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Series / Schooled

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Our Main Cast: Principal Andre Glascott, new teacher Lainey Lewis, and Coach Rick Mellor

Schooled is a 2019 television series spin-off of the ABC period sitcom, The Goldbergs. The series began as an episode of The Goldbergs, "The Goldbergs: 1990 Something", before being picked up for the 2019 season. The series was created by Adam F. Goldberg and Marc Firek and is set in 1990-something Jenkintown following the life of Lainey Lewis as she begins her career as a teacher at William Penn Academy. In addition to A. J. Michalka reprising her role, Tim Meadows and Bryan Callen return in their roles as Andre Glascott (now school principal) and Coach Mellor. The series so far has been well received, with a 70% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

On May 21, 2020, co-creator Adam F. Goldberg announced on his Twitter account that Schooled was cancelled and would not be renewed for a third season, a victim of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


No relation with the 2007 Gordon Korman novel.

The show provides the following, totally tubular, tropes:

  • Almighty Janitor: Johnny Atkins, who is now popular with the students (listening to them and their feelings), operated his Pirate Radio for a while and is now responsible for the school's radio club.
  • Anachronism Stew: Like its predecessor, the series is set in a vague 1990s atmosphere.
  • Ascended Extra: Lainey herself, beginning on The Goldbergs as one of Erica's friends before eventually becoming a breakout character with aspirations of her own.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: To prove how great Star Wars is, C.B. invites Mellor to join the sci-fi club's trip to see the newest movie. When pressed about what he thought of it, Mellor proceeds to point out every notable criticism of the movie, which accidentally puts a damper on the kids' enthusiasm for the franchise.
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  • Be Yourself: Felicia doesn't want her peers to know she celebrates Kwanzaa, as that would make her different. Glascott tells her about how he was the same way in college and that his "go along to get along" approach just led to embarrassment and anxiety (including his name not even being on his diploma because he didn't have the nerve to correct anyone when he had the chance). He advises her to not make the same mistake.
  • Being Good Sucks: Despite his intent to do so, C.B. just doesn't have it in him to go through with sabotaging Barry's effort to get back together with Lainey and instead tries to make up for it.
  • Christmas Episode: "Beanie Babies" from Season 2. Sick of seeing Lainey with Barry, C.B. tries to win her over by getting a rare Patti the Platypus Beanie Baby—only to learn Barry had a similar idea and for Mellor to get injured during a shopping attempt. Meanwhile, Felicia resists Glascott's efforts to include Kwanzaa in the holiday concert (as she doesn't want to be seen as different by her peers) and actively tries to sabotage it.
  • Cool Teacher: C.B., who tries to make his literature classes fun and hip. Lainey also tries to be one as the music teacher.
  • Coordinated Clothes: In the Halloween Episode, Barry and Lainey dress up in Lloyd and Harry's tuxedos. Mellor is intrigued by the concept of couples costumes, as he's currently dating Julie. Since her favorite movie is Forrest Gump, Mellor dresses up as Forrest and suggests she be the bench. She suggests Jenny instead, of course. Julie's nephew Toby goes as the box of chocolates.
  • *Crack!* "Ow, My Back!": In "I'll Be There For You", Mellor sprains his back trying to lift the teachers lounge fridge.
  • Crossover Punchline: A variation: through the first season of Schooled, the stingers on The Goldbergs are scenes almost unrelated to the plot, but thematically related to the episode of Schooled coming right after. This was dropped for the second season.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: The Goldbergs frequently portrayed teachers as sad, pathetic, weak willed people who were constantly being bullied by Beverly or failing to control the Goldberg children; this show gives them a heavy dose of Hidden Depths and portrays them as people who really do want to make a difference in their students' lives and are prepared to use unconventional means to do so, similar to how teachers in actual 1990's sitcoms such as Boy Meets World and Saved by the Bell were portrayed.
  • Demoted to Extra: In the "1990-Something' pilot, Felicia was the main character, and future her supplying the narration. As of the retooled series, she only appears sporadically.
  • Dress Code: "FeMellor" deals with the William Penn High dress code. The parents association is coming for an evaluation, and Glascott is going overboard with enforcing the dress code and criticizes Lainey and C.B. for not following it (she with her casually sexy clothes, he with his fun print ties). They get into a discussion about how to interpret the code, and Lainey and C.B. mock Glascott and Ms. Flemming for their frumpy, uncool attire by dressing up like them. Flemming strikes back by dressing like she thinks Lainey dresses — in the hooker outfit from Pretty Woman — right as the association arrives.
  • Edgy Backwards Chair-Sitting: Done by C.B. in "Outbreak", with Coach Mellor Hanging A Lampshade on it.
    Mellor: No, don't sit backwards on the chair to look casual and set my mind at ease.
  • Election Day Episode: In "Rock for Jocks", Principal Glascott gets Felicia to run for class president, seeing it as a gateway for her to get into good colleges.
  • Enthusiastic Newbie Teacher: Lainey Lewis is forced back first to her home town and then to take a junior teaching job at her old high school after her dreams of fame and fortune evaporate. To her surprise, she finds herself enjoying being a music teacher. Old hands in the teachers' lounge, many of whom remember trying to teach Lainey, are cynical about this and warn her the initial rush of enthusiasm does not last. And even Lainey finds her young colleague C.B.'s enthusiasm for the job to be wearying. C.B. is a fairly new teacher who believes in relating to the kids and trying to make his lessons interesting; but the shine goes off his enthusiasm for the job when he is landed with the task of teaching sex ed to a class full of teenage boys. In fact, a little weary cynicism starts to creep in...
  • Everyone Can See It: C.B. and Lainey find that everyone in the school thinks they're into each other.
  • Exact Words: In "Lainey and Erica's High School Reunion" when Lainey asks Erica what's happening with her and Geoff, she replies with "don't get me started," which Lainey interpreted to mean they had suffered some sort of painful breakup. When she finds out later in the episode that is very much not the case and confronts Erica, she explains that she meant "don't get me started or I'll start bragging about how Geoff is my special treasure."
  • Frozen in Time: The series continues the parent show's tradition of not referring to the current year, with every year in the decade being combined into a "1990 something".
  • Glory Days: Mellor is proud of the various records he set as a student, but little by little the new students have broken them all except for pole vaulting. When one of the students starts coming close to breaking it, Mellor starts taking extreme measures to maintain his name on the wall of records. Eventually, Glascott explains to Mellor that the students trained by him are a more worthy legacy than the records he once set, and names one of the high school's buildings after him so his name will still be somewhere in the school.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: In "Rock Star", Lainey gets Wilma to sub for some of her music classes, but then starts getting threatened by her when Wilma turns out to be an excellent singer.
  • Halloween Episode: "Run, Rick, Run" from Season 2. To break the tradition of the Halloween Parade (where the older students scare the younger kids silly), C.B. and Wilma try to teach them a lesson about fear by showing them The Blair Witch Project, claiming it's a real documentary. They end up severely horrifying the kids (also Lainey) and enraging their parents, so they have to figure out a fix. Meanwhile, Mellor looks forward to doing a couples costume with Julie, but he starts getting anxious about playing favorites with her nephew Toby and school policy about dating a parent (or in this case, legal guardian).
  • Hands Go Down: In "Outbreak", Lainey's band is tired of rehearsing.
    Lainey: Any questions? [hands go up] Not about quitting. [hands go down]
  • High-School Dance: The theme for the season 2 finale, "Clueless".
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: In the Christmas Episode, C.B. refers to Barry as a stupid assclown and openly doubts he is actually a doctor. Cue Barry entering rattling off medical jargon and determining that an on-call doctor misdiagnosed the severity of Mellor's busted ankle.
  • Jaded Washout: Johnny Atkins, The Bully from The Goldbergs, is now the custodian at William Penn.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Lainey is a downplayed example.
  • Nephewism: Julie, the school's nurse, is the legal guardian of her nephew Toby.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: Starting in season two, we have C.B. as the nice, Wilma Howell as the mean, and Principal Glascott as the in-between. Their plot line in "I'll Be There For You", for example, has Glascott having to deal with the grouchy librarian, torn between having to fire him, as Wilma suggests, and treating him with kindness like C.B. wants. In the end, he does fire him, but does so in a kind, gentle manner, which the librarian appreciates and leads him to take anger management classes.
  • Noodle Incident: In "Kick Like a Girl", Lainey did something to the Liberty Bell that caused the whole school to be banned from there until 2125, which she is not at "liberty" to explain. Subverted when a student somehow found out that it was because she played "Hells Bells" on the Bell.
  • Offscreen Breakup: In The Goldbergs, Coach Mellor developed a relationship with Ms. Cinoman, the drama teacher. In the second season of Schooled, it's revealed that they have drifted apart.
    • The Goldbergs had Carla dump Johnny Atkins for Dave Kim, but when she reappears in this series she's single again.
    • In the prologue to "Clueless", Lainey revealed that she and Barry broke up, after they couldn't get their long distance relationship to work.
  • Only Known by Initials: C.B. is almost always called that. It stands for "Charlie Brown", as in the Peanuts character.
  • Paranoia Gambit: Done unintentionally in "Dangerous Minds''. When a student pranks Lainey, rather than punish him, she tries to have an honest talk with him. The kid, however, is afraid that she's setting him up for some kind of revenge prank and freaks out.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Glascott wants a kid to hack into Mr. Mellor's e-mail account. The kid does so easily because Mellor actually used "password" as a password. After mentioning what a bad idea that is, Glascott mentions that he needs to change his password.
  • Precision F-Strike: Much like its parent show, expect a character to swear once per episode, with their cursing bleeped out.
  • Pretty Butterflies: "Dangerous Minds" features the monarch butterfly migration. While C.B. and Glascott wonder at how beautiful they are, the kids are more enthusiastic about seeing the crows eating the butterflies.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Barry reunites the JTP (Geoff, Naked Rob, Matt, and Andy) in "Dr. Barry".
  • Required Spinoff Crossover:
    • Beverly Goldberg makes an appearance in the first episode.
    • Barry (and the JTP) appear in the season one finale.
    • Erica has appeared in a few episodes, including a scene with Dave Kim.
    • Defied in "Friendsgiving" when Adam is asked to be part of Mellor's touch football team, but declines and never appears. That same episode, however, does feature Mellor's brother Coach Nick.
  • Retool: The original pilot, "The Goldbergs: 1990 Something," focused on Andre Glascott and his sister, who gets a new job at the school. By the time it went to series, Lainey instead became the show's focal point, and Glascott's sister was nixed, as well as one of her daughters.
  • Scary Librarian: Dr. Ness from the episode "I'll Be There For You" is a male example. He has strict rules like no toys and no kissing, and keeps screaming at students and throwing books at them. After he gets fired, he confesses that he was at a low point in his life and is now in anger management classes.
  • School Play: Lainey is put in charge of the Drama Club's annual play. In the first season, it's RENT; for the second season, she wants to do something simpler, Paint Your Wagon, but is roped into doing The Lion King instead, despite her reservations that it would be too elaborate a production for a high school play.
  • Second Episode Introduction: C.B. doesn't show up until the second episode.
  • Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: With a variant. Viewers know what Barry is like, but to C.B., he comes across as an incompetent assclown that doesn't treat Lainey well. Mellor insists that Barry is the nicest guy in the world and that a person just has to get to know him. Barry even admits he makes awful first impressions, citing his awkward behavior and attempts to overcompensate.
  • Shout-Out: The title to the episode, "I, Mellor", was a reference to I, Tonya.
  • Sick Episode: In "Outbreak", Coach Mellor gets the flu just as the wrestling team is set for a big match. Glascott fills in and, thanks to counseling the star wrestler, they win the match. Which angers Mellor, because Glascott won the trophy he had tried to get for years after only a few days on the job.
  • Silly Song: In "FeMellor", Wilma gets Mellor ready to take Julie to Lilith Fair by singing Indigo Girls' "Closer to Fine". Suddenly out of nowhere, Lainey appears and joins in, compelled to sing along. Followed by Ms. Flemming. The gag is repeated later when Mellor sings it to Julie and Wilma, Lainey and Flemming drop everything to sing along.
  • Slow-Loading Internet Image: Seen in "Money for Rent" when Glascott lets the health class students look up their questions about sex on the internet. He and C.B. then run to stop them from loading up porn and unplug the computer as they were loading an image of Will Smith because they were looking up how to "get jiggy with it."
  • Speed Dating: Lainey takes Coach Mellor to a speed dating event in the hopes of finding him a match. Mellor strikes out due to his poor social skills, asking the women about their body mass index and talking about how he never wears long pants, among other things.
  • Stage Dad: In "The Pokémon Society", Mellor says that his stepfather used to push him too far in baseball (he actually wanted to play softball), and vowed to never do that if he ever became a father. Ironically, he's doing just that when he pushes Toby at his Pokémon club.
  • Stern Teacher: Wilma Howell, the new biology teacher from the second season, who criticizes Lainey and C.B. for codding their students. C.B. thinks she's a Sadist Teacher, especially when he sees her taking her class outside and thinks it's some kind of punishment. In reality, she was taking them out to see the annual monarch butterfly migration.
  • The Talk: C.B. takes over the boys' health class and is put off by the students' graphic questions.
  • Teachers Out of School: The students freak out when they see Lainey working at Blockbuster Video. She changes their minds by letting them rent R-rated movies.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: "Friendsgiving" from Season 2. C.B. tries to organize a dinner for the school staff, as he has no family to go to this year, but he gets dealt twin blows (no one caring for the idea and his apartment burning down in an accident). Meanwhile, Mellor and Wilma get ultra-competitive in the alumni football game, and it spills over into other aspects around the school.
  • That Cloud Looks Like...: Glascott likes to look up at clouds and keeps a "cloud journal". C.B. points out that all his interpretations are of game show hosts.
  • This Means War!: In "Money for Rent", Lainey tells it to Mellor when she plans to get more money for the drama club, but he completely ignores her, thinking she's talking about the big game. When Lainey convinces Glascott to put on RENT and money is allocated from the sports program, Mellor declares war on Lainey, with her pointing out that she already said it to him.
  • Whole-Plot Reference:
    • "Lainey's All That" is this to She's All That.
    • "Lainey and Erica's High School Reunion" is this to Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.
    • The season 2 premiere, "Dangerous Minds", has Lainey trying to be like the main character of Dangerous Minds, despite her students being nowhere near as tough as the ones in the movie.
    • The season 2 finale, "Clueless", is this to, well, Clueless.
  • Will They or Won't They??: C.B. and Lainey. In the season one finale, they don't, but they share their first kiss in the season 2 (and series) finale, "Clueless".
  • Young Future Famous People: In "Be Like Mike", the basketball player, Matty, was based on Atlanta Falcons quarterback and former William Penn Charter School student Matt Ryan, who attended the school in 2000-2003. Ryan was referenced again in "Hakuna Matata", as one of the people who broke Mellor's records.