School Movies: Election, Animal House, Mean Girls

Hey, kids—it's back-to-school time. But cramming for that exam or plagiarizing that paper can wait. Take a break from your studies (or get ready to relive your glory days) and check out our Top 10 School Movies. No safety school pics here—just grade-A entertainment!

We're mixing it up with several movies set in high school and a couple at college. Most are comedies, but we've included an Oscar-winning drama and even a musical. (If you think we mean High School Musical, go to the back of the class.)

Of course, these school movies are less about academics and much more about the teen and early-20s experience: fashion, cliques, parties, dating/sex and even suicide (yep, things get dark). In fact, the Winona Ryder-Christian Slater starrer, Heathers, has all those things rolled into one subversive package!

You'll spot familiar faces on the campuses, as many rising young stars got their big break—or made indelible impressions—playing students. Think Ethan Hawke in Dead Poets Society, Alicia Silverstone in Clueless and Tom Hulce in Animal House. Sadly, other promising talents flunked out soon after. We're looking at you, Lindsay Lohan. The tabloid queen has never topped her turn in Mean Girls.

Pop quiz! What school flick features Nicholas Cage, Eric Stoltz, Anthony Edwards (of ER fame), Jennifer Jason Leigh and Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker (currently in The Butler)? If you guessed Fast Times at Ridgemont High, you earn extra credit. The SoCal comedy also stars Sean Penn as stoner surfer Jeff Spicoli ("That was my skull! I'm so wasted!") and Judge Reinhold, who has the masturbatory fantasy of Phoebe Cates topless by the pool. Classic!

But it's not all about the students. We're also hot for teacher, and notable actors including Tina Fey, Matthew Broderick, and Robin Williams make appearances as unforgettable faculty members. Hey, we'd sign up for any of their classes!

Ready to party like a senior on spring break? Put on a toga, fill up the keg, and check out our Top 10 School movies.

There was limited space on our honor roll, so let us know which movies you would have picked instead.

PHOTOS: School movies that all get an A

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