Why This Was The Best Disney Channel Original Movie, Ever

Photo: Courtesy of Disney.
Every '90s kid's favorite St. Patrick's Day flick, The Luck of the Irish, turns 15 this year. And a lot has happened since the story of Kyle, the middle school half-leprechaun, first premiered. Ryan Merriman (Kyle) has become a Pretty Little Liars villain. Timothy Omundson (the evil-yet-graceful leprechaun) is now a singing (former) villain on Galavant. And the film itself has emerged from the heap of Disney Channel Original Movies as one of the best of all time. Yes, it's even better than Halloweentown and Gotta Kick It Up! Obviously.

As we follow Kyle on a journey to find his heritage and, later, stop his hair from becoming the kind of neon orange that was actually in style with guys at my middle school, the corny jokes land, the sight gags are properly ridiculous, and there's even an important lesson or two. It's definitely worth a rewatch this St. Patrick's Day. I mean, it's basically this or Leprechaun.
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Photo: Disney-ABC Domestic Television.

Corned beef and cabbage is used as a weapon.

During a tense car chase, many villains would throw weapons, or even some henchmen, at the car behind him. But this particular bad guy decided to go with the dangerous St. Patrick's Day potluck special.
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Photo: Disney-ABC Domestic Television.
You can read it as a metaphor for white male privilege.

Hear me out. A white guy is given a magical talisman at birth which makes him "lucky," meaning things that other people work hard for seem to just come to him. A woman of color who's working tirelessly to be a top student calls him on it and he gets angry and defensive. Yes, the whole thing falls apart when he learns "luck is inside him" and the cast sings "This Land Is Your Land." But for a while there, they were really getting at something.
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Photo: Disney-ABC Domestic Television.
The running gag has a pretty great payoff.

Throughout the beginning of the film, Kyle's parents are understandably cagey about revealing his mother's heritage, because of the whole mythical creature thing. But they're also reluctant to tell him where his father's family is originally from, insisting over and over, "We're from Cleveland." So the wordplay really lands when he tricks the evil Leprechaun to spend eternity not in Éire, Irish for Ireland, but Erie, a.k.a. the great lake that Cleveland borders.
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Photo: Disney-ABC Domestic Television.
According to the film, the first sign you're turning into a leprechaun is untamable hair.

Leprechauns have no time or patience for hair ties.
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Photo: Disney-ABC Domestic Television.
It delivers an Irish oppression history lesson without forgetting they didn't have it the worst.

The movie highlights, multiple times, the struggles that Irish immigrants faced when they came to America. But during one speech about the hardworking immigrants, Kyle's bestie, Russell, rightly points out, "At least they got paid."
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Photo: Courtesy of emmagoodalls.
This happened.

Some kind of unseen, magical force decided adding a breakdance move could win you a step dance competition.