Before Ghostbusters, There Were These 20 Knee-Slapping Comedies With Female Leads

by Katherine Barner

In case you haven’t heard, Ghostbusters finally came out this past Friday and it did not disappoint! Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, some of our favorite funny girls, kept me giggling from beginning to end. In celebration of this hilarious film, here are some of our favorite comedies with female leads, because women have always been funny.



Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, and a wedding. What could (couldn’t) go wrong?

Mean Girls

mean girls

Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and a young Lindsay Lohan may have created the most quotable film of all time with this gem.


clueless 2

With its ups, downs and as-ifs, this ’90s classic is a must-see for all gal besties.

How To Marry A Millionaire

how to marry a millionaire

Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable, and Marilyn Monroe may be the original A-list lady squad.



Well, fuck me gently with a chainsaw, this film is the perfect combination of weird, funny, and disturbing.



This is every teenager’s favorite indie, with the best series of one-liners and a great soundtrack to pair.

The Heat

the heat

Fact: Everything Melissa McCarthy does is gold.

Obvious Child

obvious child

I knew this film would be amazing when it opened up with Jenny Slate doing stand up and talking about weird things vaginas do. I was right.

Easy A

easy a

This film is iconic if not for the Emma Stone/Amanda Bynes combination, but also for Stone’s “Pocket Full Of Sunshine” scene. That girl can lip sync like no other.

A League Of Their Own

a league of their own 2

Madonna and Gina Davis playing baseball in a film directed by Penny Marshall? Definition of a power team. 

Pitch Perfect

pitch perfect

Another film full of some of comedy’s greatest ladies. Add some solid, lady-driven a cappella and you have a movie we actually want two sequels for. 

Hocus Pocus

hocus pocus

This film is definitely a bit on the corny side (enter Sarah Jessica Parker singing a song to lure children while flying on a broom), but it’s a Halloween classic you know you love.

First Wives Club

first wives club

Bette Midler makes an appearance again, this time with Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton. I won’t condone the act of revenge, but these fine ladies at least do it in the funniest way possible.

In A World

in a world

Lake Bell’s voice will make you swoon, and this film is a fabulous, underrated surprise. It’s relatable; it’s obviously funny; it’s everything that you need.

Bring It On

bring it on 2

It’s OK to admit you love it.

Sister Act

sister act

Whoopi Goldberg is EVERYTHING in this movie!

9 To 5

9 to 5

If you haven’t seen this empowering, laugh-till-you-pee-a-little flick, put it on your list. Right now.

Ghost World

ghost world

For every Daria lover, this film speaks to the witty, sarcastic asshole in us all.

Whip It

whip it

Just look at the cast: Ellen Page, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Wiig, Drew Barrymore, Juliette Lewis…I mean come on, could it get any better?

Witches Of Eastwick

witches of eastwick copy

Isn’t it every woman’s goal to hang out with Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer? If not for the entertainment, for sure for the hair advice.

More from BUST

‘Ghostbusters’ Director Paul Feig On Placing Women Front-And-Center In Film: BUST Interview

The New ‘Ghostbusters’ Is Better Than The Original — YEAH, I SAID IT: BUST Review

Happy 15th Birthday, ‘Legally Blonde’! Here Are 15 Feminist Lessons We Learned

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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