The Top 7 Things of All Time

#3. The Thing (John Carpenter film)

The Thing from John Carpenter's 1982 film of the same name was an alien parasite uncovered beneath the arctic ice. Capable of assimilating its victims' bodies, the Thing could manipulate their flesh and organs into a horrible hand-eating crab monster, as shown in this rather gory clip. Click forewarned:

Alternately, it could imitate its victims entirely, inspiring fear and paranoia in the uninfected survivors, causing them to turn on each other. In its different guises, the Thing spent most of the film battling Kurt Russell and a beard/haircut combo that has to be seen to be believed.

It looks like it's trying to assimilate his entire head.

I won't spoil the ending, but let's just say that Kurt Russell's character ends up getting a pretty lucrative endorsement deal from Pantene. OR IS IT THE THING?

Pantene Executive: Who cares? Whoever he is, he is glorious!


Graphics: 3/5 (This is a pretty old movie, so the special effects are a little ropey. But the beard and hair are very well-animated.)

Sound: "pPPhthPTh-PTHH" (Translation: "God that human is beautiful. I'm going to save him for last.")

Fun Factor: Beard.

#2. The Thing (Marvel Comics)

Ben Grimm is a Marine/engineer/space shuttle pilot who is turned into a rock monster after getting exposed to some kind of Marvel plot device. (Cosmic rays, I think. Maybe cosmic rocks?) Now, with the proportional strength and style of a rock, he renames himself the Thing and joins the Fantastic Four, who spend the rest of their days bitching at each other and sometimes fighting crime.

Also rock puns. They made lots of rock puns.

As a superhero, the Thing's main strength is his strength. His weakness? Tautologies. According to whoever wrote his Wikipedia entry, he's "one of the most recognizable and popular comic book characters," which I'm guessing is a polite way of saying that he's a bit less popular than Batman, Superman, Spiderman, most of the X-Men, Iron Man, the rest of the X-Men, and several dozen others.


Graphics: 1/5 (Based on his appearance in the 1967 series. I refuse to watch him in any other medium.)

Sound: "It's clobberin' time."

Fun Factor: 4/5 (Pretty fun, I'd think. He looks like he's ready for a big day at the pool there.)

#1. Thing (The Addams Family)

Thing was a disembodied hand that roamed the Addams family's mansion, where he served as the Addams family's handservant, because that was basically the limit of 1960s joke technology.

"Hey. Come here. Come here. Come here. Fuck you. Our writers were trying their best."

Similarly, 1960s special effects technology limited him to mostly appearing from behind curtains or out of conveniently placed boxes. It wasn't until the 1990s film remakes that Thing was able to achieve his full potential as a mobile molestation device and walk around on his fingers.

"I'mma comin' molest you."


Graphics: 2/5 (1960s box + curtain technology version); 4/5 (1990s skittering nightmare version.)

Sound: Fap fap fap.

Fun Factor: 5/5 (Thing is the only Thing on this list that I'd be comfortable receiving a sexual favor from, although the Icelandic parliament came close.)

Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and your best friend. Join him on Facebook or Twitter to see all the pictures of his thing that he's posted.

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