CULTURE & ARTS
12/21/2018 10:54 EST | Updated 12/21/2018 12:31 EST

And The Best Romantic Comedy Of All Time Is...

We asked HuffPost readers to vote on the rom-com to beat all other rom-coms, and the results are finally in.

Getty, Warner Bros, Netflix

The best romantic comedies are the ones we’re willing to fight for. Welcome To HuffPost’s Rom-Com Week.

Boy meets girl. Or NY152 meets Shopgirl. Or Hollywood starlet meets charming British bookseller. Or environmental lobbyist meets speechless president. Or disenchanted millionaire meets spunky escort.

There is a bet, a makeover, a misunderstanding, maybe a blowout fight. The prime minister does a funky love dance. Boy plays Peter Gabriel on a boom box outside girl’s window. Woman meets man on the top of the Empire State Building just in the knick of time. There is a speech, a kiss, a happily ever after.

These are the building blocks of a romantic comedy, a cinematic genre that promises true love, happy endings and impossibly witty repartee. HuffPost has been celebrating the subcategory of filmmaking for a few days now, and in the process, we’ve learned something as profound as Nora Ephron’s ability to write Billy Crystal into a certified hunk.

The best rom-com of all time ― according to HuffPost readers, at least ― is ...

... nope, not that Ephron masterpiece.

It’s “When Harry Met Sally...” 

This week marked the anniversaries of two iconic rom-coms, “You’ve Got Mail” and “Working Girl.” To celebrate, we asked for your help in determining the greatest rom-com, selected via a head-to-head contest between 313 English-language films that matched our definition of what a rom-com truly, canonically is: a lighthearted comedy that centers on the budding romance between two central characters.

We asked you, dear readers, to vote in the contest. And vote you did. You expressed your democratic will more than 200,000 times in just three days. (And one particularly dedicated reader expressed their preference a staggering 3,632 times. Whoever you are, we see you and we appreciate you.)

We took the votes, tallied up the totals and used each film’s “win percentage” (the percentage of times a movie won in a head-to-head battle with another title on the list) to determine that “When Harry Met Sally...” is the rom-com to rule them all.

1When Harry Met Sally...90.82%
2Sleepless in Seattle86.98%
3Love Actually86.77%
4The Princess Bride84.83%
5Pretty Woman84.55%
6You've Got Mail84.52%
7Four Weddings and a Funeral84.44%
8Notting Hill84.37%
9Moonstruck82.98%
10Breakfast at Tiffany's81.57%
11The American President80.11%
12The Philadelphia Story79.82%
13Groundhog Day79.8%
14My Big Fat Greek Wedding79.76%
15Bridget Jones's Diary78.45%
16The Graduate78.29%
17Roman Holiday77.89%
18Bull Durham77.74%
19While You Were Sleeping77.35%
20As Good as It Gets77.27%
21Some Like It Hot77.26%
22Singin' in the Rain77.04%
23Shakespeare in Love76.8%
24Working Girl76.33%
25Sabrina76.32%
26Sixteen Candles76.03%
27Jerry Maguire75.79%
28My Best Friend's Wedding75.77%
29Pride & Prejudice75.73%
30Romancing the Stone75.64%
31Say Anything...75.56%
32Chocolat75.38%
33Juno75.24%
34Something's Gotta Give74.09%
35Grease74.08%
36Silver Linings Playbook74.07%
37Sweet Home Alabama74%
38Pretty in Pink73.26%
39Mystic Pizza73.25%
40The Proposal73.15%
41Clueless73.07%
42Dave73.02%
43Under the Tuscan Sun72.71%
44Roxanne72.57%
45It Happened One Night72.53%
46Splash72.26%
47The Apartment71.36%
48Bringing Up Baby70.83%
49The Holiday70.8%
50His Girl Friday69.9%
51There's Something About Mary69.69%
52About a Boy69.26%
53Runaway Bride67.88%
54High Fidelity67.86%
55Amélie67.71%
56Broadcast News67.62%
57Sabrina67.6%
58Two Weeks Notice67.53%
59The Wedding Singer67.02%
60Bend It Like Beckham66.59%
61Heaven Can Wait66.51%
62La La Land66.34%
63Grosse Pointe Blank65.99%
64Crazy Rich Asians65.98%
6510 Things I Hate About You65.78%
66It's Complicated65.63%
67Crazy, Stupid, Love65.32%
68Annie Hall65.23%
6950 First Dates65%
70Funny Girl (re-release)64.96%
71Overboard64.43%
72The Big Sick64.43%
73French Kiss64.36%
74Serendipity64.23%
75The Princess Diaries64.16%
76Arthur64.1%
77The 40 Year Old Virgin63.73%
78How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days63.63%
79Muriel's Wedding63.54%
80One Fine Day63.15%
81Never Been Kissed62.63%
82Emma62.18%
83Forgetting Sarah Marshall62.16%
84Must Love Dogs61.89%
85The Wedding Planner61.71%
86Harold and Maude61.35%
87Ever After61.25%
88Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason60.52%
89Coming to America59.79%
9013 Going on 3059.61%
91The Importance of Being Earnest59.2%
92Bridget Jones's Baby58.95%
93Kate & Leopold58.2%
94Some Kind of Wonderful57.77%
95It Could Happen to You57.44%
96Enchanted57.17%
97Easy A56.77%
98The Truth About Cats & Dogs56.63%
99Music and Lyrics56.6%
100How Stella Got Her Groove Back56.38%
101Chasing Amy55.65%
102Maid in Manhattan55.62%
103Definitely, Maybe55.6%
104(500) Days of Summer55.46%
105Crossing Delancey55.42%
106Hitch55.23%
107Reality Bites54.92%
108Seven Brides for Seven Brothers54.82%
109Doc Hollywood54.54%
110Enough Said54.42%
111Strictly Ballroom54%
112The Wedding Date53.82%
113Sliding Doors53.74%
114Manhattan53.34%
115Garden State53.05%
116Hairspray53%
117Benny & Joon52.99%
118Knocked Up52.35%
11927 Dresses51.88%
120Frankie and Johnny51.6%
121Trainwreck51.21%
122Fever Pitch50.94%
123He's Just Not That Into You50.89%
124Nine Months50.88%
125Fools Rush In50.15%
126Hairspray50.14%
127L.A. Story50.11%
128Green Card50%
129What Women Want49.97%
130She's All That49.66%
131America's Sweethearts49.63%
132Sex and the City49.53%
133A Midsummer Night's Dream49.51%
134Friends with Benefits49.19%
135Leap Year49.16%
136Shall We Dance49.05%
137The Cutting Edge48.73%
138Much Ado About Nothing48.29%
139Bring It On47.42%
140Joe Versus the Volcano47.07%
141Ella Enchanted46.35%
142No Reservations46.02%
143Along Came Polly45.97%
144Cocktail45.33%
145Can't Buy Me Love45.2%
146Mannequin44.73%
147Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist44.64%
148To All the Boys I've Loved Before44.09%
149The Family Man44.03%
150Spanglish43.57%
151The Break-Up43.33%
152Failure to Launch42.84%
153Love, Simon42.57%
154Mighty Aphrodite42.56%
155Cyrano de Bergerac42.32%
156So I Married An Axe Murderer42.25%
157Punch-Drunk Love41.84%
158Home Again41.39%
159Something Wild40.73%
160Intolerable Cruelty40.54%
161Rumor Has It...40.41%
162A Foreign Affair40.41%
163The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement39.44%
164Someone Like You...39.39%
165Wimbledon39.36%
166Because I Said So38.43%
167Yours, Mine and Ours38.4%
168Coyote Ugly38.38%
169An Ideal Husband38.18%
170Kissing Jessica Stein38.03%
171Catch and Release37.55%
172Love and Other Drugs37.4%
173She's Gotta Have It37.29%
174Shallow Hal37.13%
175Picture Perfect37.1%
176Scott Pilgrim vs. the World37.07%
177Blast from the Past36.8%
178Monster-in-Law36.66%
179Valentine's Day36.51%
180Down with Love36.31%
181Elizabethtown36.23%
182Just Like Heaven35.66%
183Hope Springs35.5%
184Don Juan DeMarco35.48%
185Keeping the Faith35.07%
186Fever Pitch34.96%
187The Object of My Affection34.9%
188About Last Night34.73%
189Admission34.63%
190The Prince and Me34.4%
191The Sweetest Thing34.36%
192Valley Girl34.33%
193Can't Hardly Wait34.21%
194The Five-Year Engagement33.92%
195Mickey Blue Eyes32.47%
196Blind Date32.03%
197Zack and Miri Make a Porno31.71%
198Something Borrowed31.7%
199Addicted to Love31.54%
200She's Out of My League31.53%
201The Pick-up Artist31.32%
202Love & Basketball30.78%
203Bride & Prejudice30.63%
204She's the Man30.28%
205The Heartbreak Kid30.14%
206To Rome with Love30.13%
207First Daughter30%
208Austenland29.94%
209Chasing Liberty29.87%
21040 Days and 40 Nights29.63%
211Just Friends29.61%
212The Ugly Truth29.46%
213The Other Sister29.41%
214Confessions of a Shopaholic29.16%
215The Back-up Plan29.13%
216Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!28.93%
217Heartbreakers28.14%
218Juliet, Naked28.06%
219Don Jon27.86%
220A Cinderella Story27.86%
221Forces of Nature27.55%
222Mallrats27.25%
223The Best Man26.86%
224Something New26.73%
225Woman on Top26.52%
226How to Be Single26.25%
227Drive Me Crazy26.24%
228Sing Street26.14%
229John Tucker Must Die25.97%
230Jersey Girl25.38%
231Café Society25.36%
232New in Town25.11%
233Bewitched25.11%
234Penelope25.03%
235Set It Up24.75%
236My Best Friend's Girl24.37%
237A Lot Like Love23.85%
238Obvious Child23.8%
239What If23.73%
240Destination Wedding23.65%
241The Best Man Holiday23.65%
242Even Cowgirls Get the Blues23.54%
243Just Married23.36%
244Grease 222.87%
245Life or Something Like It22.79%
246Just Wright22.68%
247Simply Irresistible22.11%
248Le divorce21.94%
249Poetic Justice21.72%
250Sleeping with Other People21.67%
251Imagine Me & You21.59%
252Ghosts of Girlfriends Past21.54%
253Ruby Sparks21.4%
254Drinking Buddies20.74%
255Brown Sugar20.65%
256Down to You20.5%
257Alex & Emma20.49%
258Think Like a Man20.34%
259The Wood20%
260A Little Bit of Heaven19.41%
261Celeste and Jesse Forever19.32%
262Love Jones19.12%
263The Bachelor19.04%
264It Had to Be You18.88%
265Going the Distance18.41%
266View from the Top18.26%
267Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates18.22%
268I Think I Love My Wife17.98%
269Little Black Book17.95%
270Serving Sara17.86%
271That Awkward Moment17.84%
272Two Night Stand17.73%
273The Kissing Booth17.01%
274Summer Catch16.63%
275Head Over Heels16.59%
276Playing for Keeps16.58%
277Playing It Cool15.63%
278Save the Date14.64%
279Top Five14.59%
280Deliver Us from Eva14.11%
281Love Don't Cost a Thing14.11%
282Two Can Play That Game13.63%
283Nappily Ever After13.51%
284Loser13.25%
285Ali's Wedding13.23%
286Caramel13.06%
287Nobody's Fool12.99%
288Romance & Cigarettes12.74%
289The Romantics12.48%
290Meet the Browns12.4%
291Just My Luck12.3%
292How to Deal12.15%
293Think Like a Man Too11.9%
294Get Over It11.88%
295I Give It a Year11.42%
296Say It Isn't So10.98%
297The Next Big Thing10.83%
298Breakin' All the Rules10.71%
299Swept Away10.65%
300Boys and Girls10.49%
301All Over the Guy10.4%
302Date Movie10.03%
303Catching Feelings9.06%
304The Favor8.79%
305Youth in Revolt8.37%
306Shanghai Calling8.29%
307The Very Thought of You7.88%
308Trust the Man7.58%
309Tumbledown7.3%
310Duck Butter6.76%
311Gigli4.48%
312White Wedding4.03%

What else does our data tell us? The glorious train wreck that is “Gigli” nearly won the least amount of head-to-head battles. “Keeping the Faith” and “The Best Man” are criminally underrated. Classics like “Hitch,” “Reality Bites” and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” managed to wind up on the edge or just shy of the top 100. The top 50 rom-coms include hits like “Grease,” “Pretty in Pink,” and “Clueless.”

The top of the top choices feature classic rom-com players like Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts, Rob Reiner, Nora Ephron and Meg Ryan. In the end, “When Harry Met Sally...” narrowly beat out “Love Actually” and “Sleepless in Seattle” for the title of most beloved rom-com of all time.

HuffPost readers, it seems, can’t resist the slow simmering romance between two quick-talking, cosmopolitan intellectuals whose passion for one another grows finer with age. The first time they met, they hated each other. (Or at least she hated him.) The third time they met, they became friends. And they were friends for a long time, before they weren’t. But don’t worry, they fell in love.

Because that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you make a rom-com. 

We also learned, via a HuffPost/YouGov poll of 1,000 Americans over the age of 18, that rom-coms are just as beloved as you’d think they are. Seventy percent of people surveyed reported that they either like or love rom-coms, and only 4 percent hate them with a burning passion. Surprisingly, it didn’t matter if a person voted for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton; rom-coms are embraced across party lines. 

While this poll deemed “Pretty Woman” the most beloved rom-com, the respondents’ favorite fictional boyfriend was, fittingly, Harry Burns of “When Harry Met Sally...” So, if nothing else makes sense, let our rom-com results be a respite in this crazy world.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted Dec. 18 and Dec. 19 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.