American Pie (1999) exemplifies the vulgar teen comedy – a category of youth film characterised by a ‘gross-out’ humour rooted in a salacious and scatological transgression of conventional tastes. The film has had significant popularity and its international success spawned three theatrically released sequels and four direct-to-DVD movies. The first vulgar teen comedies appeared in the late 1970s and 1980s following the success of National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978) and Porky’s (1981), but their numbers diminished significantly during the 1990s. American Pie revived the vulgar teen comedy, revising and reconfiguring the format. Enjoying international commercial success, American Pie was followed by several sequels, along with a torrent of new vulgar teen comedies that pushed at the boundaries of taste. American Pie’s success was constituent in broad shifts within both the youth market and the film business, while its representations of youth culture were related to wider patterns of social change. Whether vulgar teen comedies represent a film genre, a sub-genre or a film cycle is debatable, but they have had an enduring appeal and American Pie represents a key example.