Surprisingly Profound Life Advice from the Greatest Movie Stoners

-Tara Aquino

Thanks to Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) will go down as one of the greatest movie stoners of all time. Based on Thomas Pynchon’s protagonist in the novel of the same name, Phoenix’s Sportello is a hippie private eye who likes to toke up while pondering the world and solving the mystery of his missing ex-girlfriend. He’s also pleasant proof that stoners aren’t just a collection of nonsense and wasted days. For Sportello, weed is his source of clarity. It’s his window into what he can’t see sober. And he’s not the only one who shares that sentiment either. From Wayne Campbell to the Dude, some of the greatest movie stoners tap into the secrets of the universe when they light up. Here’s just a few of the life lessons we’ve learned from them.

Wayne Campbell, Wayne’s World (1992)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

On relationships: “I say hurl. If you blow chunks and she comes back, she’s yours. But if you spew and she bolts, then it was never meant to be.”

Penny Lane, Almost Famous (2000)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures

On perspective: “I always tell the girls, never take it seriously, if ya never take it seriously, ya never get hurt, ya never get hurt, ya always have fun, and if you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends.”

Smokey, Friday (1995)

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema

On nature: “Weed is from the earth. God put this here for me and you. Take advantage man, take advantage.”

Jeff Spicoli, Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

Photo Credit: Universal Studios

On government: “What Jefferson was saying was, Hey! You know, we left this England place ’cause it was bogus; so if we don’t get some cool rules ourselves, pronto, we’ll just be bogus too! Get it?”

Harold, Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle (2004)

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema

On fate: “The universe tends to unfold as it should.” Saul Silver, Pineapple Express (2008)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures

On consequence: “Pandora can’t go back into the box. He only comes out.”

Jodi, Knocked Up (2007)

Photo Credit: Universal Studios

On obligation: “You must be angry at the baby whenever it steals your food, huh. ’Ohh that’s mine, not yours.’ But, you know, because you’re family you gotta share.”

Silent Bob, Clerks (1994)

Photo Credit: Miramax Films

On counting your blessings: “You know, there’s a million fine looking women in the world, dude. But they don’t all bring you lasagna at work. Most of ’em just cheat on you.”

The Dude, The Big Lebowski (1982)

Photo Credit: Gramercy Pictures

On self-awareness: “Sooner or later you are going to have to face the fact that you’re a moron.”

Pedro, Up in Smoke (1978)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

On conformity: “We want something where everybody wears something different man, but the same, you know?” Jamal, How High (2001)

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

On government: “You see, the system is geared to put most of the wealth into the hands of a few.”

Billy, Easy Rider (1969)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures

On individuality: “Hey, man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody who needs a haircut…What the hell is wrong with freedom? That’s what it’s all about.”

Jane F., Smiley Face (2007)

Photo Credit: First Look Studios

On showing appreciation: “Isn’t that what you’re supposed to put in a frame? Things you love?…When I’m get home, I’m gonna frame a bunch of stuff I love. Like lasagna…You know who else loves lasagna? Garfield…Maybe I should put a picture of Garfield in a frame. You know, as a kind of shorthand way of saying ’I love lasagna.’”

Ron Slater, Dazed and Confused (1993)

Photo Credit: Gramercy Pictures

On love: “Behind every good man there is a woman, and that woman was Martha Washington, man, and everyday George would come home, she would have a big fat bowl waiting for him, man, when he come in the door, man, she was a hip, hip, hip lady, man.”

Carl Spackler, Caddyshack (1980)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

On dealing with your enemies: “I have to laugh, because I’ve outsmarted even myself. My enemy, my foe, is an animal. In order to conquer the animal, I have to learn to think like an animal. And, whenever possible, to look like one. I’ve gotta get inside this guy’s pelt and crawl around for a few days.”