Most of us know Ryan Murphy as the TV Renaissance man behind anthology series American Horror Story and American Crime Story, as well as the smash-hit musical series Glee. However, few remember Murphy’s first series, the WB teen dramedy, Popular.
Popular chronicles the trials and tribulations of two warring high school cliques: the beautiful, blonde popular ones and the brunette outcasts—who also happen to all look like models. The series hardly lived up to its name, airing only two seasons. However, with its off-the-wall blend of teenage melodrama and campy, non-sequitur humor, Popular has since developed a modest cult following.
Whether they like it or not, the Popular teens are defined and judged by whichever clique they belong to. In this regard, Kennedy High isn’t dissimilar to Harry Potter‘s Hogwarts. There, students are sorted into one of four houses—Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Slytherin, or Hufflepuff—based on their personalities. If Brooke, Sam, and all their pals were to show up at Hogwarts, would they view their new house as a fresh start…or just the same old pigeonholing? Here are the Popular Characters Sorted Into Their Hogwarts Houses.
10 Brooke McQueen – Ravenclaw
Brooke McQueen is living the teen dream. She’s head cheerleader, at the top of her class and at the beginning of the series, is dating the eligible Josh Ford. Yes indeed, it appears Brooke’s life is sheer perfection—which is exactly what she wants you to think.
Ravenclaws view everything through an academic lens. Thus, Brooke treats popularity like a school subject in which she’s determined to get an A+. Often, this means acting against her own interests. When she was younger, Brooke developed an eating disorder because she thought if she achieved “perfection”, her mom would return after having abandoned her. For all her Ravenclaw logic, Brooke still hasn’t deduced the best way to make herself happy.
9 Samantha “Sam” McPherson – Gryffindor
As a hard-nosed student journalist, Sam McPherson is defiantly unpopular. She’d rather die than eat lunch with the football players and cheerleaders. Gryffindors pride themselves on their ability to go against the grain. However, it is forever their paradox that they strive to stand out, but also desperately want to fit in. On the record, Sam loathes Brooke and her cronies for the choke-hold they have on the school. But off the record, Sam envies all that Brooke has and would give anything for an invitation to eat lunch with the cool kids.
Sam always has some scheme up her sleeve and it usually has to do with exposing the popular kids for the monsters she perceives them to be. But ever the Gryffindor, Sam doesn’t always think things through and her plans often blow up in her face. What she wouldn’t give for a Time-Turner…
8 Nicole Julian – Slytherin
No teen show is complete without the presence of the wicked cheerleader. Nicole Julian checks that box, thank you. She’s the Draco Malfoy of Kennedy High—a privileged blonde whose favorite pastime is ridiculing those she deems unattractive, unpopular, or poor. Like with Malfoy, the Sorting Hat would barely touch Nicole’s head before yelling out, “SLYTHERIN!” Which is just as well. Nicole doesn’t need some ratty hand-me-down hat messing up her blonde tresses.
Nicole, a reader of Machiavelli and Sun Tzu, has no qualms about destroying lives to get what she wants. This sassy Slytherin even gets April Tuna thrown into juvie in order to steal her class presidency. Nicole is one Avada Kedavra away from becoming She Who Must Not Be Named.
7 Carmen Ferrara – Hufflepuff
For most students at Kennedy, cliques are a religion. But Carmen Ferrara doesn’t see people as their labels; she sees them as individuals. Carmen is accepting of everyone, as is the Hufflepuff way. Hufflepuffs also believe that hard work is all you need to succeed, and can be a little naïve to the harsher ways of the world. Carmen genuinely believes she’ll nab a spot on the cheerleading squad because she’s a gifted dancer. When she doesn’t make the cut due to lack of status, she’s especially crushed because she didn’t see it coming.
But as easy as it may be to knock a Hufflepuff down, they’re never down for the count. Their sheer optimism brings them back to life. Carmen keeps trying and ends up earning her place on the squad. Go, Team Hufflepuff!
6 Josh Ford – Hufflepuff
The Hufflepuff mascot may be the badger, but Josh Ford is more like a golden retriever—eager to please and loyal to a fault. More than anything, Josh wants to star in the school musical. Alas, he fears judgment from his football teammates and his father. Hufflepuffs are sensitive souls who crave approval. Josh displays rebelliousness rare for a Hufflepuff and carries on with the musical, but is crushed when his dad walks out.
Hufflepuffs aren’t always known for their academic prowess and Josh is hardly the brightest flood light on the football field. Still, he’s always eager to try and learn new things, making him one of the most likable jocks television has ever seen.
5 Harrison John – Gryffindor
If Nicole is the Malfoy of the Popular world, Harrison John is the Ron Weasley. Like Ron, Harrison is generally good-natured, if not dissatisfied with his lot in life. He yearns for a muscular physique and better social status and carries a lifelong torch for Brooke.
Harrison also shares Ron’s ineptitude in the romance department, which can be chocked up to a Gryffindor’s lack of long-term thinking. While in the hospital being treated for leukemia, Harrison has a revelation that he’s in love with Sam. However, when Brooke finally reciprocates romantic feelings for Harrison, a romance with her is too tempting to pass up. Thus, Harrison finds himself in the midst of a love triangle, entirely of his own Gryffindor making.
4 Mary Cherry – Slytherin
Mary Cherry is a southern belle who comes from serious money. Slytherin-level money. Despite having no dancing skills, Mary Cherry is essentially able to buy her way onto the cheerleading squad and into the popular clique. Wealth is all she knows. When Mary Cherry was broke for a hot second, she got a job in the cafeteria, only to blow all her money on makeup that same day.
She frequently decrees, “I’ll do anything to be popular…anything.” Mary Cherry may not have Nicole’s cunning, but she display Slytherin ruthlessness all the same. Other characters frequently joke about her serial killer-like tendencies. Mary Cherry would make the most outlandish Death Eater ever, y’all.
3 Lily Esposito – Gryffindor
Like Hermione had S.P.E.W., Lily Esposito always has a cause she’s fighting for. This Gryffindor activist never backs down, frequently challenging authority figures. Lily refuses to dissect a frog in biology class, so Ms. Glass forces her to carry around a dead frog in an effort to humiliate her. But Ms. Glass doesn’t know who she’s messing with, and the punishment just fuels Lily’s fire.
Though smarter than most of her peers, Lily has the Gryffindor tendency to serve her emotions rather than logic. The end of the series finds her in a serious relationship with Josh and when it looks like he has to move away, Lily comes up with the cockamamie idea that they should get married. Their teenage nuptials have disastrous consequences that anybody could have predicted—anybody but a lovestruck Gryffindor.
2 Michael “Sugar Daddy” Bernardino – Gryffindor
A jovial football player and Josh’s best friend, Sugar Daddy can always be counted on to entertain with some rapping or by taking Mary Cherry for a spin on the dance floor. Like many of the characters, Sugar Daddy deals with body issues. Gryffindors don’t always enjoy facing their internal struggles and Sugar Daddy masks his by making himself the life of the party.
When Sugar Daddy is refused a spot on the wrestling team because of his weight, he’s given a fight or flight choice. As a Gryffindor, Sugar Daddy chooses to fight, bravely seeking out the help he needs.
1 Roberta “Bobbi” Glass – Ravenclaw
If Luna Lovegood grew up to be a curmudgeonly science teacher, she’d be Bobbi Glass. Ms. Glass is known for her oddball Ravenclaw randomness. She’ll not-so-subtly share her kinky proclivities with her students and if the mood strikes, Ms. Glass will cancel regular class in favor of putting on a play about sexually transmitted diseases.
While it may seem that Ms. Glass doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her, she has a much thinner skin than Luna. Due to her deep voice and masculine wardrobe, students address Ms. Glass as “sir”. She answers to it but later reveals that she’s hurt by the moniker. Still, nothing will stop Ms. Glass from marching to the beat of her own Ravenclaw drum.
NEXT: Mean Girls Sorted Into Their Hogwarts Houses