6 Ways to Watch TV Shows For Free

If you live in a developed country, you probably have at least one television in your house. If you are an average American, you probably  have three or more televisions in your house. Hooking cable or satellite up for that many tv’s can get expensive. So, how can you watch television shows and movies for free. Most of the following ways require wifi access and a screen to watch your movies and shows on. Some of these ways require a dvd player.

Local Library

A lot of us haven’t been in a library since high school or college. For some of you, you can’t even remember what the inside of a library looks like. In the old days, libraries were where bookworms hung out. These days libraries carry more than just periodicals and books. Most libraries now carry dvds, cds, audiobooks, and more. All you need to watch the movies available at your local library is a library card in good standing.


Hoopla is an awesome smartphone application, and website, that allows you to consume movies, television shows, e-books, audio-books, and music completely free of charge. Like your local library, all you need is a library card. Once you enter your library card number and local library location, you can start checking out movies, audio-books, music albums, etc. online without having to go to the library to get them. Unfortunately, Hoopla limits how many items you can check out to the amount the library you are registered with allows you to check out. For example, I am registered with a library in Philadelphia that allows patrons to check out 7 items per month, so I can only check out 7 items from Hoopla per month.

If you cannot find your library you can always register with a different library on the app. I live in the South-East and I frequently check out items from the library in Phillie. Also, the movies, music, etc. are from recent years to black and white movies, and there are A LOT of them. If you are accustomed to watching TV all day this app could fill a chunk of your days.

Note: Just like at the library, your checked out material will expire. When the material expires it will automatically be checked back into the app and you will have to check it out again to watch it.


Overdrive is just like Hoopla, except you can check out up to 10 items at a time. So, if you want to watch a full season of an anime that is 20 episodes long, all you have to do is return the ten you watched and check out the next ten episodes. Unlike Hoopla, there is a wait period for some of the material on the app/ website.  Unfortunately, if the library you are registered with does not have streaming movies, you will not be able to stream them on your device. I haven’t figured out how to log in with a different library yet, so you might be stuck with the material that your library card is registered with.


Most people know what Youtube is. If you don’t know what it is I don’t know where you have been for the past ten years. Briefly, Youtube is a website that allows anyone to make a video and post it for the world to see. How does this help you watch free movies and television shows? Well, if you aren’t picky, you can find plenty to watch there. For example, my sister started watching Sanford and Son on Youtube. A great portion of the series was there. Most of the episodes were of good quality and complete. I watched a full season of RuPaul’s Untucked and many seasons of The Golden Girls on Youtube. There are even full movies on there for free. There are times, though, when the people that upload these items get banned because the items they uploaded belong to someone who didn’t permit the material to be released in such a way. If this causes you to have an existential ethical battle within yourself I would discourage you from using Youtube in this way.

Get Free Months with Hulu and Netflix!

Wa-wa-what? Thats right! You can legit get free months of Hulu and Netflix. If you don’t know what those two things are… again, where have you been? Netflix and Hulu are both platforms that, for a monthly fee (under $10 per platform), allow you to stream movies and tv shows. This is a much much cheaper option than satellite or cable. Netflix streams a lot of stuff that is recent as well as stuff that is in black and white/ old. Hulu seems to focus more on stuff that is very recent. For example, new episodes of Supernatural are aired the day after the new episode airs on cable.

Now how do you get these services for free?

Unfortunately, Netflix has shut down its “tell a friend” program, however, Netflix occasionally sends surveys that, when completed, grant users a free month or two of service.

Hulu still has a referral program. If you tell a friend and that friend signs up, you will receive two weeks for free per friend that signs up. You could receive up to a year of free service. Cool, right?

Option 2

If you are frequent user of these platforms you may consider asking for Hulu and/or Netflix gift cards for your birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentines Day, St. Patricks Day, Presidents Day, Free Donut Day, etc.  The amount of free months you can receive this way is limitless.


PBS Kids app

My oldest daughter received and Orbo tablet for her birthday when she turned two. She loves that thing! Anyway, my husband downloaded a bunch of stuff for her and one of the things he downloaded was the PBS Kids app. On the app there are episodes of Wild Kratts, Daniel Tiger, Super Why, Martha Speaks, and the list goes on. The app is totally free. All you need is wifi and a smartphone.


How do you watch tv and movies for free? Leave me a comment below with your answer.

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