Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

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Still of Neil Patrick Harris, John Cho and Kal Penn in Harold & Kumar Go to White CastleStill of John Cho and Kal Penn in Harold & Kumar Go to White CastleDanny Leiner at event of Harold & Kumar Go to White CastleStill of John Cho and Kal Penn in Harold & Kumar Go to White CastleStill of Neil Patrick Harris, John Cho and Kal Penn in Harold & Kumar Go to White CastleStill of Malin Akerman, John Cho and Kal Penn in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

An Asian-American office worker and his Indian-American stoner friend embark on a quest to satisfy their desire for White Castle burgers.

Release Year: 2004

Rating: 7.1/10 (83,182 voted)

Critic's Score: 64/100

Director: Danny Leiner

Stars: John Cho, Kal Penn, Ethan Embry

Harold Lee and Kumar Patel are two stoners who end up getting the munchies. What they crave the most after seeing a TV advertisement, is a trip to White Castle. So from here, follows a journey for the burgers they require. On their way they will encounter many obstacles including a raccoon, a racist officer, and a horny Neil Patrick Harris.

Writers: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg

John Cho - Harold Lee
Ethan Embry - Billy Carver
Robert Tinkler - J.D.
Fred Willard - Dr. Willoughby
Kal Penn - Kumar Patel
Steve Braun - Cole
Dan Bochart - Extreme Sports Punk #1
Paula Garcés - Maria (as Paula Garcès)
Mike Sheer - 'I'm So High' Kid
Christopher Thompson - 'Don't You Wanna Be Cool' Kid
David Krumholtz - Goldstein
Eddie Kaye Thomas - Rosenberg
Angelo Tsarouchas - Mean Tollbooth Guy (as Angelo Tsachouras)
Anthony Anderson - Burger Shack Employee
Siu Ta - Cindy Kim

Taglines: Fast Food. High Times.


Official Website: Official site |

Release Date: 30 July 2004

Filming Locations: Caledon, Ontario, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $5,480,378 (USA) (1 August 2004) (2135 Screens)

Gross: $18,225,165 (USA) (12 September 2004)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Neil Patrick Harris and Ryan Reynolds (who both make cameos in this film) have both starred in television shows as doctors. Harris played a doctor in Doogie Howser, M.D., and Reynolds played a med student in Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place. As noted elsewhere, Kal Penn later starred on House M.D..

Incorrectly regarded as goofs: The slider special (as shown on the TV commercial at the beginning) is $2.99 for 6 burgers, fries and a drink. If they ordered 5 specials each, their bill should be just under $30 before tax, and yet they are charged almost $50. However, in the finale they order separate items (30 burgers, 5 fries, and 4 drinks each). Unless the server converted that order into specials (8 specials, plus 10 burgers and 2 fries), they would not get the cheaper price.

[first lines]
J.D.: Billy boy! Get your ass ready. It's almost 5:00 and this bad boy needs to get his drink on. No, no, no. Give me that.
Billy Carver: Don't.
J.D.: I'm gonna burn it once and for all.
Billy Carver: Stop it.

User Review

If stoner comedy has a place in the satire canon, this is one of the best.


If two chicks sitting in stalls playing 'Battleshits' while the two Indian and Asian 'heroes' hide between them suffering the sounds and smells of scatological low humor sounds funny to you, then you should consider seeing 'Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.' My last stoner movie, the remake of 'Starsky and Hutch,' was indeed Sunday school by contrast.

Director Danny Leiner ('Dude, Where's My Car?') has taken this genre and made a classic, not just because it exploits every possible ethnic stereotype with zeal equaled only by 'Bad Santa's' decimating the Christmas formula. 'Castle' has such fun imitating the roguish good will of the Hope/Crosby road pictures while commenting on the egregious weaknesses of parents and police that almost anyone who doesn't mind a breast or two bared in the name of satire can laugh heartily at modern adult pretensions and youthful indiscretion.

Harold and Kumar are trying to find an all-night White Castle after experiencing the sudden yearning that afflicts almost anyone who has had a 'slider' burger. Like that little square of fat and calories, the pot and girls are just too good not to indulge now and then. The two early twenties students, one a serious stock analyst and the other a lazy pre-med genius, are like Hope and Crosby in their witty repartee and canny ability to escape harm. Being delivered from the wrath of seriously deformed 'Freak Show' and his siren wife doesn't deter them from considering the affections of the battling babes or idolizing Neil Patrick Harris in a cameo playing himself as a lethal womanizer.

More serious is the multicultural subtext about stereotyping (Asians are nerdy number crunchers and Indians are overachieving medical doctors, for instance) overturned by, for instance, morphing a seemingly 'Joy Luck' club gathering into a raunchy party or exposing a gang of mouthy skinheads as 'girliemen.' It's all pop-cult fun at our own expense, something akin to actually enjoying the articles in 'Playboy' even if they weren't our reason for buying the mags.

My grandson Cody and I bonded once again, this time just laughing at the silliness, enjoying the satire, and figuring how we could get his dad to allow his young brother to see it, despite the lurid spots that give spice and lend naughtiness to our increasingly dangerous lives.

If stoner comedy has a place in the satire canon, this is one of the best.


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