Throughout the first season of "Friday Night Lights," it is assumed that most of the main teenage characters (Jason Street, Tim Riggins, Lyla Garrity, Tyra Collette) are seniors. Specifically Tyra, who has an entire subplot with guidance counselor Tami Taylor devoted to turning her grades around in her last semester so she can apply for colleges and get out of Dillon, Texas. Then...Tyra's on the show for two more years and this subplot is more or less repeated in season 3, which is her actual senior year.

As a sophomore, why was Tyra acting like she only had one more semester left to change her GPA? I personally chalk this up to the writing staff not expecting to get more than one season of the show and then de-aging them after season 1, but I would like to know if there's ever been a clear, concrete explanation given for this that is in-canon.

  • Without having seen it, my assumption would be: teenager drama.
    – DForck42
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 20:55
  • So Lyla, Tim, Matt, Julie, and Tyra are sophomore in season one?! Yeah right, and Jason was the senior and Smash was a junior. Dumb writers.
    – user7182
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 20:44

4 Answers 4


My memory of some of the details is a bit fuzzy, but I'll give it a shot.

During season 2 or 3, we're told that Tyra had a 1.9 GPA after her freshman year. Yet her goal was to attend a 4 year college - not a community or junior college - which would look at more than just GPA. It follows that:

  1. Tyra had to make huge and immediate improvements in her grades to achieve an acceptable overall GPA.

  2. Tyra was apparently intelligent/academically capable, so her poor grades were ostensibly the result of years of inadequate effort. As a sophomore, she thus lacked some of the skills needed to achieve her desired grades, further impeding her efforts.

  3. To improve her grades, she had to make lifestyle changes: less partying and less skipping school.

  4. Tyra had to accomplish this without initial support from her mom (her mom originally told her that she wouldn't be able to afford college) and without a father of any sort. This environment had produced an underachieving teenager with low self-esteem.

  5. Tyra needed extracurricular activities to improve her college application: physics club (season 1?), volleyball (season 2?) & student body president (season 3?).

  6. In season 2 or 3, (I believe) we're told that she failed to meet her GPA goals Sophomore year (season 1), which would make her need to improve her grades/extracurriculars in seasons 2 & 3 increasingly desperate and helps to explain the continuation of this subplot for two more seasons.

Still, OP's observation about de-aging seems accurate. During season 1, I assumed that Tyra was a senior.


One of the more annoying/irritating things about the show was how it, and presumably the writers played around with the characters ages and what grades they were in. For instance Landry it turns out was a freshman in season one, yet he apparently is old enough to have a drivers license, since he has regular access to a car from the very first episode. Honestly the ages and various grades of the students area rabbit hole that you don't go into without a heater and some smelling salts.

That being said, I was never under the impression that anyone of the characters with the exception of Jason Street were seniors in season one, and in Street's case that was very clearly stated.

As for Tyra, I seriously don't know where you get the idea that she was a senior in season one. She never talked about being a senior, not even to Mrs. T And it wasn't her (Tyra's) desire/decision to try and bring her grades up in the first season, it was Tami, who told Tyra to come by and see her at school so they could look things over and make a plan. Tyra

Overall, Tyra wasn't worried about college in season one as much as she was worried about being stuck in Dillon for the rest of her life. It was Tami who started pushing the idea of college on her.

As for real life, my understanding is that colleges look at both your overall GPA and your grades from all four years of high school as well as extracurriculars and letters of recommendation.


Two of my daughters have graduated high school and both times I heard strong emphasis from guidance counselors that the 11th grade is the time to start researching and selecting colleges. Somewhere I picked up that colleges look at your GPA from the 10th grade on. I'm sure it depends on the college and on the high school, but both of these underscore the importance of 10th grade grades.

Your speculation about season strategies rings true. But as a parent who has been through this at least obliquely it does not strike me as feasible at all to expect to get into a great school based only on senior-year grades.


So you can really tell their ages baced on the season in which they graduated for instance we all thought (1 That Jason,Tim, Tyra,and lyla are all seniors (2 that Landry Julie and Matt were all sophomores

Then we don't see Jason in highschool very often and his announcement of GED in season one so yeah he was a senior season 1

We thought that Tim was a senior but then he doesn't graduated until season three so that means that he was sophomore in season 1 The only plot hole with thaas soon as we hat is first of all why does he drink all the time usually older/upperclassmen drink but lowerclassmen such as Matt and JD didn't like drinking and when (forced) to try it the went crazy so in the end of this season 3 proves that Tim lyla and Tyra were all sophomores in season 1

But wasn't Landry and Julie also sophomores in season 1 it turns out that they both graduated in season 4 but a big plot hole is that mat doesn't receive his license and car until mid-season 3 when he's a senior and Landry is driving him all around Dillon when he's just a freshman. And don't tell me that his parents let him be a free spirit because his dad is a cop speaking of the whole Landry cop/Tyra insistent in season two I know that after season three ends that Tyra goes off to college and then we don't see her until mid season 5 but what is the deal with the second she gets back she doesn't even say hey we're is my boyfriend Landry who I never call and he can never trust me well landrys at college ok so let me for bug Tim.

The last subject that we will be going over is disappearing characters like after the winning of state in season one we never see waverly again Or after smash gets hurt in playoffs season two we never see Santiago again Or For example Matt after highschool yea he goes to college but he frequently visits how ever when smash goes to college we never see him again we only hear about I'm in the radio and on the tv

Well thanks for letting me share what it think it is

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