Brainstorm: Five German Comedies to Catch (Including Toni Erdmann)

Türkisch für Anfänger

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In keeping with the preconceived stereotypes and the standard jokes the Germans make about the Turkish, this film cleverly yet comically depicts the co-existence of both cultures in a very trying situation. The film follows the adventures of four teenagers; two Turkish siblings, a Greek with a speech impediment and a very free spirited yet sexually uptight German, after their plane makes an emergency landing over the Mediterranean ocean.

Toni Erdmann


A German comedy that could have been written by the English. With humor as dry as the Sahara desert, this ferociously smart, three hour long story follows the difficult relationship between a Ines and her embarrassing, joke obsessed father. Featuring nude business meetings, a sex scene with petit fours and a set of fake teeth this film follows Winfried and his alter ego Toni Erdmann as he tries to salvage his relationship with Ines in the most embarrassing yet often heart felt and innocent ways.

Wilkommen bei den Hartmans

A heartfelt family drama that tackles the refugee crisis and follows the story of Diallo, a Nigerian asylum seeker who is taken in by a family in a posh district of Munich after mother Angelika visits a local refugee shelter. Combined, the fathers late mid-life crisis, the daughters failed love life and the mothers overzealous and eccentric ideas make for a fun packed, yet honest portrayal of our expectations of the refugee crisis.

Der Schuh des Manitu


One of Germany’s greatest comedies is this 2001 parody of the western film genre that rarely ever touches on the known stereotypes. Based on the Winnetou books by Karl May, this film follows Abahachi and his best friend ranger as they ride through the wild west, leaving in their wake a trail of betrayal, stolen treasure maps and an unsuccessfully restored salon.

Fack Ju Gohte

This successfully hilarious rom-com follows Zeki Müller who is released from prison after serving time for a robbery finds out that one of his friends buried the stolen money at a construction site, where Goethe High School’s gym was erected. Although unqualified, he finds his way into the role of substitute teacher at the school in order to dig under the gym after hours. This light and fast-paced comedy makes for an afternoon of good laughs.

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