Top 20 Good Girl/Bad Boy Movie Couples

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Top 20 Good Girl/Bad Boy Movie Couples

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Laura Keating
These good girl/bad boy movie couples prove that opposites attract. Our countdown includes "Step Up," "The Breakfast Club," "Dirty Dancing," and more!
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Top 20 Good Girl/Bad Boy Movie Couples


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 Good Girl-Bad Boy Movie Couples.

For this list, we’ll be looking at iconic mismatched couples. While many are swoon-inducing, not all are examples of healthy relationships. Hey, this is a Good Girls and Bad Boys list, we’re making no promises about functionality! We’ll be including animated pairs, but excluding TV show couples; that’s for another list...

Who’s your favourite good girl-bad boy couple? Let us know in the comments!

#20: Katie Finnerty & Andy
“Wet Hot American Summer” (2001)


In this parody of teen summer flicks of yesteryear, we get a lot of over-the-top antics. The ensemble cast consistently brings the funny with this lampoon of a dysfunctional 1980s summer camp. Two of the counsellors are pitch-perfect tropes: nice girl Katie and her jerkwad boyfriend Andy (played by real-life, notoriously nice guy Paul Rudd). Andy is too cool for school; Katie is sweet, loveable, and clearly with the wrong guy. They aren’t the ideal couple, more a case of opposites attracting. But summer romances, right?

#19: Keith Zetterstrom & Natalie Anderson
“Keith” (2008)


Natalie is a bright young woman with a future: dreams of university, a tennis scholarship, and a cute boyfriend. Enter Keith, whose sole personality trait is apparently his damage. After Natalie finally agrees to go on a “non-date” with the mysterious slacker, she falls for his laid-back charm. He’s not exactly the best influence. Natalie’s marks begin to suffer, and she’s suspended from school when she tries to find out Keith’s real address. She even loses her virginity to him only to have him dismiss her feelings. Hey, “bad boys” don’t always make great boyfriends; it’s in the name. Turns out, Keith has a sad secret; but he does manage to express how he feels before it’s too late.

#18: Vance "Van" Wilder, Jr. & Gwen Pearson
“National Lampoon’s Van Wilder” (2002)


In one of the many college shock-comedies of the early 2000s, we meet Vance "Van" Wilder, Jr. and Gwen Pearson. Van is a perma-senior at Coolidge College who never wants the party to end; Gwen is a talented, up-and-coming journalist at the college paper. When they team up to boost their popularity and marketability, respectively, sparks begin to fly. Van seemingly has the ability to charm the pants off of anyone. When he finally gets his act together and commits to graduating, he proves to Gwen that he knows more than one way to have a good time.

#17: Will Hunting & Skylar
“Good Will Hunting” (1997)


Will is a bit rough around the edges, but that doesn’t stop him from winning the heart of Skylar, a student at Harvard. Of course, he’s no slouch himself in the brains department. The brilliant blue-collar worker catches most people he meets off-guard with his stunning intellect and astute insights. However, he can at times be his own worst enemy, letting his inner turmoil hold him back. Skylar doesn’t see him as a “project” to fix, but constantly motivates him to be better. She helps him understand that he can do more with his life, and shouldn’t ignore opportunity when it comes knocking.

#16: Rapunzel & Flynn Rider [aka Eugene Fitzherbert]
“Tangled” (2010)


She’s as sheltered as a girl can get; he’s an outlaw with a devil-may-care attitude - and maybe the chance she’s been waiting for. After Flynn breaks into Rapunzel’s tower, she convinces him that he must help her get to the lanterns she loves so much. While they seem totally different at first, by the end of their adventure, there’s nothing they won’t do for each other, always putting the other’s safety and well-being above their own. They’re the sort of fairy tale couple that really does have a happily ever after.

#15: Jacob Palmer & Hannah Weaver
“Crazy, Stupid, Love” (2011)


Jacob is one of those guys who thinks he’s all that. He’s got looks, can sweet talk, and seems to bring home a different woman every night. But at least one gal sees through his shtick to the womanizer that he really is. Hannah, a law school graduate, thinks she’s with the man of her dreams, but when she gets her heart stepped on, she goes back to Jacob, because well...look at him. But that night, they realize that they might have a real connection. It’s hard for others to see it at first, but she has a good influence on him, and it’s enough to make him a one girl kind of guy.

#14: Ana Steele & Christian Grey
“Fifty Shades of Grey” (2015)


Anastasia “Ana” Steele is the face of wide-eyed innocence; billionaire bad boy Christian Grey is anything but. Nevertheless, during an interview for Ana’s college newspaper, Christian finds something about her candid manner alluring. After she agrees to a very particular sort of relationship, things get hot and heavy as the couple bears it all, and then some. It’s a story as much about control and fantasy as love. While the book-to-film adaptation left many viewers wanting more, the lovers have become an iconic example of consensual kink on screen - for better or worse.

#13: Lady & Tramp
“Lady and the Tramp” (1955)


Tramp is a carefree mutt, living on the road and dodging the dog catcher, while Lady is a perfectly prim purebred housepet. She thinks she has the perfect life, but with a new arrival at home everything gets shaken up. When Lady ends up out on her own, Tramp comes to her rescue and tries to show her what it means to live "footloose and collar-free.” The adorable poochy pair even shares one of film’s most iconic dinner scenes. Together, they each learn more about life from one another, but in the end it’s still all puppy-love.

#12: Sutter Keely & Aimee Finecky
“The Spectacular Now” (2013)


Sutter Keely is a classic party animal whose actions are starting to catch up with him. After a night of drinking, he wakes up on Aimee Finicky’s front lawn, and things begin to change for the better. Although he’s seen her in classes, he never knew her name. They start spending time together, and Sutter realizes she is taking on more responsibility at home than she ought to because of a layabout mother. They begin to open up about their personal troubles, finding solace in each other. While Sutter is bogged down by his own personal demons, Aimee helps him to challenge them.

#11: Tyler Gage & Nora Clark
“Step Up” (2006)


After a little breaking and entering, and doing serious damage to a local art school’s theater, Tyler Gage must complete 200 hours of community service at the school. While there, he encounters Nora Clark, a dancer who is getting ready for her senior showcase. When her partner is injured, Tyler offers to step in. She is reluctant at first, but after seeing his moves, reconsiders. At first they don’t get along, but as they dance, teaching one another their styles, a bond begins to grow. Despite their struggles and disagreements, they perform together, with Tyler eventually realizing he needs to turn his life around.

#10: Tessa Young & Hardin Scott
“After” (2019)


This is another couple pulled from the “You Can Do Better” files. Tessa meets Hardin shortly after moving to college, and it’s games from the very start. After rejecting his advances he pursues her, only to insist that he “doesn’t date.” Dude, what? Despite this, he still goes into jealous rages when anyone else shows any interest in her. Yikes. Her mother tries to warn her that he’s a bad influence, and we have to say we side with mom on this. But love is truly blind and it’s only after it’s revealed that he pursued her as a joke that Tessa realizes she’s been played. Still, she’ll be back for more.

#9: Troy Dyer & Lelaina Pierce
“Reality Bites” (1994)


Troy is a struggling musician who is unable to hold down even minimum wage jobs and is barely staying afloat. Lelaina is at the top of her classes at university, graduating as valedictorian, and dreams of being a filmmaker. Despite a mutual attraction, they have trouble truly expressing those sentiments as their lives lead them down rocky paths. Even when they finally come together, it seems that Troy has blown it, and it isn’t until faced with the death of a loved one that he understands how short and precious life is.

#8: Annette Hargrove & Sebastian Valmont
“Cruel Intentions” (1999)


Sebastian Valmont, initially, can be described in two words: The Worst. He is depraved enough to even make his shrink give up on him. He sees women as sexual conquests and nothing more. So when he challenges himself to corrupt the literal poster girl for chastity, he feels he’s more than up to the task. What he didn’t count on was for Annette Hargrove to be so level headed. She’s well onto his game, and knows all about him and his womanizing ways. But as they get to know each other, not just as prey and prize, but as real people, they find that they’re actually a perfect match.

#7: Han Solo & Princess Leia Organa
“Star Wars” Franchise (1977-)


A royal rebel leader meets a scruffy-looking nerf-herder: Tale as Old as Time, really. Princess Leia fights the good fight and is about as badass as they come, so she’s more than a match for the swaggering smuggler Han Solo. At first glance, they couldn’t seem more mismatched: He’s looking out for numero uno (and, er, numero Chew-o?) and she’s looking out for the well-being of an entire galaxy! But at heart, they know what’s on the line and grow closer for it. While throughout the franchise, their romance is tumultuous, when it comes right down to it, they just know.

#6: John Bender & Claire Standish
“The Breakfast Club” (1985)


We could never forget about you two! At first it seems that the kids in detention at Shermer High School have nothing in common, but none so much as the Princess, Claire Standish, and the Criminal, John Bender. Claire is popular and perfect; Bender is a troublemaker with abusive parents. But as their time in detention wears on, Bender challenges Claire’s ideas of perfection and why she feels the need to impress others. She begins to see that people are more than just the labels they are given. By the end, there is a growing attraction between them, and it’s clear that they both see each other for who they really are.

#5: Jason "J.D." Dean & Veronica Sawyer
“Heathers” (1989)


These two take the dysfunctional couple crown! Veronica is no angel, but DJ is a straight-up psychopath. After killing the lead Heather of the popular “Heathers” clique (accidentally for Veronica’s part), they get a taste for revenge. Getting away with murder, they team up to take out everyone who wrongs them (and this school is filled with terrible people). Things get out of control and Veronica realizes almost too late that it’s up to her to stop her disturbed boyfriend from doing something truly unthinkable. Nope, they’re not a great couple, but in the canon of 80s teen films, they’re certainly iconic.

#4: Frances “Baby” Houseman & Johnny Castle
“Dirty Dancing” (1987)


While vacationing with her family in the Catskills, Frances "Baby" Houseman begins crushing hard on the resort’s dancing instructor, Johnny Castle. At a secret staff party, Baby is shocked (and intrigued) to see the type of dancing they do after hours. When Johnny’s dance partner, Penny, needs an abortion, it’s suggested that Baby replace her. Johnny is skeptical, but agrees and Baby begins to improve. There are many complications along their road, but when Johnny leads her to the stage for the final show, they’re not the only ones having the times of their lives.

#3: Jamie Sullivan & Landon Carter
“A Walk to Remember” (2002)


One of the popular kids, Landon has barely noticed the minister’s daughter, Jamie Sullivan, despite having known her since childhood. She’s considered a weirdo for her modest outfits and lack of makeup. When she offers to help him learn lines for the school play, he worries that associating with her will ruin his image. But the more time they spend together, the more their friendship and feelings for one another grow. They begin to date, but when he wants to talk about the future he’s devastated to discover she has leukemia, and the prognosis is not good. He ends up a better person for having known her, despite their star-crossed paths.

#2: "Cry-Baby" Wade Walker & Allison Vernon-Williams
“Cry Baby” (1990)


Cry Baby, a gang leader, and Allison, a real “Square,” are two kids from opposite sides of the tracks united by the tragic upbringings: His folks were both sent to the electric chair, her parents both died in two seperate plane crashes. Framed for a crime he didn’t commit, Cry Baby is sent to prison. Understandably, this is a strain on their relationship and it takes some convincing for Allison to come around. They both have a lot of hurt inside, but are still able to find solace in each other.

#1: Danny Zuko & Sandy Olsson
“Grease” (1978)


Their brief romance was intense, but when summer ended, Sandy and Danny thought they’d never see each other again. To both of their surprise, they wind up at the same high school in the fall. But while Sandy is still the sweet young lady she’s always been, she is shocked to see that at school Danny is a totally different person. A greaser, and leader of the T-Birds, he acts like he’s too cool for her. Once he realizes how he’s made her feel, he tries everything to win her back. By the end of the school year, Sandy understands that relationships are about compromise, and that maybe she could use a change too.
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