Moms with Teens

Cafe MichelleP
What Is Your Favorite High School Movie?
August 2, 2013 at 10:03 AM

10 Movies About High School That Can Teach Teens How to Survive It

by Jeanne Sager

Mean GirlsSometimes I watch the Disney Channel with my daughter (because she's 8 and I'm a glutton for punishment), and I wonder whose idea of teenagehood I'm watching. Even the most entertaining things I watch on television or in the movie theaters tend to look nothing like the real high school years I went through.

Sadly, kids think they do. They watch High School Musical (wait, am I dating myself?) or Ferris Bueller's Day Off (REALLY dating myself here) and think, "Man, oh man, high school sounds AWESOME!"

So what movies do reflect high school? What movies should our kids be watching?

I don't think any of them are perfect -- they are MOVIES, after all -- but here are a few I want my daughter to see before she starts high school. Some of them are fun, some sad, but all have some lessons worth learning.



Happy ending aside, it can't hurt for teenagers to see how quickly a teenage couple's lives are upended over a pregnancy.

Dead Poets Society

Based on a true story, Dead Poets Society explores some of the sad truths of high school life -- disappointing our parents, suicide, first love, and the fact that standing up for what you believe in isn't always easy.

Fame (1980 original)

On its surface, it's all about singing and dancing at a performing arts high school. Underneath, it's about finding your strength to be yourself.

Mean Girls

It's no coincidence that underneath the hilarity of this 2004 cult hit, there lies an uncomfortable resemblance to the real life hierarchy of high school. Tina Fey based her screenplay on Queen Bees and Wannabes, a book that was based on studies of how girls interact with one another in high schools. Learning to navigate that world is a girl's key to escaping high school with a shred of self-esteem.


It's a documentary, I know, but this real-life look at what it is like to be the victim of bullying should be required viewing at every high school in America.

Say Anything

Every teenage boy should strive to be like Lloyd Dobbler. And every teenage girl deserves a guy like him.


Oh, hello scary story about what can go seriously wrong when you're drinking at a high school party.

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion

Technically this is 10 years post-high school, but every kid could use a reminder that there IS life after high school.

Friday Night Lights

Before the TV show (which is worth showing to the kids for its own reasons) was the 2004 film that showed some of the dark truths hiding behind the glitz and glamour of being the school's athletic heroes -- from abusive dads to life-changing injury. A good reminder that life isn't perfect for the popular kids either.

Have your teens seen any of these movies?

What is YOUR favorite high school movie?


  • atlmom2
    by atlmom2
    August 2, 2013 at 10:05 AM
    Hands down, Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
    Summer School next.
    Yes, they have seen Mean Girls.
  • luckysevenwow
    August 2, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Grease 2

    Breakfast Club

  • just_hc
    by just_hc
    August 2, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Breakfast Club hands down! 

  • steelcrazy
    August 2, 2013 at 10:12 AM

     I am also a huge fan of Breakfast Club.

    My teen hasn't seen any of the movies listed and don't think that any of them would appeal to him.  I've only seen one of them (Fame).

  • atlmom2
    by atlmom2
    August 2, 2013 at 10:14 AM
    breakfast club too
  • KayLundy3
    August 2, 2013 at 10:14 AM
    Grease, Ten Things I hate About You, Saved, She's Out of Control... I'm trying to remember more.
  • Cafe MichelleP
    August 2, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    I love Fast Times at Ridgemont High. My DH loves Summer School.

    Quoting atlmom2:

    Hands down, Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
    Summer School next.
    Yes, they have seen Mean Girls.

  • MockingJay
    August 2, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Fast Times at Ridgemont High

    The Breakfast Club

    Some Kind Of Wonderful

    Ferris Beulers Day Off


    The Outsiders

    Less Than Zero

  • Cafe MichelleP
    August 2, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Breakfast Club is my all time favorite high school movie!

    "Don't youuuuuu, forget about me", Great! Now that song will be stuck in my head all day.  :)

    Oh and Grease 2.... "Let's bowl, let's bowl, let's rock n roll"  haha. Love that one too.

    Quoting luckysevenwow:

    Grease 2

    Breakfast Club

  • Cafe MichelleP
    August 2, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Best teen movie EVER!

    Quoting just_hc:

    Breakfast Club hands down! 

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