[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/CHW_III_1581.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Yesterday's [[TeenDrama history.]] Tomorrow's [[GrowingUpSucks the future.]] Tonight's [[WildTeenParty the party!]]]]

->''"...The point is I totally realized that, you know? [[Main/FateAndProphecyTropes Fate]]. There is fate. But it only takes you so far, because once you're there, [[SelfFulfillingProphecy it's up to you]] to make it happen.."''
-->-- '''Angel Stripper (Jenna Elfman)'''.

[[DoggedNiceGuy Preston]] has been in love with [[LovableAlphaBitch Amanda]] since the first day of high school. When Amanda is dumped by her football player boyfriend [[JerkJock Mike]] shortly before graduation, Preston decides to attend [[WildTeenParty a big graduation party everyone's going to]] and declare his feelings for Amanda. Despite her reservations about Preston's plan, his best friend [[TheSnarkKnight Denise]] comes to the party with him. Also in attendance at the party are Mike, and [[{{Nerd}} William]], who has been bullied by Mike all through high school and is at the party to take final revenge on him. Denise's childhood friend [[PrettyFlyForAWhiteGuy Kenny]] is also there, hoping to [[AManIsNotAVirgin lose his virginity]] before he goes to college.

Basically a [[TheNineties Nineties]] version of the classic teen comedies of TheEighties. Or a successor to ''Film/AmericanGraffiti'' and ''Film/DazedAndConfused'' minus the period setting.
----
!!Can't Hardly Wait provides examples of the following:

* AbhorrentAdmirer: Amanda encounters several over the course of the film.
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: When Preston finally manages to face Amanda and tell her how he feels, Amanda [[spoiler: shuts him down with a BreakingSpeech, assuming that he's not any different from the other guys at the party who have propositioned her.]]
* TheCameo:
** [[Series/DharmaAndGreg Jenna Elfman]] as a stripper dressed as an angel who gives Preston advice.
** [[{{Sliders}} Jerry O'Connell]] as Trip [=McNeely=], a Huntington graduate and hero of Mike's.
* ChekhovsGunman: The girl trying to get everyone to sign her yearbook.
* DeadpanSnarker: Denise. As Preston says, "Do you have to rag on ''everybody''?"
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: except for a flashback or two, the entire film takes place in a 24-hour period. Not only that, but except for the introduction and epilogue, each about five minutes long, the rest of the movie all takes place at the party.
* FreezeFrameBonus: During Lichter's long list of activities, it includes "Large Wooden Club" buried deep in a long list of language clubs. The List also repeats itself three times.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: Every time Chris Owen's character appears on screen, he is stealing something, starting off relatively sanely with bags of chips at the shop and culminating with a ''police car''. He is even credited as "Klepto Kid."
* FunnyForeigner: The foreign exchange student whose English only goes as far as "Would you like to touch my penis?" and "I am a sex machine!".
* FutureLoser: Deconstructed with Mike.
* HeavyMetalUmlaut: The band Lovebürger.
* HollywoodNerd: William and his two friends are of the Type 1 variety.
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: The angel stripper Preston encounters while trying to use a payphone.
* HumiliationConga: Mike goes through one.
* JadedWashout: Trip [=McNeely=]. Mike is also on his way to becoming this.
* JerkJock: Mike, on his way to becoming a JadedWashout.
* LockedInARoom: Kenny and Denise get stuck in the bathroom together after discovering the door jams when closed.
* LockedInTheBathroom: In a cross between this and LockedInARoom, Kenny (Creator/SethGreen) and Denise (Lauren Ambrose) lock themselves in the upstairs bathroom...and can't get out because the door's broken.
* LoveLetterLunacy: Preston writes a letter to Amanda explaining his feelings for her. Amanda eventually finds and reads the letter, but doesn't know what Preston looks like. [[spoiler: She later sees his picture in the school yearbook, but only after she'd unknowingly rejected him, thinking he was just another AbhorrentAdmirer.]]
* {{Malaproper}}:
--> '''Kenny''': Damn, she's gonna think I got that ''premature evacuation!''
* MistakenForGay: The stripper thought Preston was in love with Barry Manilow.
* NerdsAreSexy: Well, nerds who can sing "Paradise City" are at least
* NeverTrustATrailer: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67dfnrTJlUE This]] theatrical trailer includes several scenes and alternate takes that were not ultimately included in the movie (some were added as deleted scenes for the 10th anniversary edition).
* TheNineties
* NoNameGiven: Other than the six main characters, very few are given actual names, instead being credited by the role they played in the story ("Girl Whose Party It Is", "[[FunnyForeigner Exchange Student]]", "Ready To Have Sex Girl").
* NoodleIncident: Or rather, specifically, the Pudding Incident. William describing one of Mike's torments of him. Apparently nobody else has forgotten it.
** Less Noodley than it otherwise might be: while describing it, William holds up a pair of pants with a brown stain on the seat that is presumably - hopefully - chocolate pudding.
** Whatever was in the fridge that was, "...the most disgusting thing I've ever seen in my life."
* NothingExcitingEverHappensHere: Quoted verbatim by one of William's friends during TheStinger, [[spoiler:[[TemptingFate just before they get abducted by aliens]]]].
* NWordPrivileges: [[PrettyFlyForAWhiteGuy Kenny's friends]] find out the hard way that they ''don't'' have these.
* ObliviousToLove: Amanda has no idea of Preston's feelings for her.
* PairingTheSpares: The yearbook girl and the black guy who ''was'' Preston's friend.
* PrettyFlyForAWhiteGuy: Kenny and his friends. HilarityEnsues when they run into some ''actual'' black people and ask them "what's up [[NWordPrivileges my niggas]]?"
* RaceForYourLove: [[spoiler: Amanda gets to the train station just in time to ask Preston about his letter. Slight subversion in that while they do kiss, Preston eventually catches his train and the development of their relationship is revealed later.]]
* RousingSpeech: Parodied.
--> '''William''': Tonight Mike Dexter will know humiliation, tonight is the night we fight back, tonight is our [[Film/IndependenceDay Independence Night]]!
* RunningGag: Kenny
** TheDitz running around the party trying to get everyone to sign her yearbook.
** The band booked to perform at the party are too busy arguing to perform. And then when they are ready to perform, the cops have arrived to shut the party down.
** The kid who is only ever seen stealing stuff.
* ShoutOut: The title is taken Music/TheReplacements' song of the same name.
* StalkerWithACrush: An AlternativeCharacterInterpretation for Preston.
* TheStinger: William's two friends are walking down the street talking about how boring their lives are and regretting not going to the party, saying that {{nothing exciting ever happens here}}. [[spoiler:[[TemptingFate Then they get abducted by aliens.]]]]
* SuspiciouslyAproposMusic: "Mandy" by Barry Manilow, which Preston takes as a sign that he should pursue Amanda. Lampshaded by Denise, who's weirded out that Preston's radio is tuned to a station that plays Barry Manilow songs.
** It's later explained that it's in honor of Barry Manilow's birthday, and that that radio station plays "Mandy" every hour on the hour
* TakeOurWordForIt: The girl hosting the party sees something in the refrigerator...
-->'''Girl Whose Party It Is:''' That is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen! What is wrong with you people?
* TheirFirstTime: [[spoiler: Kenny and Denise, on a bathroom floor. It's Kenny's first time, but Denise's second.]]
* ThereAreNoCoincidences: Preston has spent four years pining for Amanda based on the fact that she happened to walk into his class on the first day of school and take out the same strawberry Pop Tart that he was eating. He also interprets hearing Barry Manilow's song "Mandy" on the radio as being a sign that he should declare his love for Amanda.
* UnsuspectinglySoused: Happens to William after he decides to have a beer in order to fit in at the party.
* UnusualEuphemism: William's "Laser Pointer".
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue
** William [[spoiler:went to Harvard, started a major software company and is now dating a supermodel]].
** Mike [[spoiler:went to college on a football scholarship... which he lost after his drinking got in the way of his performance. He then turned into a JadedWashout, overweight and getting fired from his job at the car wash after some photos from the party surfaced.]]
** Denise and Kenny [[spoiler:broke up no less than five minutes after their last scene together, and got back together ten minutes later after finding a bathroom]].
** Preston and Amanda [[spoiler:stayed in touch throughout the former's college years, and are still together]].
* WildTeenParty: Where most of the action takes place.
----