remember the 90s?

So You Already Miss Yellowjackets. Here’s What to Watch Next

Photo: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME

Yellowjackets is over, and suddenly you have all kinds of free time to fill, time that used to be well spent waiting for new episodes, browsing Reddit fan theories, tweeting your most brain-dead predictions, and shipping Lottie and Laura Lee. Not to mention the time spent actually watching the show. Yellowjackets combines a multitude of different genres, and it tends to be self-consciously referential about its influences. This doesn’t just make for a poppy, pulpy, entertaining series; it means that there’s a wealth of movies and shows to watch that will scratch that Yellowjackets itch (no relation to Jackie’s dropped poison-ivy-rash plotline). Here are some of the best:


Julia Ducournau’s precursor to Titane has all of the gory elements that made you watch Yellowjackets with your hands over your eyes while likewise putting a fresh spin on the teen-girl-coming-of-age story. Like Yellowjackets, Raw examines the savage behaviors and rituals that emerge when groups of young adults live away from their families for the first time and has gratuitous shots of its characters sawing into animal corpses. It’s about sister dynamics and sexual appetites, and it explores those themes with lots and lots of disgustingly rendered cannibalism. (Available on Netflix.)

Santa Clarita Diet

Another entry for people whose only complaint with Yellowjackets was “not enough cannibalism,” this gone-too-soon comedy series stars Drew Barrymore as an undead suburban mom who develops the need to consume human flesh. Timothy Olyphant plays her supportive and harried husband with the sustained energy of Jeff’s book-club scene, and the main cast is rounded out by Yellowjackets’ own Van, Liv Hewson, as their daughter. (Available on Netflix.)

The Wilds

The Wilds, which premiered a year before Yellowjackets, is sort of a MadagascarThe Wild confluence situation, right down to the name. The Amazon Prime series follows a group of teen girls butting heads and surviving in the wild after a plane crash but approaches the material with less horror and no A-list names. Call it the ABC Family take on YJ. A worthy substitute for when you need your fix (and Warren Kole — a.k.a. Yellowjackets’ Jeff — plays one of the characters’ dads). (Available on Amazon Prime Video.)

Jennifer’s Body

After weeks of buzz, (pun!) the thing that finally persuaded me to start watching Yellowjackets was learning that Karyn Kusama is an EP and directed the pilot. It gave me a sense of what this show would be trying to do, whom it was for, and what its sensibility would be. Her 2009 film, Jennifer’s Body, is a modern horror classic that essentially gave the girlies a Fight Club to call our own, starring Future Mrs. Machine Gun Kelly Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried of Mamma Mia and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again fame. If more female-gaze high-school horror is what you’re after, try this next. (Available on Amazon Prime Video.)

Now and Then

Yellowjackets is ultimately just grimdark Now and Then. Both flit among four adult women in the present day and their period-piece adolescence 25 years prior. Much of the appeal of both is how well they cast the young and old counterparts of each character, and both are buoyed by nostalgic needle drops. Now and Then was released a year before the events of Yellowjackets, so it’s an artifact of the team’s pre-crash innocence. Also: tiny Christina Ricci! (Available on HBO Max.)


We wouldn’t even be having this conversation if it weren’t for Lost. The plane crash, the survival, the supernatural, the flash-forwards … Yellowjackets’ success is owed in part to its weekly-release model — a throwback to pre-streaming times — which allows for buzz and anticipation, to grow. Lost was the apex of using weekly serialization to build suspense back when it was still the dominant form. (Available on Hulu.)

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Teenage schoolgirls on a class trip go missing in the harsh and inscrutable wilderness. The setting, an Australian rock formation, feels alive and dangerous. A seminal entry in the Girls Disappear in the Great Outdoors subgenre. (Available on HBO Max.)

But I’m a Cheerleader

If you’re mostly watching Yellowjackets for the gay stuff, you’ve definitely seen this already. But it’s the best lesbian teen movie of the ’90s and has real-young Melanie Lynskey playing a closeted teen, just like fake-young Melanie Lynskey. (Available for free on Tubi and Pluto.)

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

Yellowjackets made a funny, unsettling David Lynch homage this season, when Shauna has an Eraserhead nightmare in which she births a twitching roast chicken. But the best bit of Lynch to recommend as post-YJ viewing is his 1992 film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Something about Shauna and Jackie’s relationship is extremely Donna and Laura: jealousy and love, secrets and trauma, hooking up with the other’s boyfriend so as to really know her and possibly become her. The mousy good-girl brunette who’s in the shadow of, and protective of, and resentful of, and trying to keep up with, the popular blonde. The diary. The necklace. The tragic and horrifying death. Much as Lottie’s baptism vision and Jackie/Shauna’s dream introduce a supernatural realm into Yellowjackets, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me has the Red Room, a realm accessible in the deep woods or via dreams. It’s a visceral portrayal of the trauma and danger of girlhood, a landmark horror flick of the ’90s, and it has the exact same message as Yellowjackets: Nothing good happens in a shady cabin over the border in Canada owned by a guy named Jacques. (Available on HBO Max.)

The Craft

The girls of Yellowjackets have gone a little witchy in the woods ever since that séance, so nothing’s more appropriate than The Craft. There are definitely parallels between the way the Craft coven toys with Skeet Ulrich and the way the group hunted down Travis during “Doomcoming.” It’s a pinnacle of ’90s teen witchcore, and the Yellowjackets just might have had a chance to watch it, too: It was released on May 3, 1996, probably right before nationals. (Available on Starz.)


The Antler Queen. The bear. Ritualized sacrifice. The runes. Isolation from the outside world. Ego death. The family tragedy back at home. Tripping on hallucinogens with your girlies in the great outdoors, sparking exuberant brutality against the dude in the group. Over the course of its first season, Yellowjackets waded further into the folk-horror genre and found some surprising commonalities with Ari Aster’s 2019 take on the form, Midsommar. If you like to cheer on these characters as they do fucked-up shit, you’ll vibe with this. (Available on Showtime.)


Fans have been spinning in circles ever since they saw a close-up of Jackie’s journal, where she listed Titanic as one of her favorite movies: Does that mean she made it out of the woods alive? Was it a production error? Or is this all a grief journal written by Shauna in Jackie’s voice as some sort of Dear Evan Hansen exercise? Nothing sums up the Citizen Detective fan activity around this show better than Titanic. (Available on Showtime.)

The Neon Demon

“Are you food, or are you sex?” (Available on Amazon Prime Video.)

She’s the Man

If you watched this show and were like, Wait, I thought this was going to be about girls playing soccer?, then may we point you to this Amanda Bynes classic, in which she has to pretend to be a boy to play on the school soccer team after her team gets cut. You could also watch Bend It Like Beckham or the HBO Max documentary about the U.S. women’s-soccer team LFG, but only She’s the Man features the Misty Quigley–level first-aid expertise of Channing Tatum plugging a nosebleed with a tampon. (Available to rent/buy on Amazon Prime Video.)


At one point in Yellowjackets we see a shot of an old TV in Misty’s basement with a handful of VHS tapes of ’90s movies stacked on it. One of these is Misery, which makes perfect sense for Misty, whose “caring for” Coach Ben is best defined as “Annie Wilkes Jr.” All of these titles were extremely intentional: Primal Fear features a split personality/dissociative-identity disorder that may hint at Taissa’s; The Truman Show nods to Misty as a manipulator, as well as the survivors’ place in the public imagination; Sleeping With the Enemy is about a woman faking her own death, which might be how we’re introduced to another survivor in season two; and While You Were Sleeping is a Misty-level-psychotic rom-com. She probably thinks it models healthy boundaries. (Available on Showtime.)

My So-Called Life

This was the blueprint! (Available on Hulu.)

Teenage Bounty Hunters

Because Kathryn VanArendonk wants it to get the love that Yellowjackets got. (Available on Netflix.)

Book Club

For Jeff. (Available on Paramount+.)

So You Already Miss Yellowjackets. Here’s What to Watch Next