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10 Fictional Proms

From the Good to the Bad to the Horrific

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • May 22, 2020

Celebrations Dashed

We feel for the high school seniors of 2020! Along with the uncertainty we are all grappling with, they are mourning the loss of several rites of passage, like graduation celebrations, college visiting tours, and, of course, prom. The fact that many of us older folks will tell you that our own prom experiences didn't live up to the hype, likely doesn't lessen the blow. But maybe some catharsis can be found in experiencing fictional proms—from the good to the bad to the horrific. Here are a few options for you.

Pretty Amy

This story, from Lisa Burstein, breaks the story mold by starting with the prom. To say that Amy's prom was a disappointment would be an understatement. Her date is a no-show, but that turns out to be the least of her problems when her night ends behind bars. Where will she go from here?


This iconic horror masterpiece from Stephen King was the first of his books to be made into a movie. We probably don't need to tell you that the titular character's prom night is a bloody disaster.

Tessa Masterson Will Go To Prom

Luke is pretty sure that his best friend Tessa is secretly in love with him. After all, she's never shown interest in any other guy. When he surprises her with a big, public prom-posal, she surprises him with the revelation that she's gay. Will their friendship survive? And what about prom? Cowritten by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin.

Prom Nights From Hell

In this collection, bestselling authors Meg Cabot, Kim Harrison, Michele Jaffe, Stephenie Meyer, and Lauren Myracle take bad prom nights to a new—read paranormal—level. These five stories are more entertaining than any DJ in a bad tux. No corsage or limo rental necessary. It's just good, scary fun.

Prom & Prejudice

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single girl of high standing at Longbourn Academy must be in want of a prom date." We had no choice but to include this Austen-inspired prom-ance from Elizabeth Eulberg.


These four movies feature prom as the story's climax. It stands as the moment a point is made, a goal reached, or love realized. Realistic? Maybe not, but these are some fun fantasies, nonetheless.

10 Things I Hate About You
An update on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, this hit film from 1999 stars Julia Stiles as the ill-tempered Kat and Heath Ledger as the bad boy schemer who inadvertently falls for her.

The 80s wouldn't be the same without this crowd-pleasing classic about a teenage mover and shaker fighting for prom in a small Southern town where dancing has been banned. Starring Kevin Bacon, of course! And he's got all the moves!

She's All That
Here's another update on a classic play—Pygmalian by George Bernard Shaw. With only six weeks until prom, BMOC Zack finds himself single. A buddy challenges him to a bet. The goal? Take a mousy classmate and turn her into the prom queen.

Pretty in Pink
"What about prom Blaine?" It may feature one of the most unsightly prom dresses in movie history, but this retro classic really amps up the symbolic importance of this penultimate high school experience. We still love Duckie the most!

Something Lost, Something Gained

So listen up kids! We know there is nothing we can say to take the sting out of missing the epic celebrations you've been picturing all these years. But one thing to keep in mind about this rite of passage you're having is that it's uniquely yours. For those fortunate enough to be able to shelter in place, there is a surprising sweetness to the slower pace. While many of us barely remember our cookie-cutter high school experiences, you'll probably never forget this strange, surreal season of life.

These are truly extraordinary times. We may miss the frenzy of our regular lives, but perhaps we can also savor the unsought opportunities of this bittersweet moment.

Note: At the time of this writing, inventory on some of these books and movies was running low. If you find the item is out of stock, you can add it to your wishlist for later. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more like this.

Read more by Ashly Moore Sheldon

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