Woody Allen in the classic film, Annie Hall.Photo Credit : Rollins/Joffee Productions/Ronald Grant Archive/Alamy Stock Photo
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of Yankee Magazine and may have been slightly updated for inclusion in this collection.
At the Galerie des Beaux Arts in Paris in 1938, Salvador Dalí exhibits this work featuring an actual dead lobster (his other versions used fake ones). The surrealist artist once mused, “I do not understand why, when I ask for a grilled lobster in a restaurant, I am never served a cooked telephone.”
One of the best-loved scenes from this 1977 classic Woody Allen film revolves around lobsters running amok as the two main characters try to cook them (“Talk to him. You speak shellfish!”).
This quirky 1979 beach-party anthem would become a signature song for new-wave band the B-52s, who hit the big time in the ’80s with “Love Shack” and “Roam.”
In the 1986 folio The Scottish Bestiary, poet George Mackay Brown offers an ode to this “samurai” of crustaceans: “There you clank, in dark blue armour / Along the ocean floor … Nothing stands in your way, swashbuckler.”
Lobsters can in fact be kept as pets, as Homer learns in a 1998 episode of the long-running Fox series. Just don’t give them hot baths.
In a 1996 episode of the NBC sitcom, Phoebe declares that lobsters fall in love and mate for life (sadly untrue), and she tries to convince Ross not to give up on his feelings for Rachel by assuring him, “She’s your lobster.”
Three years after her best-selling debut, The Hungry Ocean, Linda Greenlaw pens this 2002 memoir about lobstering off Isle au Haut: “I loved the sound of the lobsters’ shells’ muffled applause as they clapped against themselves… A full trap sounded like a standing ovation.”
David Foster Wallace ponders the ethics of cooking and eating lobster in his landmark essay, published in the August 2004 Gourmet.
Portland’s minor league basketball team gets its moniker in a 2009 name-the-team contest. Other suggestions included “Crushers” and “Traps.”
Nominated for a 2017 Oscar for best original screenplay, this dark comedy/romance imagines a future in which people must find romantic partners or be turned into animals. One character says he’d like to be a lobster because “[they] live for over 100 years, are blue-blooded like aristocrats, and stay fertile all their lives.”