DISCLAIMER: Always drink responsibly, even on St. Paddy's Day and even when playing a drinking game. Know your limits, and pick and choose your favorite rules from the lists below. Never drink and drive, and if you're not careful and wind up downing 25 Guinness while watching Leprechaun movies, you will literally die.
The unimpeachable bastion of knowledge that is Wikipedia describes St. Patrick’s Day as a “cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March… [that] is observed by the Catholic Church… and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general... and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks.”
All of this is true. But if you don’t also involve booze (preferably Irish) and leprechauns, you’re missing out. I mean, if you’re reducing a culture to a stereotype, you might as well do it right.
Luckily, many, many industrious people have found a fun way to do just that: the Leprechaun Drinking Game. But while all of the various versions add a little something to the game, no one has yet taken on the monumental – and monumentally important – task of determining which of the seven movies in the series is the best to use for the Leprechaun Drinking Game.
(I’ll wait for a second while those of you less knowledgeable about this franchise process the fact that, yes, they made seven Leprechaun horror movies… so far. Back with us? Great!)
Before we dive into this vital philosophical discussion, let’s talk about the actual game itself for a second. Since there are so many versions, it seemed helpful to compile them all together into a sort of super drinking game while cutting out certain rules that don’t fit.
So, without further ado…
WARNING: Some videos on this page are not safe for work.
How to Play the Leprechaun Drinking Game – Super Version
This is going to be half “recipe” and half list of rules, so heed Sam Jackson’s sage advice and hold on to your butts.
What You Need to Play
- Contestants 21 years of age or older (note the plural; it is not recommended to play by yourself)
- A hefty supply of your favorite Irish beer (Guinness, Harp, Murphy’s, Smithwick’s)
- Several bottles of Irish liquor (Bailey’s, Bushmills, Jameson)
- Supplies for various Irish whiskey drinks (your choice)
- Permission to crash at the host’s place (using a DD seems cruel because they’ll have to sit through a Leprechaun movie sober)
- The most drink-worthy Leprechaun movie
Rules of the Game
Sip Your Drink Every Time…
- The leprechaun rhymes
- The leprechaun says “me” instead of “my”
- The leprechaun talks about his “damn gold”
- The leprechaun says someone’s luck has run out
- The leprechaun points to make someone fall down
- The leprechaun talks using someone else’s voice
- The leprechaun dances
- Anyone says “God bless you”
- Anyone says “leprechaun”
- Anyone says “shoe” or “shoes”
- Anyone goes up or down stairs
- Anyone is tricked
- Anyone drinks in the movie
- A four-leaf clover appears
- A rainbow appears
- Gold appears
- Green, glowing magic appears
Finish Your Drink (or Take a Shot) Every Time…
- The leprechaun scratches or bites someone
- The leprechaun shines shoes
- Anyone has a wish granted
- A soundtrack song refers to “luck”
- Anyone dies
Determining the Most Drink-Worthy Leprechaun Movie
How exactly does one decide which movie in the vaunted Leprechaun series is the best one to watch for a drinking game? With seven classic films to choose from, it’s not a small task, which is why my first move was to eliminate movies based on specific criteria that I completely made up but feel are valid.
1. It has to have Warwick Davis. Enough said.
2. No weed. I know, I know. But this is St. Paddy’s, and the point is to drink, not smoke up. Besides, you can save those movies for April 20th or something.
Following just these two simple rules removes three movies: Leprechaun: Origins, Leprechaun in the Hood, and Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood. That leaves the first four movies, and it’s where this starts to get hard.
Let’s get something out of the way first: none of these films are what an objective person would call “good.” Ridiculous? Fun? Entertaining? Crazy? Sure, at times. But definitely not good. I want to clarify that because I’m definitely not trying to pick the “best” Leprechaun movie. I don’t even know if I could.
So what we’re left with is kind of what you want from a St. Patrick’s Day drinking game movie. For me, it’s a mix of absolute ridiculousness combined with at least an attempt to include some bits of Irishness, folklore (even if it’s mostly made up), and holiday revelry.
Leprechaun 4: In Space
In Space is probably the craziest, featuring the leprechaun wielding a light saber, emerging from a man’s penis and, of course, appearing in space for no apparent reason. Not bad for a drinking game in general, but it doesn’t really capture the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day – and yes, I’m serious.
Leprechaun 3’s tagline is, “The third time’s the charm.” Just for that, it earns points. It also doesn’t hurt that the story takes the titular bad guy to Vegas and ups the ante on gross, creative deaths. Particularly amusing is when he grants people’s wishes in unexpected, horrifying ways. Again, though, it just doesn’t feel like it represents the holiday very well, and if a night of debaucherous drinking should do anything, it’s that.
Leprechaun 2 takes the series in a new direction – tragic romance! Okay, not exactly, but he does kidnap and marry a woman because she’s very distantly related to his beloved. It’s mostly pretty awful, but it does have the amazing bar scene above that not only features drunk revelers shaming a little person into guzzling liquor, but a group led by Tony Cox cheering him on by chanting “One of us! One of us!” Also, they’re all decked out in St. Paddy’s Day gear, so points for that.
But none of the sequels can compare to the original Leprechaun in terms of sheer drinkability – at least as it relates to the holiday. Not only will you be doing a whole lot of clover-related guzzling while you enjoy the story’s half-assed devotion to Irish folklore, this movie offers the fun of seeing a young Jennifer Aniston slumming it, features the classic line “I’m a leprechaun,” and, of course, has the above wheelchair chase. Could it have really ever been anything else?
For the full St. Paddy’s Day experience, I suggest watching the first movie and then fast-forwarding to the aforementioned bar scene in Leprechaun 2 for a “last call” of sorts. If anyone is still standing at that point, this one scene should tell you who can really hold their liquor (besides Warwick Davis, of course).
But I’m just one man – and a man that a lot of people disagree with at that. Which is why I offer a solution bound to please anyone and truly appeal to the completists out there: get all of the Leprechaun movies, start at the beginning, and see how far you can get.
It’s also why – as you may have noticed – there are drinking opportunities in the rules above that don’t apply to the first film. Mark them off as you go through the movies and see how many you have to watch before you can complete the list.
If the drinking doesn’t do you in, the films surely will. But at least you won’t go out like these guys:
What other movies make for good St. Paddy’s Day drinking games? (My vote is for Darby O’Gill and the Little People, but that’s a totally different post.)
Josh Weiss-Roessler worked in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles for almost a decade, and has written about it for even longer. His work has appeared on Tubefilter, PinkRaygun, Tor.com, and more. In his "real" job as co-owner of WR Writing, he helps all kinds of businesses create useful and relevant content that enables them to connect with people and just plain be more awesome.