While St. Patrick’s Day is technically meant to commemorate the death of Ireland’s foremost patron saint, the holiday has evolved into a raucous celebration of leprechauns, pots of gold, the color green and, of course, beer. (Whether you drink it green or not is up to you.) In honor of this shamrockin’ holiday, we’re raising a glass to some of our favorite St. Paddy’s Day appearances in pop culture!
In the classic Simpsons episode “Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment,” the city of Springfield reinstates Prohibition after Bart is accidentally intoxicated at a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Bootlegging ensues, Moe’s becomes a speakeasy, and Homer (aka the “Beer Baron”) must avoid capture by the new police chief, Rex Banner. Of course, Springfield’s dry spell doesn’t last for long, as Banner is literally catapulted out of town, with Homer famously toasting, “To alcohol! The cause of… and solution to… all of life’s problems.”
He’s been to Vegas, space and even da hood (twice). Yet somehow, even after seven installments, the Leprechaun movie series still manages to top itself in insanely delightful and over-the-top ridiculousness. This horror franchise centers around an evil Leprechaun (played by Warwick Davis in every movie except the reboot), seeking murderous revenge toward anyone who dares steal his gold. If you’re short on time this St. Paddy’s Day, we recommend you at least check out the first movie to see a pre-Friends Jennifer Aniston make her big screen debut.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia takes place in an Irish pub and has regular appearances by “Green Man,” but the Gang finally goes full tilt St. Patrick’s Day in the episode “Charlie Catches a Leprechaun.” To capitalize on Paddy’s Pub’s busiest day of the year, Dennis creates a portable “Paddy’s Wagon,” and Charlie, under the influence of green paint, captures a “leprechaun” in a glue trap in the basement. Moral of the story? Uh… we’ll get back to you on that.
Ok, so technically the Futurama episode “The Luck of the Fryish” doesn’t have anything to do with St. Patrick’s Day, but it does revolve around Fry’s lucky SEVEN-leaf clover—that’s one lucky shamrock! After a run of bad luck, Fry tries to track down his good luck charm but discovers his annoying brother Yancy took it centuries ago. Long story short, a case of mistaken identity results in a heartfelt, emotional story that’s… that’s… I’m not crying, you’re crying!
Perhaps the most famous leprechaun of all time, Lucky the Leprechaun is the beleaguered mascot for Lucky Charms cereal, who is constantly hunted down by children after his marshmallowy treats. The iconic sugary cereal came about when John Holahan, a product developer at General Mills, mixed together Cheerios and bits of his favorite candy: Brach’s Circus Peanuts. Lucky the Leprechaun has been the mascot of Lucky Charms since they debuted in 1964, although he was briefly outed in ’75 and replaced by Waldo the Wizard in New England. (Instead of “magically delicious,” Waldo’s catchphrase was “ibbledebibbledelicious.”) Did you know? The pink hearts are the only marshmallows that remain from the original Lucky Charms lineup.
And now, for a traditional Gaelic toast: Sláinte!