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Dee: Wait, you went to high school with us?
The Waitress: Yeah, I sat right next to you in Trig.
Dee: Huh. Wow, you are very forgettable.

This is when the adult cast turn out to have known each other when they were younger. This may be revealed in a Flashback, a prequel, a childhood spinoff series, or just be mentioned in dialogue. Maybe they all went to the same high school—and were in the same class. (Bonus points if the school in question was an Elevator School.) Maybe they all happened to graduate from the academy at the same time. Very common in Small Towns.

Not only that, their personalities have gone completely unchanged since then. All married couples may be High-School Sweethearts, villains turn out to be the Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up. Because Writers Cannot Do Math, everybody turns out to belong to the same generation.

Usually a result of the creator wanting to tell a particular story set in the past with all the familiar faces present—even if those familiar characters have already met for the first time at the beginning of your original series. Can be used as a one-off flashback gag. Often involves a Retcon to set up a particular individual story or plot point. Can be a rich source of Fridge Logic, and is correspondingly likely to stretch your Suspension of Disbelief if executed poorly.

Related to One Degree of Separation. May overlap with Forgotten First Meeting, Childhood Friends, and School Forced Us Together. See also High School AU.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Bleach: Various members of the Gotei 13 attended Shin'o Academy together, and it's those relationships that end up informing much of the intrigue in the Soul Society Arc. Most notably, Renji Abarai, Izuru Kira, and Momo Hinamori, lieutenants of Squads 6, 3 and 5, attended the advanced course of the academy at the same time Rukia(an unseated member of the 13th division who later becomes its lieutenant, then its captain) was attending the standard level. While attending the Academy is normally a requirement to join the Gotei 13, an improbably large number of major characters attended at the same time as well. Especially notable as shinigami lifespans are typically measured in centuries/millenia, and students usually spend six years studying at Shin'o (extraordinary students sometimes complete their schooling in less time).
  • Doraemon: Nobita in the Wan-Nyan Spacetime Odyssey has a one-shot prequel bundled together with the manga, where it turns out Hachi and the other urchins, Bulltaro, Chiko and Duc, are classmates back in their kindergarten days.
  • Durarara!!: Shinra, Shizuo, Izaya, and Kadota were all in the same high school, which happens to be the same school the teenagers are in at the present. Shinra was also in the same elementary school as Shizuo and the same middle school as Izaya.
  • All of the Future Foundation members shown in the Future Arc of Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School are former students and/or faculty members at Hope's Peak Academy, with most of them being at the school in the same 2-year span. To be more precise, all but two of the Future Foundation Branch Heads are former students of Hope's Peak Academy. Some of them were even in the same classes. (Kyosuke Munakata, Juzo Sakakura, and Chisa Yukizome were in Class 74, while Seiko Kimura, Ruruka Andou, and Sonosuke Izayoi were in Class 76.)
  • In Fairy Tail, while they arrived at different times, several Fairy Tail members, including Natsu, Gray, Erza, Cana, the Strauss siblings, and Levy, grew up together in Fairy Tail.
    • Similarly, Third Guild Master Makarov Dreyar had a team composing of grumpy healer Poryluscia, fellow Guild Masters Bob and Goldmine, former Council member and current restaurant owner Yajima, and Erza's deceased mentor Rob.
      • The Ghost Dragon Slayer Wraith from Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest, before he died, was a member of Fairy Tail around the time this team was active.
  • Horimiya: Hori and Sengoku's parents went to high school together, which is how the two of them became Childhood Friends. Their relationship is even shown to be a Generation Xerox of their fathers.
  • Iris from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Reflection and Detonation knew Granz and Elenoa back when they were children, due to their parents having been a part of Eltria's Planet Reclamation Committee. Presumably, this is the reason why she only ever let herself be seen by their daughter Kyrie (since they would be able to identify her and pick apart her false claims of being an A.I.).
  • Naruto: Both subverts and plays this straight. Initially in the guidebooks and flashbacks most of the adults start out at very different ages, and if you do the math for their given promotion/graduation dates, were definitely not in the same class. However, as the series goes on backstories are retconned, ages are changed, and eventually flashbacks have most of the named adult characters shown in teams or class together. This is especially noticeable with Iruka, whose major backstory plot point is that he was an academy student when the Kyuubi attacked, and yet he shows up in flashbacks with the others who are shown as chunin and jounin when the attack happens, and Kakashi who outright states he became a chunin at six to make a point, yet is seen attending the Academy with Rin and Obito well into his pre-teen years.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi: Many of the girls of Negi Springfield's Class 3-A end up becoming members of Ala Alba, assisting Negi in fighting monsters and other mages all in an effort to find his father. Even those who don't become official members help during crucial battles even if they aren't entirely aware that they are actually fighting people/beings from another world.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Ryoji Kaji, Misato Katsuragi, and Ritsuko Akagi all went to the same college. Also, Gendo and Yui were the advisee and favorite student (respectively) of Fuyutsuki. Gendo and Yui get married, and Fuyutsuki becomes Gendo's second-in-command
  • One Piece:
    • Many older pirates and marines have been fighting one another since well before the story began, most notably Whitebeard, Sengoku, and Garp (who were the leaders of the last generation of pirates and marines along with Gol D. Roger), along with Shanks and Buggy, who were swabbies on Roger's ship. Many other older characters have been in conflict since well before the events of the story; Crocodile is implied to have fought (and lost against) Whitebeard in the past, and also knows Ivankov. In addition, it also surprises many characters to learn that Luffy, Ace and Sabo are brothers, as they are three of the most notorious outlaws on the sea with seemingly no connection to one another.
    • In Big Mom's flashback to her childhood on Elbaf, pretty much every Elbaf giant seen so far in the series gets a cameo or a mention, as well as some giants not previously identified to be from Elbaf, even though it only takes place in one village.
    • Big Mom, Kaido and Whitebeard, among other known characters such as Shiki, used to be members of the Rocks Pirates in their youth. However, their history has been censored by the World Government and because nobody in that crew got along well none of the surviving members want to talk about the subject.
  • Subverted in Saint Beast, as there is one training academy in heaven and everyone did go there together but realistically only a few of them met during that time because they were learning different disciplines. Their personalities, however, did not change.
  • Soul Eater: Stein and three of the seven Death Scythes (Spirit, Azusa, and Marie) were DWMA students at the same time. An early chapter has them reuniting after being split up after graduation/re-assignment. With the possible exception of Stein, they don't seem to have changed terribly much.
  • World Trigger: Data on which school everyone goes to or graduated from is All There in the Manual; quite a few people are/were classmates. Justified, as agents are required to live in Mikado City and there are only that many educational facilities within the city. Border will grant scholarships to all school-aged agents with guaranteed placement to selected schools that are sponsored by Border. If school aged agents wished to get education out-of-city, chances are Border would not be able to sponsor them, and agents would more than likely choose to retire from Border service and move on with life. School choices is also a strong indicator of an agent’s future potential service to Border.

    Asian Animation 
  • The Lamput episode "Origins" reveals that Fat Doc and Slim Doc first met during their childhood at school, where their teacher would eventually become their current boss. Mr. Mustache also went to school with them, as the bully victim of the Docs, while the Docs were also responsible for accidentally creating Lamput.

    Comic Books 
  • There was a Silver Age story where Batman and Superman went to school together in Smallville. A Reset Button was pressed near the end when one of the characters was hypnotised to forget the other. The fact that it showed Bruce Wayne's parents to be alive and all right was the least of its many, many flaws. This story was later retconned in a late 70s anniversary issue of World's Finest Comics (a Roy Thomas written tale summarizing all the various Golden Age and Silver Age "first meetings" of Superman and Batman) to show it was Bruce's guardians, not parents.
  • Most of The DCU's plant-themed characters were retconned into studying botany together in Gotham.
  • Marvel Comics and WildStorm Studios tried doing this during the short-lived Heroes Reborn reboot: they had Reed Richards, Victor von Doom, Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, and Hank Pym studying together at the same college, even going so far as to call themselves the "Knights of the Atomic Round Table" before breaking apart. Reed and Doom (and Ben Grimm) all went to State University in the normal Marvel Universe, as well. This State U is located in upstate New York, it is not to be confused with Empire State University, the university in lower Manhattan attended by Peter Parker and others.
  • In some versions of Superman, (most notably the Silver Age Superboy stories) Clark and Lex were at school together in Smallville. This is currently canon again, presumably to tie into Smallville (where they weren't).
  • Star Trek (IDW): The flashback issues reveal that nearly all of the main characters (except for Scotty) attended Starfleet Academy together. Namely, Kirk met Chekov while jogging at a nearby facility, and Sulu and Chekov planned to pull pranks at the same time during their year-end ceremony.
  • Ultimate Marvel:
  • Chris Claremont in his X-Men stories would occasionally do this with Professor X. At one point he established that he and the man who would become Magneto were briefly friends before splitting over their opinions regarding the future of mutantkind. In another flashback, set during the Korean War, he revealed that Charles Xavier served in the Army alongside Logan (before he became Wolverine) and Carmen Pryde, whose daughter Kitty would become a member of the X-Men as well. And it had already been established that Xavier and his stepbrother Cain Marko (who would later become the supervillain Juggernaut) were in the same infantry squad in Korea.
  • X-Men: Children of the Atom, an alternate universe Setting Update of the original Silver Age X-Men comics, changed things up so that Cyclops, Iceman and Beast attended the same high school in different grades, with Xavier posing as their guidance counselor to get close to Scott.

    Fan Works 
  • In Incarnation of Legends, it's "everyone went to Chaldea together". It seems that all the Servants in the story know each other from their time at Chaldea, which is why Ryoma and Oryou are quickly to ally with Kojiro in the Far East. Similarly, the Legiones, Romulus-Quirinus, offers Bell and Kojiro a warm welcome, as Romulus recognized Kojiro on sight and Ryoma had sent word in advance of their arrival.
  • Jaune Arc, Lord of Hunger: During a flashback, it's revealed that Darth Nihilus was originally a student at the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine alongside a younger Revan, Malak, and Meetra Surik.
  • Seen all over the place in The Last Son:
  • In The New Age of Monsters, Stacker Pentecost and Gendo Ikari went to the same college. Nowadays they are leading two of the world's biggest anti-kaiju agencies.
  • Reimagined Enterprise: In a minor example, McLeod and Satterthwaite's ancestors met once during the Postatomic Horror, although their descendants weren't aware of it until they shared family stories in "Remembrance".
  • Over the course of Sixes and Sevens, various members of the Oxford Class of '38 come back together due to various events of WWII. Michael Carter's mission to recover the super-soldier serum leads to him being debriefed by his classmate Madelyn Joyce-Frank, who's husband joins him and Emily on the mission ot Fidonisi. There they run into Michael's old flame Roger Aubrey while he's trying to take down HYDRA single-handedly, and also discover that their classmate Edith Harker is Emily's girlfriend, and that their other classmate Kenneth Crichton is both a vampire and working for HYDRA.
  • The Search for Victory;
    • Sam Wilson is actually acquainted with at least two members of the SGC; he studied medicine under Doctor Janet Frasier for a time, and he trained with Cam Mitchell during their time in the conventional military before Mitchell was transferred to the SGC and Wilson acquired his distinctive wings.
    • Tony Stark mentions having previously met Senator Robert Kinsey, and nonchalantly dismisses the man as "an ass".
    • Jane Foster recalls meeting Rodney McKay at a science conference years ago, where the two had an enjoyable talk for about five minutes before it escalated into a screaming match, although Jane recalls finding the science exhilarating even if the man himself was an asshole.
  • "Nightmare" reveals that Ray Stanz and Egon Spengler (Ghostbusters) were in Springwood during Freddy Krueger's initial murder spree when he was alive and they were children; while they never met, Ray lived in Springwood as a child and was briefly stalked by Krueger, and Egon spent time with his cousin Sydney before she was one of Krueger's victims.
  • Invoked in "Detective Annabeth Chase of the 99th Precinct", when Annabeth Chase joins the 99th precinct as their new detective. When she confronts Captain Keith "the Vulture" Pembrooke, while Annabeth doesn't reveal her true history to the rest of the 99 at this time, her words make it clear to the reader that Keith was a former student at Camp Jupiter at the same time as Annabeth attended Camp Half-Blood. Annabeth's words suggest that Keith is a child of the Roman goddess Victoria, but only inherited her competitive drive and desire to win contests without receiving any of her actual skill to win such contests fairly.
  • A particular striking fanfic that built upon the backstories of the adult characters in the Harry Potter series: The Shoebox Project, telling the story of Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, James Potter and Peter Pettigrew during their time at Hogwarts. Snape and Lily make notable appearances. Interesting, the Shoebox Project preceded scenes in the Goblet of Fire that fleshed out this period in the canon. The characterization rings very true to the original work.
    • The Harry Potter fandom, in general, has a tendency to fudge some adult characters' ages in order to fulfill this trope—or conversely, in Flash Forward Fics, assume that all of Harry's classmates are going to have kids the same age that he does.
  • In RWBY: Scars, it's shown that Summer, Taiyang, Raven, Qrow, Roman, Neo's mother, Velvet's mother, and Cardin's father all went to Beacon Academy together. However, Roman was kicked out in his first year.
  • In the Friends fic "TO On the Streets", while the reader obviously knew that Ross and Chandler were college roommates, it comes as a surprise to Monica when Ross appears at her and Chandler's wedding after she spent the last few years thinking her entire family kicked her out.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the third Austin Powers film it turns out Austin, Dr. Evil and Number Two were all in college together. Also, Austin and Dr. Evil are brothers.
  • In the Adam Sandler comedy Big Daddy, several of the film's characters are said to have attended Syracuse University together. Even more improbably, nearly a decade later they're all still hanging out together in the same neighborhood in New York City, one of the most enormous cities in the world.
  • The setup for The Muppets Take Manhattan is that the Muppet characters all went to college and worked on their senior class musical together.
  • Olsen-banden Jr and especially its Swedish counterpart Lilla Jönssonligan feature this heavily, at the cost of not following the continuity of the original films. While they don't necessarily go to the same school (mostly meeting up during summer vacation), almost all of the eventual characters are there,note  — even future villains Wall-Enberg and Biffen. Harry and Doris as children also have a romance arc even though the original films make it clear Doris had married and divorced someone else (and had a child with him) before they got together.
  • In Ronin (1998), this is how ex-spy Sam explains to Vincent how he knows an American he asks for information; "We went to high school together". However, this turns out to be a lie; Sam is actually still working for the CIA, and the man is his boss. It's given an Ironic Echo later when Vincent uses the same line to explain how he got information from a French police officer doing security at an ice-skating show.
  • In Shaun of the Dead, the flat-mates Shaun, Ed and Pete and respectively Liz, Di and David went to school together.
  • Part of the premise of the eleventh Star Trek movie, an Alternate Universe/Continuity Reboot prequel in which most of the major original series characters are new Starfleet Graduates who serve together on the Enterprise right off the bat. A bit more justified than most examples, as it is Starfleet Academy. On the other hand, only Bones, Kirk, and Uhura are shown attending at the same time, and Spock was actually an instructor. It is unclear if Sulu and Chekhov are also recent graduates, or had graduated some time previously. Scotty had been Reassigned to Antarctica already, so he at least had graduated the academy some time ago.
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines of all things. While it wasn't specific said that all of John Connor's lieutenants went to school with him, it would appear that most of them did. From this we can conclude that the future ran out of professional soldiers and he had to fall back on people he knew for less than a year when he was ten (or thirteen, depending on which film you're watching).
  • In Young Sherlock Holmes, Holmes and Watson go to school together, and The Stinger reveals that the man who would become Moriarty was their teacher.

    Literature 
  • In All Dressed in White, most of the wedding party attended Colby College in Maine together (with the exception of the bride's older siblings, Charlotte and Henry) and remained close friends. Amanda (the bride), Meghan and Kate were roommates, as were Jeff (the groom), Nick and Austin. Nick and Austin had also previously known each other and been friends since elementary school. Jeff and Kate clarify that while a lot of the media coverage of Amanda's disappearance referred to Jeff and Amanda as "college sweethearts", they actually weren't that close at Colby; Amanda mostly knew Jeff through Meghan and Nick, as Meghan and Jeff were friends while Nick and Amanda dated for a short time. It wasn't until a few years after graduation Amanda and Jeff were re-acquainted and began a relationship. This becomes significant to the plot, especially when it's revealed that Jeff had casually dated a girl named Carly at Colby, who was later murdered, and that Nick had also been interested in her but was rebuffed.
  • Partly justified in Michael Flynn's Firestar and its sequels, since a number of plot threads follow members of a particular graduating class, but even throughout other parts of the series, Witherspoon alumni keep turning up in odd places.
  • Harry Potter: Justified in the series since there's, you know, only one Wizarding School in Britain. Still, it's a rather interesting coincidence that so many important characters (James Potter, Lily Evans, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew and Severus Snape) not only knew each other at that age, but were all in the same year. Harry's Aunt Petunia also knew Snape (and Lily, being her sister) but did not attend Hogwarts for obvious reasons.
    • Then again, many of the characters were only important because they knew each other and it makes sense they would befriend people the same age. Peter Pettigrew, for instance, would have drifted off into obscurity in the eyes of the Death Eaters, but because he was a friend of the Potters' he became important. In this instance it's less coincidental as it is causal.
    • Amusingly Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire sees several of the very few non-Hogwarts students attending classes, though separate from Hogwarts students, on the Hogwarts campus when portions of their schools' student bodies spend the year their during the Triwizard Tournament.
    • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has gamekeeper Hagrid attend school at the same time as Tom Riddle (the owner of the diary Harry finds) and Moaning Myrtle, a ghostly student haunting a girls' bathroom. This becomes important when it's revealed that Riddle, the boy who would grow up to become Lord Voldemort killed Myrtle via Basilisk and framed Hagrid, leading to the latter's expulsion.
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows reveals that Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald were childhood friends before the latter went on to lead the wizard equivalent of the Nazi party.
  • Honorverse: Given that Saganami Island is the only Naval Academy in the Star Kingdom of Manticore, it's only natural for about half of the characters in the series about a Space Navy adventures to attend it at the start of their career. The friendships, feuds and rivalries started there tend to underfoot a quite significant part of the plotlines in the series — for example, the feud between the protagonist and Pavel Young has started when he tried to rape her there, while White Haven's rivalry with his most vocal opponent Sonja Hemphill started when they were still cadets.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: Quite a few characters went to school together, but this is somewhat a Justified Trope by the fact that they were all members of a secret organisation and this was their training; also, several of these characters are The Ghost.
  • Raffles: the protagonists, Raffles and Bunny, went to school together (albeit in different years, Raffles being Bunny's senior), and then lost contact for a while before becoming partners-in-crime.
  • Soon I Will Be Invincible: Played surprisingly straight (and given a small lampshade). Dr. Impossible, CoreFire, Blackwolf, and Damsel went to the same school, and mostly knew each other; however, it was a school for the intellectually gifted and they weren't all in the same year. (Also, it eventually turns out that Lily, though supposedly from the distant future, actually went to college with Dr. Impossible and CoreFire.) Subverted in that CoreFire apparently doesn't remember Dr. Impossible from College or High School (and a large part of Impossible's motive is forcing CoreFire to finally acknowledge him) and doesn't recognize Lilly despite her being his College girlfriend.
  • Stranger Than Fiction: The Life And Times Of Split Enz shows that the entire band, with the exception of latecomers Malcolm Greene, Nigel Griggs and Paul Hester, all knew each other from either the same high school or the same college, even if they didn't always go at the same time (e.g. Neil).
  • A Tale of...: Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather from Sleeping Beauty went to school with the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio. Maleficent also went to their school, but she decided to be homeschooled by her adopted mother due to a combination of bullying and a lack of challenge.
  • Justified and lampshaded in the Village Tales series, in that the District has very few schools, including the Free School in Beechbourne, so that the local folk tended to attend the same schools; and as for the County, the gentry, the peerage, and a good chunk of the clergy, well... naturally the local cricket match between Old Etonians and Old Harrovian bulks large every year, and very senior men get excited every year over the Boat Race. (Such persons as the Rural Dean, who went to school at Marlborough and then to university at Durham, lampshade, regularly, how tiresome and juvenile this is: only to be ignored by Old Etonians, Old Harrovians, Oxford men, and Cambridge men.) All the same, that the Duke went through his prepper, Eton, and Oxford with the Archdeacon, and through Eton and Oxford with HH the Nawab, and that there's a lampshaded "Keble mafia" in the Diocese, is Truth in Television for Britain even now.
  • Whateley Universe: A large percentage of the adult characters are Whateley graduates, and some of the world's most powerful superheroes and supervillains are still fuming, fussing or feuding over high school slights, grudges or crushes.
  • Wicked is an External Retcon of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. According to Gregory Maguire's book, Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West (plus her little sister) all went to the same school.
  • Wing Commander: A lot of named characters in the novels tend to get this, though usually it's more that they knew each other from previous commands while serving in the military, not from schooling.
  • In The Witcher franchise, just about any sorcerer or a wizard has attended the wizarding schools on the Thanedd island (there's separate girls' school and boys' school, the headmistress of the girls school notes proudly her students have consistently better results), and the secret cabal of its female alumni has tried to set themselves as the true rulers of the Northern Kingdoms — with questionable results, but, hey, at least they've tried. As for the mundanes, a lot of them attended the Oxenfurt Academy, the most prestigious university in the North, Dandelion included. He's still a guest lecturer from time to time.

    Live-Action TV 
  • This is how the cast of The Class (2006) are gathered. The main character, who first met his current girlfriend back in third grade, decides to throw a party and invite all their former classmates from that year. The main cast consists of a handful of the ones who establish/re-establish relationships, and happen to all still live in the same city.
  • In Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Josh and his friends, including Valencia, all went to school together. Justified in this case as West Covina is treated like a small town and both Greg and Valencia are desperate to escape it and see other places.
  • Daredevil (2015) and Iron Fist (2017): A plaque we see in her brownstone establishes that Joy Meachum got her law degree from Columbia Law School. Although it's unclear whether she attended when Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson did, assuming she's about the same age as Jessica Stroup, she probably would've only been a few years behind them.
  • Most of the Time Lords you will meet in Doctor Who know each other, and at least the Doctor and the Master and the Rani went to school together at the Time Lord Academy and were taught by Borusa. The Time Lord Academy is described as a stuffy British public school type of place with different houses (the Doctor and the Master were Prydonians) and classes on cosmic science and the like. It seems to award British-style university degrees (the Doctor barely scraped past on the second try, while the Master always got better grades and even his degree was higher). Just never, ever compare it to Hogwarts in front of an old series fan.
  • This is the main plot of Graduados. Not only all the characters in their forties have gone to school together, it is also the reason of their personal relations and the origin of most story arcs. They also include several flashback scenes of that time period (played by the same actors, characterized as teenagers)
  • In The George Lopez Show, George and Angie are High-School Sweethearts, and George's best friend Ernie also went to school with them. The principal of Carmen's school is also seen to be a bully all grown up.
  • This is how the 60% of the cast of How I Met Your Mother got together. Ted and Marshall were roommates at Wesleyan, and Marshall started dating Lily when they were all freshman. Marshall and Ted kept up the roommate thing when they all moved to New York.
  • The four members of the original cast of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia were all high school classmates, as were most of the recurring characters, including The Waitress, Rickety Cricket, and various others.
  • Luke Cage (2016): Many of Harlem's older residents went to the same Manhattan public schools together.
    • Mariah Dillard was a junior that Thomas Ridenhour dated for three years in high school. She was also in the same college sorority as Mark Higgins' wife Cindy and Priscilla Ridley, and knew Piranha Jones since he was fifteen.
    • Cottonmouth was one of Pop's lackeys, ran a gang with Shades, Comanche, and Zip's father Romeo when he was younger and used to chill with Domingo Colon when their older relatives were doing business.
    • Misty Knight and Nandi Tyler were classmates in high school.
  • Most of the main characters in Only Fools and Horses, as lampshaded when the Class Reunion episode doesn't feature anyone we don't already know.
  • Resident Alien is a small-town so it makes sense. It affects Ben and D'Arcy's relationship quite a bit and it helps Deputy Baker feel more supported in her alien visions.
  • Smallville has a main character who is in high school, it's no surprise that a lot of the characters are going to school together. However, the writers thinking "hey, wouldn't it be cool for Character X to have a cameo" turned it into this for the DC universe as a whole (okay, some of them aren't actually going to that particular school, but they're around and they know each other).
  • Semi-averted on The Steve Harvey Show as Lovita did not meet the rest of the cast until she started working at the school. Steve and Ced were college roommates. Steve and Regina have known each other since childhood. However, later episodes imply that Ced and Steve and Regina attended high school together.
  • Survivor: In Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, Ali Elliott and Patrick Bolton ended up both on the Hustlers tribe together. They went to college together at Auburn and were part of the same friends group. This was unintentional on production's part.
  • Unforgotten: In Season 4, all the suspects were in the same class at police college.
  • Veronica Mars:
    • Veronica's mother went to school with Love Interest Duncan's mother and father: explored in "My Mother, the Fiend" and a plot point in other episodes.
    • Veronica's teacher and Trina's mother. They all seemed to be in the same year.
  • A sketch of the argentinian show Videomatch, Deportes en el Recuerdo did this by having everyone go to the same football match together. You'd have episodes in which Pelé would meet, fall in love and try to marry brazilian actress Xuxa, only for that to be interrupted by Albert Einstein triggering a small nuclear explosion, then have the three, Independiente and Santos players, the referee, argentinian singer Alberto Cortéz, José Luis Chilavert, Albeiro Usuriaga and Marcelo Tinelli get into a massive fight.
  • On Wings, the characters not only went to the same high school, they all had their reunion together, despite being different ages. This is justified by saying the school was too small for individual classes to have separate reunions, which would make sense for the small tourist community they all grew up in.
  • The Wire:
    • Proposition Joe went to Dunbar High School with Ervin Burrell. According to Joe, Burrell was "stone stupid" and was in the glee club.
    • Bunk Moreland attended Edmondson High School a few years ahead of Omar Little.
  • You (2018): Season 4 centers around a group of wealthy young aristocrats who were all friends at Oxford. Tellingly, they don't appear to be very fond of each other in the present, and hang around each other mostly for the clout.

    Music 
  • In "High School Never Ends" by Bowling for Soup, the singer bemoans "And I still have the same three friends."

    Professional Wrestling 

    Theater 
  • Cesare - Il Creatore che ha distrutto is this, for Italian Renaissance historical figures. It's about Cesare Borgia, his close companion Miguel da Corella, and Giovanni de'Medici (the future Pope Leo X), who were actually students at Sapienza University in Pisa in 1491. Most of the other student characters are original.
  • Although they didn't necessarily go to school together, Hamilton has Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton meeting much earlier than real life (1776 in the show, and it's unclear exactly when Burr and Hamilton met in real life but it was not that early - the earliest likely time was in 1777-1778 when they served at Valley Forge together).
  • At least three of the main characters of In the Heights went to high school together: Nina, Benny, and Usnavi. Given their closeness, it's possible that Vanessa went there as well (she was also Sonny's babysitter when he was younger). Justified in that it's a small, tight-knit community and they're all approximately the same age.
  • A Very Potter Musical: Voldemort's closest Death Eaters Bellatrix and Lucius were friends with him at Hogwarts. In the original books, Voldemort graduated before they were born.
  • The basic premise of Wicked is that Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the West were college roommates, at the same school that the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Wicked Witch of the East attended. Also the Cowardly Lion was there, but he was a lab animal. Glinda even lampshades this in Act 2.

    Video Games 
  • In Dungeon Munchies, it's eventually revealed that all of Simmer's named employees and her nemesis, the Lord Protector, used to be her classmates and roommates in college. Save for the Lord Protector, they're all still on good terms.
  • Final Fantasy VIII: It turns out that everyone in the party (sans Rinoa, plus Seifer) all grew up in the same orphanage, which was run by Edea and Cid Kramer. The reason that none of them remember this is explained by their reliance on the Guardian Forces... apparently, extended use of their abilities affects the user's memories. More justified in this case, as the destinies of the Fated Children being tied is the result of a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Stable Time Loop.
  • This is pretty much the entire premise of Fire Emblem: Three Houses: in the first half of the game, you play as a combat instructor at a Military Academy where a number of youths of noble and common descent from the surrounding three kingdoms are enrolled, before a massive war breaks out and forcing them to return to fight for their respective homelands.note  In the second half, following a five-year Time Skip, your students are now bitter and jaded, yet still remember their time at the academy with fondness and are reluctant to fight their former classmates and friends.
  • Harvest Town only has one school, so naturally the protagonist and most of their potential love interests went to school together—something that gets mentioned during several of their date scenes.
  • Despite it almost becoming expected, it never seems to fail to surprise the students of Class VII in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel and its sequel to learn that yet another respected and admired adult they meet attended Thors.
    Elliot: Did I hear that right?
    Jusis: You attended Thors as well, Your Majesty?
    Eugent: That I did. It's a longstanding tradition that the men of the Imperial family attend the academy. Olivert did in his younger years, and, Aidios willing, Cedric as well..
  • Mega Man 11 reveals that Dr. Light and Dr. Wily went to the same university, and Wily's Start of Darkness occurred when Light was given a research grant that Wily had been trying to get.note 
  • In Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, during the ending of the third Captain Qwark vid-comic, Qwark confronts Dr. Nefarious and remembers that they had the same biology class in 9th grade. According to Nefarious, Qwark was 26 at the time, meaning that he had been held back for 11 years.
  • In the Silent Hill series, Alessa, Walter, and Claudia all knew each other as children because they were all part of the same cult. This is one of only a few things that ties the various storyline together.
  • Happens in Super Robot Wars on occasion, usually as a matter of narrative convenience. For example, the recent Super Robot Wars Z2: Hakai-hen combines the school plots of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Mobile Suit Gundam 00, and Code Geass all together so that characters like Heero and Saji attend Ashford Academy.
  • The three protagonists of Supreme Commander 2 all went to the same (presumably international) academy together. Surprisingly, none of them are forced to fight one another during the new war; instead they all band together against the real antagonist who is stirring up trouble.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, half of the final party either attended the school or taught at it.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa:
    • In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, all the students attended Hope's Peak Academy and agreed to the school's lockdown, but had their memories about their time at the school itself tampered with. Even apart from the spoilered twist, Makoto and Sayaka went to the same middle school together, although they never really spoke.
    • In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, once again, everybody was in the same class together at Hope's Peak... and that they collectively made up the group that kickstarted the Tragedy, but were mindwiped to help them rehabilitate. The only exceptions were Hajime, who was a reserve course student, and Chiaki, who was an AI. Danganronpa 3 expands this out to a non-program Chiaki being part of Class 77-B and the missing student, the Animator, accidentally working for Junko. Hajime also attended the same class as Fuyuhiko's sister Natsumi, while he met Chiaki and Nagito along the way.
    • The Danganronpa 3 anime is in the Anime & Manga folder.
    • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony plays with this. In Chapter 5, the students recover their missing memories, revealing that everyone went to Hope's Peak together yet again... only for those memories to turn out faked. The Tragedy is in-universe fiction, and V3 is the 53rd season of a reality TV show.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright, Miles Edgeworth and Larry Butz went to the same elementary school for a few months, forming a tight bond that they were able to rekindle in adulthood (though Phoenix and Edgeworth aren't all that fond of Larry).

    Web Animation 
  • DC Super Hero Girls takes place in a high school for teenage superheroes. It features and cameos dozens of superheroes (and supervillains) such as Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy, Beast Boy, Bumblebee, Starfire, Katana, and Harley Quinn going to school together. Word of God is Batman and Superman have already graduated.
  • In the Eddsworld episode "PowerEdd", we discover that Edd went to school with not only his best friends Tom, Matt and Tord, but also his rivals Eduardo, Mark and Jon, recurring background character Paul, living Running Gag Hellucard, one-off characters Laurel and Diwi, and even Ben and Lucy from Crash Zoom, a series created by then-showrunner Thomas Ridgewell.
  • Spooky Month: At the end of "Tender Treats", Lila shows Skid a picture of her and her friend Jaune when they were his age. While Lila rips up the photo before it's shown in full to the audience, the complete picture reveals that she and Jaune knew Pump's dad, John, and Frank when they were all children.

    Webcomics 
  • According to Brawl in the Family, every major Nintendo character either attended or worked at Cocoon Academy. That includes several villains—that were being trained to be heroes.
  • In Elf Blood, given that the main institution of the story, The Council, has an academy that raises soldiers from elementary school age through high school and beyond, it's not that surprising that many of the main characters have gone to school with one another.
  • In Girl Genius, there are a number of characters who attended the school on Castle Wulfenbach. Some of them - namely Theo, Sleipnir and Gil - all attended recently or are still there, but the real surprise came with the reveal that Tarvek also attended as a child. He ended up getting expelled and getting sent back to his Big, Screwed-Up Family, apparently for spying but actually because he had been helping Gil find out who his family were, which was something that the Baron didn't want happening. This mutual betrayal is what laid the groundwork for their rivalry.
  • In Nedroid, Reginald and Beartato once discovered they had went to high school together, but only became friends as adults.
  • In Sinfest, Oof all people, apparently Jesus and Blue did. Currently not known whether this is canon or a one-off gag.
  • Tomics includes strips about Jesus as a child, usually interacting with his parents and/or cousin John (the future Baptist). For a school arc, however, the creator figured that more students were needed and threw in Lazarus, Martha and Mary of Bethany.
    Is it realistic? Did they even know each other as kids? Why did I draw them all in modern clothes?
    * grumbles uncertainly* …but it was fun!
  • During "The Island And the Idol" arc in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, we get a flashback to Bob's childhood and learn that he, Fitznewski, Herb, and Heywood were all friends back then. Mrs. Primrose and Mr. Bystander were both teachers at Bob's school. And Bob and Jean even met on the playground one day and seemed on the road to becoming friends, but Jean got taken away home before they even learned each others' names.

    Western Animation 
  • In All Hail King Julien, most of the recurring characters are shown to have been in King Julien's lemur school class, including arch-nemesis Karl, despite being a fanaloka and Julien only having just met him recently. This discrepancy is explained by Julien just never acknowledging Karl's existence in any way, no matter how badly Karl wanted him to.
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball, most minor and recurring adults in Elmore were in the same junior high school in flashbacks (while Ms. Simian teaches every class since the beggining of time), including Mr. Robinson and Gary (the old purple guy with the antlers) who are 20-30 years older than most of the other adults (though they could have been part of the school staff). However, there are still many adults who have never been seen there, and the adult cast is much larger than the child, teenage note  and old cast.
  • A good portion of the adult cast of Arthur went to school together.
  • On Camp Lazlo, Everyone Went to Camp Together. Lumpus and Slinkman, anyway, and Jane went to the girls' camp on the other side of the lake.
  • Lampshaded in Daria in an introductory video for a prestigious school for gifted kids.
    Do You think is a coincidence that the rich and powerful all seem to know each other? Then think again, they met in school.
  • The DuckTales (2017) episode "The Lost Cargo of Kit Cloudkicker!" revealed that Della attended flight school with Kit Cloudkicker and Molly Cunningham.
  • The Flintstones: Fred and Barney dated Betty and Wilma late in high school (which became the focus of one episode involving an old love letter of Fred's). One episode also shows Fred never having graduated from high school, let alone gone to college (though another episode had him enroll in night classes at "Prinstone"). Yet another episode has Fred and Barney, just out of high school (Fred just got his first razor and is first shown with a heavily bandaged face) working for the summer as bellhops while Betty and Wilma and her mother are guests.
  • The Flintstone Kids features Fred, Barney, their future wives, and even Fred's future boss, all attending elementary school together, but in the original series (and the 2000 live-action movie) Fred and Barney did not meet Wilma and Betty until they were in their 20s, just after graduating from college.
  • "Gotham High", a show that never got beyond the development stages, had a young Batman in the same class as every villain in the franchise. Cracked had a field day with this:
    "We're suspicious of any high school that produces no fewer than 12 supervillains in one graduating class, but admittedly it does put an interesting spin on those Council of Doom meetings to think they're really just high school reunions."
  • The CGI Iron Man: Armored Adventures cartoon features Tony Stark as a teenager who attends the same high school as James Rhodes and Pepper Potts, his future employees.
  • The entire premise of Jungle Cubs is that the six most prominent animal characters in The Jungle Book (Baloo, Bagheera, Shere Khan, Hathi, Louie and Kaa) are all the same age and were a close-knit group of friends when they were young. In the original movie, the six of them know each other by name, but show no signs of friendship.
  • Kaeloo: A flashback shows Kaeloo, Stumpy, Quack Quack and Mr. Cat being in the same class as little kids, despite the fact that other episodes have stated that Kaeloo and Mr. Cat are older than the other two.
  • Kim Possible: Every guest scientist of the episode that isn't old and gray can be assumed to have gone to college with Kim's dad. This includes arch-foe Dr. Drakken (aka Drew Lipsky, who didn't actually graduate).
  • Little Dogs on the Prairie: In the short "Cheating", it's revealed that Hollister, Gilroy, and Patterson were in elementary school together.
  • Mad Jack the Pirate: the flashback episode "Attack of the Man-Eating, Green Gorillas" sees all the main characters go to school together. However, this contradicts the pilot episode, in which Mad Jack and Snuk met for the first time.
  • The Old Grey Hare: It is confirmed that Elmer and Bugs have known one another ever since they were babies.
  • Downplayed in The Owl House. While Eda is confirmed to have attended Hexside at the same time as Amity's parents, Gus' father, what appears to be Boscha's parents, and no less than three future coven heads (Eda's older sister Lilith, her ex Raine, and Darius), several other characters like Willow's parents -while around the same age- are shown to have attended different schools. And even in Raine's case, they started out as a St. Epiderm student and only transferred to Hexside after meeting Eda.
  • On Peppa Pig, Madam Gazelle taught Peppa's parents and those everyone else in the class as well. Peppa and her friends get to see the time capsule their parents made, after burying one of their own.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls (1998), when the Girls travel to the past, it's revealed that the Professor, Ms. Bellum, and Ms. Keane all were in the same class in school.
  • The Raccoons in the episode "Making the Grade" shows that Bert, Ralph, Melissa, and Cedric went to school together. Justified in that they live in a small rural town.
    • However, this would go against a couple of points from the specials and series. Going back to the Christmas special, which is the first time the Raccoons meet up with both Sneers. If we stick with the series, it goes against "The Sky's The Limit", in which Ralph and Melissa mention the first time they met, which is described as an encounter they made as adults.
  • Rocko's Modern Life sometimes showed flashbacks of Rocko having gone to elementary and high school with his friends Heffer and Filbert. It's hard to say how canon this is since the series also makes it clear that Rocko immigrated to America as an adult. Word of God says that while the elementary school gag was just that, Rocko attending American high school for a year as an exchange student was what drove his later decision to move to the States.
  • The Simpsons: In the episode "Springfield Up", most of the middle-aged adult characters are seen as kids, going to the same school — including Homer and Marge.
    • Another variation of this trope from "The Way We Weren't": Everyone went to summer camp together.
    • In fact, it's now generally established as canon that all Springfield's adults went to school together. In early seasons, it was only Homer, Barney, and Marge who went to high school together. Subsequent seasons show Homer being childhood friends and school buddies with Lenny and Carl, and even the likes of Snake and Mrs. Krabappel attending the same school around the same time Homer and Marge did. (See the aforementioned "Springfield Up")
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man does this with several of Spider-Man's supporting characters, including Mary Jane Watson, Harry Osborn, Gwen Stacy, a pre-Venom Eddie Brock, a not-yet Prowler Hobie Brown, Glory Grant, and Randy Robertson. Granted, the former four have a basis in the Ultimate Spider-Man, but even then, there were liberties. (In the Ultimate comics, Eddie and Peter hadn't seen each other between their parents deaths' and Peter becoming Spider-Man, and Gwen Stacy was a transfer student. In the show, Eddie has graduated from Midtown High the year before, Gwen was always there, and it's MJ who transferred.)
  • Ultimate Spider-Man likewise does something similar, putting Spider-Man's team in his high school, including de-aged versions of Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
  • The Venture Bros.: Pretty much every single important adult character went to college together: Dr. Venture and Brock (roommates), Pete White and Baron Underbheit (roommates), The Monarch, and one-off villain Mike Sorayama. This is lampshaded by Hank when Doc (in-story) mentions a weird kid with huge eyebrows who's obsessed with monarch butterflies.
    Hank: You are not gonna tell me that you went to college with The Monarch, too! Where did you guys go, Super Crazy No-Way School?!?
    • Phantom Limb and Professor Impossible taught at that same college, Dr. Girlfriend was a student there (though she didn't attend at the same time as the previous group), as was Billy (though he was undercover to spy on Phantom Limb). Even Monarch Henchman #21...
  • Wacky Races (2017): In "It's a Wacky Life", it's revealed that, except for I.Q., the Wacky Racers went to school together.
  • X-Men: Evolution sees much of the X-Men, the New Mutants, and much of the Brotherhood attend pubic school together, with Mystique and later a pre-Senator Kelly as the principal.


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