Relationship goals I learned from ‘High School Musical’

To be clear before we launch into this, I did not grow up in the era of High School Musical. That is to say, in 2006 I was already in high school reigning court at the goth table. Still, I caught the Disney Channel flick in my 20s and found it to be aggressively Not Bad. So as we close in on High School Musical’s 10th anniversary, I think we could argue that Troy and Gabriella are the kind of #relationshipgoals that influenced an entire generation (or the entire half-generation before me, whatever).

There’s just something so wholesome and endearing about two crazy kids from different social spectrums coming together through the power of music. But Grease Live! isn’t until next week, so I figured the timing made this a fitting placeholder until then. Besides I love me some Zefron; he just seems like a charismatic humanitarian, you know?

Anyway, this is everything High School Musical taught me about serendipitous karaoke, clandestine rehearsals, and falling in love…with music.

When exchanging numbers, don’t walk off like a jerk before the full digit-swapping transaction. 

Troy and Gabriella hit it off during their impromptu New Years karaoke and ecstatically trade numbers. “Just so you know, singing with you was the most fun I’ve had on this vacation,” Troy remarks, eyes glued to his phone. “So where do you live…?”

But Gabriella has already peaced out to look for her mother, which is kind of rude, and breeds a certain amount of detention-based complications later on. Kids, if you have enough time to snap a call ID pic, you have enough time to tell a certain blue-eyed hottie that yeah, you’re totes going to the same school as him. Mom will understand.

You know someone’s special when they can bring out the music in you… or like, whatever hobby you love but may be insecure about.

After the initial karaoke spark the two reunite and admit that they’re usually super insecure about singing for their own respective reasons. Troy, with his proto-Bieber haircut, is a super macho Wildcat who has a reputation to uphold. Gabriella is a tremnendously shy  (and unfairly, immaculately gorgeous) braniac. Singing? On stage? In front of the whole school? That’s crazy talk.

But they push each other into it because of their natural attraction, and chemistry…musical and otherwise. They individually practice for callbacks with Kelsi (because nobody ships Troy/Gabriella like her) and talk about how at ease they feel singing with each other. D’awwww.

And even when clashing social groups try to come between them, Troy steps up and tries to push Gabriella to pair up with him once more. “How about your dad?” Gabriella asks, unsure that he’s truly committed. “It’s not about my dad. This is about how I feel,” Troy says (pause for Zefron-induced swooning).

When it comes to a relationship, you have to be all in this together. Because if you don’t have that mutual support, you’ll never win the lead in the school play, you’ll never get to sing your heart out, and you’ll never get to be your true self.

Be skeptic of ambitious Barbie types and the designs they may or may not have on your non-boyfriend.

Listen, I don’t want to leave you guys with a message of “Trust no bitch” and fault anyone who wears an overload of pink. Incidentally, Sharpay doesn’t really try to get in between Troy and Gabriella that much for romantic reasons in the first installment, it’s more about maintaining her status as a star theater kid. But if we want to bleed into all her Troy oogling in HSM2 a bit…yeah, I would just keep an eye out for any schemers and their tag-along brothers.

Never rush into anything physical before you’re ready. 

Wait two full movies before you get into heavy stuff like kissing, guys. TWO. FULL. MOVIES.

But most importantly, you’re going to risk losing true love if you stick to the status quo. 

Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to fit into a certain stereotypical box. Listen to hip-hop, bake that creme brûlée, and find someone to highlight your hidden talents. You do that, and pretty soon you’ll be soaring, flying, and breaking free.

Wait, I’m mixing up songs now, right? Whatever, there wasn’t a lot of status quo-budging at the goth kid table.

(Image via Disney)