In honor of 4/20, which has basically become International Weed Day, we dutiful Tracking Board staffers put our heady heads together That ’70s Show-style to come up with a list of our 10 favorite stoners. Rather than limit ourselves to film or television, we decided to include characters from both mediums.
We’ll be honest, this one was tough. There’s no Jay and Silent Bob, no Annie Hall, no one from Dazed and Confused, no Woody Harrelson, or even Seth Rogen! Hell, the guys from Friday didn’t even make this list, but they sure would’ve been the Honorable Mention… if we were doing one of those.
Alas, we’re sticking to a hard 10-count. The five of us working at this joint were asked to write about our favorite male stoner and our favorite female stoner, and the decision was made not to rank this stanky list, because ranking stuff is hard… and not really in the stoner spirit.
So without further ado, take a hit off this list, and feel free to puff, puff pass it along on social media. Smoke responsibly, friends…
Abbi Abrams & Ilana Wexler (Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer), Broad City
Abbi and Ilana aren’t just a fun-loving, semi-obnoxious pair that Gen X’ers and millennials can connect to, they’re also ambassadors for the underrepresented population of female stoners in the world.
As two twenty-somethings navigating life in New York City, they like to spice things up with a generous dose of joints and bong hits. Their subsequent decisions, which are almost always bizarre, make for some hysterical storylines that have turned Broad City into one of the best comedies on TV.
The series is similar to Harold and Kumar in that it isn’t just about smoking pot, it’s more about the two leads’ endearing, at times ridiculous friendship, though the fact that their adventures are weed-fueled is certainly an added bonus. – Dino-Ray Ramos
Floyd (Brad Pitt), True Romance
Brad Pitt was on the verge of stardom following his breakout turn in Ridley Scott’s Thelma and Louise when he asked the director’s brother, Tony Scott, if he could play the character of Floyd in True Romance. The younger Scott jumped at the idea, and thus stoner history was made. Pitt has said this character wasn’t a far cry from his real life in the early ‘90s, when he was coping with depression by smoking “way too much dope,” in his own words.
Though Floyd only appears in three scenes, he made a lasting impression over the years, as Judd Apatow credited the character with inspiring Pineapple Express, saying he “thought it would be funny to make a movie in which you follow that character out of his apartment and watch him get chased by bad guys.”
So why do we love Floyd? Well, for starters, he wears a Rasta-colored knit cap and prefers to smoke out of a Honey Bear bong, which is just a classic Floyd move — though in reality, Scott stole the idea from a friend of his. Floyd is such a nice guy, he invites James Gandolfini’s hitman to watch some TV with him. Just don’t condescend him, man!
Pitt improvised many of his lines, including offering his bong to a group of gangsters who bust inside his home, and telling his roommate Dick Ritchie (Michael Rapaport) to pick up some “cleaning products” while he’s out — because apparently Floyd is a neat freak on the down low?
Like Melanie, Floyd is a figment of Quentin Tarantino’s twisted imagination, but unlike Melanie, Floyd doesn’t have good taste in movies, as we catch him watching the 1992 sci-fi flick Freejack starring Emilio Estevez and Mick Jagger. C’mon, Floyd… you can do better than that! – Jeff Sneider
Olivia (Jennifer Aniston), Friends With Money
The devil’s lettuce can serve many different purposes in a person’s life. Some use it to pass the time, while others may use it to enjoy a concert, but for Jennifer Aniston’s character Olivia from the 2006 film Friends With Money, pot is a tool to help cope with her unbearably snooty and affluent friends.
Olivia may not classify as the traditional “stoner” like many of the other characters on this list, but smoking is integral to her day-to-day activities, as it allows her to maintain her composure around her exhausting friends.
Remember the Friends episode, “The One Where Rachel Smokes”? This movie is just like that, only much, much better… and much, much higher. – Matt Hornick
Taco MacArthur (Jon Lajoie), The League
From his embarrassing musical stylings to being the founder and CEO of TacoCorp, Taco MacArthur from FX’s sorely-missed sitcom The League is one of the consistently funniest stoners on television.
Taco spent seven seasons amazing us with his ability to get through life without ever really having a job, but somehow always having weed. If only we had friends like that! He can also turn anything into a bong (seriously, he’s like the MacGyver of bongs) and uses that skill to leave a personal smoking device in everyone’s house.
Though the show portrayed Taco as the least-invested member of his fantasy football league, many people forget he actually won The League’s championship one year — which would be a feat for anyone, but especially a stoner. Taco also deserves extra credit for coining vulgar colloquialisms such as “Eskimo brothers” and “vinegar strokes,” not that we’re suggesting you look those terms up. – MH
Cheech & Chong (Cheech Marin & Tommy Chong), the Cheech & Chong movies
When you’re talking about stoner comedies and characters, Cheech and Chong (aka Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong) are an Absolute Must, having essentially created the genre with their first full-length feature film Up in Smoke in 1978.
The doped-up duo met in the 1960s and began performing stand-up, eventually releasing comedy albums. Their debut film tapped into the counterculture movement, which had been largely ignored in feature films at the time, and its success led to many more collaborations, including Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie, Nice Dreams, Still Smokin and The Corsican Brothers before the duo parted ways in the mid-’80s.
Cheech and Chong’s larger-than-life legacy lives on to this day through stoner duos who have picked up the mantle, such as Harold and Kumar, and Abbi and Ilana from Broad City. – Emily J.
Melanie Ralston (Bridget Fonda), Jackie Brown
Bridget Fonda’s beautiful, blonde, bong-smoking beach bunny is the kind of girl you just want to get high with. She’s a sassy stoner in short shorts who has good taste in movies (she watches the Peter Fonda movie Dirty Mary Crazy Larry with Robert De Niro’s Louis) and a weakness for casual sex. She’s also full of great smoking wisdom, like “Coughing’s good! It opens up the capillaries.” I mean, that’s some scientific shit right there!
Melanie has one job as Ordell’s (Samuel L. Jackson) kept woman — to answer the phone and look good doing it. At some point, most stoners put down the pipe and become interested in the world around them, but not Melanie, who is content coasting in California. Her only ambitions are to get high and watch TV until Ordell ropes her into in his money-making scheme. We can only imagine what kinds of fun stoner adventures she might’ve had if she hadn’t mouthed off to Louis in the parking lot of the Del Amo Mall.
Fonda said the raunchy role was the most satisfying of her career at the time (she retired from show business just four years later) and that it was a “very pleasant experience getting into [Melanie’s] head.” Well, I imagine it would be, since Melanie just lies around in a bikini smoking weed and watching cartoons. Melanie sure had life figured out. #Goals – JS
Harold & Kumar (John Cho & Kal Penn), Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle
Picking up where Cheech and Chong left off, Harold and Kumar became an iconic stoner pair for a new generation over the course of three films, though you never forget your first. You’d think that an entire film about a journey to the fast food munchie mecca known as White Castle would be utterly ridiculous — and it is — but it’s a classic stoner movie, not exactly Oscar bait.
When it comes to smoking bowls, tripping face, and seeing a nasty foul-mouthed Neil Patrick Harris in action, you can’t beat Harold and Kumar, which has become a pop culture staple. More than that, the story of John Cho’s Harold and Kal Penn’s Kumar is more than just two potheads on a mission to chow down on burgers.
For one, it shifted cultural identity politics in Hollywood by having two Asian-American males play lead roles that weren’t stereotypically Asian, and also comedically addressed those stereotypes throughout the franchise. But above all, Harold and Kumar is about friendship which, in the end, can give you a surprisingly heartwarming high that even weed can’t touch. – DRR
Jane F. (Anna Faris), Smiley Face
Add the stoner comedy to the never-ending list of genres that largely exclude women, who smoke weed too! When we discussed our favorite stoner characters at the office, it was a bit of a struggle to come up with an equal number of female characters who were genuinely stoners, and not simply characters in a stoner film. One performance that simply cannot be ignored is that of Anna Faris in 2007’s Smiley Face.
Faris’ hilarious turn as Jane F. bucked the decades-long trend of having men lead stoner comedies, and it reminded viewers of how fearless she can be as a comic actress. The indie film sees her deliver one of the greatest stoner monologues in movie history, which helped her win a “Stoner of the Year” award from High Times magazine’s Stony Awards. – EJ
Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), Almost Famous
Kate Hudson’s Oscar-nominated turn as the wonderfully-named Band Aid leader Penny Lane is a living, breathing embodiment of the weed-scented decadence of the ’70s. A child of the ’60s who came of age a few years after her true time, Penny is a glowing source of peace and love in the cynical world of the music business that young William Miller (Patrick Fugit) drops into.
Penny is a sensitive soul who struggles to persevere in a superficial business. While she doesn’t smoke on screen nearly as much as some of the other cannabis connoisseurs on this list, she can be seen as more of a metaphor for marijuana in the film.
Every time Penny graces the screen she brings with her positivity, inspiration, and warm-hearted idealism. Just picture a giant weed leaf in place of Kate Hudson, and that’s pretty much Penny Lane. Like weed, any rock band worth their bass solo wouldn’t go on tour without her. – John Drain
Jasper Palmer (Michael Caine), Children of Men
Do you have those friends — or maybe you’re one yourself — who can’t help but forecast the downfall of society when under the influence of the sweet leaf? Jasper is That Guy, except for the teeny, tiny fact that everything he has predicted has come true.
A former political cartoonist, Jasper has turned his love of bud into a profession through growing and selling, which must be a pretty damn good business in a near-apocalyptic society. He even has his own strain — the strong and presumably sweet Strawberry Cough.
There’s no word on whether it’s an indica or a sativa, though in the violent and chaotic times depicted in the film, I’m betting the former’s reputation for dispensing chill would make it most welcome. – JD
The Tracking Board Staff