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Is Superbad Based on a True Story?

January 1, 2021
3 min read

‘Superbad’, directed by Greg Mottola from a screenplay by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, is widely regarded as one of the best teen comedies of all time. It’s unbelievably foul-mouthed, unabashedly raunchy, and incredibly funny, with an endearingly emotional core. Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are best friends and equally unpopular high school seniors who find themselves three weeks away from the end of the school year and at the precipice of starting different colleges. Their aim is simple – they want to have sex before high school is over because, to them, graduating high school as virgins is the worst possible thing that could happen.

When Seth and Evan, along with their friend Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse playing a lovable loser with immense self-confidence), get invited to a party at the most popular girl’s house, they scramble to obtain booze for the party and get embroiled in a series of hilarious misadventures. Their boozy shenanigans ultimately give way to deeper emotional conflict and true bonds of friendship are acknowledged. If you’ve ever wondered whether the comically imaginative events in ‘Superbad‘ are rooted in reality, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s explore the foundation of this cult teen comedy with heart.

Is Superbad Based on a True Story?

‘Superbad’ is partially based on a true story. Although the plot of the film is not entirely as it happened in real life, the movie is loosely based on the actual high school experiences of its writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Rogen and Goldberg, who’ve named the protagonists after themselves, started writing the script when they were 13 years old. For ten years, they worked and reworked the script obsessively, making it into a passion project, until it had evolved into the entertainer we see on-screen. Most of the fellow schoolmates that Seth and Evan name in the film are taken from real life – those people were Rogen and Goldberg’s actual schoolmates (like Steven Glanzberg) at Point Grey Secondary School in Vancouver. They also had a friend named Fogell in actuality.

Most of the events that take place in ‘Superbad’ are inspired by real-life incidents, like the scene where Seth’s pants are stained by menstrual blood by the girl he’s dancing with was something that really happened to a friend of Goldberg and Rogen. Reportedly, a lot of key scenes were also improvisations added in while filming. The now-popular term “DTF” was dropped spontaneously by actor Jonah Hill in the soccer field scene but the term itself was coined by Hill’s old high school friends. Scriptwriters Rogen and Goldberg basically took things that had actually happened to them in high school and wrote them into the movie.

Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen

Incidentally, Rogen and Goldberg’s original draft of the film did not have the sleeping bags scene or the last scene at the mall but ended right after the party. They’d left out the follow-through on the emotional aspect of Seth and Evan’s friendship because, at the time of writing, Rogen and Goldberg were themselves at an age where they actively avoided talking about how much they mean to each other. Producer Judd Apatow pointed this out and those pivotal last scenes were added in later.

Read More: Superbad Filming Locations

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