YMMV / School of Rock


  • Awesome Music: A prime example.
    • It is a movie about rock and roll after all, special mention goes out to the band's performance at the end.
    • A highlight of the soundtrack is Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song. Not just because its an awesome song, but the sheer fact that it's in the movie is a CMOA for the cast and crew, as they were able to convince the band (who is famously stingy about licensing their music) to let them use the song.
    • Subverted with the "Heal Me, I'm Heartsick" ballad by No Vacancy. While the music is good, the singer is trying hard, and everyone looks like true rock stars... Spider's ridiculous body-winding dance moves and leather shrug/chest tattoo combination turn the performance into one big sight gag.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: People tend to ignore Patty's abuse of Ned and think of her as a Designated Villain. Although Dewey is mooching off Ned at the beginning, Ned only gives him an ultimatum because Patty wants it. Ned doesn't appear to have a problem with Dewey there and he only orders him to move out after he's crossed the Moral Event Horizon by impersonating him. Essentially neither Dewey nor Patty are meant to be in the right.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Freddie is one of the most popular kids, mainly due to being Troubled, but Cute and getting a lot of the best lines.
    • Katie the bass player in a weird way. She's noticed precisely because she's The Generic Guy who doesn't get many lines, and doesn't get a solo in the end credits.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: While nothing actually happens in the movie, a lot of people like to imagine that Dewey and Ms Mullins dated after the Battle of the Bands. This is mainly brought on by the bar scene, where Dewey is able to get her to let her hair down a little.
    • In the stage musical Ms. Mullins is Promoted to Love Interest for Dewey, with the bar scene serving as the main catalyst for their relationship.
  • Heartwarming Moments: The encore at the concert. School! Of! Rock! School! Of! Rock!
    • After seeing Zack berated by his father in the parking lot, Dewey initiates a class lecture/improvised song about sticking up for yourself. By the end, Zack is feeling much better and even thanks Dewey for the great lesson...in front of the other teachers (who are both awed and slightly jealous).
      • Even better when you see Zack's father cheering him on during the final performance.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Dewey calls Cats his least favorite musical. Its creator Andrew Lloyd Webber did the film's stage adaptation, and even kept that line in.
  • Idiot Plot: Any other adult could have potentially exposed Dewey's masquerade. Anyone with working ears could have, too. Despite the efforts to "soundproof" the room, they're playing rock music on amplified instruments for hours every day, yet no one seems to notice except one minor point wherein Mullins sits in on the class.
  • Ron the Death Eater: A few people forget that Dewey is meant to be an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist and that getting exposed is meant to be a Break the Haughty moment for him. The movie frequently calls Dewey out for his behavior and we're not supposed to support him until he undergoes Character Development in the third act.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Lawrence's outfit at the Battle of the Bands is Tetsuo from AKIRA. Just look at him.
    • It's probably a reference to Rick Wakeman, who famously wore a cape during live shows in the early 70s (though his was glittery). Note that Dewey gives Lawrence a copy of Fragile, and tells him to listen to Wakeman's keyboard solo on Roundabout.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Ned's girlfriend Patty, when you really think about it. Dewey has been bumming at their place for months if not years, while continually refusing to get a steady job and therefore doing little to contribute to the rent. Ned keeps doing whatever he can to accommodate him because they were in a band years ago, while Patty is just supposed to tolerate this. It doesn't change the fact that she seems to take joy in Dewey's suffering, but anyone would be frustrated by that point. Also, although she's annoying and a nag, she points out that Dewey committed fraud by stealing Ned's identity and then exploiting a classroom full of little kids by lying to and manipulating them.
    • The fact of the matter is that most aspiring rock stars, no matter how committed they are to their dreams of music stardom, will not succeed and will have to find some other means of paying the bills. It's not because their drive wasn't strong enough, simply that at some point, Reality Ensues and you have to find a way to provide the basic necessities for yourself.
      • Of course, the movie sets up something of a False Dichotomy — a lot of people simply parlay their rock star dreams into another career involving music, such as teaching or writing about it. And of course, at the end of the movie, Dewey and Ned do just that by setting up an after-school rock music teaching program. But the way Dewey acted as if it had to be either one or the other doesn't reflect reality.
    • It's hard to blame Dewey's band for kicking him out — just watch Dewey in action during the opening scene. Being a Large Ham is OK, but he should have known when to tone it down a little. The fact that No Vacancy win the Battle of the Bands without him makes their point just that much stronger.
  • Technology Marches On: Dewey's ruse would be harder to pull off once the rise of social media took over. A glance at Ned's Facebook would probably alert them.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Patty's dislike of Dewey for some. It's never said whether or not Patty actually lives in the apartment too but she does admittedly have a right to be annoyed at the situation.
  • Values Dissonance: The gay jokes at Billy's expense. Wouldn't have raised many eyebrows in the early 2000s but wouldn't be allowed in the film these days. Mike White disowned the film for this reason.
    • The musical doesn't necessarily fix this, but they make sure Billy's still a character and not just a walking stereotype (helps that it's on Broadway, as LGBTQ-friendly a venue as you can imagine).
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: While not outright vulgar, there's a fair share of light swearing (mostly from the kids, no less!) and more than a few references to sex and drugs. Its PG-13 rating is a light one, at best.
  • The Woobie : Poor Ms. Mullins. When all the teachers are yelling at her for the Dewey debacle, she leaves the room and goes to the stairs...to put herself in the corner. Aww!

Stage Play

  • Award Snub: The show didn't win any of the Tonys it was nominated for, though considering it was competing against Hamilton this didn't surprise people.
  • Ear Worm: "You're in the Band" and "Stick it to the Man".
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: When playing at the Tony's, and facing some serious competition from Hamilton, Stage!Dewey reiterates that the band's not here to win but to rock, much as Film!Dewey did.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Stage!Dewey is not as overweight as Jack Black but is treated as such; he actually gained weight for the role but given the choreography it's easy to see how he wouldn't be able to maintain that physique.