The plot meanders quite a bit as it follows the two as they search for ways to score marijuana. Along the way, they are pursued by a set of highly incompetent drug agents who are trying to intercept a van made of pure "plasticized" marijuana that the duo are driving unawares.
The film is notable for being the first feature film starring Cheech and Chong and was a financial success with much of its revenue, perhaps surprisingly, coming from Texas and Canada.
This movie contains examples of:
- The Alleged Car: Chong's VW Beetle (with the Rolls Royce hood). It doesn't even make it past the first five minutes of the film.
- Battle of the Bands: Where Cheech, Chong and their band eventually end up... "Rock Fight Of The Century" at the Roxy.
- Butt-Monkey: Sgt. Stedanko
- Cool Car: Pedro's Love Ma-cheen!
- Everybody Must Get Stoned: The DEA agents who are chasing them eventually get high when a vehicle made out of marijuana starts smoking while they're standing next to it.
- Hollywood Nuns: A car full of them at the Mexican border, who Stedanko's squad mistakenly bust for weed smuggling.
- Immune to Drugs: Chong's character, Man, doesn't get a buzz from a joint that sets everyone else on their ear.
- Ms. Fanservice: One of the female hitchhikers is clearly not wearing a bra... and at one point does a little Toplessness from the Back.
- Mundane Object Amazement: Man is very impressed by Pedro's utterly crappy car and its cheesy stylings.
- No Name Given: Man's real name is Anthony Stoner. His first name is mentioned by his parents in his opening scene, but everyone else just calls him 'Man'.
- Not What It Looks Like: People think that Man is having energetic sex with a woman in a van when, in fact, she's just describing a friend's sexual encounter with some very enthusiastic sound effects.
- "Hey, I didn't know your name was Alex."
- Potty Emergency: Pedro's struck with one inside the "upholstery" plant.
- Punishment Box: The back seat of Sgt Stedanko's car serves as one for his incompetent and clueless subordinates.
- Running Gag: Getting a whiff of the super-potent weed truck leads to the munchies. Not even Stedanko's squad is safe in the end.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Played for laughs when Pedro takes Man to meet his cousin Strawberry.
- Stoners Are Funny: This should go without saying.
- Vanity License Plate: Pedro's Car: MUF DVR (A euphemism for oral sex on a woman.)
- The Weed Van: YESCA (Chicano slang for marijuana.)
- Watch It Stoned: Played straight as well as averted in the scene where Cheech has way too much of a very powerful joint and, as a consequence, suffers intense paranoia.