Entertainment

The Greatest Man Child Movies 

Boom Dynamite
Updated June 14, 2019 1.3k votes 172 voters 18.4k views

List Rules Upvote and add the best movies featuring men who haven't grown up.

There something slightly off putting yet hilarious about men who refuse to grow up, and in these Peter Pan Syndrome movies, they make for great comedy fodder. These are the greatest arrested development movies, wherein the main character must grow up and come to terms with being an adult. Also known as most Adam Sandler movies. I've always found it interesting that most overage coming of age movies are also romantic comedies, signaling in some way that all a guy needs to want to grow up is a good woman. Hmmm. I left this list open, so feel free to add any I miss and vote up or down your favorites.
list ordered by
1
Big is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Vince Cooley added Tom Hanks, Jon Lovitz, Elizabeth Perkins

Released: 1988

Directed by: Penny Marshall

Big is a 1988 American fantasy comedy film directed by Penny Marshall, and stars Tom Hanks as Josh Baskin, a young boy who makes a wish "to be big" and is then aged to adulthood ...more

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'Big' Is Actually An Existential Nightmare #64 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #26 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

2
Happy Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Julie Bowen

Released: 1996

Directed by: Dennis Dugan

Happy Gilmore is a 1996 sports comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan and produced by Robert Simonds. It stars Adam Sandler as the title character, an unsuccessful ice hockey player who discovers ...more

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'Happy Gilmore' Is Secretly A Drama About Dealing With Loss And Grief #101 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #1 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies

3
Billy Madison is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Adam Sandler, Steve Buscemi, Chris Farley

Released: 1995

Directed by: Tamra Davis

Billy Madison is a 1995 American family comedy film directed by Tamra Davis. It stars Adam Sandler in the title role, along with Bradley Whitford, Bridgette Wilson, Norm Macdonald, and Darren ...more

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#354 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #89 of 1,017 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

4
The Hangover is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Brian Walton added Mike Tyson, Bradley Cooper, Heather Graham

Released: 2009

Directed by: Todd Phillips

The Hangover is a 2009 American comedy film, co-produced and directed by Todd Phillips and written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. It is the first film of The Hangover trilogy. The film stars ...more

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#95 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #87 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

5
Tommy Boy is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Dan Aykroyd, Rob Lowe, Bo Derek

Released: 1995

Directed by: Peter Segal

Tommy Boy is a 1995 American road comedy film directed by Peter Segal, written by Bonnie and Terry Turner, produced by Lorne Michaels, and starring former Saturday Night Live castmates and close ...more

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#182 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #17 of 1,017 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #132 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

6
The 40-Year-Old Virgin ... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Vince Cooley added Elizabeth Banks, Kat Dennings, Steve Carell

Released: 2005

Directed by: Judd Apatow

The 40-Year-Old Virgin is a 2005 American romantic comedy film written, produced and directed by Judd Apatow, about a middle-aged man's journey to finally lose their virginity. It was co-written ...more

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#286 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #179 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

7
Ranker Video
Vince Cooley added Ben Affleck, Shannen Doherty, Claire Forlani

Released: 1995

Directed by: Kevin Smith

Mallrats is a 1995 American romantic comedy film written and directed by Kevin Smith. It is the second film in the View Askewniverse series and prequel to 1994's Clerks. As in the other View ...more

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#168 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #56 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #126 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

8
Willy Wonka & the Ch... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
premesh added Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Tim Brooke-Taylor

Released: 1971

Directed by: Mel Stuart

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a 1971 musical fantasy film directed by Mel Stuart, and starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. The film, a film adaptation of the 1964 novel Charlie and ...more

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There's A Theory That 'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory' Is Actually About A Tormented Killer #115 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #15 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies

9
The Big Lebowski is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Vince Cooley added Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Tara Reid

Released: 1998

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

The Big Lebowski is a 1998 stoner comedy film written, produced, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski, an unemployed Los Angeles ...more

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20 Things You Didn't Know About The Big Lebowski #114 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #20 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies

10
Old School is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Brian Walton added Elisha Cuthbert, Snoop Dogg, Will Ferrell

Released: 2003

Directed by: Todd Phillips

This movie is so funny. And all of the characters are either in states of regression or arrested development Old School is a 2003 American comedy film released by DreamWorks Pictures and The Montecito Picture Company and directed by Todd Phillips. The story was written by Court Crandall, and the film ...more

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#167 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies #36 of 1,017 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

11
Knocked Up is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Vince Cooley added Jessica Alba, Eva Mendes, Katherine Heigl

Released: 2007

Directed by: Judd Apatow

Knocked Up is a 2007 American romantic comedy film co-produced, written, and directed by Judd Apatow. The films stars Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, and Leslie Mann. It follows the ...more

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#737 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #276 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #112 of 1,017 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

12
Rain Man is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Vince Cooley added Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, Valeria Golino

Released: 1988

Directed by: Barry Levinson

Rain Man is a 1988 American drama film directed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass. It tells the story of an abrasive and selfish yuppie, Charlie Babbitt, who ...more

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#320 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #97 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

13
Step Brothers is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Riot18 added Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen, Mary Steenburgen

Released: 2008

Directed by: Adam McKay

Step Brothers is a 2008 American buddy slapstick comedy film starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. The screenplay was written by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, from a story written by them ...more

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#28 of 1,017 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #13 of 135 The Most Rewatchable Comedy Movies

14
Black Sheep is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Julie Benz, Gary Busey, David Spade

Released: 1996

Directed by: Penelope Spheeris

Black Sheep is a 1996 comedy film directed by Penelope Spheeris, written by Fred Wolf and starring Chris Farley and David Spade. The film portrays a political contest in which a candidate for ...more

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#73 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #164 of 1,017 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

15
Peter Pan is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Riot18 added June Foray, Bobby Driscoll, Heather Angel

Released: 1953

Directed by: Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney

Peter Pan is a 1953 American animated fantasy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney and based on the play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up by J. M. Barrie. It is the 14th film in the ...more

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#43 of 598 The Best Animated Films Ever #63 of 373 The Best Musical Movies of All Time

16
Grandma's Boy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Jonah Hill, David Spade, Rob Schneider

Released: 2006

Directed by: Nicholaus Goossen

Grandma's Boy is a 2006 American comedy stoner film produced by Adam Sandler's production company Happy Madison. The film stars Allen Covert, who also co-wrote and co-produced the film. The film ...more

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#388 of 1,017 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #92 of 94 The Worst January Movie Releaseslisted on List of Silent Movies

17
Zoolander is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Brian Walton added Natalie Portman, Paris Hilton, Heidi Klum

Released: 2001

Directed by: Ben Stiller

Zoolander is a 2001 American comedy film directed by Ben Stiller and, starring Stiller and Owen Wilson. The film contains elements from a pair of short films directed by Russell Bates and ...more

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#553 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #238 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

18
Jack is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Jennifer Lopez, Robin Williams, Diane Lane

Released: 1996

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

Jack is a 1996 American comedy-drama film starring Robin Williams, Diane Lane, Jennifer Lopez, Fran Drescher, Bill Cosby, and Brian Kerwin. It was directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Williams ...more

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#612 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #165 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #99 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

19
Arthur is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Liza Minnelli, Dudley Moore, John Gielgud

Released: 1981

Directed by: Steve Gordon

Arthur is a 1981 comedy film written and directed by Steve Gordon. The film stars Dudley Moore as the eponymous Arthur Bach, a drunken New York City millionaire who is on the brink of an ...more

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#169 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #136 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

20
Fun Dip is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
ChrisNonyabiz added Fun Dip
21
Due Date is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Brian Walton added Charlie Sheen, Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx

Released: 2010

Directed by: Todd Phillips

Due Date is a 2010 American comedy road film directed by Todd Phillips, co-written by Alan R. Cohen, Alan Freedland, and Adam Sztykiel, and starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Zach Galifianakis. The ...more
22
Our Idiot Brother is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Vince Cooley added Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Banks, Rashida Jones

Released: 2011

Directed by: Jesse Peretz

Our Idiot Brother is a 2011 American comedy-drama film directed by Jesse Peretz and starring Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, and Emily Mortimer. The script was written by Evgenia ...more

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#678 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #12 of 27 The Best Brother-Sister Movies Ever Made

23
Mumford is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Vince Cooley added Zooey Deschanel, Kelly Monaco, Martin Short

Released: 1999

Directed by: Lawrence Kasdan

Mumford is a 1999 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Lawrence Kasdan. It is set in a small town where a new psychologist gives offbeat advice to the neurotic residents. Both the ...more
24
Failure to Launch is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Riot18 added Zooey Deschanel, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew McConaughey

Released: 2006

Directed by: Tom Dey

Failure to Launch is a 2006 American romantic comedy film. In the movie a 35-year-old man lives in the home of his parents and shows no interest in leaving the comfortable life his parents, ...more

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#187 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #266 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

25
Walk Like a Man is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Man Child Movies
Christopher Lloyd, Cloris Leachman, Howie Mandel

Released: 1987

Directed by: Melvin Frank

Walk Like a Man is a 1987 comedy film about a young man who finally returns to his high-society family after having been raised by wolves. The film is the last one to be directed by Melvin ...more