- "Girl, your future is calling loud and clear. You have to grab it while you can."
- —Taylor to Gabriella
Taylor McKessie is one of the six main characters of the High School Musical series. She is portrayed by Monique Coleman. Taylor is the best friend of Gabriella Montez, and she is the captain of the East High Scholastic Decathlon Team.
She and Chad Danforth, Troy Bolton's best friend, try and stop Troy and Gabriella from continuing to pursue the roles of Arnold and Minnie in the winter musical because of their time spent practicing instead of cooperating in their clique's activities. In the end though, she helps with the plan of getting Troy and Gabriella to the callbacks on time.
In High School Musical 3, she chooses to take Political Science as her profession at Yale University.
Though she appears significantly less then the other main cast members, she is still very much considered a main character, though she does have a significant role in the first movie.
When we first meet Taylor she is the head of the science club and captain of the East High Scholastic Decathlon Team. She befriends Gabriella when Sharpay Evans stuffs Gabriella's science and math awards in her locker. Taylor, impressed and delighted to have a worthy potential member on her hands, tries to get Gabriella to join the team to beat their rivals in West High.
While doing so she shows Gabriella the ropes in East High, and the two become best friends. But once Taylor hears of Gabriella trying out for the school play, she and Chad devise a plan to break Troy and Gabriella up. When the plan is a success, she realizes how heartbroken she has left Gabriella and apologizes while confessing for what she did. Taylor then tries her hardest to help Gabriella get into the musical by sending a computer code to stop the basketball finals and purposely creating a stinky chemical reaction in order for Troy and Gabriella to get to the callback auditions on time. Sharpay's plans are foiled and all is well.
During their final summer as East High Students. Troy helps Gabriella, Taylor, and the rest of the Wildcats get jobs at the Evans's country club, Lava Springs. Taylor is appointed as the Summer Activities Coordinator.
Throughout the film, she tries her best to keep Gabriella from getting hurt by Troy or Sharpay. She does this by consulting Gabriella about her older sister's "Boyfriend Rules" and keeping an eye on Sharpay and Troy. She also seems to be liked a lot by the guests, especially the children.
She and Gabriella invite Ryan to the staff baseball game, and encourage him to play. She then joins the Wildcats when they sign up for the Club talent show and she is dismayed when Mr. Fulton tells her to inform the others that no employees will be allowed to join the talent show.
When Troy and Gabriella break up, Taylor goes to Gabriella's house and gives her Troy's necklace back and tells her how much Troy needs her for the club talent show, she and Chad reveal Gabriella to Troy. She then joins the gang as they sing in the talent show's finale and afterwards the Wildcats go star gazing as the fireworks and sprinklers go off. She also sings with her five friends in the finale.
In their final high school year, Taylor is revealed to be Class President and the Editor of the Yearbook. She's excited to go to college and dreams of becoming President of the United States after she graduates from Yale. She supports Gabriella to making the right decisions in her last year. When Kelsi signs her and the rest of the Wildcats up for the Senior Musical, she and the rest refuse to do it because they have so many other things going on. When Troy and Gabriella encourage everyone to join, she reluctantly agrees. (It can be seen that other than being in the show herself, Taylor also seems to be appointed stage manager, as she wears a head set in the rehearsal scenes and can be seen directing other cast members.)
Meanwhile Chad, pathetically, asks her out to the prom. She says no, stating that with an invitation like that he'd be dancing with himself. But, with Troy's help, Chad tries to ask her again, in front of half the school. With a quick evaluation with her friends, she happily accepts his invitation.
When Gabriella tells her about her opportunity to go to Stanford early, she's very excited for her best friend, and plans to throw a going away party for her.
Soon after watching Troy and Chad reminisce about their past, we see Taylor in Gabriella's room, trying to convince her to go to Stanford, while accidentally insulting Gabriella by calling her relationship with Troy a crush.
During Prom, after Troy goes to Stanford to win Gabriella back and end up having their own Prom, Taylor is seen dancing with Chad and temporarily switches partners with Gabriella and dances with Troy for the first time (though it was a figment of Troy and Gabriella's imagination, since they were hundreds of miles away from East High).
During the musical, after Gabriella leaves Stanford and returns with the support and love of Troy, Taylor, happy to see her friend again and possibly apologizing for what she said, hugs Gabriella and sings along with the rest of the Wildcats.
At graduation she and the entire school sing their last song, rightfully called High School Musical.
Descending from the school, Taylor and her many new and old friends, as well as the rest of the 6 main Wildcats, are seen on a stage doing their signature jump and hold back tears as the curtains close on East High for the last time... Well, at least until next year.
Taylor's fashion styles have changed greatly over the past three films, probably the most out of the three leading ladies.
In High School Musical, Taylor's style was very casual, with her wearing flowing skirts, and suitable shirts and matching accessories, such as head bands and jackets.
In High School Musical 2, Taylor starts to relax more and wear more fun summer clothes, such as shorts, bright colors, cute accessories, summer dresses and a new haircut.
In High School Musical 3, Taylor has grown into a young business woman. Her clothes are much more conservative and smart, such as Brooks Brothers ties, with matching head bands and skirts. Also, she wears sweater vests over business blouses. Even her Prom dress has a business style to it.
Taylor is portrayed as highly intelligent, mature, and independent, with a sophisticated flare and an extensive vocabulary that make her out to be a "business-woman-type".
When first meeting Taylor, she can seem a bit snobby, but she is actually a loyal friend with a fiery temper. Taylor is driven and competitive, and she always speaks her mind. She is kind of cynical when it comes to boys and has a passion for anything having to do with science, politics, or math. It is stated that she is extremely efficient and is seen to be sentimental at times. She is also very determined and would do anything for her friends. She may also have a photographic memory, seeing as she remembers the school lunch specials. She loves the feeling of being in control.
Taylor's dream is to become like the women she's influenced by, such as Frida Kahlo, Oprah Winfrey, Sandra Day O'Connor, Madame Curie, Jane Goodall and Eleanor Roosevelt, to name a few. To do so, she keeps her gifted mind intact while showing ambition and confidence, making her well respected in her school.
Never the less, Taylor's come a long way from her early days of staying in the classroom with her own "species". Over the course of the movies, Taylor transforms from a standard brainiac to a wonderful friend with a fierce way of tackling situations and a love of staying true to herself.
She seems to be a bit of a protective big sister figure to Gabriella, and she will do anything to keep her happy. On the other hand the two don't always see eye to eye, but they never fight with each other and they have the strongest friendship in the franchise.
Chad and Taylor have a rocky love/hate relationship at first, but as the franchise grew, so did their relationship. In HSM2, Chad openly flirts with her and the two seem to be happy with one another. Taylor even looks frazzled when Chad invites her to lunch. In HSM3, the two hit another rocky road when Chad obnoxiously asks her to Prom. Appalled by this, she refuses. But when Chad steps up his game and asks her out in a more romantic way (with flowers in hand and in front of the entire school), she happily says yes. It is not known what happens to their romance now that they are in college. Chad implied during a scene in HSM3 that they might have broken up and gone their separate ways. But in graduation the two seem to be happy with one another, implying that they might have stayed together.
Though they have no dialogue together, the two seem to have a good friendship. They can be seen smiling at each other in the star-gazing scene in the end of HSM2. Also, they even dance together in the Prom scene of HSM3. They both interact with each other a little more in the book series.
It doesn't take much to figure out that Taylor doesn't like Sharpay. In HSM, when Taylor tries to make Gabriella join the Scholastic Decathlon team, Sharpay references to Taylor while she turns away, grimacing. Taylor doesn't trust her one bit and she always sees through her schemes. In the end of HSM2, they both seem to have moved on from their kiddy-feud and become somewhat friends. It is not known if they kept this friendship, seeing as they don't interact in HSM3.
The two have grown to have a real friendship by the beginning of HSM2. In the book series Taylor is shown to help Kelsi with her shyness.
Much like Kelsi, Martha and Taylor have also become good friends. Martha even helps Taylor with her Class Presidential duties such as being the head of the Prom Committee.
Not much is known about Taylor's family. She stated in HSM2 that she has an older sister, who she seems to look up to, considering that she really believes in her "Boyfriend Rules". Also, in the Official HSM3: Senior Yearbook, her parents write how proud they are of her getting accepted to Yale with honors and making a big change from science to stage.
|High School Musical|
|Chad, Nerds and Jocks||Counting On You||East High Basketball Court/Chem Lab|
|East High Students||We're All In This Together||East High Basketball Court|
|High School Musical 2|
|East High Students||What Time Is It?||East High School|
|Lava Springs Staff||Work This Out||Lava Springs Kitchen|
|Lava Springs Staff||You Are the Music in Me||Lava Springs Music Room|
|High School Musical 2 Cast||Everyday||Lava Springs Stage|
|High School Musical 2 Cast||All For One||Lava Springs Pool|
|High School Musical 3: Senior Year|
|East High Students||A Night To Remember||East High Theater|
|High School Musical 3 Cast||Just Want To Be With You (Reprise)||East High Theater|
|High School Musical 3 Cast||We're All In This Together (Graduation Version)||East High Theater|
|East High Students||High School Musical||East High Football Field|
Taylor is younger than Chad in High School Musical, High School Musical 2, High School Musical 3: Senior Year