Ranked: Who was officially the worst boyfriend in teen movie history?
Robbie was actually pretty messed up
It’s safe to say that unfortunately many of the teen movies of the 00s and even Netflix movies today don’t show girls the best presentation of what a healthy relationship should look like. From boyfriends who lie, cheat, gas light and write a song called “bitch in a uniform” our teenage years have been full of bad movie boyfriends.
And what a great way to set us up for failure. We spent hours at sleepovers romanticising men who treated their girlfriends appalling. No wonder so many of us end up falling for fuckboy after fuckboy when our 12-year-old selves were obsessed with John Tucker. At that age how are you supposed to know that’s not what romance should be?
From a few minor indiscretions like not listening to an apology, to full on controlling aggressive behaviour and slamming a car bonnet in anger, there’s been a variety in how badly these teen boys have treated their girlfriends. But who was the worst?
Now obviously none of these behaviours should be applauded for being the best of a bad bunch, but when it comes down to the details it’s very easy to rank who was the worst boyfriend. And if you don’t agree with our ranking then vote at the end for the worst teen movie boyfriend.
These are the worst teen movie boyfriends from least messed up to full on dump him now girl:
Wild Child – Freddie Kingsley
Freddie is actually pretty unproblematic for a rich white boy. The only criticism I could give him is that he asks Poppy out after she hits her head and therefore may be a little bit frazzled in her response.
He also doesn’t even give Poppy a chance to explain herself about the fire and the email. Fair enough you’re pissed off but don’t just ignore her and not hear her out.
10 Things I Hate About You – Patrick Verona
Now this is difficult for me as my love for this film and Heath Ledger is intense. However there’s no denying Patrick was quite messed up. First of all he agrees to take out a girl in exchange for money regardless of the potential impact on her emotions.
To his credit he doesn’t kiss her when she’s drunk, which in turn makes her more angry at him, so he has to be paid more money to take her to the prom, clearly aware that she is developing feelings for him.
In the final scene he apologises for how he has hurt Kat and says he will make it up to her every time with a present of a musical instrument. When I was 13 I thought this was really sweet, but now I’ve come to realise maybe he should just try to not mess up in the first place.
A Cinderella Story – Austin Ames
Austin spends the entire movie struggling with some inner turmoil about what he’s going to do with his life. Yes it’s tough and sad to have a life full of opportunities and an overbearing parent. But that doesn’t excuse treating Sam like shit.
He doesn’t stand up for Sam when their emails are read out to the entire school and she’s completely humiliated. Yes he was also humiliated but he was the most popular guy in school so he didn’t suffer the same embarrassment.
Despite Shelby being a bitch he was in a relationship with her by his own choice and yet was still emailing Sam. I completely get why he doesn’t want to be with her but just end it rather than emotionally cheating.
Clueless – Murray Duvall
Dionne and Murray have some very sweet moments during their relationship and Dionne isn’t always perfect either. However Murray often has a blatant disregard for Dionne’s feelings and ignores her when she asks him not to call her “woman” even though she has repeatedly “told him” not to. Cher literally says he is so “possessive” if that’s not enough of an indication that he’s a bad boyfriend.
And the scene when he tries to get out of a cheating allegation by suggesting that Dionne must be on her period makes me angry every time. Rather than apologise or provide an explanation to defend his innocence he blames it on her body.
The near literal car crash scene of Dionne’s driving, Murray is extremely unsupportive – he laughs and says “You can’t drive for shit” whilst Dionne is still learning how to drive. He does calm her down though after she nearly kills them all.
Legally Blonde – Warner Huntington III
Warner being a dick to Elle is what set the whole film in motion and inspires Elle to go to Harvard. Warner strung Elle along for years before deciding she wasn’t “serious” enough for him, he wanted to have his fun relationship and then dump her without any regard for her feelings.
Even when she gets into Harvard Law School Warner says she isn’t smart enough to get an internship and encourages her to break her word to Brooke for her own success.
And at the end of the movie he disrespects Elle and Vivienne by trying to get back with Elle. Luckily she says no and the two girls become besties.
Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging – Robbie Jennings
We were all pretty much obsessed with Robbie when we were younger however he wasn’t actually the god we thought he was. Georgia did a lot of weird things to try and get Robbie’s attention but he also encouraged it and didn’t exactly tell her to back off. Robbie was older than Georgia and should have known better.
He was dating Lindsey and yet kissed Georgia in the pool, didn’t tell Lindsey about the kiss and continued to date her. When they were in Brighton he was very obviously longing for Georgia despite being there with Lindsey who it was obvious to that Robbie was lusting after Georgia.
He messed both girls around because he was “unsure of his feelings”. He stopped talking to Georgia because she used his mate to make him jealous, fair enough, but Robbie was the one who kissed Georgia, no wonder she was confused.
And let’s not forget he wrote a song about her called “bitch in a uniform”.
John Tucker Must Die – John Tucker
Ok this one is pretty obvious the whole point of the movie is about what a prick this guy is. But let’s examine closely what he did that was so bad.
John was dating three girls at once without telling any of them about the others. Now there’s nothing wrong with dating multiple people if everyone is aware of it but he claimed they were all “the one”. He then manipulated them into keeping their relationship a secret because his “dad doesn’t let him date during basketball season”.
He purposely dated girls from different groups so they wouldn’t know about it. John therefore knew what he was doing was wrong but continued to do it anyway.
And then let’s not forget the scene in the locker room where he gets defensive about being “whipped” and therefore goes on a rant about how he’s going to “score” with Kate that night.
The Twilight Saga – Edward Cullen
We really could write a whole essay into how messed up Edward is, in fact we literally did. Throughout the five movies Edward gaslit Bella, stalked her, isolated her from her family and friends and he was technically a 108-year-old man shagging a 17-year-old. Weird Edward. Very toxic indeed.
The Kissing Booth – Noah Flynn
You know what I really think Noah might be worst teen boyfriend of all time. In the first movie he is incredibly controlling and has some major anger problems. Remember when he shouts at Elle and slams the bonnet of his car for her to get in? Jeez. He also tells other guys not to go near Elle as a way “to protect her” sorry but what does she need protection from?
He’s extremely jealous and I feel like his early lines in the film need more attention. When Elle wears a super short skirt to school he says: “Wearing a skirt like that is asking for it”. I’m sorry but how did Netflix think this rape culture sentence was ok?
By the time the second film comes around whilst his anger issues may have calmed down a little, he’s still a very bad boyfriend. He lies to Elle about where he’s been making her more insecure and even when she expresses her feelings, he carries on with it. Fair enough you’re immersing yourself in college life but don’t have a girlfriend if you need to lie all the time.
And then rather than encouraging her to go after dreams of attending UC Berkeley with Lee he says she should apply for Harvard – so that she’ll be with him.