Sunday, 14 August 2016

Genralising: You Know You're Reading a High School Story When...

(Genralising. Verb.

The act of taking a genre and generalising it.) 
You Know You're Reading a High School Story When...

The protagonist is intelligent/sporty/artistic...
(...But apparently a mutant gifted with the power of invisibility.)

They can't wait to escape the unsatisfaction that is their school life.
(That, or the plot is about to make their semi-enjoyable school life unbearable.)

They might have a friend. Maybe two.
(One of whom will inevitably be a stunningly beautiful teen of the opposite gender who they've known since playgroup. Sorry, kindergarden, since this will undoubtedly be set in America.)

Like most teenagers, they will be entirely invisible to the opposite sex...

http://justanothercinemaniac.tumblr.com/post/32963392626/10-05-12-tumblrmaintenance

(...And, unlike most teenagers, they will be entirely ready and actively looking for a relationship.)

But, somehow, they'll end up in the middle of a love triangle anyway.
(For a male character, it'll be the most popular girl in the entire school vs the girl next door. For a female character, it's almost always sporty vs smart. The sporty being the most popular boy in the year, and the smart being her best friend.)

They'll have an enemy, of course, because what's a story without conflict?

https://giphy.com/gifs/emma-stone-easy-a-amanda-bynes-zSgg3wBd1GIwM

https://giphy.com/gifs/emma-stone-easy-a-amanda-bynes-IGi0dqjIEiCpG

 (Even if that conflict is just the occasional sneer from the quintessential mean girl.)

Other members of the student body will include jocks, nerds, and preps.
(Or, if you're not American, sporty kids, smart kids, and popular kids. We think.)

Common plot points include the rumour mill, sports events, preparing for higher education...
(...And prom. Also known as the most important night of your life. Expect anyone who doesn't care much for it to be treated as evil, or stupid, or both. Our invisible protagonist will undoubtedly be voted prom king or queen.)

As the climax approaches, our protagonist will inevitably fall out with their friends.

https://media.giphy.com/media/kT0Q1PxyqyeMo/giphy.gif

(Who they'll inevitably make back up with because friendship never ends in fictionland.)

 And, of course, they always get the girl/guy.

https://giphy.com/gifs/emma-stone-easy-a-mM8xnoOom39NS

(Uh. True love. It makes me want to barf.)
 
What was the last high school story you read? Did it pan out anything like this?

P.S. It should be noted that, whilst all of the GIFs are from Easy A, Easy A does not contain all of the tropes listed here.