In the new action-comedy American Ultra, stoner Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) and his pothead girlfriend Phoebe (Kristen Stewart) discover that he’s actually a secret and highly skilled government operative. Targeted for assassination, he manages to kick major ass and get the tough job done while keeping his buzz. Who says stoners are lazy good-for-nothings?
In fact, in most stoner movies, the weed-enthusiast protagonists get more done than their sober counterparts do. American Ultra is just one example in a long line of stoner flicks, in which a case of the munchies can lead to some pretty stellar achievements. So, instead of making a tired joke about potheads being do-nothing sloths, check out these movie stoners who accomplished great things and go reach for the
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)
Stoners: Harold (John Cho), Kumar (Kal Penn)
Achievements: Despite smoking copious amounts of weed and finding themselves in an array of crazy situations (backwoods swinging, anyone?), these two best buds still got plenty done, including combatting racial stereotypes, riding a MF cheetah, picking up a wild, hitchhiking Neil Patrick Harris, performing a surgery with Ryan Reynolds, getting the dream girl, and, of course, making it to White Castle via a hang glider.
How High (2001)
Stoners: Silas (Method Man), Jamal (Redman)
Achievements: Through the help of their deceased friend (whose ashes they smoke), these two potheads get into Harvard(!), where—among other notable things—they date the daughter of the vice president, take a botany class, and create a truth serum.
Pineapple Express (2008)
Stoners: Dale (Seth Rogen), Saul (James Franco)
Achievements: Despite frequently being in the wrong place at the wrong time, a process server and his drug dealer manage to avoid getting arrested after committing multiple crimes, escape certain death from a band of criminals and crooked cops, and take the bad guys down.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
Stoner: Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski (Jeff Bridges)
Achievements: Aside from being one of the most beloved cult classic characters of all-time, he’s really good at bowling, understanding how a rug can tie a room together, creating a “little Lebowski” with Julianne Moore, and staying very chill despite some very crazy circumstances, man.
Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000)
Stoners: Jesse (Ashton Kutcher), Chester (Seann William Scott)
Achievements: Despite losing their car after a particularly crazy and hazy evening, these two wastoid pals not only have beautiful girlfriends who are way out of their league (played by Jennifer Garner and Marla Sokoloff), but they also solve a Rubik’s Cube, meet extraterrestrial life, get the 18th hole in miniature golf (thus winning them a lifetime supply of pudding), get “matching” tattoos, and save the universe. Oh, and they eventually find the aforementioned car.
Up in Smoke (1978)
Stoners: Pedro (Cheech Marin), “Man” (Tommy Chong)
Achievements: Aside from being the quintessential movie stoners? Well, among other “accomplishments,” they somehow survive a series of misadventures with the authorities on their tail, they drive a van made entirely out of weed, and they win a Battle of the Bands contest (and, thus, a record deal).
Super High Me (2008)
Stoner: Doug Benson
Achievements: Taking cues from Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock’s documentary studying the effects of eating McDonald’s every day for a month, comedian Doug Benson smoked weed all day long for 30 days—in the name of research. The mind-blowing, myth-busting discovery: his sperm count actually went up and his SAT scores improved.
Half Baked (1998)
Stoners: Thurgood (Dave Chappelle), Scarface (Guillermo Díaz), Brian (Jim Breuer), Kenny (Harland Williams)
Achievements: To raise money to get Kenny out of jail (which they do), his stoner friends quit their job in the most epic way possible and start a successful weed delivery service. To combat rival dealers who plan to kill them, they summon the ghost of Jerry Garcia.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
Stoners: Jay/Chronic (Jason Mewes), Silent Bob/Bluntman (Kevin Smith)
Achievements: Where to begin? They got a whole bunch of A-listers to show up (including Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in the greatest sequel that never was), they kidnap an orangutan, they hitch a ride with four mega-babes, they halt a major Hollywood production to ensure they get the royalties for the characters based on their likeliness (and succeed), and most impressively, they personally pay visits to everyone who has badmouthed them on the Internet.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
Stoner: David Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey)
Achievements: He gets older, and his ladies stay the same age.