Winona Ryder Reveals Why She Was Kicked Out of School

In the early 1990s, Winona Ryder stumbled across a magazine with her face smacked front and center. All glossed up and beautiful, the title of the issue read: Winona Ryder is the Luckiest Girl In The World. Yet the Stranger Things actress didn’t feel lucky at all. In fact, she was downright depressed. Many of her struggles had to do with how she was treated during her school years. Ryder ended up getting into so much trouble at school that she got kicked out. Keep reading to find out why. 

Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder | Suzanne Tenner/Getty Images

Winona Ryder rules the 90s

With her big brown eyes, impeccable talent, and attraction toward all things gothic, Ryder stood out from the Hollywood crowd in the 1990s. The actress was the type of person who’d wear a Tom Waits shirt to a red carpet event, and fans adored her for it.

The actress never tried to fit in with the rest of the crowd, and her authenticity left people enamored. Yet her style and demeanor is only half of what makes Ryder so great. When it comes to her acting chops, she knows how to steal the show every time. But despite how much the public cherishes the starlet, she was a constant target of bullying at school. 

Director Robert Zemeckis, director Steven Spielberg, actress Winona Ryder, director Martin Scorsese and director George Lucas
Director Robert Zemeckis, director Steven Spielberg, actress Winona Ryder, director Martin Scorsese and director George Lucas | Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

According to Ryder, the popular kids sneered at the actress, calling her a “witch” after starring in Beetlejuice, and hurling Cheetos at her. It didn’t matter if she posed on the cover of Rolling Stone or Vogue. The mean girls at school would still shove her against the locker and call her derogatory names. According to Ryder, this idea that she was the “luckiest girl in the world” was so far from the truth. And one day, the torment from her peers got so bad that the Heathers actress was kicked out of school. 

Winona Ryder gets kicked out of school because of bullies

Winona Ryder and musician Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum
Winona Ryder and musician Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum | Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

Ryder has always been someone who has embraced her eccentric style. She likes to explore with androgyny from time to time, which is why she sported a crew cut and wore Salvation Army clothing that was intended for boys in high school.

Unfortunately for Ryder, her peers couldn’t wrap their heads around the Tim Burton star’s unique fashion choices. Because of this, they beat her up in the school bathroom while spitting homophobic slurs at Ryder. The actress recalls the awful moment, explaining why she was the one who ended up getting kicked out of the school. 

Ryder reveals

“I was wearing an old Salvation Army shop boy’s suit. I had a hall pass, so I went to the (girls’) bathroom. I heard people saying ‘hey f****t.’ They slammed my head into a locker. I fell to the ground, and they started to kick the sh*t out of me. I had to have stitches. The school kicked me out, not the bullies.”

Winona Ryder ended up getting revenge on her high school bully

Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder | Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

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Not only did Ryder get revenge by pursuing her dream as a Hollywood actress, but she also got to tell her high school bully off, first hand. After the person who had kicked her in the school bathroom asked Ryder for an autograph while in a local coffee shop, the Mermaids actress had the chance to get the final word.

She reveals, 

“Years later, I went to a coffee shop in Petaluma, and I ran into one of the girls who’d kicked me… She said, ‘Winona, Winona, can I have your autograph?’ and I said, ‘Do you remember me? I went to Kenilworth. Remember how, in seventh grade, you beat up that kid?’ and she said, ‘Kind of,’ and I said, ‘That was me. Go f- yourself!”