Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Clerks (1994)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Clerks. (1994)

In this low-budget, foul-mouthed, R-rated comedy with some outrageous laughs and memorable monologues by first-time writer/director Kevin Smith - the independent film went into general release after its successes at film festivals, and became one of the most popular and successful comedy independent films of all time. It told about two unambitious and irresponsible store clerks with minimum-wage jobs as they went through their work days in a strip mall; the two interacted with customers, discussed movies and girlfriends - all in a spirit of Generation X gloom and ennui with multiple F-bombs; the film's tagline accurately described the main characters: "Just because they serve you doesn't mean they like you."

  • in a series of day-in-the-life vignettes in the grainy, 16mm B/W film, two clerks in suburban NJ stores who both hated their dead-end jobs in Leonardo Township in NJ were: unproductive college drop-out and 22 year-old Quick Stop Groceries store clerk Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) and his grungy, nihilistic, slacker, anti-social RST Video-store clerk friend Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) who worked next door and clearly despised and abused his rental customers by often insulting or offending them (he advised Dante: "You'd feel a lot better if you'd just rip into the occasional customer")
  • in the film's opening (to the tune of the film's theme song: "Clerks" performed by Love Among Freaks: "I guess I'm livin' day to day..."), Dante's day started out badly with multiple problems - he was phoned early at home to work the morning shift beginning at 6 AM on his Saturday day-off when his co-worker Arthur called in sick; he agreed when his boss promised to relieve him at 12 noon; when Dante arrived at the store, he discovered that the metal shutters for the storefront were jammed closed by chewing gum stuffed into the lock; he left a make-shift message with big letters written in shoe polish on a large bed-sheet - I ASSURE YOU, WE'RE OPEN!
  • one of Dante's early customers - later identified as a pushy Chewlies Gum Representative (Scott Schiaffo), delivered an anti-smoking diatribe to one of the convenience store customers in his late teens; he pulled out a diseased and corroded lung from a bag he was carrying and placed it on the counter, and also displayed a trach-ring, and argued that for his health's sake, the young guy should buy his favorite brand of gum instead of cigarettes and save his money: ("This is where you're heading. Cruddy lung, smoking through a hole in your throat. Do you really want that?")
  • from the start of the film, iconic stoner partners and possible drug dealers Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith) loitered outside the next-door's video store as Jay spewed obscenities: ("I'll f--k anything that moves!") and even proposed oral sex with Silent Bob ("You're cute as hell. I could go down on you, suck you, Line up three other guys, make like a circus seal. Hey, what're you, a f--kin' faggot? I hate guys. I love women!")
  • the customer had gathered a large audience around him, as he delivered a more angry general rant against the cancer-causing smoking industry that sold cigarettes: ("You're spending what? Twenty, maybe thirty dollars a week on your cigarettes?...Fifty-three dollars a week on cigarettes! Come on! Would you give somebody that much money each week to kill you? 'Cause that's what you're doing now, by paying for this so-called privilege to smoke... It's that kinda mentality that allows the cancer-producing industry to thrive. 'Course we're all gonna die some day. But do we have to pay for it? Do we have to actually throw hard-earned dollars down on the counter and say, 'Please Mr. Merchant-of-Death, sir, please, sell me something that'll stink up my breath and my clothes and fry my lungs'? ...Yeah. Yeah, and now here comes the speech about how he's just doing his job by following orders. Friends, let me tell you about another group of hate mongers that were just following orders. They were called Nazis!...Yeah, and they practically wiped an entire nation of people off the Earth just like your cigarettes are doing now")
  • the mob of people shifted the blame to "cancer merchant" Dante for "selling death" at the check-out counter; Dante was pelted with cigarettes before he was rescued by the arrival of his new, current girlfriend Veronica Loughran (Marilyn Ghigliotti), who defended him against the mob with fire extinguisher spray, and exposed the true identity of the chewing-gum advocate before tossing him out
  • as Veronica and Dante briefly spoke, she urged him to become motivated to quit his job if he hated it so much and go back to college, since he dropped out five years earlier: ("All I'm saying is, if you're that unhappy, you should leave"); Dante delivered the first of many reminders he told others: "I'm not even supposed to be here today"
  • while they were talking about sexual relations behind the counter on the floor, he claimed vast differences between men's and women's orgasms: ("Making a male climax isn't at all challenging. Insert somewhere close, preferably moist, thrust, repeat...Now, making a woman come, therein lies a challenge"); after Dante admitted that he had sex with 12 different women (including her), she hit him and called him a pig, ("You men make me feel sick. You'll sleep with anything that says yes"), and then told him the honest truth about her sexual history including having sex with only three guys (including him): "I'm not the pig you are...You men make me feel sick. You'll sleep with anything that says yes"; then she changed the subject and returned to their previous discussion about his schooling: "You have so much potential that's going to waste in this pit. l wish you'd go back to school"
  • after speaking to a stoned-sounding ex-boyfriend named William "Snowball" Black at the store's counter, Veronica ("Ronni") described the meaning of his nickname: "After the blow job, he likes to have it spit back into his mouth while kissing. It's called snowballing"; she also admitted that she had engaged in oral sex with him; the flabbergasted Dante asked: "You sucked his dick?...Why did you tell me you only had sex with three guys?"; she responded that she didn't consider oral sex as intercourse, but only called it 'fooling around'; in the so-called "I'm 37!?" scene, she told the shocked and nauseous Dante that she had delivered 37 instances of fellatio before she dated him: (Dante: "How many?...How many d--ks have you sucked?"; Veronica replied: "Something like - 36..." and including him, it was a total of 37)
  • during the work day, Dante often conversed with his friend, next-door video-clerk Randal, who arrived late for work, and would spend most of his day in the Quick Stop store; he suggested that Dante give up his five-year interest in his promiscuous high school sweetheart-girlfriend Caitlin Bree (Lisa Spoonauer) (who was just about to finish college), due to his dating of Veronica for seven months; Dante had been secretly phoning Caitlin and reestablishing their relationship; Randal attempted to convince Dante to give up on the unfaithful Caitlin and stick with his devoted new girlfriend Veronica of seven months ("Chick's nuts about you"); Randal showed Dante an announcement in the local newspaper that Caitlin was engaged to be married to an "Asian design major"; Dante was so shocked that he thought the article was bogus or a misprint
  • in an appalling scene, clerk Randal phone-ordered from his distributor a number of X-rated stock (with really filthy titles like "All Tit-F--king, Volume 8," "I Need Your C--k," "Ass-Worshipping Rim-Jobbers," "My C--t and Eight Shafts," "Cum Clean," "Cum Gargling Naked Sluts," "Cum Buns III," "Cumming in Socks," "Cum On Eileen," "Huge Black C--ks With Pearly White Cum," "Girls Who Crave C--k," "Girls Who Crave C--t," and more), while in front of a customer at the counter, a Mom (Connie O'Connor) and her young daughter (Ashley Pereira) were asking to purchase "Happy Scrappy Hero Pup"
  • to pass the time, Randal engaged in a dialogue with Dante about which Star Wars film was better, The Empire Strikes Back (1980), or Return of the Jedi (1983); Dante voted for Empire: "I mean, Luke gets his hand cut off, finds out Vader's his father. Han gets frozen, taken away by Boba Fett. it ends on such a down note. I mean, that's what life is: a series of down endings. All Jedi had was a bunch of Muppets"
  • Randal engaged in a ludicrous Return of the Jedi (1983) dialogue with Dante about the ending of Jedi - he brought up the ethical issue of the construction and destruction of the second Death Star by the rebels (led by Lando Calrissian), when innocent independent contractors lost their lives: ("Something just never sat right with me that second time around. I could never put my finger on it, but something just wasn't right....The first Death Star was manned by the lmperial Army. The only people on board were Storm Troopers, dignitaries, lmperialists....So when they blew it up, no problem. Evil's punished...the second time around, it wasn't even done being built yet. It was still under order to get it built quickly and quietly, they'd hire anybody that could do the job....All those innocent contractors brought in to do the job are killed, casualties of a war they had nothin' to do with....Look, you're a roofer. Some juicy government contract comes your way. You got a wife and kids, the two-story in suburbia. This is a government contract which means all sorts of benefits. Along come these left-wing militants who blast everything within a three-mile radius with their lasers. You didn't ask for that. You had no personal politics. You're just trying to scrape out a living"); a roofer-contractor who overheard the conversation confirmed for them that something similar happened to him - he rejected a contractor job for mobster Baby Face Bambino's home, and luckily avoided losing his life when a hit-job was conducted by the Foresie family and one of his contractor friends lost his life
  • Dante was confronted by many strange customers, including an Egg Man (Walter Flanagan) who was sitting on the floor and questing for "the perfect dozen"; when told he could mix & match eggs from different cartons, he rejected the idea: "He said it was important to have standards. He says no one has any pride anymore"; a female customer who witnessed the man's strange behavior and was credited as a Caged Animal Masturbator (Virginia Smith) ironically suggested that the man work as a guidance counselor - an occupation that caused him to go crazy: ("It's important to have a job that makes a difference, boys. That's why I manually masturbate caged animals for artificial insemination")
  • Randal suggested that Dante occasionally vent his frustrations on his annoying customers, and gave examples of idiotic questions his video customers had often asked - seen in short vignettes: ("What would you get for a six-year-old boy who chronically wets his bed?", or "So, do you have any new movies in?", or "Do you have that one with that guy who was in that movie that was out last year?"); Dante recalled a few ridiculous questions his own Quick Stop customers had asked: ("What do you mean there's no ice? I've got to drink this coffee hot?" and "So, how much is this thing anyway?")
  • Veronica arrived to bring Randal lasagna for lunch and to reconcile with him after their volatile discussion of sexual histories; he learned that his boss, who had promised to relieve him at noon, had lied to take a vacation in Vermont and would be gone for three days - causing him to miss his 2 PM street hockey game; after realizing he was all alone with no backup, Dante decided to play street hockey on the store's rooftop with his friends; he posted another sign on the store's door: "TEMPORARILY CLOSED. BE OPENED AFTER FIRST PERIOD"; after 12 minutes of play, an irate customer (Scott Mosier) emerged on the rooftop demanding to have the store opened; after the customer was urged to compete in the game, he deliberately knocked Dante down during a face-off, and hit their sole hockey-ball off the roof and into a storm drain
  • Randal convinced Dante to temporarily lock up the store at 4 pm to attend the wake of one of his other ex-girlfriends (22 year-old Julie Dwyer) who suffered a brain embolism while swimming in a YMCA pool; the wake was aborted when the two fled the Paulson's funeral parlor - it was revealed in an animated "lost scene" why they left prematurely; Dante had thrown his car keys to Randal who wanted to wait outside in the car, but they ricocheted off of him and landed inside Julie's pants within the casket; when Dante attempted to reach in and retrieve the keys and he was attacked by Julie's enraged parents, the casket was knocked over by Randal and the body fell out
  • afterwards back at the store, Randal borrowed Dante's car to drive to the superior Big Choice video store and rent a film; meanwhile, Dante spoke to some of his high-school classmates in the store, including a pushy fitness trainer Rick Derris (Ernest O'Donnell) who judged Dante as out-of-shape for struggling to pick up a milk bottle, and for having love handles, and Heather Jones (Kimberly Loughran) - the sister of Alyssa Jones who used to hang out with Caitlin; the Trainer admitted to having sex with Caitlin 2-3 years earlier, and both knew of Caitlin's reputation for having many sex partners: ("Everybody in school knew about it")
  • suddenly, Dante was unfairly served with a court summons for allegedly selling cigarettes to a 4 year-old girl (Frances Cresci), but it was actually Randal who, while sitting in at the Quick Stop counter, had committed the offense; Dante faced a $500 fine, but his protest fell on deaf ears; he asked himself: "What next?"
  • Caitlin arrived in town from her Ohio college by train and came to the store, where Dante asked to speak to her privately in the video store; she explained how the marriage announcement was a "misunderstanding" pressured by her mother, and that she was going to cancel the wedding and return the ring to her fiancee Sang; torn between Veronica and Caitlin, Dante was tempted to ask her out on a dinner and movie date after she stated that she was no longer engaged and had become single again: (Caitlin: "I choose you"); she left to share with her mother her recent "disengagement" news
Caitlin Bree (Lisa Spoonauer) with Dante
Caitlin with Randal
  • Randal returned and bragged about renting "Best of Both Worlds" ("Hermaphroditic porn. Starlets with both organs"), and admitted that he had sold the cigarettes to the young girl; Dante convinced Randal to tend the store, and also lock up later as he briefly left to change his clothes for his date; Caitlin returned and asked Randal if she could use the convenience store's dark bathroom
  • once Dante returned about an hour later, Caitlin emerged from the back of the store and asked: "How did you get here so fast?...Do you always talk this weird after you violate a woman?...It has never been like that before....When you just lay perfectly still and let me do everything"; she described how she had just sexually-serviced a very "ready" Dante in the employee's bathroom [Note: A few hours earlier, an elderly gent (Al Berkowitz) had asked Dante to use the bathroom including soft toilet tissue, and he had also borrowed a porno magazine from Dante for masturbation purposes.] An obviously-aroused Caitlin mistakenly thought that she had serviced Dante, as she had a few years earlier:("We didn't kiss or talk or anything. He just sat there and let me do all the work"); Dante scoffed at her: "It wasn't me!" and Randal asked: "You just f--ked a total stranger?"
  • when the police and a coroner (Pattijean Csik) were called, the situation was diagnosed: "The body can maintain an erection after expiration, sometimes for guess is, he was masturbating, his heart seized and he died. That's when the girl found him"; an EMT ambulance took the catatonic Caitlin (suffering from "shock trauma") and the corpse away
  • afterwards, Dante whined about his many dilemmas, and Randal reprimanded him and urged him to take responsibility for his life and instead to dedicate his life to improving himself rather than being self-pitying; he reminded Dante of his reluctance to change his situation and quit working in a low-level convenience store job: ("You should s--t or get off the pot...I'm talking about this thing you have, this inability to improve your station in life...You sit there and blame life for dealin' you a cruddy hand, never once accepting responsibility for the way your situation is...If you hate this job and the people. and the fact that you have to come in on your day off, why don't you quit?"); he also recommended that Dante quit equivocating between his two girlfriends; Dante was unwilling to be courageous and change from his routine way of life: "That's the way things are. They're not gonna change...I can't make changes in my life like that. lf l could, l would"; Randal asked: "So you're gonna be miserable 'cause you don't have the guts to face change?"
  • Jay (obsessed with drugs, partying, and sex) and Silent Bob briefly entered the Quick Stop to buy a few items; Silent Bob offered wise romance-advice to Dante - a rare speaking moment for him: "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"; his words helped convince Dante to restore and reconcile his relationship with Veronica: (Dante: "He's right. I love her")
  • however, at the same time in the video store, Randal was informing Veronica of Dante's renewed sexual interest in the slutty Caitlin: ("He doesn't love you anymore. He loves Caitlin"); as a result, Veronica confronted the indecisive Dante, threatened to offer more blow jobs: ("I'm going to put the hookers in Times Square to shame with all the guys l go down on now!"), broke up with him, and called him a "f--king idiot" - knowing that he would fail and be dumped again by Caitlin: ("You want your slut? Fine, the slut is yours")
  • Dante realized that Randal had informed Veronica that she was about to be dumped, resulting in a rift and fight in the store between Randal and Dante that caused considerable damage; after Dante blamed everything on him, Randal delivered the film's closing: "We're So Advanced" diatribe: ("....Oh, f--k you! F--k you, pal! Jesus, there you go trying to pass the buck. I'm the source of all your misery. Who closed the store to play hockey? Who closed the store to go to a wake? Who tried to win back his ex-girlfriend without even discussing how he felt with his present one?! You wanna blame somebody? Blame yourself! 'I'm not even supposed to be here today.' You sound like an asshole! Jesus, nobody twisted your arm to be here. You're here of your own volition. You like to think the weight of the world rests on your shoulder, like this place would fall apart if Dante wasn't here. Jesus, you over-compensate for havin' what's basically a monkey's job. You push f--kin' buttons! Anybody could waltz in here and do our jobs. You, you're so obsessed with making it seem so much more epic, so much more important than it really is. Christ, you work in a convenience store, Dante, and badly I might add. I work in a s--tty video store, badly as well. You know, that guy Jay's got it right, man, he has no delusions about what he does. Us - we like to make ourselves seem so much more important than the people that come in here to buy a paper or God forbid, cigarettes. We look down on them as if we're so advanced. Well, if we're so f--kin' advanced, what are we doin' working here?")
  • in the film's denouement, the two reconciled and worked together to clean up the store and close up for the day; Dante described what he would do the following day - "Goin' to the hospital and visit Caitlin. And then I'm gonna try to talk to Veronica"; the last line of dialogue consisted of Randal's words to Dante as he tossed the shoe-polish sheet hanging outside into his face: "You're closed!"

Quick Stop Storefront With Large Bedsheet Sign: "I ASSURE YOU, WE'RE OPEN!"

Quick Stop Store Clerk Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran)

Customer's Rant Against Cigarettes to Another Customer

Jay and Silent Bob Loitering Outside the Next-Door Video Store

Customer's Further Rant to a Larger Audience Against the Cigarette Industry

Dante Saved by the Arrival of His Girlfriend Veronica (Marilyn Ghigliotti)

Dante's and Veronica's Discussion of Previous Sexual Partners Behind the Counter

The "I'm 37!" Scene

RST Video-store clerk Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson)

Randal's X-Rated Porn Video Phone Order in Front of Mother with Child

Star Wars Death Star Contractors Dialogue Between Dante and Randal

Egg-Man Searching for "The Perfect Dozen" in a Carton

Getting Ready to Play Street Hockey With His Friends On the Rooftop

Animated Lost Scene: Attending the Wake of Julie Dwyer - At the Open Casket

Customers (l to r): Trainer, Heather, Summons-Server

Caitlin Describing Her Mistaken Sexual Encounter with "Dante" in the Store's Dark Bathroom

The Coroner's Explanation of Caitlin Having Sex With a Dead Man

Jay and Silent Bob in the Store

Randal Informing Veronica of Dante's Interest in Caitlin

Dante Dumped by Veronica

Dante and Randal Fighting in Store

Randal's Final Advice to Dante: "We're So Advanced"

Dante with the Sheet and Randal's Last Words: "You're closed"


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z