Fact Check

Everyone in 'Idiocracy' Wears Crocs Because They Were 'Horrible' and Cheap?

The movie was filmed in 2004, two years before the controversial foam based footwear product took over the world.

Published Sept. 14, 2023

 (Fox Studios)
Image Via Fox Studios
Claim:
Everyone in the 2006 movie "Idiocracy" wears Crocs because they were cheap and the film's producers thought they were too horrible-looking to ever become popular.

In April 2023, a bit of footwear-based movie trivia reemerged on Reddit: that the 2006 movie "Idiocracy" had everyone in the movie wearing crocs because the costume designer had a limited budget and because they were too ugly to ever become popular in real life:

This trivia is true. The story behind crocs in "Idiocracy" has been repeated by director and co-writer Mike Judge on multiple occasions. In October 2016, Judge explained their origin in an interview with Fast Company magazine:

The wardrobe had to be something that's not around now. It had to be created for a lot of extras, and so you know our wardrobe person was looking for ways to make the budget work. And Crocs were not out in the world yet. 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.'

And I said to her, 'But you actually bought these, you can order these. What if by the time the movie comes out, these things are everywhere, and it doesn't look like we're set in the future?' And she 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.

The 2006 film "tells the story of an unexceptional man who finds himself put in deep-freeze and thawed out 500 years too late, in a future where the dumbest people alive have taken over the world – and he's suddenly the smartest man alive, if only by default."  In June 2022, Judge told the same story on the Joe Rogan podcast:

The wardrobe woman had a limited budget. [...] So we shot it in 2004. She goes, she tells me, okay, there's a startup. And it was Crocs. But they weren't out in the world yet [and] she goes, look at these horrible plastic shoes with holes. She said we could really save a lot of money. Just put everyone in these things.

I said, well, but what if by the time the movie comes out [...] these become popular and people are wearing them? She said, oh, these are never going to become popular [...], these things are horrible. [...] Then it took two years for the movie to come out. By then people are going like, oh, that's pretty funny that you put everyone in Crocs.

Crocs had been around on a limited scale since 2002, but they gained mainstream success and popularity around 2006. Idiocracy finished filming in 2004, but Fox Studios sat on it for two years before releasing it in 2006.

Because the story about Crocs in the movie Idiocracy came from the movies' writer and director, and has been told many times consistently, the claim is True.

Sources

Crocs: A Long-Term Trend or Short-Term Fad? - Aug. 9, 2006. https://money.cnn.com/2006/08/09/smbusiness/crocs/index.htm. Accessed 14 Sept. 2023.

"Funky Crocs Gain Toehold Among Fans of Comfort." Omaha World-Herald, 13 Nov. 2003, p. 39. newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/article/omaha-world-herald-funky-crocs-gain-toeh/131810738/.

"Joe Rogan Experience #1835 - Mike Judge." Ogjre, https://ogjre.com. Accessed 14 Sept. 2023.

"Mike Judge On The 10th Anniversary Of 'Idiocracy' And Predicting The (Near) Future." Fast Company, Oct. 2016, https://www.fastcompany.com/3064328/mike-judge-on-the-10th-anniversary-of-idiocracy-and-predicting-the-near-future.

"Was_Idiocracy_treated_idiotically_Contd." Austin American-Statesman, 1 Sept. 2006, p. 51. newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/article/austin-american-statesman-wasidiocracy/30934775/.
 

Alex Kasprak is an investigative journalist and science writer reporting on scientific misinformation, online fraud, and financial crime.

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