From 'Jersey Shore' and '12 Monkeys' to, yes, 'Hot Tub Time Machine' -- and beyond

By Hillary Busis
February 19, 2015 at 12:00 PM EST

Jet-powered soaking cauldrons and chrono-traversal vehicles are kind of like pickles and peanut butter—two great tastes that taste great together, especially if you’re drunk. That, at least, is the rationale behind Hot Tub Time Machine and its brand new sequel, Hot Tub Time Machine 2. Which got us thinking: Hot tubs and time machines both have long, proud pop cultural histories, as does impulsive and arbitrary list-making. So why not combine all three?

The rules, such that there are any: Only the most notable pop-culture hot tubs (as opposed to bathtubs) and vaguely scientific time machines (i.e. not wormholes, magic-based doodads like Time Turners, and whatever the hell a Tesseract is) were eligible for our entirely logical and objective classification. Other than that, the sky was the limit. Because where we’re going, we don’t need roads.

So, what made the warm, bubbly, spacetime continuum-y cut? Read on, my friends.

33. The Jersey Shore house smush tub

Are you DTF in this lukewarm folliculitis stew? If so, be prepared to fist-pump all the way to Ocean Medical Center.

1. Calvin and Hobbes’ time machine

Is it nothing more than a cardboard box labeled “Time Machine” by a six-year-old with a Sharpie? Yes. But this simple, crude elegance is what puts Calvin’s invention at the top of the heap—not to mention its portability, its potency (the kid and his tiger went all the way back to the Jurassic era!), and its inherent thrift. Perhaps most importantly, it’s powered solely by the imagination—an endlessly renewable resource, so long as you’re not a dead-inside adult. Oh, and provided you and your tiger co-pilot can both fit inside.

Credit: 2013 Watterson/Distributed by Universal Uclick