It’s back-to-school season, that special time of year when a cloud of malaise descends on America’s youth and beleaguered parents find themselves bombarded with ads for all manner of awful gimmicky schlock in the name of education.

You’re better off burning your money than buying any of these terrible back-to-school gadgets.

K-12 Disasters

“Bump n’ Blink” Light Up Pen

A pen that lights up when you whack it against other things — what a brilliant way to get your kid into “learning.”


Alliance Peppermint “Whiffers” Study Aid

Encouraging your kids to sniff things to improve their concentration can’t possibly backfire.


Coloring Desk

Prepare your little ones for real desks with a desk they can color all over. I’m sure the teachers will thank you.


Credit Card Pocket Calculator

Teach your kid about credit with a device that comes already broken.


Password Journal

No better way to keep a secret totally safe than inside a giant gaudy hunk of plastic.


Remote Controlled “Fish”

Why let your children care for a living creature when they can have just as much fun with a sad inanimate object, eh? Comes with “life like” markings.


Donald Trump Lunchbox

A classic design featuring the 45th President of the United States.


Locker Disco Ball

“She’ll love the fun reflection this glam locker decoration makes every time she gets her books.”

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[Editor’s Note: It has come to our attention that no one in Target Sales & Marketing has ever met a teenage girl.]


College: The Worst Four Years of Your Life

Helicopter Alarm Clock

Because what could be more fun than a little game of “catch the flying bladed object” first thing in the morning? A favorite among college roommates.


LED Star Night Light Projector Lamp

Turn your boring dorm ceiling into a “starry” sky, sounds great, right? Let’s peep a few reviews:

“Garbage. Does not at all spread like it shows on the pictures”

“Crappy. Not worth it”

“ Even in complete darkness, you cant see the actual stars on the wall, it just looks like a blob”

“I can’t even find the words to describe it. Trust me save your time and money”


“Hilarious” Runny Nose Shower Gel Dispenser

Lose your dignity, keep your virginity.


Smartphone Projector Box

You know, dorm room date night is way more endearing when there’s Pizza Hut involved.


Contact the author at maddie.stone@gizmodo.com or follow her on Twitter.