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Jack Off

In honor of the headphone jack, the top 35 “jacks,” ranked

Getty Images/Ringer illustration
Getty Images/Ringer illustration

Apple is removing the headphone jack from the new iPhone. This sucks, because the headphone jack is how you plug in regular headphones. At the same time, it’s important to recognize that the headphone jack is, as far as jacks go, maybe not as great as you think it is.

This is the correct order of jacks, from worst to best:

35. Jack the Ripper: Too many murders. The worst Jack.

34. Jack in the Box (fast food): Tastes like someone put In-N-Out in a gerbil cage.

33. Jack-in-the-box (toy): Imagine you’re a toy inventor brainstorming the latest, greatest way to delight a child with your colleagues. “The toy should have pleasant colors,” someone says. “And make fun noises!” you chime in. “Maybe it could play some sort of circus music?” the intern suggests, and circuses are kind of over but you feel bad so you let it ride. “Sure, circus music,” the boss says.

“It should be interactive, so the kids learn some motor skills.”

“Maybe throw a crank on there?”

“A box is a good, sturdy toy shape.”

You’re cooking with gas now! So far, so good.

Then the creep in the back pipes up.

“It should have a menacing clown demon jump out of nowhere to scare the shit out of the kid,” he says.

Goddamnit. Bad jack.

32. (Car)jack(ing): If you’re going to steal a car, at least wait until the owner isn’t in it so you don’t have to give them a fright and leave them abandoned. An extremely unchill crime. (The Ringer does not endorse stealing cars via any method.)

31. Jack from Lost: Weak leader.

30. Jack Dorsey: Made Twitter.

29. Jack Bauer: Formidable at hand-to-hand combat, but way too much torture.

28. Jack “Legs” Diamond: A notorious Prohibition-era mob leader, Jack “Legs” Diamond loses points for crimes but gains a few for having a very cool nickname.

27. Jack Kerouac: Convinced a generation of men that bad writing is good writing.

26. Jack(ie) O: Convinced a generation of women that marrying powerful men is a glamorous choice.

25. Jack Ryan: Kept Tom Clancy relevant for far too long.

24. Jack White: One time, notable crank Jack White was mocked for providing a guacamole recipe in his tour rider, and instead of taking the L he wrote an open letter insisting it was an inside joke.

The only thing worse than insisting something that is clearly not an inside joke is an inside joke is doing so in an open letter. I’d rank Jack White lower but he also helped Beyoncé bring us “Don’t Hurt Yourself” this year.

23. Jack Sparrow: Fun at first, but If I wanted to see an interminable Keith Richards impersonation I’d just get drunk and put a wig on a raisin.

22. Jack Johnson (singer): ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬ Banana pancakes ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬

21. Jack Johnson (boxer): I don’t know anything about boxing but this seems right.

20. Jack Nicklaus: I don’t know anything about golf either, but apparently Jack Nicklaus’s nickname is “The Golden Bear.” That’s a fantastic nickname.

19. Jack Nicholson: Jack Nicholson is in many of my all-time favorite movies, from The Shining to Something’s Gotta Give, and the only reason he isn’t ranked higher is because I hold his whole “Hollywood Bad Boy” schtick responsible for Shia LaBeouf’s dark period, and because he did not treat Anjelica Huston with the respect she deserved.

18. Jack Huston: This is the guy who played the guy with half a face in Boardwalk Empire. He treated Anjelica Huston with the respect she deserved.

17. Jack London: You may be wondering why Jack London is so much higher on this list than Jack Kerouac and it’s because Jack London could write.

16. Jack Paar: Slightly worse than Jack Benny

15. Jack Benny: Slightly better than Jack Paar.

14. Headphone jack: Useful for listening to music, podcasts, and even audio books.

13. Jack Palance: He did push-ups at the Oscars when he was 73. That’s tight.

12. Jackfruit: Yum!

11. Jack Osbourne: Most Improved Jack.

10. Jack Dawson: Very handsome, cleaned up well, made it count. At the same time, showed bizarre lack of interest in Fabrizio’s fate and was not a very good swimmer.

9. Jack Black: You know what pissed me off? One time I was watching The Holiday with a friend (not to brag) and she was like, “Why would Kate Winslet ever be with Jack Black?” Well, for starters, Jack Black was a successful, compassionate Hollywood composer and Kate Winslet was some random sad British lady on vacation! He had a wonderful life and graciously allowed her to share it with him!

8. Jack Skellington: The Nightmare Before Christmas is such a good movie.

7. Jack-o’-lantern: After you’re finished carving a fun, spooky face on a pumpkin, you can take the seeds from inside and make a tasty snack.

6. Jack Donaghy: 30 Rock was better than Parks and Rec, fight me.

5. Jacks (game): Fun for old-timey orphans!

4. Jack(ie) Brown: Quentin Tarantino’s finest work.

3. Jack: Francis Ford Coppola’s finest work.

2. TIE: Jack Daniel’s and Jack(ie) Chan: One is a delicious liquor and the other wins the Most Jacked Jack award.

1. Jack Lemmon: Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Glengarry Glen Ross, the Grumpy Old Men franchise — a true cinematic gem. Did you know his production company produced Cool Hand Luke? R.I.P.