Though I had somehow avoided watching American Pie for the last 20 years, I could never escape its most famous catchphrase. The teen-sex comedy came out when I was 9, but by middle school, I hung out with plenty of band geeks excited for their extracurriculars to be immortalized in such a famous, if forbidden, film. By high school, enough of my friends had seen and referenced the movie that I was vaguely aware Jason Biggs has sex with a pie, but of few plot points beyond that.
It's possible to argue that, a few months before Law & Order: SVU premiered and when tech was so old-school that "double-clicking the mouse" was used as slang for masturbating, Jim and Co. would have had no way of understanding the full implications of streaming a naked woman without her consent. Perhaps he just perceives it as being a Peeping Tom in the late 20th century (although it's important to point out, being a Peeping Tom is illegal, too).
We should talk about the many different ways we can teach teens about consent, and the steps Hollywood has taken to make sure teen comedies are full of awkward, uncomfortable moments—not sex crimes.
There's a College Humor video that compiles the "hilarious pranks" filling '80s movies that today's audience recognize as sexual assault. While those movies could seem far away enough to be condemned as sexist relics from a bygone era, the last movie from the American Pie saga came out seven years ago. This is a successful franchise that puts a bow on the "teen guy streams girl undressing without her consent" story line by having her video chat with him during the credits, with him doing an awkward striptease for her. Just the kind of playful, joking relationship you always maintain with the guy who essentially bugged your dressing room.
But in the end, none of the details or performances or slang terms introduced by the film (you can thank American Pie for, at the very least, the popularity of "MILF") matter. The movie's legacy shouldn't be a vague sense of discomfort around Thanksgiving dessert or flutes. When we talk about American Pie, we shouldn't talk about band camp. We should talk about the many different ways we can teach teens about consent, and the steps Hollywood has taken, and hopefully will continue to take, to make sure teen comedies are full of awkward, uncomfortable moments—not sex crimes.