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Top 10 Memorable Graduation TV Scenes

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Sadie Perkins
Script written by Sadie Perkins These are the best graduation scenes on TV! For this list, we’ll be looking at the most memorable, entertaining, or emotional graduation moments from television. We’re saving movie scenes for another list. We’ve included scenes from tv shows like Gilmore Girls, the O.C, The Vampire Diaries, The Suite Life on Deck, The Secret Life of the American Teenager and more!
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Top 10 Graduation Scenes From TV

Whether it’s high school or university, it’s always a relief to make it to the podium and get that diploma. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Graduation Scenes From TV.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most memorable, entertaining, or emotional graduation moments from television. We’re saving movie scenes for another list.

#10: All Together
“The Vampire Diaries” (2009-17)

When Caroline, Bonnie, Matt, Elena, and Stefan all actually show up to their graduation, it initially seems like everyone is all smiles. Bonnie’s pain at hiding the secret of her impending death manages to peek through her actions around her friends and her father, giving the audience a preview of the tougher times ahead. As each member of the group receives their diplomas, Kol also makes a surprise appearance, showing up to the ceremony with a small army of the undead ready to be released. The ceremony continues happily on despite the tense negotiations between him and Bonnie, with the mostly human audience oblivious to what’s going on.

#9: Armed & Dangerous
“Buffy The Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003)

Did this graduating class take a course in advanced weaponry? During the ceremony at Sunnydale High, a convenient eclipse takes place just as the somewhat suspicious mayor is delivering his speech. Red flag, anybody? It doesn’t take long before the mayor turns into a giant, hungry-looking snake, with most of the adult audience scattering. In one of the most badass scenes of the series, the graduates keep their calm, throwing off their robes and pulling out a veritable armory of flamethrowers, maces, and other monster killing gear. Could anything less be expected from a class that includes a vampire slayer?

#8: Bon Voyage
“The Suite Life on Deck” (2008-11)

The Sprouse twins have come a long way from their Zack and Cody days, and this was one of the moments that escorted them into adulthood. Even though the ambitious Cody didn’t manage to make it into Yale and Zack had to deal with a breakup he didn’t quite see coming, the twins still managed to make it to the ceremony with high hopes. Finally standing up to Mr. Tipton and defending the students, Mr. Moseby celebrated his last day aboard the ship with a proposal to Ms. Tutweiller. Though their time aboard the SS Tipton had come to a close, everyone left this ceremony headed towards a bright future.

#7: Remembering J.T.
“Degrassi: The Next Generation” (2001-15)

Sometimes, it takes a tragedy to bring people back together. Though there was a significant amount of tension in this episode, things came to a head during the graduation ceremony. Breaking down halfway through her speech honoring deceased classmate JT, Liberty rushed off the stage in tears. Watching her friends come to her aid to provide support and forgive her for her mistakes warmed audiences hearts and emphasized the importance of friendship, especially when things get tough. With the uplifting vocals of Natasha Bedingfield in the background, this was one of the most memorable graduations in the Degrassi series.

#6: Graduation Group Text
“Gossip Girl” (2007-12)

For some people, getting their diploma means leaving the drama and gossip of high school behind them. But when Gossip Girl gets involved, the drama isn’t going anywhere. Looking forward to college and leaving rumors in the past, Serena and Blair finally settle in to enjoy their last moments of high school. But with convenient and brutal timing, Gossip Girl shatters the ceremony with a scathing group text that gives almost the entire class a vicious set of labels. As the graduates exchange looks after receiving the text, the mood quickly turns from joyful to bitter, showing that despite the occasion - Gossip Girl isn’t done with them yet.

#5: Ring & a Diploma
“The Secret Life of the American Teenager” (2008-13)

Though the rumors had been flying, this heartwarming proposal up on the graduation stage still came as a surprise to viewers. After completing his emotional and revealing valedictory address, Ricky calls Amy up on stage to pop the big question. When she tearfully agrees, the thunderous applause throughout the auditorium overshadows the few expressions within the crowd that are less than happy with the turn of events. Despite the drama from other characters in the show, the look on Ricky’s face as he asked for Amy’s hand in marriage was priceless, and made the graduation one to remember for more reasons than one.

#4: Juuust Barely
“Saved by the Bell” (1989-93)

Not everybody is a star student, and making it up to the podium can be a struggle for some. As graduation approaches, Zack learns that he is one credit shy of getting his diploma. In a desperate attempt to attend graduation with his fellow classmates, he joins Bayside's ballet troupe. Naturally, hilarity ensues. However, things take a turn for the worse, when most of the dancers fall ill, threatening the final show and Zack's credit. Luckily, Zack is able to convince his friends to help, allowing him to graduate. Classic Morris!

#3: Surprise!
“Boy Meets World” (1993-2000)

Graduation is a tough milestone for most high school couples. Parties go their separate ways, with different jobs, schools, or interests… most of the time. Depressed about the possibility of Topanga going off to Yale without him, but still wanting her to go, Cory’s blues are evident throughout the episode. But in a surprise twist, just as the graduating class is asked to stand, Topanga turns the tables and asks him to marry her. Watching him slowly return to his seat in stunned silence before the cliffhanger ending of the episode had audience's jaws dropping with shock and cranked the suspense to the next level.

#2: A Soundtrack to Remember
“The O.C.” (2003-07)

The last hurrah of the “core four”. This is one of the final moments Marissa, Ryan, Summer, and Seth spent together, and their graduation ceremony is accompanied by the sounds of Imogen Heap's somewhat on the nose “Speeding Cars”. The memorable soundtrack and the fact this event was one of the last to have all of the friends together made this graduation one audiences will never forget. Heading their separate ways with high hopes for the future, seeing the happy grads wish each other well made the harsh and shocking ending of this episode even harder to watch.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions.

Quite the Speech

“Dawson’s Creek” (1998-2003)

"I Think I'm Having My Baby!"
"One Tree Hill" (2003-12)

Cuff 'Em
“Veronica Mars” (2004-07)

#1: No Blubbering Allowed
“Gilmore Girls” (2000-07)

After years of watching Rory fight her way up the ladder and refuse to give up, viewers couldn’t help but be moved by her articulate and beautifully worded speech. Rory gave a speech that broke her audience down to tears, despite their best efforts to keep emotions in check. Watching her mother and grandparents barely manage to hold back tears makes the impact of Rory’s speech even more profound, and this moment holds a spot as one of the most memorable valedictory addresses on television.
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