The Frat Pack is a colloquial fan term for a group of American actor/writer/director/all-round-movie-guys who specialize in comedy, originating in the early 2000s.
The name "Frat Pack" originates from one of their early defining works, Old School; not as a phrase dropped in-show but as a reference to their post-teen juvenile brand of comedy, while alluding to names like "Rat Pack" or "Brat Pack" given to other known groups of actors.
The Frat Pack centrally comprises Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson and his brother Luke, and the Judd Apatow Chapter includes Jonah Hill, James Franco, Jason Segel, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen and Steve Carell.
Frat Pack costars include:
- Jason Bateman
- David Koechner
- Reese Witherspoon
- Jennifer Aniston
- Jenna Fischer
- Amy Adams
- Jim Carrey
- Elizabeth Banks
- Justin Long
- Craig Robinson
- Kathryn Hahn
- Jason Schwartzman
- Rob Riggle
- Amy Poehler
- Maya Rudolph
- Rashida Jones
- Will Arnett
Known Frat Pack collaborations include:
- Heat Vision and Jack (unaired pilot for Fox, has since become a cult favorite, stars Black and the voice of Owen Wilson, featuring Christine Taylor, Stiller and Ron Silver, also written and directed by Stiller)
- Meet the Parents (stars Stiller and Robert De Niro, Owen Wilson has a supporting role)
- Followed by Meet the Fockers (adds Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand to the cast) and Little Fockers
- The Royal Tenenbaums (starring Stiller and the Wilsons)
- Zoolander (starring Stiller, Owen Wilson, Ferrell and Christine Taylor)
- Old School (the defining work, stars Luke Wilson, Vaughn and Ferrell)
- DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story (stars Vaughn, Stiller and Christine Taylor with Jason Bateman, Gary Cole, Stephen Root and Justin Long in supporting roles}
- Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (The one where people really started to notice how clique-y this particular batch of stars were, stars Ferrell and Carell, has cameos by all the others save Owen Wilson)
- Starsky & Hutch (stars Stiller and Owen Wilson, baddies played by Vaughn and Jason Bateman, Will Ferrell cameos)
- Wedding Crashers (stars Owen Wilson and Vaughn, with a cameo by Ferrell)
- Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (stars Black and Kyle Gass, has cameos by Stiller, Tim Robbins, Amy Poehler and Amy Adams)
- Night at the Museum (stars Stiller and Owen Wilson, supporting cast includes Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais and Robin Williams)
- The sequel adds Hank Azaria, Bill Hader and Amy Adams to the cast.
- Blades of Glory (stars Ferrell and Jon Heder, produced by Stiller, has Will Arnett and Amy Poehler in supporting roles)
- Tropic Thunder (Crowning Work of Awesome, stars Stiller, Black and Robert Downey Jr, with Steve Coogan and Tom Cruise) Owen Wilson was slated to be in it but dropped out after his suicide attempt
Notable non-collaborations (only one member) that embody the Frat Pack spirit include:
- There's Something About Mary (stars Stiller)
- Idiocracy (stars Luke Wilson)
- Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (stars Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen, has Amy Adams and John C Reilly in supporting roles)
- You, Me and Dupree (stars Owen Wilson and Matt Dillon)
- The 40-Year-Old Virgin (stars Carell, Rudd and Rogen)
- Semi-Pro (stars Ferrell)
- Step Brothers (stars Ferrell and John C Reilly)
- Couples Retreat (stars Vaughn)
- Date Night (stars Carell and Tina Fey)
- The Other Guys (stars Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg)
- The Third Wheel (stars Luke Wilson, Ben Affleck, Denise Richards and David Koechner)
In addition to the above, there's several movies involving none of the core members, but retain their flavor thanks to the work of their collaborators:
- Knocked Up (stars Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl with supporting roles by Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd.)
- Superbad (stars Jonah Hill, Michael Cera and Christopher Mintz Plasse with supporting roles by Seth Rogen and Bill Hader.)
- Hot Rod (stars Andy Samberg, Bill Hader and Danny McBride.)
- Bachelorette (stars Rebel Wilson, Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher)
- I Love You, Man (stars Paul Rudd and Jason Segel along with Rashida Jones)
- Pineapple Express (stars Seth Rogen and James Franco with Danny McBride.)
- Tammy (stars Melissa McCarthy)
- Horrible Bosses (stars Jason Bateman)
- Beware the Nice Ones: A recurring theme.
- Break the Haughty: A recurring Will Ferrell theme.
- The Cameo: Dozens.
- Casting Gag
- Catchphrase: Parodied in Anchorman.
- Cool Old Guy: "You're my boy, Blue!", Patches in Dodgeball.
- Follow the Leader: You know you've made it when Seltzer and Friedberg rip off your ideas.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Will Ferrell with Amy Adams, Vince Vaughn with Isla Fisher and Jon Heder with Jenna Fischer.
- Naked People Are Funny: Will Ferrell running around in tightey-whities is probably a trope unto itself.
- Production Posse The modern Trope Codifier.
- Zoolander in particular features Ben Stiller's wife and father in prominent roles.
- Will Arnett and Amy Poehler play brother and sister in Blades of Glory - their final scene involves sharing a passionate liplock before being sent to jail.
- Refuge in Audacity
- Serious Business: Rock music in Pick of Destiny, anything starring Will Ferrell.
- Shout-Out: dozens OF dozens