaments]] ("That thing is an anti-gift!").
* [[http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/lax/511745944.html This list]] of the 11 lamest "generic" gifts one can get.
* In the WebVideo/CommodoreHustle episode "[[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/loadingreadyrun/2564-Santa-Secrets Santa Secrets]]", Morgan starts off by telling everyone that he doesn't plan to spend more than $5 on a gift. In the end, everyone ends up at a total loss for what to buy everyone else, so everyone, except Graham and James, gets ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' cards - even Paul, who doesn't play. Graham gets a man-sized stuffed Grim Reaper that terrifies him, and James gets a $2 bag of tokens from a convenience store (which he had expressed interest in earlier in the episode).
* "[[http://whydidyoubuymethat.com Why Did You Buy Me That]]" revolves around this trope.
* One [[http://www.bitstrips.com/ Bitstrips]] scene depicts the user's avatar doing their Christmas shopping at a convenience store.


[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Invoked in the ''WesternAnimation/OneHundredAndOneDalmatiansTheSeries'' episode “A Christmas Cruella”. Cruella has a Christmas Carol Intervention and decides to get gifts for everyone. But, since nothing is open on Christmas except the ‘House Of Devil’ (her fashion house), she gives everyone office supplies.
* An entire episode of ''WesternAnimation/SabrinaTheAnimatedSeries'' has her trying to find a better gift for Salem than a cheap picture frame. HilarityEnsues.
* The ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "Cash For Gold" is dedicated to this trope, and also examines the moral and economic issues involved.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'' episode "Operation: B.R.I.E.F.S.", Numbuh One claims that his grandmother once gave him a hair dryer. (Numbuh One is ''bald''.) Still, [[BrickJoke later in the episode]], the hair dryer (which he kept, oddly enough) proves useful against [[ProfessionalKiller Mr. White]], a living pair of underwear sent as a hitman. (It's a weird cartoon.)
* ''WesternAnimation/CloneHigh'':
** Taken to extremes when Cleo gives Abe his own knork - which he had ''created himself'', AND which he had ''thrown out'', so she literally gave him the first thing she found in the trash outside.
** Principal Scudworth, meanwhile, is delighted when the shadowy organization funding the school gives him ... "A toy robotic dog? The perfect present! Clearly expensive, yet something I would never buy for myself. It shows you care but don't really know anything about me - I love it!"
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** One Christmas special had Homer at a Secret Santa exchange at work where, after receiving a DVD player from Carl and being asked by Lenny where ''his'' present was, he says to Lenny, "Your present is right in the other room." He then goes offscreen to the other room and is clearly heard saying [[VengefulVendingMachine "C'mon, machine, take my dollar! ... Fine, we'll play it ''your way!''" He then tackles the machine (still offscreen) and]] returns with a tube of Certs breath mints. Lenny is understandably disgusted. (After watching ''Mr. [=McGrew=]'s (a WesternAnimation/MrMagoo parody) Christmas Carol'' on late-night TV later, he experiences an Ebenezer Scrooge-style turnaround and gives Lenny a photo cube with pictures of both of them plus Carl.)
** In the very first episode, "Simpsons Roasting Over An Open Fire", Homer doesn't get a Christmas bonus and is forced to buy cheaper gifts, including a dog chew toy for Maggie.
** Homer is virtually incapable of remembering holidays, and will invariably resort to this for almost every occasion;
** A more recent episode, "Mypods and Boomsticks", had the Simpsons each returning the identical kitty calendars Bart bought them at the last minute.
** Another episode set on Valentines Day has Homer desperately looking for a gift for Marge, and Apu offers him a heart-shaped box of chocolates... for $100. With no other choice, Homer pays but angrily vows to never shop there again. Apu, realizing that if Homer finds the much cheaper store across the street his business is doomed, offers him a small discount on damaged canned food, and wins him back.
** Another episode featured a store devoted entirely to last minute gifts.
** A Musical Episode had Homer frantically driving around town on Christmas Eve, singing "I need a present for my wife, or I'll have no sex for life." It turns out Marge knew he would forget, so her present for him was a present he could give to her. This time even the Kwik-E-Mart fails him as its inventory had been cleaned out during the christmas rush and Apu only had jerky made from trout left in stock.
** Homer ended up buying Marge a bowling ball as her birthday present because he was doing last-minute shopping. As soon as this was revealed, she was pissed off.
*** The bowling ball was even engraved... with his name.
** In the opening sequence of a recent episode, the billboard is one from the Kwik E Mart with a smiling Apu which says: ''Last-minute gifts for people you don't like''
* In ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', Peter Griffin once destroyed a rack of "terrible pharmacy toys" at Mort's pharmacy with a cannon (it was the episode where he decided to become a pirate) in order to prevent them being given as lame last-minute gifts.
* On a ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' ChristmasEpisode, Luanne is slightly disappointed with her gift.
** {{Justified|Trope}} in that Hank and Bobby were panicking due to their fears of upcoming [[MillenniumBug [=Y2K=]]], and they considered them good gifts.
--> '''Luanne''': Bobby, I got you a Discman, and, Uncle Hank, I got you a pair of Timberland boots. ...And I got toilet paper and a laundry mangle.
* In one episode of ''Literature/MaxAndRuby,'' Ruby tries to ''prevent'' Max from doing this, as he wants to buy their grandmother candy vampire fangs. (Which, [[SarcasmMode coincidentally,]] ''he'' really wants.) However, at the end of the episode, it turns out that their grandmother has a good sense of humor, and she loves the candy vampire fangs Max gives her.
* An interesting subversion in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}''. Doug has been invited to [[LoveInterest Patty's]] birthday party, and he agonizes over what to get her, as he knows her (but not well.) He knows she likes sports, so he tries to get her a Beet-Ball (for a game similar to softball, except the ball is shaped like a beet root), but that doesn't work out. He finally makes her a towel rack, but she uses it instead for the Beet-Balls everyone else got her, thus making it her favorite gift that she received.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'' episode "The Spoon" has Richard sending his sons Gumball and Darwin to the convenience store to buy a gift for Nicole for her birthday because he forgot to buy her one. He would have gone himself, [[InsaneTrollLogic but he had to watch the kids, which Gumball and Darwin didn't have to do.]]
* In the Christmas episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Braceface}}'' Nina gives Sharon a large gift basket for her Secret Santa gift. Inside it is little bottles of shampoo that you find in a hotel room, a car calendar (her dad owns a dealership) and a little blue kitten toy which turns out to be the thing Maria gave to Nina for Secret Santa last year.
* In the holiday special of ''WesternAnimation/TheWeekenders'' Tish is talking about her worst holiday experience. Her favourite cousin gave her a Lady Macbeth knapsack, but she didn't have anything to give her. Desperate, Tish simply grabs a sweater from her own closet, which happens to still have the price tag on it, and gives it to her cousin. The cousin isn't too happy about it as it turns out she got the same sweater last year.
* In ''WesternAnimation/BojackHorseman'', back when they were still dating, Bojack once offered Princess Carolyn a ball of crumpled up paper in a box. For a split second the audience interprets this as an instance of this trope...but since [[FurryReminder PC is a cat]], she immediately goes "How did you ''know?''" and plays with it delightedly.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': In the sixth season episode ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS6E8AHearthsWarmingTail A Hearth's Warming Tail]]'', story-within-a-story character Snowfall Frost discovers the importance of Hearth's Warming and not only ends her plans to [[HowTheCharacterStoleChristmas destroy the holiday]], she rushes out to join the party her assistant is attending, bringing along gifts that she just grabbed off her shelves, and admits that she was in kind of a hurry. Snow Dash, however, is apparently thrilled by her gift of dragon toenail (one of the items Snowfall had kept on hoof as a spell ingredient).

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In the US, the Chia-Pet is usually seen as this, since they're ultimately useless and not that exciting, seeing as it's merely an animal shaped pot you smear seed paste on and wait for it to grow. Getting one is usually code that the giver either forgot about getting you a gift, or doesn't like you very much. They're frequently sold in drug stores, which are sometimes the only things open (sometimes by law) after all the good stores have closed for Christmas.
* Some stores seem to have certain items placed by the registers specifically for this reason, such as shoddy, kid-friendly movies and video games that are exclusively stocked in this area of a store.
* In at least some parts of the world, this isn't quite so embarrassing anymore, as many convenience stores and drugstores usually carry a large spread of major-brand gift cards (Apple, Sears, Victoria's Secret, Zynga... okay, it gets a bit odd) so it's usually easy enough to find something someone will like. And in any country or state where it's not specifically against local law, almost every convenience store or gas station has a liquor license.
** Unfortunately said gift cards are now thought of as a lazy gift idea, though others argue that it's better for the person to have the money given to buy something they'd want in that store, rather than getting something they wouldn't want. A well chosen gift card can also convey that at least some thought was put into what the recipient would want while just giving plain cash is seen as ultimately lazy.
** Gift cards aside, many chain drugstores are still attempting to avert this. In the past, since prescription medications, despite taking up incredibly little space, provided the majority of a drugstore's income, it left them not all that motivated to try all that hard with the rest of their merchandise. However, sensing the possibility of another revenue stream (and taking advantage of their requirement to be open by law even after everything else closes,) many chain drugstores such as Walgreens have started updating their merchandise to stuff comparable to what you can find in other department stores (toys and action figures for kids, perfume for women, etc.)
* Economists have studied how much value is lost by these transactions. For example if someone buys a brand new item that the gift receiver doesn't like and donates to charity, which then sells the item at 20% of the original price, then 80% of the original value has been lost. Or if you estimate that the receiver values the gift at 80% the cost (a loss of 20%), then that amounts to a loss of $28 billion a year worldwide. Moral: just ''ask'' what someone would want. Or give them cash/a check/a money order/a gift card, and let ''them'' decide what they'd like to get.
* ''The Stranger'' (a UsefulNotes/{{Seattle}} based alt-weekly known best for being the home of Creator/DanSavage's advice column) had a variation of Convenience Store Holiday Dinner where they sent writers in with $20 to get ingredients, then turned those ingredients over to high-end restaurant chefs in a ''Series/{{Chopped}}''-style contest to see if they could make a decent meal out of the junk provided.