The 5 Best Graduation Scenes of All Time

Freddie Prinze Jr. as Zack Siler in SHE'S ALL THAT (Image Credit: Miramax)
Freddie Prinze Jr. as Zack Siler in SHE’S ALL THAT (Image Credit: Miramax)

Uncomfortable robes, less-than-stable hats and tassels that appear to want to be consumed by the way they swing into the mouths of almost alumni are common during the months of May and June. Hundreds of pictures will be taken, thousands of envelopes will be thoroughly destroyed and many a distant relative will groan at the sight of another party invitation.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Graduation season is among us, and no one has managed to capture the essence of such a milestone in life quite like that of the entertainment industry. We all want our graduations to be like the movies, with grand proclamations of love and inspiring speeches to motivate us into high-end careers while still capturing the innocence that is youth.

Boy Meets World

Topanga proposes to Corey instead of following her dreams to Yale! Shaun delivers an amazing “Ode to

Ben Savage as Cory Matthews and Danielle Fishel as Topanga Lawrence in BOY MEETS WORLD (Image Credit: Disney)
(Image Credit: Disney)

Feeny” speech! The excitement of the Boy Meets World graduation still captures the attention of many, even 15 years after its original air date. There’s just something about the Corey/Topanga love that will always get to an audience, but where they were the golden couple that every class seems to have, Shaun was the outsider that every high school student feels like at some point.

Which is why his speech gained the scene, and episode, so much respect. He spoke to everyone, especially with lines like “I was thinking about how much this place has been my home, and how many times I screwed up while I was here. I was thinking about how I could have done better. I could have done better.” Well, Shaun, we think you did pretty great.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

A mayor-tunred-giant worm demon and his trust hoard of vampires attacks the unsuspecting group of

Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg and Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers in BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (Image Credit: Warner Bros.)
(Image Credit: Warner Bros.)

Sunnydale High graduates during an eclipse, naturally, and you can’t help but think, “Oh no. It’s snack time.” Then, BAM! Those graduates throw off their crimson robes to reveal stockpiles of weaponry, ammunition and enough time for the Buffy to lure the mayor away from the graduates and into the booby trapped high school library. This graduation came complete with action, explosions and military battle tactics, enough to make any fan of a little adventure jealous.

She’s All That

We all wanted to be Rachel Leigh Cook in this 1999 classic about the nerdy-art girl who manages to snag

Freddie Prinze Jr. as Zack Siler in SHE'S ALL THAT (Image Credit: Miramax)
(Image Credit: Miramax)

the misunderstood Prom King Zach, played by the ever-adorable Freddie Prinze Jr. But one of the most memorable scenes from this movie, besides the after-prom pool scene (swoon) was graduation, where Zach strips down to nothing but a soccer ball and marches towards the stage, tossing the piece of sporting equipment back to his now girlfriend, Laney (Cook). Forget the inspirational speeches. This is the childish way of viewing the world that every graduate wants to experience in his or her last high school moment.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

It’s cheesy and laughable, but you know you loved it. This graduation scene was filled with references to

Zac Efron as Troy Bolton and Vanessa Hudgens as Gabriella Montez in HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR (Image Credit: Disney)
(Image Credit: Disney)

previous movie themes, like breaking the status quo and being who you want to be. And Troy Bolton being his typical wonder boy self. But let’s be honest. The real reason we wanted to be in the class of East High 2009 was because we wanted to sing and dance our way through the ceremony.

It sure beats listening to another motivational speaker, right?

And for the college graduates out there…

Legally Blonde

Elle Woods gets the law degree, the guy and the vindication in the final moments of this hit comedy. We

Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods in LEGALLY BLONDE (Image Credit: MGM)
(Image Credit: MGM)

love Elle, and this graduation, because Elle achieves her dreams and still manages to remain uncomfortably upbeat and perfect. She even looked amazing under that horribly unflattering cap and gown. This graduation goes into the record books because Elle is how we all imagine ourselves looking and acting on our graduation days.

Warning to all recent college graduates, do not watch this scene if unemployed and in debt. It’ll make you feel like four years of undergrad was all for naught.

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I'm a book-addicted, TV-obsessed, Ohio University Bobcat for life who majored in smoothie consumption, Netflix and, oh yeah, journalism.

2 thoughts on “The 5 Best Graduation Scenes of All Time

  1. I liked the graduation in High School Musical 3 because it meant that there would be no more movies…however, if they decided to make a College Musical movie in which Vanessa Hudgens becomes addicted to adderall and Zack Efron decides to explore his sexuality then I would TOTALLY watch that.

    Buffy graduation was awesome. I miss Buffy.

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