Whether it be kindergarten or law school, graduating from school is a major life moment that deserves to be celebrated. For many, it makes the end of one phase of life and the start of another.
Not only is graduating from school a monumental achievement in the real world but it’s also a phenomenal achievement in the fictional world of movies. For decades Hollywood has churned out movies that have not only included graduation scenes but have also centered around the entire event of graduation. It’s a trend that continues today as Hollywood continues to highlight graduations in all of their many forms.
9 Billy Madison
The entire premise of Adam Sandler’s Billy Madison centers around Billy passing and graduating from all stages of school (up to high school) in order for him to run his father’s business.
Despite graduating elementary, middle, and high school in the span of 24 weeks, Billy only attends his high school graduation ceremony, where he gives an inspiring speech. In the end, Billy learns he has a passion for school and decides to continue his education to become a teacher, thus giving up his position at his father’s company.
Booksmart is arguably one of the best coming-of-age movies of the 2010s. The movie centers on two super-smart best friends, who, on the eve of graduation, realize they have wasted their whole high school career studying instead of also having fun like the rest of their peers.
It’s hilarious and one of the best parts is the entire movie takes place over a 24-hour-period. But the best part is the graduation scene where the girls make a grand entrance at graduation, just in time for the valedictorian speech.
7 High School Musical 3: Senior Year
Not only is the High School Musical franchise one of Disney Channel’s most successful DCOM in history, but its final movie is also home to one of the best graduation scenes ever.
While usually, the valedictorian gives a graduation speech, Troy Bolton gets to do the honors and thanks each and every one of his friends for making high school memorable before ending the speech with the classic “Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.” Then in true HSM fashion, the seniors break out into an epic song and dance number.
6 Legally Blonde
High school graduations might be the most popular form of graduations in movies, but they’re not the only ones. Occasionally, college graduations get to take the spotlight like in Legally Blonde.
After proving everyone wrong, Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) not only gets into Harvard Law but becomes her class “valedictorian” upon her law school graduation. Not only is Elle Woods an iconic role model but she also gives an amazing graduation speech reminding everyone that it’s important to “have faith in yourself.”
5 The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man is one of those movie franchises that Hollywood continues to revive even though no one is asking for it. This means everyone has a favorite edition of the iconic superhero story. And while Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man might not be the most popular, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 did give the world a pretty epic graduation scene.
Peter Parker (Garfield) nearly misses his high school graduation but makes it just in time to catch Gwen’s (Emma Stone) graduation speech. When she’s finished, he rushes to the stage and kisses her in a dramatic fashion. It’s a super cute romantic gesture that eventually backfires since Gwen breaks up with him soon after.
4 The Lizzie McGuire Movie
After becoming one of Disney Channel’s most popular original series in the 2000s, Lizzie McGuire landed her own theatrical release movie appropriately called The Lizzie McGuire Movie.
While the movie is remembered for Lizzie’s epic Italian adventure, it’s also home to one of the most awkward and realistic graduation scenes ever. Lizzie is forced to confront her stage fright and give a graduation speech, which goes south when she trips taking down the entire curtain with her. It’s an awkward moment that reminds viewers of the painful awkwardness of middle school.
3 The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2
After the success of the first The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, the girls landed themselves a sequel that took inspiration from the fourth novel in the young adult book series.
While the movie centers on the girls spending their summer apart after completing their first year of college, there is a brief graduation scene that truly encapsulates what it’s like to graduate alongside your best friends. The girls can be seen goofing around, smiling, and posing for pictures which is the true graduation experience for teenagers everywhere.
2 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
High school graduations might not be special for the Cullen family who have graduated more than a few times, but that doesn’t mean it’s not special for the rest of the seniors at Fork’s High School.
While the graduation scene is rather brief, it’s iconic and memorable largely due to Jessica’s (Anna Kendrick) iconic graduation speech. In a moment of honesty, Jessica reiterates to her peers that it’s okay if they have no idea what they want to be when they grow up now that being a grown-up is right around the corner.
1 To All The Boys: Always & Forever
One of the biggest teen franchises in recent years is Netflix’s To All The Boys, which was inspired by the young adult series of the same name. After spending three years watching Lara Jean and Peter navigate their relationship within the walls of high school, it was only fitting that audiences got to see them graduate too.
In fact, there are a few different graduation scenes in the movie thanks to Lara Jean’s visions about her future. However, the best scene is the actual graduation scene where fans got to see all of their favorites grace the stage in ways that mirrored their character’s personalities. And of course, there’s the adorable moment of Lara Jean and Peter embracing as caps fly around them.
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