Throughout movie history, some of the most well-known comedies have brought laughs when crossing the line. These films relied on gags not suitable for all audiences – cartoonish violence, drug use and bombastic swearing, to name a few. Some may even count among funniest american movies of all time.
While hilarious, these adult situations earned the films an R (restricted) rating from the M.Option Photo Association of america, which uses letter grades to determine how appropriate a film would be for children.
To determine the highest-grossing R-rated comedies, 24/7 Tempo looked at inflation-adjusted box office revenue data for comedies rated “R” by the Motion Picture Association of Numbers, an online movie database owned by Nash Information Services. User ratings come from IMDb, an online movie and TV series database owned by Amazon. Audience and tomatometer scores come from rotten tomatoes, an online movie and series review aggregator. Cast and production year information is sourced from IMDb.
While the comedies on our list aren’t family-friendly, they still sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of tickets after adjusting to 2022 dollars. (These are the best R-rated movies ever made.)
Click here to see the highest-grossing R-rated comedies of all time
That said, R-rated comedies seem to be falling into disuse. Of the 10 highest-grossing films on this list, nine were released before 1990. This may be partly due to the MPAA’s PG-13rating, which was established in 1984. The rating, suggesting parental supervision for those under 13, keeps movies at least a little edgy while allowing teens to buy tickets for themselves. (Movies rated R require adult supervision for those under 17.)