It's the most wonderful time of the year! As we gear up to celebrate the holidays, why not have some quality films on deck? Join Wonderwall.com as we take a look at the best Christmas comedies to stream… starting with this now classic. "Bye, Buddy, I hope you find your dad!" 2003's "Elf" gives audiences a heartfelt look into an adopted elf's journey to meet his biological father, who resides in New York City. As soon as Buddy — who's played to perfection by Will Ferrell — arrives in the Big Apple, hilarious antics ensue. His inability to comprehend that the Christmas spirit might not be alive and well for some people inspires him to try as hard as possible to awaken it. A particularly difficult task to overcome, though? Connecting with his scrooge-type businessman of a father. "Elf" is available to stream on HBO Max, Hulu and Starz.
Keep reading for more recommendations…
"Home Alone" on Disney+, YouTube & Prime Video
For many, 1990's "Home Alone" is what comes to mind when it comes to quintessential Christmas comedies. The classic stars a young, adorable Macaulay Culkin as the resourceful Kevin McCallister, an 8-year-old boy who takes it upon himself to protect his home from a couple of crooks known as the Wet Bandits when his family accidentally leaves for vacation… without him. Thankfully, Kevin has some ideas up his sleeve. Merry Christmas, you filthy animal!
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"Just Friends" on Netflix, YouTube & Google Play
We love a good redemption story! 2005's "Just Friends" stars Ryan Reynolds as Chris Brander, a once awkward, unconfident high school student who was friend-zoned by the girl of his dreams: Jamie Palamino (Amy Smart). Ten years after shamefully leaving his hometown, Chris has launched a successful career as a music industry executive and has even been romantically linked to vapid pop star Samantha James (Anna Faris). However, when his holiday plans fall through, he decides to fly back home where he attempts to finally win Jamie's affection.
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"The Night Before" on Hulu, YouTube & Prime Video
In 2015's "The Night Before," Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie star as Ethan, Isaac and Chris, childhood best friends who get together on Christmas Eve to have one last wild night out. While Isaac gears up to welcome his first child and Chris continues to find success as a professional athlete, Ethan is the only remaining member of the trio whose life seems to be stagnant — he's brokenhearted and unwilling to let go of the past. There is, however, one thing he knows for certain: The three of them will be attending New York City's most exclusive, secretive holiday party that's going down that night… as soon as they can locate it, of course.
"The Santa Clause" on Disney+, YouTube & Prime Video
Who could forget this classic? 1994's "The Santa Clause" stars Tim Allen as the aforementioned bringer of gifts. After accidentally killing a man who bears an uncanny resemblance to Old Saint Nicholas on Christmas Eve, Tim Allen's Scott and his son are taken to the North Pole where he's told that he must take on the role of Santa! Was it all a dream? Or is this actually Scott's new reality? Only time will tell!
"Jingle All the Way" on Hulu, YouTube & Prime Video
What do you get when you put together Christmas Eve with an attempt to track down the hottest toy of the season? Absolute chaos. 1996's "Jingle All the Way" stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as Howard Langston, a man who fails miserably at maintaining a work-life balance. In an effort to make it up to son Jamie and wife Liz, Howard vows to get his boy Turbo-Man, the most coveted toy of the year. The only problem? It's virtually impossible to find anywhere. To make matters even worse, he continues running into determined mailman Myron (played flawlessly by Sinbad) who is also in hot pursuit of the toy.
"Love Actually" on YouTube, Apple TV & Prime Video
Name a Christmas film that gets you in your feels more than this one… we'll wait! There's a lot to unpack with 2003's "Love Actually" — from a heart-wrenching declaration of love by way of gigantic cue cards to what is probably the most adorable young love story between a shy British boy and charismatic American girl, the film has a serious capacity to pull at heartstrings. It's a glorious romantic-comedy (thank you, Richard Curtis!) that manages to evoke a ton of laughs ("I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my bones…"). Seriously, we love this one.
"The Holiday" on Netflix, Hulu & Prime Video
2006's "The Holiday" is a standout for a slew of reasons. Jude Law as a doting single father who falls for an uptight American played by Cameron Diaz is really everything, but what seals the deal for us? Seeing Jack Black play a love interest! While he's widely known for his physical comedy roles, there's something incredibly endearing about seeing him as film composer Miles, who falls for Kate Winslet's Irs. Iris and Miles forever. End of story.
"Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" on Disney+, YouTube, Apple TV & Prime Video
Because accidentally leaving your son somewhere can happen more than once, 1992's "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" explores a problem the McCallisters know well. In the second installment, Kevin finds himself mistakenly on a flight to the Big Apple — while his family is bound for Florida. While he initially starts off his time alone living it up in the Plaza Hotel, he soon realizes two familiar foes (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) are still on the loose — and he takes it upon himself to put an end to their diabolical ways once and for all.
"Scrooged" on Pluto TV, YouTube & Prime Video
Bill Murray stars as Frank Cross in this updated retelling of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." 1988's "Scrooged" tells the story of a coldhearted businessman who, after firing a member of his staff on Christmas Eve, receives visits from ghosts who provide him with the opportunity to finally right some of his wrongs — like pushing away his one true love.
"Bridget Jones's Diary" on Pluto TV, HBO Max & Prime Video
While some don't think this flick is a Christmas movie, it definitely is in our books! 2001's "Bridget Jones's Diary," which kicks off at a Christmas party (who could forget Colin Firth's truly heinous sweater?), hilariously chronicles journalist Bridget's valiant efforts to change the course of her life — namely, regain control of it. What we can't help but love? That romantic kiss in the snow.
"Mean Girls" on Paramount+, YouTube & Prime Video
It's hard not to like 2004's "Mean Girls" — from the incredibly quotable moments ("That's why her hair is so big, it's full of secrets!") and nostalgic early '00s fashion (ruffled miniskirts, anyone?) to the all-at-once hilarious, heartfelt and ruthless look into the politics of (teenage) girl world, the film did a lot of things right. Plus, who could forget about The Plastics' performance of "Jingle Bell Rock"? Not us!
"How the Grinch Stole Christmas" on YouTube, Apple TV & Prime Video
Before she launched her music career and played the once tolerable Jenny Humphrey on "Gossip Girl," Taylor Momsen played an adorable young Who in 2000's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." This live-action adaptation of the beloved story by Dr. Seuss tells the story of how the Grinch sets out to to ruin Christmas for all residents of Whoville — but his diabolical plan is halted when he meets sweet and kindhearted Cindy Lou Who.
"Holidate" on Netflix
The 2020 Netflix movie "Holidate" tells the story of two strangers (played by Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey) who decide to be each other's plus-ones for an entire year of holidays with no strings attached. Of course, it's only a matter of time before real feelings begin to develop. Even with all of its predictability, we can't help but love this film.
"Noelle" on Disney+
What happens when your father, Santa Claus, decides it's time for him to retire but your brother, who was next in line to take on the role, bails? 2020's "Noelle" explores this exact problem. Anna Kendrick stars in this film about Noelle Kringle, a young woman who, in pursuit of finding someone to replace her father as Santa, comes to a major realization: What if it's her?
"The Muppet Christmas Carol" on Disney+, YouTube & Prime Video
Leave it to The Muppets to deliver a poignant retelling of a classic Charles Dickens' tale. In 1992's "The Muppet Christmas Carol," Kermit the Frog is Bob Cratchit, Scrooge's passive, mistreated clerk. Although Scrooge, who's played by Michael Caine, begins to receive visits from spirits keen on helping him realize his wrongdoings, it might be too late to solicit any long-lasting change.
"Christmas with the Kranks" on Hulu, Starz & YouTube
Sometimes all you want is a break from all the holiday chaos, OK?! In 2004's "Christmas with the Kranks," Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis star as a couple who plan to forego traditional holiday plans in favor of a cruise to the Caribbean. Their departure from the norm, however, doesn't sit well with their Christmas-obsessed neighbors (played by Dan Aykroyd and M. Emmet Walsh), who want desperately to win their their community's best decorated street competition.
"Office Christmas Party" on Hulu, YouTube & Prime Video
Jennifer Aniston, T.J. Miller, Jason Bateman and Olivia Munn? In addition to having one of the more peculiar casts we've seen come together, 2016's "Office Christmas Party" has an interesting premise: It tells the tale of a party boy's efforts to save his branch of the family business after his CEO sister threatens to shut it down. A very on-brand solution to the problem for him? To throw a massive holiday party in hopes of impressing an important client who has the capacity to save a ton of jobs.
"Anna and the Apocalypse" on Pluto TV, Apple TV & YouTube
We can definitely appreciate a good musical. What makes 2018's "Anna and the Apocalypse" even better, though? The fact that it's a horror musical set during the holidays. The film starring Ella Hunt follows Anna Shepherd, a resident of the now-zombie-infested town of Little Haven, as she and her closest allies band together to survive the apocalypse during what was formerly known as the most wonderful time of the year.
"A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas" on Netflix, YouTube & Prime Video
John Cho and Kal Penn reunited for 2011's "A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas." Six years after stoner buddies Harold and Kumar's shenanigans, they've grown apart. But after receiving a peculiar package on his doorstep, Kumar attempts to send it to his old bestie, resulting in the destruction of Harold's father-in-law's Christmas tree. In an effort to right this wrong, the estranged pair embark on an adventure around New York City to find a replacement tree before it's too late.