5 Raiders of the Lost Ark
Regardless of whether you share his famous hatred of snakes, there’s a small part of you that kind of wants to be Indiana Jones. What better way to spend a lazy afternoon than living vicariously through this wise-cracking—and whip-crackin— archaeology professor who moonlights as an adventurer and action hero? There’s a certain guilty pleasure in Indy’s imminently quotable lines and thrilling moments—and if you’ve still got popcorn left at the end, there’s plenty of other Indiana Jones adventures to enjoy.
4 Dirty Harry
Speaking of quotable movies, you can’t go wrong with “Dirty Harry.” You can’t go wrong with an action-packed tough guy movie, and Clint Eastwood is the quintessential tough guy. You may question Harry Callahan’s methods, but you can’t question that he gets the job done. And despite its 1971 vintage, this film still holds up. Can you get away with not watching this movie? “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?”
The best couch potato movies feature a lazy slob winning out over more sophisticated people—also known as pretty much any Rodney Dangerfield movie. But “Caddyshack” is the only movie that has both Rodney Dangerfield and a dancing gopher. Like any Dangerfield flick, this 1980 comedy is just brimming with quotable one-liners—and most of them don’t come out of Dangerfield’s mouth. His role was originally meant to be a cameo appearance, but he improvised his way into a much larger role. And he claimed he got no respect.
2 Animal House
Any National Lampoon movie is a great couch potato movie, but 1978’s “Animal House” is probably the most culturally impactful. The movie practically invented toga parties, which became all the rage among real fraternities after the film came out. And this was Kevin Bacon’s film debut, so while you’re watching you can take notes for the next time you play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Or not. There’ve been plenty of imitators since, but there’s only one “Animal House.” Come for the toga party, stay for Bluto’s impersonation of a zit.
Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! Seriously, if you’re looking to spend a little quality time with your couch, this movie has anything and everything you could possibly want in a movie: unemployed professors, comedy, ghosts, romance, adventure and Rick Moranis. Everybody loved this 1984 flick so much the studio churned out sequel after sequel, but as with most things, the original is by far the best. The fact that Bill Murray hooks up with Sigourney Weaver is like a marshmallow-cream filled bonus.