Ten Problems with Movie and Television High Schools

Ten Problems with Movie and Television High Schools

1. All the kids are 25

Have you ever noticed in just about every tv show especially where high school are featured, the "kids" look 25, because they are...actually 25. They may shave and try to put them in juvenile clothing, but muscle mass, wrinkles, 5 o'clock shadows, and reality tend to betray the idea that these "kids" are anywhere near the age of 19 or less.

2. 30 minute break times

I'm sorry, but when is the last time that in between Period 1 and 2, you had time to go find your six friends, talk about the game last night in full detail or some boy you like and if he liked you, then go answer a few texts, then eat a snack, and then 30 minutes later...apparently...you are needed in your next class. Whhhhaaaaatttt? At most, most kids have 10 minutes between classes to mad dash to the bathroom and their locker before trying not to be late for their next class.

Ten Problems with Movie and Television High Schools

3. No one ever goes to their "one" class

I'm looking at you Buffy, 90210, Teen Wolf, Twilight, The Secret Circle, Vampire Diaries, Riverdale, etc, etc. It's like they introduce the one teacher for the apparent one class that is required for the students, and then for the rest of the season you only ever see them show up to school, something happens, and then they are never in class again or they go to class and then leave and no one questions why they've been gone so long or they just don't come back until mid season or never in a movie.

4. Teachers come to your house or meet you outside of school

Um, unless the show was about some teacher doing some illicit things with a student, when would it ever be appropriate for a teacher to show up at a students house, or drive them home, or pick them up from home if not sanctioned by the school and with a permission slip for the exact reason you're now thinking. I once had a job working with kids, and one of the assistant staff got fired for driving a kid home who happened to live in the same apartments as he did. He thought he was being nice b/c the kids parents were super late and he knew them, but you can see why the school couldn't take that kind of crazy risk.

5. Everyone participates in everything enthusiastically

Have you met teens? Who is excited for everything all the time? A third of students are half asleep, another third marginally care what's going on, usually if it involves their friends, and the other third, are excited and show up with grins and energy.

Ten Problems with Movie and Television High Schools

6. Food fights exist

I'm pretty sure our janitorial staff were ex-militia fighters somewhere the way they appeared suddenly around corners and would glare at you, so the thought that we could all just get up and start throwing around food, and it would all be some funny cool joke and the staff would be awesome with that, is the furthest thing from reality. A food fight would have meant suspensions or expulsions for any student, or any type of fight for that matter. Written clear as day in the student conduct code.

7. Student fights on campus

There is no doubt that student fights happen on campus. Just go to youtube, however, when you see scenes where like the whole school is practically there and gathered round and the fight just happens for 20 minutes uninterrupted on school campus, is ridiculous. There are teachers, staff, and nowadays, campus cops and cameras everywhere. A fight could happen, but it's not going to last that long without intervention from one of these entities, and you get caught, you're both going down.

Ten Problems with Movie and Television High Schools

8. Everyone is only allowed to be part of only one clique

A lot of people do hang with a certain clique more than others, but many kids are part of many different activities, so this idea that the cheerleader only ever hangs with the cheerleader and no one from like the band geeks will let her into their circle is stupid or the jock can't be with the drama people, stupid.

9. Every single teacher and principal and staff member is mean

At my school and many others, a lot of the staff were nice people including the principal, sure if you were an actual trouble maker, you're not going to get them on their happy side, but a lot were really good educators and only wanted their students to do their best and to help them get into college.

Ten Problems with Movie and Television High Schools

10. What about college

My junior and senior years were 80% spent on trying to get into college. Taking this or that class, filling out apps, visiting schools, testing, trying to pass all my classes with flying colors. Apparently on tv high school, this process takes like 2 minutes on one episode where they just fill in the app and then wait to hear if they got in.

Dishonorable mentions

-everyone's problems are solved by the end of the movie/tv show

-the geeky girl/guy takes off their glasses, and are suddenly hot and every person wants them

-everyone at prom knows how to dance the exact same moves to the song everyone knows and they do it with perfect choreography; they also all know how to sing perfectly

-no one is ever caught drinking/doing drugs or is ever strung out/drunk with any consequences

-house parties take over the entire block and everyone at school is invited

-the outsider always ends up with a great group of friends by the end of the movie

-even if the jocks are losing all season, they pull it out and win by the end of the show/movie

-no one has parents and if they do they are in no way involved in their kids lives to the point where someone may need to call CPS


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BeeNee is a GirlsAskGuys Editor
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Most Helpful Guy

  • Sounds like things haven't changed all that much. There are a couple of differences between this and when I was in HS.

    #4) When I was in HS in the early 70s teacher DID come to your house, meet you outside of school, have parties for students at the teacher's home (no alcohol). Even a teacher dating a student was not as bad as it is today. I had driver's ed last period. Sometimes the teacher would let us drive ourselves home. So the fist student drove home, then the next, etc. I can think of at least two parties I went to at the teachers home. There were multiple cases of teachers dating students, but it was kept low key. One teacher married his student just after she graduated, which means they were seriously dating while she ws still a student. (They are still married 40+ years later and have grand kids). Permission slip? What is that? The only thing I can think of that the parents had to give permission was field trips.

    #7) In my years in HS I never saw a fight on campus. I heard about it every now and then, but ever witnessed it. I never saw any serious bullying either, like never.

    "house parties take over the entire block and everyone at school is invited"

    That was a standard party when I was younger. All parties were open, meaning anyone could come. There were no "invites", but some people were told so the word could get around. Sometimes we'd hear about them ahead of time, sometimes we'd just stop at a gas station or whatever and ask anybody (including strangers) if they knew of any parties. It was also very common to just drive around looking for them. Drive around, look up and down streets for a bunch of cars parked in front of houses. Then pull up and go on in. No invites, no knocking, didn't matter who it was, we'd just walk in. If a party didn't have at least a 100 people it was a flop. Good parties had 200+ people. On weekends we could usually find at least 3-4 parties that size, sometimes a lot more. 200+ people is probably 50-70 cars lined up along the street. If it was "only" a block it was only a medium sized party.

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    • Awe, these times, they are a-changing. I remember in elementary school, we did have an overnight at a teachers house, but I went to a small school where everybody knew everybody and went to church, the same doctors, the same grocery stores, so it was normal. Now, we have pedophiles and stuff who ARE the teachers so schools can't allow it without express permission and paper trails, if they even allow stuff like that anymore.

      As far as parties, I don't doubt some still have the mega parties, but most likely neighbors would shut them down or call the cops unless you're out in the boonies or have cool neighbors.

Most Helpful Girl

  • Don't forget that the prom (always in the gym) has like a super good professional band and the house parties are at the coolest houses ever. Lol.
    Good observations!

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What Guys Said 8

  • Good take it would just add that the fights are unrealistic with pushing and shoving, at my high school fights were brutal.
    Another thing I would add is the Mary sue element where a student usually a poor girl whose shy and an outsider finds a secret talent or ability that she never new existed and is all of a sudden popular and of course the hottest most popular boy at school with the fancy sports car and rich parents suddenly notices how hot she is and falls in love.

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    • yeah, that trope is one of my dishonorable mentions

    • Tv makes the same shows over and over again especially high school drama. I think not another teen movie was an OK spoof.
      Cop, detective, medical shows are another endlessly made identical shows. Sitcoms are the worst almost every sitcom since friends has been the same with almost the same stories and same jokes. The only near original is modern family but then it borrows a lot from curb your enthusiasm and arrested development... shit all practically the same show too when I think about it lol.

  • Who cares its entertainment for you. It doesn't have to potray reality and be so realistic. Besides isn't that why you watch tv shows like this because of the unrealistic stuff and fantasy. Of course if they made it how it really was no person will watch it because its boring and expected.

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    • You're taking this way too seriously man. Obviously it's fiction for a reason. Just having fun with the topic.

  • Someone in the main cast ends up being valedictorian despite never showing up to fucking school.

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  • I like your dishonorable mention #1 It seems like most movies/ tv shows, everyone's problems are solved at the end. Mostly for movies, I would like to see the bad guys win at the end of the movie.

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  • Girl Meets World would make you crazy. They get away with murder in their class because Riley's dad is the teacher. At least, though, most of them are still high school age.

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    • I saw one episode... and that was it... for a reason.

    • It took a while to grow on me - and I hadn't watched Boy Meets World. Some of the episodes are really good but other times you want to knock Riley on the head because she takes every new idea she hears straight to heart and becomes obsessed.

  • That's okay, when they get older, they'll all enjoy having nine-figure incomes despite only going to work 2 days a year, for about 10 minutes at a time. They'll live in the most expensive places on the planet, in HUGE homes/apartments in the most desirable locations, drive nice new cars or fantastically restored classic ones. Their careers might be important to them, but they rarely DO anything related to their career.

    Almost everyone *I* know is at work 9 hours a day (counting lunch) and spends at least another 2-3 commuting. No one has the kind of free time you see on TV or in the movies - much less whole groups of people who have that kind of time.

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    • haaha, you obviously never looked up "Where they are now" cast members of the old tv shows.
      Celebs are horrible at holding onto cash. When they earn a lot they rent places for $10K a month and go through cars like crazy. Most are broke and have normal jobs.

    • @GraveTruth I wasn't talking about the celebs, I was talking about the characters they play.

      On the show Friends, for example, they have a bunch of lower-middle-class 20-somethings living in apartments that would cost well $3.5M to buy in 2013, so an estimated $35,000/month to rent. And yet they work at coffee shops and diners - RARELY - mostly they either hang out or do other things that cost a lot of money.

      The "Full House" house in San Francisco is worth $2.8M, so rent would be around $28,000 a month. The dad (Bob Saget) played a local TV sportscaster, but I promise you, unless you're a HUGE celeb, like John Madden, on national TV, you aren't making anything like that kind of money.

    • Yeah, I dig you. I always notice that too. I see that in a lot of movies too.

  • LOL.. Geez this is so true.. Like I used to think Toby Macguire actually looked like a high school student when he first starred in Spiderman.. But.. When I got older.. I realized how wrong I was.. LOL.. Yeah Hollywood has painted High school to more like a "Black" and "White" college experience... I like some of the tropes like the clique thing can be fun to watch, and the bully of jock that will get his by the end of the movie.. But others are pretty annoying like making the smart kids seem like they will be losers in life, and making the popular kids seem like High school superstar idiots how have no interest in their education..

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    • There are definitely high school kids that look close to tobey's age it depends on how much of a rush you are in to grow up.

  • They are 25 cause if we used real HS kids, they can't act yet, it's super hard working with children and animals. About 10% off kids in high school are still in diapers, YES DIAPERS! or maybe it was 1% but even that should prove you wrong?

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    • Agree that it's harder to work with younger kids specifically because they can only work certain hours by law which can make scheduling a nightmare, but to say anyone under 18 can't act, isn't true at all. I think it's much more due to the limitations on work hours than anything else.

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