How would we know how to have a proper high-school party if there weren’t movies to tell us? From “Suck and Blow” to puking in the closest vase, the only way to learn how to have proper fun is to study up on your clichés long before the neighbor calls the cops. In honor of The To Do List (which hopefully checks off quite a few of these classic moments), we present the nine most potent high-school party clichés. Chug, chug, chug!
The host really only invited two or three friends, and yet a party actualizes out of nowhere …
In a high-school movie, as soon as someone cautiously reveals that their parents are out of town that weekend, it’s like the party has already started. Take 10 Things I Hate About You, where a sweater-vest-wearing geek’s quiet dinner party turns sour when the doorbell rings: “That must be Nigel with the brie!”
… Thus, that same host spends much of the party collecting and hiding their home’s valuables.
If you’re going to have a party, No. 1 rule is hide your parents’ valuables. But even if you do, make sure you put everything back at the end of the night (or quickly the next morning!).
A surprisingly good band performs.
Did a Matt Damon–fronted band play at your graduation party? In Eurotrip, lucky partygoers get treated to a performance by Donny, who taunts poor Scott about stealing his girlfriend. Sure, it’s not a very nice song, but a full band set-up at a house party? That rules.
There’s an exaggerated jump into the pool.
Ever since film’s most famous house-party pool jump was successfully completed by Almost Famous’s Russell “Golden God” Hammond, high-school kids have been attempting to hit the water with an equal amount of glory. Take Project X — that film’s out-of-control party featured kids trying to complete the perfect cannonball.
Sex is had.
It just wouldn’t be a high-school party without (the promise of) sex. In American Pie, Kevin and Vicky finally have sex in an upstairs bedroom — while the Sherminator pretends to in a downstairs bedroom. But perhaps the most moving high-school sex scene is when Seth Green’s goggle-wearing Kenny Fisher has sex with Lauren Ambrose’s morose Denise Fleming after they get trapped in an upstairs bathroom. It’s more romantic than it sounds.
There’s a dance-off.
Forget Usher and the prom scene from She’s All That, have you seen House Party? Do not tell me those moves weren’t practiced beforehand.
Everyone plays a weird party game you’ve either never heard of or would never actually play.
Did anyone actually play “Suck and Blow” before Clueless? Did they play that game even after Clueless?
Two “jocks” get into a fight.
Sure, Jonah Hill isn’t really in high school, but he definitely fights like someone who is.
Someone calls the cops.