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40 Best Teen Romance Movies Of All Time Ranked

Teen romance has always been a popular genre, often resonating with young adults who may be seeking a glimpse into a fantasy life they'd like to experience for themselves. Teen romance movies tend to have a certain warmth and nostalgic quality. Sure, some of the genre's all-time classics are cringy, cheesy, formulaic, or downright unrealistic, but that's just part of their charm.

Over the years, we have seen some great advancements in this genre, with filmmakers boldly avoiding stereotypical stories and characters by creating modern and clever tales that reflect their current generation, while still retaining some influences from old-school teen movies. Whether you're a fan of the '80s or prefer more contemporary entertainment, this ranked list has everything for your teen romance needs. It's got the standard Romeo and Juliet dilemma, first loves, forbidden romances, unrequited feelings, innocent crushes, fake relationships, tragedy, belated romantic epiphanies, fantasy, and more.

Some of these movies may make you laugh or cry, but ultimately, the goal is to just make you believe in love. Here are the 40 of the very best movies about teenagers falling head over heels for each other.

40. A Little Thing Called Love

"A Little Thing Called Love" — sometimes advertised as "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" or "First Love" — is a Thai romantic comedy about nerdy 14-year-old Nam (Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul) and her unrequited crush on an older popular boy named Shone (Mario Maurer). The story spans for three years, starting from Nam's time in the seventh grade. Following Nam's first official interaction with the good looking and thoughtful Shone, a number of unexpected opportunities arise for them to get closer, causing Nam's secret affection for him to grow over time. The turning point of the story comes with the sudden arrival of Shone's childhood friend Top (Acharanat Ariyaritwikol), who immediately shows an attraction to Nam. This complicates Nam's potential romance with Shone, who is forced to promise Top that he won't ever pursue Nam. 

While the film is entirely told through Nam's perspective, viewers find out towards the end that Shone, despite inadvertently breaking Nam's heart, has feelings for her and has been in love with her since day one. However, due to circumstances, he wasn't able to directly confess his feelings to her. This 2010 coming-of-age film successfully delivers a charming and honest portrayal of what a high school crush really feels like without being corny.

39. The Kissing Booth

The start of one of Netflix's most successful original film series, "The Kissing Booth" features future Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Joey King in the lead role of Elle Evans — a late bloomer in her junior year of high school who has never been kissed. The film begins with an introduction to Elle and her lifelong best friend Lee, portrayed by "Super 8" actor Joel Courtney, as they take us through a long list of friendship rules they established when they were kids. The story centers around Elle breaking one of their rules as she finds herself unexpectedly falling in love with resident bad boy Noah Flynn (Jacob Elordi), Lee's older and more popular brother, which violates Rule No. 9 — "Relatives of your best friend are off-limits." Afraid of disappointing and hurting Lee, Elle tries her very best to keep her budding romance with Noah a secret.

Despite its cliché storyline, the film still gained enough of a following among its target demographic to warrant two follow-up installments. The interest in King and Elordi's real-life romance also became a major factor in the film's popularity, especially when fans found out that the pair started dating after meeting on set. The film also resists the temptation to turn into an all-too-familiar love triangle story, which sends a positive message about the importance of platonic male-female relationships.

38. First Daughter

Oscar winner Forest Whitaker directs Katie Holmes in this romantic comedy which revolves around the only daughter of the president of the United States (Michael Keaton) as she heads to college in hopes of finally living as a normal teenager. Because of her status, Samantha Mackenzie (Holmes) isn't allowed to enjoy the full college experience. Despite being away from the White House, Samantha must be accompanied by the Secret Service everywhere she goes on campus. After her agents cause a scene at her first party, her father unwillingly agrees to limit her Secret Service escort to two agents. With her newfound freedom, Samantha's college life is finally looking up, especially when she meets the charming James (Marc Blucas) — a fellow student and her resident advisor — who she instantly connects with. 

The film also stars Amerie and Margaret Colin, with the latter playing the first lady, but a stellar cast wasn't able to save the film from being a box office failure in 2004. It seems its modern fairytale screenplay failed to connect with some audiences who struggled to relate to a privileged teenager's problems. Also, some filmgoers might've already seen "Chasing Liberty" — a Mandy Moore vehicle with a very similar premise released nine months earlier — and mistakenly assumed "First Daughter" was the same movie. Fortunately, "First Daughter" seems like it eventually found its audience on DVD.

37. Twilight

Regardless of its mixed critical reviews, "Twilight" altered the trajectory of Hollywood by captivating the hearts of millions of fans through its story about a teenage girl falling in love with a vampire. The 2008 film surpassed all expectations by debuting with a worldwide gross of over $400 million, and its success kickstarted a frenzy of young adult fantasy novel adaptations that include "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent" film series.

The film's mythos, gorgeous cast, and distinct visuals are major factors that contributed to its status as a global phenomenon. The story is so influential to pop culture that it also serves as an inspiration to the creation of another popular franchise, "Fifty Shades of Grey."

"Twilight" begins when teenaged Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) moves in with her father in a small town. Her life continues to change when she meets the mysterious Cullen family, a group of non-blood relative siblings adopted by a rich doctor. Bella's attention gravitated to Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), who's equally drawn to Bella. As they find themselves bonding with each other, Bella soon realizes that there's more to Edward and his family than meets the eye. Despite learning the dark truth about Edward, she still falls in love with him. Their forbidden romance reaches a complicated turning point when they encounter nomadic vampires bent on killing Bella.

36. The Last Song

In her first dramatic role after finding fame as the star of the Disney Channel series "Hannah Montana," Miley Cyrus stars in this adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' 2009 novel. In addition to co-starring with her future ex-husband Liam Hemsworth, Cyrus also sings the film's theme song, "When I Look at You."

Julie Anne Robinson's feature-length directorial debut centers around rebellious New York teenager Ronnie (Cyrus), who's forced to spend time with her estranged father over the summer in a southern beach town. Still mad about her parents' divorce years earlier, Ronnie has lost her connection with her father, even though they used to bond over their shared love for music. During her stay, Ronnie meets the handsome and charming Will (Hemsworth), who helps her guard a loggerhead sea turtle at the beach nearby her father's house. Their mutual attraction grows as they spend most of the summer together, despite Ronnie being apprehensive at first due to Will's womanizing past. While her romance with Will develops, Ronnie also works on repairing the strained relationship with her father.

35. The Space Between Us

This romantic sci-fi drama brings the audience to outer space and centers around a teenage boy from Mars who falls in love with a girl from Earth. Despite its promising premise and cast including Asa Butterfield, Gary Oldman, and Britt Robertson, the film was not at all a box office dynamo. Though a financial and critical failure, "The Space Between Us" has some very enthusiastic advocates

The story begins when six astronauts go on a mission to live on the Red Planet, made possible by a billionaire genius' lifelong dream. Everything is going well until lead astronaut Sarah Elliot (Janet Montgomery) discovers that she's pregnant. Due to complications, she dies after giving birth to her son Gardner, the first baby to be born on Mars. Sixteen years later, Gardner (Butterfield) longs to have a normal life on Earth. As he begins an online friendship with another teenager on Earth, Gardner is motivated more than ever to get out of Mars to meet Tulsa (Robertson) as well as find his real father.

When the chance finally comes, Gardner is filled with excitement about all the possibilities. However, this is cut short when his overseers raise concerns that conditions on Earth might not be safe for him. Determined to meet Tulsa, Gardner escapes and secretly heads to her school. From then on, the both of them embark on a road trip in hopes of finding Gardner's father.

34. A Cinderella Story

While there are plenty of modern adaptations of this timeless folktale, Mark Rosman's teen romantic comedy "A Cinderella Story" is one of the most beloved. Dismissed by critics upon its debut in 2004, it's evolved into a semi-ironic cult classic and marks an early instance of a teen movie incorporating the internet into its depiction of high school dating.

Another component to its success is its amazing cast led by fan-favorite TV stars such as then-Disney Channel star Hilary Duff and "One Tree Hill" heartthrob Chad Michael Murray. Joining them are the talented Regina King, Jennifer Coolidge, Lin Shaye, and Simon Helberg.

After Sam Montgomery's (Duff) father dies, her stepmother Fiona (Coolidge) forces her to work as a waitress at the diner that she unknowingly inherited. Her only saving grace from her miserable home life is looking forward to a future in her dream college, which she's been struggling to save up for even though Fiona keeps on withholding her salary. Sam finds comfort talking to her mysterious online pen pal "Nomad." As they meet at the school's Halloween party, Sam — while wearing a mask and a Cinderella gown — finds out that Nomad is actually star athlete Austin Ames (Murray). After sharing a romantic dance, Sam rushes to leave the party without telling Austin her identity in an attempt to get back to the diner before Fiona finds out she's missing. Determined to find his Cinderella, Austin starts a school-wide search for Sam.

33. Let It Snow

"Let It Snow" is a charming romantic comedy about a group of young people spending Christmas Eve in a snowstorm. This wholesome Netflix original features an ensemble cast including Isabela Merced, Shameik Moore, Kiernan Shipka, Mitchell Hope, Liv Hewson, Odeya Rush, and Jacob Batalon in five semi-connected storylines about heartbreaks, finding love, and longing. It doesn't feature a one-of-a-kind premise — in fact, it sounds a lot like "Love Actually" Americanized and updated for 2019 — but its lighthearted comedy blends well with its emotional moments. It's definitely a solid choice for a chill holiday-season night.

Based on a 2008 young adult novel with the same title, the main characters of "Let It Snow" include Julie (Merced), a girl who unexpectedly meets a pop star on a train; Tobin (Hope), who's secretly in love with his best friend but can't seem to find the right time to say it; Dorrie (Hewson), a young waitress trying to deal with her heartbroken best friend and a secret romance with a closeted cheerleader; Addie (Rush), a girl who's dealing with the possibility of getting dumped by her boyfriend on Christmas; and Keon (Batalon), a diner staffer who hopes to throw a raging party.

32. If I Stay

After gaining wide recognition for her turns as Hit-Girl in Matthew Vaughn's popular "Kick-Ass" films, Chloë Grace Moretz takes a dramatic turn and delivers another leading performance in R.J. Cutler's teen romantic drama "If I Stay." Moretz delivers a heartbreaking portrayal of gifted cellist Mia, whose promising future is put in serious peril following a car accident. Despite its intriguing premise, the film received mixed critical reviews, although the Rotten Tomatoes audience score indicates a much warmer reception from its intended demographic. Critics and fans alike lauded Moretz's performance for its intensity and depth.

While waiting for a response from her Juilliard application, Mia and her family decide to take what becomes a fateful and tragic drive to her grandparents' house. From there, Mia spends much of the story in a coma as she experiences an out-of-body phenomenon. Hovering between life and death, Mia recalls the significant moments of her life before the accident, from discovering her passion for the cello to her happiest memories with her friends and family and meeting her first love, Adam Wilde (Jamie Blackley). Mia is faced with the decision of staying or letting go of the life she once knew.

31. High School Musical

When the Disney Channel's original coming-of-age TV movie "High School Musical" debuted in 2006, hardly anybody could've anticipated its success. From its familiar and charming storyline, memorable song numbers, and the undeniable chemistry between leads Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, the film captivated audiences and became a pop culture phenomenon. This film is basically "Grease" for the millennial generation. It started the Disney Channel's most popular movie franchise and prompted numerous attempts to replicate its achievements.

During winter break, high school basketball star Troy Bolton (Efron) meets Gabriella Montez (Hudgens) during a New Year's Eve karaoke duet. Sparks fly immediately. Because they're destined to meet again, of course, Troy learns that Gabriella has transferred to his school over the break. When the opportunity of singing together again comes in the form of the school's musical, Troy sneaks off with Gabriella to the auditions and receives an unexpected callback.

However, this causes an uproar within the student body — especially among Troy and Gabriella's respective cliques, who worry that the musical might distract Troy from the basketball championship and Gabriella from the scholastic decathlon team. Meanwhile, resident diva Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) does everything she can to stop the star-crossed duo from singing so that they won't take the spotlight away from her.

30. Every Day

Based on David Levithan's bestselling novel of the same name, 2018's "Every Day" centers around an unconditional love story between 16-year-old high school student Rhiannon and A — a traveling spirit who inhabits the body of a different teenager every 24 hours. Angourie Rice — most widely recognized as Betty Brant in the "Spider-Man: Homecoming" trilogy — plays Rhiannon and gets paired up with more than ten actors and actresses who embody A at various points in the film.

Their complicated romance starts when A wakes up in the body of Rhiannon's neglectful boyfriend, Justin (Justice Smith). After spending a wonderful day together, A instantly falls in love with Rhiannon, who incorrectly presumes Justin is changing for the better. However, to her disappointment, Justin goes back to his old self and doesn't seem to remember their previous date. Soon after, Rhiannon gets suddenly approached by a different stranger claiming to know who she is every day. Confused by their inexplicable knowledge of detailed facts, she finally confronts A, who convinces her to give their romance a chance.

As their relationship gets stronger, Rhiannon finds herself falling deeply in love with A regardless of what body A happens to be inhabiting at any given time. For obvious reasons, their situation takes a toll on Rhiannon's social life. "Every Day" managed a halfway decent critical response, which is impressive, considering this is a movie where cornball sentimentality is absolutely part of the whole point.  

29. Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging

Before becoming a superhero in blockbusters like "Kick-Ass" and "Avengers: Age of Ultron," Aaron Taylor-Johnson gets his first break as a teen heartthrob in the 2010 coming-of-age comedy "Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging." In this awkwardly fun and entertaining British comedy, Taylor-Johnson plays Robbie Jennings, an aspiring rockstar and the object of 14-year-old Georgia Nicolson's (Georgia Groome) affections. 

Directed by Gurinder Chadha, the film revolves around insecure teen Georgia and her quest to find the perfect boyfriend. On the first day back to school, Georgia and her friends instantly gravitate towards the two new insanely gorgeous transferees from London, who turn out to be fraternal twin brothers Robbie and Tom Jennings (Sean Bourke). Determined to get the twins' attention, Georgia and her friend Jas (Eleanor Tomlinson) devise a plan to win them over. Georgia finally spends time with Robbie, but another obstacle arrives when she finds out that he's already dating Lindsay (Kimberley Nixon), the school's most popular girl. What follows is a series of embarrassing moments.

28. Step Up

Choreographer and comedy film director Anne Fletcher makes her feature directorial debut with "Step Up" — the 2006 romantic dance drama famously led by Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan in their respective breakout roles. The original "Step Up" kickstarted a blockbuster franchise with a combined worldwide gross of more than $650 million.

After covering for his friends' vandalism, troublemaker Tyler Gage (Tatum) is punished with 200 hours of community service at the Maryland School of Arts. He meets senior ballet student Nora Clark (Dewan), who's hard at work preparing for an audition performance for a professional dance company. Just when Nora's on the cusp of perfecting her performance, her partner suddenly sprains his ankle, leaving her without a practicing partner. As Tyler watches Nora fail miserably in her search for a new partner, he steps up and offers to be her temporary partner, knowing she's already aware of his surprising aptitude for dance. Reluctant at first, Nora agrees and gives Tyler a shot.

27. She's All That

One of the most memorable rom-coms of its era, 1999's "She's All That" is a contemporary and fresh take on George Bernard Shaw's classic play "Pygmalion," previously adapted to film in 1964 with the Audrey Hepburn-led "My Fair Lady." The adorable chemistry of Freddie Prinze Jr. and Racheal Leigh Cook elevates the film's tried-and-true format, effectively making this classic story their own. They lead an ensemble cast of familiar stars including the late Paul Walker, Usher, Kieran Culkin, Anna Paquin, Gabrielle Union, and Matthew Lillard.

When the incredibly popular Zack Siler (Prinze Jr.) gets dumped by his girlfriend Taylor Vaughan (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe), he places a bet that his popularity is so powerful that he can turn any social outcast girl into the prom queen. With six weeks to complete the bet, Zack tries to befriend the nerdy Laney Boggs (Cook), who is correctly suspicious of Zack's intentions and turns down his flirtations. After Zack's persistent efforts, Laney slowly warms up to his charm and reluctantly agrees to hang out with him. As they spend more time together, unexpected feelings start to form. This surprise connection is inevitably jeopardized with Laney learns the nature of Zack's original agenda.

While not exactly a critical darling, "She's All That" is an essential watch for its remarkable cast and, of course, one of the most iconic moments in '90s teen movies — Laney's makeover reveal. Sure, the idea that the same person could go from frumpy to gorgeous by merely switching to contact lenses and putting on a red cocktail dress is very silly, but it's still a fun moment, right? Laney's famous walk down the stairs occurs to the tune of "Kiss Me" by Sixpence None the Richer, which helped the song climb to admirable notches on the Billboard charts.

26. Drive Me Crazy

Melissa Joan Hart found fame in two classic sitcoms, "Clarissa Explains It All" and "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," but she also stars in this underrated teen comedy. "Drive Me Crazy" is about two high school juniors from completely different social groups entering a fake dating scheme. Hart co-leads with future "Entourage" star Adrian Grenier. Hart plays the conventionally popular Nicole Maris, while Grenier plays the socially conscious and rebellious Chase Hammond. The film's title is based on a song from the soundtrack originally released on Britney Spears debut studio album, "...Baby One More Time."

Based on the novel "How I Created My Perfect Prom Date" by Todd Strasser, this 1999 rom-com revolves around childhood best friends Nicole and Chase who drifted apart in junior high as they joined different social cliques. Fast forward to senior year as the school's gala centennial celebration approaches. Nicole's plans for the dance collapse when her perfect date-to-be falls for another girl. Not willing to change her original plans now that circumstances have changed, Nicole reconnects with Chase — who's also nursing a broken heart — and tries to convince him to take her to the dance in hopes of making their exes jealous. As they rekindle their friendship under the guise of their fake dating agreement, they also begin to form romantic feelings for each other.

25. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

Before landing the title role in Edgar Wright's "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," Michael Cera played a different lovelorn aspiring rock musician in the form of New Jersey teen Nick O'Leary in 2008's "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist." Cera costars with Kat Dennings of "Thor" and "WandaVision" fame who plays Norah Silverberg, a charming and thoughtful adolescent with a privileged background.

Set throughout the course of one night in New York City, Norah meets the heartbroken Nick in a club. Their first awkward meeting starts when Norah asks Nick to become her five-minute boyfriend in order to get her friend Tris (Alexis Dziena) off her back for not having a boyfriend. From then on, they embark on an unforgettable night together roaming the city, where they search for their favorite band's secret show and take crazy detours to find Norah's heavily intoxicated best friend Caroline (Ari Graynor). One of the unexpected highlights of the film is definitely Graynor's occasionally improvised dialogue and behavior as the hammered Caroline.

Cera and Dennings' chemistry instantly manifests starting from their first scene together, delivering a sweet and delightful romantic performance that leaves the audience wanting to know more about them. Given its title and characters' shared interest in music, it is also known for having a great soundtrack consisting of tracks from slightly under-the-radar artists of the era, including Vampire Weekend. "Nich & Norah" also features cameos from Seth Meyers, Andy Samberg, and John Cho.

24. Save the Last Dance

After losing her mother in a car accident, 17-year-old ballet dancer Sara Johnson transfers to a predominantly Black high school where she attempts to forget her love for ballet due to the guilt of indirectly causing her mother's death. In her new school, Sara meets teenage single mother Chenille (Kerry Washington) and her smart and charming brother Derek (Sean Patrick Thomas), who instantly shows interest in Sara. After learning about her dance background and her dreams of going to Juilliard, Derek tries to help Sara improve her dancing skills by teaching her some basic hip-hop moves to incorporate into her classical ballet training. Through their practices, Sara and Derek's relationship develops into something more. While she prepares for her potentially life-changing Juilliard audition, Sara must also deal with the inevitable reactions to her and Derek's interracial relationship. (This was the relatively unenlightened early '00s, after all.)

A relative newcomer at the time, Washington delivers some of the film's most impactful dialogue. "Save the Last Dance" is also famous for its entertaining dance sequences, which were choreographed by legendary music video director Fatima Robinson.

23. A Walk to Remember

"A Walk to Remember" is based on the 1999 Nicholas Sparks novel inspired by his sister's death from cancer. Leading this coming-of-age 2002 romantic drama is Mandy Moore and Shane West, who both put their names on Hollywood's map by making audiences fall in love with their characters' beautiful but tragic story. Arguably, the film's "nice girl-meets-bad boy" premise rings as a little cliché and some of the dialogue resonates as cheesy, but neither of these elements have disrupted the reputation of "A Walk to Remember" as a major tear-jerker.

Popular high school student Landon Carter (West) gets in trouble after a dangerous prank leads to another student's hospitalization. To avoid getting expelled, Landon is forced to participate in the school play, where he meets local minister's daughter and target of his friends' bullying, Jamie Sullivan (Moore). Struggling to learn his lines for the play, he reluctantly asks for Jamie's help. As they spend time practicing together, Landon and Jamie start bonding despite their differences.

Soon after, Landon and Jamie eventually accept their growing feelings. The turning point of their relationship comes when Jamie finally explains why she doesn't want Landon to get too attached to her. This revelation leads them down an intensely heartbreaking journey.

22. Can't Buy Me Love

Before getting recognition for being the charismatic McDreamy in "Grey's Anatomy," Patrick Dempsey first appeared as the nerdy and unfashionable Ronald Miller in this 1987 teen rom-com. Joining him as the female lead is the late Amanda Peterson, who plays the chic cheerleader Cindy Mancini. Featuring one of the quintessential final scenes in teen movie history, "Can't Buy Me Love" centers around a high school geek who buys his way to the cool kids' table. Its title is derived from the Beatles song of the same name, which is also appears on the soundtrack.

After secretly borrowing her mother's expensive designer's outfit, Cindy encounters a major problem when she accidentally ruins the suit. To avoid punishment, Cindy tries to buy a replacement, but finds out that it's out of her budget. When Ronald learns of her dilemma, he immediately sees this as an opportunity to gain popularity. He offers Cindy $1,000 to pretend to date him for a limited period of time. Out of options, Cindy takes him up on the deal. As she spends more time with Ronald, Cindy finds herself slowly becoming smitten by him, while Ronald's newfound popularity makes him lose sight of what really matters. Ronald's intense speech about social stereotypes during the final minutes of the film is one of its best parts. "Can't Buy Me Love" also features Seth Green during his phase as a child actor, before he aged into his teen actor era.  

21. Romeo + Juliet

"Romeo + Juliet" is a celebrated adaptation of William Shakespeare's timeless love story from acclaimed filmmaker Baz Luhrmann. In this modern take, the film cleverly adds new elements, such as depicting the Montagues and Capulets as competing organized crime families. Despite its contemporary setting and style, "Romeo + Juliet" keeps the Shakespearean-style dialogue from the original play. Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes lead as the eponymous star-crossed lovers. Previously known for edgier roles in movies like "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" and "The Basketball Diaries," DiCaprio cemented himself as a romantic leading man in "Romeo + Juliet," segueing his career into 1997's massive hit, "Titanic."

In this version of the story, the rebellious Romeo sneaks off to the rival family's costume ball, and while he's there, he falls in love at first sight with Juliet through a fateful meeting by an aquarium tank. As if it weren't enough that their families routinely empty pistol clips at each other, there's also the matter of Juliet's impending marriage to the governor's son Dave Paris, portrayed by the immortal Paul Rudd. Because of their intense feelings, Romeo and Juliet elope. However, Romeo and Juliet's whirlwind love story faces several more challenges, including a deadly confrontation, Romeo's banishment, a case of miscommunication, and an accidental poisoning.

20. Fear Street Trilogy

A homage to slasher franchises like "Scream," "Halloween," and "Friday the 13th," the "Fear Street" trilogy takes the viewers to three different periods in history where a witch's curse looms over the young residents of Shadyside, Ohio. Based on R.L. Stine's classic novels, the three entries in director Leigh Janiak's horror saga were filmed back-to-back, with the same main cast appearing in the trio of films. Released as a three-week cinematic event, each "Fear Street" film revolves around the same inescapable curse that results in numerous deaths of Shadyside residents at the unexpected hands of one of their own.

At the core of the trilogy's gore-filled, supernatural story is the queer romance between two leading characters, Deena (Kiana Madeira) and Sam (Olivia Scott Welch). First introduced as estranged exes in "Part One: 1994," Deena and Sam's love story endures throughout the sequels as it propels the narrative towards its conclusion. Placing queer characters as the leads — as opposed to side-characters with a predisposition towards getting killed off — with their romance tied to the main storyline scans as somewhat groundbreaking for a mainstream horror movie.

19. 10 Things I Hate About You

"10 Things I Hate About You" is a modern retelling of William Shakespeare's classic comedy "The Taming of the Shrew." This legendary teen rom-com holds a special place in many hearts due to its charming and funny storyline and ensemble cast, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Allison Janney in memorable supporting roles. Julia Stiles and the late Heath Ledger lead in their respective breakout roles as tough-as-nails Kat Stratford and the rebellious Patrick Verona.

After transferring to a new school, Cameron James (Gordon-Levitt) is instantly smitten by the beautiful Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik). When Cameron asks Bianca to go on a date with him, he learns that her overprotective father forbids her from dating anyone until her smart and antisocial older sister Kat dates first. A determined Cameron devises a plan with his friend Michael (David Krumholtz) — they must enlist a guy for Kat. They enlist the school's resident bad boy Patrick Verona, who agrees with the deal and pursues Kat.

From then on, Patrick's unexpected romantic side comes out, while Kat slowly lowers her defenses. This movie also features indelible scenes like Patrick's "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" serenade and Kat's emotional poem, appropriately titled "10 Things I Hate About You."

18. Lucas

The 1986 coming-of-age dramedy "Lucas" may not be one of the most well-known movies on this list, but we think it deserves more eyeballs on it. This underrated teen romantic drama is noted for its sentimental look at a young social outcast's view of high school. Late teen star Corey Haim delivers a sweet but commanding leading performance as the titular 14-year-old boy who meets his first love in the form of a beautiful and older teenage girl, Maggie (Kerri Green). Perhaps the greatest contribution of "Lucas" to popular culture is providing a platform for the feature-length acting debut of Winona Ryder, who went on to star in numerous essential films including "Beetlejuice," "Heathers," and "Edward Scissorhands."

The story begins during the summer, where the intelligent and eccentric Lucas Blye meets the newest girl in town, Maggie, who instantly befriends him and bonds with him throughout the rest of summer. School begins and Lucas returns to being the football team's favorite punching bag. Lucas is extra dismayed when he learns Maggie has joined the cheerleading team. In an effort to impress Maggie, Lucas joins the football team despite knowing that his bullies will be able to access him more easily.

17. Cruel Intentions

"Cruel Intentions" is famous for its controversial scenes and erotic plot, making it one of the most talked about teen romantic dramas of the late 1990s. Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Selma Blair's gripping performances elevate the film's somewhat contentious storyline, leaving many viewers invested in their characters' every move. Despite being the antagonist, Gellar's portrayal as the manipulative Kathryn Merteuil stands as one of the most distinct villain performances in teen movie history.

The story centers arounds wealthy stepsiblings Kathryn and Sebastian (Phillippe) making a wager involving Annette (Witherspoon), the sweet, wholesome daughter of their school's headmaster. Their interest in Annette starts after she pens a magazine article about why she's saving her virginity for marriage. The promiscuous duo's bet entails Sebastian attempting to seduce Annette into breaking her chastity vow. If he fails, he must give his expensive vintage car to Kathryn; if he wins, Kathryn will let Sebastian have sex with her. Unbeknownst to the egotistical Sebastian, Annette is so much more than he's expected. Despite her innocence in certain matters, she's strong, charming, and confident. As he continues to pursue her, Sebastian will find himself in an unknown territory as he gets deeply attached to Annette with growing feelings he has never experienced before.

16. Five Feet Apart

"Jane the Virgin" star Justin Baldoni makes his theatrical feature directorial debut with the romantic dramedy "Five Feet Apart," a story centered around two teenagers with cystic fibrosis (CF). Haley Lu Richardson and former Disney Channel star Cole Sprouse electrify a debatably formulaic storyline with their chemistry and emotional performances. "Five Feet Apart" ultimately raked in over $90 million off a $7 million budget. While its initial critical response was less than glowing, its Rotten Tomatoes audience score and impressive box office takeaway tell us "Five Feet Apart" resonates with the audience it was intended for. 

The film introduces us to Stella Grant (Richardson), a cheerful CF patient who's meticulous in following her daily regimen. Her life in the hospital changes when she meets the cynical but charming Will Newman (Sprouse), who has the same illness. Their budding romance is restricted by the life-saving rule that CF patients must stay six feet away from each other in order to prevent the risk of infection. Despite the distance, their feelings for each other continue to grow each day, making it more difficult to follow the rules.

15. Sixteen Candles

Regarded as the queen of 1980s teen rom-coms, Molly Ringwald first gained recognition through her breakout role as high school sophomore Sam Baker in the classic coming-of-age comedy, 1984's "Sixteen Candles." This is also Ringwald's first collaboration with legendary filmmaker John Hughes, making his directorial debut after writing the successful comedy "National Lampoon's Vacation." The film was a pop culture phenomenon in its era and is remembered for numerous moments, including the sweet birthday scene between Sam and her crush Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling).

Disappointed and furious after her parents forget her 16th birthday due to her older sister's impending wedding, Sam prepares to have the worst day ever, and her fears are validated by a series of mishaps, embarrassing moments, and inconvenient events happening to her throughout the day. These include repeated unwanted advances from geeky freshman Ted (Anthony Michael Hall), unexpected guests forcing her to relinquish her bedroom, and a terrible school dance.

However, despite its cultural impact and legacy, audiences shouldn't forget the many red flags in "Sixteen Candles" that went under scrutinized during the Reagan '80s, especially its bafflingly racist depiction of an Asian character. It's important to understand these kinds of things should've never been okay.

14. Flipped

Acclaimed filmmaker Rob Reiner's adaptation of Wendelin Van Draanen's novel, "Flipped" is criminally underrated despite delivering a beautiful and genuine take on first loves. Callan McAuliffe and Madeline Carroll's performances effectively convey everything that a coming-of-age movie like this should. It's charming and sweet with just the right amount of angst.

Told through alternating perspectives of the leading duo, the story begins when 7-year-old Bryce Loski moves into a new neighborhood where he meets the unusually friendly Juli Baker, who instantly falls for Bryce. Fast forward several years later — they are now in their pre-teen years, where Juli (Carroll) still pines for Bryce (McAuliffe), who's getting tired and annoyed with Juli's obsession towards him, especially when she embarrasses him in school. Hoping to keep her away from him, Bryce continues to ignore her efforts and even tries to date the most popular girl in school.

A turning point in their one-sided relationship comes when Bryce's grandfather arrives on the scene. Through his grandfather — who is charmed by Juli's attitude — Bryce's perception of Juli starts to change, allowing him to accept his feelings for her. At the same time, Juli reflects on Bryce and questions whether he's really the right one for her.

13. Easy A

Before winning an Oscar for best actress, Emma Stone had her breakthrough moment as the lead in 2010's "Easy A." Stone brilliantly portrays the role of Olive Penderghast, a high school outcast whose spotless reputation gets stained by a little white lie. Stone's charm, wit, and humor effortlessly radiate in all of her scenes, putting her among the ranks of Molly Ringwald and Lindsay Lohan as one of the most memorable leads in teen movies history.

The story begins when Olive lies to her best friend about losing her virginity to a fictional college boy. This white lie turns into something huge, when one of Olive's religious classmates overhears them and proceeds to spread rumors about Olive's sex life. After being invisible for a long time, Olive has now entered the spotlight due to her damaged reputation. Instead of falling victim to the lies and consequences of her phony promiscuity, Olive confidently embraces this new image and takes control of the narrative.

"Easy A" frequently references 1980s teen movies, paying homage to their impact while observing that they no longer reflect the realities of modern teenage life. It's also one of the earlier movies to address the influence of social media on the millennial generation, depicting its capacity for distorting stories or changing narratives.

12. Pretty in Pink

"Pretty in Pink ” is about an unpopular high school senior who falls in love with one of the most popular kids in school, who happens to belong to a wealthy clique of snobs. It's the third of Molly Ringwald's most noteworthy collaborations with John Hughes, who wrote the screenplay. Compared to "Sixteen Candles," "Pretty in Pink" feels more mature in terms of its depth and emotion, as it tackles more serious topics like social classes.

Because of their statuses as nobodies, Andie (Ringwald) and her best friend Duckie (Jon Cryer) are always at the receiving end of jokes, insults, and bullying by the school's egotistical and preppy teenagers who think they're above everyone else. Things change when Andie is suddenly asked out by the popular and attractive Blane (Andrew McCarthy). However, as their romance develops, Blane's arrogant rich friend Steff (James Spader) tries to pressure Blane into giving up Andie due to her poor status. Meanwhile, Duckie is having a hard time finding the courage to confess his real feelings to Andie.

Ringwald displays her growth as an actress by delivering a strong and captivating leading performance. Her chemistry with McCarthy is effortless and moving. Meanwhile, Andie's friendship with Cryer's kind and loyal Duckie is sweet and charming, leaving fans to secretly root for Duckie to succeed.

11. To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Lana Condor and Noah Centineo star in their breakout roles in one of Netflix's most acclaimed original films to date, which is frequently praised for giving Asian American teens some overdue rom-com representation. This 2018 adaptation of Jenny Han's YA novel delivers a charming and thoughtful love story further elevated by standout performances from Condor and Centineo, whose insane chemistry definitely makes audiences root for their happy ending. Due to its massive success, it was followed by two sequels, "P.S. I Still Love You" and "Always and Forever," neither of which quite manage to live up to the first installment.

The story centers around high school junior Lara Jean Covey (Condor) and the five secret letters she wrote to the boys she previously had crushes on. Because of her shy nature, Lara Jean has never personally confessed her feelings to these objects of her affection before. When her feelings get intense, she writes them into love letters she never intends to send. One day, she finds out that someone has unfortunately mailed the letters to each one of its recipients. Horrified by the idea of confronting her feelings for her current crush Josh (Israel Broussard) — who happens to be her sister's ex-boyfriend — she enters in a fake dating contract with her former middle school crush Peter Kavinsky (Centineo), who intends to make his ex-girlfriend jealous.

10. The Fault in Our Stars

Josh Boone's romantic drama "The Fault in Our Stars" is a beautiful and heartbreaking adaptation about a 16-year-old girl who unexpectedly meets the love of her life in a thyroid cancer support group. The film is both a massive box office hit and a critical success, with many reviews praising Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort's leading performances. Although the romantic and cute moments between Hazel (Woodley) and Gus (Elgort) are enticing, their emotional and heart-wrenching scenes provide the real highlights.

The story begins with Hazel having a difficult time coping with her condition, which leads to her parents encouraging her to attend a support group where she can meet new friends likely to understand her situation more directly. This is where Hazel meets the charming and free-spirited Gus, a teenager who's in remission after losing his leg to bone cancer. Intrigued by Gus' personality, Hazel agrees to hang out with him, where they immediately find a connection over their shared interests in books. A turning point in their friendship comes when they embark on a trip to Amsterdam, where they finally confess their feelings for each other. However, their blissful time will get threatened by unfortunate news that will only make their love stronger.

9. Show Me Love

"Show Me Love" is an internationally acclaimed Swedish romantic dramedy about first loves, peer pressure, and the difficulties of accepting your feelings. The film is originally titled as "F*****g Åmål" in Sweden, which references the lead characters' frustrations with living in a small town where life seems to go nowhere. Starring Rebecka Liljeberg and Alexandra Dahlström, the film is best known for its realistic style of storytelling as well as its honesty and comedy.

The film introduces us to the antisocial Agnes, whose parents force her to have a birthday party despite knowing that she doesn't have any friends at school. Meanwhile, Agnes' secret crush, the popular and pretty Elin, is fed up with small town life and hopes to someday escape its dullness. In order to avoid a boy she doesn't like, Elin unexpectedly goes to Agnes' birthday, where she rudely kisses Agnes on a dare. Feeling guilty, Elin returns to Agnes' house and apologizes for the cruel prank. Throughout the rest of the night, Elin bonds with Agnes over their dreams of getting out of the town. Because of this, Elin starts seeing the social outcast in a different light and begins to realize growing romantic feelings for her. What comes next is a series of longing and heartbreaks, with Elin trying to deny her attraction towards Agnes in fear of her friends' reactions.

8. Grease

Decades after its theatrical debut, "Grease" remains one of the most popular teen movies of all time. It has a significant place in pop culture on the strength of its character performances, colorful visuals, and big catchy musical numbers. The electrifying chemistry of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John make them one of the most iconic song-and-dance pairings in movie history.

Set in the late 1950s, Australian teen Sandy Olsson (Newton-John) meets the sweet and charming Danny Zuko (Travolta) at the beach, where they fall in love over the course of the summer. As their vacation ends, Sandy and Danny make a promise to see each other again someday. Their reunion comes much sooner than expected, as Sandy's parents decide to stay in America. This leads Sandy to enroll in Rydell High School, unaware that this is Danny's school where he's the leader of the T-Birds gang. Initially, Danny disappoints Sandy with his macho behavior and efforts to maintain his bad boy image. Realizing his mistake, Danny tries to win back Sandy and rekindle their romance.

7. The Half of It

"Saving Face" filmmaker Alice Wu's second directorial feature is "The Half of It," a brilliant and captivating modern adaptation of playwright Edmond Rostand's classic "Cyrano de Bergerac." This well-crafted coming-of-age dramedy cleverly manages to convey two different takes on love, while effectively showcasing each of the lead characters' strengths and flaws. Wu delivers a fresh, unique, and genuine love story filled with charm and good-natured humor. The lead stars all give endearing and grounded performances that make their characters' unconventional love triangle work.

The film introduces Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis), an intelligent and introverted high school senior who makes extra money by writing other students' essays. Her dull small-town life gets interesting when naive jock Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer) approaches her to write love letters for him in hopes of impressing the beautiful Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire). Unbeknownst to Paul, Ellie has also admired Aster for a long time. Due to her financial needs, Ellie eventually agrees to become Paul's ghostwriter in exchange for $50. This leads to Ellie indirectly learning more about Aster, who opens up about her passion for art and her dilemma with her status as the deacon's daughter. As their letter exchanges progress to text messages, Ellie finds herself getting more drawn to Aster, who's unaware that Paul isn't who she's talking to. Meanwhile, Ellie also forms an unexpected friendship with Paul, who begins to look out for her in school.

6. Love, Simon

Director Greg Berlanti's romantic dramedy "Love, Simon" is the first film made by a major Hollywood studio to revolve around a gay teenage romance. Leading the groundbreaking film is Nick Robinson, who successfully brings out the charm, tenderness, and relatability in the main character. He masterfully conveys the emotions he needs in moments, where you'll see the subtle loneliness he feels for having to hide his true self in a life which seems to be happy and perfect. This 2018 film serves as a significant representation for LGBTQ+ youths.

The story centers around Simon Spier (Robinson), who has everything a teenager needs to have a happy life — a loving family and loyal best friends. The only problem is that he can't enjoy it authentically because he hasn't quite found the courage to leave the closet. Fearing the changes that his potential coming out might lead to, Simon decides to just hide his identity. However, after finding out about another closeted gay student, Simon becomes hopeful at the prospect of not being alone anymore. He starts exchanging emails with the anonymous Blue, where they confide their personal dilemmas. As they get to know more about each other, Simon finds himself falling for Blue, leading him to search for Blue's real identity.

5. Weathering with You

"Weathering with You" is an animated fantasy film about a runaway teen whose life changes when he meets a girl who can control the weather. This coming-of-age dramedy by acclaimed filmmaker Makoto Shinkai is one of the highest-grossing anime films of all time, with a worldwide gross of over $190 million. It's also a major critical smash, praised for its engaging storyline, amazing visuals, and its realistic portrayal of Tokyo. It delivers a haunting glimpse of what the near future might look like if people continue to deny and ignore the climate change crisis.

The story begins when Hodaka Morishima runs away from his home in hopes of starting a new life in the bustling city of Tokyo. He meets different sorts of people in the big city, including Keisuke Suga, a small publishing company owner, and his niece Natsumi. However, Hodaka's time in the rainy and gloomy Tokyo gets more interesting after he meets the pretty Hina Amano, whose kindness instantly captivates Hodaka. Soon after, Hodaka discovers that Hina is a "sunshine girl" who has the ability to control the weather by praying to the sky. Hodaka encourages Hina to use her incredible gift for benevolent purposes, as well as reasonable financial gain.

4. Say Anything

Eventual Oscar-winning filmmaker Cameron Crowe makes his feature-length debut with "Say Anything," which features one of the most legendary scenes in movie history. John Cusack and Ione Skye lead this 1989 dramedy, which tells an innocent and sweet love story that gives audiences a realistic view of the intensity and intrinsic limitations of teenage romance.

The story begins after high school graduation when Lloyd (Cusack), an average but overly optimistic guy, decides to ask Diane Court (Skye), the smartest and prettiest girl in school, out on a date. To everyone's surprise, Diane agrees. After a wonderful first date, Lloyd and Diane start seeing each other, despite Lloyd knowing that she'll leave the country in sixteen weeks for an academic opportunity in Europe. However, their unexpected blossoming romance is soon challenged by Diane's overprotective father (John Mahoney), who disapproves of Lloyd's unpredictable future.

Even if you haven't seen this film, there's a great chance that you're familiar with the sight of Lloyd holding a boombox over his head in front of Diane's window, which is his character's way of saying that he won't give up on their love. The scene — with Lloyd's song choice of Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" putting the icing on the proverbial romance cake — has been referenced in numerous TV shows and other movies. 

3. Moonrise Kingdom

Visionary auteur filmmaker Wes Anderson directs another cinematic marvel with 2012's "Moonrise Kingdom." Featuring an ensemble cast of acting veterans and newcomers, the film's narrative is funny, charming, and whimsical. At the same time, it tells a personal and grounded story about young love and its rebellious nature. Despite their youth in 2012, Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward play characters who seem more mature and reliable than the eccentric adults of the story.

Set in 1965 on the fictional island of New Penzance, the story centers around Khaki scout Sam Shakusky (Gilman) who becomes pen pals with the wealthy but isolated Suzy Bishop (Hayward). Soon after, their friendship blossoms into romance, which leads them to devise a plan where they'll leave their respective homes and go on a wilderness adventure together. After Sam and Suzy's successful escape, the Khaki Scouts and Suzy's parents realize what the pair has done and immediately start searching for the young sweethearts. What follows is a series of unusual shenanigans from the grown-ups, cute and tender moments between Sam and Suzy, and a literal hurricane.

2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Based on the critically acclaimed novel by Stephen Chbosky, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" revolves around friendship, first loves, social anxiety, sexuality, and the perils of growing up. Chbosky also directs the film adaptation, which is driven by phenomenal and compelling leading performances from Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller.

"The Perks" introduces us to socially awkward high school student Charlie (Lerman) as he navigates the beginning of freshman year with no friends, aside from one cool teacher to talk to about his love for books. During a football game at school, Charlie plucks up the courage to interact with the two most interesting seniors, stepsiblings Sam (Watson) and Patrick (Miller). Charlie is immediately enamored by the pair, especially Sam, who he thinks is the most beautiful girl he's ever seen. After meeting again during prom, Charlie starts to hang out with them, and even makes more friends with Sam and Patrick's own clique. From then on, he experiences the advantages and the joys of being with people he relates to and who understand him. However, Charlie's anxieties and repressed trauma constantly prevent him from going after the love he deserves.

1. Your Name

Makoto Shinkai's nearly universally acclaimed "Your Name" is about a girl from the countryside who experiences an unexplainable phenomenon — she suddenly switches bodies with a boy from Tokyo. This 2016 film is widely regarded for its cinematic visuals and clever complexity, which unexpectedly takes the story far beyond its initial premise. Shinkai successfully weaves in different elements into "Your Name" without overwhelming the audience. The dark twist during the second half of the film is utterly shocking and heartbreaking, but it's also wonderfully executed.

In the rural town of Itomori, Japan, where high school student Mitsuha Miyamizu lives with her younger sister, grandmother, and emotionally unavailable father. Fed up with small town life, Mitsuha wishes to be reborn as a Tokyo boy in her next life. Her wish comes true the following day, as she finds herself inexplicably swapping bodies with Taki Tachibana, a high school boy in Tokyo. Because of their lack of control over their predicament, Mitsuha and Taki hilariously communicate through leaving messages on their phones or writing on each other's bodies. As they continue to learn more about one another through living each other's lives, a strong bond forms between them that distance and time won't break.