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Film / Leprechaun

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"Try as they will, and try as they might, who steals me gold won't live through the night."

"Your luck just ran out."
— Original poster tagline

Leprechaun is a 1993 horror-comedy film starring Warwick Davis as the titular character who although not named in the movies is given the off-screen name "Lubdan". A family moves into a rural house and discovers not only a pot of gold, but the rightful owner. The leprechaun will kill any who touches his gold, but has a weakness to wrought iron and four-leaf clovers, which cancel out his magic. Despite negative reviews, the film went on to spawn a franchise, currently consisting of seven films.

In the second film, the leprechaun resurfaces in L.A. and tries to force a woman to be his bride while her boyfriend tries to stop him. In the third film, the title creature is awakened in Las Vegas, and sets out to reclaim his gold. For the third film, new "rules" were added: if you get bitten by a leprechaun, unless you kill them, you will turn into one, and each leprechaun has a "lucky" gold piece, that will grant whoever holds it one wish, even though this isn't part of lore in any way.


The fourth film is creatively titled Leprechaun 4: In Space. In the future, a team of Space Marines are searching for an alien princess, whom the leprechaun intends to make his bride. The more gold a leprechaun has, the more powerful his magic is, and combining her wealth with his own will make him the most powerful being in the galaxy.

Leprechaun in the Hood takes place sometime between the third and fourth films, with the action moved back to L.A. Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood is an indirect sequel to the previous film, but recycles the plot of the third film. It was also the last film to star Davis in the title role. The Hood films were the only other entries of the entire franchise besides the original to receive a Tomatometer score higher than 0%.

In 2014, Lionsgate and WWE Films released a Darker and Edgier reboot, Leprechaun: Origins, starring Dylan Postl as the creature. An eighth film, Leprechaun Returns, a Syfy original film and a direct sequel to the original film that takes place 25 years later, was released digitally and on demand in December 2018. Ozzie from the first movie made a return while strong backlash was made out by fans who criticized the absence of Warwick Davis. Davis then revealed that rather than being denied the chance to make a comeback, he chose not to reprise his role as Lubdan for the SyFy reboot because he felt now is not the time to make violent movies while he has children.


Speaking of Syfy, Leprechaun's Revenge, which was originally titled Red Clover, has no relation to the franchise.


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    Series-wide tropes 
  • Affably Evil: The leprechaun seldom kills those that don't steal his gold, insult him, get in his way, or do anything else to anger him. In the first and fifth films he is willing to spare those that return his gold. When he first meets Ozzie in the original film, he offers to shine his shoes for him. In Back 2 Tha Hood, he seems to get along with a stoner who lets him smoke from his bong... until he finds out that the stoner has one of his gold coins.
  • Agony of the Feet: Due to his short stature, Leprechaun usually goes for the legs.
  • Alien Blood: Leprechaun bleeds green.
  • And I Must Scream: This happens to the Leprechaun in nearly all of the movies.
  • Antagonist Title
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In The Hood is the only entry where he survives and gets everything he wants.
  • Beat It by Compulsion: Leprechaun is compelled to shine all the dirty shoes he comes across.
  • Berserk Button: Do not steal the Leprechaun's gold. He will find you.
  • Big Bad: Lubdan, a sadistic leprechaun seeking his gold.
  • Black Comedy: The films aren't strictly horror. Hell, the Leprechaun chases people on roller skates, wheel chairs and tricycles, performs a rap number and kills one person with a po-go stick.
  • Catchphrase:
    "I want me gold!" or "I need me gold!"
    "I'm a Leprechaun!" or "Why I'm a Leprechaun!"
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Leprechaun's Revenge was advertised as a new movie in this series despite not being related at all.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Warwick Davis is having the time of his life hamming it up as the Leprechaun.
  • Evil Laugh: Lep has a distinctive "haahaha" -laugh.
  • The Fair Folk: The leprechaun is the slasher movie version of this.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The leprechaun goes back and forth between this and just Affably Evil. At one point in In The Hood, he acts friendly to someone for a while before tearing their finger off. While he does seem genuinely affable at times, the leprechaun also as a habit of pretending to be nice before attacking his victims. It depends on his mood.
  • Flanderization: While the original movie's dosed with black humor, comedy really overtakes the horror aspect as the series goes along.
  • Genre Savvy: A few humans know enough about the folklore of leprechauns to actually use them against him, but often they're not savvy enough to kill him.
  • Immortality: The Leprechaun does not age, has been trapped for years without food or water and survived, usually shrugs off attacks undamaged or heals quickly, and has been blown to pieces and quickly reformed. Generally, the only ways to kill him are either shoving cast iron into him or shooting him with a four-leaf clover.
    • He always comes back to life anyway, but it might not be the same leprechaun or even the same continuity.
  • Implacable Man: The Leprechaun, bordering on The Juggernaut in Back 2 tha Hood.
  • Jackass Genie: The Leprechaun's preferred style of granting wishes.
  • Joker Immunity: Depending on whether or not you consider the Leprechaun the same creature in each film.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Wrought iron and the four-leafed clovers are the weakness for the Leprechaun.
  • Laughably Evil: One of the reasons the franchise is popular is because of how hilarious Lubdan the Leprechaun is as a villain.
  • Left Hanging: The Leprechaun comic series produced by a company called Bluewater Productions was seemingly cancelled after four issues, and just as it was getting good.
  • Neutral Female: In the first movie's final battle.
  • Numbered Sequels: Stopped after the fourth film.
  • Oddball in the Series: Granted, all films have different continuities, but Leprechaun 4: In Space in particular stands out, because 1) It is the only film set in the future and not on Earth.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Gradually. There's Leprechaun, followed by Leprechaun 2 and Leprechaun 3, then introducing subtitles with Leprechaun 4: In Space, followed by dropping the number for Leprechaun: In The Hood and ending with Leprechaun: Back 2 Da Hood by mimicking 2 Fast 2 Furious's ridiculous title.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Leprechaun is fond of rhyming. The fourth movie is the only installment where he doesn't do any.
  • Self-Plagiarism: Director of the first film (and writer of every entry in the series) Mark Jones made Rumpelstiltskin in 1995, which is another horror film with an evil wish granting dwarf. He seems to have thing for mini-monster movies, since he also made one about a Demonic Dummy called Triloquist
  • Series Continuity Error: The biggest issue is regarding how the Leprechaun is awakened as it changes from movie to movie. His age is also inconsistent.
    • How he's killed or defeated is different each film. However, surprisingly, the same weapons that work on him in one film normally continue to work in another. Cast iron is among the most often used.
    • There IS of course the theory that it's not the same Leprechaun in each film and they just all look the same, though.
      • Which in itself would be another continuity error. Back 2 The Hood confirms there are other leprechauns but states that only one remained in this world.
    • The second movie states that the leperchaun cannot kill with his treasure. The third film has him killing a man with one of his coins.
  • Super OCD: The Leprechaun has a strange compulsion to shine any shoes that he sees. Even when he's trying to attack/kill people, he still takes the time to polish shoes.
  • Thematic Series: There isn't any connecting thread to the movies beyond the leprechaun. They're all their own self contained stories.
  • Undercrank: Used in the first film to make it seem that leprechaun is going faster.

    Leprechaun (1993) 
  • An Axe to Grind: When leprechaun catches Nathan on a beartrap in the first film, he attempts to attack him with an axe.
  • Bland-Name Product: Lucky Clovers cereal. Making it even more obvious is that they refer to Lucky Charms in the dialog: "Fuck you, Lucky Charms".
  • Bottomless Magazines: Subverted. When O'Grady shoots at the Leprechaun with a revolver, he reloads after just two shots.
  • Bullet Time: Used briefly in the pogo stick scene.
  • Bullying a Dragon: A highway cop starts being an asshole to the Leprechaun. Lubdan lacerates his face, steals his gun and ultimately snaps his neck.
  • The Cameo: Special effects artist Gabriel Bartalos appears as a diner patron.
  • Cassandra Truth: Simple guy he is, nobody believes Ozzie when he says that there's a leprechaun in the basement and how it was going to shine his shoes.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Subverted with the cop's gun in the first film.
    • Also played straight with Alex's slingshot
    • The Leprechaun's eagerness to shine shoes comes in handy when the gang needed to distract him.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: How our protagonists finally find the four-leafed clover in the first film.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Caving in a poor sod's chest with a pogo stick, anyone?
  • Death by Falling Over: Mrs. O'Grady's death.
  • Dutch Angle: Used in the first movie when Tori goes to the retirement home.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The leprechaun is seemingly destroyed by a four-leaf clover, and his body buried in a well, but at the end his disembodied voice vowing to return and find his gold.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: True to the legends, a rainbow leads to the leprechaun's pot of gold.
  • Eye Scream: Tori pokes leprechaun's right eye out in the first film. Then he gouges up a spare from a corpse.
  • Fanservice: Some relatively tame fanservice occurs in the original - Tori spends the whole film in short shorts, and a chase scene filmed from The Leprechaun's point of view means we get an extended look at her legs and rear end as she runs.
  • Filling the Silence: When Alex sets the bear trap for the leprechaun in the first movie, voice over of him saying "how he's going to get him" is added
  • Fright Deathtrap: Used against Dan O'Grady's wife.
  • Hard-to-Light Fire: In the prologue, Dan O'Grady tries to burn the leprechaun alive inside its crate, but the match goes out and he’s incapacitated by a Hollywood Heart Attack before he can light another.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Made painfully obvious in the first movie, when Nathan brings a flashlight outside.
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: Dan O'Grady suffers one just before he's going to get rid of the leprechaun.
  • I'm Melting!: Leprechaun starts to melt when he swallows the four-leafed clover.
  • Impact Silhouette: The natural result of a leprechaun on roller skates colliding with a white picket fence in the first film.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: Leprechaun is fond of these in the first film.
  • Neck Snap: Happens to both Mrs. O'Grady and Deputy Tripet.
  • No Peripheral Vision: When Tori goes to the basement looking for Nathan, both them miss each other despite the small space.
  • One-Word Title: Leprechaun
  • Outside Ride: The Leprechaun attempts it in the first movie, but he can't quite hold on.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Fuck you, Lucky Charms!"
  • Psychopathic Manchild: The leprechaun from the original movie.
  • Sequel Hook: Leprechaun's declaration at the end of the first film.
    "I'll not rest till I have me gold. Curse this well that me soul shall dwell, till I find me magic that breaks me spell!"
    • And it did get sequels but they weren't connected to the first movie or each other for that matter.
    • Finally, 25 years later he escaped the well, and goes after Tori's daughter.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Tori is the only female character in the group.
  • Take That!: In the first film, the Leprechaun tries a knock-off of Lucky Charms and promptly spits it out.
  • Teleportation Spam: Done when the leprechaun harasses a cop in the forest.