Universal Pictures

10 College Movies That Hold the Key to Your Squad Goals

The best lessons are learned outside the classroom.

By Brenden Gallagher

School is almost out for summer, but that doesn’t mean you should stop learning. Chances are you and your #squad have some big plans for the upcoming heat waves months, filled with patriotic ragers and all important beach days. Before you go off on your summer journey, it might be a good idea to look at some other college movies and see how they handle #squadgoals.

Neighbors 2 isn’t the first movie to follow the exploits of a group of friends who come together for a common cause (in this case, making Seth Rogen’s life a living Hell). From Animal House to The House Bunny, college movies have been dishing out life lessons between keg stands for decades. Here are 10 College Movies That Hold the Key to Your #SquadGoals.

  • Animal House (1978)

    Universal Pictures

    The Movie: One of the earliest and most beloved college comedies, Animal House follows the Brothers of Delta House as they get into some ridiculous shenanigans and do their best to avoid the punishments of the evil Dean Wormer (John Vernon).

    What Your Squad Can Learn: When the Deltas are down and out, they still stick together. Even after they are kicked off campus and expelled, they band together to take down the Homecoming Parade in perhaps the greatest series of pranks in cinema history. Even after the rest of the college and the powers that be counted them out, they believed in each other. As Bluto (John Belushi) tells the brothers, “nothing is over until we decide it is.”

  • Legally Blonde (2001)


    The Movie: The story of Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) overcoming society’s expectations and going from sorority president to Harvard law student has grown into a cultural phenomenon. The film spawned a sequel and Broadway musical.

    What Your Squad Can Learn: Though Elle gets by on sheer force of will, she couldn’t have gotten started without some serious support from her sorority sisters. Though Elle’s decision to move from fashion into law came out of left field, her crew supported her no matter what. So, next time your boy tries to explain to you how he is going to launch Uber but for pool cleaners, back him up a little bit before you tear his dream to shreds.

  • How High (2001)

    Universal Pictures

    The Movie: There are great stoner comedies and there are great college comedies. How High is both. Method Man and Redman roll and smoke the ashes of their intelligent friend, and that isn’t even one of the top five most ridiculous things that happens in the movie.

    What Your Squad Can Learn: If you’ve ever ended up out with your friends in the wrong part of town, you know that trust is essential to keep the squad united. Silas (Method Man) and Jamal (Redman) keep full faith in each other no matter how ridiculous their schemes get. Whether they are smoking with Ben Franklin’s ghost or dosing the Alumni Association with truth serum, their two-man squad remains united.

  • Accepted (2006)

    Universal Pictures

    The Movie: In Accepted, the characters act out against the kind of frustration anyone who has ever received a college rejection letter or been put on a waiting list has felt keenly. Sick of getting rejection letters from their colleges of choice, the students in Accepted decide to make their own college.

    Your Squad Can Learn: The success of the very fake South Harmon Institute of Technology (Get it?) depends on the students keeping a big secret. The first class of students at S.H.I.T. become fast friends, and their plan works perfectly, until someone rats them out. Accepted is just another example of the age-old truth: friendship is built on trust.

  • Everybody Wants Some (2016)

    Paramount Pictures

    The Movie: Richard Linklater’s latest coming of age film follows a freshman college baseball player (Blake Jenner) over the course of his first few days on campus. Jake and his fellow freshmen figure out how to fit in, play ball, and get laid as they learn at the feet of the upperclassmen big bats on campus.

    What Your Squad Can Learn: Even though they are jocks, these guys know how to go with the flow. The varsity baseball team is all about life, liberty, and the pursuit of that booty, and they are willing to go to any bar and any party that will help them meet their goals. The team goes to theater department parties, country-western bars, and discos throughout the course of the movie. And every single teammate plays their part, even if it means trying to fit in to the pit at a basement punk concert. Rolling with your squad can sometimes take you out of your comfort zone, and sometimes, you have to make sacrifices for the good of the squad.

  • Drumline (2002)

    Twentieth Century Fox

    The Movie: This 20002 Nick Cannon vehicle that explores the drumline culture of Historically Black Colleges was a surprise hit. The film gets to the heart of issues that face ambitious young people in any field: hard work, the thirst for glory, and the importance of working as a team.

    What Your Squad Can Learn: A solid squad will settle inter-squad disagreements face to face. No need to turn an issue into a social media war. For Devon (Nick Cannon) and Sean (Leonard Roberts) this means having a drum off. Your squad doesn’t have to settle their disagreements with percussion to keep your squad strong, but you should work out your differences face to face.

  • Wonder Boys (2000)

    Paramount Pictures

    The Movie: A once promising novelist is struggling to finish his second novel. One of his students is struggling to figure himself out. A series of secrets and less than brilliant actions put them in each others’ orbit and in trouble with the people around them.

    What Your Squad Can Learn: It isn’t just important for squads to keep secrets, but a real squad knows how to cover for each other when sh-t goes awry. You would think that the literary world would be sleepy one, but with dead dogs, carjackings, and stolen Marilyn Monroe memorabilia floating around this film, there is a lot more to literary types than the writing. Throughout the film, Grady (Michael Douglass) and James (Tobey Maguire) must work to cover each others’ tracks.

  • Old School (2003)

    DreamWorks Film

    The Movie: This beloved comedy is already destined to be a classic. Old School set the stage for Will Ferrell’s super stardom and introduced the world the the Frat Pack, a group of actors who would dominate Hollywood comedy for the next decade.

    What Your Squad Can Learn: Even the greatest squads need to know when to hang it up. It’s not that you need stop hanging out with your friends, but sometimes you need to start hanging out in a different way. Once Blue (Patrick Cranshaw) passes away, the oldest frat on campus realizes that they’ll eventually have to go back to their adult lives. After the frat men defeat the dean, most of them realize that it’s time to move off campus and on with their lives.

  • The House Bunny (2008)

    Columbia Pictures

    The Movie: Just because you look great doesn’t mean your life is perfect. Shelley (Anna Faris) learns some serious life lessons when gets booted from the Playboy Mansion and has to learn how to live life outside the comfort of Hugh Hefner’s walls.

    What Your Squad Can Learn: Your squad is never too big for a new member, and sometimes that member can come from an unexpected place. Shelley doesn’t look like the girls of her sorority, and she doesn’t think like them. But their differences are exactly what make them the perfect fit for a #squad.

  • Spring Breakers (2012)

    Annapurna Pictures/Muse Prod.

    The Movie: Ex-Disney Channel stars go on a sex and drug fueled adventure on spring break guided by Alien (James Franco) a local drug dealer fulfilling many adolescent fantasies.

    What Your Squad Can Learn: This movie teaches you two sides of #squadgoals. At first, the film teaches you how to cut lose and enjoy yourself on spring break. As Spring Breakers goes on, and pink ski masks and sawed off shotguns get involved, the film offers a different lesson. Sometimes, your squad can go too far, and you have to pump the brakes before things get to crazy.