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Characters: High School Musical
The cast of characters from Disney's High School Musical.

Troy Bolton

Portrayed by: Zac Efron

Big Man on Campus and captain of East High's basketball team, the Wildcats. He meets Gabriella at a New Years Eve karaoke party, sparking his feelings for Gabriella and a new-found interest in singing.

  • Adorkable: Surprisingly, given that he's a popular jock, but his awkwardness talking to Gabriella in the first film, attempts to hide from Chad and playing with his toy robot/super-hero cape give plenty of adorkable moments.
  • Big Man on Campus: Handsome, athletic, and very well-liked and admired in school.
  • Billy Elliot Plot: How the Be Yourself message manifests itself in Troy, especially since his father is the basketball team's coach and a former player.
  • Broken Ace: Frequently shown to be unhappy with the pressure from his friends and Dad. The final film even has his ripping down huge posters of himself around the school, and a huge part of his feelings for Gabriella are that she doesn't know him as the basketball guy and he can be himself.
    Troy: "My parents friends are always saying, your son's the basketball guy, You must be so proud....Sometimes I don't wanna be the 'basketball guy',I just wanna be a guy."
  • Chick Magnet: Almost every girl at East High swoons over him, including Alpha Bitch Sharpay Evans.
    • Clueless Chick Magnet: He's constantly bewildered by Sharpay's advances, doesn't realize Kelsi is star-struck just talking to him, and is adorably awkward with Gabriella, even though she's obviously as smitten as he is.
  • Hidden Depths: His interest in singing kick-starts the whole plot.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: They reflect his optimistic and slightly naïve personality.
  • Large Ham: Watch Bet On It and you'll see.
    • Scream really nails Troy firmly into this trope.
  • The Leader: Of the basketball team, which puts a lot of strain on him once he realizes his calling towards musical theater.
  • Lovable Jock: He's very nice, despite being the star player on the basketball team.
  • Nice Guy: Big time.
  • One Hundred Percent Adoration Rating: At East High, though the whole school turns against him when he decides he wants to be something other than the star basketball player. He lampshades this to Gabriella.
    Gabriella: "You pretty much have the school wired, don't you, Troy? Seems to me like everyone on campus wants to be your friend.
    Troy: "Unless we lose."
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Chad's Red.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive guy to Chad's manly man

Gabriella Montez

Portrayed by: Vanessa Hudgens

Shy Teen Genius and New Transfer Student, Gabriella meets Troy at a New Years karaoke party. At East High she struggles with her attempts to perform in the musical, and her burgeoning feelings for Troy.

  • Beware of the Nice Ones: As Sharpay discovers.
  • Broken Ace: In the first film. She's an incredibly intelligent student, but shy and insecure as a result. It doesn't hit her quite as bad as Troy, as she seems to get over it as the series continues, but she definitely has some issues.
  • Brainy Brunette
  • Bully Hunter: In the second film, when she tells Sharpay to back away from the rest of the wildcats.
    "You're messing with my friends, my summer, and that's not okay with me!"
  • The Confidant: To Troy, throughout the three films, as the only one who knows about him wanting to be more than a basketballer and his worries about college.
  • Cute Bookworm: Her opening scene has her bringing a book to a party and hiding with it in the corner.
  • Disappeared Dad
  • E = MC Hammer: Can do the complicated equation on the board in her head.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: Her relationship with Troy, who is utterly smitten with her even after she admits to being a freaky genius.
  • The Heart: Develops into one for the wildcats. They acknowledge this in the third film, when they admit they wouldn't have done the musical without her and that East High doesn't feel right with her gone.
    Troy: "It [East High] is a place where one person - if its the right person - changes us all."
  • Hidden Depths: Along with Troy, her auditioning for the musical drives most of the film.
  • Friendless Background: From moving around so much.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Played by the gorgeous Vanessa Anne Hudgens with somewhat messy hair and (occasionally) a labcoat.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: She was viewed as the 'freaky math girl' at all her other schools, though is a lot happier at East High.
  • New Transfer Student: Beginning of the first movie.
  • Nice Girl
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Taylor's Red.
  • Shrinking Violet: Painfully so. Performing in musical theater helped her grow out of this.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: A straight-up Nice Girl, but definitely isn't afraid to stand up for herself or call people out on their mistakes.
  • Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy —> Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Definitely latter, with the former being coincidental. Initially she's totally unaware Troy is Big Man on Campus, stops talking to him when he turns into a jerk because of the other wildcats and says straight up she prefers the real him to the 'The-Basketball-Guy'.
    Gabriella: "You're a cool guy Troy...but not for the reasons your friends think."
  • Teen Genius: She's extremely brilliant and academically-gifted.

Sharpay Evans

Portrayed by: Ashley Tisdale

Blonde, bubbly, and domineering, Sharpay is the resident primadonna and very much obsessed with Troy, which, it seems, is his bad luck.

Ryan Evans

Portrayed by: Lucas Grabeel

Sharpay's campier and far more passive twin brother.

  • Ambiguously Gay
  • Anti-Villain: For being Sharpay's sidekick, but he's obviously the nicer of the two.
  • Brother-Sister Team: With Sharpay.
  • Camp Straight: In the third movie, they pair him with Kelsi...then have him appear on stage wearing pink trousers...
  • Deadpan Snarker: In the third movie, especially in scenes with Sharpay.
  • Dumb Blonde: In the first movie he's unable to read, "Go Drama Club!" on the basketball team's shirts even though he is in the drama club!
  • Extreme Doormat: Usually submissive and following Sharpay’s orders, until he finally begins to step out of his sister's shadow in the second film.
  • Heel-Face Revolving Door: He seems to become "good" at the end of the first film, he's good in the second, then he is back on Sharpay's side in the third film and they both go good again in the end anyway.
  • Hidden Depths: Turns out to be a pretty good baseball player.
  • Grew a Spine: In the second film.
  • Nice Hat: He seems to have a collection of hats as in every scene he is in he has a different hat on.
  • Nice Guy: He's very nice and helpful to Gabriella and her friends in the second film.

Chad Danforth

Portrayed by: Corbin Bleu

Black Best Friend to Troy and a member of the basketball team.

Taylor McKessie

Portrayed by: Monique Coleman

Black Best Friend to Gabriella and captain of the school's scholastic decathlon team.

Kelsi Nielsen

Portrayed By: Oleysa Rulin

A composer and member of the Drama Club, she helps Troy and Gabriella audition against Ryan and Sharpay.

Zeke Baylor

Portrayed By: Chris Warren Jr

A member of the basketball team, who has a crush on Sharpay.

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