Jason Cross is a minor character from the High School Musical series. He is a member of the East High Basketball Team.
Jason first appears when Troy Bolton is shown returning to East High in Albuquerque after his winter break with Gabriella. As Troy exits the bus onto school grounds, Jason is seen amongst the crowd of people greeting him. Jason, along with Troy and his other friends, are identified as jocks by Taylor McKessie upon entering the school, and he laughs at the joke Chad makes about Sharpay spending her holidays shopping for mirrors. Jason is shown to be comfortable with the status quo, much like Chad and much unlike Troy, and his characterization as "not the brightest bulb in the box" fits him directly into the stereotype of the dumb jock, although this characteristic only started in the movie's sequel.
During homeroom, the scene where Troy first discovers that Gabriella Montez has transferred to his school, Jason is shown to be sitting in the very back of the classroom. After Ms. Darbus gives the class a very angry lecture about vacation being "way over", Jason raises his hand and asks her how her summer vacation was, earning several groans from the rest of his classmates. However, the bell rings and the class files out before he gets his answer.
Jason attends the free-period work out with the rest of the basketball team, pictured wearing the number 23 on his red Wildcat practice jersey. He participates in the musical number Get'cha Head in the Game and is shown to be loyal to his team. However, later, once Troy and Chad have gone to detention with Ms. Darbus in the theater, Jason doesn't rat them out to Coach Bolton immediately, proving that, while slower than the rest of the bunch, he is still a good friend.
However, in trying to be a good friend and remain loyal to the status quo (clearly threatened by Stick to the Status Quo in the cafeteria) Jason becomes a part of Chad and Taylor's elaborate plan to break Troy and Gabriella apart, using webcams and memorabilia from past Wildcat team captains to provoke Troy into saying that the callbacks -- and, more importantly, Gabriella -- aren't important to him and that he'll forget them both for the sake of the championship. Jason holds up a photo of "The Thunder Clap" Hat Hadden, class of 1995, announcing that he "led the Wildcats to back to back city championships," and declares him "a legend." Ultimately, Jason is part of peer pressure that causes Troy to angrily say that Gabriella isn't important to him, leading to their "break up" of sorts and When There Was Me and You.
Jason is one of the players outside with the team when Troy shrugs off the basketball Chad tries to hand him and chooses instead to run around the track. He, Zeke, and another player express concern about Troy's attitude, but Chad simply tells them all, "Don't worry about it." After Chad and Taylor realize the errors of their ways when they see how depressed Troy and Gabriella have become without each other's lives (especially Troy without Gabriella in his life), Jason, Zeke, and Chad go up to visit Troy on the rooftop, encouraging him to sing if he really wants to. After Troy informs them that he and Gabriella aren't on speaking terms, declaring that they won't be hearing him sing any time soon, they begin to confess that they know why Gabriella "won't talk to [him]." They tell him about what they did.
After Troy and Gabriella are reunited, the entire Wildcat gang discovers that Sharpay and Ryan have changed the date of the musical call backs to conflict with both the championship game and the science decathlon. Jason and the rest of the gang become a part of the plan to keep Troy and Gabriella's chances of singing in the musical alive. Jason is pictured in the practice game with the rest of the Wildcat basketball team. He also participates in the basketball team's "GO DRAMA CLUB!" cheer after giving the decathlon team a "Pi pie" and receiving, in return, a mural of the Wildcat's mascot, having the O written on his shirt. When the lights in the gym go out as planned, Jason and the rest of the Wildcat gang hurry to the auditorium in order to see Troy sing with Gabriella.
In the final scenes of the movie, right before the singing of We're All In This Together, he helps Kelsi Nielsen, the declared "Playmaker" by Troy, shoot the game-winning basketball into the basket. This moment is supposed to create a spark between them, setting up their relationship in High School Musical 2.
He is hired as a dishwasher at Lava Springs Country Club following his junior year, but then takes over as waiter when Troy's promoted. He plays on Chad's team during the employee softball game. He participated in the Lava Springs Talent Show.
Jason and his friends are in senior year and are weeks away from graduation. He was volunteered by Kelsi to participate the spring musical, which will be their last time of having fun together. Together with everyone, he puts his heart into making the musical unforgettable.
During the end of the musical, Ms. Darbus congratulated him for having just enough grades to graduate.
- "What was your favorite summer memory, Ms. Darbus?"
- —Jason [as Ms. Darbus rambles on about the joys of summer on the last day of school]
- "Miss Evans, would you care for more lemonade?""
- —Mr. Fulton [demonstrating the proper way to take a club member's order]
- "I'm not Miss Evans. I'm Jason."
- —Jason [slightly confused]
- "Would you guys be mad if I asked him to get me one of those cool Red Hawk Jackets?"
- —Jason [after Troy leaves a pick up game at work to go with the Red Hawks]