Chuck Klosterman: When I was in college and lived in a dormitory, this is what we watched every day (immediately after dinner and just before Beavis & Butt-Head). It's a show called Fifteen, which was a non-comedic Canadian version of Saved by the Bell, halfway crossed with Beverly Hills: 90210 (they even had their own handsome rebel named Dylan). My favorite character was Brooke, the meanest girl in school. A lot of the dudes I got drunk with liked Ashley, but she was such a grade-grubber. The little kid playing the drums (Billy) was portrayed by a young Ryan Reynolds; he had a lot of problems at home. Matt dated Ashley and was the star of the basketball team, but he acquired a drinking problem; Brooke crucified him for that. Kelly was a total gossip. Courtney (Billy's older sister) was lame, but I still liked her. She just needed confidence. Jake and Theresa didn't bring much to the table.
Kanye West, "School Spirit"
Andy Greenwald: Who can say for sure why Kanye West never made a video for this, my favorite song from the early part of his career, back when he was rapping about working in the mall, not getting married in one. Was he distracted by a fresh pair of kicks? A delicious fish sandwich? Or maybe it was just some flashing lights? Either way, the absence was an opening for young Mike “MYU” Nicolas, an entrepreneurial student from Norfolk State who made a near-perfect clip himself back in 2010. It’s a riot of very excited undergrads dancing, very attractive coeds waving, and some excellent tracking shots of escalators. The entire thing is anchored by the assured performance of Danquai Draughon as Mr. West, an inspired bit of lip-synched swag that more than makes up for what it lacks in accuracy (I doubt Kanye would let his Sherpa wear Danquai’s Husky chain) with exuberance. “Back to school / and I hate it there, I hate it there,” Kanye/Danquai raps, but he’s clearly lying. Look how much fun everyone’s having!
The Ultimate Lax Bro
Katie Baker: This video is about so much more than its titular Ultimate Lax Bro. Yes, it involves pinnies and passouts and A Crazy Game of Poker, and it has a sequel that deploys a Pomfret Lacrosse Boathouse jacket with uncanny precision. But beneath the facade and the flow and the "false" is a portrait of the more universal college freshman, from the nonchalance that masks insecurity ("I've never been to L.A., but it's a pretty chill place") to the utter harmlessness that's so often mistaken for being a douche. (The latter condition requires a level of malevolence that doesn't typically set in until a few weeks into sophomore year, or after one's first Preakness, whichever comes first.) We have all been Brantford Winstonworth in some way at some point, even if we don't want to admit it. For all the easy jokes that can be and have been made about the Ultimate Lax Bro, the truth is that he offers some pretty sage college (and life) advice. D-I, club, whatever. It doesn't matter. Remember that.
The Sopranos, "College"
Dan Silver: In four episodes, The Sopranos was well on its way to being a huge hit for HBO, but the fifth episode, titled “College,” quickly demonstrated that The Sopranos was operating on a much more subtle and nuanced level than other programs on TV. “College” is a series-defining episode, as it simply but effectively plays out the constant battle in mobster Tony Soprano’s life — the struggle between being a good family man and a good soldier — when on a college visitation trip with his daughter, Tony spots a snitch who’s been in hiding. The scene where Tony’s inner turmoil is best displayed is when he attempts to deflect accusations from his daughter that he’s involved with the Mob. Given how The Sopranos ended (not the cut to black, but the final scene of the family coming together for dinner) it could be argued that this scene is the foundation for the next five seasons, and the one where the comparisons to Coppola and Pacino (instead of Bochco and Franz) for series creator David Chase and star James Galdolfini started.
PCU, "Don't be that guy."
Chris Ryan: This comedy (directed by "Ellis" from Die Hard!) was embarrassingly formative in my high school years. I legit thought this is what college was going to be like, and I genuinely thought Jeremy Piven's character was a righteous dude. I still really like this scene, though. "Don't be that guy" is still solid advice, and the jaw-dropping hair (on Jon Favreau) and lack of hair (Piv!) is pretty great.
Campus PD: Pink Pantydroppers
Tess Lynch: This moment, which I always just think of as "pink pantydroppers," does not encapsulate my college experience or anything good about college at all. In fact, it's like an anxiety dream you might have in college: You drink something embarrassing, like, well, peppermint schnapps and skim milk with gin, or yogurt and peach schnapps frozen into little booze-stinking yogurt pops, or, worst of all, three cups of pink pantydroppers, and then police officers assault you with complicated questions about the date and your name, embarrassing you horribly. And it's caught on film. I assume that Quentin's (Quinton? Quinten? Who cares, really, though?) nightmare concluded with slipping on soft serve at the late-night campus convenience store, having a shitty one-night stand, and sleeping through his midterm. And barfing on his dorm floor. Which is just to say, I think Quentin was probably a freshman.
"Thank you, sir."
Mark Lisanti: Someone had to do Animal House. So here's an Animal House thing! I went to a Jesuit university, so there were no fraternities, but that doesn't mean there weren't robed tormentors constantly paddling you.
Kicking and Screaming
Michael Weinreb: I've linked to this clip before, but I don't care; this is the greatest college-related movie ever made, and I'm going to keep finding any excuse to link to it until someone sends me either a satin jacket or a recipe for a cheese-fry-flavored lager. Also, watching this will alleviate any need for you to actually read All the Pretty Horses.
In conclusion: Cougars!
Alabama Fan Belittles LSU
Molly Lambert: "You're nothing. You're nothing. You'll never be nothing."
Jovan Buha: A satirical depiction of 21st-century fraternity life, including: having sex with sorority girls, chasing shots with Muscle Milk, making fun of GDIs (God Damn Independents — or those not in Greek Life), and being a cocky douche bag.