If you go decade by decade and rank each one based on the number (and quality) of comedy movies, it’s pretty difficult to beat the prowess of the 1980s. Go ahead and try. The decade begins in 1980 with Caddyshack, one of the most iconic, quotable comedies of all time and it ends in 1989 with The Burbs, one of strangest, most watchable, mysterious comedies ever made.
In between, there were countless memorable performances from the likes of Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Leslie Nielson, and many other comedic legends. Clearly, there have been great comedies since (and there were great comedies before), but there’s arguably no better decade for comedy movies than the 1980s.
Randomly pick any year of the ’80s and you’ll be sure to find a few gems. This is why it seemed necessary to list the ten best 80s comedies every guy should see. These are the movies that, if you haven’t seen, you should stream immediately. And it should be noted (as if you didn’t figure it out already), this was no easy task. Many beloved comedies didn’t make the cut. Keep reading to see which ones did. Did your favorite ’80s comedy make it?
Trading Places (1983)
If you’ve never seen https://www.tiktok.com/@sullyfinlay/video/7216478133795458347?_r=1&_t=8b5xzxe8enCTrading Places’, what are you waiting for? This movie came out forty years ago and this literal “rags to riches” tale involves a bet where a rich businessman played by Dan Aykroyd is framed for a crime he didn’t actually commit and replaced by the blue-collar Eddie Murphy. Things escalate quickly from there.
Brewster’s Millions (1985)
1985 was a great year for comedies. While it was also the year that brought us the absurd and heartwarming Teen Wolf, it’s also the year where we got a movie about a minor league baseball pitcher played by Richard Pryor who inherits $300 million from a rich uncle as long as he recklessly spends $30 million in 30 days without actually acquiring anything.
This Star Wars farce from Mel Brooks tells us the story of Princess Vespa from Druidia, a planet filled with oxygen. She’s kidnapped by a malevolent idiot named Dark Helmet who wants to steal the planet’s air. Space pilot Lone Starr (played by Bill Pullman) and his dog/man hybrid Barf (played by John Candy) come to the rescue.
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
If you’re to watch any of Christopher Guest’s mockumentary-style movies, you have to start with This Is Spinal Tap. It’s a cringe-filled, humorous look at a rock and roll band struggling to stay relevant. Come for the toe-tapping music, stay for the band spending what seems like a half hour trying to find the stage as they aimlessly walk about backstage.
Stripes is a strange, yet very funny movie. It centers around two losers with nothing better to do so they decided to join the military. The first half is filled with “razzle-dazzle” and boot camp mishaps and the second is a strange road trip in a warzone with a souped-up military transport vehicle. It feels almost like a fever dream by the end.
If you’re going to talk about 80s movies, you have to mention Caddyshack. This story of a dysfunctional golf course and its myriad cast of characters features one-liners and memorable scenes from the likes of Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, and Chevy Chase.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
We’d all like to skip school or work and go on a day long adventure in a big city like Chicago. It’s just that most of us aren’t as bold as Ferris Bueller. He’s a high schooler who fakes an illness to skip school and spend a day in the Windy City with his girlfriend and best friend in a vintage Ferrari. Obviously, things don’t go according to plan.
Planes, Trains, And Automobiles (1987)
Arguably the best Thanksgiving movie ever made, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is your classic buddy comedy featuring two businessmen who, due to some events out of their control, are forced to try to travel from New York City to Chicago together to get home in time for Turkey Day. It couldn’t go worse for the duo.
This spoof of disaster movies features a cast of characters including the late, one-liner king Leslie Nielsen. The plot surrounds a fearful pilot whose forced into duty on a commercial flight to make sure the plane lands safely. This makes it sound serious, but this parody features some of the best jokes and visual gags of the decade.
Clue might be one of the most underrated comedies of the decade. This murder mystery, “who done it”, screen version of the popular board game features memorable performances from Christopher Lloyd, Madeline Kahn, Tim Curry, Michael McKean, and a few others. If you’re a ‘Knives Out’ fan, you have to check this one.