The Seven Greatest Stoners of Cinema

August 9, 2011
Stoners are some of cinema's most universally beloved characters. For some reason, the memory of glassy-eyed potheads seems to live on longer than most of their film's counterparts and literally rise out of the ashes to become screen legends in their own right. Who's got a light?

7. Ron Slater

Source: Universal Pictures/Gramercy Pictures

Though a financial flop during its release back in 1993, Dazed and Confused would go on to become a coming-of-age classic with one of the most epic soundtracks ever that also helped launch the careers of a whole gang of soon-to-be-A-list celebrities. With greats like Fred O'Bannion (Ben Affleck) and David Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey), Dazed was filled to the brim with cult characters idolized by teens worldwide. As great as they were though, Ron Slater (Rory Cochrane) took the cake as the radical stoner of all stoners in the suburbs of Austin, Texas. From making wooden bongs in shop class to epically smoking joints on the 50-yard line of the school's football field, Slater stole our collective hearts by inhaling anything and everything around while delivering some legendary stoner dialogue. Aliens, man. Aliens.

6. Billy, Wyatt, and George

Source: Columbia Pictures

For some people, the 1969 road flick Easy Rider provided their first glimpse of an iconic on-screen toking session. It instantly became a cult classic while also shining a positive light on the recreational substance.

The standout smoke moment of the film has to be when our three heroes (Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Jack Nicholson) are sitting around a warm campfire during a road trip for the ages and decide to end their long travel day with a nice fat doobie before bedtime. What transpires is one of the greatest stoner moments ever filmed. Dennis Hopper is obviously the standout pothead of the bunch, but don't count out George (Jack Nicholson) as the rookie stoner of the year. Even though it's the first time he's ever inhaled the ganj, George throws it down like champ and had viewers transfixed on the most entertaining campfire conversation ever to take place under the stars.

5. Jeff Spicoli

Source: Universal Pictures

Before Sean Penn became an Academy Award-winner and a political loudmouth, he portrayed the coolest motherf***ing cat at Ridgemont High. As Jeff Spicoli, Penn transformed himself into a jobless pothead who only needs a good buzz and some tasty waves to get by. Even if Spicoli is totally an over-the-top version of a west coast stoner surfer, he still has a depth to his character that separates him from weed-fueled lot seen in numerous films before and since. His relationship with Mr. Hand throughout Fast Times is proof of that. It's still a little hard to believe that this is the same guy who would go on to win two Academy Awards. Hey bud, let's party!

4. Jay & Silent Bob

Source: Dimension Films

Jay is more of an outright stoner doofus than Slient Bob, but one would not be whole without the other. Spanning many years and many films, this cult comedy duo have been attached at the hip with weed since day one. They have a comic book called Bluntman and Chronic on-screen and in real life. That's some dedication, folks. With that said, it's pretty had to really nail down the greatest moment of their epic smoking career, but I will always have a soft spot for the opening scene in Strike Back where Jay & Bob sell a little dope to some young Jersey locals. 15 bucks, little man. Put that s*** in my hands. If that money doesn't show, then you'll owe me owe me owe!

3. Smokey

Source: New Line Cinema

Back in the day, Smokey (Chris Tucker) from Friday was literally the coolest thing since Miles Davis. Even though the guy was kind of a knucklehead and couldn't do anything right to save his life, every single word that came out of his mouth was cult comedy gold and Big Perm's…I mean Big Worm's weed that he was smokin' instead of selling seemed to be the key ingredient. This film also informed novice smokers to seriously stay away from angel dust based on Smokey's horrifying-yet-hilarious experience with those two Latino cats from around the way. All in all, Smokey is a legend in the pot the game, son. And you know this, mannn!

2. Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski

Source: PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

My personal favorite, The Dude is one of film's most notorious inhalers of the cannabis and for good reason. The Dude may have rotted a few too many brain cells during his stint as a roadie for Metallica on their Speed of Sound Tour, but as seen in The Big Lebowski, with his trusty roaches and tasty white Russian in hand, Jeffrey can still solve a mystery or two with his best pal Walter Sobchak. Oh, and Donny too.

One of the funniest scenes in the history of motion pictures comes to life when The Dude drops a lit leftover joint in his lap while driving with a beer in his hand jamming Creedence, crashing hilariously into a giant dumpster. There are very few cinematic weed-smoking moments you can think of that are more entertaining than this one. Seriously.

1. Cheech & Chong

Source: Paramount Pictures

It goes without saying that Cheech & Chong are the quintessential stoners of cinema. They basically wrote the book the entire on it. The two have appeared in a gaggle of feature films together over the years, but 1978's Up in Smoke is the bible of weed movies and the only film that really needs mentioning here. Starring Richard "Cheech" Marin and Tommy Chong, the wacky pair find themselves kickin' it in Cheech's low rider after he picks up Tommy Chong on the side of the road hitchhiking. What ensues after has to be the most notorious smoke session in the history of the big screen. With the help of the biggest freakin' doobie in the history of mankind filled with Maui Wowie and some Labrador poop, Cheech & Chong drop comedy gem after comedy gem that would be recited by fellow stoners for years to come. The acid didn't hurt matters either.

It's hard to think where a lot of us would be without Cheech & Chong. Needless to say, rappers would've had a tough time at their jobs. You wanna get high man? Pedro: Does Howdy Doody got wooden Balls man?