Top 10 Prom Movie Scenes

  1. Prom Night (1980/2008) If you have mixed feelings about prom, this movie might be for you. Prom Night is famous not for its pretty dresses, but for the psycho killer who unleashes terror on what's supposed to be the best night of a girl's life. See the original starring scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis or the remake with Brittany Snow.
  2. Napoleon Dynamite (2004) may sport the weirdest prom scene ever. Napoleon takes Deb to prom in awesome 80s styles, pink, puffy sleeves and all. In fact, the entire prom appears to take place in the 80s, even though the story is set in the early 2000s. A nod to the classic teen movies of John Hughes (Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles)? Maybe. Weirdly hilarious? Absolutely.
  3. Footloose (1984/2011). In Footloose, after a tragic car accident, a small town outlaws dancing because the adults think it leads to more scandalous behavior, like drinking and sex. Years later, a new kid in town challenges the rules and brings back dancing and prom. This prom scene is remarkable mostly because all the teenagers in town are fabulous dancers, even though they were never allowed to dance before.
  4. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Julia Stiles and the late Heath Ledger, this prom sequence features a Romeo and Juliet-themed mystery date (fitting as the film is based on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew), a live band, and an awesome punch to the nose, or three. The dance at this prom movie proves to be as sassy and smart as the rest of the film, even if it leads to the (temporary) break-up of the main characters.
  5. She's All That (1999). This 90s teen movie includes a prom scene in which the DJ, played by Usher, oversees a choreographed dance to the hit song Soul Funk Brother. It's kind of a shame that choreographed prom dances didn't become a trend after this film.
  6. Carrie (1976), starring Sissy Spacek, and based on the novel by Stephen King, is a classic but scary prom movie. Before Mean Girls, the popular girls at Carrie's school arranged for her to be voted prom queen, then dumped pig's blood on her head as she was crowned. Carrie, however, has special powers and enacts a swift revenge. Compare the original with the 2013 remake starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore.
  7. Never Been Kissed (1999) features an all-star cast including Drew Barrymore, David Arquette, Michael Vartan, and Jessica Alba. Drew Barrymore's character, Josie, is a frumpy journalist who gets a makeover when she goes undercover at a Chicago high school. She also falls for her English teacher, Mr. Coulson, and befriends the popular girls. Never Been Kissed includes two prom scenes. One flashes back to Josie's first prom, when she apparently wore the same dress as Deb in Napoleon Dynamite and got egged by her date. In the second, she's voted prom queen, but blows her cover while saving a sweet nerd from a similar fate to Carrie. She also makes a beautiful speech about putting prom in perspective.
  8. It's a Wonderful Life (1946) is remembered more as a Christmas movie, but it also features an adorable dance scene. When George (Jimmy Stewart) crashes his younger brother's school dance, he's carried away by how beautiful and charming Mary (Donna Reed) has become. They start to dance the Charleston together and think that they must be pretty good when everyone starts shouting and creating a circle around them. Before they know it, they end up in the pool under the retractable gym floor. And they keep dancing.
  9. Grease (1978). One of the favorite numbers in this 1970s-does-1950s musical takes place at the school dance as Rydell High's students, including the T-Birds and the Pink Ladies, take part in a dance competition to the Hand Jive. Things get a little out of hand, but the dancing is spectacular.
  10. Pretty in Pink (1986) might be the ultimate prom movie. Molly Ringwald stars as Andie, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, who is wooed by a rich boy, Blane (Andrew McCarthy), only to get dumped by him before the prom because of his judgmental friends. Meanwhile, her best friend Duckie (John Cryer) has to figure out how long he can be her friend when she doesn't reciprocate his undying love. (Hint: he will always be there for her.) Not only does this movie feature Andie deconstructing a 1950s prom dress into her own fashionista creation, it ends with a moving, if divisive, prom scene. While many viewers think Andie should end up with Duckie, Molly Ringwald thought if she didn't forgive Blane it would send the wrong message.
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