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The Teen Movie Bracket: A Final Four of 1-Seeds

‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ versus ‘Scream’; ‘Superbad’ versus ‘Mean Girls.’ The title of best in the genre comes down to a battle of true classics.

After The Ringer staff initially voted on their favorite teen movies, there were four clear favorites: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Scream, Superbad, and Mean Girls. And well, it looks like that small sample size was indicative of a larger consensus. Heading into the final day of the Teen Movie Bracket, those four movies—all 1-seeds—are the ones left standing.

Unlike in some of The Ringer’s other brackets, these favorites were head-and-shoulders above the rest in terms of support—not only did they all advance out of the regions, but they did so without being seriously threatened. (For comparison, the final fours of both our Best TV Character and Best Reality TV Character brackets featured only one 1-seed combined.) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off won matchups with 77 percent, 89 percent, and 79 percent majorities before defeating The Breakfast Club 64-36 percent; Superbad cruised through its region with a staggering average of 81 percent of the vote; Mean Girls walloped Ghost World, Juno, and Bring It On before taking down the legendary Clueless, 61-39. (Clueless was probably at least partially a victim of recency bias.) Only Scream faced a bit of adversity in the Elite Eight, ultimately defeating Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with 57 percent of the vote. But after Goblet of Fire played spoiler for several teen classics—Election, Rushmore, Heathers—that Scream defeated it (and its Binge Mode legion) by any margin is impressive. It feels right that these are the four movies remaining, even if that comes at the expense of the also deserving Clueless and Dazed and Confused.

There’s also a nice little arc on display with these finalists. You’ve got the ’80s, John Hughes representative in Ferris Bueller; then you’ve got Scream, the movie that kicked off the teen movie boom of the late ’90s; and then you’ve got two movies that owe plenty to those films and also built off of them. Superbad pulls from the Ferris-Cameron bromance while reacting to the heightened reality of Scream with a brand of hyperrealism, while Mean Girls goes to great lengths to call attention to the tropes of the genre established by those forefathers. The history of the teen genre can be told by these four movies. It’s wonderful. Democracy works?

I guess there’s still time for all of us to disprove that. Voting on the Final Four is open now:

Reminder: Things are a little different for these last two rounds. Voting for the Final Four will go from now until 3 p.m. ET. Voting on the final will then open at 4 p.m. and run until midnight. For both rounds, you can vote here on the website, on Twitter, and on Instagram.

The Matchups


Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    (1) ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’
    (12297 votes)
  • 18%
    (1) ‘Scream’
    (2751 votes)
15048 votes total Vote Now


Which teen movie should advance?

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    (1) ‘Superbad’
    (8633 votes)
  • 44%
    (1) ‘Mean Girls’
    (6799 votes)
15432 votes total Vote Now
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