11 Classic Movies About Graduating That Will Make You Super Nostalgic

by Lindsay E. Mack

Even if you've been out of the classroom for a while, something about the month of May always brings out those graduation vibes. It's easy to look back on your high school or college experiences and marvel at just how far you've come since receiving that cap and gown. So if you're in a super nostalgic mood, these movies about graduating will be the perfect addition to your next Netflix binge.

These movies will remind you about old school friends, test stress, and everything else that goes on in the days and weeks leading up to that all-important diploma ceremony. With flicks ranging from the '80s to 2010, these movies are sure to give you some serious nostalgia. I mean, they're worth the rewatch for wardrobe choices alone. (Remember the bucket hats of the early 2000s? I didn't either, until rewatching the trailer for Crossroads.)

To be fair, these movies aren't all masterpieces. And some of them rely on stereotypes and tropes that could only be described as problematic by modern audiences. But if you take them for what they are, these goofy coming-of-age flicks can take you back to a simpler (and sometimes weirder) time. Read on to find the movie that'll remind you all about graduation night.


Legally Blonde

Every day is a perfect day when you watch this 2001 film. No one tackles the rigors of law school quite like Elle Woods.



I mean, what's more nostalgic than a 2002 Britney Spears coming-of-age film? It's about a group of teenaged girls who use a cross-country road trip as a means of self discovery. There are bucket hats. There are flip phones. There's Britney doing karaoke in a crop top. It's fantastic, and you're guaranteed to spend the next week singing "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman."


Daria: Is It College Yet?

A movie-length finale to the popular animated series, this 2002 film perfectly captures the joy and dread that accompanies graduation. Oh, and Daria's graduation speech is still one of the most biting responses to young adult life ever. (Totally dating myself here, but my high school friends and I watched a VHS of this the night of our graduation.)



Remember all those raunchy teen comedies from the late '90s and early 2000s? This 2004 flick follows that trend with a post-graduation trip around Europe. It's ridiculous fun.


High School Musical 3: Senior Year

This Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens film was released in 2008, aka ten freaking years ago. But you still know all the words to the graduation mix of "We're All in This Together."


I Love You, Beth Cooper

The class valedictorian reveals a little too much in his graduation day speech in this 2009 film. Naturally, chaos and out-of-control teen parties ensue.


Dazed And Confused

Set on the last night of high school in 1976, this 1993 film features the very young Ben Affleck, Jason London, and Matthew McConaughey in some unforgettable roles. It's a funny flick that just might make you glad you're not in high school anymore.


Reality Bites

Post-graduation life, with all its weird jobs and confusing romantic relationships, is realistically portrayed in this 1994 film. Starring Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, and Ben Stiller, it's a cult classic for a reason.


Say Anything

This 1989 romantic film chronicles the relationship that blooms between an aspiring kick-boxer and the class valedictorian immediately following graduation. The iconic scene with John Cusack holding a stereo is from this film.



The raunchy 2007 teen comedy set on the eve of graduation is still quotable and silly. And I don't care how mature you are, that inappropriate doodle scene is completely hilarious.


Van Wilder

A seventh year super senior, Van Wilder values the college experience like no one else. Check out this 2002 comedy to enjoy Ryan Reynolds being super irreverent long before his role as Deadpool. It's one graduation movie you can't miss.

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