The Top 20 Cliches in Movies and TV Shows about High School

Have you ever watched a television show or movie and been able to easily guess what would happen next?  Chances are, that most of us would answer yes to the above question.  Unfortunately, it does not mean that we are geniuses, but instead it is more likely that we have previously seen a similar storyline.  In fact, it is a well-guarded Hollywood secret that the same 86 plots are simply recycled and changed just enough that no one really notices.

Luckily for you, I have acquired a plot generator for TV shows/movies that essentially revolve around High School life.  Whether your High School Years were the best 4 years of your life, or they were full of more awkward moments than Nicki Minaj’s next trip to church, looking back at those 4 years have proved to be quite entertaining.

Here are the most common story lines that appear in all TV shows and movies that are about High School:

1. The principal and/or guidance counselor will be try too hard to connect with students or will just be a complete jackass.

2.  A new student will catch the eye of one of the main characters.

3.  Something embarrassing will happen at gym class or the locker room to a central character.  Nine times out of ten this will involve showering.

4.  There will be some type of drama over a school dance or prom.  And no matter what, this dance/prom will be, at the most, two weeks away.

5. A jock will become interested in one of the smart or artistic kids.

6.  A bully will be confronted.

7.  A big sports game will happen against a rival school.

8.  The name of that rival school will mostly likely be named after a dead president.

9.  A character faces drama about where to sit in the cafeteria.

10.  While their parents are on vacation, a student decides to host a party that ends up getting completely out of control.

11.  A school election takes place in which the main character loses to a secondary character–except if a killer dance is performed in front of the entire school in the auditorium.

12.  A non-cheerleader is nominated for prom queen as a joke and eventually wins the crown.

13.  A jock will join the drama club, band, or chorus to impress a girl.

14.  A student will develop a crush on a teacher.

15.  One of the main characters will have an annoying little brother/sister who wrecks havoc on their social lives.

16.  The nice guy who has always been a good friend has to watch her go out with a jock.  This poor soul is regulated into the “friend zone” and his personal torture includes being asked relationship advice from his “would be” girlfriend.

17.  A main character becomes pregnant or takes a pregnancy test.  If the show/movie takes place before 2000, then the result will be negative.  After all, the teen pregnancies can only happen to a supporting character.  After 2000, then it is acceptable for the main character to get knocked up.

18.  The jock who terrorizes a gay student turns out to be gay himself.

19.  A good student, most likely on the school’s academic team, will spontaneously decide to change their image and hang out with the more popular kids.

20.  And this student will temporarily forget about her/his old friends, only to eventually reconnect with them.

Did I miss any cliches that need to be included on this list?  Leave a comment and let the world know.


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5 Responses to The Top 20 Cliches in Movies and TV Shows about High School

  1. Greg Schmidt says:

    Also, the parents are either complete geeks who seem like they have no idea what is going on in the world, or they were they were the head cheerleader and star athlete that expect that out of their own kids.

  2. marina says:

    Too bad they’ve cancelled amazing shows like Freaks and geeks and My so-called life.

  3. Blu says:

    There is always a virgin that will almost assuredly lose that status by the end of the movie.

  4. Tomhason says:

    Everyone knows from what movie is the third picture?

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