When you’ve got a group of friends coming over for a party, keeping them entertained is a top priority. Drinking helps, of course, but not everyone likes to sit around and play Jenga all night, or exchange cleaning tips. Not to fear, though, because good party movies are only a few clicks away. Whether your plan is to bring everyone into living room for a unified viewing experience, or simply keep movies looping in the background for atmosphere, showing an epic party movie can keep guests smiling and chatting for hours upon end. Here’s our list of the 37 best movies to watch at a party. Some are films about partying, others are classic, feel-good films that bring back fond memories to almost everyone. If you want an awesome shindig that your friends will be talking about all week long, pour the drinks, pop the popcorn, and press play on the best party movies ever made.
Few have been spared from the humiliation of planning a party that goes terribly wrong. One of the best house party movies made in recent years, the youthful enthusiasm of Seth and Evan in Superbad will keep your guests laughing well after the movie is over.
I don’t know whether the thought of opening up a fraternity house makes me feel excited or tired, but Old School certainly makes it seem worth a try. Pretty much everyone is a Will Ferrell fan, and the unforgettable party scenes will make your guests ready to relive their college days. Make sure you have plenty of paper towels on hand.
The House Bunny
I saw The House Bunny in the movie theater, and I immediately knew it would be a great movie for parties. I mean, Hugh Hefner makes an appearance. That automatically brings unrivaled coolness to your shinding.
Dazed and Confused
Having spent my formative years in the 90s, Dazed and Confused made me feel incredibly uncool at the time. Now, however, this might be the best party movie you could find to bring out the nostalgic side of your guests. Teenagers misbehaving and looking for direction in life? Those were the good old days.
Evil Dead 2
Gritty, out-dated, and grotesquely fun, Evil Dead 2 is the perfect movie to start up around midnight when guests are starting to check their watches too much. It’s one of those films that some people have watched a dozen times, and others have avoided. It will get the entire room buzzing like a chainsaw, for sure.
Another of the funny college movies on our list, Van Wilder encapsulates the free spirit of college days, and the the fear many of us have had with facing the real world on the other side. Part of the great National Lampoon’s tradition, it’s also one of the best bachelor party movies.
No funny comments necessary on this one.
Some would argue that LA is the quintessential party city, and Swingers is like one big-ass night on the Hollywood strip. Make sure everyone is dedicated to staying at your house party though, because it’s difficult to avoid the temptation to find a club with a dark corner to slink into.
An epic party movie and classic buddy comedy rolled into one, The Hangover is perfect for bachelor parties
Can we please invite a real dancing gopher to the party, too?
21 & Over
Some things never change, one of them being the temptation to get drunk the night before something really important. Think weddings, national conferences, and in the case of 21 & Over, that big medical school interview.
No movie listicle is complete without an appearance by Christopher Walken. Wedding Crashers brings together two sure fire things that make a movie great to play at a party: drunken womanizers and beautiful sisters.
This psychedelic animated classic is probably more appropriate at, ahem, certain kinds of movie parties, but The Beatles are equal opportunity objects of fandom, so it’s always a safe bet.
10 Things I Hate About You
Who would have guessed that clunky shoes and a Shakespearean adaptation would be so much fun?
The t-shirts in this party movie are actually my favorite part, and Kristin Wiig, of course. If you can’t have a ferris wheel, or even a moon bounce in your back yard, Adventureland is the next best thing.
Revenge of the Nerds
Anytime someone starts going on about how geeks have finally come into their own these days, I remind them that Revenge of the Nerds came out in 1984.
Why do so many movies about getting drunk involve characters who aren’t old enough to do it legally? Oh, well. It’s just movies, right? Also, the poster for Porky’s at my local video tape rental store when I was a kid always made me turn red in the face.
Hot Tub Time Machine
Hot tubs are a recurring theme in party movies, and that makes me happy.
With one of the catchiest quotes in movie history, “Party on, Wayne” and “Party on, Garth” both Wayne’s World 1 and 2 will keep your party rockin’ all night long. SCH-WING.
The Fight Club of beer games? Please tell me this isn’t a hallucination.
While you may not have a grandma as cool as Doris Roberts, it’s still fun to pretend you do. If that’s not enough then J.P.’s robot voice and leather trench coat sure are enough to keep the party going.
Your guests will have the time of their lives.
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
If you didn’t know that “I Will Always Love You” originated in a whorehouse with Dolly Parton tearfully singing to Burt Reynolds and NOT with Whitney Houston, then I’m just not sure you even know what love is. Best Little Whorehouse claims a spot simply due to its catchy songs that will keep your party singing along.
This is actually one of my all time favorite movies. Nothing says fun like the debauchery of Boogie Nights. Also, another hot tub.
Kid and Play accidentally created the one of most meta house party movies of all time. Or was it an accident?
People seem to consider the Tom-Cruise-dancing-with-no-pants moment as the iconic party scene from Risky Business, but for me it’s Rebecca DeMornay on the roll away cot.
Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead
Because hosting a fashion show at your mom’s house is the best party ever.
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
An all girl rock band heads to Hollywood to party it up like, well, rock stars. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls was written by film critic Roger Ebert, and therefore pays homage to just about every type of decadence and frivolity you can imagine. Yes, please!
After song four you may be annoyed, but after beer four you might just be too buzzed to care.
Rules of Attraction
The first time I watched Rules of Attraction, I thought Jessica Biel was Winona Ryder. Rich kids getting into trouble, only this time there’s a love triangle with the guy from Dawson’s Creek. Show this party film when you’re guests are knee deep in their third martini.
The Great Gatsby
Gatsby sure knew how to through one hell of a party, you must too if you have The Great Gatsby playing at your next get together. Bonus: The newest Gatsby adaptation has a killer party playlist.
Harold and Kumar Escape Guantanamo Bay
The notion of a “Bottomless Party” sounds fascinating until, well… Don’t start this one until after dinner.
We all secretly wish we were as dreamy as Jake Ryan but with the confidence of Long Duk Dong. Your party will keep raging as long as Molly Ringwald’s embarrassment does when Sixteen Candles is on.
If you want to party like a reckless, underage high school senior again, look no further than Project X. Basically one big party itself, this one is perfect for the out of control rager that you’ll hate cleaning up in the morning.
Tom Hanks, the girl from the Whitesnake video, and the guy that’s not Maxwell Caulfield in Grease 2 star in a movie that’s still incredibly funny to this day. I’d venture to guess that less than 2% of actual bachelor parties reach this level of crazy.
A send up of, well, just about every sci-fi movie ever, Spaceballs is not your everyday Mel Brooks comedy. Always a winner with both high brow and low brow movie lovers.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The only party movie I can think of that will incite singing, dancing, yelling, bad language, and might also lead to your poker buddy walking down the hall in your wife’s Louboutins. Let’s do the Time Warp again.