For the record, the purple people eater ate, oddly enough, purple people. The record being by Sheb Wooley and making the top 40 in 1958. It was also a film, board game and a game for the BBC microcomputer.

Useless fact about the film: Thora Birch (also in American Beauty) made her film debut in The Purple People Eater at the age of 6.

One of the (many) drinks I had on my 21st birthday. I had no idea it was so complicated.


Mix the correct amounts of all the liquors that have a measurement, and a splash each of all the ones that don't. Shake with ice until everything is nice and purple and then strain into a shot glass. Happy Birthday!

Immortalized for geeks via copious usage as a NetHack creature mis-identifier. Creatures would be mis-identified when your character was in "Hallucination" status (most commonly incurred by quaffing a potion of hallucination, or encountering an exploding black light), and unable to tell what a creature really was. The usual message upon seeing a creature (friendly or not) would identify the creature and its action like so:

"The water nymph tries to seduce you!"

This would be replaced by:

"The one-eyed, one-horned flyin' purple people eater tries to seduce you!"

The creature mis-identification would change every instance of an action being observed (i.e., almost every turn), but the one-eyed, one-horned flyin' purple people eater was not only the longest mis-identifier, it was also one of the few fictional ones (most mis-identifiers would display random names of actual in-game creatures). That combination made it easy for the one-eyed, one-horned flyin' purple people eater to lodge in the mind of the player.
The following is intended to be an earplay.

Operator: 911. What is the nature of your emergency?

Alfred: The-there’s something in my house.

Operator: Can you be more specific?

Alfred: There’s something in my house, and I want it gone!

Operator: Alright, sir. Could you tell me your name?

Alfred: My name is Alfred Whinstein, and I live at 562 Diego St.

Operator: Alfred, do you need police assistance?

Alfred: Yes! Police! Yes! Anything!

Operator: Are you in danger?

Alfred: Yes! Damnit, send someone over here now!

Operator: Alright, Alfred, I’m going to need you to speak calmly so I can get the information to police dispatch. Someone is on their way, but I need you to stay on the line and give me information, alright?

Alfred: Yes…alright.

Operator: Could you describe the thing?

Alfred: Well, it’s got one giant eye, and a big horn in the middle of it’s head.

Operator: …Is it purple?

Alfred: I-I think…I’m not sure. I just came home, and it was there. I’m hiding in the bathroom.

Operator: Are you sure it’s still there?

Alfred: Yes, I can here its wings flapping outside the door.

Operator: Alright, Alfred. I’m afraid it’s a One-eyed, One-horned, Flying, Purple People Eater.

Alfred: A what?

Operator: A Purple People Eater.

Alfred: Seriously?

Operator: I’m afraid so.

Alfred: What do I do?

Operator: I’m sorry, there’s not much you can do. I’m recalling the police now.

Alfred: Wait, what? Why?

Operator: If I send anyone over the Purple People Eater would eat them. I’m sorry.

Alfred: That’s ridiculous! Send someone over!

Operator: I’m sorry, it’s against policy. I can’t send emergency personnel anywhere they are likely to be eaten. You’ll have to deal with it yourself.

Alfred: Alright, what do I do?

Operator: Where is the PPE now?

Alfred: In my bedroom.

Operator: Do you know how it got there?

Alfred: No. I just came home, and there it was looking at my CD collection. When I yelled, it chased me into the bathroom.

Operator: Okay, that’s not good. It knows you’re there…is there a window in your bedroom?

Alfred: No.

Operator: Did you close your front door when you came home?

Alfred: Yes…Can’t I just kill it? Like with bug spray or something?

Operator: I’m sorry, but no. Too many people have tried and failed. It can’t be stopped.

Alfred: Are you sure you can’t send anyone to help?

Operator: I’m sure. Right now we need to focus on containing the PPE so that it doesn’t get out and kill anyone else.

Alfred: Well, what about me?

Operator: I’m sorry. If you try to leave it will chase you. You are just going to have to stay home, and take one for the team.

Alfred: Alright. I’ll do what I can.

Operator: God speed, Alfred Whinstein.

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