John Cena spent a majority of his WWE career touting his highly memeable catchphrase “You can’t see me.” Although he’s not officially retired from the ring, he’s pivoted to a new career path where he’s absolutely been seen — and seen a lot. Since 2015, he’s found himself in multiple movies and even landed a lead role on Max’s Peacemaker as the titular antihero. And while he’s best known for his brute strength, the wrestler-turned-actor has had the opportunity to show off his comedic side from time to time, including an excellent cameo in this weekend’s Barbie.
Here then are his six most indelible comedic performances, ranked…
Playing With Fire
The family-friendly comedy Playing with Fire was very different from Cena’s typical PG-13 and R-rated outings. Alongside Keegan-Michael Key and John Leguizamo, he leaned into the physical comedy and screwball antics laid out by the film’s premise, which were only made bigger by his sheer size.
A neck-tattooed, tank-top-wearing drug dealer sounds right up Cena’s alley as far as physicality goes. And it’s a role he plays well in 2015’s Sisters starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. But it’s the way he dryly reads a laundry list of drugs, which get more and more absurd as it goes on, that showcases his commitment to the subtleties of comedy.
Cena plays a bodacious, beer-drinking Mermaid Ken with an enviable head of blond wavy locks in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. Although the appearance is brief, it’s a scene-stealing cameo that comes at just the perfect time and punctuates where the rest of the film is headed.
Despite writing the screenplay for her R-rated rom-com Trainwreck, Amy Schumer shared that she “did not write most of (Cena’s) lines” and that Cena “would just open his mouth and it would fly out,” flexing his improv skills more than even his muscles.
With nothing but a dream, lip gloss and a high pony, Cena let loose as Allison, a teenage girl in Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show skit “Ew!” The sketch features dancing, a quirky stepdad and a meta bit where Allison finds John Cena to be too muscly (all while she bares comically large muscles in a sleeveless dress).
Playing Mitchell Mannes, a straitlaced, no-nonsense father, Cena returned to his R-rated roots in 2018’s Blockers as part of a group of parents determined to cockblock their daughters on prom night. While Kay Cannon’s sex comedy is filled to the brim with raunchy moments played for laughs, it hits its comedic peak when Mitchell is tricked into butt-chugging an IPA.