What are the best sitcoms of all time? Critics debate the point often and almost everyone has a favorite choice. From weird and wild animation to single-camera comedy about the mundanity of everyday life, there’s certainly something out there for every type of viewer and IMDb may hold the answers to the question. The best sitcoms to watch right now can be found across a wide range of streaming platforms, which are always changing their libraries, so it’s important to keep track of where everything is available.
Updated on September 16th, 2022 by Colin McCormick: Sitcoms have been a staple of television entertainment from the very beginning. And while they can sometimes be seen as more disposable shows, the best sitcoms rank among the most popular television series of all time. With plenty more of the top sitcoms, from modern hits to older classics, there are some other great titles to add to the list. And with so many streaming options, fans will have the best sitcoms to watch anytime.
30 Gravity Falls (2012–2016): 8.3
Available on Hulu and Disney+
This highly acclaimed mystery-comedy series aired on Disney Channel and Disney XD for two seasons between 2012 and 2016. Though it was aimed at older kids, it was definitely not just a kid’s show.
The series focuses on Dipper and his twin sister Mabel, who enjoy their summer vacation in Gravity Falls, Oregon, with their great uncle. There, they run a local tourist trap while uncovering the secrets behind the paranormal activity in town. Mixing warmth, wit, pop culture, and charm, the show received many positive reviews.
29 Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013–2021): 8.4
Available on Hulu and Peacock Premium
Brooklyn Nine-Nine follows the exploits of a fictional NYPD precinct headed by a serious captain who must contend with the antics of his detectives, Andy Samberg’s immature Jake Peralta in particular. The show received widespread acclaim and developed a devoted fanbase for its likable characters and the chemistry between the talented cast. However, being considered by fans as one of the best sitcoms of all time still did not result in the smoothest ride for the series’ production.
Originally canceled after five seasons, the beloved Fox series found a new home at NBC, which continued the series for several more years before ending in the eighth season.
28 The Office (2001–2003): 8.5
Available on Hulu and Brit Box
Created, written, and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, with Gervais starring in the lead role also, this hit UK series only lasted for two seasons but made a huge impact, propelling Gervais in particular into stardom and eventually being remade into the beloved US version.
Following the employees of a dreary office for a paper company, The Office became well-known for its cringe style of comedy, homing in on the most awkward aspects of workplace interactions and finding a lot of relatable comedy in the process.
27 The IT Crowd (2006–2013): 8.5
Another British series, The IT Crowd followed the three-person tech support office squatting in the basement of a larger company, the nerdy misfits being comprised of two traditional computer geeks and their largely computer-illiterate manager.
The relatively small core group of the show were often joined by equally talented supporting characters but the simplicity of the setup allowed the main trio of actors to really shine, particularly Richard Ayoade as the exceptionally dorky Maurice Moss, a character who would prove to be an interesting precursor to the socially awkward Dr. Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory.
26 Cobra Kai (2018– ): 8.5
Cobra Kai continues the story of the Karate Kid films, taking place 34 years after the events of the original. In it, Johnny Lawrence decides to open the Cobra Kai dojo back up, which causes his former rivalry with Daniel LaRusso to reignite.
The YouTube Premium show has been widely praised for its fleshed-out characters and for reviving the excitement of the original movies. Four seasons have been aired, and a fifth is on the way.
Available on Netflix, Prime Video and Hulu
Set in a fictional community college, the series followed the education of a close-knit study group made up of lovably eclectic characters led by an unscrupulous former lawyer who’s often more of a conman. Community became known for both its high-concept genre parody episodes as well as its focus on meta-humor.
24 Flight Of The Conchords (2007-2009): 8.6
Available on HBO, HBO Max and Spectrum on Demand
What is better than mixing in a few songs with the comedy of a sitcom? This is what fans got when watching Flight of the Conchords, an HBO sitcom about two naïve New Zealanders trying to make it in New York City as a folk band.
Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie play fictional versions of themselves, bringing a hilariously dry and quirky sense of humor. But perhaps the best aspect of the show is the musical numbers where the duo’s parody songs are incorporated into the show in some hugely entertaining ways.
23 Coupling (2000-2004): 8.6
Available on The Roku Channel
While American audiences had Friends, the British series Coupling delivered a similar type of sitcom to viewers on the other side. The series followed six best friends as they navigated various obstacles in their never-ending quest to find love.
While the premise does not jump out as anything very original, much like Friends, it is the characters that make it special. Seeing these characters go through the funny and relatable struggles of dating life made it a classic that some viewers might not have caught up with.
22 Archer (2009-): 8.6
The spy genre has been ripe for parody with movies like Austin Powers poking fun at the tropes. But Archer continued to find the humor in the world of secret agents and world-saving missions. It follows the exploits of Sterling Archer, a dim-witted, reckless, and self-involved spy within a dysfunctional top-secret organization.
The show has a lot of fun mixing the action of these kinds of stories with the typical relationship troubles, misunderstandings, and wacky characters of the sitcom world. The result is a hilarious and thrilling animated adventure.
21 Mr. Bean (1990–1995): 8.6
Available on Prime Video, Hulu, Roku, Vudu, Tubi, Brit Box and Pluto TV
Known for its universal physical comedy, Mr. Bean follows Rowan Atkinson’s childlike title character as they cause all kinds of chaos and hilarious misunderstandings through simple everyday situations, like a dentist appointment or even just dining out.
The phenomenal success of the relatively short series lead to Atkinson reprising the role for two movies after the series ended, the simply titled Bean in 1997 and Mr. Bean’s Holiday twenty years after that.
20 Parks And Recreation (2009–2015): 8.6
Available on Peacock Premium
When Parks and Recreation first began airing in April of 2009, many considered it a knock-off of the US version of The Office, which had established itself as the premier workplace comedy with a cast of oddball characters.
However, after a so-so first season, Parks and Recreation really hit its stride in season two, and from there worked its way into the hearts of fans everywhere to become an instant classic thanks to its standout ensemble, including Aziz Ansari, Chris Pratt, and Aubrey Plaza, to name but a few.
19 Trailer Park Boys (2001–2018): 8.6
Before the massive success of Schitt’s Creek, another Canadian sitcom managed to strike a chord with viewers outside its native land. Trailer Park Boys began as a humble yet outrageous mockumentary following the lives of the residents of a rundown trailer park in Nova Scotia.
The show follows the eccentric characters of Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles as they embark on various criminal activities, get-rick-quick schemes, and general nonsense. Certainly, it is the wonderfully absurd characters that have given the series such longevity.
18 Spaced (1999–2001): 8.6
Available on Roku and Tubi
Before Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg moved to the big screen with such movies as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, they teamed on the cult favorite British sitcom Spaced. The show follows a male and female pair of friends who pose as a couple in order to secure an apartment they can afford.
While it sounds like a tired sitcom premise, the show is infused with Wright and Pegg’s distinct sense of humor, pop culture references, and fun visual style.
17 The Honeymooners (1955–1956): 8.6
Few shows have been as influential in the history of sitcoms like The Honeymooners. The show was a truly ground-breaking approach to this type of story and it is still being imitated all these years later.
The series focuses on a pair of blue-collar friends constantly looking for ways to get rich while their wives tiresomely put up with their shenanigans. From the domestic humor of married life to the relatability of an unfulfilling job to the hilarity of the hijacks, it became a sitcom template.
16 Father Ted (1995-1998): 8.7
Available on Roku, Vudu, Tubi, Crackle, Pluto TV, Britbox, Hoopla and Plex
Among the top-rated sitcoms of all time, certain audiences might be exposed to hugely popular shows that they may be unfamiliar with. Father Ted is a great example of this as it was a huge smash in the UK without ever connecting with American audiences.
It follows a well-meaning priest living in the small island community in Ireland. The show offers huge laughs as Father Ted deals with the congregation of colorful characters as well as his two fellow priests who are a handful themselves.
15 The Simpsons (1989– ): 8.7
Available on Disney+ and DIRECTV
The Simpsons is the longest-running American scripted primetime television series and its success has been predicated on a hugely relatable cast of characters that have managed to remain largely unchanged through the course of over thirty seasons.
Many fans say the golden age of The Simpsons has long passed, but countless awards and nostalgic favorites keep The Simpsons high in the rankings of the best sitcoms of all time by any TV fan’s estimations.
14 The Thick Of It (2005–2012): 8.7
There have been a lot of shows that have dealt with the world of politics, but The Thick of It was one of the first to show it as a truly ugly, immoral, and hilariously vulgar business. It focuses on the “spin” team that is constantly doing damage control on political mishaps.
The fast-paced setting of the show gives The Thick of It an intensity that most sitcoms don’t have. It is also endlessly hilarious to watch Peter Capaldi as Malcolm Tucker relentlessly insult and berate those around him with endless anger.
13 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017– ): 8.7
This web series about a 1950s American housewife who sets out to become a standup comedian in New York received much acclaim after its release on Amazon Prime Video.
With fresh dialogue, a charming lead, and a female-centric story, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has a lot going for it. Though it mixes a good amount of drama and even some charming romance, it still delivers the laughs of a sitcom.
12 Arrested Development (2003–2019): 8.7
Arrested Development follows Michael Bluth, who tries to manage the family business after his father gets put in prison for embezzlement and some “light treason”. As it turns out, however, the wealthy Californian family has more than one major issue to deal with.
Though the series’ Fox viewership was low between 2003 and 2006, the first three seasons received critical acclaim for featuring dense humor, a talented cast, and outlandish situations. A fourth season was added to Netflix in 2013 and a fifth season was released in 2018 and 2019.
11 South Park (1997– ): 8.7
Available on HBO Max and DIRECTV
South Park has had an undeniable influence on American culture. Even those who don’t watch the show know catchphrases like, “You killed Kenny!”
Like The Simpsons, South Park had its golden age that fans consider as having already passed, but that doesn’t mean it’s still not just as cool or important to audiences that enjoy this program as it’s always been. After all these years, South Park’s longevity and overall quality is undeniable.