The 14 Most Quintessential Teen Movies Of The ’90s

Though the 1980s had some incredible teen films, the ’90s solidified the genre giving the next generation the ability to define themselves at the cusp of the 21st century. From Shakespeare adaptations, to a new age of slasher films, here is a ranking of the best teen movies of the ’90s.

Romeo + Juliet
Romeo + Juliet tried really, really hard but it was mostly kind of dull. Leonardo DiCaprio was perfection obviously, but other than that it was strange but beautiful. Still, Romeo +Juliet got us to Titanic which we will all be eternally grateful for.
It’s amazing that a film called Dick was made in the '90s, that alone makes this movie a must watch. Betsy and Arlene, played by Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams respectively, accidentally saw Watergate as it happened. Yes, it's literally just as absurd as it sounds, and that's what makes it worth it. In order to keep them quiet, President Nixon appoints them as White House dog walkers. Obviously things don't go according to plan.
10 Things I Hate About You
Though this was not necessarily Julia Stiles' best teen film (that's reserved for her 2001 performance in Save the Last Dance), 10 Things I Hate About you is still really fun to watch. Her character Kat was a total feminist bad ass, and it was so appreciated, especially for the '90s. Admittedly, the Shakespeare plot was running a tad dry by '99, but it's worth it just to see Heath Ledger's glorious hair.
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Varsity Blues
James Van Der Beek + Paul Walker = YES PLEASE! Though their Texas accents were atrocious in Varsity Blues (like seriously heinous), the small town feel, the football obsession and all the drama of high school was super authentic. Also, Ali Larter rocked a whip cream bikini that can never be recreated.
Never Been Kissed
Drew Barrymore is obviously amazing, and despite the questionable nature of this film, she totally killed it as Josie who is SO NOT Josie Grossey anymore. Still, the whole teacher-student relationship was a bit creepy, despite the fact that she was only an undercover student. (Plus no one actually believed David Arquette was still in high school). However, the flashback sequences of Josie when she was actually in high school, and the final epic kiss, more than make up for it.
Wes Craven's Scream set off a new era of slasher films. Though the film itself isn't all that terrifying now, the killers mask is still insanely haunting. Scream has some of the most gory killings of the '90s, and it has been so successful that it's spawned three sequels and a TV series on MTV.
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Election is basically what would happen if Reese Witherspoon were Lesile Knope in Legally Blonde, it's SOOOO good and ridiculously underrated. More than anything, the film proves that with gumption, perseverance and determination you can do anything.
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
The stress of a high school reunion can feel taxing for anyone, but for Romy and Michele, it felt like a death sentence. The duo hacked a plan to make themselves appear to be a lot more successful then they actually were, and it all worked out in the end. It also proves that Lisa Kudrow is severely underused in Hollywood.
American Pie
Sex. It seriously is a major thing that teens (and adults too) think about quite often, and American Pie took virginity and sex for teens to a whole new level. The film spawned immeasurable spin-offs and inside jokes, plus it also brought a ton of '90s favs together. So yea, that one time at band camp….
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There is a lot wrong with the 21st century, but the 1950s were a whole other ball game. The muted black and white tone of Pleasentville desperately needed some color, and Reese Witherspoon's Jennifer was just the gal to spice things up. Not only is Pleasantville ridiculously hilarious, it's also raunchy, sexy, and SUPER HOT. Oh and the use of color and black and white are just stunningly beautiful. Thank the heavens for the sexual revolution!
She’s All That
This movie is terribly fantastic! From the ridiculous art show scene, to the popular guys' love of hacky sack She’s All That is the epitome of a '90s teen movie. With a cast of actors as long as football team, and a turn of the century spin on My Fair Lady, there really isn't much more you can ask for. If you're able to make it all the way to the end, you'll even get to see a nearly nude Freddie Prinze Jr. For that reason alone the film is totally worth it.
I Know What You Did Last Summer
Ok, so this movie was actually terrifying. It certainly kicked things up a notch for Kevin Williamson who wrote 1996's Scream. Basically, you should never do horrible things with your friends, and then try and pretend it never happened. There was even a sequel, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer the following year.
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Cruel Intentions
If you weren’t already obsessed with Sarah Michelle Gellar after seeing her in seven amazing seasons of  Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then Cruel Intentions will certainly make you a believer. Her character Kathryn, was a step above a mean girl. Homegirl was literally diabolical. With her step brother Sebastian, played by the baby-faced and delightful Ryan Phillippe,  the duo tries to con poor innocent Annette (Reese Witherspoon) out of her virginity. It was nasty, mean and so much fun.
Though Clueless came out when the '90s were already halfway gone, its success pretty much helped define teen films for the duration of the decade. Loosely based on Jane Austen’s Emma, Cher was the spoiled LA girl that you either openly loved or were secretly obsessed with. The film was so successful that it spawn a spin off television series of the same name. How could you think that there was a '90s teen movie better than this? As if!