Life Lessons in ‘Letterkenny,’ the Sitcom


Andrew Ulstad

If you want to see what Letterkenny looks like, driving up Dry Creek Road or Lower Green Canyon Road will give you a good idea.

Andrew Ulstad, Columnist

“Letterkenny” is a strange show. It’s both horrible and fantastic at the same time, with too much toxicity in one episode, followed by a super soft birthday party in the next and entirely too many montages throughout every season.

For anyone unfamiliar with the Canadian show, it streams in the U.S. exclusively on Hulu. “Letterkenny” revolves around a farmer named Wayne and his family and friends (lovingly referred to as “hicks”) in rural Letterkenny, Ontario facing the social problems that arise in a town of only 5,000 people.

Despite some glaring faults and questionable messages, there are gems of wisdom buried in the muck, such as:

“When a friend asks for help, ya help ’em”

Often stated as a matter of fact, sometimes in an exasperated tone but always followed by action, this is one of the hicks’ main catchphrases. It’s a good basic rule that you can hope your friends would reciprocate given the chance, and that ends up being a common theme throughout the show. 

Seemingly every season, somebody asks Wayne for help with some farm task or community project. He always accepts, and his group of friends grows season by season. 

Which leads me to my next lesson, which unfortunately doesn’t have a catchy phrase:

Relationships can change

Season one is a bit of a mixed bag. The central plot revolves around a strange obsession of Wayne being the toughest guy in Letterkenny, fighting any would-be challengers to prove it. 

There are six fights in the six-episode first season, with the sixth starting in the final few seconds of episode six. Two of those six opponents end up in Wayne’s extended friend group due to a combination of mutual respect and reciprocal favors.

I’m not going around getting in fist fights, but I still apply this mindset to my daily interactions by thinking of it a little differently. I started to actively try to give people chances to make a second or third impression, instead of allowing my first impression to shade future interactions with them.

I was surprised to find out that I could find common ground, even if just a square inch, with almost anyone.

Often that square inch and rough relationship can be found at work, which leads us to the final lesson:

“More hands make less work”

Look, this may be common knowledge for anyone who’s worked in the manual labor or service industries, but it rings true even beyond a workplace setting.

It’s really like taking the first life lesson up to 11. Instead of waiting for someone to ask for help, offer it up or just start helping. From my experience, you can both strengthen your relationships and give yourself a little mood boost while you’re at it.

“Letterkenny,” despite a somewhat mixed bag of messages, does showcase one value through every season: empathy. When you put yourself in other people’s shoes, you will not only appreciate the road they walked to get there, you may even learn from it.

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