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Surviving High School is an iOS Visual Novel published by Electronic Arts. Originally released in 2009, the series lasted a full five years before ending in 2014. The game was comprised of several smaller series, each taking place after each othernote . The story followed Loads and Loads of Characters who attended Centerscore Highnote  (later Twin Branches High) as students, and released a new episode every week.
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A much more mature and adult sister game, Cause of Death, was released in 2010, and the two games had multiple crossovers over the years. The game's story is continued through some shared characters (notably Autumn and Wes) with High School Story, a Spiritual Successor of sorts.

Has a Characters page in need of some help.


    open/close all folders 
     Surviving High School 

Tropes that apply to Surviving High School:

  • A Day in the Limelight: The majority of episodes only center around one character.
  • Ascended Extra: Every reboot typically brings a set of new characters to prominence who used to be background characters in the previous era.
  • Boarding School: Spartan Academy served as an all boys boarding school with Monarch Prep being its sister school.
  • California University: A majority of the graduates end up attending Centerscore University which is within a reasonable distance from Twin Branches.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: All of the characters have visually distinct appearances.
  • Changing of the Guard/Old Hero, New Pals: Through the seasons, as time passed in real time (the continuity was in its sixth year by Troublemakers), characters graduated and left Centerscore, and new characters joined. This was one of the ways the series avoided Continuity Lockout to an extent.
  • Colour-Coded Emotions: The colors of the backgrounds of characters change depending how much of an emotion they experience: if enraged, the backgrounds turn red; if despondent, blue; if appalled, white; and if elated, yellow.
  • Continuity Lockout: Largely averted, as it is possible to skip some episodes, at least early on, without getting too confused. It isn't recommended however, as characters are often introduced as minor characters before becoming important in other stories.
  • Dances and Balls: Dances are a common occurrence considering that this is a game about high school.
  • Darker and Edgier: The novels.
  • Demoted to Extra: Every reboot introduces another set of students that would become major characters with only a few from the last reboot remaining as mains. Notable examples would be Colt and Denni following the New Girl, Ben and Emily in Troublemakers, and Linda and Kenji after the Classics.
  • Everytown, America: Centerscore is more or less your standard American town.
  • Graduation for Everyone: Averted and then Played Straight with initially most characters being held back until the Series Finale when everyone graduated.
  • Held Back in School: Over 20 characters have stayed back a grade, some more than once. Even the nerds. Although it could be presumed that there were just inconsistencies in the timeline or the writers are trying to keep the characters around.
  • High School: The main setting of the series, Centerscore High (later renamed Twin Branches High), and features other schools including their rivals Wilson High, all-boys prep school Spartan Academy, and Spartan's sister school Monarch Prep.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: Usually a bad choice just makes you lose some points, but sometimes it gives you a game over and the game shows how you have failed. Some examples:
    • In Season 1 finale if you fail at the football game, you can see your team losing. They argue, blame you and Zoe run away crying.
    • In Season 2 finale, when playing as Howard, if you do not control yourself and get into a fight you fail. The fight goes over Zoe's project, breaks it, you are arrested and Zoe is heartbroken.
    • In Season 3 premiere, when playing as Ben, if you do not get into the basketball team you get a couple of fun scenes showing Ben trying to get into other sports. But in the end Emily breaks up with him because he was too busy getting into sports to have time for her (and he is the last one to find out about it...).
    • The Conned Artist, Part 1 has a HILARIOUS one if you choose not to answer Zoe's call. Autumn ends up making safe choices all the time instead of taking risks, like majoring in accounting in college, and as a result, Ryan winds up becoming the U.S. president against all odds and plunging the country into an economic meltdown, which Autumn could've prevented by exposing him as a fraud if she had majored in photography.
  • Limited Wardrobe: An interesting subversion of this trope. While it is heavily implied that all characters wear different clothes everyday despite seeing them in the same outfit in their character picture, it’s directly stated that Howard wears the same red shirt everyday to the point that he thinks people wouldn’t recognize him if he was wearing something else.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: More than you can count.
  • Long-Runners: Counting all of the series together, the game spans a total of twenty-three seasons.note 
  • One-Gender School: Spartan Academy is an all-boys school and its sister school, Monarch Prep, is its female counterpart.
  • Previously On: Most episodes began with a recap of the events from the previous episode.
  • The Protagonist: The protagonist tends to vary from episode to episode but every era introduces a new lead with John, Linda, Zoe, Owen, and Alison.
  • Recycled Set: Backgrounds are frequently recycled.
  • School Clubs Are Serious Business: There are various clubs, including the cheerleaders, newspaper, autoshop, Ogres & Elves (nerds) and so on, which form the cliques at the school. Certain ones, like the cheerleaders, have strict rules like never dating a nerd.
  • Shared Universe: It shares its universe with Cause of Death, High School Story, Hollywood U, and Choices.
  • Sliding Scale of Realistic Versus Fantastic: The main storyline is realistic but specials tend to vary on how realistic they are.
  • Allegedly Free Game: While some megapacks are free of charge as well as weekly episodes, to play any episodes you’ve missed or special episodes you must pay.
  • Switching P.O.V.: We get to see the perspectives of many different characters through the series.
  • Teen Drama: It's a game completely centered around the lives of everyday high school students.
  • TV Teen: Just about every teen in this game.
  • Two-Teacher School: Averted. For teachers, we've seen English, biology, history and a math teacher, among a few others whose subject is not specified. Other staffmates include the guidance counselor, principal and swim coach.
  • Visual Novel: The essence of the game.
    Football Star 
The first series of Surviving High School and the only series to act as a simulation rather than following a weekly series. This set includes Football Star, Football: Big Man On Campus, Football: Halloween, Football: Valentines Carnival, and Football: King Of Spring Break.

Tropes that apply to Football Star:

  • Betty and Veronica: Beth (Betty), John (Archie), Raven (Veronica) with Lisa serving as a Third-Option Love Interest.
  • Big Game: The climax of Football Star takes place during the homecoming game against Wilson High.
  • Character Customization: John Johnson has 5 alternative faces to choose from.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Averted. In the Football Star sequels, your choices carry over from the first pack.
  • Dating Sim: A big part of this series, although there's more to it than that.
  • Enemy Mine: Despite hating John's guts at that point, Adam and John team up against Wilson in a fight.
  • Fire and Ice Love Triangle: Beth (fire), John, Raven (ice).
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: Howard learns to speak Portuguese for Elliana.
  • Halloween Episode: The entirety of Football: Halloween.
  • High-School Dance: The dance at the end of ''Football Star. Although it isn't specified what kind of dance it is, it's most likely the Homecoming Dance given the circumstances and timing.
  • Love Triangle: Both Raven and Beth show interest in John, however, it is up to the player to decide whether he wants pursue either girl or stay single.
  • Story Branching: Football Star uses this, although the regular episode do not. While the outline of the story is generally the same, the specifics are up to the player, especially regarding who you choose to go after in the Dating Sim aspect: Beth, Raven or Lisa.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Adam and John throughout football star. However, if the player chooses to be kind to Adam, he’ll eventually warm up to you.
  • Valentine's Day Episode: The whole plot of Football: Valentines Carnival.

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    Classics 
The original weekly series, and comprising of the first 41 episodes, these episodes took place after Football Star and followed the everyday lives of several students at Centerscore High.

Tropes that apply to the Classics:

  • Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch: Taylor successfully pulls this on Paula.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • Howard (Betty), Linda (Archie), Kenji (Veronica).
    • Hector (Betty), Amanda (Archie), Zach (Veronica).
  • The Big Race: Centerscore and Wilson host the annual crosstown races.
  • Bland-Name Product: This game loves to parody this trope:
  • Christmas Episode: Two Christmas episodes including The Holiday Party and Tom Princes Carol.
  • Class Trip: For the Model UN, the students go on a trip to Europe.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the very first episodes of the classics, Howard tells Linda that he thinks school spirit is lame. By homecoming season, he develops an intense pride for his school.
  • Escalating War: The prank war.
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: This time Howard sings Linda's favorite song for her at a party.
  • Fire and Ice Love Triangle: Howard (fire), Linda, Kenji (ice).
  • Halloween Episode: Titled Halloween.
  • High-School Dance: Includes Prom, and the Winter Dance.
  • Hijacked by Tom Prince: In The Crosstown Races, Part One, it turns out the Tom Prince was the one who burnt down the Wilson High library and framed Howard, Hector and Brendan to sabotage Centerscore's chances in the titular Crosstown Races.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Kim and Ms. Rose.
  • Killed Off for Real: Secret Ingredient kills off Walter by way of Dead All Along and Ms. Rose by the end of the episode too.
  • Literally Loving Thy Neighbor: Howard had a crush on Linda who was his neighbor.
  • Long-Distance Relationship: Brendan and Dinah consider their relationship as long distance, but Centerscore University is literally in the same town as Brendan's high school.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Linda/Kenji/Howard. Linda is torn between the rugged auto-shop attendant Kenji and the Nice Guy Howard, and the two of them compete for her love.note 
    • Similarly, Spike/Kim/Mallika, where Spike is the one torn between two choices.note 
    • More of a Love Square, but Dinah/Brendan/Kat/Spud. While initially presented as Brendan having to choose between Kat and Dinah, he starts dating Kat before Dinah gets the chance to explain her feelings for him. The situation becomes a lot more complicated when it becomes apparent that Kat's ex-boyfriend Spud still has feelings for her.note 
    • Zach/Amanda/Hector: In From Europe with Love, Amanda cheats on her Jerkass boyfriend Zach with Hector, starting a Love Triangle between the three.note 
  • Not What It Looks Like: In Break A Leg, Brendan and Hector are practising lines, and their characters are admitting their love for each other when Hannah enters the theatre:
    Hector:I love thee too, my sweet sweet prince.
    Hannah: Am I, uh, walking in on something?
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: In Spud the Stud: As Hector begins to realise what his plan to reunite Spud and Kat will do to Brendan's emotional state, Brendan does this to him, thanking him for being such a great friend and always being there for him.
  • Oblivious to Love: Brendan was unaware of Dinah's feelings for him.
  • Odd Friendship: Dinah who is a Goth outcast becomes friends with the popular Girl Next Door Linda.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In A Float Is Born, Linda is introduced to a Nice Guy named Alex, but people who have played "Football Star" beforehand will recognise Alexei's character portrait.
  • Season Finale:
    • Season One - Party Fowl.
    • Season Two - When Howard Met...
  • School Play: The school production of Spamlet.
  • Sickeningly Sweet: Hector and Amanda fit this to a T.
  • Spoiler Title: The Break Up revolves around Linda's relationship with Howard faltering. Hmm, wonder what happens at the end of that episode.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: The Thanksgiving episode would be Party Foul.
  • Vacation Episode: The class trip to Europe.
  • Villain Protagonist:
    • In Spud the Stud, the main aim is basically to help Spud destroy Brendan's relationship with Kat.
    • More clear-cut is playing as Arc Villain Tom Prince in Tom Prince's Carol.
  • Wham Line:
    • From Secret Ingredient:
    Kim: I miss you already, Ms. Rose.
    • From "Andy Cannelloni, P.I.":
    Andy: Your boyfriend...
    Paula: Tom Prince.
  • Wild Teen Party: The "Best Party Ever."

     The New Girl 
The third and longest era, spanning 100 episodes, and taking place right after the Classics. This set also becomes the first era to include arc-based storylines and triggers a major reboot.

Tropes that apply to The New Girl:

  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council:
    • Justin, the student body president, could order around the AV club, skip detention and do other things to cater his and "the first lady's" needs...
    • Season 11 is centered around an election and its candidates have pretty crazy suggestions for making the school better. They were all also pretty nervous about one of the candidates winning, given that his girlfriend was planning on getting rid of all clubs at the school. That's totally possible.
  • Accidental Adultery: At Ben's masquerade-themed Halloween Party, Denni accidentally kisses Colt, thinking it was Ben.
  • Accidental Misnaming: While coming on to her, Zach calls Denni ‘Dani’.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Jessica recruits all of the cheerleaders to start calling Ben cute nicknames to get his attention like "Blue Eyes", "Haircut", and "Benny".
  • After-School Cleaning Duty: Ben, Spencer, Howard, and Hector have to polish the lizard statue.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: During Season 7, Spencer likes Sam who is still hung up on Colt who has fallen in love with Denni who likes Ben.
  • Alternate Universe: The April fools episode.
  • Amicable Exes: Spencer and Sam. Spencer even pledges to protect Sam after their breakup.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • Colt’s spirit animal is a kitten - a hint to his soft side.
    • Subverted with Zoe who thought that she and Howard having the same spirit animal meant something until her spirit animal informed her that there aren’t many options.
  • Artistic License – University Admissions:
    • Mallika learns she was accepted to Oxfjord University in May/June. Students find out they're accepted between December to April.
    • Part of the criteria to receive the Kingston King scholarship was fencing and "talking like a Kingston King."
  • A Storm Is Coming: The storm in the The Storm Part 1 which killed Sara off was also a major turning point and kicked off a major reboot in the series.
  • Attack of the Town Festival: The Freedom Festival! The Wilson High kids attack the Centerscore High Freedom Festival for the fireworks, with the hero of the story of course being Zoe.
  • Bachelor Auction: The cheerleaders host a bachelorette auction to raise money.
  • Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch: Jessica effectively does this to Taylor and even manages to frame Zoe for it.
  • Bad Guys Play Pool: The Centerscore University students that Colt hustles in a game of pool.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Jessica’s plan to become the head cheerleader is heavily relied on exploiting Zoe’s tendency of being a pushover.
    • Taylor's scheme to win homecoming queen is all based on the belief that her classmates wouldn't vote for the unpopular girls.
  • Beach Episode: Given that Centerscore is somewhere along the coast of California, you can expect a few of these.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Denni and Colt repeatedly bickered with each other before finally dating.
  • Better as Friends: Spencer and Sam come to this consensus after only a few episodes of dating.
  • Betty and Veronica: Colt (Veronica), Denni (Archie), Ben (Betty).
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Colt and Denni's kiss in A Spartan Love Story, Part 2.
  • Big Fancy House: It is frequently mentioned that Ben lives in a mansion.
  • Big Game: Just about every Centerscore game against their rivals Wilson.
  • Blackmail: Justin blackmailed Angie into breaking up with Scott.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • Jessica claims that she wants to help Ben run his campaign because she would like for the two of them to have their own special bond and while Ben actually falls for it, players are fully aware that Jessica only wants Ben to run so that she could reap the benefits of being first lady.
    • Jessica lies right in front of everyone’s face about having any connection to the Dirty Dish despite the rumors circulating around all of the other candidates but her nominee, Ben. Although no one is convinced, there is no proof that she is involved until Taylor and Zoe seek out Steph, a computer wiz who helped Jessica launch the website.
  • Bottle Episode: The New Girl season 4 episode Trapped In The Classroom is set almost primarily in detention with the only characters that appear for almost the entirety of the episode is Taylor, Brendan, Colt, and Denni.
  • Bully and Wimp Pairing: Spencer and Ben team up together to prank Wilson.
  • Callback: Since she had no yellow for class color wars but a bikini, Zoe decided to wear it school. This incident is brought up again in The Endorsement when she has no choice but to wear her bikini after her clothes are stolen.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Howard has one on his last day of high school.
  • Cat Fight: There was an instance where Taylor and Sam were ready to go at it but didn’t want to provide any Fanservice to their audience, namely Ryan.
  • Chekhov's Classroom: During College Relation-trip, we see Wilson High under strict watch. Two seasons later, Wilson High is revealed to have been taken over by Principal Dyre and Centerscore High is next.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Jessica gives Zoe a tape that was supposedly just a video of Jessica explaining why Zoe should be the next cheerleader, when it ended up being the tape that exposed Taylor's relationship with the nerd Brendan.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: During Ben's Halloween party, Ryan tells Colt, Ben, and Denni that Taylor has the necklace that Ben bought for his "mom."note  Jessica informs them that Taylor is in the locker room and we see Denni walk in on her and Brendan kissing. This later becomes important when you realize that the video that leaked of Taylor and Brendan was from that same night in the locker room, and given that Jessica was the only person that knew about their whereabouts, she had to be the one to film them.
  • Christmas Episode:
    • A Very Tom Prince Holiday focuses on Tom Prince realizes that his family has gone bankrupt and learning to be thankful.
    • Bringing Home Christmas has Howard struggling to give Zoe the perfect Christmas present after she finds out that her parents can't visit.
    • Secret Santa, Part 1, shows Howard, Hector, Brendan, Spencer, and Ben trying to find each of their picks the perfect gift with Secret Santa, Part 2 revealing the fallout.
  • Class Trip:
    • The class ski trip to the Sierra Mountains.
    • The students go on a trip to Hawaii for Spring Break while volunteering for W.H.A.L.E.
    • The swim team has another over night trip for a swim meet.
  • Cliffhanger:
    • French Connection, Paris Part 1 leaves off right when Howard sees Zoe kissing Matteo and then doesn’t pick back up until French Finale which is two episodes later.
    • Halloween: The Second Kiss, Part 1 ends in one with Colt returning to Centerscore after 2 months of being missing and turning out to be the guy that was kissing Denni.
    • A Spartan Love Story Part 1 ends right on the moment that Colt overhears Denni flirting with Mark at Spartan Academy.
    • The Spartan Games Part 1 stops right at the moment that Sam rescues Zoe, Jessica, and Amanda from being taken out by the Spartans.
    • Real Life Hero picks up right where Faceplace Zero left off with the earthquake.
  • Cock Fight:
    • Colt and Ben spend the entirety of Halloween: The Second Kiss, Part 2 fighting to prove which one is better suited for Denni.
    • Howard and Matteo fight over Zoe in France, causing Zoe to flee.
  • Comical Overreacting:
    • The entire Freedom Festival.
    • The Spartan Games is filled with moments like these.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Colt and the other boys can’t help but stare at Denni when she shows up at the prom after party in a revealing dress.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Broken Promises, Part 2 concludes with Sam and Colt’s relationship coming to a definitive end, Brendan and Taylor both having a miserable night, and Amanda being upset with Hector for not even bothering to pay any attention to her.
    • The end of ‘'Cheerevolution, Part 1'' has Taylor removed as captain, her relationship with Brendan exposed, Jessica instated as their new captain, and everyone hates Zoe.
    • Secret Santa Part 2 ends with Jessica successful in her plan to break up Ben and Denni in order to become Ben's girlfriend.
    • By the end of the Last Straw, Zoe is left on academic probation, Sam and Nick’s text messages are exposed to the whole school, and Howard’s dreams of going to Kingston are destroyed.
    • The era itself ends on a particularly low point with Howard and Zoe having a hard breakup and Sara dying in a car accident.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • In The New Girl mega pack, a girl named Rachel with a hidden nerdy side is a part of the cheerleading squad. She never appears afterwards and her face is instead used for Penelope, a Monarch Prep girl.
    • Zoe and Sam have practically opposite personalities in the beginning with Sam being the charming girly girl while Zoe is the slightly more timid tomboy. Zoe’s shyness and tomboy side practically diminishes following the next episodes and Sam develops a considerably less girly and cold streak.
  • Election Day Episode: Not just an episode but a whole season around class elections.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Kenji and Colt during Green with Kenji. While getting into a fight with the college guys from Football: Big Man on Campus it can also be implied that they perform Back-to-Back Badasses.
    • Happens again with Colt and Tom Prince, Back-to-Back Badasses and all.
    • Zoe and Taylor put their differences aside and team up to take down Jessica.
  • Eureka Moment: After ten hours of being stuck in detention, Colt mentions the school pipes, causing Brendan to remember that they can escape through the underground pipe system.
  • First Kiss: There Are very few times where viewers know of when a character has had their first kiss but ''Trapped In A Classroom’’ reveals that:
    • Taylor had her first kiss with Chuck after the homecoming game.
    • Brendan had his first kiss with Kat in a hotel room in Paris.
    • Colt had his with a pair of twins.
    • [spoiler:Denni had hers with Colt after breaking out of detention.]]
  • Flashback: Sam's Formation Part 1 & 2 are made of flashbacks of how Sam came to Monarch Prep and how she met Colt.
  • Flaw Exploitation:
    • Taylor and Jessica both take advantage of Zoe’s submissiveness.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The Principal Dyre conflict was hinted to ''two seasons’’ before it was even introduced.
    • A season before Zoe moves to France, she discusses with Howard how much she loves the country.
    • There was tons of hinting to the possibility that Taylor will be removed as captain before the storyline was even introduced.
    • Jessica preys on Denni’s insecurity to help initiate a break up between her and Ben.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Taylor and Zoe play this to get Steph to open up about the election. It’s pretty clear who is who.
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: In this instance, Howard goes to France to get Zoe back.
  • Groin Attack: Erik goes for Skazz’s crown jewels when he fights him.
  • Guilt Complex: Denni is crushed with guilt over kissing Colt.
  • Gunpoint Banter: The group in ''The Spartan Games, Part 3'’ all bicker with each other all while having their guns pointed at one another.
  • Halloween Episode: Halloween: In Colt Blood follows Colt during a zombie apocalypse while Halloween: The Second Kiss, Part 1 and Halloween: The Second Kiss, Part 2 center around a masquerade themed Halloween party at Ben's house.
  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream: Sam takes Zoe to get gelato in the wake of her breakup with Howard.
  • High-School Dance: The first year features the Sadie Hawkins Dance, the Valentines Day Ball, and Prom with the second part having the Homecoming Dance, Cotillion, and a Prom seen in a special.
  • Homemade Sweater from Hell: Jessica tried to convince Ben to knit Denni a sweater. He gave up on that pretty soon.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen:
    • By homecoming, Taylor was the alpha bitch of Centerscore High with all of the cheerleaders under her thumb until Jessica and Zoe expose her relationship with Brendan. After that, she becomes a nerd and is at the bottom of the totem pole.
    • Jessica becomes the new alpha bitch and an even worse captain of the cheerleading squad. But when Taylor and Zoe expose her, she’s stripped of her role as head cheerleader and transfers schools.
  • Idiot Ball: An ongoing question for the second half of the New Girl is “Why the hell won’t they impeach Jessica?” The cheerleaders had just overthrown Taylor who started off as an okay captain before going into her full descent into batshit crazy but Jessica managed to be worse than Taylor was right before her impeachment yet they’re all too afraid to speak out against her. It’s justified though since the cheerleaders still thought more highly of Jessica than they did of Taylor since Jessica would occasionally try to be nice to them since while Taylor was completely past trying to make them like her.
  • I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham: Unlike the other girls at Centerscore, Sam is strongly against her ex-boyfriend Colt when he first arrives at Centerscore High. As it turns out, she realizes she still likes him and they reconcile.
  • Killed Off for Real: You wouldn't expect this trope to come up in a series like this, but Sara Kessler.
  • La Résistance: Season Four: School Rebellion introduced principal/dictator Dyre who started enforcing strict and bizarre rules on students and gave the most absurd and harsh punishments to rule breakers. By the end of the season, Scott along with the rest of the student body overthrew Dyre.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Spencer recklessly charges into the line of fire during the Spartan Games and predictably gets taken out.
  • Locked in a Room:
    • Colt, Denni, Brendan, and Taylor all get locked in detention for ten hours before escaping.
    • Happens again to Colt, Denni, Nick, and Tom except they quickly realize how to escape due to their last experience.
  • Long-Distance Relationship:
    • Brendan and Dinah decided to do long distance. Expectedly, it didn’t work out.
    • Subverted by Howard and Zoe, who initially consider going long distance, but ultimately deciding against it.
    • Averted by Angie and Scott. They tell Howard that they would split up once the summer was over.
  • Love Dodecahedron: During season 7 and 8, Ben likes Denni, who likes Ben, but also kissed Colt, who Sam still somewhat likes, who is dating Spencer.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Howard/Zoe/Matteo. Zoe makes her decision between handsome Italian soccer player Matteo and the Nice Guy Howard by the end of the Paris saga, choosing Howard. The triangle is revisited in season 9 when Matteo returns to Centerscore with hopes that he and Zoe rekindle their love. After some initial hesitance, Zoe chooses Howard again.
    • Colt/Denni/Ben. After an accidental kiss, Denni becomes torn between Colt or Ben. However, she chooses Ben due to her inability to trust Colt. But when Ben accidentally cheats on her, she ends the relationship and her and Colt eventually start dating.
  • Lured into a Trap:
    • Played straight, subverted, and then played straight again with Colt, Denni, and Tom during the Spartan Games. Colt goes to rescue Tom who’s being held hostage by Ryan, Travis, and the rest of the Spartans when it turns out that they were using Tom to lure Colt into getting shot. When it looks like Colt’s out, it’s revealed that this was all actually a trap for Denni to take out Ryan and Travis.
    • The main group in the Spartan Games all head to the abandoned Wild West town in the estate under the impression that there would be weapons, ammo, food and water. This turns out to just be a trap for the spartans to shoot them.
  • Make-Out Kids: Ben and Denni were this until Jessica began to meddle in their relationship.
  • Malicious Slander: The rumors that Zoe was the one who leaked the video of Taylor ended up ruining her reputation at school and convinced people that she was a Manipulative Bitch.
  • Masquerade Ball: Ben's masquerade ball for Halloween.
  • Mexican Standoff: In The Spartan Games. While Nick has his guns pointed at Jessica and Taylor, Jessica points both of her guns at Taylor and Sam, and Taylor points her's at Ben, while Sam has her's pointed at Jessica.
  • Mid-Season Twist: Season 8, episode 2 of The New Girl, when Jessica frames Zoe for trying to overthrow Taylor as captain of the cheerleading squad and then becomes captain herself.
  • Minor with Fake I.D.: The W.H.A.L.E volunteers use fake IDs to get into the 18 and over club.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: A photo of Nick and Sara nearly kissing is leaked, to which he is branded as a cheater for. However, Nick lets Sam know that he and Sara never actually kissed because they were conscious of how she would feel... But then Nick ends up telling Sam that he does like Sara and Sam breaks up with him anyway.
  • Moment Killer:
    • Just as Howard and Zoe are about to make things official, Linda walks on the field to tell Howard that she just broke up with Kenji.
    • Happens twice to Taylor and Brendan. The first time being with Nicole and the second time occurring with Denni.
    • Sam and Nick are about to kiss during the spartan games but are interrupted by Zoe.
  • Mood Whiplash: The Storm Part 1 starts off as a light-hearted and simple episode but takes a dark turn when Sara and Nick get in a car crash.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Part of Sam’s motivation to win the Spartan Games was that she could win a crown after losing in Homecoming. Her crown turned out to be a helmet.
  • My New Gift Is Lame: Ben was initially dissatisfied with the gifts his secret Santa bought him until he realized that the gifts were supposed to symbolize a significant moment in his relationship with Denni.
  • Mystery Meat: Mystery Mystery, served at all the public school cafeterias. Whatever it was, it was bad enough to cause a Zombie Apocalypse in the Halloween episode, Halloween: In Colt Blood. Yes really.
  • New Transfer Student: The entire student body of Spartan Academy.
  • Noodle Incident: Literally. Kay and Kel have been banned from the Soup Shack ever since "the Noodle Incident”.
  • Not So Different: Sam and Paige eventually realize that they're more alike than they thought.
  • Not What It Looks Like:
    • In a more serious example, Nick and Sara are about to kiss until Nick pulls away. However, the picture released to the entire school makes it seem like he did kiss Sara.
    • Howard takes his shirt off in front of Astrid after she tips her drink on top of him. However, Zoe only sees him shirtless with Astrid and assumes he's cheating.
  • Odd Couple:
    • The odd couples segment from the April fools episode.
    • Brendan and Taylor since when they started dating Brendan was a nerd with a heart of gold while Taylor was a Jerkass cheerleader.
    • As a couple, Colt and Denni are pretty opposite too. Colt is carefree and doesn’t really care about rules while Denni is much more driven student.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • Brendan and Taylor develop one until it is given a Relationship Upgrade.
    • After pulling a successful prank on Wilson High, Ben and Spencer form a friendship despite having almost opposite personalities.
    • After seasons of being enemies, Zoe who wouldn’t hurt a fly and silver tongued Taylor develop a friendship after Taylor realizes that Zoe didn’t try to overthrow her as captain and they team up to take down Jessica.
  • On the Rebound: Ben started dating Jessica the same episode that he broke up with Denni.
  • Paintball Episode: The Spartan Games Part 1, 2, and 3
  • Poor Communication Kills: Denni suggests that she and Ben take a break, which Ben interprets as a break up and after seeing Denni being comforted by his archrival, Colt, Jessica kisses Ben, though she makes him believe that he kissed her.
  • Rage Breaking Point:
    • In Nice Girl Unleashed, Zoe tries to remain positive while Jessica plans for Ben’s inauguration but finds it less and less easier to do so. She eventually runs into the bathroom and lets out a scream.
      • This is almost immediately followed by Denni.
  • Really 17 Years Old: While on Spring Break, Sam, Colt, Paige, and a bunch of other kids lie, and say that they're of age when they try to enter an 18 and over club.
  • Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: The students all stage a rebellion against Principal Dyre.
  • Romance Ensues:
    • Between Colt and Sam during detention.
    • Happens again between Colt and Denni while they’re serving detention with Taylor and Brendan.
  • School Newspaper News Hound: Twin Branches has a very involved newspaper that conducted an investigation into the Immortals.
  • Season Finale: Twelve of them.
    • Season One: Howard’s Choice - Sam’s Formation, Part 2.
    • Season Two: Sam’s Past - The Truth About Colt, Part 2.
    • Season Three: Holiday Fun - Valentine’s Dates.
    • Season Four: School Rebellion - School Rebellion.
    • Season Five: Prom - Howard’s Summer Bummer.
    • Season Six: Zoe’s Departure - Hector vs Hector.
    • Season Seven: Ben’s Rise - Halloween: The Second Kiss, Part 1.
    • Season Eight: Cheerevolution - Secret Santa, Part 2.
    • Season Nine: Colt Reformed - A Spartan Love Story, Part 2.
    • Season Ten: The Spartan Games - Real Life Hero.
    • Season Eleven: The Election - Nice Girl Unleashed.
    • Season Twelve: Howard’s Goodbye - A Kingston King.
  • Secret Santa: Secret Santa Part 1 shows Hector, Howard, Spencer, Ben, and Brendan struggle to buy gifts for their picks. Things become a little bit more difficult in part 2 when Ben gives his gift for Denni to Jessica who was his real pick.
  • Secret Relationship:
    • Brendan & Taylor keep their relationship a secret since news that Taylor is dating a nerd would be detrimental to her Alpha Bitch status. It doesn't last long though since Jessica films them kissing in the locker room and then has Zoe unknowingly air it on the school announcements.
    • Nick & Sara manage to keep their relationship a secret from everyone but Sam the entire summer since Sara's dad would never allow them to be together. However, when Sara dies in a car crash with Nick, he has to come clean about them dating.
  • Serious Business:
    • Class elections.
    • Ogres & Elves.
  • Ship Tease: Taylor and Brendan were teased from Trapped In The Classroom all the way to Homecoming, The Dance.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Most people's perception of Howard and Zoe.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Subverted with Colt and Denni. Denni slaps Colt twice before they’re about to kiss. However, she pulls away from him before anything happens.
  • Sleep Cute: Denni and Ben while at Ben's house.
  • Slobs Vs Snobs:
    • The cheerleaders versus the rebels.
    • The elitist Spartans vs the less wealthy students of Centerscore.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Conversations between Colt and Denni usually consist of this.
  • Snowball Fight: There is one in School Ski Trip.
  • Spoiler Title: Ballot Breakup centers around an incriminating picture of Nick cheating on Sam with Sara. You can imagine what happens at the end of the episode.
  • Stuffed into a Locker: Spencer shoves Ben into one in their first encounter.
  • Tame Her Anger: After failed attempts to express her feelings through multiple sports, Sam starts to channel her anger into swimming.
  • Tantrum Throwing: This occurs after Sam finds out Colt cheated on her while in chemistry class. Safe to say things were getting out of hand.
  • Tears of Remorse: Zoe breaks down when she realizes how disastrous her choice to trust Jessica was.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • Colt, Ben, and Denni team up to find Ben’s bracelet despite the fact that both boys are fighting over Denni.
    • Colt and Tom work together to get back at Hawk Gunner.
  • Tension-Cutting Laughter: During a Mexican Standoff in The Spartan Games, Sam cracks a joke to get people to lower their guns. They eventually start to laugh and calm down.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: Two Thanksgiving episodes with the first one being Denni and Raven's Thanksgiving, showing Denni and Raven struggling to get to their Thanksgiving dinner after an earthquake and the second Thanksgiving Surprise centering around Jessica trying to steal Ben away from Denni during Thanksgiving weekend.
  • Underdogs Never Lose:
    • Subverted with Sara. She was called an underdog during Homecoming given that most students at the school didn't even know who she was until the nominations. She did make a satisfying impression on the student body but in the end, it was the players who decided who the winner was and they picked Zoe.
    • A centerscore high student ends up winning The Spartan Games despite the fact that the Spartans have experience and from the start of the games had the advantage.
  • Unstoppable Rage:
    • Sam after she finds out Colt cheated on her.
    • She has a similar reaction after seeing a picture of Nick and Sara about to kiss.
    • Usually Spencer after you insult his shoes.
  • Vacation Episode:
    • The class ski trip to the Sierra Mountains.
    • The cast also goes on a vacation to Hawaii.
  • Valentine's Day Episode: The first Valentines Day episode Valentine's Dates focuses on Colt, Howard, and Chip trying to give their dates the best Valentines Day. Following that episode is Queen of Heart centering around the Valentines Day Ball and the third episode would be Valentine's Dilemma where Zoe tries to choose between whether she wants to take Howard or Matteo to the Valentine's Dance.
  • Villain Protagonist: Cheerevolution, Part 2, Thanksgiving Surprise, and Secret Santa, Part 2 all center around Jessica's plot to steal Ben away from Denni.
  • Vote Early, Vote Often:
    • Taylor stuffs the Homecoming nominations ballot box with her name and those of unpopular girls so that she would have a better chance of being nominated and winning Homecoming Queen.
    • Jessica rigs the election in Ben's favor.
  • Waterguns And Balloons: To sum up the freedom festival.
  • Wham Episode:
    • ''Trapped In The Classroom'’ marks the beginning of the end for Colt and Sam after Colt cheats on her, the beginning of what will be five seasons of ship teasing for Colt and Denni’s, and the start of Taylor and Brendan’s budding relationship.
    • A Spartan Love Story, Part 2 closes down Spartan Academy for good, transfers 300 spartan students to Centerscore High and finally brings Colt and Denni together after 5 seasons of ship teasing.
    • ‘'Cheerevolution Part 1’’ made a huge impact to the story after the whole school finds out about Taylor and Brendan’s relationship, Zoe is made out to be a Manipulative Bitch, and Jessica is made captain of the squad.
    • In Nice Girl Unleashed Ben and Denni finally find out that Jessica broke them up so that she could make Ben her boyfriend solely for him to become the president, and the whole student body learns that she used Zoe to overthrow Taylor as head cheerleader, finally marking the end of Jessica’s reign as Alpha Bitch at Twin Branches.
    • The Storm, Part 2 reveals the death of Sara, marking a major turning point in the games story and launching a reboot.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Penelope disapproves of Sam and Colt's relationship, due to Colt's bad-boy nature.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Rachel was a member of the cheerleading squad in The New Girl mega pack before disappearing for the remainder of the series.
  • When It Rains, It Pours: There were very few points in the series where it had actually rained but the most prominent example would be the storm in The Storm Part 1 & 2.
  • Wild Teen Party:
    • Hector’s prom after party.
    • Ben’s halloween party gets out of hand quickly.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Colt and Denni for about five seasons.
  • Witty Banter: Colt and Denni usually engage in making playful and teasing remarks to one another.
  • X Must Not Win: Sam has no interest in becoming a Homecoming Princess until she learns that Denni would be next in line.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Now that she has become head cheerleader, Jessica's dream to rule to school is achieved... for only one day. Justin, the president, broke up with her, causing her to have to look for a new boyfriend to make into the next president.
  • You Go, Girl!: Along with finding out that the winner gets a crown, Sam enters the Spartan Games when Chad suggests that girls are too weak for the competition and plans to prove that a girl can win too.
  • Your Cheating Heart:
    • Colt cheats on Sam with Denni and then proceeds to call it an accident.
    • Subverted with Nick. Him and Sara were about to kiss but last minute decided not to in order to avoid hurting Sam. However, Sam breaks up with him after he admits to liking Sara.
  • Your Mom: Chad is the victim of a number of your mom jokes, most of which he doesn’t understand.
  • Zany Scheme: Taylor’s plan to be nominated as a homecoming princess and win queen is about as convoluted as it gets.

    A New Start 
The fourth era and the games first official reboot. A New Start takes place over a course of 53 episodes and features new additions to character appearances, the game's icon, music, and a shift in focus from a multitude of characters to a smaller amount.

Tropes that apply to A New Start:

  • All for Nothing: In season 2 of The New Girl, Sam and Paige are enemies before becoming close friends at Monarch Prep. However, traces of their friendship are seemingly gone by the time the A New Start reboot rolls around, where they barely recognize each other, let alone is their former friendship mentioned.
  • Aw Look They Really Do Love Eachother: Despite bickering and insulting each other for a majority of the time, Paige and Owen actually do love each other.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Owen and Paige up until the moment they started dating. They remain belligerent with each other afterwards too though.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • Nate, Zoe, and Owen. However, who fills which role is somewhat harder to tell given that Owen has the edge while Nate is The Charmer yet Owen is the Nice Guy and Nate is the Jerkass. And then there's Howard who is the Third-Option Love Interest that got the girl.
    • In a more clearer example, Zoe (Betty), Owen (Archie), Paige (Veronica).
  • Big Game: The football game at the climax of the season against the San Adino Warriors.
  • Blackmail: Nate attempts to blackmail Owen with the fact that he paralyzed someone in a football game.
  • Boarding School of Horrors: Monarch Prep soon changes to Monarch Prep Butterfly Detention Center, the former being a luxurious prep school turned into a strict juvenile hall.
  • Christmas Episode: The three Christmas episodes are A Fallon Family Christmas, Howard's Holiday, and Paige's Nightmare After Christmas.
  • Class Trip: The swim team goes on a camping trip.
  • Cock Fight: Nate and Owen over Zoe.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Though not technically her daddy, Paige’s soon-to-be stepfather disapprove of her relationship with Owen because he’s poor.
  • Deal with the Devil: Zoe's deals with Wes has shades of this.
    • Subverted when it turns out that he merely used the favors to arrange Autumn's favorite photographer to come to Twin Branches to recruit an intern.
  • Enemy Mine: Owen and Nate manage to save their differences for later during a football game.
  • Fire and Ice Love Triangle: Nate (fire), Zoe, Owen (ice).
  • Halloween Episode: The Halloween Dance, Part 1 and The Halloween Dance, Part 2 feature a Halloween dance.
  • High-School Dance: There is The Halloween Dance, The Snow Ball, and The Debutante Dance.
  • History Repeats:
    • When John first arrives at Twin Branches, he is greeted by a friendly cheerleader, Beth. John is subsequently countered by a jealous love interest of Beth's, Adam, who John gets into a fight with. Following their fight, John is greeted by Howard DeGeest, who turns out to be his best friend throughout Football Star. This same exact storyline repeats in the A New Start reboot, with Owen being John, Zoe being Beth, Nate being Adam and Ben being Howard.
    • After winning a football game, Howard is about to admit his feelings for Zoe until they're interrupted by Linda, putting him and Zoe's relationship to a halt. The scene is repeated with Zoe being Howard, Owen being Zoe, and Howard being Linda.
  • It Doesn't Mean Anything: Colt tells Sam this when she finds out that he and Denni kiss in Trapped in a Classroom.
  • Love Dodecahedron: During the beginning, Nate likes Zoe, who is still an emotional wreck over her ex-boyfriend Howard, but starts to like Owen, who likes Zoe, but then starts to like Paige who likes Owen and hates Zoe.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Nate/Zoe/Owen. Despite still recovering from her breakup with Howard, Nate and Owen both develop a crush over Zoe but in the end she ends up with neither of them and stays single before getting back together with Howard.
    • After Howard goes back to school, Zoe starts to have feelings for Owen again. However, Owen and Paige have already begun to date and Zoe and Owen relationship remains strictly platonic.
  • Off to Boarding School: Paige's mom and soon-to-be step-father try to send her to boarding school for "rebelliously" dating a poor guy.
  • Punctuated Pounding: Owen to a rich guy who tried to hook up with Paige after she was sent back to Monarch Prep. Didn't quite stick, as he then pulled an Wounded Gazelle Gambit, and a subsequent No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Owen (poor suitor) and Cromwell (rich suitor) both pine for Paige's attraction yet Paige is only attracted to Owen.
  • Season Finale:
    • Season One: A New Start - Episode Five.
    • Season Two: Howard's Return - The Halloween Dance, Part 2.
    • Season Three: The Dance Dilemma - Howard's Holidays/Paige's Nightmare After Christmas.
    • Season Four: Love and Basketball - Sectionals.
    • Season Five: Spring Break Romeo - The Debutante Ball, Part 2.
    • Season Six: The Talent Show - Graduation Stories.
    • Season Seven: Summer Showdowns - Clash of Queens.
  • School Play: Twin Branches hosts a production of Romeo and Juliet.
  • Tearful Smile: During graduation, Zoe cries when Owen tells her he loves her (as a friend, people!), followed by a laugh and smile when she reads what he wrote her in her yearbook.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: Titled Paige's Thanksgiving Party.
  • Valentine's Day Episode: Paige and Owen's Valentine's Outing followed by Anti-Valentine's Day.
  • What Does She See in Him?:
    • Zoe is shocked to learn that Owen likes Paige because of Paige's rudeness towards the both of them.
    • Paige's mother and stepfather don't understand how Paige could ever love a poor guy.
    • Inverted in Zoe's case with Nate, the hot, rich and charming transfer from Spartan Academy, who had obviously gained a lot of female attention as a result. He had a huge crush on her, but Zoe never seemed to be as interested in him as he was with her, prompting the question from many of her friends: What DOESN'T she see in him?

    Troublemakers 
The fifth and final series of Surviving High School, composed of only 28 episodes before being cancelled. The era features six core characters and includes the series finale.

Tropes that apply to Troublemakers:

  • Back for the Finale: Virtually every character. Noteworthy examples include Dr. Doom, John, and Jessica.
  • Beta Couple: Paige and Owen to Allison and Cameron/Spencer/Nate in The Troublemakers.
  • Christmas Episode: Christmas Stories.
  • Cock Fight: Spencer and Nate do this over Alison.
  • Downtime Downgrade: Owen and Paige in the time between A New Start and ''Troublemakers’'.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Subverted. While it is suggested that Spencer and Allison are meant to end up together given Nate's initial role as antagonist, when the writers noticed the fanbased for Nate and Allison, they gave them the option to choose who Allison ends up with in the series finale.
  • Fire and Ice Love Triangle: Nate (ice), Allison, Spencer (fire)...
  • Grand Finale: Titled Series Finale.
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: And the biggest example of them all, Howard proposes to Zoe during the finale.
  • Halloween Episode: College Scavenger Hunt.
  • High-School Dance: Includes the Homecoming Dance, the Winter Dance, and the final dance of the series Prom.
  • History Repeats: The season three storyline of Troublemakers, where a corrupt teacher wants to spy on students and basically turn it into a dictatorship is a repeat of The New Girl storyline with the corrupt Principal Dyre.
  • Love Triangle: Nate/Alison/Spencer. Although originally Alison was meant to end up with Spencer, players were given the option to choose between them after recognizing the amount of support for Alison and Nate.
  • Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: The troublemakers have a rebellion against Mr. Hart.
  • Season Finale:
    • Season One: Orgins - College Scavenger Hunt.
    • Season Two: Holiday Hearts - Christmas Stories.
    • Season Three: Secrets Exposed - Hart Attack.
    • Season Four: Troublemakers - Series Finale.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: Called A Troublemakers Thanksgiving.
  • Wild Teen Party: The final party of the series.

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