Follow TV Tropes


Film / College Musical

Go To

College Musical is a 2014 film created by YouTube personality Kurt Hugo Schneider and several of his friends from Yale University, including Sam Tsui and Allison Williams. The film was originally released as a web series on Schneider's YouTube channel before being reshot and released as a feature-length film online. It is available for rental or purchase on YouTube. The film is directed by Schneider and written by Jake Bruene.


The film follows college freshman Cooper (Tsui) as he attempts to win the heart of his teaching assistant, Bianca (Williams). Cooper is so enamored with Bianca that he cannot pay attention in English class, and risks losing his college scholarship if his performance does not improve. Cooper's roommates Nate (Miles Jacoby) and Lubo (Brennan Caldwell) decide he must seduce his TA to be able to focus on his schoolwork, and set about developing an elaborate plan to do just that. Their plan eventually complicates the lives of two of their classmates, the shy and bookish Jackie (Julie Shain), who has a crush on Cooper, and her roommate Danielle (Emma Barash).


College Musical contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Villainy: Bianca actually seemed quite nice in the original web series.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Initially. Jackie has a crush on Cooper, who "wants to bone" Bianca, who barely notices him. Cooper eventually develops feelings for Jackie after spending time with her and realizing that Bianca is evil.
  • Becoming the Mask: Cooper initially starts hanging out with Jackie in the hopes of using her as a "stepping stone" to give him the confidence to ask Bianca out, but then genuinely falls for her.
  • Big Bad: Bianca moves from a bitchy rival to Jackie over the Kingston Award into full-blown villain territory when she threatens to fail Cooper and Jackie if they don't find and return Chett's notebook, and tries to steal Jackie's essay.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Bianca. Not only does she start treating Cooper and Jackie horribly as the film progresses, but it turns out she has been exploiting the mentally ill Chett to maintain her winning streak at the Kingston Awards. This is Foreshadowed earlier on when she attempts to get the campus police to break up the iPod dance party for seemingly no reason.
  • Advertisement:
  • Blatant Lies: When Nate asks Bianca if she and Chett have been writing her Kingston essay together, she responds that Chett can't write at all due to his Man-Child Syndrome but, as it turns out, he has actually been writing her essays for the Kingston Awards for the past three years.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Jackie's notebook. Cooper uses it to prove that Bianca stole Jackie's essay.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: The basic plot of the film. Cooper is failing out of college because he can't concentrate in class around Bianca.
  • Foreshadowing: Jackie's conversation with Cooper over whether it would be better to write something extraordinary that nobody reads, or to write something ordinary that everyone reads. The former describes Chett's situation, as he has been writing Bianca's winning Kingston Award essays, but has not been getting any credit.
  • Get a Room!: Two of Cooper and Nate's schoolmates keep making out at inopportune times and getting in their way.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Cooper, Nate, and Lubo, as well as Jackie and Danielle.
  • Here We Go Again!: At the very end of the film, Chett's Man-Child Syndrome is triggered yet again, this time by the coffee shop waitress Crystal.
  • Hot For TA: Cooper for Bianca.
  • "I Want" Song: "I Wanna Bone My TA".
  • The Plan: Nate's plan to help Cooper salvage his English grade is for him to hook up with Jackie to develop the confidence to hit on Bianca. When the guys see Bianca and Chett together, Nate convinces Cooper to manipulate Danielle into breaking up them up.
  • Never My Fault: Cooper's initial reaction after their plan Goes Horribly Wrong is to blame everything on Nate. Nate calls him out on this. To some extent, Danielle is also guilty of this, as she blames the guys for her break-up with Michael, even though she could have said "No" when they tried to set her up with Chett.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Nate and Cooper's plan ends up threatening Jackie's chances at winning the Kingston Award when Danielle accidentally triggers Chett's Man-Child Syndrome, causing him to lose his notebook with Bianca's Kingston essay, in turn causing Bianca to threaten to fail them, which is what Cooper was attempting to avoid in the first place. It also ends up causing Michael to break up with Danielle.
  • Oh, Crap!: Nate when Bianca reveals that Chett suffers from Man-Child Syndrome, and Jackie when Michael visits the campus during Danielle's "date" with Chett.
  • Really Gets Around: Nate. At the beginning, he is seen ushering a girl, whose name he can't remember, out of his room. Cooper also claims that he continually bounces between random girls during their fight.
  • Running Gag: Several.
    • The student who keeps getting his files or books knocked out of his hands by people running past.
    • The two students who keep hooking up in the open.
    • Someone snickering at "Man-Child Syndrome", and someone else responding "It's quite serious", before the music for the "Man-Child Syndrome" number swells.
  • Ship Tease: With Nate and Danielle at the end.
  • Shrinking Violet: Jackie and, to some extent, Cooper.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Cooper gets one from Jackie after Danielle accidentally triggers Chett's Man-Child Syndrome and Lubo reveals the guys' plan.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Cooper and Jackie do.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Danielle struggles to remain loyal to her long-distance boyfriend Michael, which Nate and Cooper take advantage of in order to get her to break up Bianca and Chett. Of course, it turns out that Bianca wasn't dating Chett, who actually suffers from Man-Child Syndrome.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: