Honor Society (2022) Movie Ending Explained: Does Honor manage to get into Harvard? 

Honor Society Movie Ending Explained

Besides Paramount+, Oran Zegman’s ‘Honor Society’ is now streaming on Prime Video. It follows an ambitious high school senior who aspires to attend an Ivy League college. Played by Angourie Rice, Honor is ready to go to any length to achieve that goal. The film follows her journey, where she eventually understands what matters in her life. David A. Goodman writes this coming-of-age dramedy. Apart from Rice, it stars Gaten Matarazzo, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Armani Jackson, Amy Keum, and Ben Jackson Walker in the central roles.

*Spoilers ahead*

Honor Society (2022) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

What is the ‘Honor Society’ about?

‘Honor Society,’ starring Angourie Rice and Gaten Matarazzo, follows Honor Rose (Angourie Rice), willing to do whatever it takes to fulfill her goal – get into Harvard. For years, she meticulously designed her life to be a perfectly suited candidate for this Ivy League college. She even decorated her room to present a certain, enviable image of herself. Honor proclaims that almost everything about her personality is fake except her love and admiration for Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. In the book, the women did not have control over their fate. She claims that she has control over hers. 

Honor’s High School

Honor wishes to leave her town for good. Her father, Marvin (Michael P. Northey), stays busy with his woodwork, and her mother, Janet (Kerry Butler), loves baking loaves of bread. It’s not like Honor hates them, but she wants bigger and better things. She has seen results of people not leaving the town. Ms Felson (Candice Hunter), who once hoped to change the world for the better, is stuck teaching at their school. Coach Biggins (Danny Wattley), who once was an attractive athlete, has resigned to being a stereotypical school team coach. He lives his dream through his son Travis (Armani Jackson), a school heartthrob. Honor has a crush on him like every other student. But she does not want to end up like any of these teachers.

While underplaying her character in high school, Honor steadfastly makes her way to admission to Harvard. She’s the editor-in-chief of the high school newspaper and the captain of the school volleyball team. Despite these big achievements that will look great in her application, she has to cater to the whims of her school counselor, Mr. Calvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, aka McLovin from Superbad). Just like any other grown-up man-child, he seeks validation, and she provides it in abundance for her benefit. Unfortunately, that’s not enough. She has to fight against three other students, who are also in contention for admission to Harvard.

How does Honor try to get into Harvard?

Mr. Calvin reveals that Honor is one of the four students on the shortlist for Harvard. It comes as a shock that her years of pampering to Calvin’s ego isn’t enough. Nevertheless, she looks at this as yet another obstacle she needs to overcome. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, she constructs a plan. The semester’s grades are the last ones to affect their grade point for colleges. So, Honor plans to tank the grades of the other three students. 

Travis has a perfect score despite being a great lacrosse team player and having a girlfriend. The next one is Kennedy Park (Amy Keum), who wears costumes to school and still uses Facebook. The last one is Michael Dipnicky (Gaten Matarazzo), who has no friends and no social life but is at the top of the class. Honor plans to attack their vulnerabilities, distract them from their goals, swoop in, and get into Harvard. 

The Shortlist

Honor starts working on her plan to distract three shortlisted Harvard aspirants from their goal. She tries to get Kennedy distracted by enticing her with the possibility of romance. However, it does not work for this scholarly student. So, Honor diverts her attention toward Michael and ensures she becomes his lab partner. While trying to divert his attention, she realizes that Travis is actually gay. Afterward, she asks to join the school theatre club that Kennedy is also a part of. While Kennedy hopes to get her play on the stage, Gary (Ben Jackson Walker) makes people choose his idea over hers. 

Honor senses Kennedy’s overall disappointment and decides to use it to her advantage. She catches Kennedy in the locker room and praises her script. She mentions particular details that can be known only by someone who has read it. That way, she makes Kennedy feel seen. Besides, Honor also mentions a costume that Kennedy posted a photo of on Facebook. Kennedy feels overwhelmed by this validation, which works in favor of Honor. She gets Ms. Felson to intervene by making her sympathize with a feminist agenda. Still, the casting is incomplete. That’s when Honor intervenes. She believes they need to get Travis on board to play the romantic lead of the Duke’s character. Two birds with one stone! 

The Play

Gary and Honor try to make Travis consider playing the Duke. Travis soon joins the cast but struggles to form a chemistry with the female lead. So, Honor asks if Gary could play the female lead. Kennedy approved this decision since it goes along with the old tradition of men playing female characters. That’s how Honor attempts to get Travis distracted from his studies. On the other hand, she gets Kennedy distracted by suggesting making her the costume designer. Honor knows Kennedy loves working on costumes and decides to use this interest to her advantage. 

Meanwhile, Honor asks her friend Talisa (Kelcey Mawema) to kiss Diesel (Andres Collantes) in front of Christine (Travis’ girlfriend) to make her jealous. Honor wants Christine to feel she should have the same chemistry with Travis. Meanwhile, Gary starts playing the female lead alongside Christine’s boyfriend in the play. After their rehearsal, Travis comes up to speak with her about his anxiety about coming out to his father about his sexuality.

He cannot find the courage to be honest about who he is. On the other hand, the costuming department work affects Kennedy’s grades. Even though her parents are concerned about it, she is happy. She finally found a way to channel her interest into something fruitful. So, she gets emotional and thanks Honor for it. So, Honor starts feeling a tad guilty about using her. 

Does Travis come out to his father?

A still from Honor Society (2022).
A still from Honor Society (2022).

Christine starts sensing that Travis is cheating on her. She believes it is Honor that he is cheating with since she saw Travis holding her hands once. Travis walks in there and reveals that he is cheating on Christine with Gary. That’s when he finally comes out to the entire school and to his father. Travis thought his father wouldn’t accept him because of his sexuality. The coach knew about it but was angry at him because he missed many of his lacrosse practices. It’s good that the script does not base its conflict merely on people trying to be honest about their sexuality. 

Michael’s Truth

Meanwhile, Honor joins Michael in the chemistry lab as his partner and shows interest in things that he would be interested in – Doctor Who and whatnot. She presents herself as a manic pixie dream girl. Later, she also invites him to her house to help her study. Over there, she tries to make him attracted to her. He picks up on her manipulation trick and understands she does not need his help studying. Then, he picks up her copy of The Handmaid’s Tale and notes how he wishes to escape society’s shackles and leave their godforsaken town for good. She resonates with that thought and starts getting attracted to him.

Honor feels Michael is hiding something from her. So, she asks Talisa and Emma (Avery Konrad) to follow him home. Meanwhile, she attends Mr. Calvin’s guitar performances in a bar. She agreed to come since she did not want to disappoint the man-child. A guy walks up to her and offers her a drink. She quickly understands his plan to slip some pills into the glass to put her to sleep. So, she blackmails him into giving her those pills. She uses them on perverted Mr. Calvin, who was trying to force himself on her while promising a Harvard admission. Once he dozes off, she drives his car to the school’s stadium to embarrass him.

The next day, Honor follows Michael back home from school and finds him walking into a foster home. Later, she confronts him about this secret. He reveals that he has a foster family and wants to get out of town for a better life. She empathizes with his emotional struggle. A few days later, he suddenly asks her to sneak inside a huge house with him, where his foster mother works. Over there, he starts playing the piano and singing a song impulsively. In that tender moment, he kisses her. His overall impulsive romantic behavior becomes too hard to resist for her.

Honor Society (2022) Movie Ending Explained:

Does Honor manage to get into Harvard?

Honor & Michael’s Relationship

Michael senses that Honor is attracted to her. So, during their study sessions, he starts trying to kiss her. She stops him once and asks him not to act on these feelings until the midterms. Later, she purposefully messes up her exams to benefit Michael from the scholarship. She feels he needs it more than she does. After the test, she goes up to kiss him in front of the entire class. Talia and Emma stand shocked that Honor chose to be with this nerd. So, Honor makes them realize that they should also be honest about their likes and dislikes and should not keep pretending things just to look cool. 

Honor’s relationship with Michael keeps growing stronger. Meanwhile, Mr. Calvin makes sexual advances toward her in exchange for the scholarship. She refuses to get along with that kind of behavior. Afterward, she heads to Michael’s house and knocks on the door. That’s when she learns that Michael lied to her. He isn’t an underprivileged kid looking for a way out of his miserable life. Instead, he is a wealthy brat who used her tactics against her to get into Harvard. So, while Honor was trying to play Machiavellian tricks on him, he did the same to her. Honor feels betrayed and hurt for being used this way. 

Nevertheless, she gained some new friends in Kennedy, Gary, and Travis during this process. They drag her to the musical play, where she goes through a major realization – she is afraid of being honest about her identity due to the fear of getting hurt. Although she got hurt while being honest with Michael, she gained some new friends because of the same honesty. However, this does not mean she lost to Michael on a chance to be at Harvard. Earlier, she had recorded a dialogue with Mr. Calvin, where he made sexual advances toward her. So, she blackmails him to recommend her and Kennedy to Harvard. At the end of the Honor Society, it seems likely that she and Kennedy got into Harvard.  

Read More: Honor Society (2022): Movie Review

Honor Society (2022) Movie Trailer

Honor Society (2022) Movie Links: IMDbWikipedia
Honor Society (2022) Movie Cast: Angourie Rice, Gaten Matarazzo, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Where to watch Honor Society
Akash Deshpande

Obsessed, fascinated, and always nerding out about cinema! You can find me in the corner of a room ruminating over the last TV series I watched.