MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED: Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) Election (1999)
Both scary and totally appropriate, Flick's crafty machinations and hunger for power (running for class president) are what generally make it in this world. Doesn't matter that she's got a suspiciously perky personality and enough primordial rage to trash a high school hallway, she'll still be sitting in a senatorial seat before she's 35.
CLASS CLOWN: Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Remember when Sean Penn was funny? His surfer dude Jeff Spicoli's stoned-out stupidity belied a clever sarcasm that's not as dumb as it looks (which really is always at the heart of the class clown). I mean, he orders pizza in class. And he passes U.S. History in one night (thanks to a late night visit by Mr. Hand). Even with his, 'all I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine,' we think Spicoli will actually go quite far.
NICEST GUY: Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) Say Anything (1989)
If there could be a patron saint of â€œnice guysâ€ Cusack's Lloyd Dobler would surely fit the bill. Respects the girl (Ione Skye) he's in love with? Check. Sensitive enough to talk to his female friends about both his and their problems? Check. Makes sure people drive home safely from keg parties? Check. And, of course, that whole raising the boom box moment. That's a triple check.
CLASS REBEL: Jim Stark (James Dean) Rebel Without A Cause (1955)
The icon of high school rebels, James Dean's mixed-up but sensitive Jim quarrels with his overbearing mother and wussy father, engages in a knife fight and competes in a doomed game of chicken that gets everyone in trouble. A beautiful portrait of teen alienation, Dean is not only the coolest but the saddest. And who can forget: 'You're tearing me apart!'
BEST PROM QUEEN: Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) Carrie (1976)
We don't care what anyone says (even with the pig's blood, deadly telekinetic powers, that psycho mom); Carrie White gets our vote as the greatest prom queen ever to grace celluloid. We just wished she could have lived to see our honor roll.
CUTEST COUPLE: Sandy and Danny (Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta) Grease (1978)
OK, so they look a little too old to be attending high school. And Sandy's actually a bit cuter before she dons the non-1950's disco hot pants at the end of the film. But thanks to some terrific musical numbers and those wonderful moves by Mr. Saturday Night Fever, good girl Sandy and bad boy Danny made some cool music together. They go together.
KOOKIEST COUPLE: Jason J.D. Dean (Christian Slater) and Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) Heathers (1989)
Heather-ette Veronica (Ryder) may be in a clique filled with shallow mean girls, but longing for more than 'diet coke heads,' she finds an alliance with the new kid in schoolâ€”bad boy J.D. Dean (can we think of how many ways to remind the audience his character is a variation on James Dean?). Sure they become homicidal and doomed but their black humor bonding and undeniable chemistry make them the cutest pair of outsiders this side of Bonnie and Clyde. Just don't leave any Drano near them.
BEST SCHOOL SPIRIT: Torrance Shipman (Kirsten Dunst) Bring it On (2000)
Anyone who takes cheerleading this seriously (and really people, its not that easy) has got some major spiritâ€”especially when Cheerleading Captain Torrance utters to a fellow squad mate during try-outs: â€œThis is not a democracy, it's a cheer-ocracy. I'm sorry, but I'm overruling you.â€
MOST CRAFTY WITH NEEDLE, GLUE & EVERYTHING ELSE IN HER CLOSET: Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) Pretty in Pink (1986)
Like Scarlett O' Hara making due with the little fabric she's allotted for a dress, or Julie Andrews' Maria crafting the kid's clothes from the drapes, our little Andie Walsh designs her own dress that's really, pretty ugly. But when you think about it, not so bad an 80's prom dress. The unpopular girl who's cooler than everyone else in her school (her dad is Harry Dean Stanton!) shows up in said dress all tricked out in quirky â€˜80s flair which might possibly be why popular boy love Blaine (Andrew McCarthy) finally accepts her. Maybe she's the next Martha Stewart!
MOST HUMANITARIAN: Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) Clueless (1995)
So she say's â€œwhateverâ€ a lot and she refers to cute guys as â€œBaldwinsâ€ -- but Cher (whose character was based on Jane Austen's Emma) is a lot smarter and sweeter than she looks. Like while watching Ren & Stimpy, she says â€œThey're way existential.â€ Or when being challenged on her correction to a snooty college girl regarding a quote from Hamlet, Cher proclaims: â€œWell, I remember Mel Gibson accurately, and he didn't say that. That Polonius guy did.â€ In her own vernacular-laden way, Cher's main goal is to help othersâ€”she even calls herself a â€œhumanization.â€ And she's sensitive to labels. To wit: â€œDo you prefer â€˜fashion victim' or â€˜ensemble-y challenged'?â€
MOST LIKELY TO BECOME A FAMOUS ARTIST, MUSICIAN OR WEIRDEST HOUSEWIFE ON THE BLOCK: Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy) The Breakfast Club (1985)
While cooped up in an all-day Saturday detention with a group of teens who don't understand one another (at first), the dark, slumped-over Allison acts bizarre, draws (she uses her dandruff for a flourish) and generally freaks out fellow detention-ees. But as we learn (and thanks to Molly Ringwald's continued craftiness in filmsâ€”this time with a makeup palette) she's pretty! And the jock has a thing for her! And, well, she's just misunderstood. Future Fiona Apple in the making.
MOST INVOLVED: Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) Rushmore (1998)
Unlike the rich kids at the esteemed Rushmore Academy, 15-year-old Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) is attending on a scholarship, giving him that extra hunger to make his mark. Though he's barely passing any classes, he heads nearly every extracurricular school club including drama, fencing, chess and beekeeping. His enthusiasm is almost insane, but he's just extra, extra specialâ€”enough for millionaire Herman Blume (Bill Murray) to take him on as his own son. When Blume asks Max, 'What's the secret?' Max tells him: 'Find what you like to do and do it for the rest of your life. For me it's going to Rushmore.'
GREATEST TEACHER: Mark Thackeray (Sidney Poitier) To Sir, With Love (1967)
In one of his most memorable roles, Sidney Poitier whips a class of undisciplined juvenile delinquent Brit kids into shape, leaving such an indelible impression that there's not a dry eye when he has to leave for another teaching gig. Any teacher who's sent off with Lulu's emotive crooning (â€œIf you wanted the sky I would write across the sky in letters that would soar ten thousand feet high!â€ ) well, Heavens! You must be one great teacher.
MOST CREATIVE SCHOOL DITCHER: Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) Ferris Beuller's Day Off (1986)
Some kids ditch class only to watch Brady Bunch re-runs all day. Others may lie around and eat potato chips. But not our Ferris Bueller. A guy intent on making the most of his day off, he not only convinces his best friend and girlfriend to join him, but he takes a ride to the city in his friend's father's sports car, embarks on all kinds of madcap activities and ends up leading a parade float lip-synching Wayne Netwton's â€œDanke Schoenâ€ to thousands of onlookers. That's quite a day off.