Erudite Stoner

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search

There's The Stoner, then there's the Erudite Stoner. What sets this type of stoner apart from other stoners is that they're deeply philosophical, usually very mellow, slow to anger, and a veritable font of wisdom for the straight, more uptight characters.

Visually, they may be hippie throwbacks, with long hair, tie-dye shirts, bell-bottom jeans, and fringed vests, or they may be up-to-date but casual in their appearance. The one thing they are highly unlikely to be is expensively or meticulously dressed and groomed.

Their speech patterns will probably be slow and somewhat rambling, and they will come out with non sequiturs as often as they produce a gem of wisdom. But the wisdom will always be exactly what another character needed to be told, at the precise moment they need most to hear it.

It's possible that this trope is based on classic rock musicians such as John Lennon, George Harrison (Possibly Paul as well, but certainly not Ringo), Jim Morrison, or Jimi Hendrix.

Not to be confused with the Cloudcuckoolander, who doesn't require chemical assistance to see the world through some-other-colored glasses, nor the Surfer Dude, who has similar speech patterns or habits but are usually missing the "font of wisdom" part, though the two can overlap.

Compare/contrast with Junkie Prophet.

Examples of Erudite Stoner include:


Anime[edit | hide | hide all]


Film[edit | hide]

  • Tommy Chong in the Cheech and Chong series and in real life.
  • The aliens piloting the Smiley spaceship in the first Heavy Metal movie. (it was in cinemas, so here's where the post goes) One of them sounds off like a total guru on the subject of flying a spacecraft while stoned, while stoned, and manages a glorious (crash) landing on a space station while doing so.
  • Crush the sea turtle from Finding Nemo.
  • Filmore, the hippy-painted VW Microbus and peddler of organic fuels in Pixar's Cars. Although a family-friendly movie probably wouldn't outright say it, it is hinted at when Filmore Contemplates A Blinking Traffic Light:

Filmore: I swear, man, every third blink is slower...!
Sarge: *Beat* The Sixties weren't good to you, were they?

    • Fun Fact: The Pixar animators had fun with this: every third blink really is slower.
    • Also fun fact: Filmore was voiced by George Carlin, a Real Life Erudite Stoner.
  • Many depictions like this owe at least something to Dennis Hopper's photojournalist character in Apocalypse Now. Direct parodies of this character occur often in Animaniacs.
  • Lazlo Hollyfeld in Real Genius, though it's never stated that he took drugs; instead, he cracked years earlier from the realization that his inventions were being used to make weapons, and had spent over decade living alone in a steam tunnel under the university.
  • While neither character fits the trope perfectly, most of the dialogue between The Dude and Walter in The Big Lebowski is of the erudite stoner variety. Although if one listens carefully, it's obvious that most of The Dude's erudition is simply him imitating big words he heard other people say.
    • That happens all of what, twice in the film? The quick wit and meditative demeanor are all his.
  • Ferris Buellers Day Off: The stoner (played by Charlie Sheen) that Jean meets at the police station. He nails her problem and is halfway towards nailing her when her mother shows up.
  • Johnny Quid from the Guy Ritchie film RocknRolla.
  • Silent Bob - The Trope Namesake fits this beautifully; speaks rarely but shows great wisdom even with few words in all the films he appears in and yes, he and Jay are stoners (if it weren't obvious).
    • Subverted in Clerks II, when they aren't stoners anymore. Interestingly, toward the end, when everyone turns to him expecting advice on the current predicament, he draws a blank.
    • Also in Dogma, it's Bob who inspires Jay's suggestion to petition the Cardinal, making The Metatron note (crediting Jay rather than Bob):

"Good lord. The little stoner's got a point."


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Leo on That '70s Show (almost all the main characters smoke marijuana, but it was never explicitly shown or referred to by name). Except for the smoke.
    • Bonus for being actually played by a real life erudite stoner, Tommy Chong.
  • Phoebe Buffay from Friends, quite obviously. She started that way, and somewhere down the line became an ex-criminal Ditz
  • Ash (Chad Lindberg) on Supernatural. A skilled supernatural researcher working out of a sleazy redneck bar. In his first appearance on the show, he is passed out/sleeping one off on a pool table.
  • Peter Tork from The Monkees (the character) is a strange mix of this, Granola Girl (or Guy), and The Ditz…although this trope certainly fits his real-life 60’s personality to a T (his philosophical speech from the Monkees’ film Head comes to mind).
  • Toby from Power Rangers Mystic Force. And later RJ from Power Rangers Jungle Fury.
  • Dr. Johnny Fever on WKRP in Cincinnati.
  • Reverend Jim from Taxi.
  • Darnell Turner from My Name Is Earl
  • Naboo from The Mighty Boosh
  • A repeated theme on Dragnet. They often wound up trading philosophical barbs with Sgt.Friday and most of the time wound up in jail by the episode's end.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • The Dark Tower Eddie's brother, the great sage and eminent junkie Henry Dean, fits this trope fairly well.
  • The Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland.
  • Tom "Stoner" Stone from 1632 is a die-hard hippie whose marijuana plants become an important painkiller for Grantville. He lives on a commune, wears tie-dye and nearly had a masters in pharmacology at Purdue. By the standards of the time, he is considered a miraculous chemist.
  • In Spider Robinson's novel Time Pressure, we meet 'The Naz', a perpetually smiling brain-fried LSD casualty in the mid-70's. Full of many strange and wonderful observations, including the psychological principles for the Graphic User Interface, ten years before it was invented.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The Mammago brothers in Beyond Good and Evil. They're pretty much Hollywood Rastafarians, after all...
    • By the way, do you remember their names: Hal, Babukar and Issam? In original French the first one was called Haile.
  • The Truth (voiced by Peter Fonda) from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas hangs out here, too. Also usually supplies his own stuff, for consumption and distribution.
    • Ryder too, to an extent. He wants to be one, at one point he claims he was thrown out of school because he was 'too intelligent for this shit', and not because he beat up a teacher for wearing Balla colours.
    • As his name implies, Big Smoke, however, has his moment (which is instantly ruined by CJ):

Big Smoke: Like it says in the book... We are both blessed and cursed.
Carl Johnson: What fuckin' book?

  • Gustafa from the Harvest Moon series—at least, those games set in Forget-Me-Not-Valley. He's, like, at one with the cosmos, man.
  • Three Dog from Fallout 3 has the speech pattern, dress style, and the profession for it. Though the paraphernalia doesn't appear, he confesses casually in broadcast that he did harder recreational drugs in the past. Oddly he claims he might have been hallucinating under the influence of a drug that isn't hallucinogenic.
  • Animal Crossing has Pascal and K.K. Slider. Pascal in particular screams (or rather casually mumbles) high.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Sid from the webcomic User Friendly. He even has a moment where he says "Is this really happening, or am I having an LSD relapse after all these years?"
  • And speaking of webcomics, there's Weedmaster P from Overcompensating.
  • Sylvester from A Game of Fools. Although you do see him inhale. A lot.
  • Mulligan from Pictures of You.
  • Homestuck: Gamzee Makara speaks exclusively in this way (until he sobers up), but practically everyone around him usually dismisses his philosophical ramblings as nonsense.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Implied with Scott, Luke Mochrie's Inner Musician, during the New Season Teaser.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • In The Life and Times of Juniper Lee season one, episode one "It's Your Party and I'll Whine If I Want To" introduces a Leprechaun who characterizes this trope. In more recent episodes, it is shown that all Leprechauns talk and act like this.
  • Haley's boyfriend Jeff on American Dad.
  • Ol' Skool from Get Ed.
  • Dylan the rabbit in The Magic Roundabout.
  • American Dragon: Jake Long has the title character's friend Arthur "Spud" Spudinski, who talks like this (and has some rarely seen Genius Ditz computer skills), though his age and the fact that it's Disney make it unlikely he's actually a stoner.
    • One episode showed that he's just Obfuscating Stupidity so that he can enjoy life and not be stuck in the genius schools.
    • It's both and neither. Spud's good at a lot of things instead of just one, so he's not really a Genius Ditz. His uh...eccentricities are only sometimes faked, so he's not Obfuscating Stupidity. The whole of his character is best encompassed by zigzagging between those two, Erudite Stoner, and just plain Cloudcuckoolander.
  • Otto from The Simpsons. Otto's gotten a lot more explicit lately. Moments like "Whoa! What am I smoking? ...Oh, right. Pot." and drinking the water from a bong in the movie.
  • Beachcomber, the pacifist, hippie, nature loving mini-bot from the original Transformers. Sure, robots can't really get high, but he's working on it.
  • The ancient Chinese hippies free-spirited nomads from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • Jude from 6Teen.
  • 2D from Gorillaz, despite his impressive consumption of painkillers and trademark ditziness, will occasionally come up with something unexpectedly perceptive. It's vaguely implied that he may be less dumb than just high, eccentric, and unambitious. Or he may really is that dense. It's hard to tell.
  • Trent Lane from Daria.
  • Kahuna from Stoked!.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • George Carlin
  • The already mentioned Tommy Chong.
  • Carl Sagan - One of the most esteemed scientists in recent history. Enthusiastic marijuana smoker. His widow Ann Druyan carries out his legacy as a popularizer of science and as president of the NORML[1] Foundation Board of Directors.
  • Bill Hicks - Stand up comedian and vociferous pot advocate:

"Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet. Doesn’t the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit… paranoid? You know what I mean? It’s nature. How do you make nature against the fucking law? It grows everywhere. Serves a thousand different functions, all of them positive. To make marijuana against the law is like saying to God made a mistake. You know what I mean, it’s like God on the seventh day looked down on his creation:
“There it is, my creation, perfect and holy in all ways. Now, I can rest.” [Mimes God looking around – spotting pot] “Oh my me. I left fucking pot everywhere! I should never have smoked that joint on the third day...shit! That was the day I created possums. Haha. Still gives me a chuckle. If I leave pot everywhere that’s gonna to give humans the impression they’re supposed to... use it!”

  • Timothy Leary definitely counts.
  • Dave Matthews, of the Dave Matthews Band.
  • Terence McKenna.
  • From Brazil, rapper Marcelo D2 and his former band 'Planet Hemp', who basically only talked about smoking/legalizing but in an erudite way.

References[edit | hide]

  1. National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws"