[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/harold_and_kumar_go_to_white_castle.jpg]]

->'''Kumar''': No matter what, we are not ending this night without White Castle in our stomachs. Agreed?\\
'''Harold''': Agreed!

A well-loved StonerFlick with [[BringingUpBaby elements]] of classic ScrewballComedy, '''''Harold & Kumar go to White Castle''''' (''Harold and Kumar Get the Munchies'' in countries that do not have White Castles) captivated audiences in 2004 with its simple premises and [[HilarityEnsues the wild hilarity that comes with trying to accomplish said premise]].

[[JohnCho Harold]] and [[KalPenn Kumar]] are two New Jersey natives with problems. Harold is an uptight investment banker who is taken advantage of by his douchebag co-workers and cannot work up the courage to talk to his hot neighbor Maria; Kumar is being pressured by his dad to attend medical school when he would rather relax.

After getting high and seeing a commercial for White Castle, the duo decide to travel to the nearest White Castle in Cherry Hill for burgers. Unfortunately for them problems, some caused by their own actions, most by events outside of their control, arise to stop Harold and Kumar from reaching their goal.

''Harold and Kumar go to White Castle'' is notable for taking what were normally the [[TokenMinority ethnic sidekick character types]] of most teen stoner comedy flicks and making them the stars. As such, the movie gets a lot of mileage out of making fun of [[RaceTropes ethnicities and other people's perceptions of different races]].

The movie is also notable for bringing Creator/NeilPatrickHarris back into spotlight. Playing a [[AdamWesting womanizing, Ecstasy addicted version of himself]] [[OneSceneWonder for a couple of scenes]], audiences were reminded that Creator/NeilPatrickHarris can do things besides [[Series/DoogieHowserMD Doogie Howser]]. Studios quickly picked up on that, and [[Series/HowIMetYourMother the rest is history]].

This movie was followed by two sequels, ''Film/HaroldAndKumarEscapeFromGuantanamoBay'' in 2008, and ''Film/AVeryHaroldAndKumar3DChristmas'' in 2011. '''Please put tropes appropriate to those movies on their pages.'''

It is entirely unrelated to ''Film/HaroldAndMaude''.
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!!'''This movie contains examples of:'''

* AcCENTUponTheWrongSylLABle: Everyone pronounces Kumar as "KU-mar", whereas in real life, it's pronounced "ku-MAR".
* AdamWesting: Neil Patrick Harris as a crazed, perverted, drug-addled, ''incredibly heterosexual'' FormerChildStar version of himself.
* AirVentPassageway: Kumar breaks into a police station where Harold is being held to bust him out. [[RealityEnsues He soon finds himself stuck inside]], but the vent breaks beneath him and he falls out.
* AmericanDream: Kumar gives a RousingSpeech in which he cites this as the reason they need to hang glide to White Castle.
* AsHimself: Creator/NeilPatrickHarris, though it's a subversion as he specifically requested to be credited "as Neil Patrick Harris" instead of "as Himself", so that people didn't think he was ''actually'' a drug-sniffing, car-stealing womanizer.
** In a bit of ActorAllusion, he mentions that he was able to [[Series/DoogieHowserMD perform appendectomies at age 14]].
-->'''Harold''': [[LampshadeHanging Wasn't that just the]] [[Series/DoogieHowserMD TV show]]?
*** He also claimed to have had sex with Whoopie Goldberg's stand-in while filming ''Clara's Heart'' at age 14.
* AsianAndNerdy: Harold's co-workers cites this as justification for tricking Harold into doing his work.
** [[ZigZaggingTrope Zigzagged]] with Harold. He's an uptight neat-freak who lets bullies from his office and neighborhood walk all over him. But he's also a stoner and an expert at beer-pong. He later ends up standing up to his bullies and screwing them over magnificently.
** Subverted by Cindy Kim and her East Asian Club. They appear to be straight-laced nerds, but turn out to be drug-using party animals.
* BaitAndSwitch: Towards the beginning, Harold is waiting for the elevator when he sees Maria come in, also waiting for the elevator. Once they get inside, Harold and Maria chat a bit, but it turns out they were still waiting for the elevator, and once they do get inside, spend the entire ride in awkward silence till they get to their floor, each saying to one another a half-hearted "bye".
* BestKnownForTheFanservice: In-universe. Rosenberg and Goldstein watch ''The Gift'' for the sole purpose of seeing Katie Holmes's breasts.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Harold. Possibly, Neil Patrick Harris as well.
* BilingualBonus: The movie poster in Harold's dream has the tag line "There is a pinche puto in all of us". "Pinche puto" would probably be best translated as "fucking pussy".
* BlackIsBiggerInBed: Harold gets locked up in jail with a philosophical black man, who is resigned to his fate.
-->'''Harold:''' I don't understand how you can be so calm about all this.
-->'''Tarik:''' Look at me. I'm fat, black, can't dance, and I [[HasTwoMommies have two gay fathers]]. People have been messin' with me my whole life. I learned a long time ago that there's no sense gettin' all riled up every time a bunch of idiots give you a hard time. In the end, the universe tends to unfold as it should. Plus, I have a really large penis. That keeps me happy.
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: "If you boys'd like to go on inside, get yourself something to drink, worship, fuck my wife, watch TV... anything you want!"
* BrilliantButLazy: Kumar.
* ButNowIMustGo: Neil Patrick Harris in the end.
* ButtMonkey: Harold. Exploited at work because of his ethnicity, has parking spaces stolen from him by extreme sports enthusiasts, his best friend uses his scissors for manscaping, he gets attacked by a raccoon, Neil Patrick Harris steals his car, he gets arrested for jaywalking (well, admittedly he also unintentionally punched the cop in the face), his laptop gets destroyed, he gets clotheslined by a tree branch while riding a cheetah, and on top of all of that, he's completely unable to talk to the girl he has a crush on. Harold isn't just the ButtMonkey; he's distinctly headed into [[TheWoobie woobie]] territory.
* TheCameo: Several.
** RyanReynolds shows up as a nurse with a fetish for capable surgeons.
** [[LawAndOrderSVU Christopher Meloni]] as tow-truck driver Freakshow.
** MalinAckerman as Freakshow's beautiful wife.
** Creator/AnthonyAnderson as the Burger Shack employee who... makes the special sauce extra special.
** And of course, Creator/NeilPatrickHarris.
* CannotSpitItOut / CannotTalkToWomen: Harold is unable to confess his love for Maria [[spoiler: until the very end.]]
* ChekhovsGag:
** The crazy guy in the bushes compliments Kumar's "manscaping", which was mentioned near the beginning of the movie.
** The dorky pot dealer that our heroes encounter at Princeton somehow ends up clad only in his underwear in the Muckleburg police station, along with Harold.
* ChekhovsGun: The split-second news report [[spoiler: about a cheetah that escaped from the zoo.]]
* CorruptCop: The Muckleburg PD, hoo boy. They even respond to a call about a shooting (phoned in by Kumar so he can sneak into the police department and break out Harold), and arrest the nearest black man they can find, who was asleep in his home.
** This turns out to be [[HoistByHisOwnPetard shooting themselves in the foot]] when the guy turns out to be a high priced lawyer who, after being on the receiving end of overwhelming evidence of police brutality is able to team up with the ''other'' black man they wrongfully arrested (who's a college professor) to have all the cops arrested and sue the pants off the department.
* DaydreamSurprise: Harold talking the girl he has a crush on into hanging out in his apartment. And then back to reality...
* DeathGlare: The Princeton pot dealer receives one from Kumar after first overcharging him for weed and then trying to hone in on his hot British twin action.
* {{Determinator}}: They will stop at nothing to get those burgers.
* {{Dissimile}}
-->'''Kumar''': How were Katie Holmes' tits?
-->'''Goldstein''': You know the Holocaust?
-->'''Kumar''': Yeah?
-->'''Goldstein''': Picture the opposite of that!
-->'''Kumar''': Nice!
* DoYouWantToCopulate: Freakshow innocuously offers his wife to Harold and Kumar. When they subsequently meet her she casually asks them both to fuck her at the same time, prompting a SpitTake from Harold.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Harold and Kumar are ''extremely'' happy to have White Castle burgers after all the crap both of them, particularly Harold, went through.
* EvenTheGuysWantHim: At least two guys show some attraction to Kumar; an old man in the hospital tries to hold his hand, and one of the medics is obviously infatuated.
* FanDisservice: Two college girls who are also twins with English accents? [[spoiler: Fantasy completely ruined when the boys overhear them playing a game of "Battleshits".]]
* FoodAndAnimalAttraction: The cheetah finds Harold's beef jerky.
* FoodPorn: The White Castle commercial that sends Harold and Kumar on their quest. It even includes sleazy-sounding porn music. There's also the Burger Shack drive-thru guy's description of White Castle burgers.
* GilliganCut: Immediately after Kumar insists Harold doesn't need to go to the hospital, we cut to him sitting in a hospital waiting room.
** Also, after Harold insists he won't stop by Cindy Kim's party, we immediately cut to him sitting in her party.
* GravityIsAHarshMistress: The raccoon dangles in mid-air for a bit when Harold flings it out the car window.
* [[HasTwoMommies Has Two Daddies]]: Tarik, the guy Harold and Kumar meet in jail.
* HeroOfAnotherStory: Rosenberg and Goldstein.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Harold and Kumar. This or HoYay.
* HiddenDepths: The straight-laced Asian nerds like Cindy Kim throw such a wild party Harold and Kumar almost wish they'd stayed.
** The ultra macho extreme sports enthusiasts are apparently fond of cheesy '80s pop songs.
* HillbillyHorrors: Parodied/Subverted. Harold and Kumar's car breaks down in the middle of the woods and they are picked up by a creepy, hideous, decrepit truck driver called Freakshow. The scenes play out like a slasher film with Harold and Kumar expecting Freakshow to murder them at any point. It turns out he's actually a well-meaning if loony guy with a [[UglyGuyHotWife surprisingly attractive wife]]. It gets even weirder when his wife invites them to have a threeway with her, but when Freakshow insists on joining Harold and Kumar hightail it out of there.
* HisNameActuallyIsBarkeep: After Harold and Kumar steal the extreme sports enthusiast' car, Cole, the lead enthusiast, addresses his friend as "Extreme Sports Punk #1".
* HumbleGoal: The entire point.
* InconvenientHippocraticOath: While a medical student rather than a doctor, Kumar in the first film plays this straight, like pretty much every medically-trained fugitive in fiction.
* InterchangeableAsianCultures: InUniverse, Harold (who is Korean) is repeatedly mistaken for Chinese/Japanese.
* IveComeTooFar: When Harold gets in a police chase after stealing the skateboarders' car.
-->'''Harold''': I'm not going back to jail, man. We've come too far.
* JerkAss: The cops/extreme sports guys. Also, Harold's co-workers, Billy and J.D.
* JohnBarleycornAndFriends: When Kumar is trying to liberate Harold from jail he is distracted by a giant bag of weed at the police station. Kumar immediately forgets about Harold and has an elaborate Dream Sequence where he falls in love with the anthropomorphized bag of weed—then makes love to said anthropomorphized bag of weed—then marries the bag of weed—then is stuck in a miserable squabbling marriage with the bag of weed.
* {{Joisey}}: The setting.
* LaserGuidedKarma: The sports enthusiasts and the racist cops all get arrested in the end.
* LeaveYourQuestTest: Harold and Kumar stand outside Hot Dog Heaven, seeing Rosenberg and Goldstein happily eating together. After all they've been through, Kumar asks Harold if he'd just like to eat there instead of White Castle. Instead, Harold is emboldened by their pleasure, and vows that they will get to White Castle one way or another.
* LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn: The creepy organ music being played as Harold and Kumar enter Freakshow's home is actually being played by Freakshow's wife.
* LetUsNeverSpeakOfThisAgain: After Harold and Kumar flee from Freakshow's home.
* TheLoad: Kumar is responsble for just about everything that goes wrong over the course of the night, other than the scene where Harold slams on the gas pedal because he's scared of talking to Maria.
--> '''Harold''': This whole night is your fault!
* ManlyTears: What happens when Harold and Kumar actually made it to White Castle and feasted on those tiny, delicious burgers.
* MarketBasedTitle: Known as ''Harold and Kumar Get the Munchies'' outside of the US and Canada, because White Castle operates solely within the US, and it can be presumed that most Canadians are familiar with the franchise as well.
** And only in the Northeastern and Midwestern US, at that. This left viewers in the South and the West Coast confused, as they didn't know what White Castle was.
** Strangely enough, it was screened as ''Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle'' in Singapore, the Philippines, Australia, Belgium and Canada, all of which do not have a single WC restaurant (White Castle's management seems to not want to do international franchises).
** Actually, White Castle has a line of frozen foods featuring their signature sliders available in grocers and vending machines since 1987. Many people probably didn't know it was an actual restaurant at the time.
* {{Meganekko}}: Cindy Kim
* TheMillstone: Harold's life would be a lot more hassle-free if Kumar wasn't always looking for weed.
* MissionFromGod: Neil Patrick Harris believes he's on one. Harold and Kumar aren't convinced.
* MotivationalLie: Kumar persuades Harold to take the hang-glider to White Castle by assuring him he used to hang-glide with his dad. When they finally do, Kumar admits he's never actually hang-glided, which prompts Harold to strangle him after crash-landing.
* TheMountainsOfIllinois: That's quite the New Jersey cliff that Harold and Kumar descend from when they finally find the White Castle.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed
* NoFourthWall: The DVD menu for the first film, where both characters comment on the options available as well as how long the viewer takes to make a selection.
* OddCouple: Harold is the neat freak, Kumar is the slob.
* OffscreenTeleportation: When our titular heroes want to cross a street at a crosswalk. Kumar convinces Harold to jaywalk, and Harold checks both directions, to find the road clear on both sides for miles. Then he steps off the sidewalk and a cop car ''instantly'' pulls up from just off-screen. Cue Kumar trying to ignore Harold's DeathGlare.
* OutsideInsideSlur: Harold [[DiscussedTrope talks about]] being referred to as a twinkie -- yellow outside, white inside.
* PlayingAgainstType: Creator/NeilPatrickHarris. He's credited as "Neil Patrick Harris as Neil Patrick Harris".
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: The cop that harasses the two.
* POVSequel: As noted below, the actors playing the main characters were FunnyForeigner characters in other gross-out comedies and the movie is sort of a perspective shift to focus on them; Harold's coworkers are a parody of the JerkAss [[DesignatedHero Designated Heroes]] of most of these films and amusingly, all of their adventures happen offscreen. Similarly, the two have a pair of [[ReplacementFlatCharacter even nerdier (and Jewish) friends]], Rosenberg and Goldstein who also have adventures off-screen, alluding to the play ''Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead'' which is a famous example of this.
* ProductPlacement: In the fucking ''title''.
* RaceTropes: Most of them PlayedWith and {{subverted}}.
* RandomEventsPlot: All three movies. And they're ''hilarious''.
* RantInducingSlight / TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Both Harold and Kumar. Kumar gets his first when [[RabidCop an asshole cop]] gives Harold a ticket for jaywalking after ''putting one foot down off the curb''; Harold's comes when he runs into his co-workers at the White Castle, catching them lying about an "important business meeting" as an excuse to make Harold do all their work.
** RealitySubtext: Kumar's rant was inspired by a similar rant Kal Penn gave a parking officer when he was ticketed after getting back to his car ''just when the meter expired''.
* RepeatCut: When Harold loses it right after Neil Patrick Harris steals his car.
* RockBottom: Immediately after complaining that he doesn't know how much more he can take, Harold gets attacked by a raccoon that snuck into the car.
* RousingSpeech: Kumar's speech as they see the White Castle.
-->'''Harold:''' Forget it! I'm not risking my life over a bunch of hamburgers, man.
-->'''Kumar:''' So you think this is just about the burgers, huh? Let me tell you, it's about far more than that. Our parents came to this country, escaping persecution, poverty, and hunger. Hunger, Harold. They were very, very hungry. They wanted to live in a land that treated them as equals, a land filled with hamburger stands. And not just one type of hamburger, okay? Hundreds of types with different sizes, toppings, and condiments. That land was America. America, Harold! America! Now, this is about achieving what our parents set out for. This is about the pursuit of happiness. This night... is about the American dream. Dude, we can stay here, get arrested, and end our hopes of ever going to White Castle. Or we can take that hang glider and make our leap towards freedom. I leave the decision up to you.
* SchoolyardBullyAllGrownUp: Kumar accuses a cop of being this, to which the cop happily admits.
* TheScream: Harold when he sees Neil Patrick Harris steal his car.
* SeriousBusiness: White Castle hamburgers. One other fast-food cook wants to burn down his restaurant for them.
* ShoutOut: To another StonerFlick directed by Danny Leiner:
-->'''Harold''': ''(to Neil Patrick Harris)'' Film/DudeWheresMyCar?!\\
'''Kumar''': Where's his car, dude?!
** During their first scene, the sports enthusiasts yell "Better luck tomorrow!" at Harold, referencing the film ''Film/BetterLuckTomorrow'', another movie Creator/JohnCho starred in.
** Ryan Reynolds wiping Kumar's brow mirrors the scene in Van Wilder where they perform surgery on the dog-sandwiches together.
** See the poster up there? See the tagline? Heard of ''Film/FastTimesAtRidgemontHigh'', itself a movie full of stoners?
** Rosenberg and Goldstein are a reference to ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'''s (or Stoppard's) Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. How's ''that'' for an unexpected GeniusBonus?
** In Kumar's ImagineSpot of loving the bag of weed, the scene where he abuses the bag while working at an adding machine parodies a similar scene in ''Film/RagingBull''.
* ShownTheirWork: Yes, there are White Castle restaurants in New Jersey.
** But there isn't one in Cherry Hill. The closest is 1 1/2 hours away (there are a couple of Chick-Fil-As though).
** Not to mention that the real Cherry Hill is a very suburban area--it's 20 minutes down a major highway from UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}}[[note]]Also, see [[http://i.imgur.com/Pwnf4.jpg this map]] on {{Joisey}}. It's in the "Happy White Families" in the southwestern section, right next to Collingswood.[[/note]]--it is nowhere near as rural as depicted in the film.
** There is, however, a White Castle in New Brunswick (still open).
** The way Freakshow and his wife talk about Jesus and church would suggest they are from a low Protestant church. Thus they probably wouldn't have many pictures and statuettes of Jesus or Mary.
* ASimplePlan: Two guys want to go to a fast food restaurant; what could be simpler? Apparently, a lot.
* SpitTake: Harold after Freakshow's wife asks if they're going to fuck her.
* TheStoner: Almost every character is this, from the titular characters. Even the studious Asians.
* StonerFlick
* StonersAreFunny
* StraightMan: Harold to a T.
* TakeThat: Kumar mocking Harold for liking ''Film/SixteenCandles'', because of its character [[EthnicScrappy Long Duk Dong]]. ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' also gets one with the use of "Thank you, come again!" by Kumar.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Rosenberg and Goldstein, [[ShoutOut harkening back]] to one of the [[{{Hamlet}} original peripheral duos.]]
* ThreeWaySex: Explicitly offered by Freakshow and his wife. While they debate whether or not to accept, Freakshow offers to make it a Four Way, which causes them to flee in terror.
* TokenMinority: parodied by posters advertising the first movie as starring "That Asian guy from ''AmericanPie''" and "That Indian guy from ''Van Wilder''".
* {{Typecasting}}: Kumar lampshades and subverts this:
--->'''Kumar''': Well, duh! Just because you're hung like a moose doesn't mean you gotta do porn!
* TranquilFury: Harold, Harold, Harold.
* UglyGuyHotWife: Freakshow, who is covered in boils (some of which have pus squirting out of them), is married to a rather good-looking woman (played by [[Film/{{Watchmen}} Malin Akerman]] (Granted, this is before she gained that bit of weight)). She cites [[HiddenDepths his beautiful singing voice]] as the reason she fell in love with him.
* UncomfortableElevatorMoment: This one is uncomfortable because Harold really likes Maria but is too shy to talk to her.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Harold and Kumar.
* WalkingTheEarth: The fate of Neil Patrick Harris, who is going "wherever God takes me".
* WellDoneSonGuy: Kumar isn't interested in being a doctor like his father is, despite having perfect [=MCATs=]. He even uses his medical textbooks as paper to make joints. [[spoiler: He has an epiphany at the end of the first film and decides to give it a shot anyway.]]
* WhatTheHellHero: Neil Patrick Harris attempts to avert this at the end of the first movie by approaching Harold and Kumar, apologising for his role in the previous night's events, and offering to pay for their breakfast. They then launch into this trope anyway, leaving him to irritably point out that he's aware of the dick move he pulled, hence the apology-and-offer-to-buy-their-breakfast.
** Also $200 for Harold's car. He made some "love stains" in the back.
* WilhelmScream: When Harold is knocked off of the cheetah.
* WithFriendsLikeThese
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: Harold's tirade to his coworkers.
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