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Top 10 awkward high school moments (in movies and TV)


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There’s nothing like the high school years when it comes to building character (or something) through a little (or, in most cases, a lot of) humility. Here are the Top 10 moments in movies and television where the hapless teenagers on display probably wanted to just crawl into a corner and die — but you know what they say about what doesn’t kill ya …

10. “Bring It On” (2000)

This somewhat ahead-of-its-time meta-comedy opens with an impressively choreographed cheerleader routine that introduces the film’s main characters (well, half of them, anyway — there’s a whole other cheerleader team that shows up later on) via a series of leaps, flips and self-deprecating wink-wink lyrics (“I’m major, I roar / I swear I’m not a whore!”). Just when the whole thing’s about to become a bit too self-congratulatory and indulgent for its own good, BAM! It turns into a dream sequence, one in which our dreamer, Torrance (Kirsten Dunst), suddenly appears buck naked in front of the entire student body. Inexplicable nightmare-laughter ensues (we’re sure the sight of a naked Kirsten Dunst inspires a lot of things but laughter probably isn’t one of them) with at least one audience member showing his appreciation with an exclamation of “Nice rack!” We could only dream as well until Kirsten finally let us see for ourselves 11 years later in Lars Von Trier’s “Melancholia.”

9. “Carrie” (1976)

Suddenly getting your period in the shower is bad enough. But suddenly getting your period in the shower in a Stephen King movie is even worse, as the horror scribe is known for portraying humanity (or what passes for it) at its most cruel … and, really, there may be nothing more cruel than high school students when the dark mood strikes them. Poor Carrie ends up cowering in the corner, the water pouring down her naked body as her classmates bombard her with tampons: “Plug it up! Plug it up! Plug it up!” It’s a miracle that our troubled heroine didn’t just unleash her fiery powers right there, ’cause we this kind of humiliation is way more emotionally damaging than having your prom dress ruined by pig’s blood.

8. “She’s All That” (1999)

This modern-day retelling of “Pygmalion” (or “My Fair Lady” for you musical fans) is pretty mediocre even by the subgrade standards of Freddie Prinze Jr. movies, though it definitely scores a few points for indulging in some pretty subversive flourishes … some of which make for gross-out gags that, despite the film’s (highly questionable) PG-13 rating, rival any semen-drinking “American Pie” shenanigans. “Eating” and “stuff that springs from male loins” again make a dangerous mix here, though we have to admit we might prefer the “Pie” beverage of choice over “Hoovering” (as Freddie puts it) someone’s pubic hair … and as a pizza topping, no less. Kudos to director Robert Iscove for remembering to have everyone in the cafeteria react accordingly — this outrageousness ain’t happening in a vacuum, after all.

7. “Sixteen Candles” (1984)

No on can hit the complicated, confusing and often ugly emotional truths of the trials and tribulations of being a teenager quite like the late, great John Hughes. His characters — and character insights — are pretty much timeless; indeed, all “The Breakfast Club” (1985) would need to be updated for the 21st century is having the principal tell the detention attendees that cell phones must be turned off for the duration of the day. However, Hughes was also quite the notorious goof, not afraid to indulge the broad strokes of slapstick and absurdity … sometimes in a scene that just a few frames earlier was rather dramatic and realistic. Take, for instance, this almost unbearably embarrassing (and admittedly very silly) moment from “Sixteen Candles” — we hope no one on the planet has grandparents like the tactless, bad-joke-telling, molesting freaks on display here.

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…


A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.