On the Fringe! The Best, Worst and Most Influential Bangs in Pop Culture

A look back at the good, the bad and the "oh no, did you cut those yourself?" 

01 of 33

Audrey Hepburn as Princess Ann in Roman Holiday

Pop Culture bangs

Hepburn, who played the runaway Princess Ann in Roman Holiday, proves that sometimes a major hair transformation made on a whim can lead to super-chic results.

02 of 33

Anne Hathaway as Andy Sachs in The Devil Wears Prada

Devil Wears Prada
Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada (2006). Barry Wetcher/20th Century Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock

A fringe so fabulous, Hathaway brought it back in 2022.

03 of 33

Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers in Scream 3

Courteney Cox in Scream 3 (2000). Dimension Films/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Cox said of her blunt, haphazard baby bangs, which she sported in Scream 3, "Oh that was the worst. I forgot about that. There was nothing worse. That was a big lesson in life because that will forever be on film."

Reader, let this be a cautionary cut.

04 of 33

Zooey Deschanel as Jessica Day in New Girl

Zooey Deschanel
FOX Image Collection via Getty

We're not sure that we would recognize Deschanel without her signature hairstyle. Her bangs became synonymous with her quirky New Girl character.

05 of 33

Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope in Scandal

Pop Culture bangs
Michael Desmond/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Bring on the side bang! Washington's character wore her fringe a few different ways throughout the show's seven seasons, but our favorite has to be these low-maintenance side bangs.

06 of 33

Farrah Fawcett as Jill Munroe in Charlie's Angels

Hulton Archive/Getty.

Known for her incredible locks, Fawcett's fluffy fringe has inspired countless haircuts through the years.

07 of 33

Shelley Long as Diane Chambers in Cheers

Pop Culture bangs
NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

Sometimes, you just need to stick with the basics. Long sported this classic fringe while filming Cheers.

08 of 33

Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men

Pop Culture bangs

Bardem told Vanity Fair that it was this haircut that convinced him to do No Country for Old Men in 2007. "Because it was funny, it was ridiculous, it was fun. And then that in comparison with what the character is, would make a very good Coen brothers character to play," he explained.

The role ended up winning him an Academy Award, but we think he deserves an award just for rocking these bangs.

09 of 33

Nicole Kidman as Gillian Owens in Practical Magic

Pop Culture bangs

There is some serious magic going on here! What potion do we need to brew to be able to replicate Kidman's lush, auburn blowout and her wispy Birkin bangs?

10 of 33

Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon in The Queen's Gambit

Queens Gambit Style Gallery
Anya Taylor-Joy in The Queen's Gambit. Netflix

We're not totally unconvinced that Taylor-Joy's bangs in The Queen's Gambit didn't lead to a whole lot of people cropping their own fringe in 2020 as we were all quarantining amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

11 of 33

Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne in Normal People

Normal People
Daisy Edgar-Jones in Normal People. Enda Bowe/Hulu

Another set of bangs from 2020 that had everyone reaching for the scissors!

Her character may have some communication issues with her love interest Connell (Paul Mescal) in Normal People, but she definitely didn't have any problems communicating that she wanted these gorgeous, bottleneck bangs to her stylist!

12 of 33

Audrey Tautou as Amélie in Amélie

Amelie, Audtrey Tautou, Notre Dame
Ugc/Studio Canal+/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Tautou sported a bob and ultra-cropped baby bangs while playing the titular character in Amélie, and the oh-so-chic French look swiftly became one of the most iconic in pop culture history.

13 of 33

Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele in 50 Shades of Gray


Johnson continues to sport her fringe in real life, but we are particularly obsessed with the casual, effortless vibes they give off in 50 Shades of Gray.

14 of 33

Tyra Banks as Eve in Life-Size

Pop Culture bangs
ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Is it any wonder that, while playing a doll come to life, Banks had the perfect bangs to go with her blunt chop? It's easy to "shine bright, shine far" when you've got perfect hair!

15 of 33

Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in Cleopatra

Pop Culture bangs

Taylor's short, blunt bangs that she sported while playing the titular character in Cleopatra are some the of the most famous in history.

16 of 33

Mara Wilson as Matilda in Matilda

Mara Wilson Matilda
Tri Star/Kobal/Shutterstock

These are the most adorable bangs on the list, and if you don't agree, all we have to say is, "I'm right, you're wrong, and there's nothing you can do about it."

17 of 33

Natalie Portman as Mathilde in The Professional

natalie portman
Natalie Portman in The Professional. IMDB

Portman started off her career with a bang — no, really, she sported a fringe for her first feature film, The Professional.

18 of 33

Sandra Oh as Ji-Yoon in The Chair

sandra oh iconic roles
Courtesy Everett Collection

We've only just begun to swoon over Oh's effortlessly chic, curly bangs, which she rocks in The Chair.

19 of 33

Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels as Lloyd and Harry in Dumb and Dumber

DUMB AND DUMBER TO, from left: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, 2014. ph: Hopper Stone/©Universal

A tale of two very different, but both just as tragic, sets of bangs.

20 of 33

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter special

While a staple haircut for many children, there is none quite as iconic as the bowl cut Radcliffe sported in the first Harry Potter film.

21 of 33

Lalaine and Hilary Duff as Miranda and Lizzie in Lizzie McGuire

Hilary Duff
Lizzie McGuire. The Disney Channel

Lalaine and Duff always added the most adorable accessories to their classic bangs for the perfect early aughts look.

22 of 33

Michelle Williams as Jen Lindley in Dawson's Creek

Michelle Williams Dawson's Creek
The WB

Sometimes, the blunt bob and baby bangs look doesn't go quite right ... as was the case in season 6 of Dawson's Creek when Williams had to sport this cut.

23 of 33

Liza Minnelli as Sally Bowles in Cabaret

Liza Minnelli Throwbacks
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Talk about face-framing fringe! Minnelli's character had bangs that definitely wouldn't get into her eyes.

24 of 33

Lea Michele as Rachel Berry in Glee

Lea Michele on Glee
Lea Michele on Glee. FOX Image Collection via Getty

Let's take a moment to appreciate Berry's heavy, shaggy bangs from season 4 of Glee.

25 of 33

Leonard Nimoy as Spock in Star Trek

Pop Culture bangs
CBS via Getty

These bangs have certainly lived long and prospered throughout history.

26 of 33

Uma Thurman as Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction

Pop Culture bangs

Thurman's Wallace sported one of the most recognizable blunt bob and bangs combos in any movie, ever. It feels like it shouldn't work, but it really does!

27 of 33

Lord Farquaad from Shrek

Pop Culture bangs
Dreamworks Llc/Kobal/Shutterstock

People with shoulder-length hair know the perils of letting it air dry, only to find that they're suddenly cosplaying Lord Farquaad from Shrek.

Any time we consider chopping our own bangs, we think of him and remember that we should probably leave it to the pros.

28 of 33

Shailene Woodley as Jane Chapman in Big Little Lies

Shailene Woodley
Jennifer Clasen/HBO.

Woodley previously said that she was the one who came up with the idea to give her Big Little Lies character blunt bangs. She told The Hollywood Reporter, "I feel like she took a pair of scissors and cut her bangs herself. And she went through her closet and gathered up almost everything and took it to the nearest clothing swap store and donated it and got new clothes in order to reestablish and be in control of her identity again."

The blunt bangs caused quite a stir with Reese Witherspoon's character saying what we were all thinking in the season 2 premiere: "I'm beating myself up that I told Jane I like her bangs."

29 of 33

Molly Ringwald as Claire Standish in The Breakfast Club

Pop Culture bangs
Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club. Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock

Ringwald's cropped auburn hair and wispy, long bangs were her signature throughout the '80s — though we think they're pretty timeless!

30 of 33

Zac Efron as Troy Bolton in High School Musical

Pop Culture bangs

You can "Bet On It" that these swoopy bangs Efron sported in High School Musical had all of the teen girls swooning.

31 of 33

Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson in Mad Men

Pop Culture bangs

Moss's hair in Mad Men had us begging for her character to put the scissors down!

32 of 33

Tiffani-Amber Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski in Saved by the Bell

Pop Culture bangs
Joseph Del Valle/NBCU Photo Bank

As Kapowski in Saved by the Bell, Tiffani Thiessen's bangs tested the old theory: "The higher the fringe, the closer to heaven!"

33 of 33

Jameela Jamil as Tahani Al-Jamil in The Good Place

Ted Danson with Jameela Jamil on The Good Place. Colleen Hayes/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

It takes a perfectionist like Tahani to make sure that there is not a hair out of place with her heavy, face-framing fringe.

Related Articles