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Amy Poehler’s Best Roles, Ranked — From ‘Mean Girls’ to ‘Parks and Recreation’

Where does your favorite fall on the list?

Amy Poehler has been making us laugh since her Comedy Central debut in the late 90s, and the 52-year-old Massachusetts born and raised comic, who got her start in school plays, has been a shining star in the movies and TV shows she’s starred in over the decades.

While school plays throughout her youth gave her a taste of performing, it was her involvement with improv groups as she got older that allowed her to really master her craft as a comedian.

Throughout the 90s, her work with improv group The Upright Citizens Brigade led her to appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and eventually, the troupe’s debut on Comedy Central in their own 30-minute sketch comedy series, which lasted for three seasons.

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Amy Poehler, 2002
Amy Poehler, 2002Getty

By 2001, Amy Poehler had joined the cast of Saturday Night Live and made her mark on the iconic sketch comedy series, and from that point forward, roles in movies and TV shows continued to come her way.

We’ve loved seeing her bring to life some of our favorite characters over the years, and can’t wait to see what else she has in store. Here, take a look at some of the most iconic Amy Poehler movies and TV shows of her career.

Amy Poehler movies and TV shows

10. The House (2017)

Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell star in The House, the hilarious film about two parents who learn they aren’t able to pay for their daughter’s college tuition when she gets accepted to their alma mater.

When their efforts to earn money fail, they turn to their friend Frank (Jason Mantzoukas), who suggests they start an underground casino in the basement of his home. Before they know it, they’ve brought the thrills of Vegas to their neighborhood, but it’s not long before things start to get out of hand.

Related: The Best Will Ferrell Movies, Ranked: 10 Films That’ll Leave You in Stitches

9. Wine Country (2019)

A group of longtime friends come together in this hilarious film to celebrate their pal Rebecca’s (Rachel Dratch) 50th birthday. Amy Poehler stars as Abby, who has taken charge of planning their Napa excursion and is forcing the crew to adhere to her strict, meticulous schedule as a means of coping with the fact that she recently lost her job.

Meanwhile, the other women on this trip are also dealing with their own personal issues, from health scares to unhappy marriages. Tensions arise on this birthday trip as true feelings come to the surface under pressure.

This hilarious girls trip features Ana Gasteyer, Maya Rudolph, Paula Pell and Emily Spivey.

8. Sisters (2015)

When siblings Maura (Amy Poehler) and Kate (Tina Fey) discover that their parents are selling their childhood home, they’re instructed to clean out their childhood bedroom before it sells. Both at a crossroads in life, with Maura historically irresponsible and Kate recently divorced, they decide to throw one last party in the family home.

Before they know it, the party spirals into something they couldn’t have expected and don’t have the ability to manage.

7. Blades of Glory (2007)

Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) were two rival male skaters who each had their fall from grace after they got into an altercation on the winner’s podium and were stripped of their medals.

Banned from the sport as individuals, they soon learn that they still have the opportunity to compete — but as a pair. This hilarious comedy brings these two characters together as they fight to get back on top — but their biggest competitors, a brother and sister duo played by Will Arnett and Amy Poehler, will do what they can to tear them apart.

6. Moxie (2021)

When 16-year-old Vivian discovers her mother’s past as a young girl who spoke out on feminist issues, she feels inspired to do the same at her school when the blatant sexism starts to get out of control.

In retaliation, she starts Moxie, a small, feminist publication that calls out the prejudice against girls she’s witnessing at her school. Before she knows it, it grows into something bigger.

5. Baby Mama (2008) Amy Poehler movies and TV shows

Single Kate (Tina Fey) is ready for motherhood, and when her other options don’t work out, she decides to pursue a surrogate in the form of a Philadelphia woman, Angie (Amy Poehler). However, it isn’t long before Angie shows up at her door in need of a place to stay.

Angie soon brings her chaos and lack of organization into Kate’s life as she prepares for the arrival of her baby.

4. Saturday Night Live (2001 — 2008)

Each week, celebrity hosts, musical guests and a hilarious cast join forces in comedy sketches and skits that acknowledge pop culture, current events and more. Amy Poehler joined the cast in 2001, bringing to life a number of hilarious characters, while also serving as co-host of the “Weekend Update” segment alongside Tina Fey.

3. Inside Out (2015) Amy Poehler movies and TV shows

When Riley moves to San Fransisco for her dad’s new job, she finds herself struggling with her emotions as she grapples with this change.

Internally, Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) reside in the headquarters of Riley’s mind, but this new transition in her life shakes things up.

2. Mean Girls (2004) Amy Poehler movies and TV shows

When homeschooled Cady starts at a new high school, what she doesn’t expect is to find herself mixed in with a clique of popular girls known as The Plastics. Soon, she has become one of them and is at odds with the group’s leader, Regina George, played by Rachel McAdams.

MUST-READ: ‘Mean Girls’ Trivia: 12 Fun Facts About the Ultimate ’00s Teen Comedy

Amy Poehler plays Regina’s mother, and while not a major character of the film, she delivers in some of the most iconic scenes of the entire movie.

1. Parks and Recreation (2009 — 2015)

In perhaps her most iconic role, Amy Poehler stars in this hilarious documentary style sitcom as Leslie Knope, a leader in the Parks and Recreation department of her small town of Pawnee, Indiana.

The hilarious premise along with a star studded cast made this show an instant classic and gave Amy Poehler the opportunity to shine.


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