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Her Campus’s Favorite Movies, TV, Music, and Pop Culture Moments of the Decade

Believe it or not, the decade of the 2000s has come to a close. And I still haven’t figured out what to call it yet! The “Aughts”? The “Oh-ohs”? I have absolutely no idea. What I do know is that we at Her Campus have decided to come up with a list of some of our favorite movies, television shows, albums and pop culture moments of the 2000s (or whatever they’re called), and we’re super jazzed to share them with you. So, without further ado, I present to you Her Campus staffers’ faves of the ‘00s (until we can find a better name for it!). Next time you’re sitting around with nothing to do, consult this list for some entertainment direction!


Best Movies to Reconnect with Your Inner Middle-Schooler:

The Harry Potter Series (2000-?) -Marissa Miller, Her Campus Contributing Writer

Best New Comedy Classics:

The Hangover (2009) -Cara Sprunk, Her Campus Managing Editor
Wedding Crashers (2005) -Hilary May, Her Campus Contributing Writer

Best Movies to Launch You Deep Into Thought:

Milk (2008) -Sophie Jasinski, Her Campus Contributing Writer
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) -Rachel Dozier, Victoria Uwumarogie, Her Campus Contributing Writers

Best Movies for When You’re Feeling Both Intellectual and Silly:

Juno (2007), I Heart Huckabees (2004) -Hallie Santo, Her Campus Contributing Writer The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) -Elyssa Goodman, Her Campus Style Editor

Best Dance That Everyone Should Learn:

Little Miss Sunshine (2006) -Cece Wildeman, Her Campus Contributing Writer

Best (and widest) Use of Pink in a Movie:

Legally Blonde (2001) -Stephanie Kaplan, Her Campus CEO and Editor-in-Chief

And don’t forget!

These movies also made a splash this past decade for their poignant stories, irreverent humor and cultural impact, so check them out for a dose of some ‘00s nostalgia:

Slumdog Millionaire (2008) — With a cast of unknowns, the film set in India about a young Indian man accused of cheating at Who Wants to Be a Millionaire swept the Academy Awards, winning seven of them, including Best Picture.

Mean Girls (2004) — Another new (and thoroughly quotable) classic, starring pre-rehab Lindsay Lohan and a sharp script by Tina Fey, based on the book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman: “That’s why her hair is so big, it’s full of secrets!”

Napoleon Dynamite (2004) — The quirky oddball comedy gave us a craving for tater-tots and urged us to “Vote for Pedro,” shooting actor Jon Heder to stardom.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003) — The three-film epic directed by Peter Jackson made J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic novels about Middle Earth into Hollywood gold, winning 17 Academy Awards between the three films (The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King was the only one to win Best Picture, however).

Moulin Rouge (2001) — Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor starred in this musical set in 1890s Paris at the famed Moulin Rouge nightclub. Directed by Australian Baz Luhrmann, the film was driven by pop music, peaking the Billboard charts at number three.

Memento (2000) — Considered one of the most well-made films of the decade by publications like the San Francisco Chronicle to Paste Magazine, Memento follows an unusual narrative as Leonard, played by Guy Pearce, tries to avenge his wife’s death while battling short-term memory loss, gained after a brutal beating by his wife’s killer.

TV Shows

Shows to Make Us Laugh Out Loud:

How I Met Your Mother (2005-present) -Cara Sprunk
Friends (1994-2004) -Elyssa Goodman

Best Dramas:

House (2004-present) -Joanna Buffum, Her Campus Contributing Writer
Everwood (2002-2006) -Cece Wildeman

Best Nighttime Soap to Bring Back Memories of High School

The O.C. (2003-2007) -Hilary May, Cara Sprunk

Best Dose of Reality:

America’s Next Top Model (2003-present), American Idol (2002-present) -Stephanie Kaplan

Best Use of Witty Banter and Cultural References:

Flight of the Conchords (2007-present), Entourage (2004-present), Arrested Development (2003-2006) -Hallie Santo

That ‘70s Show (1998-2006) -Cece Wildeman Gilmore Girls (2000-2007) -Rachel Dozier

Brilliant but Canceled:

Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000) -Sophie Jasinski

Costume Closet We’d Most Like to Raid:

Sex and the City (1998-2006) -Cara Sprunk, Sophie Jasinski

And don’t forget!

Mad Men (2007-present) — Set in the 1960s, this popular AMC drama about Madison Avenue advertising men created a resurgence in 1960s style.

Gossip Girl (2007-present) — A nighttime soap in the tradition of The O.C., Gossip Girl follows the lives of wealthy Manhattan teens and their quests for love (and lust).

The Office (2005-present) — This dry comedy based on England’s own sitcom of the same name follows the quirky employees of the Dunder Mifflin paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Lost (2004-present) — In this ABC drama starring Matthew Fox, survivors of a plane crash struggle to stay alive on what they think is an otherwise deserted island.


Another Country (2008) by Tift Merritt -Cece Wildeman
Graduation (2007) by Kanye West -Sophie Jasinski

Late Registration (2005) by Kanye West -Victoria Uwumarogie, Her Campus Contributing Writer

Alright, Still (2006) by Lily Allen

Fever to Tell (2003) by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs -Hallie Santo

Songs About Jane (2002) by Maroon 5 -Hilary May

The Fame Monster (2009), The Fame (2008) by Lady Gaga Tha Carter III (2008) by Lil Wayne In Rainbows (2007), Kid A (2000) by Radiohead Busted Stuff (2002) by Dave Matthews Band Oh, Inverted World (2001) by The Shins -Joanna Buffum

Modern Guilt (2008) by Beck Twelve (2007) by Patti Smith Boys and Girls in America (2006) by The Hold Steady Transatlanticism (2003) by Death Cab for Cutie -Elyssa Goodman

And don’t forget!

Return to Cookie Mountain (2006) by TV on the Radio: Though the band’s first release, Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes (2004) didn’t make much of a splash, the band exploded into 2006 with this release, establishing them as an inventive and talented band to keep an eye on.

Funeral (2004) by Arcade Fire: The Canadian indie-rock band, fronted by husband and wife Win Butler and Renee Chassagne, had their first release met with unbridled acclaim from critics and fans alike, shooting them to stardom.

Back to Black (2006) by Amy Winehouse: With her tattoos, messy bouffant hairdo and not-so-secret drug addiction, Amy Winehouse made a big impact with this second album, highlighting her soulful Motown-inspired vocals.

Elephant (2003) by The White Stripes: On this album, AllMusic.com writer Heather Phares writes that the White Stripes “some of the fiercest blues-punk of [their] career,” with powerful critically and commercially successful tunes like “Seven Nation Army” and “The Hardest Button to Button.”

The Blueprint (2001) by Jay-Z: Though Jay-Z had released five albums before The Blueprint, this album established him as the new king of the New York rap scene and is regarded as one of the best rap albums, if not the best rap album, of the decade.

Stankonia (2000) by OutKast: OutKast’s second album was filled with smart rhymes and addictive beats, sailing up the Billboard charts to number two when it was released in 2000. The album features the classics “Ms. Jackson”, “So Fresh, So Clean”, and “B.O.B”.

Pop Culture Moments

Just a sampling of the most memorable celebrity/pop culture moments of the past decade.

“I’mma Let You Finish”

After Taylor Swift won Best Female Video at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye West promptly got up on stage and cut off her speech in support of Beyoncé, declaring, “I’m sorry, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time,” while Beyoncé,sat in the audience, shocked. Ranking: Way to Make A Fool of Yourself…

Michael Jackson’s Death

In June 2009, Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop” known for his bestselling albums like 1982’s Thriller and 1987’s Bad, died from a heart attack at the age of 50. Ranking: Tragedy—We’ll Miss You

Braniston to Brangelina

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were married in July 2000, but split up in 2005. Pitt almost immediately got together with Mr. and Mrs. Smith co-star Angelina Jolie. Claims circulated about Jolie stealing Pitt. The couple now has six children, three adopted and three biological. Ranking: We Saw It Coming

The “Wardrobe Malfunction”

During the 2004 Super Bowl Halftime Show, performer Janet Jackson experienced what co-performer Justin Timberlake called a “wardrobe malfunction” after he tore at her costume at the end of the song “Rock Your Body” to the lyrics “better have you naked at the end of this song,” exposing her right breast to a national audience. Ranking: If Nobody Was Supposed To See It, Then Why Was It All Over The News? Every Day?

The Britney/Madonna Kiss

At the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, pop sensations Britney Spears and the legendary Madonna locked lips in the midst of their performance of “Like a Virgin” and “Hollywood.” Poor Christina Aguilera got a kiss, too, but Britney got all the credit. Ranking: Our Kids Will Hear About This One


International Movie Database



MTV News


Paste Magazine


Entertainment Weekly

ABC News

The Her Campus Team

Elyssa Goodman likes words and pictures a lot. She is a Style Consultant at Her Campus, was previously the publication's first Style Editor, and has been with the magazine since its inception in 2009. Elyssa graduated with honors from Carnegie Mellon University, where she studied Professional Writing, Creative Writing, and Photography. As an undergraduate, she founded and was the editor-in-chief of The Cut, Carnegie Mellon's Music Magazine. Originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Elyssa now lives and works in New York City as Miss Manhattan, a freelance writer, photographer, stylist and social media consultant. Her work has appeared in Vice, Marie Claire, New York Magazine, Glamour, The New Yorker, Artforum, Bust, Bullett, Time Out New York, Nerve.com, and many other publications across the globe. Elyssa is also the photographer of the book "Awkwafina's NYC," written by Nora "Awkwafina" Lum. She loves New York punk circa 1973, old-school photobooths, macaroni and cheese, and Marilyn Monroe. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @MissManhattanNY.
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