12 '90s Teen Movies That Were Totally Forgettable, Because No Decade Is Perfect
The '90s was a decade full of the best of the best in the world of entertainment. Where would we be without the witty cartoons, the catchy pop songs, that one air-conditioning commercial, and so much more? And while, overall, the 1990s were a beacon of pop culture light and excellence, there were a few missteps. Case in point, here's an entire list of '90s teen movies that were totally forgettable. Hey, every decade has its failings, and if all the '90s has to show for it is a few not-so-engaging teen movies, so be it. We can't all be Clueless.
These movies probably wowed us all at the time with their well-coiffed (and not actually teenaged) stars, their farcical story lines, and their on-point soundtracks. But now, we're older, wiser, and our memories aren't as good — so there's a high probability many of us totally forgot about them. There's a zillion and a half memorable '90s teen movies, so it's really no surprise that the less interesting ones have fallen through the cracks. When you have such delights as 10 Things I Hate About You and The Craft, you're also bound to have some not-quite-so-delightful options like the following films listed. Not all teen movies are created equal.
1. 'Wish Upon A Star' (1996)
What's not to love about a sister-sister body switch movie? When we've got Lindsay Lohan killing it with her own swap movies like The Parent Trap and Freaky Friday, this Katherine Heigl film is easily forgotten.
2. 'Hackers' (1995)
Hackers somehow manages to take two exciting genres — teen movies and tech crime movies — and star Angelina Jolie, and still be forgettable. Sure, it's cool that a bunch of teen hackers get involved in a corporate conspiracy, but few people are going to list this movie as one of their top '90s teen faves. If they added a few more "the big dances," to the film, then we could talk.
3. 'Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead' (1991)
When Sue Ellen and her four siblings are left in the care of a tyrant babysitter with a weak heart after their mother heads to Australia for a two-month summer vacation, the results of that development should be super entertaining. But while it is pretty cool (if unrealistic) that Sue Ellen gets a job as an administrative assistant at a fancy fashion company because of a fake resume, the all-around zaniness makes this movie a tough one to hold on to.
4. 'Encino Man' (1992)
This film about two teens who discover and befriend a caveman who was previously hidden in a block of ice may have a cult following, but don't let that fool you. The only truly memorable thing about the movie is Brendan Fraser as the caveman. But when you put that concept alongside all the other movies about two teen boys hanging out with a crazy counterpart (Weird Science, anyone?), it's nothing special.
5. 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' (1992)
Poor Buffy the Vampire Slayer in movie form, you never had a chance. All people remember now of the Chosen One is seven years of slaying on Joss Whedon's hit series. Nothing tops Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy, not even the original movie version of the Slayer.
6. 'Cry-Baby' (1990)
I want to love this movie not only because it's a cult classic, but because of Johnny Depp's great performance, duh. And yet, let's be real, there's a million other movies I'd rather watch Depp in than this one.
7. 'Airborne' (1993)
This fish-out-of-water story about a California teen who gets uprooted to Cincinnati, Ohio in the winter is mainly a snoozefest. We get it. California and Ohio are different. Inline skating was cool in the '90s. Snore.
8. 'But I'm A Cheerleader' (1999)
This movie is considered a cult classic, but many people have forgotten it ever existed. That's a shame, though; it's awesome, with a really interesting premise about a popular high school cheerleader who is forced to attend gay conversion therapy camp. It's a genius '90s look at gender constructs and the disgusting process of attempting to "cure" teens of their homosexuality. Yet although it's a thoughtful film, people tend to forget about it.
9. 'My Boyfriend's Back' (1993)
It's a good concept — a boy so obsessed with taking his crush to the prom he comes back from the dead. And yet, the '90s found a different winner of our comedy horror hearts with Scream in 1996. Poor zombified Johnny Dingle didn't make the cut.
10. 'Teaching Mrs. Tingle' (1999)
Who knew there was a way Dame Helen Mirren could be forgettable? Maybe the reason this movie about keeping a vindictive history teacher captive is so easy to brush past is because it's just a tad too ridiculous... I mean there's a crossbow. What's up with that?
11. 'Freaked' (1993)
This sci-fi black comedy never really had a chance. According to an Indiewire interview with one of the film's creators, Alex Winter, Fox chose to pull the film from a nationwide release after a studio exec change-up. So, chances are, if you've forgotten about this off-the-wall movie centering around a "Tasty Freaks Machine" that turns people into sideshow attractions, it's because you never even saw it.
12. 'PCU' (1994)
The most memorable part about this movie, which mocks the political correctness of colleges from the perspective of a preppy pre-freshman who's visiting the fictional Port Chester University, is the helpful tidbit from a multi-year senior about what to wear to a concert. As the main character Tom (and the audience) learns, you don't want to be "that guy" who is "wearing the shirt of the band you're going to see." We don't need even the rest of the movie, to be honest.
While the '90s was truly a hallowed decade for teen movies with an excellence that has yet to be repeated by any other era, there were a few attempts that really didn't land. Hey, no decade is perfect, but for every not-so-memorable '90s teen movie, there are at least three extra-special ones.