If you’re anything like us, whenever a birthday, anniversary, or last-minute dinner party invite pops up, you’re frantically searching through your emails and texts for clues from loved ones on gifts they’d like. (Spoiler: the clues are NEVER. THERE.)

So instead of driving yourself crazy, let us help! After getting any of these gifts, they’ll marvel at your wit, your kindness, and just how well you know them.

An Escape Room Outing

For the adventurous and intellectual people in your life, an escape room foray makes for a great night out. For claustrophobics? Maybe not so much… so choose carefully, and make sure you gift this to the right person.

Rooms can vary in theme, difficulty, and number of people and can take up to an hour to solve (or less if they’re clever). But typically, you and your group will have to solve a bunch of interactive puzzles to win and ‘escape.’ It’s a great way for deep thinkers to impress their friends with how they use their brains. 

You can even do them from the comfort of your own home with virtual escape rooms.

Group of people participating in an escape room

These folks haven't figured out how to escape this photo, sadly. (Source: Palace Games)

Hardcore History

It might seem ridiculous to say that one of the most entertaining and educational podcasts out there consists of one guy (Dan Carlin) sitting and talking about some of the most infamous wars and battles in history. And yet Carlin's many episodes of Hardcore History are absolutely riveting. Carlin insists he isn't a historian, per se, and yet he's clearly well researched, intensely knowledgeable, and always entertaining.

With a gift certificate to his site, you'll be giving the deep thinker in your life access to multiple episodes of Hardcore History. They can pick from his many connected series, such as "Blueprint For Armageddon," an end-to-end telling of World War I, or several of his one-off episodes about various historical battles.

Image photo of hardcore history wrapped as a present

It's hardcore. It's about history. It's Hardcore History. (Source: Dan Carlin's Hardcore History)

The Deep Game!

What? We’re plugging our own game?

Ok, it’s true. BUT… hear us out. This game was literally designed to be the perfect spark for interesting and meaningful conversations. This also means it’s the ideal gift for people who like to, well, get deep. And honestly, getting rid of inane small talk is kind of a gift for you both.

The Deep game (which you can buy right here!) features more than 420 questions and 10 separate conversation decks – perfect for family nights in, dinner parties with friends, holiday get-togethers, and more. And at less than $30, it also makes a perfect – and affordable – gift.

The Deep Game: Is it almost TOO good of a gift?

Literary Insults Poster

It's simple math: 

Wall art + literary quotes + high-minded insults = a hilarious gift for the reader in your life.

This gift, available at various spots, including Amazon, hits up the 4 P's: Posters, Pride & Prejudice, and Proper Insults. (Was that a stretch? Yes. Do we want to dwell on it? No.)

It's an excellent gift for people who love to read and have trouble coming up with a perfectly crafted insult on command (or, as the French would call it, l'esprit d'escalier, or the predicament of thinking of a clever reply too late). Plus, it's just fun to see how various authors crafted their best zingers. 

Legendary Insults By Writers poster

Literary Insults: If you don't like this gift, you're a real 'Vice Admiral Of The Narrow Seas' (Source: Literary Insults)


You’ve likely seen ads for this service, which boasts in-depth teaching series from masters of their craft from the worlds of entertainment, science, culinary arts, and more. And every year they run a 2-for-1 deal where you can buy an annual subscription, and get a free subscription to gift to someone else! You and your loved one will both get access to more than 100 lesson series, which you can watch at your leisure.

And if they are a deep thinker, they’ll have loads of cool classes to choose from, such as Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s class on scientific thinking and communication, Chris Hadfield’s class on space exploration, or Paul Krugman’s class on economics and society.

Weirdly blurry image of masterclass profiles

Some Masterclass teachers, as seen through beer goggles, apparently.

NY Times Custom Birthday Book

Any history buff will appreciate this collection of NY Times front pages from their birthday starting the year they were born. It’s an excellent way for them to see important news events throughout their lives – and also learn a thing or two. Because let’s face it, they were probably too busy on their birthday to pay attention to the rest of the world. Now you can help them catch up on what happened while they were too busy getting drunk (or obsessing about getting older). 

New York Times birthday book product image

Plus they won't get any ink on their fingers. (Source: Uncommon Goods)

Original Rubik’s Cube

It doesn’t get any more ‘old-school-fun’ than a Rubik’s cube. It was created in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor, professor of architecture, and Deep thinker Ernő Rubik (hence the name!). It’s a great combination of both an intellectual and dexterity challenge. Plus it’s easy to transport!

rubiks cube

Pro tip: Don't solve it before gifting it. (Source: Wikipedia)

Now get out there and get something smart and fun for the people you love, the people you like, and the people from work you feel obligated to buy something for!

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