How to Use Netflix Secret Codes to Discover Movies and TV Shows

There are over six thousand movies, and TV shows on Netflix in the U.S. Chances are you only see what comes up on your home screen or in suggestions of “more like this” when you choose a title. But if you are looking for a specific movie genre, there are ways to see all the movies and TV shows that might suit your mood.

All movies and TV shows that stream on Netflix are put into one or more categories based on descriptors. It could be anything from Gritty, Dark, or Suspenseful to Charming or Heartfelt. The titles are also given one or more sub-genres like Classic TV Comedies, Crime Documentaries, or Movies Based on Books. Each of the genres and categories has an associated number — a “secret code” — that can be used to display all movies with that particular descriptor or sub-genre.

It’s like when you order “Off the Menu” at a restaurant. Using the secret code of a broad genre brings up a home screen with that genre of movies. A preview of a title will play at the top, and it’ll be organized like your home screen. Only movies that match that category will populate the rows for My List, Watch It Again, Trending Now, Only on Netflix, Comedies, Award Winning Films, Movies Directed by Women, and so forth. Particular codes like those for Steamy Romantic Comedies may have fewer titles and be displayed in a simple grid.

The secret codes and other ways of displaying movie categories can only be accessed on a computer web browser. The What’s On Netflix website has a searchable list of all of the category codes. Browse or look up a category and note the secret code number.

Once you have the number, copy and paste this URL:[add the genre secret code number without brackets]. So is Critically-Acclaimed Romantic Comedies.

Once you are on the category page, find what you want to watch and play it from the browser. When playing on a browser, there is the option to play at different speeds from .5x to 1.5x. It could make that slow-paced drama go by a little quicker.

The easiest way to watch the chosen video on your TV or mobile app is to add the title to My List for quick access. Once you find the title(s) you want to watch, highlight the cover art and click on the down arrow to bring up more information. Then click on Add it to My List.

If you use the Chrome web browser, there are extensions available for Netflix secret code. The Netflix Hidden Categories extension lets you search for a category, or scroll down a list. You can create favorites in another Netflix Hidden Categories extension for Chrome or Firefox.

While these lists have some very specific genres like Romantic Comedies from the 1940s, there may not be any titles currently in that category. When you go to that sub-genre, it will display a blank page with a message that says “no matching titles found.” On the other hand, if there are many titles in a broad category, they will be fur ther categorized on a home screen under Trending Now, Popular on Netflix, Award-Winning Films, New Releases, and so forth.

Also, some results may not appear to be related. A search for Dark Comedies brought up several titles that didn’t seem to be comedies, including “The Creative Brain” documentary.

Some examples of codes include:

    Classics - 31574
    Classic Dramas - 29809
    Movies Based on Books - 9889
    Sci-Fi & fantasy - 1492
    Art house movies - 29764
    Dark Comedies - 869
    Critically acclaimed dark comedies - 2689
    Kids TV - 27346
    Teen Comedies - 3519
    Visually Striking Movies for Ages 11 to 12 - 2869
    Disney - 67673
    Steamy romantic movies - 35800
    Slapstick comedies - 10256
    Documentaries - 6839
    Sports documentary - 180
    Violent - 100034
    Gritty - 100044
    Suspenseful - 100055
    Crime TV - 26146
    Cerebral - 100033
    Offbeat - 1632671
    Exciting - 100041
A number of Christmas categories are not in the lists:
    Christmas, Children & Family Films - 1474017
    Christmas, Children & Family Films, Ages 5 to 7 - 1477201
    Christmas, Children & Family Films, Ages 8 to 10 - 1477204
    Christmas, Children & Family Films, Ages 11 to 12 - 1477206
    Christmas, Children & Family Films, British - 1527064
    Christmas, Children & Family Films, Canadian - 1721544
    Christmas, Children & Family Films, European - 1527063
    Christmas, Children & Family Films, Feel-good - 1475066
    Christmas, Children & Family Films, From the 1990s - 1476024 (currently empty)
    Christmas, Children & Family Films, Goofy - 1475071
    Christmas, Family-friendly Films - 1394522
    Christmas Films, Romantic - 1394527
Other Ways to Display Categories
Of course, you can always search to discover titles not listed on your home screen. When searching for a sub-genre, fewer titles are often listed than when you go to the secret code page. The results are displayed in a grid, not as a home screen.

Descriptor word searches — gritty, exciting, offbeat — are often more successful, displaying more results of titles that are tagged with that keyword. Also, at the top of the search results page, there is a list of specific related searches that you can click on to drill down into the category rabbit hole. For example, a search for “offbeat” lists access to Offbeat Movies, Offbeat & Mind-Bending Sci-Fi, Critically-Acclaimed Offbeat Dark Comedies, and more.

Another way to access genres, descriptors, or movies with a particular actor or director is to highlight the title and click on “More Info.” The information next to cast, genre, and “This Movie Is” adjectives are hyperlinks that will take you to that secret code page. The code will be listed in the URL if you want to note it or bookmark the page.

Accessing Netflix in a web browser has a further benefit in that you can see notifications. The notifications list release dates of upcoming movies, new seasons of TV shows, and similar titles to TV shows that you’ve finished bingeing. Click Add to My List or Remind Me to be notified when the title becomes available. (Notifications are available on the mobile app as well.)

There is a wealth of content on Netflix. From movies that you didn’t get around to watching when they were first released to favorites you may not have known were on Netflix, this is an easy way to find a title that suits your mood.