Who could forget this memorable duo?! To celebrate the 30th anniversary of "Thelma and Louise" on May 24, 2021, Wonderwall.com has scouted movies from the last few decades to find the best road-trip-inspired films for your watchlist. We couldn't include everything (sorry, Borat), but these films won't disappoint. Keep reading for more — and to see where the Susan Sarandon-Geena Davis classic ended up in the rankings…
No. 29: "RV"
What makes "RV" stand out from the rest is its fantastic comedic timing (thanks to stars Robin Williams, Cheryl Hines, Joanna Levesque and Josh Hutcherson) and its play on our American vacation dreams — to load the kids in a motor home and see our great nation together — which, of course, manages to go completely wrong. Aside from a sewage tank spill of epic proportions, there are some truly beautiful moments in this funny family film.
No. 28: "Crossroads"
Roll your eyes all you want, but if you're between 25 and 45, you probably watched "Crossroads" starring Zoe Saldana, Taryn Manning and Britney Spears and had a good cry too. In this 2002 coming-of-age film, three friends who are, quite literally, at a crossroads in their lives go on a wild adventure and discover their own individual strengths as well as the power of their friendship. We're not saying this movie will change your life, but it will make you appreciate your besties even more.
No. 27: "Johnson Family Vacation"
What's more endearing than a family vacation film that shows a husband trying to woo back his beautiful estranged wife? In "Johnson Family Vacation" (which stars Cedric the Entertainer, Vanessa Williams, Solange Knowles, Bow Wow and Gabby Soleil), as the Johnsons travel from California to Missouri to a family reunion, they encounter hilarious obstacles — like a major navigation system failure and their son's imaginary dog, Nate — while also rediscovering the joy of being together.
No. 26: "The Guilt Trip"
The trope of the Jewish mother is fully explored in "The Guilt Trip," a funny film about an incessantly nagging mom (Barbra Streisand) who insists on driving along with her adult son (Seth Rogen) during his dream road trip across the country. While frustration leads to endless comedy material, there's a pivotal moment when both mother and son realize they have the potential to be friends as well as family.
No. 25: "Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle"
Neil Patrick Harris makes an appearance as a car-stealing sex addict in "Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle," the hilarious comedy about two friends (Kal Penn and John Cho) who are just trying to get a late night burger fix. While the premise doesn't sound like a traditional road trip, the friends, who are both stoned out of their minds, encounter every possible problem, which makes reaching their coveted White Castle as epic as Dorothy arriving in Oz.
No. 24: "Away We Go"
As if having their first baby isn't scary enough, imagine not knowing where you wanted to raise your family! So begins a humorous and unlikely road trip adventure for Burt (John Krasinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph), who are determined to find the perfect place to put down roots and grow in "Away We Go." The only problem is that "perfect" is a lot harder to find than they imagined.
No. 23: "Inside Llewyn Davis"
"Inside Llewyn Davis," which takes place in New York City in 1961, shows a week in the life of the titular folk singer (Oscar Isaac) who struggles to kickstart his music career. As a result, he embarks on a journey that takes him from Greenwich Village to a Chicago club where he meets a big-time music executive who has the power to change the course of his career.
No. 22: "Are We There Yet?"
What's funnier than naughty kids determined to scare off their mom's potential love interest by creating pure chaos? Basically, nothing. Although Nick — Ice Cube's character in "Are We There Yet?" — wants nothing more than to impress a recent divorcee and mother of two (Nia Long), when he offers to escort her kids on a flight to Canada (that turns into a cross-country drive in his favorite car), the strength of his devotion is thoroughly (and hilariously) tested.
No. 21: "Rain Man"
In "Rain Man," a car salesman with ulterior motives (read: money) takes his high-functioning autistic brother on a road trip to swindle him out of millions, but ends up finding his own humanity in the process. We love this film starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman because it proves that even the greediest of people can change.
No. 20: "Wild Hogs"
Sometimes men in the midst of a mid-life crisis buy red Corvettes and get their ears pierced — or maybe they buy motorcycles and set upon the open road looking for an adventure. Hilarity ensues in "Wild Hogs" when four guys (played by Martin Lawrence, Tim Allen, John Travolta and William H. Macy) come up against the notorious biker gang the Del Fuegos and have to think quick in order to save their lives.
No. 19: "Everybody's Fine"
When a recently widowed father's four adult children (played by Kate Beckinsale, Drew Barrymore, Sam Rockwell and Austin Lysy) can't make it to see him for the holidays, he decides to surprise each of them with a visit in "Everybody's Fine." While on his journey, he learns more about his children's lives (including the parts they try to hide) and discovers a new chance to have a relationship with them without his wife by his side.
No. 18: "Tommy Boy"
"Tommy Boy" centers on Tommy Callahan (Chris Farley), an unintelligent man who inherits his late father's struggling business. While his stepmother is more than OK with closing up shop and cashing out, Tommy is reluctant to say goodbye to his father's legacy. In an effort to save the business, Tommy embarks on a road trip with his father's former assistant (David Spade) to try to recruit clients.
No. 17: "Transamerica"
In "Transamerica," when Bree Osborne (played by Felicity Huffman) — a trans woman in the midst of some serious life changes — learns she fathered a child 17 years earlier, she travels to New York to bail him out of jail and take him to his home. The only problem is that she doesn't know how to tell her son (played by Kevin Zegers) that she's actually his biological father. On their way to his house, Bree discovers her son's life has been marred by abuse, so she makes a drastic decision to bring him home with her to Los Angeles.
No. 16: "The Bucket List"
Before having a bucket list was cool, two strangers, who meet in a shared hospital room, decided to live out the rest of their days fulfilling all their lifelong dreams, against their doctor's advice, in the aptly titled 2007 film "The Bucket List." The pair (played by Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson) journey together to challenge themselves and make memories that will last the rest of their possibly short lives.
No. 15: "Boys on the Side"
By their very nature, road trips (especially in tiny cars) are hard. Add in conflicting personalities, and it's a recipe for disaster. Except in "Boys on the Side," a heartwarming drama-meets-comedy in which the three travelers — a lesbian nightclub singer (Whoopi Goldberg), a real estate agent dying of AIDS (Mary-Louise Parker), and a young woman looking to escape an abusive relationship (Drew Barrymore) — avert disaster and instead find strength and courage while squeezed in together on a journey to California.
No. 14: "Identity Thief"
What victim of credit card theft doesn't fantasize about personally tracking down the jerkface who stole their money? No one, and that's what makes the gut-busting film "Identity Thief" so funny. When Sandy (Jason Bateman) discovers the location of the thief who stole his identity (Melissa McCarthy), he decides to play cop and bring her to justice to restore his damaged credit rating (which may be a more life-changing task than he imagined).
No. 13: "The Road Within"
Indie drama "The Road Within" centers on a young man with Tourette Syndrome, Vincent (played by Robert Sheehan), who convinces his obsessive-compulsive roommate (Dev Patel) and anorexic love interest (Zoe Kravitz) to steal their therapist's car and venture on a road trip to spread his dead mother's ashes in the sea. While they evade the police and their families, the trio learn that even if they're differently abled, they still have the ability to live life on their own terms.
No. 12: "Into the Wild"
Based on the biography of the same name by Jon Krakauer, "Into the Wild" centers on the life of a young man, Christopher (played by Emile Hirsch), who graduates from a prestigious university and makes the drastic decision to live apart from society and pursue his passion for true personal freedom. After burning his identification and cash, Chris sets off on a journey toward the Alaskan frontier, where he discovers the true beauty and harsh reality of living in nature.
No. 11: "Zombieland"
Taking "ride or die" to a literal next level, the quirky action comedy "Zombieland" features four survivors of a plague that's turned most of humanity into flesh-eating zombies. In order to survive, the group (Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin, with a special appearance by Bill Murray) must travel across the country to reach Los Angeles, a rumored safe haven for the next generation of humans.
No. 10: "Little Miss Sunshine"
In "Little Miss Sunshine," when Olive enters a pageant in California, the Hoover family (all six of them — played by Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano, Abigail Breslin, Greg Kinnear and Alan Arkin) squeezes into a Volkswagon bus to head to the Golden State to show their youngest family member their support. Unfortunately, their differing personalities — which include an uncle contemplating death by suicide, a completely silent brother and a heroin-addicted grandfather — cause total chaos.
No. 9: "The Hangover"
What starts out as three well-meaning guys (played by Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Bradley Cooper) throwing a bachelor party in Las Vegas for their soon-to-be-wed friend (Justin Bartha) ends up a frantic search for the groom while trying to retrace their blacked-out drunk footsteps. In "The Hangover," the trio have to work backward (and fast) to figure out how their night of debauchery landed them in such hot water and then race to make it back to Los Angeles in time for the wedding.
No. 8: "The Motorcycle Diaries"
In "The Motorcycle Diaries," two friends (played by Gael Garcia Bernal and Rodrigo De La Serna) embark on a motorcycle trip from Brazil to Peru, which ends up transforming their lives and leading one to his ultimate destiny. Based on the memoir of the same name by Marxist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara, this biopic is as much inspirational as it is insightful.
No. 7: "True Romance"
Written by Quentin Tarantino, "True Romance" is a romantic crime film that tells the unlikely love story of Clarence (Christian Slater) and Alabama (Patricia Arquette). The pair embark on a road trip to California with a suitcase full of stolen cocaine in an effort to escape the mob and reestablish their lives in Hollywood.
No. 6: "We're the Millers"
We're suckers for comedies that make us laugh so hard we almost wet ourselves, and "We're the Millers" does just that. It centers on a low-life marijuana dealer (Jason Sudeikis) who's forced into a drug-trafficking scheme with the help of some unlikely friends (Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Will Porter). Together, they pretend to be a family headed on an RV adventure to Mexico.
No. 5: "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar"
If you haven't seen "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar" — the iconic, heartfelt comedy about Manhattan drag queens Vida (Patrick Swayze), Noxeema (Wesley Snipes) and Chi-Chi (John Leguizamo), who get stuck in a small town on their journey across the country — then you're missing out on one of the best movies of all time. Not only do these queens know how to work it (and work it good), but they challenge the town's long-held stereotypes and taboos about identity that still exist today, making it as timely as it is classic.
No. 4: "Queen & Slim"
After Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) are pulled over for a minor traffic violation on their first date, the situation escalates when Slim takes the officer's gun and fires it in self-defense. Now labeled as murderers in the media, the couple is left with no choice but to go on the run. 2019's "Queen & Slim" has been praised for its polarizing telling of a fugitive love story in the Black Lives Matter era.
No. 3: "Thelma and Louise"
In terms of movies that changed our lives, this female empowerment-themed road drama ranks pretty high. In "Thelma and Louise," when a wallflower housewife (Geena Davis) throws caution to the wind and ditches her controlling husband to explore the open road with her headstrong BFF (Susan Sarandon), the possibilities of life open up before her eyes (and they include a dalliance with a young Brad Pitt in a scene-stealing role). That is, until Louise murders a man who tries to rape Thelma, sending the two into uncharted and dangerous territory.
No. 2: "Almost Famous"
Set in 1973, "Almost Famous" follows the life of 15-year-old William (Patrick Fugit), a diehard music enthusiast who lands an assignment from Rolling Stone to interview the up-and-coming band Stillwater. As a result, the young music aficionado goes on tour with the musicians and their groupies and embarks on a whirlwind, life-changing journey against his overprotective mother's wishes. The beloved coming-of-age film also stars Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Kate Hudson, Jason Lee and Zooey Deschanel.
No. 1: "National Lampoon's Vacation"
No road-trip movie list is complete without the hilarious and totally absurd Griswold family's epic adventure across the country on their vacation to Walley World theme park: "National Lampoon's Vacation" starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Anthony Michael Hall and Dana Barron. Their comedic cross-country trek includes complaining teens, car trouble and the antics of a dad who's both impulsive and prone to fantasy.