My top 10 Teen Movies

It’s probably fair to say that John Hughes is the father of the teen movie, spawning a a legion of (mostly poor) attempts to capture the magic of his 80’s classics. It’s a genre that is cringeowrthy when done badly but oh-so satisfying when done well, which makes it one of my favourite genres (although I suppose in most cases you could argue that it’s a sub-genre of the rom-com genre) and one where I will forgive all manner of cheesiness and absence of logic that I wouldn’t allow elsewhere. These are my favourite teen movies… some well-known classics and some that are just a little off the beaten track.

superbad-10530Superbad (2007)
Starring: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Emma Stone, Bill Hader, Seth Rogen
Brief synopsis: In the last week’s of high school best friends, Seth and Evan decide it’s time to lose their virginity at the last house party of the year. With their geeky friend, Fogell, in tow they attempt to curry favour with the girls they have their eye on by buying the alcohol for the party leading to an series of hilarious scrapes.
“Seth: You know when you hear girls say ‘Ah man, I was so shit-faced last night, I shouldn’t have fucked that guy?’ We could be that mistake!”

Sex DriveSex Drive (2008)
Starring: Josh Zuckerman, Amanda Crew, Clark Duke, James Marsden, Seth Green
Brief synopsis: After Ian’s online girlfriend promises him a night of passion if he drives cross country to meet her, he steals his older brother’s car and ropes his two best friends in for the ride. Along the way they encounter an array of interesting characters, including a very unusual Amish community.
“Lance: Dude, what the fuck?
Ian: I don’t want her along.
Lance: Oh, really? You don’t want to bring Yoko on your sex trip? Yeah, no shit. She’s always cock-blocking you.
Ian: No, she isn’t. She doesn’t even have a…
Lance: Okay, twat blocking. Professor.

DRCDetroit Rock City (1999)
Starring: Giuseppe Andrews, James DeBello, Edward Furlong, Sam Huntington
Brief synopsis: Desperate to see their favourite band, KISS, the four members of rock band, Mystery head off to Detroit on the road trip of a lifetime – one that will test everything they have and lead to stripping, fighting, stealing, lying and more than a little loving.
“Christine: Hey, you know what? Disco’s so fucking big right now, I wouldn’t be suprised if KISS did a disco song.
Lex: Man, if there’s one thing KISS will never do, it is a bullshit disco song.
Jam: No shit man!
Trip: Yeah man. Disco blows dogs for quarters man!

CluelessClueless (1995)
Starring: Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy, Donald Faison, Breckin Meyer, Jeremy Sisto
Brief synopsis: In this parody of Jane Austen’s Emma, “betty” Cher, spends her time shopping an interfering in everyone else’s love lives, mostly with unexpected negative consequences until she realises that her own love life is a disaster area.
“Tai: Do you think she’s pretty?
Cher: No, she’s a full-on Monet.
Tai: What’s a Monet?
Cher: It’s like a painting, see? From far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess. Let’s ask a guy. Christian, what do you think of Amber?
Christian: Hagsville.
Cher: See? “

breakfast_clubThe Breakfast Club (1985)
Starring: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall
Brief synopsis: Five very different high school students are trapped in a Saturday morning detention together. Initially they get caught up in their differences but they soon realise that they have a lot more in common that they could ever have imagined.
“Bender: Remember how you said your parents use you to get back at each other?
Claire Standish: [nods]
Bender: Wouldn’t I be OUTSTANDING in that capacity?”

4540945_l3Strike!  – also known as All I Wanna Do (1998)
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Gaby Hoffmann, Lynn Redgrave
Brief Synopsis: When the pupils of all girls’ school discover that their school is going to be merged with an all boy’s academy because of dwindling funds, they set up a programme of sabotage to save themselves from co-education.
“Verena Von Stefan: Right. Just imagine. We’ll have to wash our hair every night, we’ll have to sleep on rollers till our scalp bleeds, then we’ll have to get up at six every morning for the comb out. Your lungs will be lined with hairspray. Then you need all this equipment to push up the tits and blitz the zits and spray the pits. Then, then you stagger into class and you look perfect, but you’re exhausted. You’re too tired to even think. But that’s okay, because the teachers won’t call on you anyway. Also, you don’t wanna be smarter than the boys – they don’t like that. So, to wake up you drink some coffee at lunch.”

american-pie-crop-1American Pie (1999)
Starring: Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Alyson Hannigan, Eugene Levy, Tara Reid
Brief synopsis: In this surprisingly sweet comedy four best friends make a pact to lose their virginity by their senior prom. On the way there they must wrestle with love, flutes, exchange students, singing, bathrooms and er… baked goods.
“Jim: Guys, uh, what exactly does third base feel like?
Kevin: You want to take this one?
Chris “Oz” Ostreicher: Like warm apple pie.
Jim: Yeah?
Chris “Oz” Ostreicher: Yeah.
Jim: Apple pie, huh?
Chris “Oz” Ostreicher: Uh huh.
Jim: McDonald’s or homemade?”
600full-cruel-intentions-screenshotCruel Intentions (1999)
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair
Brief synopsis: In this teen version of Dangerous Liaisons bored super-rich Kathryn bets her equally bored and rich step-brother, Sebastian that he won’t be able to bed virginal, Annette, who has sworn to save herself for marriage. If Kathryn wins, she gets Sebastian’s car but if Sebastian wins… he gets Kathryn. But what will happen if Sebastian actually falls in love?
“Sebastian: I’m sick of sleeping with these insipid Manhattan debutantes. Nothing shocks them anymore.”

16-candlesSixteen Candles (1984)
Starring: Molly Ringwald, Justin Henry, Michael Schoeffling
Brief synopsis: On the eve of her sister’s wedding, Samantha’s life is going into meltdown. Not only does she have an unrequited crush on the hottest boy in school but the biggest geek in school is in love with her and her whole family has forgotten her sixteenth birthday.
“The Geek: How’s it goin’?
Samantha: How’s what going?
The Geek: You know – things, life, whatnot.
Samantha: Life is not whatnot, and it’s none of your business.”

10things_main10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Starring: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik
Brief synopsis: New guy Cameron falls for beautiful Bianca, but she isn’t allowed to date until her bitchy older, sister Kat does. So Cameron and his geeky best friend convince douchebag, Joey to pay school nutter, Patrick to date Kat, thinking that he’s going to be the one to date Bianca.
“Patrick: Well maybe you’re not afraid of me but I’m sure you’ve thought about me naked, huh?
Kat Stratford: [sarcastically] Am I that transparent? I want you, I *need* you, oh baby, oh baby.”


  1. Great choices, If I had to choose a recent one I’d pick Easy A.

    1. Abbi

      Interesting. I really didn’t like Easy A. I expected to love it but something about it just didn’t click for me.

      1. Yeah, I know quite a few people who didn’t like it. If you’re counting teen horror films, I would say Scream.

        1. Abbi

          Great shout! I loved Scream.

  2. theipc

    LOL – Sex Drive is funny! (I mean they all are but no one ever seems to mention Sex Drive)

    1. Abbi

      It’s one of those movies I watched kind of by accident expecting it to be terrible but it really is hilarious. The scene where James Marsden’s character finds his car missing and loses his temper is comedy gold. RUMSPRINGA!!!

      1. theipc

        I know – I usually can’t stand Seth Green but he was actually pretty funny in this.

        Fun fact: My wife went to high school with Jimmy (James) Marsden…

        1. Abbi

          That’s awesome. I think he is really underrated as a comedy actor.

  3. Great choices. You know I’d totally agree with the John Hughes ones. 🙂 And I’d throw Weird Science & Bueller in there too. And maybe Pretty In Pink & Some Kind Of Wonderful. Okay – my top ten would be mainly just Hughes movies. Also love American Pie & Clueless & love Cruel Intentions more than I should. I thought 10 Things was great but only watched it once years ago – I really need to give that a re-watch. I THINK I saw Sex Drive but can’t say 100% for sure… Never heard of the Kirsten Dunst one! You should give Fun Size a try as it’s currently on Sky – more pre-teen than teen but a bit of mindless fun that feels like some of the lesser 80’s teen comedies (it comes nowhere near the genius of Hughes!).

    1. Abbi

      Hughes is a genius. I did wrestle a bit with adding Pretty In Pink but I wanted to make sure I had variety. It’s such an awesome genre you could easily have a top 50. 10 Things ends up on most of my lists for something or another. It’s one of my absolute favourites. I have probably seen it 20 times if not more. All I Wanna Do got a very limited release and almost no press. I randomly happened to watch it on TV when I still lived in South Africa and I loved it so much.Probably because I went to an all girls school. We’ve actually cancelled our Sky to save money but I will check if it’s on Nextflix 🙂

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