Never Have I Ever Game
This is kind of an irresponsible gift to give to an 18 year old since it is traditionally a drinking game, but there’s no need to actually tell them that. There is also a lot of things an 18 year old has not had the chance to do yet. Bad or good, this gift might give them some ideas.
If ever there is a time in a person’s life when this would make sense as gift, the 18th birthday is it. This is a time when a person is perhaps moving out on their own (and thus needs a toaster), and still enjoys being a little ridiculous (taking selfies). Like, would you buy this for a 40 year-old? Exactly.
Here is the perfect gift to make visitors feel old - a framed copy of the front page of the New York Times the day they were born. People as young as 30 will marvel that the person they are visiting was born on the day that thing they sort of remember happened. Fun!
This quite literally one-of-a-kind gift is an art quality print of a most personal nature: DNA. A simple cheek swab is sequenced and displayed as vibrantly colored bands on a dark background. No two are ever alike. Except maybe twins? Not sure. Also not sure how you’ll get that cheek swab, good luck on that.
Draft them into the Swiss Army on their 18th birthday by giving them a tool that will hold up and be used for the rest of their life. Find the one with the perfect mix of tools and size for them, and it will be a part of their life forever.
Every college freshman in the dorm will want to throw away their Starry Night posters when they get a load of this beauty. The Digital Art Museum can display that masterpiece plus thousands of other still and moving images. Cycle through with a swipe or the dedicated app. Turn a dorm room into the Lourve!
Have some stupid good fun at the 18th birthday party with a few rounds of Water Balloon Russian Roulette. Then, after everyone has finally lost the game, solemnly ponder the fragility of life, and remember that no one is invincible.
Put away childish things, then seal them up into an air and water tight steel container, dig a hole deep into the ground and bury them under a sidewalk. Put a plaque nearby or something like that, wait 82 years, and then have their 100 year old self return to open an archive of their childhood. No big deal.
All the fine ideas on this page notwithstanding, nobody really knows what anyone wants, much less someone turning 18. So put the power in their hands by taking them on a whirlwind shopping spree at their favorite stores. You’re going to spend a little more, but at least it will be fun instead of nerve wracking.