I have to start this one by saying that I'm a huge fan of high school/coming of age films. There are a ton of them, mostly following the same stupid mold revolving around getting laid and getting drunk. That's not necessarily bad, but can we at least do it realistically? Out of all of the teen movies you can remember, how many of them actually feel natural or remind you of your younger days? Not many, because instead of giving us an honest experience, Hollywood obviously thinks it's easier just to show us a caricature of the "All-American" high school. Here are some really irritating examples of things that you see in Hollywood's "All-American" schools that would NEVER happen in a real school.
The school paper being run by students
Yeah right! How many teen movies exist that portray the school newspaper as a one man show or a student-run publication? Oh yeah, all of them. C'mon, guys, can we at least get a shot of a teacher in the room? You don't even have to give them lines. I did some school newspaper work in my day, and there's no way an article about a teacher's alcoholism (ala The Faculty) would ever get run, even if you have the keys to get into the school at night, or the password to the computer. You would only get in trouble for stumbling upon the information in the firstplace. I know sometimes the school newspaper is a fun plot device to use, and it gives some characters a lot more power over others, but in this sense, it's just too fake to be ignored. Don't even get me started on Usher's morning announcements in She's All That. Talk about freedom of speech. Can you just tell me what's for lunch so I can go on with my day?
The cheerleading squad being run by students
Ok, Ok, maybe it is redundant, but this bothers me to no end. There is no way that a cheerleading squad just coaches itself, and the students alone get to decide who is allowed on the team. Have you ever seen a cheerleading coach in any of these movies? Nope. I thought I'd never say this, but Glee actually pulls off some realness in that capacity. To be honest, the whole cheerleading thing really only works in the Bring It On movies. It moves the plot along and typically provides some competition for our protagonist. Other than that, it's a movie cliche that is completely useless and irritating at the same time. Not to mention insulting to anyone who actually was a cheerleader in high school.
Getting stuffed in lockers
So I've only been around since the late 80's, and was in high school in the early 2000's, so maybe this one is too dated for me to comment on. But I'm gonna do so anyway. I've never seen anyone stuffed into a locker. No one is enough of a social pariah that hundreds of people would literally walk by and watch them be stuffed into one. Not to mention, it's not usually physically possible. The lockers in my high school were enormous. Someone a bit smaller than I was could squeeze into one. For someone any smaller, it wouldn't happen. For it to work, they would have to be Fred Savage size from his Wonder Years days. Most high school kids aren't. Plus in today's society, post-Columbine and all, school bullies for the most part have taken their assaults to the verbal arena. Not because they've become smarter or even more sensitive, but because they don't want to get killed later. Or sued by that kid's parents for that matter. That may be an even worse result.
In closing, I'd like to remind everyone to cherish the memories of their youth, and try not to let them be tainted by these cliches that Hollywood continues to feed us. Enjoy the movies for what they are, and if you are given the rare opportunity to see one that rings true to life, embrace it.