Is John Travolta ever so slightly annoying? Can Beyoncé be just a little bit ditzy? Well, according to their former teachers, yes! Reddit recently called on people to submit stories about what some of today’s biggest celebs were like back when they were high schoolers. And while some tales are surprising – Leonardo DiCaprio was awkward? – some sound right on the money: LeBron James was obsessed with basketball, unsurprisingly. It’s an amusing list, as well as a nice reminder that while today these celebs might have huge mansions and more millions than they can count, they all once had a locker and an annoying P.E. teacher, just like the rest of us.
20. Kanye West
It sounds like high school Kanye wasn’t that much different from present-day Kanye. In fact, according to someone who taught the young Yeezy music theory, he was a “stubborn” student who spent a lot of time talking about how successful he was going to be.
19. Bill Murray
This story seems to perfectly fit the quirkiness of comedy legend Bill Murray. Apparently, Murray was a bit mischievous in high school, and he actually held the record for racking up the most detentions in the school’s history. Furthermore, when Murray’s detention record was finally broken by another student many school terms later, the now-famous actor bought the fellow trouble-maker lunch.
18. Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey is perhaps best known today for his much-lauded performance in True Detective, but the Texan is also fondly remembered by his high school teachers as a sweet and generous guy. And so there’s no doubt he was very welcome when he went back to his old high school to talk to students about life as an actor.
17. Jamie Foxx
Superstar comedian and actor Jamie Foxx was once known as Eric Bishop. And growing up, it’s perhaps unsurprising to learn that the future Django Unchained star was the class clown. But even still, his third grade teacher remembers him fondly as a kind kid with a good heart.
Lorde is only 19 years old, and so it hasn’t been very long since the “Royals” singer was in high school. One of her teachers remembers her as being “incredibly bright,” and also revealed that the future hitmaker could pen brilliant short stories even at the tender age of 14.
It seems hard to believe, but according to one of her old teachers, Queen Bey was “not especially bright.” Yes, one seventh grade science teacher has recalled that the future megastar performer was indeed a bit “ditzy.” So who runs the world: ditzes?
14. David Bowie
Equally unbelievably, a high school David Jones – a.k.a. David Bowie – was once described as “a quiet student” in a high school report. The teacher also advised that young Bowie should stop tinkering with motorbikes and, ironically, that he needed to realize “that music will not make him a livable wage.” That little boy, of course, grew up to become one of the most beloved and innovative musicians of all time.
13. Shaquille O’Neal
It seems as if NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal always had big dreams of dazzling on the basketball court. But back in his days of elementary school P.E., everyone thought the young sports lover was crazy and told him he would never make it that far. Of course, though, when little Shaq grew up, he proved them all wrong.
12. Uma Thurman
It sounds like Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction star Uma Thurman had little time for high school. In fact, one of Thurman’s former teachers has claimed that modeling and acting work were clearly her first priority – and that she very rarely made it to class at all.
11. Johnny Depp
It doesn’t come as much of a surprise to hear that eccentric Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp was always a bit of a rebel. In fact, according to a former high school teacher, he was “disrespectful,” actually sold drugs and was generally a bit of a “hooligan.” In the end, then, Depp dropped out of school altogether.
10. Chris Farley
Former Saturday Night Live star Chris Farley was beloved for his hilarious, goofy performances, and fans everywhere mourned his passing from a drug overdose in 1997. The comedian always seemed like a sweet fellow, and a former university professor has confirmed it by saying that his former student was very funny and just an all-round nice guy.
9. Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan is well known for her role in Mean Girls, but it sounds like Lohan was actually a pretty nice girl during her school days. Indeed, one seventh grade teacher remembers the former child star as being “the sweetest, funniest kid.” And it seems that Lohan has stayed close to her teachers, too: her former swim coach has remarked that she even called him right before she went on SNL, joking that she was going to tell a little story about him.
8. Jay Leno
Jay Leno, the former king of late night TV, has made a career out of laughing at his own jokes. And it’s a habit he seems to have picked up early, if his old math teacher is to be believed. According to one Andover High School educator, Leno was only so-so academically but seemed to have a high opinion of his own comedic skills regardless.
7. Mariah Carey
It might not be shocking to hear that pop princess Mariah Carey was a diva, even back when she was in cosmetology school. According to her former tutor, the young student didn’t seem that bothered about learning the beauty trade, being much more interested in belting out tunes instead.
6. LeBron James
Even as a kid, LeBron James knew he was destined for greatness. In fact, his former fourth grade teacher remembers one occasion when she asked James what his back-up plan was if basketball didn’t work out. The future sports star just stared at her and said, “No, I’m going to be in the NBA.”
5. John Travolta
John Travolta may be beloved by fans of Grease and Pulp Fiction, but not so much by his old high school basketball coach. In fact, Travolta’s former basketball coach has described him as “very annoying” – so much so, in fact, that he once told Travolta that he “wouldn’t make it anywhere in life.”
4. Will Ferrell
It’s no surprise at all that Anchorman star Will Ferrell is remembered by his teachers as a goofy class clown. But it is rather funny to learn that Ferrell was perfecting his famous SNL cheerleading act even back in high school!
3. Robin Williams
Robin Williams is considered one of the greatest comedians of his time, and so it’s no surprise to learn that he was constantly performing and improvising in his younger years. One of Williams’ former teachers, for example, has said that the future Mrs. Doubtfire star was always on and always trying to make people laugh. And he did this so often, in fact, that this particular teacher – who was trying to direct him in a play – had to tell him to knock it off. Williams immediately complied and did a great job in the scene but, as soon as it was over, he went right back to being a cut up.
2. Leonardo DiCaprio
Back before he ruled Hollywood and dated only supermodels, Leonardo DiCaprio was just an awkward little kid. In fact, teachers remember that the Titanic star wasn’t very popular with his peers and used to eat his meals alone with the staff. Awww…
1. Seth Rogen
Seth Rogen is known for his raunchy, hilarious sex comedies, which makes this story from his former tenth grade science teacher all the more amusing. According to her, Rogen skipped his sex education class so he could go do a comedy set at a club in LA. Maybe if he’d stayed he would know how to avoid getting someone Knocked Up?