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Erudite Stoner
Stoners: Stop right there, dudes, you're not getting past.
Barry: Hey, if people can get past, can they also get... future?
Stoners: Woah.

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. In the 1960s, people who used psychedelics to accompany meditation or creativity were sometimes known as mind trippers.

Not to be confused with the Cloud Cuckoo Lander, 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.

This trope usually results from Higher Understanding Through Drugs. Compare/contrast with Junkie Prophet.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime 

    Film 
  • 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?
  • 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. The Dude cites Vladimir Lenin, was a political activist in his college years and has a quick wit and meditative demeanor.
  • Ferris Bueller's 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. Though one might argue that he is more of a tweeker or junkie than a stoner. Charlie Sheen stated that he stayed up for 48 hours to get the look he had for the film - which is not something a stoner is likely to do. Plus Charlie Sheen's drug of choice in real life seems to be coke.
  • Johnny Quid from the Guy Ritchie film Rock N Rolla.
  • 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."
  • Danny the Drug Dealer in Withnail and I.
  • Bishop (Chi McBride), the dishwasher in Waiting.
  • Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. 'Nuff said.
  • Subverted in the movie Little Miss Sunshine: Alan Arkin's character is shown snorting heroin at the start of the movie, in the opening credits. Later in the movie he spouts advice/nonsense at Dwayne about getting it on.
  • Dude Wheres My Car has Nelson, who tries to be Zen about everything and even gets his dog high. He talks like Yoda, which gets people annoyed, although this ends up getting him a hot chick at the end. He also provides vital advice to defeat the Big Bad.
  • The Prince, a.k.a. 'the Guru of the Googly', in Save Your Legs.
  • Fred Kwan from Galaxy Quest, Perpetually high, mellow, and accepting, with quite a few bits of wisdom and knowledge thrown in to boot.
    Guy Fleegman: I'm just a glorified extra, Fred. I'm a dead man anyway. If I'm gonna die, I'd rather go out a hero than a coward.
    Fred Kwan: Guy, Guy... maybe you're the plucky comic relief. You ever think about that?
    Guy Fleegman: Plucky?
  • Jasper in Children of Men.

    Live Action TV 
  • Super-mellow Chris the DJ on Northern Exposure was this.
  • 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.
  • Britta Perry on Community is another female example, although she becomes more ditzy as time goes on.
  • 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.
  • Mad Men - After having a "life-altering experience" on LSD in season five, Roger starts trying to live up to this trope. The results are mixed.
    Roger: You know, it's very interesting, but a lot of times you think people are looking at you, but they're not. Their mind's elsewhere.
    Don: Lots of people that haven't taken LSD already know that, Roger.
  • Jo's mom, Tess Masterson from Twisted is a downplayed example. She has a stash that she occasionally accesses for artistic inspiration.

    Literature 
  • 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.
  • Pete in How To Build A Skydeck, whose pastimes include smoking pot on his Skydeck and talking about everything from Taoist philosophy to discussing life on other worlds and Man's place in the universe.
  • 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.
  • Reefer, Spencer's current love interest in Pretty Little Liars is this. At first she think he's just some creepy stoner from Princeton who by some miracle got into the school, then it's revealed he's actually a Teen Genius majoring in Quantum Physics who grows his own pot and keeps it neatly in alphabetical order, Spencer can't help but be impressed.
  • Kelly Norris from Animas Conquest seems to be this. She is a profoundly gifted pharmacology student who synthesizes her own drugs and enjoys their effects. She is also the first to notice something shady about the school she's attending.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Doonesbury's Zonker Harris is probably the second-druggiest character in syndicated comics - his uncle Duke is the first - and he's something of a cloudcuckoolander, but he's brainy as well.

    Radio 
  • Bob Dylan's Theme-Time Radio Hour sure as hell had the slow, rambling but eloquent delivery down even if he didn't have a joint on the go while it was being recorded.

    Video Games 
  • The Mammago brothers in Beyond Good & 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 is one. Also grows 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 dog-musician K.K. Slider, and an even bigger example in surfer-dude otter Pascal.

    Webcomics 
  • 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 
  • Implied with Scott, Luke Mochrie's Inner Musician, during the New Season Teaser.
  • Dave_o, frequent guest commentator on Retsupurae, is a stoned-out Californian; people joke that his voice gives them a contact high. He's also highly intelligent and has strong opinions on certain topics, such as calling out The Dark Knight Rises for being (in his view) pro-authoritarian propaganda.

    Western Animation 
  • 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.
  • Ol' Skool from Get Ed.
  • Dylan the rabbit in The Magic Roundabout, who's a vocal parody of exactly who you think.
  • 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.
  • 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 hippie parodying 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 
  • 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 NORMLnote  Foundation Board of Directors.
  • The already mentioned Tommy Chong.
  • Dave Matthews, of the Dave Matthews Band.
  • Bill Robinson, though he no longer smokes weed so as to preserve his voice.
  • Timothy Leary definitely counts
  • George Carlin. He made it official in his autobiography, Last Words, where he speculated that his smoking of pot might had partially shaped his comic style, but he also acknowledged that his use definitely had some downsides.
  • From Brazil, rapper Marcelo D2 and his former band Planet Hemp, who basically only talked about smoking/legalizing but in an erudite way.
  • James Franco has been fairly open about his marijuana use, and has a strong interest in higher education, including working towards a PhD in English Literature at Yale.
  • Bing Crosby.
  • Bill Hicks, despite generally being angry with society, routinely worked his personal experiences with drugs, especially marijuana and hallucinogens, into his routines and did fit in numerous deep, philosophical ideas.
  • Obligatory Zeroth Law example.
  • Comedian Greg Proops, especially in his podcast The Smartest Man In The World, in which he gives the impression of being perpetually stoned whilst regularly wandering into political and philosophical territory.
  • Neil Young, until recently, smoked marijuana the way most people smoke regular cigarettes. He only stopped in 2012 on medical advice. He is so used to using grass as an aid to creativity that he worried he would not be able to come up with new ideas for his music and other arts. He seems to be doing fine, however.
  • Robert Altman was a longtime NORML Advisory Board member. In interviews he came off as laid-back and thoughtful but fairly down-to-earth, probaby owing to his not having started smoking pot until his 40s, when he was mature enough to know how to integrate it into his life without disrupting it.


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