It’s really easy to feel like an outcast, even if we have friends and a family that love us, and even if our outcast status is mostly in our heads than actually playing out in reality. I mean, I’ve felt incredibly out of place at several points in my life: I felt like a weirdo compared to a lot of my classmates in middle school (who, for some reason, had a lot of fun making fun of my love of pop punk…because middle schoolers are awful), I didn’t have the same hobbies of any of my college roommates, and even in my post-college office jobs I felt like a bit of an oddball compared to my co-workers.
Whether it’s perception or reality, it’s pretty normal to feel like a bit of an outcast at some time or another, but we rarely see that play out in pop culture representations. Sure, there’s plenty of music out that that speaks to our loner-side, and there are all kinds of outcast characters in the super hero or action genre (and they’re usually all dudes, which is another rant for another time). But what about movies or TV shows depicting about teen outcasts feeling like teen outcasts? You would think that there would be loads of movies and TV shows about outcasts, but there really aren’t if you think about it. And the ones that think they’re tapping into some outcast POV usually never feels all that sincere, like the TV show Awkward.
But there are some movies and TV shows out there that really do tap in to the narratives of outsiders, social outcasts, and marginalized people who feel like they don’t belong anywhere. Here are 12 examples that you’ll definitely want to watch ASAP.
Freaks And GeeksIf you've heard people go on and on about how good this show was, trust me, they're right. It's not just hype. This show is brilliant for a lot of reasons, but one of the best things about it is that it depicted social outcasts and uncool kids in a way that didn't center on their never ending quest to be popular. They weren't even depicted as all that socially inept. They were just teens, teens who weren't winning any popularity contests. And...that's okay. Hell, doesn't that describe most of us?
BeetlejuiceLydia is one of the more morbid and gloomy teens of the movie universe, and while the entirety of Beetlejuice doesn't revolve around her and her angst, it certainly made a lasting impression. Lydia is so much of an outcast that she doesn't feel like she fits in the world of the living, and would be better suited in the world of the dead. While many of us never quite get to that level of isolation, we can't ignore the fact that many do.
Donnie DarkoI'm pretty sure that every Millennial girl who had an emo phase has watched this movie and loved it to pieces. I mean, other than being dark and nihilistic, it features a young Jake Gyllenhaal, which is reason enough to watch for some of you thirsty outcasts out there. I see you.
The Harry Potter SeriesOkay, hear me out, okay: Harry Potter is a massive outcast for most of his life, and he still feels like one for a majority of the series. Part of Harry's journey, overall, is about accepting the love and help of others, and what outcast can't relate to that struggle? Of course, you'll get a better taste of all the delicious loner angst if you read the series, but the movies are an easy substitute if you don't have a lot of time on your hands.
DariaClassic '90s snark, cynicism, and hilarity, all in one package. Daria is the quintessential teen outcast, in the sense that she's definitely a bit of an oddball outsider, but she still has people out there who care about her, no matter how gloomy she gets. If you haven't watched Daria yet, dude...it's on Hulu, get with it.
The CraftThe idea of being a part of a crew of teen witch outcasts is basically goals for any weird girl, right? Right. The Craft fulfills that fantasy, but with a heavy dose of dysfunction and toxic friendships, proving that even outcast friends can have beef, just like anybody else.
Edward ScissorhandsI mean, this is literally about a dude who has scissors for hands. There's no way you're going to fit in looking like that, right? This movie is a massive critique on conformity and ousting people who are different than you, so this is definitely a go to if you're feeling down about not being like everybody else.
Ghost WorldIf you like Daria, then you might want to give Ghost World a shot. It follows the lives of about a couple of high school hating friends post-graduation, and the snark and sarcasm is endless. It's an absolute must watch if you and your friends are craving junk food and an early '00s teen movie.
PariahHell, the outcast status is in the name of the movie itself!Pariah is a little known indie movie about a teen girl who is slowly becoming more open about being a lesbian. Of course, things get complicated when you mix in a conservative mother and an unrequited crush. How lonely can you get? Whether you feel out of place because of your sexuality or you just want to watch a fantastic movie that makes you want to cry your eyes out, absolutely check out Pariah.
10 Things I Hate About YouSure, in many ways 10 Things I Hate About You is just like any other '90s teen movie, which aren't known for being all that outcast friendly. Sure, our protagonist Kat is an unpleasant sort of outcast, but not because she's a bad person. She's just afraid of vulnerability. It's refreshing to see an outcast depicted in a way that isn't about gaining popularity but, instead, is about opening up a little more and not taking everything so seriously.
Veronica MarsFeel like you just lost all of your friends? Maybe you want to give Veronica Mars a spin. After a tragedy, Veronica is abandoned by her popular clique and pretty much does a lot of lone wolfing...with a side of detective work and mystery solving. It's a great mix of crime drama and teen angst, a combination that is never really explored in any pop culture genre.
Ginger SnapsGinger Snaps is the perfect movie for you morbid girls who feel really out of place at school, at home, at--well, anywhere, really. It's a teen horror flick that uses lycanthropy (turning into a werewolf) as a metaphor for girls going through puberty, which should be enough of a draw. Grab your closest friend and get ready for a weird movie night.
What other movies should be on this list? Tell us in the comments!