Recoup a Bit of That Prom Season Magic With These Throwbacks

If the world of pop culture and everyone who loves and follows it (that’d be you, E! News reader) were a high school, celebrities would undoubtedly be the cool kids.

Just think how breathlessly we consume the minutiae of their daily lives. We cheer for the class couples (hi, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend!), speculate over who is most likely to succeed (at the Oscars, on the Met Gala red carpet, throughout television’s fall schedule) and campaign for who we’d like to see as president. (So, Oprah Winfrey, that’s a firm no?) 

And we’re forever declaring someone queen. See: Zendaya, Ariana Grande, and, as always, Beyoncé

So no shock here that in real life, future celebs were already being crowned in high school with everyone from Meryl Streep to Halle Berry honored by their classmates from New Jersey and Ohio. (Also, Will Ferrell just straight up snagged his date’s tiara, which we’re absolutely here for.) 

And while pretty much no high schooler is able to go to prom this year, unless it’s the virtual kind or a backyard date put together by the sweetest babysitting charge you ever did see and there are many heavy, entirely imperative conversations happening, we can all still enjoy a bit of levity with these throwbacks of your favorite stars at the big dance. Because while some promgoers were every bit as impossibly chic as you’d imagine (though, to be fair, Yara Shahidi was a high school senior in Ungaro all of three years ago) others fell victim to the same trends we all tried. (Remember two-piece formalwear?) 

Also, if you need more convincing, we’ll leave you with two words: ’80s hair. 

John Stamos, Prom


Have mercy! « #TBT #Prom #Hair, » he wrote on Instagram.

Taraji P. Henson, Allure, Prom Pic, Before and After


The Empire actress was homecoming queen when she attended Oxon Hill High School in Maryland. She graduated in 1988. She told Allure in a June on-camera interview, « I really didn’t think I was gonna win. That’s a very surprised look. I used to rock honey blond in high school. I was blonde before Beyoncé. »

Lance Bass, Danielle Fishel


Can you believe the ‘N Sync singer went to prom with the Boy Meets World beauty?!

Jaden Smith, Amandla Stenberg, Instagram


Looks like Smith is in high demand for this season’s prom nights. The Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg took her pal to high school’s most anticipated evening. 

Giuliana Rancic

Courtesy Giuliana Rancic

It looks like the E! News cohost always had a flair for fashion.

Formal Dance Gallery, Britney Spears, James Spears

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

Looks like the singer has always been a daddy’s girl! The pop star poses with her father for her freshman formal dance. 

Formal Dance Gallery, George Clooney

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

The good-looking star flashes his handsome mug at junior prom. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Reese Witherspoon

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

The Oscar winner was a stunner way before she was Legally Blonde! The Southern beauty rocks dark red lips in this shot from senior year. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Carrie Underwood

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

The country crooner was always destined to be a star, even in her senior prom pic. 

Jaden Smith, Prom, Batman


The ultimate superhero prom king! The 16-year-old makes a bold fashion statement dressed in the same Batman costume he wore to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Dianna Agron

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

Looks like the Glee star didn’t use her own high school persona to channel mean girl Quinn Fabray. The TV star flashes an adorable smile after being crowned junior homecoming princess. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Amanda Seyfried

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

The blond beauty looks adorable as she poses with her pals in her junior homecoming pic. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Elizabeth Banks

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

The Hunger Games star is barely recognizable in this shot from her senior-year dance, where she was crowned queen. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Fergie

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

Looks like this mama-to-be was just as Fergalicious in her high school days! The singer was all smiles in her senior prom court pic. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Paul Rudd

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

Apparently, the funnyman has been stealing hearts since his high school days. The This Is 40 star proudly poses in a pic for the senior homecoming court. Love the mullet, man. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Sandra Bullock

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

The Oscar-winning actress looks elated as she dances with her senior year homecoming date. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Renee Zellweger

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

The Bridget Jones star rocks her best ’80’s bangs at her senior Christmas dance. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Halle Berry

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

All hail Halle! The actress was crowned prom queen back in her high school days. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Kellie Pickler

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

Apparently, the country crooner had killer abs (and wasn’t afraid to flaunt ’em!) at her junior prom. We’re jealous. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Kim Kardashian

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

The E! star is gorgeous in her senior prom pic. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Kristin Chenoweth

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

The singer was cute as a button—and brunette!—in her 8th grade dance photo. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Lance Bass

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

The high school sophmore sports suit for the formal dance. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Lindsay Lohan

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

The 26-year-old actress—who is currently serving 90 days in locked down rehab—looks innocent as ever in her freshman homecoming photo. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Brooklyn Decker

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

We bet the brunette beauty had no idea she’d grow up to be a Sports Illustrated stunner when she posed for this junior homecoming pic. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Ryan Seacrest

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

How handsome! The American Idol host flashes his now-famous smile during his senior homecoming night.  

Formal Dance Gallery, Snooki

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

The pint-size reality star was all smiles on her senior prom night in Marlboro, N.Y., back in 2006. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Debra Messing

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

The Smash star shows off her ’80s hairstyle in her senior homecoming shot. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Lizzy Caplan

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

The Mean Girls star wasn’t afraid to push the boundaries in her senior homecoming pic. Janis Ian would be proud! 

Formal Dance Gallery, Faith Hill

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

Where’s Tim McGraw?! The singer was all smiles on senior homecoming night, long before she met her hubby of 16 years. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Meryl Streep

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

Before she took home any Oscars, the Academy Award-winning actress was voted senior homecoming queen. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Montel Williams

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

The talk-show host shows off some serious swag on his senior prom night. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Meg Ryan

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

Before she was adorably exchanging emails with Tom Hanks on the silver screen, the actress was voted prom queen. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Will Ferrell

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

Of course, the funnyman rocked a crown for his prom pic (as if we’d expect anything less!). 

Formal Dance Gallery, Randy Jackson

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

Before his days as a judge on American Idol, the singer was busy showing off his best tough guy ‘tude in his senior prom pic. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Stacy Keibler

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

George Clooney’s gal’s style may have changed, but the 5-foot 11-inch stunner still towers over her pals in her semi formal shot. 

Formal Dance Gallery, Magic Johnson

Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

Johnson hasn’t just been king of the basketball court, he was also crowed homecoming prince!

NEXT GALLERY: Celebrity Yearbook Photos!

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