Pop Culture

Back to school? TV and movie classrooms that don't make the grade

It's back-to-school time, and kids from kindergarten on up are preparing for pencils, books, teachers' dirty looks ... you know the drill. Not all real-life schools are great, but a whole heckuva lot of movie and television high schools are kind of terrible. Here are a few at which we'd never want to enroll.

Meadowbrook High School, 'Pretty in Pink'
We imagine Meadowbrook can be a nice place to study, if you are a blue-eyed blonde model with a Rockefeller-sized trust fund. Poor Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) came from a working-class home with no mom and was mocked relentlessly by Stef (James Spader) and his rich-kid pals, except for Andrew McCarthy's Blane. It actually seemed like you'd have a lot more fun at Meadowbrook if you weren't a rich model type — you could hang out behind the school with the New Wavers and other unaccepted folks, go see the Rave-Ups at Cats, and buy records at TRAX, where Andie worked. But then you might be forced to wear a prom dress that looks like Andie's homemade pink monstrosity, and well, not even Duckie (Jon Cryer) developing a mad, ride-his-bike-past-your-house-100-times-a-day crush on you would make up for that. —Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Today
Rydell High from 'Grease' was not your typical high school.

Rydell High, "Grease'
Rydell High had its moments. John Travolta was pretty cute, and who could resist the chemistry he had with Aussie transfer Olivia Newton-John? Their summer nights sounded pretty good, wella, wella, wella, UH! But life at Rydell could also be flat-out terrifying — like when Danny took his life into his hands in that car race and almost lost Greased Lightning, and when pink-haired Frenchy had an unnerving encounter with guardian angel Frankie Avalon. (What did he have against beauty school, anyway?) And we wouldn't want to land on Rizzo's bad side. But mainly, we fear we're just not good enough at the hand jive to go to any dances at this school. We'd just end up Stranded at the Drive-In, watching the animated hot dog jump into the cartoon bun, and ... wait a minute, NOW we finally get the double entendre there. —G.F.C.

Sunnydale High School, 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'
As if trig homework, cafeteria food and oh-so-exclusive cliques didn't make high school unpleasant enough, there were far bigger reasons to want to want to transfer right out of Southern California's fictional Sunnydale High — things like hungry vampires, ancient curses and all manner of deadly dilemmas. That's because the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" institution was situated on a portal of evil known as the Hellmouth and packed enough death and destruction to make normal high-school tortures seem downright pleasant. At Sunnydale, bullies weren't just mean; they were possessed by demonic hyenas and apt to eat the principal. And local politicians didn't just serve as boring graduation speakers; they were eager to bring the school down to a pile of rubble (and again, apt to eat the principal). —Ree Hines

  • Slideshow Photos

    Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    From sassy Mis-tah Kot-tah on "Welcome Back, Kotter" to Cameron Diaz's sexy educator who just doesn't care in "Bad Teacher," school's always in session in Hollywood.

  • Image:

    Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'Breaking Bad'

    When Walter White learns he has lung cancer on AMC's "Breaking Bad," he uses chemistry teacher expertise to become a meth maker and dealer. He even takes on a former student as his sidekick, providing Jesse Pinkman with a very different sort of education.

    AMC / AMC
  • Image:

    Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'The Sword in the Stone'

    Young Wart (whose real name is Arthur) has no idea that his destiny is to be the future king of England in 1963's animated "The Sword in the Stone." But when Merlin becomes his mentor and teacher, Wart's life is changed.

    Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection
  • GOOD WILL HUNTING, Matt Damon, Robin Williams, 1997, (c) Miramax/courtesy Everett Collection

    Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'Good Will Hunting'

    An autodidact with an eidetic memory, Will Hunting (Matt Damon) hardly feels he needs to be educated by anyone. But psychologist Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) gives him an outlet for his frustrations and turns out to be the kind of mentor and teacher the angry young man needs to be able to pursue his dreams in the 1997 film "Good Will Hunting."

    Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection
  • Image: MATILDA, Embeth Davidtz, 1996, (c)TriStar Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

    Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'Matilda'

    Matilda Wormwood is a lucky kid, getting Miss Honey (Embeth Davidtz) as a teacher in the 1996 film adaptation of Roald Dahl's "Matilda." The teacher speaks up for her smart student in front of bully headmistress Miss Trunchbull, and urges Matilda's parents to give her some attention.

    Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection
  • Image: MEAN GIRLS, Tina Fey (foreground), 2004, (c) Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

    Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'Mean Girls'

    Tina Fey scripted herself as Ms. Norbury, a math teacher who is wrongfully accused in the "Mean Girls'" "burn book" as being a drug dealer. In the 2004 movie, she forces the young ladies to confess to the lie, then make amends to their fellow students and teachers.

    Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection
  • Image: A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN, from left, Patty, Schroeder, Charlie Brown, 1969

    Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'A Boy Named Charlie Brown'

    In the world of "Peanuts," teachers -- like most adults -- are heard but not seen. Miss Othmar was one of the few teachers' names ever cited, and Linus had a major crush on her. In 1969's "A Boy Named Charlie Brown," the trombone-voiced teacher leads Charlie Brown through a spelling bee test, which he does surprisingly well on.

    Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection
  • Image: BOY MEETS WORLD, Ben Savage, William Daniels, Will Friedle, 1993 - 2000. © Touchstone Television / C

    Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'Boy Meets World'

    As dedicated teacher (and later principal and college professor) George Feeny on "Boy Meets World," William Daniels has a devil of a time getting students including Cory (Ben Savage) and Eric (Will Friedle) to focus, but he does inspire the "Feeny Call," a shout that would draw the educator out of his house. When the show (1993-2000) signed off, he was the final character on screen and delivered the last line of dialogue: "I love you all. Class dismissed."

    Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection
  • Image:

    Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'Star Wars'

    First seen in 1980's "Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back," Grand Jedi Master Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz) has become such a culturally iconic figure that to call someone a "Yoda" means that they are a wise mentor. In "Empire," he met Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and helped train the powerful son of Darth Vader in the ways of the force with wise lines such as "Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering."

    Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection
  • Image: X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, Famke Janssen, 2006, TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All right

    Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'X-Men'

    In some ways, the founder of the X-Men, Charles Xavier, is a student's worst nightmare for a teacher: He can both control and read minds. Fortunately, the "X-Men" film's Professor X (Patrick Stewart) is on the good guys' side, a peace-loving crime fighter in a wheelchair who helps protect the non-mutant human species.

    Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection
  • Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'Welcome Back, Kotter'

    1970s comedy "Welcome Back, Kotter" was a big success, and even its moody John Sebastian theme song became a hit. Gabe Kaplan plays Gabe Kotter, a teacher who returns to his own alma mater in Brooklyn to teach a bunch of high-school tough guys known as The Sweathogs. Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs (Freddy "Boom-Boom" Washington), Ron Palillo (Horshack) and Robert Hegyes (Epstein) are shown with Kaplan. Missing is perhaps the most famous Sweathog, John Travolta, who plays Vinnie Barbarino.

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'Stand and Deliver'

    Edward James Olmos plays real-life high-school math teacher Jaime Escalante in 1988's "Stand and Deliver." In the film, he wins over his troubled Los Angeles students and teaches them so well that the testing service doesn't believe the students earned their high scores, and makes them retake a difficult standardized calculus test.

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'

    "Bueller? ... Bueller? ... Bueller?" That's the repeated query from an economics teacher played by Ben Stein, in the 1986 American teen coming-of-age comedy "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," written and directed by John Hughes. He reportedly ad-libbed most of his monologue about the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act and supply-side economics.

    Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures
  • Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'South Park'

    School is often R-rated on "South Park," where Mr. Herbert Garrison (voiced by series co-creator Trey Parker) and his puppet Mr. Hat often teach Cartman, Eric, Kyle and pals things they really shouldn't be learning about.

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • Cameron Diaz

    Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'Bad Teacher'

    Cameron Diaz stars in the 2011 comedy "Bad Teacher," as Elizabeth Halsey, a teacher who smokes pot, drinks, swears at her students and sleeps through class.

  • DEAD POETS SOCIETY

    Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'Dead Poets Society'

    Robin Williams stars in 1989's "Dead Poets Society" as John Keating, an unconventional English teacher who shakes up a boys' prep school. The character's use of the phrase "Carpe diem" ("seize the day") re-invigorated its use in American culture.

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'Election'

    Matthew Broderick, who famously skipped school in 1986's "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," goes back to school as teacher Jim McAllister in 1999's "Election," with Reese Witherspoon playing the overachieving Tracy Flick.

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'School of Rock'

    Jack Black plays Dewey Finn, a rocker who turns to substitute teaching and teaches his kids to love music in 2003's "School of Rock."

    Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures
  • Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'Fast Times at Ridgemont High'

    Sean Penn and Ray Walston, as Jeff Spicoli and Mr. Hand, had a famous in-class confrontation when Spicoli ordered himself some pizza in 1982's "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'Glee'

    On "Glee," it's not just the kids who compete against each other. Sharp-tongued Cheerios coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) and glee club director Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) are constantly at each others' throats.

    Fox / Fox
  • Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'

    Harry Potter and pals have many teachers at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) was one of the most evil. She forces students who are given detention to write with a blood quill, which cuts the words into its victims as they write them.

    Everett Collection / Everett Collection
  • Best and worst teachers of TV and film

    of

    'The Simpsons'

    Marcia Wallace naprovided the voice of teacher Edna Krabappel on "The Simpsons" from the show's inception in 1990 until Wallace's death in 2013. The jaded, chain-smoking teacher is always looking for a romantic partner, and ultimately finds one in Ned Flanders.

    Fox / Fox

Lee High School, 'Dazed and Confused'
It’s tough to come across as one of the cool kids and still be critical of the setting for this 1993 stoner classic — after all, it looks like a kind of fun place if you're not the one getting eggs and flour smashed on your face. But in case Mom's reading, let's have it be said: The smoky haze of marijuana and the violent hazing of students has no place in a civilized society. Both are celebrated in Richard Linklater’s comedy about the last day of school in 1976 Texas and we think young people can do better. Wait, what else is there? Aerosmith, hot rods, Ben Affleck, and Parker Posey ... and Matthew “Wooderson” McConaughey ogling young co-eds? Hey, that is better! We’re transferring to Lee High School. —Kurt Schlosser

  • Slideshow Photos

    Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    From 'Animal House' to 'The Amazing Spider Man,' these movies show there's more to school than reading, writing and arithmetic.

  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    Pens, paper ... and popcorn

    From 'Animal House' to 'Bad Teacher,' these movies show there's more to school than reading, writing and arithmetic.

    'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' Mae Whitman, Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller and Erin Wilhelmi star in the 2012 coming-of-age comedy "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," based on the 1999 novel.

    Summit Entertainment / Summit Entertainment
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    '21 Jump Street'

    Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star in this 2012 comedy -- based on the Johnny Depp TV series -- as a pair of policemen who go undercover at a local high school to bring down a drug ring. A sequel where they go undercover in college, "22 Jump Street," was released in 2014.

    Columbia TriStar / Columbia TriStar
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Pitch Perfect'

    2012's "Pitch Perfect" follows a college a capella singing group as they compete at nationals. A sequel is planned for 2015.

    Universal Pictures / Universal Pictures
  • FOOTLOOSE, from left: Miles Teller, Kenny Wormald, 2011. ph: KC Bailey/©Paramount/Courtesy Everett C

    Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Footloose'

    The 2011 remake of the 1984 film "Footloose" followed the same plot. A new kid in a rural high school (Kenny Wormald in 2011, Kevin Bacon in 1984) discovers his town doesn't allow dancing, and fights to get the ban overturned.

    Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Fame'

    The 1980 musical "Fame" introduced many Americans to the dramatic life of students at the New York High School of Performing Arts. A reality show was eventually based on the movie.

    Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'The Social Network'

    Jesse Eisenberg plays Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the critically acclaimed 2010 film "The Social Network," all about the company's founding in a Harvard dorm room.

    Columbia Pictures / Columbia Pictures
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'She's the Man'

    In the 2006 romantic comedy "She's the Man," Amanda Bynes plays a female high-school student who pretends to be male in order to play on the boys' soccer team.

    DreamWorks / DreamWorks
  • ACCEPTED, 2006, (c) Universal/courtesy Everett Collection

    Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Accepted'

    In the 2006 comedy "Accepted," a group of high schoolers create their own college after being rejected from real ones.

    Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection
  • THE PERFECT SCORE, Chris Evans, 2004, (c) Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

    Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'The Perfect Score'

    In the 2004 drama "The Perfect Score," Chris Evans leads a group of high-schoolers who steal the answers to the SAT.

    Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection
  • 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU, Julia Stiles (with book), Daryl Mitchell (pointing), 1999, © Buena Vista

    Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    '10 Things I Hate About You'

    The 1999 film "10 Things I Hate About You" is a modern take on of Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew."

    Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection
  • CRUEL INTENTIONS, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, 1999, ©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everet

    Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Cruel Intentions'

    Yes, that's a young Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Michelle Gellar in prep-school uniforms in this scene from 1999's "Cruel Intentions."

    Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection
  • GOOD WILL HUNTING, Matt Damon, Robin Williams, 1997, (c) Miramax/courtesy Everett Collection

    Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Good Will Hunting'

    Matt Damon, Robin Williams and Ben Affleck (not shown) star in the 1997 drama "Good Will Hunting," about an unrecognized genius.

    Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection
  • DAZED AND CONFUSED, Deena Martin, Michelle Burke, Joey Lauren Adams, Parker Posey, 1993.

    Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Dazed and Confused'

    Richard Linklater's classic "Dazed and Confused," from 1993, takes place on the last day of school at Lee High School near Austin, Texas.

    Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection
  • REVENGE OF THE NERDS, Ted McGinley, Michelle Meyrink, Robert Carradine, 1984.

    Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Revenge of the Nerds'

    In the now-iconic 1984 comedy "Revenge of the Nerds," the college war between nerds and jocks goes full-on nuclear.

    Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection
  • TEACHER'S PET, Clark Gable, Doris Day, 1958, blackboard

    Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Teacher's Pet'

    In the 1958 comedy "Teacher's Pet," journalism teacher Erica Stone (Doris Day) enlists journalist James Gannon (Clark Gable) to speak to her night-school class, and romantic sparks fly like chalk dust.

    Courtesy Everett Collection / Courtesy Everett Collection
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'The Amazing Spider-Man'

    Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield star in this 2012 film portraying Spider Man's origin and his development into a superhero while still a high school student.

    Columbia Pictures / Columbia Pictures
  • Cameron Diaz,Jason Segel

    Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Bad Teacher'

    Cameron Diaz stars as Elizabeth, a foul-mouthed, gold-digging seventh-grade teacher, who, after being dumped by her current boyfriend, sets her sights on a colleague.

    Columbia Pictures / Columbia Pictures
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Diary of a Wimpy Kid'

    Based on the popular book series, 2010's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" follows the travails of wise-cracking middle school student Greg Heffley over the course of an academic year.

    20th Century Fox / 20th Century Fox
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Easy A'

    Emma Stone plays Olive Penderghast in 2010's "Easy A," about a high school girl whose life begins to parallel that of Hester Prynne in "The Scarlet Letter."

    Columbia TriStar / Columbia TriStar
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    '17 Again'

    Zac Efron plays a man who gets a chance to go back to high school and do things right this time in 2010's "17 Again." Matthew Perry plays the grown-up version of Efron's character.

    New Line Cinema / New Line Cinema
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'I Love You, Beth Cooper'

    2010's "I Love You, Beth Cooper" starts with a bang, as valedictorian Denis Cooverman tells the whole class he has a crush on cheerleader Beth Cooper (Hayden Panettiere, center, with Lauren London and Lauren Storm).

    Fox Atomic / Fox Atomic
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Charlie Bartlett'

    In 2008's "Charlie Bartlett," a rich kid (Anton Yelchin)becomes the self-appointed psychiatrist to the student body of his new high school.

    MGM / MGM
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Juno'

    In 2007's "Juno," 16-year-old, smart aleck Juno (Ellen Page) discovers she is pregnant with classmate Paulie Bleeker's (Michael Cera) child and she is prematurely pushed into the adult world. She decides to give her baby up for adoption and searches for a couple in the local newspaper, settling on Mark (Jason Bateman) and Vanessa Loring (Jennifer Garner). The film was nominated for four Oscars, and won in the category of Best Original Screenplay.

    Fox Searchlight Pictures / Fox Searchlight Pictures
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Freedom Writers'

    Based on the nonfiction book "The Freedom Writers Diary," the 2007 film "Freedom Writers" is set in a school torn by racial divisions and poverty. Hilary Swank (left) plays a teacher in violence-beseiged Los Angeles who uses writing to help her students voice their struggles -- from seeing their friends die to being abused -- eventually helping them trust her.

    Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Superbad'

    In the 2007 film "Superbad," Fogell (Christopher Mitz-Plasse), Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are high school seniors who are determined to stop being labeled "losers" and find a way to get some action from the fairer sex. They concoct a plan to score alcohol for the next hot party, hoping that this will make them heroes. Fogell starts the adventure off by procuring a fake ID bearing just one name: "McLovin."

    Columbia Pictures / Columbia Pictures
  • Zac Efron, Vanessa Anne Hudgens

    Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'High School Musical'

    High School Musical (2006) is considered to be loosely based on "Romeo and Juliet." Zac Efron and Vanessa Anne Hudgens star in this Disney Channel Original Movie as popular basketball team captain Troy and smart, stunning academic Gabriella. Both shock the members of the social cliques to which they belong when they each decide to audition for the high school's musical.

    Disney Channel  / Disney Channel
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Akeelah and the Bee'

    In the 2006 film, "Akeelah and the Bee," spelling words helped Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer) connect with her father, who died when she was 6 years old. Akeelah, a lackluster student in south Los Angeles, is persuaded to enter the school's spelling bee, and when she wins, she is selected to compete in the state contest. Her principal enlists Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne). a professor and former spelling bee winner, to coach Akeelah -- boot camp-style.

    Lions Gate Pictures / Lions Gate Pictures
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Napoleon Dynamite'

    Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) isn't your average kid. He loves tater tots, his favorite animal is the liger and he has dance moves that would put those "Dancing with the Stars" contestants to shame. He's determined to get pal Pedro (Efren Ramirez) elected school president.

    Access Films / Access Films
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Mean Girls'

    Written by Tina Fey, 2004's "Mean Girls" stars Lindsay Lohan as Cady, a new girl in school who finds herself drawn into the popular clique she's secretly trying to bring down. Amanda Seyfried, Rachel McAdams and Lacey Chabert co-star.

    Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'School of Rock'

    In 2003's "School of Rock," Jack Black stars as Dewey, a failed rocker who poses as a substitute teacher in an exclusive private school in order to earn some money. But instead of teaching the kids about math and English, he teaches them how to rock, forming a band for the local Battle of the Bands contest.

    Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Mona Lisa Smile'

    Julia Roberts plays Katherine Watson, a feminist art-history teacher who feels just a bit out of place at an uptight 1953 women's college, where the girls seem to be preparing for marriage rather than careers, in 2003's "Mona Lisa Smile." Julia Stiles, Kirsten Dunst, Maggie Gyllenhaal play the women Roberts inspires.

    Columbia Pictures / Columbia Pictures
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Old School'

    In Frat Pack classic "Old School" (2006), Mitch (Luke Wilson) is dumped by his girlfriend, so he decides to rent a house near a college, much to the delight of pals Frank (Will Ferrell) and Beanie (Vince Vaughn). But when their exploits get too rowdy, the college threatens to take the house away, so the boys start a frat that will accept anyone as a member.

    Dreamworks Pictures / Dreamworks Pictures
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Not Another Teen Movie'

    2001's "Not Another Teen Movie" spoofs many films in the genre, including "Never Been Kissed," "The Breakfast Club" and "10 Things I Hate About You."

    Columbia Pictures / Columbia Pictures
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Legally Blonde'

    In 2001's "Legally Blonde," Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) applies to Harvard Law School and gets in just so she can win back a boyfriend. She doesn't quite fit in with the other students, but realizes that her way of doing things just might have its place in the legal world after all.

    MGM / MGM
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Bring It On'

    As captain of her school's championship-winning cheerleading squad, Torrance (Kirsten Dunst) is faced with stiff competition for the national title from the inner-city, hip-hop squad the Clovers, led by Isis (Gabrielle Union). Torrance's mission is further complicated when she learns that her predecessor stole cheer routines from the Clovers. Can she come up with a new routine that will help the Toros beat the Clovers? 2000's "Bring It On" reveals the answer.

    Universal Pictures / Universal Pictures
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'American Pie'

    In 1999's "American Pie," Jim (Jason Biggs) is your average healthy red-blooded virgin -- he's desperate and has no idea how to act around women, especially foreign-exchange student Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth). But what he doesn't realize is that his more experienced pals (Thomas Ian Nicholas, Chris Klein, and Eddie Kaye Thomas) are having just as much trouble with women as he is.

    Universal Pictures / Universal Pictures
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Clueless'

    If anyone in Beverly Hills is clued in, it's Cher (Alicia Silverstone). She's almost 16, she's rich, she's way popular, and she loves letting the world benefit from her expertise in all of life's important issues -- like dating, fashions and looking good. But she's going to discover that, when it comes to matters of the heart, she's ... clueless. Luckily, pal Dionne (Stacy Dash) is always there to give her advice in 1995's "Clueless."

    Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'

    Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) is a tricky but harmless fast-talker. But he knows how to have fun, which is exactly what he sets out to do when he feigns illness and talks his parents into letting him stay home from school. The perpetually lucky Ferris enlists his hypochondriac best friend, Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck), into springing Ferris' girlfriend, Sloane Peterson (Mia Sara), from class, and the three embark on a raucous downtown Chicago adventure in 1986's "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

    Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures
  • FILM 'DEAD POETS SOCIETY' BY PETER WEIR

    Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Dead Poets Society'

    In 1989's "Dead Poets Society," English teacher John Keating (Robin Williams) tries to inspire boys at an exclusive prep school in 1959.

    Corbis / Corbis
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Back to School'

    Millionaire businessman Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) is upset when his son Jason (Keith Gordon) announces that he is not sure about going to college, in the 1986 film, "Back to School." Thornton insists that college is the best thing he never had for himself, and to prove his point, he agrees to enroll in school along with his son. Thornton is a big hit on campus: always throwing the biggest parties and knowing all the right people. But is this the way to graduate?

    Orion Pictures / Orion Pictures
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'The Breakfast Club'

    In 1985's "The Breakfast Club," a princess (Molly Ringwald), a geek (Anthony Michael Hall), a jock (Emilio Estevez), a basket case (Ally Sheedy) and a delinquent (Judd Nelson) are all forced to share a Saturday in detention. After pushing each other's buttons all day long, they finally learn to understand each other in spite of their differences.

    Universal Pictures / Universal Pictures
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Fast Times'

    Sean Penn played surfer Jeff Spicoli in Amy Heckerling's 1982 film, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," a look at the year in the life of a Southern California high school (based on Cameron Crowe's experiences going undercover for his book). Spicoli just wanted to enjoy a little food in history class, but Mr. Hand (Ray Walston) was less than amused.

    Universal Pictures / Universal Pictures
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Grease'

    Olivia Newton John and John Travolta starred in 1978's "Grease," based on the Broadway musical. The plot revolves around a sweet girl who gets involved with a T-Bird. They both realize if they're going to be together, they need to make some changes.

    Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures
  • Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Animal House'

    In 1978's "National Lampoon's Animal House," John Belushi starred as Bluto a member of Faber College's Delta fraternity, a group that treasures partying, drinking and the pursuit of women over all else. After realizing that Dean Wormer has a plan to revoke their charter, they decide that, instead of whining about it, they'll have a toga party.

    Universal Pictures / Universal Pictures
  • To Sir, With Love

    Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'To Sir, With Love'

    Sidney Poitier starred in 1967's "To Sir, with Love," directed by James Clavell. In the film, Poitier plays an idealistic black teacher who find himself teaching in an all-white London school. With unorthodox teaching techniques, he eventually wins the hearts and minds of the students. Pop singer Lulu eventually serenades him with the title track.

    Columbia Tristar / Columbia Tristar
  • James Dean & Natalie Wood In 'Rebel Without A Cause'

    Pens, Paper ... and Popcorn!

    of

    'Rebel Without a Cause'

    James Dean holds Natalie Wood close in a scene from "Rebel Without A Cause," directed by Nicholas Ray. With it's story of disillusioned youth, the story struck a chord with 1955 audiences. Dean died before the film's release.

    Warner Bros. / Warner Bros.

West Beverly Hills High School, '90210'
Going to school at West Beverly Hills High, near tony Rodeo Drive and a few miles from the ocean, might seem like a wonderful dream. It's not. This is why: Your classmates look like they're at least 100 years old. Your deejay is this guy and these are your dance moves. While you’re summering in Paris, your best friend steals your man. Forget the mall or the back seat of a car: your guy and your BFF carry out their affair in fancy places like the Bel Age Hotel. The seemingly all-around sweet guy who will later jump inside a shark with a chainsaw during a tornado is a racist pig. As the only member of the middle-class in the 'hood you get a part-time job at the retro diner where your friends hang out only to have one of them ruin it by bringing in Color Me Badd. When you get drunk and lose the right to graduate with your class, your friends lose their minds and start chanting. Try another ZIP code, people. — Maria Elena Fernandez

Today
Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Dustin Diamond, Mario Lopez may have been "Saved By the Bell," but we wouldn't want to enroll at Bayside High.

Bayside High School, 'Saved by the Bell'
Planning on running for class president? Hoping to be voted head cheerleader? Forget it if you go to Bayside High School. The only kids from Bayside High on “Saved by the Bell” who had any shot of doing anything cool were the members of Zack Morris’ uber-popular gang. Not only did Zack’s six-pack of friends snag all of the most-coveted roles at the school— homecoming queen, captain of the football team, writer of the school song — but they also basically ran the school, relegating everyone else who wasn’t lucky enough to be pals with Zack to the background. Sure, you might have a shot to make the cheerleading squad, but everyone knew that Zack’s girlfriend, Kelly Kapowski, was always going to be on top of the pyramid. —Ashley Majeski

TOP