Life lessons: Five high-school movies that will teach you everything

Categories: Lists
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Bad news kiddos; summer vacation is over. This week, parents from all across the country are fist-bumping, chest-bumping, and any other bumping you can think of in celebration of the fact that their kids are back in school. And while Michael Jordan, Mr. T, a bunch of dancing penguins, or any other good 90's PSA can tell you that it's cool to stay in school, the reality is that real education doesn't take place in the classroom; it happens in movie classrooms.

Any life lessons you need to know about love, living, Jesus, or werewolves can all be learned by watching a collection of hot high-school films, all of which make it look way cooler than it really was (except School Ties. That doesn't sound fun, like, at all). That's why we've put together the definitive list of high-school movies that every person must see, along with the important life lessons they've taught us.

WARNING: Serious Julia Stiles action below.

Can't Buy Me Love

Look, we've all considered renting a girlfriend for a month. But as Patrick Dempsey showed us, buying chicks will only lead to terrible things. Things like getting to hang out with awesome jock-bros, dating super-hot chicks who wear suede outfits, and making out with the most popular cheerleader in school on your riding a lawn mower. Terrible.

Lesson learned: Paying for chicks in high school will lead to a future as a TV doctor.



Save the Last Dance

Racism, teenage pregnancies, and drive-by shootings are all major issues that some teens have to handle on a daily basis. With so much scary stuff happening on the streets, there's really only one way to deal with it: dance. When Julia Stiles (who never ages, by the way) shows up at Wendell Phillips Academy High School, she has to check her lame suburban problems like "college" and "a dead mom" at the door and get her grind on with Sean Patrick Thomas. In the process, all of her problems fade away just like K-Ci and Jo-Jo's careers one year after this movie came out.

Lesson learned: White guys cannot dance. Stop trying.



Sixteen Candles


Let's get this one out of the way quick. If you are a dude, and you ever -- EVER -- want a girlfriend, you must familiarize yourself with this movie. Jake Ryan is the guy that all girls want, and yet for some reason in this movie he totally short-changes himself by settling for Molly Ringwald (go ahead, get mad. Then tell me it's not true. Thought so). Regardless, this movie teaches us a shitload of important life lessons, including how to love (like when Jake buys Sam's underwear to save her from further embarrassment at the ruthless hands of Anthony Michael Hall), how to accept other cultures (you're a pioneer of diversity, Long Duck Dong), and that something called a "floppy disk" was very valuable back in 1984. But there's one lesson that stands out above the rest...

Lesson learned: Never take a sex quiz. It will not end well.



Can't Hardly Wait

The academic year might just be starting, but it's never too early to start thinking about the final day of school. And as this movie teaches us, the last day is when you make things HAPPEN. You want a chick who is way out of your league to fall in love with you, even though you've never spoken to her? Stalk her at a party. Want to lose your virginity to mad-hotties (Seth Green's words, not mine)? Bring a backpack full of sexual aides to that very same happening. Looking to get revenge on the guy from Twilight? Call your nerd-bros and concoct an ill-fated plan to sexually humiliate him. Bottom line, no matter what your goal, save it until the absolute last possible second and then go to a giant party and make it happen.

Lesson learned: Seth Green loves mad-hotties.



Bring It On

Cheerleading is no joke, and Bring It On is one of the most underrated sports sagas of all time. The movie follows the noble quest of Kirsten Dunst to lead her cheerleading squad, the Toros, on their journey back to the national championships, despite learning that they've been stealing their material from Gabrielle Union (who was 27 at the time this movie came out) and her crew, the Clovers, from East Compton for years. While (SPOILER ALERT!) the Toros end up folding at the end to the far-superior Clovers, this movie is the pinnacle of high-school movies and -- dare I say -- all sports movies ever when it comes to teaching us about integrity, fair-play, and the cutthroat world of competitive cheerleading. God bless you girls.

Lesson learned: Calling Bring It On the most underrated sports saga of all time will get your bro-card revoked quick.




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