That Time James Franco Stole Pineapple Express' Best Joke From Seth Rogen

Pineapple Express buying weed scene

The stoner-comedy has become an entire subgenre in its own right over the years, and few weed-themed films of the 21st century can compare to Pineapple Express. The buddy-pairing of Seth Rogen and James Franco was a match made in heaven, and the film produced countless bits that have become endlessly quotable. Arguably the most well-remembered moment in the entire movie comes when Franco's Saul Silver compares the odor of a bag of weed (which wasn't real, by the way) to "God's vagina." It's a hilarious one-liner, but it apparently was Rogen's idea on the set of the film. Rogen addressed the theft in a recent essay and wrote:

We start filming, and there's a scene where me and James are smelling a big bag of weed (fucking shocker, I know) and the director cuts. Between takes, I kind of laugh to myself, and Franco's like "What?" and I'm like, "I just thought of a joke, but I don't think I can say it in the movie because it's probably too ridiculous. But I thought I would be funny if when I smelled the weed, I said it smelled like 'God's vagina.' But I don't think I can say that." Franco smiles and then the next take starts. We smell the bag of weed and Franco goes, "It smells like God's vagina!" The director cuts and everyone laughs heartily and showers Franco with praise.

So while James Franco was the one who got to deliver the line, it was actually Seth Rogen who thought of it while they were sitting there on that dirty couch. Rogen quietly suggested the line, but didn't have the confidence to use it. Without asking permission, Franco decided to use it during the next take and got all of the credit.

Oddly enough Seth Rogen was able to use this "God's vagina" situation to better himself as an actor and a comedian by realizing that ideas he might not necessarily have the utmost faith in can still get great results. The actor continued his anecdote in his recent piece for IndieWire and wrote:

So, again, the moral of the story isn't that I came up with a joke and Franco stole it, although it feels good to get that info out there. The lesson that I learned was that the ideas that you think are personally great, especially the ones where your instinct is like, "I shouldn't do that. Nobody wants to hear that. That could make me look bad. That could be too crazy." Those are probably the best ideas.

Deep, man. I'm going to try to remember that for my personal life. And, of course, if you need a refresher on that hilarious moment from Pineapple Express, make sure to check out a clip from that sequence below:

With all of that said, it's pretty clear that Seth Rogen doesn't harbor any ill will towards James Franco. Pineapple Express has become one of the most quotable comedies of the last decade, and the duo has worked together frequently in the years since its release. Make sure to catch their next collaboration when The Disaster Artist (which is already receiving insane praise) debuts in theaters on December 1.

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.