The Most Memorable Sleepovers on Film and TV


In case you couldn’t tell, we’re big fans of coming-of-age movies here at Flavorpill, so we’re really looking forward to seeing The Myth of the American Sleepover, which came out Friday and, promisingly, reminded New York Times critic A.O. Scott of Freaks and Geeks and Dazed and Confused. Although the movie isn’t entirely, or even mostly, about a slumber party, it can’t help but remind us of some our favorite sleepovers on film and TV. Ten of the most memorable, from Grease to Beverly Hills, 90210 to Superbad, are after the jump.


No one throws a slumber party like the Pink Ladies. There are wigs, cute pajamas, a visit by the T-Birds — but the best part is Rizzo’s nasty “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” song, which delivers the musical’s most devastating couplets (“Elvis! Elvis! Let me be/ Keep that pelvis far from me”). Stockard Channing is so wonderful in this scene that you can’t help but join her in hating Sandy a little bit.

Beverly Hills, 90210

When Brenda invites her West Bev friends to a sleepover in the first season of 90210, Kelly and Donna decide they’re too sophisticated for her babyish, Midwest rituals. But they go along with it anyway, and things get interesting when Kelly’s “cool” (read: bitchy) friend Amanda challenges everyone to a game of Skeletons in the Closet, where the girls get to interrogate each other one by one. The most harrowing confession by far is Kelly’s story of the first time she had sex — which sounds like it may qualify as rape. While the game causes a few more tense, largely Dylan-related moments, by the end of the night, Brenda and Kelly are best friends again, and everyone realizes that a stash of diet pills and some hardcore insecurity are to blame for Amanda’s unpleasant demeanor.


Although much of pop culture would have us believe otherwise, sleepovers are not limited to girls. That is why we’re so fond of Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) from Superbad, a pair of high-school best friends who are nearly torn apart by their college plans. In this scene, near the end of the movie, Seth has rescued a very drunk Evan from capture by the police. They spend the night snuggled next to each other in sleeping bags, where they not only reconcile but also admit their friendly love for each other. Awww.

Saved by the Bell

There were plenty of sleepovers in Saved by the Bell history — including some Zack-on-Screech action. But the most memorable one occurs on the show’s fourth (post-Good Morning, Miss Bliss) episode, when Jessie throws a slumber party and Zack (who, you may remember, lives next door) sends Screech to bug her bedroom to find out whether Kelly plans to ask him or Slater to the “Girl’s Choice Dance.” Everything goes as planned until Kelly spills that she will indeed be inviting our towheaded hero… and his cheers tip them off that he’s listening. When they find the bug, they use it to concoct a story about how tortured Kelly has scary episodes in which she injures the guys she loves. She goes on to teach Zack a lesson (although, honestly, he never really seems to learn anything) that involves baseball bats and headaches — and makes us wonder why Insane Kelly never took off as a meme the way Caffeine-Addicted Jessie did.

The Slumber Party Massacre

Plenty of horror films take place at sleepovers, but this 1982 slasher is the ultimate in pajama-clad gore. When Trish Devereaux’s parents go out of town, she invites her entire basketball team to her house of a slumber party. Too bad she happened to plan her soiree on the night after a mass murderer has escaped from prison. The Slumber Party Massacre is just as funny as it is scary — and there’s plenty of gory eye candy, too, if that’s what you’re into. Even the trailer, above, features some lingering, NSFW nude shots.

Gossip Girl

Speaking of slumber party massacres, how could we forget Blair Waldorf’s annual shindig? In this Season 1 episode, freshman Jenny Humphrey scores an invite and, tragically, shows up with a Hello Kitty sleeping bag while all the other girls are dressed for a night on the town. Little J has no idea what she’s getting into when she agrees to a game of Truth or Dare. Soon enough, she’s breaking Eric van der Woodsen out of rehab, causing trouble at Marquee, and breaking into Blair’s mom’s store to steal a jacket. Come to think of it, this episode may have been the turning point in Jenny’s life as a mean girl. Watch a clip of Blair’s sleepover here.

Some Like It Hot

Jack Lemmon’s Jerry (aka Geraldine) thinks he’s getting some quality time with sexy Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe) in his bunk on a train’s sleeper car. They share a drink, and Jerry seems about to reveal that he’s really a guy when another girl crashes their “private clambake.” All of a sudden, it’s a party, with every girl in the car bringing her secret stash of booze, piling into Jerry’s bunk, and using a hot-water bottle as a makeshift cocktail shaker.

Freaks and Geeks

Everyone’s having a sleepover on this episode from the one and only season of Freaks and Geeks. While Sam and his geek friends try to work out the elusive secret of coolness, Lindsay sneaks out of Millie’s dorky Mathlete slumber party and winds up in a parking lot with the freaks. For those of you who are keeping count, yes, this is the second Judd Apatow-related production to involve an all-male sleepover. Isn’t it bromantic? (The video above is of the entire episode; the sleepover fun starts about 39 minutes in.)


Most women’s ideal romantic evening probably doesn’t involve jumping on a trampoline and sleeping in the bottom bunk of a bed while her superhero pajama-wearing love interest takes the top and offers her a decoder ring. And yet, there’s something undeniably sweet about the night Susan (Elizabeth Perkins) stays over at Josh’s (Tom Hanks) playhouse of an apartment.

Full House

It’s a potentially heartbreaking moment on Full House when car trouble forces Becky to disappoint mom-less Stephanie on the night of her Honeybee troop’s mother-daughter sleepover. Joey steps up to take her place, but despite his willingness to wear (Ninja Turtle) pajamas, jump rope, and race in heels, he’s a poor substitute. Stephanie gets so upset that she storms out of the party. After a heart-to-heart with DJ (who probably should have taken her in the first place), the sisters head back to the sleepover and, as usual, everyone learns a very important lesson. Watch Joey pretend to be a mom in this funny clip.