YMMV / Clerks

  • Crosses the Line Twice: A meta example: Jeff Anderson was uncomfortable filming the scene in which Randall reads off a list of increasingly vulgar porno films to his distributor in front of a mother and her child (notice how all the shots of him reading the list are in close up) and asked Kevin Smith to maybe remove one or two of the worst ones. Smith responded by taking the list and adding three more titles!!!
  • Ear Worm: "My love for you is like a truck, Berserker!"
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Jay and Silent Bob.
    • And to a lesser extent, the little girl who buys the cigarettes.
    • The customer who asks "In a row?" when Dante finds out about his girlfriend's sexual history.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The part where Veronica and (especially) Dante berate each other over their sex lives was played for laughs in this movie. However, in Chasing Amy, Holden has a similar reaction to Alyssa when he finds out about her previous sexual experiences, which was played entirely for drama and is why their relationship ultimately didn't work out. And that was in turn based off of Kevin Smith and Joey Lauren Adams' relationship.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Fellatio doesn't count as sex, eh?
    • On the commentary featured on the DVD, the director says that the Soul Asylum video on the DVD is the closest thing to a sequel that the film would ever get.
    • Meta: Jeff Anderson refused to read the list of porno titles in front of the mother and child, so the scene was shot in close up with Reaction Shots added. Judd Apatow, considered to be Kevin Smith's Spiritual Successor, has since done numerous movies where characters shamelessly curse in front of children.
    • Randall's monologue on the destruction of the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi included the statement that storm troopers don't know jack about installing toilet mains. Then The Force Awakens gives us Finn, a storm trooper who worked on Starkiller Base (the Spiritual Successor to the Death Star) in sanitation. This means there might be at least one storm trooper who knows how to install a toilet main after all.
  • Ho Yay: Randal towards Dante.
    Randal: Oh, hey Caitlin? Break his heart again this time, and I'll kill you... Nothing personal.
    Caitlin: You're very protective of him, Randal. You always have been.
    Randal: Territoriality. He was mine first.
  • Hype Backlash: Has appeared on several "Most Overrated Films" lists.
  • I Am Not Shazam: Every single poster for the film seems to imply that all five characters featured on the posters are "clerks", when only two actually are.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Dante.
  • Narm: A lot of the acting is pretty bad.
    • Since the film was made for only $30,000 (the soundtrack cost more than the film), Smith had to use one actor for four roles. Plus, some of the actors weren't professionals (including Smith), so this was bound to happen, although the film is mostly Narm Charm in a way.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Before the film proper even starts.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Silent Bob.
    "You know, there's a million fine-looking women in the world, dude. But they don't all bring you lasagna at work. Most of 'em just cheat on you."
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Many movies have come along since then, depicting 20-somethings sitting around, slacking off, and talking about sex and pop culture is somewhat of a cliche' now. At the time of the making of this movie, it was much more novel.
  • Squick: Caitlyn's "encounter" in the Quick Stop's bathroom.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Dante is supposed to be seen as in the wrong for constantly blaming Randal for most of his problems, but his complaints aren't unjustified. While the Noodle Incident at the funeral was shown to not be Randal's fault (he was accidentally pushed onto the casket), he had no business being there since he didn't know Julie. He got Dante fined for selling cigarettes to a minor, and there was never any indication that he'd pay Dante back for the incident. While Randal didn't know that Dante was reconsidering on breaking up with Veronica, he still had no business telling her.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The movie is very much a product of The '90s. There's the fashion (flannel shirts, backwards baseball caps, and Dock Martin boots), the music (Alice in Chains and Soul Asylum especially), and the prominent VHS rental store as a set piece, to say nothing of characters using a payphone to call outside their home.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Dante and Randal do this to each other at the end of the movie.
  • Wangst: Lampshaded. Dante does this all the time, to the point where Caitlin comes to visit him specifically because she knows he's probably spent the whole day agonizing over the wedding announcement. It's even implied that his self-pity is entirely the result of his refusal to get over Caitlin, a girl he has every reason not to care about any more. This ends up being the first thing Randal eventually blows up at him for.
    Dante: And you know what the real tragedy of all this is? I'm not even supposed to be here today!
    Randall: OH, FUCK YOU, MAN! FUCK YOU! [...] "I'm not even supposed to be here today", you sound like an asshole!