Even though it doesn’t feel like that long ago, thinking back to the 1990s definitely brings on strong feelings of nostalgia for many of us. The 90s is a true pop culture treasure trove – the decade of the Spice Girls, beanie babies, Buffy, the Macarena, grunge and more. And it’s arguably the golden era of the stoner movie. Let’s take a dive into the top stoner movies of the 90s – a decade that has so many good films that we had to split it into two parts! Best enjoyed with a joint or some smoking pipes, although we’re sure these are still entertaining even if you’re sober.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
This coming-of-age classic, written and directed by Richard Linklater, is an homage to the 70s that is essential viewing for this genre. It’s 1976 and the last day of school and the first day of summer vacation, where students celebrate the end of the school year by partying hard and blazing up. The film beautifully captures the very essence of high school and all of its associated adolescent anxieties and shenanigans. Our personal highlight is Matthew McConaughey’s breakthrough role as the charismatic David Wooderson.
True Romance (1993)
If you feel like this romantic crime film gives off Tarantino vibes, you wouldn’t be wrong. The screenplay is co-written by the famous director and although it doesn’t technically hit all of the criteria of a classic stoner film, it deserves a spot on the list if only for the inclusion of Floyd, stunningly played by Brad Pitt. Floyd is laid-back (both physically and mentally) and evidently high AF when he appears on screen, clutching the bong he’s crafted from a bear-shaped honey jar. Absolutely classic stoner behaviour, and we’re so here for it.
The quintessential slacker film, Kevin Smith’s Clerks marks the birth of infamous stoner icons Jay and Silent Bob, starring as dealers who feature alongside characters who think they’re too smart for their jobs but are too stupid to do anything about it. Convenience store clerk Dante Hicks (Brian O’Halloran), annoyed that he has to come into work on his day off, decides to annoy customers and play hockey on the store roof instead of doing his job. Dante’s friend Randall, who works as a clerk in the neighbouring video store, gives him a run for his money when it comes to who will be crowned Slacker King.
A hilarious buddy stoner comedy, F. Gary Gray’s Friday is a true mid-90s classic. The film follows a day in the life of Ice Cube and Chris Tucker’s Craig and Smokey, who are due to pay a local drug dealer on – you guessed it – a Friday. The film’s contribution to pop culture still resonates, and many might not know that the phrase “Bye Felicia” (the ultimate dismissal of someone who is irritating or annoying) actually originates from this film.
Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood (1996)
This crime comedy stars the Wayans brothers (of Scary Movie and White Chicks fame), where the film parodies every classic hood flick released between 1985 and 1995. This movie expertly satirises the culture and neighbourhood life and works best when you’ve seen the films it makes reference to, although we can still promise you’ll find it entertaining even without the background knowledge.
We hope you enjoy this month’s curated selection, where the movies above can be enjoyed sober, although they’ll be probably even more entertaining high. It would be rude not to, right? Tune in next time for Part II of Stoner Films of the 90s, where we’ll be bringing out some of the big (hint hint) guns.