For many teenagers, the prom is a quintessential moment of high school when they gather with friends in their best dresses or tuxedos and create a night they will always remember.
But for others, the prom may be a night they would rather forget.
The average cost of attending a prom this year is $1,139, according to a recent survey by Visa. This includes the ride in a limousine, the dance with a dream date, or even winning the coveted titles of prom king or queen, often making it a night well worth the steep cost.
Yet some unlucky teens will instead remember the night for its controversy.
From arriving at prom a week too early to pulling up at the dance in a refurbished school bus, take a look at some not-so-memorable prom nights.
It might be hard to have fun at prom ... if you're not actually at the right one.
Students from Bloomington High School, in Bloomington, Calif., dressed up and headed to Santa Anita Race Park on April 27, 2013, for what was supposed to be their senior prom, according to their invitations.
When the students arrived, the venue's staff told them that the event was actually supposed to be held the following Saturday.
"There was a scheduling mix-up," Katie Orloff, a spokeswoman for Colton Joint Unified School District, told ABCNews.com. "Obviously, it's not how we wanted prom to be for the students."
Luckily for them, the venue was able to provide the students with another room at the last minute.
"They can't make up for [it]," student Marcus Vargas told ABC News affiliate KABC. "Everybody paid for that day to be all super fancy. They paid for party busses and limos and things like that. They're going to have to do something pretty amazing to make up for that."
Orloff said the school is planning a second prom in May at a different venue, paid for by the school and with karaoke, carriage rides and other, extra amenities provided by the first venue.
Teens in Tennessee, who paid $1,800 for a "party bus," took a very different ride to their senior prom.
A group of 20 teenagers from Lynchburg, Tenn., were surprised when a bright orange refurbished school bus with an advertisement printed on the side arrived to take them to the prom, according to Tom Sturdivant, manager at Sedan on Demand, which supplied the bus.
"We go to Lynchburg," Sturdivant told ABCNews.com. "We pull up, and the woman says, 'Oh my lord! This is not what we wanted!'"
Sturdivant said the group hired the bus through a vendor called Superior Transportation which then contracted the refurbished school bus for prom night from Sedan on Demand.
"We thought we told them everything," Sturdivant said.
Stephanie Trail, one of the parents who ordered the bus, told ABC affiliate WKRN, "[Sedan on Demand] did not know we were not aware of what was going to pull up, so they were in just as much shock as we were."
Attempts to contact Superior Transportation were not successful. Both Sedan on Demand and the teenagers' parents have also been unable to contact Superior Transportation.
"People use it as a party bus," Sturdivant said. "It's not a bad bus. We've been out on proms, weddings and bachelor parties."
The teenagers ended up taking the unconventional bus to the prom anyway.
"My driver said the kids had fun," Sturdivant said. "Bottom line, they did use the bus."
|Mo. Teen Leads Police on Wild Chase Before Prom|
One Missouri teenager didn't even make it to the prom.
Daniel Buck, 19, from O'Fallon, Mo., was arrested and charged with resisting arrest and numerous traffic citations.
Last Friday night, April 26, 2013, according to Wentzville, Mo., police, an officer recognized Buck and knew that Buck's license had been revoked. The officer attempted to pull Buck over, but he did not stop, with an ensuing pursuit going through the town into the early Saturday morning hours, Police said.
Eventually, police said, Buck was captured after he abandoned his car.
"He said he didn't want to go to jail 'cause he wanted to go to prom with his girlfriend on Saturday night," Wentzville Police Maj. Paul West told ABCNews.com.
Efforts to contact Buck were not successful.
Buck was jailed but made bail at $15,000. He has since been released, but too late for the prom.
Imagine getting to take your dream date to the prom. Sadly, for one California teen, his dream date's schedule was too hectic.
Los Angeles high school senior Jake Davidson, 17, had two weeks in the limelight when his YouTube prom-posal to supermodel Kate Upton got national attention. In the clip, titled "Kate Upton, Will You Go to Prom with Me?" Davidson explained why Upton should be his date, including that they have a lot in common. For example, Upton poses in Sports Illustrated and Davidson reads it.
Upton took notice and tweeted Davidson, "How could I turn down that video! I'll check my schedule ;)"
Unfortunately, Davidson found out his dream date would be a no-go.
"A couple weeks after, she found out she had other obligations," Davidson told ABCNews.com. "Her agent let me know."
Davidson still doesn't have a date for his May 23 prom.
"I don't know who I'm taking at this point," Davidson said. "I've got some plans in the works."
Even though he missed out on taking his dream date to prom, Davidson has no hard feelings for Upton.
"She's the coolest person out there for responding," Davidson said. "I'm very appreciative for what she did. She's pretty cool."
In Kansas, one teen used a creative way to change her school's prom escort policy.
Courtney Widener wanted her brother, Senior Airman Casey Widener, 22, to escort her to her junior prom at Liberal High School on April 20, but the school district policy prohibited those 21 years old and older from participating in prom activities, according to ABC affiliate KAKE.
"I feel like if a father wanted to escort his daughter, he should be allowed to," Courtney told KAKE. "If a grandfather wanted to escort his granddaughter, he should be allowed to."
It was supposed to be a touching tribute, according to KAKE, because Casey had just returned from a tour in Afghanistan.
Instead, in a video that went viral, Courtney and Casey are seen arriving at prom together. However, Casey stops at the foot of the red carpet and watches Courtney continue to prom unescorted. As Courtney enters the dance, Casey salutes her and promptly leaves amid the applause of other spectators.
The national attention Courtney's video received on news and social media helped her get a meeting with the Liberal Superintendent of Schools, the high school principal, and the school board president, on April 30.
While the Widener siblings and the Unified School District are no longer speaking to the media, they released a statement after the meeting:
"We are very appreciative that a policy has been drafted that allows more flexibility in dealing with prom and promenade."