In search of a good laugh? Hulu’s movie library is here to help.
From cult classics to recent gems, Hulu boasts a large collection of comedies. The prospect of wading through all of them can be daunting, especially since some movies may require an add-on subscription to watch. There’s no streaming woe worse than finding the perfect movie to watch before realizing you don’t have the right plan to watch it.
No need to panic though: We’ve gone through Hulu’s catalog already and narrowed it down to the cream of the comedy crop, all of which can be watched without any extra subscriptions. Any of these movies will have you chuckling in no time.
Here, in no particular order, are the 15 best comedies on Hulu.
1. Booksmart (2019)
A new teen classic.
Credit: Francois Duhamel / Annapurna Pictures
Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart seems destined to be this era’s Dazed and Confused, which is to say that teen comedy full of unknowns and up-and-comers who’ll all go on to become big, big stars. Regardless of what becomes of its cast, though, it’s earned instant-classic status in its own right, serving up both belly laughs and heartfelt tears. It’s a lot of emotions, is what I’m saying, but in a way that feels true to the heaven and hell that is the end of high school.
Even as the film veers off into borderline surreal directions (Billie Lourd is particularly magical as a party girl with a knack for being in the right place at the right time), Booksmart grounds itself in the unimpeachable bond between defiantly uncool BFFs Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever). This one’s for all the nerds out there who were forced to learn, eventually, that there’s more to life than what goes on in books. — Angie Han, Deputy Entertainment Editor *
How to watch: Booksmart is now streaming on Hulu.
2. Shrek 2 (2004)
Yes, Hulu also has Shrek, but Shrek 2 is hands-down the best movie in the franchise about everyone’s favorite ogre. It continues the message of self-love and acceptance established in Shrek while introducing Shrek (Mike Myers), Donkey (Eddie Murphy), and Fiona (Cameron Diaz) to a boatload of hilarious new characters. Who can forget the dashing Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), the Jaime Lannister-esque Prince Charming (Rupert Everett), or the villainous Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders)? Shrek 2 is full of laughs, but it’s worth the watch for the “Holding Out for a Hero” sequence alone. We’d storm a castle with Mongo anytime. — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Fellow
How to watch: Shrek 2 is now streaming on Hulu.
3. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar
It takes maybe five minutes for Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar to elicit its first “WTF?” and to the comedy’s immense credit, it only gets weirder from there.
There are life-saving culottes, and elaborate lies about turtles, and a mythological sea sprite named Trish, and a villain commanding an army of mosquitos, and a musical number that has Jamie Dornan climbing up a palm tree like a cat up a palm tree who’s decided to go up a palm tree, and…look, you’ve just got to watch it to get it. And at the center of all of it is the sincerely sweet, reliably rock-solid bond between Barb (Annie Mumolo) and Star (Kristen Wiig). Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar ended up being to us what Vista Del Mar was to Barb and Share: the breezy little break from reality we needed to get our shine back. — A.H.
How to watch: Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar is now streaming on Hulu.
4. Palm Springs (2020)
Just chilling in an infinite time loop.
Credit: Chris Willard / Jessica Perez
When Palm Springs arrived in July of 2020, most movie releases were postponed inevitably because of the pandemic — yet here was a movie, a new movie, a festival darling, about people going quietly insane with monotony and losing grip on time itself.
Max Barbakow’s film showcases a cheerfully nihilistic Andy Samberg, along with Cristin Milioti in her best work to date as his increasingly frenzied companion, in “one of those infinite time loop situations you might have heard of.” Their chemistry makes Andy Siara’s script soar, leaving ample room for J.K. Simmons’ sinister interludes and just the right amount of time travel interrogation. It’s a sharp, original comedy worth revisiting again, and again, and again. — Proma Khosla, Entertainment Reporter *
How to watch: Palm Springs is now streaming on Hulu.
5. Planes, Trains & Automobiles
Steve Martin and John Candy (RIP), both delivering rip-roaring funny comedic performances at the peaks of their respective careers. (To be fair, Martin’s entire career is basically one, never-ending peak.) When Martin’s straight-laced Neal Page is left stranded in New York City with only two days to reach his family in Chicago before Thanksgiving, he’s forced into an unwanted road trip with traveling salesman Del Griffiths (Candy). Del is an obnoxious and oblivious — but easily lovable — loudmouth who trusts easily and has a penchant for making terrible choices.
Their odd couple pairing fuels a hilarious road trip comedy in which the two suffer setback after setback as their relationship grows increasingly contentious. But like any great story, there’s real heart underpinning their entire journey and an arc that’ll leave you with a wholesome smile in the midst of all the laughs. There’s also this absolutely legendary scene where an out-of-patience Martin goes ham on a totally game Edie McClurg, of Ferris Bueller fame. — Adam Rosenberg, Senior Entertainment Reporter
How to watch: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is now streaming on Hulu.
6. Dear White People
Before it was a Netflix series, Justin Simien’s Dear White People was a feature film written, directed, and co-produced by Simien in 2014. Racial tensions escalate at the fictitious Winchester University, where Sam (Tessa Thompson) broadcasts the radio show “Dear White People.” When white students on campus throw a blackface party, Sam butts heads not only with the university’s conflict-averse faculty and uncomfortable legacy, but with fellow students like Coco (Teyonah Parris), Troy (Brandon P. Bell), and freshman Lionel (Tyler James Williams) about the politics of Blackness at a predominantly white institution.
There is simply no iteration of Dear White People without Simien’s searing comedic and artistic voice, as confident here as it would be three years later when the show debuted on Netflix. That in the hands of a formidable cast of promising Black actors led Dear White People to make quite the impression in its theatrical run and the film festival circuit — Thompson and Parris are particularly outstanding, and a certain comics movie franchise seems to have noticed. — P.K.
How to watch: Dear White People is now streaming on Hulu.
7. The Nice Guys (2016)
I’m detecting some tension here.
Credit: warner bros.
If you’re a sucker for black comedy, witty dialogue, ’70s style, and/or odd-couple comedic duos, it doesn’t get much nicer than The Nice Guys. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling play a pair of washed-up private investigators who reluctantly join forces to search for a missing woman (Margaret Qualley) in 1977 Los Angeles — with occasional assistance from the former’s clever teenage daughter, played by Angourie Rice. Though the mystery takes the gang to the farthest reaches of the city, burrowing deep into rabbit holes and brushing up against all manner of eccentrics, it’s the unexpected chemistry between Crowe and Gosling that really keeps this engine running, and it’ll leave you wishing for more where that came from. — A.H.
How to watch: The Nice Guys is now streaming on Hulu.
8. Hunt for the Wilderpeople
This 2016 adventure about bad egg Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) and his curmudgeonly foster father Hec (Sam Neill) is the kind of eccentric delight that writer/director Taika Waititi specializes in (this time co-writing with Barry Crump, who wrote the original book).
After losing his foster mother, Ricky flees into the forests of New Zealand, pursued by Hec only to learn that the older man also feels no need to return to civilization. Together they become the wilderpeople; living off the land and evading capture from authorities, including Thor: Ragnarok‘s Rachel House.
Wilderpeople is equal parts stirring, hilarious, and absurd — story of found family and adventure that can be loved by all. — P.K.
How to watch: Hunt for the Wilderpeople is now streaming on Hulu.
9. Logan Lucky
Director Steven Soderbergh described Logan Lucky as the “anti-glam version of an Ocean’s movie,” but what this film lacks in glam it makes up for with inventive twists, winning humor, and an absolutely stellar cast. Channing Tatum and Adam Driver are pure dynamite as brothers Jimmy and Clyde Logan, who decide to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway. What follows is a heist of epic proportions, involving cockroaches, gummy bears, and a delightfully unhinged performance by Daniel Craig. To reveal much else would spoil the fun (and the surprises), so I’ll keep quiet. Rest assured though, after watching Logan Lucky, you’ll never hear the word “cauliflower” the same way again. — B.E.
How to watch: Logan Lucky is now streaming on Hulu.
What’s your damage?
Credit: new world pictures/Getty Images
Teen movies get a killer twist in Heathers, a black comedy about high school life, teen angst, and murder. Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) is a member of a high-power clique at her high school known as the Heathers, but she doesn’t really care for her popular friends or their harsh treatment of others. Everything changes when she meets J.D. (Christian Slater), a misanthropic rebel who appeals to Veronica’s darker side… and whose arrival at Westerburg High sets off a chain of gruesome deaths. This 80s cult classic isn’t afraid to go to some dark places, plus it provides us with extremely iconic fashion moments and dialogue. How very! — B.E.
How to watch: Heathers is now streaming on Hulu.
Brett Haley’s 2018 indie is one of those movies fills your soul. Single father Frank (Nick Offerman) and daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) record a hit song that goes viral (a song you’ll bop to throughout the movie). Despite Sam’s resistance to declaring themselves a band, Frank wants to start a band and see where it goes. Offerman and Clemons create an authentic and beautiful bond on-screen, buoying the film’s music, conflict, and tender moments that will leave you longing to watch anything as good. — P.K.
How to watch: Hearts Beat Loud is now streaming on Hulu.
Too often films about chronic illness swap sickness for character and platitudes for thoughtfulness, but 50/50 is a wonderful exception. Joseph Gordon-Levitt leads as Adam, a shy twenty-something who discovers he has a rare form of spinal cancer after visiting the doctor for back pain. Adam’s journey facing his illness could be tragic. Instead, it’s uproariously funny and surprisingly light-hearted, with only select scenes dedicated to the story’s more dramatic aspects.
Supporting performances by Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Anjelica Huston, and especially Seth Rogen make this a solid ensemble effort. Still, it’s Gordon-Levitt who shines brightest here, conveying the overwhelmingly psychological stress of facing a cancer diagnosis with incredible care. He’s subtle with, but unafraid of, 50/50’s subject matter, and it shows the whole movie through. — Alison Foreman, Entertainment Reporter
How to watch: 50/50 is now streaming on Hulu.
13. Plan B
Credit: Brett Roedel / HULU
When Sunny (Kuhoo Verma) has sex at a house party, she needs the morning after pill but can’t get it thanks to South Dakota’s regressive pharmacy policy. She and best friend Lupe (Victoria Moroles) embark on a wild road trip that includes illegal drugs, a catfish close call, an insane gas station encounter, and a dick piercing. Verma and Moroles hold the film together superbly, their chemistry elevating every scene of Prathi Srinivasan and Joshua Levy’s script riotous script. It’s a killer directorial debut for Natalie Morales, who recognizes the star power in front of the camera and the weight of stories about strong female friendship and women of color living authentically. — P.K.
How to watch: Plan B is now streaming on Hulu.
14. Office Space
Mike Judge has always had a knack for finding the pulse of things. It’s Idiocracy that (understandably) tends to get the most credit in our post-Trump world, but 1999’s workplace comedy Office Space is similarly perfect.
Starring Ron Livingston and Jennifer Aniston, the intensely quotable and clip-worthy laughfest is wall-to-wall with iconic examples of comedy. Everything from Lumberg to the trials of Michael Bolton; from the Red Stapler to the ignoble death of an uncooperative printer, set perfectly to music. Office Space beautifully, hilariously captures the mundane…