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The Entire Jay And Silent Bob Story Finally Explained

Film fans have loved the antics of these two characters since they were first spotted loitering outside a New Jersey strip mall in Kevin Smith's 1994 classic Clerks — evidenced by the way they've resurfaced repeatedly over the years, from sequels and spinoffs to assorted multimedia tie-ins. They've long since cemented themselves as beloved pop culture icons — but what do we know, really know, about Jay and his longtime compatriot, Silent Bob?

Through intensive research, we have compiled here an exhaustive list of the lives, loves, trials and good fortunes of this foulmouthed dynamic duo, ending in the present day with everything currently known about their appearance in Jay and SIlent Bob Reboot. And where does the story start, you might ask? For the answer to that, we need to look way, way back, before malls and convenience stores and berserkers. This is the entire Jay and Silent Bob story, finally explained.

In the beginning

There's a thick pile of introduction that could go into describing where the story of Jay and Silent Bob begins, but perhaps it's best to just say "Check out Genesis (the book of the Bible, not the band.)"

Yes, the biblical story of creation is canon within Kevin Smith's universe. As outlined in Dogma, the one-two punch of Old and New Testaments hold, in large part, literal sway. God created all that is, developed an unknowable plan for existence, and looked suspiciously like Alanis Morissette, though not necessarily in that order. While a lot of the events depicted in the holy texts are presented as subjective and even misleading (Jesus wasn't white, God wasn't definitively a dude, the son of God owes Chris Rock $12) the story was, in broad strokes, accurate. 

Why is this important? Well, aside from answering man's most fundamental questions about nature, being, and the argument of existence before essence versus essence before existence, it sets the stage nicely for two stoners to meet at a convenience store in New Jersey in the 1970s.


Flash forward to 1970s America. The place? The unincorporated community of Leonardo, New Jersey. The more specific place? Outside the Quick Stop at 58 Leonard Avenue, at this point in history neighbored by a music shop called the Record Rack, which will one day grow up to be a familiar video store. What is about to occur is nothing short of destiny.

Two young mothers approach the store in turn, each transporting a cherubic bundle of joy. The first leaves her son, sweet Bobby Boy, in his stroller out front so she can run inside and "pick up free cheese." With saccharine sweetness in her heart and affection on her face, she lends the tyke her baseball cap so that the sun won't get in his eyes, admittedly placing it the wrong way round. Perhaps this act is indicative of what taught young Robert to love in the face of good-hearted idiocy.

The second of the two mothers approaches and parks her child next to the one already present. Her words to her progeny are less quotable by several orders of magnitude, but when asked by a passerby "who's watching these babies," she speaks truer words than perhaps have ever since been said: "The fat one's watching the skinny one." In a flurry of infant profanity, Jay and Silent Bob were united.

Also, did you know Kevin Smith's daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, played Silent Bob in that scene? That's adorable.

Walt Flanagan's Dog

Chronologically, the next time we see Jay and Silent Bob is during the story of Walt Flanagan's dog — an epic so profoundly impactful on the pair's shared history that it could only have been told in the form of a comic book short story, published in a single issue of an anthology series called Oni Double Feature. What adventures await our heroes on the other side of that glossy cover, readers may wonder. You've come looking for answers in the right place.

Within the confines of the narrative, Jay and his companion Silent Bob are peddling their wares in front of the Quick Stop/RST Video building when, out of sheer malice, RST clerk Randal reports their activities to the local constabulary. Forced to retreat, the two employ the use of their own supply to get, as is their nature, real high. They're joined by the dog of local comic book aficionado Walt Flanagan, with whom they share their bounty. Anyway, the dog gets, um, amorous. He chases the duo around town until morning, at which point they decide to get an Orange Julius. 

Why is all this important? Because if Jay and Bob hadn't needed a cold, sugary food court beverage, they might never have gone to the mall. Which brings us to...


That's right, savages, the second movie in the Askewniverse takes place before the first. Here's how you can tell:

Most of Mallrats revolves around a dating game show, run by Michael Rooker's machiavellian Jared Svenning. The protagonist's girlfriend, Svenning's daughter, is forced to appear on the game show after tragedy strikes the original contestant at the last minute. Said contestant, according to her friend, was told that the camera adds ten pounds, and Julie, apparently concerned with how she'd appear on film, went on an exercise binge at the YMCA pool, leading to her dying of a brain embolism. 

The entire catastrophe would lead to Jay and Silent Bob's engagement in hardcore chicanery at the mall that day, when they'd embark on Roadrunner/Coyote-style shenanigans in the pursuit of stopping the establishment's security guard. The two would develop a wingsuit, employ the use of a grappling gun, and generally do all of the stuff that, frankly, Kevin Smith probably promised himself he'd do if he ever got a budget.

At the end of the film, the hero gets the girl, Ben Affleck goes to jail, and we're promised that Jay and SIlent Bob will get a orangutang someday. And they will. Just not yet.


Which brings us to Clerks, in which Quick Stop employee Dante and his pal Randal attend Julie Dwyer's wake, placing it directly after the events of Mallrats. Look at that, you learned something today. The Askewniverse movies have a messed up, B-before-A timeline just like Indiana Jones.

Clerks marked the first time in cinematic history that audiences were given the opportunity to meet Jay and  Silent Bob. In a near-dystopian look at the dour realities of minimum wage existence, they provided many things. A counterpoint, perhaps, to the lifestyle exhibited by the chief protagonists: "things might be bad, but at least you didn't end up like these guys." Or maybe they were a Greek chorus; a background personification of the chaos inherent in everyday life. Still, too, it's possible that they were just kind of funny, so why not?

Jay and Silent Bob spend the majority of Clerks doing what they do best. They hang out in front of the Quick Stop, slinging drugs while Jay makes noise and Bob emotes smokily. We also get to meet Silent Bob's cousin Olaf, who informs us what we knew in our hearts all along: love can be like a truck. Berserker.

Chasing Amy

Like ghosts whose existence is felt but never proven, Jay and Bob's presence in the first two acts of Chasing Amy lingers, difficult to define if you don't know what you're looking for. At first blush, the movie doesn't feel like a Jay and Silent Bob story. Jay and Silent Bob stories tend to be about subjects such as snoochies or, on rare occasions, boochies. Chasing Amy, on the other hand, is about love, physical affection, sexuality, and societal expectations.  

In the film, Ben Affleck and Jason Lee play creative partners on a comic book series titled Bluntman and Chronic, which details the lives and adventures of two vigilante stoners, one lithe, loud, and obnoxious, the other portly and less verbal. They are, of course, based on Jay and Silent Bob, who Ben Affleck's character, Holden, goes to meet at a diner late in the story to pay them their royalties for their likeness rights.

Need more backstory? Before they went to meet Holden, Jay and Bob were crashing in the living room of Mallrats character (and sister to Alyson from Chasing Amy) Trish Jones. And you'd know all of that if you'd read...

Chasing Dogma

A four-issue comic book miniseries originally printed under the name Jay and Silent Bob, Chasing Dogma bridges the gap between Chasing Amy and Dogma, finally answering the question "Hey, what do you think Jay and Bob were doing around 1998?"

Here's the basic synopsis: after Jay gets the two of them thrown out of Tricia's house, they head to the mall's department store to watch VHS copies of John Hughes movies. They get in a fight, get kicked out of the RST Video parking lot, head to Shermer, Illinois to try and sell weed to the Brat Pack characters, get verbally assaulted by Mister Rogers, land work on the set of an adult film directed by Neil Patrick Harris called Doogie Nights, and that's all in the first two issues.

In a weird twist, issue three explores their adoption of an escaped orangutan and subsequent scrapes with a federal wildlife marshal, which will sound familiar to anyone reading ahead. Yes, the story of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back apparently happened twice. This all takes place in a world with like four different characters who look exactly like Jason Lee. Stranger things are going to happen.

At the end of the run, Jay and Bob discover that there is no Shermer, Illinois, and decide to bury their disappointment by heading to a family planning clinic to meet women. 


Theologically speaking, everything sort of comes to a head for New Jersey's favorite unlicensed herbal peddlers in 1999, when, while cruising a women's health clinic for ladies, they meet Bethany Sloane, the last in the genetic line shared by Jesus. In the context of the movie, Jay and Bob are revealed to be prophets sent by God. 

Jay and Bob escort Bethany on an interstate journey of self-discovery and heavy religious introspection. Along the way, they befriend Rufus, the 13th apostle, left out of the Bible because he was black, and Serendipity, the muse responsible for most of history's most financially successful box office performances. Bob proves to be a remarkably effective demon slayer, stopping an excrement demon with a spritzer of air freshener and dispatching another with a holy golf club. Jay has less success, and his attempts to kill a fallen angel with an Uzi mostly make things worse. Still, through offhand remarks, he takes a potential end of the world scenario off the burner and helps to save God from a comatose state incurred during one of the Almighty's skeeball sojourns. Bethany immaculately conceives a holy child, and according to Kevin Smith, that's all we'll be hearing on the matter.

Clerks: The Animated Series

For a brief, blessed moment in television history, Jay and Silent Bob graced the small screen as animated characters, like a snoogans-heavy Tom and Jerry — if Tom and Jerry had sold drugs to kids and whatnot.

Clerks: The Animated Series only ran for six episodes, but they were a glorious six episodes. Jay and Bob were generally played as secondary characters to Clerks' Dante and Randal. The series varied from story to story, sometimes telling tales from behind the counter of the Quick Stop, other times presenting globetrotting adventures with the sorts of plots that you sort of need the cartoon medium to produce. In the first episode, for example, Jay and Silent Bob spend most of their time dealing fireworks before accidentally blowing up a new convenience store. By episode four, they raid a Korean animation sweatshop with the help of a transforming robot and Tom Cruise. If that doesn't warp your brain enough, the show closed out with the revelation that Jay was the one animating the whole thing, a la Bugs Bunny in Duck Amuck. It was weird. Check it out if you haven't yet.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

Jay and Silent Bob's first appearance of the new millennium took place in 2001's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, the pair's first film outing as primary protagonists. After an expedient exodus from the front of the Quick Stop due to a run in with Randal, the duo learns two important things: one; a big Hollywood movie studio is adapting Bluntman and Chronic into a blockbuster motion picture; two, the internet exists, and people are mean there.

Bob and Jay head to Hollywood to try and shut down the movie. Along the way, they befriend a quartet of female jewel thieves masquerading as animal rights activists, and are conned into stealing an orangutan from an animal testing facility as part of an elaborate coverup. Bob and the ape become dear friends. Jay falls in love with one of the criminals. Will Ferrell appears as a Will Ferrell character.

The jewel thieves are arrested after Justice, the member of the group who's garnered Jay's affections, turns them in to save Jay and Bob from going down for a crime they didn't commit. She asks Jay to wait for her while she's incarcerated. Jay and Bob confront Banky Edwards, the co-creator of Bluntman and Chronic, and walk away with a cherry cut of the proceeds from the forthcoming feature film, leaving them financially solvent for the foreseeable future. At the end, God closes the book on the Askewniverse... temporarily, anyway.

Bluntman and Chronic

2001 also saw the release of Bluntman and Chronic, comic books written by Kevin Smith and advertised as "Another Shameless Commercial Tie-In To The Hit Movie Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back." It's a big story, positively drenched in loving homages to classic comic book heroes, but here's the big question: is it canon?

Impossible to say for sure. On one hand, the stories feature characters and locales emblematic of an Askewniverse tale. Jay and Bob are there, obviously, and the first issue opens with them doing their usual thing in front of the Quick Stop and the RST Video. On the other hand, the comics were credited to Holden McNeil and Banky Edwards, the Ben Affleck and Jason Lee characters from Chasing Amy and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. 

Either way, the events of the comics are groovy. After narrowly missing nearly every superhero origin story scenario in history, including radioactive spiders and aliens with power rings, Jay and Bob find a scratch ticket worth a million dollars and set up shop as Bluntman and Chronic, building a secret lair under their usual hangout, acquiring a rogues' gallery of nemeses that we really can't talk about here. Maybe do an internet search when you're not at work. It's also worth bringing up that the events of the comic were in part adapted into 2013's Jay and Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie.

And then? Then we didn't see Jay or his hetero life mate for five long years.

Clerks II

Shockingly, in the years between Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and the main events of Clerks 2, the beloved Quick Stop burned to the ground. Even more shockingly, Jay wasn't to blame since, significantly less shockingly, he and Silent Bob were probably in court-ordered rehab at the time.

As chronicled by Jay during his first day back at work, they bought a car, but were pulled over for suspicion of mischief (read: driving with their airbag deployed.) In an unforeseeable twist of fate, the police found marijuana in their vehicle and the dynamic duo was sentenced to six months of hard rehabilitation. 

Back on the outside, they continued dealing, seemingly picking their business venue based solely on where Dante and Randal were working at the time. Setting up shop in front of a Mooby's fast food restaurant, they existed largely in the background until being arrested again during a confusingly advertised donkey show and offering to finance Dante and Randal's reclamation of the Quick Stop in exchange for a permanent residency. 

Also, did you know Kevin Smith's kid, Harley Quinn Smith, played the little girl in the restaurant window? That's adorable. 

As the credits roll, a line of text reads "Jay and Silent Bob might return someday. Until then, they're taking it easy." Fans speculated as to whether or not they'd ever see their heroes again.

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot

It took 13 years and a hustle through Kevin Smith's dark horror phase, but Jay and Silent Bob are set to return to our screens and our hearts in October of 2019. 

Remember the plot of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back? Kevin Smith has described the upcoming sequel as "literally the same (expletive deleted) movie all over again." He even went as far as comparing it to Gus Van Sant's Psycho remake, which is, you know, bold.

Based on the trailer, the movie will follow Jay and Silent Bob as they try to stop a big-budget Hollywood remake of the big-budget Hollywood movie that they tried to stop in Strike Back. A metric ton of Smith's regulars will be making appearances, including Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, and Shannon Elizabeth, reprising her role as Justice, who introduces Jay to their love child Millie, a character played by Harley Quinn Smith who is no longer going for "adorable child cameo" and instead appears to be living up to her fictional father's deviant excellence.