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Best Teen Movies: Films for and About Teenagers

Updated on October 9, 2017
stephhicks68 profile image

Stephanie Hicks is raising four teenaged children and is an amateur photographer. I love sharing teenage ideas with my readers.

Best Teen Movies

The teenage, high school experience is a rich one, indeed. So rich, in fact, that there are hundreds of movies produced about what its like to be a teenager, getting through the teen years, and/or surviving high school. So many movies, so little time, right?

Well, if you have a hankering to relive your glory days (or perhaps to watch the mean groupies lose in the end), we've created a list of the Best Teen Movies! Movies and series that are focused on teenagers often depict them in heroic roles and explore the unique experiences that kids of that age experience.

Rent them, buy them, stream them or check for them on demand. Get out the popcorn and perhaps a hanky or two!

Oh, and if you don't agree with the picks of best teen movies, feel free to add a few of your own suggestions in the comment section below. That's what makes teen movies so great - each of them has its own unique following!

What teen doesn't want to be like Ferris Bueller and his friends?
What teen doesn't want to be like Ferris Bueller and his friends? | Source

Best clips of "Sixteen Candles"

25 (plus 1) Best Teen Movies

1. Grease

2. Election

3. 10 Things I Hate About You

4. Mean Girls

5. The Outsiders

6. Bring It On!

7. American Pie

8. Scary Movie

9. Carrie

10. The Breakfast Club

11. Pretty in Pink

12. Juno

13. Gidget

14. The Graduate

15. Love Story

16. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

17. Sixteen Candles

18. Footloose

19. Risky Business

20. Clueless

21. Never Been Kissed

22. Rebel Without a Cause

23. Dirty Dancing

24. Hoosiers

25. Dead Poet's Society

26. (how did I miss it?) SuperBad!!

Ending of Dead Poet's Society

What Makes a Great Teen Movie?

What qualifies these teen movies as the "best"? There are a number of factors including star power, quotable lines, memorable scenes, and the ability to evoke nostalgia and/or sympathy for the main characters. If the audience can relate on a personal level, the film will probably be a hit. Throw in some good looking actors and pretty soon, you have a classic teen movie on your hands. Either you cringe, or you root for the protagonist. Sometimes both.

Who can forget some of these lines? "Are you trying to seduce me, Mrs. Robinson?" (The Graduate); "True love and he didn't lay a hand on you? Sounds like a creep to me." (Grease); "Love means never having to say you're sorry." (Love Story); "We're gonna turn this town upside down!: (Footloose); "Searching for a boy in high school, is like searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie." (Clueless); and "Courtney, this is not a democracy, it's a cheerocracy. I'm overruling you." (Bring it On). Ah.... to be a teenager again!

The primary story line for a teen movie involves the main characters at high school, and trying to fit in. Sound familiar? Sometimes, things go very, very wrong, as in "Carrie," the poor young girl who was made fun of because of her supernatural powers and overly controlling Catholic mother. The theme of bad girls in high school is a common one, seen in "Grease," "Mean Girls," and "Pretty in Pink." It can be fun to see these bullies get put in their place! Popular soundtracks add to the marketability and staying power of teen mega-hits.

Other movies are focused in on a particular rite of passage, like first sexual experience (American Pie), death of a loved one (Love Story) or teen pregnancy (Juno). Teen rebellion is celebrated in a number of films, including "Risky Business," "Dirty Dancing," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," and "Footloose." And, its not high school without sports and clubs. For these movies, you can enjoy "Hoosiers," "Bring it On," and "Dead Poet's Society."

50 First Dates - fun teen movie
50 First Dates - fun teen movie | Source

She's Like the Wind from Dirty Dancing

Why we enjoy Teen Movies

The "Best of Teen Movies" list is reminiscent of our years when we thought the world was: (1) pretty cool; (2) out to get us; and (3) not worth living in, all in the same day. Watching these movies again and considering how the stars in them have evolved over time is also instructive. You may wonder, where is Molly Ringwald or Ali McGraw? On the other hand, Tom Cruise, Kirstin Dunst and Reese Witherspoon all have successful careers. It just goes to show you that Hollywood popularity, much like that in high school, is fickle.

I recommend that, before you put too much thought into it, buy or rent one of these teen movies, and enjoy!

Life - like teenage years - is short!

Trailer for SuperBad!


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      "according to gretta" is a great teen movie. Hilary Duff is the main character. Great hub:)

    • dusty cake profile image

      dusty cake 

      7 years ago from Cork City

      Quality Hub man, only ' grease???????

    • profile image

      jello 14 

      7 years ago

      this movie i never seen befor they look perty good

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      try the twilight series they are great

    • profile image

      Alexis smith 

      8 years ago

      You have a pretty good list, but what about these classic films?

      Over the edge (1979)

      The warriors(1979

      a Little romance (1978)

      Trip with the teacher (1975)

      Cindy and donna (1970)

      Red dawn (1983)

      Running on empty


      The princess bride

      The karate kid

      Nightmare on elm street (Originals from 80s

      Friday the 13th (Originals from 80s

      Fright night

      Far from home 89



      The blue lagoon

      Lord of the flies

      Children of the corn

      The lost boys


      Better off dead


      One on one

      Ice castles (70s one with robbie benson)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you so much for the AMAZING suggestions of GREAT movies....... if you have not seen Bring It On, it a must see for teens!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I don't know if any of you have heard about the movie "A Walk To Remember". That movie made me cry all night.Believe me, that movie will make any teen cry.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I see people saying these movies are too old, but i'm 20 years old and LOVE every movie on that list. I watched those movies when i was in my teens, they may seem old, but give them a chance. Besides i happen to think that they just don't make movies like they used too!!!! :) GREAT list btw!!!! :D

    • funmontrealgirl profile image


      8 years ago from Montreal

      Great movies. Great memories.

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I remember "For Keeps" too! Molly Ringwald was the queen of Teen Movies in the 1980s!

    • trusouldj profile image

      LaZeric Freeman 

      8 years ago from Hammond

      Here's another Molly Ringwald flick that I love, "For Keeps" where her character is challenged with being a high school Senoir and teen mom.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      hey but this movies are sooo olddd...

      i need new ones dear**

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      wow!!great job..impressed

    • profile image

      Samar Dhwoj Acharya 

      9 years ago

      Thanks a lot for the list.. Downloading some of them: sixteen candles, 10 things I hate about you, mean girls

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      i such a film were i can laugh like mean girls but the other films are very bad cause there old

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      there so old

    • HelloKitty170 profile image


      9 years ago

      Great choices!

    • estranged911 profile image


      9 years ago from India!

      Yea..Ridgemont high One of the earliest flicks of Sean Penn.

      How about Dazed and confused?

    • profile image

      Tim Pavlou 

      9 years ago

      You forgot Fast Times at Ridgemont High. For anyone who went to high school in the early 80's in any suburb of America, that movie was practically a documentary.

    • estranged911 profile image


      9 years ago from India!

      Few names to add: A Lot Like Love, Pineapple Express, Road Trip, He's not just that into you.

    • profile image

      kimmy Smith 

      9 years ago

      mean girls is definitley a classic for teens in this age

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      A list which is a mixture of some amazing and some fucking movies name.

    • jharris0805 profile image


      9 years ago from Hodgenville, KY

      Cool Blog!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      There's no good movies what I want to whach

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I couldn't agree more with your choices. I love the 80's teen movies! Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club were classic movies!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Good! hmm! Well! Good!! Very Good!!! nice movie.I like it.

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      11 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Shadesbreath - yes, I do need to watch Super Bad! (I'm old too - was a teenager when 16 Candles came out).

      Dineane - you're welcome! :-) Steph

    • dineane profile image


      11 years ago from North Carolina

      Footloose is the only movie I ever paid to see in the theater more than once. Thanks for the walk down memory lane--it does make me want to watch some of these again!

    • Shadesbreath profile image


      11 years ago from California

      I forgot about some of these. Man, I'm old. Sixteen candles was awesome, so was Breakfast Club. Ferris Bueller's Day off might be top for me (U ever see Biloxi Blues? Broderick was fantastic in that one too, slightly older teen movie). And you need to watch Super Bad. It's fall down funny.

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      11 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thank you sadonna! It was a fun trip down memory lane. Time to update Netflix queue! :-) Steph

    • sadonna23 profile image


      11 years ago from Alabama

      Great memories i love these movies!

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      11 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi Desert Blondie - I love teen movies! They make me feel young. I'm with you on your picks. So many great films. Thanks for stopping by (love your movie hubs too!) Steph

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 

      11 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      Just found this one, and love it! I can watch Never Been Kissed once a month! Pretty much feel the same about Ferris Bueller... and since I like my movies to be pleasant diversions, I've only seen Carrie one time. And the Heath Ledger, high school band, scene ... fantastic!

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      11 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks Annette! There are some classics, indeed. Maybe its time to rent the other 1/3? LOL

    • Annette Rozen profile image

      Ann Martin 

      11 years ago

      excellent choices, impressivley, ive seen about 2/3 of your list

    • Panic 39 profile image

      Panic 39 

      11 years ago

      Yea add superbad!!!

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      11 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Whoops - inevtiably, I would leave one (or more) off. Didn't see it, but I heard that superbad was supergood.

    • stubbs profile image


      11 years ago from London

      omg, how is superbad not on that list???

      good list otherwise though :-)

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      11 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Ok, Peter. I should have said that my list was not in order of the best films. I would definitely put Graduate up higher, in that case! :-)

    • Peter M. Lopez profile image

      Peter M. Lopez 

      11 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

      Great list. The Graduate is a little low on the list for my taste, but you made up for it by having The Outsiders so high. Thus, forgiven.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      11 years ago from Seattle

      I loved 10 Things I Hate About You & Never Been Kissed.

      Sixteen Candles was definitely a favorite growing up.

    • MarloByDesign profile image


      11 years ago from United States

      'The Breakfast Club' - what a classic!!! Glad to see that on your list!

    • vreccc profile image


      11 years ago from Concord, NH

      10 Things I Hate About You was my introduction to Heath Ledger and is an awesome movie. Heath also did a stand up job in Brokeback Mountain. I will miss him

    • Whitney05 profile image


      11 years ago from Georgia

      Definitely see a few classics on that list.

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      11 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks Bob - really fun to watch the video clips in putting this one together!

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 

      11 years ago from New Brunswick

      Some great movies and movie memories here, thanks


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