TV & Movies

Watch These 11 Jennifer Coolidge Movies & Shows If You Love The White Lotus

From American Pie to A Cinderella Story, she’s had her foot on the neck of comedy for decades.

If you can’t get enough of Jennifer Coolidge in 'The White Lotus,' watch her in these 11 films and t...
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Jennifer Coolidge essentially invented comedy, or at least her own brand of it. Whether she’s crushing on a UPS delivery man in Legally Blonde, attempting to emote through fresh botox in A Cinderella Story, or just saying “Hi” in an eight-second viral clip, Coolidge has a knack for performing even the simplest of actions in a way that’ll have you doubled over laughing. Perhaps it’s her iconically unique line delivery through her soft and slightly nasally voice or the mystery in her striking brown eyes. Whatever it is, Coolidge had us cracking up since her first onscreen role as a masseuse named Jodi on a 1993 episode of Seinfeld.

Her strong comedic talent, however, takes a new form on HBO’s satirical dramedy The White Lotus, where she plays a grieving woman named Tanya McQuoid who’s desperate for companionship on a Hawaii vacation following the death of her mother. Mike White, the show’s creator, recently told Vulture that he wrote the complex character with Coolidge in mind, and his goal was to show her as the empathetic person he knows, not the often-ditzy characters she plays so well. “The same way people feel about her in Legally Blonde is how I feel about her in life,” he told the publication. “I want to see her win.”

Considering Season 1 of The White Lotus has been met with near-unanimous praise from critics and fans alike, it’s safe to say viewers have embraced the beloved character actor’s more serious side. If you can’t get enough of Jennifer Coolidge as Tanya McQuoid, check out her memorable appearances in these 11 films and television series.

American Pie

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Following minor roles in A Night at the Roxbury and Austin Powers, Coolidge got her big break in American Pie as Stifler’s mom, aka one of the most iconic cougars of the ’90s. Known for her love of scotch that’s been “aged eighteen years, the way I like it,” she reprised the iconic MILF role in American Pie 2, American Wedding, and American Reunion.

In a 2020 appearance on Watch What Happens Live, the actor revealed the film “has helped [her] out” romantically. “There’s always someone who’s seen that movie lately, so then you get a whole new group of young guys,” she told Andy Cohen. “And I’m single, so I’m really using it to my advantage.”

Best In Show

In 2000, Coolidge played poodle owner Sherri Ann Cabot in Best In Show, a mockumentary that follows five competitors at a prestigious dog show. The first of several Christopher Guest films the actor has starred in over her decades-long career, Best In Show actually inspired the National Dog Show, which has been broadcast live on Thanksgiving every year since 2002. Starring alongside Guest, his co-writer Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, and Parker Posey, Coolidge plays the trophy wife to a sugar daddy — a far cry from her American Pie character’s much younger romantic prospects.

Legally Blonde

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One of Coolidge’s most memorable characters is nail artist Paulette Bonafonté in Legally Blonde, whom Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) encourages to ask out the UPS delivery worker she’s crushing on. Woods also helps her reclaim a pet from her ex-husband, spawning the ever-quotable phrase: “I’m taking the dog, dumbass!” Coolidge reprised the role in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde and Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next” music video that references the film. Our fingers are crossed Paulette returns once again for the forthcoming Legally Blonde 3.

A Mighty Wind

Coolidge stars as Amber Cole in Guest’s Oscar-nominated film A Mighty Wind, released in 2003. Featuring much of the same cast from Best In Show, this film follows three folk bands who reunite for the first time in decades for a televised performance. It parodies the American folk music revival of the 1960s and received near-universal acclaim, even prompting the actors to embark on a North American tour of concerts performed entirely in character.

Friends, “The One With Ross’s Tan”

In this Season 10 episode of Friends, Coolidge appears as Amanda Buffamonteezi, an old friend from Monica and Phoebe’s building who pays them a visit from England. They decide to “cut her” out by ignoring her calls until she leaves them alone, but after Chandler picks up the phone, they meet at Central Perk. Amanda casually reveals that she and Phoebe similarly tried to “cut out” Monica years ago, sparking a fight between the longtime friends. After making up, they decide to give Amanda’s friendship another chance.

A Cinderella Story

Coolidge is the only person who can tell Hilary Duff she’s “not very pretty” and “not very bright” and get away with it. She does exactly that in this 2004 rom-com as Fiona, the evil stepmother to Duff’s Cinderella-esque Sam Montgomery, whom she forces to work excessive hours at their family-owned diner in lieu of a normal teenage life. Coolidge’s portrayal of the selfish, materialistic, appearance-obsessed Los Angeles widow is just as hilarious as it is heartbreaking — in one scene, Fiona sabotages Sam’s chances of attending Princeton University and offers a dramatic, fake-nice consolation: “Want a cookie? Mmm, it’s so moist,” she says through fresh botox.


Despite her guest role as Amanda on Friends, Coolidge played an entirely different character in the main cast of its spinoff, Joey, starring Matt LeBlanc. She appeared in 37 episodes of the series as Roberta “Bobbie” Morganstern, the aspiring actor’s aggressive Los Angeles talent agent. After a successful Season 1, Coolidge was featured more prominently in the series’ Season 2 — though NBC then canceled it due to low ratings.


In 2006, Coolidge starred alongside Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale, Christopher Walken, and David Hasselhoff in the Oscar-nominated comedy Click. The film follows architect Michael Newman (Sandler) as he acquires a reality-controlling remote and neglects his family as a result, forcing him to reevaluate his life choices. Coolidge plays his wife Donna’s (Beckinsale) neurotic friend Janine, whom Michael cannot stand.

2 Broke Girls

Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs led the cast of CBS’ 2 Broke Girls as Max and Caroline, respectively, two Williamsburg, Brooklyn diner waitresses who aspire to start a cupcake business. Coolidge plays regular customer Zofia “Sophie” Kaczyński, a sex-positive blonde Polish woman who owns a cleaning company called Sophie’s Choice. After appearing in Season 1 as a recurring character, she was promoted to the main cast the following season, appearing in a total of 122 episodes over the Emmy-nominated series’ six-season run.

Like A Boss

Rose Byrne is the cautious, practical Mel, and Tiffany Haddish is the money-hungry Mia in Like A Boss. Together, they run a makeup brand called Mel&Mia that’s hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Big shot cosmetics investor Claire Luna (Salma Hayek) attempts to steal the business out from under the two girlbosses in this 2020 comedy that also features Coolidge as Sydney, Mel&Mia’s sole employee after Claire’s sabotage forces them to fire her colleague Barrett (Billy Porter).

Promising Young Woman

Prior to The White Lotus, one of the only times viewers had seen Coolidge in a dramatic role was in 2020’s Oscar-winning Promising Young Woman. She played Susan Thomas, the distraught mother of troubled medical school dropout Cassandra “Cassie” Thomas (Carey Mulligan). The film follows Cassie as she seeks to expose men who take advantage of inebriated women, motivated by her late friend Nina Fisher’s rape in college. At 30 years old, Cassie still lives at home with her parents, which clearly disappoints and frustrates Susan.