40 of the best and worst TV and movie bangs
BEST: Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) in Pulp Fiction
You know you've found somebody really special when you can just shut the f--- up for a moment and admire their flawless blunt black bangs.
BEST: Amélie Poulain (Audrey Tautou) in Amélie
Amélie was way ahead of the hipster curve when her baby bangs first hit arthouse cinemas back in 2001, but none of the more recent copycats have pulled them off nearly as well as the fanciful Parisienne with le fabuleux destin.
BEST: Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) on Parks and Rec
Oh Ann, you poetic, noble land-mermaid, it comes as no surprise whatsoever that your bangs are literally perfect.
BEST: Andie Sachs (Anne Hathaway) in The Devil Wears Prada
Stringy, halfhearted side-bangs are for sad people who wear lumpy cerulean sweaters. Shiny, well-trimmed full bangs are for fashion girls who wear thigh-high Chanel boots.
BEST: Jill Munroe (Farrah Fawcett) on Charlie's Angels
Behold: real-life angel hair.
BEST: Anastasia Grey (née Steele) (Dakota Johnson) in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy
There's not actually room here for all the possible “bang”-related puns that are relevant in discussion of the 50 Shades movies, so just think of your favorite right now, as you admire Ana's hair.
BEST: Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) in Breakfast at Tiffany's
If we could ever get a real-life tiny-banged haircut that made us feel like Audrey's, then — then we’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name!
BEST: Jessica Day (Zooey Deschanel) on New Girl
BEST: Lizzie McGuire (Hilary Duff) and Miranda Sanchez (Lalaine) on Lizzie McGuire
More like Hill-FRINGE Junior High, amirite?
BEST: Eve (Tyra Banks) in Life-Size
How to save a dying fashion-doll empire? Shine bright, shine far, get some bangs like a star.
BEST: Ted "Theodore" Logan (Keanu Reeves) in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
If Ted’s totally Wyld hair gets a little windblown in time-transit, all the better.
BEST: Phyllis Nefler (Shelley Long) and Hannah Nefler (Jenny Lewis) in Troop Beverly Hills
As a very wise Wilderness Girl troop leader once said, “Just because you’re out in the woods, it’s no excuse not to look your best.” Clearly, Phyllis Nefler practices what she preaches (and taught her daughter Hannah to do the same). Not even a traumatic surprise perm can ruin her perfect bang game.
BEST: Natalie Portman in anything
Oscar winner, Harvard graduate, bangs icon. From her piecey-fringed big-screen debut in Léon the Professsional to her bubblegum-tinted turn in Closer, Natalie Portman chooses her hairstyles just as carefully as she does her roles.
BEST: Spock (Leonard Nimoy) on Star Trek
On most humans these bangs would rank as the worst, but Spock's not most humans (technically he's only half-human). It must be the eyebrows that make it work. Whatever the reason, this look has lived long and prospered in our pop cultural consciousness and we salute it.
BEST: Gillian Owens (Nicole Kidman) in Practical Magic
Just look at those enchanting bangs! What witchcraft is this?!
BEST: Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) on Friends
In Friends’ final season, Jennifer Aniston updated the most iconic TV hairstyle of all time with a chic set of bangs.
BEST: Young Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) in Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace
Admittedly, the Star Wars prequels aren't great, and Phantom Menace isn't even the best of those. But just look at that little Tatooinian cherub! His hair is so big because it’s full of midi-chlorians.
BEST: Cleopatra (Elizabeth Taylor) in Cleopatra
We would not recommend anyone try to recreate this look (or any studio try to recreate this movie, which nearly bankrupted 20th Century Fox in 1963). But this is Elizabeth Taylor we’re talking about, and so the iconic bangs are unquestionably best.
BEST: Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) on Scandal
Olivia Pope got bangs in Scandal's second season, and wore them as only a gladiator could.
BEST: Matilda (Mara Wilson) in Matilda
Ah, the young girl's timeless bow-and-bangs look. Also totally classic: telekinesis.
BEST: Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy) and Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald) in The Breakfast Club
Princess, basket case, whatever. Each of them is an ‘80s-hair teen-style star. Does that answer your question?
BEST: Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) on Gilmore Girls
It took seven seasons, but Rory Gilmore finally totally nailed her hair (goodbye, Chilton headbands) by the end of Gilmore Girls’ original run.
BEST: Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Apparently, if the Sorting Hat senses an adorable set of bangs on an 11-year-old head, it just throws that kid in Gryffindor without giving it a second thought.
BEST/WORST: Mad Men
Joan, queen of the Sterling Cooper (Draper Pryce) offices and probably of Madison Avenue in its entirety, experimented with a few different updo silhouettes for her brilliant red tresses over the course of Mad Men, but never fully abandoned her glamorous sideswept fringe. Meanwhile, Peggy… also had bangs.
WORST: Jen Lindley (Michelle Williams) on Dawson's Creek
Will it be yes or will it be sorry, you ask? It will be sorry. When it comes to these bangs, it is a resounding sorry.
WORST: Bill the Butcher (Daniel Day-Lewis) in Gangs of New York
Could someone please introduce Bill the Butcher and his slimy tresses to Bill the Barber?
WORST: Mary (Cameron Diaz) in There's Something About Mary
Mary doesn’t really have well-defined bangs until she puts some, uh, product in her hair and sculpts this unfortunate look.
WORST: Clare Arnold (Kathleen Robertson) on Beverly Hills, 90210
You’d have thought Clare might have learned something from her fellow 90210 residents about how to wear bangs in Beverly Hills. Alas, no.
WORST: Elena Sánchez (Salma Hayek) in Savages
Yes, Elena is the ruthless leader of a drug cartel, but the most savage thing about her has to be that blunt cut.
WORST: Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) in the Scream movies
Gale’s bad-to-worse bangs evolution over the course of the Scream series makes us want to… well, you know.
WORST: Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani-Amber Thiessen) on Saved by the Bell
Not even the bell can save this disaster.
WORST: Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) in Dumb and Dumber
Dumb and dumber dudes. Bad and badder bangs.