So there were this couple of amusing tweets I saw about how it’s silly that all these Americans talk about which house they’d be in in Harry Potter because obviously, being Americans, they wouldn’t go to Hogwarts, they’d go to the American equivalent of Hogwarts, and they’d be in like “Cowboy House or something”.
For some reason - I’m not entirely sure why, as it’s not even as if I’m that big a Potter fan - this set me wondering about what the American equivalent of Hogwarts would be like. It stands to reason that, since Rowling wrote Hogwarts as a direct homage to classic British boarding school fiction (yer Billy Bunter, yer Malory Towers, yer Molesworth etc) then the American version would surely be similarly based on a US equivalent, one that looks exotic and weird to outsiders elsewhere in the world but that we’ve all experienced through popular media and think of as being how those schools are even though they probably aren’t anything like them in reality any more.
Well, it’d be your John Hughes-esque 1980s high school, wouldn’t it?
But hang on a minute, though. Because actually, as someone who was born in the early ’80s rather than the ’70s, there’s actually a far more persistent version of the American high school myth rattling around the shared consciousness of which I’m a part:
And… wait just a second… it already stars a guy who has strange magical powers (i.e. the ability to stop time and break the fourth wall)
And his swotty big-haired best friend:
And his thundering arse of a mate who ends up going out with the swotty big-haired best friend:
And a headmaster who, while admonishing him from time to time, also takes on a somewhat fatherly role and shows quite frankly unprofessional levels of bias towards him and his friends:
And they even hang out in a local beverage-dispensing establishment near to the school that’s run by a wizard:
WE’RE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS HERE, PEOPLE. Bayside is the American Hogwarts. You heard it here first.
Wait, is Screech then Neville?
Is Kelly Kapowski then Ginny Weasley?
And Malfoy is…uh…caffeine pills?