Looking for some back to school videos to get students laughing on Day 1? This is a list of 26 (mostly) funny TV and movie clips to help you celebrate the First Day of School.
Not all of these are school-appropriate, so you’ll want to watch clips all the way through before showing them to students. Enjoy!!!
BACK-TO-SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #1: NEVER BEEN KISSED
Drew Barrymore stars as Josie “Grossie” Gellar, an insecure 25-year old who goes back to high school to try to find a story–any story–that will transform her from overlooked copy editor to hard-hitting reporter. But Josie is still a nerd deep down, and high school hasn’t changed much since she graduated.
This clip features Josie starting her very first day back in high school.
BACK-TO-SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #2: FAST TIMES AT RIDGMONT HIGH
Take me back to 1982! In this scene, Mr. Hand (played by Ray Walston) has his first showdown with tardy stoner Jeff Spicoli, played by a very young Sean Penn. Smell those mimeographs on your own time, people!
BACK-TO-SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #3: LEGALLY BLONDE
In an attempt to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner, California cupcake Elle Woods (played by Reese Witherspoon) gets herself accepted to Harvard Law, where Warner attends. Because that’s not hard at all.
BACK-TO-SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #4: BAD TEACHER
Recess is over, kids. Time to read To Kill a Mockingbird and have gold stars and rubber balls on your forehead.
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #5: DIARY OF A WIMPY KID
Get ready for back to school with some stellar advice from Greg’s older brother Rodrick. Some of this advice is practical for teachers, too.
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #6: CLUELESS
Maybe my favorite high school movie of all time! In this scene, Travis Birkenstock gives his acceptance speech for having a class-high of 38 tardies. Go, Travis!
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #7: THE SIMPSONS
It’s Bart’s first day of Kindergarten! Ever wonder how he met Milhouse and became such an adorable troublemaker? Here’s your answer!
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #8: SKY HIGH
Welcome to Sky High! Are you a Hero or a Sidekick? Watching this clip makes me want to watch the entire movie!
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #9: KINDERGARTEN COP
This is proof that even the teacher can have a bad first day. I do want this gorgeous classroom though–you can’t really see it in this scene, but there is a great treehouse-style reading loft in the corner!
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #10: THE BIG BANG THEORY
Professor Sheldon Cooper teaches a university course, but no one enrolls. Howard decides to take the class, but when Sheldon starts with the insults, the spitballs fly.
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #11: HAIRSPRAY
Smoking in the teachers’ lounge, dodgeball in gym class, and driver’s ed. Just try not to sing along!
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #12: HOMEY D. CLOWN
Homey explodes with joy, tells kindergarteners their teacher is dead, and teaches a class of five kids some reading, art, music, and math.
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #13: HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE
Harry gets his first look at Hogwarts, meets Professor McGonagall, hears about the Sorting Hat, and meets Draco Malfoy. They all look so young!
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #14: DEAD POETS SOCIETY
Carpe diem, y’all.
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #15: SCHOOL OF ROCK
Enjoy Mr. Schn…er, Mr. S’s…first day as a hungover substitute teacher at a prestigious prep academy. Watch out kids, he’s got a headache…and the runs.
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #16: BIG DADDY
Ms. Foot (is she related to Mr. Hand?) tells Sonny that five-year old Julian is the smelly kid in class.
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #17: THE KARATE KID
It’s Daniel LaRusso’s first day of school, and he’s about to officially meet the lovely Ali for the first time. I see this clip a lot differently now that I’ve seen Seasons 1-4 of Cobra Kai.
**Edit–June 15, 2019–Season 2 of Cobra Kai has the most EPIC first day of school scene in history! I can’t post it here without spoiling the whole season, but WOW.
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #18: THE MIDDLE
Brick: A school librarian’s worst nightmare. FYI: Walt Whitman’s birthday is May 31, 1819.
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #19: THE WONDER YEARS
Coach Cutlip explains the female anatomy, which apparently looks like a cow’s head. Yikes.
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #20: BILLY MADISON
This is me, waiting for the staff bus Monday morning.
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #21: WONDER
On his first day of public school, ten-year old Auggie schools bully Julian on the proper pronunciation of the word “supposedly.”
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #22: MATILDA
Poor Matilda is so excited to start school, but watch out for Ms. Trunchbull!
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #23: MEAN GIRLS
I am so out of fashion. I don’t have any pink Wednesday Dresses.
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #24: SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Oh, please, please, please put me in this class with Jerry Seinfeld as the teacher and Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, and David Spade as my classmates. PLEASE!!!!!!
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #25: KEY & PEELE
“If one of y’all says some silly-ass name, this whole class is gonna feel my wrath!”
BACK TO SCHOOL VIDEO CLIP #26: ALIKE
I saved this one for last because I plan to use it in an upcoming booktalk with my high schoolers. It’s perfect to show older students on the first day to start a discussion about school and conformity and creativity.