5 lies movies told us about high school

Taylor Loughry, Staff Writer

Often times, when we watched movies set in high school as a young child, we thought high school would be exactly how the movies depicted. In some cases, that meant high school would be better in our heads, and in other cases, high school would be worse in our heads. Here are a few tropes and clichés, recurring patterns from films set in high school that are not necessarily the reality of high school.



  1. All High Schooler's Look 30

    This is a recurring situation in movies set in high school. For some reason, filmmakers do not want actors that are actually in high school. They always seem to get actors that are in their late 20s and 30s. The movie “Grease” is a great example of this. In fact, the oldest character to be cast was Stockard Channing at age 33 playing the role of Rizzo. Producers tried to dot freckles on her face to make her look younger. The next oldest at age 29 was Olivia Newton-John when she played the main character role of Sandy. Newton-John was even hesitant about being in the film because of her age, but the cinematographer fixed this issue by filming her with soft lenses. Bottom line is high-schoolers do not actually look like that.

  2. All High-Schoolers Have a Perfect Appearance

    This one might go hand in hand with the previous one about frequently using older actors, however, reality is skewed when we only see perfect looking actors, even playing nerdy parts. One example of this is in the live action “Scooby-Doo.” If you have followed the Scooby Doo cartoon, Daphne and Fred are supposed to look perfect. However, even Velma and Shaggy are unexpectedly portrayed in the same light in this live-action movie. We can’t help but notice how almost all the main characters in a film look perfect. Choosing attractive actors is most likely done on purpose, but it does not always illustrate real life. Once again, high schoolers do not actually look like that.

  3. The New Kid Always Gets Bullied

    For some reason, filmmakers typically want to include a new girl or main character that gets bullied in high school by the popular group. Like the name actually suggests, “Mean Girls” is a perfect example of this. Lindsay Lohan, portraying Cady who is the new girl, gets bullied by the popular girls in school. This is just one example, but this is actually a recurring theme that can be found in many movies set in high school. Although this is definitely something that can happen, movie magic typically overdramatizes this topic.

  4. There is Always a Long, Passionate Speech

    This is something that tends to happen a lot for unknown reasons. Long, passionate speeches will be given by sometimes a random character, but most often a main character in a high school film. A perfect example of this is “High School Musical 3” when Troy Bolton, played by Zac Efron, gave his graduation speech which brought many to tears. He might have had a better reason than most to give a speech like this since it was the final High School Musical and their graduation. However, most graduation speeches are not this emotional, and if they were, they would probably be a little awkward. Bottom line is speeches tend to be over-exaggerated.

  5. High-Schoolers Never Actually Go to Class

    Most of the time when a film is set in high school, character interactions are never really in class. Most of the time, they are outside, at lunch, or in the hallway. It makes us wonder if these “students” even go to class. This can be found in most high school movies, but a good example showing this is “A Cinderella Story.” This movie stars Hilary Duff playing Sam who is somewhat of a modernized Cinderella. She is in high school, but we never actually see her in class, along with all of the other characters who are shown at school, but never in class. That is very far from the reality of high school where you rarely have any time outside of the classroom.