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A Lesson for SEARS: Toddler T-shirts Can Be Funny, Without Being Offensive

By ilanawiles |

A few months ago, there was a big controversy over a girl’s t-shirt sold at JC Penny that read “I’m too pretty to do homework.” After complaints, JC Penny pulled the shirt from the shelves.

Now, another big retailer is under fire for selling even more offensive children’s t-shirts (see tasteless shirt pictured left).

Yesterday, after a call from The New York Daily News, SEARS took a bunch of toddler-sized t-shirts off their online site with sayings like “Don’t Kick Me in the Fallopian Tubes” and “Don’t Kick Me in the Birth Canal”.

But, as of right now, “Hung Like Daddy” and “Nice Girls Don’t Pepper Spray” are still available for purchase.

Why in the world any parent would want to put these shirts on their toddler is beyond me. If anything, having your toddler walk around in a “Hung Like Daddy” t-shirt is not a very good advertisement for your husband (ahem).

But shame on SEARS for even giving parents the option.

I’m not an overly sensitive person— I even created a line of Snooki-inspired onesies yesterday as a joke— but these aren’t even funny. They are in incredibly poor taste, some even condoning violence.

I also think there is a difference between putting your newborn in an offensive onesie for laughs and putting your toddler in an offensive t-shirt.

A baby has no idea what is going on while a toddler has a growing vocabulary and awareness of his environment. While he may not be able to read, he can certainly understand people’e positive or negative reactions to his clothing.

I get that people like to push the envelope but I don’t believe people should put that need on their children.

Children are not platforms for parental shock value.

Plus there are plenty of toddler t-shirts out there that are funny/clever/ironic/etc. without being tasteless, offensive and really— just plain dumb.

Here are fourteen examples of “TASTEFUL (BUT STILL FUNNY) TODDLER T-SHIRTS”.

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Sears Yanks Offensive Children's T-Shirts

For Your Slacker Toddler

Discovered on 2BHip T-Shirts

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About ilanawiles



Ilana Wiles writes Mommy Shorts, a humor blog geared towards new parents. She is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Blogs and one of The Huffington Post's top 20 women to follow on Instagram. She lives in NYC with her husband, 2-year-old daughter and a newborn baby girl. Read bio and latest posts → Read ilanawiles's latest posts →

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19 thoughts on “A Lesson for SEARS: Toddler T-shirts Can Be Funny, Without Being Offensive

  1. Amanda T says:

    Don’t kick me in the fallopian tubes??? Wrong for soooo many reasons! UGH! WTheck??? THe other 14, I actually liked some of. There is a fine line imo, between funny for snickers and an “Aw, thats cute, (sigh, move on)”, and downright, rude, crass and disgusting. The people in major retailers can’t tell the difference? REALLY? You need to revamp your buying dept then. Pink slip them all and I know tons of people who could EASILY tell you the difference and could use the job. FAIL, Sears, Epic FAIL. *facepalm + smh…*

  2. Cynthia M says:

    I bought the Call Grandma shirt for the Princess when she was a baby.

  3. Leslie says:

    LOVE the airplane one! I might have to get it for my little one!

  4. kathy says:

    I would put my daughter in many of these. The Sears ones you mentioned, not so much.

  5. Kristi says:

    My favorite to this day is “All mommy wanted was a back rub”

    There’s touching the line and flicking it and there’s crossing over it and running for miles.
    Get a clue, Sears. Those poor daddies.

  6. ilanawiles says:

    @Amanda The 14 t-shirts in the slideshow at the bottom are not from Sears. They are t-shirts I picked out to show Sears that you can be funny and tasteful at the same time. Imagine that!

  7. Jackie P says:

    Hung like daddy…sick and pathetic! I rarely will buy shirts with words, I wouldn’t even buy the ones you highlighted. I won’t buy skulls or peace signs either. Let kids be kids!

  8. Reagan and Trevor's Mommy says:

    I saw an infant onesie that said “Mommy drinks because I cry”. I laughed hysterically however I would have never put that on either of my kids. It still makes me laugh though. LOL

  9. Heather K says:

    We are proud parents of a geek-to-be (or geekling). has a lot of great ones.. we are proud owners of the “nom nom nom” bib

    My favorite groaner was an infant onesie that said “I TCP/IP… but mostly IP”

  10. Alyssa says:

    I bought my son a shirt when he was a little over a year old that said, ” id rather be naked” the time it was perfect for him because I could hardly keep him from taking his clothes off!

  11. Melinda says:

    I just cannot believe those shirts from Sears would be flying off the shelves at such a speed they would think they were hot sellers and at all in good taste. I agree with one of the other comments…let kids be kids!!! There is no reason to instill a sick sense of humor on any of our children at such a young age. Before you know it, they will be reading between the lines and it will be the parent’s fault for thinking a t-shirt with “Hung Like Daddy” was funny in the first place! I love some of the shirts you featured and I had a favorite when my son was a toddler, it said “Naps are the enemy” and another one that said “Heavy Pedal” and pictured a big wheel (if anyone out there remembers those..LOL)! there is nothing wrong with having a sense of humor, but just be careful about what you put on your toddler. They don’t have to be your mouthpiece or advertising for what you find funny…it can be in poor taste!

  12. michael says:

    Look no one tells u how to dress and I’m pretty sure u don’t tell any one else how to dress let people ware the stuff they want to no need to govern what other people put on ur children I bought the Hung like my dady and I enjoy boobies for my son it makes me laugh and almost every one i meet laugh so leave Sears alone let them sell the funny stuff

  13. amanda says:

    I would never buy something like that for my kid. however I was a bothererd by the statement of shame on sears for evan giving parents an option. this is America and while I find it totally offensive I dont feel its our place to tell a business what to sell. I know people who find it totally offensive that women to breastfeed in public so should I or other women go to a bathroom just to feed our children? I would be more conserned with the way they offer clothes for 5 year olds that look like something a grown woman would wear to a night club.

  14. m says:

    I think SEARS needs to lean a few things. I like the highlighted ones. I would definately purchase a few of them. I have not problem with words on kids t-shirts, as long as they are appropriate. I send my kid to day-care 3 days a week. I still dress him, last thing I need is a phone call from them saying to bring a change of clothes because I tastelessly dressed my child. I’m sure I’ll be getting a few of those in years to come when he dresses himself. But then again, maybe not, cuz I won’t let him buy those shirts.

  15. Avabugs Mama says:

    These onesies are horrible and crude…I would NEVER put my baby in anything like that. Can’t believe Sears actually sold that stuff! But hey…if you actually like to put your baby in onesies that say crude things, check out

  16. Jeff Boerst says:

    Oh come on people… get a sense of humor. WHO CARES!? What about the bedtime book out now called, “Go the F*** to Sleep”? Even that’s funny to me. They’re just words. This culture is so infantile and sheltering. No wonder Europe laughs at our prudish sensibilities…

  17. ilanawiles says:

    @jeff boerst- I think the book “Go the F*** to Sleep” is hilarious. But that book is meant as a gag gift for adults. I seriously doubt anybody is really reading it to their child.

    Also, I can’t imagine anyone in Paris or London or Rome dressing their kid in such a t-shirt. As far as I know, Europeans don’t just think Americans are prudes, they think we can have incredibly bad taste.

  18. HeatherRK says:

    HA! We have the “I still live with my parents” one, people laugh at it everywhere we go. Friends have said my tot is the king of slogan tees, never thought of it before. My fave is one he has saying “Lock up your daughters”…he likes that one too because he thinks it’s anti-girl. Gotta love the thought processes of kids.

  19. T shirt says:

    Your perceptions on this topic are interesting, profound and different. Best wishes

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