Before they had professional stylists, makeup artists, and glamorous red carpet appearances, many celebrities had that special high school moment most dream about, prom. Dolling themselves up with questionable fashion choices to take pictures with their friends and dates, these A-listers celebrated that “night to remember” like so many other teenagers.
From the fashion catastrophes of the ’80s to sidebangs of the early 2000s, here are some stars like you’ve never seen them before: in all of their awkward high school prom glory.
John Stamos Before Becoming Suave Uncle Jesse
In the late ’70s, John Stamos attended John F. Kennedy High School in La Palma, California. Little did this big-haired and white-tuxedo-wearing teenager know, but he was about to land his first acting gig in 1982, in General Hospital.
Then a short five years later, Stamos’ life changed. He landed the role of Uncle Jesse in Full House. His prom date probably has more than a few “I remember when” stories when it comes to this guy!
Faith Hill Looking As Beautiful As Ever
Straight out of McLaurin Attendance Center is Faith Hill, then Audrey Faith Perry. And while this picture looks more like a wedding spread, it’s actually the country star and her date during their high school prom!
It’s really no surprise that Hill was just as gorgeous as a teenager as she is as an adult. Some people are just born with those coveted good genes. Het date probably could have cooled it on the size of her flowers, though. They’re about as big as her head.
Meryl Streep Looking Elegant, Per Usual
Seriously, though, can Meryl Streep please look not put together in maybe one photograph? The point of prom pictures is to look at them later in life and cringe at the wardrobe choice, the hair, and the makeup.
But, no, Streep is going to look back and think, “oh, I look pretty elegant for a teenager attending prom.” From the simple cream dress to the matching elbow-high gloves, Streep looks more prepared to walk into a castle ballroom than a decorated high school gymnasium.
Gigi And Bella Hadid Kept Their Dresses Sweet And Simple
The Hadid sisters didn’t get the memo that high school prom pictures are there to look back on and laugh. You’re supposed to be awkward with ridiculous makeup, hair, and bedazzled evening gowns.
But that’s not how the soon-to-be-famous international models Gigi and Bella roll. Instead, these two wore sweet and simple dresses to their prom at Malibu High School, taking pictures alongside their Real Housewives mother Yolanda and their father, Mohamed.
Brad Pitt Rocked A Mullet
Have you ever wondered what Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star Brad Pitt looked like in high school? Well, here you go! A few decades fresh out of the Kickapoo High School prom photoshoot is Pitt, his mullet, and his stellar silver suit.
Obviously, the decades didn’t make Pitt’s smile any less mesmerizing, something his date most likely knows from watching him year after year on the red carpet. Thankfully, he’s upgraded from the weird horizontally-striped tie.
Jennifer Aniston Is All Smiles During Prom Pictures
Actress Jennifer Aniston found a love for acting at such a young age that it only made sense for her to attend Manhattan’s Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.
And while this particular school isn’t a “normal high school,” Aniston still attended prom in all of her fluffy-haired glory. We can only imagine what her date said when her parents, Days of our Lives actor John Aniston and actress Nancy Dow, began taking pictures.
Debra Messing’s Hair Took Up Half The Frame
Straight out of East Greenwich High School, circa the 1980s, is actress Debra Messing. And, boy, does her hair look about ten times bigger than it does in Will & Grace.
Honestly, the entire ensemble screams ’80s high school prom, from the perm to the most-likely pearl-colored satin dress with its scrunched bodice and flipped collar. Even her smile says, “Years from now, I’m most likely going to look back on this picture and cringe.”
Demi Lovato Isn’t Above The Staircase Pic
Considering Demi Lovato was homeschooled on one of the Disney sets, she probably turned more than one eye when she showed up at the Grapevine High School prom with her childhood friend Nolan in 2010.
The singer went all-in for the occasion, too, wearing a stunning floor-length gown and simply curling her dark hair. This is also probably the only time she’s ever posed on a staircase, a rite of passage for any teenager going to the infamous dance.
Jimmy Fallon Could Have Used Some Bronzer
The good news is that The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon is just as awkward now as he was back when he attended prom at Saugerties High School in New York. The bad news is that he is totally aware of how odd he looked next to his date.
On his Twitter account, Fallon wrote, “My date didn’t tell me she was getting a tan and [wearing] high heels for the prom. Standing next to her, I looked so pale and so small.
A Throwback To When Danielle Fishel And Lance Bass Dated
If there was ever a high school prom throwback of two famous people, it’s this photo of Danielle Fishel and Lance Bass. By the time these two attended their prom, they were already wildly famous, and not just for their bleached hair.
Fishel had been working on Boy Meets World since she was 12, and Bass was singing sold-out stadiums with the boy band N*SYNC. Well, maybe not sold out quite yet, but they were definitely getting there!
Beyoncé Looked Stunning In Her Go-Go Dancer Inspired Dress
It’s hard to imagine, but Beyoncé, aka Queen B, did go to high school once upon a time. Finding her love for music at a young age, Beyoncé attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, a school specializing in the fine arts.
Although, she did graduate from Alief Elsik High School in Houston, Texas. Most likely, that’s where she attended prom, wearing this hip ’90s dress with accented cutouts. She was obviously trying to bring the go-go dancer style back!
Kim Kardashian Was Rocking The Thin ’90s Brows
With her mom-ager Kris over her shoulder, it doesn’t seem like much has changed for Kim Kardashian West, whether it’s attending prom at Marymount High School or being a huge television personality.
Well, a bit has changed. Kim K probably wouldn’t be caught dead with those over-plucked eyebrows, prom-specific updo, non-tan skin, and sidebangs. She most likely looks back at this photo and cringes just a little bit. But, hey, not every teenager can have a personal beauty team.
Taylor Swift Went A Little Heavy On the Fake Tanner
Girl-next-door Taylor Swift wasn’t always an international pop star. Once, she was a normal teenager getting dolled up to attend her high school prom at Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School with her date. And, boy, did she go full-on 2010s with this ensemble.
T-Swift opted to pin up her curly locks in a fancy up-do, showcasing her chandelier earrings, and go very heavy on the self-tanner. This guy must be wondering if any of her music is about him and their magical night together at prom.
Elle Fanning Was Pretty In Pink
Maleficent actress Elle Fanning stunned during her high school prom in a vintage bias-cut pink John Galliano dress she found at The Paper Bag Princess in Los Angeles. Fitting name, too, considering the blonde-haired beauty looks like her character Princess Aurora in the garment.
It’s giving a lot of credit to her date, too, since it’s not every day the girl you’re escorting to prom has their former professional tennis-playing mother and former minor league baseball playing father taking pictures.
Meg Ryan Definitely Thought Her Date Was “The One”
Actress Meg Ryan graduated from Bethel High School in 1979, right before ’80s perms disrupted prom photos by taking up more than half the frame. Already an aspiring actress by the time her high school prom rolled around, you’d think Ryan’s date would be a little more entranced by her!
Alas, it seems as though she’s love-struck by her date and his groovy tuxedo, complete with an over-sized bow tie and satin lining.
Ariel Winter Was Nice And Famous When Her Prom Rolled Around
It’s really not too surprising that Ariel Winter’s prom photo looks like part of a magazine spread, considering she was good and famous by the time the high school dance rolled around for the Modern Family star.
Even though the famous starlet looks gorgeous with her long dark locks and beautiful backless dress, her date didn’t skimp out on prom tradition. He went ahead and bought a matching corsage for Ms. Winter!
Lady Gaga Went A Bit Heavy On The Self-Tanner
Years before the infamous meat dress, Lady Gaga attended her high school prom in something a bit more subtle, a pale blue knee-length dress that looked like it came from her local mall and not the meat market.
Regardless, this early 2000s high schooler knew what was cool back in the day — the aviator sunglasses picture, a solid fake tan, and earrings that hit the top of her shoulders. She definitely gets an A+ for being with the times.
Will Ferrell Stole His Date’s Prom Queen crown
It looks as though comedian and actor Will Ferrell always had a soft spot for being the funny guy. While it doesn’t look like he won Prom King, he definitely thought he should have, if this photo is any consolation.
Regardless, the once varsity football player made it a habit to make his classmates laugh. So, stealing his date’s crown and wearing it for a traditional prom picture probably made total sense!
RuPaul Stealing All Of The Spotlight From His Date
Obviously, RuPaul knew he was meant for bigger and better things in the entertainment industry if that hair and outfit are any indication! The 1983 prom photo shows the drag queen in all of his glory, totally upstaging his date, Deborah.
Didn’t anyone tell him that prom is for the girls? Obviously not. He most likely was the talk of the night! And how could he not be, with those killer eyebrows and makeup that looks done by a professional?
Jessica Alba Looking Like A Fairytale Princess
With an angelic up-do, curly hair accents, halo headband, and a fresh face, Jessica Alba clearly pulled out all of the stops when it came to attending Claremont High School’s prom.
Although Alba says she was a bit isolated from her classmates growing up, her date seems thrilled that she agreed to go with him. Now he gets to say he went on a date with a famous actress dressed as though she were starring in a live-action Snow White.
Tiger Woods And The Stereotypical School Picture Backdrop
Tiger Woods might not have gone to a prestigious private school, but he was still a golf prodigy before the age of two. And, clearly, from the size of her smile, Woods’ prom date knows he’s about to make a boatload of money playing the game!
Aside from that, this awkward picture is bringing back horrible school picture memories. That blue backdrop needs to be taken out of existence because it doesn’t do anyone any favors.
Matthew McConaughey Matched His Date
Texas-born and raised, actor Matthew McConaughey attended Longview High School’s prom with his straight-out-of-the-eighties date in all of her perm haired and ruffled dress glory. McConaughey’s parents, a former teacher and a collegiate football player, most likely helped their young son with his getup, though.
Seriously, what teenage boy thinks to match his bow tie with the color of his date dress? Answer: not a lot of them! Also, bonus points to the actor for going along with the awkward handholding.
Ellen DeGeneres, Aka The Queen Of Plaid
The floor-length plaid dress was a bold move, even for a young Ellen DeGeneres attending prom in 1976. Paired with the then-questionable haircut, limp arm embrace, and the rock star haircut on her dates part, this photo is pure gold.
Apparently, DeGeneres thought so, too, because, in 2011, she brought her date onstage during one of her shows. Richard and DeGeneres both recreated the awkward picture, over-sized bow tie, maroon jacket, and all!
George Clooney Was A Looker Even As a Teenager
Augusta High School prom might not be the Academy Awards, but a young George Clooney looks like he’s ready for the red carpet either way. Rocking the bushy eyebrows, over-sized bow tie, and silk-lapeled tuxedo, Clooney is clearly a product of late ’70s high school.
It looks as though the closed-mouth smile has been a thing since the actor’s youth. This time, though, his date definitely makes up for his lack of teeth.
Nick Kroll Looking As Awkward As Ever
Hot take: no matter what year or decade it is, Nick Kroll should never have long hair. The actor is very candid about how he wasn’t exactly the most popular guy at Rye Country Day School, having one of his already-graduated friends come back to be his date.
He even confessed to persuading a group of his friends to see a live jazz concert after the dance! Isn’t it amazing that he didn’t think about going to an afterparty?
Reese Witherspoon Wasn’t Sure If It Was Prom Or A Sorority Shoot
From the look on Reese Witherspoon’s face, it looks as though she’s a bit embarrassed not to have gotten the pearl necklace memo from the two girls standing beside her. Well, that, or she’s confused as to why their prom picture looks more like something you’d see on a sorority recruitment flyer.
Anywho, Witherspoon attended Harpeth Hall School, an all-girls college-prep school in Nashville, Tennessee. It would explain the lack of any males in the picture!
Ashton Kutcher Dancing The Night Away
According to actor Ashton Kutcher, he was a bit of a wild child in high school. And, if this picture shows anything, he’s most likely telling the truth. With the shaved head and quirky dance moves, it’s clear Kutcher had no issue being the center of attention at his high school prom.
From the looks of it, it seems as though he even made his way into the center of a dance circle. Honestly, this picture makes a lot of sense and is almost a foreshadowing of his That ’70s Show character, Kelso.
Lauren Conrad Obviously Won Prom Queen
Honestly, who is even surprised that The Hills Lauren Conrad was titled Prom Queen? Then known as Laguna Beach‘s “L.C,” the fashionista was all about the early 2000s trends when attending her high school prom.
Not to say she doesn’t rock the super straight hair with more highlights than necessary and the strapless dress that makes the hair a main piece of the ensemble, but she’s definitely learned what to ask for at the hair salon!
Gwen Stefani Went Retro For Her High School Prom
Singer Gwen Stefani was one of those teenagers that took advantage of their and their parents’ creativity. With her mom’s help, Stefani sewed her prom dress, something that was inspired by the dress Grace Kelly wears in the 1954 film Rear Window.
Honestly, she rocked the off-the-shoulder black and white dress, complete with white gloves. And it was a bold move, considering it was the ’80s, and the phrase “the bigger, the better” was in full swing.
Lizzy Caplan Channeling Her Inner Janice Ian
Mean Girls actress Lizzy Caplan was channeling her inner Janice Ian before the character was even a thing! We’re just thankful her prom date was all for the matching cow-print jackets, or else their pictures would have been very strange.
Considering the colored hair, though, the other students at Alexander Hamilton High School in Los Angeles probably didn’t think twice when these two walked into the venue. “Did you see the two with the blue hair?” “Oh, that’s just Lizzy.”