Five Great Slacker Comedies

Five Great Slacker Comedies

The slacker has been a beloved movie character since their rise to popularity in the 1990s as a rally against the pencil-pushing, overachieving, family-oriented generations that came before them. Instead of being prisoners to the man and chained to a cubicle, they opt for lackadaisical antics, seek low-level thrills through menial tasks and find the beauty in doing nothing. They’re particularly known for lines that come out as unintentional sage wisdom and turn into quotes that are repeated over and over and over again. But above all, they champion doing as little as possible and just enjoying life as it happens.

Yet, despite their penchant for not doing much of anything, some movie slackers still stand above all the rest of their unmotivated brethren. Specifically, the slackers in…

The House Bunny

With the exception of a few side characters here and there, there’s a real dearth of female representation in the slacker comedy. There is, of course, a certain level of irony on this count, given that women still have to work twice as hard as their male counterparts for a slice of the pie, even in a genre that’s noted for its commitment to laziness. Nevertheless, Shelley Darlingson (Anna Faris) makes a case for the female slacker in 2008’s The House Bunny. A comedic genius in her own right, Faris is incredible as a former Playboy-Bunny-turned-sorority-house-mother who believes in just two things in life: being beautiful and having fun. As one would expect, anytime she’s shying away from these two pillars, her life ends up in shambles. While there’s some self-discovery along the way, by the film’s end, she’s back to staying true to herself and slacking off as much as ever before.


While Clerks naturally climbs to the top of everyone’s list of slacker comedies, the second entrant in the View Askewniverse goes where so few slacker comedies dare go: a New Jersey mall, which is arguably the high holy ground of the slacker. Mallrats truly highlighted what it meant to be an aimless teen in an American mall: the nonsensical, petty drama, the inept security and the sheer desire to do nothing but vibe with a certain “lack of a shopping agenda.” It even features an assault on the Easter Bunny, what more could you want?


Few people want to do less than Craig Jones and Smokey. Their Friday to-do list consists of just a single thing: getting high. And you know this, man! Of course, fate gets in their way, and the recently unemployed Craig and low-level drug-peddler Smokey are forced to recoup the money the latter owes to the neighborhood drug dealer. They try to get through it as quickly as possible — despite everything working against them — so they can get back to the stoop and smoke some more. 

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ironically, high school slacker Ferris Bueller puts in a lot of effort to enjoy his titular day off. But when his plan falls into place, it all proves to be worth it. Alongside his best friend Cameron, played by a pre-Succession Alan Ruck, and his girlfriend Sloane, the three skip out on school and enjoy everything the Windy City has to offer. John Hughes’ “love letter to Chicago” sees the trio everywhere from the Art Institute of Chicago to Wrigley Field to the seats of a red-hot Ferrari.

The Big Lebowski

No list of slacker comedies would be complete without the movie that became the face of the genre, whether intentionally or not, and changed the dorm room walls of college men everywhere for years to come. The Dude is the ultimate slacker, and there is so little he wants to do throughout the course of the Coen Brothers’ 1998 classic The Big Lebowski other than smoke a little weed, listen to Whale Songs and hit the bowling alley with his buddies Walter and Donny. Even when things take a turn for the worst, he always abides by his nonchalant, Dudeist dogma to keep him going.

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