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The best teen movie prom scenes

From budding romances to literal blood baths, here are ten classic prom scenes from some of the best teen movies


Prom night is the pinnacle of the high school experience, and few teen movies are complete without one—or at least, some sort of culminating dance scene. The whole school is gathered, everyone is gussied up and the shit usually hits the fan, for better or worse. And since remembering our own prom nights is painfully embarrassing, we choose to remember these classic teen movie prom scenes instead.

RECOMMENDED: More of the 100 best teen movies

Best teen movie prom scenes, Pretty In Pink

Pretty In Pink, 1986

Andie whips up a homemade confection of a dress, confronts her fears and foes, mends fences with Duckie and bags the man of her dreams, all in a prom night's work.

Best teen movie prom scenes, Mean Girls

Mean Girls, 2004

Okay so technically it's Spring Fling, but with an acceptance speech like this one, Cady Heron could have been named queen of the Mathletes (which she kind of was) and we'd still have her on this list. Plastic tiara bits for everyone!

Best teen movie prom scenes, Carrie

Carrie, 1976

A sweet, euphoric Carrie gets doused in pig's blood during her big moment by some long-conning teen bullies. The joke is on them, however, when in a rage her telekinetic powers seal the exits, hose down the students and, whoops, burn down the entire gym with everyone inside. Memories!

Best teen movie prom scenes, Valley Girl

Valley Girl, 1983

Randy and Fred lurk backstage at Julie's prom, vowing to "Crush that fly!" Cue the fly, Tommy, who gets an ass-beating for all of prom to see when the curtains go up. To add insult to injury, Julie smashes a bowl of guacamole in his face, starting a prom-wide food fight. Randy leads Julie out of the gym—and out of the Valley, as the two ride off in Tommy's limousine.

Best teen movie prom scenes, 10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You, 1999

Unbearable sub-wedding-band plastic soul combo aside, the 10 Things prom looks like a lot of fun, in a plush, Armani-clad, American-rich-kid kinda way. Heath Ledger certainly scrubs up well, even if there is a touch of the gorilla-in-a-tux about him—but all is forgiven when he gives Julia Stiles that one red rose. Swoon!

Best teen movie prom scenes, Romy & Michele's High School Reunion

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, 1997

Fine, most of the plot takes place ten years after a fateful prom, but judging from flashbacks, we can tell it was a doozy, climaxing in a vicious romantic trap set by a cheerleader. Even if the mind game doesn't douse one of our title heroines in pig's blood, it still leaves a scar.

Best teen movie prom scenes, She's All That

She's All That, 1999

What, you didn't have a choreographed dance-off at your prom? That no one seemed to have prepared for but everyone magically knew the moves? DJed by Usher doing the robot? Well, that's why this prom made our list and yours did not. (Also, the hiliarity of Jesse hiding upstairs with a heaping plate of shrimp cocktail did not escape us.)

Best teen movie prom scenes, Back to the Future

Back to the Future, 1985

Please, not a "prom": It's the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance. And in case you've forgotten, it's the place where nerdy George McFly and Lorraine have to kiss for the first time—or else. It also turns out to be the site where rock & roll was invented.

Best teen movie prom scenes, American Pie

American Pie, 1999

After a year of plotting how to lose their virginities, the fellowship of bros at the heart of the American Pie legend retreat to the lakeside prom after-party of your dreams and all make their moves at the same time. Nothing goes according to plan (and Finch inexplicably has sex with Stifler’s mom, dooming us to three sequels of retreading the same joke), but the boys still learn that the real prize wasn’t sex , it was…no, it was totally sex.

Best teen movie prom scenes, Just One of the Guys

Just One of the Guys, 1985

This night has everything that makes the teen movie genre so great: a prom king crowning ceremony, iconic bully Billy Zabka punching someone on a beach, a cheesy hair band, and a major confession—in this case, cross-dressing Terry revealing to her crush that she’s been a girl the whole time, an admission that naturally requires her to show her boobs to the entire senior class.

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