The Movies You Watch Every Single Time They're On

It’s Sunday afternoon. You just took laundry out of the dryer and have some folding to do, so you turn on the TV. You’re flipping through the channels when you see it: Mean Girls. “But there are so many new episodes of [insert basically anything that’s come out since that movie did in 2004] piling up in your DVR that you should watch,” the rational side of your subconscious argues. “I’ll just watch until the scene when the Plastics dance at the talent show,” the side that has this movie memorized counters.

Soon, your laundry is folded and put away, and you’re on your couch with some wine and popcorn. You have no idea how they even got poured or popped. Now that you’re this far along, you at least have to see the part where Cady (Lindsay Lohan) basically turns into a Plastic while she’s supposed to be working with Janis (Lizzy Caplan) to destroy Regina George (Rachel McAdams). And once you’re in that deep, it behooves you to see Cady’s triumph at the Mathletes State Championship (“The limit does not exist!”) and homecoming dance (“It’s just plastic”).

A short while later, the credits are rolling, and you realize the number of times you've seen it has just gone up again. Dammit, Mean Girls. How do you do this every time?

While we’re on the subject — dammit, every single one of the following movies. How do you get us to watch you no matter what? They must have a fifth’s like they have ESPN or something. They know we can’t turn them off.
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The Wizard of Oz (1939)

The gist:
A girl from Kansas (Judy Garland) learns that there’s no place like home when she’s transported to the magical land of Oz during a tornado.

Why it’s so watchable: The songs, the characters, the extremely American moral that happiness is right in your own backyard, Toto...the list goes on and on.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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The Godfather (1972)

The gist: It’s hard to resist watching Marlon Brando in one of his finest performances, as Don Corleone, the patriarch of an organized-crime family trying to land on an agreeable successor (who also wants the job). Feel free to stay for Part II (1974) if it’s on immediately after.

Why it’s so watchable: You dare to question me on this, the day my daughter is to be married?

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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Grease (1978)

The gist: Boy (John Travolta) and girl (Olivia Newton-John) fall in love on summer vacation, thinking they’ll never see each other again. Nope! She shows up at his high school that fall, threatening his tough-guy reputation.

Why it’s so watchable: The songs, the choreographed dancing, the hand jive.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix
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The Breakfast Club (1985)

The gist: Five students, each representing different high school archetypes, are stuck together in Saturday detention. As the day goes on, they realize they’re not as different as they might think.

Why it’s so watchable: Really, every John Hughes movie deserves a spot on this list. His films perfectly capture what it’s like to be a teenager.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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Dirty Dancing (1987)

The gist: A hunky dance instructor (Patrick Swayze) helps a sheltered teen (Jennifer Grey) break out of her shell at a Catskills resort.

Why it’s so watchable: You’ll have the time of your life watching everyone realize that nobody puts Baby in a corner.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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The Princess Bride (1987)

The gist: Lovers Westley (Cary Elwes) and Buttercup (Robin Wright) are ripped apart when she’s chosen to marry the cruel Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon). Westley sets off on a journey to be reunited with his amour and meets some interesting characters along the way.

Why it’s so watchable: This action/adventure/quest/fairy tale truly does have something for everyone. As you wish.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

The gist: The first time they meet, they hate each other. The next few times they run into one another, they experience the same mutual dislike. Eventually, they become best friends, and that blossoms into love and marriage.

Why it’s so watchable: It tries to answer the eternal question: Can a man and a woman ever just be friends?

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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Father of the Bride (1991)

The gist: When his 22-year-old daughter (Kimberly Williams) returns from Rome engaged, George Banks (Steve Martin) is thrown into the middle of planning an elaborate wedding, while struggling to come to terms with the fact that he’s no longer the leading man in her life.

Why it’s so watchable: Besides the endearing plot about a father having trouble with his eldest daughter getting married, Martin Short’s wedding coordinator character is pretty great.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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A League of Their Own (1992)

The gist: While male MLB players are off fighting in World War II, team owners set up a women’s league.

Why it’s so watchable:
There’s no crying in baseball, but you may shed a few tears over this movie.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix
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Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

The gist: When a custody agreement prohibits him from spending more time with his children, a father (Robin Williams) becomes their elderly British nanny and housekeeper.

Why it’s so watchable: Robin Williams was a genius at physical comedy and creating characters.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The gist: Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is imprisoned at Shawshank State Penitentiary in Maine after he’s falsely convicted of killing his wife and her lover. Despite his conviction, penalty of two consecutive life sentences, and horrible initial reception at Shawshank, he never loses the belief that he's a free man.

Why it’s so watchable: Get busy living, or get busy dying.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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Clueless (1995)

The gist: Privileged teens in Beverly Hills act like adults and treat every day like it’s a fashion show. We want in.

Why it’s so watchable: Do we really need to explain this? Ugh, as if!

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix
13 of 36
Titanic (1997)

The gist: Rich girl Rose (Kate Winslet) and poor boy Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) fall in love aboard the ill-fated ship. He draws her like one of his French girls. Celine Dion sings an epic love ballad. Rose says she’ll never let go, but then she totally lets go.

Why it’s so watchable: You know what’s going to happen, and yet you still sit there thinking that this might be the one time that a movie almost two decades old completely changes, and Rose makes room for Jack on that door. It could happen. IT COULD. Stop laughing!

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

The gist: Best friends Michael (Dermot Mulroney) and Julianne (Julia Roberts) make a pact in college that they'll marry each other if they’re both single at 28. When Michael calls Julianne at the age of 27, she thinks it’s to say they should just tie the knot; but nope, he’s engaged to a 20-year-old (Cameron Diaz). Of course, this is the moment when Julianne realizes that she’s in love with Michael, so she sets out to sabotage the wedding, rather than acting like a mature adult and telling Michael how she really feels.

Why it’s so watchable: The “Say a Little Prayer for You” scene, obviously.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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The Parent Trap (1998)

The gist: Lindsay Lohan plays twins Hallie and Annie in this charming update of the 1961 classic.

Why it’s so watchable: Lohan is charismatic and adorable in her breakout role, plus the sumptuous settings found in every Nancy Meyers movie.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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You’ve Got Mail (1998)

The gist: An independent bookstore owner (Meg Ryan) and mega-franchise bookstore owner (Tom Hanks), who hate each other IRL, are involved in an online flirtationship in the early days of chat rooms.

Why it’s so watchable: The pure quaintness of listening to someone logging into AOL Mail and people still buying books. Oh, 1998. It was a simpler time.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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Notting Hill (1999)

The gist: A Notting Hill-based bookstore owner (Hugh Grant) meets and falls in love with a world-famous movie star (Julia Roberts), and somehow those two crazy kids make it work.

Why it’s so watchable: We’ve all had fantasies of meeting and falling in love with our favorite celebrity (and possibly living happily ever after together). This movie plays out those fantasies. Plus, underneath the fame, she’s also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

The gist: Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew comes to high school.

Why it’s so watchable: Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles have amazing chemistry as Patrick Verona and Kat Stratford. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is adorable as the lovesick Cameron. It all just works.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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She’s All That (1999)

The gist: Pygmalion comes to high school when Dean (Paul Walker) bets Zack (Freddie Prinze Jr.) that he can’t turn glasses-and-overall-wearing artist Laney Boggs (Rachael Leigh Cook) into the prom queen.

Why it’s so watchable: Joke’s on you, Dean. Laney is gorgeous on the inside and outside, with or without her glasses. Plus, those paint-splattered overalls? They’re probably on sale right now at Urban Outfitters.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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Miss Congeniality (2000)

The gist: Sandra Bullock is Gracie Hart, a supposedly uncouth FBI agent who must become a refined gentlewoman and paragon of feminine ideals. She goes undercover as a contestant after the agency discovers a plot to bomb the annual Miss United States pageant.

Why it’s so watchable: Describe your perfect date.” “That's a tough one. I'd have to say April 25th. Because it's not too hot; not too cold. All you need is a light jacket.” (And other gems like that.)

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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Remember the Titans (2000)

The gist: The inspiring true story of a newly desegregated high school football team learning to play together under the tutelage of Coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington).

Why it’s so watchable: The lesson in tolerance. The “we are the Titans” chant. Tiny Hayden Panettiere. The soundtrack.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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Center Stage (2000)

The gist: Aspiring ballet dancers try to make it through the cutthroat program at a prestigious school in New York City.

Why it’s so watchable: That final performance when everyone’s got canned heat in their heels tonight, baby.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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Legally Blonde (2001)

The gist: Spunky California blonde and sorority president Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) follows her ex-boyfriend to Harvard Law School (“What, like it’s hard?”) in an attempt to win him back, but realizes that she’d much rather have a successful law career than her lame ex.

Why it’s so watchable: Elle Woods is the type of go-getter people write off at first sight, then pay for that snap judgment later. It’s something a lot of viewers can probably relate to. Plus, the movie is just fun.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix
24 of 36
Any Harry Potter Movie (2001-2011)

The gist: Young wizards go to boarding school and somehow become the last bastion between good and evil in the world of magic. High school is hard, you know?

Why they’re so watchable: You love them as books. You love them as movies. Let’s be real: There can never be enough wizarding magic in our lives. We’ve lost entire weekends to ABC Family marathons.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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Drumline (2002)

The gist: Freshman Devon Miles (Nick Cannon) is on fire when he enters Atlanta A&T University’s prestigious music program on a full scholarship, to play in the famous marching band. Unfortunately, the school decides to cut funding to the program, and Devon also stumbles because he doesn’t know how to read music. He almost gets poached by a rival school’s drumline, but realizes that his heart is with A&T.

Why it’s so watchable: The amazing drumline performances and obvious victory in the end.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
26 of 36
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

The gist: It’s a quintessential early 2000’s rom-com. Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) is the epitome of a Cool Girl. She works at a women's magazine and always knows how to keep a guy interested, to the point that her boss assigns her a piece about what all other women are doing wrong. (Oof.) Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey) is a Guy’s Guy. He likes sports. He rides a motorcycle. He’s a suave advertising exec. Actually, he might have been Don Draper before Mad Men even existed — except this is a fluffy romantic comedy complete with a final chase to the airport.

Why it’s so watchable: The yellow dress. The stereotypical male/female behavior that’s like Cosmopolitan articles come to life. McConaughey. Hudson. Their chemistry.

Watch it: Amazon, iTunes, Google Play
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Love Actually (2003)

The gist: Various couples experience romance and heartbreak around the holidays in England.

Why it’s so watchable: Either you’re a Love Actually fan or you’re not. You feel it in your fingers. You feel it in your toes.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix
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Elf (2003)

The gist: Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) learns that he’s not actually from the North Pole and travels to the big city of New York to find his real dad.

Why it’s so watchable:
Buddy’s irrepressible enthusiasm and joie de vivre.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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Mean Girls (2004)

The gist: Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) relocates from Africa, where she was homeschooled, to a suburb of Chicago and starts attending high school for the first time in her life. She soon learns that the social hierarchies of an American high school are alarmingly similar to those of animals in the African jungle.

Why it’s so watchable: Even though fetch will never happen, Mean Girls always will. The movie is quotable, relatable, and stays hilarious while getting in some helpful lessons about bullying without being overly preachy. You go, Glen Coco!

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix
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The Notebook (2004)

The gist: Two crazy-in-love teenagers from opposite sides of the tracks (Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling) are forced apart by their parents and circumstances, only to reunite years later because their love is just too strong and true.

Why it’s so watchable: He wrote her every day. She waited for him for seven years. It wasn’t over. It still isn’t over. (Iconic kiss in the rain.) They’re going to have to work at it every day, but he wants her. He wants all of her, forever.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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Wedding Crashers (2005)

The gist: Two divorce lawyers and committed bachelors (Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson) love crashing weddings and hooking up with women they meet there. That all changes when one of them falls in love with the treasury secretary’s daughter (Rachel McAdams) at the society wedding of the year.

Why it’s so watchable: It’s peak Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, plus Bradley Cooper as the villain, and Maryland doing what Maryland does (crab cakes and football).

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

The gist: The film adaptation of Lauren Weisberger’s roman à clef about her time as Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour’s assistant.

Why it’s so watchable:
Well, there’s Meryl Streep’s Oscar-nominated performance as Wintour’s fictional doppelgänger Miranda Priestly, whose withering stares can reduce you to quivering piles of goo through the screen. If Streep’s spot-on editrix isn’t your cup of tea, you can always gawk at the fashion. But really, gird your loins for Meryl.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
33 of 36
Sex and the City: The Movie (2008)

The gist: The lavish big-screen continuation of the hit HBO series.

Why it’s so watchable: See above.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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27 Dresses (2008)

The gist: Jane (Katherine Heigl) is always a bridesmaid, never a bride. She’s been a bridesmaid so many times (27, in case it wasn’t immediately obvious from the title) that it catches the attention of a reporter (James Marsden) desperate to move beyond the nuptials section of the newspaper where he works. They butt heads but are so obviously going to fall in love.

Why it’s so watchable: Have you seen James Marsden’s jaw? That thing could cut glass. Also, the “Bennie and the Jets” scene.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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Bridesmaids (2011)

The gist: When her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) gets married, maid of honor Annie (Kristen Wiig) finds herself in an unofficial friend-off with another bridesmaid, Helen (Rose Byrne).

Why it’s so watchable: Kristen Wiig, Kristen Wiig, and Kristen Wiig. Oh, and her sexcapades with Jon Hamm’s character.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes
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Pitch Perfect (2012)

The gist: All-female a cappella group the Barden Bellas rally and work together to win the national a cappella championships.

Why it’s so watchable: It’s aca-awesome.

Watch it: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes