teens The Top 25 Must-See Quintessential Teen Movies  

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3.7k votes 303 voters 3.1k views 25 items

List Rules Vote up the teen movies that define the genre and should be required viewing for beginners in an Intro to Teen Movies class.

We all grew up watching them, so it's only natural everyone has their favorite teen movie. Whether it was released back in the '60s or in recent history, teen films tend to appeal to young adults via relatable storylines, light humor, and - of course - plenty of angst. These films have made us all laugh, cry, and fall in love with pretty much whoever was on the screen. If you want to relive your adolescence, there are some teen movies everyone should watch to recall what it was like to be that age. But which teen movies are truly essential?

If you feel unfamiliar with the genre - hey, not everyone was into mainstream cinema in high school! - this list can help familiarize you with the world of teen films. These are basically teen films for beginners.  There are hundreds of must-see teen movies, but this list compiles the most influential films of the genre. From the groundbreaking Breakfast Club to the more recent Mean Girlsthese famous films pushed the boundaries of adolescent entertainment. 

Get an intro to teen movies below by checking out some of these must-see films. Then, vote up your favorites. 

list ordered by

1
162 27
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Grease John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing Grease is a 1978 American musical romantic comedy-drama film directed by Randal Kleiser and produced by Paramount Pictures. It is based on Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs' 1971 musical of the same ...more

2
167 30
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Mean Girls Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried Mean Girls is a 2004 American teen comedy film. Mark Waters directed, and Tina Fey wrote the screenplay, which is based in part on Rosalind Wiseman's non-fiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes, ...more

3
162 31
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Clueless Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd Clueless is a 1995 American comedy film loosely based on Jane Austen's 1815 novel Emma. It stars Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Paul Rudd, and Brittany Murphy. The film is set in Beverly Hills ...more

4
165 34
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The Breakfast Club Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall The Breakfast Club is a 1985 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by John Hughes and starring Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, John ...more

5
142 30
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Bring It On Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Gabrielle Union Bring It On is a 2000 American teen comedy film that was directed by Peyton Reed and written by Jessica Bendinger. It was followed by four direct-to-video sequels, none of which contain any of ...more

6
152 36
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10 Things I Hate About You Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gabrielle Union, Heath Ledger 10 Things I Hate About You is a 1999 American teen romantic comedy-drama film. It is directed by Gil Junger and stars Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The romantic comedy ...more

7
144 36
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American Pie Alyson Hannigan, Tara Reid, Shannon Elizabeth American Pie is a 1999 teen sex comedy film written by Adam Herz and directed by brothers Paul and Chris Weitz, in their directorial film debut. It is the first film in the American Pie ...more

8
134 44
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Ferris Bueller's Day Off Charlie Sheen, Matthew Broderick, Jeffrey Jones Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a 1986 American comedy film written, produced and directed by John Hughes. The film follows high school senior Ferris Bueller, who skips school and spends the day in ...more

9
123 41
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Sixteen Candles John Cusack, Molly Ringwald, Joan Cusack Sixteen Candles is a 1984 American coming-of-age comedy film starring Molly Ringwald, Michael Schoeffling and Anthony Michael Hall. It was written and directed by John Hughes.

10
117 39
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She's All That Sarah Michelle Gellar, Anna Paquin, Lil' Kim She's All That is a 1999 American teen romantic comedy film directed by Robert Iscove and starring Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook. It is a modern adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's ...more

11
111 36
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13 Going on 30 Jennifer Garner, Ashley Benson, Mark Ruffalo 13 Going on 30 is a 2004 American romantic comedy fantasy film written by Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa, and directed by Gary Winick. Starring Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer, Andy ...more

12
112 38
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The Karate Kid Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts romantic drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and written by Robert Mark Kamen, starring Ralph Macchio, who was 22 years old during principal ...more

The Best Teen Movies of All Time

13
111 44
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Superbad Emma Stone, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill Superbad is a 2007 American teen comedy film directed by Greg Mottola and starring Jonah Hill and Michael Cera. The film was written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who began working on the ...more

14
86 37
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The Outsiders Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Diane Lane The Outsiders is a 1983 American drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by S. E. Hinton. The film was released on March 25, 1983. Jo Ellen ...more

15
97 46
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Stand by Me Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, John Cusack Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming of age comedy-drama adventure film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O'Connell. Based on the novella ...more

16
95 45
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A Cinderella Story Hilary Duff, Jennifer Coolidge, Chad Michael Murray A Cinderella Story is a 2004 American teen romantic comedy film. The film stars Hilary Duff, Chad Michael Murray, Jennifer Coolidge, and Regina King and was directed by Mark Rosman. The film's ...more

17
88 40
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Pretty in Pink James Spader, Gina Gershon, Molly Ringwald Pretty in Pink is a 1986 American romantic comedy-drama film about love and social cliques in 1980s American high schools. It is one of John Hughes' films starring Molly Ringwald, and is ...more

18
99 51
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Napoleon Dynamite Haylie Duff, Jon Heder, Diedrich Bader Napoleon Dynamite is a 2004 American independent art-house comedy film written by Jared and Jerusha Hess and directed by Jared. The film stars Jon Heder in the role of the title character, for ...more

19
92 48
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Dazed and Confused Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Matthew McConaughey Dazed and Confused is a 1993 coming of age comedy film written and directed by Richard Linklater. The film features a large ensemble cast of actors who would later become stars, including ...more

20
80 42
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17 Again Zac Efron, Michelle Trachtenberg, Matthew Perry 17 Again is a 2009 American comedy film directed by Burr Steers. The film follows 37-year-old Mike who becomes a 17-year-old high school student after a chance accident. The film also features ...more

21
77 49
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Heathers Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, Christian Slater Heathers is a 1988 comedy, drama film written by Daniel Waters and directed by Michael Lehmann.

22
77 50
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Fast Times at Ridgemont High Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a 1982 American coming-of-age teen comedy film written by Cameron Crowe, adapted from his 1981 book of the same name. As a freelance writer for Rolling Stone ...more

23
61 52
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Say Anything... John Cusack, Jeremy Piven, Joan Cusack Say Anything... is a 1989 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Cameron Crowe in his directorial debut. In 2002, Entertainment Weekly ranked Say Anything... as the greatest ...more

24
44 57
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West Side Story Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, John Astin West Side Story is a 1961 American romantic musical drama film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. The film is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn ...more

25
23 72
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One Crazy Summer Demi Moore, John Cusack, Jeremy Piven One Crazy Summer is a 1986 romantic comedy film written and directed by Savage Steve Holland, and starring John Cusack, Demi Moore, Bobcat Goldthwait, Curtis Armstrong, and Joel Murray. The ...more