All the ‘High School Musical’ songs, ranked from worst to best

Only few things have the power to unequivocally unite our generation, and one of them is High School Musical, a film that distinctly marks our early years. Everyone was crazy about it —  all of the songs played at Christmas parties, field demonstrations, and school contests from 2006 to 2008 were all from HSM. We all knew the choreography and lyrics by heart. No other Disney musical quite matched the phenomenon.

So when Disney announced that they were doing a TV series based on it, we all knew it was time to go back and reminisce. After all, we could still sing the songs perfectly as if 2006 was yesterday. But it’s Vanessa Hudgens’s latest song (her new Lay With Me music video pays homage to the iconic Breaking Free scene) that really settled it: we’re ranking all of the songs from High School Musical.

Note: We didn’t include songs that didn’t make it to the final cut of the film. That Hawaiian fish song would rank dead last, obviously. This list is ranked from most mediocre to absolute best.

Bet on It
Still can’t unsee that Lion King-esque puddle sequence. I mean, even for Troy (Zac Efron), that seems too much. Would still reenact this while I golf though, 10/10.

I Don’t Dance
The irony of Chad Danforth (Corbin Bleu) singing that he does not dance, but dances better than pretty much everyone else in this number.

It was like Inception, but a musical version of it. It was Bet On It 2.0. Translation? *cue fake lightning and rain* Just no.

All for One
Sadly, this final number from HSM 2 didn’t come with the kind choreography we wanted to learn. Saving grace: the Miley Cyrus (or was it Hannah Montana) cameo.

We’re All in This Together
(Graduation Mix)
It’s not fun doing the iconic dance steps slowly while crying, Brenda.

High School Musical
The challenge of creating a song out of words that don’t roll off the (singing) tongue. You were probably bawling your eyes out at this point though, so nobody seemed to mind.

The Boys Are Back
While the choreography was A+, the lyrics seem to be uninspired. Which was weird, ‘cause this song was all about the kid in you. Go figure.

Work This Out
The struggle is real, both working a summer job and making a song about it. Now if only this could play in the MRT during rush hour.

A Night to Remember
High School Musical 3 had great production value but the lyrics of the songs in the OST can make you go “wait, what?” Case in point: this song. “The night of nights, tonight!”, really? That’s the best we can do for a song about PROM?

Bop to the Top
I think the real winners here were stepladders. Every time I see one, I still wanna dance that Chucky Klapow-taught choreography, complete with those Spanish lyrics that don’t make sense plot-wise. Arriba!

You Are the Music in Me
You don’t mess with the original. That’s it, that’s the tweet.

Walk Away
The most meh out of all Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) songs. HSM 3 was really a hit or miss, eh?

What Time Is It?
For us who are now working, that ‘summer…summer…summer’ changed to waiting for ‘time out… time out… time out…’ real quick.

What I’ve Been Looking For
This was the original arrangement, right? Then why is the Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) and Ryan (Lucas Grabeel) version way better?

Not the best lyrically, but my girl Sharpay finally gets her own song! #SharpayDeservedBetter, y’all.

Stick to the Status Quo
Arguably the most ‘musical theater’ of all the HSM songs. This pretty much discussed the whole point of the franchise. Quite a bop, too.

Now or Never

That slow-mo sequence near the end was GOLD. Wish I could say it for the rest of the song though. Trooooooy!

Senior Year Spring Musical
Basically a Cliff Notes version of all the HSM 3 songs. It was pretty neat, but that spring musical had some major continuity issues. It matters, okay!

We’re All in This Together
Let’s be real: we all learned the choreography for this song. If Mess Hall plays this, we can all still perform it — sober or otherwise. Just like how we did it in our field demos.

Right Here, Right Now
This one proved that as much as HSM 3 had weird songs, it had the best duets. When they sang “I’m looking at you, and my heart loves the view”, I felt that. I still do, tbh.

I Want It All
Not surprisingly, this song pulled out ALL the stops. Sharpay and Ryan knew how to give a show and boy, they really did. Standing ovation for this showstopper.

When There Was Me and You
The OG Gabriella song. It’s the OG soundtrack to slowly dropping on the floor, caressing the pader behind us while crying.

Get’cha Head In the Game
I’m not gonna lie, this is in my gym playlist. And my work motivation playlist. It should be on yours, too.

What I’ve Been Looking For
The song that introduced us to jazz squares, bedazzled mics, and sibling superstars Sharpay and Ryan. The question still remains: what the hell was the school musical Twinkle Town about?

Gotta Go My Own Way
The breakup song of ALL breakup songs. Fight me. Now, sing it with me! WHAT ABOUT US? WHAT ABOUT EVERYTHING WE’VE BEEN THROUGH? *Gabriella voice* What about trust?

Start of Something New
The song that started it all. There’s something charming about the setup, a New Year’s Eve karaoke night, that made us all wish for our own Start of Something New’ moment.

The beauty of this song is in its lyrics: “Everyday of our lives. Wanna find you there, wanna hold on tight.” The sincerity of just wanting to find your special person there every day is so clear, it makes you want to still sing along even years later.

Can I Have This Dance?
It’s like catching lightning, the chances of finding someone like you.” The first notes are enough to make you feel fuzzy. If you listen closely, its lyrics even more so. Fun fact: Troy and Gabriella are dancing on a roof in this scene, which is a place they called their own in the first movie (remember when they had to sneak around to practice for callbacks?)

You Are the Music in Me
There are moments that feel like a bubble of happiness. Nothing else matters and you’re just happy to be there. This song managed to include us in Troy and Gabriella’s bubble, and we’re more than happy to be smiling (and singing!) along.

Just Wanna Be with You
The most beautiful of songs have the simplest of lyrics, and it proves true with this one — at the end of the day, you really just wanna be with the special someone. It’s a supercharged You Are The Music In Me, maybe a bit more reckless, a bit more free, and a lot more like the love we’ve always wanted.

Breaking Free

You can’t beat a classic, and that’s exactly what Breaking Free is. A tentative yearning starts the song, which builds up to this wonderful, soaring piece about not letting the world box you in. More than a love song for Troy and Gabriella, it captured the whole spirit of High School Musical: the euphoria of finally, finally, breaking free of things holding us back. “Not a want, but a need. Both of us breaking free.”

#friendship #movies #music #school #tv

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