Being a teenager is something all of us can relate to at some point in our lives. That’s why movies that chronicle the experience of those awkward and formative years are so popular among their young target audience, and among the nostalgic adults who like to watch them and reflect on days gone by. Sometimes these relatable flicks are very funny — or at least they attempt to be.
If you talk to any movie buff about the movies that had the most impact on them, chances good that are they’ll mention a couple films that caught their first hearts and imaginations during their teen years. Some of those movies are likely teen fare as well, given that films of this ilk are specifically for audiences within that age group.
The ’80s and ’90s were very strong for teen comedies, but the 2000s delivered more than its fair share of them, too. Mean Girls, Superbad, Bring It On, Napoleon Dynamite, and The Princess Diaries are just a few examples of movies that defined the cinematic diet of a generation back then.
That being said, there plenty teen comedies of that decade more which didn’t necessarily achieve the same heights of popularity as those films, but are just as good in their own right. On the other hand, some were just bad or just so middling that they didn’t stick in our memories. This list has a mixture of everything.
Without further ado, here are 20 ’00s Teen Comedies Only True Fans Remember.
20 Not Another Teen Movie (2001)
Hollywood loves making movies about teenagers. It was, therefore, only a matter of time before they made a movie about poking fun at movies about teenagers as well.
Not Another Teen Movie is a parody of the teen movies which were popular during the 90s and early 2000s, as well as a few 80s classics for good measure. The general plot is based on She’s All That, but the film contains several nods to movies like Varsity Blues, 10 Things I Hate About You, Can’t Hardly Wait, among others.
Furthermore, Not Another Teen Movie features a young Chris Evans in a whipped cream bikini– this obviously was prior to his superhero fame.
19 Bandslam (2009)
When we think of Vanessa Hudgens and music, High School Musical immediately springs to mind. But she was also in this forgotten 2009 comedy that goes even harder than the franchise that made her a star.
Bandslam follows a social outcast and a popular girl who come together through the power of rock ‘n’ roll.
After bonding through their mutual love of music, the pair gather some friends and form a rock group so they can perform in a battle of the bands competition at their high school.
Sadly, this marked the final film appearance by the late, great David Bowie. Supposedly, he agreed to take part because he was a fan of director Todd Graff’s 2003 movie Camp.
18 Big Fat Liar (2002)
The next entry is a forgotten and enjoyable gem starring a young Frank Muniz as a teenager out to reclaim what’s rightfully his from Hollywod’s greedy palms.
Inspired by the legendary fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Big Fat Liar follows a boy who travels to Los Angeles to find the corrupt studio executive who stole his story and turned it into a hit movie. Naturally, the exec isn’t willing to give the kid the credit and risk losing his job in the process. Hilarity ensues.
The film’s villain is played by Paul Giamatti, who hams it up spectacularly and is clearly having a great time. Amanda Bynes, Lee Major, and some other familiar faces appear as well.
17 John Tucker Must Die (2006)
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, as the old saying goes. However, what happens when you upset three at the same time? You get a taste of your own medicine. That’s the fate in store for the titular character in John Tucker Must Die, anyway.
The film follows three girls who plot to break the heart of a manipulative jock after they learn he has been secretly cheating on all three on them. It stars the talented Sophia Bush, Ashanti, Brittany Snow, and Arielle Kebbel, with Jesse Metcalf as the titular cad.
Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t live up to its title, but it’s an entertaining comedy with its fair share of laughs nonetheless.
16 Sugar and Spice (2001)
Bring It On might be considered by many as the royalty of teen comedies about cheerleaders. However, when discussing the greats, Sugar and Spice also deserves a seat at the same table.
The film tells the story of a pair of teens in love who are struggling to make ends meet after the arrival of an unexpected baby. Trying to juggle high school, a baby, and work is difficult at the best of times — but in high school? Now that’s a problem and a financially testing one at that.
The girl’s cheerleading squad comes up with an answer to her problems: rob a bank.
It seems like it’ll be the perfect crime, but it’s easier said than done.
15 Get Over It (2001)
Following the success of 10 Things I Hate About You, teen comedies inspired by the works of William Shakespeare were cool in the late ’90s and early aughts. Get Over It is one of the good ones.
Loosely based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the tale follows a heartbroken basketball star as he swamps the court for the drama club. He wants to be closer to his ex-girlfriend in a bid to win her back, but he ends up falling for someone else and a love triangle forms.
Despite being forgotten for the most part, Get Over It features familiar faces lik Kirsten Dunst, Zoe Saldana, Ben Foster, Shane West, and Coolio.
14 Mad About Mambo (2000)
Predating the teen dance movie craze kicked off by Step Up, 2000’s Mad About Mambo is a romantic comedy about a teenage soccer player who signs up for samba lessons in the hope it will make him good enough to play with South American professionals.
Felicity and The American star Keri Russell gamely attempts a Belfast accent to play Lucy, a fellow samba student whose boyfriend plays for Danny’s (William Ash) rival team. Acclaimed actor Brian Cox (Manhunter, X2: X-Men United) plays Lucy’s father, and still, none of this explains why a movie about samba is named after the mambo.
13 Chasing Liberty (2004)
This romantic comedy about a national politician’s teenage daughter is sweet-natured fun, and perfect comfort food for your teen romance needs..
With no escape from the media, the public, or her security guards, the politician’s daughter, Anna, just wants to live her own life and be independent.
While on a family trip to Europe, she manages to ditch her security guards and have herself a mini-adventure.
She also meets a boy– who happens to be an undercover secret service agent.
Chasing Liberty is loosely based on the 1954 Audrey Hepburn classic Roman Holiday, which is about a princess who needs a break from it all.
12 She Gets What She Wants (2002)
Otherwise known as Slap Her, She’s French, this comedy brings a French invasion of sorts to small town Texas. The “invasion” is really just one French person (played by the non-French Piper Perabo), but she is hell-bent on taking over the life of a popular high school student all the same.
This is basically the plot to the movie: a foreign exchange student is welcomed into a girl’s social circle with open arms.
She then sets about replacing her as the queen bee through some deception tactics. Now the girl must find a way to put a stop to her French enemy or else risk losing her admirable social status forever.
No amount of popularity is worth all of this drama.
11 Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004)
Before Lindsay Lohan’s tabloid exploits made her look like a real-life drama queen, she was in movies about drama queens. like this lesser known comedy about high school social politics. These were simpler times.
In Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Lohan plays Mary, a girl with dreams of performing on Broadway. However, her grand plans suffer a setback when her family moves from the big city to the suburbs. This doesn’t stop her from trying to reach stardom, however, so she embarks on a mission to become the most popular girl at her high school.
This goal doesn’t go down too well with the most popular girl at the school (played by Megan Fox), and it’s only a matter of time before conflict arises.
10 It’s a Boy Girl Thing (2006)
We’re all familiar with the body-swap comedy. Two people who aren’t getting along end up spending time in each other’s bodies until they learn how to put their differences aside. Freaky Friday is arguably the most famous example of one of these flicks to emerge from the 2000’s, but It’s a Boy Girl
In It’s a Boy Girl Thing, two neighbors — a bookworm girl and a dim-witted jock — who don’t get along end up in each other’s bodies as they try to get through high school. Ultimately, this leads to necessary communication and the realization that they might have more in common than they originally thought.
While formulaic and predictable, It’s a Boy Girl Thing is a good time.
It’s also the one movie that appreciates the forgotten musical sensation that is Mystikal.
9 Wild Child (2008)
Wild Child features one of the most unlikeable protagonists ever in a teen comedy. At least she is for a while, anyway.
Emma Roberts plays a spoiled rich girl who thinks she can get away with anything.
She gets shipped off to a strict private school to have some discipline hammered into her. Her father wants her gone until she learns how to respect his new girlfriend, and this boarding school means business.
Upon arrival, she soon learns that the headmistress is not someone to be messed with — and neither are the students. But they might just be key to saving this girl’s soul.
8 Orange County (2002)
A year before The O.C. premièred and changed our lives for the better, this comedy showcased the life and drama of people living in the titular county. Like The O.C., it also features dysfunctional families, an intelligent protagonist, and lots of sunshine. That’s where the comparisons end.
Orange County follows a high school student who’s trying to save his future after his guidance counsellor accidentally sends the wrong transcript to his dream university. To do this, he teams up with his girlfriend and his baked step-brother to make sure he gets accepted into college.
Boasting a strong cast that includes Colin Hanks and Jack Black, this is a strong comedy that deserves reappraisal.
7 17 Again (2009)
Growing old sucks. One minute you’re in high school, living carefree, then before you know you’re old and your dreams are dead. That’s what 17 Again wants you to believe, at least.
Matthew Perry is in great cynical form here as a middle-aged guy whose life has taken a turn for the worse. His marriage is falling apart and he’s miserable. His fortunes seemingly change when he’s miraculously transported into his younger body, living it up as a handsome teenager who looks like Zac Efron.
17 Again is reminiscent of the TV show Do Over, which was a much more entertaining application of this concept. There’s still plenty to enjoy here thanks to a charismatic cast featuring Perry and Efron.
6 Whatever It Takes (2000)
Whatever It Takes is another teen comedy that was inspired by the literature of olden times. For this one they mined Edmond Rostand’s 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac for inspiration and gave it a modernized, forgettable update.
Starring Shane West and James Franco as high school students, the story follows a nerd and a jock who are both interested in different girls, but their feelings are not reciprocated. However, they can both help each other out as they have ins with each other’s crushes.
They team up in a quest to help each other get their dream girls.
That is, until they both find themselves attracted to each other’s crush later on.
5 EuroTrip (2004)
Teen comedy history is littered with stories of young men who go above and beyond to hook up with girls.
In Eurotrip, our shallow protagonist is willing to travel across a continent to get some action.
This love story begins online. We discover that a guy has been chatting with the girl of his dreams through the internet. The only downside is that he mistook her for a guy and didn’t realize the truth until he’d embarrassed himself. T o rectify the situation, he takes a trip to Europe to find her.
As it turns out, though, Europe is pretty crazy and our hero — along with some friends — run into numerous situations that could derail their trip. Matt Damon also has a cameo as a rockstar who hangs out at backyard parties.
4 Charlie Bartlett (2007)
It’s tough being the new kid on the block, but the titular character in this one comes up with a cunning plan to win over his classmates when he joins a new school.
To gain the acceptance of his peers, Charlie appoints himself as the resident psychiatrist.
He gives out advice and medication to help his fellow students with their problems, which naturally leads to them coming to appreciate him. One person who doesn’t appreciate him, however, is the school headmaster (played by Robert Downey Jr.)
Charlie Bartlett is an earnest and entertaining teen angst comedy that centers around an incredible performance from the tragically late Anton Yelchin.
3 The Adventures of Food Boy (2008)
Released the same year as Iron Man and The Dark Knight, which sparked the booming age of superhero movies we’re currently living in, The Adventures of Food Boy didn’t quite reach the same levels of fame and notoriety as its crusader peers.
This is another 2000s teen comedy that stars a High School Musical alum.
The story centers around a high school student with superpowers played by Lucas Grabeel. His abilities? To shoot food out of his hands. This leads to all kinds of tasty chaos.
As Spider-Man comics and movies have taught us, great power comes with great responsibilities. Even silly super powers like generating food from your limbs.
2 The Cheetah Girls (2003)
If you’re not a fan of the novel series on which this movie is based then chances are you missed it when it came out back in 2003. But if you’re a fan of bubblegum pop music then you should track it down at some point.
The Cheetah Girls follows four teenage girls — who are also a music group — as they aspire to take over the world with their music. However, upon meeting a producer who sees superstar potential in the girls, they all change for the worse.
If anything, The Cheetah Girls is a cautionary tale about fame and how it can change people. Should you be an egotistical famous person and reading this list, maybe you could learn something from this forgotten teen comedy.
1 Just Peck (2009)
It’s tough being invisible in high school. You know what’s even worse, though? Being unpopular and having parents who make you agree to legal obligations. This is the central story to Just Peck.
The film follows a nerdy high school student whose popularity soars when a girl takes a liking to him. Meanwhile, his parents are worried that his newfound social status will affect his focus for the science fair. His parents also make him to sign a contract that forces him to compete in the fair. H e decides to give everyone a science fair they’ll never forget.
Just Peck also marked an early starring role for Brie Larson, who makes Peck a known face in the hallways.
What’s your favorite 2000s teen comedy? Let us know in the comments!