Teen Drama Commencement Speeches
I have no inspiring words for you. But I know a few people who do.
Our favorite teen drama characters, of course!
As you perhaps graduate this month yourself, celebrate a loved one, or simply reflect on your own milestone year, take a look back at the teen drama commencement speeches below.
Beverly Hills, 90210
Episode 3.30, Commencement
The season 3 finale is executive producer Charles Rosin’s favorite and he wrote the two-hour episode with his wife, Karen Rosin. Part of the plot revolves around Andrea (Gabrielle Carteris) struggling to write her valedictorian speech for West Beverly’s graduation. Then when it’s almost show time, she forgets what she planned to say and gets off to a rocky start. But you know Andrea — she always succeeds in the end.
Episode 7.32, “Graduation Day”
In the season 7 finale, Brandon (Jason Priestley) nearly misses California University’s graduation as he frantically rushes to stop Valerie (Tiffani Thiessen) from killing herself. They ultimately arrive at the ceremony (safe and sound, though rushed!) just as Brandon is called to the stage to be honored as the “outstanding student of the graduating class.” The last line of his VERY brief speech: “Have we graduated yet?”
Episode 4.22, The Graduate
Early in the fourth season, Joey (Katie Holmes) is ranked fourth in her class, which causes her quite a bit of disappointment. But by the time Capeside High’s graduation rolls around, she’s named salutatorian and delivers a speech at the ceremony — possibly my favorite of all of them. And it’s a great precursor to the monologue Joey delivers in the series’ penultimate episode.
Episode 3.25, “The Graduates”
Taylor (Autumn Reeser) may have been an antagonist of sorts during the third season. She may not have been a main character. But she was valedictorian and the student speaker at Harbor’s graduation. And her message was certainly the only one of these to include the word “bastard” in it.
One Tree Hill
Episode 4.20, “The Birth and Death of Day”
And here is the only one of the speeches to end with someone going into labor. In the preceding episode, a pregnant Haley (Bethany Joy Lenz) works on her speech as valedictorian… only to be told she won’t be allowed to give it due to husband Nathan’s (James Lafferty) point-shaving scandal. Nate successfully fights to get that decision reversed, but when the big moment comes in this episode, Haley’s speech is cut short when she announces, “I’m sorry. I have more. I just think I’m having my baby.”
Episode 3.22, “To the Future!”
Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord) is barred from graduating for allegedly cheating on a paper, but shows up to the ceremony anyway. As boyfriend Max (Josh Zuckerman) gives his valedictory speech, he abruptly switches gears and takes the fall for the cheating. Talk about awkward!
You’ll notice “Gossip Girl” is missing from the above roundup. That’s because while the gang graduates high school in episode 2.25, “The Goodbye Gossip Girl,” the only commencement speech shown is from Headmistress Queller, and well, it’s really just background noise anyway as a blast from Gossip Girl distracts everyone.
That aside… Which commencement speech is your favorite?
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