As kids head back to campus, thoughts of chilly football stadiums, keggers, all-nighters and mid-terms fill the imagination.
While the reality of the college experience for most people is likely more about studying and surviving than partying, we've collected five iconic movies that fulfill every stereotype about college life.
Two of our featured flicks take us onto Harvard's campus. Although very few of us ever get to experience Harvard Yard, movies for generations have used the Ivy League backdrop for comedies.
Before Anthony Edwards became known as Dr. Mark Greene on the popular drama "ER," he played second fiddle and Super Nerd in another of our choices.
And, of course, what review of college movies is complete without the most-quoted, hilarious fraternity movie of the last century? Hint: "Seven years of college down the drain!" says the chubby protagonist.
So, without further ado, let's hit the books ...
No. 5: "Back To School" (1986)
Millionaire Thornton Mellon (Rodney Dangerfield) didn't go to college and wants his son Jason (Keith Gordon) to experience what he did not.
The only problem? Young Jason isn't wildly interested in either the academic or the social life. So the owner of Thornton Mellon's Big and Fat Stores decides to enroll right along with his son.
The plot memorably involves Dangerfield's character, accompanied by the sweet but tough limo driver/masseuse/assistant Lou (Burt Young of "Rocky" fame), clashing with the college establishment, romancing his literature professor (Sally Kellerman) and bringing a diving victory to Grand Lakes University.
Oh, and both Mellon Sr. and Jr. learn valuable lessons -- of course -- by the time the credits roll.
The movie offers three interesting cameos: the group Oingo Boingo, comedian Sam Kinison as a crazy professor, and writer Kurt Vonnegut as the ringer Mellon Sr. hires to write a paper on his own novels only to be told whomever wrote the paper "doesn't know the first thing about Kurt Vonnegut."
Our next movie takes us to Harvard with one very bad tan ...
No. 4: "Soul Man" (1986)
In the 25 years since "Soul Man" premiered, we've had a female black secretary of state and elected a black president.
While "Soul Man" pretends to make a social statement about an affluent white student (played by C. Thomas Howell) acting as a poor black student at Harvard Law School, the plot is transparent.
The movie is somewhat funny, but was widely criticized for its taint of racism. Howell bungles through life with predictable hair gags, and eventually 'fesses up when caught in the lie by his Caucasian parents and his black girlfriend Sarah Walker.
Rae Dawn Chong in the role of Howell's girlfriend is a bright spot in the movie, along with her interactions with her son George, played by Jonathan Leonard.
Movie fun fact: A young Ron Reagan (i.e. the son of then-President Ronald Reagan) played the role of Frank.
Coming up, we return to Harvard, but this time in heels ...
No. 3: "Legally Blonde" (2001)
"Legally Blonde" tackles sexism at Harvard Law School with student Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) also admitted under suspect circumstances. At the beginning of the movie, Woods is California sorority girl concerned with looks and pursuing her MRS degree. Woods' other big goal is to get back the boyfriend who dumped her.
Along the way she discovers a propensity for law as well as a junior law professor played by Luke Wilson.
That's all fine and good, but the best part of the movie is the sub-plot between manicurist Paulette Bonafonté (Jennifer Coolidge) and "UPS Guy" (his actual name in the script), played by Bruce Thomas.