Dee: Wait, you went to high school with us?This is when the adult cast turn out to have known each other when they were younger. This may be revealed in a Flashback, a prequel, a childhood spinoff series, or just be mentioned in dialogue. Maybe they all went to the same high school—and were in the same class. (Bonus points if the school in question was an Elevator School.) Maybe they all happened to graduate from the Academy at the same time. Very common in Small Towns. Not only that, their personalities have gone completely unchanged since then. All married couples may be High-School Sweethearts, villains turn out to be the Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up. Because Writers Cannot Do Math, everybody turns out to belong to the same generation. Usually a result of the creator wanting to tell a particular story set in the past with all the familiar faces present—even if those familiar characters have already met for the first time at the beginning of your original series. Can be used as a one-off flashback gag. Often involves a Retcon to set up a particular individual story or plot point. Can be a rich source of Fridge Logic, and is correspondingly likely to stretch your Suspension of Disbelief if executed poorly. Related to One Degree of Separation. May overlap with Forgotten First Meeting and Childhood Friends. See also High School A.U..
The Waitress: Yeah, I sat right next to you in Trig.
Dee: Huh. Wow, you are very forgettable.
The Waitress: Yeah, I sat right next to you in Trig.
Dee: Huh. Wow, you are very forgettable.
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Anime & Manga
- Bleach: Various members of the Gotei 13 attended the Soul Reaper Academy together, and it's those relationships that end up informing much of the intrigue in the Soul Society Arc. While attending the Academy is normally a requirement to join the Gotei 13, an improbably large number of major characters attended at the same time as well.
- Durarara!!: Shinra, Shizuo, Izaya, and Kadota were all in the same high school, which happens to be the same school the teenagers are in at the present. Shinra was also in the same elementary school as Shizuo and the same middle school as Izaya.
- All of the Future Foundation members shown in Side: Future of Dangan Ronpa 3 are either former students or faculty members (or both) at Hope's Peak Academy, with most of them being at the school in the same 2-year span.
- To be more precise, all but two of the Future Foundation Branch Heads are former students of Hope's Peak Academy. Some of them were even in the same classes. (Kyosuke Munakata, Juzo Sakakura, and Chisa Yukizome were in Class 74, while Seiko Kimura, Ruruka Andou, and Sonosuke Izayoi were in Class 76.)
- Mahou Sensei Negima!: Many of the girls of Negi Springfield's Class 3-A end up becoming members of Ala Alba, assisting Negi in fighting monsters and other mages all in an effort to find his father. Even those who don't become official members help during crucial battles even if they aren't entirely aware that they are actually fighting people/beings from another world.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Ryoji Kaji, Misato Katsuragi, and Ritsuko Akagi all went to the same college. Also, Gendo and Yui were the advisee and favorite student (respectively) of Fuyutsuki. Gendo and Yui get married, and Fuyutsuki becomes Gendo's second-in-command
- One Piece: Many older pirates and marines have been fighting one another since well before the story began, most notably Whitebeard, Sengoku, and Garp (who were the leaders of the last generation of pirates and marines along with Gol D. Roger), along with Shanks and Buggy, who were swabbies on Roger's ship. Many other older characters have been in conflict since well before the events of the story; Crocodile is implied to have fought (and lost against) Whitebeard in the past, and also knows Ivankov. In addition, it also surprises many characters to learn that Luffy, Ace and Sabo are brothers, as they are three of the most notorious outlaws on the sea with seemingly no connection to one another.
- Subverted in Saint Beast, as there is one training academy in heaven and everyone did go there together but realistically only a few of them met during that time because they were learning different disciplines. Their personalities, however, did not change.
- Soul Eater: Stein and three of the seven Death Scythes (Spirit, Azusa, and Marie) were DWMA students at the same time. An early chapter has them reuniting after being split up after graduation/re-assignment. With the possible exception of Stein, they don't seem to have changed terribly much.
- There was a Silver Age story where Batman and Superman went to school together in Smallville. A Reset Button was pressed near the end when one of the characters was hypnotised to forget the other. The fact that it showed Bruce Wayne's parents to be alive and all right was the least of its many, many flaws. This story was later retconned in a late 70s anniversary issue of World's Finest Comics (a Roy Thomas written tale summarizing all the various Golden Age and Silver Age "first meetings" of Superman and Batman) to show it was Bruce's guardians, not parents.
- Most of The DCU's plant-themed characters were retconned into studying botany together in Gotham.
- Marvel Comics and WildStorm Studios tried doing this during the short-lived Heroes Reborn reboot: they had Reed Richards, Victor von Doom, Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, and Hank Pym studying together at the same college, even going so far as to call themselves the "Knights of the Atomic Round Table" before breaking apart. Reed and Doom (and Ben Grimm) all went to State University in the normal Marvel Universe, as well. This State U is located in upstate New York, it is not to be confused with Empire State University, the university in lower Manhattan attended by Peter Parker and others.
- In some versions of Superman, (most notably the Silver Age Superboy stories) Clark and Lex were at school together in Smallville. This is currently canon again, presumably to tie into Smallville (where they weren't).
- Ultimate Spider-Man does this with Spider-Man, having him go to high school with Mary Jane Watson, Harry Osborn, and Gwen Stacy. Likewise, the Human Torch, Kitty Pryde, and Iceman also transfered to Peter's school. So is Firestar, by way of being a composite of Firestar and Liz Allan and Jessica Jones is a senior there (which is from Alias, but is an age lift as Jessica and Peter were in the same grade in her mainstream backstory).
- Chris Claremont in his X-Men stories would occasionally do this with Professor X. At one point he established that he and the man who would become Magneto were briefly friends before splitting over their opinions regarding the future of mutantkind. In another flashback, set during the Korean War, he revealed that Charles Xavier served in the Army alongside Logan (before he became Wolverine) and Carmen Pryde, whose daughter Kitty would become a member of the X-Men as well. And it had already been established that Xavier and his stepbrother Cain Marko (who would later become the supervillain Juggernaut) were in the same infantry squad in Korea.
- Reimagined Enterprise: In a minor example, McLeod and Satterthwaite's ancestors met once during the Postatomic Horror, although their descendants weren't aware of it until they shared family stories in "Remembrance".
- Because Beacon Academy is so central to the plot of RWBY, Fanon commonly portrays Ozpin and Glynda (and formerly portrayed Cinder) as having been students there. note
- A particular striking fanfic that built upon the backstories of the adult characters in the Harry Potter series: The Shoebox Project, telling the story of Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, James Potter and Peter Pettigrew during their time at Hogwarts. Snape and Lily make notable appearances. Interesting, the Shoebox Project preceded scenes in the Goblet of Fire that fleshed out this period in the canon. The characterization rings very true to the original work.
Films — Animation
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic spinoff movie Equestria Girls has humanized versions of several canon characters, many of which should be too old or too young to be in the same school. Friendship Games introduces Crystal Prep Academy, where that world's Twilight Sparkle attends.
- Monsters University reveals that Mike, Sulley, and Randall were all in the same class in the same university.
Films — Live-Action
- In the third Austin Powers film it turns out Austin, Dr. Evil and Number Two were all in college together. Also, Austin and Dr. Evil are brothers.
- In the Adam Sandler comedy Big Daddy, several of the film's characters are said to have attended Syracuse University together. Even more improbably, nearly a decade later they're all still hanging out together in the same neighborhood in New York City, which, in case you haven't heard, is one of the most enormous cities in the world.
- The setup for The Muppets Take Manhattan is that the Muppet characters all went to college and worked on their senior class musical together.
- Deconstructed in Shaun of the Dead. The flat-mates Shaun, Ed and Pete and respectively Liz, Di and David went to school together.
- Part of the premise of the eleventh Star Trek movie, an Alternate Universe/Continuity Reboot prequel in which most of the major original series characters are new Starfleet Graduates who serve together on the Enterprise right off the bat. It's partly thanks to Time Travel, and an incredibly pissed off Romulan. Don't ask.
- A notorious example in the prequel trilogy to Star Wars, where original trilogy characters such as C3-PO are shoehorned in in ways that make little dramatic (or logical) sense.
- Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines of all things. While it wasn't specific said that all of John Connor's lieutenants went to school with him, it would appear that most of them did. From this we can conclude that the future ran out of professional soldiers and he had to fall back on people he knew for less than a year when he was ten (or thirteen, depending on which film you're watching).
- In Young Sherlock Holmes, Holmes and Watson go to school together, and The Stinger reveals that the man who would become Moriarty was their teacher.
- A Series of Unfortunate Events: Quite a few characters went to school together, but this is somewhat a Justified Trope by the fact that they were all members of a secret organisation and this was their training; also, several of these characters are The Ghost.
- Partly justified in Michael Flynn's Firestar and its sequels, since a number of plot threads follow members of a particular graduating class, but even throughout other parts of the series, Witherspoon alumni keep turning up in odd places.
- Harry Potter: Justified in the series since there's, you know, only one Wizarding School in Britain. Still, it's a rather interesting coincidence that so many important characters (James Potter, Lily Evans, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew and Severus Snape) not only knew each other at that age, but were all in the same year.
- Then again, many of the characters were only important because they knew each other and it makes sense they would befriend people the same age. Peter Pettigrew, for instance, would have drifted off into obscurity in the eyes of the Death Eaters, but because he was a friend of the Potters' he became important. In this instance it's less coincidental as it is causal.
- Amusingly Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire sees several of the very few non-Hogwarts students attending classes, though separate from Hogwarts students, on the Hogwarts campus when portions their schools' student bodies spend the year their during the Triwizard Tournament.
- Soon I Will Be Invincible: Played surprisingly straight (and given a small lampshade). Dr. Impossible, CoreFire, Blackwolf, and Damsel went to the same school, and mostly knew each other; however, it was a school for the intellectually gifted and they weren't all in the same year. (Also, it eventually turns out that Lily, though supposedly from the distant future, actually went to college with Dr. Impossible and CoreFire.) Subverted in that CoreFire apparently doesn't remember Dr. Impossible from College or High School (and a large part of Impossible's motive is forcing CoreFire to finally acknowledge him) and doesn't recognize Lilly despite her being his College girlfriend.
- Stranger Than Fiction: The Life and Times of Split Enz shows that the entire band, with the exception of latecomers Malcolm Greene, Nigel Griggs and Paul Hester, all knew each other from either the same high school or the same college, even if they didn't always go at the same time (e.g. Neil).
- Justified and lampshaded in the Village Tales series, in that the District has very few schools, including the Free School in Beechbourne, so that the local folk tended to attend the same schools; and as for the County, the gentry, the peerage, and a good chunk of the clergy, well... naturally the local cricket match between Old Etonians and Old Harrovian bulks large every year, and very senior men get excited every year over the Boat Race. (Such persons as the Rural Dean, who went to school at Marlborough and then to university at Durham, lampshade, regularly, how tiresome and juvenile this is: only to be ignored by Old Etonians, Old Harrovians, Oxford men, and Cambridge men.) All the same, that the Duke went through his prepper, Eton, and Oxford with the Archdeacon, and through Eton and Oxford with HH the Nawab, and that there's a lampshaded "Keble mafia" in the Diocese, is Truth in Television for Britain even now.
- Wicked is an External Retcon of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. According to Gregory Maguire's book, Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West (plus her little sister) all went to the same school.
- Wing Commander: A lot of named characters in the novels tend to get this, though usually it's more that they knew each other from previous commands while serving in the military, not from schooling.
Live Action TV
- This is how the cast of The Class are gathered. The main character, who first met his current girlfriend back in third grade, decides to throw a party and invite all their former classmates from that year. The main cast consists of a handful of the ones who establish/re-establish relationships, and happen to all still live in the same city.
- Most of the Time Lords you will meet in Doctor Who know each other, and at least the Doctor and the Master and the Rani went to school together at the Time Lord Academy and were taught by Borusa. The Time Lord Academy is described as a stuffy British public school type of place with different houses (the Doctor and the Master were Prydonians) and classes on cosmic science and the like. It seems to award British-style university degrees (the Doctor barely scraped past on the second try, while the Master always got better grades and even his degree was higher). Just never, ever compare it to Hogwarts in front of an old series fan.
- This is the main plot of Graduados. Not only all the characters in their forties have gone to school together, it is also the reason of their personal relations and the origin of most story arcs. They also include several flashback scenes of that time period (played by the same actors, characterized as teenagers)
- In The George Lopez Show, George and Angie are High-School Sweethearts, and George's best friend Ernie also went to school with them. The principal of Carmen's school is also seen to be a bully all grown up.
- This is how the 60% of the cast of How I Met Your Mother got together. Ted and Marshall were roommates at Wesleyan, and Marshall started dating Lily when they were all freshman. Marshall and Ted kept up the roommate thing when they all moved to New York.
- The four members of the original cast of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia were all high school classmates, as were most of the recurring characters, including The Waitress, Rickety Cricket, and various others.
- Most of the main characters in Only Fools and Horses, as lampshaded when the Class Reunion episode doesn't feature anyone we don't already know.
- Smallville has a main character who is in high school, it's no surprise that a lot of the characters are going to school together. However, the writers thinking "hey, wouldn't it be cool for Character X to have a cameo" turned it into this for the DC universe as a whole (okay, some of them aren't actually going to that particular school, but they're around and they know each other).
- Semi-averted on The Steve Harvey Show as Lovita did not meet the rest of the cast until she started working at the school. Steve and Ced were college roommates. Steve and Regina have known each other since childhood. However, later episodes imply that Ced and Steve and Regina attended high school together.
- On Wings, the characters not only went to the same high school, they all had their reunion together, despite being different ages. This is justified by saying the school was too small for individual classes to have separate reunions, which would make sense for the small tourist community they all grew up in.
- Veronica Mars:
- Veronica's mother went to school with Love Interest Duncan's mother and father: explored in "My Mother, the Fiend" and a plot point in other episodes.
- Veronica's teacher and Trina's mother. They all seemed to be in the same year.
- A sketch of the argentinian show Videomatch, Deportes en el Recuerdo did this by having everyone go to the same football match together. You'd have episodes in which Pelé would meet, fall in love and try to marry brazilian actress Xuxa, only for that to be interrupted by Albert Einstein triggering a small nuclear explosion, then have the three, Independiente and Santos players, the referee, argentinian singer Alberto Cortéz, José Luis Chilavert, Albeiro Usuriaga and Marcelo Tinelli get into a massive fight.
- The basic premise of Wicked is that Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the West were college roommates, at the same school that the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Wicked Witch of the East attended. Also the Cowardly Lion was there, but he was a lab animal. Glinda even lampshades this in Act 2.
- Edge and Christian met way back in Grade 5.
- The Hardy Boyz were friends with Gregory Helms and Shannon Moore since they were children
- Mick Foley and Shane Douglas went to the same wrestling school, training with Dominic Denucci.
- West Texas A&M University has a reputation for turning out pro wrestlers, many of whom all went there at the same time. The school has produced both Funk Brothers, Dusty Rhodes, Bruiser Brody, Stan Hansen, Ted DiBiase (Sr.), Tito Santana, and Barry Windham.
- This was a Twist, Plotpoint and Reveal in Final Fantasy VIII. It turns out that everyone in the party (sans Rinoa), plus Seifer, all grew up in the same orphanage, which was run by Edea. The reason that none of them remember this is explained by their reliance on the Guardian Forces... apparently, extended use of their abilities affects the user's memories.
- In Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, during the ending of the third Captain Qwark vid-comic, Qwark confronts Dr. Nefarious and remembers that they had the same biology class in 9th grade. According to Nefarious, Qwark was 26 at the time, meaning that he had been held back for 11 years.
- In the Silent Hill series, Alessa, Walter, and Claudia all knew each other as children because they were all part of the same cult. This is one of only a few things that ties the various storyline together.
- Happens in Super Robot Wars on occasion, usually as a matter of narrative convenience. For example, the recent Super Robot Wars Z2: Hakai-hen combines the school plots of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Mobile Suit Gundam 00, and Code Geass all together so that characters like Heero and Saji attend Ashford Academy.
- The three protagonists of Supreme Commander 2 all went to the same (presumably international) academy together. Surprisingly, none of them are forced to fight one another during the new war; instead they all band together against the real antagonist who is stirring up trouble.
- In Tales of Symphonia, half of the final party either attended the school or taught at it.
- Despite it almost becoming expected, it never seems to fail to surprise the students of Class VII in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel and its sequel to learn that yet another respected and admired adult they meet attended Thors.
Elliot: Did I hear that right?
Jusis: You attended Thors as well, Your Majesty?
Eugent: That I did. It's a longstanding tradition that the men of the Imperial family attend the academy. Olivert did in his younger years, and, Aidios willing, Cedric as well..
- In Danganronpa, it appears that almost all the students attended Hope's Peak and agreed to the school's lockdown, but had their memories about their time at the school itself tampered with.
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright, Miles Edgeworth and Larry Butz went to the same elementary school for a few months, forming a tight bond that they were able to rekindle in adulthood (though Phoenix and Edgeworth aren't all that fond of Larry).
- According to Brawl in the Family, every major Nintendo character attended Cocoon Academy. That includes several villains—that were being trained to be heroes.
- In Elf Blood, given that the main institution of the story, The Council, has an academy that raises soldiers from elementary school age through high school and beyond, it's not that surprising that many of the main characters have gone to school with one another.
- In Girl Genius, there are a number of characters who attended the school on Castle Wulfenbach. Some of them - namely Theo, Sleipnir and Gil - all attended recently or are still there, but the real surprise came with the reveal that Tarvek also attended as a child. He ended up getting expelled and getting sent back to his Big, Screwed-Up Family, apparently for spying but actually because he had been helping Gil find out who his family were, which was something that the Baron didn't want happening. This mutual betrayal is what laid the groundwork for their rivalry.
- In Sinfest, Of all people, apparently Jesus and Blue did. Currently not known whether this is canon or a one-off gag.
- In Nedroid, Reginald and Beartato once discovered they had went to high school together, but only became friends as adults.
- DC Superhero Girls takes place in a high school for teenage superheroes. It features and cameos dozens of superheroes (and supervillains) such as Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy, Beast Boy, Bumblebee, Starfire, Katana, and Harley Quinn going to school together. Word of God is Batman and Superman have already graduated.
- In the Whateley Universe a large percentage of the adult characters attended Whateley Academy, which is not all that surprising since it is the premiere school for mutants in the setting. Some of the world's most powerful superheroes and supervillains are still fuming, fussing or feuding over high school slights, grudges or crushes, and at least one second-generation superheroine has parents who met there as rivals. For example, as angry as Boom Job is at the supervillains who kidnapped her daughter Roulette, she's really enraged to discover the perpetrator is her old Whateley Academy nemesis Density.
- In general, every Spin-Off Babies will show that the characters of the main show will have gone to the same elementary school or daycare together.
- All Hail King Julien Most of the recurring characters are shown to have been in King Julien's lemur school class, including arch-nemesis Karl, despite being a fanaloka and Julien only having just met him recently. This discrepancy is explained by Julien just never acknowledging Karl's existence in any way, no matter how badly Karl wanted him to.
- Taken to borderline nonsensical extremes in The Amazing World of Gumball, where every adult in Elmore was in the same junior high class at school (except Ms. Simian, who teaches every class), including Mr. Robinson and Gary (the old purple guy with the antlers) who are 20-30 years older than most of the other adults.
- A good portion of the adult cast of Arthur went to school together.
- On Camp Lazlo, Everyone Went To Camp Together. Lumpus and Slinkman, anyway, and Jane went to the girls' camp on the other side of the lake.
- Lampshaded in Daria in an introductory video for a prestigious school for gifted kids.
Do You think is a coincidence that the rich and powerful all seem to know each other? Then think again, they met in school.
- The Flintstones Kids features Fred, Barney, their future wives, and even Fred's future boss, all attending elementary school together, but in the original series (and the 2000 live action movie) Fred and Barney did not meet Wilma and Betty until they were in their 20s, just after graduating from college.
- The Flintstones: Fred and Barney dated Betty and Wilma late in high school (which became the focus of one episode involving an old love letter of Fred's). One episode also shows Fred never having graduated from high school, let alone gone to college (though another episode had him enroll in night classes at "Prinstone"). Yet another episode has Fred and Barney, just out of high school (Fred just got his first razor and is first shown with a heavily bandaged face) working for the summer as bellhops while Betty and Wilma and her mother are guests.
- "Gotham High", a show that never got beyond the development stages, had a young Batman in the same class as every villain in the franchise. Cracked had a field day with this:
"We're suspicious of any high school that produces no fewer than 12 supervillains in one graduating class, but admittedly it does put an interesting spin on those Council of Doom meetings to think they're really just high school reunions."
- The CGI Iron Man: Armored Adventures cartoon features Tony Stark as a teenager who attends the same high school as James Rhodes and Pepper Potts, his future employees.
- Kim Possible: Every guest scientist of the episode that isn't old and gray can be assumed to have gone to college with Kim's dad. This includes arch-foe Dr. Drakken (aka Drew Lipsky, who didn't actually graduate).
- The Old Grey Hare: It is confirmed that Elmer and Bugs have known one another ever since they were babies.
- On Peppa Pig, Madam Gazelle taught Peppa's parents and those everyone else in the class as well. Peppa and her friends get to see the time capsule their parents made, after burying one of their own.
- Mad Jack the Pirate: the flashback episode "Attack of the Man-Eating, Green Gorillas" sees all the main characters go to school together. However, this contradicts the pilot episode, in which Mad Jack and Snuk met for the first time.
- The Raccoons in episode "Making the Grade" shows that Bert, Ralph, Melissa and Cedirc went to school together. Justified in that they live in a small rural town.
- Rocko's Modern Life sometimes showed flashbacks of Rocko having gone to elementary school with his friends Heffer and Filbert, yet it's hard to say if this is canon because other episodes imply he immigrated to the United States from Australia as an adult fairly recently.
- The Simpsons: In the episode "Springfield Up", most of the middle-aged adult characters are seen as kids, going to the same school — including Homer and Marge.
- Another variation of this trope from "The Way We Weren't": Everyone went to summer camp together.
- In fact, it's now generally established as canon that all Springfield's adults went to school together. In early seasons, it was only Homer, Barney, and Marge who went to high school together. Subsequent seasons show Homer being childhood friends and school buddies with Lenny and Carl, and even the likes of Snake and Mrs. Krabappel attending the same school around the same time Homer and Marge did. (See the aforementioned "Springfield Up")
- The Spectacular Spider-Man does this with several of Spider-Man's supporting characters, including Mary Jane Watson, Harry Osborn, Gwen Stacy, a Venom pre-Venom, a not-yet Prowler Hobie Brown, Glory Grant, and Randy Robertson. Granted, the former four have a basis in the Ultimate Spider-Man, but even then, there were liberties (in the Ultimate comics, Eddie and Peter hadn't seen each other between their parents deaths' and Peter becoming Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy was a transfer student; in the show, Eddie has graduated from Midtown High the year before, Gwen was always there, and it's MJ who transferred).
- Ultimate Spider-Man likewise does something similar, putting Spider-Man's team in his high school, including deaged versions of Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
- The Venture Bros.: Pretty much every single important adult character went to college together: Dr. Venture & Brock (roommates), Pete White & Baron Underbheit (roommates), The Monarch, and one-off villain Mike Soriyama. This was lampshaded by Hank when Doc (in-story) mentions a weird kid with huge eyebrows who's obsessed with monarch butterflies.
- Hank: You are not gonna tell me that you went to college with The Monarch, too! Where did you guys go, Super Crazy No-Way School?!?
- Phantom Limb and Professor Impossible taught at that same college, Dr. Girlfriend was a student there (though she didn't attend at the same time as the previous group), as was Billy (though he was undercover to spy on Phantom Limb). Even Monarch Henchman #21...
- It has recently been revealed that Rusty and The Monarch were Forgotten Childhood Friends, taking this to the next level.
- From 2007 to 2009, three alumni of James Madison High School in Brooklyn, New York were all serving in the United States Senate at the same time, from three different states. They were Chuck Schumer of New York, Norm Coleman of Minnesota, and Bernie Sanders of Vermont (Sanders and Schumer continue to serve together to this day). Other prominent former students of that particular high school include Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, stand-up comics Andrew "Dice" Clay and Chris Rock, and Nobel Prize-winning economists Gary Becker and Robert Solow.
- Phillip Zimbardo and Stanley Milgram, the two most notorious experimental psychologists of all time (Zimbardo for the Stanford Prison Experiment, Milgram for the Milgram shock experiment), were buddies in high school.
- Many New York rappers who came to prominence in the 1990s either grew up around each other or literally went to school together. Notably, Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes often found themselves battling each other at lunch time.
- Follow the Leader: Can sometimes be explained as one artist/group becomes extremely popular, the music industry tends to sign several other artists/groups in the same area to hopefully recreate the same success, but can also be related to shared cultural experiences
- The British Invasion
- The Southern California groups of the 60's.
- The Punk Rock explosion in New York (everyone went to the same club together) in the late 70's/early 80's
- The Grunge scene in Seattle from the early 90's
- The Riot Grrrl scene in Olympia, Washington in the same era
- Follow the Leader: Can sometimes be explained as one artist/group becomes extremely popular, the music industry tends to sign several other artists/groups in the same area to hopefully recreate the same success, but can also be related to shared cultural experiences
- Many of the big name Generals during the Civil War were all from West Point, regardless of their affiliations with the Union or the Confederacy.
- Of course the fact that these generals had been officers in the U.S. Army before 1861 helps to explain this phenomenon. Some Northern contemporaries, especially the "political" officers, who before the war had not been part of this close-knit community, viewed this with suspicion, in some cases even attributing defeats of Northern generals against their former classmates from the South as due to a conflict of loyalties.
- The West Point class of 1915 was nicknamed "The Class The Stars Fell On" because so many members, including Dwight Eisenhower and Omar Bradley, would become famous generals during World War II.
- The famous British private Boarding School Eton College tends to produce examples of this trope in the upper reaches of government, with recent Prime Minister David Cameron and his Chancellor of the Exchequer being alumni.
- This applies to a varying degree to all "public schools" in Britain - also Oxford and Cambridge University - with reference to government positions and a lot of positions in business and industry, hence the expression "Old Boy Network".
- Also applies to quite a few actors.
- It has been noted that one private school in South Australia has produced nearly all of the state's Supreme Court judges.
- That same school produced at least two Nobel Prize winners, a premier, and several federal ministers.
- In France this also applies to the élite institutions, especially the Ecole Normale d'Administration and the Ecole Polytechnique.
- French Revolutionaries Maximilien Robespierre, Camille Desmoulins and Stanislas Freron all went to school together.
- The fact that this was an elite school in the national capital helped.
- This theme seems to carry through the Revolution - many of the Revolution's major figures knew each other very well before they became prominent. For example, Desmoulins, Georges Danton and Fabre D'Eglantine all worked at the same law firm before the Revolution, and Jacques-Rene Hebert worked for Desmoulins' newspaper in 1789, though neither would be much more to the Revolution than enthusiastic observers until 2 or 3 years later.
- Going international, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Talleyrand, Metternich, Benjamin Constant and Maximilian von Montgelas all attended the lectures of Christoph Wilhelm von Koch (Christophe-Guillaume Koch in French), professor of law of state and history at Strasbourg University.
- Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, and Robbie Coltrane knew each other at University at Cambridge.
- Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson, Lise Mayer and Ben Elton studied acting college together.
- This is actually how Monty Python started, as a live comedy group; Terry Jones and Michael Palin met at Oxford, while Graham Chapman and John Cleese were in the same year at Cambridge and joined the Footlights, with Eric Idle joining them a year later. After picking up a strange-thinking American on a Footlights tour in NYC, the building blocks of the Pythons were there.
- Three other contemporaries from Oxbridge (Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie) who moved in the same loosely interchangable circles and who might well have become Pythons themselves took a related direction when their groups finally coalesced: they became The Goodies.
- Robin Williams and Christopher Reeve went to Julliard together, being the only two students accepted to the exclusive Advanced Program that particular year. They remained friends until Reeve's death.
- Bryan Singer, Christopher McQuarrie and Ethan Hawke knew each other in high school.
- Al Gore and Tommy Lee Jones were roommates at Harvard University. Seriously.
- Fran Drescher and Ray Romano graduated from Hillcrest High School in Brooklyn, NY together. Years later, their respective sitcoms The Nanny and Everybody Loves Raymond crossed over in The Nanny episode "The Reunion Show" as Fran Fine and Ray Barone meet up at their Hillcrest High School reunion.
- Three of the four original members of Pink Floyd (Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright) met in college, while studying architecture at the Regent Street Polytechnic in London. The fourth original member, Syd Barrett, went to high school with Roger Waters, and Waters' mother was one of his teachers in middle school. David Gilmour also joined the band after meeting Barrett in college, as the two both studied music at Cambridge Technical College.
- Genesis was formed by five teenagers who were attending Charterhouse School near London. Two of them, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford, remained members throughout the band's run.
- The founding members of America (Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek) met while attending a London-area high school for US military dependents.
- U2 was formed in 1976 by seven students at a secondary school in Dublin. One never came back for a second practice, one more left after a few weeks, and in 1978 one more member amicably left, leaving it with the lineup it has to this day.
- Hootie & the Blowfish formed when the members were students at the University of South Carolina.
- When Chicago was formed, five of its six founding membersnote were students at DePaul University in Chicago. The other founding membernote was recruited from Roosevelt University, another school in the city.
- Ursula K. Le Guin and Philip K. Dick went to high school together, and were apparently in the same year, but Le Guin has since claimed that she didn't know Dick personally at the time.
- Christopher Hitchens was an undergraduate at Oxford at the same time Bill Clinton was studying on his Rhodes scholarship, personally attesting Clinton's infamous claim of "I smoked, but I didn't inhale." marijuana.
- Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart went to high school together. They met when Zappa's parents had moved to Lancaster, California. Being eccentric people with a shared love for blues music, free jazz and avantgarde classical music brought them together.
- Matt Groening, Lynda Barry and Charles Burns all went to college together.
- At the university of Cambridge author Germaine Greer, comedian Eric Idle, TV presenter Simon Schama and Clive James were all in the same year.
- Stephen Colbert and David Schwimmer studied acting together at Northwestern University's School of Speech.
- In the United States, it is not uncommon for students attending a college or university near their hometown(especially community colleges) to encounter a dozen or more alumni from their high school, and in turn those entering the workforce near their alma mater will frequently find several fellow recent graduates.
- There is at least one case of about five students attending the same college who all attended the same elementary school.
- Rick Moranis and Rush frontman Geddy Lee went to elementary school in Canada together.
- Kevin Spacey and Mare Winningham went to high school together. During their senior year, they starred in their high school production of The Sound of Music as Captain von Trapp and Maria, respectively.
- Long before the James Bond franchise, Roger Moore and Lois Maxwell went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) together, which lent delightful realism to their characters' Belligerent Sexual Tension throughout Moore's tenure.
- Eton College is an elite English boarding school famous for its many successful alumni.
- Nineteen British Prime Ministers, Princes William and Henry, numerous foreign royals and all manner of celebrities are counted among the Old Etonians.
- Fictional Old Etonians include characters as diverse as James Bond, Captain Hook, and Bertie Wooster.
- Harrow School is Eton's main rival and has similarly illustrious alumni.
- Nine British PMs (including Churchill), many foreign heads of state, and many celebrities are all Old Harrowvians.
- There are considerably less fictional Old Harrowvians than Old Etonians, but there are a few such as Nigel Thornberry and The Scarlet Pimpernal.