Tossin’ It Out There: What are YOUR favorite movies involving School?

It’s September! School is back!

NOTE: I’m allowed to be enthusiastic because I no longer GO to school.

Except through the magic of movies of course! There are hundreds of millions of movies that are set in and around schools (That’s mathematics right there people, that’s how I counted them all). Comedies, Romances, Dramas, Horror movies… you name it, pretty much any kind of movie ever been set in, around and about schools.

From Kindergarten Cop to Animal House, school movies can take you from the beginning to the end of the educational spectrum. Pre Schools, Grade Schools, Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges. The magical medium has visited them all. From the Serious (The Paper Chase) to the completely not serious (Class of Nuke ‘Em High), from the dramatic (Dead Poet’s Society) to the sophomoric (Fast Times at Ridgemont High), School is a setting and a subject covered by an enormous range of films.

So, in honor of my niece’s first day of Kindergarten (go get ‘em Squirt), what are your favorites? (I think I’m getting the idea people “Can’t pick just one” LOL)  

“And another thing, Vonnegut! I’m gonna stop payment on the check!”

86 thoughts on “Tossin’ It Out There: What are YOUR favorite movies involving School?

  1. Fast Times at Ridgemont High definitely.

    Although technically school is ending at the beginning I’m going to say A Goofy Movie. I loved that movie as a kid hahaha.

    Superbad. The parts in school are the best parts. Once they leave it the rest of the movie was just okay.

    Who can forget Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?

    GREASE.

    American Pie. The first one was the only one in school. But it was also the best of the run. Hopefully American Reunion will be good.

    The entire run of Harry Potter comes to mind lol.

    Back to School with Rodney Dangerfield.

    There’s probably more. But I can’t think of them off the top of my head. There’s a LOT more than I thought there would be. Good topic!

  2. Back to the Future of course!

    Kenneth Holliday above me said Harry Potter which is kinda interesting… I think that’s one of the subliminal reasons why HP is so popular. Because the story mostly takes place in a school called Hogwarts and most people watching the movie have went to school before.

  3. “Dazed and Confused” is without a doubt my favourite, what with it arguably being my favourite movie, period.

    “Three O’Clock High” and Ferris Bueller are up there quite high as well.

    Grease is a fun musical.

    On the serious side, I always enjoyed “School Ties”

    I always wanted to watch “Stand and Deliver” and “Lean on Me”…. but never got around to either of them.

    On the ridiculous note, watching an episode of NCIS after watching “Summer School” on TBS is a jarring experience.

    • Stand and Deliver and Lean on Me are both very good, but your basic someone finally cares and winds up getting positive results inspirational stories.

      Summmmer Schooool. LOL. I forgot that one. Wonder Mutt!

      I agree on “Dazed”, I’ll probably pick that one as number one, too later…

  4. Rudy. PCU. and I don’t think ferris buellers day off counts. Don’t get me wrong, one of my top five. But the name says it all….

  5. Rock n Roll High School – gotta love anything with The Ramones in it

    Reform School Girls – the name says it all…

    Old School – instant classic

    • The Breakfast Club…

      (Just happily nodding)

      Yeah man, that movie is so awesome. The last time I watched it I had to come blog about it. That was the first MTESS post I did. It just blew me away

      Awesome flick. And basically it’s just five kids talking

  6. “Real Genius” has always been a favorite of mine.

    And speaking of the 80’s… how about “Just One of the Guys” — another school film featuring the great Billy Zabka.

  7. I have to jump on the “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” bandwagon as well. Great movie.

    Another strong one for me is “Real Genius”. One of the very few to portray highly intelligent kids as something other than nerds, and it’s funny and entertaining. Also, while I’m not in the league of the kids in this movie, I can relate to Chris Knight as someone whose “give a damn” burnt out from being expected to be “all academics, all the time”.

    Other school favorites of mine: “American Graffiti” (hey, last day counts, right?), “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (I won’t claim it’s a great movie, but it’s a lot of fun), and “Animal House”.

  8. I’ll start my list

    Fast Times at Ridgemont High was kind of like the life I lead anyway, the partying drinking, smoking, and other stuff.

    Breakfast Club – just a cool movie

    PCU – again the partying, drinking lots and lots of beer and not remembering shit.

    Ferris Bueler’s Day Off – funny ass movie

    Kindergarten Cop – It’s not a tumor

    Summer School – Chainsaw and the dog with his doll.

    School of Rock – nice and cheesy Jack Black movie.

    Of course, all the Harry Potter’s

    Real Genius – Can you nail a 9 inch nail into a board with your penis? No. A girl has to have standards.

    Revenge of the Nerds and the second one wasn’t bad, after that though, no.

    So many have been mentioned in the above posts.

    The original Buffy the Vampyre Slayer was pretty good too.

    There are a ton more comedy’s but I can’t think of them all.

    • Three in a row for Real Genius! (at least the way they’re coming through my comment feed). I may have to revisit it.

      Fast Times is one of the most influential movies of my life. Take it for what you will. I lived high school like Fast Times and College like Animal House. I just thought that’s what you were supposed to do.
      :D

    • Maybe that’s cause you’re a musician!

      But no, that’s a solid flick, really. I know I like it.

      And Bill and Ted’s? Excellent!!! Lol. Such a ridiculous movie, but classic. I kid you not, there’s been talk of Bill and Ted’s 3.

    • Someone else, maybe even a couple of people, mentioned 3 O’Clock High.

      I’m fairly certain I haven’t seen it. A quick check of IMDb didn’t ring any bells for me.

      Yet another joy of blogging. Slowly revealing all the movies I HAVEN’T seen. I have a feeling I have worse omissions than that one in my “filmography” though.

      Oh. You’re the first to mention “My Bodyguard” though. So, there’s that. :D

  9. Dead poets society anyone? Too hokey? Haven’t seen it in years but LOVED it. Pretty in pink? Always been a sucker for the ducky dale type…

    • I don’t think it’s “Hokey”, I think it’s a downer. I mean it was a good flick, I just… I don’t know, maybe worth a revisit. But I’ve never owned it on DvD even.

      Pretty in Pink is alright. But it’s my least favorite of the big John Hughes flicks (he wrote it, didnt direct it) That’s no crime, that’s a tough crowd. I just think that ones more slanted to females than the rest. Even 16 candles.

  10. Mine is easily Dazed and Confused. It laps the track.

    Over the years I’ve totally come to love it. It may seem like a simple thing… essentially all the movie does is recreate a day in the life. But SO many movies try and fail. And yet this one hits it out of the park. I mean, it’s like they put cameras around a high school and just captured what really happens. I have BEEN to that party at the moontower. I’ve laid out on that football field. I remember poking my face in the door of other classrooms and distracting other students. Of course, I didnt hit on any teachers, but…

    That movie gets the blue ribbon for me, in a big way.

    • The most amazing thing about Dazed, for me, is how subtly so many things are done in it. Most movies… especially High School movies… would have had someone outright saying, “So, Pink… do you really think being nice to that little freshman’s going to open Jodi’s legs up for you?”

      The movie actually lets us pick that shit up on our own. Dazed never talks down to you. It treats you like an equal, because it knows that somewhere in these glorious moments, whether you grew up in the 70s, 80s or 90s…. you are in this movie somewhere. One of these, (or several of these) characters is you.

      And it does all that while being outstandingly fucking hilarious.

  11. Wow what is wrong with you folks!!! No one has mentioned Mean Girls yet? I also loved the more recent Easy A.
    “I don’t know what your generation’s fascination is with documenting your every thought… but I can assure you, they’re not all diamonds. “Roman is having an OK day, and bought a Coke Zero at the gas station. Raise the roof.” Who gives a rat’s ass?”

    • I like Mean Girls. Sure. It’s a good movie, and has like a murderer’s row of hot young starlets. What’s not to like?

      I don’t know about all THAT though… :D

      Could be an age difference thing too, trust me when I say I’m not going back and discovering all of these 80s movies I love so much, I lived em buddy. Lol

      Easy A was ok. That quote may be the best moment.

      I prefer Superbad as a school film if we’re going with Emma Stone flicks.

  12. It’s a no-brainer for me: Breakfast Club!!!

    Now there are a few “school movies” I could watch over and over….. Freedom Writers (I am a sucker for those “based on a true story” movies), Step Up (admittedly I watch that one for Channing Tatum as if I am still an 18 year old chick), Ferris Bueller (because my now husband made me watch that whole movie so I could see the part at the end that referenced the future marriage to Ferris….my first “hint” to my own future.)

    • I think I’m well on the record already in my admiration for BC and FBDO.

      But one of these days, this thread will be about “Guilty Pleasures”. I still think it’s too early. We all need to get comfortable with each other still LOL.

      I’m not outright SAYING I’ve seen “Step Up” a number of times, but I WILL say that Jenna Dewan is also appealing. LOL.

      I swear. I just IMDb’ed that quick to see if she uses one n or two, and she’s Jenna Dewan-Tatum now! Unless she married some OTHER Tatum, they got married!!

  13. Oh my….. I forgot about Grease, Stand and Deliver, and Napoleon Dynomite……..and what about Heathers…..and if we are thinking about movies about the warped minds of youngsters… What was that movie with Geller, Witherspoon, and Ryan Phillipe, Creul Intentions …. I guess technically it wasn’t a school movie since it took place over summer break, but “the bet” was about the headmaster’s daughter and had to happen before school began…..so for those reasons I am including it.

    • I wouldn’t have even thought of Cruel Intentions, but yeah there’s school stuff there.

      Heathers is a big one. That was a great flick back in the day.

      And I love Napoleon Dynamite. Gawd!!

      Tina, come get some food!!

  14. Does Weird Science count? I loved Chet – I’m gonna fix you a greasy pork sandwich and serve it in a dirty ashtray….You are right though, Dazed and Confused by a mile. I think we lived the “last day of school” pretty much most days during our high school years.

    • I vote “Nay” on Weird Science as a school movie. Do they actually set foot on school grounds at any point? I know they go to the mall…

      Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t love it.

      Who would have thought that Chet and Robert Downey Jr would have the most successful career out of everyone else in that movie (at that point in time).

      And yes. It sure was the last day off school for about eight years wasn’t it? :D

      • Doesn’t Weird Science open with a gym class pantsing?

        Also, I thought there was a school dance or something like that…

        Honestly, I don’t remember much outside of the pantsing and the bra-headgear.

      • The panting may be correct. I believe the school dance was “Sixteen Candles”. You may be experiencing John Hughes crossover syndrome. It’s rare, but deadly. :D

        Yeah, I think you may be right on the first one though.

        Anyone? Anyone?

      • Luckily Weird Science is on Netflix streaming (for as long as they still have Starz). Opening scene does show Gary and Wyatt in their H.S. gym class… and getting pantsed by a young Tony Star…. er RDJr.

        Judges rule “YES”.

      • John Hughes Crossover?

        You’ve got Christmas Cigarettes in my Table Cake! You’ve got Table Cake in my Christmas Cigarettes!

        Seriously, though, by not knowing the answer to my question you’ve forced me to open a new tab and head to Netflix. I may never forgive you for this…

        *moments later* Yup. Pantsing by RDJr. and that other guy.

      • Aaaand… how about some props to Oingo Boingo (feat. the great Danny Elfman) being one of those great 80’s bands who were involved in more than a few of these movies mentioned?

        Fast Times
        Weird Science
        Back to School
        Sixteen Candles
        Donnie Darko (OK, not mentioned, but should be)
        Good Will Hunting (Elfman did the score – again movie not mentioned again, bust should be).

      • Damn you all.

        Now I look like a fool on my own blog and my knowledge of movies has been plainly revealed to be a sham.

        This whole thing was for naught. I predict a Ghost Town here within a week.

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