10 Great TV Shows That Also Got A Movie

This trend of movies derived from TV shows seems to be all the craze right now, with the release of The Bob’s Burgers Movie as well as Beavis and Butt-Head: Do the Universe, which is now streaming on Paramount+. This only means that fans of any TV show can leave the comfort of their homes to go to a movie theater and watch their favorite program on the big screen with a more nuanced and creative narrative.

Though a movie may not be more than two hours at best, they still capture the same antics and atmosphere from TV shows and even try to elevate the concept with something more refreshing to the character’s storyline. from SpongeBob SquarePants to Downton Abbeythere is no shortage of TV shows that took a detour with a movie.


The Simpsons (1989-)

Stream On Hulu

The Simpsons family smiling while looking at the camera

The still on going The Simpsons chronicles Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa Simpson and their adventures in the colorful town of Springfield. Debuting in 1989 on The Tracy Ulman Show, The Simpsons has 33 seasons, with season 34 premiering in September.

RELATED: The Simpsons: 10 Quotes That Prove Homer Gives The Best Fatherly Advice

While audiences love the Simpson family, the side characters are just as entertaining and beloved due to their comedic gimmicks and work to play off their relationship with the main characters. The clever and funny satirical writing explains why the series is still running after so many seasons. These elements led to The Simpsons Movie, which worked nicely into the realm of the show. It raised the stakes, introduced new characters like “spider-pig,” and delved deeper into Marge and Homer’s relationship, explaining why they have remained together for so many years.

The X Files (1993 – 2018)

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In The X Files, two FBI agents investigate the paranormal. The iconic opening music sets the show’s ominous tone, and running for 11 seasons, The X Files works so well because Fox Mulder (David Duchovney) is a believer in the paranormal, while his partner Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) is a skeptic.

Though this wildly popular sci-fi series has been considered one of the best in history, two movie installations failed to capture the show’s mysterious and thought-provoking storytelling. the first movie, The X Files: Fight the Future, felt like an extended episode of the show. It just appealed to existing fans, as it didn’t add anything new to the series. the sequel, The X Files: I Want to Believe, went in the opposite direction and seemed like a disconnect from the show. While Mulder and Scully’s chemistry was strong, the movie suffered from a confusing plot and thriller cliches.

Dragon Ball Z (1989-2003)

Stream on Prime Video

Goku Z warriors dragon ball z

Dragon Ball Z put a bigger emphasis on the battles, making them larger in scale. There were bigger locations which meant more opportunities for the characters to show off their abilities.

There are many great villains in the dragon ball series, but Frieza stands out because of how calm yet ruthless he is. Despite being a fan favorite, he was overused and needed a change. Resurrection ‘F’ made Frieza feel new while keeping the nostalgia and many characters get their chance to shine, including Vegeta. The best elements of the series are shown in the movie, highlighted by an epic battle between Goku and Frieza.

South Park (1997– )

Stream on HBO Max

South Park

Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman are 4th graders who have wacky, raunchy adventures in the mountain town of South Park, Colorado. South Park recently celebrated its 25th season.

RELATED: The South Park Creators’ 12 Favorite Episodes, Ranked By Their IMDb Score

The show’s appeal isn’t just the crazy adventures the boys partake in, but more so the social commentary, such as tackling the COVID pandemic. This social commentary is the show’s strength, and is certainly shown in the movie South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut. It makes a statement on censorship and uses jokes, parody, and exaggeration to make it’s point. The irony is that the show’s creators aren’t afraid who they offend.

Beavis And Butt Head (1993-2022)

Stream on Paramount+

Butthead Beavis

Beavis and Butt-Head began on MTV and featured two apathetic heavy metal fans that think everything is “cool” or “sucks.” Interestingly enough, the videos they would make fun of would be on MTV.

Beavis and Butt-Head: Do America was released in 1996. It contained a key component of the show, as the plot revolves around the two of them hoping to “score,” which allowed then-viewers to relate to the movie’s content. Because of this, a new movie, Beavis and Butt-Head: Do the Universe, was recently released on Paramount+ as well as a brand new season, premiering in August. The movie sequel itself received praises for re-capturing the duo’s humor, which all the more proves why a revival is coming. It would be ten years since the first revival in 2011, which makes it one of the few TV shows to have huge gap in between seasons.

Bob’s Burgers (2011-)

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H. Jon Benjamin stars as Bob Belcher, who owns a burger restaurant with his family and competes with a rival restaurant owned by Jimmy Pesto. Expanding on this story was a movie, The Bob’s Burger Movie, which was recently released in theaters.

The film focuses on the Belchers trying to save their restaurant from a sinkhole. While it did feel like an extended episode, the film did have heart, clever jokes, and callbacks to the show. The strength of Bob’s Burgers lies in the family dynamic, and obviously that is clearly present within the movie. Though the fans enjoyed this extended storytelling, it is one of the few 2022 movies that flopped at the box office.

SpongeBob SquarePants (1999-)

Stream on Paramount+

SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, and Mr.  Krabs in SpongeBob SquarePants

SpongeBob is a sponge who works at a fast food restaurant and lives in a pineapple under the sea. Of course, SpongeBob SquarePants has been the most popular series on Nickelodeon, running for 14 seasons thus far.

RELATED: The 10 Greatest SpongeBob Episodes, According to Ranker

Marketed as a kids show, many of it’s jokes appeal to adults. Squidward is one of the most popular side characters in the show due to his relatability and grumpy attitude. So it would only make sense to feature him in the movies. However, The SpongeBob SquarePants The Movie (2004) failed to do this, despite giving SpongeBob a traditional hero’s journey coupled with new characters like King Neptune and his daughter Mindy.

Pokemon (1997-)

Stream on Netflix

Ash Ketchum and Pikachu in the Pokémon Anime Series

Ash Ketchum is a Pokémon (pocket monster) trainer wanting to be the best. Along with his friends, and beloved Pokémon named Pikachu, he searches for more wild Pokemon. Still going strong today, pokemon has over 1200 episodes over the span of 23 seasons.

It’s a cultural phenomena, spawning pokemon multiple remakes and video games – dating all the way back to Nintendo Gameboy. However, Pokemon: The First Movie – MewTwo Strikes Back was the springboard that made everything possible. Not only did it introduce exciting new Pokémon (a draw for kids), it dealt with important themes such as genetic engineering and existentialism (a draw for adults).

Downton Abbey (2010-2015)

Stream on Peacock

Downton Abbey: A New Era poster

Downton Abbey portrays the lives of British aristocrats, the Crowley family, and their servants in the early 1900s. The show has 52 episodes between 6 seasons.

Despite its initial conclusion in 2015, the show’s popularity sparked a movie of the same name in 2019. Though it had a simple premise – the King and Queen are coming to dinner – it worked as it allowed the characters to be themselves. This led to a follow up Downton Abbey: A New Era. It continued the success of its predecessor in giving the fans what they wanted: classic dry British humor and quick wit, with elaborate costumes and settings.

Futurama (1993-2023)

Stream on Hulu

3 Main Characters In Space Suits on Futurama

In futurama, a pizza delivery boy from New York City is cryogenically frozen by accident and wakes up 1000 years into the future. After 10 seasons, a revival of the show is expected in 2023.

because futurama is from the creators of The Simpsons, the comedy and writing are similar. The most entertaining character by far is Bender, an in-your-face robot who drinks, smokes, gambles, and commits crimes. His popularity spawned a couple movies, namely Bender’s Game. From the humor to the emotion, it really felt like a part of the show. More importantly, it strengthened Leia and Fry’s romance, which was a huge part of the later seasons.

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