If a character's physical age is reverted to school age, they ''will'' have to go to school again, even if they're ReallySevenHundredYearsOld or [[ImprobablyHighIQ have an IQ of 250]]. Either [[{{Masquerade}} nobody must know]], or they're some kind of high school spy, or there's just no explanation whatsoever except that kids have to go to school.

Also, aliens or inhuman beings that look like teenagers will go to school in the appropriate year for their apparent age, usually to maintain a cover story. Nobody ever takes or needs remedial classes, nobody skips years, and nobody drops out.

This probably plays into certain insecurities ("back in school" is quite a frequent nightmare from empiric evidence). It may also have to do with children who are visibly ''not'' in school being seen by MoralGuardians as a "bad example". Apparently it hasn't crossed their minds to make up a story about being home-schooled. Probably because if [[TVNeverLies you believe everything you see on TV]], HomeschooledKids are weird, socially-inept freaks.

This is, however, {{justified|Trope}} in many countries where homeschooling is not an allowed form of compulsory education. As a result, if a person needs to maintain that {{masquerade}}, they need to go to school. In some cases, parents in these countries will be served with a court order because they tried homeschooling their kids, and cases where such kids were taken away Elian-style ''is not unheard of''. Many countries also ban {{grade skipp|er}}ing in general, often resulting in TeenGenius attending schools with average students.

May be used to set up a WakeUpGoToSchoolSaveTheWorld premise.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Variation: In ''Anime/OjamajoDoremi'', ''Dokkan'' has two-year-old Hana-chan undergo a PlotRelevantAgeUp. Off to the sixth grade for her! (Justified in that it was what she wanted in the first place -- to be with her moms.)
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** ''Bleach'' has many of the {{shinigami}} show up at Ichigo's high school to check up on him, much to his horror. Their bizarre physical appearances (notably Ikkaku, who's bald and carries a ''bokken'' around with him because he can't have a regular katana), combined with their school uniforms, causes everyone to automatically assume that they're delinquents.
** Earlier in the series, Rukia starts attending Ichigo's school after he takes her shinigami powers. It's somewhat justified though, as A) she's living in his closet and can't exactly hide in there all day, and B) she needs to keep an eye on him and instruct him how to fight hollows. She isn't mistaken for a delinquent, though, because she follows the dress code (except for once wearing her winter uniform after everyone else changed), Is intent on hiding her secret identity (going so far as to comically threatening Ichigo with a note written on her hand) and actually ''[[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld looks]]'' like a teenage girl. It helps that she's relatively short and flat-chested.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'':
** Played straight with Suzaku, who, despite being in the military, is ordered by Princess Euphemia to go to school at the same time.
** In the AlternateContinuity manga spinoff, Euphemia goes to the same school as everyone else, despite being the Viceroy of the nation in which they all live.
** Suzaku also suggest to Euphemia she could join the school as well. [[spoiler:When she has a few seconds left to live.]]
* Several times in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima''.
** Evangeline is an immortal vampire [[UndeadChild who was turned when she was ten]]. When she was defeated by the main character's father, he cursed her to live at a school as a form of IronicHell. The original plan was for her to be released at the time of her first graduation, but, well...
--->'''Nagi:''' Oh, Eva! You're still cursed? Didn't I come and undo--\\
'''Eva:''' Shut up, [[IdiotHero you idiot]]. I know you forgot.
** Chachamaru, who a) is a robot; and b) is only about two and a half years old; but attends school anyway. Of course, she was built in the first place to be Evangeline's servant at school.
** [[CuteGhostGirl Sayo]], a ghost who can barely wander to the nearby convenience store because she's bound to the school. Eventually Evangeline and Asakura give her a doll to possess that allows her to leave the campus.
* ''Manga/AstroBoy'':
** Astro is sent to grade school with human children of his apparent age despite being a robot with a super-advanced AI. Sometimes this is explicitly said to be for the purpose of socialization, sometimes not.
** Subverted with Astro's robot "parents", who are also sent to school in a lower grade because they're actually younger than him.
* ''Anime/BurstAngel'' has Meg and Jo infiltrating a boarding school looking for {{Body Horror}}s.
* Subverted in ''Manga/XxxHolic'' with [[spoiler:Watanuki. Doumeki tries telling him he can't just stay in the shop, he has to go to school. Actually, no Doumeki. Cause I've made an agreement to run this shop and live without aging until Yuuko returns, and I can't leave until that happens.]]
* In ''Anime/SpacePirateMito'', the titular character is an alien who is [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld Really Twelve Thousand Years Old]], but looks like a third grader. While spying on her half-human son in high school, she's caught by a teacher and sent to elementary school, and she continues to attend, as seen in later episodes.
* ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs'': Averted in the first [[AudioAdaptation Sound Stage]], where Hayate asks [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld Vita]] if she would like to go to school, but Vita says she's not interested.
* ''Manga/DetectiveConan'':
** Shin'ichi Kudo is already a teenager. Then he gets turned into a little kid and ends up having to go back to ''elementary school''. Justified by him needing to hide from the Black Organization that turned him that way in the first place by giving a poison intended to kill him.
** This is also the case for Ai Haibara, 18 years old, and [[TeenGenius the developer of the]] aforementioned FountainOfYouth.
* Averted in the manga ''Manga/BlackJack'' with Black Jack's assistant/adopted daughter Pinoko, who is [[OlderThanTheyLook technically eighteen, but has the body of a girl no older than five or six]]. In the chapter "Pinoko's Challenge", her attempts to get into high school (she suffers nasty psychosomatic illness from the stress of entrance exams) and kindergarten (she gets kicked out after throwing a violent tantrum) both end in disaster.
* Elsie from ''Manga/TheWorldGodOnlyKnows'' goes to school with Keima despite being a demon girl who's over 100 years old.
* ''Anime/WaitingInTheSummer'': After a teenaged HumanAlien crashes on Earth, what's the first thing she does? Enrolls in HighSchool, of course. Though pretending to be a foreign exchange student does provide Ichika with a useful cover, an excuse for her odd behavior, and ready access to the boy she likes.
* ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' has this mixed. Touma and Tsuchimikado both still attend school despite all their adventures, but many teenaged or child characters do not due to various circumstances, such as Index, Accelerator, or ITEM's members. One scene in New Testament has Yoshikawa and Accelerator discussing enrolling Last Order in school (to which she strongly objects) in order to give her a somewhat more normal life.
* In ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'', Eriol is several centuries old because he is [[spoiler: a reincarnation of Clow Reed.]] However, he stopped his aging process, so he still has the body of a boy about 11 years old, and enters Tomoeda Elementary as a new transfer student. {{Justified|Trope}}, as he needs to get close to Sakura and Co.
* In ''LightNovel/HaiyoreNyarkoSan'' not only have Nyarko, Cuuko, and Hasta already graduated from [[SpaceX Space College]] by the time they show up on Earth (and have regular jobs as SpacePolice), they're also [[Creator/HPLovecraft Lovecraftian]] {{Cosmic Horror}}s of uncertain age[[note]]As in, when Mahiro tried to learn Nyarko and Cuuko's ages, the girls physically restrained and threatened him into dropping the subject[[/note]] -- but since their human forms are teenagers, they go to high school along with [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent Mahiro]].
* In ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', Asuka claims to have already completed her college education, but still attends school with Shinji and Rei. Judging by how effortlessly she helps Shinji with some of his homework, she may not be lying about this. When Shinji questions how she can possibly be getting bad grades, she replies that she is still a beginner at kanji reading, so she can't actually ''read'' most of the questions on their tests.
* In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE'', Zeheart Gallette, a teenaged Vagan spy, enrolls in high school during the second arc. ''Memory of Eden'' explains why in greater detail: he missed his chance at extraction by Vagan, and wouldn't have another chance for close to a year. He entered school both because it is something a person of his age would be expected to do, and because he needed ''something'' to occupy so much time with.
* Ami Mizuno of ''Manga/SailorMoon'' has the highest test scores ''in the country'', yet she not only attends the same grade as students her age, she spends most of her time out of class in cram school. What in the world she would actually learn from it or which high school's entrance exam she couldn't already pass is anyone's guess.
* In the ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'' manga, Sasami ends up entering grade school partway through the initial 12-volume run. It's Justified in that, despite being the TropeNamer for ReallySevenHundredYearsOld, she's still physically and mentally 9. It's also used to show off extra plots that doesn't involve smacking aliens around. It should be noted, though, that this trope ''isn't'' in play in any of the alien-based ''Tenchi'' anime.
* Exaggerated and PlayedForLaughs in ''Manga/MyMonsterSecret'', with StudentCouncilPresident Shirogane Karen having to attend high school ''for more than 20 years'' despite being at least 100 years old. Akane, the principal, decided it [[{{Jerkass}} because she didn't have to pay Karen for her help if she was a student.]] Nobody seems to notice this, except when Karen gives the addresses for both the graduating senior class ''and'' the incipient senior class, one after the other.
* Played with in ''Manga/MissKobayashisDragonMaid'': Kanna is a dragon, but besides taking the form of an elementary school-age girl, it's also said that she's a child by dragon standards. So she goes to school both to get a better grasp of the human world and because [[IJustWantToHaveFriends she wants friends]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Both ComicBook/{{Raven}} and Miss Martian from ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'' wound up in high school at one point. In both cases, it was a deliberate decision on their part: Raven wanted a taste of the "normal" teenage life she never got to experience, and Miss {{M|eaningfulName}}artian wanted to learn how to fit in with humanity better.
* ComicBook/{{Superboy}} was removed from the accelerated growth chamber he was grown in at the apparent age of 16. He had to take a test to see if he needed education or could just rely on his implanted knowledge, and then skipped it to save Hawaii from the Silicon Dragons. High school it is. Then a few incidents convince the people involved that public schooling and superheroes without {{secret identit|y}}ies don't mix, so he starts getting home-schooled. When he later gets a proper secret identity, he starts attending high school, but it's never mentioned whether he get a G.E.D or the like in the time between.
* Justified and subverted in ''ComicBook/TheAdventuresOfBarryWeenBoyGenius'', whose titular hero chooses to remain in junior high, because he's [[IfMyCalculationsAreCorrect calculated]] that the socialization he receives there reduces the probability of being driven wholly insane by his constantly-increasing intellect from "Nearly Inevitable" down to "Merely Very Probable".
* Happens in an issue of ''ComicBook/HackSlash'', where Miss America On {{Phlebotinum}} GoneHorriblyWrong joins a boarding school with a secret LesYay club looking for human blood to keep her body young and beautiful.
* ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog'' attempted to enforce this during the early days of the comic's DorkAge. It quietly forgotten after the TimeSkip and hasn't been brought up since.
* The ''ComicBook/{{Bunty}}'' strip "My School Chum, Mum" was about a woman who used an anti-aging cream that worked too well, and had to attend school as the "cousin" of her daughter.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* Sometimes seen in fanfics, especially of the [[SelfInsertFic self-insert variety]], to allow the AuthorAvatar to interact with the main cast of a high-school/college-set show or vice-versa.
* Averted  in ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' fanfic ''FanFic/BuildYourWingsOnTheWayDown'',  Ed mentions that he, Al and Winry stopped going to school as the subject was beneath their intellect.

* Alice, Jasper, Rosalie, Emmett, and Edward from ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' all go to school, though Rosalie, Emmett, and Jasper eventually graduate. Over the years, however, all of them have done this repeatedly--a few of them even went to college and medical school, multiple times. This is supposedly necessary because the younger they claim to be at the beginning, the longer they can live in one place without arousing suspicion because they don't age. Plus, it just looks weird to have a couple move in with their 5 barely-adult kids. But if the kids are still minors? Not odd at all. Of course, the constant lies regarding [[OurVampiresAreDifferent sunny days]] and "field trips" make it seem like it would be easier to say they were being homeschooled.
* In ''Literature/TheSagaOfDarrenShan'', when Darren attends school to avoid drawing undue attention to himself.
* Despite being a supergenius (and an evil one at that), ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'''s parents insist he attend [[BoardingSchool St. Bartleby's something-or-other]]. He didn't go to school in the first book, when his mother was completely insane. Later on, he was made to go back, which makes sense from his parent's point of view as they probably want him to be normal (him mother even forced him to ''wear a T-shirt''). He still found it annoying.
* ''Literature/AlexRider'', because it wouldn't be good if people found out he was a super-secret spy.
* In ''The Dangerous Days of Daniel X'', Daniel tries to avoid this by using his powers to create clones of his parents to tell people he is homeschooled, but he does go to school eventually for a short time.
* Starts out {{justified|Trope}} in ''Literature/JinxHigh'' by Creator/MercedesLackey. The villain GrandTheftMe'd her daughter, who was already in public school. Then the justification falls apart when she thinks about how previously she'd been able to claim her current body was being educated at home by private tutors -- homeschooling is legal in Oklahoma.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'''s Tommy is ReallySevenHundredYearsOld, but he got the teenage body, so he has to go to HighSchool. In fact, he was specifically put into a teenage body ''to'' go to High School. (He was awfully ticked about that, though.) In fact, in an early (perhaps the first) episode, he explicitly states that he's older than Dick and wonders why ''he'' has to be the adolescent.
* Anya from ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', because she took on the guise of a schoolgirl to approach Cordelia and got stuck in it.
* [[spoiler:Jack's teenage clone]] from ''Series/StargateSG1'' '''chooses''' to go to school, prompting an exchange like this:
-->'''[[spoiler:Original Jack]]:''' Are you sure you want to do this?
-->'''[[spoiler: Teen Clone Jack]]:''' ''[looks back at a pair of cheerleaders]'' Yeah, I'm sure.
* In ''Series/TwentyOneJumpStreet'', the cops are still adult age, but they look like high schoolers, so they have to go to high school to fight crime that happens in/around high school.
* Referenced in the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Rascals", where people turn into kids:
-->'''Troi:''' You could return to the Academy. Take another degree. Brush up on your Latin.
-->'''Picard:''' And be [[CreatorsPet Wesley Crusher's]] roommate?
* The 2002 TV series ''That Was Then'' and ''Do Over'' both featured protagonists in their 30s who were [[MentalTimeTravel reliving their high school years]].
* Lampshaded in ''Series/YoungDracula'', where the Count has no intention of sending his children to school until a social worker comes by to insist. By Series Three, and post-TimeSkip, the Count has come around to seeing the advantages of sending his children to school. He insists that Ingrid attends school so that he doesn't have to see her all day... despite her being twenty by this time.
* [[RobotGirl Cameron]] attends school during the first season of ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'', although this was justified by her need to be close to John as much as possible.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Eve from ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve2''. [[spoiler: Clone of Aya]], looks like an 11 year old but is possibly younger, in the [[MultipleEndings good ending]] ends up going to school for children of her apparent age. Not that she learned much from her former caretakers besides how to control genetically-engineered monsters and [[ThatOneLevel stand perfectly still in the wake of poison gas]].
* Aigis from ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' goes to the same high school as the rest of the main cast (minus grade schooler Ken) despite being a RobotGirl created for the sole purpose of fighting [[TheHeartless Shadows]]. [[PaperThinDisguise Wearing the long-sleeved winter outfit year round is enough to pass for human, apparently.]] It is, admittedly, partly her own idea, as it allows her to be near the protagonist at all times. And given her below-average test scores, she may well benefit from her attendance.
* In ''VideoGame/TheSims2'', if your Sim's age is reduced, either by cheating or legitimate means, to the point that they regress back to the "teenager" life stage, they'll have to go back to school--even if they were gainfully employed as an adult.
* [[InsufferableGenius Kira Daidouji]] '''[=PhD=]''' from ''Videogame/ArcanaHeart'' is obliged to attend elementary school upon her return to Japan due to being 12. It places a crimp in her plans for WorldDomination as well.
* ''VisualNovel/{{Clannad}}'': TeenGenius Kotomi Ichinose still attends high school despite having long since proven there's nothing more any of the teachers there could possibly teach her. For a given value of "attends" anyway, as she doesn't actually go to class, instead spending all her time in the school library studying up on much more advanced subjects.

* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'':
** Grace's first day in high school provides an aversion. She's having a hard time due to her genius-level intelligence and [[NoSocialSkills lack of real-world knowledge]], and it has been suggested that she be put in a remedial class.
** Ellen have to go through the high school right after living through it with her AlternateSelf in the Second Life. Though [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2008-01-15 history and some of biology]] are not the same.
* Subverted in ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' "Torg Potter" stories, in which full-grown twenty-something Torg gets dragged to a school that awfully resembles Hogwarts. He isn't turned into a child, and promptly finds himself able to do whatever the hell he wants due to being both larger and more experienced than all the students. His greatest foe winds up being the devious headmaster.
* Sissy in ''Webcomic/UmlautHouse 2'' is 16, but is a brilliant (if [[ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder unstable]]) science prodigy. Just before finishing her doctorate, she becomes a MadScientist and has to be stopped by the protagonists (one of whom happens to be her mentor/grad adviser). Her father decides that she's spent too much time away from others her own age and enrolls her in high school to get her better acclimated to mainstream society (it doesn't work).

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''[[Literature/WhateleyUniverse Whateley Academy]]'' has a few students who were originally well beyond high school or even college age: Sara Waite was once a best-selling author and Caitlin used to be an instructor at the school and a former Marine. In both of those cases, part of the in-world justification is the need for a safe hiding place (it seems that the word 'safe' has a different meaning in the this world...) where their apparent age wouldn't be a problem. However, this same logic applies to Samantha Everhart, except that she appears to be over school age, so she became a member of the Security force instead; why Carmilla and Eldritch needed to be students instead of, say, instructors, was always a bit shaky, especially in Sara's case (she's [[{{Shapeshifting}} perfectly capable of taking on an adult form]]). Added justification does come from the need to master their new abilities (and hormones), however.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLifeAsATeenageRobot'':
** Inverted in "I Was a Pre-School Dropout", where Jenny, despite being mentally and physically a teenager who happens to be made of metal, is assigned to a class matching her ''chronological'' age and has to survive a day in kindergarten. She gets to go back to high school when her 'mother' tells them "she was designed as a teenager"--the same thing Jenny said earlier, but without a diagram like Nora.
** Sheldon is a GadgeteerGenius almost as capable of Jenny's creator, but he's still in the same grade as a normal boy his age. He'd probably want to avoid graduating earlier [[{{Robosexual}} because it would give him less time to spend with Jenny]], but that doesn't explain why he was still in high school before they met. This is taken even further in the episode "Good Old Sheldon", where Sheldon [[spoiler:spent 75 years wandering space [[YearOutsideHourInside while one day passed on Earth]], [[FountainOfYouth was physically reduced to infancy]], and spent another fifteen years in space [[OlderThanTheyLook to bring him back to his original physical age]]]], yet still attends school afterward like nothing happened.
** Played with when [[HumanAliens Misty]] moves to Earth: she starts attending school, but only to hang out with Jenny. She ends up expelled from Jenny's high school and doesn't bother to attend any other one.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutronBoyGenius'': Jimmy is most obviously a scientific genius, with an IQ well over 300, and ''still'' goes to school to learn about things he most likely already knows. In one episode, he is offered a college scholarship (and later a teaching job), but goes back to fifth grade at the end because he would rather be with his friends than with his intellectual equals.
* Occurs in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheLifeAndTimesOfJuniperLee'' when Jasmine experiences FountainOfYouth syndrome.
* {{Justified}} in ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'': [[VillainProtagonist Zim]] is posing as a human child due to [[TheNapoleon his height]], and attends [[XtremelyKoolLetterz skool]] in order to learn about the filthy, disgusting species he is planning to conquer. WordOfGod says that he's actually "[[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld older than any human alive]]."
* Averted with [[MissionControl Wade]] in ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible''; it's mentioned that he's already finished high school and college in a few months thanks to his genius intellect.
* Despite being a super-genius ChildProdigy, 4-year old Lisa from ''WesternAnimation/TheLoudHouse'' goes to a normal kindergarten. This is despite previously being noted that she has a PhD already.