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Headscratchers: Skyhigh
  • Headscratchers: It seems powers can be a recessive trait. What happens to super powered kids with 'muggle' parents?
    • They get recruited after their powers manifest, and change schools.
      • But how does the school know about them?
      • Civilian reports (mostly from parents wanting to teach them control over dangerous powers), monitoring of the news for bizarre incidents, and sci-fi machines searching for abnormal energy levels.
      • At least in this world being a super isn't exactly a secret, like being a wizard is in Harry Potter. Heroes may have secret identities, but the fact that some people are super is common knowledge in this universe.
  • What about kids whose parents can't afford the tuition mentioned?
    • There is probably a scholarship for those.
  • On a related note, why is Layla going to a school for superheros when she's reluctant to use her powers offensively? Are her parents pushing her to do it? Is she just following the boy she has a crush on? Are all superpowered teens required to go to Sky High? You'd think from her interests that she'd be better at a school that specialized in environmental studies or the like
    • High schools generally don't specialize like that. Presumably, anyone with powers or potential powers goes to Sky High.
    • Also, security. It's implied that the Sky High kids are all the children of heroes (or villains) and it's outright stated that Sky High is designed to protect them from their parents' enemies.
  • Aren't all the students technically sidekicks since none of them actually battled villains and the main point of a sidekick is to learn from a hero so they can be a hero when they grow up.
    • Sidekicks seem to be permanent assistants and gophers in this world.
    • The designation "Sidekick" in the school is dependent on the powers, not the prowess or experience. If it's a power you would expect a "sidekick" to have, you are deemed a sidekick. They aren't literal "Heroes" or "Sidekicks".
    • It's more like talent scouting or the minor/major leagues. If you know someone has great talent and only needs a little fine-tuning, you just put them straight in the major leagues and groom them from there. If they are good but not great, you would put them in the minor leagues and leave them there unless they prove themselves ready for the majors.
  • Why is there no class for being the Badass Normal for kids without powers? It seems like they would be natural targets for supervillains, especially in Roy's case as he has two superhero parents and probably had twice as many people gunning for him. The fact that there's no Badass Normal heroes at all is kind of annoying in and of itself.
  • I don't see how some of the hero powers would be classified as hero powers. How is having six arms going to help you?
    • They're being trained to fight crime, having four extra arms would give you an advantage in any hand-to-hand fight.
    • Four more guns. Four more fists. Four more saved civilians. Plus the strength and coordination to use them effectively. If six arms isn't "hero material" by your standards, then why is technopathy or turning into stone? Flight? Creating copies of yourself? Creating fire? Super strength?
  • A room full of superheroes cannot stop four supervillains.
    • Not to mention that a large portion of them are teachers, with the sole purpose of teaching the kids for just such a situation.
    • Considering that they had just seen the world's two best superheroes taken down effortlessly, they were probably panicking. Of course, this leads to the question of how none of them were able to break down a standard steel rolling gate, but we can assume Gwen reinforced them.
    • Bystander Syndrome. They all expected someone else to do something.
  • If having no real powers means you can't be a superhero, what would Batman be in this universe?
    • A superhero anyway. He just wouldn't have gone to the school. Not even every superhero with powers can have gone to Sky High, after all some must have been empowered after school age.
      • Some, but the nurse makes it clear that superpowers manifest before or at puberty in all except the rarest cases; even Will eventually gets his well within the limits of young adulthood. Excepting cases like Ron's, where random chance gives you superpowers in adulthood, it seems like post-grad power awakenings don't happen all that often.
      • Will is stated to be "third generation", indicating at some point his family did not have powers. It also indicates some people may gain abilities in ways other than genetics (Ron Wilson, Bus Driver for example), and so it is entirely plausible a Muggle can gain powers at any time.
    • He's the goddamn Batman. If any non-superpowered hero could make them put him in hero class, it's him.
  • Warren Peace can breathe through his own fire, but can't breath inside a tornado generated by a speedster. Fire consumes lot of air, so Warren, that clearly need to breath, should collapse when ignited. Maybe his fire is self-sustained? Sounds more like magic than anything else.
    • It wouldn't be unusual for the comicbook-style universe, where magic and "scientific" powers (like those possessed by the Marvel mutants) aren't always distinct types of abilities.
    • One possible explaination is that his powers are extensions of his physical self. No air for the fire, no air for Warren. In effect, he "breathes through his own fire." Just WMG.
    • Breathe through his own fire? Where in the movie is he ever surrounded by that much fire that it would be eating up all the available air around him? Do you suffocate when standing next to a camp fire?
    • I thought it was more of a case of Speed moving so fast that he sucked up all the air in that area. No air for Warren and definitely no air for his flames
  • No-one thought that creating a caste-system based on perceived utility of superhuman powers might be a bad idea? High school can be difficult enough with normal kids, what's it like in a school where the kids are sorted based on "usefulness" (not anything they have control over) and are apparently ingrained with the Hero/Sidekick mentality? The Hero classes seem pretty normal but the cliqueishness of a normal school can get significantly more dangerous - or at least worse - when your bullies have superspeed and the like, not to mention teachers like Coach Boomer encouraging the divide if not the bullying; what we see of the Sidekick classes seems bent towards eliminating individuality, with the answer being "Let your Hero handle things" and hero careers being dependent on the Hero they're assigned... especially considering that you might fall by the wayside and be unable to separate from your sidekick persona, like All-American Boy. And while it's clearly not intentional, Heroes who come away thinking that a person's worth is based on their superpowers may have issues once they leave school and have to deal with non-powered people.
    • Given the blind eye that many public schools turn towards the attitude of cliques of real world students towards the students that they as students deem lesser, let alone ones who are not fully supported by the system due to whatever reason, this is sadly all too believable.
  • Will claims he has no superpowers. Yet before his super-strength manifests, he takes a brutal amount of punishment without receiving as much as a scratch. His father throws a heavy weight at him with enough force to collapse his bed; a car is dropped on him; he's flung halfway across the gym and slammed into a concrete pole... no one notices he has invulnerability?
    • It's possible that invulnerability or reduced vulnerability is such a common Required Secondary Power that no one in-universe bats an eye to it. For the viewer, it acts as foreshadowing.
  • How could Gwen have been "Written off as a science geek"? Her power is moving technology with her mind, that's not something "Science geeks" can do. Did she for some reason not show her powers and just say "I'm a technopath"? Why not just do some big flashy display to show them what you can do?
    • It didn't seem as if they didn't know she had a power, so much as they didn't consider it a "real Hero power" like flight, super-strength, laser-vision, or Hulking out. Technopathy (which this troper still thinks should be technokinesis since she isn't shown mentally/psychically interfacing with technology) probably just wasn't recognized as a viable hero-ranked power until relatively recently, in the technology-based present-day.
  • So basically none of these kids get an education past 8th grade? They're shown to not be taking any kind of math or English classes. What if they want to go to college? Is there a super hero college or does Sky High forge "normal" grades so a student is eligible? And if they don't go to college do they just get assigned to a career as their secret identity and get a check in the mail?
  • Apart from Will's Traumatic Superpower Awakening being necessary for the plot, is there any reason why Layla didn't step in to protect him when Warren started throwing fireballs? The movie explicitly shows in other scenes that Layla will abandon her pacifism to defend others, and- even if Warren's fire burned through her plants- her power would have been very helpful in that situation. She could have restrained Warren with vines, for example, and done so too fast for him to attack them.
    • Because it would be breaking school rules—and were there even plants there?
  • After Will walks Gwen home in the middle of the movie, a man assumed to be Gwen's father opened the door and asked Will if he was the boy with the six arms. We find out later that Gwen is secretly Royal Pain in disguise and had been turned into a baby, leaving Stiches to raise her up until puberty again and allow her to act out her Evil Plan. But if Stiches had been the one raising her, then who was the man who answered Gwen's door?
    • That was Stitches, just not in costume.
    • This raises the even bigger question of where Gwen's real parents were in the first place. You'd think you'd notice if your daughter was turning into a supervillainess.
      • Her real parents would be at least 20 to 30 years older than Will's parents, and therefore in at least their 60s or 70s. They're probably just not in the picture any more.
  • A number of things don't make sense about the buses: 1) Why were only freshmen on the bus route? It seems to be a normal bus for all practical purposes when picking people up (i.e. no magical Polar Express or whatever) and it's explicitly said no one knows where Sky High is they need to have buses for other students too, which is shown when they first touch down. But this later statement brings up that Ron says he's the "only one" authorized to drive the bus. On top of all that, how did everyone get to Homecoming? I can't imagine even in fantasy high school people would take a school bus to a school dance.
    • Ron says he's one of a few, not the only one.
    • Kids of superheroes probably borrow their parents' flying vehicles when they need to arrive in style. And the school was probably parked in a fixed location for the evening unlike its normal M.O. of flying randomly.
      • Some of them also probably fly there themselves, carpool (flypool), and there might be a staggered bus schedule. There aren't really that many students at the school.
  • The two boys Freeze Girl "ices" at the beginning - later on, during the sidekick montage, some other students take note of them, and Magenta taps on them. We've seen Will at home in the interim, so it's been at least one day, and the placement in the montage suggests several days or weeks. Not that anyone should feel sorry for them, but what exactly is going on here? Freeze Girl clearly doesn't expect to be (and doesn't seem to be) punished for it, and the fact that they stay "iced" for at least a day or two suggests she doesn't think it her responsibility to thaw them, if she even can. Can she "ice" anyone she likes without consequence, and it falls on the school to help them? If so, did they refuse to do so as a form of detention for harassing her? Isn't the school worried about the classes they're missing, then? Or Freeze Girl abusing the power they're giving her, to exact sentence upon people rendered incapable of cross-examination? And what message is that giving her for when she's outside the institution? In short, it's hard to interpret that gag as anything other than Freeze Girl having a quasi-license to kill.
    • And what about the two boy's families? Aren't they allowed to go home ever?
    • Alternatively they get thawed out everyday but never learn their lesson. They continue to try a flip Freeze Girl's skirt and she freezes them in retaliation but because they're thawed so quickly it's never enough of a consequence to make them stop.
  • Boomer picks who goes hero and who goes sidekick, on the first day of school? I know it's just for a movie, but geez, you'd think there would be a committee of superheroes visiting the kids before they get to school and evaluating their powers on a case-by-case basis.
    • It's part of the moral. As Will says, "If life were to suddenly become fair, I doubt it would happen in high school."
  • Choosing who's a Hero and who's a Sidekick might be based more on durability and the flashiness of the power. In the film we see the heroes or, pardon the World of Warcraft analogy, the tanks fighting the big bads and distracting them while the sidekicks/hero support are doing the behind the scenes stuff like defusing the device that causes the flight mechanism to fail. So you have heroes out there distracting the villian, taking the beating while their sidekicks are evacuating the area, or defusing the bomb, or finding the solution to the plague. Hero-support is just that. Of course there's the stigma that sidekicks don't do anything because who looks more impressive crawling out of the wreckage? The banged up Commander they all just saw going toe to toe with the bad guy? or All-American Boy holding what's left of the control pad he'd just painstakingly decoded? Mr. Boy knows how important everything the sidekicks do is but is resigned to the fact that he'll never get the credit for it. The Commander never recognized his contribution but surely there are other heroes out there who do otherwise they would do away with the sidekick classes and send those kids home after they learned power control. Hero-support is important. The movie is about recognizing that. Layla seems like she already knew that. Maybe her mother is one of those who's nice to their sidekick, maybe her father is a sidekick and she wants to use her powers as hero-support as opposed to heroing because she'd prefer the role of hero-support to tanking. As she proudly states, "I am a sidekick."
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