Showdowns

Which Decade Had the Best High School Movies? It's '80s vs. '90s vs. 2000s vs. 2010s!

Which era scores straight A's? And which is getting sent to detention? We're breaking it down by box office, Tomatometer and Audience Score, iconic moments and characters, and more.

by | May 12, 2021 | Comments


Which decade from the last 40 years had the fetchest high school movies? (We’re going to make this happen.) That’s what we’re deciding in a very special episode of Vs. that’s slowly walking down the stairs armed with warm apple pies, blaring boom boxes, and an occasional break of the fourth wall. How exactly, though, can you compare a decade like the 1980s, which gave us everything from Say Anything… to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to a decade like the 2010s, with its whip-smart Lady Bird and adventurous Dope? RT Contributing Editor Mark Ellis has a way… four ways in fact. In this episode of Vs. he compares each decade’s high-school movie output based on Tomatometer and Audience Scores, box office performance, memorable moments and characters, and one wild card round to declare which 10-year stretch is the movies’ equivalent to your high school’s Prom King, Valedictorian, or that ultimate hero: The Person Dating a College Guy.


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

debate Baby Yoda Election Trophy Talk cancelled The Witch Summer political drama supernatural Sci-Fi Alien Comic Book Bravo Crunchyroll suspense Pride Month Fox Searchlight police drama 71st Emmy Awards 73rd Emmy Awards WarnerMedia based on movie Action biopic National Geographic target Infographic Comedy TV renewals slashers social media nfl SXSW directors Pacific Islander Spectrum Originals game show Biopics comic book movie die hard Fantasy green book Awards twilight hollywood Marvel Studios Disney Classic Film Lifetime Christmas movies prank foreign Pop TV Family boxoffice Podcast Lucasfilm AMC Hallmark Christmas movies game of thrones Lifetime Holidays Avengers best Tubi comedies Elton John Red Carpet TCM universal monsters Comic-Con@Home 2021 Mudbound FXX American Society of Cinematographers heist movie festivals chucky Cannes RT21 Reality Grammys dogs LGBT godzilla singing competition Winter TV reboot movie Binge Guide Warner Bros. Star Wars versus spinoff Shondaland remakes Turner Classic Movies transformers composers Starz crime franchise Set visit 2016 joker new york Musicals See It Skip It know your critic Pixar book scorecard rt labs venice TCA 2017 Anna Paquin PlayStation technology Shudder Netflix ABC Signature HBO Go X-Men ABC Family emmy awards Thanksgiving hispanic vampires CBS All Access blockbusters Paramount Network DC Universe TIFF PaleyFest sequel NBA Toys comic book movies The Walking Dead docuseries superman Rocketman name the review pirates of the caribbean Legendary DC Comics Arrowverse Broadway Pop asian-american Spike BET Awards teaser canceled Rock cancelled TV shows cinemax Film comic Lionsgate Vudu hist Western breaking bad cults Logo Super Bowl royal family Certified Fresh toronto diversity TCA Awards saw CW Seed posters popular new zealand Rom-Com Britbox San Diego Comic-Con Premiere Dates Quiz dark rt archives jurassic park TV One anthology The Arrangement women Interview YouTube New York Comic Con true crime sitcom MTV nature Music Comics on TV facebook LGBTQ binge mutant superhero CMT critic resources Acorn TV E3 anime all-time award winner marvel cinematic universe Masterpiece A24 fresh Drama reviews A&E obituary indiana jones Paramount Plus adaptation crossover Winners Women's History Month documentaries revenge discovery crime thriller 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards animated TruTV romance Emmy Nominations HBO adenture SundanceTV Ghostbusters Amazon Prime rotten movies we love mockumentary Schedule Disney+ Disney Plus justice league Superheroe wonder woman Spring TV Ellie Kemper VOD razzies Captain marvel rt labs critics edition Universal 24 frames strong female leads Amazon Prime Video Exclusive Video international dc black 99% Christmas 2018 scary movies Sneak Peek Netflix Christmas movies telelvision 72 Emmy Awards Video Games critics comic books Black Mirror robots BBC golden globes Paramount movies ghosts hispanic heritage month 45 australia Box Office YouTube Red Rocky Turner Television Academy archives HBO Max Mary Tyler Moore fast and furious Horror dramedy YA what to watch canceled TV shows hidden camera Brie Larson spain Countdown FX on Hulu FX Heroines king arthur psycho Food Network El Rey indie ITV Hallmark Disney streaming service classics sequels Funimation disaster TLC TCA Winter 2020 SDCC History Fall TV cancelled television Valentine's Day action-comedy aliens rom-coms Mary poppins toy story criterion Marvel south america BET TV Land Academy Awards natural history The CW halloween tv laika DirecTV boxing BBC One First Reviews 4/20 screenings VICE Pet Sematary scene in color Stephen King VH1 Watching Series Writers Guild of America Opinion GIFs Calendar 93rd Oscars Nominations films Showtime WGN Trailer Emmys Peacock golden globe awards finale MSNBC video on demand Teen OWN Awards Tour TV blaxploitation 20th Century Fox serial killer football young adult news Film Festival historical drama legend psychological thriller ESPN worst movies dexter doctor who kids 2017 nbcuniversal Tokyo Olympics Sundance TV NBC batman Martial Arts halloween adventure Crackle Sundance Now sports spy thriller thriller gangster Disney Plus high school rotten werewolf travel Nat Geo independent biography The Walt Disney Company ID casting Disney Channel slasher Walt Disney Pictures Hear Us Out Chilling Adventures of Sabrina child's play 2019 miniseries king kong worst MCU kong RT History TV movies cops jamie lee curtis Year in Review documentary TBS Mystery comiccon Animation Reality Competition Song of Ice and Fire TNT streaming Image Comics E! ABC renewed TV shows zombie Creative Arts Emmys Comedy Central Travel Channel The Purge Tomatazos 21st Century Fox Best and Worst war The Academy latino Cartoon Network USA Apple TV Plus a nightmare on elm street sag awards comics Character Guide science fiction tv talk Oscars Mindy Kaling feel good romantic comedy President witnail BAFTA james bond PBS Wes Anderson docudrama OneApp Freeform Star Trek japan Sony Pictures harry potter Hulu dceu Polls and Games Black History Month trailers christmas movies Apple Columbia Pictures 007 Discovery Channel kaiju cartoon mission: impossible IFC Trivia spider-man Syfy Extras Fox News screen actors guild Television Critics Association Sundance Photos live action Nickelodeon television 2015 new star wars movies zombies video Adult Swim CNN First Look IFC Films Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Dark Horse Comics USA Network Musical free movies talk show blockbuster Endgame Mary Poppins Returns children's TV Apple TV+ Ovation basketball YouTube Premium festival politics Esquire Chernobyl Country cats cars Cosplay lord of the rings 1990s Marathons marvel comics BBC America quibi concert stand-up comedy olympics space ratings unscripted ViacomCBS GLAAD parents NYCC 2020 spanish language cooking aapi 2021 elevated horror monster movies Holiday medical drama CBS Pirates DC streaming service Tarantino deadpool japanese crime drama DGA Amazon Studios spanish Marvel Television 90s Amazon APB italian book adaptation richard e. Grant french stop motion TCA Tumblr stoner FOX satire theme song series GoT mcc Kids & Family period drama Epix Superheroes streaming movies cancelled TV series zero dark thirty dragons