All 6 Herbie Movies By Their Release Year

Gathering a loyal fan base over the fifty years since its release, the Herbie franchise has become one of the most iconic and loved car movies ever. With one of the original Herbie cars selling for over $125,000 million, the movies heavily popularised the Volkswagen brand and have cemented the Beteel as an iconic 70’s car.

In the movies, we follow the story of Jim, a professional racer who has slowly moved away from the sport. When Jim wins a race in Herbie, his passion slowly rekindles. The following movies follow similar storylines with some plot changes. While some movies use Herbie as the protagonist who takes his driver to the win, others use him as a supporting character in an adventure comedy.

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So if you want to get into this iconic 70’s adventure franchise, you have come to the right place. This article has all the information that you might need to get into the story of this famous love bug.

All Herbie Movies in Order

All Herbie Movies in Release Order

  1. The Love Bug

    Streaming On: Disney+

    Director: Robert Stevenson

    Writers: Bill Walsh, Gordon Buford, Don DaGradi

    Stars: Dean Jones, Michele Lee, Buddy Hackett, Iris Adrian, Benson Fong, David Tomlinson, Joe E. Ross, Barry Kelley, Gary Owens, Chick Hearn, Andy Granatelli, Joe Flynn, Ned Glass, Robert Foulk

    Genres: Sports, Comedy, Family

    The Love Bug (1968) on IMDb

    Kicking off Herbie’s Legacy, The Love Bug is an uplifting movie overflowing with scenes now considered iconic. In it, we follow Jim, a racer who has given up on his racing career. When a car follows Jim home, he fixes it and gives racing one more try. When Jim wins a race, the fire inside him rekindles.

    When former racer Jim goes to a showroom, he sees the owner Thorndyke, abusing a White Volkswagen Beetle. When he leaves, the car follows him home. After he runs into the police, Jim decides to lease-purchase the car.

    At first, Jim believes the car is faulty, but his friend convinces him that the car has a mind of its own and names it Herbie. Jim readies Herbie for a race and surprisingly wins the race. Jim challenges Thorndyke and wins ownership of Herbie.

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    When Thorndyke secretly pours coffee into Herbie’s tank, Jim loses his next race and decides to desert him for a new Lamborgini. Herbie damages the Lamborgini and runs away. Realising Herbie is alive, Jim follows him through the city, where Herbie goes on a rampage. Jim apologizes and makes amends with Herbie.

    When confronted by a store owner whose store got destroyed, Jim strikes a deal where he gets to keep Herbie by paying one dollar if Jim wins the El Dorado race. The first day of the race goes bad for Herbie as Thorndyke plays dirty tricks on them, with Herbie ending up dead last.

    The next day, using some shortcuts, Herbie is about to finish first but breaks down into three parts due to fatigue making him the first, second, and third-place winner.

    Gathering a huge fan following over the years since its release, Herbie has been loved by generations and has become one of the most memorable cars in cinema history. The story maintains a cute atmosphere around it, all throughout its runtime.

  2. Herbie Rides Again

    Streaming On: Disney+

    Director: Robert Stevenson

    Writers: Bill Walsh, Gordon Buford

    Stars: Helen Hayes, Ken Berry, Stefanie Powers, Keenan Wynn, Elaine Devry, Iggie Wolfington, Huntz Hall, Richard X. Slattery, Ivor Barry, Vito Scotti, John McIntire, Liam Dunn, Don Pedro Colley, Chuck McCann, Larry J. Blake, Jack Manning

    Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance

    Herbie Rides Again (1974) on IMDb

    Changing up the genre from the first movie, Herbie Rides Again, centers more on comedy. In the movie, we follow Mrs. Steinmitz, Jim’s acquaintance and the caretaker of Herbie, trying their best to fight off Hawks, a real estate agent trying to bulldoze Steinmitz’s house to build his 130-story building.

    Trying to get Mrs. Steinmitz, Tennessee’s aunt and the current caretaker of Herbie, evicted to build his new 130-floor plaza, Mr. Hawks sends his lawyer Nephew Willoughby to talk to them. Mrs. Steinmitz takes a liking to Willoughby and shows him Herbie.

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    She tells him that Tennessee is in Tibet, and Jim is currently racing in Europe. Nicole slaps Willoughby, thinking he was the one who caused her to be evicted. As makeup, Nicole takes Willoughby on a ride in Herbie.

    When Willoughby learns about Hawk’s wrongdoings, he decides to sever all his ties with him. Nicole convinces Willoughby to stay with her. Hawks decide to evict Mrs. Steinmitz herself. At first, he tries to steal Herbie, but Herbie throws Hawks off at his office. Herbie saves Mrs. Steinmitz from Hawk’s men while she remains oblivious.

    After Hawks steals Mrs. Stenimtz’s furniture, Wlioughby, Nicole, and Herbie help get her furniture back. The next day Mrs. Stenimtz decides to confront Hawks, but when she hears Hawks talk about demolishing her house, Mrs. Steinmitz fills his whole office with soap and water.

    Hawks fakes a truce with Mrs. Steinmetz, and Nicole and Willoughby leave for a date. During this time, Hawks returns with bulldozers to demolish the house. Herbie rushes out to find Nicole and Willoughby.

    Herbie gathers an army of sentient Beteels and follows Hawks around town till he gets arrested. The movie ends with Nicole and Willoughby getting married.

    Now considered a super fun and enjoyable story, Herbie Rides completely changes its movie genre again and provides a more relaxed and delightful story full of laughter, comical skits, and many heartfelt moments.

  3. Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo

    Streaming On: Disney+

    Director: Vincent McEveety

    Writers: Arthur Alsberg, Don Nelson, Gordon Buford

    Stars: Dean Jones, Don Knotts, Jacques Marin, Roy Kinnear, Johnny Haymer, Bernard Fox, Eric Braeden, François Lalande, Alan Caillou, Gérard Jugnot, Julie Sommars, Xavier Saint-Macary, Laurie Main, Mike Kulcsar, Stanley Brock, Jean-Marie Proslier

    Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance, Sport

    Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977) on IMDb

    Returning to its roots, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo centers its story around a two-day race with a romantic subplot. In the movie, we follow Herbie and Jim as they participate in the Trans France race. There, Herbie falls in love with a competitor’s car while getting mixed up in a diamond robbery.

    Jim, Herbie, and Wheely, Jim’s mechanic, got to France to win the Trans France. He will be racing against 3 other racers Bruno, Claude, and Diane. Herbie falls for Diane’s car, Gisselle. Though Diane hates Jim, Herbie goes on a date with Gisselle, and both of them win their next race.

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    Two thieves steal diamonds and hide them in Herbie’s tank. When they attempt to steal it back but Herbie gets in the way. The French police take Herbie, and Gisselle refuses to start the race. Wheelly lies to Giselle that Herbie broke up with her so that she could start the race. He tells the same to Herbie when he comes back.

    After many problems, Herbie starts catching up. When Gisselle crashes into a lake, Herbie saves them. Herbie refuses to leave Giselle, but Nicole convinces him to win the race. After some drastic moves, Jim and Herbie win the race.

    It is revealed that the head inspector was behind the diamond robbery and is successfully arrested before he can hard Jim and Nicole.

    Ultimately, Jim and Nicole fall for each other as Herbie and Gisselle reunite and celebrate Herbie’s victory.

    Introducing us to Herbie’s love interest, Gisselle, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo is an amusing adventure racing movie with an adorable romantic subplot. With many stars from previous movies returning to reprise their role, the movie feels like a true successor to the first movie.

  4. Herbie Goes Bananas

    Streaming On: Disney+

    Director: Vincent McEveety

    Writers: Don Tait, Gordon Buford

    Stars: Cloris Leachman, Charles Martin Smith, Harvey Korman, Stephan W. Burns, Jose Gonzales-Gonzales, Tina Menard, Elyssa Davalos, John Vernon, Joaquin Garay III, Fritz Feld, Richard Jaeckel, Alex Rocco, Vito Scotti, Ruben Moreno, Jorge Moreno

    Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy

    Herbie Goes Bananas (1980) on IMDb

    Continuing the tradition of alternating their focus between comedy and racing, Herbie Goes Bananas takes the comedic route with some chase action mixed into it. After being inherited by Pete, Paco a pickpocket manages to win Herbie’s trust. When Paco steals from some thieves, he and Herbie get wrapped up in a huge heist.

    Going to pick up Herbie, whom he inherited from his uncle Jim, Pete is accompanied by his friend D.J. Jones. Asking for direction from Paco, a notorious pickpocket who hides in Herbie’s hood from three thieves he stole from. The wallet he took contains the location of a stash of Gold.

    Pete and DJ load the car on a ferry and head to Rio to take part in a race. On the way they meet Mellisa and her extravagant Aunt, who they try to get and sponsor in the race. Paco is found and locked up by Captain Blythe.

    Herbie sets Paco free, but both of them are thrown into the water. Herbie rescues Paco, the two start a taxi service. When Blythe is separated from his ship, he takes Paco’s taxi as his taxi is being chased by the thieves.

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    The thieves catch Paco and extract the location from him aboard a plane. When they find a gold disk, the thieves discard Paco who Herbie later finds. Herbie follows the thieves and steals their gold back.

    Herbie, Pete, Paco, and the others travel to the next town to find help but are overpowered by the thieves’ men. Herbie throws bananas at the men and bites their plane’s tail off, destroying it. The group rushes and disperses, then reunites at Blythe’s Ship.

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    There they decide that Paco will drive Herbie in the race as he has a better connection with it. The movie ends with the group toasting to Paco and Herbie’s win.

    A complete adventure comedy, Herbie goes bananas is jam-packed with many iconic references and fun action chases. With the cast gelling really well with each other, the humor lands well 

  5. The Love Bug

    Streaming On: Disney+

    Director: Peyton Reed

    Writers: Bill Walsh, Don DaGradi, Gordon Buford

    Stars: Bruce Campbell, John Hannah, Kevin J. O’Connor, Clarence Williams III, Dana Gould, Alexandra Wentworth, Micky Dolenz, Dean Jones, Harold Gould, Jeff Garlin

    Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy

    The Love Bug (1997) on IMDb

    Filled to the brim with funny, heart-wrenching, and many iconic moments, The Love Bug is a part-remake-part-sequel to the first movie. In it, we follow Hank, a former racer who has lost his passion. When he discovers Herbie and repairs him, out of respect, Herbie wins him a race, which rekindles his racer spirit.

    After treating Herbie very harshly, Herbie rebels against Simone Moore, his owner. When Herbie comes in last place, Simone calls him a piece of junk and throws him away in a junkyard.

    Former rival of Moore, Hank, is entered in a junk-car race, where he gets to pick one car from a junkyard that he will repair and race. As the last choice, Hank ends up with a broken-down Herbie.

    Help by his friends Roddy, Hank manages to start Herbie up. Herbie mangoes to win a race, which restores Hank’s confidence. One of the judges and Hank’s ex-girlfriend, Alex, believes that he cheated, so they ride together in Herbie, rekindling their relationship.

    When Roddy takes Herbie to a car convention, where Simone gets jealous of Hanks’s success with the car while he failed with it, Simone tracks down Herbie’s creator, Dr. Stumpfel, and orders him to create another one. Horace, the evil bug, is crafted for Simone.

    Simone orders Horace to destroy Herbie. Horace leaves Herbie as a heap of junk, and Hank has a funeral for Herbie. Jim and Dr. Stumpfel attend and explain that Herbie can be rebuilt using his original parts. The whole group works on rebuilding Herbie.

    The group successfully rebuilds Herbie, and he even starts up on the first try, honking his horn to show that he is the same old Herbie. Simone discovers Herbie has been rebuilt, so he challenges Hank to a race against Horace.

    Dodging all of Horace’s attacks, Herbie wins the race. Horace tries to push Herbie off a cliff but misses and runs off the cliff’s edge. The movie ends with Simone being arrested while Alex and Hank drive to Herbie.

    Released Direct-to-Television, The Love Bug (1997) is an exciting and energy-fueled reboot of the original release movie. Introducing us to other sentient cars is introduced, like Horace, and the story grips its viewers while the thrilling races keep the viewers on the edge of their seats.

  6. Herbie: Fully Loaded

    Streaming On: Disney+

    Director: Angela Robinson

    Writers: Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, Mark Perez

    Stars: Lindsay Lohan, Michael Keaton, Jimmi Simpson, Justin Long, Matt Dillon, Jill Ritchie, Cheryl Hines, Breckin Meyer, Thomas Lennon, Jeremy Roberts, Monica Manning

    Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance, Sport

    Herbie Fully Loaded (2005) on IMDb

    The sixth installment in the franchise and a direct sequel to the movie before it, Herbie spices its plot by introducing Street racing to the mix. In it, we follow Maggie, the daughter of a former racer who has forbidden her from racing. When Herbie wins Maggie a race against the street race champion Trip, Trip sets out to defeat Maggie.

    Herbie, a Volkswagen Beetle, is a car with a mind. When Maggie graduates from college and gets an internship, her father, Ray, takes her to a junkyard, where she luckily chooses Herbie.

    At a Car Show, Herbie tricks Maggie into challenging NASCAR Champion Trip Murphy to a race, which Herbie barely wins. Kevin, Maggie’s mechanic, suggests she race full time, but Ray forbids her as she was in an accident years ago.

    Trip sets up a street race to lure in Herbie and its racer. Herbie and Maggie win the qualifiers but lose a pink slip race to Trip in the finals. Herbie is towed away, and Kevin and Ray express their disappointment in Maggie.

    Maggie, encouraged by her friend Charisma and decides to race professionally and tries to get Herbie back. To apologize to Herbie, Maggie runs through the field of a Demolition Derby race. Herbie accepts Maggie’s apology and hurries to Kevin’s workshop.

    When Maggie is chosen as the replacement racer of the Peyton racing team, she gets to face off against Trip. Maggie talks heartily with Herbie while Trip says the race will be dangerous.

    During the race, Herbie’s oil system is damaged, so the crew shoddily fixes a new one. In the last laps, Herbie catches up to Trip. Maggie successfully dodges Trip’s attack, which causes Trip’s car to flip. Maggie wins the race and is congratulated by her dad, and even kisses Kevin.

    Herbie: Fully Loaded introduces us to the first female owner and racer to drive Herbie. The movie builds upon its predecessors and references many iconic scenes. The tried and tested story mixes in some spices to keep it refreshing.


So those were all Herbie movies discussed and arranged in the correct watch order. Since the only recurring characters that appear in other movies are from the first one, you are free to watch them in any order after watching the first movie. When Volkswagen struggled to stay in production, the Herbie movies helped them boost their sales.

Crafted by Disney, the Herbie franchise has survived for over 50 years and maintains a loyal fan base. The Volkswagen beetle used in the movies is now iconically called the love bug, and many people still get their beetle repainted to match the colors of the original love bug. So if you are looking for a heartwarming franchise about people reigniting their passion or want to laugh your heart out at a charmingly dumb car, the Herbie franchise might be the right pick.

All Herbie Movies According To IMDb Ratings

  • The Love Bug (1968) – 6.5 By 17K Votes
  • Herbie Rides Again (1974) – 5.7 By 8.5K Votes
  • Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977) – 5.6 By 8K Votes
  • Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005) – 4.9 By 49K Votes
  • Herbie Goes Bananas (1980) – 4.9 By 6K Votes
  • The Love Bug (1997) – 5.3 By 1.5K Votes

All Herbie Movies According To Box Office Collection

  • Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005) – $94 Million 
  • The Love Bug (1968) – $46 Million
  • Herbie Rides Again (1974) – $33 Million
  • Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977) – $24 Million
  • Herbie Goes Bananas (1980) – $12 Million


What order do the Herbie films go in?

Release Order. The Herbie movies use linear storytelling so the best watch order for the movies is the Release order which goes as follows – 1. The Love Bug (1968), 2. Herbie Rides Again (1974), 3. Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977), 4. Herbie Goes Bananas (1980), 5. The Love Bug (1997), 6. Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005).

Why is Herbie number 53?

Herbie’s number 53 comes from the baseball player Don Drysdale who plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Producer Bill Walsh was a big fan of Don so he used Don’s jersey number as Herbie’s number.

How many Herbie cars are there?

There were a total of 11 original Volkswagen Beetles made by Walt Disney for the role of Disney. Currently, only 3 of those original 11 are known to exist.

Does Herbie have a girlfriend?

Yes. Herbie falls in love with a 1977 Lancia Montecarlo named Giselle, in the movie Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977).

Kierra Rowsey
Kierra Rowsey

Kierra Rowsey is a freelance TV, Film and anime critic for over 12 years, living in Arkansas with her husband and three kids. She graduated from NYU College of Arts & Science in 2008.

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