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8 Things You Never Thought You Could Get (Or Want) From Vending Machines

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Vending machines have always been about convenience. But at some point that notion of “convenience” got mixed up with the notion of “let’s see if we can cram sea life or transportation in there,” resulting in the following vending machine options…




“Freshness” has never been a word people use to describe vending machine food. Sure, we’re more than willing to shove in some change to buy a candy bar but we’re far less likely to purchase any item featuring the words “Deli” or “Dear God, Refrigerate Now!.” Which makes it all the stranger that some machines now sell eggs, not exactly an item known for its ability to keep, travel well, or not simply be purchased on impulse to chuck at fellow commuters. Even odder, the eggs come in flimsy plastic bags, not cartons, indicating that even the vendors themselves are thinking, “Hey, you know this is wrong, we know this is wrong, but what the hell, we only live so long. Now buy six dozen.”


Hair Straightener


It’s happened to all of us. We’re on the street, in a restaurant, or just walking around with a bag of shattered eggs we bought from some vending machine when suddenly we think, “You know what? I can’t take these curls anymore! If only there were some device, some random hot coil strapped on a public wall that has been used repeatedly—probably not always on hair or at least head hair—that almost certainly has never been cleaned because someone thought that heat kills all lice, that I could immediately use to flatten my hair while everyone else watches or waits to use it to grill their cheese sandwich. Then I would be happy!…Or filled with regret.”


Live Lobsters


Combing the silly fun of a carnival claw game with the sinister indifference to life of a Bond supervillain, this vending machine lets you serve as your own middleman between nature and nutrition thanks to a glass prison, six inches of dirty seawater, and an Atari joystick. However, should all that prove to be too unsettling, you can travel to China, where vending machines keep hairy crabs alive in blissful hibernation until you put in your change and throw your purchase in a bag.


Soccer Balls


There’s no question that soccer (or, as it is known throughout most of the world, “the sport Americans keep insisting is called soccer”) plays a huge role in many people’s lives. Such a role, in fact, that this machine allows you to instantly buy a ball for those moments you simply must have an intense match right along the subway tracks, in the middle of an airport weapons screening, or when piss-drunk and tired of trying to score goals with Crenshaw melons in the supermarket aisle.




Available at train stations in Amsterdam, this machine allows you to rent a bike for traveling around the city until it’s time to head back to the suburbs. It’s a concept that is both absolutely ingenious in design and yet unquestionably horrifying in theory should it ever be used in the future to rent jetpacks, causing a severe spike in mid-air fatalities and far emptier commuter trains on the way home.




Should you ever find yourself barefoot in London due to a series of circumstances that most likely begin and end at a pub, this machine is the answer to your oddly specific prayers. Of course, the problem with buying shoes from a vending machine is that you can only try them on after you purchase them, often resulting in someone being $94,000 in the hole surrounded by hundreds of pairs of sneakers on some street corner yelling, “Damn it! This one pinches my toes, too!”


High-End Luxury Items


From 24-karat gold handcuffs to large African bird feather vests to a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, this Miami hotel vending machine provides you with everything you need to have the most upscale night of absolute perversion you could ever want. Unfortunately, none of these items come sliding out a huge slot so that everyone can see you just bought a pterodactyl helipad or whatever the hell else is available. Instead, you get a voucher as well as a bag, presumably to help you carry your new luxury car to your next destination, a hotel with a vending machine that sells diamond-encrusted human clones and robot omelets.


Used Panties


Used schoolgirl panties, to be precise. Used schoolgirl panties, in a vending machine, for sale to Japanese businessmen. That sound you now hear is your soul screaming.

What's the craziest thing you've ever seen in a vending machine? Let us know in the comments!


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