A movie teenager’s bedroom helps tell a story. Whether that story is one of tragic romance or a desperate need to get laid, the lead’s lair must look the part. A well-dressed bedroom can reveal critical information and themes about the characters (hi, Juno); a poorly designed space can make it look like they woke up in a stranger’s house (hi, Ferris). Let’s consider these ten.
Bella Swan’s turquoise bedroom walls are littered with childhood art, pictures of her sunny former Arizona home and strings of lights. Its warmth and light contrast with both the dreary Pacific Northwest setting and Edward Cullen’s bedchamber. Traditionally, bloodsuckers are averse to light and fond of coffins, but sparkly vampire Edward’s room features full wall windows and modern design.
The Fault in Our Stars
Prints of tree branches hang on Hazel Lancaster’s bedroom walls. At night, her ceiling gleams with glow-in-the-dark stars. It’s a lot of outdoor imagery for a bedroom, but Hazel’s thyroid cancer tethers her to an oxygen tank, making getting outside a challenge. Until a romance with a fellow teen cancer patient opens her world, her bedroom dominates her life.
Ellen Page’s Juno presents herself as hyper-confident and world-weary, but her bedroom highlights her youth and vulnerability. She has a refined enough sense of irony to appreciate a hamburger telephone, but she still craves the comfort of a patchwork quilt. Her walls are plastered with clever takes on hearts and unicorns. She’s torn between girl and adulthood; the baby growing in her belly is forcing the issue.
Molly Ringwald’s rooms in 16 Candles and Pretty in Pink are the platonic ideal of 80s girls sleeping spaces. Everything is frilly, lacy and, well, pink. Cushions are everywhere, including the bay window, where you can sit and stare wistfully out at the world (preferably as it rains). If you prefer a larger mattress, there’s an ornate, antique metal bedframe, perfect for holding onto as you think of boys.
The protagonists of Superbad are obsessives with carefully curated pop culture tastes who aren’t above mainstream when it’s sufficiently titillating. You know: nerds. Their bedroom sports a poster of obscure comic book hero the Goon next to a picture of Tomb Raider’s adventure vixen Lara Croft. These interests all involve spending a lot of time alone, or at least away from girls.
Before she started pretending to be a fake slut for money, Emma Stone’s Olive Penderghast was supposed to be a socially overlooked overachiever (despite looking like famous movie star Emma Stone). With its large, centrally located worktable, her room is a chaste staging area for innocent arts and craft projects. She’s not a total prude, though, as her workspace bed is ornamented with fun touches like string lights and enough room to karaoke the hell out of “Pocketful of Sunshine.”
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Jeff Spicoli’s wood-paneled bedroom look like a 70s dad’s poker-and-stag-movie room reluctantly turned over to a teen. The surf icon’s wall is plastered with nude centerfolds and surfing posters; the shelves are topped with beer bottles, a full ashtray and a bong. He doesn’t seem the type to sweat cleaning up. After all, as long as he has some tasty waves and a cool buzz, he’s fine.
Pretty in Pink
It’s a little-known secret that we were supposed to like Duckie in this movie. Like him, that is, as Andie’s triumphant Romeo. In fact, in the original cut of the movie, Duckie ended up with Molly Ringwald; director John Hughes scrapped that finale after test audiences booed it off the screen. The vestigial remains of his intended appeal are evident in his 80s-style cool guy, inner-city bedroom. Despite being a clingy Caucasian nerd in suburban Illinois, Duckie apparently slept in a crack house furnished by Basquiat.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
By all appearances, Ferris Bueller’s bedroom should belong to a much more interesting character. Why does his room have posters for industrial and art rockers like Cabaret Voltaire, Killing Joke and Bryan Ferry, when the character himself prefers to sing Wayne Newtown? He’s an entitled preppy skating by on charm and computer hacking skills, so what’s with the Union Jack and the vintage rockabilly guitar? Had the set designers not read the script?
Regina George scored the ultimate teen girl palace by cajoling her indulgent parents into giving her the house’s master bedroom. After that power play, she created a fiercely feminine space, with French doors and bright pink bed with metal letters spelling out “princess.” But with great girl power comes great responsibility. Regina’s pink explosion of a bedroom is what that power looks like when it’s abused.
Jason Biggs’ American Pie character is everything gross about teenage boyhood crammed into an unpleasant meatball. His room reflects that, from the plaid wallpaper to the elementary school age toy basketball hoop. You can smell the dirty sweat socks and farts from the other side of the screen. When a sexy girl enters this space, he pops like a zit.