• Wed, May 14 - 3:25 pm ET

The 8 Most Memorable Graduation TV Episodes Of All Time

Gilmore Girls Rory

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Can you believe it’s already graduation time again? All over the place students are throwing their caps up in the air and giving speeches and breaking glasses under their feet… and I might be a little rusty on graduation tradition, so sorry if any of that was wrong. I think I need to rewatch some graduation episodes of TV shows to refresh my memory about how this all works.

Although I suppose that wouldn’t be very helpful, since TV graduations are usually drama-filled or played for laughs, and somehow the protagonists manage to take all the attention away from those poor graduating extras. Nevertheless, graduation episodes are always fun, so in honor of this important and emotional time of year, let’s look back at the eight most memorable examples.

1. Boy Meets World

Who could forget Topanga giving up her valedictorian speech to let Shawn talk? Personally if I’d been second in the class I’d be a little (okay a lot) pissed that the speech ended up being given by some C-average kid. And Topanga’s choice not to go to Yale but to propose to Cory instead is kind of ridiculous. But it all seemed so magical and emotional to us in the ’90s.

2. Gilmore Girls

Rory graduates from Chilton as the valedictorian. She ends up making the speech all about herself, which is actually not what a valedictorian is supposed to do, but I won’t deny that I usually get a little misty-eyed when she talks about Lorelai. Ugh, this show was so good.

3. Gossip Girl

First of all, we need to talk about Blair and Serena’s choice of graduation accessories. Blair has a necklace over her robe, and Serena is wearing a tassel in her hair without a cap. Now that we’ve gotten that out of our systems, let’s talk about the fact that all of the students have their cell phones on with sound during the ceremony to receive the Gossip Girl blast. Sigh, this show.

4. Modern Family

Back in season two when this show was still awesome, the family had to get to Alex’s middle school graduation, and unfortunately that didn’t go so smoothly. Phil and Claire on that tandem bicycle and then later stumbling down the hill to get down to the ceremony will never get old.

5. The O.C.

Sure the ceremony itself was emotional (stop with that awesome music already, O.C.), but this episode was memorable mostly because… SPOILER ALERT… Marissa dies at the end of it. Let’s just remember the good times, okay?

6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

In the third season finale, the mayor of Sunnydale plans to become a demon in the middle of Buffy’s high school graduation ceremony (so rude), and the characters have to work together to defeat him. So be glad that didn’t happen at your graduation. Unless it did, in which case please spill the deets.

7. Saved by the Bell

This episode ended the high school years and led to the characters’ college episodes. When Zack finds out he needs one more credit to graduate, he resorts to doing ballet to make sure he can participate in the ceremony. Only in the ’90s, am I right or am I right or am I right?

8. Glee

So I was totally hate-watching the show at this point, but even though I couldn’t stand the characters or the storylines, I still loved most of the singing. I’m assuming this is just a fantasy sequence and Puck didn’t actually play guitar as the graduates ran out from behind a curtain, but you never know at McKinley.

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