Skip To Content

    11 Iconic Teen Movie Couples Who Taught Us What True Love Looks Like, And 10 Who Did Not Belong Together

    BRB, falling in love with these guys all over again.

    Teen movies are my all-time favorite genre. The awkwardness, the teenage angst, the romance — I eat that right up! ESPECIALLY when the love story gets it justttt right!

    TV Asahi

    But some teen movies have some awful — and I do mean AWFUL — love stories. So let's take a look at which teen movie couples are #relationshipgoals, and which are totally overrated.


    1. Jake and Anna from Freaky Friday truly love each other for who they are inside.

    Buena Vista

    Jake loves Anna for who she is. He loves her wild spirit so much that he starts falling for her mom once Anna and Tess switch places! And that scene in the coffee shop where they bond over singing Britney Spears?! They're obviously meant to be.

    2. But Austin treats Sam like dirt for most of A Cinderella Story.

    Warner Bros.

    Sam is the world's biggest sweetheart, but Austin doesn't get his crap together until the last five minutes of the movie. Sam says it best: "Waiting for you is like waiting for rain in this drought. Useless and disappointing." By the time the movie ends, I'm so annoyed with him that I just want Sam to go to Princeton alone and find a guy who actually deserves her.

    3. Jamie and Landon prove that love conquers all in A Walk to Remember.

    Warner Bros.

    Landon is your typical bad boy until Jamie’s kind spirit inspires him to change for the better. When she reveals she has cancer, they get married and share a perfect summer as husband and wife. Even after she dies, he insists he can still feel her love (I’m not crying, you’re crying). They're literally relationship goals.

    4. But Cady and Aaron do not feel like true love in Mean Girls.


    Cady pretends to be bad at math to get Aaron's attention, which is just so sad. Plus, they have nothing in common and absolutely no chemistry. There's no real reason for Cady to fall for him aside from his good looks. She should focus on herself instead of attempting a long-distance relationship with Aaron when he leaves for college.

    5. Viola and Duke fall for each other in the funniest way possible in She's the Man.


    Viola meets Duke while impersonating her twin brother. Though that's obviously not a healthy way to start a relationship, it allows Viola to see Duke for the awkward and sweet guy that he is. I feel like this is the kind of couple who will always make each other laugh.

    6. But Baby is underage in Dirty Dancing, and that makes the love story gross.

    Vestron Pictures

    This movie would never be made today. Am I the only one bothered by the fact that Johnny is a grown man while Baby is 17? Overcoming class differences is great and all, but it doesn’t make up for an older dude dating an underage girl. Yes, it's a beautiful film, and I love that spectacular lift as much as the next person, but I just can't get over this.

    7. Simon and Bram are the biggest cutie pies in Love, Simon.

    20th Century Fox

    This ferris wheel scene gets me every time! Simon is so brave to publicly wait for his mystery man. Bram is equally courageous for joining his Simon where the school can see. They're obviously wonderful together, and I wish the movie gods blessed us with a sequel to watch their love blossom.

    8. But Zack doesn't fall for Laney until she gets a makeover in She's All That, and that's just not cool.


    It is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves when a guy doesn't appreciate a girl until she gets a makeover. Umm, excuse me Zack, but Laney is gorgeous even at the beginning of the movie. Getting a haircut, slapping on some makeup, and taking off her glasses does not transform her into a whole new human being! If you don't love her pre-makeover, you don't deserve her, dude.

    9. Chad and Taylor are totes adorbs in High School Musical.


    People usually focus on Troy and Gabriella, but it's actually Chad and Taylor who've captured my heart! In addition to being two physically perfect human beings who look gorgeous together, they have different strengths, so they're well-rounded as a couple. Even though the last movie ends with Taylor getting into Yale (yes, girl!) and Chad planning to stay in Albuquerque for college, I feel like their relationship is strong enough to endure anything.

    10. But Cher and Josh from Clueless are ex-step-siblings, and that's really odd to me.


    Cher's dad and Josh's mom were once together. I don't care how long their marriage lasted, it's weird that their kids are a couple. There are like 7.5 billion people on this planet, and you have to date your ex-step-sibling?!

    11. Torrance and Cliff from Bring It On are the stuff of teenage dreams.


    Every 2000s kid totally shipped Torrance Shipman and Cliff Pantone. They're sweet, sassy and funny — all the ingredients for a good teen couple. Plus, he writes love songs for her on the guitar!! Bonus points for being a romantic musician.

    12. But Dionne and Murray are the definition of a toxic relationship in Clueless.


    The other famous couple from Clueless, Dionne and Murray are just no good together. It's implied that Murray cheats on Dionne since she finds another woman's hair in his car. This is ironic because he's OBSESSED with making sure that she's not unfaithful to him. He also refers to her as "bitch" and "woman" when she repeatedly asks him to stop. Dionne, you can do so much better!

    13. Kate and Scott make such a great match in John Tucker Must Die.

    20th Century Fox

    Kate and Scott start the movie with so much chemistry (pun intended). Their hilarious awkward flirting is everything. And a young Penn Badgley with long curls? Yes, please!! Even after Kate's epic takedown of his older brother, Scott is still willing to give her another shot. Who else wants a sequel from these two??

    14. But Sam is Josie's high school teacher in Never Been Kissed, and that's super problematic.

    20th Century Fox

    This movie was made way back in 1999, but it wouldn't fly today. Sure, tons of kids (myself included!) identified with the nerdy girl who eventually finds love. But Sam believes Josie is an underage high school student! On the ferris wheel, he compliments Josie, then he says, "Actually, I shouldn't say that because I'm your teacher." He clearly knows his romantic feelings are inappropriate, yet they go on to dance at prom?? This has not aged well at all.

    15. Derek and Sara push each other to be the best versions of themselves in Save the Last Dance.


    Sara just needs a little guidance, and Derek gives that to her. He shows her the world of hip hop, which inspires her epic Juilliard audition that gets her a spot in the program. He also proves that he’s committed to her while she chases her dreams. Love a supportive man!

    16. But Lara Jean and Peter from To All the Boys I've Loved Before don't make sense as a couple.


    Let's be honest: We all know that both Josh from the first movie and John Ambrose from the sequel would be a better fit for Lara Jean than Peter. Of course, Josh is off-limits because he dated Lara Jean's sister for two years. So John Ambrose is the obvious choice!! He's Hufflepuff like her, dressed up as a deviled egg as a kid, and is romantic and considerate. He is the definition of boyfriend material, and Peter pales in comparison.

    17. Maddy and Olly share a special kind of love in Everything, Everything.

    Warner Bros.

    Even though Maddy is locked up inside her house for most of the movie, Olly finds a way to unlock her heart. Olly is cute and romantic, like when he writes his phone number on his window and decorates hers with pictures of the ocean. Through stolen moments and a kind of random trip to Hawaii, they share a sweet gentleness that makes me smile.

    18. But Sutter is clearly no good for Aimee in The Spectacular Now.


    I'm sorry, but Sutter is a garbage boyfriend. When he starts dating Aimee, he's still in love with his ex, Cassidy. He gets Aimee into drinking at school events, which could jeopardize her future. Then, he's drunk driving when he almost gets them into an accident. He's so upset about it that he kicks Aimee out of the car, and she's actually hit by another car! And after all that, he asks Cassidy if he can visit her in college in California?! What is wrong with this dude??

    19. Nick and Norah find love in a wholesome place in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.

    Screen Gems

    There’s nothing greater than bonding over a shared love of music, and that's such a refreshing way for teens to fall for each other. Nick's dorky personality and Norah's cool vibes complement each other perfectly. Plus, Nick gives Norah her first orgasm! Gotta love a guy who can give a girl what she needs in bed.

    20. But Nadine treats Erwin like a last resort in The Edge of Seventeen.

    STX Entertainment

    Nadine spends the movie crushing on the stereotypically hot guy, Nick. Only when he turns out to be the biggest douche ever does she look at her friend Erwin and realize he's actually boyfriend goals. But Erwin shouldn't be treated like second best! He's a dope artistic dude with so much to offer a girl.

    21. And finally, Kat and Patrick from 10 Things I Hate About You are just perfect together.

    Buena Vista

    Yes, Patrick only starts dating Kat because he's paid to do it, but he quickly falls head over heels for her. No surprise there: Kat's spicy, artistic, witty — basically everything we hope to be when we grow up. I forgive Patrick for his deceit because he uses the money to buy Kat a guitar so she can realize her dream of starting a band. Rock on, cuties!

    Which teen couples do you love or just love to hate? Let me know in the comments below!

    TV and Movies

    Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

    Newsletter signup form