Gabriella Montez, Gabby, or the Gabster is the deuteragonist of the High School Musical trilogy and girlfriend to Troy Bolton. She is played by Vanessa Hudgens. Extraordinarily beautiful and academically-gifted, she meets Troy at a family bar during their winter break and are forced to sing in the New Year's Eve party at the Ski Mountain Resort. They instantly feel a connection with one another, and, as fate would have it, they end up attending the same school, East High. There, they become close friends, and eventually begin dating. When the two meet up at the auditions for the winter concert, they try out for the call-backs and do a duet of a song called Breaking Free. Since Troy, being the basketball star of East High and not known to have a passion or talent for singing, and Gabriella, the shy, nerdy new girl with a liking for chemistry, start singing, there is a large amount of social unrest at the school, as more people begin revealing their passions that conflict with the stereotypes they have been placed into. However, despite numerous attempts to break the duo apart, they end up singing the duet and encouraging others to break from the norm in favor of following their dreams. Following the performance, the two become a very successful couple, though not without their occasional conflicts. Eventually, Sharpay Evans is jealous of Gabriella because she of how popular Gabriella is becoming in the school, which Sharpay sees as a threat to her own popularity. Sharpay also seems to be jealous of Gabriella's relationship with Troy, though this is more speculative.
High School Musical 1 Edit
When the two settle in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Gabriella's mother promises they will not relocate until she graduates high school. Gabriella begins attending East High mid-year in the first film. Hoping to escape the "freaky genius girl" reputation she had earned at her previous schools, she does not join any extracurricular activities. Her first friend at East High is Troy Bolton, whom she had met at a ski lodge karaoke party on New Year's Eve, however she quickly makes friends with Taylor McKessie, who finds out about Gabriella's various academic accomplishments and urges her to join the school's nation decathlon team. Gabriella is hesitant, but eventually agrees. Having unearthed a passion for performing at the karaoke party, Gabriella decides to audition for the school musical, but is too late. It is only when the musical's director, Ms. Darbus, overhears Gabriella singing with Troy that she gives them both a callback. Gabriella is uncertain about perusing the lead role, especially when Taylor and the other members of the decathlon team tell her that the musical will take her focus off the upcoming decathlon event. Taylor and her friends stage an intervention, which portrays Troy as not caring about Gabriella or the musical. Heartbroken, Gabriella drops out of the running for the lead role. However, Taylor eventually confesses what she did and helps Gabriella make the decathlon and the musical auditions. Gabriella and Troy earn the lead roles, beating out Sharpay Evans, who had previously tried to thwart her chances of making the callbacks.
High School Musical 2 Edit
In the second film, Gabriella has maintained her romance with Troy, and the couple, along with their friends, get jobs at the Lava Springs country club. Seeking revenge, Sharpay lures Troy away from Gabriella and his friends, showering him with various luxuries, including promising college opportunities. After Troy repeatedly breaks his promises and backs out of his commitments, Gabriella breaks up with him, only for the couple to reunite.
High School Musical 3 Edit
In High School Musical 3: Senior Year, a Stanford-bound Gabriella is uneasy about the fast pace her life has taken. Before graduation, Gabriella briefly considers taking classes at the local university for a year and going to Stanford when she is ready, much to the dismay of Taylor and Mrs. Montez. Troy urges Gabriella to accept an early orientation. Gabriella goes to Stanford but must drop out of the school musical (allowing Sharpay to fill the lead role) and miss prom. Wanting his last dance at East High to be with Gabriella, Troy drives to Stanford and the two share an intimate prom of their own. He convinces Gabriella to return to East High for opening night of the musical and for graduation. Gabriella will attend Stanford and study law.