The 90s was a fruitful period in the film industry, whether it was the wide range of vigilante cop movies, romantic comedy movies, or straight-up comedy movies. Indeed, when it comes to comedy, actors such as Jim Carrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams, and Martin Lawrence have become so signature of the genre, certainly due to their 90s classics like Ghost, The Truman Show, Flubber, Blue Stream, and many more.
Although some of the movies that we have considered for this list would certainly not work if released today — due in large part to their clichéd, over-the-top humor or, in some cases, the outdated views on the world — there’s no denying these comedy movies deserve to be given the title of iconic classics that have shaped the industry during their time. As such, here are the nine best comedy movies of the 90s.
9 Bad Boys (1995)
Bad Boys had created a strong cult following after the release of the first movie in the trilogy back in 1995. This buddy-cop action comedy movie stars Martin Lawrence and Will Smith as two narcotics detectives as they investigate a case of stolen heroin from the evidence storage room. After the movie’s commercial success, a sequel called Bad Boys II was produced, and even bigger demand, the two actors came back for a third movie Bad Boys For Life, after almost 17 years. The production of Bad Boys 4 was reportedly paused due to Smith’s Oscars incident. Nonetheless, the franchise is a perfect combination of comedy and action. The chemistry between Lawrence and Smith is so strong that even after all those years, it still hasn’t faded away.
8 Sister Act (1992)
Sister Act was one of the most successful comedies of the 90s, grossing over $231 million worldwide. Whoopi Goldberg acts as a lounge singer who was forced to join a convent as part of a witness protection program. Due to its commercial success, the movie received a sequel Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, and there’s even a remake in the works as we speak: producer Tyler Perry is currently developing Sister Act 3, and Goldberg is, of course, on-board. Many of us grew up watching the beautiful sisterhood between the women in the convent. The franchise definitely has re-watchable comedic qualities that easily get under your skin.
7 Rush Hour (1998)
Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker star in this buddy action comedy movie as two mismatched cops, who go on a mission to rescue a Chinese diplomat’s daughter. Rush Hour‘s box office success — it grossed $244 million worldwide — led to two more sequels. To some, the trope of a male detective being good at what he does because of his ambiguous neurodivergence may seem overused, but James Carter (Tucker) will steal your heart. Rush Hour also gave audiences a chance to see Chan show off his comedic timing, in addition to his mastery of the martial arts.
6 Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Based on a novel Alias Madame Doubtfire, the comedy-drama movie stars Robin Williams in the main role dressing up as a woman housekeeper in order to spend time with his children. Grossing $441.3 million worldwide, the movie became the second-highest-grossing film of 1993. It received the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, while Williams won one for the Best Actor in a Musical / Comedy. Almost 30 years after its release, Mrs. Doubtfire is now available to stream on Disney Plus.
5 The Addams Family (1991)
The Addams Family is a dark comedy with supernatural elements about an aristocratic bizarre family, who welcomes a long-lost relative into their household, only to find out he’s a scammer trying to rip them off of their money. Anjelica Huston was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance as Morticia Addams. Many say that Morticia and Gomez are indeed couple-goals and there are many iconic moments to prove their point, such as them slow-dancing to a gentle gothic music or their romantic speeches for each other. The integration of romance and comedy is completely fantastic.
4 Clueless (1995)
Labeled as one of the best teen films of all time, Clueless is a coming-of-age comedy centered around a rich girl Cher Horowitz, who takes a new student under her wings and gives her a makeover. The film grossed $56.1 million in the United States and developed a strong cult following. Interestingly, the movie is loosely based on Jane Austen’s 1815 novel called Emma.
3 Space Jam (1996)
Soon after its release in 1996, Space Jam became the highest-grossing basketball movie of all time, earning $250 million worldwide. Mixing live-action and animation, the sports comedy stars Michael Jordan as his fictional self, who gets involved with Looney Tunes characters after his initial retirement from the NBA in 1993 and his 1995 return. 2021 marked 25 years since it was released in theaters. The comedic aspects of a kidnapped basketball player by cartoons and forced to fight in a vicious sport for entertainment will surely make you laugh.
2 Home Alone (1990)
As the first movie in the iconic holiday series, Home Alone grossed $476.7 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing comedy of that time. Everyone pretty much knows that the movie is considered one of the best Christmas classics. Indeed, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without watching Kevin defend his Chicago suburbs home from burglars after his family accidentally left him behind. Director Chris Columbus himself admitted that there’s no point to remake classics like Home Alone, and we secretly hope it’s going to stay that way.
1 Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Regarded as one of the best comedies of the 90s, Dumb and Dumber is yet another movie franchise that developed a cult following. The first movie grossed well over $247 million at the box office, which later led to the development of two sequels. The 1994 original tells the story of two slow-witted best friends who go on a trip across the country to return a briefcase full of money, which turned out to be ransom money. The over-the-top humor-filled scenes are an inseparable part of the franchise.
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