Where does the phrase "holy crap on a cracker" come from?

  • Sounds awfully like a sanitized version of "shit on a shingle"...
    – user730
    Commented Dec 12, 2010 at 5:27
  • @J. M.: Now you've made me want some creamed chipped beef on toast.
    – Jon Purdy
    Commented Dec 13, 2010 at 2:35
  • hrwiki.org/wiki/Crap.
    – JeffSahol
    Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 19:52
  • LOL, never even heard it, but that's funny. Commented May 24, 2013 at 2:30

6 Answers 6


The only result in Google Books is 2006's Brothers and Sons: An Epic Comedy Adventure by Dana Myrick:

"Holy crap on a cracker! That paint job would cost three or four thousand dollars in the city,” exclaimed John loudly. When John saw the expression on James's face, he knew he had said too much. “But, of course, they rip people off in the city, and you're not like that, are you Gator?" said John.

In Google Groups there's an older result from Jul 13, 2001 in by John in rec.music.phish:

Holy crap on a cracker!! I wish I could go!

There's a dozen "crap on a cracker" results, the oldest is apparently from 1992's Usher's Passing by Robert R. McCammon but there's no preview to confirm. The next is 1996's The Basement by Bari Wood:

"I'd say it was crap on a cracker, Reed. But what did happen to those bees?"

The oldest "Holy * on a cracker" from Google Groups is "Holy hell on a cracker!" from Oct 12 2000 in alt.roundtable.

The related "Jesus Christ on a cracker" can be found in 1993's Save me, Joe Louis by Madison Smartt Bell:

"Jesus Christ on a cracker," Macrae said. "You about killed me there."

Finally, as a bonus, here's what holy crap on a cracker looks like.


Probably not the answer you're looking for but possibly still relevant/interesting.

If we can believe Wiktionary, it says:

Emphatic form of holy crap.

Going with that...

  1. Using holy as an expletive was answered here.

  2. The word crap according to dictionary.com:

    Sense of "rubbish, nonsense" also first recorded 1898

  3. And finally, cracker is quite an old English word (1400s?).

So I'd suspect sometime in the early 1900s, as crap started to pick up momentum as the new shi*, one or more creative souls shouted it in excitement and it thereafter spread. ;)


This is pure speculation, but I would guess it came from the expression "Christ on a cracker!", which I've heard many times in my life. This could refer symbolically to Christian communion, where the wafer is said to literally become "the body of Christ".


Instinctively, it makes me think of something horrible being served or given in an otherwise palatable package. Perhaps something that should have been good (the cracker) is then totally spoiled by something unforeseen or unwanted (the holy crap).


"Crap on a cracker" is a name for the dish "chipped beef on toast", which was commonly served to people in the armed services, and much disliked. Also called "shit on a shingle".

  • 2
    Please turn off your cruise control for cool. And a reference or two would be nice. Thanks.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Oct 7, 2012 at 1:57
  • Yes, "chipped beef on toast" was referred to as "shit on a shingle", "stew on a shingle" or "same old stuff" in the armed services, see tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MessOnAPlate and en.wiktionary.org/wiki/shit_on_a_shingle and the book, Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy.... I can't find a link between "Crap on a cracker" and any of those expressions though. That is the specific question, about the crap, so citation please? Commented Oct 7, 2012 at 14:39

At a guess, it was probably 'Crap on a Crutch' until someone (in media) decided that wasn't PC enough, and it spread from there.

  • 5
    No offense, but this isn't a very good answer. A random guess that it might have been some other phrase? People make phrases like this all the time. What evidence is there that this phrase is derived from "Crap on a crutch"? Commented Dec 6, 2010 at 19:15
  • Because "Crap on a crutch" is older?
    – Benubird
    Commented Dec 7, 2010 at 9:24
  • 2
    I've never heard anyone say that. I can't find any citations for it. Do you have any evidence? Commented Dec 7, 2010 at 15:02

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