Where does the phrase "holy crap on a cracker" come from?
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...
holyas an expletive was answered here.
crapaccording to dictionary.com:
Sense of "rubbish, nonsense" also first recorded 1898
crackeris 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. ;)
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.
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".
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.