Whenever I find myself in need of some entertainment to complement my exciting and refined dinners of popcorn, peanut butter cups, and pamplemousse La Croix, I always turn to one out of my five fully quotable teen movies from childhood. While most people grew up hearing famous lines like “Here’s looking at you, kid,” or “There’s no crying in baseball,” I was going around howling, “I’ll take a whack at it” (100 points to you if you know what that’s from).
read this if you're in your saving era this summer
Nostalgic movies and TV shows from our youth are the equivalent to that favorite fuzzy blanket or old sweatshirt you want to envelope yourself in whenever you feel lonely, tired, or anxious about all of the things going on in this world. They offer an escape to a simpler, more fun, and familiar time full of the predictability and endings that leave your heart satisfied.
Not sure where to begin with your own nostalgia night? Fear not—we’ve got 45 of the best movies and TV shows ready for you to commence your binging (and in case you’re wondering: yes, our queens Mary-Kate, Ashley, and Lindsey Lohan of course made the cut, as this wouldn’t be a legitimate nostalgia round-up without them).
For the rom-com lovers:
1. The Princess Diaries (Disney+)
I’m personally still waiting for a foreign grandmother that I don’t know to come and tell me I’m secretly the heir to the throne of a fancy country.
2. Save the Last Dance (rent for $3.99 on Amazon)
3. Bend it Like Beckham (Hulu)
An awesome London setting? A young Kiera Knightley playing soccer? Some amazing Indian food? What’s not to love about this film?
4. Pretty Woman (rent for $3.99 on Amazon)
5. Bridget Jones’s Diary (Hulu)
Bridget is literally all of us and the most relatable rom-com character to exist. I also highly recommend following this with Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and then Bridget Jones’s Baby—the perfect trinity of rom-coms.
6. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (rent for $1.99 on Amazon)
7. The Wedding Planner (rent for $3.99 on Amazon)
I’m partial to only eating brown M&Ms after watching this.
8. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (Hulu with Cinemax Add-On)
Supernatural + coming-of-age faves:
9. That’s So Raven (Disney+)
The greatest psychic to ever grace our TV screens.
10. Sabrina: the Teenage Witch (Hulu)
You have seven whole seasons of this show waiting for you, and it’s fun, lighthearted, and has the best pet cat in existence.
11. Charmed (Netflix)
12. Freaky Friday (Disney+)
There’s not a single fortune cookie I have opened and not thought of maybe accidentally switching places with my mom upon reading.
13. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Hulu)
14. Aquamarine (HBO)
Some of Emma Roberts’s and Jojo’s finest work—and I still wish I could get my hands a pair of those compliment-whispering starfish earrings (if you know you know).
15. Matilda (rent for $3.99 on Amazon)
To take you back to your teenage days:
16. Lizzie McGuire (Disney+)
17. Sleepover (Netflix)
If this movie didn’t change your sleepovers forever, then I don’t know what did. It also features a very unrecognizable Evan Peters who will amaze you.
18. Heathers (Amazon Prime)
19. Passport to Paris (Hulu)
If you’re having an Olsen twins marathon, this one is a must. That shopping scene is what dreams are made of.
20. That ‘70s Show (Netflix)
21. 10 Things I Hate About You (Disney+)
The best ever high school movie to exist? This.
22. Saved By the Bell (Hulu)
23. A Cinderella Story (Netflix)
The movie that made us all long for the “Nomad” to our “PrincetonGirl818.” Jennifer Coolidge also makes one heck of an evil stepmother.
24. She’s All That (rent for $3.99 on Amazon)
25. Clueless (rent for $3.99 on Amazon)
It has been 25 years since this Emma-inspired gem came out (can you believe?!), and like the movie, the fashion has never gone out of style.
26. Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (Disney+)
27. Boy Meets World (Disney +)
28. Dawson’s Creek (Hulu)
For some action, adventure, and thrills:
29. The Matrix (Netflix)
We all pretended we were Neo at some point in our lives, dodging things left to right.
30. Space Jam (Netflix)
Featuring the G.O.A.T. Michael Jordan, along with some of the other best characters from the decade, this movie is packed with all the nostalgic ‘90s references.
31. Charlie’s Angels (Hulu with Showtime Add-On)
32. Rush Hour (rent for $3.99 on Amazon)
One of the (if not the) best buddy-cop gems with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker making us laugh the whole way through with their antics. Follow this with Rush Hour 2 and Rush Hour 3 and you’ll be in for a humor-filled day of binge watching.
33. The Mask of Zorro (Netflix)
Featuring strong females breaking barriers:
34. Veronica Mars (Hulu)
35. Selena (rent for $3.99 on Amazon)
Before you watch the new Selena series that Netflix drops soon, watch this iconic movie that set the tone for the rest of JLo’s incredible career.
36. Ally McBeal (Hulu)
37. Ugly Betty (Hulu)
Stellar fashion, the showcasing of Mexican heritage, and an amazing cast made this show super fun to watch and rewatch over and over again.
38. Miss Congeniality (rent for $3.99 on Amazon)
To make you feel like a kid again:
39. The Parent Trap (Disney+)
Before Tik Toks, all the cool kids were learning the secret handshake dance from this movie. It also made us wish we simultaneously lived in Napa, London, and a sleep-away camp and secretly had a long-lost twin out there somewhere.
40. Anastasia (HBO)
In my personal opinion, this is one of the most underrated animated princess movies of all time. It has some of the catchiest songs and super interesting characters.
41. It Takes Two (Netflix)
If you love The Parent Trap and haven’t yet watched this, you’re in for a treat.
42. Remember the Titans (Disney+)
43. Billboard Dad (Hulu)
Though this entire movie is simply iconic, our editor Lauren thinks the plastic bag egg whisking scene was particularly so.
44. Sister Act (Disney+)