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The Smash Mouth/Magic: The Gathering Connection

There are some unusual references in Magic: The Gathering, but this one might as well be walking on the sun.

For years, the flavor text on Magic cards had all sorts of references, from TV shows to Presidents giving the quotes. However, after phasing those out, all the references like that were transferred everywhere else. Where the theming took clever turns, pop culture references came out in the art, in some of the wording and even in the card titles. And that's where it can get a little unusual. 

Let's jump back to October 2019, a time that seems so far away yet is less than five years. Throne of Eldraine came out as the latest expansion, blending Arthurian legends and fairy tales into the art and story. And some are obvious. Pretty much every major character was an Arthur legend renaming. Old English, French, and German fairytales made up the majority of creatures, enchantments, and spells. And of course there was then Smash Mouth. Seriously, Smash Mouth. As in the band.

Well, kind of.

Right, so here is the whole path of that. The card in question is called All That Glitters.

You know.  This one:

The phrase itself comes from The Merchant of Venice, a play by William Shakespeare.

Over the years that phrase has been a part of many things in media. Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven"? It's a lyric! A line in the Lord of the Rings? Yup! Bob Marley? Neil Young? Prince? All of them used it, because admittingly, it is a pretty cool line. And in 1999, so did Smash Mouth in their song "All Star".

It's the one you are now hearing in your head right now simply because you heard the term "all star".

Tying this all together to the whole fairy tale thing is Shrek, a movie that notably made fun of fairy tales while also being one, and "All Star" being used in it.

Now, if this is a Shakespeare reference, it doesn't make much sense besides being a cool line. Now, if it is a Shrek/fairy tale reference? Total sense, or, well, at least more sense. Magic has said both are references for it, as has the Magic wiki. It was something sort of related that, with the artwork, made sense. But also, in a way, a Smash Mouth lyric made it onto a Magic card. That's not exactly something normal.

Magic has a ton of pop culture references they tie into their theming, and this is one of those unusual ones.

Evan Symon

Evan Symon is a graduate of The University of Akron and has been a working journalist ever since with works published by Cracked, GeekNifty, the Pasadena Independent, California Globe, and, of course, Magic Untapped.