Maybe it’s because it’s the holiday season and we’re thinking what a great gift Ron Swanson’s Pyramid of Greatness (see the full-size image) would make, but as 2011 comes to a close, we find ourselves reminiscing about the best props seen on TV. We’ll start the list. Please, add your picks. Remember: The objects don’t have to have been introduced in 2011, but they must have been used in episodes that aired this year.
• The Good Wife‘s talking lion: We loved this toy — which was hooked up to the home phone of Mr. Mom investigator Andrew Wiley and delivered the very serious voice of Titus Welliver’s Glenn Childs — so much that we had to know how creators Robert and Michelle King came up with the idea to use it (and which company made it).
• Cougar Town‘s Penny Can: Whether or not you will ever actually play the game, you’ve definitely yelled, “Penny Can!” (Do not feel bad, Big Carl, we love you, too.)
• New Girl‘s Douchebag Jar: Instead of dropping $1 in whenever you swear, you pay up when you say something douchey. Frat houses should have these for beer funds.
• Suits‘ can opener: What do Harvey and Donna use it for in their mysterious pre-trial ritual? Opening a can of whoop ass is the popular theory.
• The Walking Dead‘s crossbow: As actor Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon, has said, “You can’t not look cool with a crossbow.”
• Game of Thrones‘ dragon eggs: Allow us to quote from HBO’s online store, “Among Daenerys’ most prized possessions are the three petrified dragon eggs gifted to her upon marrying Khal Drogo, immortalized here with the Game of Thrones Dragon Egg Necklace.” Romantic!
• Sons of Anarchy‘s severed head: There were several actually, so we’re specifically referring to the one that Chucky had to hide in the pot of chili he was cooking.
• The Vampire Diaries‘ soap dish: Damon is known to hide important things among his hand soaps. Who are we to judge?
• Breaking Bad‘s .38 snub-nose revolver: Walt’s not exactly Raylan Givens, is he?
• Community‘s very special edition Dark Knight DVD: “Abed is Batman now.” We would pay $299 for a personalized message from Christian Bale up to four words.
• True Blood‘s torn-out heart: Eric drank from it like a Capri Sun. Gross, but sexy.
• Justified‘s mystery bag (because Raylan’s hat is too obvious): Dickie and Coover brought along an unseen friend for intimidation, and when Ava shot it in Coover’s bag (“You killed Charlie!”), we had to ask exec producer Graham Yost what was inside. Note: Had we actually seen the animal, we would not count it as a prop — which is why Revenge‘s death-defying dog and Gossip Girl‘s Monkey Bass don’t make this list. Breathing things aren’t props.
• It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s back brace: “The Aluminum Monster,” what they called Dee in high school when she wore her back brace, made another appearance at the high school reunion. Note: We don’t count clothing as props, but when something has a sound effect during a dance number, it’s not clothing.