Elvis McGraw wants to go out with a bang. He wants to deliver a senior prank that will go down in history. He recruits two of his fellow classmates, Jose Hernandez and Lamont Sheen, to assist him with his plan. When Thomas Jefferson High School, of Houston, Texas, their school, is nominated for the title of All American School, the trio sees an opening to leave their mark.
The governor and judges in the All American School competition visit the school but at every turn they encounter another prank or practical joke. The biggest prank they pull comes into play when their chemistry experiment accidentally produces a potion that can change personalities. They turn the quietest student in the class to a loud mouthed ghetto thug. They turn the National Honor Society representative to an intelligence challenged valley girl. They turn the class preppie president into a redneck, and the school’s macho jock into a flamboyant gay male.
During the visit, a number of mice run past the governor and a student is locked in the bathroom the governor uses. Students are caught playing games, listening to music, and browsing the internet (forbidden by school policy), while their football coach-teacher plots game strategy. The governor’s wife is dowsed with water and almost run over by rampaging pigs, a restroom toilet floods, a fire burns on the football field, and the governor’s limo is dented by a flying football. Nothing seems to go right for the school during the tour.
The series of pranks and unfortunate incidents may cost Principal Earl
Winston his job. The media is out to get him. He relentlessly tries to find the guilty party and still defends the school when it’s fails to be selected as an All American School.
Jose’s family battles discrimination as Mexican immigrants. Lamont develops into the school track star and a miracle during his last race allows the school to win the state title. Elvis is the best musician in the school, headed for stardom. His band, the Texas Redneck Rockers, becomes one of the biggest bands in the state. The threesome constantly faces the issues of today’s teens from girls, cars, schoolwork, and their own outside interests.
The story follows the school from September through graduation. Winston is always searching for the guilty parties. For graduation, Winston agrees to a free concert by the Texas Redneck Rollers after the ceremony if Elvis tells him who is responsible for the pranks. As the students leave the graduation ceremony a pie fight takes place. Nobody claims that prank.
In the end, Elvis, now a worldwide music superstar, comes back to his 10 year class reunion and gives Winston a tour of the pranks and how they were done, fulfilling his promise. Winston proclaims Elvis the king of pranks in his forty years of education, and tells him, “Things will never be the same since Elvis has left the building.”