A Brief Survey of Leap Day in Pop Culture

Leap Day isn’t necessarily a real holiday, as nobody ever closes a bank for it or sends a card to mark the occasion. Still, it only happens every four years, and that’s plenty enough reason to celebrate the day. Because of its relative novelty, February 29th has become a featured date for a number of movies, television shows, and other cultural outlets. So, we’re celebrating this non-holiday by rounding up some of our favorite examples of Leap Day in pop culture. If you can think of anything we’ve missed, let us know in the comments.

The Pirates of Penzance

February 29th plays an important role in this Gilbert and Sullivan comedy opera, in which Frederic, whose apprenticeship with the titular band of pirates can only end after his 21st birthday, realizes that his birthday falls on Leap Day and he must serve for 63 more years. This complicates his budding relationship with Mabel, but she decides to wait for him anyway, and then all the pirates (who are secretly noblemen) get married to her sisters, because that’s how operatic comedies work.