Back to School: 15 Worst Students in School Movies

From the jock bully to the popular mean girl, here are the worst students in movies we're not excited to see on the first day back to school.

rachel mcadams mean girls back to school worst students school movies

Well, here we are again. The first day of school is just around the corner, and it’s time to revisit all those things you’re not looking forward to seeing again: cafeteria lunches, out-of-date textbooks, certain teachers, and certain classmates. In honor of this special time, we came up with 15 of the most annoying, vicious, or moronic fellow students in school-related films. Anyone should be able to recognize the traits of these demons from their own educational experience.

This is Screen Rant's list of the 15 worst students in school movies.


The contenders can be any student (adult or child), in any grade (elementary, middle, high school, or college) as long as they are people we aren’t looking forward to seeing on Day 1. The list is in chronological order according to the date the film was released.


carrie nancy allen back to school worst students in movies

Everyone knows a couple who have nothing in common aside from enjoying the misery of others. In perhaps the nastiest prank in film history, Chris Hargenson (Nancy Allen) and Billy Nolan (John Travolta) pour pig blood on Carrie (Sissy Spacek) after rigging the Prom elections so that she will be chosen Prom Queen. The fact that the only time they seem to be getting along is when they’re talking about destroying a girl’s life is just plain awful, but what's worse is that it often comes off as foreplay. It's enough to make you want to pull a Miss Collins and start slapping people, but this couple gets what’s coming to them in the end.


neidermayer animal house back to school worst students in movies

In Animal House, Doug Neidermeyer (Mark Metcalf) is that awful combination of rich, entitled, and power-hungry. And if you’re a member of the Delta House, he’s also got a personal vendetta against you. It’s hard not to rejoice when Otter (Tim Matheson) purposefully hits his horse––and Neidermeyer himself––with a golf ball, causing it to buck him off and drag him around behind it. And since Neidermeyer also sees himself as a born leader, being an ROTC officer and screaming his head off at scared, awkward freshman, it’s sort of satisfying to learn during the film's Where-are-They-Now-style credits that he is killed by his own platoon in Vietnam.


scut farkus christmas story back to school worst students in movies

At one time in our lives, we all had that awful bully who was older than us, bigger than us, and seemed to want to torment us mercilessly for absolutely no reason at all. Scut Farkus (Zack Ward) is that bully in this established Christmas classic, mocking and terrifying Ralphie (Peter Billingsly), Randy (Ian Petrella), and all the other students at Warren G. Harding Elementary School. Scut Farkus is a perfect example of how we remember the things that frightened us as kids: yellow-eyed and crazed with a hauntingly evil laugh and inexplicable fur cap. In true bully fashion, his full name must always be spoken when he appears on the scene. But who doesn’t love that moment when Ralphie beats the absolute crap out of him? A truly iconic scene for sure.


Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) in The Karate Kid is essentially the ex-boyfriend from hell, running around destroying your stereo and beating up that new kid you like. He also has been trained in an unethical and ruthless version of karate at the Cobra Kai dojo by an instructor even more brutal than him (Martin Kove as Kreese, who utters the immortal line, “Sweep the Leg!”). This makes Johnny much more dangerous than your regular bully. In essence, he spends the entire movie mercilessly beating up Daniel (Ralph Macchio) until Daniel finally bests him in a karate tournament where Johnny actually reveals himself to be a halfway decent guy. But that doesn't mean we can all forget how much of a creep he is for the rest of the movie.


ted mcginley revenge of the nerds back to school worst students in movies


Revenge of the Nerds is the story of a group of college students who are constantly being pranked, made fun of, and hassled by a group of fraternity jocks, led by college quarterback Stan Gable (Ted McGinley). Whenever the nerds attempt to fight back or change their luck, Stan always seems to be right in their way, whether he’s chairman of the Greek council or trying to destroy their socially-challenged fraternity house. On top of all that, he basically treats everyone poorly, even his girlfriend (Julie Montgomery) who eventually leaves him for nerdy Lewis (Robert Carradine). In the end, the nerds do get their revenge––and the girl––but every school seems to have that awful popular kid you just can’t get away from.


Roy Stalin (Aaron Dozier) has many of the same annoying qualities as Stan Gable, but he will also steal your girlfriend and then never let you forget it. He tortures Lane Meyer (John Cusack) with jokes about his last name every time he sees him ("Hey, Oscar Meyer!" Super original.), and arrogantly touts his own abilities as a skier as often as possible. Oh, and he's also a sexist pig. Roy is that guy who can never let anything go whether he wins or loses and will mock you with the same dumb jokes for four years… unless you manage to beat him in a skiing competition while only wearing one ski. That ought to shut him up for a while.


Brilliantly played by James Spader (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Steff is that smarmy kid who grew up rich and, because of it, always talks like he’s older and somehow world-weary, despite being only eighteen and never having worked a day in his life. He also treats women terribly and convinces his friend Blane (Andrew McCarthy) to distance himself from Andie (Molly Ringwald), a girl Blane likes. Steff claims that it's Andie's working class upbringing that makes him distrustful of her (gross), but it's actually just because Steff tried to ask her out and was vehemently turned down (grosser). This character is actual scum and spends the entire movie proving it, which continues to remind us that money can’t buy class.


He may look hot with his black trench coat and Jack Nicholson-like demeanor, but Christian Slater’s Jason Dean or J.D. is definitely bad news. As he proves when he stages several calculated murders of popular students in order to make them look like suicides and eventually reveals his plan to blow up the entire school, J.D. isn’t a rebel; he’s completely psychotic. You definitely don’t want to run into this guy on your campus, and even though she falls for him initially, we can all agree with Veronica (Winona Ryder) when she tells him, “You know what I want, babe? Cool guys like you out of my life.”



Who hasn’t dreamed of going back to their high school reunion and telling off the person who made them feel like crap for four whole years? Christie Masters (Julia Campbell) gets told off in at least thirty different ways––real and imaginary––over the course of the film, and it’s well-deserved. From playing mean practical jokes on some students to giving sing-songy nicknames like “Back-Brace Girl” to others, Christie truly earns her title as “a bad person with an ugly heart.” And, like many high school mean girls, she keeps her essential group of sycophantic friends nearby to agree with everything she says. However, the real joke’s on her because life after high school turns out to be far gloomier than she'd hoped.


tracy flick reese witherspoon election back to school worst students in school movies

Before Legally Blonde and last year's Wild, Reese Witherspoon was pounding the halls of George Washington Carver High School as Tracy Flick. Students and teachers alike run from Tracy, whose intensity and lack of any Leslie Knope-like charm make her unbearable to be around. She’s always the first one to raise her hand in class, the first person in the school's halls and the last to leave, and she’s involved in every club you might possibly like to join (as well as a candidate for Student Body President). You also better hope she never wants something from you because, eventually, she will get it. She’d make us feel bad about our own level of participation in after-school activities… You know, if we weren’t so scared.


Is anything more annoying than the phrase, "Wait till my father hears about this!"? In the first Harry Potter film, young Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) is the quintessential combination of arrogant, snotty, and whiny: basically every spoiled rich kid who cries to his parents when he doesn’t get his way. Draco tries to take Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) under his wing and explain to him that there's a "wrong sort" of student he wouldn't want to get involved with (essentially meaning those without money) and wages a personal vendetta when Harry rebuffs him. As an additional character flaw, Draco picks on socially-awkward students like Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) while his cronies laugh about it. For these reasons, and nearly every other reason, we probably all wanted be Hermione (Emma Watson) in Prisoner of Azkaban when she hauls off and slugs him.


It’s hard to think of any reasons why we don't all wish we could have gone to the School of Rock at Horace Green Prep and jammed out with the students there, but Summer Hathaway (Miranda Cosgrove) is definitely one of those pupils who makes you roll your eyes and grit your teeth. Sure, Summer’s cute, but her constant apple-polishing and need for attention would be difficult to take if you were actually sitting beside her in class. The way she constantly announces that she should get some extra credit for being class factotum, band manager, etc. gets old fast. It even gets on Dewey’s (Jack Black) nerves to the point where he tells her, “Summer, if you grade-grub one more time, I will send you back to the first grade, you got it?”


rachel mcadams mean girls back to school worst students school movies

The ultimate Mean Girl, Regina George’s (Rachel McAdams) backstabbing, manipulation, and general cruelty know no bounds. And even though pretty much everyone in the school recognizes that she’s one of the most awful fellow students imaginable, they all still really want her to like them. Though she does somewhat find redemption at the end of the film (but not until after she gets hit by a bus), it’s hard to forget the moment where she’s looking evil in the middle of the hall after printing and unleashing the "Burn Book" on the whole school. Popular and sadistic, Regina will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the worst high school movie villains for years to come.


Hilary Faye (Mandy Moore) is similar to Regina but may be scarier since she believes she’s got God on her side. If spouting off prejudiced slogans ("You're not born a gay; you're born again.") and judging everyone around her isn’t enough, she even throws a Bible at the film’s protagonist and her ex-best friend Mary (Jena Malone) as she cries, “I am FILLED with Christ’s love!” Hilary Faye's zealous attitude knows no bounds, and she's willing to cover the school with anti-Christian graffiti, just to blame another student she believes should be kicked out. Most of us can recognize those people who take their religion so seriously that they appoint themselves the spiritual compass of the entire school. But seeing as Hilary Faye attends the fundamentalist American Eagle Christian High, that’s a real feat.


With the voice talent of Nathan Fillion (Firefly and Castle) and an attractive underbite, Johnny of Roar Omega Roar is the kind of monster you’d want to hang with. Until you realize everything he says is condescending and obnoxious and that he is just another college jock, dedicated to making those who dare to be a little different suffer. After he orchestrates a prank to humiliate another fraternity (a true callback to Nerds), his response is simply, “You’re never gonna be real scarers because real scarers look like us.” It just goes to show that no matter how old you get (or what species you are), you still have to deal with arrogant jerks who think school is a place for them to show off.

You can let us know about any other students in school films you most love to hate in the comments. But as Michele White (Lisa Kudrow) states in Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, “You know? I bet in high school, everybody made somebody’s life hell.”


Of course, there are far more movies set in schools than the ones we've mentioned. This is merely a starting off point, but if you know of any bullies who are even worse than the ones we've mentioned, make sure to let us know in the comments!

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