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The Teen Movie Bracket, Round 2: Here Comes Harry Potter

After a mostly chalk first round, things are about to heat up …

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Tied to the 20th anniversary of Bring It On, we hereby dub the next five days Teen Movie Week. Dig up your varsity jacket, pull up to your cafeteria table, and re-live your adolescence as we celebrate the best coming-of-age movies ever made.


One round down in The Ringer’s Teen Movie Bracket and I’m—hang on, this can’t be right—I’m not even mad? I’m not working overtime trying to figure out how, or more importantly why, someone sicced an army of bots on an internet-based contest? I’m growing concerned that our readership has suddenly morphed into a group with reasonable opinions?

The power of teen movies.

Round 1 went almost completely chalk, minus a couple head-scratching results (which we’ll get to). All in all, there were only seven upsets (out of 32) and of those seven, five involved a 9- or 10-seed. That means a couple things: First, that despite all of the people in my mentions calling me a “criminal” or “an incredible failure,” we actually did a pretty good job seeding this thing. Sure, some movies were saddled with bad matchups, but in general, the movies we put in the Top 32 were the movies that actually made it into the Round of 32. So, uh, ya know … in your face, high school bullies.

But more importantly, this means that Round 2 is going to be intense. There were 18 movies in Round 1 that earned more than 70 percent of the vote in their matchups, but the cake walks are over—now the movies that won in a rout are going to have to face off against the other movies that won in a rout. Voting is about to get much harder.

Just like in Round 1, you can vote here on the website, on Twitter, and on Instagram every day till 6 p.m. ET. Here’s every matchup in the Round of 32.

High School Drama

The Story of the Round: Watch Out for Back to the Future

I thought Marty McFly had a hard road ahead of him. Not only was Back to the Future facing off against Marvel’s active fan base in matching up with Spider-Man: Homecoming, but I also expected the movie to take some dents because of its slightly ambiguous status as a teen movie. Not so: Back to the Future destroyed Homecoming, taking 78.8 percent of the total vote. Peter Parker definitely isn’t feeling so good right now.

Things will theoretically get harder for Back to the Future—the iconic 10 Things I Hate About You looms in Round 2—but after seeing this first-round result, I’m no longer betting against the movie. Marty might gun it to 88 and steal this entire competition.

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    (3) ‘10 Things I Hate About You’
    (8488 votes)
  • 56%
    (6) ‘Back to the Future’
    (10825 votes)
19313 votes total Vote Now

The Rest of the Matchups

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    (1) ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’
    (17008 votes)
  • 10%
    (9) ‘Say Anything ...’
    (2086 votes)
19094 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    (4) ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’
    (10573 votes)
  • 41%
    (5) ‘Varsity Blues’
    (7421 votes)
17994 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 74%
    (2) ‘The Breakfast Club’
    (14169 votes)
  • 25%
    (10) ‘Karate Kid’
    (4796 votes)
18965 votes total Vote Now

Teen Are Terrifying

The Story of the Round: The Boy Who Made It to Round 2

This tweet was the exact moment when I knew Election would not see the second round:

Assemble they did. Election won by a decent margin in our on-site poll, but Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire took social media by storm to the tune of 58.5 percent on Twitter and 66 percent on Instagram. And so, one of the best teen movie antiheroes has been taken down by the kid who got rejected by Cho Chang even though he was the most famous wizard in the world.

And look, these things happen. As much as we want these exercises to make objectively ideal choices—and most of the time, they do!—sometimes it boils down to popularity. And it may not shock you to hear that Harry Potter is more popular than Election. And that’s fine! Cinephiles may not approve, but Goblet of Fire is a good teen movie that deserves a place in the second round. The only question now is whether popularity can propel it to even more upsets. The Sweet 16 is definitely in reach, but things’ll get very competitive from there.

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    (6) ‘Rushmore’
    (9087 votes)
  • 51%
    (14) ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’
    (9642 votes)
18729 votes total Vote Now

The Rest of the Matchups

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    (1) ‘Scream’
    (15014 votes)
  • 14%
    (8) ‘Kids’
    (2491 votes)
17505 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    (4) ‘Cruel Intentions’
    (12179 votes)
  • 29%
    (5) ‘Carrie’
    (5066 votes)
17245 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 74%
    (2) ‘Heathers’
    (11661 votes)
  • 25%
    (10) ‘The Craft’
    (4016 votes)
15677 votes total Vote Now

Next Stop: Adulthood

The Story of the Round: I Can’t Hardly Believe It

How could this happen? How could Can’t Hardly Wait, a late-’90s classic that I thought had Final Four potential, get walloped in the first round by 21 Jump Street? They’re technically not even teens in that movie! They’re just pretending to be teens! How could you do this to Jennifer Love Hewitt, Seth Green, and Ethan Embry?!!?!

Now I know why they call it an “upset,” because that’s exactly what I am. I’ll get over it, I guess—just like William had to get over it when Mike Dexter rejected their friendship after a night of male bonding. [Starts crying all over again.]

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    (5) ‘American Pie’
    (14545 votes)
  • 22%
    (13) ‘21 Jump Street’
    (4201 votes)
18746 votes total Vote Now

The Rest of the Matchups

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    (1) ‘Superbad’
    (17176 votes)
  • 7%
    (8) ‘Adventureland’
    (1444 votes)
18620 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    (3) ‘Boyz n the Hood’
    (11231 votes)
  • 36%
    (6) ‘Grease’
    (6415 votes)
17646 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    (2) ‘Dazed and Confused’
    (14917 votes)
  • 16%
    (10) ‘Romeo + Juliet’
    (2906 votes)
17823 votes total Vote Now

What’s Your Damage?

The Story of the Round: Huh, People Really Like Juno

Much to Shea Serrano’s chagrin, Booksmart got absolutely book-smacked by Juno, the 2007 sensation that had people ogling Michael Cera’s legs and saying things like “honest to blog” and “home skillet.” I kind of thought Juno was just a passing fad, but I was extremely wrong: Juno really crushed Booksmart, with 68.3 percent of the vote across all platforms. Not even recency bias or Shea’s pleas could help.

And now we’ll see whether Juno can really play the dark horse:

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    (1) ‘Mean Girls’
    (15072 votes)
  • 19%
    (8) ‘Juno’
    (3676 votes)
18748 votes total Vote Now

The Rest of the Matchups

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    (4) ‘Bring It On’
    (11340 votes)
  • 35%
    (5) ‘Dirty Dancing’
    (6167 votes)
17507 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 44%
    (3) ‘Lady Bird’
    (7751 votes)
  • 55%
    (6) ‘Easy A’
    (9524 votes)
17275 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    (2) ‘Clueless’
    (15098 votes)
  • 14%
    (7) ‘Pretty in Pink’
    (2502 votes)
17600 votes total Vote Now

Come back Wednesday morning for a breakdown of what promises to be a much tighter round of matchups.

Movies

Nobody Does It Quite Like Clint

The Big Picture

Top Five Actor Transformations, ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye,’ and the Horrifying Future of Award Shows

The Rewatchables

‘Dirty Work’ With Bill Simmons and Sean Fennessey

View all stories in Movies