[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/charliebartlett.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350: [[FunTShirt Cool shirt, Charlie]].]]
->'''Marilyn Bartlett:''' Well, maybe there's more to high school than being well-liked.
->'''Charlie Bartlett:''' Like what specifically?
->'''Marilyn Bartlett:''' Nothing comes to mind.

Charlie Bartlett just wants to be popular. After all, if that's not the point of HighSchool, what is? Unfortunately, his attempts at popularity haven't succeeded in the past, and he's just been kicked out of yet another boarding school. What's a guy to do? Why, go to public school, of course!

Between taking care of his depressed, alcoholic mother and getting his head flushed down the toilet, Charlie's first day isn't much to brag about. So he visits the therapist his family keeps on retainer, who promptly diagnoses him with ADD. Only one problem -- Charlie doesn't have ADD. And Ritalin acts rather like speed. After one crazy, drug-fueled night, Charlie hits on a new premise. He can sell the drugs, teaming up with the school bully and founding a business in the process. But Charlie doesn't stop at selling the drugs. He opens up his own psychiatric practice, operating out of the school's bathroom.

The film is not quite a comedy, and doesn't flinch at examining the consequences of Charlie's actions, many of which are unpleasant.
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!!This film provides examples of:

* AcquiredSituationalNarcissism: Averted by Charlie.
* AlcoholicParent: Principal Gardner.
* AttentionDeficitOohShiny
* BigManOnCampus: Charlie wants to (and does) become this.
* BoardingSchool: Charlie's been kicked out of several.
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler:Literally.]]
* ComingOfAgeStory
* DeanBitterman: Principal Nathan Gardner, Charlie's nemesis and Susan's father.
* {{Delinquents}}: Charlie himself, as well as the school bully and his eventual business partner.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:Kip, the unpopular kid who Charlie prescribed antidepressants to, attempts suicide, likely as a side effect of the medication.]]
* DrugsAreBad: The movies not particularly {{anvilicious}} about it, but does make the message. [[spoiler:Particularly with one character's attempted suicide because of the antidepressant Charlie gave him]].
* EarnYourHappyEnding: [[spoiler:Charlie is almost killed by Principal Gardner, an alcoholic who just lost his job with the school. But no worries. Gardner ends up saving Charlie from drowning, redeeming himself and returning to teaching, which is what he wanted in the first place. And Charlie gets to internship (probably) with a real psychiatrist]].
* EatingLunchAlone: Rather than face this prospect, Charlie sits down across from someone with whom he rides the bus.
* FunTShirt: Charlie wears several. See the top of the page.
* HighSchoolHustler: Charlie is one, although the film is something of a subversion as his actions have serious consequences that he has to deal with.
* ImprobablyCoolCar: A Mercedes 600 Grosser in daily use as a chauffeured vehicle by people who aren't particularly car enthusiasts.
* KarmaHoudini: Charlie, thanks to a lack of evidence.
* LoveInterest: Susan, to Charlie. She happens to be Principal Gardner's daughter.
* MoodWhiplash: The party scene where Charlie gleefully tells a large crowd that he's no longer a virgin is immediatly followed by [[spoiler:Kip's attempted suicide]].
* MustHaveNicotine: Susan
* NeverTrustATrailer: Advertised as a comedy ''a la'' ''[[Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff Ferris Bueller]]''. It's not quite.
* NewTransferStudent: Charlie, complete with wearing [[TransferStudentUniforms his old school's uniform]] despite attending a public school with no dress code.
* OffTheWagon: Principal Gardner had a problem with alcohol in the past. It comes back.
* OverprotectiveDad: Principal Gardner.
* ParentalAbandonment: Charlie's father [[spoiler:who's in prison]]. Susan's mother [[spoiler:who ditched her family for an affair]].
* ProtagonistTitle
* SchoolUniformsAreTheNewBlack: Charlie's rarely seen outside of his boarding school jacket.
* SchoolPlay
* SexAsRiteOfPassage:
-->"Ladies and gentlemen--I'm no longer a virgin!"
* TransferStudentUniforms
* TwerpSweating: Played with. [[Creator/RobertDowneyJr Principle Gardner]], after revealing to Charlie that Susan is his daughter, assures him he is not the type of father who does this. [[CouldSayItBut He then proceeds to tell him exactly what he would say to him if he were]].
* YoungConqueror
* YouAreGrounded
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