Every once in awhile, we all experience nostalgia for the slumber parties and girls’ nights of our younger years. If you grew up in the early 2000s, a key component of any successful sleepover was a trip to Blockbuster to browse the latest teen movies. There’s something about the cheesiness and predictability about movies from this era that makes them so special. Whether you and your friends were looking for a laugh, or wanted to explore your teen romance fantasies — there’s a 100% chance there was a Channing Tatum or Lindsay Lohan movie you could watch.
So, if you and your BFFs are looking to relive the emotion-filled years of your early teens, we’ve compiled 18 of the most iconic ~throwback~ teen movies. Grab your fluffy slippers, gummy worms, and popcorn — it’s time for a girls’ night. (P.S. possible spoilers ahead!)
This one’s a given. What movie says “sleepover” more than, well, Sleepover. This is great because it’s one of teen icon Alexa Vega’s lesser-known masterpieces. This is a classic tale of nice girls versus the popular, mean-girl clique. No spoilers, but the ending of this movie was super-inspiring for every sixth grade girl who was watching it in a matching pajama set and head gear.
Plus, there are some weirdly surprising celeb cameos in this. Like, Steve Carrell, Jane Lynch, and Evan Peters? We’ll take it!
2. Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging
Based on the side-splittingly funny Georgia Nicholson book series, Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging definitely lived up to the hype. For those of you who didn’t have the opportunity to read the book series, the movie does a really amazing job portraying the absurdity, hilariousness and constant chaos that is British teen, Georgia Nicholson’s life. What makes this teen movie so great is how honest it is. Georgia is totally believable as a character. She’s constantly embarrassing herself, she’s not outrageously hot (like, who decided that Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan should play ~nerdy~ girls?), and she can be a little selfish and mean in the way that only self-conscious teen girls can be.
As IF this iconic movie wouldn’t make the cut. Everything about Clueless is a teen girl’s dream. The ridiculous outfits, squad of amazing friends, and of course — Paul Rudd *sigh*. Cher is the friend we all wish we had; popular but totally kind, queen of her social circle, and the go-to girl when you’re having a fashion emergency. This movie is the birthplace of memorable quotes such as “you’re a virgin who can’t drive,” and “it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty” — plus where the iconic “rollin’ with the homies” dance emerged.
4. 13 Going On 30
This movie should be a required watch for every awkward seventh grader who’s trying to grow up as soon as possible. It might be a cheesy rom-com at the end of the day, but this movie has some seriously beautiful life lessons.
It taught us that no one peaks it middle school, being popular isn’t everything, embrace and enjoy your awkward years, and appreciate the people you love (especially if one of those people is an adorably-geeky young Mark Ruffalo). You and your friends will be feeling ALL kinds of sentimental after watching this. And of course, before you watch this make sure you have a pack of Razzles on hand.
5. Ice Princess
Ice Princess is one of the most seriously underrated teen movies. This 2005 teen drama will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. There are incredible acrobatics, romance, family drama, and *gasp* sabotage. Casey struggles to find herself, as her love and talent for figure skating begins clashing with her academic dreams of going to Harvard. While her struggle may not exactly be relatable (unless you happen to be a genius AND a professional athlete), Michelle Trachtenberg makes us all feel her pain when her controlling mom (Joan Cusack) tries to make her give up on her passion for skating.
6. A Cinderella Story
It’s no secret that Hilary Duff is the undisputed queen of teen movies. This is one of her life’s best works, plus it doesn’t hurt that her love interest is the undeniably-dreamy Chad Michael Murray. Who wouldn’t be a sucker for a modernized version of Cinderella? The only thing more perfect than Hilary (as Sam Montgomery) being the Cinderella in this scenario is Jennifer Coolidge acting as her evil stepmom. This is one of the most classic underdog stories of all time; seeing Sam’s transformation from lowly diner waitress to the mysterious belle of the ball gave us all hope.
7. The Cheetah Girls
If you don’t think this was the absolute-best Disney Channel Original Movie, you are seriously mistaken. This was honestly a great movie for any girl coming-of-age to watch. It taught us that nothing — not even fame and fortune — can get in the way of true friendship. Plus, every girl had such a cool, interesting and diverse background story. The Cheetah Girls is one of the most empowering tales of girl power, and it’s only made better by the soundtrack of legendary bangers (the best one obviously being “Girl Power”).
8. Bring It On
There is almost nothing more stereotypically-2000s than the Bring It On enterprise. We’re not exactly sure what it was about the early 2000s and cheerleading/gymnastics teen movies but we’re not gonna question it. The legendary rivalry between Torrance (Kirsten Dunst) and Isis (Gabrielle Union) is one of the best in film history.
Another great thing about this movie is its seemingly-endless sequels, so there was always a new one to watch at your slumber parties. If this movie doesn’t have you and your BFFs feeling super nostalgic, nothing will.
9. Hannah Montana: The Movie
While we may have been slightly too old to get super-hype about Hannah Montana: The Movie, there’s no way we were gonna let that stop us from learning every single dance move to the “Hoedown Throwdown.” As Miley starts getting a little too fame-crazy and gets in an on-air dispute with Tyra Banks (which is way more ridiculous in retrospect), good ol’ Robbie Ray decides she needs to get back to her roots. While the ending of this movie is absolutely absurd, Miley’s love interest, Travis, is seriously dreamy. Plus you and your friends will have the time of your lives screaming along to “The Climb.”
10. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
While this movie is a little bit less stereotypically ~teen girl~, if you and your friends watched this when it came out, you’ll understand why it made the list. While we’re all a little bit sick of Michael Cera playing the same charming, quiet, indie kid, we still completely fell for him in this movie. His blossoming romance and New York City adventures with ultra-babe Norah (Kat Dennings) made us absolutely melt. TBH it may have set our expectations for high school guys a little too high.
11. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Okay, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is required watching for all of us who love teen movies. The best part of this movie is that there’s a character with struggles that almost every one of your friends could relate to. Whether it was dealing with divorce like Carmen, romantic turmoil like Lena, artistic angst like Tibby or familial loss like Bridget — the movie dealt with some seriously-heavy issues that made us all feel a little less alone during our most vulnerable years.
PS: highly recommend going back and rereading the series now that you’re (slightly) older and ~wiser~.
12. John Tucker Must Die
This movie was the totally-raunchy teen movie that was a staple at every sleepover. John Tucker Must Die is one of the best stories of revenge and female friendship to date. Was there anything more satisfying than seeing the stereotypical, douchey student-athlete being absolutely wrecked by four awesome girls who have finally had enough of his nonsense? Absolutely not. You and your pals will have a blast reveling in the secondhand revenge you’ll be getting on all the John Tuckers in your lives.
13. The Princess Diaries
Which Princess Diaries you may ask? Honestly any of them, but we all know that the first one is where it’s at. This is one of those teen movies you can watch 100 times and never get sick of it. Even now, this movie seriously tugs at our heartstrings. Is there ANY fictional character more dreamy than Michael Moscovitz? Aside from the amazing plot line and cast (Anne Hathaway AND Julie Andrews) the aesthetic of this movie is totally classic. Whether it’s Mia’s secret “tower” in her and her mom’s firehouse-turned-apartment, her iconic transformation into a ~princess~ or Michael’s apology M&M; pizza, this movie is full of unforgettable gems.
14. What a Girl Wants
Any teen movies viewing-party would be incomplete without an appearance from Miss Amanda Bynes. This 2003 comedy was one of Amanda’s best works. All of us could relate to pretty much any character Amanda played because she was always so unapologetically silly, ridiculous and scatter-brained. In this movie, Amanda plays Daphne, the secret daughter of a British political figure. In getting to know her real dad, Daphne experiences adventure, sleazy dudes, family drama and (slight spoiler) a happy ending.
15. Freaky Friday
While it was kind of hard to pick just one of Lindsay Lohan’s iconic films, Freaky Friday was the obvious choice. This movie was so cool, we honestly still aspire to be Anna. Anna (played by Lohan) isn’t like the protagonist in most teen movies — she’s kind of a slacker, she plays in a badass rock band, and she can be kind of a brat. At the risk of sounding silly, this movie truly shows how talented Lindsay and Jamie Lee Curtis truly are — they are totally believable playing each other after switching bodies. If you didn’t buy this soundtrack the SECOND it came out in 2003 and then listen to it in your walkman all summer long, you were really missing out on some truly great music.
After watching this movie as ~kind of~ adults, we have to conclude that it is absolutely ridiculous and absurd. You and your friends will have a blast reliving your awkward Twihard years, wondering why all of the horrible acting and the clearly-abusive relationship between Bella and Edward got you so unbelievably excited. While Kristen Stewart has grown into a super-cool woman, watching her mumble through her role as Bella Swan is straight-up painful. Rewatching the Twilight series is way more entertaining as a twentysomething. Trust us.
17. The Lizzie McGuire Movie
TBH, if this wasn’t already on your list of teen movies you should be slightly ashamed of yourself. The Lizzie McGuire Movie was hands-down the peak of early-2000s pop culture. The outfits, the soundtrack, the drama, the scenery — this movie was every middle school girl’s dream. Whether or not the premise of a 15-year-old becoming an overnight Italian pop sensation is realistic, we are absolutely here for it. Without giving away too much, if you were a loyal Lizzie fan from season 1, pretty much every scene involving Gordo will make you absolutely melt.
18. Raise Your Voice
Okay, we had to finish up this list with the underdog of dramatic teen movies and another of Hillz’ classics. Again, go into Raise Your Voice with an open mind, knowing that you’re about to experience 100 minutes of cheesy, over-the-top acting and ridiculously-dated cultural references. If you didn’t see this movie in its prime, it basically follows Terri (played by Hilary Duff) struggling to find her love for singing again, while grieving the death of her brother/BFF. The soundtrack to this movie is honestly what makes it great because it’s 99% Hilary Duff. Long live the early 2000s.