The high school movie has stood the test of time, with school hallways and classrooms serving as the perfect backdrop for iconic coming-of-age flicks. But the guys at our high schools didn't look like these movie stars! In honor of kids everywhere heading back to school, Wonderwall.com is rounding up the biggest heartthrobs in high school movie history. First up is 1998's "She's All That" character Zack Siler, played by '90s hunk Freddie Prinze Jr.! The big guy on campus charmed audiences everywhere when he fell in love with the unpopular Laney Boggs… even though it was originally all due to a mean bet. Armed with a killer soundtrack — it's how Sixpence None the Richer's "Kiss Me" became a major hit — the sweet flick ended well with Zack and Laney living happily ever after! Keep reading to reminisce about your other favorite cinematic high school hotties!
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The resident mysterious bad boy at Forks High School was Edward Cullen, the object of Bella Swan's affection in the "Twilight" film franchise. In the five films, Robert Pattinson charmed as Edward, the irresistible 104-year-old vampire trapped in the body of a high school student, who was instrumental in helping the flicks gross more than $3.3 billion to date.
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1999's "American Pie" had two hunks for the price of one! The film centered around a group of high school buds, which included two good-looking guys — a young Seann William Scott playing Steve Stifler and Chris Klein as Chris "Oz" Ostreicher.
When "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" debuted on Netflix in August 2018, it made Noah Centineo a bona fide Hollywood star. He nailed the character of Peter Kavinsky, making girls everywhere fall in love with him. He was the perfect movie-watching companion, saving Lara Jean popcorn. He befriended Lara Jean's little sister by driving her around town. He even danced LJ around the school's cafeteria (and don't get us started on that pocket turn!). We can't wait to see how Peter and Lara Jean's love story develops in the next two movies in the franchise based on Jenny Han's popular book series. The first sequel debuts in 2020.
So technically he's not a high schooler in the film, but since Paul Rudd played an integral part in the classic '90s high school movie "Clueless," we decided to slide him in here! Paul took on the role of the slightly older and more responsible college student Josh, who was irresistible to stepsister Cher (Alicia Silverstone), and we have to admit — we were majorly, totally, crazy in love with Josh too!
The late Heath Ledger got his big break in 1999 in the high school flick "10 Things I Hate About You" as Patrick Verona, who was hired to take out popular girl Bianca Stratford's older sister Kat (played by Larisa Oleynik and Julia Stiles, respectively). What follows is a perfect high school love story, which involves one of the cutest renditions of "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" in movie history!
John Travolta starred as possibly one of the coolest high schoolers in the history of film — Danny Zuko in "Grease." The 1978 film featured John dancing and singing as he wooed summer love Sandy in what can be described as the original high school musical.
Get your head in the game! Zac Efron starred in 2006's Disney Channel film "High School Musical" as Troy Bolton, the jock-turned-musical star who fell in love with Vanessa Hudgens' character, Gabriella Montez.
Michael Schoeffling starred in "Sixteen Candles" as Jake, the hunky student who happened to be the object of Molly Ringwald's character Samantha's affection. He's pretty integral to the best part of Samantha's birthday, giving her the ultimate fairy-tale ending in the classic '80s flick.
As the title character in "John Tucker Must Die," it was clear Jesse Metcalfe's John wasn't going to be a super-upstanding high school student. In the 2006 film, John gets busted for cheating on several of his classmates, played by Sophia Bush, Ashanti and Arielle Kebbel. But even though he was playing a lying, cheating slimeball, there's no denying Jesse was quite the '00s hottie!
So fetch! The Plastics didn't date just anyone, so when it came time for a love interest for Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams' super popular characters Cady and Regina, Jonathan Bennett fit the mold in 2004's "Mean Girls." The actor played Aaron Samuels, the object of Cady Heron's affection, who also happened to have dated fellow Plastics member Regina George.
1999's "Varsity Blues" was full of good-looking guys playing high school football in Texas. The two biggest stars? "Dawson's Creek" hottie James Van Der Beek and the late Paul Walker, who both portrayed members of West Canaan High's football team. James was backup quarterback Mox to Paul's quarterback Lance, but both emerged from the film as major late-'90s heartthrobs.
Josh Hartnett was a major heartthrob in the '90s and '00s. His breakout role came in the 1999 drama "The Virgin Suicides." Josh played the cool guy and hunk of the school, Trip Fontaine, who got involved with Kirsten Dunst's character, Lux, then treated her terribly.
Edward Cullen made the list, so we'd be remiss not to add the high school student from the school on the reservation — Jacob Black. Taylor Lautner brought this character to life and played one part of the epic love triangle in the "Twilight" franchise, which debuted back in 2008.
Tom Cruise brought Joel Goodson to life in 1983's "Risky Business" in a role that launched his movie career. In the classic coming-of-age flick, Tom's normal high school student ends up getting involved with an escort — with hilarious and serious results.