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The very best stoner movies

Happy 4/20

The very best stoner movies

It's April 20th which means a number of things. Firstly, you've missed your mum's birthday again, secondly, it's still not summer and thirdly, it's 420 day.

Sort of like Christmas, Hannukah and Easter all rolled into one giant joint, it's a day for stoner celebration. It all originated at San Rafael High School where a group of potheads would meet at 4:20pm to get stoned. To commemorate the event, we've assembled a list of the 10 best weed-fuelled movies to fill your day with.

Let us know if we've missed anything out at the bottom.

10. Knocked Up

While a lot of the characters on this list are been content to carry on with their potentially destructive stoner ways, Seth Rogen's protagonist in Knocked Up is forced into making a change. After accidentally impregnating Katherine Heigl, his man-child existence is thrown into a quandary. Does he save his pregnant girlfriend or giant bong when fire hits? You know, important questions like that. Plus he has to leave his stoner friends behind, as showcased in this clip:

9. Dude, Where's My Car?

Now, usually with stoner comedies, we're used to seeing the progression of unlikely events that take place after our lead characters have started smoking. This 2001 offering flipped the coin and showed us the aftermath. Seann William Scott and Ashton Kutcher have had a particularly heavy night and after their car goes missing the morning after, they're thrust into an unknown voyage of discovery. It all starts here...

8. Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Now, strictly speaking, the majority of the film features total non-stoners, going about their non-stoner lifestyles. But Sean Penn's character is memorable enough to give the film an immediate inclusion on this list. While the other high schoolers were busy with money, their studies or the opposite sex, Spicoli was focused on smoking weed and facing off against his history teacher. You can kind of see both their points in this scene:

7. Pineapple Express

Seth Rogen's second appearance on the list sees him opposite James Franco in an unconventional action bromance. Firstly because the friendship is between a stoner and his dealer and secondly because, inbetween the smoking, they have to take on a pair of corrupt cops. Plus, just to make it even tougher, Seth Rogen's character has to maintain a relationship with the absurdly gorgeous Amber Heard. Here he is, trying to impress her parents, while stoned, and therefore totally failing:

6. Smiley Face

Stop us if we're completely wrong but Smiley Face is pretty much the only female stoner movie around. Starring a perfectly cast Anna Faris as an actress having a nightmarish day while completely stoned, it's a film about how very little can mean a lot when you're under the influence. From the paranoia of waiting for a friend at the dentist to the remarkable joy of eating cupcakes, her day is a full-on rollercoaster. It's exemplified brilliantly in the below scene where she attempts, and fails, to not act stoned while auditioning for a movie:

5. Harold and Kumar Get The Munchies

Known as Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle in the US, this comedy had to be renamed as the fast food chain isn't known internationally. Yet the overhwelming need for munchies is something that crosses any cultural barrier. So it's easy to relate to the plight of Harold and Kumar, two guys who smoke too much weed and are the determined to get some burgers. On the way, they find themselves singing along to some Wilson Phillips, because why the hell not:

4. Half Baked

Brilliant (and criminally under-exposed) American comic Dave Chappelle writes and stars in this utterly ludicrous but thoroughly entertaining 1998 comedy about four perpetually fried friends who unwittingly anger a local drug lord. Along the way, our heroes attempt to woo a young lady with the not-particularly-subtle moniker of Mary-Jane Potman, bump into celebrity marijuana enthusiasts Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson and, ermmm, murder a police horse by over-feeding it junk food. Cringe below:

3. Dazed and Confused

The quintessential stoner film for gentlemen of a certain age (i.e. those too young to remember Cheech and Chong), Richard Linklater’s 1993 keg-guzzling, joint-burning masterpiece documents the end-of-school party we all wish we’d been at. Geeks, jocks, weed-heads and a permanently furious Ben Affleck all unite for a night of doobie-based debauchery set to a blistering soundtrack of Seventies rock ‘n’ roll. Stoner-in-chief Ron Slater’s muddled monologue about former US President George Washington’s affinity for cannabis and aliens improves with every viewing. Watch and re-watch below:

2. Up In Smoke

The oldest film on the list comes all the way from 1978 and sees Cheech and Chong set the formula for many a stoner comedy ever since. So the classic "stoners get get caught up in wacky adventures while at the mercy of pot" originally came from this gem. Along the way, they also encounter variously odd characters like the iconic Ajax Lady:

1. The Big Lebowski

Our oldest stoner on the list also happens to be the very best. All The Dude wants to do is get stoned, drink White Russians, go bowling and maintain a clean, urine-free rug but he's thrown into a mysterious web of mistaken identity which prevents him from truly chilling out. Jeff Bridge's pitch-perfect performance cemented his status as one of cinema's greatest stoners, shown brilliantly in this scene where he explains who he is:

(Images: Rex Features, All Star)