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The Teen Movie Bracket, Elite Eight: Seven Classics and Harry Potter

More like the Boy Who Crashed the Party, am I right?

Ringer illustration

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.


We need to talk about Harry Potter. Not about how an adult once tried to kill him in the hall of his school when he was 11 years old; not about how he’s a horrible dancer or how his whole “this is my burden!” shtick gets pretty old after a few movies. No, we need to talk about how Harry Potter has hijacked The Ringer’s Teen Movie Bracket.

Another day, another classic teen film felled by the Boy Who Lived. First it was Election. Then it was Rushmore. “OK,” we shrugged, “we knew Harry Potter has a way bigger fan base than those movies and that this sort of thing was gonna be in play.” Surely it could not last; not as Goblet of Fire began facing more esteemed classics. But then on Wednesday, despite losing the on-site poll 55-45 percent, the movie rode overwhelming support on Twitter and Instagram to victory over Heathers. That’s right: Heathers—one of the best and most renowned teen movies ever made, a 2-seed in our bracket. I am coming untethered.

Well, why did you even include Goblet of Fire in the tournament? you might ask. To which I’d say, I don’t know, I guess we figured it’d be a nice little treat, and a fun way to acknowledge the impressive malleability of the teen movie. To my core, I believe that Goblet of Fire is a viable teen movie—it is chock-full of adolescent angst; it has a prom; it has several characters attempting to figure out which hairstyle works best for them—but I also believe that it is nowhere close to being one of the best teen movies. And I have to suspect that the people voting for it know that too (otherwise I must conclude that there are thousands of people out there who haven’t seen Election or Heathers, a very sad thought).

We can now merely submit a plea. It was a valiant effort, but your boy Harry has gotten far enough; the other seven movies remaining are truly elite teen movies, in a league in which Goblet of Fire truly does not belong. Now is your chance to do the right thing, just as Harry Potter did the right thing when he saved Fleur Delacour’s sister in the second task of the Triwizard Tournament in the (teen) movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Please vote for the right movie this time.

(I definitely just emboldened the Harry Potter voters even more, didn’t I? Ah, well. It’s like Dumbledore says: “It is important to fight and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then can evil be kept at bay though never quite eradicated.”)

Elsewhere in the bracket, meanwhile, everything has gone incredibly well:

All four 1-seeds remain, and we’ve got three marquee matchups between 1-seeds and 2-seeds: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off versus The Breakfast Club; Superbad versus Dazed and Confused; Mean Girls versus Clueless. This is certainly an elite eight (well, seven). It’ll be fascinating to see what happens next: Which will be the first 1-seed to go down? Which titans of teen moviedom will be left standing in the Final Four? Let’s stop chatting and get to the voting. You can vote here on the website, on Twitter, and on Instagram until 6 p.m. ET.

The Matchups

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    (1) ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’
    (11701 votes)
  • 39%
    (2) ‘The Breakfast Club’
    (7587 votes)
19288 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    (1) ‘Scream’
    (12630 votes)
  • 34%
    (14) ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’
    (6574 votes)
19204 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    (1) ‘Superbad’
    (11107 votes)
  • 41%
    (2) ‘Dazed and Confused’
    (7905 votes)
19012 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    (1) ‘Mean Girls’
    (10976 votes)
  • 42%
    (2) ‘Clueless’
    (8078 votes)
19054 votes total Vote Now

Come back on Friday morning to see the results. Hopefully we won’t be talking about Harry Potter again.

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View all stories in Movies