While stoner TV side characters were common here and there throughout media history, not all of them were worthy of embrace. Many are iconic and worthy of love- Hyde on That 70s Show, South Park’s Towelie, The Simpsons’ bus driver, Otto. Certainly most are loveable and harmless, but some definitely gave us a bad name or were downright idiotic and insulting. My list of the most annoying stoner TV characters includes…
Scooby and Shaggy
Yes, I know that we never actually see the mystery duo consume any cannabis, but we all know what type of stereotype these guys are supposed to be… and it is NOT flattering. Shaggy and Scooby constantly make mistakes, are terrified in every scenario, and almost only serve as comedic relief in this cartoon comedy that happens to be able solving spooky mysteries. It’s basically a vague propaganda statement in the 60s about the paranoid stoner you should avoid becoming, and look to Fred the hero as a better example. I’ll pass on those Scooby Snax.
The Caterpillar in Alice and Wonderland
This guy is just a dick. Another stoner-non-stoner, he only ever is described as imbibing hookah, but the general hippie air about him suggests otherwise. He’s pretentious and rude to Alice, doing absolutely nothing helpful for her. At the point when she meets him, she does help! Alice finds him difficult, brusque, and confusing. I love the artwork of this character, but he’s one I wouldn’t want representing cannabis users.
Brian in Family Guy
I used to love Family Guy, and when I rarely watch it on occasion, it’s still pretty funny to me. What pains me is that I used to relate pretty well to Brian. Seeing that now, I get kind of embarrassed. I appreciate that Brian is the biggest weed-loving character and simultaneously the voice of reason, but he’s so preachy and annoying. I don’t appreciate his general treatment of women and Lois, and he thinks he’s so smart, which is even worse. He gives a bad name to people who consider themselves knowledgeable while being able to enjoy cannabis.
Everyone on Weeds
This show is so dramatic and intense, and I understand that the cannabis black market has resulted in a lot of drama… so why couldn’t television tell a story like that, one a little more grounded in our world? I remember thinking that the first couple of seasons were interesting and enjoyable, and accidentally catching a later episode to find myself thinking that this had become a soap opera. I love Mary Louise Parker, but this is one of those shows that probably went on 3 seasons too long. Maybe everyone would annoy me less now that I’m older, but I never felt like people who smoked that much weed would create that many problems for themselves. I can’t say I’ve ever been a large scale criminal in selling cannabis, though.
Everyone in Disjointed
I watched one episode of the Kathy Bates led Netflix sitcom and don’t believe I even made it all the way through that. If I recall, it was 3-camera style, which I don’t believe is a readily accepted format anymore, and was so corny and gaggy, it made me cringe. Not cringing with purpose and irony, like The Ofiice does so well, but sincerely cringe. I felt like the cast had never smoked a joint in their life. Vaguely insulting, but not untrue, stereotypes are one thing, but to portray them in earnest with a laugh track is unbearable.