High School A.U.

"The basic overarching plot is, 'What is the contrived nonsense that drives Cthulhu to take a human form and go to high school?'"

Barbara Gordon, Bruce Wayne, the Scarecrow, Selina Kyle, The Joker, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Bane, and Mr. Freeze.note 

The High School A.U. is an Alternate Universe Fic that may or may not resemble the original universe, but the main premise is that most or all of the characters from whatever universe the story draws from are all in an academic setting. Usually, this happens to be high school.

This type of story may also occasionally remove anything and everything unusual in the original premise, though this is not necessarily a requirement.

This is the most common form of Alternate Universe Fic, for good or ill, mostly because it is an easy setting to write for, probably because a lot of fanfic writers are high school age themselves. Some stories may take a series that never took place in a high school and transplant the characters there. A variant on this is to take a series where a high school was part of the setting, and makes it the primary setting. Another variant is taking a show with characters that were elementary or lower grammar school age and transplanting them to a high school setting.

A rarer variation is to also attempt to transplant the storyline. This works better with storylines that are effectively independent of the setting.

This is especially likely to happen when the cast of a series functions as a Universal-Adaptor Cast.

A subtrope of Transplanted Character Fic. Compare Spinoff Babies. Contrast Super Fic.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • This also happened in an episode of the Tenchi Muyo! TV series. Not content to leave it at that, however, the writers also threw in Magical Girls. Unsurprisingly, given the amoeba-like manner in which Tenchi Muyo! split off alternate continuities, this world became a series all on its own.
    • Two different series, in fact.
  • Some manga have Omake chapters in this style, often finding humor from the contortions needed to shoehorn the tropes of the series into the cliche High School tropes. Examples:
  • The Samurai Deeper Kyo manga has a series of audio drama CD set in the alternate 'Samurai High School' setting, stemming from a piece of art drawn by the creator for one of the manga volumes. Strangely enough it is highly propable that said creator is actually female (pseudonyms are funny that way).
    • A fairly popular (if unimaginatively named) fic for SDK is available. The story seems to ignore the high school setting in favor of whatever bizarre plot seems funny. Shipping is kept to a minimum, since the story has two authors who don't agree on pairings and therefore wildly sabotage each others plots, once using an explicit All Just a Dream plot.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann also had an audio drama CD set in a High School A.U. where Kamina is basically a misfit failing school, Simon is the sole handyman/janitor, and Nia is the Student Council President...until they kick all that to the ground like everything else and turn the whole thing upside down. Read the script here.
    • Gurren Lagann also has a second official High School A.U. in the form of the manga [1]. All the good guys attend Dai Gurren Academy, which is located right next to the menacing and intimidating Teppelin Academy, headed by malicious principal Lord Genome. Note that all of the Beastmen are still Beastmen, and no one finds this odd. Highlights include Kamina getting very confused over the meaning of "moe", Yoko in a sailor uniform inducing Marshmallow Hell to Simon for three whole pages (while continuing to talk), and Viral dressed in a business suit (coinciding with the "Viral Marketing" meme). Oh, and Nia wears Rei's transfer student uniform (see below) and calls Simon her husband... and takes the Buster Stance. Plus, this manga sheds some insight into how Kamina and Nia would fare had Kamina not died before Nia arrived into the plot. Leeron is also in a dress and Lord Genome is the overprotective dad of Nia. Nia and Simon pull off a sequence very similar to Love Love TenKyoKen
  • Parodied in Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi as one of the alternate worlds (created from fragments of Sasshi's mind) to which Sasshi and Arumi travel - this one is patterned after dating sims, having Sasshi as a borderline Unlucky Everydude and Arumi as... a cupid of sorts.
  • The second ending credits sequence for Naruto Shippuden is set in a High School A.U., joining and legitimizing the thousands of Naruto fanfics that have already used this trope.
  • Galaxy Angel X has one for one episode, complete with the requisite Anime Theme Song this type of show would have. The end of said theme song is interrupted by ringing cell phones.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
  • Tokyo Mew Mew had a kindergarten AU in the manga, entitled Petite Mew Mew. Interestingly, the characters' natures as magical Petting Zoo People were emphasized rather than discarded; for example, Retasu is a Japanea finless porpoise all the time, and has to be carried around in a fishbowl.
  • Later episodes of the D.Gray-Man anime have a High School AU Omake at the end.
  • Horitsuba Gakuen is a series of High School A.U. crossover drama CDs starring the characters from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and Xxx HO Li C.
  • Gakuen Kino is a High School Magical Girl AU set of spin-off novels for Kino's Journey. Thankfully, the writers know and revel in how silly this is.
  • Back during its heyday, Sailor Moon spawned hundreds of these. The (inner) sailors were almost always in a band, camp counselors, or even just regular high school girls. Mamoru/Darien and the four generals would invariably be a rival band, the male counselors, or in their class—once in a great while, the "civilian" boys such as Urawa/Greg and Motoki/Andrew would be Mamoru/Darien's team. About the only things that would tie the stories to Sailor Moon would be the names and basic personalities of the characters; otherwise, there would be no real way to tell a story was supposed to be about Sailor Moon at all. Of course, since the stories were just vehicles for shipping, having the senshi actually be senshi would probably have just distracted from the romance.
  • Spoofed by Hiromu Arakawa more than once with Fullmetal Alchemist omakes. They usually involve Edward and Alphonse in a gang (not a very good one at that) or Mustang and the Fuhrer in a girls' school spoofing '70s Shoujo manga.
    • Don't forget Olivier as a sukeban (member of a Japanese girl gang).
  • There is also an inordinately large number of Pokémon High School A.U. fics out there. Some are gracious enough to leave the Pokémon in (some are even set in a school for Pokémon trainers), but just as many dispense with them altogether, rendering the title of the franchise meaningless.
    • The same thing happens in Digimon fic.
  • Similar in the same vein as Gurren Lagann and especially the second ending credit sequence of Naruto, the third credit ending sequence of Eureka Seven skirts this, showing the female cast living out lives normal for (real) women of their ages (given that most of them are High School aged). It's interesting to note that this ending credit sequence was storyboarded by Shinichirō Watanabe. Yeah, that Shinichiro Watanabe (but not that one)
  • Like its Internet rival Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Code Geass had a High School A.U. as one of its audio dramas. Unlike most examples though, the expected roles were reversed; Magnificent Bastard protagonist Lelouch is a teacher, his Lady of War sister Cornelia is a sukeban, and Big Bad Emperor Charles is the leader of the school's gangs.
    • Arguably, the manga adaptation with the same name as the anime also qualifies, since it focuses more on Ashford Academy thanks to the removal of the Humongous Mecha. The racist military faction is replaced by a racist group of students, and the Japanese rebels commit acts of petty vandalism rather than actual terrorism.
  • Tsutomu Nihei's BLAME! Academy gag manga. You only have to look at the art work to realize this is intensely crackish and completely hilarious. Notable for still having killer cyborgs with portable WMDs & taking place in an unimaginably massive Cyber Punk city, which is basically the whole joke. Also unusual as it actually ages one character up, with murderous cyborg loli Sana-Kan becoming a grown woman as one of the teachers.
  • The three-page manga "Red-Hair of Class 3-Sea TIME" takes One Piece characters and sticks them into the clichéd story of an inspirational teacher who turns around a class of delinquents Specifically, they're all inspired to become pirates. With Luffy as the all-out study freak jukensei.
  • The OVA on one of the Koihime†Musou DVDs has all the main characters attend high school, with highly explosive results.
  • Meanwhile, Ikki Tousen is itself a High School A.U. of Romance of the Three Kingdoms (as well as a Gender Flip of most of the characters). Naturally, this means there's official art of the Ikki Tousen characters in Three Kingdoms-era China (or something similar enough to excuse breaking out the Breast Plates).
  • Loads and loads of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha fic has the cast as normal High School students; despite how canonly, they did go to High School together, and on Earth even. It's those pesky magic powers and the personalities that come along with them that get in the way.
  • Heroic Age's OST covers feature Dheianeila and Yuti La as highschool students in another shoutout to Sukeban Deka.
  • Utawarerumono has a drama CD with a highschool setting.
  • Queen's Blade is normally a High Fantasy world. The DVD bonus specials take all the characters and set them at Gainos Academy, with school uniforms and no decrease in fanservice.
  • NEEDLESS also has a series of High School AU bonus specials, this time set at St. Lily Academy, with Cruz playing a role he would later go on to play in the post-apocalyptic action series, only in a more traditional setting. That role? Crossdresser.
  • Martian Successor Nadesico spoofs this with an "Early 21st Century High School" entertainment program in the titular space battleship's virtual reality recreation room, which is essentially a High School A.U. holodeck scenario.
  • Both of the opening credits to The Tower of Druaga are set in such a setting.
  • Shin-chan: The High School Years!
  • Not exactly an AU, but Slayers NEXT and TRY feature fun little illustrations that bookend the commercial breaks, like a lot of anime do. Sometimes they actually pertain to the episode, but usually they're just fun illustrations showing what the characters would look like in a more modern setting. Favorites include Amelia the sailor-style school girl, Zelgadis the rock star, and Gourry as a daycare attendent.
  • Chrono Crusade has an anime-based Drama CD set in an High School A.U.. The Sinners are in a gang which Chrono is slowly becoming disillusioned with, Rosette is a girl from a Catholic school that Chrono has a romantic interest in, Sister Kate is the principle of Rosette's school while Daffau is the principle of the other school, etc. The cast gets to be Large Hams and seem to be having a blast.
  • This is the premise of Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z.
  • Bubblegum Crisis was adapted into a High School AU Light Novel, Hard Metal Guardians, in 2012. Sylia is an Elegant Gothic Lolita, Linna is a rich girl working in a Meido cafe to understand how ordinary people live, Nene has Girlish Pigtails with Leon as her older brother who still works in the A.D. Police, and Priss is still in a rock band.
  • The Devil Is a Part-Timer! has a manga adaptation where the main characters are in school instead of the fast food industry.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie did this to Sonic in one issue. It was not well-received.
  • Tiny Titans does this for the Teen Titans and other characters in the DCU in a grade school sense like Titan villains being teachers of the school the main cast goes to.
  • X-Campus is either this or a college AU. Same difference.
    • Also the OEL Manga X-Men: Misfits, which cast a few characters like Storm and Beast as young teachers, but made the rest of the cast into teenagers.
  • Pixie Strikes Back started out as this, but it gradually turned out that the whole thing was an illusion brought on by some weird mixture of demons and pixie dust.
  • Featured in Deadpool Corps, with Kid Deadpool living in one such world.

    Fan Works 
  • This Avatar: The Last Airbender Fan Fic. As the name implies, he's running for Prom King.
  • High School fics are also very popular for Code Name Kids Next Door. The better ones focus on the fact that their memories are wiped when they turn 13, and often getting them back.
  • Due to the complete and utter impossibility of the EdxEnvy pairing (Fullmetal Alchemist) most of the stand-out fanfics for them are High School A Us. These include The Seven Names of Envy Angevin, Side by Side and the sadly defunct Stupid Cupid
  • Dear God this Ben 10 fanfic series called Hero High by a guy going by the name Mr. Evil. Three entire books first taking place in an Alien School, then in a normal one, and finally a school the size of a city.
  • There's a Transformers High School fic that—wait for it...crosses over with ArchieComics. (Scroll down; it's in zip format.) However, it's kind of a subversion in that it's not mundane—using Applied Phlebotinum, several Transformers go undercover in Riverdale, including several who end up going to Riverdale High.
  • There are countless Total Drama Island fics that place the characters in high school. They are sixteen, but they have never been to school on-screen, and usually just focus on making sure the canon couple Duncan and Courtney have extroardiarily large amounts of "Aww" inducing moments and/or angst, anhiliating both of their personalities at the same time, usually aided by OC Sues.
  • The Powerpuff Girls. And how.
  • About two out of every three South Park fanfics take place when the boys are in high school, and many of the rest take place during middle school or adulthood. This probably has something to do with the fact that 99% of South Park fanfics focus on the characters' love lives.
  • There are a ridiculous amount of Teen Titans high school AU stories. All of them usually will have their civilian names from the comics (Robin may be Dick Grayson or Tim Drake or just Robin).
    • Usually parody fics end up making fun of the extreme amount of High School AUs, and their lack of logic (culminating in a dance)
  • Wildly popular author Atomicskull did it brilliantly with Never Know Your Story Like I Do, following Kirk and McCoy from elementary all the way through grad school.
  • Although most high school AU stories centre around the students, focus on the teachers isn't unheard of. Memorably, this fanfiction focuses on the various adult ninja from the Naruto canon, sticking them in a high school setting. Although it's a Kaka Iru slashfic, it's refreshing to see the teachers doing, y'know, their job.
  • Disney. There's a bunch of High School AU fics out there, with some being better than others.
    • Don Bluth tends to appear as the typical rival High School.
  • Name any fandom, and there is most likely a High School AU - from Phantom of the Opera, to Watchmen, to Portal
    • Even fandoms where the main character(s) are already in high school are not immune. You're bound to find fanfic where the adult characters have been de-aged, or prequels focusing on their own school days.
  • A Miscellaneous Tale of Night and Day , a Pokémon Special Fan Fic, takes this to the next level. Instead of being a cheesy romance Fan Fic, it takes a huge turn and speeds into a whole new direction. Not wanting another overused school fic, the author sets things to a different pace with the oh-so-loved Rule of Funny, but not without the romance, of course. A Romantic Comedy AU, now giving the comedy a the main role other than the romance. Along with dashes of Darker and Edgier and mystery along the way.
  • Recess has a ton of High School and College AU fics, moreso than fics taking place during the show.
  • Pick a Jane Austen novel, any one from Pride and Prejudice to Persuasion. In the fanfiction archives at least 75% of the stories will take place in a modern day, often American high school.
  • Since Glee already takes place at a high school, fanfic writers have found ways of twisting this trope to make it interesting. College AUs are quite common, were characters who according to canon know each other in high school don't meet until college, as are the type of high school AUs were the characters are still at McKinley High but the social structure is different (eg. Dave Karofsky is a geek, Kurt the cheerleader rules the school, badboy!Blaine etc.).
  • Megamind was subjected to this. The first was Fate (although its true status as a High School AU is debatable), and soon others were following in its footsteps. That's probably not even all of them.
  • There's a 30 Day AU Challenge on Tumblr, and High School is the second challenge on the list. Example here.
  • Homestuck High starts out as one, and rapidly falls into insanity.
  • Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox takes the Naruto cast and puts them in a high school setting...with no magical powers, jutsus, bloodline abilities, or tailed beasts.
  • A mild example in Frozen fanfic A Snowflake In Spring: though Anna and several other characters do attend high school, only a small part of the story is actually set there. Far more of the plot is centered around the Arendelle Institute for the Emotionally Disturbed, where both "Ice Queen" Elsa and Anna's brother Hans are being treated.
  • An arc in the fanfic Bond Breaker involves this, with the main character Shade and a bunch of people he'd met on his journey transplanted into an AU highschool setting. A lot of the girls he's met seem to be in love with him, as well...much to his annoyance.
  • More than one Star Trek high school AU has graced the internet, but a noteworthy example is the collaborative roleplay high school AU starting here at Star Trek_Diary. It features the crew of the Enterprise (based on their 2009 actors) attending Enterprise Academy, a prep school for Starfleet Academy, with Star Trek: The Original Series characters as teachers, other adults, and side characters, and occasional mention of Star Trek: The Next Generation characters at the local kindergarten. Text is sometimes NSFW, full of horny teenagers with issues, and contains everything from pants-stealing aliens to evil twins, sex pollen, and the mafiya. Expect many actor crossover references.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • There is High School A.U. of, believe it or not, High School Musical. It boggles the mind that anyone, especially a shipper, would take a high-school setting filled to the brim with ho-yay, les-yay, foe-yay and every other kind of yay you can imagine, not to mention all the other shipping tropes HSM is prone to and think to themselves "Let's change the school, the characters' personalities, and their love-interests".
  • Hollywood seems to enjoy giving William Shakespeare the High School AU treatment, with notable examples including O (Othello), 10 Things I Hate About You (The Taming of the Shrew) and She's The Man (Twelfth Night). The thriller The Glass House is vaguely Hamlet (with the obligatory shout-outs), and vaguely High School (everyone stays the same relative ages, so most characters are adults.)
  • One of the better results was Clueless, which recast Jane Austen's Emma in a Beverly Hills high school.
  • Dragon Ball Evolution is essentially a High School A.U. fanfic with CGI.
  • Some people have claimed that the 2009 Star Trek film is an attempt to do something similar to this with the established characters from the original series. The popular fan misconception is that all the main characters are cadets, when in fact only Kirk, Uhura, and McCoy are students (and McCoy is already a fully qualified doctor). The captain's chair is traded around quite a bit as well, although it's made very clear that Kirk's promotion is for the duration of the current crisis only. Of course, then he goes and saves the Federation and makes the jump from Cadet to Captain in one fell swoop...
  • Easy A set Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter in a high school at Ojai,California.
  • Brick isn't an AU of any specific noir story, but it still fits here. The movie takes every noir trope imaginable and transplants them into a high school setting. The results are surprisingly good.
  • Assassination Of A High School President translates conspiracy and thriller-feely tropes to a high school setting. It also features the journalist protagonist, in this case writing for the high school newspaper.

  • The number of these for Lord of the Rings is disturbing. Possibly a variation with The Official Fanfiction University of Middle-earth and its variants; in these, the canon characters are the teachers, and are teaching normal human students how their universe canonically works.
  • Warrior Cats High School AU. Everyone is horribly out of character. A few manage to pull it off and bring on laughs, but others are just... blah.
  • There's a very bad recast of Pride and Prejudice in high school out there.
  • The Meg Cabot Novel Avalon High is pretty much a published version of this. It's King Arthur... in a High School!
  • You would think that Harry Potter, being set in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and populated almost entirely by teenagers, would be exempt from this. Nope. For some reason, there are a number of fics where Harry and company end up at a (usually) American high school. Expect Draco to be in leather pants, and a Mary Sue or two. And you can make Snape, Sirius and co into high school students by writing a prequel fanfic.
  • The number for Maximum Ride is disturbingly high. But that's kind of the point of book 2.
  • There is also a significant amount of Sherlock Holmes High School AU both as professional novels and as traditional fanfiction. The Irregulars is one of the better examples.
  • The children's book series Goddess Girls is basically this trope for Greek Mythology.

    Live Action TV 
  • For LOST, we have an actual canon episode that takes place in a high school in an alternate universe, with Ben Linus, John Locke, and Arzt as teachers, and Alex as a student.
  • H.G. Wells High School is a metafictional Doctor Who fanfic setting, with all the Doctors in different years, and the appropriate supporting cast at the appropriate age. Newman Primary is the same thing, but as a primary school (elementary school in the US). (There's also a retirement home, with elderly versions of the characters, but it's a bit *too* much for people, so it doesn't get used much. The most popular alternate-age versions of the characters remain the Spinoff Babies of the Look Who's Talking day care centre. All of them co-exist in the wider setting of This Time Round.)
  • There is now a fan-parody High School AU for Game of Thrones titled, appropriately, School Of Thrones, complete with a cool opening that mimics the already awesome credits of the TV series (the parody seems more in debt to the show than the books.) Feature Starks as hipsters, Lannisters as the "cool" gang that runs the school, the Greyjoys as the swim team, Daenerys as the dragon-obsessed foreign exchange student, and Renly as the quarterback and potential prom king candidate (with Loras as his prom queen) Incredibly silly and a bit cringeworthy but still some good fun, can be found at http://www.youtube.com/user/schoolofthrones.
  • Law & Order. Given that these series don't provide much in the way of personality for their characters, except as relates to their investigation and prosecution of crime, the fic was essentially a regular, boring high school experience using the names of Law & Order characters.
  • A case of canonical high school having its slate wiped clean is one high school AU for Power Rangers in Space. The teens never had any powers, and the Red and Silver Rangers, (human) aliens in the show, were normal school-attending Earthlings here. Though the high school stopped appearing in the show for good around episode 8, which is probably the only reason the fic author could get away with it.
  • Smallville is an official version of this trope applied to Superman.
    • As were the pre-Crisis Superboy comics, and 1980s Superboy TV series.
  • Merlin has been described as "The High School A.U. of the King Arthur legend". Certain changes, including making Merlin and Arthur the same age (late teens, early twenties) and a loose interpretation of history definitely fit the trope.
  • Kamen Rider Decade, in its distortion of past series, changes Kamen Rider Faiz into a high school AU. Former Quirky Miniboss Squad Lucky Clover is reimagined as a clique of the cool kids and Tsukasa becomes a student for his duration in this world.
  • The Taiwanese series K.O.3anguo (read as Zhongji Sanguo) does this for Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Among other anachronisms, the love triangle involving Lu Bu, Diao Chan and Guan Yu seems to be a primary plotline.
  • Heroes has a few High School A.U. fics that attempt to transplant the premise of "ordinary people with extraordinary abilities" into high school. Mostly this is done to make Peter and Claire closer in age and not related
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • They took this and made it canon by introducing a teenage clone version of Jack O'Neill, who promptly returns to high school. Although he's never seen or mentioned again, countless fanfictions try to explain what happened next. Some inexplicably decide to give the rest of the team mini-clones as well.
    • In the 200th episode, there was a scene featuring teenage versions of the team, in direct reference to this trope.
    • There's a popular trend of high school fics which ignore the canon continuity entirely. Generally they place Jack and Daniel as foster brothers, Sam as the girl next door, and Teal'c as the weird new kid from Africa. Never mind that they weren't all in high school at the same time, and Teal'c's an alien.
    • Some fanfics have O'Neill's clone end up at the same high school as Sam's adopted (alien) daughter Cassandra.
    • Joe Mallozzi said in his blog that O'Neill's clone, after graduating High School, rejoined the Air Force and was promptly enlisted in the Stargate Program (now Homeworld Security) because he has all of Jack's experiences.
  • Becoming Human can be seen as the High School AU of Being Human.
  • The Hub aired a miniseries based on Clue that essentially took the characters from the game and made then teens.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • One of the magazines not directly affiliated with any fed ran a feature that was short comic strips of the wrestlers of the day in high school. One was Steve Austin standing up on a chair flipping the bird into the air saying "If you hate algebra, give me a Hell Yeah!" while the teacher said "Steven, sit down.", and one with Kane shooting flames out of the stove in Home Ec. It happened for a few issues and then had a fan contest on who could write the best one, then published the contest winners in the magazine.

    Religion and Mythology 
  • There is one fanfiction of The Bible. Even the summary says, "Anything can be a High School AU fic. ANYTHING." It also has Ebony from My Immortal in it. She even has the bad spelling from her original fan fic to go with her.

     Tabletop Games 
  • SJ Games' Pyramid Magazine once had a TOON/In Nomine crossover set at Heavenly Heights High School. Laurence (incorruptible leader of Heaven's armies) was the captain of the football team, Kobal (Demon Prince of Dark Humour) was the class clown, and so on.
  • There are a few Warhammer 40,000 fan fiction pieces floating around with this setting. Almost always, they keep the GRIMDARK GRIMDARK and insanity of the characters, and if done well are a hilarious read.
    • The most well-known variation is a body of work by various authors referred to as Warhammer High, which either recasts the Primarchs as teenage girls or centers around their teenage daughters.

  • Lysistrata Jones is a musical High School AU of Lysistrata.

  • A large number of BIONICLE "comedies", as they are known on BZ Power, have this as the premise.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • All Grown Up! is actually a television example of the latter, taking the Rugrats cast, aging them by ten years, and putting them in a fairly standard middle-school sitcom.
    • Which, in the show, is still pretty much like High School in every other respect.
  • Many Superhero Blockbuster Summer Action movies throughout the 2000s would have an animated sereis released at or around the same time to ride the wave of renewed interest and popularity of the character. Usually taking the core cast and if not being explicitly in highschool, then at at least explicitly younger than they are usually interpreted
    • X-Men: Evolution premiered the same year as X-Men. It justified this with the conceit that mutants (and super-powered beings in general) were thought by the general public to be nothing more than rumor, hoax, and legend for the first couple of seasons, and Xavier wanted his students to have as normal a life as possible.
    • In the 80's, there were plans for an X-Men cartoon that would've featured Cyclops, Storm, Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Thunderbird and Ms. Marvel as teenagers attending a public high school. It never got off the ground, though.
    • The Batman, a year before Batman Begins. Not in highschool but featuring younger interpretations of Batman and his Rogues Gallery.
    • Iron Man: Armored Adventures premiered a year after Iron Man. about a genius teenager with a suit of armor, his buddies, and the Corrupt Corporate Executive who kicked everything off by having his dad killed. It's about as much like the Iron Man comics or movies as the high-school C.S.I. fanfics are like the actual CSI series, but it gets away with it by being totally awesome in its own right.
    • The Spectacular Spider-Man for Spider-Man 3
      • And after a rights dispute caused by Disney buying Marvel, the show was canceled and replaced with Ultimate Spider-Man just in time for The Amazing Spider-Man.
      • USM has Luke Cage, Iron Fist, White Tiger and Nova attending the same high school as Peter Parker. While White Tiger and Nova are Canon Immigrants created for the show, Luke Cage and Iron Fist are always depicted as adults in the comic books, with Cage in particular being much older than Spider-Man and Iron Fist not finishing his training until adulthood.
    • Transformers Animated for Transformers - the main cast are an inexperienced Ragtag Bunch of Misfits rather than war veterans, and the human sidekick is a kid rather than a high-school student.
    • The Mighty Thor was scheduled to have one after his first movie, but it was canceled before it ever aired. It would've been about his adventures in Asgard before ever coming to earth. There is a direct-to-home-video movie called Thor: Tales of Asgard that is based on a similar idea.
    • The Nickelodeon Ninja Turtles reboot comes one year before the Michael Bay film reboot. The Turtles are teenagers by default, but Splinter is noticeably younger than he is usually interpreted, and April is 16 instead of being a working woman.
      • Though in contrast to the Thor example, the show began well before the movie began shooting, and was already on its second season before a single trailer for the film was out.
  • Even the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender have gotten into the act, with their "School Time Shipping" video, though the bending is still all there.
  • Clone High is basically the High School Alternate Universe version of all of history.
  • Batman Beyond's existence is owed to a bunch of higher ups going "Let's do a show about Batman in high school." And so it was done and everyone lived Happily Ever After, mostly due to it turning out a lot Darker and Edgier than the execs had in mind.
    • There nearly was a Gotham High television series. Sure it never developed beyond concept images (see page art at top) but makes you wonder what Bruce Wayne's life was like in High School. Even several comic fans wanted this show released.
  • Inverted in Tiny Toon Adventures, which is not simply Looney Toons in school, but brand new toons in training who are being taught by the Looney Toons.
  • The Mork And Mindy segments in the Mork and Mindy/Laverne and Shirley with Fonz animated series is a High School A.U. for the series proper.
  • Craig Mc Cracken mocked the concept in The Powerpuff Girls, where the girls are ditzy morons more interested in shopping and boys rather than saving the town from destruction.
    • This sort of came to pass in the form of Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z an anime adaptation that featured the girls as three unrelated typical 12 year olds that were given superpowers. It played like a Magical Girl series. Blossom was particularly boy crazy.
  • Young Justice gives several established DC superheroes cameos as non-powered high school students. Karen Beecher (Bumblebee) and Mal Duncan (Herald) appear as classmates of Superboy and Miss Martian, while Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) and Bette Kane (Flamebird) attend the same school as Artemis and Dick. Most notably, Zatanna (who is almost always depicted as an adult in the comics and other adaptations) is made the same age as Dick Grayson.
    • Most of these characters received their powers / superhero personas sometime during the five year timeskip between seasons 1 and 2. They are now in their late teens and early twenties and affiliated with either the League or the Team.
  • Much like Gotham High, there was almost a Muppets High. It would have been set in the 1950s, with Kermit as a Fonzie-style greaser, Gonzo as a nerd, Fozzie Bear a soda jerk, and Rowlf a varsity football player. The show was never made, but plenty of merchandise was.
  • Steven Universe has a Meta Example: promotional fanart for several episodes depict scenes where the teenage, adult and ageless characters are high school students (specifically, wearing Japanese school uniforms) and Steven is their teacher. Connie also seems to be the school librarian. Said scenes are only superficially related to the episodes they promote; for example, "The Test" has the student characters taking an exam, when it's actually about Steven going through an obstacle course.

    Real Life 
  • Democratic White House High School AU, with the difference being that the various politicians (and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert) are the educators, not the students. Obama is the Principal. Rahm Emanuel is the VP. It's... it's actually not that bad, see?
  • Lil Bush. The major players of the George W. Bush administration as kids. It's set in the present, but George H.W. Bush is president. That doesn't stop Lil' Bush from nearly causing nuclear incidents, though.
  • One of the premier fics of the small Figure Skating RPS fandom is the High School AU Along the Invisible Curve. It actually sets things chronologically so that the skater who's the central character is depicted in his senior year of high school the year he actually was, and it does include some skating. Of course, now the author's continued the story into the college.
  • High school AUs are ridiculously popular in bandom RPF, possibly because the band members were all actually in high school at some point, so canon details like Pete Wentz's soccer-playing or Gerard Way's basement can be included. However, they probably weren't all in high school together.
    • Another reason is that some bands tend to have a music video that is set in a high school.
  • Sue Townsend (author of Adrian Mole) wrote a satirical column for the Today newspaper called The Secret Diary of Margaret Hilda Roberts Aged 13 3/4. Margaret was the Head Girl at Grantham Grammar School, and all the main figures in 1980s UK politics were thinly disguised as Margaret's peers - for example, "Ginger" Skinnock, whose father ran the Working Men's Club; Edwina Slurrie, who Margaret despised for being more popular than her; and Cecil Parkhurst, the equally snobby Head Boy who Margaret had a secret crush on, but who left school in mysterious circumstances after his family's au pair quit to have a baby.
  • American Idol has a few of these with the various casts as students and the The judges and Ryan as teachers. Sometimes they take place in a Performing Arts School
  • This suprisingly well-done series which revolves not only around Daft Punk, but many other musicians.

Alternative Title(s):

High School Spinoff, High School Alternate Universe, Recycled In High School