The Napoleon Dynamite Pizza Ranch Connection You Totally Forgot About

Llamas, moon boots, tetherball, Jamiroquai, and Internet chatroom girlfriends — all of these and more make up the 2004 cult classic comedy, "Napoleon Dynamite." The film details the misadventures of lanky, perpetually bored outcast Napoleon Dynamite, as he wanders through his sleepy Midwest town full of colorful oddballs like ex-football hero Uncle Rico and best friend (and future class president) Pedro. Napoleon's world is one of ligers (lions bred with tigers), daydreamed adventures, geeks, underdogs, and jocks, all wrapped up in a surreal slice of Midwestern America.

Food also plays a small role in Napoleon's world. In one scene, Napoleon smuggles tater tots out of the lunch room in his pocket, eating them in class and refusing to share his tots with other classmates. A Reddit user even noticed that the food shown at the beginning of the film, displaying the names of the actors and directors, is later eaten by a different character throughout the movie. In fact, a pub in London in 2019 screened Napoleon Dynamite for their patrons as part of a "Meals on Reels" program, where guests could enjoy a meal full of tater tots, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, nachos, and a slice of Pedro's victory cake, per Secret London.

But did you know that Napoleon Dynamite has a connection to a pizza place out in the Midwest? Could it be a special Uncle Rico-themed pizza, or does it have Napoleon's moon boots and Kip's durag on display?

Pizza Ranch gives back with a Napoleon Dynamite producer

Pizza Ranch is a name familiar to many Americans in the Midwest. Known for its buffet-style of dining, Pizza Ranch has over 212 locations across the Midwestern United States, per ScrapeHero. It's also known for the 12 Days of Pizza event every year, aided by Napoleon Dynamite producer Sean Covel.

As the story goes, Sean Covel was eating lunch with an elementary school teacher in his hometown of Edgemont, South Dakota. The teacher explained that, while the kids in her class were excited about Christmas, 12 kids weren't looking forward to it. Not because they didn't enjoy the season, but because once the school closed, they wouldn't be able to get anything to eat. Unwilling to see his fellow South Dakotans go hungry, Sean called up the managers of the local community bank and the local Pizza Ranch, all of whom quickly agreed to collaborate on what would become the food program known as the 12 Days of Pizza.

The idea behind the 12 Days of Pizza is simple, according to Pizza Ranch. Families from across Rapid City and surrounding areas can enjoy 12 days of free food, ensuring that children and parents can both enjoy a good holiday meal for the Christmas season. Sean Covel seems pretty proud of what his program has accomplished, posting on Instagram in 2018 about the massive 12,000 meals served to families in need.