12 Movies Like Step Brothers That Will Surely Make You Laugh

"Step Brothers" is one of the funniest movies of the 21st Century, and it's a true testament to writer-director Adam McKay's outlandish sense of humor. McKay is now established as one of the most important political filmmakers in the industry, spotlighting notorious scandals in his biopics "The Big Short" and "Vice." McKay recently tackled corrupt administrations and the failure to listen to scientists with the satirical comedy "Don't Look Up."

Early in his career, McKay was known primarily as a strictly comedic filmmaker thanks to his work with Will Ferrell. Although the pair made many films together, each is unique and speaks to a different side of comedy. While "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" and "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" are more narratively focused films that incorporate elements of satire, "Step Brothers" is simply an ode to idiocy. The overgrown man-children Brennan Huff (Ferrell) and Dale Doback (John C. Reilly) are uncomplicated morons who realize that they share a lot in common.

It's no easy task to make running gags consistently funny throughout a film, but McKay has a unique ability to take a concept that seems suited for a sketch and expand it to a feature-length movie. Ferrell is, of course, one of the most recognizable comedy stars of the early 2000s, and in "Step Brothers," he shows his fearlessness once again. 

Here are some other great comedies for "Step Brothers" fans to enjoy.

The Other Guys

"Step Brothers" provided Will Ferrell with a great comedic sparring partner in John C. Reilly. It's always impressive to see the prestigious character actor meet Ferrell at his level and give an equally uproarious performance. Prior to "Step Brothers," Reilly had worked on a number of acclaimed projects like "Chicago," "A Prairie Home Companion," "Boogie Nights," and "Magnolia," but he showed just how versatile he is when he appeared in "Step Brothers."

Adam McKay found another great co-star for Ferrell when he brought in Mark Wahlberg as Ferrell's accomplice for "The Other Guys." Wahlberg has a versatile background and has starred in many crime and action films like "The Italian Job," "Three Kings," "Shooter," "We Own The Night," and "The Departed" in which he had a scene-stealing role. Those films made him perfectly suited for the tone of "The Other Guys," an outrageous look at the buddy cop genre. For Ferrell, it was a dip into being an action star, and for Wahlberg, it was a comedic detour.

After the beloved detectives P.K. Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson) and Christopher Danson (Dwayne Johnson) are killed performing a dangerous stunt, New York cops Terry Hoitz (Wahlberg) and Allen Gable (Ferrell) look to take the media spotlight by cracking a dangerous, high-profile case. Gable, an unmotivated accountant, is pushed by the ambitious Hoitz to help uncover a conspiracy. As in "Step Brothers," no one takes these goofy characters too seriously.

Starsky & Hutch

One of the joys of "Step Brothers" is that neither Dale nor Brennan is completely likable. They're both relatively mean-spirited and selfish. Initially, their headstrong personalities and massive egos cause them to clash. Although they start as rivals, Brennan and Dale discover they have a lot in common in that nobody seems to take them seriously — particularly those with authority. Soon, they realize that they can prove their doubters wrong and get revenge on their families by concocting a hilarious scheme to silence their bullies.

"Step Brothers" has much in common with buddy cop movies because of the friendship that gradually develops between Dale and Brennan. The 2004 action-comedy "Starsky & Hutch" explores a similar theme. Although there are elements of satire and many action sequences, the film is also a tribute to losers whom no one takes seriously. Inspired by the '70s television show of the same name, the film comes from writer-director Todd Phillips. Like Adam McKay, Phillips started off in broad comedy but eventually moved on to more serious fare such as "War Dogs" and "Joker."

"Starsky & Hutch" follows macho cop David Starsky (Ben Stiller) who is forced into an unlikely alliance with the eccentric Ken Hutchinson (Owen Wilson). Like Will Ferrell in "Step Brothers, Wilson portrays a shy and sensitive character alongside Stiller as a masculine stereotype in a role similar in tone to John C. Reilly's. Ultimately, it's amusing to see them join forces to solve a wild mystery involving drug cartels and corrupt cops.

Pineapple Express

"Step Brothers" is unafraid to have an immature sense of humor, justifying its most extreme gags with the friendship that grows between Brennan and Dale. While Adam McKay never attempts to incorporate any saccharine moments of overblown, heartfelt melodrama that would detract from the relentless comedic tone, having two outsiders that bond does give the film a narrative structure that elevates it above a series of gags. The connection is genuine and even a little touching, as viewers can relate to two men who find each other despite their goofiness. The 2008 stoner comedy "Pineapple Express" has a similarly endearing friendship storyline thanks to the great comedic chemistry of Seth Rogen and James Franco.

The film follows lazy office worker Dale Denton (Rogen) and his eccentric marijuana supplier Saul Silver (Franco). When the unlikely duo become witness to a murder, they are forced to go on the run from a drug cartel. Insane drug lord Ted Jones (Gary Cole) hires Red (Danny McBride) to track the two down. Nervous that they'll be arrested for possessing drugs, Dale and Saul are forced to become heroes. Like "Step Brothers," "Pineapple Express" has an unpredictable turn of events as the odd pair gets increasingly in over their heads. Rogen and Franco bring likable personalities to the madcap adventure.


"Step Brothers" gave Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly free reign to be as over-the-top as possible. That's rare in modern studio comedies. Given the popularity of streaming and the high number of comedy stars who have headed to television, a mid-budget comedy is often less of a priority for major studios. In order to capture an audience's interest, a comedy needs something beyond mere star power. "Step Brothers" had the unique appeal of having two hilarious actors delivering completely unhinged performances.

The classic sports-comedy "Caddyshack" united many of the greatest comedy stars of the 1980s for a hilarious ensemble adventure. Like "Step Brothers," the film doesn't glamorize its main characters, as it's reflective on why they are victims of their circumstances. However, it is amusing to see these goofy hooligans wreak havoc on the posh setting of a golf course. Like "Step Brothers," "Caddyshack" pokes fun at the pretentiousness of the upper class.

Set at Bushwood Country Club, a golf resort frequented by the pretentious Judge Elihu Smails (Ted Knight), "Caddyshack" follows teenage caddie Danny Noonan (Michael O'Keefe). Danny works for golfer Ty Webb (Chevy Chase), who, despite being the son of one of the club's founders, is not taken seriously by Smails and his circle. Ty preps Danny for a tournament set in motion by crude but affable real-estate developer Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield) that will allow him to show up Smails. Meanwhile, simple-minded groundskeeper Carl Spackler (Bill Murray) creates chaos by waging war on a destructive gopher.

Big Daddy

"Step Brothers" is enjoyable largely because of how it depicts childish characters who are forced into adult responsibilities. Despite being in their 40s, Brennan and Dale still live with their parents and have the same interests they had when they were kids. One of the most amusing scenes in the film shows the pair being bullied by a gang of neighborhood children and forced to return home to shamefully admit their embarrassment to their parents.

Like Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler has perfected the man-child persona throughout his career. Although some of Sandler's later projects grew grating and obnoxious when the charm of that stereotypical character grew tiresome, his early career featured many comedy classics based on this familiar trope. Of Sandler's run of popular 1990s comedies, "Big Daddy" is among the most heartfelt and rewatchable.

Sandler stars as Sonny Koufax, a slacker in his 30s who is lampooned by his circle of friends for not having any ambition. Sonny's only true friend is lawyer Kevin Gerrity (Jon Stewart), who is preparing to wed Corinne Maloney (Leslie Mann). While Kevin is away on a trip to China, a young boy named Julian (Dylan and Cole Sprouse) shows up on his doorstep. Sonny soon realizes that Julian is Kevin's illegitimate child — the product of a one-night-stand. While waiting for his friend to return, Sonny is forced to watch Julian. Finding a sense of purpose, Sonny matures into an odd but loving father figure for the boy.

The Interview

Often, great buddy comedies result when the protagonists are put in an unlikely situation in which they're being taken advantage of. "Step Brothers" has a lot of fun with the idea that Dale and Brennan have little agency, as their parents have housed them for their entire lives. Brennan lives in the shadow of his brother Derek (Adam Scott), who has bullied him relentlessly since he was a child and takes pleasure in embarrassing him publicly. Dale and Brennan aren't taken seriously and have grown to accept their inferiority, and it's both hilarious and charming to see them succeed at the film's close when they take their karaoke business worldwide to great success.

James Franco and Seth Rogen are a great comedic duo, and they excel at playing similar underdog characters. In "The Interview," television personality Dave Skylark (Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapaport (Rogen) are hired by the U.S. government to assassinate Kim Jong-un (Randall Park). The 2014 film was a highly-documented media event due to the real-life controversy that occurred when the film's release was moved to VOD after North Korean hackers threatened the safety of moviegoers.  

"The Interview" was debated for its release strategy, and the responsibility of Sony Pictures as a distributor was questioned. Unfortunately, this controversy has overshadowed the quality of the film itself. "The Interview" contains some of Franco and Rogen's finest work and allowed them to apply their comedic skills in a satire of world politics and media culture.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's humor has gradually developed over the course of their partnership, and Ferrell's performances have explored various subgenres of comedy. While there's a consistency to his eccentric sense of humor and his incomparable physical comedy, Ferrell has grown as an actor. His characters have become more diverse (if not quite mature). Still, it's been exciting to watch Ferrell and McKay's partnership grow over the course of multiple collaborations.

Kevin Smith's sense of humor is similar to McKay's, as both respond to ongoing media events as they occur. McKay tends to use satire and his political viewpoint, while Smith enjoys incorporating pop cultural references in his films. The characters Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) first appeared in Smith's 1994 directorial debut "Clerks" and subsequently appeared in "Mallrats," "Chasing Amy," "Dogma," "Clerks II," "Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie!" and, most recently, 2019's "Jay and Silent Bob Reboot." 

Mewes and Smith took leading roles for the first time in the 2001 spinoff "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back." The other films in the series establish that comic book writer Holden McNeil (Ben Affleck) based his superhero characters Bluntman and Chronic on the two. When they discover that Hollywood is turning "Bluntman and Chronic" into a big budget film, they go on a cross-country adventure to Los Angeles to wreck the film's production. Like "Step Brothers," there are many hilarious cameos.

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America

There's a slightly subversive side to "Step Brothers." While it's not as obviously satirical as Adam McKay's "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" and "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," there is some subtle commentary that comes from placing two childlike characters in professional environments. Dale and Brennan are obviously immature and irresponsible, but their grating actions end up exposing the cruelty of those around them. Their flaws are obvious, and they're not afraid of showing them

Mike Judge created one of the most successful shows of the '90s with "Beavis and Butt-Head." It's always a challenge for showrunners to bring television characters to the big screen. The formats are very different. While "Beavis and Butt-Head" worked in shorter television episodes, it wasn't initially clear if the cartoon would translate to the big screen. Fortunately, Judge's 1996 feature "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America" turned out to be a hilarious film that showed the infamous slackers at their funniest. Judge also managed to work in some sly political satire and a few jabs at the media.

Beavis and Butt-Head have simple ambitions: They just want to watch the tube. When their TV goes missing, they travel across the country to find it. Along the way, they're mistaken for assassins and become involved in a conspiracy to infiltrate the U.S. government. However, the conspirators are so focused on their mission that they don't recognize that Beavis and Butt-Head are just a couple of dumb kids.

Hot Rod

Much of the humor in "Step Brothers" comes from seeing the family dysfunction that Dale and Brennan cause. The two are forced to live together when Brennan's mother Nancy (Mary Steenburgen) marries Dale's father Robert (Richard Jenkins). Dale and Brennan's initial conflicts end up exposing existing problems within their relationship. The film deals with real family issues in the funniest possible way.

The 2007 cult comedy "Hot Rod" is centered around a strained relationship between a father and son. All that Rod Kimble (Andy Samberg) wants is to live up to the memory of his late father, who he believes was a great Hollywood stuntman. However, Rod's stepfather Frank (Ian McShane) does not respect him. When Frank becomes sick and on the verge of death, Rod sees an opportunity to finally impress him by raising enough money to save his life.

Rod gathers his friends Kevin Powell (Jorma Taccone), Dave McLean (Bill Hader), and Rico Brown (Danny McBride) to help him train for a stunt in which he will jump his moped over 15 school buses. The jump is to be a charity event that raises money for Frank's operation, but Rod is completely unprepared for the rigors of training for this ridiculous feat. As in "Step Brothers," there are a lot of great physical gags (most of them involving Rod's many injuries). "Hot Rod's" surreal humor is similar to the improvisational comedy that Adam McKay excels at.

American Ultra

There is a lot of great physical comedy in "Step Brothers" that comes from Dale and Brennan's attempts to outdo each other. During their initial fights, their actions become increasingly ridiculous. At one point, Dale kicks Brennan off a sailboat. Later, Brennan tries to bury Dale alive. Although Adam McKay has made actual action-comedies, "Step Brothers" has great stunt work in its own right.

The 2015 action-comedy "American Ultra" has a similar combination of wacky characters and over-the-top physical gags. Stoner Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) suffers from perpetual anxiety. He wants to give his girlfriend Phoebe (Kristin Stewart) a nice vacation, but he can't seem to work up the courage to leave his home. After Mike discovers that he's secretly trained as a sleeper agent assassin for the C.I.A., government agents show up to silence him, putting both his and Phoebe's lives in jeopardy. It's hilarious to see Mike access abilities he has no knowledge of in this parody of "The Bourne Identity's" premise.

Due Date

One of the most hilarious aspects of "Step Brothers" is how Brennan and Dale gradually grow to appreciate each other. While Adam McKay never plays their friendship for an overtly saccharine emotional moment, there is a genuine affection that emerges as they realize how much they have in common. The initial clash gives the film an early conflict, but the movie goes in a completely different direction once they team up.

The 2010 road comedy "Due Date" has a similarly hilarious central relationship. Successful architect Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) is excited to fly home to witness the birth of his child. However, he's annoyed to board his flight alongside an eccentric actor named Ethan Tremblay (Zack Galifianakis). A miscommunication gets Peter and Ethan branded as terrorists and ejected from the plane. The unlikely duo are forced to embark on a disastrous cross-country road trip. Through a series of misadventures, the two eventually become friends.  

A Night at the Roxbury

Will Ferrell has had many co-stars over the years, and their performances don't always live up to his. Ferrell has a very unique sense of humor, and few actors can keep up with his off-kilter antics. John C. Reilly, however, manages to match his energy in "Step Brothers." A skilled and versatile character actor, Reilly has repeatedly shown that he's equally adept at broad comedy and serious drama. 

Another of Ferrell's co-stars is Chris Kattan, who appeared with him on "Saturday Night Live." On the long-running comedy show, the two created a recurring sketch in which they play obnoxious nightclub patrons, endlessly bobbing their heads to Haddaway's song "What Is Love." The slim premise was expanded upon for the 1998 feature-length film "A Night at the Roxbury" in which Ferrell and Kattan star as brothers Steve and Doug Butabi. It is by no means a complex movie, but seeing one joke extended for 82 minutes is a testament to Ferrell's abilities. "A Night at the Roxbury" definitely deserves more cult appreciation.