The True Story Behind Super Troopers' Hilarious Opening Scene

jay chandrasekhar Ramathorn Super Troopers

If you've seen Super Troopers, one of the first scenes that will likely come to mind is the film's delightfully deadpan opening traffic stop. It's hilarious, it's off the wall, and it ultimately sets the tone of the 2001 cult classic. Despite the inherent absurdity of the drug-fueled, police-themed prank, we meow know that it's inspired by a real incident involving mushrooms and a trip (pun intended) to Canada. Broken Lizard member Steve Lemme explained while talking about next year's Super Troopers 2, saying:

We rented an RV and decided to go into Canada to experience all the delights of Québec. And what happened was, the Canadian border guard saw a joint on the dashboard of the RV. And he asked everyone whose joint it was and no one wanted to take credit for that. So he asked everyone to file off the RV. And there were mushrooms. So, one guy was holding all of the mushrooms for the entire bachelor party, like, 12 doses of mushrooms. And he got so freaked out that he ate all of the mushrooms in the back of the RV.

That should sound pretty familiar to someone who has seen Super Troopers before, because it's reminiscent of the film's opening sequence. In the movie, Ramathorn and Rabbit pull over a trio of stoners driving down the Vermont freeway with a car full of contraband. In an attempt to avoid jail time, one of them eats an entire bag of mushrooms and proceeds to freak out, man.

From there, the real story played out slightly differently from the Super Troopers scene. Instead of a disguised cop taking them for a joy ride ("You boys like Mexico!"), one of the guys in the RV eventually fessed up about the drugs and got them banned from Canada. Lemme continued his story to Seven Days about the ordeal:

And he got so freaked out that he ate all of the mushrooms in the back of the RV. We were put in a holding cell on the Canadian side of the border. We were there for about four hours. And this poor kid's eyes are just black, his pupils are so dilated. So, finally, his big brother, seeing how messed up this kid was, he admitted to the border guards that it was his joint. So they said, 'Well, you're going to have to turn around, head back home and you're not allowed in Canada for seven years, eh.'

In addition to the seven-year Canada ban, the incident also resulted in a two-day psychedelic trip for the poor fellow who swallowed all of those shrooms. Still, that seems like it might be better than a long stint in a Canadian prison. Stories like that apparently happened frequently during their 20s, as they found themselves often pulled over while stoned on their way to weddings -- constantly wondering how the cops would react if they found out how stoned they were, while also wondering how these cops passed the time. Add enough substances to that thought process, and you get comedy gold in the form of Super Troopers.

Looking ahead, there's a lot to get excited about for the heavily-mustached sequel. It finally finished production earlier this year, and it's going to bring all of the classic characters from the original back into the picture. Beyond that, the film hasn't changed much behind the scenes -- keeping the writing staff in place, with Jay Chandrasekhar in place as director. The gang is getting back together; now it's time to see what sort of shenanigans they get into this time.

Super Troopers 2 will fittingly premiere in theaters on 4/20, 2018 (or April 20, for you straight-edge folks out there). That said, there are still plenty of movies set to debut this year, so check out our movie premiere guide for more information!

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.