2014 Ugly Lamp Contest: Part 1

Did you wake up this morning with a gnawing sense of dread? A burning pit of fear and anxiety growing in your stomach? That can only mean one thing.


It’s time.

It’s here.


The 5th Annual Better After Ugly Lamp Contest has officially begun!!!

ugly lamp logo 2014


Get the eyebleach at the ready. Or a barf bag.  Or a therapy animal. Better get all three, to be safe.


If you’re new to the Ugly Lamp Contest, here’s how it works.  A panel of judges including myself have sorted through every single submission and selected only the ugliest of the ugly.  It was not an easy task, no sir.  I am sad to have left out many truly heinous lamps in an effort to bring you the widest assortment of ugly possible.

There are 18 contenders total. Voting will begin today with the first set of six, then the second set of six tomorrow, and so on and so forth. On the fourth day, the top two vote-getters from each round will go head-to-head, or bulb-to-bulb, in a final showdown before we crown our ultimate winner on Friday.

Are you excited!?  Nauseous?  A little gassy?  Then you’re all set.

Let it begin.



1elisefrom Elise

Oh my land!  What a dirty little mess you are! Have you been hiding bodies in the woods again?



SAMSUNGfrom Sarah

I hung this lamp in my children’s room and told them that every time they misbehaved, Satan’s booger would light up.  It worked like a charm.  I haven’t seen them since.



3crystalfrom Crystal

If you’ve ever wished for the style and convenience of a granny-lamp-and-picture-frame-all-in-one, you’re not alone.  Wait, yes you are.



4elizabethfrom Elizabeth

I call this lamp “Angry Naked Boy with Permanent Chocolate Milk Mustache Riding Even Angrier Dolphin, Probably Into the Depths of Hell.”  I was going to name my band that, but it was a little too long. I think we might just go with Demon Dolphin of Fury. Haven’t decided yet.



5cindyfrom Cindy

Judging by his passionate embrace, it seems that this roadrunner is having trouble giving up on the ‘southwest’ trend.  Let it go man. It’s over. It’s like, way over. Please stop making out with the lamp. I’m starting to feel uncomfortable.



6dawnfrom Dawn

There are so many things wrong with this lamp, I can’t even.  On a scale of one to even, I can’t. It really boils down to two words.

Moose Knuckle.



Vote Now!

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If you are on a device and having trouble seeing the poll, try clicking here. And if that doesn’t work, try here!

 See you tomorrow for Round Two!

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  1. For me it was a no-brainer. I remember when I watched The Exorcist….against my mother’s stern admonishment. After seeing it, I know why…OH MY the visual images that plagued me….I had to sing hymns to go to sleep for months and even today (35 years later) that picture of the possessed Linda Blair causes me much distress. Now it is the satanic booger lamp…THAT will be the vision that keeps me up at nights. Thanks 🙁

  2. Lamp #6 – it that what I think it is in his pants there? *shudder*

  3. I tried to warn you … I hope you have a therapy cat to soothe your nerves!

  4. but they are so.good. they can’t possibly compete with one another!

  5. It’s my very favorite time of year! Your descriptions are my very favorite part of this contest. I got my ab work-out for the day laughing. 😉

  6. So the Dolphin of Fury didn’t seem that bad until I saw the placement of the light bulb. Weird. Totally voted for Satan’s Booger. Geeze Louise that is ugly.

    I kind of love the Moose Knuckle Chuckle. He looks hilarious. I don’t want him in my house, but I definitely don’t hate him. lol

  7. Most of these are worse than ugly–they are demented, twisted, and scary…except for #5, which is actually kind of cool in an ugly way and #3 which is very sappy in an ugly way too.

    I love your contest. Can’t wait to see the next ones. I confess that I forgot about the contest so didn’t take pictures of the ugly lamps I have seen during the year, but no more! I’m going to be snapping pictures at thrift stores all year in preparation for next year’s contest.

    I had to vote for #6–even though it’s a natural “conversation piece.”

  8. Jessica H says:

    I can’t… I don’t… What? Moose knuckle? But…

  9. oh noooooo i just googled “moose knuckle” thinking i was missing out on like the name of a legendary cartoon character or something… joke’s on me, because this is a work computer. yikes.

  10. I literally gasped out loud when I saw Satan’s snot drop…oh my, some things can not be unseen. I WILL have nightmares.

  11. Seriously??? These all should win!!!! WOW!!! UGH-ly!!!!

  12. OY VEH THESE ARE FUNNY! It killed me to vote for just one – went with the booger, but really wanted to vote moose knuckle just for the bragging rights. This is the best contest so far and it’s only day one!

  13. Oh no! If you have to explain, at least you can point your boss to the ugly lamp contest. Or maybe that’s not a good idea either!

  14. ha, should be fine. you’d think i’d have wised up after all those years of public school but here i am, still learning new words and embarrassing myself on the internet. vive la technology.

  15. Aw, I kind of like #5 with the Southwest bird clinging onto the southwest pottery looking base. I don’t know if I would display it in *my* house but I think it looks neat. But the devil’s booger and the creepy, weirdo guy on the bottom?! Yikes. And this is Day 1? I don’t know if I want to see what’s coming next!

    Megan I’m glad you affirmed what I was thinking that term might mean without me actually having to look it up on MY work computer. Lol. Sorry! But your comment made me laugh!

  16. OMG! I kept thinking “this is the one!” only to move onto the next… I can’t believe they got uglier and uglier… Thanks for this! Its so much fun!

  17. Okay for real…I know this is going to sound super nerdy and obscure, but Lamp #2 looks like the Crow Tengu demon from the Japanese video game Okami!!! I’m convinced that’s a work of art and not an ugly, unfortunate Satan lamp!


    Also, I really like Lamp #5. Is there something wrong with me? 😉

  18. Every year I think there can’t possibly be MORE ugly lamps, but there ARE! I’m in with Satan’s Green Booger. Like an earlier commenter, I thought the Knuckle was pretty ugly, but I couldn’t hate it enough. He looks so cheerful.

  19. Each year I think that things can’t get worse…and then they do….

    If this is only day one, I shutter to think what the rest of the week has in store for us.

  20. I can’t believe this is year 5 of the ugly lamp contest. I can’t believe there are so many ugly lamps! So much fun! Thanks,Lindsay.

  21. I’ve made my own decorating mistakes, but after seeing those lamps, I now feel like the most amazing and tasteful decorator of all time. Thank you, Lindsey!

  22. Moose Knuckle… I can’t even. You crack me up! Thank you Lindey for being a wonderful piece of hilarity in blog land. Satan’s Booger had to get my vote.

  23. What is more frightening than the lamps are the people who roam the earth who actually envisioned and executed their existence…seriously those people walk among us. THAT is frightening!!!!

  24. It was close—Satan’s Booger or the Moose Knuckle, but the Booger won this round.

  25. @beck My thoughts also! Someone was so proud of their hard work. They are probably nekked under their trench coats.

  26. Well that explains why there is an emoji that looks just like it!

  27. Lindsey, I have four cats…no therapy (animal or otherwise) can remove these disturbing images…so glad I can still remember my hymns…and Beatles songs…both work. LOL!
    BTW, I desperately want to google “moose knuckle” but I don’t dare….

  28. It was a tough decision, but I voted like a good Better After follower.

  29. BTW, true story…I had a lady call about a rental (I have apartments)…she had a therapy cat, which I am required by law to allow. But her doctor was concerned that the cat became distraught when left alone…so he prescribed a therapy cat for her therapy cat.
    As God is my witness….

  30. “Angry Naked Boy with Permanent Chocolate Milk Mustache Riding Even Angrier Dolphin, Probably Into the Depths of Hell.” Mostly because of the name. #4 It was really hard to decide as one is just uglier than the next! Will tomorrow be any easier?

  31. Hahahaha, that is hilarious! I would also advise against googling ‘moose knuckle’ unless you are far from young children, your boss isn’t looking over your shoulder, and you have some more hymns memorized.

  32. The Boggie Man is truly that! The perfect thing to keep your kids in line!

  33. Oh my. These are all so bad! Who makes these creepy things?! And even worse, who buys them?!

  34. I was laughing hysterically. Great descriptions as usual!

  35. This.is.freaking.hysterical!

  36. Oh my word!!! Each year gets better (or worse) I love this contest.
    Your commentary is the best… voted for #2, but your commentary on #3 had me laughing out loud…. Then reading comments, Beck’s story on the therapy cat needing a therapy cat… My Goodness, Thanks for the laughs tonight, can not wait until tomorrow.

  37. My husband just asked me, “what’s so funny?”
    I’m dying. Moose knuckle? How did this escape me for 38 years?

  38. OH my word! How am I supposed to choose? And this is only day one?? I am in shock. And awe. Wow. Can’t wait for tomorrow! 🙂

  39. I went with Dolphin of Fury. I feel like I need to explain my choice. Ha!. 🙂 They were ALL very ugly. I almost chose Satan’s Booger or Moose Knuckle, but I could imagine my dad displaying either of them in his house just because they made him laugh. So, you could say maybe they had a slight bit of charm (or not). The Dolphin of Fury lacks any hint of charm or humor. So, in my opinion, it’s the ugliest one. 🙂

  40. Tim in TN says:

    Some of your best writing ever…love the band name, totally gonna steal it if I ever need one. Fun, fun, fun.

  41. Your descriptions ARE THE BEST!!!! I laugh WAY too much for 8 am…..

  42. Definitely going with Satan’s booger! No! Wait! There’s more! The Moose knuckle. No, Satan’s booger has my vote. Also would make a great band name.

  43. Love the contest! I voted for grave digging doll, and now I am afraid to close to go to sleep tonight. Does the owner of that scary thing keep it locked away somewhere?

  44. carrie eastman says:

    While the lamps are crazy bad the commentary is the freaking best!!

  45. Oh so hard to pick the ugliest! How do you do it every year? I had no idea there were so many ugly lamps in America! Or is this international now?

    Great job!

  46. The first lamp actually gave me a little start! Who in their right mind would ever have anything like that in their home? Wowzers!
    The rest were pretty awful too. Bring on Day 2!

  47. Diane Johnson says:

    Those lamps are hideous but your comments are hilarious. Your site is always so entertaining.

  48. Wow. I had a REALLY hard time choosing between Satan’s Booger and Moose Knuckle Chuckle. Sheesh, that was bad!!!!

  49. I learned two things today ! now I know about Tengu and what a moose knuckle is. Thanks Lindsey !

  50. I’m on the fence between Satan’s Booger and Moose Knuckle Chuckle. The SW one is horrible too! I went through a SW decor phase in 1990, I had my entire master bath decorated in it…so much clay!

  51. OMG. Where do people get these things?!?

  52. You are not kidding about “so many things wrong” with #6. Can’t imagine the deranged art class in which this was created. The choice of bulb took it over the top for me.

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