Best Fictional Potheads in Pop Culture
These are the best fictional potheads from popular stoner movies and TV shows, listed in chronological order.
It's crazy how far America has come since the age of Reefer Madness. I wonder what people would have said, back then, if we told them that pot would soon be legal in many US states.
Maybe they wouldn't be so surprised. Potheads have been a pervasive part of pop culture for more than half a century. Reefer Madness inspired the counter-culture that gave birth to stoner movies. In a way, America's collection of stoner films represents 50+ years of protesting the criminalization of marijuana.
Now, there are hundreds of great fictional characters who smoke weed, but some are better than others.
Here is a list of the ten funniest and most influential fictional potheads in pop culture. It includes old and recent cartoons, movies, and TV shows with remarkable pothead characters.
When Joe Ruby and Ken Spears wrote Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! in 1969, they had no idea that their two hungriest and dopiest characters would become iconic fictional potheads.
While it may not have been intentional, Shaggy Rogers does seems like he smokes pot, and his reputation for being a pothead has become a legacy. Shaggy has been voiced and portrayed by several people, starting with Casey Kasem in 1969.
Shaggy Rogers has also been portrayed by Matthew Lillard, starting with the 2002 feature film Scooby-Doo in which Shaggy falls in love with a woman named Mary Jane.
Maybe Shaggy just seems like he smokes pot because he throws the word "doobie," "uh," and "like" around so much, has the munchies all the time, and is lazy and cowardly. Intentional or not, Shaggy Rogers is a significant stoner symbol.
Up in Smoke is a classic stoner film, not only because it's Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin's first feature-length movie, but also because it's timeless, dopey, and hilarious.
Pedro De Pacas is the best character in Up in Smoke. Played by Cheech Martin, Pedro is a model for later fictional potheads.
Pedro De Pacas smokes so much pot that he's probably done some irreversible damage. He certainly lives in his own—very aloof—world, as we can see in the above iconic scene where he gets pulled over by a policeman.
Up in Smoke has the 70s written all over it, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it is one of the funniest and most influential stoner movies of all time.
Every character that Matthew McConaughey touches turns to gold, even if that character only speaks a few lines and still manages to be a complete jerk like David Wooderson in Dazed and Confused.
This coming-of-age comedy was written and directed by Richard Linklater in 1993. It tells the story of different groups of high school students in Texas finishing the 1976 school year.
Before Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back became the first feature-length movie to star drug dealersJay and Silent Bob in 2001, this stoner duo had already made several cameos throughout the 90s. Jay and Silent Bob picks up ten years after the 1994 film Clerks, which featured Jay and Bob, left off.
Portrayed by Jason Mewes, Jay is a rude pothead with long hair and the mouth of a sailor. Jay is always accompanied by his mute sidekick, appropriately named Silent Bob, who is portrayed by Kevin Smith, the creator of the personas.
Together, the pair must deal with the consequences of being drug dealers who lack basic manners and compassion.
Voiced by Vernon Chatman, Towelie is a sage RG-400 Smart Towel who consistently smokes weed. Towelie makes his first appearance during the 5th season of South Park in the episode appropriately named "Towelie."
According to his storyline, Towelie was genetically engineered by aliens to use as a spy weapon, but then he was kidnapped and forced to fight by a group of guerrilla soldiers. Luckily, Towelie managed to smoke weed and escape from the paramilitary camp entirely by accident.
Towelie's cult-ish popularity was unintended, but due to the appreciation he garnered with his audience, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone gave the stoner towel some cameos in later seasons.
Whenever the people of South Park need some wise advice, Towelie comes to the rescue, joint in hand.
America has no shortage of iconic stoner movies, but there is a lack of quality pot-smoking female characters starring in them.
At least there's Smiley Face, which was written by Dylan Haggerty and directed and co-produced by Gregg Araki in 2007.
This stoner film tells the story of Jane (Anna Faris), a young and unmotivated actress who smokes pot and lives in LA.
Jane's day goes pear-shaped when she unwittingly eats a large batch of cannabis cupcakes.
Once she realizes her mistake, Jane makes a list of things she must do while stoned. The movie follows her misadventure as she makes one cringe-worthy mistake after another.
Drug dealers are portrayed in many different ways since the era of Reefer Madness. Sometimes the drug dealers are evil and sometimes they're stay-at-home moms who need some extra income, and sometimes movie drug dealers are family men who live double lives.
Saul Silver is a drug dealer who smokes pot. He is incompetent, and he is totally unprepared for what's to come.
Saul is a drug dealer who is forced to run away with his client, Dale (Seth Rogan), when Dale accidentally witnesses a murder.
In a way, the film explores the relationship between stoners and their drug dealers, and tells the story of what happens when they are forced into an unlikely, but thrilling scenario.
The best part of Pineapple Express, obviously one of the best movies to watch high, is James Franco's performance as Saul Silver.
Ilana Wexler, played and written by Ilana Grazer, is my favorite fictional pothead. She might actually be my favorite fictional character, period.
She is free-spirited, crass, and resourceful. The two things she loves the most in life are marijuana and her best friend, Abbi Abrams (we'll get to her next).
She also has no boundaries. Her coworkers hate her because she shows up to work stoned and doesn't dress appropriately.
Since Broad City is a TV series and not a stoner film, (and one of the top stoner TV shows to boot) we get to know Ilana very well. For example, we find out that she takes antidepressants and experiences severe seasonal affective disorder.
That's okay, though, because Ilana can't commit to anything (except weed and Abbi), so she doesn't need her job anyway.
I might have to take back what I said about Ilana being my favorite fictional pothead. Without an Abbi Abrams, there would be no Ilana Wexler—the two characters are perfect foils of each other, and they're doing an amazing job of filling the gender void in stoner pop culture.
Abbi, who is portrayed and written by Abbi Jacobson, is a far more reserved and organized personality than Ilana. Abbi loves Bed, Bath & Beyond and hoards the department store's coupons.
And, she loves to smoke weed—but she only smokes weed with Ilana.
If Abbi could have it her way, she would live in a tidy apartment, but that's not the case because she has to share it with Bevers, her mysterious roommate's boyfriend.
Erlich Bachman, played by TJ Miller in Mike Judge's Silicon Valley (I know, it's not a stoner film, but it's a great TV show), is one of the funniest characters I've ever watched. It is very disappointing that he is no longer part of the cast, but at least he got a few seasons in.
Seriously, Erlich never gets old. He gives me side-splitting laughter every time he's on camera.
Erlich is a lazy narcissist who owns a house in Silicon Valley where he allows hopeful tech entrepreneurs to live for free. There is a catch to the tenancy agreement: In exchange for his "incubator" accommodation, Erlich gets a share of his tenants' companies if/when they get enough financial backers.
Perhaps one of the smartest fictional potheads on this list, while his tenants work fastidiously in his living room, Erlich smokes pot and advises them on how to move forward.