There are still a few weeks of winter left, so we could all use some comic relief. Comic relief is always available. And Netflix has plenty of comedies to tide you over in the last days of summer. Yet, if you’re looking for a good laugh, scrolling endlessly isn’t exactly the way to go about it.
There are way too many comedies out there that aren’t very hilarious. You can trust our judgment of comedy, so let us decide what’s appropriate. Currently, these are Netflix’s top picks for comedies.
If you’re looking for more suggestions, we’ve put together lists of the best comedies on Hulu, the best romantic comedies on Netflix, and the best rom-com on Hulu.
1. Animal House (1978)
The wayward Delta House fraternity at Faber College in 1962 is the focus of the classic college comedy Animal House, in which John Vernon stars as Dean Vernon Wormer. The Deltas, however, led by Eric “Otter” Stratton (Tim Matheson) and full of oddballs like John “Bluto” Blutarsky (John Belushi in his breakout film performance), had no plans to surrender without a fight.
2. The Hangover (2009)
The Hangover was such a success that it is one of the few comedies to be extended into three installments (the other two films are also on Netflix, but they are much less compelling than the outstanding original). Doug (Justin Bartha), who will shortly be getting married, and his friends Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms) — as well as Doug’s future brother-in-law, Alan (Jason Bateman) — decide to take one final crazy trip to Las Vegas before the wedding (Zach Galifianakis).
Doug is nowhere to be found when the three remaining men awake with no recollection of the previous night. Phil, Stu, and Alan embark on a journey to find Doug and deliver him to the altar on time, using whatever information they can get along the way. As they draw nearer, however, they become increasingly aware of just how chaotic the previous evening had been.
3. Big Daddy (1999)
The fact that Big Daddy is sometimes forgotten is a credit to Adam Sandler’s incredible run of success in the ’90s. The idea of Big Daddy may be more shocking now, but the story is still heartwarming regardless.
Sonny is a disorganized law school dropout who has never followed through on anything. Sonny has a chance to redeem himself when a young child named Julian comes into his life after his fiancée Layla (Joey Lauren Adams) quits him for his lack of commitment. Julian is just six years old. Sonny takes on the role of foster parent to Julian, even though Julian is not his biological son, in the hopes of winning Layla back.
4. Easy A (2010)
Easy A is a modern retelling of The Scarlet Letter that centers on Olive (Emma Stone), a low-key high school senior.
Olive determines that any chatter about her purported promiscuity is good gossip and uses it to boost her social position when it is circulated by people who know nothing about the subject.
Soon, Olive realizes the rumor mill may be too much for her to handle, as her students turn against her, the faculty raises eyebrows and the school board worries about her immorality. But with the help of her eccentric parents and a lifelong crush, she plans to use her newfound fame to set the rumors straight.
5. Julie & Julia (2009)
The inspiration for Nora Ephron’s Julie & Julia came from two sources: the memoir My Life in France by renowned chef Julia Child and the cookbook Julie & Julia by New Yorker Julie Powell, which chronicles her year of cooking in a tiny apartment kitchen.
Both Child (Meryl Streep) and Powell (Amy Adams) are trying to tie up loose ends in their lives despite being physically and temporally separated. Yet with dedication, bravery, and lots of butter, they learn they are capable of anything.
6. Spanglish (2004)
In this hilarious cross-cultural comedy, a Mexican immigrant and single mother Flor Moreno (Paz Vega) takes a job as a maid for American couple Deborah (Téa Leoni) and John (Adam Sandler).
Flora’s obligations as a mother become too much for her to handle, so Deborah offers them shelter in the Clasky household. Flor needs the money, so she takes the job, only to discover that she and the Claskys have very different views on cohabitation and childrearing.
7. Fletch (1985)
Irwin “Fletch” Fletcher (Chevy Chase), an investigative journalist, is undercover at a nearby beach when he is approached by businessman Alan Stanwyk (James Spader) (Tim Matheson).
To increase his wife’s insurance payout, Stanwyk offers Fletch $50,000 to have him killed. But, Fletch knows that there is more going on and shifts his focus to a new story: one involving murder, police corruption, and an illicit love affair.
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8. This Is 40 (2012)
On this is 40, Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Bibb) find their lives falling apart in this little more realistic sequel to the more well-known Knocked Up.
Their relationship is in jeopardy because their children despise one other, their businesses are failing, and they are about to lose their homes. At least they can laugh at themselves.
9. The ‘Burbs (1989)
Suburban living has a way of driving people slightly insane. When Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks) and his team see some unusually private behavior from their new next-door neighbors, they assume the worst. Ray would rather relax with a beer, read the paper, and watch the game, but he can’t seem to stop looking into what he thinks is a Satanic cult next door.
10. 21 Jump Street (2012)
Jenko (Channing Tatum) was the popular guy in school. Schmidt (Jonah Hill) was a miserable failure. They had different motivations for joining the police service, but they bonded quickly as bike policeman partners throughout the city.
But, they must now return to high school undercover to infiltrate a dangerous drug ring that has established a foothold there. Unfortunately, high school is nothing as they remembered it, and they rapidly realize that their social anxiety from their adolescence has not entirely subsided.