Trailer Park Boys is a show that should have never existed.
It was the chance result of writer/directer/cinematographer Mike Clattenburg submitting an ultra-low-budget feature to a film festival in 1999 and producer Barrie Dunn happening to catch the film and see the potential for a series in its premise. The original feature, while including lead characters Ricky and Julian (Robb Wells and John Paul Tremblay), was darker and far less inhabited than the expansive world that Trailer Park Boys would later become famous for. But by taking its basic focus on crime and antiheroes and mixing in the heart of a 1995 short film made by Clattenburg, Wells, and Tremblay—The Cart Boy—and the character that would later become Bubbles, portrayed by Mike Smith (the ’99 film’s sound guy), Trailer Park Boys struck a wholly unique chord with audiences that filmmakers worldwide would quickly scramble to replicate.
After the first season was a surprise hit, later seasons saw the show getting itself a permanent set (rather than filming with a low-impact style in an actual trailer park) that allowed the world of TPB to become the wild and oftentimes destructive beast that we know it as today.
It was a subtle evolution, from its start with the ’99 feature to the latest material seen in the show’s eighth season (which marked the first season without Clattenberg’s involvement), but jumping straight from one to the other reveals just how much the show’s grown over 15 years. It’s always stayed true to one constant, though: its heart. As the characters have learned and grown, we’ve grown with them, and it’s exciting to think about what they’ll be learning and experiencing in the show’s imminent ninth season, which will be binge-watched on Netflix by millions with no regard to hygiene or personal obligations to the outside world.
To celebrate this very special occasion of binge-watching, we’re taking a look back at the show’s past and compiling the most profound life lessons it has bestowed upon us over the course of its 15-year run.
Without further adieu, the great teachings of TPB:
1) Cats are great for guarding weed plants—but they were never meant for it.
2) Always let the groom in on the fact that you’ve gone to steal the groceries for the wedding.
3) Producing porno films in your mom’s trailer almost always goes poorly.
4) Sneaking shrooms into somebody’s hot dog is a great way to ruin their speech.
5) There are two types of intelligence.
6) If it looks like you’re robbing a store, you may as well take a bit of shit.
7) Always defend yourself in court.
8) You can tell gasoline’s octane grade by its taste.
9) Whatever two consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home is fine.
10) It’s hard to get arrested when you’re trying to get arrested.
11) Christmas is about getting drunk and stoned with your friends and family.
12) A man’s gotta eat.
13) Everybody gets stoned to do shitty work.
14) If you love something, set it free.
15) No matter how much you’ve had to drink, you’ve had “a couple drinks.”
16) Nothing good ever comes from guns being involved.
17) Eating nine cans of ravioli is perfectly normal and OK.
18) When convincing a judge that you’re a capable parent, honesty is the best policy.
19) You’re never too old to play Space.
20) Don’t use liquor for clarity.
21) Either you go to school to learn, or you go to school to sell drugs.
22) Every threat carries more weight with shit-isms.
23) Life has no doors that can’t be opened with a handful of hash.
24) Cats can be dangerous.
25) The best way to survive a heart attack: Avoid books.
26) How to handle police checkpoints
27) If it’s by the curb, it isn’t stealing.
28) Bread can be used as an emergency warming agent.
29) Don’t get too high before performing a promotional stunt.
30) Hashcoins > Bitcoins
Thanks for all you’ve taught us, Trailer Park Boys. Now bring on season 9.
Screengrab via Trailer Park Boys/YouTube