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5 Lessons We’ve Learned From ‘Napoleon Dynamite’

Posted on June 11, 2014 by
Napoleon Dynamite

In June 2004, a little movie called Napoleon Dynamite became a pop culture phenomenon. Exactly 10 years later, the film’s legacy still lives on.

To us, Napoleon Dynamite defined what it is like to be a real nerd. And while we might not share his curly locks, quirky T-shirts and enviable dance moves, we’ve all certainly picked up a thing or two from this loveable geek.

From his fascination with mystical creatures to his willingness to try new things, here are five lessons we’ve learned from Napoleon Dynamite.

1. Ligers exist

Liger still from Napolean Dynamite

If it weren’t for Napoleon Dynamite, most of the world probably couldn’t have imagined the beauty that are ligers. But as a matter of fact, ligers are REAL.

A cross hybrid of a male lion and a female tiger (tigress), ligers happen to be the largest cats in the world with the average male standing at 12 ft. tall on its hind legs. An animal that often grows bigger than its parents, these creatures can weigh up to a ton and enjoy spending their time swimming.

Seeing from these facts, it’s no wonder why Napoleon loves these animals. He simply sums up why they’re so great: “It’s pretty much my favourite animal. It’s like a lion and a tiger mixed… bred for its skills in magic.”

2. The Importance of the Happy Hands Club


We can’t deny the fact that Napoleon Dynamite is a little odd, but we love that he goes by the beat of his own drum.

In the film, he’s seen as a member of a Happy Hands Club as he performs Amanda McBroom’s “The Rose” in sign language. But while he’s laughed at by the school jocks, what they don’t know is that Napoleon’s membership in the club is a very valuable investment for his future.

The Happy Hands Club is based off of a group called the Good Hands Club, a group that teaches students how to sign through music. And if Napoleon is willing to learn how to improve his communication skills through this club, then we should all be taking after him.

I personally think Napoleon is very cool for learning how to sign as it’s a very useful skill to have on your resume! What do those jocks have? Cruel jokes? Sorry, if I was the hiring manager of a company, Napoleon would be my first choice!

3. True friends will do anything to help you win a school election

A huge part of the film’s plot is Pedro’s quest to become class president. But as Napoleon’s bestie, his chances of winning were very, very slim.

Together, Napoleon and Pedro campaigned pretty hard (which included some awesome T-shirts, if I do say so myself!). But it wasn’t enough to give Pedro a lead so Napoleon risked embarrassment to help his friend during the elections by busting out an elaborate dance routine to Jamiroquai’s “Canned Heat.”

The dance turned Napoleon into a superstar in just a few minutes, and we collectively decided then and there that we wanted Napoleon to be our best friend.

4. Time Machines Don’t Work

In an ideal world, we would love to travel back in time. But as seen in Napoleon Dynamite, buying a phoney machine won’t achieve anything.

In this scene, we see Napoleon trying out a sketchy-looking time machine his brother Kip purchased online. Noting that he’s never tried it before, Napoleon decides to be the first person to test it out, and as expected, the results are cringe-worthy.

Personally, I’d never trust a gadget that requires you to connect yourself with a bunch of wires. In fact, I wouldn’t EVEN lay my hands on a machine covered in instructions made by a label maker. But if Napoleon had to learn the hard way by getting electrocuted, at least we now know that time machines will NEVER work.

5. The Importance of Chapstick 

If it weren’t for Napoleon, I wouldn’t have learned the importance of carrying Chapstick in my purse at all times. Hearing the insistence in his voice during this hilarious scene, I couldn’t help but feel a bit sorry for him. Chapped lips are among one of the many things I hate (with split ends and hangnails being some of the others), and not having some lip moisturizer can truly be a pain in the ass. Because if your “LIPS HURT REAL BAD!”, this can REALLY take a toll on your productivity.

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