It’s tough to predict when one will arrive, but bouts of homesickness can come in like a wrecking ball. Everyone gets them, no matter how sophisticated and independent you might imagine yourself to be. And getting homesick doesn’t always mean longing for the place where you grew up. I’ve been homesick for an old friend, my school, a meal that’s loaded with memories, and even for a feeling — a little bit more innocence, a little less “responsible for feeding and clothing myself.” Fortunately, Netflix is home to tons of movies and TV shows that can scratch that lonely itch. Pick from the below 23 movies and shows when you’re feeling homesick, as they’re all available right now to stream.
Looking for some catharsis? There are dramas here that will wring out the tears. There are comedies that will remind you that youth looks better from the rear-view mirror. And there are family horror stories that will remind you how lucky you are to be a grown-ass adult with your own comparatively meager problems. However you choose to work through your homesickness, there’s a Netflix selection for you below. Keep on scrolling for 23 nostalgic options. Who says you can’t go home again?
1. Just Friends
After a traumatic adolescence, small-town ex-pat Chris (Ryan Reynolds) rebrands himself as a Los Angeles player. But when he's trapped at his mother's house for the holidays, he realizes that he actually hasn't changed much at all. And neither has his crush on his high school best friend.
The endearingly run-down theme park at the center of this coming-of-age dramedy represents the best and the worst of all things left behind when you strike out on your own.
3. Arrested Development
Longing for some family time? Spend a few hours with the Bluths, and be thankful that yours actually knows what a chicken sounds like.
4. Sixteen Candles
Never are your relatives more embarrassing than they are when you're in high school. Sixteen Candles reminds you that they didn't change. You did, and that's how it's supposed to work.
5. The Wonder Years
Best friends, first loves, endless summers. The Wonder Years has all of that, plus an amazing classic rock soundtrack.
6. My Girl
Us precocious girls have our cinematic avatar, and she is Vada Sultenfuss (Anna Chlumsky).
7. Spy Kids
Ever day-dreamed that your parents were secret royalty or explorers or movie stars? How about spies? All the Spy Kids movies were wish-fulfillment for kids who weren't satisfied with the 'burbs.
8. Fuller House
Fuller House is proof that homesickness is a shared disease. And if enough people miss their favorite fictional extended family, the Tanners can come back into their lives, even after a couple of decades off-screen.
9. Charlotte's Web
Come for the talking animals, stay for the treatise on life, death, and sacrifice.
10. The Pursuit Of Happyness
Home isn't always a place; especially when you don't have one. Sometimes it's a person, like in this adaptation of a true rags-to-riches tale.
11. Anywhere But Here
This is a movie for anyone who has a complicated relationship with her mother. It can be tough, especially when the daughter takes the nurturer role; but in Anywhere But Here, the love between Adele (Susan Sarandon) and Ann (Natalie Portman) overshadows their differences.
This drama series about an extended Berkeley family covers all the bases of growing up and raising kids. Press play and relive getting your first college acceptance letter, chatty backyard cook-outs, and awful dates that left you crying on the shoulder of someone you love.
13. August: Osage County
And you thought the Bluths had problems. This drama about a toxic clan in Oklahoma will cure you of the worst case of homesickness you've ever had. "Eat your fish!"
14. Jane The Virgin
Jane The Virgin jumps around in time a lot, so you can see how Jane's strong personality developed under the watchful eye of her mom and grandmother and how she leans on their support to make decisions as an adult.
15. Bring It On
High school wasn't idyllic for me, but there was something about the prescribed social patterns and clearly defined groups that was almost...comforting? Cheerleader comedy Bring It On is a masterpiece of Queen Bee cattiness.
You don't have to be a domestic goddess to love your family. The Conners stood out in a sea of polished, wealthy sitcom families and spoke to every imperfect mom, dad, and kid out there.
Beginners is a movie about how familial relationships grow and change as you transition into adulthood. Don't forget that your parents may be your parents, but they're also people too. Plus: talking dog.
Speaking of troublesome parents, this Amy Poehler and Adam Scott comedy chronicles the struggles of being an "A.C.O.D." a.k.a. an "adult child of divorce." Nobody knows peacekeeping like they do.
19. Gilmore Girls
Stars Hollow is the hometown dreams are made of. Bask in the fast-talking familiarity of the original series before the Netflix Gilmore event series drops.
20. Moonrise Kingdom
Real childhood is rarely as quirky or symmetrically framed as a Wes Anderson childhood, but Moonrise Kingdom still captures the essence of youthful first love and the ache for rebellion.
I spent many an afternoon with the Warner Brothers and their Warner Sister, Dot. Watching the absurdist, referential series on Netflix is a throwback for sure; but I get at least 50% more of the sophisticated jokes as an adult.
22. The Princess Bride
Nothing eases homesickness like a good old fashioned fairy tale.
23. Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam
Did you grow up on DCOMs? Of course you did! Revel in the memories of that magical time when the Jonas Brothers were still together and Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas were your on and off-screen O.T.P.
Feeling better? I hope these movies and shows will help you ride out your next wave of homesickness — whatever or whoever it is you're missing.
Images: Miramax Films; Giphy (14)