Stag Party movies are renowned for being wild and thoroughly entertaining. They are supposed to be the pinnacle of male comedy, stories that probably won’t be remembered the next morning and stories that are definitely best forgotten in some cases. This list of the top five Stag Party movies covers a whole range of bases yet should probably not be considered a set of guidelines in any way, shape or form.

1. The Hangover
When The Hangover was released a few years back, it was said to have revitalised comedy movies in general. Through word-of-mouth, more and more people were flocking to the cinema to watch the hi-jinks of Alan, Phil, Doug and Stu as they traipsed around the streets of Vegas, trying to recall the events of the previous night that led to a tiger being stationed in their penthouse bathroom, a mafia boss being trapped in the boot of their stolen police-car and Stu’s missing tooth. Like the formula set by other films, The Hangover plays around with narrative a bit but generally assumes that everything gets gradually worse, piling on the misery and funnily enough, piling on the laughs. It helps that the cast are exceptionally good at what they do and this has become a contemporary classic and a must-watch for every stag party.

2. American Pie: The Wedding
American Pie: The Wedding is the third film in this popular franchise and displays the protagonist, Jim, all grown up and ready to marry Michelle. The usual gang return, including the recklessly funny Stifler. The stag party scene featuring strippers and Jim’s soon-to-be in-laws shows the franchise attempting to raise the stakes and improve on the laughs. Again, it’s a nightmare situation, with one thing going wrong after another yet it’s a popular addition to the franchise because it contains a lot of heart. At the core of the madness, there’s a strong bond of friendship that pulls apart this sinking ship, reassembling it just in time for the wedding to go on as planned. The hyperbole in this case is Stifler, a character that always goes above and beyond in proving he may just be the greatest Best Man around.

3. Very Bad Things
Very Bad Things should be considered a warning over anything else. It’s a dark comedy film with an A-list cast including Christian Slater, Cameron Diaz and Jeremy Piven. The film’s plot revolves around the killing of a stripper and security guard whilst a group of friends worry about how to pull through the stag party from hell. The film continues to descend into anarchy and worries little about plausibility, highlighting the fact that stag parties can be insane, over-the-top events which are traditionally supposed to be made up of actions that those involved dare not remember. It’s a worst-possible-scenario film that adds a bitter hyperbole to the stag party legend, without remorse, and features a selection of reprehensible characters and situations that aren’t there to make an audience laugh, they’re there to make the audience gasp.

4. Bachelor Party
This well-received 80s comedy was one of the very first films to be graced by the legendary Tom Hanks and features the ultimate stag party. It’s strongly considered to be the precursor of the stag party-in-movies legend and, like the other features on this list, goes for shock value rather than simple, meandering laughs. It features a donkey snorting drugs and then dying in a room full of strippers and prostitutes and is a must-see for any aspiring Best Man. Its cult status has paved the way for other films to rely on nothing but shock tactics and has shown that when it comes to these scenarios, the messier the better. Again it displays the world of the stag party as a hyperbole, a parody of itself in that the more insane the party, the more fun is to be had by all those involved.

5. Swingers
Swingers doesn’t depict a stag party in the general sense that the other movies on this list do but it has become a rite of passage almost for those embarking on a weekend away to have this on at one time or another. Featuring actors Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn, Swingers has developed a reputation of being a cool, slick and suave movie as well as an absolute mess, displaying some of the most embarrassing forms of ‘courting’ you’re likely to see. It showcases the psyche of men who are away from home, looking to have a bit of harmless fun, putting it on element with your regular stag party celebrations. Vince Vaughn’s Trent is the ultimate Best Man in this situation, smooth-talking and slightly devious, his only goal to ensure that his pal is having fun, no matter the consequences.