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The Real Reason Everyone Wears Crocs In Idiocracy Is Hilarious

Depending on who you ask, Mike Judge's "Idiocracy" is either a moderately enjoyable comedy from the mid-2000s or a terrifying dystopian movie that's perfect to watch now. The film centers on Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson), a man of average intelligence who ends up in the distant future after a military experiment gone wrong. As everyone else is extremely stupid, only Joe can solve their societal problems. Future society's lack of intelligence is demonstrated in various ways, such as Costco having a law school and many people wearing Crocs.

The tough shoes littered with holes have become somewhat iconic, but Crocs' presence in "Idiocracy" wasn't meant to be a commentary on people who wear them. In a 2016 interview for Fast Company, Judge explained how the shoes came into the film. "Our wardrobe person was looking for ways to make the budget work. And Crocs were not out in the world yet," he said. "They were just a small startup at the time. We shot in 2004, so no one was wearing Crocs. And she showed me these things, and I thought, 'Oh those are great, just stupid plastic shoes.'"

Ultimately, the "Idiocracy" Crocs were a cost-cutting measure because the shoes hadn't caught on yet. But between filming in 2004 and the movie's release in 2006, they became a cultural sensation, so their inclusion in the comedy seemed like an additional joke on where the world was heading. 

Crocs have only grown in popularity since Idiocracy

Mike Judge was actually worried about Crocs becoming more widespread by the time the movie came out. He continued in the interview, "[The wardrobe person] said, 'Oh no, that's never going to happen.' And sure enough, by the time it comes out two years later, everyone is wearing Crocs. So it already started coming true even faster than we made the movie, really."

While Crocs were often met with derision when they first caught on, there's been a changing of the tide as of late. Crocs have blown up in popularity in the last few years. Many people appear to have realized they're good to wear when standing for long periods of time. It's also possible the COVID-19 lockdowns influenced more Croc purchases, as people opted for comfortable clothing rather than something sleeker. It doesn't make sense to walk around the house in high heels and dress shoes when you have nowhere else to go, after all. 

For many people watching "Idiocracy" today, the use of Crocs is just another example of the world going to hell in a handbasket. As noted by @StephenVanasco on X, formerly known as Twitter, "Realizing that characters of the movie Idiocracy (2006) are all wearing crocs confirms that who ever wrote the screenplay is a prophet." Actually, the wardrobe person is to thank for that detail, and perhaps Crocs will get even more screentime if that bizarre end credits scene results in an "Idiocracy" sequel.