On a list of some great nostalgic movies turning 10 years old in 2017, High School Musical and High School Musical 2 are arguably the best. With catchy tunes and sick dance moves, this movie was a staple in every kid’s life, but it might have been a while since you’ve seen it. Most of us back in ‘07 probably were not watching this movie with a critical eye--mostly blinded for how hot we thought Zac Efron was back in the day (if only we knew back then what Zac Efron looks like now, it would have been too much for us to handle). But over this 10-year period, this Disney masterpiece has been watched again and again, thanks to it being on Netflix. So here are some things you probably never noticed watching High School Musical 2, thanks to this writer who has seen it maybe too many times. That’s a lie, there’s no such thing as too many times, right?
15 SCHOOL'S OUT on the chalkboards keeps changing
When watching this movie over and over again, the background details that once went without notice become very apparent, like the chalkboard design. If you look closely, there is one guy in the back who’s required to write “SCHOOL’S OUT” in the beginning of the song, as if that’s something that people do when school lets out for the summer. You can kind of tell that they were trying to keep the writing similar during every take, but there are some obvious differences in the lettering, like how the C sometimes overlaps into the S. There’s even one shot where “school” doesn’t even have a C. For someone whose sole purpose in the movie was to write “school” on a chalkboard, they sure don't know how to spell. Hoping for the sake of education that this kid is in summer school.
14 "Fabulous" is spelled wrong on Sharpay's locker
First of all, the movie starts with school being out for the summer so why would everyone keep their decorations in their lockers? We not only see Sharpay’s locker deco, but Troy and Gabriella both are sickeningly cute and have pictures of each other hanging on their locker doors so that they have some way to possibly get through not seeing each other for like five minutes. Taking a closer look at Sharpay’s decorations, there is a mirror with the word “FABULOUS” spelled above it. But an even closer look would reveal that it’s actually spelled “FABULUS.” This is also how her license plate is spelled, but that makes more sense because there are space restrictions on license plates. The locker could be a reference to that, or it could just mean the set designer doesn’t know how to spell.
13 Who is this CHILD?
In the beginning of the movie, when they’re all talking about how great their summer is going to be (if you ever felt this movie was old, Troy says one fun thing they can do this summer is “download music” as if that was a fun thing to do ever), and Troy gives her a pendant shaped like a T, as something to remember him by. It was going to be a romantic moment, but each time they tried to kiss, someone inevitably got in their way. This young fellow with a yearbook appears and gives Troy his yearbook to sign. Who is this kid? He looks 12, which is weird for a movie since 20-year-olds are hired to play teenagers. But this kid looks so young; too young to be in high school.
12 The piano is in the pool and Ryan has a clone
Having a pink piano in a pool isn’t the weirdest part of “Fabulous.” In the start of the song, we see Ryan in a polo and shorts chilling out in the chair next to Sharpay’s. She starts singing and the pianist plays the wrong note, so she corrects him. But the pianist is also Ryan wearing a white and pink tuxedo--and he’s in the pool. The camera shifts over back to Sharpay and there’s Ryan again just chilling in the chair again. For one, can a piano play properly if a lot of it is underwater? The pool is deep enough where it should be either completely underwater or floating, but that must not make it very playable. We’re assuming that the piano is being played real-time because of Sharpay’s interaction with it in the beginning of the song. Nothing makes sense.
11 The Vanessa Hudgens' stunt double
Who would’ve thought that High School Musical was going to need stunt doubles? It seems that in the scene where Gabriella does actual lifeguard things to help Sharpay, who is screaming, is too dangerous for Vanessa Hudgens to do the dive herself. If you look closely during the dive in, that lifeguard’s face is not Vanessa’s. Though it only lasts for a second so it’s very easy to miss. It’s a little strange for a movie where all these teen actors have to learn a good amount of choreography that they’re not trusted to jump into some water, but maybe they just didn’t want to mess up Gabriella’s hair and makeup too badly.
10 Troy says he's not good at learning music and he's a liar
The piano master, Kelsi, had already spent a lot of time writing a new song just for Gabriella and Troy to sing to each other about how much they like each other. Just like his other Wildcat bros, it seems that all of their previous musical numbers have been done unconsciously because even though Troy sings often, he still tries to talk his way out of singing when asked as if singing was not something he regularly does. He mentions to Kelsi that he’s not really that good at singing and at learning new songs, but Gabriella tells him to try it out anyways. The two of them look at the sheet music for maybe 10 seconds, and have “You Are The Music In Me” perfectly memorized and performance-ready while they sing to each other and circle around the room giving each other loving looks. Troy obviously doesn’t know what he’s doing—he just learned a whole song perfectly the first time he sang it.
9 Chad and Ryan are wearing each other's clothes
The song “I Don’t Dance” is probably the most confusing track in the entire High School Musical series. It’s all about Chad telling Ryan that he doesn’t want to dance if Ryan helps the Wildcats come up with something for the talent show—while dancing through the whole number. Does Chad forget he’s been dancing for a whole movie and a half? How can he say he doesn’t dance while throwing down some major moves on the baseball field? And to make this scene make even less sense, we see Chad and Ryan wearing each other’s clothes. How much time has passed from the game to when they’re eating hot dogs? When did they decide to switch outfits? What was the reason for it? The more you look into it, the less of a heterosexual explanation there is. Just look at the way the two of them look at each other before the game starts, there’s so much sexual tension going on. Maybe dancing means something different when you read in between the lines. All we do know is that Chad and Ryan got chummy and everyone is happy for them.
8 Gabriella still needs her mom to pick her up from work
In “Gotta Go My Own Way,” Gabriella breaks up with Troy with a really catchy breakup jam that basically tells Troy that she can’t deal with all of Sharpay’s crap working at the country club the whole summer just because she was Troy’s boo. The whole song is pretty heart-wrenching and involves a lot of Gabriella walking through the grounds (which seem a lot larger than normal), and then looking behind her to see Troy running after her (even though the grounds aren’t so big that he’d have to work that hard to catch up with her). There’s an awkward hug and some harmonizing and then Gabriella officiates the breakup when she gets into the minivan that was waiting for her. It’s such a weird detail, but it makes sense since they are all still teenagers, even though they don’t really look like 17 year olds. Gabriella’s call to her parents probably went like this: “Hey Mom, can you pick me up a little later tonight? I have to break up with Troy in a musical number. Thanks.”
7 Troy gets unreasonably tan in "Bet On It"
No better way to show that time has passed during this summer than to show that everyone’s gotten more tanned. Because this is a movie, though, natural tanning methods would take too long and self-tanner was the answer to that problem. A more-than-orange glow can be noticed on most of the characters once the movie comes closer to the end, but for some reason Troy looks unnaturally orange in his solo performance of angst as he skips through the golf course. It could have been an artistic choice, as he is full of rage that everything has gone wrong this summer—or it could just be someone who had no self-control over rubbing a fake tanner all over Zac Efron’s arms and face. At least the bright orange made his eyes even more blue than before, if that was even possible.
6 That is some bad CGI
In the revelation part of “Bet On It,” Troy goes down some rocks and looks into a pond to see his reflection in the water. It’s supposed to be a deep and meaningful moment where he comments on how he’s looking into his reflection in the water but can’t recognize the monster looking back at him. Because obviously trying to pursue your dreams and getting ahead when your friends are falling short and get mad at you for it is monstrous behavior. What’s appalling in this scene, though, is not the man that Troy has become, but the terrible CGI reflection of Troy in the water. "Bet On It" is obviously the most hilariously dramatic song in all of High School Musical and the reflection scene just makes it even funnier.
5 Kelsi is the biggest third wheel
This piano playing, hat wearing gal may be a little quiet, but she is the backbone of the entire High School Musical franchise. Without her piano skills and good timing, Troy and Gabriella would have never done the winter musical together and their perfect romance would have never happened. That being said, Kelsi is also Troy and Gabriella’s number one fan—she’s writing songs about them after all! “You Are The Music In Me” is literally a song that Kelsi writes with the power couple in mind. She also ends up in between the two in most of their tender singing moments. If anyone in the Wildcats gang was going to write friend fiction, friend songs, or whatever, it’s Kelsi.
4 Ryan throws down some mad moves
Every musical needs a powerful, full-cast resolution song where the main couple is back together again and everyone’s happy and singing, and “Everyday” is that song. While this is a Gabriella and Troy number, all of their friends come on stage to jam out to the tune and provide some backup vocals. The camera mostly focuses on the couple, but close by there is Ryan grooving by himself, and he is grooving hard. Sure, the Lava Springs staff being able to be in the talent show and the movie’s power couple getting back together after a grueling few days apart is something to be happy about, but Ryan is a little too happy. You be you, Ryan and keep dancing your heart out.
3 Zeke and Sharpay are back together again
At the end of the first High School Musical, we think that Zeke might’ve finally grabbed Sharpay’s heart after she falls in love with his baked goods. But as the sequel started, we see that Zeke will still have to try harder for Sharpay’s heart, since she’s still fawning over Troy. Sharpay obviously doesn’t care that Troy’s taken, or that there’s a sweet boy who can make her delicious treats, since she creates a plan to have Troy work for her all summer. It only takes having all her classmates getting mad at her, and her own brother having to sabotage her performance, for her to realize that Troy is a lost cause. In the lantern scene after the group’s performance of “Everyday,” all the main characters are paired off with each other, and Sharpay and Zeke are their own pair. Sure, Sharpay will still toy with Zeke’s (and our) feelings for a good portion of the third movie, but they do end up going to prom together—and in a high school movie that’s practically being married.
2 Is that Miley?
Even though it’s pretty obvious, you might end up missing it if you aren’t paying attention. Miley Cyrus makes an appearance in the final track, “All For One.” The beginning of the song shows that there is a staff party going on by the pool, and the pool is completely full of people. It’s pretty hard to believe that there were that many staff members, all teenagers who know how to dance in sync, working at Lava Springs since we see a full kitchen with only the Wildcats around. It’s easier to believe that Miley would make her own appearance in a High School Musical movie because Disney only ever has 10 or so actors at their disposal at any given time, so Disney stars make cameos in everyone else’s work.
1 So many hats!
The fashion in High School Musical, like all other DCOMs, is eccentric—bright colors, layers upon layers, and trying to be way too trendy. As a blast from the past, it’s hard to remember if any of these outfits were the norm back in ’07, but it’s safe to assume it was if we go back and look at Ashley Tisdale’s red carpet ensembles. Some of the most notable fashion items in this movie are the many hats that Kelsi and Ryan wear throughout—the hats never repeat. In counting, Kelsi has 13 different hats and Ryan is a close second at 12 hats. They are the king and queen of fierce musical performance and rockin’ cool hats. Their other friends need to step up their hat game.