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Trivia / High School Musical

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  • Adored by the Network:
    • Disney Channel (at least in Australia) once had a tendency to over-promote any of the films if it's set to air within a week. Almost every commercial break would have at least one ad about it. Considering that, at least between 2005-10, the film aired once a month, this was quite common.
    • Since 2015, Disney's main film channel in Australia tends to play any of the entries several times a week, and will commonly play songs from the three films in-between. The same goes for Camp Rock.
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  • Cast the Runner-Up: Ashley Tisdale auditioned for Gabriella, but got given the role of Sharpay instead.
  • Cut Song:
    • In the first film, there were a few songs that didn't make the cut. The love song "I Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" was recorded by the four main leads (kind of Squicky because two of them played siblings and ended up on the album and as a bonus music video on the DVD (it's made to look like they're all recording the song but Zac Efron is there instead of Drew Seeley who did most of Troy's singing. It also made it into the stage version as a duet between Troy and Gabriella, as did "Cellular Fusion" and "Counting on You" but the song between Ms. Darbus and Coach Bolton seems to be lost forever.
    • The Humuhumunukunukuapua'a song and scene were cut from the televised version of High School Musical 2. It is reinstated on the "Extended Edition" DVD and in the stage adaptation.
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    • There was also a song recorded for Senior Year called "Last Chance" that never made it in apart from the reprise in the medley of most of the already featured songs. A 40 second preview leaked in 2008 before release.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Many of the actors were actually in their early 20s, though when the films initially started, most of the characters were played by people close to their actual age. Taylor's actress, Monique Coleman, was 26 at the time of the first film.
    • Averted by Austin Butler in the spin-off film, who was nineteen and playing a college freshman. Likewise Bradley Steven Perry as Sharpay's rival.
  • Development Hell: A fourth film was announced back in 2009 and casting had begun around 2016. We haven't heard anything about it since then.
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  • Divorced Installment: The film originated as a third Grease film, where Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake would have played the children of Sandy and Danny - with the Sharpay-type character being Rizzo's daughter (played by Christina Aguilera).
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Zac Efron had to practice basketball three hours a day during the first film.
  • Fake American: Olesya Rulin (Kelsi) is a marginal example, as she's Russian born but was raised in America.
  • Fandom Life Cycle: It's sitting at Stage 3, mainly thanks to Disney Channel continuing to air it well into the 2010s to new sets of preteen girls.
  • Follow the Leader: High School Musical's success was a clear factor in the format of Glee - to the point that in its early days, people thought it was a Deconstruction of HSM. Camp Rock and Descendants are also clearly inspired by it. Nickelodeon also produced the similar Spectacular!.
  • Hostility on the Set: Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel didn't get along making the first film, though the two eventually buried the hatchet and became friends making the sequels.
  • Incestuous Casting: In-Universe. Taylor remarks that if Sharpay could find a way to play both Romeo and Juliet, Ryan would be out of a job, suggesting that the two have played romantic partners in the past.
  • Non-Singing Voice: Efron's singing in the first film is done by Drew Seeley. This is because Troy was envisioned as a Tenor Boy, and Efron is a baritone range. Troy's vocal range is adjusted in the sequels as a result.
  • The Other Marty: Cassie Steele was cast as Gabriella based on her performance in Full Court Miracle, but she had to drop out due to commitments with Degrassi: The Next Generation.
  • Playing Against Type: Oddly, Tisdale as Sharpay - her previous Disney role was Maddie in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, a completely different role. If you want to go into detail, Ashley basically played a bitchy version of London in these films. Lampshaded in an episode of the sitcom where Maddie tries out for Sharpay in her school's production of it, and gets told she's too nice for the role.
  • Romance on the Set: Between Efron and Hudgens, who were together for over five years. They confessed to liking each other during the first film and got together during the second. (Although they hid it for as long as they could to avoid media attention). director Ortega admitted that he'd noticed their chemistry since the beginning, and deliberately paired them during auditions.
  • Sleeper Hit: Seriously, nobody thought this Disney Channel Original Movie would end up being a giant hit that would encapsulate the late 2000s.
  • Star-Making Role: For Efron and Hudgens. It's hard to believe that Tisdale was a more recognizable name than them at the time.
  • Throw It In!:
    • According to the pop-up edition to the first film, the scene where Sharpay kicks a bathroom door was ad-libbed.
    • Bleu randomly decided to wear three different watches at once, which can be seen at Chad's first scene in the film.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Drew Seeley, Hunter Parrish, and Matthew Underwood auditioned for the part of Troy Bolton before the casting of Zac Efron. Seeley would go on to provide the singing voice for Efron's character in the movie.
    • Naya Rivera read for the role of Gabriella Montez before Vanessa Hudgens was cast.
    • A duet was planned between Ms. Darbus and Coach Bolton, but it never got filmed. Stage versions usually have them sing.
  • The Wiki Rule: The High School Musical Wiki, and another High School Musical Wiki.
  • Word of Gay: Grabeel wanted Ryan to be gay (and possibly end up with Chad), but then the Moral Guardians came. This didn't stop "I Don't Dance" from happening though. Ryan's sexuality became confirmed in stage versions.


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