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High School AU

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Barbara Gordon, Bruce Wayne, the Scarecrow, Selina Kyle, The Joker, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Bane, and Mr. Freeze.note 

"The basic overarching plot is, 'What is the contrived nonsense that drives Cthulhu to take a human form and go to high school?'"

The High School A.U. is an Alternate Universe Fic that may or may not resemble the original universe, but the main premise is that most or all of the characters from whatever universe the story draws from are all in an academic setting (typically set in the present day). Usually, this happens to be high school, although college is not unheard of, nor is Jr. High/Middle, or even Elementary School, depending on the ages of the cast.

This type of story may also occasionally remove anything and everything unusual in the original premise, though this is not necessarily a requirement. This especially tends to happen when the cast is already comprised mostly of teenagers in a fantasy or sci-fi world.

This is the most common form of Alternate Universe Fic, for good or ill, mostly because it is an easy setting to write for, probably because a lot of fanfic writers are of school age themselves. Some stories may take a series that never took place in a school and transplant the characters there. A variant on this is to take a series where a school was part of the setting, and makes it the primary setting. Another variant is taking a show with characters that were elementary or lower grammar school age and transplanting them to a high school setting. A less common variant are the characters being portrayed as teachers rather than students.

A rarer variation is to also attempt to transplant the storyline. This works better with storylines that are effectively independent of the setting.

This is especially likely to happen when the cast of a series functions as a Universal-Adaptor Cast.

A subtrope of Transplanted Character Fic. Compare Spinoff Babies, Coffee Shop AU Fic, and Modern AU Fic. Contrast Super Fic. Supertrope to The Breakfast Plot.

Not a high school in Australia... unless it's set there, of course.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Some manga have Omake chapters in this style, often finding humor from the contortions needed to shoehorn the tropes of the series into the cliche High School tropes. Examples:
  • Speaking of, "Kimetsu Gauken" went from being a short omake to a straight up spin-off after the original manga series concluded.
  • Attack on Titan has three examples:
    • A gag ending in the original manga has Eren waking up to discover that the entire series was All Just a Dream and that he and Mikasa are actually normal Japanese teenagers. Likely a Shout-Out to the Evangelion fake-out ending mentioned below.
    • A later series of gag endings puts the cast into a stereotypical American high school.
    • The series also has an official Spin-Off called Attack on Titan: Junior High, though as the name implies, it's technically a Junior High AU; everyone in the series has been transplanted into a modern Japanese middle school setting, including the Titans themselves, who are still towering giants but somehow also go to school.
  • Similarly, the fourth ending of Black Clover is based on this idea.
  • Tsutomu Nihei's BLAME! Academy gag manga. You only have to look at the art work to realize this is intensely crackish and completely hilarious. Notable for still having killer cyborgs with portable WMDs & taking place in an unimaginably massive Cyberpunk city, which is basically the whole joke. Also unusual as it actually ages one character up, with murderous cyborg loli Sana-Kan becoming a grown woman as one of the teachers.
  • Bubblegum Crisis was adapted into a High School AU Light Novel, Hard Metal Guardians, in 2012. Sylia is an Elegant Gothic Lolita, Linna is a rich girl working in a Meido cafe to understand how ordinary people live, Nene has Girlish Pigtails with Leon as her older brother who still works in the A.D. Police, and Priss is still in a rock band.
  • Chrono Crusade has an anime-based Drama CD set in an High School AU. The Sinners are in a gang which Chrono is slowly becoming disillusioned with, Rosette is a girl from a Catholic school that Chrono has a romantic interest in, Sister Kate is the principle of Rosette's school while Daffau is the principle of the other school, etc. The cast gets to be Large Hams and seem to be having a blast.
  • Code Geass:
    • Like its Internet rival Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Code Geass had a High School AU as one of its audio dramas. Unlike most examples though, the expected roles were reversed; Magnificent Bastard protagonist Lelouch is a teacher, his Lady of War sister Cornelia is a sukeban, and Big Bad Emperor Charles is the leader of the school's gangs.
    • Arguably, the manga adaptation with the same name as the anime also qualifies, since it focuses more on Ashford Academy thanks to the removal of the Humongous Mecha. The racist military faction is replaced by a racist group of students, and the Japanese rebels commit acts of petty vandalism rather than actual terrorism.
  • Crayon Shin-chan: The High School Years!
  • Cross Ange has a spinoff manga called Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Gakuen (Cross Ange: School of Angels and Dragons) where everyone is a regular high school student and there are no deaths.
  • Later episodes of the D.Gray-Man anime have a High School AU Omake at the end.
  • The Devil is a Part-Timer! has a manga adaptation where the main characters are in school instead of the fast food industry.
  • The third credit ending sequence of Eureka Seven skirts this, showing the female cast living out lives normal for (real) women of their ages (given that most of them are High School aged). It's interesting to note that this ending credit sequence was storyboarded by Shinichirō Watanabe. Yeah, that Shinichiro Watanabe (but not that one)
  • Spoofed by Hiromu Arakawa more than once with Fullmetal Alchemist omakes. They usually involve Edward and Alphonse in a gang (not a very good one at that) or Mustang and the Fuhrer in a girls' school spoofing '70s Shoujo manga. Don't forget Olivier as a sukeban (member of a Japanese girl gang).
  • Galaxy Angel X has one for one episode, complete with the requisite Anime Theme Song this type of show would have. The end of said theme song is interrupted by ringing cell phones.

  • Heroic Age's OST covers feature Dheianeila and Yuti La as high school students in another shoutout to Sukeban Deka.
  • Horitsuba Gakuen is a series of crossover drama CDs starring the characters from Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- and ×××HOLiC in a high school setting.
  • Ikki Tousen is itself a High School AU of Romance of the Three Kingdoms (as well as a Gender Flip of most of the characters). Naturally, this means there's official art of the Ikki Tousen characters in Three Kingdoms-era China (or something similar enough to excuse breaking out the Breast Plates).
  • Isekai Quartet is a Crossover anime series that is an official High School A.U. It brings together four Light Novel-based Isekai series published by Kodansha (KonoSuba, Overlord, The Saga of Tanya the Evil, and Re:Zero) and puts them all in a single high school classroom, while keeping their original outfits from their home series. The second season adds characters from The Rising of the Shield Hero as well.
  • K has one as an Otome Game, called Gakuen K.
  • Very similar to Isekai Quartet above, Kaginado uses the same premise of merging multiple franchises together and put them in the same high school without changing outfits. The franchises being Key/Visual Arts' Kanon, Air, CLANNAD, Little Busters!, Rewrite, and later Angel Beats!. However, only the actual high school characters attend Kagindo Academy, while all the other characters apparently live in the same town or live in their original homes, as evident with AIR. Characters from the distant past are in the present, the series has no fear of spoiling its audience and it makes constantly fun of the Tear Jerker moments the franchises are known for.
  • While Kaguya-sama: Love Is War already takes place in High School, the Official Doujinshi spin-off had a series of chapters centering around a Kindergarten AU where Shirogane and Hayasaka are everyone else's teachers. Notably, it is the only AU where Hayasaka takes Kaguya's place as Shirogane's Love Interest (though Kaguya still has a Precocious Crush on him).
  • The OVA on one of the Koihime†Musou DVDs has all the main characters attend high school, with highly explosive results.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha INNOCENT is a manga series used to advertise a Collectible Card Mobile Phone Game for Lyrical Nanoha...and it is unabashedly a Grade School AU. The magic powers have been replaced with virtual card games, and all of the non-human characters are now humans (except the familiars, which are just normal animals). We also have a good Precia and six other canonically dead characters that aren't dead.note 
  • Parodied in Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi as one of the alternate worlds (created from fragments of Sasshi's mind) to which Sasshi and Arumi travel - this one is patterned after dating sims, having Sasshi as a borderline Unlucky Everydude and Arumi as... a cupid of sorts.
  • Martian Successor Nadesico spoofs this with an "Early 21st Century High School" entertainment program in the titular space battleship's virtual reality recreation room, which is essentially a High School AU holodeck scenario.
  • Inverted in the My Hero Academia anime. The series takes place mostly in a high school (granted, it's a high school for superheroes, but a high school regardless). The third ending credits sequence features the characters in a High Fantasy setting. Deku becomes a clumsy traveller in a rather Bilbo-Baggins-esque get-up (with a sword that's apparently possessed by All-Might), Todoroki is a prince on a white horse, Uraraka is a mage, Iida a Knight in Shining Armor, and Bakugo is a Dragon Rider. We also get to see all of Class 1-A, who are all featured as some fantasy class or other. The beginning implies this is a class play of some sort.
    • In a sense, the series was this to its predecessor My Hero. Rather than be about a salaryman taking after his inspiration while on the job, it's about a teen's life at Superhero School with his inspiration as one of the teachers.
  • The second ending credits sequence for Naruto Shippuden is set in a High School AU, joining and legitimizing the thousands of Naruto fanfics that have already used this trope. Ironically, it also went against lots of clichés that were (and still are) extremely common in Naruto high school AU fics. It portrayed Naruto as a Hot-Blooded gang member instead of a normal but waifish outcast. OTOH Hinata remained a shy Shrinking Violet (albeit one who is assertive enough to directly ask Naruto out), Sakura remained a Type B Tsundere ready to slap Naruto if needed, Rock Lee was the sports star, Neji was both the Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy AND the Student Council President, and Sasuke was the local Bad Boy and Naruto's rival who still aided him during fights. This was expanded upon in a bonus feature, created by the animators, for the seventh Shippuden DVD called Shippu! Konoha Gakuen Den which consists of narrated still-frames, in which Naruto seeks to be the leader of all in the yakuza in Japan and we see him beating the other fighters in the school, and also features Naruto and Hinata actually going on a date while several others (Sakura, Ino, Shikamaru, etc.) spy on them.
  • NEEDLESS also has a series of High School AU bonus specials, this time set at St. Lily Academy, with Cruz playing a role he would later go on to play in the post-apocalyptic action series, only in a more traditional setting. That role? Crossdresser.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi plays with the trope—since the original series already takes place (for half of its run anyway) in a junior high school, one of the spinoffs takes place in a kindergarten instead, with the students aged down and the (originally child prodigy) teacher and his best friend aged up to adults.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
  • The three-page manga "Red-Hair of Class 3-Sea TIME" takes One Piece characters and sticks them into the clichéd story of an inspirational teacher who turns around a class of delinquents Specifically, they're all inspired to become pirates. With Luffy as the all-out study freak jukensei.
  • Powerpuff Girls Z, an anime adaptation of The Powerpuff Girls (1998), featured the girls as three unrelated typical 12 year-old middle schoolers that were given superpowers. It played like a Magical... 'scuse me, Scientific Girl series.
  • Queen's Blade is normally a High Fantasy world. The DVD bonus specials take all the characters and set them at Gainos Academy, with school uniforms and no decrease in fanservice.
  • The Samurai Deeper Kyo manga has a series of audio drama CD set in the alternate 'Samurai High School' setting, stemming from a piece of art drawn by the creator for one of the manga volumes. Strangely enough it is highly probable that said creator is actually female (pseudonyms are funny that way).
  • Not exactly an AU, but Slayers NEXT and Slayers TRY feature fun little illustrations that bookend the commercial breaks, like a lot of anime do. Sometimes they actually pertain to the episode, but usually they're just fun illustrations showing what the characters would look like in a more modern setting. Favorites include Amelia the sailor-style school girl, Zelgadis the rock star, and Gourry as a daycare attendent.
  • The Tales Series has several short-lived anime/manga spin-offs featuring its characters in a school setting:
  • This happened in an episode of the Tenchi Muyo! TV series. Not content to leave it at that, however, the writers also threw in Magical Girls. Unsurprisingly, given the amoeba-like manner in which Tenchi Muyo split off alternate continuities, this world became a series all on its own. Two different series, in fact.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
    • There is an audio drama CD set in a high school where Kamina is basically a misfit failing school, Simon is the sole handyman/janitor, and Nia is the Student Council President...until they kick all that to the ground like everything else and turn the whole thing upside down. Read the script here.
    • Gurren Lagann also has a second official High School AU in the form of the manga Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Guren Gakuenhen. All the good guys attend Dai Gurren Academy, which is located right next to the menacing and intimidating Teppelin Academy, headed by malicious principal Lord Genome. Note that all of the Beastmen are still Beastmen, and no one finds this odd. Highlights include Kamina getting very confused over the meaning of "moe", Yoko in a sailor uniform inducing Marshmallow Hell to Simon for three whole pages (while continuing to talk), and Viral dressed in a business suit (coinciding with the "Viral Marketing" meme). Oh, and Nia wears Rei's transfer student uniform (see below) and calls Simon her husband... and takes the Buster Stance. Plus, this manga sheds some insight into how Kamina and Nia would fare had Kamina not died before Nia arrived into the plot. Leeron is also in a dress and Lord Genome is the overprotective dad of Nia. Nia and Simon pull off a sequence very similar to Love Love TenKyoKen
  • Tokyo Mew Mew had a kindergarten AU in the manga, entitled Petite Mew Mew. Interestingly, the characters' natures as magical Animorphs were emphasized rather than discarded; for example, Lettuce is a finless porpoise all the time, and has to be carried around in a fishbowl.
  • Both of the opening credits to The Tower of Druaga are set in such a setting.
  • Utawarerumono has a drama CD with a high school setting.
  • Yo-kai Watch has the Yo-Kai Academy Y subseries (Can a Cat be A Hero? and Close Encounters of the N Kind), which is a fusion between this and the Henshin Hero genre. The usual Yo-kai are humanoids and attend the titular school, and since they're already supernatural to some extent, the YSP Watch instead gives them powers.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Hollywood seems to enjoy giving William Shakespeare the High School AU treatment, with notable examples including "O" (Othello), Get Over It (A Midsummer Night's Dream), 10 Things I Hate About You (The Taming of the Shrew) and She's the Man (Twelfth Night). The thriller The Glass House is vaguely Hamlet (with the obligatory shout-outs), and vaguely High School (everyone stays the same relative ages, so most characters are adults.)
  • Assassination of a High School President translates conspiracy and thriller-feely tropes to a high school setting. It also features the journalist protagonist, in this case writing for the high school newspaper.
  • Brick isn't an AU of any specific noir story, but it still fits here. The movie takes every noir trope imaginable and transplants them into a high school setting. The results are surprisingly good.
  • One of the better results was Clueless, which recast Jane Austen's Emma in a Beverly Hills high school.
  • Cruel Intentions gives this treatment to Dangerous Liaisons.
  • The Dora the Explorer Live-Action Adaptation ages up Dora and deals with her as a high schooler.
  • Dragon Ball Evolution is essentially a High School A.U. fanfic of Dragon Ball Z with CGI.
  • Easy A set Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter in a high school at Ojai, California.
  • She's All That does a very loose version of this for George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion (filtered through its more famous adaptation My Fair Lady).
  • Some people have claimed that Star Trek (2009) is an attempt to do something similar to this with the established characters from the original series. The popular fan misconception is that all the main characters are cadets, when in fact only Kirk, Uhura, and McCoy are students (and McCoy is already a fully qualified doctor)note . The captain's chair is traded around quite a bit as well, although it's made very clear that Kirk's promotion is for the duration of the current crisis only. Of course, then he goes and saves the Federation and makes the jump from Cadet to Captain in one fell swoop...
    • This may be something to do with a supposed pitch for a Star Trek prequel film set when the original TOS cast were either Starfleet Academy cadets or newly-commissioned ensigns, which was rumoured to be under consideration some time around the turn of the millennium and may or may not have partly influenced the direction the reboot eventually took.


    Live-Action TV 
  • The Adventures of Superboy stars a high school version of Superman.
  • Becoming Human can be seen as the High School AU of Being Human.
  • Club is a miniseries based on Clue that essentially took the characters from the game and made them teens.
  • Also Gotham but applied to Batman.
  • Kamen Rider Decade, in its distortion of past series, changes Kamen Rider 555 into a high school AU. Former Quirky Miniboss Squad Lucky Clover is reimagined as a clique of the cool kids and Tsukasa becomes a student for his duration in this world.
  • Law & Order: Trial by Jury. Given that these series don't provide much in the way of personality for their characters, except as relates to their investigation and prosecution of crime, the fic was essentially a regular, boring high school experience using the names of Law & Order characters.
  • For Lost, we have an actual canon episode that takes place in a high school in an alternate universe, with Ben Linus, John Locke, and Arzt as teachers, and Alex as a student.
  • Merlin has been described as "The High School AU of Arthurian Legend". Certain changes, including making Merlin and Arthur the same age (late teens, early twenties) and a loose interpretation of history, definitely fit the trope.
  • A case of canonical high school having its slate wiped clean is one high school AU for Power Rangers in Space. The teens never had any powers, and the Red and Silver Rangers, (human) aliens in the show, were normal school-attending Earthlings here. Though the high school stopped appearing in the show for good around episode 8, which is probably the only reason the fic author could get away with it.
  • The Taiwanese series K.O.3anguo (read as Zhongji Sanguo) does this for Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Among other anachronisms, the love triangle involving Lu Bu, Diao Chan and Guan Yu seems to be a primary plotline.
  • Smallville is an official version of this trope applied to Superman.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • They took this and made it canon by introducing a teenage clone version of Jack O'Neill, who promptly returns to high school. Although he's never seen or mentioned again, countless fanfictions try to explain what happened next. Some inexplicably decide to give the rest of the team mini-clones as well.
    • In the 200th episode, there was a scene featuring teenage versions of the team, in direct reference to this trope. Joe Mallozzi said in his blog that O'Neill's clone, after graduating high school, rejoined the Air Force and was promptly enlisted in the Stargate Program (now Homeworld Security) because he has all of Jack's experiences.

  • "When I Kissed The Teacher" by ABBA, from Arrival describes how the singer kissed the teacher at school, obviously years after she actually attended school.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • One of the magazines not directly affiliated with any fed ran a feature that was short comic strips of the wrestlers of the day in high school. One was Steve Austin standing up on a chair flipping the bird into the air saying "If you hate algebra, give me a Hell Yeah!" while the teacher said "Steven, sit down.", and one with Kane shooting flames out of the stove in Home Ec. It happened for a few issues and then had a fan contest on who could write the best one, then published the contest winners in the magazine.
  • Shin-Nichi! serves as this for the cast of New Japan Pro-Wrestling, with Hiroshi Tanahashi as its lead.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine:
    • This is pretty much a High School AU version of Nobilis, complete with Lord Entropy (whose soul-fragments became members of the Absurdly Powerful Student Council), Iolithae Septimian (possibly sealed under the Titov family shrine), and the Excrucians (represented by the Bleak Academy).
    • The first official mega-campaign for it, The Glass-Maker's Dragon, is by the author's own statements a high-school version of the Enûma Eliš.
  • There's a Genius: The Transgression/Princess: The Hopeful crossover supplement called On Wednesdays we Wear which deals with Geniuses and Princesses dealing with Highschool life.
  • SJ Games' Pyramid Magazine once had a TOON/In Nomine crossover set at Heavenly Heights High School. Laurence (incorruptible leader of Heaven's armies) was the captain of the football team, Kobal (Demon Prince of Dark Humour) was the class clown, and so on.
  • Kingdom Death had started a line of non-canonical miniatures with their characters in a High School setting.

  • Lysistrata Jones is a musical High School AU of Lysistrata.
  • Sweet Little Rock'n'Roll from the Takarazuka Revue sets Much Ado About Nothing in an American high school in The '50s.
  • Act I of Wicked pretty much boils down to a standard College AU for the The Wizard of Oz, taking place at a university in Oz and featuring the Wicked Witch as a nerdy social outcast, Glinda as a Lovable Alpha Bitch, a then human Scarecrow as a popular, hunky love interest for the two, a big dance party at some point, and a song about being popular. However, Act II eventually rolls around and the play gets thrown into the original Wizard of Oz story, albeit from the Wicked Witch's perspective.


    Video Games 
  • The Private BEMANI Academy event features BEMANI musicians as students in a private academy, with a comically-middle-aged-looking dj TAKA acting as the principal. The event has you playing (platonic) matchmaker by getting pairs of artists to build up friendship with each other; filling a pair's Friendship gauge by playing their "home" game causes the graphic of the pair to change from the pair being distant to becoming best friends. When the pair's gauge reaches 100%, you unlock their respective collaboration song for play in all participating BEMANI games.
  • Brown Dust II: The Character Pack "Jayden's Gate" takes place in a high school setting. Strangely enough, unlike the other Character Packs the Kendo Club Justia playable here isn't actually native to this universe but was accidentally warped there during a warlock excursion and is trying to find her way back with Jayden's assistance.
  • Bungo to Alchemist has a series of official school uniform skins for the writers, most of which can be unlocked in the school AU event An Encouragement of Learning.
  • The Card City Nights series is a Massive Multiplayer Crossover where characters from Iji, the Ittle Dew series, Hyper Princess Pitch (among others) play card games.
  • Crash Fever has the ALICE Dreamin' School quest line, in which you go to school, meet school versions of past characters, get into some wacky hijinks, then wake up and realize it was all just a (mildly perverted) dream.
  • Fate/Grand Order: While the game isn't a High School A.U. as of itself nor does it contain a story chapter that takes place in a high school, almost all of the characters drawn by Honjou Raita have an alternate version that seems to be designed to take place in a potential high school setting, such as biker Sakata Kintoki, "Japanese Delinquent" Raikou who acts more like a student council president, literary club member Murasaki, and cheerleader Ibuki-Douji. The only exception to this is with Shuten-Douji and James Moriarty, albeit the latter got a younger version of himself when he was just a math professor.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has "Academia Eorzea", which started as an April Fool's Day joke prior to getting a proper greenlight and serialization. It stars the Leveilleur twins, Alisaie and Alphinaud, as first-years in the Academy of Light, after having combined with the Academy of Darkness to make the titular Academia Eorzea ran by principal Tataru. The twins live in the shared home named The Rising Stones, living with the founding Scions as members of the school faculty: homeroom teacher Y'shtola, science teacher Urianger, and PE teacher Thancred.
  • In Granblue Fantasy, Lowain, Elsam, and Tomoi come up with one in the "L.E.T'S. H.A.N.G." event where the former two are students and the latter an instructor at Albion Military Academy. It's noted that due to it being a fantasy of theirs and not having the full details from Katalina, there are discrepancies from reality. The "Table for Six" event adds Sutera and Korwa as students and Isabella and Jin as faculty members.
  • League of Legends features a line of "Academy" skins for several champions (specifically Ahri, Darius, Ekko, and Vladimir, among others retrofitted for the line), which eventually developed into its own Alternate Continuity with its own minor lore blurbs. Riot has officially endorsed a fan webcomic called Academy Adventures, transplanting a much wider range of champions to fit the Troperiffic setting of Valoran High.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword isn't so much an AU of The Legend of Zelda, but it starts off in a boarding school and centers around the students (namely Link, Zelda, and Groose) before The Dragon shows up.
  • MapleStory has the Friend Story theme dungeon, a parallel world where several characters have counterparts in a South Korean high school setting. Notably, the AU is integral to the plot, as not only is one of the playable classes from that world (Kinesis), but the Heroes of the Maple World travel to it looking for information, because the Big Bad teamed up with his own counterpart to further his plans.
  • Onmyoji Arena of all games have this in the form of a set of skins that transforms certain characters into high school versions of themselves. Their character animated shorts also take place in a modern classroom.
  • Riviera: The Promised Land has this in its Epilogue Disc.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Note that while these examples don't usually have recurring characters in high school (the series stars a new cast of characters with every game). They're still a high school spinoff in an Alternate Continuity/Universe of the main series.
  • The creators of Shovel Knight jokingly proposed a "Shovel Knight High" series as a goal for their kickstarter. It never came to fruition, but fans still play around with the idea from time to time.
  • Re/Visioned made a Tomb Raider animated series named Pre-Teen Raider with the description "Lara Croft wasn't always one of the world's most successful Tomb Raiders. See how a twelve year old Lara honed her craft during her early years at the Croft Academy." Essentially, the Tomb Raider creators licensed a High School AU of their own game. It is seemingly impossible to find said series, but it is mentioned on the Croft Generation website here
  • In addition to anime/manga spin-offs, the Tales Series has official school uniform designs for party members, usually featured as alternate costumes in 3D games, as well as making appearances in its mobile gachapon titles. Teenage characters or those in their early 20s are often depicted as students, while older characters are teachers/aides.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • CollegeHumor parodies this with their Muppet Teens skit, though they are not shown in school.
  • DC Super Hero Girls stars younger versions of characters like Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn as teenagers in high school. Unlike other works it isn't set in a traditional school, instead being in a Super Hero School.
  • Machinima had also funded Hero High, featuring The Legend of Zelda in a high school environment. While Cut Short once the company went under, the series was rediscovered once Rooster Teeth featured it in the anthology Neon Konbini.
  • Machinima's Teenage Pokémon series was, as you would expect, this towards Pokémon, portraying Pokémon in their second stage of evolution as hormonal teenagers. Sometimes they were in school, though most of the time they were out doing other things like attending video game conventions.


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Many Superhero Blockbuster Summer Action movies throughout the 2000s would have an animated series released at or around the same time to ride the wave of renewed interest and popularity of the character. Usually taking the core cast and if not being explicitly in high school, then at at least explicitly younger than they are usually interpreted (although some of these, such as the X-Men and Spider-Man, did actually start their career during their teenage years in the comics).
    • X-Men: Evolution premiered the same year as X-Men. It justified this with the concept that mutants (and super-powered beings in general) were thought by the general public to be nothing more than rumor, hoax, and legend for the first couple of seasons, and Xavier wanted his students to have as normal a life as possible.
    • Back in the '80s, there were plans for an X-Men cartoon that would've featured Cyclops, Storm, Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Thunderbird and Ms. Marvel as teenagers attending a public high school. It never got off the ground, though.
    • The Batman, a year before Batman Begins. Not in high school but featuring younger interpretations of Batman and his Rogues Gallery.
    • Iron Man: Armored Adventures premiered a year after Iron Man, with Tony Stark as a genius teenager with a suit of armor, his buddies, and the Corrupt Corporate Executive who kicked everything off by having his dad killed. It's about as much like the Iron Man comics or movies as the high-school C.S.I. fanfics are like the actual CSI series, but it gets away with it by being totally awesome in its own right.
    • The Spectacular Spider-Man for Spider-Man 3. After a rights dispute caused by Disney buying Marvel, the show was canceled...
    • ... and replaced with Ultimate Spider-Man just in time for The Amazing Spider-Man. USM has Luke Cage, Iron Fist, White Tiger and Nova attending the same high school as Peter Parker. While White Tiger and Nova are Canon Immigrants created for the show (albeit as Legacy Characters of existing heroes - the original Nova was originally a teen, the original White Tiger was an adult when he got his powers), Luke Cage (who uses his old Power Man alias in the cartoon) and Iron Fist are always depicted as adults in the comic books, with Cage in particular being much older than Spider-Man and Iron Fist not finishing his training until adulthood.
    • Transformers: Animated for Transformers (2007) - the main cast are an inexperienced Ragtag Bunch of Misfits rather than war veterans, and the human sidekick is a kid rather than a high-school student.
    • The Mighty Thor was scheduled to have one after his first movie, but it was canceled before it ever aired. It would've been about his adventures in Asgard before ever coming to Earth. There is a direct-to-home-video movie called Thor: Tales of Asgard that is based on a similar idea.
    • The Nickelodeon Ninja Turtles reboot comes one year before the Michael Bay film reboot. The Turtles are teenagers by default, but Splinter is noticeably younger than he is usually interpreted, and April is 16 instead of being a working woman, though in contrast to the Thor example, the show began well before the movie began shooting, and was already on its second season before a single trailer for the film was out.
    • Legion of Super Heroes (2006) does fall into this, by adapting the pre-Crisis Superboy's adventures with the titular team, as its first season came out in the fall of 2006, the same year Superman Returns was released.
    • Marvel's Spider-Man was released at least a month after Spider-Man: Homecoming. It goes back to Spectacular Spider-Man's roots of a High School focused show. Peter Parker gets accepted into Horizon High (a high school version of Horizon Labs) and some of its top students (Anya Corazon, Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy), who are known spider-heroes, are as old and smart as Peter Parker.
      • Interestingly, a majority of characters have been aged down a bit and their brains boosted up. Otto Octavius is around Peter's age and already he got his doctarate and works for Horizon High. Alistair Smythe is a student a Midtown High where his father, Spencer Smythe is a science teacher.
      • Keeping in mind with the high school element, after Harry's wrongful sunspension from Horizon High, Norman Osborn created a new school for him, the Osborn Academy for Geniuses. John Jameson applied for it, a young man who is an ace in astrophysics, enforced by the fact NASA adopted two of his ideas. Herman Schultz (Shocker) and Clayton Cole (Clash) also applied whilst demonstrating prototypes of their trademark weapons.
  • All Grown Up! is actually a television example of the latter, taking the Rugrats cast, aging them by ten years, and putting them in a fairly standard middle-school sitcom. Which, in the show, is still pretty much like High School in every other respect.
  • Even the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender have gotten into the act, with their "School Time Shipping" video, though the bending is still all there. Their teacher is Avatar Roku, and Iroh is the guidance counselor.
  • Batman Beyond's existence is owed to a bunch of higher ups going "Let's do a show about Batman in high school." The creators took advantage of the fact that they didn't specify Bruce Wayne in high school, so instead it's set in a Cyberpunk future where he's the retired Mission Control for a new Dark Knight. It became surprisingly popular and even got adapted to the comics, mostly due to being a lot Darker and Edgier than the execs had in mind.
  • Clone High is basically the High School AU of all of history. Though as the name implies, technically the characters are all clones of historical figures. The main cast are adapted to the high school archetypes (Abe [Lincoln] is the everygeek protagonist, Joan of Arc is a Goth, JFK is the jock, Cleopatra is the Alpha Bitch and Gandhi is the party animal), but a lot of minor characters act much closer to their Real Life counterpart, never mind the setting.
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2017) takes place during Flint's high school days and, through some slight retconning, Sam goes to the same school.
  • Unlike the Superhero School the original continuity took place in, the 2018 DC Super Hero Girls is a true blue high school AU. Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Supergirl, Zatanna, and several other characters are high schoolers who are also superheroes (and supervillains) on the side.
  • Extreme Ghostbusters is about a second generation of ghostbusters made of college students.
  • The page image comes from a proposed Gotham High animated series that was briefly considered in the late 2000s among many other ideas for future Batman TV projects by Warner Bros. Animation, before presumably being passed over in favor of developing Beware the Batman. Had it made it to series, it would have explored a Bruce Wayne attending high school with his rogues gallery while in the process of crafting his Batman persona.
  • Little Shop is The Little Shop of Horrors with Audrey and Seymour as teenagers.
  • Mega Man: Fully Charged takes this approach to the classic Mega Man series. Instead of being a janitorial robot turned fighting robot after one of his co-creators goes rogue, this incarnation of the Blue Bomber is a robot high school student named Aki Light, with Mega Man being his evil-fighting alter ego.
  • The Mork and Mindy segments in the Mork and Mindy/Laverne and Shirley with Fonz animated series is a High School AU for the series proper.
  • Much like Gotham High, there was almost a Muppets High. It would have been set in the 1950s, with Kermit as a Fonzie-style greaser, Gonzo as a nerd, Fozzie Bear a soda jerk, and Rowlf a varsity football player. The show was never made, but plenty of merchandise was.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • As stated above, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls takes place in an alternate universe where the characters are all human high schoolers. This means most characters have been aged-down (maybe), while others are aged-up (again, maybe).
    • Season 8 of the main series has a slight school Genre Shift. In this case, however, the main characters are teachers, not students.
  • Craig McCracken mocked the concept in The Powerpuff Girls (1998), where the girls are ditzy morons more interested in shopping and boys rather than saving the town from destruction.
  • Steven Universe has a meta example: Hilary Florido's promotional art for episodes she has storyboarded depict the characters, including the Gems as high school students (specifically, wearing Japanese school uniforms) with Steven as their teacher. Connie also seems to be the school librarian. These promos are only superficially related to the episodes they promote; for example, "The Test" has the student characters taking an exam, when it's actually about Steven going through an obstacle course to prove his abilities. Canonically, Steven doesn't even attend school; he didn't even know what it was until Connie mentioned that she'll be able to visit more thanks to summer break coming up.
  • Summer Memories: In the episode "Bummer Memories", one of the alternate worlds Tim pitches is for the show is one where everyone is in high school, where Jason and Ronnie never met... they meet and become friends after the commercial break, much to Tim's frustration.
  • Inverted in Tiny Toon Adventures, which is not simply Looney Tunes in school, but brand new toons in training who are being taught by the Looney Tunes.
  • Uncle Grandpa had an episode called "Uncle Grandpa: The High School Years" which is a parody of both Saved by the Bell and The Breakfast Club with the Uncle Grandpa cast in high school, serving as the group's Origin Story.
  • Wing Commander Academy is an odd case — adapting a video game series into a series where all the main characters from the games are cadets onboard the TCS Tiger's Claw would sound like a recipe for disaster. It's actually well-written and incredibly accurate to the games.
  • Young Justice gives several established DC superheroes cameos as non-powered high school students. Karen Beecher (Bumblebee) and Mal Duncan (Herald) appear as classmates of Superboy and Miss Martian, while Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) and Bette Kane (Flamebird) attend the same school as Artemis and Dick. Most notably, Zatanna (who is almost always depicted as an adult in the comics and other adaptations) is made the same age as Dick Grayson. Most of these characters received their powers / superhero personas sometime during the five year timeskip between seasons 1 and 2. They are now in their late teens and early twenties and affiliated with either the League or the Team.

Alternative Title(s): High School Spinoff, High School Alternate Universe, Recycled In High School