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10 Things I Hate About You Julia Stiles Heath Ledger
Touchstone Pictures

The Most Iconic Teen Movies of All Time

Look, I may not technically be a teen anymore (hello to my rapidly approaching quarter life crisis!), but I still have a deep appreciation for teen movies. For some reason, the high school setting just makes everything all the more dramatic and entertaining—probably because of the hormones and high stakes social situations! Not to mention the fantastic soundtracks, fashion, and one-liners that so often populate teen movies. In my (very uninformed) opinion, teen movies are the best film genre. Here are five that if you haven’t seen, you have to ASAP:

Gif from the movie Clueless


1. Heathers

The darkest of all the movies on this list, Heathers is the originator of amazing quotable lines like “Did you have a brain tumor for breakfast?”, “my teen angst bullshit now has a body count”, and, of course, “Fuck me gently with a chainsaw.” The movie follows Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder), an average girl who has somehow fallen into the popular clique, the Heathers. When attractive bad boy (and possible psychopath) J.D. (Christian Slater) comes into the picture, her whole world shifts. Let’s just say this movie ends with a bang!


2. Mean Girls

I’m pretty sure everyone alive knows what this movie is about: jungle freak Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) transfers to a new school and falls in with the popular clique, The Plastics (gee, sound familiar?). If you can’t quote this movie by heart, what are you doing with your life? Get in loser, we’re watching Mean Girls!


Clueless gif


Something you might actually not know about this amazing 90s movie is that it’s actually a modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma! It’s actually pretty similar, except Emma Woodhouse is transformed in Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone), a Beverly Hills teen who makes similar horrible mistakes while everyone around her underestimates her intelligence. Like the others, this movie is also home to some moments that are Hall of Fame-worthy, from “As if!” to “You don’t understand, this is an Alaïa!”


4. 10 Things I Hate About You

Truly one of the best rom-coms of all time, Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles star in this movie as mysterious new guy Patrick and fierce feminist Kat. The unlikely couple may originally get together because Patrick was paid to date her (yikes…), but you’ll be rooting for them by the end of the movie. Interestingly, this movie is also another modern literary adaptation, this time of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.

Gif from the movie 10 Things I Hate About You

5. Easy A

To be honest, I’m not usually a huge Emma Stone fan, but she kills this movie. A modern Scarlet Letter, the movie follows Olive, who lies about losing her virginity and gets branded as the school’s easiest girl. At first, she leans into it, transforming her wardrobe and rocking a Hester Prynne style “A”, but soon everything spirals out of control. The movie has an important message about slut-shaming, double standards, and believing rumors. Also, Amanda Bynes is in it! Personally, I’ll forever love the “Pocket Full of Sunshine” scene and any scene with Olive’s iconic parents.


Honorable Mentions:To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, The Lizzie McGuire Movie and every other Disney Channel Original Movie made in the 2000s, Pretty in Pink, Booksmart, Say Anything, Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (1 and 2!)The Princess Diaries (also 1 and 2!), Bring It On!, Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging

Mary is a senior at HWS and the Senior Editor of the HWS Her Campus chapter. An English major and Writing Colleagues minor, she plans to work in the publishing industry after college. On campus, Mary works as a student writer at the Office of Communications and is a member of the One-on-One Friendship Club. In her free time, Mary likes reading, writing, and running.
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