Sydney Sweeney thinks one of our most iconic Australian traditions is strange. So does the rest of America.

Sydney Sweeney is learning about Australian culture — and she's sharing her lessons with the rest of America.

Firstly, she learned that no matter how 'trained' a huntsman spider might be, the spider can and will bite

And secondly, she discovered the magic that is Australia's schoolies.

The Euphoria star appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to share her teachings. 

You see, Sweeney is practically an Aussie these days, as she spent several months in 2023 filming two movies, including shooting the upcoming rom-com Anyone But You in Sydney. 

But she also spent some working on the Gold Coast during schoolies season so she had to quickly grasp why so many teenage school leavers had converged on the beachside city for weeks of drinking, dancing and (let's be honest) bad decisions.

Watch the conversation below. Post continues after video.

“While I’ve been there, they had this thing called the schoolies, and it’s when the high schoolers graduate, and they go and have their big huge spring break party,” Sweeney told Fallon.

“They shut down all the streets and the schoolies go out."

Schoolies has been an Australian custom for the past 50 years, ever since the first schoolies event was held on the Gold Coast in 1976. Thousands of school leavers converge on Surfers Paradise, or other beachside locations around Australia, or even Bali, for two weeks of letting loose after exams.


Thankfully, Sweeney didn't spare the mention of the nemesis of schoolies: the toolies aka creepy out-of-school men who prey on teenage girls.

"Then the ‘toolies’ go out too, and those are anybody that is older than 21. And they put wristbands on them to know that there are tools trying to pick up younger kids," she said.

“And then anybody that is still in high school that goes out also gets a different colour wristband and they’re called the ‘foolies’. When they aren’t old enough to be messing around, so they’re fools.”

I love the enthusiasm, Sydney, I do but... this just isn't true. 

I'm not positive that anyone hands out wristbands to overage people inscribed with 'Toolies' or ones for younger teenagers labelled 'Foolies', as surely this would only encourage them. 

But either way, the point still stands. It's an excellent system of categorisation using puns, as is the Australian way. 

Jimmy Fallon, along with the in-studio audience of presumably mostly Americans, appeared to be a bit flummoxed by the idea of this enduring Australian tradition. Which doesn't take place to this extreme level in the United States, nor has anything like this been given a cutesy nickname like 'schoolies'.


The situation was reminiscent of earlier this year when Harry Styles made headlines in America for doing a 'shoey' (taking off his shoe on stage, pouring liquid into it, and then downing it in one gulp) an Aussie tradition that he honored while on his Australian tour.

Even The New York Times weighed in on the seemingly controversial Australian tradition, running an explainer article on the act and proclaiming that "one then wears the wet shoe for the rest of the night." 

During Sydney's appearance on The Tonight Show Jimmy Fallon then started coming around to the idea of schoolies and proclaimed his love for Australia. 

“The toolies and the schoolies?! That’s so fun, I love that!” Jimmy said. 

“Gosh I love Australia though, such a beautiful place. And the people there. I’ve never met an Australian person that wasn’t the best.”

Sweeney added, “It’s awesome, I love it.”

In an interview on The Project, Sydney and her rom-com cast mate Glen Powell shared a story of another Australian custom: being hit on by AFL players.

Watch the interview on The Project. Post continues after video.

Video via The Project. 

Sweeney attended a Sydney Swans game while she was in town, and Glen claimed some players slid into her DMs. "They had a good time meeting Sydney," Glen teased. 

"The whole team slid into her DMs afterward. Australia wanted to welcome her to town..." Glen said, as Sydney added "in a very big way." 

Despite this awkward moment (ICYMI Sweeney is engaged to Jonathan Davino), the actor is low-key obsessed with our fair nation. 

“I love it. I’ve downloaded multiple real estate apps to look into move to Australia. I love it there," she said in a radio interview with Smallzy’s Surgery.

“I put money on it that Sydney will have a house there by the end of the year," Glen added. 

"Sydney is obsessed with Australia.”

Sydney in Sydney? We'd like to see it!

Anyone But You hits cinemas on Boxing Day.

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Feature image: NBC.