10 Silly Inventions That Became Wildly Famous

The Snuggie
Even models enjoy the warmth and convenience of these blankets with sleeves. © JESSICA RINALDI/Reuters/Corbis

If there were the equivalent of an Academy Award for silly inventions it would have to go to the Snuggie. How do you improve upon the basic invention of a blanket, which is literally just a length of cloth? The Snuggie did it by adding sleeves. No longer would you have to make a choice between reading a book and being warm and snuggly under a blanket. The Snuggie would allow you to do both!

The Snuggie isn't the only sleeved blanket on the market. In fact, it wasn't even the first! Both the Freedom Blanket and the Slanket hit the scene before the smaller, less expensive Snuggie. But the Snuggie had an ad campaign that propelled it into the limelight.

It's easy to dismiss the Snuggie as a goofy novelty item. It became a popular punchline for television show hosts like Ellen DeGeneres and Jon Stewart. But what may have first began modestly as a series of gag gifts between friends has evolved into a viable business. In fact, there are members of the HowStuffWorks.com editorial staff who are proud owners of Snuggies.

Whether you're a fan of the original blue, green, pink or purple Snuggies or prefer the daring skull-and-crossbones or monkey designs, there's a Snuggie out there just waiting to keep you warm. Silly? Sure! But you can't deny it's a success!

Learn more about inventions, silliness and success by following the links below.

Related Articles


  • Adopt a Furby. (Jan. 12, 2011)http://adoptafurby.com
  • BeDazzler. (Jan. 13, 2011)https://www.mybedazzler.com/?mid=878186
  • Binney & Smith. "Silly Putty History 101." (Jan. 12, 2011)http://www.sillyputty.com/history_101/history101.htm
  • Dahlstrom, Linda. "Hula Chair: Sitting down gets dangerous." Does it Work? MSNBC.com. June 5, 2008. (Jan. 13, 2011)http://doesitwork.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2008/06/05/4362046-hula-chair-sitting-down-gets-dangerous
  • Exercise Equipment Review. "The ThighMaster Reviewed." (Jan. 13, 2011)http://www.exercise-equipment-review.com/thigh_master.html
  • Flowbee. (Jan. 18, 2011)http://www.flowbee.com/
  • Grossman, Lev. "Maid to Order." Time Magazine. Sept. 14, 2002. (Jan. 13, 2011)http://www.time.com/time/roomba/
  • Harry, Lou and Stall, Sam. "As Seen on TV." Quirk Productions, Inc. Chronicle Books. San Francisco, Calif. 2002.
  • Heffernan, Virginia. "The Year in Ideas; Robovac, The." The New York Times. Dec. 15, 2002. (Jan. 13, 2011)http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/15/magazine/the-year-in-ideas-robovac-the.html
  • iRobot. "Our History." 2011. (Jan. 12, 2011)http://www.irobot.com/sp.cfm?pageid=203
  • Kruger, Theresa. "Snuggie versus Slanket - The Debate Rages On." HonestInformercialReviews. Dec. 16, 2008. (Jan. 20, 2011)http://honestinfomercialreviews.com/infomercial-humour/snuggie_vs_slanket/
  • Leckart, Steven. "The Shake Weight Review: Hilarious But Useless." Wired. Aug. 26, 2010. (Jan. 14, 2010)http://www.wired.com/reviews/2010/08/pr_shake_weight/
  • Moos, Jeanne. "New toy an interactive furball." CNN. Oct. 5, 1998. (Jan. 12, 2011)http://www.cnn.com/US/9810/05/furby/index.html
  • Mossberg, Walter S. "A Vacuum Cleaner That Even a Couch Potato Could Love." The Wall Street Journal. Sept. 18, 2002. (Jan. 13, 2011)http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1032287558249729275,00.html
  • O'Neill, Molly. "Time for a Fitness Pyramid? After Thigh Master, a Stream of Fitness Gadgets." The New York Times. March 29, 1995. (Jan. 13, 2011)http://www.nytimes.com/1995/03/29/garden/time-for-a-fitness-pyramid-after-thigh-master-a-stream-of-fitness-gadgets.html
  • Parekh, Alan. "New Furby Hacking." Hacked Gadgets. Jan. 4, 2006. (Jan. 12, 2011)http://hackedgadgets.com/2006/01/04/20/
  • Puente, Maria. "Snuggie gets a warm embrace from pop culture." USA Today. Jan. 29, 2009. (Jan. 14, 2011)http://www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/2009-01-27-snuggie_N.htm
  • Ronco. "Pocket Fisherman." (Jan. 13, 2011)https://www.ronco.com/PocketFisherman/Default.aspx
  • Shake Weight for Men. (Jan. 14, 2011)https://www.buyshakeweightformen.com/flare/next
  • Shake Weight. (Jan. 14, 2011)https://www.shakeweight.com/flare/next
  • ThighMaster. (Jan. 12, 2011)http://www.thighmaster.net/
  • WPA Film Library. "Curly Boys Club." 1955. (Jan. 24, 2011) http://www.wpafilmlibrary.com/detail/curly_boys_club_a_new_cure_for_baldness_is_demonstrated_-_mad_suction_cup_invention/9415ac44-9f12-ebe7-0f5d-0e94d6c4cc7f.html


Fantastic, Freaky and Futuristic: Our Best Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

Fantastic, Freaky and Futuristic: Our Best Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

The best stories of the week from HowStuffWorks.