Movie Night: Dazed and Confused

Welcome to Movie Night! Where we choose a movie based on any number of variables and feelings, create a themed menu to match, then spend Friday / Saturday night eating these foods and watching these movies! It’s an uncomplicated but promising plan.

This weekend we’re celebrating the beginning of summer, with its mind-bendingly hot days and starry starry nights. I’m being told that the first day of summer was technically June 21. If you’re ok with celebrating a few days late, so am I. Seems like it doesn’t really matter when you celebrate a thing, but that you celebrate it at all. Like when I play my Happy Birthday Laneia 2003! cd when I do dishes. Never not celebrating.

Dazed and Confused

[ buy me ]

Synopsis, from Wikipedia:

“It is May 28, 1976, the last day of school at Lee High School in the suburbs of Austin, Texas. The next year’s group of seniors are preparing for the annual hazing of incoming freshmen. Randall “Pink” Floyd (Jason London), the school’s star football player, is asked to sign a pledge promising not to take drugs during the summer or do anything that would “jeopardize the goal of a championship season.” When classes end, the incoming freshman boys are hunted down by the seniors at the local junior high school for paddling. The incoming freshman girls are also hazed as they are rounded up in the school parking lot by senior girls, covered in mustard, ketchup, flour, and raw eggs, and forced to propose to senior boys”

AND THEN there’s lots of riding around in cars and playing pool and drinking beers and a bowling ball and a party at the moon tower!

“It’s like our sergeant told us before one trip into the jungle. MEN! Fifty of you are leavin’ on a mission! Twenty-five of you ain’t comin’ back!”
– Mr. Payne

The first time I watched Dazed and Confused was the same weekend that I was introduced to Friday and Alizé (which is a different, more Tupac-focused story). Rhonda couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen either movie yet. Like how had I lived that long without quoting Dazed or Friday?? Answer: I’d been really busy quoting Dirty Dancing and doing my homework. Clearly this weekend marked a turning point in my life.

Writer / Director Richard Linklater is also responsible for A Scanner Darkly, which still makes me uncomfortable and confused when I think about it, and Before Sunrise — the movie that probably had a lot of us struggling to figure out who was more sexually appealing: Ethan Hawke or Julie Delpy. This continues to be a toss-up for me.

Even though it’s set in the seventies, Dazed and Confused looked exactly like my hometown. We had a Slater. We definitely had a Wooderson. I was close, personal friends with Mike and Tony. I feel like Randall was possibly my brother? Still wrestling with that. Pretty sure I had a crush on Darla. Either way, Dazed and Confused proved that I wasn’t the only one who thought / knew that everything was kind of ridiculous and stupid, but also a lot of fun. And it provided us with lots of surprisingly useful one-liners. AIR RAID OR IT’S YOUR ASS.

“I’d like to quit thinking of the present, like right now, as some minor, insignificant preamble to something else.”
– Cynthia

Seedy Herb Salad & Honey Vinaigrette
Doritos Casserole
Peace Brownies

Seedy Herb Salad & Honey Vinaigrette

For the Salad:
herb salad mix
baby spinach
red onion
oregano (optional, I guess, if you just don’t want this to be delicious)
sunflower or pumpkin seeds

For the Honey Vinaigrette Serves 2 large salads
1 Tbl red wine vinegar
2 Tbl canola oil
2 tsp olive oil (or walnut oil, if you’re rolling in dollar bills)
juice of 1/2 small lemon
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp minced red onion (tiny tiny!)
salt + pepper
poppy seeds (optional)

Chop all the things! Put the dressing ingredients into a mason jar and shake. Do a little taste test because it’s entirely possible that you’ll want to adjust the sweet / sour aspects to your liking.

Toss the herb salad mix and spinach with the dressing in a largish bowl. Divide the greens into two smaller but still relatively large bowls (we’re making giant salads because I’m starving) and top with strawberries, onions and cucumbers. Sprinkle these really cute salads with feta, your choice of seeds and just a little oregano.

“What are you looking at? Wipe that face off your head, bitch.”
– Darla

Doritos Casserole

When searching the internets for a how-to on making homemade Cool Ranch Doritos (it must exist), I instead found a recipe for Doritos casserole, which left me with no choice, really, but to make it. The original called for ground beef and I just didn’t feel like eating an animal that day, so feel free to use whichever protein your darling heart desires. Also, this skews more ‘chip and bean dip bake’ than ‘casserole,’ but don’t let that stop you. Also also, there are chicken versions of this phenomenon. Wrap your head around that.

3 cups broken Doritos (I genuinely feel like you could use any flavor, but I went with Cool Ranch)
1-2 seasonal beers
2 cans black beans, approx 3 cups, casually drained
1/2 small onion
1/2 green pepper
1 can diced tomatoes
1 pkg taco seasoning
1/2 cup salsa
1 cup frozen corn
shredded cheddar cheese

Open the bag of Doritos and a beer of your choosing — maybe a Blue Moon Summer Ale. Stand in your kitchen and eat 1/4 of the bag of Doritos and drink the entire beer while you contemplate what this casserole will taste like and whether your money would’ve been better spent at Taco Bell. Recycle beer bottle #1. Open the second beer and really stare hard at the ingredients list. Eat more chips and preheat the oven to like 350 or so. When you’ve consumed at least half of the second beer, grease the bottom of a 8×8 baking dish.

For no real reason, saute the onion and peppers. When they’re soft, add the beans, tomatoes, taco seasoning and corn. Cook this on medium-low until you’re tired of looking at it. It may need some water or extra salsa. Maybe you should just put this in a bowl, get some Santitas and call it a day. If you insist, layer the greased dish with 1/2 of the broken Doritos, the entirety of the bean mixture, desired amount of cheese, remaining half of the Doritos and more cheese.

Step back and evaluate the situation. Think about your life and how you arrived at this moment. Bake the casserole for maybe 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream and extra salsa, possibly a blindfold.

Simone: Come on you can tell us.
Shavonne: Don’t get mad.
Simone: I’m not gonna get mad I’m just curious.
Shavonne: Ok she called you a bitch and you a slut.
Darla: She called me a bitch! That’s funny! What a riot.
Simone: She called me a slut? Oh my god what a bitch.
Shavonne: Yeah she called you a slut!
Simone: What a bitch she called me a slut. I’m gonna kick her ass!
Darla: You said you wouldn’t get mad.
Simone: I’m not mad!

Peace Brownies

The frosting was an afterthought, and I’m not sure it was a good one. You know those moments, when you’ve been standing in the baking aisle for 20 minutes, deciding on a brownie mix, and there are moms with children and children without moms and inexplicable baby-yelling coming from far away and you spy the frosting and start staring at the colors and thinking about how nothing in the container is actual food — just preservatives and sugars and oils and milk solids — but also how that doesn’t really matter at this point, because you’re making Doritos casserole and boxed brownies for crying out loud, and you realize your activity partner is looking at you like “It’s frosting. Do you want it? …Or not? Hello…?” and you just sort of panic and say “YES THE FUDGE ONE!”?

Yeah. Well.

Boxed brownie mix
All the stuff they tell you to use for the boxed brownie mix
Frosting (I think cream cheese frosting would’ve been better. So much regret.)
Reese’s Pieces

Um, do what the box says? But before you pour the batter into the pan, mix in a strategic amount of Reese’s Pieces. It will look like Halloween, so take a moment to enjoy that. When the brownies are cooked and cooled, put frosting all over them and sprinkle more Reese’s Pieces on the top. This is Halloween for real now. Look around your garage for those little glow-in-the-dark skeletons from last year, but be prepared to settle for plastic spider rings. If you have any birthday candles, you might as well light them. Consider watching Halloween for a minute, but then remember that you’re already watching a movie.

Share any Dazed and Confused-related recipes / memories / favorite feelings in the comments! And if you make the Doritos casserole, we’re probably gonna need to talk about it.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


lnj has written 310 articles for us.


  1. I’m gonna be honest here. The entire concept of a doritos casserole raped my mind. Can. Not. Unsee. I would probs need more than two beers to think that it was a good idea.

  2. Yes! Thank you so much for this! As an avid movie night fan I am so glad to see a feature like this come up on autostraddle. The only other thing I have to say is that salad will be going in my mouth-hole as soon as I can acquire all of the necessary ingredients.

  3. Totally one of my favorite movies EVAR. Except the Mitch guy and his weird nose-pinch thing. What WAS that? How annoying! Young Mila? Young Joey Lauren Adams? Whoever Mitch’s sister was…


    (The girl that Mitch made out with, the girl with the freaky eye makeup…ew.)

    • Aaah the nose pinch thing, so annoying and obviously something a child actor would think is a good idea to do 237485 times (like K.Stew’s compulsive lip-biting).

      The good news is you can turn it into a drinking game and be pretty wasted by the halfway point of the movie.

  4. I went straight to dessert.
    Only one question. Can i add any other local ingredient?

  5. I thought it said “Step back and ovulate the situation.”
    And I laughed and thought “Laneia and her period talk, she’ll just throw that shit in anywhere but at least it’s funny.”
    Then I reread and felt like an idiot but I still laughed.

    Anyway, does it have to be a mason jar? I don’t have one. Will the dressing be below par if it’s not a mason jar? I’m worried.
    I love strawberries in salads.

    • For the love of Autostraddle,don’t do it without a Mason jar! The dressing will definitely be inedible, and quite possibly poisonious.

      I love strawberries in salads too.

  6. Omg, “Dazed and Confused.” My brother has spent the last three years telling me I am turning into a Wooderson. I am scared this is semi-true. I am going to make all of these things. But tomorrow morning when I am done eating frozen waffles out of the box.

  7. Not gonna lie–googling homemade cool ranch doritos, because that is what i want.

    • there is such a thing?! i may never buy store bought chips ever again if this is true.

  8. Yeah, I’d probably head right for dessert too. I would imagine you could add any ingredient you’d like. Even things you could grow locally. Or at home.

  9. oh my god i’m only at “Tupac-focused” and I’m already laughing too hard to keep readng

  10. hi ok i finished reading it. i think that’s really good advice, re: how to evaluate the situation both on a literal and on an emotional level. One time a boy came to my house from the next town over on his moped and we watched dazed&confused in my mom’s bedroom. he had long hair. alright alright alright.

  11. those brownies. those brownies. your frosting shoulda been a peanut butter buttercream, but how has it never occurred to me to use riese’s?

    where have i been all my life?

      • oh man, i’ve been spelling it that way my whole life. it’s just moar aesthetically pleasing spelled as riese’s pieces.

  12. Well, the best I did was leftover pizza, a Trader Joe’s shortbread cookie with chocolate filling, and what started out as a rerun of My So-Called Life and ended up as the movie Notes on a Scandal (that moment when the show you’re watching is over and a movie starts right after and you know you only have maybe a minute before your gf is hooked and you can’t change the channel). Now I’m thoroughly depressed (AND my gf fell asleep right off the bat which means she cannot understand my feelings about this movie).

    I have Dazed and Confused, but it’s on tape and my tape player is broken. Damn the night.

  13. I am a fan of this new feature, I hope for many more.

    Also reese’s pieces are really good in rice krispy treats.

  14. Consider replacing (raw) cucumber with pineapple.
    For my taste, that’s like red peppers vs. green peppers.

  15. awesome new feature! dazed and confused is a must watch repeatedly teenage movie in my opinion. you should do clueless next. i just re-watched that for the first time in like 10 years with a friend that had never seen it (say what?! weird right???) but food wasn’t involved so much. it would be nice to see a menu for that movie :)

  16. I have a box of Ghiardelli brownie mix…now I know what to do with it.

    Also- <3 Dazed and Confused!

    • I agree, I “peace brownies” + Dazed and Confused, made me expect more herbal ingredients.

  17. I think this movie is the one that started my slight, totally healthy obsession with Parker Posey.

  18. The one and only thing that could have made this article complete for me, would have been, “Alice B. Toklas Brownies”. However, I am a huge fan of adding candy to brownies, as well. Fun read!

  19. Yum. I couldn’t stream Dazed & Confused on Netflix. *sad face* So I am watching Empire Records instead because, well, I love Liv Tyler.

  20. Okay but Laneia. You didn’t say how the dorito casserole situation actually tasted. And I mean… I would really like to know please.

  21. drinking game you can try next time you watch this movie : Drink every time someone says “man”

  22. I read “Peace brownies” and thought you guys were actually giving a recipe for pot brownies.

  23. i’m going to have to watch this movie. are doritos on peanut butter and jelly a thing? maybe not a totally plausible substitute, but a possible this is all i can afford/all i have themed food for this movie.
    so it’s going to happen.

    do you eat the casserole with a fork? or how?

Comments are closed.