Known for protecting pots of gold, gliding down rainbows, and creating some mischief in general, leprechauns are out in force on Saint Patrick’s Day. Donning a red beard complemented by a green suit and black buckled shoes the omnipresent, round-faced little people are featured on shirts, cereal boxes, in films, books, and movies. There’s even a Leprechaun museum in Ireland.
Through an arduous process we have chosen our ten favorite leprechauns here at IrishCentral.
We would like to apologize to those who did make this year’s list and beg of them not to cast an evil spell on us.
1. The Leprechaun from the Leprechaun movies
Portrayed by the famous little man Warrick Davis (Return of the Jedi, Willow, Labyrinth), now featured on Ricky Gervais’s hit HBO show Life’s Too Short, this evil and menacing leprechaun teaches those a deadly lesson who dare take his pot of gold.
He wreaks havoc on all of those who have crossed him including Jenifer Aniston who appeared in the original Leprechaun film pre-Friends. Due to his overwhelming popularity the film is part of a six film franchise that has given us the classics such as Leprechaun in the Hood and Leprechaun: Back to the Hood.
2. Lucky, the Lucky Charms Leprechaun
Lucky has been the mascot of the General Mills breakfast cereal Lucky Charms since its inception in 1964. The greedy Leprechaun is very protective of his marshallowy pink hearts, purple moons, orange stars, green clovers, blue diamonds, and purple horshoes and is loathe to share with starving children. They are so coveted for being “magically delicious” according to the brand’s jingle.
3. The Boston Celtic leprechaun
Also known as “Lucky the leprechaun”, not be confused with his cousin of the cereal fame, has acted as a good luck charm for a team that has won 17 NBA world championships. This insignia was actually designed by the legendary coach Red Aurbach’s brother, Zang, in the 1950s. This mascot is known for his golden matching hat, bowtie, and vest festooned with green shamrocks and incredible leaping ability. Due to the tough economy the Leprechaun was axed back in 2009 and is apparently has since been collecting gold coins from the state.
4. The Notre Dame Leprechaun
This leprechaun in a fighting stance with its dukes up is a proper mascot for a team named the Fighting Irish. Appointed as the official mascot in 1965, a human leprechaun leads the team’s marching bands at football games and the student cheering sections as a member of the cheer squad. It is no easy chore to be a leprechaun at Notre Dame as grueling try outs involve mastering the Notre Dame “jig," completing 50 pushups and handstands.
5. The Crichton Leprechaun
This fairy is indigenous to the region of Alabama and is believed to only come out at night. It has terrorized the community. So fast and gifted at shape shifting is he, that no recorded evidence exists of this Irishman. Being a southern Leprechaun (scientific name Leprchaunius Hickis) he is most likely wearing a green wife beater and carrying a jug of poteen marked with three Xs on it. Only a sketch of the head exists.
6. Brian Connors, Darby O’Gill and the Little People
Brian Connors, played by the Irish actor Jimmy O’Dea, is the Leprechaun king of “the little people” (though Leprechans prefer “height challenged”) in the this Technicolor Disney family classic. The film details the encounters between the retired laborer Darby and the feisty Brian Connors. The most famous and endearing scene is of Darby playing “The Fox Chase” on the king’s Stradivarius violin to trick the leprechauns into dancing and riding horses while letting himself free from their clutches in his quest to capture the king and regain his three wishes.
7. Hornswoggle, WWE
This grappling leprechaun that give the Fighting Irish mascot a good fight is a wrestling fixture in the WWE. In spite of his diminutive size this man is a force to be reckoned with especially with his deathly finishing move: the dreaded “tad pole splash.” He holds the recognition of being the WWE’s last cruiserweight champion.
8. Og, Finnans Rainbow (1968)
This buckled shoe-wearing fairy is featured in the film adaptation of the musical directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Fred Astaire and Petula Clark. The leprechaun Og (Tommy Steele) attempts to retrieve a pot of gold taken from him by the film’s namesake or risk becoming human if failing to do so. After falling in love with a woman, he realizes maybe being a leprechaun isn’t all what it’s cracked up to be. He certainly will not miss those uncomfortable shoes and stressing everyday about a pot of gold.
Finian's Rainbow 4 by AlanaFenway
9. Seamus Moldon, The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns (1999)
This modern day interpretation of the mythical figure by Colm Meaney is a made for TV Hallmark film. Seamus the leprechaun opens up the magical world of the wee ones to an American businessmen who probably wants them to sell cereal. This instant classic features a gripping Romeo and Juliet-esque fued between the fairies and the leprechauns. Watch those shilelaghs fly and check that poteen for poison.
10. Wee Man, Jackass
Yes, that Wee Man from Jackass fame. He meets many of the Leprechaun criteria. Is he small? Check. Does he wear the requisite Leprechaun duds? Check. Does he have a pot of gold? He has even made an appearance at the Leprechaun museum. Yes, he even has leprechaun friends.