Kevin Smith was once just a kid from New Jersey that had a burning passion for movies. That didn’t change after he dropped out of film school, came back home, and worked in a convenience store. One day, Smith decided to take a gamble and max out all of his credit cards to make a movie about his life with the help of his friends and the same store he worked in.
Clerks is a movie about a store clerk named Dante that is dissatisfied with the current state of his life but too afraid to do anything about it. His partner in malaise is Randal, another clerk who “works” at the video store even though he spends most of his time bullsh*tting with Dante.
You can definitely tell that the day-in-the-life cult classic is a writer’s movie. There are plenty of inside details about clerk life, and crude yet charming comedy found throughout that relies on the heavy use of dialogue and long one-shot takes. So here’s a list of some of the best lines from Clerks on this, Kevin Smith’s birthday.
“I’m not even supposed to be here today!” – Dante Hicks
Clerks starts out with Dante answering the phone early one morning and getting talked into covering a coworker’s shift. As his day grows more complicated and frustrating, he doesn’t hesitate to let anyone willing to listen – and some that weren’t – know his plight.
“I bet you 20 bucks you don’t get to rent that tape.” – Randal Graves
The focus of Clerks may be on Dante, but the character that people fell in love with first is probably his best friend Randal, who we learn a lot about in this first scene. He’s care free and clever, but only shows it when he wants to. After being late to work, the first thing he does is trick a customer out of $20.
“My friend here’s trying to convince me that any independent contractors who were working on the uncompleted Death Star were innocent victims when it was destroyed by the Rebels.” – Dante
Who shot first? What order do you watch them in? Did we really need to see pod racing? These are just some of the many debates that Star Wars fans tussle about But one you may not have thought of took place between Dante and Randal as they argued about whether the builders of the second Death Star were innocent bystanders or accomplices that knew what they were getting into.
“This job would be great if it wasn’t for the f*cking customers.” – Randal
If you believe that there’s no such thing as a stupid question, you’ve probably never worked in customer service. If you have, you’ve probably come to the same conclusion as everyone else: customers suck. Not all of them, of course, but enough to make you cringe when you look at a cash register.
“I’m 37?!?!” – Dante
Couples choose different times to have the “How many?” conversation. Some even decide to do away with it altogether. If you watched the argument that happened when Dante found out his girlfriend… er, “satisfied” 37 guys, including him, you might think twice about it yourself.