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Best Teen Movies: Films for and About Teenagers

Stephanie 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?

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

Scroll to Continue

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

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!


Miranda on June 13, 2012:

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

dusty cake from Cork City on June 02, 2012:

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

jello 14 on February 13, 2012:

this movie i never seen befor they look perty good

qwerty on January 18, 2012:

try the twilight series they are great

Alexis smith on September 30, 2011:

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)

George on August 19, 2011:

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!

claire on August 02, 2011:

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.

AFWife on March 31, 2011:

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 from Montreal on March 23, 2011:

Great movies. Great memories.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 17, 2011:

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

LaZeric Freeman from Hammond on March 17, 2011:

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.

immo on March 12, 2011:

hey but this movies are sooo olddd...

i need new ones dear**

pricly50 on March 12, 2011:

wow!!great job..impressed

Samar Dhwoj Acharya on November 23, 2010:

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

jane on November 02, 2010:

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

lea on November 02, 2010:

there so old

HelloKitty170 on October 31, 2010:

Great choices!

estranged911 from India! on October 12, 2010:

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

How about Dazed and confused?

Tim Pavlou on October 10, 2010:

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 from India! on September 26, 2010:

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

kimmy Smith on August 29, 2010:

mean girls is definitley a classic for teens in this age

jharris0805 from Hodgenville, KY on June 14, 2010:

Cool Blog!

Öö on March 03, 2010:

There's no good movies what I want to whach

ipodmovies on January 05, 2010:

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!

N.Sumon on April 11, 2009:

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

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on July 10, 2008:

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 from North Carolina on July 10, 2008:

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 from California on July 10, 2008:

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.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on July 10, 2008:

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

sadonna23 from Alabama on July 10, 2008:

Great memories i love these movies!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on July 10, 2008:

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 from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen on July 10, 2008:

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!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on June 25, 2008:

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

Ann Martin on June 25, 2008:

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

Panic 39 on February 29, 2008:

Yea add superbad!!!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on February 29, 2008:

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

stubbs from London on February 29, 2008:

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

good list otherwise though :-)

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on February 28, 2008:

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 from Sweetwater, TX on February 28, 2008:

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 from Seattle on February 28, 2008:

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

Sixteen Candles was definitely a favorite growing up.

MarloByDesign from United States on February 28, 2008:

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

vreccc from Concord, NH on February 28, 2008:

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

Whitney from Georgia on February 28, 2008:

Definitely see a few classics on that list.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on February 28, 2008:

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

Bob Ewing from New Brunswick on February 28, 2008:

Some great movies and movie memories here, thanks

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