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Headscratchers / High School Musical

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  • Why isn't Kelsi considered a main character? I'm pretty sure she's more relevant than Taylor, who is a main character.
  • Does anyone have any idea why Troy's father didn't just tell him "You made a commitment when you took on the role as captain of the basketball team. Auditioning isn't much, Troy, but if you get the part in the musical, the rehearsals will increasingly conflict with our schedule, which you signed onto at the beginning of the year" instead of the equivalent of "Dude, you're a jock. Jocks don't sing. You may only have one hobby at a time"?
    • That really bugged me too. "Learn to take priorities" became "Cheat to do whatever you want. Since you're popular, you will not get punished".
    • Troy was preparing for the championship game which takes place at the end of the season. (In the third film's championship game, Jack says after it's done the team will have finished up with basketball for the year). So after the championship Troy wouldn't have the basketball commitments and would have free time for rehearsals. The only overlap period was the callbacks and the final game, and originally they were on different days so didn't interfere with each other.note  His dad/coach didn't have any justification for not letting him get involved. Apart from 'you're a playmaker not a singer' thing.
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    • Probably an analogy to the whole "singing isn't manly" thing that these movies deconstruct so nicely.
  • In all the time between Gabriella was shown Troy saying that neither she nor the musical was important to him at all, INCLUDING when Troy and all the nerds told her it was either a set-up or "those stupid things", why did it never occur to her what the odds were of anyone getting a recording or whatever it was of him saying that without it being a set-up?
    • Even the world's smartest teenage girl is susceptible to turning into a moron where the person she likes is concerned.
    • And whether or not Troy was pressured into saying he didn't care about her, he still said it. Remember Gabriella hinted to him that she'd been bullied and ostracized at her previous schools. From her perspective it didn't matter if he was set up, it was still a betrayal from the one guy who'd accepted her for who she was.
    • When first found out that Troy was a popular basketball star, she probably had a sinking suspicion that him liking her and wanting to take on a whole new hobby with her was too good to be true. Once she had evidence of that (no matter how flimsy), confirmation bias kicked in.
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  • I sort of throw my hands up every time a teen girl's laptop computer first does some sort of weird webcam linkup, then manages to control the entire school to set the stage for the finale. Yes, I know, 'it's just a show, I really...'
  • Am I mistaken or is Gabriella something an Omnidisciplinary Scientist with a smattering of Teen Genius, just with a glance of the books in her locker?
    • That would explain why she was called a freak at her old school.
  • At the audition Ms Darbus claims Sharpay and her brother were the only people to audition in pairs. So what about the pair who were on before them?
    • Maybe it was an auditioning student and his/her best friend and accompanist, who was willing to help their best friend get a part but couldn't be in the play itself because the soccer team, like the basketball team, had a schedule that conflicted with the drama club?
    • The girl seemed to be doing most of the vocalizing, with the boy there as 'backup'.
  • Why are Sharpay and Ryan competing for a scholarship (rather than just a place in the school) if they're filthy rich?
    • Because it's still free money, you don't just pass that up.
    • Because it would meant they're better than everyone else there.
  • How come High School Musical 2 is titled, well High School Musical 2? The high school is only in it for, like, ten minutes and then the whole plot shifts to some swanky holiday resort.
    • Umm... because it was a sequel to High School Musical 1?
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    • Because if it were called Country Club Musical kids wouldn't realize that it was the sequel to High School Musical.
    • Because they're still high school students and the characters are all classmates who stay together during all the movie, in class or not.
  • It bugs me that Troy and Gabriella are still friends with Chad and Taylor despite the fact that they are assholes to them and tried to break them up in the first place. All they had to say was "whoops" and that was it. Maybe I'm a screwed up person, but if one of my friends did that to me, I'd never speak to them again.
    • It's a completely fair point. If it had been me, I don't care how long I've known these people. I'd have punched them in the face.
    • You're not screwed up at all. I think that's what any sane person would be doing if their best friend screwed them over like that. Maybe they get away with it because admitting them to be villains would stir up the Moral Guardians. How dare a children's movie bring up such Unfortunate Implications over African-Americans!
      • Uhm, back up for a second, there. First of all, no one said anything about race. Don't turn this into a race issue. Secondly, Sharpay is the one who is clearly framed as the antagonist of all three movies. Chad and Taylor could fall into the area of Well-Intentioned Extremist, and it's not like they do on a regular basis. Maybe Troy and Gabriella are too forgiving (they, especially Gabriella can be seen as Mary Sues).
      • While the race thing was unnecessary, it is true that Chad and Taylor are a weird mix of genuine friendship AND false friendship. While Sharpay is the antagonist, in the first movie all she did was convince Darbus to change the date of the callback (And technically, she didn't lie to do it). Chad activelly screwed over his best friend new relationship, while Taylor only seek Gabriella's friendship when she learned of her smarts. Second Movie, Sharpay (indirectly) gives Troy a summer job, and as a side effect ends up giving employment to basically the whole school. True, she throws her money and status around to get Troy to "date" her, but she never forces Troy to do anything. Chad (and all the others) only bitch and moan about having to do a job (which they wanted in the first place) and bitch and moan even more when Troy gets a promotion. Taylor does the same, with the plus of almost all of her scenes telling Gabriella to dump Troy... for some reason. Third movie, while Sharpay is still a bitch, she isn't a direct antagonist, but the only conflict in the movie is planning for the future. Chad doesn't do anything this movie, and Taylor basically treats him like crap.
    • To be fair to the team, in #2 Troy was kind of being a jerk, not sticking with his friends, not talking to them that much after the promotion, etc
      • Troy forgiving Chad in #1 is kind of believable, since they've been friends since kindergarten and have probably fought/made up before. You don't just throw that away. Plus, Chad's perspective is a little more sympathetic than Taylor's: He and Troy have been dreaming of the championship for years he's supported him as captain...and then a few days before their biggest game ever, Troy gets distracted with singing and a girl? Yeah, Chad went too far, but you can understand him freaking out. In the second film he's obviously just jealous, even though Troy went out of his way to get him a job.
      • With Gabriella and Taylor...Maybe Gabriella just wanted to be accepted by Taylor's friend group. I mean she's the shy new student, Troy seems to have betrayed her and half the school hates her for the callbacks. At that stage, Taylor was really the only viable friendship option. Unless she wanted the nerds to turn on her too. And both Chad and Taylor make it up to them in the second half of the film.
  • Did the musical in the first movie only have two parts? Because that's the only reason this Troper can see as to why Sharpay and Ryan would fight so hard against Troy and Gabriella and then settle for understudies at the end. I could see Sharpay's pride leading her to put up a fight, but then wouldn't they rather take a slightly smaller part rather than be the understudies to the people who took the leads? Weren't there any secondary romantic couples for them to play, assuming that they still refused to play characters who don't hook up?
    • If the lead character gets her kneecaps broken in an unfortunate collision with a random skateboarder who is suddenly twenty dollars richer, a person in a smaller role doesn't get the part, the understudy gets the part (except where the person in the smaller role is the understudy because the two characters aren't onstage or with speaking roles at the same time).
    • The above is normally only true for professional shows. In several high schools, the understudy for a main role tends to be one of the stage managers, or in a few cases, one of the prop managers. If the cast has an ensemble, one of the ensemble people may move up to a minor role, and the minor role may move up to the major role. It's rare that directors in high school would cast an understudy, because there is only a slight chance that they will not be able to go on.
    • Maybe Ryan and Sharpay took on minor roles, and were understudies for Troy and Gabriella? (With an even more minor people understudying for them). Knowing Sharpay, when Ms Darbus announced the roles and went: 'Sharpay is blah-blah and back up for Gabriella if necessary' all she heard was 'understudy'. In the third film, Sharpay had her own role and song, but was Gabriella's understudy as well.
    • In my experience at least, high school directors would be more likely to double cast a part rather than have an understudy. High school actors have fragile egos and teachers tend to like hurt feelings to be kept to a minimum.
      • Ms Darbus is not your average high school drama teacher, though. She treats all her students like haughty professional casters- just look at how dismissive she is of everyone but Ryan and Sharpay at the auditions, loudly telling them to "show them how it's really done". She doesn't care about hurting feelings, as she outright tells the interpretive dancers that they are "disturbing" and should go see the counsellor. It's clear they're pretty hurt.
    • I think the song they performed was just the audition song for every single role, because IIRC Ms Darbus decides to just call for the auditions of the leads, which just happened to only be Ryan and Sharpay. Callbacks could do any song they wanted from the musical, but as everyone performed the same song and Ms Darbus refers to Ryan and Sharpay as the only people auditioning for the leads...
  • High School Musical 3: We should put on a play! But our lead female gives up her part and our lead male doesn't show up! Then they return after the show starts and correctly assume they can just take their parts back! Yeah. That would go over well in a real school play.
    • As we have established elsewhere on this page: Darbus plays favorites like hell. Plus, everyone (with very few exceptions) are assholes.
  • Making Ryan and Sharpay understudies makes no sense from any perspective. Your average high school is iffy in the talent department, and East high is way below average if the auditions are anything to by. Sharpay may be a diva, but there's no denying she has great stage presence and can sing well No sensible casting director would put someone like that behind the curtain when they've got roles to fill and the only other options are someone who can't emote and someone who thinks "projecting" means shouting every line. Especially when, as pointed out, the chances of an understudy being used are so little you might as well risk not having one.
  • I just got done watching HSM (RiffTrax commentary) and I just gotta ask: What does Zeke (the guy who bakes) actually see in Sharpay other than that she's a girl and that she's kinda cute? I mean they don't call her the Ice Queen for nothing. She's vain, selfish, snobbish, shallow and manipulative. The only time she actually started to noticing him was when she ate some of his cookies and begged him to make more for her. Unless he's into abuse, I see no good coming out this relationship.
    • He thinks she's hot which is good enough for most High Schoolers.
    • 'Cause 1: Ashley Tisdale is hot. And 2: she's actually not that bad deep down, as shown by the end of each movie and in Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure.
    • (In reply to the original comment) You are forgetting that these are teenagers relishing high school and looking for hot girls, not adults seeking a serious relationship.
  • Ever notice how people try and convince Troy and Gabriella to stop singing a song about it?
    • Oh the irony.
    • You can't even say the dance numbers and such aren't actually happening, since Gabriella actively tries to avoid the dancing people in the lunch room.
  • The kids in the third movie are competing for scholarships to Juilliard. Barring the obvious points about Juilliard not working like that and the fact that none of these kids would have a chance of so much as being wait listed at the real Juilliard—if they're competing for a scholarship, it means they were already accepted. Ryan receives the scholarship. If Sharpay wants to go there so badly, why don't her parents just use Ryan's unused tuition money to help pay for Sharpay and send them BOTH to Juilliard?
    • Already discussed. It's still free money and she wanted to prove she was better than everyone else.
      • But at the end, Sharpay knows she didn't get the scholarship and says she's going somewhere else for college. It's like you absolutely need the scholarship to get into the school, which is just wrong. As the OP said, if you're competing for a scholarship, you're already in. So why would she be in and choose to go somewhere else without the scholarship? ESPECIALLY when she's by far the richest person in an already obviously affluent community (have you SEEN the high school? Tell me you've seen any public school as rich as that). It makes zero sense, and Ryan getting the scholarship is frankly an insult to any real musician who actually can't afford the school and can't go.
      • For one, it's a movie so they took a few licenses and two, Sharpay has shown that she's a graceful loser when it comes to her brother and it wouldn't be completely out of character for her to decline Juilliard so that her brother could do his own thing and get big without her.
  • "I Want It All" implies that Sharpay's main goal is New York or Hollywood fame with Juilliard as a stepping stone. So why, after not getting the Juilliard scholarship (and not going, despite the logic given in the previous Headscratcher), did she go to school in Albuquerque instead of applying somewhere like NYU or UCLA?
    • Especially NYU, since it has Tisch and it's heavily implied she wants to major in something relating to musical theatre? (Which, amusingly, Juilliard doesn't even offer.)
      • Considering what franchise this is, the writers probably know next to nothing about real musical theatre. Which means they don't know that the top programs are have very limited placements and highly competitive auditions, a very realistic reason why Sharpay wouldn't get in. (Getting into the Musical Theatre course in this troper's city requires singing three different songs, a contemporary and Shakespearean monologue, a group dance audition, and being skilled in at least one instrument, and there are only sixteen places. Just to give you a taste of how elite the programs can be.) Considering this, we can say that we know Sharpay's a good dancer and singer but has no idea how to play any instruments, while Ryan can play the Piano. He's got her upstaged.
    • Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure reveals she didn't go to school in Albuquerque after all, and instead took a year off to "find [her]self". So the real question is, why didn't she look for herself in New York before the film happened?
      • She likely returned to East High to assist in the drama department, decided not to go to school and did what most kids who just graduated high school would do if they could take a year off, relax. (Vacations with her parents, went shopping, met some new friends and began sleeping in.) She also likely tried to any local (glamorous) leading musical role she could get but none of those roles lasted very long. Her father not wanting her to move far away might have something to do with it as well, but eventually she got an opportunity in New York and decided to go for it.
  • In the second movie, I never understood why Troy's friends were so angry with him. I know it's not cool to blow off your friends and girlfriend all the time and suck up to the rich people you're supposed to be working for, BUT the whole point was that Troy was trying to get into a good college on a good scholarship. In fact, it seems like he was the only one even THINKING about his future. So it just bugs me that his friends are being selfish and making him feel bad for trying to secure a good future for himself.
    • It's understandable for Troy's friends to get upset when he's continually promoted and receiving opportunities solely because Sharpay likes him (which Troy himself seems oblivious to, seeming to believe he earned all this despite doing the same work as everyone else and even being rewarded after breaking club rules - which Gabriella receives all the blame for). All for a scholarship to a school he doesn't even go to in the end. Troy is totally blind to his own privilege, and that makes people angry.
    • His friends may have been unreasonable, but his girlfriend had every reason to be pissed. Sharpay clearly liked him, and was trying to force herself into the role of girlfriend. How reasonable would you be if your boyfriend kept blowing you off to mildly prostitute himself as the Alpha Bitch's quasi-boyfriend?
      • While it is true, it is kind of hard to be on Gabriella's side when in the third movie, Gabriella does all in her power to get the future she wants, regardless of Troy's feelings, going so far as to dumping him over the phone.
      • Gabriella's actions concerning her future in the third film are kind of ambiguous. She seems prepared to sacrifice her chance at Stanford to stay in Albuquerque and study at UOA for a while to be with Troy. (Taylor actually calls her out for considering delaying her future for her 'first crush'.) It's actually Gabriella's mother and Troy himself who talks to her into going, which matches their positions in the second film, where Troy is a lot more prepared to face the future than she is. And when she tells Troy she's not coming back to East High, it's not anything to do with her academic future, but because she can't handle losing him again.
      • In the second film, the wrongness of Troy's actions and the wildcats reactions are kind of a grey area. Some of the stuff Troy does is definitely out of line: Ignoring Chad in front of the Red Hawks at lunch, letting Sharpay steal Kelsi's song, not calling Sharpay out for flirting with him while treating his girlfriend like dirt. But other stuff wasn't a big deal: Missing a baseball game and not bringing your high school buddies to a closed college practice. The problem is the film didn't differentiate between the stuff that was out of line, and the stuff that was okay. The wildcats overreacted and Troy got blamed for everything. So it was just badly handled.
  • Why Ryan and Kelsi? If you must give Ryan a heterosexual love interest why not Martha (fat hiphop girl)? They had already been paired up at the end of the second movie.
    • Assuming Ryan might be gay just because of his relative flamboyance is a stereotype. They bonded because he has more in common with her than any of the other available options.
    • They tried to at least make it believable. Other than introducing a new character, Kelsi was the only viable option: Gabriella would be impossible, Sharpay is his sister, Taylor was taken by Chad and he doesn't have anything in common with Martha.
    • Except Martha was a dancer, and as his main thing was choreography he had just as much if not more in common with her than Kelsi. Plus Kelsi was already paired with Jason. Chalk it up to them not wanting to pair one of the leads with a fat chick.
      • True on that last point, but still, hip hop dancing has not much to do with the kind of choreography Ryan does, and Kelsi is a much more developed character since the first movie, while we only know Martha is loud and likes hip hop(Her being brainy only shows in "Stick to the status quo" and nowhere else.)
    • Both Ryan and Kelsi are mistreated by Sharpay, especially in the second movie, where Sharpay steals Kelsi's music and dumps Ryan as her talent show partner in the same scene. Really, the question is why Ryan got together with Martha at the end of HSM 2 (when it's implied that Ryan and Kelsi planned that entire "Everyday" music number together), other than to avoid retconning Kelsi and Jason's brief Pair the Spares moment at the end of HSM 1.
    • I assumed they were paired because they're a composer and a choreographer.
    • We can just assume they were put together to avoid the whole "Ryan is gay" rumour to get bigger and since Kelsi is already a secondary main, they just chose her.
      • On a related note, what if Kelsi's also gay, she and Ryan bonded over neither of them being straight, and they agreed to go to prom together as each other's "cover"?
  • Gabriella and Stanford....Just the whole situation. Is there any justification for why she wants to go there? Troy says she chose Stanford, but Gabriella says her mom's been planning it since she was a kid. (Like Troy's dad and UOA.) Albuquerque is the first place she's felt at home, and she seems to want to stay there, so why did she choose a school a thousand miles away? (Especially when Troy, who she is devastated at leaving, is going to be local). And why does she need to persuade her mom to 'stay behind' another year with her? Don't most student live on campus? Then there's zero thought to what she's studying: They throw in that she's doing Pre-Law, even though in previous films she was more interested in science. Ms Darbus wants Troy to pursue singing, while Gabriella's kind of forgotten about, even she's always been the one encouraging Troy to do it with her. It feels like they spent the whole film on Troy deciding his future, with no justification for Gabriella's choices, even though their separation drives most of the conflict. We're basically told to forget about Gabriella's perspective and take it for granted that Stanford is the ideal future for her. Why?
  • Why did Sharpay want Gabriella's song in the third film? She already had her own song and, unlike the musical in #1, roles seemed to be evenly distributed. There were group numbers with everyone, (the basketball number, prom night, etc.) and solos for experienced singers: Ryan's I-Want-It-All bit, Sharpay's own song and the Troy/Gabriella duet. Darbus and Kelsi were playing to the performers' strengths: They knew Sharpay suited the upbeat, intensely-choreographed number, while Troy and Gabriella were better at romantic songs. (Hell, in #1 and 2, Sharpay always sped up those slow numbers). Plus Troy is incredibly awkward performing with her, and she doesn't seem interested in him anymore. Wasn't Sharpay experienced enough to realize her best shot at impressing Juilliard was the song she'd been given?
    • Answer #1: Because she's Sharpay, and her main song in this movie isn't called "I want it all" for nothing. Reason #2, if you watch the movie again, it's very confusing which numbers are actually rehearsals and which ones are fantasies("I want it all" is a fantasy, but somehow is Ryan's number in the musical, for example). In the rehearsals, Sharpay's flashy song was about Kelsi and Ryan arriving at prom in the rehearsals, so it stands to reason that the Darbus, Ryan and Kelsi were trying several things before having a final version. Sharpay probably didn't had a solo, but they gave her the "who's that girl" bit to appease her.
    • It was stated in #3 that Kelsi saves her best work for Troy and Gabriella; Sharpay wants their song because it's the best in the show.
  • How did Troy get into Juilliard? Not only are they super selective (as mentioned before) but nothing he does really qualifies him for their musical theatre program (even if they had one, which they don't), as he only performed in what, two school musicals? And showed up late no less to their senior year one. Why would Juilliard accept somebody like him, not only with his lack of experience, but lack of professionalism too? Not only Juilliard, but how did he get into Berkeley either? Yes, he's an athlete, I understand that, but isn't Berkeley more of an academic school than an athletic one? And he chose it so that he could do both theatre and basketball at the same time, how is he gonna manage two very time-consuming activities while also trying to keep up grades at a very difficult school?
    • Troy. Didn't. Get. Into. Juilliard. Kelsi and Ryan did.
    • Funny thing, Troy decided to go to UC Berkeley for basketball, drama, and to be 32 miles away from Gabriella. However, San Jose State University also has basketball, drama, and is 22 miles away from Stanford. I'd certainly believe Troy going there more than him casually getting into the #1 public university in the world.

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