10 Most Unrealistic Pop Culture School Clichés — GALLERY


High school. That four year stretch when you march through your hallways singing about your problems. When you end up the victim to the football teams’ endless hijinks. When you dodge your vengeful principals and befriend your cool, fatherly teachers. When you seize the day with an epic senior prank or a memorable trip to the beach, or museum, or your friend’s dad’s garage.

Or you might actually live in the real world. See, movies and television have a habit of depicting high school a bit differently than it actually is. Things aren’t always tumultuously dramatic or outlandishly wacky. Sometimes, high school is just classes, lunch, and maybe a test or two. But that’d be boring! So, the world of Hollywood has invested in a few trusty pop culture clichés to pump into a lot of its illustrations of high school.

We’ve come up with a list of a few of these mistruths that we think need to be identified. You can’t have people heading into freshman year thinking everything’s going to be like it is in a John Hughes movie! (If only….) Check out our gallery of some of these particularly unrealistic elements that rear their heads in film and TV time and time again.

10 Most Unrealistic Pop Culture School Clichés


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Staff editor Michael Arbeiter’s natural state of being can best be described as “mild panic attack.” His earliest memories of growing up in Queens, New York, involve nighttime conversations with a voice from his bedroom wall (the jury’s still out on what that was all about) and a love for classic television that spawned from the very first time he was allowed to watch “The Munsters.” Attending college at SUNY Binghamton, a 20-year-old Michael learned two things: that he could center his future on this love for TV and movies, and that dragons never actually existed — he was kind of late in the game on that one.