The 20 Most Influential Stoners in Film History Film Characters

The 20 Most Influential Stoners in Film History

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Movie stoners: a definitive list of the most influential, memorable, lovable and abhorable stoners throughout this history of film. Hollywood has taken two different paths when portraying stoners in film, one that is realistic and one that is played for for laughs. Let's take a look at how the stoner has been portrayed as a film character throughout the ages. This list includes both funny film stoner characters and more serious dramatic potheads and druggies. There is a remastered release of "Reefer Madness" available on Blu-Ray.

What are movies for potheads? The main characters in these movies are beloved by stoners, so it should be no surprise that they are on this list. So grab a spliff, some Doritos and some cheap fast food and enjoy!

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  1. 1
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    Cheech and Chong (Up In Smoke)

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    Had to get this one out of the way, but it did have its impact.

    Without a doubt, Cheech and Chong's "Up In Smoke" is considered the "Citizen Kane" of "smuggling cars made of Marijuana out of Mexico" flicks.

    Made in 1978, the flick got Mary Jane outta of the closet, and started to give it its due in the public eye (positive). But despite this marijuanassance (which lasted for eight happy years), MJ got shoved right back in around 1986 (all thanks Ronnie and Nancy Reagan--a big negative!).

    Regardless of the sad history, the trailer is hysterical to watch. With the Paramount theme that is just a bit too warm and fuzzy, all the way to the squarest sounding announcer ever. It's almost as if the voice over announcer didn't even understand the puns he was iterating. Wonderful.
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    "The Dude" (The Big Lebowski)

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    The Dude. The Dude. The Dude. You either get him or your don't. And for those of you who don't, we're coming after you and we are gonna pee on your rug.

    The Dude just is. He is the pot smoker we all want in our lives and the pot smoker we would want to be if we ever took up the habit on a daily basis. He is the "Relax, it'll work out" stoner. The little bit of positive we all want to have and don't, but should.

    You know that a character has a great outlook on life when what his best friend says after any terrible event is "f**k it dude, let's go bowling".
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    Jay and Silent Bob (Clerks)

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    Hey, it's Jay and Silent Bob.

    Drug dealers as lovable as Muppets.

    These guys made it okay to be friends with your pot dealer. Up until Jay and Bob, drug dealers were portrayed as less than desirable elements in our culture. They made it possible for bromances like Pineapple Express to come later.
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    Jeff Spicoli (Fast Times At Ridgemont High)

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    Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) is a positive example of a stoner because he is THE original surfer dude and model Californian. Okay, we're not sure that Governor Arnold is down with that, but he's probably got some weed running somewhere through those steroid veins of his. Man, that can't be healthy.

    Anyway, unlike many of the shallow, always-stoned-but-never-smoke-rip-offs that followed his footsteps (Paulie Shore, Stephen Baldwin and Keanu Reeves), Spicoli just seems like the kid with the sunglasses on in high school that everybody loves to like, but doesn't necessarily want to "be".

    So movie industry, listen up. When picking a stoner character, you should always pick a strong actor like Spicoli. That way, when you plug "stoner" into Urban Dictionary you'll get the synonym "Awesome", as in "Totally Awesome!"
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    Carl The Gardner (Caddyshack)

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    Cannonball it!

    Many folks who have only seen an edited version of Caddyshack on TV may incorrectly assume that Carl the Gardner (Bill Murray) is just a mentally handicapped dude who blows up a golf course.

    He's a STONER who blows up a golf course. There's a big difference.

    This often cut-from-TV scene proves that Carl has been growing a hybrid Kentucky Blue Grass/California Sensimilla in his living room. A new slogan for stoners everywhere: Carl can grow, and so can you!
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    Ron Slater (Dazed and Confused)

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    There are so many weed enhanced teenagers to choose from in "Dazed and Confused" but Ron Slater (Rory Cochran) stands out. With a true commitment to keeping American history "real", Slater is passionate about numerous conspiracy theories.

    Dazed and Confused in general is great for stoners not just because they're hilarious, but they were all functional, emotional people. And each one displayed a characteristic of loyalty. Stoners will always have your backs. We don't know what it is, but they will support whatever decision you make. At least in this movie they do.

  7. 7
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    Smokey (Friday)

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    Smokey (played by the once-promising Chris Tucker) here shows Ice Cube the proper "puff puff pass" protocol. Friday was a hilarious movie, but it was also hailed as a sensible, realistic interpretation of living in the 'hood. Not always dangerous, not always peaches.

    Pot in daily life, but not the focus of your life, is a theme that very few films have balanced well. This character in Friday, as well as the film as a whole, nails it.
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    George Hanson (Easy Rider)

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    While Captain America (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper) are the headshoppers in charge in "Easy Rider," it is Jack Nicholson that gets the stoniest monologue.

    Now we all know that that wasn't really acting for the big guy, but hey, if he wants some cred we'll give it to him. I mean, the attention to detail of the UFOtopia? Amazing.

    George Hanson and/or Jack Nicholson (interchangeable at this point) high in the wilderness. Now that's a camping trip.

    Or just a trip. For responsible nature-lovers out there and real connoisseurs of science, this character comes off a bit of a negative.
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    Hunter S. Thompson (Where The Buffalo Roam)

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    Ah, who knew the Stoner-aphile Bill Murray would one day become an Academy Award nominee? In this little-seen gem, Murray plays the legendary stoner c*m handguns, Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson hated the portrayal so much that he once ran into Murray at a party, tied him to a deck chair and through him in the pool.
  10. 10
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    The Guy on the Couch (Half Baked)

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    Producer: So... there's a guy on the couch and it's like Steven Wright.. if Steven Wright was baked.
    Casting Director: Why don't we get Steven Wright... baked?

    The later answer to True Romance's Floyd character, this character shows the decline in society's stoners to ones that actually just sit around and don't even respond to things like "gun fire" or "sunlight".

    The Guy On The Couch DOES, on the other hand, exemplify the respect stoners have for each other, and how you can find wisdom in the most unlikely of places.
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    Brian Johnson (The Breakfast Club)

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    As you may have noticed, this list, unlike others, embraces squares who choke up the chronic. While John Bender (Judd Nelson) is the actual burnout in the movie, Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall) is the real baker in the half dozen. "Not enough O's in smooth to tell you smooove it is"

    If Brian Johnson taught us anything, it's that we can all come together as friends, as long as there is enough weed involved.
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    Bill and Ted

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    Bill & Ted weren't stoners, but the first generation of post-stoner wannabes. They killed the laid back stoner persona in film by just being idiots. A generation of kids now think it's okay to be an idiot, instead of thinking it's okay to be a relaxed guy who just happens to love the ganja.

    Their films were "excellent", but the personality they perpetuated isn't one you'd want in any youth in charge of anything put washing dishes.
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    Lester Burnham (American Beauty)

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    An unorthodox choice for #1, but number #1 nonetheless. During a mid-life crisis, Lester takes charge and decides to live his life as if he were still a teenager with his whole life ahead of him. He picked up a whole slew of things he thought he was too old to do anymore (including purchasing government-grade weed from his teenage neighbor).

    For anyone who has ever been burned out, Lester's the stoner for you. And for those who haven't, you will some day.

    Like Lester, you too will be discussing the genius of Re-Animator with people way too young to understand it somewhere down the line.

    This guy is a positive reinforcer. He totally proves that it's never to late to smoke some, that there's nothing wrong with it and that we all reach a point in our lives where we all just need to have a little fun.
  14. 14
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    Floyd- True Romance

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    Everyone in LA has either had or known someone who had a roommate like Floyd (Brad Pitt). His amount of pure bakedness is simply legendary.

    Never phased and always friendly to strangers, Floyd doesn't quite get it when, say, a bunch of guys with UZI's show up at his place. He probably thought it was some sort of costume party in his intoxicated mind. Bet it was a rad party.

    The nostalgia--or heck, reality--of the Floyd character so hit the audience in America that shortly after the release of "True Romance," there was a sudden rush in Honey Bear Honey, just to make a bong out of it.

    If you're living with someone like Floyd, this is probably a negative to you. But if you ARE that Floyd guy, it's positive. So positive.

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    The Photojournalist (Apocalypse Now)

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    While Dennis Hopper got blown out of the water by Jack in "Easy Rider," he eventually got his turn as the best burner in "Apocalypse Now." And he got a cool unknown title with his role: "The Photojournalist. "

    With that kickass name, Hopper gets to rant and rave on the genius of Kurtz. Yeah, so he's one of those people who gets all smart (or thinks they gets smart) when they smoke. Either way, they are interesting conversationalists, so a positive image for the grass community.

    Also, you have to give it up for the writing. Who knew Joseph Conrad could pull it off? Must have been all that time on the safari.
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    The Cast of the Big Chill

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    Yes, your parents can roll a bigger and better fatty than you can. "The Big Chill," is about a gang of late-30s former Midwest hippies who get together for an impromptu reunion after one of them kills himself. They have all abandoned their ideals for the almighty dollar and bond over the only thing they still have in common-- a love of weed and ludes and blow and few other pills I don't remember.

    This movie just shows that pot can't be a great lubricant for traveling down memory lane.
  17. 17
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    Joel Goodson (Risky Business)

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    Let this be a lesson to f*ture "good boy" Princeton wannabes!

    Smoke a joint and your Dad's car will end up in Lake Michigan, forcing you into a world of pimpin' for hotties. Joel Goodson (Tom Cruise) is a burner for the GOP set that would make even the most conservative among us proud.

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    Charles De Mar (Better Off Dead)

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    Curtis Armstrong (just a year away from finding Silver Screen immortality as "Booger") plays Charles De Mar, John Cusak's bonged out buddy. Regrettably there is no easily rip-offable version of this hysterical scene in which he faces down a bully with Hyper-giggles. The best we can do is this scene, where he attempts to assess the street value of a mountain of snow.

    While a great buddy and funny role, as a stoner Mr. de Mar gets it wrong by acting like a drug fiend who will try anything for a high, and that's not the stoners we know. They just want that buzz only the leafy green can give.
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    Diane Keaton is brilliant as the title character in Woody Allen's Annie Hall. Annie is a free-spirited, weed-smoking mid-westerner that perfectly contrasts with Alvy's (Woody Allen) New York neuroticism. Her character shows the positive, go-with-the-flow attributes that can come with being a stoner.  
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    Danny Gopnik (A Serious Man)

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    All Danny Gopik wants is to get baked at his barmitzvah. AND now the local drug dealer is trying to kick his ass. In one of the Coen Brothers' most realistic coming-of-age-stoner slices of life, 13-year-old Danny tries to toke and Torah, in front of his whole family.

    His Rabbi then quotes Jefferson Airplane.
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