What We Learned from Our Favorite Teen Movies

Some movies you grew up watching over and over again. 
I know I was borderline obsessive with a few.
That’s normal for a pre-teen/teenage girl. 
I think.

For those movies that really just get you, it’s probably because you wanted to be the characters, be best friends with them, the movie was teaching you life lessons, or you knew you weren’t allowed to watch it and your Mom wasn’t home. 

When I look back, here are some of the life lessons from my very favorites.

1. Now and Then
Boys who are mean to you probably like you. 
Growing up will probably make you cynical.
You were not creative enough about stuffing your bra.

2. Step Up
You will never have enough rhythm, coordination, or timing to be able to dance 1/10 as cool as Channing Tatum and his future wife. Don’t try. 
No really 17 year old Nadine, don’t try.

For the record, Kaylin made me see Step Up 3 in college the day it came out. 
And she cried at the end. Kaylin, I’m sorry I put that on the interwebs for everyone to see. 

3. American Pie
This was my first indication of just how pervy teenage boys are. Don’t pretend like you didn’t sneak watch this at wayyy too young an age. Also, having the name Nadine became popular for .2 seconds after Nadia took her top off. Awkward.

4. The Lizzie McGuire Movie
The cartoon version of me would be way funnier than the real version. 
It would be a much better idea to date your guy best friend than any other guy in high school.

5. High School Musical
Who says that we can’t have it all?
Boys who sing and dance can be cool. 
Hell, they might wind up being as sexy as Zac Efron.

6.  A Walk to Remember
Bad thing happen to good people. 
But most importantly (and most misleading), you can change a bad boys bad boy ways. 
False, Nicholas Sparks. False.

7. The Parent Trap
If you work really hard on your British accent, you can absolutely sound British 
(to 12 year old American girls). I still work on this after every Downton Abbey episode.
Also, even with an accent, the person from California will always be “cooler.” 
Don’t tell me you didn’t 
a. Want to learn to play poker 
b. Come up with a secret handshake
c. ask your mom 800 questions about your own birth in hopes that she drops a hint that you had a secret twin somewhere.

8. My Girl
Bees are effing terrifying. So are funeral parlors. 
That’s pretty much what I got out of this.

9. Mean Girls
What didn’t we learn from this? 
Be nice.
Do a better job cleaning up after house parties.
Jungle juice is dangerous at any age.
Never trust anything in Swedish.
Plus we all know that the modern Burn Book would be a Burn Blog.
If such a thing exists, don’t tell me.

10. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
You can find super awesome (magical?) stuff at thrift stores.
I want to look just like Blake Lively (still true 8 years later).
Sometimes life gets rough. Surround yourself with good people.

11. She’s All That
The first DVD I ever bought. True story.
I was probably 12 and learned this pretty quickly:
The popular boys are usually the biggest jerks.
Prom is probably going to suck (it did).

12. 10 Things I Hate About You
Oh Heath Ledger (swoon).
Again, the boy who sings to you is a keeper.
Sibling relationships are complicated.
And another warning: Prom will probably suck.
(Why did I not listen to these warnings?!?)
I know what you’re thinking. How the hell did Lindsey Lohan wind up in not one, but TWO movies on this list. So much potential lost, that one. 

What movies did you watch over and over?
I almost listed Spice World but really, what life lessons did we learn there?
I personally
a. Wanted a swing in my room a la Baby Spice
b. Tried to ninja kick everything a la Sporty Spice

Ain’t growing up grand?

Linking up with Carissa, Join the Gossip, Lisette from Northern Belle Diaries, The Collective at Peacoats & Plaid, and The Weekend File.

Did you ever play the game Never Have I Ever?
We want you to play with us, on your blog!
Here is an example of the post I did.
Mark your Blog Content Calendar for April 4th!

  • hahahaha….I LOVE this! So funny and nostalgic. I do need to say though that I’m not a huge Nicholas Sparks fan normally EXCEPT for A Walk to Remember…don’t ask me why.

  • Haha. Once again you cracked me up. I’m so totally with you on wanting a twin. Haha

  • I loved My Girl and Now and Then! (That photo includes one of the best lines of the film. I loved Teeny!) Also, I loved The Parent Trap, but… I watched the original with Hayley Mills. That makes me sound a lot older than I really am! As an adult, I really love Mean Girls too. 🙂

  • OMG some of these are my absolute faves! My Girl and Now and Then are two of my all time favorites!! I do need to point out that you forgot to list Save the Last Dance with Julia Styles. I totally thought I could dance like that. It was a problem.

  • Love it. Now and Then is the best. And I still want to be Blake Lively 8 years later, too. It never happened. Life is so unfair.

  • Now and Then is still my favorite.

  • HAHA I loved this. First, I was absolutely obsessed with the Lizzie McGuire movie. And I always wished I had a twin like in The Parent Trap. That’s also where I picked up my love for Oreo’s and peanut butter (which I can’t eat any more now that I’m older haha).

  • I loved everything about this post!

  • Pretty sure I work out my VHS of Spice World, just sayin lol. All of these movies make me want to leave work early, put on sweatpants and watch every. single. one!

  • A Walk to Remember always made me too sad to watch it!

    sent over here from MessyDirtyHair !

  • Oh Spice World would’ve been a great one to add! And seriously, why does EVERYONE want to be Blake Lively? Hate her, love her.

  • This post gives me warm fuzzies. I want to rewatch all of these now!
    Jillian – http://epic-thread.blogspot.com

  • I just started reading your blog and love this post! My sister and I used to watch Now and Then (along with most of the others on this list) over and over. We would ride our bikes around and pretend we were living back in the 70s. Sadly we could only ride to 7-11 there were no cute soda shops like in the movie!

  • OMG Now and Then was my jam!!!!! I loved the soundtrack to that movie too! I think my top 5 movies back in the day were definitely Clueless, Romeo and Juliet, Dazed and Confused,Mean Girls, and I am a big fan of Super Troopers….AHHH hilarious!

    xo Dinah @ Sunshine super glam

  • Oh Now & Then! I think I had the soundtrack to that. And Devon Sawa? I had such a crush on him!

    American Pie came out while I was in HS so I already knew how perverted boys could be. A guy I went to HS with was actually in the latest American Pie.

    A Walk to Remember, gets. me. every. time. I cry like a baby! I watched in within the past year and still cried even though I now see how horrible the acting is and how unlikely it would be.

    And I grew up watching the old Parent Trap. I don’t think I have ever seen the one with Lohan.

    And I was obsessed with the Disney’s Robin Hood when I was a kid and I remember watching Batman & Robin a lot in my early teen years. I have no idea why, maybe Chris O’Donnell?

  • Messy, Dirty, Hair sent me!


  • Love this! Now & Then is one of my favorite movies (that also taught me so many life lessons!)

  • Love it- who needs life lessons when we have movies?! I want to look like Blake Lively too!!

  • Totally relate.

    Was Lindsay Lohan in 10 Things?!

  • 10 Things and She’s All That are seriously two of my all time favorite movies.

  • 10 things I Hate about you was definitely one of my obsessions…. and also, Save The Last Dance!!! Looooooved that one.

  • I loooove Now and Then! Such a great movie!

    Some Snapshots Blog

  • Hahaha, this is amazing. We really did learn so much. Oh, the 90s/early 2000s…

  • yes yes I love these! especially Now and Then and Mean Girls

  • LOVE this! And yes, I did want to learn how to play poker after watching the Parent Trap, sock full of change and all.

  • OMG! Half these movies are on my can watch 10000 times list. Now & Then might be my favorite movie EVER along with Mean Girls and 10 Things I Hate About You. I might have to dive into my DVD cabinet tonight.

  • so many good ones on here… the hubs is gone tonight- i just might have to pop some corn and have me a movie night! 🙂

  • i’m so embarrassed that ALL of these were (read: are) on my list of favorite movies

  • Oh, the things we learned!

  • You pretty much covered all of my favorite teen movies. I think of the pudding bra from Now and Then every time I put on a push up bra. LOL

  • Hi.I’m visiting from Olive & Ivy.

  • Oh my goodness, I pretty much loved all of these movies {and still do!}. I found a diary that I wrote in when I was like 12 and it literally said, “I washed the dishes and watched the Parent Trap. Then I went outside to play and came back in and watched The Parent Trap”. How lame. And, yes, American Pie was one of the first movies I sneaked around and watched!

  • My friends and I had The Parent Trap memorized when we were little! Also, I’m about to write up my post for the Never Have I Ever link-up now. 🙂

  • Love Now & Then. Have it and watch it a lot. Ever After is also a fave. Cinderella is not helpless and can still get the guy.

  • hahaha! i was the only girl that knew prom was going to suck at my school. it’s basically just another dance (and they all suck) but with more hype and it costs more. i went, i saw, i left and got in n out. prom win!

  • I gotta say I am REALLY glad I found you through olive and ivy. I love this post! actually a couple of them 🙂 I am hooked! I am soo gonna follow along now.

    XOXO, Jessica from Girl Booklet

  • haha great lessons! Love Now & Then and My Girl! Bees are effing terrifying 😡

  • I’ve seen all of those movies, except The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I used to love Now and Then!!! My Girl always made me so sad, because he died 🙁

  • Yes to ALL of these movies I watched Now and Then all the time – I owned it on VHS and was obsessed.
    Also I remember having the poem from 10 Things I Hate about you in my AIM profile – awkward.

    Also Channing Tatum is delicious.

  • omg this list is great!! I too want to look like Blake Lively! …well, mainly have her legs lol


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