The '00s was a unique era mostly classified by its penchant for low-rise jeans, Von Dutch hats, and Juicy Couture tracksuits. The '00s were also the most awkward years of my life, framed by what can only be described as unfortunate hair and outfits choices. I can't take all the blame, however, because like most of my friends, I was influenced by the cool teens I saw on TV shows like The OC and Gossip Girl. But mostly, I was inspired by some of the many iconic '00s movie teenagers.
The decade was notorious for cranking out things like boy bands, pop starlets, and the best Disney DCOM movies. But it was also notorious for love-to-hate, I-wish-I-was-them, why-isn't-that-my-life types of movies. I can't be the only one who wished more than anything that she could be either a secret princess, a top cheerleader, or noticed by the hottest guy in school, right? There was nothing like an '00s film to make you believe that under the right circumstances, your life could become as epic as a movie character's. There were numerous movies that mapped out exactly how my life could change in an instant, and within those movies were iconic teenagers that would act as my sherpa toward a cooler life, such as the 2 iconic '00s movie teens below:
1. Regina George
How do I even begin to describe Regina George? So effortlessly confident, so cool, so witty. She was everything I wished I could have been but never had a chance of being.
2. Janis Ian
Janis Ian is iconic and cool in her own right. She's as feisty, as confident, and as engaging as Regina. As much as she'd hate to admit it, Janis is the Regina of the outsiders, and I think that's pretty iconic.
3. Napolean Dynamite
I couldn't go one day in 2004 without hearing a quote from Napolean Dynamite. He might arguably the most iconic male teenager from the '00s, likely spurring sales of tater tots and Vote for Pedro T-shirts.
4. Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi
I don't think anyone had a bigger impact on me than Mia Thermopolis from The Princess Diaries. I mean, I wrote my college essay on The Princess Diaries. Safe to say, Mia gave hope to all of us nerdy, wallflowers that maybe one day we too would discover we were secretly princesses and our Queen grandmothers would give us the ultimate on fleek hair makeover.
5. Harry Potter
The Boy Who Lived is the most iconic of them all. I'm still waiting for my Hogwarts letter, tbh.
6. Edward Cullen
I'm sorry. But he can't be denied.
Iconic in every sense of the word. We all lived out our epic high school party fantasy with McLovin. He befriends the cops and gets the girl? A true hero.
8. John Tucker
You must truly be iconic to spur a hate-campaign against you, started by the four girls you were dating at the same time. The titular character of John Tucker Must Die is an American cinematic icon and will be remembered until the Earth's dying day.
It all started with a couch. Juno's tenacity, quick one-liners, and strength scores her a place amongst the top '00s teenage movie icons.
I will listen to your pitches as to why Torrance Shipman should take the Bring It On slot, but I think Isis is way more badass, way cooler, and way better at leading her team to victory. If that's not iconic, then I don't know what is.
11. Troy Bolton
He was a basketball star who just wanted to sing. Everyone wanted him to get his head in the game but he decided to go against the status quo and soar and fly his way into becoming one of the most memorable '00s movie teens.
12. Donnie Darko
He's dark and twisted and entirely iconic.
13. Viola Hastings
She loved soccer so much and wanted to play so badly that she posed as her twin brother and attended his school, all for the beautiful game. And she scored the hottest guy on the team in the process. A true icon.
14. Lizzie McGuire
Thankfully, The Lizzie McGuire Movie allows for me to include this tween queen. She went to Rome, posed as a pop star, and lived the ultimate fantasy. If that's not iconic, then I don't know what is.
Poor Scotty. He didn't know. But he did travel Europe and find the girl of his dreams in Eurotrip. So really, he wins. For his sheer perseverance and that cute little face, Scotty is definitely an iconic '00s movie teen.
16. Charlie Bartlett
I know that I always wished I could have a therapist as cool and cute as Charlie Bartlett. A true icon in his own right.
17. Josie McCoy
The defacto leader of Josie and the Pussycats. She's fiercely iconic.
18. The Sisters
I couldn't pick between the sisters from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants so they're all here. They're all so unique and fun and iconic in their own way, and I just couldn't pick.
Oh man, Thirteen messed me up good. Tracy spiraled from good-girl to bad-girl in a manner of weeks and I couldn't look away.
20. Stanley Yelnats
He didn't steal those shoes but he did carry Madame Zeroni's descendant up the mountain and break the Yelnats curse. I'd say that's pretty iconic.
21. Anna Coleman
Anna Coleman managed to switch bodies with her mom and survive it. Plus, she made us all want chunky, skunk-like highlights in our hair. A true style and musical icon of the '00s.
The '00s was an iconic era in its own right, churning out so many of the best teen movies we still watch and re-watch to this day.
Images: Giphy (21); Columbia Pictures