Ranking the Best Teen Girl Comedies

From teen girl rage to what it’s like having people obsess over your virginity
Ranking the Best Teen Girl Comedies

Being a teenage girl can be a special kind of hell — what with puberty, stupid crushes and the pressure of getting good grades while also fiercely wanting to party your face off. Such a magical time, such an insane amount of period cramps. With the adaptation of Judy Blume’s beloved sixth-grade story, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, hitting theaters today, let’s take a look at the all-time best teen girl comedies handling very specific events in adolescent lives and totally nailing it...

Easy A

“All I could think was, ‘Great, now I’m a tramp! I’ll have to get a lower back tattoo and pierce something not on my face.’” — Olive

Teen movies are known for being all about them hormones, but Easy A takes that preoccupation with sex and subverts it, as any good comedy should. Emma Stone’s Olive gets caught in a lie about losing her virginity, only for everyone around her to become weirdly obsessed about it. The school church group wants to “save” her, while boys want her to pretend that they banged her so they can brag about it. 

Of course, with Easy A being a comedy, Olive’s little white lie about humping a fictitious college bro soon completely snowballs into a gigantic clusterfuck, including a funny but also inherently sad plot where her gay pal Brandon (Dan Byrd) convinces her to pretend that the two of them smashed just so the school bullies will leave him alone.

The film totally stuck it to anyone who’s ever been infatuated with teenagers’ sex lives, and it subverted the raging hormones trope by portraying not being ready to actually have sex as a normal and non-weird thing.

Mean Girls

“That is so fetch!” — Gretchen Wieners

Poor Gretchen Wieners. All she wanted was to make fetch happen. Unfortunately for her, being a trendsetter was reserved for Regina George alone, while the other “Plastics” and everyone else at North Shore High School get to be her glorified background characters. Upsetting the (un)natural order of things is Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan), a girl who supposedly grew up somewhere in the African bush but looks like she’s been living in suburbia her entire life. Through Cady, the movie explores what it’s like joining a new school and being an outsider in an environment where kids resemble wild animals because teenagers can easily be described as shockingly similar to monkeys with rabies.

Mean Girls is also, you know, about girls being mean and the folly of obsessing about popularity, image and face creams. That, and what life was like during the advent of home phones being able to carry multiple open lines.


“Oh, and she inexplicably mails me a cactus every Valentine’s Day. And I’m like, ‘Thanks a heap, Coyote Ugly. This cactus-gram stings even worse than your abandonment.’” — Juno on her estranged mother.

Written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman, Juno is the movie about teen pregnancy, talking like you’ve swallowed an Instagram post, and coming to terms with what “adulting” really means while observing the general lack of that understanding in society. Elliot Page shines in the role of Juno, a girl who was coasting along harboring a deep affection only for her hoodies until her buddy Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera) knocks her up. Juno is not your average kind of girl — “I don’t really know what kind of girl I am” — and even though she doesn’t share the sentimentality of others when it comes to the baby inside of her, she willingly seeks and finds maturity in an experience that can be a massive blow to any young person’s life.

Oh, and the movie also features The Office's Rainn Wilson as a hysterical drugstore employee, but one who at least talks to teenage girls like they’re human beings.

Eighth Grade

“Eighth grade is the worst.” — Olivia to Kayla

In Bo Burnham’s directorial debut feature, we meet Kayla Day (Elsie Fisher), a middle schooler with a good dose of anxiety that’s only worsened thanks to her obsession with social media. The young girl suffers from an innocent, try-hard attitude as she desperately attempts to get her fellow students to like her before the end of the week and the end of eighth grade.

This quirky, understated comedy is all about finding your own identity, and the movie cleverly juxtaposes the ideas girls have about themselves with who they truly are. It’s that time in a girl’s life when acne makes its horrifying entrance, adults start talking to teens like they’re aliens and almost everyone looks awkward in a bathing suit. It’s the time in life when change shatters young people’s dreams and perceptions of themselves, when kids crush hard on the biggest doofuses in school and the reality of having a single parent comes at you fast. But hey, at least it’s just eighth grade. It’ll pass.

Edge of Seventeen

“There are two types of people in the world: The people who naturally excel at life, and the people who hope all those people die in a big explosion.” — Nadine

It’s another directorial debut feature, as Edge of Seventeen was both written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, who also helmed the aforementioned Are You There God? It’s Me, MargaretEdge of Seventeen stars Hailee Steinfeld as Nadine Franklin, a 17-year-old who wants to smash her brother’s face in and just be angry at the world in general. The situation with her brother only deteriorates when her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) starts dating him, requiring her to deal with that, her mother’s obsession with image and perfection and her own grief stemming from losing her dad.

Seeing female rage depicted in a subtle yet nuanced way gives this comedy a breath of fresh air in terms of teen girl representation. It’s a movie about losing friends and making new ones as we outgrow each other and develop our own lives and interests. It’s also a movie about the importance of having a teacher who will look out for you but also calls you out on your BS at all times.


“It’s just, it’s a little bit shocking that you’re into Ryan. First crush, that little white cat from The Aristocats. You go from that to Avril Lavigne. It just, it’s not, it’s not what I anticipated.” — Molly’s opinion on Amy’s crush.

It should be noted just how many directorial debuts are on this list. Here, Olivia Wilde made her first movie, and it’s all about girls just wanting to have some raucous fun. Starring Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever as high school besties Molly and Amy, Booksmart is as much a coming-of-age film as it is about understanding the balance between work and play. The film posits that having brains and having fun aren’t mutually exclusive and that one should absolutely get shitfaced on your final day of school. It also features a normal and natural look at a teenage lesbian’s first super cute high school crush and her first sexual encounter that’s as awkward as they come in Teenage Land.

What sets this brilliant, hilariously crass comedy apart from so many others is that Molly and Amy are genuine friends who constantly compliment and uplift each other — “Who allowed you to take my breath away?” — which is delightful since most high school comedies go heavy on the snark and one-upping among girlfriends. These two, however, are way too mature for such juvenile nonsense. They adore each other, and they make it known.


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