High School Musical. For legions of tweens, the Disney movie trilogy was everything - a look ahead at the glamorous, romantic world of high school. When it comes to Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez, the show's premier couple, it shaped the way a generation of kids would think of the ideal romance. Actors Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens were adorable together, so much so that they even dated in real life. The fantasy came true!
But, like most fantasies, their IRL relationship eventually fizzled out. As that generation of viewers grew up and lived out their own high school and romantic lives, and then moved beyond, the dream that was Troyella began to show a few cracks. Maybe more than a few.
It's not that anyone was expecting gritty realism from a movie musical set in high school. Far from it! Who wants reality when you can have a high school where the worst thing that happens is a rivalry between the basketball team and the science decathletes, and singing auditions? But, when it comes to the Troy and Gabriella romance, young viewers really wanted it to be true.
It's just that there are some details about Troyella that don't add up. Maybe it's nitpicking, but for devoted fans, no detail is too small to obsess over. From the night when they first met, to the hopeful end of the trilogy with the pair of them looking forward to college and the future, there are a slew of details that really don't make sense. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. Here's our list.
20 How Troy And Gabriella Meet - Just Too Many Coincidences!
Yes, we loved the first time that Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez met, and how it played out over a karaoke contest, but did any of it really make sense? It's a TV fantasy, but still, so many questions. First, what self-respecting high school sophomore would ever agree to go to something that's being called a 'kids' party'? Then, the emcee picks the two people who look like are least interested in singing, and pairs them up on stage, saying, "Hey you know what? Someday, someday you guys might thank me for this." It's a little heavy on the foreshadowing, to say the least.
Just a week later, Gabriella moves to New Mexico after the winter break is over, and she just happens to transfer to good old East High School, where Troy is already going. Good thing we already fell in love with this couple over karaoke!
19 They Both Know The Melody Of An Original Song
One thing Troyella delivered was wish fulfillment. Who hasn't dreamed of storming the karaoke stage, finding their true love, and marching them on to singing career glory all in one fell swoop? In HSM, Troy and Gabriella go from yawning at the edge of the stage (him) and reading a book at a party (her) to charisma-loaded singing stars, with zero prior experience or singing training. That much, though, we can probably forgive when the two of them are just so cute together.
What doesn't quite gel is the fact that when an original song comes up on the karaoke screen, both of them intuitively know the melody - and memorize the words after looking at them for just a few seconds. Now that's just not realistic.
18 Gabriella Doesn't Care That Troy Got Her In Detention
Gabriella gives Troy her phone number on that New Year's Eve when they met. But, it seems that he never did call her back. Did he think a week was too soon? When she shows up at his high school in Albuquerque, though, he's suddenly so interested that he calls her number in class, just to make sure it really is the girl from New Year's Eve karaoke.
Of course, they both get caught, and end up in detention. Now, he could have called after class so that neither of them got in trouble. Does Gabriella care? Not a bit - not even the fact that he didn't call until she was already there in front of him. Seems like something she would have at least asked about.
17 They Sneak Their Way Into The Audition And Still Get The Parts
After just one experience singing on stage, both Gabriella and Troy immediately - and independently - think about auditioning for the school musical when they see the poster in the hallway. Some people take years before they can overcome their jitters to get on stage, but sure.
The two of them sneak into the audition late, hide at first, then emerge at the end to sing together just by coincidence. Then, when it comes to the callbacks, Gabriella first calls it off because of the video tape incident, then calls it back on once she learns the truth. Finally at the audition, she's almost overcome with shyness in front of a crowd at the audition - but in the end the pair of them get the part over the tried and true twins Ryan and Sharpay.
As if! Have the writers of the show never been to an audition before? This kind of fantasy can lead to major disappointment.
16 Their Friends Scheme To Get Them To Stop Singing Together
It's a little nuts that everyone in East High seems to have some kind of strong opinion against Troyella singing together. Have these kids never heard of millennial apathy? Sharpay mobilizes the entire school to get behind the cause of everyone staying in their own lanes.
What's crazier is that Troy and Gabriella's friends would actually go so far as to pressure both of them to quit, and they concoct elaborate schemes to do so. Many high schools have clique wars, but they very seldom have to do with keeping singing couples from singing.
In the end, though, everyone abandons their position and is super supportive once they suddenly all change their minds. With friends like these, who needs enemies?
15 Somehow, Troy Didn't See The Webcam
In the midst of the Tory-Gabriella singing controversy, this detail deserves special mention. During the infamous incident where the Wildcats convince Troy that Gabriella just isn't into him, and record Troy talking about how he doesn't care about the audition either, how is it that he doesn't see the webcam?
Sure, he's turned the other way while they first set it up, but then...? The boys are right in front of him, but somehow he just doesn't notice.
The ruse works, and when Gabriella sees the tape she's ready to pack it in at his major betrayal, busting into "I swore I knew the melody that I heard you singing..." Of course, the song was the point - but it still doesn't make sense.
14 They Almost Kiss, But Sing And Dance Instead
After the entire high school stops its opposition to their budding singing careers, the Wildcats win the basketball championship, and Gabriella's team wins the scholastic decathalon. It's the triumphant end-of-movie scene in the gym, where everyone is jubilant.
Troy and Gabriella almost kiss, but then Chad shows up, and then Taylor, and then the whole group of them break out into "We're all In This Together," and Troyella simply vanish into the crowd.
The attraction can no longer be denied, but they never finish that kiss! Delayed gratification and teenagers don't really go together this well in real life.
13 That 'T' Pendant Necklace
Can we talk about that T pendant necklace? Troy gives Gabriella the infamous 'T' necklace at their lockers at the beginning of HSM2. Right off the bat, it seems a little weird that a dude would give a girl he was only just dating a necklace with a large pendant of his initial.
To the show's legion of 10-year-old viewers, it was highly romantic in a swoon-worthy sort of way. In retrospect, as compared to real-world relationships, it seems more like an over the top possessive gesture.
A gift between dating couples, of course, isn't necessarily too much, too soon. But, it should definitely be something a little more casual. "Here, I will brand you with my initial!" is just too much.
12 They're Dating, But Still No Kiss
At the beginning of HSM2, we know that Troy and Gabriella have actually started dating. There's a scene at the lockers, and it looks like the big moment has finally arrived - they start to inch together for a kiss.
But then, a kid - a kid who actually looks too young to be in high school - approaches Troy to sign his yearbook. Once again, there is no kiss completion.
Sure, the demographics for HSM viewers skewed younger - younger than high school age probably. But a long simmering teen romance without so much as a kiss? Not even after they officially start dating? That stretches credulity - at least, now that we're all so much older.
11 There Is A Professional Portrait Of The Two Of Them In Her Locker By HSM2
This might seem like a small detail, just something that has to do with a prop, but it's pretty significant. If you were a super fan, as many of us were, you might have spotted something a little off during that opening scene of HSM2 at the lockers.
Now, there was a lot going on, but as Troy and Gabriella talk, her locker door opens and we see a picture of the two of them taped inside the door - a professional photo portrait.
Really? A high school couple who just started dating marches into a photo studio to get an expensive professional photo shoot? A selfie with puppy dog ear filters would have been much more realistic.
10 When Gabriella Breaks Up With Troy In HSM2, Everyone Acts Like He Was The One Who Was Wrong
Let's get this straight. Troy, through his connection to Sharpay, gets Gabriella and the gang jobs for the summer. Sure, Troy is spending more time with Sharpay, but she's also helping him set up his future by introducing him to people who could help him. He's setting up his college career in basketball and more.
How does Gabriella, the perfect girlfriend, respond? Because he's spending time trying to look after his future, and not as much on her, Gabriella feels neglected and breaks up with him. What's more, his other Wildcat friends feel the same way.
In fact, as soon as she tells him how she feels, she literally gets in her car and takes off back home. No discussion, no nothing. Is this really how a perfect girlfriend would handle things? Truthfully, they were all selfish, and just mad that Troy had other things on his mind than his GF and BFFs. If we were Troy (now) we'd just let her go.
9 Gabriella (And The Wildcats) Totally Set Up Sharpay At the Star Dazzle Talent Show
After Gabriella suddenly goes back home in HSM2, once she's broken up with Troy over his supposed selfishness, Troy is convinced of the error of his ways. He goes back to working in the kitchen with the Wildcats, but he's also working on a song with Sharpay for the Star Dazzle Talent Show.
However, there are shenanigans going on that he doesn't know about. The Wildcats - obviously with Gabriella in on the plan - get Troy to learn a new song for the talent show. But, Sharpay doesn't know it, so she can't join him on stage. Just by coincidence, Gabriella knows the song pretty well, and she surprises him by showing up on stage in the 'T' necklace just in time for them to belt out another duet.
Hey, we thought she was supposed to be the nice one! Getting back together by subterfuge and shafting somebody else's turn is definitely a mean girl move. In the haze of preteen fandom, it was all a romantic happy ending. But seriously, in real life, not cool!
8 They Date For A Year And Break Up Before Their First Kiss
Nowadays, if a friend told you they'd been seeing someone for a year or so, had broken up, and then gotten back together again before they kissed for the first time, you'd think you were hearing about some catfishing story. What was the problem for so long? Yet, on HSM2, when that first kiss finally comes at the very, very end, after the duet that mends their rift, it was the ultimate Troyella moment.
It's funny how, as young viewers, we saw them as having an absolutely perfect relationship. They hang out at school and sing together. That's all it took back then. Or, so we all thought. But, a year without so much as a kiss - that's just not normal.
7 Neither Of Them Has Been To A Dance Before, But Gabriella Teaches Him To Waltz
Troy, the dreamy boyfriend we all wished we'd had back then, naturally asks Gabriella to the prom. Also naturally, he's picked the perfect place to do it - on their romantic rooftop hideaway. By the way, how is it that the two of them have access to the rooftop in the first place?
Moving along...Gabriella agrees, but the two of them shyly admit to each other that neither has ever been to a dance before. We can leave aside all those dance numbers we've already seen them in, fine. Nobody knows how to dance.
But, then Gabriella proceeds to show Troy how to waltz. Waltz? The waltz hasn't been a thing with teens since the 18th century, we think. How does this non-dancer somehow know the good old fashioned 1-2-3 step? Inquiring minds need to know.
6 Troy Finds Out About Stanford From Sharpay, And Then Surprises Gabriella With Pizza
Communication is one of those elements that is crucial to a good relationship. It's a realization most people come to once they're actually in one. Our HSM number-one couple, though, not only don't seem to understand how to communicate, they don't seem to think it's at all important.
Gabriella gets accepted into Stanford in some kind of honors program that actually starts before the school year ends. It's a long, long way from Albuquerque to Stanford. And Troy - her beloved boyfriend? She doesn't even tell him about it.
When Troy finally does find out from Sharpay, Mr Perfect Boyfriend isn't hurt, or put off, not even a little bit. He shows up at her place with pizza and encouraging words. He's happy for her. Somehow, we feel like this would play out quite differently in real life.
5 Gabriella Loves Troy So Much That She Has to Break Up...Again
In the third movie, after Gabriella is accepted at Stanford, she finds out she can start early under the honors program. Is that even a thing? As in, how can she start university when she hasn't graduated high school yet?
She hands her part in the school musical over to Sharpay. She leaves Albuquerque for Stanford, California, but at first vows to return for prom and to say goodbye. Once she's in Northern Cali, though, she has a change of heart. Gabriella calls Troy to tell him that she won't be coming back after all. "I just got used to being away from you and then I'd have to come back and leave and come back and leave. It's too many goodbyes."
That's a pretty poor excuse for breaking up with your first love. She loves him so much, but then gets used to being away from him in a really short period of time, and just throws in the towel. Does anything this girl does make sense?
4 Troy's Troubling Lack Of A Backbone
Sure, when you're 12, it seems really romantic that Troy would drive 1,065 miles from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Stanford in Northern California to be with Gabriella rather than go to his own prom. Likewise, that he'd switch his college ambitions from Albuquerque to Berkeley just to be near her.
Now that we're older, we can see that Troy needs some serious counseling on finding his own way in life without constantly giving in to Gabriella's unyielding demands. After all, she didn't even think about switching colleges, did she? No, she just hung up the phone on him.
We're not sure an ideal boyfriend is really someone who will put up with any amount of drama for someone who keeps breaking up with him. Get a backbone, Troy.
3 Troyella Think A 32.7 Mile Long-Distance Relationship Will Be No Prob
At the giddy end of High School Musical 3, Troy tells Gabriella he's decided to go to UC Berkeley to study basketball and theater. It's only 32.7 miles away from "the person who inspires his heart" - Gabriella, of course!
As preteen fans, it seems like the ultimate swoony ending. They're off to college, and they get to pursue their dreams, while still keeping their romance alive and well. Perfection. Older and wiser, we know that a busy college schedule, new friends, and 32.7 miles probably equals breakup time.
At the end of high school, everyone's anxious about leaving home, all those close friends, and especially that young love behind. HSM3 gave us the fantasy ending, but in real life, sadly everything changes.
2 Gabriella Calls Him Wildcat
"I love you Wildcat." It's Gabriella's nickname for Troy - and it's also the name of the team at East High School. It just seems a little off to call your boyfriend by the name of your school's mascot. It's like you're dating the school.
It also seems a little arrogant to imply that your beau is, like, the epitome of your school. What's more, none of the other students find it a little over the top, or make fun of it. High school kids are always so supportive of each other, aren't they? Or not!
It's the kind of thing that seems cute in TV land, but would never stand the reality test.
1 They Never Call It A Relationship
Other characters in the High School Musical trilogy talk about going on dates and having crushes, yet our star-crossed couple never, ever declare themselves to be in a relationship, let alone boyfriend and girlfriend.
In real life, teens are typically obsessed over who gets to call who boyfriend or girlfriend. There are fights, dramas, and misunderstandings of epic proportions over whether or not you are in a relationship with the object of your affections or whether you're "just hanging out." It's important to everyone...except Troy and Gabriella, the perfect couple.
Maybe, their relationship is so idyllic that the words never actually have to be spoken. But nah - nobody's that perfect.