Uh oh — the coffee cups are back!
If you recall, I asked Dino Drac readers to submit photos of their weirdest coffee cups, owing to morbid curiosity and probably worse. That was back in July. Over a hundred of you accepted the challenge, and I was so overwhelmed the sheer volume of strange mugs that it took me more than half a year to start building the gallery.
In February, we looked at 25 crazy mugs sent in by Dino Drac’s thirstiest readers. Today, we’ll bring that number up to 50. In Part 2 of The Coffee Cup Exhibition, enjoy another 25 mugs, belonging to complete strangers from across the globe.
For this article, I am merely the curator. The photos and stories pasted below come from the individual cup owners. I think you’ll enjoy seeing the cups, but I think you’ll enjoy learning why they mean so much to their owners even more. It’s a kind of voyeurism. Like a dumb version of Rear Window.
#26 – Counselor Deanna Troi the Coffee Cup!
Submitted by Nina S.
“Though born into a Star Wars family, my cultish devotion to the animated series Gargoyles allowed me to cultivate an appreciation for the actors of Star Trek: TNG, many of whom voiced characters in the Disney cartoon.
“It’s been a difficult few months for me, so I decided to book an appointment with my therapist to do some mental housekeeping. ‘I have no idea where this came from, but I figured you’d appreciate it,’ she told me, as she brought me freshly brewed green tea in this marvelous flagon.
“That is why she’s a great therapist.”
#27 – Dr. Eyeballtron Cup!
Submitted by King Kool
“I feel like I should provide a little backstory to who the action figure is meant to represent. He is Dr. Eyeballtron of the Inanimate Players. On my Youtube show, I use the Inanimate Players as a means to demonstrate cliched scenes that have been used in numerous movies. Dr. Eyeballtron represents the villain archetype. He has his own subshow called “The Gripes of Wrath,” where he complains about ordinary grievances (mostly inaccurate or silly information on product packaging).
“Over the last few years, the Inanimate Players have cultivated personalities of their own, and they’ve even interviewed people at a handful of conventions. They are one of my favorite things I’ve ever created. Even when creating videos has become an awful labor with little reward, I can never really consider giving up altogether… because then I would have to give up on them, too.
“I don’t want any of this to come across as an attempt to garner free attention for my tiny Youtube channel. I am just thrilled when anyone else likes the Players or Dr. Eyeballtron as much as I do.”
#28 – Sam the Olympic Eagle Cup!
Submitted by Oscar C.
“Here is my mug pic, as you can see it’s from Sam from the 1984 Olympics doing some karate.”
#29 – Turbo Grafx 16 Cup!
Submitted by Richard R.
“Due to your recent posting with the Turbo Grafx commercial, I figure I’d send this to you. No, it’s not Splatterhouse, but a Turbo Grafx mug for the port of Bloody Wolf!”
#30 – Battle-Damaged Cat Cup!
Submitted by Mary Anne S.
“I’m not even sure where this one came from, but at one point we had a cat that looked just like the one on the other side of the mug. Ironically, it was broken a couple of years ago by another cat.”
#31 – Ren (sans Stimpy) Cup!
Submitted by Mike
“Behold the deformed Ren mug that I have yet to ever drink from. Maybe today needs to be that day.”
#32 – Big-Handled Strawberry Cup!
Submitted by Bluejay
“I bought this at Goodwill because it’s covered in strawberries and has a big weird handle, apparently to accommodate even more strawberries. I don’t use it because the cupboard is too full, so it sits in a drawer.”
#33 – Yanni Cup!
Submitted by Amanda R.
“This mug is from a Yanni concert at Radio City in January 2005. My husband proposed to me during one of our fave songs… and the woman behind us said, ‘Oh my gawd I’m gawnna barf!’ On the bright side, I screamed something at Yanni and he responded… and I had a bitchin’ engagement ring to flaunt.”
#34 – Rainforest Cafe Cup!
Submitted by Spruce
“I’m a lover and collector of coffee cups, but this one is probably the weirdest at face value. A Rainforest Cafe mug, in the spirit of commemorative merch. Because the Rainforest Cafe thinks itself a destination to remember, the likes of Disney or some-such. The giant smiling frog character is goofy enough, but then you have to take into account the very odd shape of the whole mug. I can only assume they meant to make it exotic.
“All that said, I do love this mug because it was a gift from my mother. Long ago when I was but a high school student, jealous of my older brother going to college in the big city of downtown Baltimore, I recall Mom bringing it home after some kind of Parents’ Weekend as a gift souvenir to take the sting out of not getting to go myself. She was in love with the whole restaurant, and promised to take me next time.
“I did get to go, and I did have a pretty great time, but I can’t help but feel affection for something I got as a gift from Ma when I was well past the age of that being obligatory. It ultimately kicked off my entire habit of accumulating coffee mugs from all over, too. So it’s sort of the “Alpha Mug” in that regard. It played an instrumental role in building my coffee addiction and still serves that role to this day.”
#35 – Six Flags Batman Cup!
Submitted by The Sexy Armpit
“This is my intricately detailed Batman & Robin mug from Six Flags Great Adventure here in New Jersey. Every time I visit the park, I stop at the DC Super Heroes store. It’s an extreme challenge of my willpower not to buy everything. I couldn’t find a date on this, but I think it’s from around 2005.
“What makes it weird is the fact that Batman, Robin, & the Batmobile are sculpted into the sides of the mug, but on one side there’s a big sticker of Batman which cheapens it & throws off the whole vibe. Why not keep the sculpt going? No wonder it was on sale for $11.99!”
#36 – Commander Keen Cup!
Submitted by Charles D.
“That green burping fish is actually an enemy from the old PC game, Commander Keen. (Specifically Episode IV: The Secret of the Oracle.) The reason it says ‘Eat Your Veggies!’ is because that’s the name of the song used in the level, which was originally composed for a different Commander Keen game where the enemies were all vegetables.
“I bought this mug on eBay from the guy who runs the official Dopefish website, who is the same guy who originally had them made to give to employees of Apogee and Id Software. I love it so much I don’t drink coffee from it, but mostly use it to hold my fun little collection of weird pencils.”
#37 – Magic Batman Forever Cup!
Submitted by Diego K.
“I have no idea where this came from. Most likely a thrift shop. I received it as a Secret Santa gift from a friend. We had set like a $5 limit or something. The gimmick of the mug is that if you fill it with hot liquid, it reveals a Batboat on the side. (The one that Robin drives in the movie for one minute before Riddler blows it up with a torpedo.) As if a Batman Forever mug needed a gimmick to be interesting.”
#38 – Denny’s Cup!
Submitted by Carrissa F.
“Mine is a Denny’s mug. One of the old ones from when they still printed the logo on them. I stole it. I’ve had it since before Kurt Cobain died. Every time people see me drinking out of it they call me a hipster.”
#39 – Judith Leblein Cup!
Submitted by Andrew S.
“I don’t now, nor have I ever, lived in Central New Jersey, or any other part of the state. However, my once-girlfriend’s then-roommate Sarah did! Sarah’s grandmother gave her this mug, and whenever I’d go to their apartment I always had to use it, because look at it. It’s great!
“When my now-wife and I later moved in together, we had a party, and Sarah gave me the mug as a housewarming gift. We later moved several hundred more miles still farther away from New Jersey, and Judith Leblein came along for the ride. Two dozen mugs later and Wake Up Central Jersey still holds the number one spot in my cabinet. Thanks, Sarah!”
#40 – Bootleg Pikachu Cup!
Submitted by Rebecca
“I don’t have many ‘weird’ coffee cups — most of mine feature cartoons and stuff but they are ‘cool’ and with clear origins, not ‘weird.’ So this will have to do. I got it in Byward Market in Ottawa, Ontario, and it is the fakest Pokemon cup I have ever seen.”
#41 – Chuck E. Cheese Cup!
Submitted by Linz
“This mug is from a magical time when animatronics ruled pizza chains. And from the copyright info on the mug, it’s from a time when ShowBiz Pizza was still around. I drink my morning tea out of this bad boy every day, and hand-wash it to keep it in tip-top shape and not full of chips like everything I throw in the dishwasher gets. It reminds me of simpler times and crappy pizza.”
#42 – I Pooped on Halloween Cup!
Submitted by Clay Astroman
“Years ago, my wife and I were visiting a small tourist trap known as Nashville, Indiana when we spotted a very special store– a store filled with nothing but merchandise proclaiming that ‘I pooped on something or at some point.’
“I don’t know if it referred to the maker, the purchaser, or the adorably terrified toilet monster who graced each item, but from ‘I pooped on Nashville’ t-shirts to ‘I pooped on Valentine’s Day’ key rings, this place had everything. After we entered the store and had a reaction reminiscent of the ‘What’s This?’ scene from Nightmare Before Christmas, the guy behind the counter told us the backstory.
“Apparently, the store owner’s name was Fergusen, and she chose this theme as a reference to ‘the toilet that Al had on Married with Children,’ which was a Ferguson. We foolishly purchased only this lone mug, and the store closed between that trip and our next.
“Writing this up made me go on an online quest, though, and I tracked down the owner who now owns a restaurant elsewhere in the state. We’re flying to Indiana later this month to visit family, and I’m going to take a side trip to meet with her. Needless to say, I’m pumped.”
#43 – Wonder Book & Video Cup!
Submitted by Chad E. Young
“This is from an independent used book/video rental store in Western Maryland that has been in business for over 30 years and had a couple stores through the years. I got this one in ’06 when one of the stores closed. They’re primarily known for their massive book inventory, but I’d go there for VHS up until 2012. I’m not a coffee drinker, but it’s come in handy when I’m having a plate of Oreos and need some milk to dunk them in. My favorite mug and the most odd in my cupboard. Plus, I love the upper lip on the top of the mug. Adds an extra oddness.”
#44 – Batman Cup!
Submitted by Gweff
“Nothing too special, but I love it. Found it at a Winners on sale for 50 cents and have been using it for years. Retro Batman vinyl not included!”
#45 – The Mangled Mug!
Submitted by Loneliest Internet Ghost
“Ok so this mug has sat on my shelf, dustily observing my kitchen antics for the last 9 years! Story behind him? WELL, many moons ago my best friend attempted to create what he thought was a Klasky Csupo-styled cup based on one of my many original characters — as I have always had an avid and very squishy obsession with their cartoons. I think it went a little wrong in the oven though, as it’s pretty mangled… so we dubbed it ‘Mangled Mug.’
“We always felt that it was like some sorta Pee-wee’s Playhouse reject! Mangled Mug has since developed a personality all his own! In fact, it was his idea to be featured on your site! (He’s a HUGE fan of your Halloween articles!) His favorite things are counting dust particles, stealing kitchen utensils and blaming things on the toaster!”
#46 – I <3 Intercourse Cup!
Submitted by Elanie M.
“Not that weird when you know that it is an actual place in Pennsylvania… but a little weird when, say, your mother-in-law is using it.”
#47 – Swamp Thing Cup!
Submitted by Mausfeet
“My friend Alec and I went for a vacation in Florida. One thing led to another… long story short, I ended up with nothing but this mug and a near death experience. Many say he roams swamp area grocery stores in October with weird knockoff horror movie kitchenware to this very day.”
#48 – TV is Evil Cup!
Submitted by Donna C.
“This is my fiance’s cup. He is one of those annoying people who thinks TV is evil. One of his exes gave it to him as a sort of a gag gift and he loved it, of course. I make fun of him for it often.”
#49 – Dead Pilgrim Cup!
Submitted by Noah R.
“I don’t even know where to start with this one. It is a mug that my wife picked up at a flea market. We end up buying a lot of coffee cups at flea markets, even though we average about one cup of coffee a week. If nothing else, they make good decorations and are almost always less than a dollar. This one, however, is by far the strangest.
“I’m not sure if I want to meet the person whose pick-me-up in the morning is a dead pilgrim. Not only that, but one that was either a hardened criminal or depressed guy who finally couldn’t take it anymore. Yep, that really gets me going. The poem on the back doesn’t help much either. Are you supposed to drink booze out of this thing? Because that really doesn’t make much sense when you’re just drinking coffee. I thought it might be some sort of folk art, but it has a logo which shows it was professionally made. Hopefully it will make more sense to you even though I am terrible at taking pictures and even worse at uploading them.”
#50 – The Best Coffee Cup Ever!
Submitted by Sarah
“I have chosen to describe this cup through a limerick:
There once was a site called Regretsy
That mocked all the bullshit on Etsy
Among all the tat
They saw a photoshopped cat
‘Put it on a cup?’ they said, ‘You betsy!’
“That kind of fell apart at the end, but you get the idea.”
Another amazing batch! Thanks to all who participated! I still have enough submissions leftover for a Part 3, so the next time I’m not lucid enough to write anything of substance myself, you’ll get to see more crazy coffee cups. In the meantime, make sure you’ve checked out Part 1!