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Tension-breaker, had to be done: Best and worst fictional high schools of the '80s



Mark Harmon in Summer School

Was your high school more like Ridgemont or San Dimas? Maybe you felt you were a mirror image of those hellish days at Westerburg High. Or maybe you had a Robin Williams type of teacher try to force you to love poetry at the real world equivalent of Whelton Academy for Boys. At least you weren't on the football team at Central High with Goldie Hawn as your head coach. (But good news, you'll win the big game against Prescott!)

As school starts up around the country again and a whole new generation of Spicolis head back to class, this seems like a good time to honor the best and worst fictional high schools of the '80s. Thanks to all our friends who made suggestions for today's list. (Pouring a milk box out for my homies at Countryside High School, Class of 1985.)


(Summer School)
Pros: World's coolest gym teacher; field trips to amusement parks.
Cons: Must work with Kirstie Alley.

2. RIDGEMONT HIGH (Fast Times at Ridgemont High)
Pros: Lenient attitude toward drug use; sexually aware student body; great football team.
Cons: Crazy history teacher; biology teacher needs to switch back to coffee.

san_dimas.jpg3. SAN DIMAS HIGH (Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure)
Pros: Creative use of time machine can mean an easy A in history.
Cons: No chance of beating Wyld Stallions in school talent show.

4. BAYSIDE HIGH SCHOOL (Saved by the Bell)
Pros: Aloof but warm-hearted principal; students can take elective course called "Your Future in Soft Porn."
Cons: Dustin Diamond is your best friend.

5. MONROE HIGH (Head of the Class)
Pros: Gifted students are actually the cool kids
Cons: Former radio DJ from Cincinnati is your history teacher.


(Vision Quest)
Pros: School newspaper publishes articles on female sexual organs.
Cons: Student body is obsessed with wrestling team.

lean_on_me.jpg4. EASTSIDE HIGH (Lean on Me)
Pros: Couches in the hallway.
Cons: Principal is nicknamed "Crazy Joe" for a reason.

3. HILL VALLEY HIGH (Back to the Future)
Pros: Huey Lewis is the judge for the school talent show.
Cons: Principal keeps calling you a slacker.

2. AMPIPE HIGH (All The Right Moves)
Pros: This is the year you'll beat Walnut Heights in football ...
Cons: ... unless the lunatic coach tries to run in the ball in rainy weather.

Pros: Students fairly normal except those four snobby ones who hate everyone.
Cons: Chances are 50/50 you'll be killed by Winona Ryder and/or Christian Slater.


[Last modified: Monday, August 23, 2010 8:48pm]


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