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Name your favorite (and least fave) fictional high schools of the '80s



Fast Times at Ridgemont HighRidgemont High. Westerburg High. The Welton Academy for Boys. Whatever the heck the name of the high school was in all those John Hughes movies.

School's almost back in session. Well, for our kids. Suckers! For the rest of us, it's just another week back on the chain gang. But we can at least honor the TV and movie schools of the '80s.

What I want are your picks for best and worst fictional high schools of the '80s. (You can decide for yourself if real high schools depicted in films of the '80s, like Garfield High in Stand and Deliver, deserve recognition.) We'll debut the consensus top 5 and bottom 5 on Monday.

Here are five -- good and bad -- that come to mind:

RIDGEMONT HIGH SCHOOL (Fast Times at Ridgemont High): They had a ringer on the football team, a stoner who ordered pizza to class, a couple girls who taught themselves sex ed with carrots and a science teacher who was a little slow because he just switched to Sanka, so have a heart?

JFK HIGH (Teachers): Bet you forget about this Nick Nolte dare-I-say-classic movie. Nolte takes a girl to get an abortion. An escaped lunatic poses as a teacher. And even Ralph Macchio had a role that didn't involve waxing any cars or painting any fences.

BAYSIDE HIGH SCHOOL (Saved by the Bell): Long before Dustin Diamond and Elizabeth Berkley were making sex tapes and R-rated flicks like Showgirls, they were just two of the acid-washed, frosted-hair students on NBC’s Saturday morning show, which barely sneaks into the '80s. And who didn’t love Principal Belding? “Hey, hey, hey, what is going on here?”

RYDELL HIGH SCHOOL (Grease 2): Hey, I'm not cheating. The sequel, which is awful and yet I still watched it a million times and know the songs by heart, was in the '80s. It even featured a teacher named Mr. Spears, who is returning from a nervous breakdown. How appropriate.

AMPIPE HIGH SCHOOL (All The Right Moves): Am I wrong for still getting enjoyment out of this Tom Cruise high school football movie? And why didn't Craig T. Nelson just take the safety there at the end of the game against Walnut Heights? That question haunts my dreams to this day.

Add your own picks and let's call this class into session. Added bonus points for whoever figures out (definitively) the name of any of the schools in the John Hughes movies.

[Last modified: Thursday, August 19, 2010 10:01am]


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