Even celebrities don’t get to escape the awkwardness that is a high school prom. You’d think that between Met Gala red carpets or fancy awards shows, a high school prom would be a flash in the pan — a shindig Hollywood’s elite wouldn’t particularly want to attend. Think again. Apparently, the age-old tradition is a right of passage for everyone — even if they’re topping the Billboard charts or starring in The Hunger Games. Celebrities! They’re just like us, even if that means trading a couture gown for a corsage and a satin number from a department store.
These celebrities attended prom together, which may or may not be proof that star power is an inherent trait that exists long before a person lands their first starring role. From Jaden Smith and Amandla Stenberg to Scarlett Johansson and Jack Antonoff, these celebrities stuck together during the most important night of every high schooler’s life (you know, besides a movie premiere).
Scarlett Johansson dumped Jack Antonoff after prom
Long before Lena Dunham and Jack Antonoff’s split proved love doesn’t actually exist, Antonoff was an average teen heading off to his high school prom. The only thing different was that his date was soon-to-be megastar Scarlett Johansson and Antonoff had yet to masterfully produce a Taylor Swift record.
According to Page Six, Antonoff and Johansson dated for two years while they studied at a swanky Upper West Side high school called the Professional Children’s School (in case you were wondering, tuition is around $44,900 and just 35 percent of students get financial aid). The pair attended prom together in 2002. Antonoff wore a ’70s-inspired brown suit with a baby blue, ruffled button-up, so obviously, he was built for indie rock fame from the get-go. Sadly, their love didn’t last. According to an anonymous school pal, Johansson allegedly broke Antonoff’s heart "shortly after graduation" when she "got swept up in the Hollywood scene."
Jaden Smith was Panem-chic with this Hunger Games star
It’s no secret that rapper Jaden Smith loves to look good and make a statement. According to People, the young man got around in 2015 — at least as a prom date. In early May of that year, he went to prom with a friend wearing a white batman suit (the same wardrobe staple he donned to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding). Perhaps the bat suit was at the dry-cleaners later that month, when the Fresh Prince’s spawn attended another prom with The Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg. Real-life Rue wore a conventional gold gown and silvery, on-trend braids. Smith wore sneakers, leggings and a white midi-length skirt layered beneath a blazer and tunic. At first glance, he could have very well been stepping out of Panem’s capitol for the annual games.
Smith has an apparent affinity for women’s clothing and, according to People, is sartorially inspired by superheroes. That’s why we’re still surprised by his 2018 prom look with girlfriend and Nashville actress Odessa Adlon. He wore a black suit. Yawn.
Brandy didn’t wear glass slippers with Kobe Bryant
Here’s an unlikely connection: basketball great Kobe Bryant and pop star Brandy were some sort of item at Bryant’s high school prom. According to TMZ, the pair went to the bash in 1996, when Bryant was 17 years old and just "about to be drafted into the NBA." Though they only went together as friends, Brandy told the tabloid she had an "amazing" time. Her mom reportedly still has the corsage.
At the time, Brandy was already a full-fledged star and had three Billboard-charting Hot 100 hits under her belt. "I Wanna Be Down" peaked at No. 6 in 1994; "Baby" peaked at No. 4 in 1995; and "Sittin’ Up In My Room" peaked at No. 2 in 1996. (We’re guessing this happened a few weeks before prom, considering it peaked in March and proms typically happen around April.) Brandy wasn’t able to go to a prom of her own since she didn’t attend a regular high school, but she did get to play the role of a normal teenager for just one night. It’s kind of like the opposite of her 1997 TV flick Cinderella.
Jon Hamm’s prom date sparked a rivalry with Paul Rudd
You might recognize Sarah Clarke as Bella Swan’s mother in Twilight. Before she hit the big screen, she was apparently a hot ticket among future Hollywood heartbreakers. She caused a rivalry between Jon Hamm and Paul Rudd that resulted in an ultra-tense game of Trivial Pursuit.
According to Vanity Fair, Clarke went to prom with the Mad Men star, but sparks started flying when she laid eyes on Paul Rudd, who was college roommates with her big brother, Preston Clarke. (Honestly, we’re picturing something straight out of Clueless). "I thought [Rudd] was coming to visit me, but obviously he was coming to visit my sister," Preston said. "Hamm was there because he was always at my house. And Paul knew that Jon had taken Sarah to prom. He was slightly intimidated." The crew started playing Trivial Pursuit, but the game reportedly got hyper-competitive. Rudd believed Hamm "possessed qualities" he "did not possess" and claims he felt "so emasculated" during the game that he started reading atlases to brush up on geography.
Hamm and Rudd later formed a lasting friendship, despite sharing the same crush.
Lucy Hale had a big time rush on prom night
We’re guessing Lucy Hale’s prom night was nothing like what happened on Pretty Little Liars. First, there was the fake prom where the girls almost got murdered among mannequins while Natasha Bedingfield’s "Unwritten" played like a twisted episode of The Hills. Then, there was their actual prom where the group dressed as Disney princesses and Alison almost got murdered for real after spending years faking her own death. By all accounts, Hale’s real-life prom was pretty boring and so early aughts that it’s basically a nostalgia-punch to the gut. Remember Big Time Rush? Yup, Hale spent her time with one of the Nickelodeon-bred musicians in a deliciously ’00s green satin gown. She reportedly wore this dress twice.
Hale had yet to land any major roles when she posed in prom photos with Dustin Belt, who played guitar in Big Time Rush’s live band. This might have been slightly salacious, at least in a teenage way, if the pair didn’t simply go to the event as friends. According to J-14, the then-15-year-old Hale briefly dated Big Time Rush’s Kendall Schmidt around the same time she snapped pictures with Belt.
Both Schmidt and Belt currently perform in the indie rock duo Heffron Drive and remain friends with Hale, who gave Belt a shout-out on Twitter while reminiscing about the big day.
Kim Kardashian’s prom was a thriller
According to E! News, Kim Kardashian went to a private, all-girls school. That didn’t stop her from falling in love with Michael Jackson’s nephew, TJ Jackson, who took her to prom during her senior year. She even had her first sexual experience with the King of Pop’s nephew (whether or not it also happened on prom night like a star-studded, IRL version of American Pie is totally up for debate).
According to Sean Smith’s Kim Kardashian biography Kim (via the Mirror), the then-14-year-old opened up to momager Kris Jenner about her desire to lose her v-card to her Jackson beau, who she’d been dating for two years. "I was like, ‘I think I’m going to, or I want to,’ and she was like, ‘OK, so this is what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna put you on birth control,’ and she was like, really open and honest with me," Kardashian said (via the Mirror).
TJ and Kardashian are reportedly still pals. The 3T boy band member told the Mirror he talks to her family "every now and then."
Ariel Winter said yes to a unique promposal
Ariel Winter may be the star of an award-winning TV series, but the Modern Family actress was just a normal teen who’s celeb boyfriend had to plan a nerve-wracking promposal and pose for awkward photos like everybody else. According to Seventeen, Winter started dating her high school sweetheart, musician-slash-producer Laurent Claude Gaudette, in 2013. He reportedly called it "love at first sight."
Between the breakups, makeups, and red carpet appearances, the couple had a brief stopover at a regular ol’ high school prom — and what’s a prom without a promposal? Teen Vogue reports that Gaudette didn’t opt for a traditional verbal ask. Instead, he convinced a friend "to pop out of a small box, bearing a big "PROM?" sign and pelting her with flower petals." Winter said "yes" and wore a form-fitting, navy gown to the event.
In 2016, the actress let her middle fingers fly when she went to the prom solo, apparently signaling that the pair was on the outs. Oh, to be young and in love.
This Full House prom couple was the real deal
Sometimes art imitates life. You’re not staring at a still from Full House‘s infamous prom episode. You’re looking at the real thing. Fans of the series remember the iconic 1993 episode where Steve Hale takes sophomore D.J. Tanner to his senior prom. Cue dress-related drama and teenage jealousy, and you’ve got the perfect heart-warming, relatable story that makes this pair one of the most beloved couples on a ’90s sitcom. But all good things can’t last, and just as the Olsen twins eventually quit show-biz to chain-smoke while silently mouthing "prune," D.J. and Steve eventually called it quits.
D.J. and Steve’s breakup was a mistake. Series creator Jeff Franklin told TV Line he "was always disappointed" about the split and tried to remedy the situation in Fuller House. Though their relationship is on-and-off, the memories are a constant — at least this specific memory of Candace Cameron Bure and Scott Weinger actually going to their real-life prom together will last forever. If there’s any proof some things are meant to be, you’ve got it.
Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez crashed a random prom
We’re not sure if Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez actually went to their own proms, but the two on-screen besties went to a prom. They just ended up getting kicked out because they didn’t belong there.
According to People, Lovato and Gomez were promoting their Disney flick Princess Protection Program when Gomez decided to crash the Etobicoke Collegiate Institute prom in 2009. The pair was reportedly having dinner at the Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex in Toronto, which must have been unbelievably boring if it prompted a well-mannered Disney starlet to bounce midway like she was on a bad date, had to go the bathroom, and never returned. Gomez reportedly snuck out of the premiere party, stumbled upon the big bash, coaxed a security guard to let her in, and danced it up with some female students. She later returned to let Lovato in on the fun — because who would leave their bestie hanging?
"Selena was thrilled to see firsthand what a real prom is like and that her dress was much like the other girl’s dresses," an eyewitness reportedly told People. The actresses were allegedly kicked out around 11 p.m. because they weren’t students. Apparently, Disney stardom is not an all-access pass to life. Who knew?
These stars ditched Disney duties for the prom
Disney Channel star Olivia Holt was determined to make it to her high school prom, even though she was already booked with some pretty serious Hollywood duties. According to Dis411, the starlet was attending the 2013 Radio Disney Music Awards with then-boyfriend and fellow Disney Channel star Luke Benward. After she won the award for "Best Crush Song," she ditched the event and rushed to prom. She supposedly changed into her prom dress backstage at the awards show — a total power move.
In an ultra-sweet Instagram post, Benward referred to his boo as "the best prom date a guy could possibly ask for!" alongside a photo of the pair posing in their fancy digs. Holt wore an embellished, light pink gown, while Benward wore a sensible grey suit. The pair reportedly ended the night by having breakfast for dinner at Bob’s Big Boy like a prom dream come true. Apparently, those restaurants really do still exist.
Lance Bass was tearin’ up Danielle Fishel’s heart
Danielle Fishel was already a full-fledged star by the time she went to prom. The actress had been starring on Boy Meets World since age 12. She also had a pretty cool celebrity boyfriend. Any child of the ’90s knows Lance Bass was basically the biggest deal ever, behind Justin Timberlake (unless you happened to be super into the Backstreet Boys). According to Us Weekly, the starlet started dating the *NSYNC boybander at the height of the group’s fame in 1999, but he initially turned down Fishel’s promposal.
"I had to make sure his schedule would allow for prom," she told PopSugar. "Unfortunately he told me no, because he was going to be in Japan and I was so sad."
But Bass didn’t say bye, bye, bye forever. According to Fishel, his schedule shifted, and he sent her "three dozen roses in the mail with a card that said, ‘Plans have changed, I’ll be in town. Can I take you to prom? Check yes or no.’ And there were two little boxes!"
Of course, Fishel checked "yes," and the ultimate ’90s couple posed for the big day, platinum hair and all. Since then, Bass has come out as gay and attempted a career-shift to the world of aerospace, while Fishel continues to act, starring in Girl Meets World from 2014 to 2017.
Blake Lively was basically a real-life princess
Blake Lively managed to escape the world of mass heartbreak by only ever having four boyfriends, and she ended up with Ryan Reynolds, so she basically hit the jackpot if you’re into dad jokes and Deadpool. Her careful dating history is a stark contrast from her rather reckless demeanor on Gossip Girl, the show that made her a household name. According to an interview in Elle, she’s always been super serious when it comes to relationships. "I’ve never been with anyone that’s not a boyfriend," she said. "If I spend time with a man, it’s because there’s somebody that I know well who has been a friend for a while."
One of these four blessed men happened to be Prom Night actor Kelly Blatz, who took the starlet to prom at the height of her Gossip Girl fame. As it turned out, it probably wasn’t great practice for his future role in Prom Night, since we’re doubting anyone actually got murdered. Lively posed in a bedazzled pink gown and tiara, like a modern day princess of the Upper East Side (only she went to high school in California) and their whole relationship seemed rather drama-free (as things generally are when Chuck Bass isn’t involved).