My favorite thing about “Oprah’s Favorite Things” were the amazing audience reactions (and that awesome Saturday Night Live parody where Tina Fey hyperventilates into a paper bag and Amy Poehler’s head explodes). But between 2002 and 2012, O actually profiled dozens of products that were in high demand the moment she shouted about them on set. Now, several are still around and have solidified themselves as staples. I’ve checked the original list to find the items that appeared twice or more to give you Oprah’s most favorite things (and three of mine):
PHILOSOPHY’S HOPE IN A JAR
Of this high-performance product for all skin types, Oprah has said on her website, “every time I massage in a dab of this moisturizer, I feel like I’m giving my face a drink of water.”
UGG CLASSIC SHORT BOOTS
It makes sense that Ugg boots debuted on Oprah’s list in 2003 — it was the height of the velour pantsuit and sheepskin-lined shoe pairing trend. Fashion faux pas aside, you can’t beat the comfort, which is why Uggs appeared three more times with its updated styles.
Ms. Winfrey sang the praises of several Williams-Sonoma products over the years, but its flaky golden croissants — mini or full-sized — by master pastry chef Jean-Yves Charon have the power to upgrade anyone’s breakfast plate as soon as they pop out of the oven.
RALPH LAUREN CASHMERE SWEATER
You can hear it, can’t you? Oprah saying, a cashmere sweater by Ralph Lauuuuu-ren! Oh, does O love these cozy cable-knits, and the designer is equally a Ms. Winfrey fan. A sweater from Ralph’s Black Label brand made it on the second ever “Oprah’s Favorite Things” list in 2003 and his designs made a second appearance on the final one with a limited edition sweater and matching throw.
NIKE FREE 5.0 iD
Nike gear got three mentions over the years for various shoe styles and workout outfits. The 2005 giveaway included the Nike Free 5.0 iD, an item that’s gotten some updates but is still available today.
Burberry’s signature plaid was included on Oprah’s list twice — and both times, items came in pairs. Be it a quilted jacket and cashmere scarf, or a coat and purse, O appreciates the English brand’s classic quality that never goes out of style.
O MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION
Of course, the “Oprah’s Favorite Things” franchise was great promotion for the lucky brands she boasted about, so we can’t fault her for plugging her own endeavor, as well.
And now for my honorable mentions:
2012 VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE
OK, so I wouldn’t expect anyone to actually gift this, but how could the famous “You get a car! And you get a car!” moment not be on this list of “Oprah’s Favorite Things” classics?
KAI BODY BUTTER + BUFFER
Kai fragrance counts dozens of celebrity devotees on its company site, though only the big O has a special seal of approval attached to two of the most popular items, the body butter and body buffer.
In 2008, the US economy was hurting badly, so Oprah’s shopping list was sensitively on the thrifty side. But recession or not, homemade gratitude boxes really embody that whole “the best things in life are free” sentiment, so that’s why it’s one of my picks for O’s all-time best recommendations.