Recently it came to my attention that school spirit videos are a thing that exist online. As someone who went to high school in the 90s, this idea was (and still is) very foreign to me.
Having school spirit is something I understand, for the most part. I didn't have any of it in high school, nor did I hang around people who did, but eventually I embraced the spectacle in college.
Of course, that's when having school spirit meant wearing PITT sweatpants and drinking in the parking lot of Heinz Field during football games. Stuff I was happy to do, but not proud enough of to record and upload to YouTube.
Well...times have changed. Apparently these days you don't exist unless there are heaps of photographic and video evidence of said existence littering the interwebs. And I say littering with purpose, as most of the evidence is total garbage.
Initially I was going to rank these hilariously ridiculous videos, but there's really no way to quantify the ranking. Each is an embarrassing mockery in its own unique way.
Like a snowflake. A really stupid snowflake...set to music...and probably walking backwards.
So let's just jump right in.
School: St. Basil Secondary
Song: Dynamite—Taio Cruz
Date: December 2010
Apparently nothing says school spirit like like a couple of football players, the school mascot, a few basketball players, the lunch ladies, a bunch of nerds in the library, and that weird teacher—not to mention everyone else in school—busting out the whitest dance moves on earth while jamming to some disposable hip-hop.
I'll give it up for this school—they certainly are all inclusive in the spirit department. Back in John Hughes America school spirit was strictly for cheerleaders and jocks. Today it's open to anyone who isn't afraid to have their awkwardness posted on YouTube.
School: St. Mary's College Knights
Song: I Gotta Feeling—The Black Eyed Peas
Date: December 2009
First of all, the name of this school may give you the impression that it's a college—because…well…it does have college in its name. But it's actually a high school in Canada called St. Mary's, whose students have far too much time on their hands.
It was pretty shocking that most of the top YouTube commenters were actually impressed this video, especially because YouTube commenters are known for being complete a-holes. Actually, it doesn't feel right to limit that to just YouTube commenters.
Maybe it's just because I have a pretty serious Black Eyed Peas bias, but I didn't find the five-minute tour of the school particularly good. And the last two minutes were just credits with the same damn song on repeat. It was long…and taxing…and cheeseballish.
School: Forest Heights Collegiate Institute
Song: Opposite of Adults—Chiddy Bang
Date: April 2013
On one hand, I want to give the students at Forest Heights credit for rapping themselves. On the other hand, rapping is harder than it seems and most people are pretty freaking terrible at it...these kids are no exception.
For some reason you can only hear one kid when he raps—I'm guessing he's the one that did the final audio mix. The audio dropping out is kind of a welcome respite, but it's also confusing and made me think my computer was breaking initially.
In the end it has a positive message: "Never Giving Up," which flashes across the screen for a brief moment. Let's hope they give up on the white boy rap though.
School: North Platte High School
Song: Rock Party Anthem—LMFAO
Date: October 2011
I know that terrible LMFAO song was popular back when the kids at North Platte made this video, but I really hate being reminded of it. You wanna know what's worse than those two idiots gyrating in their underwear? A high school full of people doing it instead.
Actually...I don't know if most of what happens in this video counts as dancing. Lifting up your football jersey and squeezing your belly fat is not a dance move. Maybe a mating call in some parts of the world...but definitely not a dance move.
School: John Paul College
Song: In Your Light—W. De Backer
Date: January 2012
Again, another deceiving name. John Paul College is not a college at all, but rather some kind of rich prep school in Australia that has a "headmaster" instead of a principal. Kind of like Hogwarts, but without the fun and magic.
The video actually has a pretty solid start—the little kids are pretty adorable beebopping through their bourgeois boarding school. It takes a sharp turn toward nerdville when the older kids take center stage—particularly the male athletes.
The production value of this video is substantially higher than most of the others on this list, which makes it even more ridiculous.
School: Prospect High School
Song: I Gotta Feeling—The Black Eyed Peas
Date: October 2012
The award for Achievement in Walking Backwards goes to the kids at Prospect High School. Buckle your seat belts folks because you're in for quite a ride—an eight-minute walking backwards tour of a very enthusiastic high school.
They start things off slow before transitioning into the Black Eyed Peas song—that's when things really get crazy. Instead of walking backwards, they dance backwards. If you're thinking that eight minutes sounds like an awful long time to walk backwards...you're right.
It's long. Too long. It may have been the longest eight minutes of my entire life. I kept waiting for one of the kids walking backwards to fall...but it never happens.
School: Lamar University
Date: March 2011
This video proves that dancing and walking backwards is infinitely better than attempting to write a skit of some sort and then acting it out.
It's just too terrible for words.
School: York High School
Song: The Marching Band
Date: September 2012
Good job to the students at York High for finding a way to work around all that pesky music licensing stuff that every other school in the world just ignores. They just had their marching band play a little diddy.
I'm not really sure why this video was made—there isn't much school spirit being portrayed. Unless you count a couple of goobers dancing on stage and the school mascot walking backwards through a scene while playing the saxophone.
At the end there's some kid cutting down a basketball net, but it's staged and strange. The whole thing is strange.
School: Henderson High School
Song: Torre De Babel—DJ Nest, Real Rap—Sergey, Bioshock Rap—Borderline Disaster
Date: October 2010
There were no musical credits listed on this one, so I'm pleased to say that I finally found a use for that Shazam app on my iPhone.
As for the video itself, I have to give whoever produced it some credit for at least attempting to edit and produced something original. The end result isn't very good, but I was just thrilled it wasn't three minutes of kids backing up down a hallway.
Instead it was three minutes of people dancing and/or behaving like idiots intermittently spliced with sports footage. They probably could've done with a little more sports footage.
School: Oelwein High School
Song: Lots of terrible novelty pop.
Date: January 2013
This spirit video starts off with the song that plagued my existence as a bartender in the early 2000s—Who Let the Dogs out by the Baha Men. It was a brief introduction, but it polluted the rest of the video.
Not that there was anything not worth polluting. Just another excessively long trek around a high school that culminates in an anti-climactic trip to the gymnasium. Where, naturally, everyone in school happens to be hanging out and dancing.
That High School Musical franchise really had a terrible impact on today's youth.
School: Southside High School
Song: Dynamite—Taio Cruz
Date: May 2013
First of all—who knew kids in Arkansas listened to hip-hop? It's especially surprising considering Napoleon Dynamite is still considered a relevant pop cultural reference there.
I watched all five minutes of this video and I'm pretty sure the black football player with the killer dance moves is the only cool kid in the entire school. He is the king of dancing backward in America.
Everyone else at this school…just a buncha goobers who are terrible at dancing.
School: Analy High School
Song: Dubstep Interlude
Date: October 2012
Nothing about this video projects school spirit in any way. It starts off with a teacher holding up a stuffed tiger while music from The Lion King plays in the background. Does he know that movie was about a lion…not a tiger?
Then for some reason he drops an apple down the stairs and it travels through space and time, landing at the feet of several students who seem to understand the significance of the apple. Unfortunately it's never explained to us.
Cut to the beach, where everyone is hanging out listening to dubstep. A kid puts on a horse mask and attempts to surf through really shallow water. He fails. Then he goes to hang out with all his friends who are running on the beach.
Because of course.
School: North Myrtle Beach High School
Song: Good Feeling—Flo Rida, Dynamite—Taio Cruz
Date: August 2012
Okay, so this one is basically just six minutes of various people walking backwards to the musical stylings of Mr. Flo Rida and then Taio Cruz. Which you should be getting used to at this point.
The kids at this school are substantially cooler looking than most of the kids in the other videos—so that's a win for them. But that's not why I included the video on this list.
The most ridiculous part about this one comes in the first few seconds—a couple of kids roll up to the school on a horse that is painted with human hand prints and then hand off a guitar to a school official.
What the hell is that all about? I sent this to a few people and the general consensus seems to be: "Poor horse :("
School: Wilkes University Pharmacy School
Song: Gangnam Style—Sorta…
Date: January 2013
The stated mission of this video is to "recruit Wilkes Pharmacy Wilkes Style." I have absolutely no effing clue what that effing means.
But I'm almost positive they failed, despite a statement to the contrary.
School: Oregon State University
Song: Chainsaw—Family Force 5
Date: August 2013
I'm not really sure what this #BeaverNation video is all about. Recently it was featured on Deadspin who had the exact same question I did—how is cranking it like a chainsaw a good thing for beavers?
And what do chainsaws have to do with anything anyway? If you have a chainsaw, what the hell do you need a beaver for anyway? This whole thing is very misguided...but I have an idea.
#ChainsawNation Maybe it's time for a mascot change?
School: South Salem High
Song: Smells Like Saxon Spirit
Date: October 2010
Mr. Aidan Evans of South Salem High wrote the music for and produced this hilariously ridiculous spirit video with a couple of his bros. The opening lyrics really set the stage for this 'day in the life' montage:
"I'm going to South High.
That's where I go to school.
It's where I go to learn some stuff...
It's where I go to be cool."
Well, he's at least half right.
School: Morristown-Hamblen West High
Date: September 2009
Looks like someone recently learned how to speed up video for effect! It's not the most sophisticated effect, but at least it's something—as compared to the rest of the video, which is a whole lot of nothing.
Kids chatting at lunch. Dudes with painted faces waving flats. Cheerleaders mugging for the camera trying to be sexy. Football players fist bumping little kids. Some dude drinking a Coke and smiling for no reason.
They should have fast forwarded through the whole thing. A for effort...F for failure to produce something that wasn't terrible.
School: Belleville West
Song: Party Rock Anthem—LMFAO
Date: September 2011
The best thing about this video is that whoever produced it took the 'less is more' approach that most of the other videos on this list could have benefited from. Just because a song is five minutes long doesn't mean your video has to be.
There are ways of getting around something like that…like picking a shorter song or just cutting the damn thing off. These kids definitely would have struggled to fill anymore time than they did—if panning across large groups of people dancing is all you've got, brevity is the way to go.
That or shelving the idea until you've got something a little better. Either way.
School: Santa Fe High School
Song: Lots—and they're all terrible
Date: February 2013
This freaking video has a running time of over 18 minutes, which is absolutely stunning. They had enough original material to fill a minute…max. And that's really stretching the boundaries of the word "original."
Here's a run down of what happens…assuming any of this qualifies as something "happening."
- Two minutes of kids in black t-shirts backing up.
- Then they hand it off to a couple of kids in baseball uniforms backing up for a minute and a half.
- Then a girl in overalls backs up for awhile through some freaking cows, which are just standing all over campus for some reason. [Song change]
- Hands it over to a girl in a letterman jacket who backs up all by herself for over a minute.
- A football player takes over the backing up duties—and he freaking phones it in.
- Then some kid who really wants it gets to back up—and he kills it. [Song change]
- Two more kids get to back it up—one of them slams into a pole.
- A kid in a hat is now backing it up and he's pretty confident.
- A kid playing guitar on a tennis racket backs it up to the homecoming queen who then backs it up through the marching band and covers a lot of ground.
- A jock and a drama geek take over—and are too afraid to go backwards down some steps. [Song change]
- The jock ditches the drama geek and gets all gangsta—actually backs it up down some stairs.
- Some kid in a black t-shirt gets to go backwards for about two seconds before a kid in a hat takes over and takes this party to the elevator. [Song change] Then we wait for the elevator.
- BOOM another floor—science nerds take over backing up. [Song change]
Yeah…and that's just 11 minutes. I can't log the rest of this because they get back on the elevator again right after that and it's just too awful for words.