|Guide to: Popularity and Stressin' Out|
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"Guide to: Popularity and Stressin' Out" is a season 3 episode of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide.
Part 1: Popularity
Someone posts a numbered list on the school's website on how popular everyone in the school is. Ned finds out he is in the 40's while Suzie is in the "Top 10". He then worries that Suzie won't date him since he is not popular. He wants to just go up and ask Suzie out, but Albert Wormenheimer approaches the "Top 10" and is stopped by some invisible forcefield. Moze then finds out she is in the "Top 10". Ned then tries to get her to isolate Suzie from the rest of the "Top 10" so he can ask her out before any of the other popular kids can, but Moze says no. Cookie and Ned force her in with the "Top 10", but they drag her away.
Cookie finds out he is number 129 and has his mind set on finding out who made the list. In class, Missy sits next to Ned and says she can help him get in the "Top 10" since she is number 1 on the list. Ned asks why she's helping him, and she dramatically says he helped her once (she'd dropped her pencil and he picked it up for her). She tells him popular kids always laugh, puts her arm around him and they laugh. Moze escapes from the "Top 10" and meets up with Cookie, who asks her what it's like in the "Top 10". She just says they laugh a lot and they're good-looking. She asks Cookie if he found out who made the list yet. Cookie says that whoever made the list must be good with statistics, and because the list took a long time, whoever made it must be very tired. At his table, Albert falls asleep and knocks over his advanced statistics books. Cookie picks it up for him. Albert comments on how tired he is and walks off. Moze is about to tell Cookie that Albert must have made the list when the "Top 10" suck her back in and drag her off.
Meanwhile, Missy gives Ned a makeover, and writes "YOU STINK" on his face with makeup. She tells him to go talk to Suzie, and reminds him to "talk cool". When he approaches her, she quickly leaves. Missy says that went great, and tells him not to look in the mirror. Moze talks to Coconut Head, Martin, and Lisa, who are in band and ranked in the 70's on the list. They're surprised that she's talking to them, and Moze says it's just a lame list. Martin reminisces to when they were in 2nd grade and he thought Moze was ugly. Moze is offended, but everyone backs Martin up. Moze swears to them that she won't get sucked into the popularity thing, only to get sucked back into the "Top 10".
Cookie tracks down the username of the person who made the list: A.Worminator. Albert is sitting next to him and is suddenly nervous. He admits the truth to Cookie but makes him promise not to tell, as he doesn't want people to ask him to bump them up on the list. Missy gives Ned body jewelry because she says Suzie told her that she loves body jewelry. He asks if it will hurt, to which she carelessly says "no" and shoves him into the girl's bathroom, where she pierces his ears, nose, lips, eyebrows, and tongue (painfully). Moze starts to realize that most of the people in the "Top 10" are not very interesting and very, well... stupid. Suzie asks Moze why Ned is hanging out with Missy so much and acting so weird. Missy and Ned show up, and Ned shows off his new piercings. Suzie leaves, but is knocked back accidentally and one of Ned's nose rings gets stuck in her hair. Moze pulls them apart and the "Top 10" leaves, dragging Moze and Missy with them. Ned finally looks in a mirror and realizes what Missy has done.
Suzie confronts Missy about Ned. Missy tells her she had plenty of chances with Ned, and Ned doesn't like her anymore. Albert refuses to move Cookie up the list, but tells Cookie he's ranked higher than him. Cookie says they're below the band geeks, but Albert says today's band geeks are tomorrow's rock stars. Cookie convinces Albert to put the two of them in the "Top 10", and bump a few people out, including Missy. Moze freaks out at the "Top 10" group and tells them that their jokes are not funny and they're stupid. But the group says they're cool with Moze leaving them and hanging out with her friends.
Ned returns to Missy to chide her for setting it up, to which Missy confesses and kisses him. He explains that he likes Suzie, but she complains that Suzie is not like her as most popular girl and way better looking. When Ned tells how pretty and cool Suzie is, Suzie approaches with the same piercings and "YOU STINK 2" marking. Suzie tells him that Ned is into pierings, but Ned tells what Missy had planned at which Missy denies deceitfully. When both Ned and Suzie confronts Missy, the latter leaves in disgust as she fails to make Ned like her. As it was over, Suzie asks Ned to go out with her, and Ned agrees. He holds her hand, and suggests to take their jewelries off.
On next Monday, the new popularity list is published. Ned instructs about popularity which isn't a big deal, so a student who doesn't meant to be in the "Top 10" can move to other Top 10's like goth kids, math leagues or band geeks. Missy, however, falls into 73rd place since Cookie dropped her from the list in the school website, and she sucks into Top 70's band group. Moze and Suzie come by, and Moze tells Ned that both of them are out of "Top 10" list. Ned asks who is in otherwise, and Suzie shows him the popularity list.
To Ned's surprise, Cookie and Albert stuck in the "Top 10". Both of them experience what Moze had dealt with the group, and they queer amid the group's random laughter.
- Tip#305.INWI - Don't try to be popular. It's not worth it.
Part 2: Stressin' Out
Evelyn Kwong beats Cookie in the top 20 Grade Makers, making her the smartest kid in school. Ned begins to stress out when Suzie won't talk to him. He's afraid she's going to dump him and goes to Gordy for advice. Gordy asks him if he did anything that could've upset her and Ned says no (even though he did). He thinks she's seeing someone else, someone better looking than him. Moze is practicing her tap dancing while writing in her day planner. She's approached by iTeacher, who knows all the stuff she's doing, because she did it when she was young, too. She says the two of them are a lot alike, which stresses Moze out.
Cookie studies more, determined to beat Evelyn. The two sit on opposite sides of the same table in study hall, mirroring each other's movements but at the same time trying to outdo each other. Lisa asks Cookie if he wants to get pizza after school, but he turns her down, too intent on beating Evelyn at their English test today. He plans on writing a super-long extra credit essay to boost his GPA higher than Evelyn's. Evelyn proclaims she will write the super-long essay and she and Cookie leave. Cookie bumps into Mr. Wright in the hall, who says he's stressed out because the school's English scores are lower than those of Jefferson Middle School. He tells Cookie if he scores high on the English test today, they'll top Jefferson.
Gordy pushes Ned to talk to Suzie. Suzie tells him she needs to talk to him about something, but her cell phone rings and she answers it happily. She tells Ned she has to take the call and walks off. Ned is even more convinced Suzie is seeing someone better looking on the side. Gordy tells him it's just stress-vision. Moze's stress vision shows her as iTeacher, waving to everyone from a computer screen. Gordy tells her to relax and try being a kid. Moze says he's right and decides to just chill. Ned tries to chill too, but sees Suzie on the phone and overhears her saying, "I love you" to whoever she's talking to. Ned starts panicking again.
Moze skips studying for her English test to look at cloud formations. Ned is still scared Suzie will dump him and runs for it. In English class, Cookie and Evelyn are mega-focused, writing feverishly, and keeping a close eye on the clock. iTeacher looks back and forth between them as if she were watching a Ping Pong match. Forty minutes pass, and everyone turns in their tests. Cookie turns in more test booklets than Evelyn and she storms off, pushing desks aside. Moze fails a test in English, something iTeacher has never done. At first, Moze is happy but then wonders why she's happy she failed. iTeacher says a little stress is a good thing, like a little alarm in your head reminding you to make adjustments, making Moze realize that she made too big an adjustment. iTeacher then puts it plainly that it's best to keep stress at a moderate level; too much of it, and Moze could end up teaching via computer from her house like iTeacher; but none at all, and she could end up as lazy and lackadasical as Gordy (who is sleeping under a pile of newspapers in the classroom).
Suzie passes by Gordy and asks if he's seen Ned. When she gets a negative response, she walks off, but finds the real Gordy asleep around the corner. She correctly deduces that Ned is disguised as Gordy and chases after him. Cookie's ready to take up Lisa's offer to have pizza, but she already asked Martin Qwerly. He tries to make plans with her for another day, but she's booked solid. Mr. Wright tells Cookie that their English scores have surpassed those of Jefferson Middle School. He says he and Cookie are a lot alike, since Mr. Wright was at the top of his class, but he wishes he had played more sports and had a few more friends. He tells Cookie to not be like him and to be less focused on school and just to live a little.
Finally, Suzie catches up to Ned. He says he overheard her on the phone. Suzie says he's so far away and she can only see him on weekends. Ned gets confused, and Suzie explains that she was talking about her dad and how he got a job out of state so she hardly sees him anymore, as Ned wraps his arms around her. Evelyn tells Cookie that she will defeat him next week, and he just wishes her good luck. Ned, Gordy, Moze, iTeacher, Cookie, and Mr. Wright all meet up in the hallway. Ned, Cookie, and Moze realize they're dressed similarly to Gordy, Mr. Wright, and iTeacher, respectively. As both faculty members and students separate, Ned, Cookie and Moze saw what they don't expect to be like them: Gordy scratching his bottom, Mr. Wright tripping, and iTeacher shaking her head. The trio freaks out and runs out of the school via front door.
- All the members of the "Top 10" are wearing school colors, including Moze before she even realizes she's in the "Top 10"
- Stressin' Out segment is one of the few episodes without any Tip note on-screen.
- First kiss between Ned and Missy
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