A Radio Announcer in the year 2000 introduces us to a throwback hit from 15 years earlier (“Wake Me Up Before You Go Go”). We are transported back to the 80’s and the first day of senior year (“Kids in America”). Corey Sr. steps in to narrate as candidates for class president are announced. Corey Jr. is pitted against the popular Michael Feldman and the geeky Feargal McFerrin III. After class, Corey Jr. tries to flirt with Tiffany, the most popular girl in school, but her sights are set on Michael. Clique queen Cyndi steals Tiffany away to hang out with the girls in a rockin’ dance (“Girls Just Want To Have Fun”) countered by the boys cutting loose about how rad senior year is going to be (“We Built This City”).
After school. Corey Jr. attempts to flirt with Tiffany, then unveils his plan for winning the election: a benefit concert to raise money for Prom. Feargal makes some shockingly accurate predictions about the future and Michael finds a way to steal Corey’s proposal, leaving Corey Jr. and his friends high and dry.
Election Day. The seniors are gathered for assembly as the candidates give their speeches. Michael blows everyone away with his awesome presentation, backed by the school’s popular elite (“Mickey”), then reveals Corey’s idea for a concert as his own (“Michael’s Election Rap”). To his horror, Corey Jr. realizes that Michael has stolen his proposal. With nothing left to say, Corey Jr. crashes and burns during his speech. Feargal makes a valiant effort to reach his audience, but is laughed offstage (“Video Killed the Radio Star”). The votes are cast and Michael is announced as Class President with Tiffany reigning as Vice President, by his side.
Corey Sr. brings us back to Corey Jr.’s bedroom where Corey Jr. is hanging out with his friends Kirk and Alf. The boys wonder about the possibility of a future world without baseball or Atari. Corey Jr. confesses that, at night, he dreams he’s Luke Skywalker. They guys tease him and head out. After they’re gone, Corey Jr. reveals that he also dreams that Tiffany is his Princess Leia. He sings to Tiffany’s picture, then enters a dream sequence dressed as a Jedi and dances with Tiffany (“Believe It or Not”). Michael enters the dream sequence, cuts off Corey Jr.’s hand with a light saber and steals Tiffany away. Back in his room, Corey Jr. wakes up in a panic.
Corey Sr. narrates as Eileen, a new student, is introduced to the class. The popular kids tease Eileen, but Corey Jr. tries to make her feel at home. Michael has become so busy with football that he’s forgotten all about the Prom benefit concert. Corey Jr. decides to put it on himself and enlists the support of his teacher, Mr. Cocker. In the back of the classroom, two nerdy girls, Debbie and Laura brag to Eileen about their boyfriends, even though they’re made up (“Morning Train (9 to 5)”). After the bell rings, Mr. Cocker’s girlfriend, the conservative English teacher Miss Brannigan, comes in to make a date for the weekend.
The schoolyard. Corey Sr. narrates as the lunchtime scene unfolds. Corey Jr. finally decides to tell Tiffany how he feels about her. He and Michael both approach Tiffany and battle for her attentions in an all-out song duel with “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).” Tiffany reveals that she only thinks of Corey like a brother and leaves on Michael’s arm. Remembering the past, Corey Sr. relives the hurt (“You Give Love a Bad Name”).
Michael and his friends slip a love note from a secret admirer into Eileen’s locker. After confiscating a risque swimsuit magazine from a student, Mr. Cocker is shocked to find pictures of a scantily clad Miss Brannigan inside. As Eileen and her friends discover the note in her locker, Mr. Cocker confronts Miss Brannigan about her past and accuses her of lying to him (“You Give Love a Bad Name – Reprise”).
During assembly, Mr. Cocker and Miss Brannigan overcome the tension between them long enough to announce rehearsals for Corey Jr.’s upcoming benefit concert. They encourage the students to lend a hand (“Man in the Mirror”). The students begin to join in as the theater is transformed for the benefit concert.
On stage at the concert, the student are dressed up as their favorite 80’s idols and pop stars. Arm in arm, they sing the final number (“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”).
Feeling cool and with his parents out of town, Corey Jr. decides to throw a party at his house after the concert. The guests arrive and party to the max. Outside the party, Mr. Cocker tells Miss Brannigan that he’s leaving her (“Love Shack”).
As Corey Jr. cleans up after the party, he sees Michael kissing Tiffany. His heart broken, he spies a similarly crushed Miss Brannigan. They commiserate over their loveless states (“Total Eclipse of the Heart”).
Back at school, Michael and his friends continue to fill Eileen’s locker with fake love letters. Determined to make the most of his senior year, Feargal takes up martial arts with the school’s groundskeeper, Mr. Miyagi.
As prom nears, Michael sends a note to Eileen and actually signs his name. When they discover it, Eileen and her friends go crazy with excitement (“Walking on Sunshine”).
Over the weekend, Corey Jr. sees Tiffany hanging out with her popular friends and decides to take another chance on her. Michael drives up in his super cool car and interrupts. The scene erupts in a gratuitous dance number as the girls face the guys in “Get Outta My Dreams (Get Into My Car).” Tiffany and Michael drive off, leaving Corey Jr. alone on his 10-speed.
Back at school, Miss Brannigan begs Mr. Cocker to give her another chance. Unable to put Miss Brannigan’s magazine days out of his mind, Mr. Cocker descends into temporary madness as his classroom is transformed into another dream sequence (“Centerfold”).
Playing both sides, Michael continues to send Eileen loves notes as he woos Tiffany in person. The girls are completely in love with Michael and sing a duet from separate parts of the stage (“Lost In Your Eyes”).
Tension is high as the seniors get closer and closer to Prom night. Billy, one of Michael’s sidekicks, makes a futile attempt to impress Cyndi and ask her to Prom (“Never Gonna Give You Up”). Cyndi’s friends can’t believe she turned Billy down, but Cyndi explains that no guy is worth getting unless he’s rich (“Material Girl”).
Michael reveals his plan to ask Eileen to Prom and then stand her up. As he puts another note in her locker, he’s caught in the act. Eileen’s friends tell everyone that Michael is secretly in love with Eileen and show them the new note. Michael tells Eileen that the love notes were a joke and she runs away in tears. Tiffany witnesses the whole thing and breaks up with Michael in front of everyone. Feargal demands that Michael apologize to Eileen and, when he won’t, uses his newly acquired martial arts skills to beat Michael up.
In the schoolyard, Corey Jr. tries to comfort a devastated Eileen. Kirk and Alf join them and reveal that Feargal defended Eileen’s honor by beating up Michael. The guys cheer Eileen up and remind her that most people at school think she’s great (“Don’t Worry, Be Happy / Come On Eileen”). Tiffany overhears and tells Corey Jr. he’s sweet, prompting him to ask to her to Prom one last time. She finally says yes!
Corey Sr. narrates as the Prom unfolds onstage (“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Reprise”). Everyone is dancing except Michael, who all the girls ignore. Corey Jr. and Tiffany meet in the middle of the dance floor as couples pair up around them. Eileen and Feargal and a reunited Miss Brannigan and Mr. Cocker release their emotions in “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.” Corey Sr. steps into the action as the Prom freezes around him. Corey Sr. tells the audience what happens to everyone after they leave high school, then sets the action back into motion as the senior class erupts into a final number (“Back to the 80’s Megamix!”).