Uproar over JC Penney tea kettle that looks like Hitler

There’s a debate brewing about whether a new JC Penney tea kettle looks a tad too much like Adolf Hitler.  (I know this reads like satire, but it’s for real.)

The tea kettle, by designer Michael Graves, goes for $40 and does not, at first glimpse, appear to have designs on Poland:


The problem, some people are saying, is that the kettle, if you look at it just wrong, bears a striking resemblance to Adolf Hitler.

Heres’a street sign for the kettle posted on Reddit next to an iconic photo of Hitler I grabbed from a YouTube video:


It’s funny, when Chris sent this to me, he said he thought it was absurd.  I did too, until I looked at the photo of Hitler, looked back at the tea kettle, and I have to say, now it looks like Hitler to me.  Though as others have noted, he looks more like Cartman on South Park, dressed as Hitler:


So maybe it’s, you know, the funny Hitler.

Having said that, I have no doubt that JC Penney had no intent to sell a Hitler tea kettle.  I’m also hopeful that the designer had no such idea either when designing the genocidal kitchen utensil.  But now that I know about it, yeah, it’s Hitler.

But, still, it’s hard to get worked up over an Aryan tea kettle.

JC Penney’s Stalin toilet plunger, however, is an entirely different matter:


And don’t even get me started on the Eva Braun bidet:


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • Indigo

    Vocabulary is the first to start slipping away.

  • Indigo

    After mature reflection, I decided it looks like South Park’s Cartman.

  • patb2009

    funny, I saw chaplin

  • mark_in_toronto

    People see what they want to see.
    If you see Hitler in a teapot, then you must be thinking Hitler.
    How about some legitimate concerns for a change?

  • FUFatherEisenman

    I have a Pepsi can that has Santa in a pool that looks like he is doing the nasty with a horse inner tube.

  • Bill_Perdue

    They’re often the same thing.

  • bbock

    Ludicrous. Don’t we have valid things to worry about without bullshit like that?

  • Tor

    Penney’s is already “tainted” by Ellen.

  • Well, I admit the incident actually happened in Yonkers, but here in Northern California ( in Marin specifically) Dolan did appear on the surface of a quiche Lorraine and was washed down with a fab. Cab.

  • see above.

  • The sooner the better. Some of us have salvage rights.

  • It whistles ‘Edelweiss.’

  • “I mean, what kind of sign does that send?” It’s a food thing—a conspiracy conjured up by the Catholic Church to booster substantiation.

  • I can relate. I have an old Michael Graves T-kettle that has a blue Nazi eagle for a whistle.

  • Kelly Benner McCabe

    Priceless :)

  • You call it a slow news day. I call it a fun news day :)

  • HolyMoly

    I have a Michael Graves design shoe tree hanging on my closet door. I guess if you look at it the right way, it kind of resembles tank treads….NAZI tank treads.

  • slideguy


  • slideguy

    I want one.

  • MerryMarjie

    I could never understand why Jesus would want to appear on a piece of toast or bacon or in a coffee cup. I mean, what kind of sign does that send? It’s like the aliens who tell one obscure yahoo about plans for a worldwide takeover — why bother? Why not just land on the White House lawn?

    As for the Hitler tea kettle, it’s just ridiculous, but I bet Penney’s pulls it anyway. Who wants to buy a “tainted” kettle?

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Does that mean their houses and cars will be up for grabs?

  • HelenRainier

    This is such a stretch. It’s as wacky as people who claim to see Jesus in a piece of toast.

  • lynchie

    Oh good we will be left along in the world to do what we like.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Must be a slow news day.

    In other news…

  • BillFromDover

    No way!

    Pork pies are sooooo overused and yesterday, already.

    Show me an image in a snare drum-head of a Christian Heavy-Metal suck band!

    Otherwise, ya got crap!

  • BillFromDover

    Are ya sure they weren’t simply all abducted by flying saucers and had all their collective orfi probed?

  • BillFromDover

    but to the right/wrong people…

    Ya mean those ready to be sucked up out of their clothes (any day now), and will clap their collective hands in glee as we sinners are cast into eternal damnation by burning in Hell for eternity?

  • BillFromDover


    Forget a handle that looks designed to be comfortable and more user-friendly,


  • HolyMoly

    (1) Hitler drank a lot of tea

    (2) Hitler’s violent domestic policies forced Jewish-German conductor and composer Otto von Klemperer to flee the country. He eventually settled in the United States.

    (3) Otto’s son, Werner Klemperer (Colonel Klink on “Hogan’s Heroes”) starred in the film “Judgment at Nuremberg” with Maximilian Schell.

    (4) Schell starred with KEVIN BACON in “Telling Lies in America.”

    (5) Barack Obama tells lies in America (just ask Joe Wilson).

    (6) Obama’s nickname while playing on his high school basketball team was “Barry.”

    (7) “Barry’s Tea” is an Irish brand of tea that is starting to gain popularity in the U.S.


    (8) Obama is Hitler!

    And NOW you know…..the REST of the story!

  • Jafafa Hots

    Now I want to be a short order cook just so I can do this.

  • Jafafa Hots

    Looks like a fluffy cloud!

  • Jafafa Hots

    Don’t want it to look like hitler? Turn it slightly to a different angle.

    I still have an old Pepsi can from a promotion in the early 1990s that was pulled from the shelves because if you stacked three in a particular way, the designs spelled out the word “SEX.” (Actually more like SEKL, but to the right/wrong people, that was close enough.)

  • Help yourself on your way out.

  • MartinTimothy

    Adolf Hitler and all of the top Nazis were Jews, Ernst Rohm and the SA hierarchy, the non Jewish Nazis whose Zionist financed wickedness and thuggery brought H to power, were liquidated in the Night of the Long Knives Massacre of June 1934, after H was sworn in as German Chancellor January 31, 1933 .. http://s48.radikal.ru/i119/1305/2f/aab5be3d6e6e.jpg

  • cole3244

    if you’re crazy enough to be a believer you can see something in everything.

  • vonlmo

    Talk about Tempest-In-A-Teapot.

  • Puh-leeze.

  • good one!

  • Kevin Murphy


    I think you may be a tad naif.

    I would not be surprised if designer Michael Graves was aware of the work of Seattle ceramicist (and white nationalist) Charles Krafft.


    Kevin Murphy

  • News update: It is said the NY’s Cardinal Dolan’s image has just appeared on the surface of a street vender’s pork pie. It’s a miracle I say!

  • Looks like a beagle to me.

  • People will see what they want to see. I suppose the kettle whistles whenever Eva Braun walks by!

  • Oh god you’re right, and I was sitting there trying to think of the difference between the two!

  • phred

    I don’t see what the furor is about. But it’s a tea KETTLE, not a tea POT!

  • Fireblazes

    Tempest in a teapot. I know someone already said it.

  • AdmNaismith

    I think the bigger issue here is how ugly it is. Hitler or not, it’s just an unattractive tea pot.

  • Indigo

    I think it looks like an over-designed tea kettle.

  • TheOriginalLiz

    Makes people who see Jesus in a piece of toast seem rational.

  • PeteWa

    I keep seeing Charlie Chaplin, and it’s making me very angry!

  • Yep

  • Whitewitch

    Sometimes a tea kettle is just a tea kettle.

  • That’s my kind of social anarchy!

  • LOL thank you :)

  • caphillprof

    Yes it’s Cartman doing Adolph.

  • clarenceswinney

    Why do we rank third in OECD nations as Least Taxed as Percent of GDP?
    The Top 1% pays 33% in Federal, State and local taxes.
    The bottom forty percent pay 29.8%.
    You read how Top 1% pay all the Income Tax.
    They pay 24.3% in federal taxes.
    Yet! Only 8.7% in State And Local taxes.

  • Silversalty

    Enh! Without the specific angle, white background, light box with black strip/e giving the impression of a tie it wouldn’t look like anything but a tea kettle. The original Microsoft Wingdings font for NYC, which seemed worse, was quickly forgotten. I’m not sure if my order is correct but the icons for the letters were something like skull and cross bones, six-pointed star, followed by thumbs up.

    Speaking of skull and cross bones, for the complete Hitler tea party –

    Sugar skull and bones –


    Boingboing picked up this story too –


  • nicho

    I have a friend who worked in the snack bar of a college that had a lot of “Christians.” He kept a glass of lemon juice and a paint brush next to the grill. Whenever someone with all the Christian symbols on their clothing showed up, he would paint their grilled cheese — or whatever — with crosses, pictures of Jesus, anything that came to mind. The lemon juice would darken and create a “miracle.” There were more “miracles” in that snack bar than you could shake a stick at. However, if someone pissed him off, they would get a “666” on their sandwich.

  • Zachary Smith

    I’m going to label this one a Tempest in a Tea Pot.

    If the product in question was the only one the designer had ever made, I’d say maybe …

    But look at his other work.


    It took me three seconds to locate Dilbert, Darth Vader, and two duelling knights.
    I’ve seen subliminals that’ll curl your hair, but this one – on a scale of 1 to 10 – rates about .4

  • “and does not, at first glimpse, appear to have designs on Poland”

    I’m sending you a bill for a new monitor, as I spit coffee all over my existing one upon reading that.

  • A_nonymoose
  • I thought that too!

  • It looks like Eric Cartman from South Park to me.

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