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 only to realize you don’t have the right plan to watch it.
No need to panic, though: We’ve gone through Hulu’s catalog 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 20 best comedies on Hulu.
1. 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 Reporter
2. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar
Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo are “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.”
It takes maybe five minutes for Barb and 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 Star: the breezy little break from reality we needed to get our shine back. — Angie Han, Deputy Entertainment Editor
3. 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’s 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
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.
5. 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 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.
6. Paddington 2
Paddington goes to prison.
Credit: Warner Bros.
If you found yourself surprised at how delightful Wonka was, then you probably hadn’t seen director Paul King’s two previous features, aka the Paddington movies. His two takes on writer Michael Bond’s beloved marmalade-sandwich-making bear are among some of the greatest kid-lit adaptations of all time, as delightful for children as they are for their parents. Or for any human adult without kids of their own, even.
Both the terrific 2014 original and its 2017 sequel are streaming on Hulu, but I have to give the ever-so-slight edge to the second, which took the wonderful foundation that the first one built and somehow managed to double its magic. Much like George Miller did with the Babe sequel two decades previously, King’s Paddington 2 is fully unhinged, sending the adorable bear to prison for a crime he didn’t commit and giving us a having-the-time-of-his-life Hugh Grant as a ham actor slash villain. (No doubt it was that experience that got Grant to shrink himself down to orangey Oompa-Loompa resplendence in Wonka.) — Jason Adams, Contributing Writer
How to watch: Paddington 2 is now streaming on Hulu.
7. Support the Girls
Before Regina Hall stars opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Paul Thomas Anderson’s next movie and everybody finally surrenders to what a genius she is, y’all need to go back and watch her exquisite turn as Lisa, the exasperated manager of a Hooters-like restaurant in 2018’s Support the Girls from director Andrew Bujalski. A perfect movie that flew far too under the radar for my liking, it follows a day in the life of Lisa and her waitresses — with Haley Lu Richardson and Shayna McHayle as stand-outs, stealing the movie every second they’re on-screen – as they deal with an endless parade of men who refuse to take them seriously. And even under that burden, Support the Girls remains hopeful and sweet and funny at every turn. Did I mention it’s perfect? It’s perfect.
How to watch: Support the Girls is now streaming on Hulu.
8. The Death of Stalin
Scotsman Armando Iannucci perfected his brand of political satire with the Alan Partridge series in the UK and then the hit 2009 movie In the Loop, which led to the comic triumph that was Veep starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. But for my money, Iannucci’s greatest achievement was squirreled away in the middle of that show’s seven seasons — the 2017 dark-comedy The Death of Stalin is the pinnacle of his form to date, turning the untimely demise of the Russian dictator into an endless parade of buffoonery under big fur hats. A showcase for character actors like Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Paddy Consadine, Jason Isaacs, and best-in-show Andrea Riseborough as Stalin’s hilariously severe daughter, Svetlana, this is the blackest of comedy served by the brightest of wit.
How to watch: The Death of Stalin is now streaming on Hulu.
9. Werewolves Within
Sam Richardson wields weapons in “Werewolves Within.”
Credit: IFC Films
An adaptation of a popular video game (indeed one of the greatest game adaptations there is), this 2021 horror-comedy from filmmaker Josh Ruben is basically Clue with fangs. A group of disparate characters who have no reason to trust one another (including Veep‘s Sam Richardson as the new sheriff in town) get trapped during a blizzard, all while somebody keeps sneaking off to turn into a werewolf and rip another one of them to shreds. The list of suspects grows smaller as the list of victims gets longer, and the entire cast of quirky characters (which also includes Michaela Watkins, Cheyenne Jackson, and What We Do in the Shadows‘ own Harvey Guillén) runs to and fro in the snow trying to not end up on either list, all to deeply entertaining effect. Horror comedies can be hard to pull off, but Werewolves Within makes it look easy.
How to watch: Werewolves Within is now streaming on Hulu.
10. Triangle of Sadness
Woody Harrelson plays a rascally captain in “Triangle of Sadness.”
Credit: Fredrick Wenzel / Plattform Produktion
Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund has made a name for himself with a string of arty dark comedies about the sickened human condition, and I recommend each and every single one of them. Indeed, his Oscar-nominated 2017 film The Square is also streaming on Hulu right now, so do yourself a double feature! But his most recent, 2022’s grand (and also Oscar-nominated) Triangle of Sadness, is easily his most epic — an upstairs-downstairs satire that puts a pile of obscene capitalists on board a luxury yacht, makes them all barf for 10 straight minutes, and then goes full Lord of the Flies on their asses for its final act. Brutally, hilariously blunt in its messaging, Triangle of Sadness gave red meat to hungry actors like Woody Harrelson, Harris Dickinson, and Dolly de Leon, and together we all feast.
How to watch: Triangle of Sadness is now streaming on Hulu.
Once upon a time there were these things called “high-concept movies” and they existed to make us think that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito could be twins or that Arnold Schwarzenegger could get pregnant — OK, Arnold Schwarzenegger did a lot of high-concept movies. But that time was the 1980s (mostly) and one of the best of these high concepts came via Ron Howard’s 1984 rom-com Splash, which saw Tom Hanks falling in love with a fish-girl (you might know them as “mermaids”) that looked like Daryl Hannah. This was before The Little Mermaid and everything! So Tom Hanks was basically the original Prince Eric when you think about it. The ’80s! What a hell of a time to be alive. Anyway I guess we’re never going to get the rumored remake that would’ve seen Channing Tatum as a merman and Jillian Bell as his Prince Eric, so you’ll have to make do with Hanks.
How to watch: Splash is now streaming on Hulu.
12. Magic Mike XXL
I’m a staunch defender of Steven Soderbergh’s first Magic Mike movie and not so much the third, but I think we can all agree that the meat in the middle of this man-wich, 2015’s Magic Mike XXL, is easily the most fun of the bunch. Abandoning everything that brought the first movie down to real life for a blitzed-out road trip, XXL finds our gang of most agreeable thong-fillers – Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Adam Rodriguez, and Kevin Nash, with Gabriel Iglesias there for support (but not the thong kind) – making their way to Myrtle Beach (where else) for a stripper convention (what else). And appearances from Amber Heard, Andie MacDowell, Donald Glover, and Jada Pinkett-Smith fire up the party bus stops along the way. Frankly, this movie puts the balls in goofballs.
How to watch: Magic Mike XXL is now streaming on Hulu.
It’s a shame that Set it Up co-stars Glen Powell and Zoey Deutch haven’t starred in another rom-com since that 2018 film, because they had mad chemistry with one another. But while Powell was off popping his big guns in Top Gun Maverick, Deutsch went and made the wildly overlooked 2019 comedy Buffaloed with director Tanya Wexler, and I know which I’d rather re-watch. Deutsch plays a hustler named Peg in ye olde Buffalo, New York (hence the title), who, after a stint in prison, turns her hustling skills into the legit hustle of debt collection.
You can safely call this “a madcap romp” but it flies along furiously funny thanks to Deutsch’s megawatt charm, plus the sparkling chemistry she shares with Judy Greer, who plays her frazzled mom. And that’s not a bit part either! Judy Greer gets to play a proper, fully-rounded character! Those golden moments must be seized upon.
How to watch: Buffaloed is now streaming on Hulu.
14. Friends With Money
I would recommend you any and every movie from director Nicole Holofcener (You Hurt My Feelings, Please Give) that was on Hulu, but since Friends With Money is the only one they’ve got, it wins the prize! And thankfully Friends With Money is terrific (as are they all). Starring Jennifer Aniston, Joan Cusack, Frances McDormand, and Holofcener regular Catherine Keener, it tells the story of four friends — one of whom (Aniston’s character) is poor while the other are decidedly not — and all of the small frictions that arise from that economic inequality. Money issues are a weird taboo in the U.S. (we do like to pretend we have no class system, after all), but Holofcener loves to poke at them specifically, and she always manages to do so with lightly lacerating precision that makes you cringe and smile all at once.
How to watch: Friends With Money is now streaming on Hulu.
15. Fire Island
Bowen Yang and Joel Kim Booster star in “Fire Island.”
If people had been telling queer stories for as long as there have been queer people, we surely would’ve gotten a loose adaptation of a Jane Austen story applied to gay men before 2022, given what an easy translation that makes. But we can’t be angry that when it finally did arrive it arrived in the tremendously capable hands of director Andrew Ahn (Driveways) and writer and star Joel Kim Booster, and they knocked it outta the park.
Inspired by Pride and Prejudice, Booster stars as Noah, who heads to the titular gay mecca every summer with his four best friends (played by Bowen Yang, Matt Rogers, Tomás Matos, and Torian Miller) to stay at a lovely island cottage owned by their lesbian pal (Margaret Cho). Immediately drama rains upon them – the cottage is being sold! There are rich racist gays who sneer at them! And most importantly of all – will everybody get properly laid? It’s all sweet and sexy and beautifully filmed – Ahn, a gifted and precise filmmaker, gives the story and its sense of place plenty of room to breathe, making the emotional arcs land better than they usually do in your average basic rom-com.
How to watch: Fire Island is now streaming on Hulu.
16. Napoleon Dynamite
Jon Heder and Efren Ramirez play Napoleon Dynamite and Pedro.
Credit: Access / MTV / Napoleon Ltd / Kobal / Shutterstock
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year if you can believe it is director Jared Hess’ now classic high-school comedy Napoleon Dynamite, which premiered at Sundance in January of 2004 and six months later raked in 45 million bucks at the box office. That’s a lot of dynamite for an indie that cost nothing to make and starred absolutely nobody!
Starring Jon Heder (who’s gone on to be somebody thanks to this movie) as the film’s titular dweeb, Napoleon Dynamite tells the tale of Napoleon’s burgeoning friendship with Pedro – “Vote For Pedro” T-shirts are now iconic pop-culture detritus – and his race for the school presidency. Oh and a legendary dance routine to Jamiroquai. Jamiroquai! Remember Jamiroquai? It’s all very of its moment, but as a time capsule of that moment, there might be nothing better.
How to watch: Napoleon Dynamite is now streaming on Hulu.
17. The Little Hours
From the Sister Act movies to Nuns on the Run, comedies about our ladies of the perpetual habit have always been a thing. But how many have Aubrey Plaza? Just one! Jeff Baena (aka Mr. Aubrey Plaza) wrote and directed The Little Hours based on a few random tales taken from 14th-century Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron, but you probably wouldn’t guess that hoity-toity origin based on the divine foolishness on-screen — not unless you were a grad student who majored in 14th-century Italian literature, anyway. For the rest of us this story of a fake deaf-mute (Dave Franco) who stumbles into a rural convent full of depraved nuns (besides Plaza, there’s Alison Brie, Kate Micucci, and Molly Shannon on hand) and one wackadoodle Father (John C. Reilly) plays more like a sarcastic Benny Hill skit, and it’s a blasphemous delight.
How to watch: The Little Hours is now streaming on Hulu.
18. Dinner in America
How this punk rock romance went so underseen when it got released in 2022 I’ll never fathom. I can only chalk it up to the inexplicable two years that passed between its Sundance premiere and it hitting theaters, because it’s so much fun and full of energy and beautifully performed by its leads (Kyle Gallner and Emily Skeggs) that it deserved far more attention. But now we can all give it that attention together by watching it here on Hulu.
Skeggs plays a very odd college dropout who’s obsessed with a local punk rock band; Gallner is the lead singer of said band, but given he wears a mask on-stage nobody knows that fact except him. The two meet cute (i.e. he’s on the run from the police while selling drugs) and yadda yadda romance. The yadda yadda is the good part. And the good part is how Skeggs and Gallner have oodles of chemistry and are an absolute pleasure to watch fall for one another. A true underappreciated gem just sitting here waiting for you to appreciate it.
How to watch: Dinner in America is now streaming on Hulu.
19. Quiz Lady
“Quiz Lady” stars Awkwafina and Sandra Oh.
Awkwafina and Sandra Oh play estranged sisters Anne and Jenny, who find themselves being chased by gangsters after their gambling-addict mother runs off and leaves them in the lurch with her debts. The gangsters even kidnap Anne’s cute little dog! And so Jenny, the wild sister, hatches a scheme that Anne could easily earn back the money on a TV quiz show. Because obviously. And somehow that becomes the plan. So the two hit the road — cue over-the-top hijinks.
And this 2023 film from director Jessica Yu is what a modern “high-concept” movie looks like, in case you didn’t get that from the part where the gangsters steal Anne’s dog. It’s loud and it’s goofy and a good old-fashioned broadest of broads comedy. Oh in particular is having a blast letting loose in ways she hasn’t gotten to do in awhile (by which I mean she has purple hair). Also onboard are Jason Schwartzman and Will Ferrell. Oh, and the legendary Paul Reubens in his final performance!
How to watch: Quiz Lady is now streaming on Hulu.
20. Theater Camp
Going into Theater Camp there were three big selling points for me. First, it was co-written and co-stars Molly Gordon, who very nearly stole the stellar comedy Shiva Baby from Rachel Sennott, and if you’ve ever seen Rachel Sennott in anything you know what a feat that is. Second, the film also stars the fantastic Ayo Edebiri of The Bear, as well as Bottoms, which… also co-starred Rachel Sennott? Weird. And third, Theater Camp also has Amy Sedaris in it, and Amy Sedaris will seat me for anything. (I don’t believe her and Rachel Sennott have ever faced off, but I will be there for that, believe me.)
Also starring Noah Galvin, Jimmy Tatro, Patti Harrison, and Ben Platt, Theater Camp is basically a slightly more sincere version of Wet Hot American Summer, since if there’s one thing theater kids love, it’s unbridled sincerity. Made with that target audience in mind, this thing hits its mark over and over again. Molly Gordon hive rise!
How to watch: Theater Camp is now streaming on Hulu.
UPDATE: Jan. 24, 2024, 5:00 p.m. EST This article has been updated to reflect the latest streaming options.
Asterisks (*) indicate the write up comes from a previous Mashable list. This story was originally published in 2020 and updated in Sept. 2021 and then in January 2024 with new recommendations from your pals at Mashable.