Television

Back to School! Top 20 Campus Comedies

Now that school bells are a-ringin', it's time to study up on the 20 best schoolyard laughfests of film and TV, and best of all, no quiz!

20 Memorable Campus Comedies

20. 'The Breakfast Club' (1985)

Writer/director John Hughes hit the high-school angst nail on the head with this mostly comedic, sometimes bittersweet look at five high school students serving detention. Best line: "Dear Mr. Vernon, We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did was wrong. But we think you're crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us. In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions, you see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal." — Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall)

19. 'Back to School' (1986)

Who doesn't want to see comedian Rodney Dangerfield go back to college to help his discouraged son (Keith Gordon)? Best line: "Bring us a pitcher of beer every seven minutes until somebody passes out. And then bring one every ten minutes." — Thornton Melon (Dangerfield).

18. 'Real Genius' (1985)

Teenage geniuses deal with their abilities at an elite school. Best line: "This? This is ice. This is what happens to water when it gets too cold. This? This is Kent. This is what happens to people when they get too sexually frustrated." — Chris Knight (Val Kilmer)

17. 'High School Musical' (2006)

Before there was "Glee," there was Disney Channel's "High School Musical," which sees a group of high school kids sing and dance their way through the school year. Best line: "We need to save our show from people who don't know the difference between a Tony Award and Tony Hawk." — Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale)

16. 'Summer School' (1987)

A high-school gym teacher named Shoop (Mark Harmon) has big plans for the summer, but is forced to cancel them to teach a "bonehead" English class for misfit goof-off students. Hilarity ensues. Best line:Student: "You want us to study?" Shoop: "The thought did cross my mind." Student: "Well, what's in it for us? What do we get out of it? Shoop: "Literacy?"

15. 'The House Bunny' (2008)

When Playboy bunny Shelley (Anna Faris) is tossed out of the mansion, she has nowhere to go until she falls in with a socially clueless group of sorority girls from Zeta Alpha Zeta. And wouldn't you know it? They help each other. Best line: "The only magic I ever did was try to figure out how to stay in college for nine years and not go back to my trailer park in Idaho." — Carrie Mae (Dana Goodman)

14. 'Grease' (1978)

Good girl Sandy (Olivia Newton John) and greaser Danny (John Travolta) go together like ramma lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong in this classic campus musical. Best line: "Attention seniors. Before the merriment of commencement commences, I hope that your years with us here at Rydell have prepared you for the challenges you face. Who knows? Among you there may be a future Eleanor Roosevelt or a Rosemary Clooney, and among you young men, there may be a Joe DiMaggio, a President Eisenhower, or even a Vice-President Nixon. But you will always the glorious memories of Rydell High. Rydell forever. Bon voyage." — Principal McGee (Eve Arden)

13. 'Dazed & Confused' (1993)

This classic campus comedy follows the adventures of high school students on the last day of school in 1976. Best line: "I did it when I was a freshman, and you'll do it when you're seniors. But you're doing great. Now fry like bacon, you little freshman piggies. Fry!" — Simone (Posey Parker)

12. 'Heathers' (1989)

Before "Mean Girls," there was "Heathers." This dark comedy is about a girl (Winona Ryder) who halfheartedly tries to be part of the "in crowd" of her school and meets a rebel (Christian Slater) who teaches her a more devious way to play social politics. Best line: "People will look at the ashes of Westerburg and say, 'Now there's a school that self-destructed, not because society didn't care, but because the school was society.' Now that's deep." — J.D. (Slater)

11. 'Van Wilder' (2002)

This one follows the most popular kid on campus (Ryan Reynolds) who meets a beautiful journalist (Tara Reid) and makes him realize that maybe he's afraid to graduate from college. Reality bites. Best line: "You know what I've learned in my seven years here at Coolidge... Timmy? I've learned that you can't treat every situation as a life-and-death matter because you'll die a lot of times. Write that down." — Van Wilder (Reynolds)

10. 'Old School' (2003)

When old college buddies, now in their 30s, decide to start up a fraternity to gain some of that lost youth, all manner of hilarity ensues. Best line: "At this point, you may be asking yourself, why am I holding this 30 pound cinder block in my hands? You might also ask yourself, why does this cinder block have a long piece of string tied to it? And finally, why is the other end of this string tied securely to your penis?" — Mitch (Luke Wilson) "And the answer ladies... is trust." — Beanie (Vince Vaughn)

9. 'Glee' (2009)

The "Glee" folks take the high school singing and dancing to a whole new spectacular level. But along their way to stardom, they also have to contend with slushies in the face, being called losers and snide comments from the cheerleader coach, Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch). Best line: "Glee club. Every time I try to destroy that clutch of scab-eating mouth-breathers, it only comes back stronger, like some sexually-ambiguous horror movie villain." — Sue Sylvester

8. 'Welcome Back, Kotter' (1975)

As a '70s TV staple, this look at an inner city high school classroom delivered the laughs week after week — and introduced us to a young John Travolta. Best line: "It's the first legitimate excuse I've turned in in 11 years. Me, Juan Epstein, the flim-flam man of Buchanan High School, a legit excuse. What's the world comin' to?" — Juan Epstein (Robert Hegyes)

7. 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' (1982)

If "Welcome Back Kotter" was high school in the '70s, "Fast Times" is definitely high school in the '80s — from stoners to preppies to Pat Benatar lookalikes. Best line: "What Jefferson was saying was, Hey! You know, we left this England place 'cause it was bogus; so if we don't get some cool rules ourselves-pronto-we'll just be bogus too! Get it? " — Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn)

6. 'Freaks and Geeks' (1999)

Another great take on '80s high school, which chronicles the normal teen/adolescence problems any teenager goes through including acceptance, drugs, drinking, and bullying. From writer/producer Judd Apatow, the show's stars included James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel. Best line: "Look, these teachers... these teachers want us to work, you know? And I say fine... I'll work. But you gotta let me do the kind of work that I wanna do. And for me, Lindsay, it's my- it's my drum kit, man. This my passion, you know? This is- this is the essence of who I am now. But before I had this, I was lost too. You see what I'm saying? You need to find...your reason for- for living, man. You've got to find, your big, just gigantic drum kit, you know?" — Nick Andopolis (Segel)

5. 'Mean Girls' (2004)

Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) is a hit with The Plastics, the A-list girl clique at her new school, until she makes the mistake of falling for the ex-boyfriend of alpha Plastic Regina George (Rachel McAdams). Best line: "Do you know what people say about you? They say you are homeschooled jungle freak who's a less hot version of me. So don't try to act all innocent. You can take that fake apology and shove it straight up your hairy little... [gets hit by a schoolbus]" — Regina

4. 'Community' (2009)

Finally, a comedy about community college! Joel McHale leads a hilarious cast of colorful characters, who for varying reasons are getting their intermediate degrees. Best line: "I discovered at a very early age that if I talk long enough, I can make anything right or wrong. So either I'm God or truth is relative. In either case, booyah!" — Jeff Winger (McHale)

3. 'Election' (1999)

Meet Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon), an overachiever who is desperate to be the next student body president — even if that means she has to bring down one of the star teachers, Mr. McAllister (Matthew Broderick) Best line: "None of this would have happened if Mr. McAllister hadn't meddled the way he did. He should have just accepted things as they are instead of trying to interfere with destiny. You see, you can't interfere with destiny. That's why it's destiny. And if you try to interfere, the same thing's going to happen anyway, and you'll just suffer." — Tracy Flick

2. 'Revenge of the Nerds' (1984)

A group of bullied outcasts and misfits resolve to fight back for their peace and self respect. Let's hear it for the nerds! Best line: "I just wanted to say that I'm a nerd, and I'm here tonight to stand up for the rights of other nerds. I mean uh, all our lives we've been laughed at and made to feel inferior. And tonight, those bastards, they trashed our house. Why? Cause we're smart? Cause we look different? Well, we're not. I'm a nerd, and uh, I'm pretty proud of it." — Gilbert (Anthony Edwards)

1. 'Animal House' (1978)

The quintessential campus comedy that turned rowdy frat life into a work of art — or a big, drunken mess, depending on how you look at it. Best line: "What the f**k happened to the Delta I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst. 'Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble.' Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this!" — Bluto (John Belushi)

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