This article is about the film. For the television series based on the film, see School of Rock (TV series). For other uses, see School of Rock (disambiguation).
School of Rock is a 2003 musicalcomedy film directed by Richard Linklater, produced by Scott Rudin, and written by Mike White. The film stars Jack Black, Joan Cusack, Mike White, Sarah Silverman, Joey Gaydos Jr. and Miranda Cosgrove. Black plays struggling rock singer and guitarist Dewey Finn, who is kicked out of his band and subsequently disguises as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. After witnessing the musical talent in his students in their music class, Dewey forms a band of fourth-graders to attempt to win the upcoming Battle of the Bands and pay off his rent.
School of Rock was released on October 3, 2003 by Paramount Pictures, grossing $131 million worldwide on a $35 million budget. It was the highest grossing musical comedy of all time until it was overtaken in 2015 by Pitch Perfect 2. A stage musical adaptation opened on Broadway in December 2015, and a television adaptation for Nickelodeon premiered on March 12, 2016.
No Vacancy, a rock band, performs at a nightclub three weeks before auditioning for the Battle of the Bands. Guitarist Dewey Finn creates on-stage antics, including a stage dive that abruptly ends the performance. The next morning, Dewey wakes in the apartment he lives in with Ned Schneebly and his girlfriend, Patty Di Marco. They inform him he must make up for his share of the rent or move out. When Dewey meets No Vacancy at a rehearsal session, he finds out that he has been replaced by another guitarist named Spider. Later, while attempting to sell some of his equipment for rent money, Dewey answers a phone call from Rosalie Mullins, the principal of the Horace Green prep school, inquiring for Ned about a short-term position as a substitute teacher. Desperate for money, Dewey impersonates Ned and is hired. On his first day at the school, Dewey adopts the name "Mr. S" and spends his first day behaving erratically, much to the class's confusion.
The next day, Dewey overhears a music class and devises a plan to form them into a new band to audition for Battle of the Bands. He casts Zack Mooneyham as lead guitarist, Freddy Jones as drummer, cello player Katie on bass, Lawrence on keyboard, and himself as lead vocalist and guitarist. He assigns the rest of the class to various roles of backup singers, groupies, roadies, with Summer Hathaway as band manager. The project takes over normal lessons, but helps the students to embrace their talents and overcome their problems. He reassures Lawrence, who feels nerdy, and is worried about not being cool enough for the band, Zack, whose overbearing father disapproves of rock, and Tomika, an overweight girl who is too self-conscious to even audition for backup singer despite an amazing voice. During one eloquent lesson, he teaches the kids that rock and roll is the way to "Stick it to the Man" and stand up for themselves. Band "groupies" Michelle and Eleni, with Summer's approval, pitch the band name "The School of Rock."
Two weeks into his hiring, Dewey sneaks his key band members out of school to audition for a spot in the competition, while the rest of the class stay behind to maintain cover. When Freddy wanders off, Dewey retrieves him but the group is rejected because the bill is full. After Summer tricks the staff into thinking that they have a terminal illness, the band is auditioned. The next day, Mullins decides to check on Dewey's teaching progress, forcing Dewey to teach the actual material. Mullins explains that a parents' night will take place at the school the day before Battle of the Bands, rendering Dewey somewhat concerned.
As Dewey prepares for the parents' night, Ned receives a paycheck from the school via mail, soon realizing that Dewey impersonated him. During the parents' meeting, the parents question what Dewey was teaching the kids until Ned, Patty and the police confront Dewey. With Mullins bursting in to question what is going on, Dewey reveals his true identity, admits he's not a licensed teacher and flees to his apartment. He and Patty argue and Ned intervenes; however, Ned suggests Dewey should move out.
The next morning, the parents go on an uproar in front of Mullins at her office, while the kids decide not to let their hard work go to waste. When the new substitute discovers that the kids are missing, she informs Mullins, and Mullins and the parents race to the competition. A school bus comes to pick up Dewey, who leads the kids to the Battle of the Bands and decides that they play the song written by Zack earlier in the film. Initially dismissed as a gimmick, the band wins over the entire crowd. Much to Dewey's dismay, No Vacancy wins, but the audience chant for School of Rock and demand an encore.
Some time later an after school program known as the School of Rock has opened as Dewey continues to coach the students he played with before while Ned teaches beginners, as the credits roll.
- Jack Black as Dewey Finn (lead singer, guitar) an energetic, down-on-his-luck guitarist slacker
- Joan Cusack as Principal Rosalie "Roz" Mullins
- Mike White as Ned Schneebly, Dewey's responsible but submissive roommate and best friend
- Sarah Silverman as Patty Di Marco, Ned's domineering girlfriend
- Miranda Cosgrove as Summer "Tinkerbell" Hathaway (band manager), the class president
- Joey Gaydos Jr. as Zack "Zack-Attack" Mooneyham (lead guitar)
- Kevin Clark as Freddy "Spazzy McGee" Jones (drums)
- Rebecca Brown as Katie "Posh Spice" (bass)
- Robert Tsai as Lawrence "Mr. Cool" (keyboards)
- Maryam Hassan as Tomika "Turkey Sub" (second singer, lead choir)
- Caitlin Hale as Marta "Blondie" (choir)
- Aleisha Allen as Alicia "Brace Face" (choir)
- Brian Falduto as Billy "Fancy Pants" (band stylist)
- Zachary Infante as Gordon "Roadrunner" (assistant, lights)
- James Hosey as Marco "Carrot Top" (assistant, special effects)
- Angelo Massagli as Frankie "Tough Guy" (security)
- Cole Hawkins as Leonard "Short Stop" (security)
- Jordan-Claire Green as Michelle (groupie)
- Veronica Afflerbach as Eleni (groupie)
- Adam Pascal as Theo (lead singer, guitar)
- Lucas Babin as Spider
- Pierre Leen as Neil (keyboard)
- Shawn Rodney as Shawn
Screenwriter Mike White's concept for the film was inspired by the Langley Schools Music Project. Various aspects of the plot were recognized as being similar to the 1957 Broadway hit The Music Man. Jack Black once witnessed a stage dive gone wrong involving Ian Astbury of rock band The Cult, which made its way into the film; "I went to see a reunion, in Los Angeles, of The Cult... it was just a bunch of jaded Los Angelinos out there, and they didn't catch him and he plummeted straight to the ground. Later I thought it was so hilarious. So that was put into the script." Many scenes from the movie were shot around the New York City area. The school portrayed in School of Rock is actually Main Hall at Wagner College in Staten Island, New York. In the commentary, the kids say that all of the hallway scenes were shot in one hallway. One of the theaters used in many of the shots was at Union County Performing Arts Center located in Rahway, New Jersey.
Main article: School of Rock (soundtrack)
The eponymous album was released on September 30, 2003. Sammy James Jr. of the band The Mooney Suzuki penned the title track with screenwriter Mike White, and the band backed up Jack Black and the child musicians on the soundtrack recording of the song. The film's director, Richard Linklater, scouted the country for talented 13-year-old musicians to play the rock and roll music featured on the soundtrack and in the film. The soundtrack includes "Immigrant Song" by Led Zeppelin, a band that has rarely granted permission for use of their songs in film and television. Richard Linklater came up with the idea to shoot a video on the stage used at the end of the film, with Jack Black begging the band for permission with the crowd extras cheering and chanting behind him. The video was sent directly to the living members of Led Zeppelin, and permission was granted for the song. The video is included on the DVD.
Songs featured in the film
* Featured on the Soundtrack album
School of Rock received an approval rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 192 reviews with an average rating of 7.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Black's exuberant, gleeful performance turns School of Rock into a hilarious, rocking good time." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 82 out of 100, based on 41 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
Box office performance
School of Rock opened at #1 with a weekend gross of $19,622,714 from 2,614 theaters for an average of $7,507 per venue. In its second weekend, the film declined just 21 percent, earning another $15,487,832 after expanding to 2,929 theaters, averaging $5,288 per venue, and bringing the 10-day gross to $39,671,396. In its third weekend, it dropped only 28 percent, making another $11,006,233 after expanding once again to 2,951 theaters, averaging $3,730 per venue, and bringing the 17-day gross to $54,898,025. It spent a total of six weeks among the Top 10 films and eventually grossed $81,261,177 in the United States and Canada and another $50,015,772 in international territories for a total gross of $131,282,949 worldwide, almost four times its budget of $35 million. This made School of Rock the highest-grossing musical comedy of all time, until it was overtaken in 2015 by Pitch Perfect 2.
Awards and nominations
The film was nominated for several awards, including Black receiving a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor – Comedy or Musical (which he lost to Bill Murray for Lost in Translation), and winning an MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance.
In 2008, Jack Black said that a sequel was being considered. It was later reported that director Richard Linklater and producer Scott Rudin would return. Mike White was returning as screenwriter, titled School of Rock 2: America Rocks, which picks up with Finn leading a group of summer school students on a cross-country field trip that delves into the history of rock 'n' roll. In 2012, Black stated that he believed the sequel was unlikely. "I tried really hard to get all the pieces together," he said. "I wouldn't want to do it without the original writer and director, and we never all got together and saw eye-to-eye on what the script would be. It was not meant to be, unfortunately," but added, "never say never".
Main article: School of Rock (musical)
On April 5, 2013, Andrew Lloyd Webber announced that he had bought the rights to School of Rock to a stage musical. On December 18, 2014, the musical was officially confirmed and it was announced that the show would receive its world premiere on Broadway in autumn 2015, at the Winter Garden Theatre. The musical has a book by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes. and is directed by Laurence Connor, with choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter, set and costume design by Anna Louizos and lighting by Natasha Katz. The musical features an original score composed by Lloyd Webber, with lyrics by Glenn Slater and sound design by Mick Potter, in addition to music from the original film. School of Rock became Lloyd Webber's first show opening on Broadway before London since Jesus Christ Superstar in 1971.
On August 29, 2013, a 10-year anniversary screening of the film was held in Austin, Texas at the Paramount Theatre. Those in attendance included director Richard Linklater, Jack Black, Mike White, Miranda Cosgrove and the rest of the young cast members except for Cole Hawkins (who played Leonard). The event, hosted by the Austin Film Society and Cirrus Logic, included a red carpet, a full cast and crew Q&A after the screening, where the now-grown child stars discussed their current pursuits in life, and a VIP after-party performance by the School of Rock band during which "School of Rock" and "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)" were played.
Main article: School of Rock (TV series)
On August 4, 2014, Nickelodeon announced that they were working with Paramount Television on a television show adaptation of the film. Production started in the fall and the series premiered in 2016. It stars Breanna Yde, Ricardo Hurtado, Jade Pettyjohn, Lance Lim, Aidan Miner, and Tony Cavalero.
- ^"SCHOOL OF ROCK (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. October 8, 2003. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
- ^"The School of Rock (EN)". Lumiere. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
- ^"School of Rock (2003)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
- ^ ab"List of Top Grossing Music Comedy Films, 1984-Present". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
- ^"'School of Rock' musical opening on Broadway in 2015". Los Angeles Times. December 18, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
- ^High Fidelity: Jack Black stays true to his 'School,' Jim DeRogatis, September 28, 2003
- ^Green, Jesse (December 7, 2015). "Theater Review: For Those About to Attend School of Rock, We Salute You". Vulture.com. New York Media LLC. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
- ^"Jack Black Interview, indielondon, Q and A". IndieLondon.co.uk. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- ^Balsamini, Dean (September 7, 2008). "Wagner College to celebrate 125th anniversary". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved December 9, 2009.
- ^"School of Rock (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
- ^"School of Rock (2003)". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
- ^Munoz, Lorenza (October 6, 2003). "'School of Rock' opens with honors". latimes.
- ^"Jack Black to return to class for School of Rock sequel". Adfero.co.uk. July 14, 2008. Archived from the original on September 3, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
- ^Siegel, Tatiana (July 13, 2008). "Paramount goes back to School". Variety. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
- ^Tyler, Josh (July 14, 2008). "Jack Black Set for School of Rock 2". CinemaBlend.com. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
- ^"JACK BLACK PLANNING SCHOOL OF ROCK REUNION". Hollywood.com. October 3, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
- ^"Andrew Lloyd Webber to stage School of Rock musical". BBC.co.uk/news. BBC News. April 10, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
- ^"Andrew Lloyd Webber to stage School of Rock". TheGuardian.com. The Guardian. April 8, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
- ^"Andrew Lloyd Webber To Bring SCHOOL OF ROCK To The Stage". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- ^Cox, Gordon (December 18, 2014). "'School of Rock' Will Rock Broadway with Andrew Lloyd Webber". variety.com. Variety. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
- ^"Andrew Lloyd Webber kicks out the jams with School of Rock musical". theguardian.com. The Guardian. December 19, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
- ^"Andrew Lloyd Webber's School of Rock Will Shake Up Broadway Next Fall". playbill.com. Playbill. December 18, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
- ^"'The School of Rock' to be adapted into Broadway musical". nydailynews.com. Daily News. December 18, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
- ^"Andrew Lloyd Webber's School of Rock to open on Broadway next December". thestage.co.uk. The Stage. December 19, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
- ^"School of Rock Musical To Have World Premiere On Broadway!". reallyuseful.com. Really Useful Group. December 18, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
- ^"Andrew Lloyd Webber Will Pen Tunes for School of Rock Musical". time.com. Time Magazine. December 18, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
- ^"Andrew Lloyd Webber's School of Rock will open on Broadway this year". londonboxoffice.co.uk. London Box Office. January 14, 2015. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
- ^Matthew, Jacobs (August 30, 2013). "'School Of Rock' Reunion Brings Jack Black, Miranda Cosgrove, Richard Linklater And More Together 10 Years Later". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- ^"'School of Rock' cast including Jack Black, Miranda Cosgrove reunites for 10 year anniversary". New York: NY Daily News. August 30, 2013. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- ^""Long Way To The Top" - School of Rock Reunion Concert LIVE". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
- ^"'School of Rock TV Series Coming to Nickelodeon". roosterteeth.com. August 4, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
- ^Elizabeth Wagmeister (March 26, 2015). "'School of Rock' Series: Nickelodeon Announces Cast for TV Movie Adaptation - Variety". Variety.
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Film / School of Rock
Tropes Used in the Film
- Academic Alpha Bitch: Summer is a mild example. She is obsessed with getting more gold stars than anyone else but just tries to get as many as possible for herself and never tries to sabotage anyone else.
- Adult Fear: For the parents, learning that a random stranger impersonated a substitute teacher at their kids' private school, used them for a private music project and later on took them for a "field trip". While the parents are micromanagers, their Mass "Oh, Crap!" reaction is understandable. Fortunately for them Dewey underwent Character Development.
- As You Know: Ms. Mullins says this verbatim when telling the teachers in the staff room how important the upcoming parent/teacher night is.
- Asian and Nerdy: Lawrence, the keyboarder, is Asian, and is concerned that he isn't cool enough for the band because he feels nerdy.
- Battle of the Bands: The plot revolves around Dewey entering the kids in one to beat his old band. They lose, but still win the audience's adoration.
- Becoming the Mask: Dewey eventually does start to care for his students and winds up becoming the teacher of an after-school program called, you guessed it, The School of Rock.
- Big "SHUT UP!": After Dewey is exposed as an impostor and he and Patty argue in the flat, Ned gets fed up of their arguing and yells at them to shut up three times.
- Big "WHAT?!": Dewey gets two. The first is during the auditions for Battle of the Bands after Summer tells him another band invited Freddy out to their van. The second is a scene or so later when he's told the auditions are over.
- Blithe Spirit: Dewey.
- Book Ends: Dewey is performing at a concert both at the start and end of the film. and performs a stage dive at each one.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: See Credits Gag below.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Dewey is a talented guitarist and dreams of being a rock star, but has no other job and no desire to get one, mooching off Ned for years, according to himself. It's only when Patty threatens to kick him out that he decides to do something about it and pay Ned the money he owes him, even if only for Ned's sake.
- Camp Gay: Billy, the boy placed in charge of designing their costumes, has these mannerisms. Reportedly, the character wasn't written this way. However, the director saw that playing up the stereotypes would bring in laughs. As a result, screenwriter Mike White (an open bisexual with a gay father) disowned the final film.
- The Cameo: If you've never heard of these guys, you'll miss it, but The Mooney Suzuki are briefly seen backstage at the battle of the bands. Sammy James Jr., the lead singer, co-wrote the song "School of Rock" for the movie along with Mike White.
- Cassandra Truth: Shortly before Parents' Night, Dewey admits to Ms. Mullins that he's not a real teacher. Ms. Mullins thinks Dewey is just suffering a lapse in self-confidence and tries to encourage him.
- Character Development: Dewey goes from a selfish Manchild to a Team Dad and a Cool Teacher who learns from the kids how to compromise on the band stuff, which was what got him fired from No Vacancy in the first place.
- Chekhov's Gun: Parents' Night is mentioned, Dewey promptly forgets about it and does his own thing... and then half an hour later the plot element comes to fruition. And because he hasn't been planning, during that intervening half hour of plot, Hilarity Ensues.
- Could also be considered foreshadowing, as the principal stresses how important it is.
- Child Prodigy: All of the children have some exceptional talent that Dewey uses to help the band out (i.e Billy with costume designing, Tomika with singing) but Gordon and Summer are the most traditional examples, Gordon with computers and Summer with organisational skills.
- This could be a Reality Subtext as applied to the kids in the "band." The actors who play bass, guitar, and drums all started musical training exceptionally early.
- Class Whatever: Summer. Complains when told that the class no longer has to do any schoolwork.
- Clown Car: Somehow Dewey manages to pack the entire class, plus instruments, into his van.
- Actually, he fits eight children into the van, to go to the audition. One or two in the front, depending on the shot, and the rest crammed into the back. Still a tight fit, but possible. Only one guitar appears to have gone with them. Maybe they were going to borrow instruments there? At the end, they've rented a bus for the entire class.
- Cool Loser: Freddy seems to be openly despised by most of his fellow students except Frankie, but it's likely justified in that he's a wannabe tough guy and the only "cool kid" (a term used very loosely here) in a class full of nerds.
- Cool Teacher: What Dewey eventually becomes.
- Crack Defeat: The kids get beaten by No Vacancy (which just so happens to be the band that fired Dewey at the beginning of the movie), despite the entire crowd going crazy during their performance. They one-up the winners though, because the audience wants an encore.
- Credits-Brand Products: The open credits appear as various posters and on people's shirts in the bar.
- Credits Gag: The movie ends with the characters' band playing a new song, the credits rolling through in front of them. Near the end of the credits Jack Black points them out claiming "I do not know that guy!" in song.
- New song in terms. They're improvising over AC/DC's "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)", which they started to play at their Battle of the Bands encore, and rolled into the final scene.
- On TBS, the credits don't appear in the final scene (they are replaced with a Credits Pushback afterwards), ruining the gag.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Summer who is initially snotty and stuck up, only concerned with her grades but comes to be friends with her classmates.
- Also Ms. Mullins, who starts out very prim, but warms to Dewey (and Spider).
- Department of Redundancy Department: Dewey telling the kid's parents what he taught their kids goes something like this: "Math, science, uh.. geography, Latin, Spanish, French, Latin... Did I say math already?"
- Also, "It will test your head, and your mind, and your brain."
- Despair Event Horizon: Dewey falls into this late into the movie. See "The Reason The World Sucks" below. He gets better.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Dewey is quite correct to tell Freddy that "Rock ain't about gettin' loaded and acting like a jerk."
- Dumb Is Good: Subverted with Summer. Her intelligence is presented as annoying at first but it ends up helping Dewey and the band out on several occasions and she ends up as band manager because she's much more competent than Dewey.
- E = MC Hammer: Dewey writes E = mc^2 on the board while pretending to teach the children something. Played with slightly in that he is totally clueless about teaching and this was presumably the only vaguely mathematical formula he could remember, and Mullins doesn't bat an eyelid when she walks into the room, even though the children are preteens.
- Epic Fail: Dewey's stage dive at the beginning. He knocks glasses out of a guy's hand and lands on the floor.Dewey:: Whoa, nobody caught me. That was lame.
- Everybody Owns a Ford: All the parents' cars are Volvos. Probably done for laughs, not Product Placement, unless Volvo itself has a sense of humor about its stereotypical owners.
- Every One Chasing You: After the parents take one of Dewey's remarks literally, see That Came Out Wrong below.
- Expy: Jack Black is playing his very character from Tenacious D, only without the constant swearing as the movie is PG-13.
- Extreme Doormat: Ned, until he finally stands up to Patty.
- Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Zack's dad. He comes across as overbearing, and doesn't allow him to play the electric guitar, thinking it a waste of time.
- Filming For Easy Dub: Instead of Jack Black, it's a guitar. In the climax of the film, Jack breaks out a guitar solo, but his guitar NEVER faces the camera, so you don't see the necessary hand movements to perform said solo. Possibly Lampshaded afterwards by Mullins asking him if that was really him playing. (It wasn't — the DVD commentaries reveal Jack Black doesn't really play electric guitar that wellnote It's Kyle Gass who handles lead guitar in Tenacious D. Most of the guitar playing his character did was actually him miming to a pre-recorded guitar track. He does occasionally play himself, though, such as when teaching Zack the riff to "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple.)
- Flat "What.": Dewey's reaction to Ned suggesting he should sell one of his guitars for rent money. However, we later see Dewey attempting to do just that, after he's kicked out of No Vacancy.
- No Vacancy removes Dewey from the band for being a Large Ham and It's All About Me. Without him, they end up winning The Battle of the Bands.
- Ned tells Dewey in their first scene together that if Dewey thinks Ned's job's so easy, he should try it. Come Dewey answering a call meant for Ned a few scenes later from Horace Green, and guess what happens.
- Dewey tells Ned in their first scene to dump Patty, because of how she's a jerk to both of them. Ned eventually has enough of Patty and slams the door on her.
- Dewey reiterates that one great rock show can change the world. The kids' show ends up changing their parents' mind, and Ms. Mullins while furious with Dewey tells him So Proud of You.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: At one point, during the rock class montage, Dewey draws a flowchart on the blackboard with the ramifications of rock and important bands. Pausing the disc reveals how accurate the whole thing actually is.
- From the Mouths of Babes: Dewey has priceless reactions on the words of the preteen kids. Summer's "I read about groupies, they're sluts!" and Alicia's "I say let's get out of here and do the damn show" are famous examples.Dewey: What are the good things when you're in the rock band?Dewey: (bewildered) What? N...No!
- Girlish Pigtails: Marta, one of the back-up singers. She had them braided and below the jaw line in a dreary, bored fashion (the dull uniform doesn't help), until the very end at their concert where they're high up and loose.
- Goggles Do Nothing: Freddy wears a pair during the Battle of the Bands, most likely for Rule of Cool.
- Graceful Loser: The kids take getting second place at the Battle of the Bands far better than Dewey, who honestly just wanted to one-up his former bandmates. Dewey eventually joins in their sentiment that they put on a good show, especially when the audience calls for an encore.Freddy: Rock isn't about getting an A. The Sex Pistols never won anything.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Ms. Mullins. Just add "Edge of Seventeen" as BGM.
- Hate Sink: As the film does not have a defined antagonist, Patty seems to function as this. She does have a few Jerkass Has a Point tendencies, but she is a pretty nasty girlfriend to Ned and even worse to Dewey. No wonder Dewey hates her, and it gets to the point where Ned decides Patty isn't worth his time and leaves her.
- Henpecked Husband: Ned is a henpecked boyfriend - he isn't married, but he's a complete pushover who is domineered by his overbearing girlfriend.
- Hidden Depths: Dewey is a slacker and a Manchild, but he takes his ambitions to become a rock star completely seriously, as evidenced by his use of theory terms when teaching the kids "Smoke On The Water."
- Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Summer. You didn't expect Miranda to sing badly, do you?
- The DVD commentaries tell us (and prove to us) that she actually sings really well, and she had to be taught how to sing badly.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Summer once Dewey makes her the band manager. And she keeps the position when the band becomes an after-school program.
- Hypocritical Humor: Ned's girlfriend claims he should stand up for himself, yet when she berates him for not doing so, he comes off as the bullied boyfriend.He does stand up for himselffinally, when he slams the door on her.
- Incurable Cough of Death: The kids' Bad "Bad Acting" for their "fatal illnesses" to get them into the Battle of the Bands.
- Insult Backfire: Frankie says "Ms. Mullins, you're The Man" and she replies "Thank you, Frankie" without knowing what they really mean. Frankie's snickering regardless of Ms. Mullins' response indicates that this was meant to be a Stealth Insult.
- It's All About Me: Dewey at the beginning of the film. Overcoming it is part of his Character Development.
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": One-shot joke. "Actually, it's Shnay-blay."
- Jerkass: Patty. She even talks down to Ned at times.
- Jerkass Has a Point:
- Patty is quite correct in telling off Dewey for impersonating Ned. He technically committed fraud and took money that Ned could have gotten.
- Dewey also towards Patty for calling the cops on him at the school, not for his sake but for the kids, in that he wasn't able to tell the parents how great their kids were at music once the police outed him. It says something that during their fight Ned drops his Extreme Doormat personality and shouts at both of them.
- The parents have a right to be concerned when they find out that a random stranger was posing as a substitute teacher and using their kids as musicians in a concert, even though their mass berating of Ms. Mullins causes her to have a minor breakdown.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Dewey. He's Brilliant, but Lazy, has been mooching off Ned for years and has no desire to get a real job. He also impersonates Ned just to he can avoid getting knocked out, which comes back to bite him later. He's also still a good friend to Ned by promising to pay him the money he owes him and urges him to dump Patty (for Ned's sake as well as his own), brings out the musical talent in the kids he teaches, tries to sort out some of their self-esteem issues and apologises to the kids later that he used them for his own means.
- Just Testing You: A Running Gag.
- Karma Houdini: Dewey for impersonating Ned, even though the cops were called on him and Ned politely tells him to move out before the battle of the bands. The kids still come to rock in the after-school program, which allows him to fulfill his dreams while helping them out even though they lost the Battle of the Bands. This is justified in that Ned doesn't press charges against Dewey and leaves Patty.
- Large Ham: Jack Black... what did you expect?
- Laser-Guided Karma: Along with a handful of Hoist by His Own Petard. Patty berates Ned a lot and insults him for not sticking up for himself. Needless to say, Ned eventually has enough and walks out on her.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: Exploited by Summer, who gets all the kids to act as though they are all terminal in order to earn them a spot at the Battle of the Bands.
- The Man: Ms. Mullins (a hot, sexy, female man). Later subverted — she actually only became tightly-wounded because she feels powerless against the constant, strident demands of over-protective parents.
- Manchild: Dewey. He's an immature slacker who has no life outside of rock; however, it helps him find a common language with kids.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Patty and Ned. At least, until Ned finally has enough of Patty.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": The parents in the climax when after chewing out Ms. Mullins she has to tell them with a Broken Smile, "I've just been informed that all your children are missing."
- Meaningful Echo: "One great rock show can change the world." Dewey says this to Freddy after another band invite him out to their van at the Battle of the Band auditions. Freddy repeats this line to Dewey to convince him to join them at Battle of the Bands.
- Meddling Parents: All of the kids have them. In fairness, Horace Green is a high-profile school.
- Medium Awareness/No Fourth Wall: Only during the credits.
- Mistaken for Pedophile: "I have been touched by your kids...and I'm pretty sure I've touched them."
- Mouthy Kid: Freddy. Dewey had to save his skin at one point.
- No Antagonist: The film has no defined bad guy. The ones who comes closest have some good intentions, or at least a good point:
- Dewey's old band mates fire him from the band only because his behavior on stage is truly embarrassing and is in the way for the band's success.
- Mullins enforces a strict code for the school because of the pressure from the over-protective parents. That said, the parents only act the way they do because they want quality education for their children, and they are rightfully upset that their kids were taught by an unqualified substitute teacher.
- Patty might be an overly domineering girlfriend to Ned, but she is right when she says that Dewey needs to pay the rent on the apartment, because he'll be evicted if he doesn't.
- Nobody Poops: Averted. Dewey is in the men's room standing at a urinal when he hears the kids playing their instruments in music class.
- No Name Given: All of the kids' parents. They're referred to as "X's Mom/Dad".
- Nothing but Hits: The soundtrack contains classic rock by the boatload. Justified, as they are used to teach the kids how to rock.
- Oh, Crap!:
- Dewey twice during the parents evening. The first one comes when he sees the police outside the classroom, and realising they were called on him. The second one comes after the pun that makes the parents think he is a paedophile The look on his face says it all. Right before a Screw This, I'm Outta Here! moment.
- The substitute teacher who comes in the next day and finds her charges missing, because they've gone to the Battle of the Bands. She runs around frantically wondering where they are.
- Only One Name: All of the kids except for Freddy, Summer and Zack.
- Also Theo and Spider, Theo's old bandmate and the one who replaced him.
- Papa Wolf: After seeing their kids perform a killer song at the Battle of the Bands, Lawrence and Zack's dads lead the chant, "SCHOOL OF ROCK, SCHOOL OF ROCK!" when No Vacancy wins the prize and the twenty thousand dollar check.
- Pass the Popcorn: Ned at the climax decides that, after the kids pick up Dewey and convince him to do the Battle of the Bands with them, to go and see the show, even inviting Patty along. He may as well see where the ride ends, having seen the tail end of it. He's disappointed along with the crowd when No Vacancy wins.
- Product Placement: Most of the instruments in this movie are made by Gibson, Although some from other companies like Fender and Washburn show up as well. Also, all of the parents' cars, as seen a few times, are Volvos.
- The Power of Rock
- Precision F-Strike: Courtesy of Alicia after Dewey is outed as a fraud and the kids are stuck in school the day they're supposed to perform: "I say let's get out of here and do the damn show".
- "The ReasonThe World Sucks" Speech:"Here's a useful lesson for ya: Give up. Just quit. Because in this life, you can't win. Oh yeah, you can try. But in the end you're just gonna lose big time! Because the world is run by The Man! The Man oh you don't know the Man? Oh, he's everywhere! In the White House, down the hall Ms. Mullins, she's the Man. And the Manruinedthe ozone; and he's burning downThe Amazon; and he kidnapped Shamuand put her in a chlorine tank! And there used to be a way to stick it to the Man, it was called rock 'n roll. But guess what? Oh no, the Man ruined that too, with a little thing called MTV! So don't waste your time trying to make anything cool, or pure, or awesome, 'cause the Man is just gonna call you a fat, washed-up loser, and crush your soul! So do yourselves a favor, and just GIVE UP!!"
- Reality Ensues:
- At the audition for Battle of the Bands, Dewey is furious to find he and the kids have gotten there too late, and when he talks to the man in charge, he throws a chair, gets in his face and shouts at him. The man in charge simply tells his assistant to call security and have them thrown out.
- When the parents and Mullins get to Battle of the Bands after finding out that Dewey has taken their kids there to play the show, they are refused entry because of how they don't have tickets. Mullins wisely decides that they should purchase tickets, and only then are they allowed in.
- A rock band of children competes in the Battle of Bands with professional musicians. They don't win - the reward for the first place goes to Dewey's old band.
- Recycled In Space: Mr. Holland's Opus...with a really bad teacher.
- The Roadie: The various classmates who did not become a part of the band were assigned the roles of roadies and groupies (albeit a PG-rated equivalent).
- Rock'n'Roll Teacher: Dewey.
- Rummage Sale Reject: A lot of the kids' costumes during the climactic show end up looking like this.
- Sassy Black Girl: Alicia.
- Save Our Students: Played with. The kids didn't really need saving, but a fair few of them come out happier than they ever were. Lawrence, Freddie and Zack agree that even though "Mr. S" lied to them and used them for a rock show, their three weeks of "vacation" weren't a waste of time.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Not long after this line by Dewey: "I have been touched by your kids. And I'm pretty sure I've touched them." Coupled with Oh, Crap! and That Came Out Wrong.
- Ned eventually has enough of Patty berating him one time too many when he decides he wants to go to the Battle of the Bands to see Dewey perform. While she's in mid-sentence, he simply rolls his eyes and storms out, slamming the door on her.
- Second Place Is for Winners