The best teen movie songs

The teen movie genre, over time, becomes a collection of period pieces. The fashion, jokes and music of each teen movie become symbolic of their time, though they are lovingly rediscovered by new generations and revisited year after year. In their soundtracks, a featured song sometimes appears to be forever associated with the film. Whether it’s the perfect openings, chart-topping hits after the film’s release, or the perfect accompaniment to one of the film’s most pivotal scenes, here, in no particular order, are our picks for 10 of the best songs featured in teen movies.

Nostalgic for a time his target audience has never known, almost known follows the journey of 15-year-old William as he faces the harsh realities of his dream career as he tours with an up-and-coming band on a mission with rolling stone. In one of the film’s most memorable moments, the Stillwater crew are briefly reunited after they begin to break down with a tour bus karaoke moment. And what better song exists for this moment than “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John? Heartfelt, jammable and perfect for every character’s beat, it’s hard to believe the 1971 single flopped the charts before it was featured in the movie – now it’s become one of the most popular songs. most appreciated by John.

The punk-meets-bubblegum pop of The Muffs’ “Kids in America” ​​cover that opens clueless sets the tone of the feel-good romantic comedy perfectly. We sit with the jovial, upbeat song as we glimpse Cher’s life for nearly a full minute before hearing Alicia Silverstone’s adorable valley girl accent invite us in with “Okay, so you’re probably going to say, “Is this like a Noxzema commercial or what? “Children in America” ​​and clueless is the perfect couple, a song that feels hyper-commercialized like Cher’s rich California personality while being happily infectious.

“Scotty doesn’t know” got a second life ICT Tac recently, but fans of Eurotrip know that the track is specially crafted to be incredibly catchy as poor Scotty tries to escape the song while on vacation after graduation. With deliciously awful lyrics and an infectious guitar riff, “Scotty Doesn’t Know” works great as a standalone song, but paired with a standout Matt Damon cameo, a listen to the Lustra track is bound to bring back some memories of Scotty’s mopey face as he finds out his girlfriend is cheating on him via song.

Yet another song treated to a ICT Tac revival in 2020 (Lindsay Lohan’s Anna appears to be the e-girl model), few things elicit as much joy as seeing Jamie Lee Curtis shred on guitar. It helps that the song by fictional band Pink Slip is an absolute bang and a fun throwback to early 2000s pop-punk style.

“Dirty Little Secret” by the All-American Rejects is such a good teen movie song that we already wrote an entire article about it. It always feels like, of all the great cinematic uses, John Tucker must die take the cake. The song is lyrically perfect for a film centered on cheating and lies, as four girls form a friendship after discovering that three of them are dating the same man and plotting revenge. Something about hearing this song over a wide shot of a high school just feels right to me.

Just as the introduction of cluelessHoku’s “Perfect Day” sounds sonically and lyrically perfect to introduce us to the world of Revenge of a Blonde. Ultra-girly and resolutely optimistic, the chorus (“Nothing’s standing in my way / On this perfect day / Where nothing can go bad”) prepares us for the eternal sunshine of the spirit of Elle Woods, and gives us a glimpse of the unwavering determination it is to come.

There’s no getting around it: The opening notes of Jamiroquai’s “Canned Heat” will forever conjure up images of an afro, glasses, and a “Vote for Pedro” t-shirt. Napoleon’s deliciously goofy dance moves are an integral part of the cult classic, and the opening melody of “Canned Heat” is the best song imaginable to see him shuffle his moon boots.

Logan Lerman’s closing monologue in Charlie’s world leading up to “Heroes” is the ultimate teen movie teaser. While it’s hard to believe it took hipster band Charlie, Sam and Patrick several months to rediscover one of David Bowie’s greatest songs, The Tunnel Scene is the magnum opus of moments of coming-of-age cinema. “Heroes” captures those fleeting euphoric moments that Advantages glorifies, where the highs are made even higher by the fact that they don’t last.

Perfectly parodied by Not another teen movie, She is all that checks all the boxes for teen movies/romantic comedies: the nerdy girl turns out to be beautiful once she gets rid of her glasses, her ponytail or, heaven forbid, her student outfit in art, and elegantly descends the stairs under the adoring gaze of people who have just realized that she is not ugly after all! She is all that seems to teeter on the edge of self-awareness using an overtly cheesy Sixpence None The Richer track, and knocking Laney out when the song cuts out.

Whether you are an advocate for dusk revival or cling to the opinion that these films suck, it’s hard to deny that soundtracks rule. The Iron & Wine song was actually chosen by Kristen Stewart for the first film’s prom scene, and became a standout song for all the Twihards of 2008. It became the saga’s signature love song despite its eerie and enigmatic lyrics, receiving a violin-accented rearrangement for The Breaking Dawn — Part 1the wedding scene.

Carli Scolforo is a New England journalist and intern for Paste Magazine. She loves late night TV and reading celebrity memoirs, and has never really left her emo phase. You can follow her on Twitter @carli_sco.

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