20 Oppenheimer Inspired Gift Ideas for Men and Women

by | Aug 1, 2023

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If you or someone you know felt drawn to the movie Oppenheimer and the whole WW2 nuclear program you’ve come to the right place. From aesthetic pieces to movie references, and even some further learning, I found some great Oppenheimer inspired gift ideas for the men and women in your life.

After seeing Oppenheimer I just couldn’t get enough of the aesthetic Christopher Nolan created for the film. He sometime managed to capture the era the movie was set in while keeping with a very specific colour palette and aesthetic. Something not so easy to do with the bright colors of the 40s and 50s!

Gifts for Oppenheimer Enthusiasts

A lot of what we see in Oppenheimer, especially the barware, is very art deco and mid century modern. This does make sense, given the prevalence of art deco in the years just before the war (ending around 1938). This was followed by what’s often called the atomic age, which was both an era an aesthetic that would carry through to the 1960s.

Obsessed with Barbeinheimer? We also have great Barbie gifts too!

american promethus oppenheimer book

American Prometheus Book

This is the book that the movie was based on (and inspired by) that tells the life story of J. Robert Oppenheimer. If you were enthralled by the movie but want a little more nuance, this is a great read.

brown fedora

Brown Felt Fedora

Speaking of the movie, let’s go for the low hanging fruit here with the Oppenheimer inspired fedora hat as a gift. It’s a classic style that I predict will be making a comeback this fall. Perfect for costumes, wearing around the desert of New Mexico, or just looking fancier in your everyday life.

nagasaki life after nuclear war book

Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War

If you want something to ground you after seeing Oppenheimer this book is a must-read. It covers the very real consequences of just one of the nuclear blasts that were dropped on Japan. The book takes you through the morning of the blast (complete with eyewitness accounts) and continues through the lives of those 5 survivors. Harrowing; but necessary to fully appreciate the impact of Oppenheimer’s work.

Atomic Bomb Testing Tour Poster

Atomic Bomb Testing Tour Poster

A reprint of the very real trend of folks going into the desert to watch atomic bomb testing during the 50s and 60s. This is peak atomic age!

Theory Will Take You Only So Far Mug

Theory Will Take You Only So Far Mug

A reference to the movie, this mug is a good reminder that theories are great – but action (and testing) is necessary to truly make an impact.

art deco coupe glassess

Art Deco Style Coupe Glasses

Oppenheimer famously subsisted on martinis and cigarettes, but you can pay homage to him in a healthier way by stocking vintage style coupe glasses in your bar instead. I love that this set is perfect for gifting, too!

I did try to find one that resembled the movie’s barware (he doesn’t use a traditional martini glass in the movie).

cocktail shaker set

Cocktail Shaker Set

Speaking of cocktails, you could gift those coupe glasses with a cocktail bar shaker set for an even better gift idea. I don’t recommend making Oppenheimer’s signature martini, though; it was pretty much just a double shot of gin.

Oppenheimer meme shirt I am become death destroyer of worlds

Oppenheimer Meme Shirt

Look it’s an iconic and celebrated quote, we get it, but it’s also become a meme since the movie came out. This shirt fully captures that with true meme aesthetic; perfect as a gift for folks who don’t take things too seriously.

round art deco pillows

Round Throw Pillows

Remember when I said Oppenheimer evokes a lot of art deco? Well a version of these pillows appear in the movie! I think they were green, but I like the orange ones a lot too.

vintage women's chiffon shirt

Kitty Inspired Chiffon T-Shirt

I can’t find the exact replica of the ruffle bow shirt Kitty wore in the movie, but this one is pretty close – especially the colour. Pair it with a cute vintage cardigan to complete the look.

men's traditional suit

A Suit

It’s pretty hard not to feel underdressed as guy after watching Oppenheimer. Maybe this is a great time to buy someone in your life a suit so they can be a little more fancy!

enrico fermi biography

The Pope of Physics: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age

This is another great book if you want to get a better understanding of the events that kicked off the atomic age. That includes the important breakthroughs in physics that led them there. If you don’t know, Enrico Fermi created the world’s first nuclear reactor.

Black hole event horizon art print

Black H0le Art Print

The physics and science behind black holes was a huge part of Oppenheimer’s research so a gift like this evokes that aspect of his life. Plus it looks cool too!

retro round sunglasses

Retro Sunglasses

Round ones evoke some of the ones seen in the movie. Besides, you never know when these will come in handy!

Vintage Copy of The Open Mind by J. Robert Oppenheimer

Vintage Copy of The Open Mind by J. Robert Oppenheimer

If you want to splurge on a “wow” gift this is truly a one of a kind find. It was published by Oppenheimer in 1955 and has since gone out of print.

Oppenheimer Movie Poster

Oppenheimer Movie Poster

I appreciate the retro style of this cool art print. It has a few iconic scenes from the movie and would be a great keepsake for fans.

The Apocalypse Factory: Plutonium and the Making of the Atomic Age book

The Apocalypse Factory: Plutonium and the Making of the Atomic Age Book

Another great gift idea for the history buffs on your list, this one helps broaden the reader’s understanding of the production of nuclear resources that went into making the atomic bombs. Since this is such a touchstone element in the movie I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to learn more about all the moving pieces during that time.

Manhattan Project T-Shirt

Manhattan Project T-Shirt

It’s like you’re there! This shirt is a great way to reference the movie (and real life era as a whole) without being too “out there”. Love that it comes in a variety of colour options too.

Atomic Bomb Vintage Newspaper

Atomic Bomb Vintage Newspaper

It’s like you’re there! This shirt is a great way to reference the movie (and real life era as a whole) without being too “out there”. Love that it comes in a variety of colour options too.

Operation Crossroads Poster Print

Operation Crossroads Poster Print

Operation Crossroads was the name given to the nuclear tests conducted at Bikini Atoll. This was after Trinity and the bombing in Japan; it was designed to test the effects of nukes on ships.

This is a colourized version of a photo taken during this test.

Hopefully these Oppenheimer inspired gift ideas help you capture some of the feelings of the movie and era for yourself or someone in your life. I also think it’s important to mention that, although we love a good meme and vintage-era vibe, the Manhattan Project had serious real-world consequences that we shouldn’t take lightly.

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Everett Franchuk

Everett Franchuk

Everett loves to plan parties and events, decorate, and make crafts/DIY projects. As a parent of 5 in his early 30s, he decided to start The Best Nest to offer practical tips and ideas.

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