The #HighSchoolMusical franchise had a seemingly simple premise: The heroes, Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez, tried to discover who they were while overcoming the challenges presented to them by the self-centered main antagonist, Sharpay Evans. But what if I told you we've been looking at the series the wrong way all along?
One dedicated fan, Karim, a.k.a. Sharpay's A Victim (yes, that's the actual Twitter handle), set out to prove one thing through a lengthy theory: Sharpay was never the villain, but the hero of the story.
The person decided to share the theory on Twitter, and it went viral, to the point where it reached the ears of Sharpay herself, #AshleyTisdale, who even addressed the theory. So is there any truth to this theory? Turns out, yes, the actress stated her character was a victim from the very beginning, after her parents named her "Sharpay":
In case you want to know about the theory, the explanation consists of over 70 messages, but worry not, here are the most important parts:
Sharpay Tried To Ease Troy And Gabriella Into The Movie Industry
When Sharpay realizes Troy and Gabriella want to join the play, she tells them it would be best for them to go after supporting roles. That was actually really useful career advice, as she was just trying to ease her classmates into the entertainment industry:
“Looking at the sign up sheet and Sharpay shows up and she tells them that there's always supporting roles if they wanna get in theater which ... Is seen a bitchy move but I don't see how that's bitchy like people gotta start somewhere like you don't just expect to be the star.”
Sharpay Makes Kelsi's Songs Much More Exciting
Sharpay made a habit of turning Kelsi's slow songs into pop hits, like "I Just Want To Be With You." That's played as a total bad girl move in the film, but all Sharpay was doing was making the songs more exciting so as to avoid boring their audience with the original versions.
After Everything's Taken Away From Her, Sharpay Decides To Support Gabriella And Troy
As you may remember, Gabriella and Troy got the starring parts in Sharpay's dream play. But even after that, she decides to be the better person and tells her former opponent to break a leg—theater speech for wishing good luck. All of this boils down to a sad conclusion, the theorist decided.
Sharpay's Story's Depressing Message To The Audience
Karim goes on to lay out the first High School Musical's actual message. It's not about acceptance, friendship, or the power of music, it's about taking advantage of others to fulfill your own selfish goals:
"If you're popular and you do everything, you're gonna be great at it, but if you dedicate your entire life to something you'll be seen as a villain and now you're the bad person."
The theory goes on, exposing the horrible situations our new proposed protagonist had to endure, such as her family, and her being used by Troy, Gabriella and the rest of the gang, only to be thrown out of her own competition. Her perils only get worse in High School Musical 3: Senior Year, as Sharpay's hard work gets completely overlooked and on top of that, she gets robbed of her scholarship. Fortunately, there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
Ultimately Sharpay Comes Out On Top
Some may not remember this, but Sharpay actually got her own spinoff, Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure, in which she travels to New York to fulfill her dreams. It's not only a film, it's also the character's reward for enduring so much:
“But then Ashley Tisdale came f––ng THROUGH and said she did 'Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure' because Sharpay deserved better ... And she finally ended up on Broadway and in the spotlight where she belongs after a lot of blood sweat and tears.”
That officially changes everything I thought I knew about #HSM. As a long-time fan of the franchise, I don't think I'll be able to look at Troy, Gabriella or their friends in the same way. And all I have to say is, after enduring all of that, Sharpay Evans is a true hero. It's safe to say we all owe Sharpay the biggest apology ever.
What did you think of the theory? Will you be able to look at the High School Musical trilogy the same away after it? Let me know in the comments!