Ever wonder where those feisty, happy-go-lucky lads came from?
Some believe tales of leprechauns date back centuries in Ireland. The most common stories involve an Irishman finding a spunky leprechaun who brags about his gold. Hearing of his wealth, the man seeks the gold, but does not know where to find it.
More often than not, the leprechaun tricks the man by making him look away, which is when he can finally escape. As legend has it, you can cajole the location of the hidden pot of gold if you keep eye contact because under an intense stare, they are magically bound to tell the truth.
We’ve had plenty of leprechaun sightings in pop culture – some are the sprite-like figures of the past, while others are just plain mean.
Have a look at our slideshow to find if you’ve been lucky enough to remember them all — and don’t miss the Clover Rating to find out which ones charm and which ones harm.
Claim to Fame: Probably the most recognizable leprechaun in pop culture - Lucky lives on the cover of the General Mills cereal box, Lucky Charms.
With his cute Irish accent and mischievous charm - this is one leprechaun who's goofy and spunky. Plus, he peddles magically delicious cereal, the perfect, albeit sugary, St. Patty's Day breakfast treat. We gave him a 3 out of 4 clover rating, for having timeless green accessories, a sweet disposition and all of his red hair even though he is well over 40.
Photo Credit: General Mills
Name: The Leprechaun or The Fighting Irish
Claim to Fame: Mascot for Notre Dame
There's nothing like a fist full of feisty. And, this is one leprechaun with plenty of it. We gave this Irish team player a 4 out of 4 clover rating, because there's nothing like a spirited little fella who brings luck to his favorite team and changes the school's mascot from tame (the mascot used to be Irish Terriers), to national fame, as a symbol of grit, determination and tenacity. It's no wonder the dean switched the mascot and dubbed Notre Dame the Fighting Irish in 1927.
Photo Credit: Notre Dame Athletics
Name: Leprechaun Bully
Claim to Fame: The Simpsons
All's fun and games until someone does a jig on your noggin. Remember the St. Patrick's Day episode of the Simpsons? We do. This singing and dancing leprechaun started a festive party at the Simpsons house on Evergreen Terrace, but then picked a fight with Santa's Little Helper. And while singing and dancing are fine, no one bites Santa's Little Helper. Despite his jaunty little dance and funny voice, this leprechaun didn't charm us.
Name: Leprechaun King Brian Connors
Claim to Fame: Ruled the Leprechaun Kingdom in Darby O'Gill and the Little People
As one of the few old films with a politically correct title, we'll give the King of the Leprechauns a two Clover Rating. He's a manipulative elf-sized sprite, trying to keep Darby O'Gill in his kingdom, but we'll excuse his big time kidnapping because of his miniature old time clothes. Plus, we kind of like his bling and all the king's tiny horses.
Photo Credit: Disney
Name: The Leprechaun
Claim to Fame: The Leprechaun Horror Films (1-6)
Though this murderous leprechaun is one of the first pop culture examples we could think of - we're not that fond of his height complex and greed. Intense blood lust aside, we do appreciate this shorty's affinity for sparkling shoes and his commitment to that buckled hat.
Photo Credit: IMDB
Claim to Fame: Professional Wrestling for WWE
Being tough doesn't necessarily mean you have to be as tall as The Rock. Dylan Postl wrestles as Hornswoggle, a leprechaun with attitude who will cheat, hoodwink, swindle or hoax competitors in the ring. Hornswoggle is the first little person to win a World Wrestling Entertainment title (he won the Cruiserweight Championship in 2007). He is also the youngest (21-years-old at the time), shortest and lightest competitor to win.
Photo Credit: WWE
Name: Leprechauns or "Wee People"
Claim to Fame: Starting the whole leprechaun legend.
Gold Coin Rating:
Without the myth, there would be no legend of leprechauns and the joy that they bring - from the discovery of a shamrock - to the hidden pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Irish tales about fairies are filled with descriptions of these crafty creatures who look like 3-foot-tall old men.
In many stories the leprechauns are smart and always manage to hold on to their gold. Some say these stories of fantastical trickery date back centuries. Depictions in art and mythology range from images of little men in buckled shoes and hats working as shoe cobblers, to more gremlin-like figures.
So there you have it -- the low-down on the legendary creature that might just give you the luck of the Irish this St. Patty's day.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org