If these aren't the weirdest Kickstarter campaigns, we need to know your definition of 'weird'

by Theresa Edwards
Jun 17, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. ET

Sites like Kickstarter are, as a concept, really great. Have an idea or invention that you just know would be a hit, but lack the connections or resources to make it happen? Turn to the internet to find like-minded people, and then voilà: You can make your Pebble watch or bring back Reading Rainbow or whatever. Dreams really do come true! The sky is the limit!

On the other hand, crowdfunding sites have more flops than fantastic success stories, which is fortunate for us, because the attempts to get them funded are often hilarious and captivating in a so-bad-it's-good kind of way. We found all kinds of unfortunate goodies in our search for the most ridiculous Kickstarters, including ones that never made a cent and others that went all the way. Here they are.

1 /21: Little Eatz, The Treat You BOTH Can Eat!

1/21 :Little Eatz, The Treat You BOTH Can Eat!

Pitch: Little Eatz are people cookies with a twist — they are meant to be shared with your pup! Healthy, vegan, all-natural, safe to share!

Goal: $5,000
Pledged: $251

We understand why this seemed like a good idea. Technically you're not supposed to be feeding your dog fatback drippings and popcorn, but sometimes you just want to share the culinary wealth with your furry friend. Still, there's just no way around the feeling that you're eating dog noms, even if they taste great. And while having a little nosh on a piece of your pet's jerky treats now and then won't kill you, you'd probably only do it on a dare or because you've always been a little curious and, hey, your roommate is out anyway. The truth is: Any treat that's acceptable for both humans and dogs will probably appeal to neither.

2 /21: Ballsoap For Dudes!

2/21 :Ballsoap For Dudes!

Pitch: A revolutionary product that's good for your balls. "Ballsoap For Dudes!" is all-natural, and will make you go nuts!

Goal: $5,000
Pledged: $485

Ballsoap For Dudes! promises to revolutionize male personal hygiene and finally make men and women equal in the quest for bathroom counter space. Seriously. The creators of the campaign bemoan the fact that ladies get all the good stuff (makeup and tampons) while men get nothing. Sadly, Ballsoap for Dudes! was never funded, in large part because soap for your balls is just called soap.

3 /21: SINGLE AGAIN the Game: The Realistic Dating Board Game

3/21 :SINGLE AGAIN the Game: The Realistic Dating Board Game

Pitch: The world's first truly realistic dating board game, complete with stalkers, vindictive exes and cock-blocks.

Goal: $15,000
Pledged: $120

SINGLE AGAIN promises to be the funniest board game in modern human history. That's because, the creator reasons, dating sucks so bad that you'll want to take all of the suckiest parts of something you admit to hating and turn it into a board game. That you play at home. In your free time. It's probably supposed to be ironic, but it fell so flat it only ever achieved a tiny percent of its funding goal. Maybe try again with TIME FOR A COLONOSCOPY or GUESS WHO GOT JURY DUTY?

4 /21: Potato Salad

4/21 :Potato Salad

Pitch: I'm making potato salad.

Goal: $10
Pledged: $55,492

We must never forgive potato salad dude. He is the walking embodiment of why the internet is such a frustrating hellhole: It rewards bland mediocrity trying to pass for humor and mocks anything truly earnest. Even if we don't blame him (who knew so many people would admire the barely ambitious whim of a stranger?) we must never forgive him, if only because his success flooded places like Kickstarter and Indiegogo with knockoffs of people hoping to rocket themselves to the kind of potluck approbation your Gramma Doris could only dream of.

5 /21: LOVE OF MUSIC Photo Book

5/21 :LOVE OF MUSIC Photo Book

Pitch: LOVE OF MUSIC is an ongoing photo exploration of women posed in various erotic and romantic relationships with musical instruments.

Goal: $19,750
Pledged: $0

Hey, we're a sex-positive site. If what gets you off is image after image of women writhing on top of pipe organs or dry humping bassoons, you'll find no judgment here. But call it what it is. It isn't a "photo exploration" so much as it is a chance to get other people to pay you to take time off from work so that you can curate a bunch of softcore sitar porn for your fetish Tumblr.

6 /21: Shield Signal Proof Headwear

6/21 :Shield Signal Proof Headwear

Pitch: The first stylish and comfortable signal proof hats that incredibly fit and reflect electromagnetic waves.

Goal: £13,834
Pledged: £13,000

So, this hat is just a churched up version of its tinfoil cousin. Not that that's the only reason to buy it, of course. According to the creators of the campaign, "You do not have to be paranoid or into conspiracy theories. Just take our signal proof hat and reflect electromagnetic waves." You know, for reasons. On the plus side, they actually are OK looking caps. A lesser campaign would just glue foil to the inside of a dollar store fedora.

7 /21: 5 O'clock Shadow

7/21 :5 O'clock Shadow

Pitch: Functional beard face masks with cotton-poly lining and two elastic straps for stability. Versatile with any headgear and efficient in the cold.

Goal: $3,000
Pledged: $3,119

An attempt to cash in on the lumbersexual "craze" of beards on dudes, the 5 O'clock Shadow started as the ultimate in ski accessories for outdoor types that want to strap on a Hannibal Lecter mask that looks like it was fashioned out of whatever sticks to the drain snake when you pull it out of a clogged YMCA shower drain.

8 /21: The World's Best WORK SOCKS

8/21 :The World's Best WORK SOCKS

Pitch: High quality socks that you can wear 30 days straight with no smell. Built for those on their feet 12+ hours per day. Come home fresh.

Goal: $10,000
Pledged: $16,539

Overall, this project looks legit. It's got lots of charty-graphy things that look like the creators scienced the hell out of their project, and a single pair of socks boasts more than 16 features. The features, though, are more than a little dubious ("no loose threads inside... and of course no rocks") but marketers are gonna market. Really, what makes this ridiculous is the promise that you can wear these socks for 30 days. As the existence of the Kim Kardashian app proves, however, there is a big difference between what you can do and what you should do.

9 /21: Twerk Island A Real Contest Movie

9/21 :Twerk Island A Real Contest Movie

Pitch: About a famous rich girl organizing a World Championship Twerk/Dance contest with twenty top dance groups and DJs (real).

Goal: €1,000,000
Pledged: €30.00

We really can't decide which is more unbelievable: that someone thought they deserved a cool mil to tape a reality TV-style twerking contest on a private island, or that someone actually coughed up 30 euro to that end.

10 /21: Giftwrap Lingerie

10/21 :Giftwrap Lingerie

Pitch: The unwrapping is half the excitement… especially when what is underneath is sexy, sensual and fun!

Goal: $35,000
Pledged: $362

Remember the last time you found yourself trying to dig a thong out of your unmentionable places because it was date night and you were hoping to show said thong off and you were starting to lose circulation to your cheeks and you said to yourself, "The only way lingerie could be less comfortable is if it were made out of 'paper stock a tad heavier than wrapping paper'?" And then you had a good chuckle to yourself? Well, who's laughing now?

11 /21: LICKI Brush: Lick Your Cat. Like A Cat.

11/21 :LICKI Brush: Lick Your Cat. Like A Cat.

Pitch: Have you ever wanted to lick your cat? Now you can. Without the fur balls.

Goal: $36,500
Pledged: $47,372

Cat people have it rough, with people always insinuating that they're a little weirder than they ought to be and making quips about the social skills of the people who love pretty kitties. Where does a stereotype like that even come from? Gee, we don't know, but why don't you click on over to the LICKI Brush Kickstarter page and watch looping GIFs of people with comically large tongues dotted with nubbins lean down to lick their bewildered-looking cats? Let's call that "exhibit A."

12 /21: Tail Toppers — For Cat Depression

12/21 :Tail Toppers — For Cat Depression

Pitch: Raise awareness of pet depression with this token. Cheer your best buddy up with Tail Toppers.

Goal: $20,000
Pledged: $21.00

And here's exhibit B! To combat "pet depression," this erstwhile inventor, who recently acquired a 3D printer and had a tough time coming up with a way to use it, would like you to hand over the $20,000 they need to develop a Groucho Marx-style accessory that serves the supposed, stated purpose of relaxing your cat and the unspoken, far superior purpose of making their anus look hilarious.

13 /21: SelfieBroom: First Self-Standing Broom that Takes Selfies

13/21 :SelfieBroom: First Self-Standing Broom that Takes Selfies

Pitch: Multitask like it’s 2016 with the easy-to-use SelfieBroom!

Goal: $11,725
Pledged: $360

We have to believe that the SelfieBroom is a joke. Otherwise, we'll have to face the potential reality of a world that considers one of its greatest unfulfilled needs to be a broom that A) can be stored in the middle of the floor and B) can be used to take selfies. And we really, really don't want to live in that world. So yeah, a joke.

14 /21: COSWHEEL Bike Electric

14/21 :COSWHEEL Bike Electric

Pitch: A-ONE can be folded up in 3 seconds and takes up small space. Easy to put into the trunk and carry around — you can go anywhere you want.

Goal: $100,000
Pledged: $10,791

On its face, the A-ONE Coswheel Bike Electric is not a terrible idea. In and of itself, there is absolutely no problem with a bike that is light, sturdy, foldable and app-enabled. The problem lies in how fucking stupid you look using it. Call it a design flaw, but until they fix the part where you look like an old-timey circus bear on a trykie, we'll take a hard pass.

15 /21: Grown man can't take care of himself — documentary photos

15/21 :Grown man can't take care of himself — documentary photos

Pitch: A grown man's wife leaves town, and he immediately backslides into terrible habits. In photos.

Goal: $500
Pledged: $7.00

Frankly, we're not sure what gave this poor guy the impression that being a full-grown baby-man — who relies on his wife to care for him and provide him structure the way a pre-kindergarten teacher with pharmaceutically assisted patience might be — was:

  • Comical
  • Marketable
  • Unique
  • Remotely interesting

But somehow, that's the conclusion he drew. Good luck finding enough people who want to pay to see a more boring version of The King of Queens, done entirely in stills.

16 /21: The Boozy Bouquet

16/21 :The Boozy Bouquet

Pitch: An elegant flask that doubles as the handle of a bouquet. A wedding keepsake for lovers of design and spirits!

Goal: $55,000
Pledged: $5,025

Weddings tend to suck. That's why we're so keen to get drunk at them; if we have to dance the Electric Slide or gnaw on a spongy brick masquerading as Beef Wellington, we feel we at least deserve to numb the pain. That being said, being pissed that you've been dragged to a wedding and sneaking off to take sips of whiskey from a flask when you're a guest is an understandable coping mechanism. Being pissed that you've been dragged to your own wedding and sneaking off to take sips of whiskey from a flask that you've hidden in your expensive wedding bouquet is a tragic wrong turn somewhere in the years leading up to this moment.

17 /21: FamPhrase "The Crude Hashtag Game"

17/21 :FamPhrase "The Crude Hashtag Game"

Pitch: Deep down I know you have always wanted to play the crudest, funniest and most offensive card game. Am I wrong?

Goal: $4,500
Pledged: $20.00

You're not wrong, dude. That's why everyone and their mom has a copy of Cards Against Humanity. But putting aside the fact that this is a game you play with hashtags IRL, and the fact that this is a clone of a better game, let's talk about this:

"Disclaimer — I respect women and I do not have a dirty mind."

Disclaimer: women have collectively caught on to the fact that people only disclaim stuff like this when they're about to say the most sexist shit ever.

"After doing extensive market research..." Sure. "I found that individuals only wanted the horrible derogatory hashtags, and so that is what I included."

OK, bye then.

18 /21: HidrateMe Smart Water Bottle

18/21 :HidrateMe Smart Water Bottle

Pitch: HidrateMe, a smart water bottle that syncs to your phone to track your water intake and glows to remind you to stay hydrated.

Goal: $35,000
Pledged: $627,644

Guys. Seriously, guys?

You don't need to do this. If you already believe that tracking your water intake requires anything more than drinking some when you're thirsty, there are already apps that do that. Why pay a mint for a water bottle that does what all water bottles already do: hold water? "You need this water bottle because it glows" makes almost as much sense as "buy this broom because it takes selfies."

19 /21: Donald is an Asshole

19/21 :Donald is an Asshole

Pitch: A Kickstarter aimed at the person who tried to ruin my life — in the form of a card game.

Goal: $3,100
Pledged: $170

We don't know who Donald is, but he sure did a number on the guy who created this Kickstarter, another clone of Cards Against Humanity, except instead of hours of raunchy fun, you get a string of barely coherent and scathingly specific insults aimed at a man named Donald. Examples of Donald's shortcomings include that he "once [talked] about his dick piercing for over an hour" and "once kicked a cat for no apparent reason."

There's still time to fund this one if you, too, have been personally wronged by a man named Donald.

20 /21: Prison Knife

20/21 :Prison Knife

OK, they're not Kickstarters, but these last two just had to be included, and you're about to see why. 

Pitch: The knife which is made for a long time in the Russian prisons by prisoners now is available to all.

Goal: $60,000
Pledged: $0

If you really want a shank, there are much cheaper ways. That's... kind of the point of shanks.

21 /21: Power Toothpaste The First Caffeinated Toothpaste

21/21 :Power Toothpaste The First Caffeinated Toothpaste

Pitch: Get a rush while you brush! Introducing the world's first caffeinated toothpaste.

Goal: $42,000
Pledged: $46,504

The inventors of Power Toothpaste want you to spend $15 for a teeny tiny tube of toothpaste that contains an ingredient that you can put in your body for free at your office or local AA meeting. Sure, an industrial-sized carafe of Chock full o'Nuts might not have the power to "[blast] away the morning fog in minutes," but you'll get there, by and by. Truly, a product conceived in the spirit of such greats as Tesla, Carver and Lamarr.