Fall Movies and Snacks That Complement Them

Discover the best fall movies, from feel-good films to funny Halloween movies, paired with comfort food and snacks to get you ready for autumn

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Fall is a fun and beautiful season. It’s a cozy time of year, when we break out the sweatshirts and jackets and spend time outdoors, or inside reading on a cold, rainy day.

For those who live where tree leaves turn red, orange, yellow and brown before they shed for the winter, the color change is spectacular. In a typical year, football season gets underway. Students and teachers head back to school. Halloween gives us an excuse to eat abundant snacks and candy, dress up and watch scary movies. 

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our fall activities and how we do them, watching great fall movies while enjoying delicious fall drinks and snacks can continue as usual, or even stepped up a notch or two.

Whatever your fall traditions, it’s a great time to watch some of the best movies of the season and enjoy classic fall snacks. There’s something for everyone, whether you love a romantic comedy, sports, drama or a spooky Halloween thriller. Maybe your favorite fall snacks are comfort foods like mashed potatoes or tasty fall drinks like a pumpkin spice latte to get you in the autumnal mood. 

Give these movie and food combos a try if you want to add some new snacks to the menu.

Dead Poets Society (1989)

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Movie poster for Dead Poets Society

IMDb page

Students at a boarding school dealing with their own personal issues meet the new English teacher (played by Robin Williams), who introduces them to the Romantic poets—the Dead Poets Society. The students’ lives are changed by finding new and powerful ways to express what they’re feeling. Set during the back-to-school fall time on a prep school campus, this classic film brings all the feels.

Pair with: Slow-Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Photo of slow cooker mashed potatoes in a bowl
Source: A Dash of Cinema

John Keating eats mashed potatoes in the film and they’re a perfect comfort food pairing. Here’s a great slow cooker mashed potatoes recipe.

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When Harry Met Sally (1989)

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Movie poster for When Harry Met Sally

This classic rom-com starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal takes place in the fall in New York. So, of course, the fall foliage is on full, glorious display. Food plays a particularly strong role in this film. There’s the unforgettable scene of Sally ordering her food at the restaurant in a very particular way. And the line, “I’ll have what she’s having” comes from one of the most iconic scenes in cinematic history.

IMDb page

Pair with: Old Fashioned Pecan Pie

A pecan pie with a slice removed
Source: epicurious

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Stepmom (1998)

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Movie poster for Stepmom

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A mom (Susan Sarandon) finds out that she is terminally ill and must watch her ex-husband’s girlfriend (Julia Roberts) take her place in her family’s lives. It’s incredible how circumstances play such a strong role in shaping and changing our perspective. A heartbreaking movie, but that emotional effect is what makes it great. And, of course, it’s set in autumn. Just keep some tissues handy.

Pair with: Nutella Stuffed French Toast Cups

Nutella-Stuffed French Toast Cups
Source: Gather for Bread

This calls for some top-notch comfort food. Warm French toast with gooey Nutella in the middle? That’ll do. Here’s the Nutella Stuffed French Toast Cups recipe from Away from the Box.

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Scent of a Woman (1993)

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Scent of a Woman movie poster

IMDb page

It’s not an uncommon plotline, but it’s the execution that makes this fall film a classic. Set in autumn in New York City, the movie tells the story of a prep school student (Chris O’Donnell) trying to earn money to get home for Christmas. So he decides to look after a cantankerous blind man named Frank (Al Pacino) over Thanksgiving break. Things do not go as expected or all that well. Of course. Commence the rocky first impressions and learning of life lessons that can’t be found in the books at even the best of prep schools.

Pair with: Apple Pie (two kinds!)

In honor of the apple pie that was on the table at Thanksgiving dinner, we have for you two forms: solid and liquid. First, fall’s tasty baked dish wrapped in a pastry casing. Then, the adult beverage version.

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And now, we present Apple Pie Moonshine A la Mode.

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Dan in Real Life (2007)

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Movie poster for Dan In Real Life

IMDb page

Dan Burns (Steve Carell) is a widower and devoted father. He meets and falls in love with a woman, but he finds out that she’s dating his brother. Envy, awkwardness and strange behavior ensue—the kind that made Steve Carell so painfully good in The Office

Pair with: Pancakes

Well, they’re on the movie poster. And breakfast is great any time of day. Just don’t rest your head on them! Here’s the Good Old Fashioned Pancakes recipe from allrecipes.

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NOTE: Try mixing one half-cup of granulated sugar with 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon to sprinkle over your flapjacks for an extra yummy stack.

October Sky (1999)

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Movie poster for October Sky

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Based on the true story of Homer Hickam, who dreamed of being a rocket scientist despite pressure from his small town life in Coalwood to work in the coal mine.

Pair with: Mountain Mama Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

This mac and cheese recipe is out of the actual cookbook titled Cooking the Coalwood Way. Yes, the Coalwood where Homer Hickam grew up.

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Friday Night Lights (2004)

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Movie poster for Friday Night Lights

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Fall means football season, of course. And in places like Texas, where Friday Night Lights is set, even high school football is a way of life. FNL shows the fast-paced, high-pressure world of being the best and the need to win.

Pair with: Pull-Apart Garlic Bread Pizza Dip

Pull-Apart Garlic Bread Pizza Dip in a pan
Source: delish

Football movie + comfort food = perfect fall movie night. Here’s a warm and delicious Garlic Bread Pizza Dip recipe.

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Remember the Titans (2000)

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Movie poster for Remember the Titans

IMDb page

Based on the true story of the 1971 football team from a newly integrated Virginia high school. The Black coach appointed to lead the team to victory must unite the team if they’re going to win. Timey, inspiring and a great football movie.

Pair with: Peanut Butter Milkshake

2 peanut butter milkshakes
Source: Taste of Home

Diner food meets comfort food. Get the recipe.

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Rudy (1993)

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Movie poster for Rudy

IMDb page

A timeless tale of an underdog with big dreams who never gave up. Rudy dreamed of playing football for Notre Dame, but his relatively small stature left him on the sidelines until his spirit overcame any lack in athletic ability.

Pair with: Bacon Cheeseburger

A bacon cheeseburger on a plate with a dill pickle spear and potato chips from Joe’s Tavern
Source: South Bend Tribune, Photographer: Michael Caterina

Make your own bacon cheeseburger like the one at Joe’s Tavern, where the scene of a fight between Rudy and his brother was filmed. Here’s a bacon cheeseburger recipe from Food Network for a little guidance.

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Good Will Hunting (1997)

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Movie poster for Good Will Hunting

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A janitor at MIT (Matt Damon) is a mathematical genius who solves an impossible math problem left on the chalkboard as he’s cleaning between classes. He is discovered and he meets a therapist (Robin Williams) who tries to crack the impossible puzzle keeping Damon from reaching his full potential. Set in the breathtaking fall of New England.

Pair with: Chicago-Style Hot Dogs

Chicago-style hot dogs loaded with all the fixins are perfect snacks for watching what Will Hunting makes of himself in the end. Here’s the full recipe from Martha Stewart herself.

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Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

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Movie poster for Fantastic Mr. Fox

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Wes Anderson’s classic rendition of Roald Dahl’s classic book brings an immersive autumnal experience with all of the orange and brown tones that are part of the fall season. Mr. Fox has to hang up the old bad-boy ways and take on his new family responsibilities. But he’s tempted for just one last henhouse raid. And, of course, consequences follow.

Pair with: Doughnuts with custard filling

Caramelized apple doughnuts on a plate
Source: The Little Library Café

Rather than the goose liver-filled doughnuts in the original book by Dahl, the chef here decided to go with an apple filling in this doughnut recipe. Thankfully.

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It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

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Movie Poster for It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

IMDb page

Linus awaits his visit from the Great Pumpkin. Meanwhile, the rest of the Peanuts gang have fun celebrating Halloween with the traditional costumes, candy and games.

Pair with: The Great Pumpkin Pie

A delicious looking pumpkin pie on a marble surface, topped with berries
Source: Sally’s Baking Addiction

Uh, yeah, we went there. We know where the Great Pumpkin went, Charlie Brown! 

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A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)

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Movie poster for A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

IMDb page

Charlie Brown brings his inquisitive nature to Thanksgiving, learning lessons from Snoopy and friends along the way. Another fall classic from the Peanuts gang.

Pair with: Reese’s Pieces

Reese's Pieces candy

Reese’s Pieces: delicious peanut butter cased in a candy coating and quintessential autumn colors.

Halloweentown (1998)

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Movie poster for Disney Channel original movie Halloweentown

IMDb page

Grandma turns out to be a witch and the grandkids follow her back to Halloweentown for all kinds of fun adventures with all sorts of interesting characters.

Pair with: Chocolate chip cookies

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

You can flat out make your own. Just order the chocolate chip cookie dough and have it delivered!

Hocus Pocus (1993)

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Movie poster for Disney film Hocus Pocus

IMDb page

In this funny, quirky Disney movie, three sister witches return to Salem, Massachusetts, 300 years after being put to death. They want more than tricks and treats.

Pair with: Bugles

A bag of nacho cheese Bugles

Of course they taste great and they’re the proper autumn hue, but it’s impossible for kids not to put them on their fingertips as witch fingernails.

The Craft (1996)

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Movie poster for The Craft

IMDb page

High school drama with four teen outcast girls who find a way to turn the tables on their classmates.

Pair with: Traditional Red Sangria

Source: Minimalist Baker

This sangria recipe is for the 21-years-and-up crowd. And here’s a non-alcoholic sangria for the younger ones and those who prefer an alcohol-free version.

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Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

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Movie poster for The Nightmare Before Christmas

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The creepy-cute style and themes of light and dark make this a signature Tim Burton film. The Nightmare Before Christmas is both a Halloween movie and a Christmas movie, making it a perfect movie from fall through the New Year.

Pair with: Black Bean Boo-dle Soup

Black bean boo-dle soup in two bowls
Source: Live Eat Learn

It’s scary good and good for you! Don’t worry, there’s no frog’s breath in this recipe!

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

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Movie poster for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

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Young Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) discovers that he is a wizard and begins his journey to fulfilling his destiny at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, making friends and enemies along the way. 

Pair with: Butterbeer

Source: Spoon University

Butterbeer is the perfect drink to pair with the movie in which it was born! 

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Sleepy Hollow (1999)

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Movie poster for Sleepy Hollow

IMDb page

Set in a dreary New England autumn, this classic tale tells of Ichabod Crane, who is brought to Sleepy Hollow to solve a string of grisly murders. Ichabod (Johnny Depp) brings his rationalist scientific method from the big city to the country, where superstition and mysticism still have power. Crane soon encounters the Headless Horseman, or The Hessian, who challenges the limits of accepted science and reason. Tim Burton creates the perfectly haunting New England atmosphere to bring this tale to life.

Pair with: Apple pie from Washington Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Apple pie from Washington Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow, InLiterature.net
Source: In Literature

As close as possible to the authentic apple pie recipe that Ichabod Crane would have enjoyed in Sleepy Hollow. Try not to lose your head over how delicious it is!

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Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

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Movie poster for Bram Stoker’s Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola

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Francis Ford Coppola reinvents Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” in this tour de force telling of Count Dracula’s dealings with real estate broker Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) and his relentless pursuit of Mina Harker (Winona Ryder), who bears an uncanny resemblance to Dracula’s long-dead bride. As much as it’s a horror film, it’s a love story, too. 

Pair with: Malbec and red meat

But of course! What would Dracula drink but a dark and intense red wine like malbec? If you’re in the mood to feed, then a grilled sirloin or earthy portobello mushrooms complement the rich, dark and fruity flavor profile of this blood-red wine. The perfect pairing with this classic movie.

Halloween (1979)

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Movie poster for Halloween by John Carpenter

IMDb page

It’s Halloween night and psychiatric hospital escapee Michael Myers has returned to his hometown to finish killing the rest of his family. And anyone else who happens to be within reach of his butcher knife. And who knew that a William Shatner mask could be so terrifying?

Pair with: The best Halloween candy of all time

Just load it up. Go King Size, if possible. Order the greatest trick-or-treat haul of all time and have it delivered to you wherever you are. Greatest. Halloween. Ever.

Don’t forget the popcorn!

Movies and popcorn always go together. Even if you’re enjoying snacks perfectly paired with your film of choice, keeping great popcorn around is a movie tradition. Check out these varieties of popcorn to complete your fall film extravaganza:

Act II Butter Lovers Popcorn

Act 2 Butter Lovers Popcorn, 2.75 ounce

Boom Chicka Pop 

Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt Popcorn, 4.8 ounce
Boom Chicka Pop Sweet and Salty Kettle Corn, 2.25 ounce

Cheetos Cheese Popcorn

Cheetos Cheese Popcorn, 7 ounce

Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Popcorn

Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Popcorn, 6.5 ounce

Smartfood White Cheddar Popcorn

Smartfood White Cheddar Popcorn, 6.75 ounce
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