The Most Iconic Prom Dresses of All Time

Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl and her date at Prom
Photo: The CW/Giovanni Rufino

While we won't be shopping for a prom dress this season, we can't help feeling a little nostalgic for the party of all high school parties. What better way to relive prom than through some of the most memorable on-screen looks ever?

01 of 09

Pretty in Pink, 1986

Molly Ringwald as Andie Walsh Pretty in Pink with her prom date
Paramount/Everett Collection

THE ROLE:
Molly Ringwald as Andie Walsh
PROM SONG:
"If You Leave" by OMD
WHY WE LOVE IT:
Determined to show her high school's rich snobs that they didn't break her, Andie creates a 80s-tastic prom dress from a hand-me-down a thrift-store buy. End result: She makes them all look like jerks-and she gets the guy.

02 of 09

Beverly Hills 90210, 1993

Shannen Doherty as Brenda Walsh of Beverly Hills 90210 posing at prom with her date
Courtesy Fox

THE ROLL:
Shannen Doherty as Brenda Walsh
PROM SONG:
"Losing My Religion" by REM
WHY WE LOVE IT:
While the "Spring Dance" isn't technically the 90210 posse's prom, it was just as memorable. Who could forget the infamous black and white dress that Kelly and Brenda both insisted on wearing — or the latter losing her virginity once it dropped to floor?

03 of 09

Buffy The Vampire Slayer, 1999

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy the Vampire Slayer wearing a long purple dress at prom
20th Century Fox Film Corp./Everett Collection

THE ROLE:
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
PROM SONG
"Wild Horses" by The Sundays
WHY WE LOVE IT:
She spent the day fighting neighborhood demons, broke up with her vampire boyfriend and still managed to look amazing on prom night in a timeless, Old Hollywood glam gown.

04 of 09

She's All That, 1999

Rachael Leigh Cook as Laney Boggs in She's All That wearing a black figure-hugging gown at prom
Miramax/Everett Collection

THE ROLE:
Rachael Leigh Cook as Laney Boggs
PROM SONG:
"The Rockerfeller Skank" by Fatboy Slim
WHY WE LOVE IT:
While we knew it was there all along (teen movies are so predicable), the prom-night scene was the ultimate reveal: Underneath the paint-splattered smock and 24/7 teen angst, Laney unleashed a smoking body, perfectly displayed in this black figure-hugging gown.

05 of 09

10 Things I Hate About You, 1999

Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You at prom
Buena Vista/courtesy Everett Collection

THE ROLE:
Julia Stiles as Kat Stratford
PROM SONG:
"Cruel To Be Kind" by Letters to Cleo
WHY WE LOVE IT:
Despite the most unceremonious entrance in prom history (Kat threw the outfit on, stomped out the front door and hunted down her date at the event), this navy slip dress and a string of pearls is all she needed to wow Patrick.

06 of 09

Harry Potter, 2005

Emma Watson as Hermione Granger wearing a tiered pink dress and dancing with her Yule Ball date
Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

THE ROLE: Emma Watson as Hermione Granger
PROM SONG:
"This is the Night" by The Weird Sisters
WHY WE LOVE IT:
It wasn't the prom (they called it the Yule Ball), but we couldn't skip this scene of triumph for Hermione. She appears on the staircase before entering the great hall looking gorgeously polished in a pink, tiered gown and finally captures the heart and attention of Ron, who has yet to verbalize his feelings for her.

07 of 09

Twilight, 2008

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in Twilight Saga at prom
Courtesy Summit Entertainment

THE ROLE:
Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan
PROM SONG:
"Flightless Bird, American Mouth" by Iron & White
WHY WE LOVE IT:
Even though Bella is still recovering from the attack of the nomad vampires, Edward persuades her to go to the prom. Never one to show off, Bella tops off what could be a sultry halter-style prom option with an embellished cardigan, charcoal-gray leggings and signature Converse tennis shoes. Walking cast optional.

08 of 09

High School Musical 3, 2008

Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron at prom in High School Musical 3
Walt Disney Co./courtesy Everett Collection

THE ROLE:
Vanessa Hudgens as Gabriella Montez
PROM SONG:
"A Night To Remember" by the cast of High School Musical
WHY WE LOVE IT:
While we're sure it's mostly because she couldn't have pulled off the fantasy prom scene's dance moves in a traditional, full-length prom gown, her Midsummer Night's Dream-inspired mini-dress was the perfect spark to a short prom dress trend for her adoring teen fans.

09 of 09

Gossip Girl, 2009

Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl and her date at Prom
The CW/Giovanni Rufino

THE ROLE:
Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf
PROM SONG:
"Prom Theme" by Fountains of Wayne
WHY WE LOVE IT:
In a scandalous battle from prom queen, Blair triumphed over her rivals in a gorgeous Marchesa gown-completing a fairytale night (minus breaking up with Nate).

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