When we look back on movies from our childhood or just the general past, one of the first things we wonder–whether consciously or not–is whether or not the movie aged well. Were the special effects so 20 years ago that the movie is hard to watch? Is the trendy dialogue and fashion so dated that they’re distracting? Are there racist, sexist, or homophobic elements that might have been “acceptable” at the time, but make us cringe now? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then the movie probably didn’t age very well. I mean, even watching the first Harry Potter movie makes me wonder how much better Voldemort’s face would look on the back of Quirrel’s head today as opposed to 15 years ago. But, to be honest, so many of our favorite movies–ones we consider classics now–fit this bill too. Movies like The Breakfast Club and Clueless reek of the ’80s and ’90s respectively, and that’s part of their charm. A scene with Blink 182 playing in the background during American Pie is so 1999 it hurts, but it’s still fun to watch. All of this can be said of so many teen movies from the ’00s, too.
From some unfortunate style choices (why did we wear pants under dresses?), to obsolete technology (anyone still using an iPod?), to celebrity cameos that would only be cool in 2001 (are people still into Tony Hawk?), movies from the ’00s are rife with elements that just scream ’00s. If you want a little refresher, or a stroll down memory lane, check out this round up of 9 ’00s teen movies with the most ’00s moments ever.
Mean GirlsOh, where to begin? Let's start with the infamous four-way phone call scene. First off, they're using phones. Like, house phones, not cell phones. It was 2004--we might have had cell phones, but we weren't prioritizing it over the classic landline. Plus, can we take a second to admire Cady's velour tracksuit? Is it by Juicy? Because having a Juicy jacket and matching sweats was the definition of cool in the early '00s. Pair that with Uggs and you're golden! Other fine '00s moments: • All the slogan tees that the Plastics rocked, most notably Karen's "Bling Bling" tank top. Nobody says bling bling anymore, but they were still making it work back then. • Janis' wardrobe, which was a mix of lazy goth kid and proto-scene kid.
ThirteenAh, the ultimate movie about teen debauchery in the early '00s. It's a modern day classic, okay, filled with classic lines like, "No bra, no panties!." What's most '00s about this movie is the style. This screenshot alone says a lot. • Visible thong, a trend that was massive in the early '00s and, eventually, faded out, especially when ultra low-rise jeans were less trendy. Luckily, the look is immortalized in film, and hopefully won't make a comeback IRL • All that middriff! • Massive decorative belt that has no practical purpose other than looking tough. • Antenna hair, in which two little strips of hair are prominent by your forehead, while the rest is tied in a ponytail or bun. That's the only look that could make a comeback without being the worst thing on the planet.
Legally BlondeReleased in 2001, Legally Blonde includes a ton of nods to early '00s pop culture. For example, those old school Apple computers! As you can see in the photo above, Elle is about to buy an iBook laptop, which came in a ton of distinct colors and looked all bobbly and futuristic, like the iMac at the time. We've since embraced more minimalist approaches to tech, but those bursts of color were huge at the time. Also: • Elle's chihuahua. Maybe it was Taco Bell commercials that popularized the tiny dogs, but Paris Hilton and others quickly followed suit with the trend.
Cadet KellyHilary Duff dressed like every alt girl from 2004 ever in the Disney Channel movie, Cadet Kelly. Let's go over this look in detail: • Long sleeved shirt with a shot sleeved shirt on top. Bonus points for having stripes thrown in there somewhere. • A zillion bracelets, probably from Hot Topic. • Overly teased updos with a pop of color in the form of a hair wrap or crappy spray in dye that washes out after two days. The only thing missing is bad eye makeup!
Bring It OnBring It On is riddled with little hints of the '00s: There's evidence of Pokemon merch in Torrance's bathroom, her kid brother plays a PS1, and there are approximately 70,000 camisole tops worn throughout the film. But the most telling '00s elements can be seen in the hair and beauty of Team Clover: • Bandanas as a hair accessory. Seriously, every girl had a few in the '00s. • Slide-in clips! This was essential if you had straight hair. The best ones, of course, had a massive butterfly on them. • Intricately tied updos. The more hair ties, the better. • Frosted eyeshadow. No comment.
Save The Last DanceIn the grand tradition of dance movies bringing opposites together--Grease, Dirty Dancing, Footloose--Save The Last Dance makes the case for burying tense race relationship by dancing to hip hop music. Yeah, I know, it sounds really hokey now, and I'm sure that if it was made in 2016, there would be countless think pieces about how messy this movie was. But, frankly, people ate that up back in 2001. For super '00s moments, you don't need to look much further than this photo: Baggy clothes, Timberland boots, baseball shirt, boombox chillin' in the background...ah, simpler times.
The New GuyWhen I watched this a dozen times as a preteen, I never would have predicted how forgotten this 2002 teen comedy would be. Still, looking back at it, it had a lot of '00s gems. • Bad blonde dye jobs, frosted tips, too much hair gel • Cameos from Tony Hawk and Vanilla Ice • Polka shell necklaces • Eliza Dushku
Nick and Norah's Infinite PlaylistIf you were a cool indie kid in the mid to late '00s, then you were required to love Juno and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (if you weren't still riding that Garden State wave...I mean, the soundtrack was good). Nick And Norah was all about music, which meant it had a lot of good music in it and also contained some ancient artifacts from the '00s, namely mix CDs--which were already slowly becoming obsolete--and a classic iPod. It wasn't the black and white version, but it still had that awful spinning wheel thing. Woof. Other '00s moments of note: • Michael Cera • That one Vampire Weekend song in the soundtrack.
High School MusicalJust...whatever is going on in this photo. The thin midi skirt with the ultra fitted top, the newsboy cap, the pre-recession joy smeared on their faces...very mid '00s, everyone. Very.
What other movies have moments that scream ’00s? Tell us in the comments!