'Gosh!' Cult comedy 'Napoleon Dynamite' turns 15

In this May 3, 2019, photo, from left to right, Aaron Ruell (Kip), Shondrella Avery (LaFawnduh), Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite), Emily Dunn (Trisha) and Efren Ramirez (Pedro) pose during a photo-op as they celebrate the 15th anniversary of the cult classic comedy "Napoleon Dynamite," in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

'Napoleon Dynamite' _ the cult hit that popularized 'Vote for Pedro' T-shirts and several geeky catchphrases_ turns 15

SALT LAKE CITY — The cult comedy Napoleon Dynamite turns 15 years old this month, a milestone for a movie that became an early breakaway hit in today's era of pop-culture geek celebration.

The movie that created the "Vote for Pedro" T-shirt and made Napoleon's disgusted exclamation of "gosh!" into a 2004 catchphrase is celebrating its anniversary this month.

Made for just $400,000, it would ultimately gross over $46 million as a word-of-mouth hit before Twitter and Facebook took off.

The movie told the story of its socially awkward title character, who ultimately triumphed because of his quirks rather than in spite of them. Its success added to a rising profile for unapologetic nerds just before hits like "The Big Bang Theory" ushered in a new era of geek glory.

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