17 Coming-of-Age Movies That’ll Remind You of Your Own Growing Pains (In a Good Way)

Annapurna Pictures

I’m not sure anyone really wants to relive their tween and teen years. Those were some of the most awkward moments in my entire life. The struggle was definitely real. We’re talking questionable haircuts, questionable fashion choices, and even more questionable ways to have handled a crush. But, at the end of the day…it happened. And it wasn’t a completely terrible experience. Sometimes it’s nice to look back on old photos and videos to remember the good times (and even the not-so-good-times) with friends and family to see just how far you’ve come. Or you could watch a coming-of-age film to give you the same nostalgic feeling, without having to cringe at your own expense.

Some of the best movies are in the coming-of-age genre. They’re just so relatable. After all, whether you’re 13 or 30 years old, we all still have some growing up to do. And these coming-of-age movies are here to help us all through our own growing pains.

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Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) have always been academic overachievers. But now they’ve realized that they’re leaving high school without having any of the fun experiences. So they decide to make up for all that lost time—on the night before their graduation ceremony.



This Best Picture Oscar winner follows the story of a young Black man named Chiron (Trevante Rhodes). It focuses on three different phases of his life, set in different times in Miami, Florida, where he grew up. The movie explores how he was raised by the love and support of his community, and the tumultuous journey of fully realizing who he is as a man.


The Miseducation of Cameron Post

It’s 1993. And Cameron (Chloë Grace Moretz) was just caught making out with the prom queen, her best friend Coley (Quinn Shephard), in the backseat of a car. Her family decides to send her to a “treatment center” called God’s Promise. But just when she thought all hope was lost, she finds new friends that help make the experience bearable.


Call Me By Your Name

Seventeen-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) is spending the summer of 1983 at his family’s villa in Lombardy, Italy. That’s when he meets Oliver (Armie Hammer), a doctoral student who’s staying at their place as he interns for his father. While at first, the two don’t get along, over the course of those hot months they make a discovery about each other that changes their lives forever.


Eighth Grade

Thirteen-year-old Kayla (Elsie Fisher) is in the last week of middle school after a disastrous year as an eighth-grader. And now she’s trying to put herself out there to try and turn things around before high school begins.


13 Going on 30

Jenna Rink (Christa B. Allen) is just trying to fit in with the cool kids at school, so she invites them over to her house for her 13th birthday. But they play a cruel trick on her. So she wishes to be “30 flirty, and thriving,” just like the fashion magazines she reads. And by the magic of the wishing dust her best friend Matty (Sean Marquette) put on her dollhouse, she wakes up as her hotshot magazine editor self (Jennifer Garner).


The Edge of Seventeen

Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) is an awkward junior high school kid who already feels like an outcast and a loser. But things get worse when she discovers that her best friend Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) is dating her superstar older brother Darian (Blake Jenner). And now she finds herself looking for advice from her teacher Mr. Bruner (Woody Harrelson).



This modern version of Jane Austen’s Emma follows Cher (Alicia Silverstone), a popular rich girl in Beverly Hills who believes that it is her duty to use her popularity for a good cause. She meets Tai (Brittany Murphy) and makes it her mission to transform her.


Lady Bird

Catholic school teen Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) feels like she’s stuck in her small California town and its small-minded ways. She’s decided to go by “Lady Bird” and try to get into a university on the East Coast to be the independent woman of her dreams. But she’s got to deal with a lot of things before then, including her relationship with her mother.


Love, Simon

Seventeen-year-old Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) has been keeping a secret from his family and his closest friends: he’s gay. And he doesn’t know how to break it to them. At the same time, he’s trying to figure out the identity of a mysterious classmate that he’s fallen in love with online.



Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) finds out she’s pregnant and now wants to get an abortion. The problem is it’s illegal for her to do so in the state of Missouri. The closest abortion clinic she can go to is in New Mexico. So she decides to ask her former best friend Bailey (Barbie Ferreira) to go with her, despite not having been on good terms for a while.



This groundbreaking film was shot over 12 years, and with the exact same cast. We follow the story of a “normal” boy named Mason (Ellar Coltrane) as he grows into a man before our very eyes.


Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging

Georgia (Georgia Groome) is on a mission to get the attention of the boy of her dreams, Robbie (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). With the help of her best friends and cat Angus, she tries to learn about the rules of getting a crush to notice you and perfecting the art of snogging — which is British for making out.


The Half of It

Ellie Chiu (Leah Lewis) is a diligent student who runs an underground business by writing papers for people in school. A jock named Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer) then asks her for a different kind of paper—a love letter. After he proves to be persistent, she goes along with it. But she discovers that she also has feelings for the girl he’s writing to.



There’s a lot of controversy surrounding this movie, but it’s a nuanced depiction of girlhood. It tells the story of 11-year-old Amy (Fathia Youssouf) as she rebels against the conservative beliefs of her family by joining an all-girls dance crew. During this time, she explores her feminity and what it means to grow into womanhood.


The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Best friends Bridget (Blake Lively), Lena (Alexis Bledel), Carmen (America Ferrera), and Tibby (Amber Tamblyn) are all spending the summer apart for the first time ever. But before they go off on their own adventures, they find a magic pair of jeans that fit them all perfectly. So, to feel like they’re still together, they send the pants to each other to wear as they deal with their own struggles.



Best friends Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are determined to have sex before they go off to college. They were invited to a huge house party, and see this as their opportunity. Determined to get as much booze as they can for the big bash, they run into some complications.


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