Sports are thrilling to watch for their high-stakes thrills that threaten defeat but also promise glorious victory. It's no wonder cinema dedicates a whole genre to the highs and lows of professional sports.
But not every film takes sports so seriously. While there's no shortage of rousing sports dramas that inspire us to aim ever higher, there are so many great sports comedies out there that parody to perfection.
Here are the best sports comedy movies that poke fun at the ridiculous potential of extreme competition.
8. BASEketball (1998)
Trey Parker and Matt Stone are some of the most uniquely funny writers working in comedy today. While they mostly dedicate their efforts to their long-running and critically acclaimed show South Park, they've also made a spectacular sports comedy film.
BASEketball lampoons both the rules of organized sports and the men who play them. It also takes a look at the corruption that exists in professional sports—albeit in a ludicrous way—as one would expect from the absurd minds that brought us South Park.
7. The Longest Yard (2005)
Following his success in Happy Gilmore, it only made sense to put Adam Sandler in another sports comedy movie. Almost ten years later, we got that film in The Longest Yard.
This movie focuses on Paul Crewe, a former football player who finds himself in prison after a drunk driving incident. When the warden tasks him with turning the prison inmates into a football team to play against the guards, he accepts the opportunity.
What we get is an uplifting film that focuses on our commitments and promises to others, as well as our own personal goals and ambitions—along with lots of laughter on top of it all.
6. Semi-Pro (2008)
Another classic from the 2000s, Semi-Pro represents another one of Will Ferrell's successful endeavors in sports comedy.
Though it may not have received much critical or commercial success, there's a lot to love about this bizarre film set in 1976 Flint, Michigan.
Wanting to be absorbed into the NBA, Jackie Moon makes his best attempt to get his sub-par team up to championship level.
Semi-Pro features Ferrell's classic antics and you'll be wholeheartedly cheering for The Tropics by the end of the film.
5. Happy Gilmore (1996)
He's not a golfer; in fact, he's a hockey player. But that doesn't mean he won't dominate the green if you give him a chance.
Dumped by his girlfriend and rejected at hockey try-outs (yet again), Happy Gilmore lacks direction in life. All he wants to do is play hockey, but there's a problem: "You're not any good!"
Of course, Happy eventually discovers that he's quite good at hitting golf balls—really, really hard. Bringing his blue-collar brashness to a white-collar game gains him a lot of attention. Happy Gilmore becomes a hit, but can he win the tournament?
4. Goon (2011)
Goon is a lot like the movie you'd get if Slap Shot (1977) had a baby with Rocky (1976). It's about a man who wants to prove he's not a loser—and he does this by strapping on hockey pads and beating people to a pulp.
It's well known that ice hockey is a dangerous sport, with fights being part of the sport's colorful culture. However, Goon takes this to the extreme when the mild-mannered Doug Glatt gets into brawl after brawl, spilling blood everywhere, without tainting his heart of gold in the process.
Goon has a positive message about family and friendship. There just happens to be a lot of bloodshed along the way.
3. Dodgeball (2004)
Ben Stiller was on fire in the early 2000s with a string of commercially successful comedies in There's Something About Mary (1998), Meet the Parents (2000), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), and Zoolander (2001).
Which is why his decision to don a handlebar moustache and tight bicycle shorts in Dodgeball was all the more impressive.
The film revolves around Ben Stiller's White Goodman, who wants to acquire Peter LaFleur's gym. The desperate Peter enters a dodgeball tournament to hopefully win $50,000 dollars and keep his gym.
His team consists of his friends and employees, making for one zany collection of hilarious characters.
2. Caddyshack (1980)
There's no doubt that Happy Gilmore took a lot of inspiration from the cult-classic Caddyshack.
An iconic film that's quintessentially summer, Caddyshack takes place on a golf course in beautiful weather with several students who caddy for wealthy (and depraved) guests in order to pay for college.
However, golf is one of the last things on people's minds—they're all more interested in things like sex, drugs, and pestiferous gophers. It's a fun romp of a movie and one of the best sports comedies of all time.
1. Slap Shot (1977)
One could argue that Slap Shot inspired most of the movies on this list, including Goon, Happy Gilmore, Semi-Pro, and Dodgeball.
As the oldest film on this list, it's easy to see how Slap Shot could be seen as a trailblazer for other sports films like it. Most of these films are underdog stories, after all, and Slap Shot does that especially well.
Paul Newman leads a bunch of hockey players who resort to violent play in order to gain a following in a factory town that's on the decline.
It's a resounding story that hits you in the feels, all while delivering a heck of a lot of laughs along the way. Due to the wealth of films it inspired, it has to sit atop our list of best sports comedy movies of all time.