These '90s Shows & Movies Were Good For A Laugh
by S. Atkinson

You didn't need that Full House reboot to confirm that the nostalgia is real. But you're not just nostalgic because the '90s seems pretty groovy from a distance, but because it was really freaking fun. So no wonder things you watched in the '90s for a good laugh are your entertainment of choice on that day where you break the photocopier, spill coffee down your front, and inadvertently hear an intern gossiping about you on your way to fetch paper towels.

After all, it was a simpler time. Game Boys were the height of cutting edge technology, the coolest girl in school was the person with the best glittery dinosaur sticker collection, and the internet was a thing, but not yet an addiction. And maybe I'm being sentimental, but, for me, the best comedy of the era seemed strangely devoid of cynicism, something that can feel lacking on your fifth episode in a row of Girls. (No shade intended to Lena Dunham. Her show rocks, but scathing millennial satire isn't always my go-to when I'm down in the dumps.)

So, if you're in need of a mood lift, give one of the below movies or shows a try. Promise it'll be at least half as fun as revisiting that old dinosaur sticker collection.


'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective'

Jim Carrey is at the top of his game as an eccentric Miami-based private investigator retrieving missing animals. Lots of rubber faced expressions? Check. Physical comedy? Double check. Courteney Cox around the same time she started on Friends? Yep.


'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'

Remember when Will Smith was the funniest person on television? Even if you're too young, take a trip down memory lane to see how one of Hollywood's smoothest started out playing the ultimate goofball onscreen.


'Beavis and Butthead'

Rocket science it ain't. But if you're into watching two animated bros watch music videos and goof off, this is your kryptonite. Prepare to never leave your flat again.


'Class Act'

If you're into swapsies films, i.e. like Freaky Friday, where a twist of fate causes two wildly different characters to trade realities, this is for you. Super nerd Duncan Pinderhughes and problem student Blade Brown's transcripts get mixed up and, when they take each other's places, hilarity ensues.


'The Adventures of Pete & Pete'

This surreal comedy about two brothers and best friends with the same name is cannily observant — sometimes feeling like a Woody Allen sketch for kids about the peculiarities of family life.


'Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery'

Before he was Shrek, Mike Myers was best-known for playing a ginger, British spy with no obvious sex appeal, but who holds an inexplicable attraction for all good-looking women in his circumference.



Seinfeld was the major comic sensation of the decade and its focus — on four friends hanging out in one of their group's apartment and what they got up to in their daily life — paved the way for Friends.


'Sister Act'

Who is funnier than Whoopi Goldberg? Nobody. She's so smart and warm and funny in this film, in which she's forced to disguise herself as a nun and join a convent after witnessing a mob crime, she just about takes flight.



Rapper Ice Cube stars as Craig Jones while comedian Chris Tucker plays Smokey in this film centering on 16 hours in the life of this funny twosome, who must pay a drug dealer $200 by 10 p.m. that night. It's unabashedly vulgar, funny, and energetic.



The idea of a kids' show focused entirely on babies now seems pretty bizarre. But, back then, you thought it was the funniest thing on the small screen. Unbelievably, it's aged pretty well.


'3rd Rock From The Sun'

Not just because you want to check out the comedy stylings of baby Joseph Gordon-Levitt (though, sure, that too). But because it had a kooky Kurt Vonnegut-esque premise — aliens trying to pretend to be humans to study us up close — and because, although it was wacky, it never set your teeth on edge.


'The Big Lebowski'

I dare you to not find this funny. Shenanigans + Jeff Bridges + Raymond Chandler detective novel vibes. C'mon.


'The Sandlot'

"You bob for apples in the toilet — and you like it!" will never not be my go-to diss in a tense moment. This sweet film about a group of kid baseball players is set in the '60s, but it's got that '90s humor.

So, if you're feeling down, you know what decade to turn to. The '90s: not just an inspiration for your next choker, but a time period that'll turn your frown upside down.