Weird Teen Movies

I’m sure you can find tons of articles and websites about funny, sad, great, awful, and scary teen movies, but that isn’t what you will find here. This is about those weird teen movies, with the weird teenagers that, oddly, many of us can relate to in some way (even though we would never be like that). These movies also remind adults of why they are so happy not to be a teenager anymore.

I’ll admit it: I was a weird teenager. Seriously. I had the nerdy glasses, wore men’s pants that I bought from thrift stores, and definitely marched to my own beat…except that my beat didn’t have any rhythm, so I really didn’t know what I was doing.

The movies listed below have to do with weird teenagers, and the strange things they end up doing. If you have a weird movie that should be added to the list, leave a comment in the box at the bottom of the page, and I’ll add it.

Welcome to the Dollhouse

When this movie came out in 1995, I was still a teenager. I appreciated the black humor, but it sure rubbed a sore spot with me, making me wonder if I was this weird. The main character is junior high student Dawn Wiener. If you aren’t sure what kind of movie this is, I think her name helps spell it out for you. At home, Dawn has two parents who don’t understand her, an older brother who is a nerdy high school student, and a younger, ballerina-princess sister. At school, Dawn endures teasing and bullying from other students, and is given a hard time by teachers. As the movie unfolds, Dawn finds herself in the beginnings of a romantic relationship, but in love with an older, cool guy.

If you are into dark humor, check this one out. I can’t guarantee a happy ending, but it is one quirky film.

View Clips from Welcome to the Dollhouse

Ghost World

This 2001 movie is adapted from the graphic novel of the same name. Enid and Rebecca are two best friends with a plan to move in together now that they have graduated high school. Neither girls buy into the traditional roles that teenagers are supposed to fit into, both expressing their status of being different in their own ways. Throughout the movie, it is obvious that Enid is trying to discover who she really is, and things get really interesting when she starts an affair with an older man named Seymour (played by Steve Buscemi).

This is one of those “No, you didn’t really just do that!” kinds of movies. It is different and weird, but in a fun, entertaining sort of way.

Watch the Trailer for Ghost World

Slums of Beverly Hills

This 1998 movie is about a teenage girl’s struggle to grow up in the 1970s with a family that moves from place to place like gypsies. Vivian (Natasha Lyonne) is starting to experiment with her sexuality, but her father has a hard time seeing Vivian as anything but his little girl. When Rita (Marisa Tomei), the daughter of a rich uncle runs away from rehab to stay with them, Vivian begins to learn more about the sexual pressures women face. She experiments with an older neighbor boy, but also struggles with the idea of stopping her changing body from blooming into womanhood.

This is one heck of a weird movie, and you won’t be able to predict what comes next. But, in a lot of ways, Vivian’s experiences are easy to relate to—she’s just a girl trying to grow up, but doesn’t have any guidance. If you need any more reasons to watch the movie, let me just say that the vibrator scene between Rita and Vivian is something everyone should see.

Watch the Trailer for Slums of Beverly Hills

Napoleon Dynamite

This 2004 independent film can’t be left off of a list of movies about weird teens. The title character is, of course, high school student Napoleon, who is a hopeless underachiever. You will spend the entire movie hoping the kid can get his act together, but the boy is so hopelessly clueless about social situations that it just isn’t going to happen.

Napoleon does make true friends during the movie, including Pedro (who Napoleon helps get elected as school president with some awesome dance moves) and Deb, an equally awkward girl. This isn’t your typical teen movie, but I’m sure you can recognize real teenage qualities when you watch it.

Watch the Trailer for Napoleon Dynamite

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Comments 13 comments

helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 8 years ago from Manhattan

I just read Ghost World, the graphic novel that the movie is based on. The book was really weird, and I kind of didn't like it. Maybe now I'll see the movie to compare, though! Great hub!


Stacie Naczelnik profile image

Stacie Naczelnik 8 years ago from Seattle Author

Helena, I have to admit that the movie is weird too. I go back and forth over whether I like it or not.


livelonger profile image

livelonger 8 years ago from San Francisco

Great hub! I haven't seen Slums of BH (but want to now - I really like Natasha Lyonne, too), was 'meh' with ND & GW, but LOVED Welcome to the Dollhouse. I've loved all of Solondz's movies, including Happiness and Palindromes. Dark, twisted but captivatingly funny movies.


tbartle profile image

tbartle 8 years ago from Missoula, Montana

I've seen all of these. And beleive me, they're all weird. Weird! Good job.


Stacie Naczelnik profile image

Stacie Naczelnik 8 years ago from Seattle Author

livelonger, after you watch it, let me know what you think. I own it on VHS (I know, ancient), but haven't watched it in years.

tbartle, yes, weird. Very.


Angela Harris profile image

Angela Harris 8 years ago from Around the USA

The only one I've seen is Napoleon Dynamite. And I still haven't figured out if I like it or not. When I'm in the mood for weird, I'll check some of these out.


DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 8 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove

These are all classic films. I don't think there is anything weird about them other than they are original. They are for smart kids. Kids who don't respond to crap like High School Musical.

I think you did a fantastic job of threading the 4 together!

I'll think of them as sisters now.

More 'weird' ones are RUSHMORE, election, what's eating gilbert grape? and heathers.


seamus profile image

seamus 8 years ago

I loved Ghost World. I might be the only person who did not find Napoleon Dynamite funny. 'Welcome to the Dollhouse' handled that vicious adolescent language fairly well. I was shocked but then remember that was really how kids talked; they did not quite understand the power of their words.


Adam B 8 years ago

Slums of Beverly Hills was very weird, I remember watching it, but I don't remember much about it other than it was bizzar.


Dang 3 years ago

From the article I can tell you know what your talikng about. Thank you for sharing this quality information. Please post some other articles on the same topic.


Susgun 3 years ago

it's traditional irish music and I have to tell you , I am blown away by this song!The Corrs- Lough Erin Shorebeautiful, I have a very dear ctncaot with whom I can't wait to share this song with..thank you so much!, I have only had a passing interest in the Corrs and now i'll be looking into them much more!


Didier 3 years ago

It truly is strange which the Dodo has bomece these types of a celebrity, and a poster bird for rapid human-caused extinction, when there were lots of other casualties contemporary to it. Folks unaccountably fail to receive enthusiastic concerning the Broad Billed Parrot (also endemic to Mauritius), the Mauritian Duck or even the Mascarene Coot (Mauritius and Reunion). They were all wiped out at roughly the exact same period (article 1600) by direct hunting, loss of habitat, competition with introduced species and predation by other introduced species like rats, cats and dogs. Mention the unfortunate extinction from the Bourbon Crested Starling (Reunion and a little population later accidentally introduced to Mauritius) merely merits you a broadside of blank stares. (Nevertheless by all accounts it absolutely was much tastier than the Dodo.) Why ought to this be? There's a single thing regarding the Dodo that has ensured its enduring popularity its brand. It had been quirky sounding plenty of to warrant inclusion in publications including Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (and, when you feel it, fitted in with Dodgson's habitual stammer) and from then on its fame was assured, and it presently fronts for several organisations dedicated to wildlife preservation and a brewery. So, depending on how you like your etymology, let's listen to it to the quirky, flightless Crazy Fat-Arsed Bird.


Didier 3 years ago

It truly is strange which the Dodo has bomece these types of a celebrity, and a poster bird for rapid human-caused extinction, when there were lots of other casualties contemporary to it. Folks unaccountably fail to receive enthusiastic concerning the Broad Billed Parrot (also endemic to Mauritius), the Mauritian Duck or even the Mascarene Coot (Mauritius and Reunion). They were all wiped out at roughly the exact same period (article 1600) by direct hunting, loss of habitat, competition with introduced species and predation by other introduced species like rats, cats and dogs. Mention the unfortunate extinction from the Bourbon Crested Starling (Reunion and a little population later accidentally introduced to Mauritius) merely merits you a broadside of blank stares. (Nevertheless by all accounts it absolutely was much tastier than the Dodo.) Why ought to this be? There's a single thing regarding the Dodo that has ensured its enduring popularity its brand. It had been quirky sounding plenty of to warrant inclusion in publications including Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (and, when you feel it, fitted in with Dodgson's habitual stammer) and from then on its fame was assured, and it presently fronts for several organisations dedicated to wildlife preservation and a brewery. So, depending on how you like your etymology, let's listen to it to the quirky, flightless Crazy Fat-Arsed Bird.

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