Dante Hicks is the main protagonist of Clerks, Clerks The Animated Series, Clerks (comics) and Clerks II. a supporting character in Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot and a minor character in Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie.
|Alias:||"The Bitch"(according to Jay's rumor about him and Randal being married)|
|Occupation:||Co-Owner/Manager of the Quick Stop and RST Video Store|
Mooby's Restaurant Clerk (formerly)
Quick Stop Store Clerk (formerly)
|Last seen:||Clerks II|
|Created By:||Kevin Smith|
Dante Hicks, is 22, works at the Quick Stop Market in Leonardo, New Jersey, and still lives with his parents. He feels that because he runs the store, he is independent and in control of his life, and yet, he is a push-over who often agrees to work when he doesn't have to (hence his catch phrase, "I'm not even supposed to be here today!"). He frequently gets into debates ranging from philosophy to Star Wars with his best friend, fellow clerk Randal Graves, who works at the adjacent RST Video Store.
Dante is fairly well-meaning and sensible (especially when compared with his best friend Randal), and is easily agitated by Randal's actions or behavior, particularly when Randal's actions lead to negative consequences. For example, Dante often scolds Randal for disrespecting customers, while Randal often tries to defend his actions.
The film centers on the chaotic events of a day at the Quick Stop that Dante must deal with. Among other problems, Dante becomes the target of an anti-smoking mob who pelt him with cigarettes, and he is issued a summons and fined for selling cigarettes to a four-year-old, a crime Randal had in fact negligently committed. In addition, he is continually harassed by Jay and Silent Bob, two drug dealers who loiter in front of the store all day and often like to go inside and steal. A running gag throughout the film is the scent of shoe polish on him, as he uses some to write a makeshift open sign to hang over the stuck window shutters of the store.
The film also deals with Dante's problematic romantic relationships. He has difficulty dealing with his girlfriend Veronica, especially her extensive history of performing fellatio (on 37 different men, including him) — even though she seems to genuinely care for him, going so far as to bring him lasagna at work and help him fix a tire. At the same time, Dante is infatuated with ex-girlfriend Caitlin Bree and seems intent on rekindling that relationship. In the end, Dante ends up with neither woman; Randal ends the relationship by telling Veronica that Dante never got over Caitlin, and Caitlin is hospitalized after accidentally having sex in a dark bathroom with a corpse, whom she had believed to be Dante.
After an argument with Veronica, Dante gets into a big fight with Randal, and he laments his lot in life over the loss of his girlfriend and Caitlin, as well as his overall life. He is left speechless when Randal explodes at him, accusing him of blaming everyone else for his lack of initiative. The two reconcile and clean up the Quick Stop. In the final scene, he tells Randal that he is going to try and work things out with Veronica. It is implied that he will try to find direction in his life.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Dante, like Randal, plays a brief role early in the film in which the two clerks have Jay and Silent Bob arrested for loitering in front of Quick-Stop as well as for selling drugs in front of the store. As a result, a restraining order was placed on Jay and Silent Bob, who were not allowed within a hundred feet of the store.
Dante and Randal are forced to work at a Mooby's fast food restaurant after Randal accidentally leaves a coffee pot on in the Quick Stop, causing the store to burn down. It is revealed that Dante is engaged and is planning to move to Florida with his fiancee Emma. This leaves Randal feeling rejected, but does not express his anger at Dante over the decision until near the end of the movie. Randal also expresses his fears of losing Dante; under the persuasion of Randal, Dante decides to stay in New Jersey. He also calls off his engagement with Emma in favor of his boss, Becky.
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot
Dante briefly appears twice in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. The first is at the film's opening where he arrives at the Quick Stop to open the store and is quickly pulled aside by police officers. Not knowing what's going on, Dante assumes they are looking for Randal and offers to reveal his location. The second is at the film's end where he complains about the steel shutters being once again jammed with chewed gum, not even noticing Jay, Silent Bob and Jay's daughter Milly. Jay then revealed to Milly that he and Silent Bob had been pranking Dante by purposely putting in chewed gum in the locks for the past twenty-five years.
Unlike his counterpart and best friend Randal, Dante is very respectful and polite. Even when putting up with customers that irritate him, he puts on this calm demeanor to get by the day. Of course, even as a clerk just because he serves the public he has no real obligation to like the customers. He has moments of this streak including when a video rental customer forgot his keys and Dante throws them into a trash bin, and countering an irate and profane customer while playing hockey on the Quick Stop rooftop. Apart from that, Dante means well in his intentions.
By true definition, Dante is his own worst enemy. He is a pushover that constantly, as Randal puts it, "buckle like a belt." He is also very indecisive on account of being unable to take control of his life without the influence of others, often through some through some enlightening words from Silent Bob, some epiphany brought from Randal's defense and the women in his life who do their hardest to set him on track. His attitude is because of the inability to take risks and being assertive. To Dante, he questions his life without determining that he may as well be the source of all his problems because of his handicap he places on himself. His failure to realize this often brings him to the lowest situations he gets into, resulting in arguments and breaking off with his girlfriends.
Dante's love life is very hit and miss. With Caitlin Bree as his first girlfriend, he had been cheated on multiple times by her over the years. He briefly was with Julie Dwyer until he was caught giving oral to her in front of Julie's parents. After dating and sleeping with 11 women, he was with Veronica Loughran for 5 months until their relationship became strained over the events of Clerks, more specifically Veronica's encouragement for him to go back to college and even her broad sexual experience. It was implied that they got back together after things were talked over and Dante enrolled to college until their final break-up some time later. He became engaged to Emma Bunting, but after a one-night stand with Becky Scott his feelings started to shift. With the instances of the Caitlin/Veronica and Emma/Becky triangles, it's likely that Dante is unconsciously a serial cheater on account he tried get back with Caitlin while still with Veronica, and having sex with Becky while in the midst of an engagement to Emma.