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Vince Lombardi High School greets its latest principal, Ms. Togar, replacing yet another principal who went mad trying to keep the kids in line. Togar sets her evil sights on Riff Randall, who's popular, sexy, uncontrollable... and is the school's biggest fan of the Ramones. When the Ramones are scheduled to tour through the city, Riff tries out various schemes to ensure she gets to see the concert and even meet the band to give them a song she's written... but Togar wants Riff punished with detentions for eternity if it means getting rid of rock and roll from the school.
This film contains examples of:
- Adults Are Useless: The parents do absolutely nothing when The Ramones show up, prompting the question "Do your parents KNOW you're Ramones?"
- As Themselves: The Ramones, natch. Vince Lombardi only appears in photos.
- Berserk Button: As soon as Principal Togar sets her students' records on fire, the students RIOT, put out the bonfire as quickly as possible, and then take over the school with help from their favorite band, The Ramones, whose concert they (and their music teacher) had attended the night before.
- Big Damn Heroes: The Ramones appear right when Mrs. Togar tries to burn her student's records--and just as the students are putting out the fire.
- Captain Obvious: "Does your parents KNOW you're Ramones?"
- Can count as an In Joke as the Ramones use stage names.
- Fake-Out Make-Out: Features a solo Fakeout Makeout in which one of the protagonists turns towards a corner, wraps his arms around himself and mimics the sounds of a couple making out, successfully fooling his pursuers.
- Girl Next Door: Kate (Dey Young), the Hollywood Homely best friend to Riff, who has a crush on star athlete Tom Roberts.
- Go Mad From the Revelation
- Heel Face Turn: Music Teacher McGree, depending on whose side the viewer is on.
- High School Hustler: Eaglebauer. He works in a office room installed in one of the boys' bathrooms, complete with secretary managing his deals.
- Out-Gambitted: Possibly the only film where a gambit falls victim to another gambit, which falls victim to a cross between a Gambit Roulette and a Spanner in the Works.
- Parental Abandonment: When Riff tries to excuse herself from school in order to wait in line for Ramones tickets: she sends letters claiming her father, her mother, and her goldfish die. Ms. Togar proves she lied when her school guards find the goldfish alive and well.
Togar: We can assume the parents are still alive... somewhere.
- Next Sunday AD: Released in 1979, Set in 1980.
- The Power of Rock: The Ramones using rock and roll to take over a high school? It doesn't get much cooler than that.
- Precision F-Strike: "Screw you, Mrs. Togar, we made it to the concert anyway!" Worth mentioning because it was spoken over the radio.
- Spanner in the Works: The chance ticket giveaway that has a hint of Xanatos Roulette.
- Trash the Set: Mount Carmel High School, where the film was shot, had closed a few years earlier, so they were free to blow the whole place up at the end.
- What Could Have Been: Musical artists considered to appear as Riff's favorite were Todd Rundgren, Cheap Trick, Devo, and Van Halen.
- Xanatos Roulette: There's no way Riff and her friend planned on getting their tickets back because they didn't plan that method--the RADIO STATION did. And what's more, the station itself didn't hear of Riff's latest confrontation with Principal Togar, making this a mix of this and Spanner in the Works.