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I thought the last day of high school would be the best day of my life until I realized what I'd be leaving.—Zack Morris, Saved by the Bell
Not everyone agrees.
While few shows will go so far as to claim learning is fun for its own sake, or that the Alpha Bitch or a Jerk Jock can't make life troublesome, several shows seem to think high school is not all that bad. They seem to have a point: You get to play sports (if you want), find your High School Sweetheart at the High School Dance (if you are lucky) and make some of the best friends you will ever meet. Indeed, even those shows that paint an extremely negative picture of high school life usually acknowledge the importance of friends.
Cliques might be notably absent, but if they are present, the main characters will maintain friendships across the class divide.
Depending on the troper, this may or may not be Truth in Television. For the latter, this trope exists pretty far toward the idealistic end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism. The opposite trope (naturally) is High School Is Hell. Relatively few shows occupy much of a middle ground; either high school is a place of utter misery or despair, or it's a wacky fun-filled ride.
- Azumanga Daioh
- Manabi Straight! practically collapses under the nostalgia about the high school days.
- Hidamari Sketch
- Sketchbook has elements of this. Even super-shy and eccentric Sora never gets hassled, unlike what would happen in Real Life.
- Not to mention Kate, who would be a real bully magnet with her western looks and accent.
- Mariasama ga Miteru
- Kare Kano - at least, the manga. Despite the overall theme, the actual high school life of the title characters is pretty cake, with any foe made into a trusty ally within a chapter or two. Souichiro and Yukino's biggest worries are often about not being at the top of the exam boards, the ending suggests that nothing really happens outside of high school anyway.
- Saved by the Bell and most of its clones (Hang Time, California Dreams, etc.) are the kings of this trope. Extra points for Saved by the Bell for having the principal as one of the gang.
- The Tokimeki Memorial series. This Dating Sim franchise from Konami, in which the player's goal is to get the Love Confession of a High School Sweetheart of his choice at a place of legend that'll grant them eternal happiness in their couple, is renowned for its very sweet and idealistic stance.