Top 10 Best Teen Movie Opening Scenes



Top 10 Best Teen Movie Opening Scenes

VOICE OVER: Elise Doucet WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
The best teen movie opening scenes set the bar pretty high.
Good start! Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Teen Movie Opening Scenes.

For this list, we’re looking at the most memorable first scenes in films geared towards teens. We’re omitting horror flicks, because those could have a list of their own.

#10: “Easy A” (2010)

This 2010 movie kicks off with Emma Stone as Olive Penderghast narrating her story as we’re introduced to her world in Ojai, California. The viewer soon realizes that she’s actually speaking into her webcam, and is revealing that she has been lying about the events of her life (specifically the Shudder Inducing and Cliched, However Totally False Account of How I Lost My Virginity To a Guy At Community College) but is now ready to tell the truth. This framing device carries on throughout the film, but from the opening it has us hooked on Olive’s story.

#9 “High School Musical 2” (2007)

The “High School Musical” franchise opens with Troy and Gabriella meeting at a ski lodge over winter break and singing a duet together. While that’s definitely the “start of something new”, we’re even bigger fans of the way the second film in the series opens. The first scene sees our favorite East High students sitting in class and counting down the seconds until summer vacation begins, while singing "What Time Is It?", which ended up being the lead single for the film. You know this song is catchy because it actually made it to the #6 spot on the Billboard Hot 100!

#8: “Heathers” (1988)

Black comedy “Heathers” opens with Heather Duke, Heather McNamara and Heather Chandler playing croquet with the dulcet tones of Doris Day’s “Que Sera, Sera” playing in the background. The opening sets up the trio of pretty and popular girls, but then quickly shows the audience what kind of movie this is actually going to be when you see what they’re actually aiming their croquet balls at. It’s a moment of darkness in an otherwise saccharinely sweet scene, and perfectly introduces the dynamic between Veronica and the Heathers.

#7: “Love, Simon” (2018)

Upon its release, “Love, Simon” was groundbreaking because it was the first movie by a major Hollywood studio to focus on an LGBTQ+ teen romance. And the film’s opening capitalizes on this, knowing the audience won’t know quite what to expect. Simon introduces himself and his family, explaining just how normal and average he is, then subverts the teen movie intro that we’re familiar with by revealing that he has a big secret. It makes the audience relate to him and feel like this is just like any other high school movie before reminding us that it’s actually going to be totally different.

#6: “Juno” (2007)

“Juno” is a movie about teenage pregnancy, but it lets viewers know from the beginning that it isn’t going to take itself too seriously. We first meet the title character while she’s chugging from a jug of Sunny D and staring at an armchair on the front lawn. We quickly get a flashback to her getting busy on the chair, and then follow her as she morphs into an animated version of herself. The sweet folky song playing in the background is peppy and upbeat despite the fact that she’s going to the corner store to take a pregnancy test.

#5: “The Breakfast Club” (1985)

This classic ‘80s movie opens with the five main characters arriving at school for an all day Saturday detention. In this short scene, we’re introduced to all of them and manage to learn quite a bit about their backgrounds and personalities. They’ll soon be told that they have to each produce an essay answering who they think they are. In a way, “The Breakfast Club” starts at the end of the story because in the opening narration, we hear the letter that Assistant Principal Vernon assigned being read aloud, and the lesson they learned that day is revealed even before the action kicks of

#4: “Bring It On” (2000)

Usually, opening a movie with a dream sequence feels like a cheap way to manipulate the audience, but it actually works in this instance. “Bring It On” opens with a bang, as we’re introduced to the Rancho Carne High School cheerleaders in a routine where they state their purpose and identity with startling honesty. It’s only when we see that their new team captain, Torrance, has lost all her clothes that we realize something is amiss. She wakes up with a start and we see that it was all just a nightmare.

#3: “Mean Girls” (2004)

“Mean Girls” kicks off on Cady’s first day of school...ever. She had previously been homeschooled while living with her parents in Africa. We get to see flashes of her life abroad before we’re jarringly brought back to reality as she dodges a school bus and is introduced to the ecosystem of North Shore High School. Seeing an average day in high school through her eyes is a reminder of just how awful being a teenager can be. As the movie goes on, we see more juxtaposition between Cady’s experience in Africa and her high school experience, and this sets up that dynamic perfectly.

#2: “Clueless” (1995)

It’s hard to pick the most iconic teen movie of all time, but if we were voting, this would definitely be a contender. “Clueless” practically defined a generation, and the film’s tone, and most importantly its central character are defined themselves in the opening sequence. We meet Cher Horowitz in a montage of her life in Beverly Hills, and even she acknowledges in her opening monologue that it must seem like a teen skincare commercial. She asserts that she has a totally normal life, as we watch her use a high tech computer system to pick out her outfit for the day. This intro perfectly captures the sardonic nature of the narrative, and makes us feel like part of Cher’s world.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Pleasantville” (1998)

“The Lizzie McGuire Movie” (2003)

“Cruel Intentions” (1999)

“10 Things I Hate About You” (1999)

“The Hate U Give” (2018)

#1: “Ferris Bueller's Day Off” (1986)

This will surely go down as one of the greatest movie intros of all time. In John Hughes’ teen masterpiece “Ferris Bueller's Day Off”, we meet Ferris as he’s doing a pretty pitiful job of faking sick to his parents to get out of going to school. What follows is the hilarious monologue he delivers about why he’s playing hooky, introducing us to his dry sense of humor as well as his life philosophy. The first few minutes of this film features several iconic quotes, including the unforgettable, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”