There’s just something about college movies that entertains viewers of all generations. Sure, they beat the formulaic “strike back against The Man by partying hard” theme to death, but we just never get tired of toga parties, keg stands, and a few scenes of gratuitous skin exposure. Whatever your reason for watching, college comedy movies are almost always a guaranteed good time (unless you don’t like fun). So without further ado, we present our 10 favorite college comedies of all time.
10) Back to School (1986; Rodney Dangerfield, Sally Kellerman, Keith Gordon)
The wealthy and comical Thornton Melon decides to attend college alongside his son.
When to Watch: When isn’t a good time for an 80s movie, especially if it features Rodney Dangerfield?
Lesson Learned: Even the most unlikely of students can have fun at school.
9) Legally Blonde (2001; Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair)
Okay, this is technically a graduate school movie, but the themes will be familiar to any college movie buff: valley girl turned grad student Elle Woods takes on Harvard Law School, as well as her ex-boyfriend’s new fiancé.
When to Watch: If you’re a girl who is in need of a good laugh after a bad break-up, grab a few friends, a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, and enjoy.
Lesson Learned: No matter how many jokes you have heard, never underestimate a blonde.
8) National Lampoon’s Van Wilder (2002; Ryan Reynolds, Tara Reid, Kal Penn)
Van Wilder is a seventh-year senior and the most popular student at Coolidge College. His goal is to win the heart of Gwen Pearson while maybe earning a degree along the way—all while throwing the biggest parties on campus.
When to Watch: If you’re bored with your college life, this movie can show you an alternative path to success—party for seven years, make life miserable for the stuck-up frat on campus, and get the girl to boot.
Lesson Learned: With the help of two friends and a horny dog, you too can take down your rivals.
7) PCU (1994 Jeremy Piven, David Spade, Jon Favreau, Chris Young)
Port Chester University is a campus divided. On one side you have the Order of the Balls and Shaft, a pseudo frat that champions masculine elitism. On the other are the Womynists, a group of radical feminists dedicated to spreading their gospel across campus. In the middle of it all are the members of the Pit, a group of fun-loving ruffians who just want to party.
When to Watch: If you've ever fantasized about putting snobs in their place, this is movie is for you. (Throwing meat at obnoxious animal rights activists…brilliant.)
Lesson Learned: Sometimes, it’s best not to take life so seriously. The film’s tagline says it all: “Flunk ‘em, if they can’t take a joke.”
6) The Rules of Attraction (2002; James Van der Beek, Jessica Biel, Shannyn Sossamon, Ian Somerhalder)
Sean, Lauren, and Paul are members of the over-sexed, over-drugged student body at Camden College. The movie follows the unorthodox love-triangle between these three, shedding light on the sometimes disturbing sexual lives of college students
When to Watch: Think your love life is going sour? You’re guaranteed to feel better about yourself after watching this dark comedy.
Lesson Learned: It’s like the Requiem for a Dream of Sex Ed. Be careful about who you share your bed with, kids.
5) Accepted (2006; Justin Long, Jonah Hill, Blake Lively)
Bartleby Gaines didn’t take going to college seriously—until he came up with a scheme to start his own school, South Harmon Institute of Technology (you can figure out the acronym yourself). When other college rejects find the school's makeshift website, they decide to make it their home as well. Students are the teachers at Bartleby's dream school, where a swimming pool and bar feature prominently in the curriculum. Everything is going great until the real Harmon College tries to get the school shut down.
When to Watch: Watch this comedy to get a good laugh when your college administration is cramping your party life.
Lesson Learned: Damn The Man.
4) Road Trip (2000; Seann William Scott, Amy Smart, Tom Green, Breckin Meyer)
When Josh accidentally sends his girlfriend a tape containing some incriminating footage, he and his friends go on a cross-country road trip to rescue it. Four college kids packed in a car can only lead to bad things.
When to Watch: When you and your friends have run out ways to entertain yourselves, a change of scenery is always nice.
Lesson Learned: Even when things seem to go disastrously wrong, sometimes it all works out for the best.
3) Revenge of the Nerds (1984; Robert Carradine, Timothy Busfield, Curtis Armstrong)
The Tri-Lams (a fraternity full of brainiacs, violin prodigies, and general social pariahs) outthink and out-party their jock oppressors. This is what happens when nerds strike back.
When to Watch: Feel like you’ve been left out of the fun? Having trouble breaking out of your shell? This flick will help provide you with the courage to be yourself while still making a splash amongst your peers.
Lesson Learned: You’ll never be mean to that weird kid in Calc class ever again. In fact, you’ll probably want to invite him to your next party.
2) National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978; John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Kevin Bacon, Donald Sutherland)
You know the drill: the misfits at the Delta House take on The Man. Their methods of civil disobedience include a panty raid, throwing a toga party, and one unforgettable parade.
When to Watch: If you’re tired of your school’s archaic rules and regulations, or if you just need some inspiration for your next party, Animal House will provide you with the appropriate inspiration.
Lesson Learned: Of course, it’s not easy to party as hard as Bluto and his compatriots do throughout the film, but it’s nice to have something to shoot for.
1) Old School (2003; Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Luke Wilson, Jeremy Piven)
To stave off the impending doom known as middle age, college buddies Mitch, Beanie, and Frank go through the ultimate regression, starting their own fraternity and bringing the ruckus. What ensues is classic college-style chaos, the perfect anti-aging technique for our heroes.
When to Watch: Worried about what happens after graduation? Feel like you’re getting old? Watching Old School will remind you to cherish what you have, and you’ll be raring to party by the time the credits roll.
Lesson Learned: Who says you can never go back? (Well technically you can’t, but you can always pretend.)
Did we miss one of your favorite college flicks? Leave a comment and share your top 10 list!