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Welcome to Teen Movie Madness

Get ready for your new favorite sports-unrelated bracket this March, as 65 teen movie classics go head-to-head.

Welcome to Teen Movie Madness

March is just around the corner, so it’s time for the inevitable cluttering of your RSS reader with various and sundry _____ Madness tournaments. Remember last year when there were multiple bracket brackets? That was great. Over here, we crowned Divergent Best YA Book of the Year. But this March, we decided to try something different. We present: Teen Movie Madness 2013.

The rules are standard. We have selected 63 movies, divided up into four “regional” brackets and seeded. During the month of March, we will be posting daily matches on which you will vote. The winner of each match progresses to the next round, until only one film remains victorious.

As for the particulars of our tournament, the regional brackets are assigned randomly. Even though there are several Molly Ringwald movies on our list, it does not follow that they are all competing in the “Molly Ringwald” bracket. Additionally, the seeding was determined by a Highly Scientific index* of critic ratings, popularity, and the aggregate preferences of the FYA writers so that none of our individual opinions weighted our decision making too heavily. For instance, I hate Pretty in Pink with the fire of a thousand suns, and if this were solely up to me, it wouldn’t even rank. But for reasons I cannot begin to fathom, it is a juggernaut of Teen Movie culture and so obviously must be included.

*I know we joke around about things being Highly Scientific here, but this index is actually Highly Scientific. Math and I do not fuck around.

Now, do you want to see the bracket? (You totally do.)

Interactive PDF bracket, with links to IMDB, Netflix streaming, Amazon Prime streaming, and past FYA posts, where applicable. You’re welcome.


(1) The Breakfast Club vs. (16) Varsity Blues
(8) Center Stage vs. (9) She's All That
(5) Dead Poets Society vs. (12) Hairspray (1988)
(4) Bend It Like Beckham vs. (13) Red Dawn (1984)
(6) Grease vs. (11) Hairspray (2007)
(3) Saved! vs. (14) Empire Records
(7) Scream vs. (10) Some Kind of Wonderful
(2) Mean Girls vs. (15) Can't Buy Me Love


(1) Clueless vs. (16) Weird Science
(8) Cruel Intentions vs. (9) Fast Times at Ridgemont High
(5) The Outsiders vs. (12) Carrie (1976)
(4) 21 Jump Street vs. (13) Say Anything
(6) Brick vs. (11) Superbad
(3) West Side Story vs. (14) Get Over It
(7) Pitch Perfect vs. (10) She's the Man
(2) The Perks of Being a Wallflower vs. (15) Fame (1980)


(1) Ferris Bueller's Day Off vs. (16) I Know What You Did Last Summer
(8) Footloose (1984) vs. (9) Can't Hardly Wait
(5) Pretty in Pink vs. (12) Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead
(4) Bring It On vs. (13) Girls Just Want To Have Fun
(6) Adventures In Babysitting vs. (11) Stick It
(3) Election vs. (14) Step Up
(7) Heathers vs. (10) The Craft
(2) Easy A vs. (15) Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging


(1) 10 Things I Hate About You vs. (16) Play-in winner
(8) 17 Again vs. (9) Never Been Kissed
(5) Goonies vs. (12) Save the Last Dance
(4) The Karate Kid (1984) vs. (13) Drumline
(6) Romeo + Juliet (1996) vs. (11) American Pie
(3) Sixteen Candles vs. (14) Drive Me Crazy
(7) Risky Business vs. (10) Drop Dead Gorgeous
(2) Back to the Future vs. (15) Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

“But what about the 16th seed in Kiki’s bracket?” you ask. Well, here’s where we need your help. This Friday, March 1st, we will have a play-in game for the final spot in our tournament. Because we can’t possibly include every teen movie ever made, we’re looking for one more Cinderella movie (that is, an underdog, not a movie about Cinderella, though that would be hilarious if it worked out that way) to round out our bracket.

So if you’re looking at this and thinking “Summer Catch! How could they forget Summer Catch?! Summer Catch is my favorite," then first of all, you have terrible taste in movies. Second of all, here’s your chance! Put some teen movies you think we’ve overlooked (or didn't rate highly enough to rank) in the comments. Just one per comment, please, so that we're clear about which movie you're talking about. Upvote and lobby for your favorites, and we’ll pick the top two for our play-in game Friday.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

Update: Dazed and Confused is our play-in winner!

Alix West's photo About the Author: Alix is a writer and illustrator who spends way too much time reading Jane Austen retellings of varying quality.