10 Best After School Special Movies

If you grew up during the '70s or '80s, chances are you'll remember the 10 best after school special movies. These special films were designed to relay short but powerful messages to teenagers and pre-teens. Take a gander at some of the best after school special movies and see how many you remember watching.

  1. "Pssst! Hammerman's After You" (1974) Also known as "The 18th Emergency," this is one of the best after school special movies because it follows a boy named Mouse who eventually stands up to the school bully that's been harassing him.
  2. "Me and Dad's New Wife" (1976) Back in the '70s, having a step-parent was a big deal. While not as brilliant or engaging as some of the after school specials that would follow, this one still touched on an important subject and earns its place on our list of the best after school special movies.
  3. "Just a Regular Kid: An AIDS Story" (1987) One of the best after school special movies of all time, "Just a Regular Kid" tells the tale of a teenage boy who discovers he has contracted AIDS after a blood transfusion. This is an important movie because it helped many parents and teenagers better understand AIDS and how it can affect a family.
  4. "Tattle: When to Tell on a Friend" (1988) Another powerful topic in the '80s dealt with cocaine abuse and knowing when it wasn't right to keep secrets. If you're looking for one of the best after school special movies to teach children about the consequences of using drugs, this is a real gem. Pick it up on DVD and show it to your kids; it may be a bit dated, but it still has some great information.
  5. "No Greater Gift" (1985) Two twelve-year-old boys meet up in the hospital ward and become fast friends. One boy has a bad kidney and is surviving with the help of a machine while the other boy has a tumor on his brain. In this true story, the one boy makes the ultimate sacrifice; he gives up a kidney to help his new friend and give him a second chance at life.
  6. "Andrea's Story: A Hitchhiking Tragedy" (1983) Things may have been simpler in the '60s and '70s, but when the '80s came around, people began to get more paranoid about the perils of talking to strangers. In this powerful after school movie special, teens learn that bad things can happen when you get in the car with a stranger.
  7. "Mom's on Strike" (1984) Most moms seemed to think this was one of the best after school special movies when it was released in 1984 because they thought it was a great idea for a mom to go on strike and say she wasn't going to clean up after her family any more.
  8. "One Too Many" (1985) Starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Val Kilmer and Mare Winningham, four teenagers discover firsthand just how dangerous it can be to drive while under the influence, but it's the surprise ending that really makes this one of the best after school special movies of all time.
  9. "The Kid Who Wouldn't Quit: The Brad Silverman Story" (1987) Sometimes it's the true stories that drive the message home best and such is the case of "The Kid Who Wouldn't Quit." For many, this great after school special was one of the first glimpses they'd had of a person with Down's syndrome and it was both enlightening and inspiring to watch this special movie about a boy who beats the odds and begins attending college courses.
  10. "My Mother was Never a Kid" (1981) Before Michael J. Fox traveled back to meet his folks in "Back to the Future," this surprising after school special movie takes a young girl back in time to meet her mother as a teenager. Possessing a powerful storyline, gorgeous period costumes and outstanding acting, this is easily one of the best after school movies of all time.  
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