The best way to learn Spanish is through immersion, and one fun way to facilitate at-home immersion is watching Spanish sitcoms.
I’ve put this list together to share some helpful Spanish sitcoms that will help you train your ear to Spanish expressions, and acquire a wider range of vocabulary that you might not typically get in your Spanish courses or apps.
Keep reading for the best sitcoms for learning Spanish.
The best Spanish sitcoms to help you learn the language
This first Spanish sitcom is an incredibly popular program that was created as a language education series by Channel 4 (UK).
extr@ is based on the style of the world-famous sitcom Friends and tells the story of Sam Scott, who comes to Spain to live with Lola.
What makes this Spanish sitcom so useful for learning the Spanish language is that it will keep your attention while giving you plenty of moments where the main characters correct each other’s grammar.
The finer points of the Spanish language are explored — from the very moment in which Lola receives Sam’s letter, to the close up of the sign that reads ‘No se permiten visitants de noche’ and ‘no se permiten fiestas’ (providing the perfect opportunity to learn about the negative imperative and the impersonal se).
What you will notice is that the language is spoken extremely slowly, which makes it ideal for upper beginners and lower-intermediate level learners.
You’ll be able to understand each sentence from the context as well.
For these reasons, as well as the fact that it comes with Spanish and English subtitles, we highly recommend this Spanish sitcom.
El Chavo del Ocho
El Chavo del Ocho is a popular Mexican sitcom that is ideal for students who are studying at an intermediate level.
It aired between 1971 and 1980, received more than 91 million daily viewers and is the leading sitcom for kids and adults.
The sitcom focuses on the life of el chavo and his interactions with the other kids in the poor neighbourhood in which he grows up.
Given that El Chavo del Ocho focuses on the themes of homelessness and the range of problems faced by children who live in the vecindad (or the neighbourhood of the lower-class), you’ll hear a range of Mexican Spanish vocabulary that focuses on the themes of poverty and hunger.
El Chavo del Ocho’s main character lives in the home of a kind woman (in number eight) — hence the name of the sitcom, which translates to ‘the kid of number eight’. If you’re an upper-intermediate student studying for an exam, some of the temas or themes discussed in this sitcom would be suited to certain exam topics as class differences and poverty.
It’s ideal for enhancing your listening skills and preparing for such themes.
The Spanish sitcom 7 Vidas centres on the lives of David, Sole, Paco, Carlota and Laurita, as David focuses on getting used to the world after awakening from a coma.
It aired in Spain between 1999 and 2006 and is known as the pioneering Spanish sitcom.
It is a great choice for upper-intermediate and advanced level Spanish students looking to immerse themselves in the Spanish language because the dialogues between the main characters are full-paced and are similar to real-life conversations.
With plenty of idiomatic expressions — such as I miss you in Spanish, metaphorical jokes and even the use of the notorious subjunctive tense (which is used frequently throughout the series), there is plenty to test yourself on if you’re studying at an advanced level.
If you are studying a Spanish course at studying at beginner-level you will probably struggle to understand the jokes and complex dialogue in this Spanish sitcom.
But a lower intermediate student will be able to grasp the general meaning of the conversations and begin to immerse themselves in the language by switching on the Spanish subtitles on YouTube.
La Que Se Avecina
This Spanish sitcom focuses on a group of characters from different social groups who all live in a deluxe apartment building.
The group of characters are all stereotypes of their corresponding social groups and the sitcom is the ideal way to enhance your knowledge of Spanish politics through the dialogues they share.
La Que Se Avecina also features various temas or themes such as bigotry and adultery, so if these topics are not to your taste, it might be better to avoid this sitcom.
But it is ideal for learning the Spanish language and increasing your knowledge of Spanish slang.
Club de Cuervos
This Mexican comedy series will have you laughing and learning at the same time. Following the passing of Chava and Isabel’s father, Club de Cuervos features a little bit of drama as two siblings begin to fight over the football club they have inherited.
We’ve included Club de Cuervos in our list of comic series because of the range of vocabulary you’ll learn when watching it. Certain palabrotas are repeated due to the tension and pressure that builds between the siblings, with Chava often using the Spanish swear word chingar or un chingo to demand that his football team scores lots of goals (un chingo de goles).
It’s an entertaining comedy drama through which you will grasp the meaning of colloquial terms that you wouldn’t hear in your Spanish course!
Pinchos. Joder. Hostia. These are some of the Spanish phrases, colloquial expressions and commonly used Spanish slang words that you’ll learn and begin to understand when watching this comedy series. Allí Abajo centres on Iñaki Galartza, the protagonist of the series, who after 30 years of living in the Basque country with his mother ends up in Sevilla.
Iñaki finds that his whole life is about to change when his mother trips and falls down a flight of stairs and enters into a coma.
Not only will advanced learners appreciate the vast number of cultural references between the north and the south of Spain, there are also a few contextual details, such as the game of mus played by Iñaki and his friends in the Basque country (a card game), that will help you to build an understanding of and differences of these regions.
This funny comedy series has a bit of everything. We’ve included it on our list because, just like the best Spanish sitcoms and comedy series, it will make you laugh and teach you Spanish phrases that you might not have previously come across.
The story follows an agent with a big personality who, after losing one of her top clients, must start the busqueda (start searching) for new stars. The world in which she lives in will help you explore new themes and topics.
The series features a range of idiomatic expressions including the Spanish imperative phrase ponte las pilas, (meaning start working harder), and the commonly heard phrase que va (which sort of means ‘no way’) so you’ll learn a range of new expressions just by watching Paquita Salas.
Broaden your Spanish knowledge and vocabulary with Spanish sitcoms
Broadening your knowledge of the Spanish language is more than possible with Spanish sitcoms.
If you’re studying at beginner level, though, and you’re struggling to understand Spanish sitcoms, don’t give up.
You might just need a more basic level sitcom to follow what’s happening in the series.
I recommend extr@ for this.
It’s funny and you can follow what is happening quite easily.
Also, keep in mind that you can even use Spanish sitcoms to imitate the pronunciation of Spanish words. And with Spanish subtitles, you can understand what is being spoken about easily too. Even if you’re a beginner, it’s worth checking out Spanish sitcoms.
Start watching and listening to Spanish sitcoms to broaden your knowledge and your vocabulary as well as your Spanish accent.
Got any other Spanish sitcoms you’d like to recommend?
Share them below!