We’re Celebrating Shark Week With Our Favorite Sharks in Pop Culture
The best time of the year is here: Shark Week. To kick off the week all about one of our favorite sea creatures (who don’t deserve their bad rep), we rounded up famous sharks that have swum their way into our hearts—and the cultural lexicon.
Best known for overshadowing Katy Perry’s performance at the Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show in 2015 with his not-so-stellar dance moves, Left Shark has become a celebrity—and meme—in his own right.
Bruce, Finding Nemo
One of the many comedic left turns of the hilariously heartwarming Finding Nemo, this terrifying Australian shark turns out to be an earnest vegetarian, proudly touting the now-famous motto, “Fish are friends, not food.”
Steven Spielberg’s 1975 juggernaut, based on Peter Benchley’s 1974 novel, marked a turning point in the film industry when it became the first summer blockbuster—and reminded us that we might want to spring for a bigger boat. Affectionately nicknamed “Bruce,” the movie’s great-white villain thrilled audiences and made them think twice about going to the beach.
Lenny, Shark Tale
Poor Lenny just wants be a vegetarian—no easy task in the macho shark world of Reef City. Thankfully Oscar, a smooth-talking, big-dreaming fish (voiced by Will Smith) teams up with the mild-mannered shark to solve both of their problems in the mobster-reef world. Be sure to catch Lenny and Oscar’s dance-off to Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliot’s rendition of “Car Wash” at the end.
Viktor Krum, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
International Quidditch superstar Viktor Krum, introduced in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, travels from Bulgaria to Hogwarts to compete against Harry in the Triwizard Tournament, where he rescues Hermione during the Second Task—by transfiguring half of his body into a shark.
Land Shark, Saturday Night Live
The “cleverest of all sharks,” this silly season one Saturday Night Live character has popped up multiple times over the years and was initially created in response to the shark hysteria following Jaws. Always be suspicious of a random candygram knocking at your door!
This 2013 sleeper hit from the Syfy channel has cemented its status as a cult-classic movie—and spawned five sequels. Tara Reid, Ian Ziering, and John Heard must race against time to protect Los Angeles from—you guessed it—a tornado full of sharks, the product of an unruly cyclone. Plausible? No (not that we’re complaining). Entertaining? Absolutely.
The Sharks, West Side Story
Get your snapping fingers ready—the “Sharks,” a Puerto Rican gang and rival of the white “Jets” gang, dance and rumble their way through Stephen Sondheim’s Upper West Side-set update of Romeo and Juliet.
Sharks with Laser Beams Attached to Their Heads, Austin Powers
Ah, bureaucracy—don’t you hate it when layers of red tape prevent you from putting laser beams on the head of sharks for your diabolical plan to stop the groovy Austin Powers? Oh well, thankfully your “cycloptic colleague” can snag a few ill-tempered sea bass so business may go on.