How to Netflix and Chill: Mastering the Invite, Finding the Best Shows, and More

“Netflix and chill” is the streaming generation’s version of a booty call. Defined as “to watch Netflix with a romantic prospect, with the eventual expectation of sexual activity,” this millennial hook-up ploy may be deeply logical and ultimately help you suss out the long-term compatibility of a mate.

Iconic ’60s film director Jean-Luc Godard is famously quoted, “I always feel that a man and a woman who do not like the same films, will eventually divorce.” Applying his sage principle, Netflix and chill becomes a logical means of getting to know someone while testing whether they’re worth watching a season of 13 Reasons Why. (Hint: Nobody is worth that.)

Our guide on how to Netflix and Chill will help you send the right invite, pick the best show, and nosh the best snacks in the hopes of watching great TV and — maybe — getting a little love.

netflix and chill couple watching tv
Marco_Piunti/Getty Images

How to Phrase the Invite

Noting that there are copious differences in each budding courtship, it’s safe to say inviting a crush over to “watch Netflix” is an opaque way of expressing you’re interested in getting physical. If that’s your style, skip right to our suggestions for the best shows below and call this article done. If you’re interested in hanging out with your crush in a more intimate setting — getting to know them with their guard down, having the privacy and space to talk and relax — Netflix and chill doesn’t have to be about hooking up. Just don’t use the phrase “Netflix and chill.” Be specific and intentional, asking if they’d like to watch a particular show you’ve already talked about. It’s likely you chatted about favorite shows and recommendations already.

Example: “I still can’t believe you’ve never seen The Office. Let’s have a marathon at my place. Sweatpants required. I’ll make the popcorn, you bring the drinks.”

What to Wear

A clean— clean — pair of sweatpants or shorts, a comfortable shirt, a hoodie, and socks. Don’t open the door in a sleeveless tank and/or all done up in slacks and leather loafers. You want to be comfortable, but not too much. Brush your teeth, wash your face, and Chapstick-up.

Example: Saxx Sleepwalker Pants ($65), Champion Reverse Weave Hoodie Sweatshirt ($69), National Parks Hotline Tee ($38).

Food and Drink

It’s never OK to make assumptions until you’re getting hot and heavy, but if a crush accepts your invitation with flirtatious enthusiasm, plan on serving popcorn and fresh fruit instead of stuffed-crust pizza and cruciferous vegetables (the kind that make you bloated). Remember, this date isn’t about food. It’s about emotionally and physically bonding over a story and characters. As for drinks? Use this opportunity to show off your bartending skills with a craft cocktail that can be enjoyed slowly. Remember to serve a big glass of water alongside to avoid them feeling awkward asking mid-show. You remember manners, right?

Example: Angie’s Boomchickapop Sea Salt Popcorn ($11), Assorted TCHO Chocolates ($25), a bowl of cut fresh fruit.

The Best Netflix and Chill Shows

Some might hate this, but we do not suggest watching anything Marvel, DC, or superhero-related. Similarly, don’t agree to watch a show too out of your realm of interest (i.e. Gilmore Girls or Grace and Frankie). Find a middle ground. Here are the best Netflix and Chill shows and the reasons why we think they’ll help you form a bond, both mental and physical.

netflix screen

Stranger Things

You’re both a little retro, dig Star Wars, and celebrate National Pi Day. Nerd out together with the uber-popular Stranger Things, even if you’ve both seen it already. Season three comes out on the Fourth of July, so call it research. Stranger Things is also a great show to bring up childhood memories and talk about where you both grew up. That intimacy may lead to your own upside-down.

Narcos and Narcos: Mexico

That sexy guitar intro, the drugs, the violence — Narcos is a titillating show perfect for dim lights and tequila on the rocks. It’s also a quick shot to finding out your crush’s personal creed on drugs, politics, and values. The script is amazing and the slow pace makes for a long, savored night with plenty of moments to go in for the kiss.

Formula 1: Drive to Survive

If you’re both into sports, press play on this Formula 1 documentary series that is both refined and hot (listen to those engines purr!). Sometimes it’s better to watch a show you don’t need to pay 100-percent attention to, but still pick back up and understand without rewinding. As the episodes bounce from track to track, ask about travel ambitions — it may lead to a couple’s adventure in Monaco.

Mad Men

Because it’s more on the serious side, Mad Men is perfect for people who are into film, art, and vintage skinny ties. With seven seasons and 92 long episodes, consider Mad Men only if you’re a marathoner, not a sprinter … in every sense of the word. Enjoy debating and discussing the symbolism and historical placement of each episode. Don Draper’s cool might rub off on you, which doesn’t hurt either.

Slobby’s World

Keep things light with Slobby Robby’s quick and fun show Slobby’s World. This reality series follows the wildly knowledgeable owner of an ’80s and ’90s vintage store. At only 22 minutes an episode, this show is an instant mood-booster and a treasure chest of talking points. It’s also a great springboard to talk about personal style, inspiration, and all your throwback clothes. Plan your own clothing swap for later.

Mindhunter

Go on a cerebral journey together with the American crime drama about the FBI’s real-life serial killer unit in the 1970s, Mind Hunter. OMG, you’re both true crime fanatics? Guess there will be a lot of Netflix and Chill in your future, you creepy nasties.

The Office

Laughter is an aphrodisiac. Even if you have trouble bonding over every show on Netflix, The Office is your neutral Switzerland. It’s easy to get lost in this show, meaning you’ll log quality face time together. The show also reminds you to take your shot and go for it, according to Wayne Gretzky, and according to Michael Scott. What it now, because the show is officially leaving Netflix in 2021.

You

You might be wondering how a former Lifetime show about a handsome albeit murdering stalker would be great for Netflix and Chill. Well, it’s funny, full of sex appeal, and might make you more cautious about each other — in a good way. Moving slowly isn’t bad and being intentional about the people you let into your life is smart. Penn Badgley’s character could also make you look like a more sane, attractive option than their ex. You is, lastly, a show out of left field that you’ve both probably never watched. However, it’s good and will send you throwing popcorn at the screen in awe. Yes, Netflix, we’re still watching.

A Note on the ‘Chill’ Part of Netflix and Chill

If it happens, it happens. You won’t be bloated with pizza or sloshed from shots. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. You learned something new, watched superb cinematography, laughed, relaxed, and chilled. Watching TV together is good for your relationship, but it’s also OK to admit you’re wrong for each other based on incompatible humor, interests, or a penchant to talk during the best parts.

Here’s the gentlemanly way to break things off. Done correctly, you might get to keep their Netflix login.

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