What are the best comedy movies ever made? While humor is incredibly subjective, it’s safe to say that everyone likes a good laugh now and then.
Some of the best movies ever made are comedies, and the genre is one of the most popular. Whether it’s moments of lightness in drama, coping mechanisms for messy characters, or a pit stop to grand revelations, humor can be found in every corner of life. And with many of the best comedy movies now streaming, your abs are about to get a great workout.
83. Chicken Run (2000)
We believe very firmly that there’s no greater art form than the pun. That’s just one of the reasons why we love Aardman Animation’s delirious stop-motion classic so much: it’s packed with every example of poultry wordplay you could ask for.
On the face of it, it’s a very simple and silly tale of egg-laying chickens determined to escape their farm before they stop being useful and get turned into pies. But it’s so much more than that. Aardman packs so much invention into all of its films, and they really threw the kitchen sink at Chicken Run.
It’s an ingenious parody of dozens of movies – most notably The Great Escape – and also has plenty to say about the nature of friendship. But most of all, it just hits you with joke after joke until you have no choice but to succumb to its charms. Find us a better line than “I don’t want to be a pie… I don’t like gravy.” We dare you.
82. The Disaster Artist (2017)
Frankly, we could have just straight up put The Room on this list, because it’s one of the most unintentionally funny movies you’ll ever see, but The Disaster Artist is a true comedic masterpiece. Based on the tell-all novel about Greg Sestero’s experience shooting The Room, The Disaster Artist was the product of brothers James Franco and Dave Franco wanting to tell the semi-inspiring story of the worst movie ever made.
For fans (?) of The Room, Francos’ telling of the production will be a treasure chest of Easter eggs and recreations. And if you’ve never seen it before, it’ll simply be a weird, over-the-top exploration into a very real showbiz tale. It gets increasingly outrageous as time goes on, but by the end, you feel simultaneously sorry and elated for the poor souls involved in one of the most famous misfires ever made.
81. Dolemite Is My Name (2019)
Much in the same vein as Ed Wood and The Disaster Artist, Dolemite Is My Name follows an ambitious, determined filmmaker who just can’t quite get it right.
Based on the true story of Rudy Ray Moore and his cinematic escapades, the comedy comes from Eddie Murphy’s stunning performance as Rudy (who is misguided but exceptionally charismatic and quick-witted) and from Rudy’s films. Like in real life, the films Rudy makes are outrageous and hilarious, though not always intentionally.
Underneath all that though, Dolemite Is My Name is a classic underdog story of someone succeeding their own way, against the odds stacked against them. It’s heart-warming and wonderful and is one of the best Netflix movies to watch if you’re looking for a laugh.
80. Sightseers (2012)
Ben Wheatley is best known for jet-black thrillers like Kill List, so his decision to take on The Meg 2 was met with raised eyebrows (read our the Meg 2 review for our thoughts on that mess). But actually, he has plenty of form for mixing violence and bloodshed with lashings of dark comedy. His 2012 movie Sightseers, about a serial killer holidaying through rural England, is a witty, gory delight.
If you’ve ever watched a British sitcom, you’ll be familiar with most of the cast members, but it’s Alice Lowe who stands out as the woman who is initially unwilling to embrace her new boyfriend’s murders. There’s a scene of writing with a comically large pencil that we will never forget as long as we live. It’s perfect.
79. Raising Arizona (1987)
The central set piece in Raising Arizona sees Nic Cage’s mischief-making character, Hi McDunnough, pursued by cops, a pack of dogs, store owners, and his own wife, underscored by a soundtrack of yodeling and banjos. Like a live-action Looney Tunes, it’s pure, unadulterated chaos, and it’s completely blissful and hilarious, which is utterly unsurprising given that it comes from the Coen Brothers.
More than just that sequence, though, Raising Arizona is consistently a blast as a surreal, exhausting crime comedy caper. As Hi and Ed desperately try to hide and protect the baby they’ve just kidnapped, mayhem is inevitable. They collide with escaped prisoners and a hulking, leather-clad bounty hunter, all while trying to figure out their own relationship. Exciting and emotional, Raising Arizona has so much to give.
78. Bo Burnham: Inside (2021)
Stand-up comedian Bo Burnham had been doing experimental live shows infused with musical bits for years before his Netflix movie Inside was released. However, the 2021 performance piece/musical/video diary/whatever you want to call it was the elevated culmination of his hard work fiddling with the right groves, pacing, and balance between jokes and songs.
The result is a searingly incisive comedy show within the confines of just a few rooms, channeling the collective madness, grief, and mental trials of being stuck ‘inside’ during COVID-19.
Surreal, creative, and as funny as it is heart-wrenching, Inside is one of the defining pieces of art to come out of the pandemic — a hapless time capsule that reels you in with its disco balls, strobing lights, and catchy tunes.
77. Uptown Girls (2003)
In this hidden gem, Brittany Murphy stars as Molly Gunn, a carefree and naive daughter of a rock star. She’s forced to find a job when her manager steals from her. She then becomes a nanny for Ray (a young and extremely capable Dakota Fanning), a girl often neglected by her parents. While taking care of her, their opposite personalities clash, but a special bond is created.
When you think about Murphy and the joyous energy she carried around like a purse, it’s hard not to be whisked back to the memory of this particular role. It’s as if it was written for her — she effortlessly took on the challenge of a character that required both naivety and sensitive emotional intelligence.
Fanning, a dream scene partner even as a child, does an equally memorable job. Overall, Uptown Girls is an imperfect but underrated dramedy that serves as a reminder of why Murphy is so greatly missed.
76. Palm Springs (2020)
Time travel and comedy movies go together like coffee and cake, so it’s no surprise that Palm Springs ended up being a winning formula. Starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, Palm Springs follows a woman stuck at her sister’s wedding. Literally. When she stumbles across an entrance to a time vortex, she ends up living the same day over and over, with only one other person to keep her company: a fellow guest, Nyles.
Palm Springs hits all the usual marks you’d want from a time-jumping comedy but also feels completely fresh. Part of that is definitely down to Samberg and Milioti’s pitch-perfect performances, going from frustrated to fun-loving in the blink of an eye. What’s more, there’s also some unexpected twists to be found, giving this underrated comedy gem a sharper edge.
75. Team America: World Police (2004)
OK, there are some jokes in Team America that have aged like milk left out in the backyard on a summer afternoon. But this satire on the boisterous interventionism of the Bush years from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone still has plenty to say and plenty of hilarious ways to say it.
The decision to frame this viciously political comedy as an homage to the puppet-based comedy of Gerry Anderson is pure genius, allowing for some over-cranked gore and one of the most memorably bizarre sex scenes in cinema history. Two decades on, it’s as quotable and outrageous as ever. Altogether now… America! Fuck yeah!
74. The Birdcage (1996)
Robin Williams and Nathan Lane must stand among the best comedy geniuses in Hollywood history. Combine them with Gene Hackman as the ultimate straight man, and you have the flamboyant, fabulous The Birdcage. An adaptation of the famed musical La Cage aux Folles, it’s one of the pinnacles of ’90s comedy.
Williams and Lane play a gay couple forced to conceal their true relationship when the former’s son brings his partner’s ultra-conservative family to visit. It’s a rapid-fire farce with insatiable comic energy from start to finish. Two hours in the company of this one just flies by.
73. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
The ’90s delivered some terrific rom-coms as the genre pivoted from John Hughes’ domination in the ’80s. One of the picks of the bunch is 10 Things I Hate About You, which remixed Shakespeare’s play The Taming of the Shrew into a heartfelt and hilarious high school romance tale. It’s absolutely one of the best teen movies ever made.
With a cast on the cusp of super-stardom – Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, to name just a few – and a smart script by Karen McCullah and Kirsten Smith, this movie has only got better with age. There might not be a more definitive take on the idea of a ’90s teen movie than this one.
72. Liar Liar (1997)
There are countless great Jim Carrey comedies out there, but we couldn’t pick out our favorites without including Liar Liar. Carrey plays a sneaky, morally challenged lawyer who gets through his cases by lying. He’s made a great career for himself out of doing so, to the detriment of his marriage and relationship with his son. When his son finds himself at his birthday party without his dad, he makes a wish that Carrey cannot tell a lie for a whole day.
Naturally, for a man who makes a living out of throwing fibs around, this causes immense chaos for Carrey’s Fletcher. As the day goes on, his career and sanity hang on the line as he does everything physically possible to try and force a lie out of his mouth. Aside from Ace Ventura, no Carrey movie adequately showcases the actor’s physicality and energy like this.
71. The Wedding Singer (1998)
Adam Sandler movies are usually an easy, lighthearted source of absurd and pop culture-dominated humor, and The Wedding Singer is no exception. Set in the neon-colored ’80s, Sandler plays a popular wedding singer who has to reckon with his own definition of love after he’s abruptly left at the alter on the day of his wedding. Thankfully, he has Drew Barrymore’s adorable wedding waitress to help him get back on track.
Filled to the brim with overt ’80s music and references, Sandler proves that the decade can still be funny based on aesthetics alone. Plus, there are some great original songs to be found, but we’re mostly just here for his “Somebody Kill Me Please” emo musical number.
70. Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)
This one might be verging into rom-com territory a little more, but it’s truly so hilarious that we can’t ignore its worthiness of being here. Before he was making us howl as Ken, or playing an incompetent private investigator in The Nice Guys, Ryan Gosling was proving he had the comedy chops way back alongside Steve Carell.
Playing a smooth wingman who takes a recently single middle-aged man under his wing, Crazy, Stupid, Love often feels like a buddy comedy between two of the best actors in the genre. A situational movie that sees the different characters’ lives converging, there’s something so unpredictable and charming about it that’ll make it quickly earn a place in your favorites.
69. Juno (2007)
When it was first released, Juno was widely known as the most quotable movie of its time. And it makes sense — the offbeat and quirky script often sounds like it’s made of a language never before heard, putting a new twist on the way that teens talk and interact. The story of a teenager getting pregnant is nothing new, but the incredibly crafted characters and comedy that flips between heartwarming and outrageous most certainly are.
There’s something about the aesthetic of Juno that also means it stands out against its comedic peers. It’s bright, insulated, and draws a perfect contrast between Juno’s home life and that of the wealthy couple she chooses to adopt her unborn baby. A gem of its era, for sure.
68. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
We love a comedy-drama around here. Sometimes, you need it. Life with equal amounts of laughs and tears is the only way to live it, and the best movies reflect that fact well. Little Miss Sunshine is the story of a family on the verge of unhappiness who must travel across the country together so that the youngest daughter can compete in a beauty pageant.
Together, in their ratty and run-down camper van, the family must learn how to operate together and love each other under the most stressful circumstances. There’s a father who hates losers, a teenage son who’s taking a vow of silence, a suicidal uncle, and a foul-mouthed grandfather. All these figures are the integral dynamic for what makes this a truly hilarious heartbreaking movie.
67. Blazing Saddles (1974)
Mel Brooks is an undeniable comedy king, and his spoof movie on the great American frontier has stood the test of time. Blazing Saddles is one of the funniest and best Westerns you can ever watch, as it deconstructs the beloved genre in the most enjoyable and ridiculous way imaginable.
Do you love cowboy farting bean jokes? Some slapstick? How about over-the-top gags paired with legitimate criticism of Western storylines and themes? Well, Blazing Saddles has it all. The film tells the story of some greedy railroad businessmen who want to cut through a small town in the West.
However, their plans start to unravel when their newly appointed sheriff doesn’t fumble as expected but instead shows Moxie. It’s a powerful and side-splitting watch all around.
66. The Pink Panther (1963)
Here is the film that not only gave one of the best actors in comedy his big break but also kickstarted a beloved franchise. The Pink Panther, starring Peter Sellers as the bumbling detective Inspector Jacques Clouseau, is iconic and is a master class in comic timing and out-of-left-field jokes.
Jacques Clouseau travels to Cortina d’Ampezzo in order to catch a notorious jewel thief known as “The Phantom.” His task is simple: uncover the criminal before they can get their sticky hands on the rare pink diamond, The Pink Panther. However, poor Jacques isn’t the brightest or most coordinated detective around, leading to funny misunderstandings and tons of hilarious fumbles.
From bedroom violin antics to high-speed chase scenes with a criminal gorilla, this film is pure bonkers and proves that slapstick (when done right) never gets old.
65. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
Steve Martin and Michael Caine might seem like an unlikely duo, and you’d be right. However, in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the pair come together to create a hilarious situational comedy that perfectly plays to both actors’ strengths.
When two con men find themselves competing for the same scam, they have to try and prove which method is better: Caine’s sleek, debonair mastery, or Martin’s quick and dirty thievery. Ultimately, they must end up working together, and the lengths they’ll go to in order to get their win are nothing short of bizarre.
64. Tootsie (1982)
Tootsie is Dustin Hoffman like you’ve never seen him before. Literally. When an actor (Hoffman) is driven out of roles because he’s developed a difficult reputation, he decides to re-brand himself by taking on the appearance of a woman and pretending to be an up-and-coming actress known as Tootsie.
Tootsie is vibrant, vocal, and doesn’t take any crap. All this makes for plenty of wild situations and unexpected turns. The movie actually ended up being nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, which is an accolade not seen by many other comedy movies.
63. Meet the Parents (2000)
If you like cringe comedy, it doesn’t get much better than Meet the Parents. At its lightest moments, it’s an awkward, just-about-bearable family comedy. At its worst, it’s a humiliating ride that’ll have you watching through your fingers as the situation gets more and more insane.
Meet the Parents (like most of the best comedies) is an over-the-top take on an everyday situation. We’ve all met the parents of a significant other, but we should thank our lucky stars that it’s never gone as brutally as this.
62. Hot Shots! (1991)
When it comes to parody films, the market might have become a little over-saturated, particularly during the early 2000s. But back in the ’90s, the sub-genre was a goldmine, and Hot Shots! is the perfect example. The main movie target of this flick is Top Gun, and you can probably only imagine the kind of jabs the Charlie Sheen movie takes at the Tom Cruise action-drama.
But it doesn’t end there. Hot Shots! also spoofs the likes of Dances with Wolves, Rocky, Superman, and Gone with the Wind. It’s absurd, a little wacky, but still completely hilarious and a terrific example of how funny these kinds of satirical movies can actually be.
61. Hot Fuzz (2007)
After Edgar Wright took on the likes of ravenous zombies, he decided to tackle the buddy cop genre. Take the high stakes and elaborate action of your average cop movie and set it in a tiny quaint English village, and you get Hot Fuzz. Everyone’s at the top of their game here, and what follows is a murder mystery with a biting comedic edge.
When a Met police officer is forced to join the police force of a small English village in the middle of nowhere, he’s bored out of his mind. That is, of course, until he starts to witness the aftermath of some seriously messed-up murders. Who’s responsible? Well, that’s what he and his unlikely action-movie-loving new partner must find out.
60. Clerks (1994)
It takes skill to turn a slow workday into a comedic masterpiece, so if nothing else, Kevin Smith deserves all our respect for the black-and-white cult classic Clerks. Set in a Quick Stop Groceries in Leonardo, New Jersey, the film presents the day in the lives of two retail clerks and their friends. Over the course of the day, we see fights break out, messes being made, and some good old-fashioned vandalism.
With its quick-witted script, hilarious insults, and expert depiction of the mundane, Clerks reminds us to laugh through the pain. Especially when true pain is derived from being stuck with people you’d rather not know altogether. We also have to shout out the fact that Clerks kickstarted a franchise despite its $27,575 budget, so when we praise its quality over the lack of spectacle, we mean it!
59. Legally Blonde (2001)
Comedy movies from the early 2000s don’t have the best reputation when it comes to female characters. But Legally Blonde came out swinging, directly confronting all the sexist stereotypes about attractive college women.
Telling the story of Elle Woods, who enters law school and must face prejudice and assumptions about her intellect based on her appearance, Legally Blonde pokes fun at harmful attitudes towards women in a fun and light-hearted way. Not only is the story hilarious, but it is an uplifting experience for any woman questioning their parameters of femininity.
Elle Woods wore pink and still dominated the courtroom, so if you want to see her stump everyone in her way while also having a few giggles, this is the film for you.
58. Elf (2003)
Elf isn’t just one of the best Christmas movies ever made; it’s also one of the funniest films of the new millennium, thanks in large part to a wonderfully unrestrained performance from Will Ferrell.
Directed by Jon Favreau before he went off to make movies for the MCU and save Star Wars, Elf’s charm and good spirit are capable of winning over even the most mean-spirited of Grinches.
57. Trading Places (1983)
John Landis’s withering takedown of the capriciousness of capitalism in the guise of a screwball comedy, Trading Places, takes two comedy titans —Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd— and pits them against each other in a sort of warped take on the Prince and the Pauper.
Smart and hilarious Trading Places helped to reinvigorate Aykroyd’s flagging career and made Murphy one of the highest-paid movie stars of the ’80s.
56. Mrs Doubtfire (1993)
Shockingly, Mrs Doubtfire wasn’t exactly warmly received when it burst into theaters in the early ’90s, but it has enjoyed a critical reassessment in recent years, and it’s easy to see why.
Robin Williams gives his all as Daniel Hillard and his creation Mrs. Doubtfire, delivering a sentimental but never mawkish performance that’s as endearing as it is hilarious.
55. Father of the Bride (1991)
You’re going to see Steve Martin a lot on this list, and we promise we at The Digital Fix aren’t all secret members of the Steve Martin/Martin Short fan club — it’s just Steve Martin is at his best when he’s playing someone ridiculously highly-strung. And no one is more highly strung than a girl-dad whose little princess is about to marry.
Martin provides most of the Father of the Bride’s comedic moments with his relatable, increasingly frantic approach toward the big day. Still, between the laughs, this film also has heaps of heart, and it’s probably one of the best family movies ever made. It’s unashamedly sweet and sentimental and an all-around wholesome and fun experience.
54. Three Amigos (1986)
Three Amigos may not have impressed critics when it was released in the mid-80s, but its reputation has been burnished by more modern film writers who grew up watching this charming, hilarious, and surprisingly meta-movie.
The fact that it’s got Steve Martin (Again), Martin Short, and Chevy Chase all working together would have earned it a place in the Comedy Hall of Fame, but what’s really earned a spot on this list is teaching us the definition of “plethora.”
53. Dodgeball (2004)
Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, and a load of balls. Those are the constituent ingredients of a raucous underdog tale that sits among the best sports movies of all time, as well as the funniest comedies. Vaughn’s schlubby dude leads Average Joe’s gym as they take up dodgeball in an attempt to raise the money to save the place.
Stiller is cartoonish fitness impresario White Goodman, who wants to level Joe’s. Naturally, he doesn’t get his own way. The jokes come thick and fast, and we frankly wish director Rawson Marshall Thurber would leave his current action berth and return to comedies like this.
52. Dazed and Confused (1993)
Alright, alright, alright. Richard Linklater’s uber-cool cult hit captures the playful, confusing essence of teenage life in all its awkward glory. Matthew McConaughey steals the show with his portrayal of David Wooderson, the ‘Peter Pan of Pot’ and parking lot loitering; a guy who refuses to grow old, instead preferring to talk shit to anyone who’ll listen. If you haven’t seen Dazed and Confused, all we’ll say is, it’d be a lot cooler if you did.
51. Zola (2020)
Based on an infamous Twitter thread about a young woman who links up with a new friend to go on an impromptu trip, Zola is a kaleidoscopic film that imbues its ridiculous premise with a surprising atmosphere and drama. Ultimately, it’s a comedy-thriller, with some characters putting on genuinely chilling exteriors and others leaning on the more comedic side of things. But the contrast works, and makes Zola all the more unpredictable.
Juicing a worthwhile feature-length movie out of a silly social media post was made to look deceptively easy, and Zola is full of conundrums: it’s graphic yet innocent, brutal but sincere, and gross but beautiful.
50. Barbie (2023)
This wouldn’t be a list of the best comedy movies without adding what was easily the biggest comedy sensation of 2023. Bringing the plastic princess to life, Barbie made its mark as an irreverent and offbeat movie from a major corporation. Thanks to Greta Gerwig and the talented cast, Barbie was unexpectedly hilarious. The comedy is more akin to that of classic 2000s movies than some of its modern counterparts — random, spontaneous, and completely quotable.
Of course, most of the laughs come from Ryan Gosling’s Ken. From his sudden screech of “sublime!” to his “let me play guitar at you” performance, everything about this Ken is perfection. And to make it all the better, Barbie has some of the best production design we’ve seen in years. Read our Barbie review for more!
49. City Lights (1931)
While the world of cinema was shifting to talkies, Charlie Chaplin simply said ‘no’ and made one of the best silent movies of his career. City Lights follows the romance between The Tramp and a blind flower seller, delivering a heartfelt story as well as some great comic set pieces.
The boxing scene is rightly iconic, and there are plenty of slapstick scrapes throughout the story. Chaplin was a master of writing, timing, and cinematic craft. City Lights might show that more than any of his other films, and it also reveals the warmth of this clown character’s heart.
48. Galaxy Quest (1999)
An incredible Star Trek pastiche, Galaxy Quest, is the best example of how to make a parody movie (sorry, Scary Movie fans!). The film follows the cast of a fictional cult TV series, Galaxy Quest, who find themselves having to face real aliens who think that their show is actually a documentary.
It’s unafraid to lampoon the ridiculous cliches and tropes that define Star Trek without ever being mean-spirited or cruel. Basically, a sci-fi must-watch. You need only look at the cast to understand what you’re in for: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and Alan Rickman. And that’s just the start.
47. Do Revenge (2022)
Do Revenge is the return to the camp 2000s movies we want to bring back. A banging pop-rock soundtrack, costume design dripping in pastels, and ‘Glennergy’ are just three of the pieces that fit together to make this dark comedy a blast.
Camila Mendes and Robin Hawke star as two slighted girls who hatch a plan to execute the other’s revenge machinations. The movie leans into the hammy, hard, so if you’re someone who can get down with that, you’ll have a lot of fun.
46. Blades of Glory (2007)
Two competing male figure skaters are forced to work together when, following expulsion from all competition, they realize they can skate again… if they do it as a pair. This is the premise for the weird and wonderful Blades of Glory, which stars Will Ferrell and Jon Heder as two opposing forces.
Hader’s Jimmy is a talented classic figure skater who strives for grace and perfection. Ferrell’s Chazz is a sex-addicted rockstar whose skating is more based on hip thrusts than technique. It’s a tale as old as time, but the absurd humor and chaotic stakes make Blades of Glory one of the best sports comedies around.
45. The Hangover (2009)
The Hangover was the favorite movie of teen boys everywhere for a long time. The concept is simple: a group of men go to a bachelor’s party in Las Vegas and get wildly drunk. When they wake up the next morning hungover out of their minds, their friend is missing, there’s a baby in the closet, and a tiger in the bathroom. What follows is a comedy mystery in which they travel around Vegas to try to uncover what happened the night before.
The Hangover became a comedy sensation and resulted in a trilogy, but the first movie is where it’s at its best. Explicit, unpredictable, and brimming with physical comedy and hilarious delivery alike, The Hangover was essentially the defining film of 2009, and with good reason.
44. The Producers (1967)
When it comes to satire and dark comedy, Mel Brooks was really there before anyone else. There’s plenty in the comedy director’s filmography to select from, but The Producers might just be at the top of the list over the likes of Space Balls, purely because the concept is so wildly memorable.
As a Jewish filmmaker, Brooks felt it apt to put a damper on Hitler’s legacy by rendering him the focal point of campy ridicule and making him the centerpiece in a story of two corrupt Broadway producers who are looking to put on a purposefully terrible show to claim insurance money. The show they come up with? An over-the-top fantastical farce named ‘Springtime for Hitler.’ If that’s not enough to pique your curiosity, we don’t know what else could do it.
43. The Nice Guys (2016)
We love Ryan Gosling movies here at The Digital Fix, and The Nice Guys is right up there as one of his very best of all time. It’s all down to the wonderful dynamic he and Russell Crowe share on the screen as the calamitous private eye pairing of Holland March and Jackson Healy. It all revolves around the pair as they investigate the disappearance of a young woman, and the murder of a porn star.
The hilarious detective movie might just be the funniest film of the last decade. Gosling is at his best, bringing a new meaning to the term ‘physical comedy’, and Crowe proves that he has the comedic timing to match. Now, we just need them to let us know The Nice Guys 2 release date, and we’ll be incredibly happy.
42. Step Brothers (2008)
You know a movie is well-written when several of its lines remain seared into your brain and ever-quotable fifteen years on. Grown men acting like children might seem a lazy route into comedy for some, but what makes these titular step brothers (John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell) special is their ability to lean into the absurd without any inhibitions or an ounce of hesitation — even if it means rubbing ones’ genitals on a drum set.
Their rivalry and co-dependent friendship lead to equally outrageous moments, with the pair being a match made in comedy heaven. They also completely nail the sibling dynamic that anyone from a big family can relate to — but the real breakout star of this film is Adam Scott as loathsome Derek for the ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ scene alone.
41. The Ladykillers (1955)
Criminal mastermind Professor Marcus may be able to outsmart the police, but he’s no match for the adorable Mrs Wilberforce in The Ladykillers. Alec Guinness plays Marcus, the head of a criminal gang that uses the rooms of an old woman’s house as a base for their bank robbery. As you can imagine, various antics ensue.
An extremely odd but endearing (and hilarious film), The Ladykillers is widely considered one of the best British movies ever made, and we find it hard to disagree. Also, a fun fact, the writer William Rose said he dreamt the whole film and then rewrote it from memory.
40. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and a leopard. They’re the trio responsible for one of the crowning achievements of the screwball comedy genre. It’s a breakneck parade of awkwardness and mishaps driven by the motormouth chemistry between Grant and Hepburn.
There’s some serious scriptwriting genius at play in making all of the chaos fit together – with so many competing elements, it could have been a stinker – and Howard Hawks is masterful behind the camera. But it’s the two leads who make this work, keeping up with the machine-gun dialogue thanks to expert comic timing. 80 years have not dulled its impact at all.
39. Coming to America (1988)
Though we’d rather forget about the questionable sequel that came out in 2021, the original romantic comedy fronted by the superstar of the time, Eddie Murphy, will always be one of our favorites. The fish-out-of-water story follows Murphy as Prince Akeem, who leaves his luxurious royal life to travel to Queens in search of true love.
A hilarious parody of McDonalds, energetic dialogue, and, of course, the usual expanse of Eddie Murphy characters makes Coming to America a delightfully sweet tale with comedy that still holds up.
38. Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022)
This whodunnit satire for the politically correct social media age is so much fun. Set during a hurricane, the movie kicks off when a murder mystery game goes awry, and one of the players ends up dead. You’ve almost definitely seen clips from the movie circulating around social media, because it’s just so damn quotable.
Bodies Bodies Bodies has biting dialogue, entertaining and deeply unserious characters, and so much unpredictable romance that a gasp every 15 minutes is an appropriate response.
37. Dumb and Dumber (1994)
As fun and smart as comedy movies can be, sometimes there’s nothing better than switching off your brain and enjoying something dumb, and films don’t come much dumber than the appropriately titled Dumb and Dumber.
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels star as Lloyd and Harry, two hapless but lovable buffoons on a mission to track down a beautiful woman named Holly Swanson. It’s gross, it’s hilarious, and it’s endlessly quotable. Dumb and Dumber is the perfect comedy to watch when you’re feeling down.
36. In the Loop (2009)
The political comedy series The Thick of It made its journey to the big screen with this movie. It’s set partly in Westminster but also jets Stateside to feature the corridors of power in Washington. Most of the series’ core cast played different characters, but there was no way Peter Capaldi was going to embody anyone other than the spin doctor Malcolm Tucker.
Nobody is safe from Tucker’s unchecked aggression and poisonous tongue in this tale of a misguided rush to war, heavily inspired by the real-life circumstances around the Iraq War. Even more than a decade on, its political barbs cut deep, and it still has some of the most quotable swearing ever committed to cinema.
35. The Great Muppet Caper (1981)
Kermit and Fozzie are investigative journalists who become embroiled in a dastardly crook’s schemes. Oh, and they’re twins, but you’ll only see the resemblance if Fozzie’s wearing his hat. There’s so much chaotic energy surging through The Great Muppet Caper. It’s joyfully infectious.
Their reporting involves a trip to London, where they have to skydive out of a plane because they can’t afford a regular flight. These hijinks are almost upstaged by the human actors, Diana Rigg and Charles Grodin, fully engrossed in Jim Henson’s irreverent humor. And, of course, Miss Piggy saves the day.
34. Mean Girls (2004)
On Wednesdays, we wear pink and watch Mean Girls on repeat – because, yes, the 2000s comedy movie is just that iconic. High school wasn’t fun for anyone, so what better way to deal with our teenage collective trauma than watching one of the funniest and most quotable depictions of the teenage girl experience?
Written by comedy legend Tina Fey, Mean Girls follows the life of Cady, a home-schooled sixteen-year-old who gets caught in the crossfire between the popular girl clique (named The Plastics) and her new friends after transferring to an American high school. However, girl war begins to change Cady as she fights for her crush, learns how to navigate the unsaid rules of high school, and realizes how impactful bullying can be.
Mean Girls is a movie that never gets old. It has become a pop culture phenomenon – spawning merch and even a Broadway musical. So what are you waiting for?
33. Ingrid Goes West (2017)
One of Aubrey Plaza’s level-up roles, Ingrid Goes West, follows a woman who is unhappy in her life and is social-media-obsessed. When she befriends an influencer and spins a web of lies about her reality to get close to her and her lifestyle, things quickly begin to tear at the seams.
Honestly, it’s a role that seems like it could have only been played by Aubrey Plaza. This is tonally a dark comedy, and its interrogation of false personas and the thin veneer of the value we place on aesthetics adds a lot to the proceedings.
32. National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
The one that started it all, National Lampoon’s Vacation is an outrageous caper full of visual gags, confident delivery, and countless unexpected twists, as the Griswold family decides to take a cross-country trip to Wally World (an obvious riff on Disneyland).
The less said about the sequels, the better (they get progressively worse), but this cringe-inducing holiday from hell, led by an increasingly maniacal Chevy Chase at his best, is a must-watch for anyone looking for a more realistic depiction of the so-called All-American family.
31. This Is the End (2013)
We love it when celebrities can point the finger at themselves and laugh, and This is the End serves as one big meta-joke. When the end of the world is nigh, a group of actors, including Seth Rogan, James Franco, Jonah Hill, and Jay Baruchel, become trapped in Franco’s LA mansion and forced to survive together.
This is the End is undeniably silly but incredibly fun. Plus, with an over-the-top musical number at the end and a running gag in which Baruchel can’t stand Jonah Hill, this self-referential movie will have you chuckling the whole way through.
30. Game Night (2018)
Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams lead an incredible cast in one of the most watchable comedies ever made. The plot’s clever, and the jokes are slick, but the real reason Game Night is such a triumph is the chemistry between the friends. You genuinely believe you’re watching a group of good pals experience a truly traumatic evening of ‘fun,’ and the banter feels extremely natural.
They pledge to cover just one more story together, and the dialogue never lets up for a second. It’s smart, snappy, and performed in a display of pure kinetic energy by the two stars. Classic comedy at its lightning-quick finest.
29. Four Lions (2010)
A film about a terrorist group plotting to detonate a bomb during the London Marathon may not sound like it’s going to bring the house down. Still, Chris Morris’s incisive and incendiary satire manages to skirt tastelessness and instead demonstrates the inherent silliness of fundamentalism.
While it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, Four Lions is an undeniably hilarious film that does the impossible and makes terrorism funny while offering a surprisingly sympathetic view of those seduced by extremist rhetoric.
27. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is teen comedy at its finest and introduces the world to the wonders of a sassy narrator who seems to get away with just about anything. Directed by John Hughes, the flick is a hilarious case study of a high schooler’s dream – ditching school and being smart enough not to get caught.
Ferris is a classic slacker who decides to use his last fake sick day of school to get his anxiety-riddled best friend Cameron to let loose before they head to college. After setting up elaborate plans and excuses to keep the principal and his meddling sister busy, Ferris and his friends explore Chicago and learn to let loose among the hustle and bustle of teen life.
With one-liners, genuinely funny slapstick moments, and great characters all around, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a classic that you won’t regret watching.
28. In Bruges (2008)
Before they made last year’s Oscar-nominated tragicomedy The Banshees of Inisherin, the triumvirate of writer-director Martin McDonagh and stars Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell made this raucous dark comedy thriller. The duo play assassins holed up in the Belgian tourist spot after fleeing an initially unspecified mishap.
It’s a devilish comedy packed with bad taste and bloodshed, but the chemistry between Gleeson and Farrell keeps everything on the right side of heartfelt en route to a surprisingly poignant finale. Ralph Fiennes shows up, too, as one of the best movie villains of his career. Sorry, Voldemort.
26. Pitch Perfect (2012)
The ultimate ‘cozy night in’ movie, Pitch Perfect blends cringe with endearing friendship in its tale of a group of college misfits who join an acapella competition.
With Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and many more in its female ensemble, this is a classic feel-good affair but also doesn’t hold back a single punch in its comedy writing — it is written by Kay Cannon, after all.
The music is fun, the story is upbeat, and it’s comforting in the way only a girly movie can be! Yes, the sequels are sort of terrible, but that won’t stop us from mainlining them all in one day.
25. Zoolander (2001)
Love it or leave it, it’s undeniable that Zoolander has become one of the most frequently-quoted comedy movies this side of the millennium. Its inherent goofiness is so lovable that it’s easy to misread Zoolander as an unsophisticated farce.
But whether it’s Ben Stiller and his vapid model pals frolicking in showers of petrol at the gas station, the over-the-top mining montage, or the completely unnecessary but beloved Billy Zane cameo, Zoolander caught our hearts at a time when we were younger and more naïve, and has stayed there ever since.
24. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
With spy movies often packed to the brim with hot, smoldering men in suits who always take themselves too seriously, Austin Powers was deeply refreshing. It’s unashamedly goofy, razor-sharp in its satire of the James Bond movies, but never in a way that feels too self-important and pretentious. No archetypes and tropes are safe in this film, and it’s as much a celebration of what it’s making fun of as it is a gigantic piss-take.
Mike Myers is the indisputable star in his dual role as Doctor Evil and Austin Powers, but a strong supporting cast and bright, psychedelic theme mean there’s never a dull moment, as it revels in its cringe rather than trying to avoid it.
23. His Girl Friday (1940)
Perhaps the finest of the screwball comedies, this Howard Hawks movie is about as fast and furious as you can be without getting into Vin Diesel’s car. Cary Grant plays a smooth-talking newspaper editor keen not to lose Rosalind Russell’s gifted reporter, who also happens to be his ex-wife.
When we say fast and furious, we mean it. His Girl Friday is famed for its rapid, speed-talking style with overlapping dialog. I mean, it’s the kind of thing you do when you’re putting on a ‘chaotic ’40s reporter’ character voice, but this movie is the very real version of that.
22. Withnail and I (1987)
When we put this list together, we demanded the finest comedy movies available to humanity. We want them here, and we want them now… ahem! Sorry about that. I’ve not been the same since I went on holiday by mistake.
Written and directed by Bruce Robinson, Withnail and I follows two unemployed bohemians as they attempt to take a country break. Heartbreaking and hilarious in equal measure, Withnail and I is a drugged-up and giddy exploration of nonconformism and the tragedy inherent in life on the fringes.
21. Booksmart (2019)
Olivia Wilde’s high school graduation comedy features a tripped-out Barbie doll sequence, an absurd Billie Lourd performance, and fresh humor that doesn’t sound like it was written by thirty-year-old dudes wearing the skin suits of teenage girls — a rarity.
Booksmart’s frenetic energy, above-the-belt humor, and genuine care for its characters set it apart from other teen movies. The premise may sound like it was made for a cheap Netflix movie, but this movie won’t be slipping into the void anytime soon.
Extremely rewatchable and surprisingly tender, it’s the quality approach to the filmmaking and character writing that puts Booksmart a cut above the rest. Some people will say it’s just ‘female Superbad’, but some people have no understanding of why Superbad isn’t for everyone.
20. The Big Lebowski (1998)
Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, and Steve Buscemi having this much time together would always yield some gold. Under the sharp comedic instincts of Joel and Ethan Coen, it’s no accident they created one of the best ’90s movies.
Bridges plays Jeffrey ‘The Dude’ Lebowski, a bowling enthusiast and white Russian drinker who winds up delivering ransom money for another Lebowski in a bizarre case of mistaken identity.
The Dude being as confused as you are at every turn is key to the overall vibe, and loud performances all around make it a crowd-pleaser every time. The entry that ties this list together.
19. Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Stanley Kubrick mastered the art of filmmaking across many genres. While his more serious work, like the horror movie The Shining and war movie Full Metal Jacket, often dominates the discussion, it’s easy to forget just how funny he could be as a director.
Featuring a star turn from comedy legend Peter Sellers, Dr. Strangelove uses Cold War tensions as a backdrop for a most chaotic and hilarious series of events that threaten to destroy the entire planet. After all, if you can’t laugh (or fight) in the war room, where can you?
18. Popstar Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)
The union between the best musicals and comedy movies is a fruitful one, and it became even more fruitful in 2016 when The Lonely Island delivered a satirical spin on the vanity music documentary. Andy Samberg plays the vaguely talented but exceptionally vain – no matter how much he sings about being humble – Conner4Real, as his music career crumbles.
Packed with celeb cameos and one of the strongest gag rates of any recent comedy, Popstar is sharp, silly, and full of memorable tunes. Get ready to request the Donkey Roll at every wedding you ever go to.
17. School of Rock (2003)
Could this really be the best comedy list without the historical works of Jack Black making an appearance? The School of Rock brought us genuinely gut-busting gags, physical comedy, and quotable lines that we still use to this day (“Because I’m sexy! And chubby, man!”), all in the form of a digestible but unique family movie.
Plus, with a (literally) rocking soundtrack and a legacy that’s probably to thank for breeding a whole legacy of wannabe rock stars, School of Rock is an important piece of culture. We love Jack Black in everything he does, but something about this particular flick just warms our hearts and reminds us of better days.
16. Shiva Baby (2020)
Shiva Baby is an anxiety attack in movie form. Packed with cringe humor, biting delivery from its star Rachel Sennot, and a sensitive romance subplot, this dramedy is soul-food for people in their 20s who feel like tumbleweeds.
Hilarious, but with character drama that matches the comedic chops in its ability to cut, this mostly-single-location movie is easily one of the best comedies of the 2020s so far.
It’s also one of the few to tackle ‘the youth’ of today without obvious holes in understanding, thanks to the close age and working relationship of the director and actor pairing.
15. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
A mockumentary that occasionally cuts very close to the bone in its satire of ’80s rock stardom. Spinal Tap, a fictitious British group, is riding high on the back of a hit album, but all the attention puts a strain on their dynamic.
Increasingly comical stage segments are mixed with interviews and candid personal drama, many of which were improvised under the eye of director Rob Reiner.
When you’ve talents like Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, and Michael McKean, the laughs come easy. On top of their comedic chops, they’re all quality musicians, adding to the authenticity.
14. Some Like It Hot (1959)
Big screen stalwarts Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis star in this 1959 movie where their characters, a pair of musicians, witness a mafia hit and have to flee for their lives. They end up going undercover in an all-female traveling band by disguising themselves as a couple of their members.
There, they meet Sugar, the lead singer of the band, played by Marilyn Monroe. Considered by many to be one of the greatest movies of all time, Some Like It Hot is quick-witted, raucous, and spectacularly funny. If you’re looking for fits of the giggles in classic cinema, treat yourself!
13. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) is an awkward teenager navigating life when a new kid called Pedro joins his school. Not long after, Napoleon embarks on a campaign to get Pedro elected as class president.
This off-beat comedy movie is hard to pigeonhole given its vast range of iconic moments, such as a dance performance to Jamiroquai’s ‘Canned Heat’, the infamous liger, and a grandmother’s broken coccyx on the sand dunes. If irreverent humor is your bag and you like to roll around in the cringe-mud, oh boy, do we have a movie for you.
12. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
This critically acclaimed movie brings the farcical and witty together thanks to the Monty Python comedy grouping of Michael Palin, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, and Graham Chapman.
This paradoxical movie plays out King Arthur and his knights’ quest to find the Holy Grail during the Middle Ages, and it’s jam-packed with memorable quotes that you may have already heard but didn’t know come from this movie.
Serving as inspiration for so many comedies to follow, this is why, if you haven’t already, you need to watch it.
11. Ghostbusters (1984)
If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters! As close to perfect as a movie’s ever come, the original Ghostbusters combines a high-concept story, some of the finest comedic actors of the day at the height of their powers, and brilliant special effects to make one of the finest supernatural comedies ever.
Directed by Ivan Reitman, the film sees three paranormal investigators launch their own ghost exterminator business after being fired from their university.
While some have credited Bill Murray as carrying the film, we believe it’s far more of an ensemble piece than people think, with Ramis, Ackroyd, Weaver, and Hudson all adding their own shine to an already brilliant script.
10. Anchorman (2004)
We don’t know how to put this, but Ron Burgundy is kind of a big deal. People know him. He’s very important. He has many leather-bound books, and his apartment smells of rich mahogany.
Will Ferrell was the king of comedy in the 2000s, and Anchorman may well be his pièce de résistance.
With a star-studded cast including Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Christina Applegate, and Vince Vaughn, this hilarious story of the rise and fall of a charismatic newsreader is endlessly quotable. You stay classy, readers.
9. Bridesmaids (2011)
Annie (Kristen Wiig) is a single woman floating around aimlessly in her 30s when she’s asked to be the Maid of Honor at her best friend, Lillian’s (Maya Rudolph) wedding.
But she’s got competition. Helen (Rose Byrne) brings both money and togetherness to the table to rival Annie’s questionable life decisions, which leads to rivalry and hilarity.
Paul Feig and Judd Apatow break the Hollywood mainstream with this female ensemble featuring some of the genre’s brightest talents. Whether it’s the physical comedy, the heartwarming friendship, or the iconic plane scene, good luck not being won over.
8. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
This ‘80s movie classic sees Neal (Steve Martin, once more!) and Del (John Candy) as a mismatched pair brought together after their flights get canceled, and they want to make it home in time for Thanksgiving.
In true comedy style, the two men start as a bickering odd couple, but over the course of their three-day misadventure, against all odds, they become friends.
John Candy’s character, Del, is a quirky curtain ring salesman with a very laid-back attitude, in contrast to Steve Martin’s Neal, a highly-strung marketing exec on the verge of a breakdown should he not get his way. Both iconic comedy actors at the time, this comedy holds its own to this very day.
7. Office Space (1999)
The cult hit Office Space wasn’t immediately recognized as a comedy classic, but time has done it justice. Peter (Ron Livingston) hates his office job, but by trying his hardest to lose it, he ends up getting promoted.
Alongside his two colleagues, they hatch a plan to embezzle money from the company in a bid to break out from the corporate world that holds them down.
This ‘cubicle classic’ comes from director Mike Judge, the man behind iconic animated series King of the Hill and Beavis and Butt-head, whose style of comedy translates wonderfully to the big screen.
6. The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
As the title suggests, Andy (Steve Carell) is a 40-year-old virgin. One day, during work at the electronic store, his colleagues learn about his four decades of abstinence and make it their personal quest to help him have sex for the very first time.
Directed by Judd Apatow, known for other comedy greats like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Superbad, Andy learns to navigate the world of relationships with his innocence and naivety, getting him into all sorts of awkward, absurd, and amusing situations.
Throw in Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd for good measure, and you’ve got yourself a top comedy flick.
5. Happy Gilmore (1996)
We couldn’t make a list of comedy movies and not put an Adam Sandler and Happy Madison Productions movie on it, and Happy Gilmore is one of the absolute finest.
Failed hockey star Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) realizes his hockey slap translates incredibly well into the world of golf, making him a golfer with a shot at the big time.
Happy takes on the champions to try and win a large cash prize and buy back his grandmother’s house to keep her from moving into a nursing home. For Sandler, the ’90s and ’00s were a golden era, and this no-hope-turns-good yarn is one of his best.
4. Borat (2006)
Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen) is a reporter from Kazakhstan tasked with heading to the United States to film a documentary all about how it’s the greatest country on Earth. Instead, he decides to launch a far-fetched scheme to find Baywatch star Pamela Anderson and make her his wife.
It’s full of absolutely outrageous scenes that fly so incredibly close to the boundaries of acceptability that it’s questionably controversial. The tongue-in-cheek satire of Borat brings vulgarity to the forefront with hilarious results. The sequel isn’t half-bad either, but to understand Cohen’s enigmatic career, Borat is a must-watch.
3. Airplane! (1980)
When it comes to the comedy classics, few hold a candle to the ‘80s movie Airplane! A parody film on disaster movies – particularly the ‘50s movie Zero Hour! – Airplane! follows the events of a commercial flight gone wrong, as passengers and crew members fall ill following a case of food poisoning.
An ex-fighter pilot is tasked with saving the day. The only problem is that his time at war gave him a fear of flying as well as a ‘drinking problem’ – splashing his beverages everywhere – leading to some complications. There are one-liners, side-splitting jokes, and stellar performances from the likes of Robert Hays and Leslie Nielsen.
Airplane! is a feel-good movie like no other, a highly acclaimed flick, and may just be one of the most quotable movies ever to be made. In short, you can’t miss it.
2. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Who knew a zombie movie could be so funny? Dubbed by its creators a ‘rom-zom-com’, Shaun of the Dead follows dead-end salesman Shaun (Simon Pegg) and his friend Ed (Nick Frost) as they take refuge from zombies in their local pub to protect themselves and their loved ones.
All of a sudden, Shaun’s seemingly pointless life becomes a fight to save himself and those closest to him. This horror-comedy zombie parody is the first in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, directed by Edgar Wright and starring both Simon and Nick, and the overarching theme that runs through them all is that they’re hysterical.
1. Groundhog Day
It’s Groundhog Day! Potentially Bill Murray’s best performance (shocking coming from a Ghostbusters fan), Groundhog Day manages the impossible. It’s a side-splittingly hilarious morality story that isn’t po-faced or hectoring. Murray is integral to the movie’s success, bringing a sardonic but sentimental edge to the film.
Get more laughs as Jim Carrey explains why Bill Murray (and a cat) is his comedy inspiration, and learn why Sylvester Stallone can’t do comedy because of his voice. Also, we know what Christopher Nolan’s unexpected favorite comedy is.
Meanwhile, find out more about 2023’s funniest movies with our Strays director interview and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles director interview. We also have a guide breaking down the best new movies heading our way.