12 Movie Proms That Were Way More Fun Than Your Own

For many of us, prom was a landmark in our coming-of-age narrative. Everyone has their own prom stories, triumphs, and traumas. Did you have a dreamy kiss under the twinkling hotel ballroom lights? Did your date ditch you for your best friend? Did you gracefully abstain from prom, and head to the beach instead?
There’s a reason why prom holds such a significant place in a person’s young life. For a second there, you're not a kid: You're royalty in an off-the-shoulder sequined dress. While your older, more cynical self might look back with an eye roll, never forget what a momentous occasion prom, and your reaction to it, were.
Given that prom is so central to a high schooler's imagination, teen movies have been imagining the ultimate school dance ever since Grease. Here are the movie proms that, for all their excitement and mayhem, were everything you wish yours would be like when you were getting ready.
1 of 12
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

How can we choose the best part of this scene? Is it Bianca’s ass-kicking two-piece dress? The William Shakespeare cameo? The fact that Heath Ledger is in it? We’ll be back here, tearing up with nostalgia for the '90s.
2 of 12
She’s All That (1999)

The dance floor at this high school prom is populated by a uniform choreography. We propose three explanations for the dancers' eerie synchronization:
A. They’re all required to take social dance.
B. They’re Stepford Students, programmed for flash mobs.
C. This is a teen movie.
3 of 12
Jawbreaker (1999)

Did your high school mean girl confess to her own evil doings at your prom? Didn’t think so. That’s what makes this Jawbreaker scene so satisfying: The remorseless Queen Bee doesn't get away with her callous actions.
4 of 12
Footloose (1984)

In Footloose, prom's more than just a dance. It's a triumph over the conservative forces that have, until this point, outlawed dancing in Bomont. For kids who didn't dance for the majority of their lives, they certainly can boogie.
5 of 12
Carrie (1976)

Everyone hopes their prom will be eventful — but not this kind of eventful. After years enduring bullying and humiliation, Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) reaches her (justified) breaking point after her classmates dump a vat of pig's blood on her head. An angry Carrie uses her newfound telepathic powers to massacre all her classmates.

Well. That escalated quickly.
6 of 12
Not Another Teen Movie (2001)

This parody honored the teen movie prom obsession with a cheesy musical number.
7 of 12
Teen Wolf (1985)

Before there was the wolfish teen heartthrob Jacob Black of Twilight, there was this inexplicable '80s wolf-man (played by Michael J. Fox), and his signature dance moves.
8 of 12
Mean Girls (2004)

After infiltrating the Plastics and then becoming seduced by the Mean Girl Lifestyle, Cady (Lindsay Lohan) redeems herself with this moving Spring Fling speech.
9 of 12
Back To The Future (1985)

Welcome to the prom that invented rock n' roll. In a stunt that definitely breaks the rules of time travel, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) takes over the prom's band, plays "Johnny B. Goode," and introduces the Chuck Berry to his biggest hit.
10 of 12
Pretty In Pink (1986)

Nothing says John Hughes movie like a declaration of love on prom night. Though Duckie (Jon Cryer) is crazy for his best friend and prom date Andie (Molly Ringwald), he lets her and her pretty boyfriend Blane (Andrew McCarthy) have their make-out in the rain.
11 of 12
The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air

We realize this is technically a TV show, but watching Carlton Banks (Alfonso Ribeiro) dance while high on speed would enhance any prom.
12 of 12
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

At the end of Napoleon Dynamite, our slightly askew protagonist, Napoleon (Jon Heder) finds l0ve in the most hopeless place of all: a high school gymnasium.

More from Movies


R29 Original Series