Skip To Content

    19 Teen Shows Ranked By How Much Time They *Actually* Spent In Class

    Is there even a high school in Outer Banks? Or just boats?

    As a connoisseur of teen content, one of the things I notice is how little time these youths spend in class. Like, I don't mind โ€” I just find it funny that they talk about being ~high schoolers~, yet I don't see ANYONE walking around with a five-subject notebook.

    Paramount Pictures

    So, I decided to rank some of my personal favorite teen shows based on how much time the characters actually spend in class. Not on the quad, not at sports practice, but actually learning.

    Netflix

    Before we hop in, I wanted to lay down some critieria so you know where I'm coming from.

    1. I am only considering the time the characters in the shows spent in actual high school. None of this college/jump ahead four years nonsense. Just freshman year to senior year.

    2. I am also taking into consideration learning timeย โ€”ย or, rather, the illusion of learning. Watching kids sit in a classroom and learn proofs doesn't make for good TV, but I also won't count spending your entire day in the student lounge as "a day well learned."

    3. Last, but not least, sports games/practice DO NOT count. You know which shows this rule is aimed at.

    *BONUS POINTS IF A CHARACTER IS ACTUALLY SEEN DOING HOMEWORK / COMPLETING AN ASSIGNMENT!!!*

    So, without further ado, please and kindly enjoy my ranking. If you agree / disagree / wanna add / wanna argue, I'll see you down in the comments section:

    19. Outer Banks

    Netflix

    Be honest. Is there even a school in this town? I'm asking for a friend.ย 

    0/5 ๐Ÿ“š

    18. What I Like About You

    The WB

    I guess after, like, three episodes, the city of New York became Holly's source of education instead of whatever PS she went to in Brooklyn.ย 

    0/5 ๐Ÿ“š

    17. Euphoria

    HBO

    More class, less grass...among other narcotics. Still, I do recall seeing them strutting down the hallway occasionally.ย 

    1/5 ๐Ÿ“š

    16. Riverdale

    The CW

    I don't think I've ever seen these kids in an actual classroom โ€” they're spending all their time either sexin' it up in the shower or getting mauled by bears or putting WAY TOO MUCH time into a high school newspaper. Still, we're getting warmer โ€” at least we saw them on campus.

    1/5 ๐Ÿ“š

    15. Gossip Girl

    The CW

    I, quite literally, never saw Serena van der Woodsen EVEN OPEN A FUCKING TEXTBOOK. Yet she went to Brown...money talks, y'all.ย 

    1.2/5 ๐Ÿ“š

    14. The Vampire Diaries

    Elena, Bonnie, and Carolina gossiping outside their lockers
    The CW

    I remember a scene in the pilot when Stefan schooled the history teacher because, you know, he's ancient, but other than that, school kinda fell by the wayside...which makes sense if you're a doppelgรคnger / vampire / werewolf / hybrid / witch / Original / I think that's all the creatures that appear in this series.ย 

    1.5/5 ๐Ÿ“š

    13. Pretty Little Liars

    Freeform

    I'm not going to count all the time the show spent in English class because that was more of a weird / illegal form of foreplay between Aria and Mr. Fitz than an actual form of education. Eventually, it only seemed like they went to school for Emily to be eligible for the swim team and so that the PLL squad could attend masked dances and sneak around campus for clues.ย 

    2/5 ๐Ÿ“š

    12. Glee

    Fox

    Sure, these kids spent 8 hours a day in school, yet somehow 7.5 of those hours were in the choir room and the other .5 was in Mr. Schue's Spanish class.ย 

    2.5/5 ๐Ÿ“š

    11. Ginny & Georgia

    Netflix

    I vaguely remember Ginny being in a class and getting a bad grade on a paper, which she attributed to racism instead of her not following the assignment. Other than that, the MANG gang and their hoard of suitors spent a lot of time in that hallway? But not much else. OH wait, I remember that sweet boy read Pride & Prejudice for Ginny, which was super sweet.ย ย 

    2.7/5 ๐Ÿ“š

    10. All American

    The CW

    To me, the below show and this show were neck and neck, but alas, there's just a tad bit more emphasis on football / Spencer carrying the weight of Crenshaw on his shoulders.ย 

    3/5 ๐Ÿ“š

    9. One Tree Hill

    Brooke, Peyton, and Haley goofing around in the hallway
    The WB

    If basketball practice and English class were all that these kids needed to survive in the world, this show would be at the top of my list. But a little too much quad time and not enough book time โ€” this is why Brooke was failing calculus in the fourth season!ย 

    3.3/5 ๐Ÿ“š

    8. Sabrina the Teenage Witch

    The WB

    Well, of course Sabrina spent a decent amount of time in class! That's where a lot of her witchy mishaps took place. I do commend her for juggling high school AND witch lessons.ย 

    3.5/5 ๐Ÿ“š

    7. Lizzie McGuire

    Disney Channel

    They spent a solid amount of time in class, which thank goodness they did, because that's why we got the ICONIC "taking care of a fake baby" episodes. Not to mention, the ~too cool for school~ styles of the early '00s.ย 

    3.8/5 ๐Ÿ“š

    6. Veronica Mars

    UPN

    Veronica's ability to solve crime while ALSO maintaining her grade point average is nothing to stick your nose up at! The Riverdaleย and PLLย kids can take a note or two from her.ย 

    4/5 ๐Ÿ“š

    5. The O.C.

    Fox

    Despite the series airing almost 10 EPISODES before our squad steps foot on The Harbor School's campus, once they are on campus, they stay put! Especially Ryan with his A.P. classes so he can become an architect...now, their after-school jobs? Well, that's a different post for a different day.ย 

    4.2/5 ๐Ÿ“š

    4. Elite

    Netflix

    I will forever be impressed by the abilities these kids have to keep up with their classes and also commit various murders. That is what I call multitasking! Not to mention their uniforms? ACE CONTENT!ย 

    4.5/5 ๐Ÿ“š

    3. Gilmore Girls

    The WB

    Feelings about Rory Gilmore aside, I cannot deny that she put in the WORK at Chilton.ย 

    4.7/5 ๐Ÿ“š

    2. Never Have I Ever

    Netflix

    If the nerds in my high school looked like Ben Gross, I definitely would have paid way more attention in class. But, in all seriousness, these kids, like, realistically should be able to get into college with the amount of work they put into their education. Fabiola deserves a spot at Brown WAY MORE than Serena.ย 

    5/5 ๐Ÿ“š

    1. Degrassi

    Lola comforting Yael about their sexuality
    Netflix

    Somehow, even though there was always drama / some after-school-special-type lesson to be learned at the end of the episode, they actually went to class. And, like, LEARNED. Also, they participated in sports and other after-school activities! This proves that you can lead a dramatic life and finish your homework.ย 

    6/5 ๐Ÿ“š

    TV and Movies

    Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

    Newsletter signup form