TV’s Greatest Graduations

I work at a university in the communications department, which means this week I will be spending several hours covering different graduation ceremonies. This is the first year the school is holding commencement exercises in April – which is super, super early – but it’s exciting for the seniors, who are ready to get out into the real world. 

All this talk about graduation has of course led me to start thinking about my favorite ceremonies on television. Some shows, like Beverly Hills, 90210, were on the air for so long that you saw multiple graduations (and pranks, like when the high school kids changed the Hollywood sign to read “W Bev Hi 93,” and then later in college when Steve arranged for confetti to explode during the ceremony). For TGIF fans, an immortal graduation scene came courtesy of Cory and Topanga on Boy Meets World, when Topanga asked her curly-haired beloved to marry her at the end of the ceremony. I wonder if they’ll share this story with their daughter in the new spin-off, Girl Meets World.

While those examples are still crystal clear to me, there are a ton of graduations that I barely remember. Saved by the Bell, for example, was a show I watched every week. However, all I can recall is Kelly crying while getting her diploma. I used to tune into Dawson’s Creek and The O.C., both sudsy classics that included graduation scenes in which I remember nada. It looks like I will be spending the night on YouTube, expanding my knowledge of fictional high school graduations from the 1990s.

Do you have a graduation episode that you remember fondly? Or maybe one that seemed so far removed from real life you can’t forget it? Share in the comments!

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11 Comments TV’s Greatest Graduations

  1. Avatar of Crystal ColemanCrystal Coleman

    Saved By The Bell is a weird one because there were two graduations. They had the graduation with the original crew and then had that extra season where Kelly and Jesse had left and Tori was there and there was another graduation with her. What the heck was up with that season anyway?

    1. Avatar of CatherineCatherine

      I completely forgot about that! They did have two graduations! That season was so terrible that I obviously blocked it from my mind…

  2. Avatar of [M] freckle[M] freckle

    The only one I can think of right now is Buffy (because what can’t I link back to Buffy, seriously). Okay, maybe Gilmore Girls ..I always loved the grandparents – Rory relationship and especially the grandfather was so visibly beaming with pride.

    1. Avatar of GwenBearGwenBear

      I was just about to post and say my favorite graduation episodes were Buffy and Gilmore Girls, but you totally beat me to it. +10 for awesome taste in TV!

  3. Avatar of msjwhittzmsjwhittz

    I’ve always loved the two-part graduation episode from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (season 3), which aired the summer before I entered high school. Aside from being a great episode to cap off a really fantastic season (IMHO, the best and most consistent writing of any BtVS season), it also had the line “Fire bad. Tree pretty.”, which I still use to describe when my brain isn’t working right.

    1. Avatar of CatherineCatherine

      I used to watch Buffy, yet I can’t remember the graduation episode. Isn’t it weird how certain shows just stick with you, and others don’t?

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