Family movie night has been an American tradition for decades, they are a great way for families to relax, bond and just generally enjoy a night together.
There are all kinds of great family movies out there. Some of them are sweet; some are sad; some of them are inspiring and empowering. This list, however, will focus specifically on funny family movies for you and your clan to watch together.
These are the best movies to watch on nights when you just want to get the whole family together and have them clutching their bellies and shrieking with laughter.
I’ve tried to include a solid mix of both new movies and “family movie classics” so that you have a choice between re-watching some old favorites and possibly finding a new favorite.
All movies are arranged according to the age range for which they are suited, and all appropriate age information comes from CommonSenseMedia.org.
You’ll notice there are no movies for toddlers and super young children on this list. That’s because even though there are some movies that’ll make the itty bitties squeal with joy and howl with laughter, you, as the parents, and any older children in the household aren’t likely to find the same enjoyment in movies meant for very small children, which means they aren’t great choices for family movie night.
Funniest Family Movies for Little Kids (Ages 5-7)
Although these movies are marketed for younger children in the five to seven age range, they’re actually funny enough and have plots that are interesting enough to be enjoyed by older children, teens and even adults. Whether it’s because of the sophisticated humor, the intricate, well-thought-out plots or something else, there are many adults out there that love these movies just as much – if not more – than their children love them. Hopefully, you’ll love them just as much.
The Despicable Me Movies (2010-2017)
While all these movies are fun, the first one is the one that just blew me away when I watched it. It’s an absolutely amazing movie, and I’m not even a tiny bit ashamed to tell you how much I still love it to this day.
Perhaps I was automatically predisposed to enjoying this movie because I love Steve Carrell and Jason Segel; they’re two of my all-time favorite comedians, and they voice the two main characters of the show – Gru, the super villain who actually turns out to be the “good guy” and Vector, the more effective super villain who really is a bad guy.
Watching a self-proclaimed “super villain” (who is actually quite terrible at being a super villain) adopt and try to raise three rambunctious little girls just so he can use their cookie selling to infiltrate his rival’s evil lair is hilarious.
The three girls are a total handful, and Gru has absolutely met his match with them. The pranks they pull and the relationship that buds between them, Gru and all the minions is enough to make anyone laugh. Plus, it’s actually a really sweet, heartwarming story.
The other two films in the franchise are also funny and heartwarming in turn, but they aren’t quite as great as the original.
- Despicable Me (2010)
- Despicable Me 2 (2013)
- Despicable Me 3 (2017)
The Incredibles (2004)
After having watched this movie about 25 times, I’ve grown a little tired of it, but there’s no denying that it’s a great movie.
It’s all about the Incredible family, who are true superheroes forced to hide their identities because they live in a place where having superpowers is against the law.
When their city comes under attack, though, they have to make a choice – obey the law and watch the city fall or reveal themselves, save the day and face the consequences. (They’re superheroes! Of course they make the right decision!)
This animated film is the perfect mixture of comedy, lighthearted fun and good morals. It’s great if you have younger children.
While the Minions movie isn’t quite as good, in my opinion, as Despicable Me, it’s still an adorable movie that’s bound to provide you and your children with plenty of laughs.
The cutesy, barely-more-than-gibberish language the minions speak will provide you with several laughs on its own.
The plot, which concerns minions searching far and wide for their perfect “evil overlord,” is also good for a few chuckles, especially when they try to make the Tyrannosaurus Rex their master. Plus, Sandra Bullock’s voicing of the lead villain, Scarlett Overkill, is spot-on and hilarious.
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Most people have seen Monsters, Inc., and what they remember about it more than anything else is how sweet and charming it is. It’s definitely those things, but what people often forget is just how funny the movie is!
Starring such comedic geniuses as Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and Jennifer Tilly, it really had no choice but to make the list of top funniest family movies, but those voice actors aren’t the only things that make the movie great.
In fact, the flick starts out on a high note that shows you just how funny it’s going to be right from the opening scene. It looks as though it’s going to be terrifying, with an innocent child being terrorized by a giant monster coming out of his closet and sneaking up on him.
When the child sits up in bed and screams, though, the movie takes a turn for the hysterical. The monster screams back, is terrified and starts running around in circles, knocking things over and eventually lands bottom-first on a pile of sharp objects.
And that pretty much sets the tone for the whole movie. If you haven’t watched it yet, move it to the top of your list, especially if you have small children.
Finding Nemo (2003)
This is another flick that people remember as being sweet but that’s also pretty funny. Most of the hilarity in this movie comes from Ellen DeGeneres’ portrayal of Dory, a beautiful, regal blue tang who also happens to suffer from short-term memory loss.
Although you’ll be rooting for Nemo the whole movie through, it’s Dory you’ll love. She steals the scene every time she swims onto the screen. The character was so popular, in fact, that Pixar gave her her own spin-off in the form of Finding Nemo‘s sequel, Finding Dory, which should also be a part of family movie night.
When people think of Aladdin, they generally think of it in terms of Disney princesses and romance, but the movie is so much more than that. It’s uproariously funny, due in large part to Robin Williams’ performance as the Genie and Gilbert Gottfried – and his alarmingly screechy voice – as Iago.
Though both are technically supporting characters as opposed to the stars of the show, they are total show-stoppers and will have you doubling over in laughter even if you’ve seen the movie a hundred times before now.
Wreck-It Ralph (2012) & Wreck-It Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)
If you’ve ever seen a movie list created by me, you’ve likely seen the Wreck-It Ralph movies on it. There’s a good reason for that. Put simply, I love these movies!
The span of years between 1994 and 2012 were dark ones for me, at least when it came to appreciating Disney films. The Lion King was the last full-length animated feature that Disney put out that I was really just desperate to watch.
There were a few movies, such as Pocahontas, Mulan, The Emperor’s New Groove, The Princess and the Frog and Monsters, Inc. that I popped back in to watch, but overall, I didn’t do many animated movies in that time frame. It wasn’t until Disney released the first Wreck-It Ralph film that they won me back for good.
The movie was just so hilarious. I loved the voice casting; it was superb. Featuring such big names as John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, Ed O’Neill, Mindy Kaling and Jack McBrayer, it really had no choice but to be funny, and it didn’t disappoint.
If you haven’t seen these spectacular films, you need to stop reading right now,and go watch them!
- Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
- Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)
This is another animated comedy that I’ll love no matter how old I get. It features Mike Myers as Shrek, so it does have a lot of potty humor, sometimes literally.
There are a lot of jokes about passing gas and other crude things, so if you don’t enjoy that type of humor, this one might not be for you. If you’re looking for an animated movie for the whole family that’ll make you laugh, though, you should give it a try.
Myers’ Shrek and Cameron Diaz’s Fiona are great for a few laughs, but Eddie Murphy’s Donkey is where the true comedic gold is really found.
The character is hilarious and ultimately falls in love with a giant dragon, so there’s that. There are quite a few “short jokes” aimed at a vertically challenged character, though, so if you’re sensitive to such things, you might want to give this one a pass.
This is another animated movie that I absolutely love even now as a grown woman. It, too, has a great voice acting cast that practically stepped out of a Saturday Night Live episode.
There’s Will Ferrell as the titular Megamind, Tina Fey as the hilarious love interest, Jonah Hill, Ben Stiller, J.K. Simmons, David Cross, Justin Long, Justin Theroux and Brad Pitt as the Superman-like hero, Metro Man.
It’s practically one witty zinger after another, and because much of the humor is aimed at adults, you’ll love it just as much as your young children.
I should probably go ahead and forewarn you that when it comes to comedy, Will Ferrell is pretty much my gold standard, so don’t be surprised if you see a few more of his movies pop up on this list.
Sadly, not all Ferrell movies are appropriate for families with children, but Elf is the wonderful exception to this. Although it’s technically a Christmas movie, it’s one of those amazing movies you can pretty much watch year-round.
Ferrell’s portrayal of a man raised as an elf at the North Pole who’s just reconnected with his long-lost, businessman dad is perfect.
Whether it’s watching him call a severe and serious Peter Dinklage “an angry elf” or seeing him become accidentally drunk in the mail room, the movie is great for a ton of laughs. Plus, at its core, it’s also really sweet and heartwarming.
The Lego Movie (2014) & The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)
I’ll admit I was hesitant to go watch the first movie in this series when it premiered. I just didn’t think it was going to be for me. My son wanted to see it, though, so I dutifully trekked to the movie theater where I fully anticipated sitting through a couple hours of yawning and eye rolling. I was mistaken. The movie was hilarious, and I couldn’t wait to see the second one and the spin-offs.
Much of the comedy in this movie comes from the killer cast of voice actors. Starring Chris Pratt as Emmet, Will Arnett as Batman and other comedy kings and queens like Nick Offerman, Elizabeth Banks, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Morgan Freeman and even Will Ferrell at the end, the movie is one hilarious line after another.
The movie is so funny, in fact, I’m not even sure how the cast got through it without constant giggles being heard in the background. I don’t want to give too much away; just take it on faith that this one is a must-see for a funny family movie night.
- The Lego Movie (2014)
- The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)
The Ice Age Movies (2002-2016)
I don’t particularly like the Ice Age movies, but I seem to be in the minority in that, so I decided to include them here.
People love the star-studded comedy cast of John Leguizamo, Ray Romano, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott and Simon Pegg, and the goofy way many of the characters look also tends to give people the giggles.
Sid, in particular, is a crowd favorite, both for his witty zingers and his amusing voice, not to mention his heavy-lidded, perpetually “out of it” eyes.
The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
This was another big exception to my period of avoiding animated movies. I first watched it under protest, but after the first time, I bought it and have since watched it somewhere close to seven billion times.
There’s not even a single thing I can pick out about this movie that makes it hilarious because the entire movie is full of hilarity.
It features David Spade as a selfish, immature Incan emperor who gets turned into a llama and gets to experience a little humility along the way.
It’s truly unlike anything Disney had ever done or has ever done since, and it will forever be cemented in my mind as the funniest Disney movie ever made.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) & Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013)
I’m not a huge fan of these movies, but both my mother and my son loved them, as do many other people I know. Although I don’t really see the appeal, I can definitely see the humor in the films.
It’s hard not to find the funny in dates inside giant Jello molds, people coming out of food comas after smelling celery and boats made of grilled cheese sandwiches. Plus, Officer Earl – voiced by Mr. T. in the first film and Terry Crews in the second – is pretty obviously side-splitting.
Funniest Family Movies for Big Kids (Ages 8-10)
When it comes to funny family movies for bigger kids, you have more options when it comes to live action. There are still some funny animated movies that fall into this category, but the funniest flicks are generally going to be live action movies that may or may not be heavily dependent upon CGI and special effects.
Some of the humor gets a little more “adult” and “mature,” and the storylines get a little more oomph and substance to them. These are movies that, while they may not be suited to the youngest viewers in your house, are still pretty family friendly and don’t have too much objectionable material in them.
The Croods (2013)
From the opening scene where the Crood family sets out hunting for food, you can tell this movie is going to be a blast, and it is.
Despite the fact that it’s animated, each character is full of personality and quirks, and the constant battle between the adventurous Eve and her dad, who just wants to keep the family safe, is both funny and entirely relatable to anyone who’s ever been a teenager.
The introduction of Guy into their lives makes everything more chaotic and infinitely funnier. Bonus: If you watch this and love it, there’s a new one coming out soon!
Home Alone (1990)
Most people have seen at least the first Home Alone movie, and many people have seen all five of the films, some of them more than twice. I, personally, didn’t care for any of the sequels, but I loved – and still love to this day – the original Home Alone.
There’s just something about watching a little kid outsmart and beat the snot out of career criminals that’s absolutely hilarious to me. Plus, when the career criminals are played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, it’s even funnier to watch.
This is a great 90’s movie full of adventure, excitement and even a few thrills. It’s also full of great comedy, mostly in the form of Robin Williams’ character, Alan Parrish, who has been trapped inside the wild world of Jumanji for the last few decades.
When he’s suddenly thrust back into the real world several decades later, he doesn’t really know how to behave in polite society anymore, and that makes for some hilarious scenes.
The kids in the movie are no slouches either. While their roles aren’t as dependent on comedy as Williams’, they still do a great job delivering their humorous lines and have a great sense for comedic timing. No one is likely to refer to this movie as a “comedy,” but it’s definitely good for some laughs anyway.
I can’t even really write about Zootopia without having a big grin spread across my face. It’s just plain fun.
Of course, there’s really no way a movie starring Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons, Alan Tudyk, Ginnifer Goodwin, Idris Elba, Tommy Chong and Octavia Spencer wouldn’t be fun, even if they’re just voicing the characters.
Seriously, though, this movie about a rabbit cop and an asylum full of predators who’ve gone crazy really needs no description. It’s hilarious from start to finish and fun for the whole family.
The Princess Bride (1987)
You haven’t yet seen The Princess Bride, or you haven’t yet shared it with your children? Inconceivable! (Go watch the movie, and you’ll understand that reference.)
This movie is one of the all-time best movies ever made, which is probably why you’ll get entire pages of results if you google “Why The Princess Bride is the Perfect Movie.”
The movie really is great, and it’s also uproariously funny.
First and foremost, it features an exceptional cast including Andre the freaking Giant! That right there gives it cult classic status without adding anything else to the description.
Best of all, though, is that the cast totally knew comedy. The dialogue, the facial expressions, the body language… even the accents and voices the actors chose to use with their characters: Everything was spot-on and perfect.
Everyone did such a good job that it’s hard to decide who the funniest character in the film actually is. Billy Crystal, Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn and even Peter Falk in his limited role as the grandfather were all uniformly hysterical.
That’s probably why Hollywood.com places The Princess Bride at number four on its list of “Most Quoted Movies of All Time.” There’s just too much comedic gold in this movie not to mine it.
The Little Rascals (1994)
This is another one of those adorable movies from the 90’s that’s often overlooked when it comes to great and funny family movies. It features a relatively unknown group of child actors, but just because they were unknown at the time didn’t mean they weren’t great because they were.
Spanky and Buckwheat start the He-Man Woman Haters Club, which is all fine and good until they find out their best friend – and designated box car race driver – is in love with a little girl named Darla.
I’m not sure what is funnier – watching the friends try to break up Darla and Alfalfa or watching the whole gang try to steal back their box car after it’s stolen by a rival “gang.”
The movie is sweet and simple enough for your young children to follow easily, but it’s also funny enough for you to enjoy as well. Plus, there’s nothing too objectionable in it, so it’s generally a pretty safe option for family movie night.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)
While this movie probably won’t be winning any cinematic points in your eyes, it’s definitely cute and funny enough for you to enjoy while watching with your children.
This is the kind of movie I never would have watched on my own, but my son loved the books, so we watched it together. I can’t say that I loved it, but it definitely had some chuckle-worthy spots, and it’s good, clean fun, aside from all the gas passing.
Troop Zero (2020)
This is a relatively new movie about a little girl who doesn’t really fit in anywhere. She has always dreamed of going into space, so when a Birdie Scouts – similar to the Girl Scouts – competition is announced giving her the chance to win a NASA-related prize, she tries to join the Scouts. Because she’s a little weird, they don’t really want her, so she starts her own troop instead.
The kids in this troop are amazing. When it comes to a talented pool of child actors, a good chunk of them can be found right here in this movie.
These kids are hilarious, and they kept me laughing throughout the whole movie. Featuring Viola Davis, Jim Gaffigan and Allison Janney as the adults in the cast didn’t hurt the movie’s laugh factor either.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
I added this movie to the list because I know a ton of people find this to be a super funny, classically wholesome family movie. Plus, Gene Wilder is just naturally comedic. Everyone knows the story of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and Charlie’s visit to it.
There are entertaining songs and mishaps, and Wilder is the ultimate hilarious troll, but to me, this movie was never funny. It was creepy. Still, it seems to be a comedy favorite among many, so I felt it deserved a place on the list.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
I love this movie times a zillion! It’s my all-time favorite Halloween movie, but it’s also one of my favorite anytime movies as well. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy totally steal the show as 17th century witches brought back to life in 1993.
Their absolute ignorance about the modern world coupled with their hilarious taunts, insults and one-liners makes what could have been a spooky movie into a side-splittingly funny one instead. The zombie ex-boyfriend with the killer bad breath is also quite amusing.
The Sandlot (1993)
Put simply, The Sandlot is a movie about a bunch of young boys who love baseball coming of age in the 60’s, but the movie is so much more than that. It’s a very intricate movie about friendship, fitting in in new places, overcoming fear and both the good and bad parts of getting older.
It’s also super funny. The kids themselves do an excellent job of bringing the laughs, but the funniest scenes come from the kids’ interactions with The Beast, a large English mastiff who lives in the local junkyard and who keeps any baseball that flies into his area. There’s one particular scene when The Beast breaks his leash and starts chasing one of the boys through town that’s especially hilarious.
The movie also has a happy, heartwarming ending that makes it a good choice for any family movie night.
Little Monsters (1989)
I’m not a big Howie Mandel fan, and usually knowing he’s in something turns me off from watching it. The exception to this rule is Little Monsters, which I probably watched 200 times between the ages of five and seven.
It was my absolute favorite movie at the time, even though I was probably a little young for it. Mandel delivers a superb comedic performance as Maurice the monster, and the Savage brothers don’t do a bad job either.
If you’re looking for a family movie that’s a little different than other flicks and you don’t mind a few ‘Ewwwww….’ moments, then you and your children will probably enjoy this late-80’s cult classic.
Freaky Friday (1976, 1995, 2003, 2018)
Over the years, there have been four – yes, four – versions of Freaky Friday, and all of them were released by Disney.
Although the 2018 version is the only musical, the story is pretty much the same in all four – a mother and daughter who can’t get along suddenly wake up in each other’s bodies and are forced to literally see the world through the other’s eyes.
My personal favorite is the 2003 version, but I also have big love for Jamie Lee Curtis. Either way, you can take your pick. They’re all pretty entertaining.
There have been all kinds of Dr. Dolittle-themed works over the years, but this newest version featuring Robert Downey Jr. as the titular doctor is probably the one that provides viewers with the most laughs.
Set in 19th century England, this movie has all you’d expect from a Dolittle flick.
There’s a wide variety of animals sharing Dr. Dolittle’s island, and Downey Jr. makes a very classy, charming Dolittle, even if he’s a little sad over the loss of his wife. Ultimately it’s a sweet movie with a good plot that’s also good for a few laughs.
Dennis the Menace (1993)
If you’re looking for a clean, warmhearted movie that’ll also provide you and your kids with a lot of laughs, check out John Holmes’ version of Dennis the Menace. The little guy playing Dennis gives a great performance.
He’s adorable, sweet and perfectly clueless. He doesn’t mean to cause such trouble, but somehow he manages to do it anyway. Walter Matthau is even funnier as the grumpy Mr. Wilson. This movie is full of good, clean laughs for the whole family.
Funniest Family Movies for Tweens (Ages 11-12)
Many of the funniest movies in the tweens categories are movies that came from the late-80’s and the 90’s. That was a great time for making tween comedy movies, even though the term “tween” wasn’t very popular at the time. If your children have hit their tween years, now is the perfect time to share some of your childhood favorites with them.
This is the age when they’re old enough to understand them, not too young to see stuff in them they shouldn’t be seeing and not yet too old to groan and roll their eyes at you when you tell them you want to show them a movie that you loved when you were their age. This is definitely the sweet spot for sharing your favorites.
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
When it comes to great comedies, Robin Williams definitely had more than his fair share. When it comes to great family comedies, though, Mrs. Doubtfire is definitely one of his best.
After a messy divorce in which Williams’ character loses custody of his kids, he uses his voice acting skills and his brother’s makeup artist skills to pose as an old, Scottish woman named Mrs. Doubtfire and goes to work for his ex-wife as a nanny, thereby getting to spend regular time with his children.
Robin Williams as an old Scottish woman is funny enough, but seeing some of the situations he gets himself into with his ex and his kids is even funnier.
Things become especially amusing once his ex-wife finds a new boyfriend and “Mrs. Doubtfire” tries to break them up. If you’re looking for clean family fun with a warmhearted message, this is the film for you.
The Pink Panther (2006)
Including the various cartoons, The Pink Panther can be watched in about two million different ways, but if I had to pick a version for family movie night, it would have to be the 2006 movie starring Steve Martin.
The story’s pretty simple and straightforward, but Martin is perfect as the bumbling, seemingly inept Jacques Clouseau.
While I wasn’t hugely invested in the plot, I really enjoyed the movie just because of Martin’s superb acting. Plus, Clouseau and Ponton hiding behind newspapers from Beyonce will crack you up every time.
The Goonies (1985)
This is a family favorite in many households, and chances are you’ve probably already watched it with your family on multiple occasions.
Even so, there’s never a bad time to pull out an old classic that you already know for sure will be a household favorite that makes everyone laugh. And a movie about a bunch of suburban kids following an old treasure map through the neighborhood definitely fits the bill.
School of Rock (2011)
If you haven’t watched School of Rock, you’re really missing out. Jack Black plays a hardcore music lover who’s kicked out of his band and tries to turn the class of fifth graders he’s substitute teaching into a new band for winning the Battle of the Bands so he can pay his rent.
In typical Black form, he uses cheesy one-liners, a wide range of facial expressions and lots of body comedy to get laughs, but honestly, the kids in this movie are just as funny as he is. Plus, the music is actually pretty awesome.
A League of Their Own (1992)
Most people remember this movie as a warmhearted family drama, and it’s a universally well-liked film. For some reason, though, people often forget how funny it is.
The chemistry – and heated arguments – between Tom Hanks’ and Geena Davis’ characters will keep you rolling on the floor, as will Madonna’s “All the Way Mae” character, Lori Petty’s Kit and Rosie O’Donnell’s Doris. It may be more of a drama than a comedy, but it’ll definitely provide your family with plenty of laughs.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) & Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
All you need to know about these movies to know they’re absolutely hilarious is that they star Chris Pratt. Seriously, anything with Chris Pratt in it is automatically going to make you laugh because that’s just who he is.
In this movie, he’s a half-human/half-alien who was kidnapped and raised by space pirates. As an adult, he leads a ragtag group of misfits called the Guardians of the Galaxy, and he and the rest of the cast are hysterical.
Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of a genetically modified, talking raccoon, Dave Bautista’s Drax and Michael Rooker’s Yondu are almost just as funny as Pratt.
When it comes to mixing pure comedy with action and an authentic superhero storyline, DC and New Line Cinema really knocked it out of the park with this one.
Shazam! is hilarious, and my son and I cracked up through the entire thing. Even just a short look at the movie’s trailer proves it’s going to be full of hilarity, and the full-length movie doesn’t disappoint.
In Billy Batson’s defense, though, if you were suddenly turned into a full-grown adult with the mind of a teenager, you’d probably make some hilariously bad choices as well.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
At its core, this movie is a romance. In fact, it’s a modern-day retelling of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.
It has one of the most stereotypical late-90’s/early-00’s teen casts imaginable, featuring Andrew Keegan, Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Larisa Oleynik, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and even Davis Krumholtz, who seemed to play the nerdy best friend in every late-90’s movie ever.
It relies on common high school tropes such as the popular pretty girl crushing on the bad boy, while her sweet, nerdy tutor crushes on her, an overbearing dad and a horrifying prom night revelation. Still, Stiles and Ledger have amazing chemistry, and the entire cast is nothing if not amusing and entertaining.
Spaceballs was created as a parody of popular space movies at the time, most notably Star Wars, and if you like stupid, nearly pointless humor, you’ll love this flick.
It’s a Mel Brooks movie, so that should tell you right off the bat that it’s going to be absolutely ridiculous, but the movie’s ridiculousness is what makes it so entertaining.
Most of the humor comes from the star-studded comedy cast. In addition to Brooks, there’s Rick Moranis, John Candy, Bill Pullman and Joan Rivers. Together they’ll have your whole family rolling out of their seats.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
If you were a child of the 90’s, you’ll probably enjoy watching Ferris Bueller with your children just for nostalgia’s sake. If not, this one may not be for you, but your children are sure to love it.
The whole movie is about a teenager who fakes being sick in order to stay out of school and spend the day with his best friend and his girlfriend.
Watching it now as an adult (and an educator!), I feel kind of sorry for Principal Rooney. It’s true that he’s not a great principal and goes way overboard in some of the things he does, but I can see how dealing with a student like Ferris could be frustrating.
This movie didn’t hold up as well as some of the others on our list, and if I had watched it for the first time as an adult, I probably wouldn’t have found it so funny.
Teens and pre-teens, though, will absolutely love it, and if you loved it as a child/teen yourself, you’ll likely enjoy the rewatch.
Ant-Man (2015) & Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
These aren’t the funniest Marvel movies out there, but they’re definitely in the top three. Paul Rudd is absolutely spectacular in these films, and his crew of friends lead by Michael Pena are almost as funny.
Though not considered traditional comedians, Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly also hold their own against Rudd’s off-the-cuff comedy style and provide a good balance for him, not allowing him to go too far over the edge into the Saturday Night Live-type comedy for which he’s mostly known. They’re also just really great movies to watch.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009)
I’ll be honest; I’m not a huge Paul Blart fan, mostly because I’m not a huge Kevin James fan, but most people – especially kids and tweens – think he’s hilarious. This is probably the role for which he’s most famous, and people seem to really love it.
I think this has a lot to do with James’ self-deprecating sense of humor and the fact that the movie is less about plot and more about letting James’ comic chops shine.
There’s nothing like cinematic greatness here, but if you’re looking for a lighthearted comedy to add a few chuckles to your night, this’ll probably do the trick.
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
If you have a slightly off-kilter sense of humor and can appreciate a movie that walks a fine line between pointless and uproariously funny and depends on lots of little subtle nerd and geek stereotypes to make its point, you’d probably enjoy this cult classic from the early-2000’s.
There’s not much in the way of a cohesive plot, but there are lots of opportunities for smiles, eye-rolling, groans and laughter. It’s also one of the most quotable movies I’ve ever seen.
Major Payne (1995)
This was one of the very few movies my entire family could agree on when I was a child. As a child of about 11, I loved it for the rebellious kids, the awesome dancing and my perceived hotness of a few of the guys.
My brother loved it because it was military-heavy and had a lot of funny action scenes, and my parents just thought it was hilarious.
The movie features Damon Wayans as a hardcore military man thrust into teaching a group of young, rebellious, smart-mouthed boys at a military academy. It’s hilarious from start to finish. My son and I still love it today.
Funniest Family Movies for Teens (Ages 13+)
Once your children hit their teenage years, it’s like a whole new world of movies opens up for them. Of course, you still don’t want them watching movies with a lot of nudity, sexual references, language and hardcore violence, but this is the time when parents generally “loosen the reins” a little and lift a few restrictions.
The movies selected for the teens list may have some mild instances of bad language, a few sexual references and maybe even some violence, but there’s nothing on this list that has any nudity, graphic scenes or scenes that are too bloody or disturbing. Your children’s teenage years are when you can start showing them some of the awesome, big-name blockbuster comedy movies and movies like Knives Out, which requires them to pay a little more attention to follow the plot.
Again, these movies have been selected with family movie night in mind, but if you have younger children in the house, some of these may not be suitable. The Will Ferrell movies, especially, are definitely unsuitable. While there’s no actual sex or nudity, there are definitely some crude jokes and references to sexuality. The Thor movies, too, may be unsuitable for younger viewers. While there are no sexual references, there is a lot of fighting and violence.
As always, use discretion when showing any movie to your children. You’re the best judge of what they should and shouldn’t be watching, and you may not agree with the CommonSenseMedia ratings in all cases.
Knives Out (2019)
If you haven’t yet seen 2019’s Knives Out, now is the time to rectify that because this movie is awesome!
A friend of mine and I went to see it at the theater, and I was genuinely concerned we were going to get thrown out because we were laughing so loudly.
Eventually, though, everyone else in the theater joined in and was just as loud, so we just kind of blended in with the crowd.
The movie is a typical “Whodunnit,” but it features a star-studded cast and is simply hilarious at every turn. I’m honestly not sure which character is the funniest – Daniel Craig’s Detective Benoit Blanc, a southern gentleman with an even more southern drawl, Chris Evans’ Ransom, a wild child playboy with a dark heart and angelic face or Jamie Lee Curtis’ Linda, a no-nonsense, successful businesswoman with a smart mouth and a cheating husband.
Each scene is funnier than the last, and Craig’s absurd drawl will have you absolutely rolling on the floor.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
You really can’t have a list of great family movies without including this one. I must have watched it three dozen times when I was a kid.
Rick Moranis is perfect as the brilliant scientist (with no common sense) who accidentally shrinks his kids down to the size of microscopic organisms.
It’s a fun movie with danger lurking around every corner in the form of insects, the family dog and even people walking through the yard.
There are no actual scary scenes though, which makes it a great choice for family movie night.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
If you like your comedy absurd and nonsensical, this is the movie for you. In terms of comedy, this film, like most Monty Python films, is very divisive.
People either absolutely love it or really hate it because of its stupidity. And make no mistake; it is stupid, but that’s what makes it so delightful to people like me who enjoy this type of absolutely ridiculous humor.
The plot, which is loosely held together at best, features King Arthur and his knights on a quest for the holy grail, but this isn’t a movie you watch for the plot.
You watch it for the sheer nonsense and hilarity of killer bunny rabbits, catapulted cows, coconuts being banged together to simulate horse hooves and armless and legless knights refusing to give up the fight.
I, for one, absolutely love this movie and all the other Monty Python films and collections.
The Thor Movies (2011-2017)
Marvel’s cinematic universe has spawned some great blockbusters over the years, and picking a favorite is hard. When it comes to funny Marvel movies, though, the Thor flicks easily take the prize.
Between Loki’s biting wit, Thor’s brawny ignorance, Darcy’s deadpan stares and sarcasm and all the clever dialogue, this movie rates extremely high on the laugh factor.
Plus, who can forget Dr. Erik Selvig, played by Stellan Skarsgard, running around buck naked on a live news broadcast? (No actual nudity is shown.)
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
Mel Brooks is known for making hilarious movies, but for some reason, people often overlook his take on the traditional Robin Hood story when listing his funniest movies. That’s a shame really because this movie is both hilarious and awesome.
It was meant as a parody of other Robin Hood movies, but it was so good and so full of anachronistic moments, witty one-liners and hilarious third wall breaks that it pretty much became comedy gold all on its own.
Life of the Party (2018)
When it comes to raunchy humor, no one does it quite like Melissa McCarthy. This one, though, is less raunchy and more teen-friendly than some of her other hits.
In it, McCarthy stars as a recently divorced 40-something who decides to go back to college with her daughter to earn the degree she never finished.
It features a lot of the humor you’d expect both from McCarthy and from a typical college movie, but it’s well done, non-cliche’ and has that distinct McCarthy-flair that makes it worth watching.
Blades of Glory (2007)
This is one of my all-time favorite Will Ferrell movies, and while it isn’t appropriate for younger kids due to some sexual references and suggestive dancing/skating, it’s a hilarious option for family night if you have teens.
Through unfortunate circumstances, both Will Ferrell’s and Jon Heder’s characters are barred from men’s figure skating for life, so they decide to become couple skaters with each other instead. What follows is some of the most hysterical body comedy and groan-worthy dialogue imaginable.
Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead (1991)
I probably watched this movie 10,000 times when I was child, and I’m not even sure that’s an exaggeration. This is another early-90’s flick that received terrible critical reviews but somehow developed a huge cult following.
It features a young Christina Applegate as the oldest of five siblings. Their mom goes away for an extended trip and hires a babysitter to watch them, but the babysitter dies on the first night, and the kids are left to fend for themselves.
Applegate’s character, Sue Ellen or “Swell” for short, fakes her resume and gets a job at a high-class fashion agency, General Apparel West (GAW), under the guise of being a qualified, responsible adult. Things take a turn for the worse when she leaves the petty cash box at home, and her siblings steal all the money from it.
It’s a little dark, and it does have some more mature scenes including some with drinking and drug use, but overall, it’s not too bad for teenagers, and it’s sure to keep the whole family laughing.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)
While the critical reviews for this Will Ferrell/Rachel McAdams movie weren’t great, I loved every second of it.
Although full of the typical, over-the-top, taking-himself-super-seriously humor for which Ferrell is known, the movie is also a relatively true depiction of everything that makes the real Eurovision Song Contest so entertaining. There were even numerous cameos by real Eurovision winners and competitors.
Along with Ferrell and McAdams, who both played their roles spectacularly, Dan Stevens also nailed his role, and appearances by Demi Lovato and Pierce Brosnan rounded out the killer cast.
This one might be a little hit or miss in your household; my son, for instance, thought it was “more stupid than funny, Mom!” It’s definitely worth a shot though, and whether you find it stupid or funny, you’ll definitely be laughing.
Billy Madison (1995)
Most movies featuring Adam Sandler are automatically funny, but not many of them are appropriate for children or even teens. Billy Madison is the exception.
Sandler stars as Billy, a lazy, rich and ignorant man who never bothered to learn anything because he assumed he’d eventually take over his dad’s company.
A wrench is thrown in his plans that sends him back to school to complete grades K-12 in a year in order to prove he’s smart enough and capable enough to run the company.
It’s a totally absurd and unrealistic concept, but it’s also quite humorous, and some of the young kids that star alongside Sandler are just as funny as he is.
If you love comedy but aren’t familiar with Marsai Martin – most well-known for playing Diane Johnson in Black-Ish – you should look her up. This girl is on fire and is already a stellar comedian in her own right.
Her most recent film, Little, is a flipped version of the film Big, with a grown woman being turned back into a little kid to learn some humility and to treat people better.
Watching Martin’s 13-year-old character boss around her employees, hit on grown men and try to run her business will have your whole family cracking up in a big way.
Death Becomes Her (1992)
This is an oldie but a goodie. It stars Bruce Willis’s character as the husband of Meryl Streep’s character and the lover of Goldie Hawn’s character. (Oh, the tangled webs we weave!)
Both women are obsessed with staying young and beautiful, so they both drink a magic potion that stops them from aging. It also has the unfortunate side effect of not letting them die… Like… Ever.
This, of course, lends itself nicely to the two women constantly trying to kill one another in more and more elaborate ways, resulting in broken necks, giant holes in stomachs and even more grotesque and hilarious effects. On the surface, this seems like it would be disturbing, but honestly, it’s more funny than anything.
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
When it comes to sports-themed movies, this is one of the funniest ones ever made. The plot is simple: A gym full of misfits is going under financially and about to be bought out by a bigger, more globally recognizable gym.
In a last-ditch effort to save their gym, the misfits form a dodgeball team to try to win the championship and the prize money that comes along with it.
It features the comedic talents of Vince Vaughn, Justin Long, Ben Stiller, Alan Tudyk and Rip Torn. It’s legitimately side-splitting and infinitely quotable. “Nobody makes me bleed my own blood! Nobody!”
The Bill and Ted Movies (1989-2020)
With the newest installment of the Bill and Ted movies just premiering, it’s fitting that these movies close out our list. The two original movies were great, and the third and final one didn’t disappoint. The first movie follows two best friends who care very little about anything other than heavy metal and skating through life as easily as possible.
They’re given a time machine that they use to travel back to various moments in history to talk to people like Napoleon Bonaparte, Socrates, Abraham Lincoln and others in order to pass their history class.
The second movie is even more bizarre and “bogus,” and the third and final movie, while boasting a more cohesive plot, features the same silly, frivolous humor that made the first two flicks so great. If you can handle a lot of 90’s surfer slang, binge watching these three films could actually make for a really great family movie night.
- Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
- Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
- Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)
The Parent Trap (1998)
I’m not crazy about this movie; if you’re going to watch The Parent Trap, I starkly maintain that the original 60s version is the better choice. However, today’s youth seems to more easily relate to this 1998 remake starring Lindsay Lohan as both twin girls.
The story is largely the same – a set of twins who never knew they were twins meet and then set out on a mission to reunite their parents – and in all truth, it turns out fine. I’m just a little biased towards the original, I suppose. Still, this is definitely a good, clean option for family night.
I hope you enjoyed this list of funny family movies, If you think I missed one that absolutely needs to be added please drop me a line with the contact form or on my Facebook page.
If you happen to be reading this during the summer months be sure to check out my list of the 50 Best Summer Movies for Kids or if it’s winter, here are 50 Awesome Christmas Movies to watch with your little ones.