New Twist on an Old TV Trope?

One of the often-used TV tropes is, “Character graduates from college, and apparently is smart enough to get into pretty much any university they want, but then Something Happens and they end up attending a junior college (or a college really close to home) and live at home.”

Some shows have managed to find inventive ways to explain this away - for example, on ALF, right after Lynn graduates from high school, her father tells her that they can’t afford to send her to any 4-year college as the money they had set aside was spent on feeding and hiding Alf.

However, here’s a new one - I’ll put it in a spoiler box as it’s something that’s happening this season:

On black’ish, Junior, who had been given a full scholarship to Howard (which is nowhere near Los Angeles, where the show takes place), decides to take a “gap year”

Or on Modern Family, where Hailey gets kicked out of college for a drunken incident with a cop

Among the Community characters (all came from the area but generally did not live “at home”), the one that best fits the bill in terms of smarts, family income, etc. is Annie. She went wacko on drugs initially taken for cramming and such. So the show starts after she gets out of rehab or whatever.

Don’t forget that Troy lost scholarship due to a keg flip.
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I never understood why Richie Cunningham went to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to study journalism (which probably wasn’t even offered there in those days), when he could have taken a 90-minute bus ride to Madison and had a much better range of classes and a better level of professors.

Of course, he ended up better than Chuck, whose college apparently executed you if you flunked.

Or he coulda followed Fonzie into a life of crime and gangs.:wink: oh, you know, The school of street cred.

That actually fits the character.

The one on Modern Family that fits the trope was Alex. I think they made her catch a cold and then work at Starbucks for a semester to keep her character on screen.

I remembered an oldie. On Family Ties, Alex had gone to Princeton for an interview, with his sister Mallory coming along to surprise her boyfriend. Mallory freaked out when she found out the boyfriend was seeing someone else, Alex skipped the interview to comfort her, didn’t get into Princeton and ended up going to school at home.

Glad to know I’m not the only one who loathes UWM. :mad: