A common trope used to give a character or characters a chance to interact with old classmates and/or as a flash-back to the days when they were in school. Sometimes used to portray how much a character has changed, grown-up, or become "cool" (or alternatively, how the character hasn't changed a bit), or just as an excuse to put the character in a funny looking wig, glasses or braces.
Often, the roles the characters held when they were at school have been completely reversed to ironic effect; the Alpha Bitch and her Girl Posse who once ruled the school with velvet fists are now frumpy, frustrated housewifes, the Jerk Jock who was king of the sports team is now an overweight loser (usually married to the ex-Alpha Bitch, much to their mutual regret), the mousey shy girl in glasses who was picked on mercilessly by the Alpha Bitch now possesses the looks of a gorgeous supermodel and the nerds and Geeks tormented by the Jerk Jock are now handsome super-successful Dot-Com millionaires.
Sometimes shows with ensemble casts will reveal that Everyone Went to School Together, in which case an alternative to the above is that they're all in exactly the same roles.
- In From Eroica with Love NATO's most feared agent, Iron Klaus, is forced to go to a school reunion, where we learn that he's actually MELLOWED since those days.
- One chapter of Wandering Son uses an elementary Class Reunion as a way to show how Nitori was prior to the manga, as she began the series a as a fifth grade New Transfer Student.
- In one episode of Crayon Shin-chan, Misae brings Shin to her high school reunion, where Shin starts catching up with the attendees despite never having actually met them before.
- The premise of the movie "10 Years".
- The point of the American Reunion.
- In An Autumn Afternoon, Shuhei, Kawai, Horie, and a few of their friends from school meet up along with one of their old teachers.
- Compagni di Scuola is all about the reunion of former high school schoolmates, fifteen years after the graduation.
- Grosse Pointe Blank has this initiate the plot. The twist is that the main character ended up becoming an assassin.
- Played for laughs in National Lampoon's Class Reunion.
- One of the central plot points of Off the Black involves Ray roping David into posing as his son for his 40th high school reunion. In a twist on the usual plotline of the attendee being a loser, Ray was actually well-liked, and renowned for his popularity in high school. Which, of course, only makes it more painful that he's accomplished so little in those 40 years.
- Peggy Sue Got Married opens with the title character and her husband attending their 25-year high school reunion.
- The whole point of Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. The two outsider/slacker heroines themselves have not actually become outstanding successes. However, they are clearly happier than the Alpha Bitch and Jerk Jock, and that the two nerds they sort of hung out with have made a lot of money; and it also uses a common trope in the genre when it turns out that one of the nerds, who had a crush on Michele in high school, gets his chance to begin dating her.
- Zack and Miri Make a Porno begins with the two impoverished-slacker main characters reluctantly attending their high school reunion, with Miri in it to seduce the Jerk Jock who bullied her but who she always had a secret crush on; it turns out that with age and maturity, he's still a handsome and debonair man, but is also a lot nicer and friendlier to Miri. He's also gay. Miri is happy about the first two, not so much about the third. The whole 'everyone's changed and the losers are now winners' thing is also spoofed slightly, in that Zack and Miri haven't changed that much since high school:
Miri: Look, even though we're broke and we never amounted to anything, we're still better than these people, right?Zack: No. Not at all. We're probably not even as good as most of them, unless one of them's a crackhead or something.
- Isaac Asimov's "Flies": John Polen, Kendell Casey, and Winthrop are meeting together for their twenty-year college reunion, trying to fit together the way they used to, despite all three of them having become more cynical and jaded than they used to be. We get Flashbacks to events taking place ~twenty years ago, as the characters reminisce about their past.
They were trying to snuggle into the cast-off shell of twenty years back, each of them. Squirming and cramming and not fitting.
Damn, thought Polen fretfully, why do people attend college reunions?
- In The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant, the titular CPA/vampire decides to attend his high school reunion, despite his extreme shyness and... supernatural condition. The decision changes his life (well, undeath), as a pack of werewolves attack the reunion, and he ends up helping Krystal, an old classmate, who turns out to be a professional Hunter of Monsters, stop the evil Parahumans. Krystal than asks him out on a date, and they become an item, even though Fred laments his lost quiet life many times, as Krystal is a very adventurous girl.
- In Grass and Sky, Timmi and Rebecca's parents leave them alone for the weekend with Grampy so they can go to Dad's twenty-five-year high school reunion in Dexter, in which he will be inducted into the local sports hall of fame.
- Ironside (1967):
- "Class of '40" involved a classmate murdering another causing the title character and his staff to try catching the killer.
- "Class of '57" involved a classmate murdering another causing the title character and his staff to try catching the killer. This episode, aired in the fall of 1971, inspired a Statler Brothers song that became a top 10 country hit a year later.
- Lois had a class reunion on Lois & Clark in which a classmate who was picked on takes Reunion Revenge.
- The episode "Coyote Piper" is about Piper's tenth high school reunion, which she ends up attending while possessed by a demonic spirit.
- Later, Phoebe had one too, when she met an old acquaintance who was more violent than ever before. She even cast a spell (first on herself, accidentally, and then on the entire class deliberately) that brought everyone's high school personalities to the forefront.
- On The Pretender, Jarod sends Sydney, Miss Parker and Broots to a high school reunion. While they're there, they discover that this was where Mr. Lyle went to high school under a different name.
- Wings had a Class Reunion which Joe, Brian, Helen, and Lowell were all able to attend despite being different ages. This was explained by saying that the high school was so small, they held reunions for several classes at once.
- A fun version of this was done in one episode of Wonderfalls, where the person throwing their 6½ year reunion was doing it because, as it turned out, she really just needed something to take her mind off her marriage stresses. She ends up having an epiphany relating to this and walking out of the party she herself put together, leaving a bunch of very confused guests in her wake.
- In the Only Fools and Horses episode "Class of '62", the main cast were all part of a Class Reunion set up in mysterious circumstances. This turned out to be part of a revenge scheme, although not the usual Reunion Revenge.
- Family Matters: The Season 1 episode "The Big Reunion," where physically, Carl hasn't changed much since high school, except he'd gone bald (which of course is the butt of jokes).
- Frasier ends up dating the prom queen, but only stays with her so as to accompany her to a reunion. A sudden burst of conscience has him wanting to leave, until she forces him to stay so she doesn't have to walk in alone.
- After Frasier loses his job he receives an invitation to his class reunion but declines. He then decides to go after, through a series of zany misunderstandings, he becomes convinced that a former classmate will spread damaging rumours about him. To boost his confidence his father tells him a white lie regarding a new job at another radio station, unaware that one of Frasier's classmates owns the station. Hilarity ensues.
- Surprising considering its genre, but Stargate SG-1 had this moment when Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell showed up to his class reunion with Vala Mal Doran, a human who is technically an alien. The whole town ends up thinking they're sleeping together, particularly since alien Vala misunderstands appropriate human behavior and invents vast sexcapades for the two of them. Then, Mitchell's boring cover is blown when alien assassins try to capture him and Vala during the reunion using clearly non-human tech.
- In the Psych episode "Murder?...Anyone?...Anyone?...Bueller?" Gus has planned his and Shawn's 13th high school reunion. It becomes the backdrop for a case.
- On Still Standing, the Alpha Bitch married The Jock and became successful, while her husband became an internationally-known architect. She is also gracious and kind, and actually apologizes to the sitcom's wife for her high school behavior. And she's played by Beth Littleford.
- 30 Rock had Liz attend her high school reunion in episode Reunion, thinking she had been a lovable nerd picked on by the Alpha Bitch and that she would impress everyone with her success. Instead, she discovered that everyone hated her for all her Deadpan Snarking, thinking of her as a bully, and that the supposed Alpha Bitch had actually tried to be her friend. Liz spends the rest of the episode vainly struggling to prove that she's nice now.
- Meanwhile, Jack tags along (after losing out on a major promotion) and drowns his sorrows by impersonating the absent Big Man on Campus (until the ex-girlfriend he's been flirting with reveals "his" son).
Liz: How is this working? You're like 10 years older than anybody here!
- Meanwhile, Jack tags along (after losing out on a major promotion) and drowns his sorrows by impersonating the absent Big Man on Campus (until the ex-girlfriend he's been flirting with reveals "his" son).
- The Mary Tyler Moore Show has Mary attend one of these in the second season.
- A Taxi episode has Bobby playing Louie at the latter man's high school reunion, Bobby seeing it as an intriguing acting challenge.
- Edith goes to one on All in the Family.
- A memorable two-part episode of Married... with Children had Al Bundy and his wife Peggy attend one of these. Peg has her sights set on being Reunion Queen, while Al crosses paths with his old rival, who taunted him about never picking up on the fight they were supposed to have after graduation. When Peg tries to campaign for votes, everyone gives her the cold shoulder because of her Alpha Bitch status in high school, while Al is called a coward for not taking up his rival's challenge to renew their fight. Peg finally lets Al go ahead with the fight, leading everyone else in the room to follow them outside and leaving Peg alone in the room. With the help of Bud and Kelly, who had snuck into the reunion to get some food, she then rigs the vote to become elected Reunion Queen, and enjoys a dance with Al when he comes back in, having pulverized his rival and proven himself the toughest fighter in their class.
- The Steve Harvey Show: Steve is eager to attend the high school reunion because it will give him a chance to reunite with his high school sweetheart Kim. Kim also teased Regina mercilessly because of her weight. Regina is also eager to attend, now that she is no longer fat and is successful. Steve is disappointed because now Kim is a nun. Regina tells Kim off but is immediately sorry she had done so once Steve tells her who Kim really is.
- Cold Case had "Stand Up and Holler": The victim's friend traded in her friend's life for 4 years of high school popularity.
- Person of Interest had an episode where Reese and Shaw attended a high school reunion posing as former students to stay close to their latest POI.
- The Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion" revolves around Monk attending his 25th college reunion at UC Berkeley. His invitation, to Natalie's amusement, he was nicknamed "Captain Cool" implying to the audience that he was a popular guy back in college. But soon we discover that he was exactly the same as he his now; he earned his name because he often stood in front of a dorm freezer trying to thaw it out with a hair dryer. (And yes, the reunion became the backbone of the mystery.)
- The Mentalist episode "Rose-Colored Glasses" leads the team to a high-school reunion. A very funny scene has Agent Rigsby, after Jane coaches him to use his memory tricks, show up at the reunion posing as a former student. This ruse flushes out the killer.
- An episode of Bones leads the title character to investigate a murder in her hometown while attending her high school reunion, which Booth tags along for, for some reason. We learn she had a creepy stalker and a very strange relationship with the slightly deranged-looking school custodian. In the end, while slow dancing with her Love Interest, she calls it "The prom I never got to go to."
- Ultraman Mebius, itself already a Reunion Show, has an episode where the class from Ultraman 80 reunites when they found out their old school is about to be torn down. Ultraman 80 himself (who was their teacher) just happens to be in the area at the time.
- One of the marks on Leverage was a software mogul obsessed with proving he was better than the classmates who had tormented him in high school. To get his computer passwords, the Leverage team set up a Class Reunion with Nate taking on the role of a Jerk Jock who had degenerated into a drunken slob.
- The premise of TV Land's reality show "High School Reunion". It was sort of depressing watching a bunch of middle aged people try to rekindle old high school flames, dig up long forgotten grudges, and exploit the one transgender person for all of their commercials. No wonder their only positive reviews they used for their ads were anonymous facebook updates about the show.
- The Smallville episode "Homecoming" Clark and Lois attend their high school reunion. Since she only attended Smallville High for a few days, nobody remembered her, much to her dismay, and everyone just assumed she was there just because Clark brought her.
- How I Met Your Mother had a brief glimpse in the future where Ted, Marshall and Lily attend their college reunion. They were able to, 1) Smoke marijuana and 2) Discover that Ted and Lily didn't make out.
- New Tricks:Sandra is very reluctant to meet her classmates - under constant encouragement she finally admits that she was the one bullying and mistreating everyone else, and she's afraid of the atmosphere towards her now. Ultimately she barely manages two steps through the door before fleeing in horror.
- Degrassi: The Next Generation (as it was then) used the 10-year reunion of the class of '91 as the Pilot's B-plot.
- The Dexter episode, "Those Kinds of Things", Dexter goes to his 20-year high school reunion with the primary goal of determining whether his high school crush was murdered by her husband (and if so, to kill him). He also learns that he was a lot more popular and likeable that he had imagined and many of his classmates are very happy to see him. However, all the attention he got was mostly because people knew about his wife's horrible murder which put him into the spotlight, and his good looks and cool job helped the rest.
- One episode of Head of the Class had Charlie Moore having a vision of the students' future as it'll be if he quits. That vision consisted of the students not using their intelligence to build careers. Charlie said he expected the part about Dennis Blunden becoming a beggar.
- The Afterparty is partially set at a Bay Area high school class's 15-year reunion before shifting to a beach house afterparty where a murder occurs. Flashbacks to the events show long-held tensions among the attendees beginning to boil over at the reunion.
- Dinosaurs had one episode where Ethyl, with help from Earl, attended one of those. Much to her disappointment, she was the only one attending because she was the only one of her class who was still alive. She ends up winning every award of the night, including least AND most distance traveled to attend. Given how often the Rule of Cool was invoked in the series, it's no wonder they bothered to organize a reunion for only one person, but Fridge Logic says there shouldn't have even been that; since the episode in which she's introduced involves ritual death at a specific age, which she is past and was the 1st person to refuse the ritual. If she was past that age all her classmates would have been as well (hence they're all dead already and she shouldn't have been surprised).
- Strangely, the three main characters from Power Rangers: Dino Thunder attended a reunion only one year after graduating. This was done to bring them back together since they all had very different ambitions, so they could team up with Power Rangers S.P.D..
- On one episode of The King of Queens, Doug, Spence and Danny go to their high school reunion. Doug meets up with his old prankster friend (played by Adam Sandler), who seems to be a completely different person, since he is now assistant principal at the school. Doug tries to convince him to be his old self, and he goes overboard, vandalizes the principal's car, and breaks into a convenience store. Meanwhile, Danny and Spence try to pick up women. Spence ends up picking up a lesbian and Danny picks up the former star quarterback, who is now gay.
- A class reunion is the anchor for one of the ghosts in "The Walk-In" episode of Ghost Whisperer. The other ghost stole his body when he committed suicide after not being able to face his high school friends.
- Rizzoli & Isles: In "Seventeen Ain't So Sweet", Jane attends her class reunion after being bullied into doing so by Maura. One of her classmates ends up murdered on the football field.
- CSI: In "Dead of Class", Dave attends his class reunion and has all of the typical run-ins with his former classmates. Then the festivities are disrupted when the former prom queen is murdered.
- In one episode of Haven, Duke and Nathan's class reunion is a plot point, as there is a Troubled person turning everyone young and then killing them.
- "Chuck vs the Cougars" has the team attend the high school reunion of gorgeous superspy Sarah Walker, aka ugly duckling Jenny Burton. (School mascot: The Cougars. Dating older women does not come up.) Nicole Richie plays the Alpha Bitch (still a bitch) who married the biggest nerd, Ben Savage (now a very important nerd). Borrows nicely from Grosse Pointe Blank with throwback music, international assassins and thugs showing up to claim the unused badges of absent classmates despite their unlikely accents, and stylized fighting in the hallways. The real draw is finally pulling back some of the veil on Sarah, who until then had managed to keep her past well under wraps. Of course, she still keeps a few secrets to herself, including a flashback cameo from a former recurring cast member...
- Parodied in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode "Radar Secret Service". The Bots, having found Mike's yearbook, decide to throw him a reunion in order to cheer him up from the bad movie since, being trapped in space, he was forced to miss his real reunion back home. The Bots even role-play as some of Mike's old classmates. It's rather awkward, but Mike is willing to play along since the Bots' hearts were in the right place.
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia features the episodes "The High School Reunion" and "The High School Reunion, Part 2: The Gang's Revenge".
- On Adam Ruins Everything, the weight loss episode begins with a man who's trying to lose weight for his high school reunion, which to add insult to injury, is also a pool party. He's excited to see his crush, and that motivates him to try and lose the weight he's gained since high school...while Adam explains why everything he's doing either won't work at all, or will work, but only in the short term, that weight loss isn't as simple as diet culture and the weight loss industry make it out to be. He finally gets to the reunion, only to find that his high school crush has gained some weight since high school (and so hasn't everyone else, and nobody has put on their bathing suit)...but has also resolved to certainly take care of herself, but not worry about what people think of her body, or feel bad about herself, or put her body through ridiculous crash diets and crazy exercise regimens just to fit society's ideal. This inspires the Pinball Protagonist to do likewise, and they jump in the pool together.
- Martin episode "Really, Gina is Not My Lover" has Martin, Tommy and Cole attending their ten year reunion where Martin shows up all of the classmates who (rightfully so) hated him, Tommy ends up desperate to evade his high-school crush whose current life is a (Played for Laughs) mess and Martin ends up cold-clocking his rival who made fun of Gina, who was suffering from a severe allergic reaction due to a makeover Martin made her get and was incoherent from a painful trip to the dentist.
- A Living Single episode had the group attending a class reunion where Kyle intends on showing up a lifelong bully of his, but ends up looking like a bully himself due to the man having a pitiful life in the present. Turns out, he had every reason to not trust him, as he was trying to steal a pair of sneakers out of a student's locker and ended up stuffed into it himself by Kyle, like he had done to him years ago.
- One episode of Babes in the Wood had Caralyn being invited to a school reunion at her old school in Worthing. Caralyn is a bit concerned, as she fears that her old school bully Nicola McGuire would be there, but is convinced by the other girls, who tag along with her to get out of London for a while, to lie about herself. The lies work, with Nichola becoming friendly with Caralyn, and Caralyn ends up protecting Nichola from her spouse Steve when he tries to remove her from the reunion.
- The premise of the Ben Folds Five song "One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces".
- The Music Video of High School Never Ends: Bowling for Soup was picked on then, and use the reunion to get back for several incidents from High School.
- "The Class of '57" by The Statler Brothers serves as a musical version of a reunion, catching up with who became a teacher, who became a car salesman, who became extremely rich (John, the Cattle Baron, Charlotte marrying a multi-millionaire) and who fared not so well (Randy wound up institutionalized, Freddie committed suicide), and who completely fell off the radar ("Where Mavis finally wound up is anybody's bet"). Said to be inspired by an episode of Ironside (1967) (the episode, which aired a year earlier, had that very title), songwriters Don and Harold Reid have said that when they began writing the lyrics, they recalled some of their old classmates and what they knew them to be doing now. Some were real, others were made up
although they have repeatedly said that their departed classmate, Freddie, actually did kill himself. (Although it's unknown whether it was the result of "Joe took Freddie's wife.") The refrains summed things up well:
And the class of '57 had its dreams,But livin' life day by day is never like it seems,Things get complicated when you get past 18,But the class of '57 had its dreams.
- "Class Reunion (That Used to Be Us)" by Lonestar sets the scene for a high school class reunion where everyone now looks and acts far different than the narrator remembered.
- In Seanan McGuire's song "Ozone in October", the two Mad Scientists singing the duet are horrified to find out their alma mater(s) have tracked them down and invited them to a reunion.
It's the final call to judgment,
It's the sum of all my fears,
It's the single invitation
I've been running from for years,
It's the summons to appear before
The jury of my peers
- The first scene of the original Broadway version of Grease is a class reunion where they reminisce on stuff that occurred during their time in high school.
- Happens in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and it's not pretty, given the reunion happens on the battlefield, in a war instigated by one fellow student. A fact lampshaded by one character, saying that this has got to be the worst class reunion in history.
Edelgard: Years ago, we fought here as classmates... But not today.
Claude: As big class reunions go, this one's gotta be the worst in history...
- At the end of Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, the main characters of the first game reunite at a bar where they discuss about their lives since graduation. Judging by Eriko and Maki's reaction, the last person to enter the bar is likely to be the Protagonist of the first game (both women being his love interests and are the only people who knew where he went). The only ones who are missing are Mark (who's overseas) and Ayase.
- In one story arc of Something*Positive, Devan went to his school reunion despite his initial reluctance, and it showed a full range of braggarts and losers desperate to cling to their old High School Fame (such as one woman that got surgery so she can still fit into her prom dress). All in all, it's depicted as a depressing, sad state of affairs. And then Jason shows up with a dolled-up Nerdrotica employee to make Davan look successful. (The dolled-up Nerdrotica employee would be Nancy in her first appearance.)
- Cassie in Times Like This went to her class reunion, only to find out she wasn't remembered for much, just a lackluster graduation speech. The storyline begins here.
- The second story art in Bad Moon Rising centers around one of these, though it's strongly implied most of the cast is going ONLY for the chance to burn their Boarding Schoolof Horrors down.
- In Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, J goes to her boyfriend White Jay's college reunion, where she feels awkward because White Jay is the only one she knows there, and nobody there seems to like her. She also experiences some discrimination because they are in an interracial relationship.
Random Guest: I should've known by the look of that dress that you was a murderer. I'm tired of bitches killing Black love.
- Futurama had Leela going back to a reunion at the orphanage where she'd been raised, with all the people she'd loathed growing up into bums... who still saw her as below them, due to her single eye.
- Subverted/parodied in one episode of The Fairly Oddparents.
- One episode of Danny Phantom took place at his parent's college reunion, hosted by billionaire Vlad Masters as a cover to murder his best friend to win the heart of his wife.
- In Dumb And Dumber, Harry and Lloyd once attended a class reunion. While waiting for the others, they had a flashback of an incident that resulted in everyone chasing them. After the flashback, Harry wondered if they still remembered them. Oh, they remembered and were still as angry as at the end of the flashback.
- Family Guy: Peter lied to his former classmates in a failed attempt to impress them. The only positive outcome was that Tom Brady was there, and recruited Peter for the New England Patriots after seeing him run really fast to the bathroom to puke.
- TaleSpin: Instead of the invitation Baloo was expecting, he was informed he wasn't invited because he didn't graduate. He then decided to graduate in time to attend the reunion.
- The Simpsons:
- Because Homer Simpson didn't graduate High School, he could only attend as Marge's chaperone. There, they met Artie Ziff, who became quite wealthy. He'd be a nerd getting his revenge but Homer stated Artie would trade it all for a night with Marge. When Ziff confirmed, Homer briefly considered the idea. At the reunion, Homer won several trophies until being disqualified for not having graduated. Trying to avoid being humiliated at the next reunion, Homer finished High School. At the next reunion, he unknowingly arrived with a cleaning utensil stuck on his head.
- Larry Burns' parents first met at a college reunion. Larry's mother was the daughter of a guest and Larry's father (Mr. Burns) was a former boyfriend of said guest.
- In the episode of Goof Troop "Meanwhile Back at the Ramp", Goofy and Pete's class is having a reunion and the coordinator wants everyone in the class to get an award, so she interviews them about their accomplishments. Goofy hasn't done anything award-worthy—except being a Good Parent.
- The Looney Tunes Show: In "Reunion", Bugs helps Daffy try to better himself before his class reunion, but they eventually decide that Daffy should just lie about his life so far in order to impress his former classmates. But Daffy fibs soon become excessive, and Bugs becomes preoccupied with acquainting with all the high school graduates, because he never went to high school.
- In Dan Vs. "High School Reunion", Chris is enthusiastic about the reunion, hoping to catch up with his high school acquaintances. Elise is also eager to go, hoping that Chris will make new friends who aren't Dan. Dan initially doesn't want to go since he believes he was unpopular and only attends for a chance at payback. Cue The Reveal that Dan was actually well-liked by their peers. All of his antics made their high school years bearable. Chris on the other hand was completely forgotten by everyone even though he participated in everything.
- The Monster Farm episode "State of Reunion" had Jack Haylee attend his high school reunion with the monster animals trying to help him shed his reputation as a loser.