High School AU

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Barbara Gordon, Bruce Wayne, the Scarecrow, Selina Kyle, The Joker, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Bane, and Mr. Freeze as teens!

The High School AU is an Alternate Universe Fic that may or may not resemble the original universe its a Fan Fiction of, but the main premise is that most or all of the characters from whatever universe the story draws from are in an academic setting. Usually, this happens to be high school. It is (in theory) the opposite of the Self-Insert Fic- instead of putting themselves in a fictional universe, the writer brings fictional characters into a setting which they can write about knowledgeably, though some writers may insert original characters or even Author Avatars into this kind of reprised universe.

This type of story may also occasionally remove anything and everything unusual in the original premise, though this is not nessecarily a requirement. Also, especially for the amateur fanfiction community, a High School AU is often a way to write romance fanfiction between two characters in a more socially comfortable position (for the characters and even the author to variable degrees, depending on the fandom derived from).

This is the most common form of Alternate Universe Fic, for good or ill, mostly because it is an easy setting to write for. Some High School AU stories may take a series that never took place in a high school and transplant the characters there. A variant on this is to take a series where a high school was part of the setting, and makes it the primary setting. Another variant is taking a show with characters that were elementary or lower grammar school age and transplanting them to a high school setting.

A rarer variation is to also attempt to transplant the storyline. This works better with storylines that are effectively independent of the setting.

This is especially likely to happen when the cast of a series functions as a Commedia dell'Arte Troupe.

Many of these can be described with formula "Fusion Fic ([insert original work here] x All-Ghouls School)".

A subtrope of Transplanted Character Fic. Compare Spinoff Babies.

Examples of High School AU include:

Anime and Manga

  • This also happened in an episode of the Tenchi Muyo! TV series. Not content to leave it at that, however, the writers also threw in Magical Girls. Unsurprisingly, given the amoeba-like manner in which Tenchi Muyo! split off alternate continuities, this world became a series all on its own.
    • Two different series, in fact.
  • Some manga have Omake chapters in this style, often finding humor from the contortions needed to shoehorn the tropes of the series into the cliche High School tropes. Examples:
  • The Samurai Deeper Kyo manga has a series of audio drama CD set in the alternate 'Samurai High School' setting, stemming from a piece of art drawn by the creator for one of the manga volumes. Strangely enough it is highly propable that said creator is actually female (pseudonyms are funny that way).
    • A fairly popular (if unimaginatively named) fic for SDK is available. The story seems to ignore the high school setting in favor of whatever bizarre plot seems funny. Shipping is kept to a minimum, since the story has two authors who don't agree on pairings and therefore wildly sabotage each others plots, once using an explicit All Just a Dream plot.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann also had an audio drama CD set in a High School AU where Kamina is basically a misfit failing school, Simon is the sole handyman/janitor, and Nia is the Student Council President...until they kick all that to the ground like everything else and turn the whole thing upside down. Read the script here.
    • Gurren Lagann also has a second official High School AU in the form of the manga [1]. All the good guys attend Dai Gurren Academy, which is located right next to the menacing and intimidating Teppelin Academy, headed by malicious principal Lord Genome. Note that all of the Beastmen are still Beastmen, and no one finds this odd. Highlights include Kamina getting very confused over the meaning of "Moe", Yoko in a sailor uniform inducing Marshmallow Hell to Simon for three whole pages (while continuing to talk), and Viral dressed in a business suit (coinciding with the "Viral Marketing" meme). Oh, and Nia wears Rei's transfer student uniform (see below) and calls Simon her husband... and takes the Buster Stance. Plus, this manga sheds some insight into how Kamina and Nia would fare has Kamina not died before Nia arrived into the plot. Leeron is also in a dress and Lord Genome is the overprotective dad of Nia. Nia and Simon pull off a sequence very similar to Love Love TenKyoKen
  • Parodied in Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi as one of the alternate worlds (created from fragments of Sasshi's mind) to which Sasshi and Arumi travel - this one is patterned after dating sims, having Sasshi as a borderline Unlucky Everydude and Arumi as... a cupid of sorts.
  • The second ending credits sequence for Naruto Shippuden is set in a High School AU, joining and legitimizing the thousands of Naruto fanfics that have already used this trope.
    • Ironically, it also went against lots of clichés that were (and still are) extremely common in Naruto highschool AU fics. It portrayed Naruto as a Hot-Blooded gang member instead of a waifish outcast. OTOH Hinata remained a shy Shrinking Violet, Sakura remained a Type B Tsundere ready to slap Naruto if needed, Rock Lee was the sports star, Neji was both the Arrogant Kung Fu Guy AND the Student Council President, and Sasuke was the local Bad Boy and Naruto's rival who still aided him during fights.
    • This was expanded upon in a bonus feature, created by the animators, for the seventh Shippuden DVD called Shippu! Konoha Gakuen Den which consists of narrated still-frames, in which Naruto seeks to be the leader of all in the yakuza in Japan and we see him beating the other fighters in the school, and also features Naruto and Hinata actually going on a date while several others (Sakura, Ino, Shikamaru, etc.) spy on them.
  • Galaxy Angel X has one for one episode, complete with the requisite Anime Theme Song this type of show would have. The end of said theme song is interrupted by ringing cell phones.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: During Shinji's weird, freaky head-space thing from the last episodes, he imagines putting all the characters into an idealized version of his school—with twice the High School cliché tropes, and none of the Humongous Mecha. There are now three official tie-in manga series based on that setting, not to mention the Fanfic on both sides of the Pacific.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew had a kindergarten AU in the manga, entitled Petite Mew Mew. Interestingly, the characters' natures as magical Petting Zoo People were emphasized rather than discarded; for example, Retasu is a Japanea finless porpoise all the time, and has to be carried around in a fishbowl.
  • Recent episodes of the D.Gray-man anime have a High School AU Omake at the end.
  • Horitsuba Gakuen is a series of High School AU crossover drama CDs starring the characters from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and ×××HOLiC.
  • Gakuen Kino is a High School Magical Girl AU set of spin-off novels for Kino's Journey. Thankfully, the writers know and revel in how silly this is.
  • Back during its heyday, Sailor Moon spawned hundreds of these. The (inner) sailors were almost always in a band, camp counselors, or even just regular high school girls. Mamoru/Darien and the four generals would invariably be a rival band, the male counselors, or in their class—once in a great while, the "civilian" boys such as Urawa/Greg and Motoki/Andrew would be Mamoru/Darien's team. About the only things that would tie the stories to Sailor Moon would be the names and basic personalities of the characters; otherwise, there would be no real way to tell a story was supposed to be about Sailor Moon at all. Of course, since the stories were just vehicles for shipping, having the senshi actually be senshi would probably have just distracted from the romance.
  • Spoofed by Hiromu Arakawa more than once with Fullmetal Alchemist omakes. They usually involve Edward and Alphonse in a gang (not a very good one at that) or Mustang and the Fuhrer in a girls' school spoofing '70s Shoujo manga.
    • Don't forget Olivia as a sukeban (member of a Japanese girl gang).
  • There is also an inordinately large number of Pokémon High School AU fics out there. Some are gracious enough to leave the Pokémon in (some are even set in a school for Pokémon trainers), but just as many dispense with them altogether, rendering the title of the franchise meaningless.
    • The same thing happens in Digimon fic.
  • Similar in the same vein as Gurren Lagann and especially the second ending credit sequence of Naruto, the third credit ending sequence of Eureka Seven skirts this, showing the female cast living out lives normal for (real) women of their ages (given that most of them are High School aged). It's interesting to note that this ending credit sequence was storyboarded by Shinichirō Watanabe. Yeah, that Shinichiro Watanabe (but not that one)
  • Like its Internet rival Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Code Geass had a High School AU as one of its audio dramas. Unlike most examples though, the expected roles were reversed; Magnificent Bastard protagonist Lelouch is a teacher, his Lady of War sister Cornelia is a sukeban, and Big Bad Emperor Charles is the leader of the school's gangs.
    • Arguably, the manga adaptation with the same name as the anime also qualifies, since it focuses more on Ashford Academy thanks to the removal of the Humongous Mecha. The racist military faction is replaced by a racist group of students, and the Japanese rebels commit acts of petty vandalism rather than actual terrorism.
  • Tsutomu Nihei's BLAME! Academy gag manga. You only have to look at the art work to realize this is intensely crackish and completely hilarious. Notable for still having killer cyborgs with portable WMDs & taking place in an unimaginably massive Cyberpunk city, which is basically the whole joke. Also unusual as it actually ages one character up, with murderous cyborg loli Sana-Kan becoming a grown woman as one of the teachers.
  • The three-page manga "Red-Hair of Class 3-Sea TIME" takes One Piece characters and sticks them into the clichéd story of an inspirational teacher who turns around a class of delinquents Specifically, they're all inspired to become pirates. With Luffy as the all-out study freak jukensei.
  • The OVA on one of the Koihime Musou DVDs has all the main characters attend high school, with highly explosive results.
  • Meanwhile, Ikki Tousen is itself a High School AU of Romance of the Three Kingdoms (as well as a Gender Flip of most of the characters). Naturally, this means there's official art of the Ikki Tousen characters in Three Kingdoms-era China (or something similar enough to excuse breaking out the Breast Plates).
  • Axis Powers Hetalia, of all things, has the Dating Sim / Visual Novel Gakuen Hetalia, penned and illustrated by the author himself. Because what everybody needs is an AU where Moe Anthropomorphisms of countries who normally make up a Cast Full of Pretty Boys have friendly and/or romantic hijinks with a newcomer country, er, girl in the Boarding School of World.
  • Loads and loads of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha fic has the cast as normal High School students; despite how canonly, they did go to High School together, and on Earth even. It's those pesky magic powers and the personalities that come along with them that get in the way.
  • Heroic Age's OST covers feature Dheianeila and Yuti La as highschool students in another shoutout to Sukeban Deka.
  • Utawarerumono has a drama CD with a highschool setting.
  • Queen's Blade is normally a High Fantasy world. The DVD bonus specials take all the characters and set them at Gainos Academy, with school uniforms and no decrease in fanservice.
  • NEEDLESS also has a series of High School AU bonus specials, this time set at St. Lily Academy, with Cruz playing a role he would later go on to play in the post-apocalyptic action series, only in a more traditional setting. That role? Crossdresser.
  • Martian Successor Nadesico spoofs this with an "Early 21st Century High School" entertainment program in the titular space battleship's virtual reality recreation room, which is essentially a High School AU holodeck scenario.
  • Both of the opening credits to The Tower of Druaga are set in such a setting.
  • Crayon Shin-chan: The High School Years!
  • Not exactly an AU, but Slayers NEXT and TRY feature fun little illustrations that bookend the commercial breaks, like a lot of anime do. Sometimes they actually pertain to the episode, but usually they're just fun illustrations showing what the characters would look like in a more modern setting. Favorites include Amelia the sailor-style school girl, Zelgadis the rock star, and Gourry as a daycare attendant.
  • Chrono Crusade has an anime-based Drama CD set in an High School AU. The Sinners are in a gang which Chrono is slowly becoming disillusioned with, Rosette is a girl from a Catholic school that Chrono has a romantic interest in, Sister Kate is the principle of Rosette's school while Daffau is the principle of the other school, etc. The cast gets to be Large Hams and seem to be having a blast.
  • This is the premise of Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z.

Comic Books

  • Archie does this to Sonic. It is not well-received.
  • Tiny Titans does this for the Teen Titans and other characters in the DCU in a grade school sense like Titan villains being teachers of the school the main cast goes to.
  • X-Campus is either this or a college AU. Same difference.
  • Pixie Strikes Back started out as this, but it gradually turned out that the whole thing was an illusion brought on by some weird mixture of demons and pixie dust.
  • Featured in Deadpool Corps, with Kid Deadpool living in one such world.

Fan Works

  • This Avatar: The Last Airbender Fanfic. Tied with this fancomic
  • High School fics are also very popular for Codename: Kids Next Door. The better ones focus on the fact that their memories are wiped when they turn 13, and often getting them back.
  • Dear God this Ben 10 fanfic series called Hero High by a guy going by the name Mr. Evil. Three entire books first taking place in an Alien School, then in a normal one, and finally a school the size of a city.
  • There's a Transformers High School AU fic that—wait for it...crosses over with Archie Comics. (Scroll down; it's in zip format.) However, it's kind of a subversion in that it's not mundane—using Applied Phlebotinum, several Transformers go undercover in Riverdale, including several who end up going to Riverdale High.
  • There are countless Total Drama Island fics that place the characters in high school. They are sixteen, but they have never been to school on-screen, and usually just focus on making sure the canon couple Duncan and Courtney have extroardiarily large amounts of "Aww" inducing moments and/or angst, anhiliating both of their personalities at the same time, usually aided by OC Sues.
  • The Powerpuff Girls. And how.
  • About two out of every three South Park fanfics take place when the boys are in high school, and many of the rest take place during middle school or adulthood. This probably has something to do with the fact that 99% of South Park fanfics focus on the characters' love lives.
  • There are a ridiculous amount of Teen Titans high school AU stories. All of them usually will have their civilian names from the comics (Robin may be Dick Grayson or Tim Drake or just Robin).
    • Usually parody fics end up making fun of the extreme amount of High School AUs, and their lack of logic (culminating in a dance)
  • Wildly popular author Atomicskull did it brilliantly with Never Know Your Story Like I Do, following Kirk and McCoy from elementary all the way through grad school.
  • Although most high school AU stories centre around the students, focus on the teachers isn't unheard of. Memorably, this fanfiction focuses on the various adult ninja from the Naruto canon, sticking them in a high school setting. Although it's a Kaka Iru slashfic, it's refreshing to see the teachers doing, y'know, their job.
  • Disney. There's a bunch of High School AU fics out there, with some being better than others.
  • Name any fandom, and there is most likely a High School AU - from Phantom of the Opera, to Watchmen, to Portal.
  • A Miscellaneous Tale of Night and Day, a Pokémon Special Fanfic, takes this to the next level. Instead of being a cheesy romance Fanfic, it takes a huge turn and speeds into a whole new direction. Not wanting another overused school fic, the author sets things to a different pace with the oh-so-loved Rule of Funny, but not without the romance, of course. A Romantic Comedy AU, now giving the comedy a the main role other than the romance. Along with dashes of Darker and Edgier and mystery along the way.
  • There is one fanfiction of The Bible. Yes, I kid you not. Even the summary says, "Anything can be a High School AU fic. ANYTHING. (Apologies if someone's done this already).
  • A fan artist who goes by the name "Gnaw" has done a series of drawings depicting the Peanuts gang as teenagers (mostly; Sally looks about 12, and Rerun is younger). Almost all of them look like they either took a level in badass or in cool, or both. (Yes, even -- or especially -- Charlie Brown.) Gnaw's own site seems to appear and disappear with the years, but a Google Search will turn up reposts and archives.
  • Given its Genre Busting nature, Undocumented Features certainly dips into this trope on occasion. In the Symphony of the Sword cycle, for example, we see (among others) teen-aged versions of B'Ellana Torres, The Powerpuff Girls, Boba Fett and more than a few X-Men.


  • There is High School AU of, believe it or not, High School Musical. It boggles the mind that anyone, especially a shipper, would take a high-school setting filled to the brim with ho-yay, les-yay, foe-yay and every other kind of yay you can imagine, not to mention all the other shipping tropes HSM is prone to and think to themselves 'Let's change the school, the characters' personalities, and their love-interests'
  • Hollywood seems to enjoy giving William Shakespeare the High School AU treatment, with notable examples including O (Othello), 10 Things I Hate About You (The Taming of the Shrew) and She's the Man (Twelfth Night. Purportedly). The thriller The Glass House is vaguely Hamlet (with the obligatory shout-outs), and vaguely High School (everyone stays the same relative ages, so most characters are adults.)
  • One of the better results was Clueless, which recast Jane Austen's Emma in a Beverly Hills high school.
  • Dragonball Evolution is essentially a High School AU fanfic with CGI.
  • Some people have claimed that the 2009 Star Trek film is an attempt to do something similar to this with the established characters from the original series. The popular fan misconception is that all the main characters are cadets, when in fact only Kirk, Uhura, and McCoy are students (and McCoy is already a fully qualified doctor). The captain's chair is traded around quite a bit as well, although it's made very clear that Kirk's promotion is for the duration of the current crisis only. Of course, then he goes and saves the Federation and makes the jump from Cadet to Captain in one fell swoop...
  • Brick isn't an AU of any specific noir story, but it still fits here. The movie takes every noir trope imaginable and transplants them into a high school setting. The results are surprisingly good.


  • The number of these for Lord of the Rings is disturbing. Possibly a variation with The Official Fanfiction University of Middle-Earth and its variants; in these, the canon characters are the teachers, and are teaching normal human students how their universe canonically works.
  • Warrior Cats High School AU. Everyone is horribly out of character. A few manage to pull it off and bring on laughs, but others are just...blah.
  • There's a very bad recast of Pride and Prejudice in high school out there.
  • The Meg Cabot Novel Avalon High is pretty much a published version of this. It's King Arthur...in a High School!
  • You would think that Harry Potter, being set as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and populated almost entirely by teenagers, would be exempt from this. Nope. For some reason, there are a number of fics where Harry and company end up at a (usually) American high school. Expect Draco to be in leather pants, and a Mary Sue or two.
    • And you can do this to Snape, Sirius and co by making a prequel fanfic.
  • Geez, the number for Maximum Ride. But, really, that's kind of the point of book 2.
  • There is also a significant amount of Sherlock Holmes High School AU both as professional novels and as traditional fanfiction. The Irregulars is one of the better examples.

Live Action TV

  • For Lost, we have an actual canon episode that takes place in a high school in an alternate universe, with Ben Linus, John Locke, and Arzt as teachers, and Alex as a student.
  • H.G. Wells High School is a metafictional Doctor Who fanfic setting, with all the Doctors in different years, and the appropriate supporting cast at the appropriate age. Newman Primary is the same thing, but as a primary school (elementary school in the US). (There's also a retirement home, with elderly versions of the characters, but it's a bit too much for people, so it doesn't get used much. The most popular alternate-age versions of the characters remain the Spinoff Babies of the Look Who's Talking day care centre. All of them co-exist in the wider setting of This Time Round.)
  • Law and Order. Given that these series don't provide much in the way of personality for their characters, except as relates to their investigation and prosecution of crime, the fic was essentially a regular, boring high school experience using the names of Law and Order characters.
  • A case of canonical high school having its slate wiped clean is one high school AU for Power Rangers in Space. The teens never had any powers, and the Red and Silver Rangers, (human) aliens in the show, were normal school-attending Earthlings here. Though the high school stopped appearing in the show for good around episode 8, which is probably the only reason the fic author could get away with it.
  • Smallville is an official version of this trope applied to Superman.
    • As were the pre-Crisis Superboy comics, and 1980s Superboy TV series.
  • Merlin has been described as "The High School AU of the King Arthur legend". Certain changes, including making Merlin and Arthur the same age (late teens, early twenties) and a loose interpretation of history definitely fit the trope.
  • Kamen Rider Decade, in its distortion of past series, changes Kamen Rider Faiz into a high school AU. Former Quirky Miniboss Squad Lucky Clover is reimagined as a clique of the cool kids and Tsukasa becomes a student for his duration in this world.
  • The Taiwanese series K.O.3anguo (read as Zhongji Sanguo) does this for Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Among other anachronisms, the love triangle involving Lu Bu, Diao Chan and Guan Yu seems to be a primary plotline.
  • Heroes has a few High School AU fics that attempt to transplant the premise of "ordinary people with extraordinary abilities" into high school. Mostly this is done to make Peter and Claire closer in age and not related
  • Stargate SG-1 took this and made it canon by introducing a teenage clone version of Jack O'Neill, who promptly returns to high school. Although he's never seen or mentioned again, countless fanfictions try to explain what happened next. Some inexplicably decide to give the rest of the team mini-clones as well.
    • There's also a popular trend of high school fics which ignore this continuity entirely. Generally they place Jack and Daniel as foster brothers, Sam as the girl next door, and Teal'c as the weird new kid from Africa. Never mind that they weren't all in high school at the same time, and Teal'c's an alien.
    • In the 200th episode, there was a scene featuring teenage versions of the team, in direct reference to this trope.
    • Some fanfics instead have O'Neill's clone end up at the same high school as Sam's adopted (alien) daughter Cassandra.
    • Joe Mallozzi said in his blog that O'Neill's clone, after graduating High School, rejoined the Air Force and was promptly enlisted in the Stargate Program (now Homeworld Security) because he has all of Jack's experiences.
  • Becoming Human can be seen as the High School AU of Being Human (UK).

Professional Wrestling

  • One of the magazines not directly affiliated with any fed (I want to say Pro Wrestling Illustrated) ran a feature that was short comic strips of the wrestlers of the day in high school. One was Steve Austin standing up on a chair flipping the bird into the air saying "If you hate algebra, give me a Hell Yeah!" while the teacher said "Steven, sit down.", and one with Kane shooting flames out of the stove in Home Ec. They did this for a few issues and then had a fan contest on who could write the best one, then published the contest winners in the magazine.

Tabletop Games

  • SJ Games' Pyramid Magazine once had a Toon/In Nomine crossover set at Heavenly Heights High School. Laurence (incorruptible leader of Heaven's armies) was the captain of the football team, Kobal (Demon Prince of Dark Humour) was the class clown, and so on.
  • There are a few Warhammer 40,000 fan fiction pieces floating around with this setting. Almost always, they keep the GRIMDARK GRIMDARK and insanity of the characters, and if done well are a hilarious read.
  • School Colors Out Of Space: As the name suggests, it's Call of Cthulhu themed variant of Teenagers from Outer Space (roleplaying game). The first sample character got Perk "Things Man Was Not Meant To Know" and fourth "Things Fish Were Not Meant to Know" (and Flaw "Bad Reputation: Yuppie"). It's that sort of a game.

If you're human you'll lose Sanity when exposed to nonEuclidian geometry, crushed by the sarcasm of an upperclassman, presented with the sight of a naked member of the opposite sex, or sent to the principal's office; if you're a monster, you'll lose Sanity when exposed to infomercials, crushed by the sarcasm of an upperclassman, presented with the sight of a naked member of the opposite genus, or sent to the principal's office. See, it's not so different after all.



  • A large number of Bionicle "comedies", as they are known on BZ Power, have this as the premise.


  • Lysistrata Jones is a musical High School AU of Lysistrata.

Video Games

  • There are Kingdom Hearts high school AU fics out there, taking away the characters' powers and the like.
    • There are actually some that have the Power Trio (Sora, Riku and Kairi) attending school after the events of the second game, and have them pretty much keep their powers. This may be based on the fact Kairi and Selphie appear in school uniforms near the beginning of the game, suggesting that the two missing will likely have to attend once they return.
    • And some of the straight-up AUs make it work quite well.
    • High School AU's are hilariously (albeit scathingly) parodied in the second and third chapters of Those Lacking Spines.
  • There's one Massively Multiplayer Crossover featuring all the Nintendo cast.... it wasn't exactly Super Smash Bros., but it was close. And then Mario and Luigi became Avatars and there was violence....
  • While there aren't many fanfics about the game, the number of fanarts of Dissidia Final Fantasy portraying the characters as high school students is really outstanding, both in the eastern and western sides of the fandom.
  • The number of Sonic the Hedgehog fanfics that have this as a basic premise is insane. And very few of them even give a simple explanation of the sudden change, and go about as if nothing was different. Those that do often give the explanation of "Chaos Control sent them there".
  • There are many Touhou doujins (of varying quality) that put Marisa and co in highschool. For some reason, Keine and/or Eirin (and/or Eiki!) are almost always put in a position of authority (teacher or principal) while Mokou is a delinquent. There is also an inversion of this trope: Keine (see a pattern?) set up a school for the kids of Gensokyo.
    • One also subverts them: It seems that highschool is the normalcy... until Reimu realizes that it's the working of the resident Reality Warper Yukari Yakumo. Then she returns to being the normal ass-kicking miko, while the world is not yet un-warped.
    • Sanae is the only character in the series who actually was a high school student. Surprisingly little is done with this, aside from fanart of her in a school uniform.
  • The Sim-Dating game for Hakuouki has a sequel that places all the characters in a modern high school setting.
  • The Harvest Moon series has seen a recent upsurge in High School AU Fanfics, the most extensive of which being this one, now over fifty chapters. Since then, several have cropped up, such as this, this, and this.
  • Riviera: The Promised Land has this in its Epilogue Disc.
  • The Legend of Zelda has seen its fair share of High School AU. You have everything from a typical boarding school setting with typical students, to a typical boarding high school with students, with an unexplained "Ganon discovers his powers" segment, to a typical non-boarding high school, with a school shooting.

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • All Grown Up! is actually a television example of the latter, taking the Rugrats cast, aging them by ten years, and putting them in a fairly standard middle-school sitcom.
    • Which, in the show, is still pretty much like High School in every other respect.
  • X-Men: Evolution is another television example. Especially strange as Xavier's school has high school age students, while the show puts them in a normal highschool in a generic fictional upstate New York.
  • Even the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender have gotten into the act, with their "School Time Shipping" video, though the bending is still all there.
  • Clone High is basically the High School Alternate Universe version of all of history.
  • Batman Beyond's existence is owed to a bunch of higher ups going "Let's do a show about Batman in high school." And so it was done and everyone lived Happily Ever After.
  • The Mork And Mindy segments in the Mork and Mindy/Laverne and Shirley with Fonz animated series is a High School AU for the series proper.
  • Iron Man: Armored Adventures is about a genius teenager with a suit of armor, his buddies, and the Corrupt Corporate Executive who kicked everything off by having his dad killed. It's about as much like the Iron Man comics or movies as the high-school C.S.I. fanfics are like the actual CSI series, but it gets away with it by being totally awesome in its own right.
  • Does anybody know there nearly was a Gotham High television series? Sure it never developed beyond concept images but makes you wonder what Bruce Wayne's life was like in High School. Even several comic fans wanted this show released.
  • Young Justice gives several established DC superheroes cameos as non-powered high school students. Karen Beecher (Bumblebee) and Mal Duncan (Herald) appear as classmates of Superboy and Miss Martian, while Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) and Bette Kane (Flamebird) attend the same school as Artemis. Most notably, Zatanna (who is almost always depicted as an adult in the comics and other adaptations) is made the same age as Dick Grayson.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man has Luke Cage, Iron Fist, White Tiger and Nova attending the same high school as Peter Parker. While White Tiger and Nova are Canon Immigrants created for the show, Luke Cage and Iron Fist are always depicted as adults in the comic books, with Cage in particular being much older than Spider-Man.

Real Life

  • Democratic White House High School AU, with the difference being that the various politicians (and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert) are the educators, not the students. Obama is the Principal. Rahm Emanuel is the VP. It's... it's actually not that bad, see?
  • Lil' Bush. The major players of the George W. Bush administration as kids. It's set in the present, but George H.W. Bush is president. That doesn't stop Lil' Bush from nearly causing nuclear incidents, though.
  • One of the premier fics of the small Figure Skating RPS fandom is the High School AU Along the Invisible Curve. It actually sets things chronologically so that the skater who's the central character is depicted in his senior year of high school the year he actually was, and it does include some skating. Of course, now the author's continued the story into the college.
  • High school AUs are ridiculously popular in bandom RPF, possibly because the band members were all actually in high school at some point, so canon details like Pete Wentz's soccer-playing or Gerard Way's basement can be included. However, they probably weren't all in high school together.
  • Sue Townsend (author of Adrian Mole) wrote a satirical column for the Today newspaper called The Secret Diary of Margaret Hilda Roberts Aged 13 3/4. Margaret was the Head Girl at Grantham Grammar School, and all the main figures in 1980s UK politics were thinly disguised as Margaret's peers - for example, "Ginger" Skinnock, whose father ran the Working Men's Club; Edwina Slurrie, who Margaret despised for being more popular than her; and Cecil Parkhurst, the equally snobby Head Boy who Margaret had a secret crush on, but who left school in mysterious circumstances after his family's au pair quit to have a baby.
  • American Idol has a few of these with the various casts as students and the The judges and Ryan as teachers. Sometimes they take place in a Performing Arts School