If Britain Had High School Teen Movies

Spoiler alert - the cliques are ALL weird and the ending’s a bit crap.

1. The movie would open with a long sweeping shot, not over the (American) football pitch, but over an asphalt playground, painted with netball and football lines.

What I go to school for by Busted will probably be playing at this point, let’s be real.

2. We meet the protagonists as they sit cross-legged on the floor of the school gym for a whole school assembly. No homeroom messages broadcast over a Tannoy system here.

The deputy headmistress is probably giving an assembly that’s basically about her own kids and how naughty they are. God will probably be thrown in there somewhere, and a moral about not getting an ASBO.

3. The cool kids meet up to smoke. Not under the bleachers of American High School fame, but behind the Portakabin classrooms set up in the school car park.

Or even in the damp shelter of the school bike shed.

4. Our star-cross’d lovers would probably lock eyes over a bin bag full of rubbish as they suffered through a litter-picking detention.

The falling sheets of grey British rain add romance to the occasion.

5. The leading lady is probably in detention for rolling up her school skirt.

6. The hero is in detention for not having shiny enough shoes.

Just kidding Americans - they don’t usually make kids shine their shoes in school the UK. At least not these days. He probably just had his shirt untucked or too much hair gel.

7. Nobody ever really sees the sporty kids because they’re all too busy missing school to compete at the county youth championships of their chosen sport.

Not a ‘jock’ in sight.

8. There aren’t cheering crowds of supporters at school sports events. No marching band to speak of. And certainly no cheerleaders.

Just a couple of seagulls and someone’s mum with a flask of tea and a packet of Quavers.

9. With no assigned “lab partners”, teachers need to think of more creative ways to matchmake their students.

10. Not even the cool kids have cars, and everyone kind of hates the one kid who got a second hand Ford Fiesta for their 17th birthday.

They get a parking ticket basically every day because there’s nowhere to park their car on school premises.

11. Instead of a house party with punch and big red cups, the pivotal party scene in the British teen movie plays out over cheap cider in the local park.

The soundtrack to this scene is the eternally classy Flip Reverse by Blazin’ Squad, played through the tinny speakers of someone’s battery operated boom box. Shaky camera techniques are employed as our romantic protagonists become increasingly inebriated, snog, and then invariably throw up, break up and cry in the bushes.

12. The awkward abstinence scene of the American teen movie would be replaced by a scene of the school nurse dumping a bucket of condoms on the desk at the front of the classroom.

A frenzied condom-grabbing free-for-all ensues. Weeks later, the school is still festooned with condom balloons.

13. News gets out that our male lead was spotted drinking slush puppies at the shopping centre with one of the girls from the local private school.

What a love-rat! Our heroine is heartbroken and proceeds to flush all of the dirty cheater’s plastic shag-bands down the loo. If You’re Not The One by Daniel Bedingfield is the soundtrack to this moment.

14. But all is forgotten when our romantic lead graffitis a bus window in his true love’s honour.

Everyone knows that bus windows are the new trees when it comes to carving permanent symbols of teenage love.

15. Unfortunately for our young lovers, the British school year doesn’t end with a prom or graduation. There’s no valedictorian and our heroes won’t be crowned Prom King and Queen…

The romance of a generation peters out during the study leave period. She has no time for him when she’s revising for her Geography A-Level. She needs two As and a B to get into university…

His gran offered him fifty quid for every B he gets in his exams and he’s pretty skint so he has to knuckle down…

16. Lining up outside the exam hall with their clear plastic pencil cases, they exchange awkward glances.

He waves. She smiles. They both look down at their feet as the headmaster shuffles past. Suddenly there is commotion as the class slacker dives into the shot, panting, still wearing his pyjama bottoms and a Sex Pistols T-Shirt. “Sorry… I’m… Late…” he manages, between deep breaths. “I thought… Physics… was tomorrow”.

“It is.” murmurs the headmaster, humourlessly.

The class clown exclaims his catchphrase loudly. Something like “Bugger me sideways” or “Flipping Arsebuckets”. The tension is broken.

17. The British high school teen movie ends on “Results Day”. The camera pans through the school buildings. Kids are weeping everywhere and it’s impossible to tell whether they’re happy or not.

The local newspaper sends a photographer to take a picture of the clever kids jumping in the air. It takes several tries before the photographer can capture them all airborne.

Female lead walks over to male lead all tearstained eyes and shaking hands.

“How did you do?” she enquires softly - it’s the first time she has spoken to him since study leave began, months before.

He smiles.

The camera pans up to the sky, and Don’t Look Back Into The Sun by The Libertines plays as the credits roll.

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