Michael Carrington is a character from the 1982 sequel movie Grease 2.
Michael is an English exchange student who was clean cut and proper. He was possibly from Cambridge, England, as he was the cousin of Sandy Olsson, who was a British-Born Australian. His closest friend at Rydell was Frenchy, who would eventually become his go-to-girl for advice.
After mistakenly trying to open `his' locker, he was accosted by the `owners' of those lockers, the T-Birds. They informed him of those lockers being "A sacred landmark" by Johnny Nogerelli and a "Piece of American His-tow-ry" by Louis DiMucci. Michael understood, and tried to introduce himself, but the T-Birds laughed him off and Johnny flung him towards an open locker.
A week later, when he was staring at Stephanie at the track, Frenchy cautioned him on Steph's allegiance to the Pink Ladies and - by extension - the T-Birds. "Look but don't touch". He didn't heed her advice to `not even look', and asked her how he could become one of the T-Birds, then.
That night, after the T-Birds and Pink Ladies had a humorous musical `battle' at the Bowl-A-Rama (Score Tonight), Michael arrived, ready to make an attempt at befriending the T-Birds and Pink Ladies by asking them if he could join the game.
Inside, Steph was mad at Johnny for kissing Paulette Rebchuck then wanting a `Trophy' kiss from her. She claimed she could kiss `The next guy who walked though that door if she wanted'. An old guy came in and the T-Birds razzed her (Johnny: Be my guest!). However, Michael stepped in at the right moment and she laid a heart-stopping kiss on Michael right in front of Johnny!!
Michael, stunned as the T-Birds at the unexpected lip-attack, asked if it was too late to join the game, but they were ticked at what happened. The T-Birds clapped their hands, pointed towards the exit, and snapped, "Food!" Meaning they were heading out to eat, and nerds - or kid sisters - weren't invited.
A month later, as Stacie & Gracie had begged him (demanded, actually) to play the piano for the Talent Show auditions. He was performing for not only the twins, but also Sharon Cooper's "Seasons" AKA Calendar Girls, which Stephanie was a part of. He asked if she was free after school, but she joked, "I'm free every day. It's in the Constitution." (Perhaps a dig at England's loss of the American colonies in 1776?)
When the auditions were cut short due to Ms. Mason's upcoming Drama Class, Michael took that opportunity to ask Steph out for a hamburger later. "I'm busy". "Tomorrow?" "Busy." He had to askd why she'd kissed him like that if she didn't expect some kind of response in kind, but she said "It was just a joke. Forget it." `Forget it', Hell! He pressed one last time, "How about the day after tomorrow?"...
...and she let him have it with her desire for a Cool Rider (Song). Dejected and rejected he left as she continued her song.
Immediately afterwards, T-Bird Louis DiMucci came up to him, needing help on his `Fall of Rome' essay ("I didn't even know they were in trouble!"). Louis offered to pay "Paper for Paper. Essays for cash."
Michael started doing the T- Bird's essays to earn the money. One thing all of the T-Birds had in common is they all "Got a rep to protect" and they were less-than-exemplary when it came to schoolwork.
- Louis: How Rome Fell.
- Goose McKenzie: 2 assignments, including `William The Conqueror'.
- Johnny Nogerelli's essay - which Johnny actually complimented on "Nice Penmanship."
- Davey Jaworski: Sex Morality And The Animal Kingdom.
In a deleted scene right after `Reproduction', right after Johnny asked Steph, "What's the rush, ya gotta take a pill?" and before Mrs. McGee was talking with Mr. Stuart in her office, Michael was accosted by Davey and asked for his `help' with his essay. Michael surprised Davey by finishing his sentence about keeping the deal between them, because... "You got a rep to protect." "Well, uh... yeah."
Money in hand, he bought a scrapped motorcycle from Pfeil's Cycle Salvage, rebuilt it completely, and taught himself - though a couple months of trial-and-error - how to ride it, and with help from Frenchy (in a deleted scene) on how to act like a tough biker.
In his epic debut as his Lone Rider alter-ego, saving Davey Jaworski's life from the brutal Cycle Lords, he put his devastating kickass biker skills to the test, severely whipping Leo Balmudo's gang, saving the day, and making Stephanie Zinone fall in love with him - but not really him, just his alter-ego.
The next day, in Frenchy's chemistry lab, he tried to admit to Steph that he was Lone Rider, but he faltered, and Steph seemed confused by his odd `Have you ever read a Superman comic' question; How could they have read a comic? They were in classes all day. Michael backed off and retreated.
Later at Steph's dad's service station, he returned as Lone Rider and took Steph out on a romantic sunset ride. On their return to the station, he was again about to reveal his true identity, when the T-Birds intervened.
Later, upon learning of Steph's problems in Ms. Mason's class, he offered to tutor her.
(Apocryphal - not in film - fan theory (mine)) Frenchy had finished her Chemistry exams and passed, allowing her to graduate at the end of the year, so Michael was without his go-to girl for dating advice. But, as Frenchy most likely told him before he left, "Just be there for Steph. She needs the real you more than she needs `Cool Rider'".’
While at the Burger Diner (Cadillac Jack's), Steph unloaded on him about her ambivalence towards Lone Rider, wondering if he was an ordinary guy under the goggles. As they talked, he assisted her with her Hamlet essay, as she was actually right in what she'd written but phrased it wrong. He encouraged her "You seem to have the right idea." So gave her more erudite phrases "Incestuous relationship", and she was thrilled. In a moment of wonder and affection, she paid him a huge compliment, "You're a really smart guy, you know that?", while making a disparaging remark about her being "Some kinda dummy". He cared way too much about her to agree to that, and disagreed "Actually I think you're kind of terrific."
Outside of the Burger Diner, Steph and Michael exited, concluding another conversation, and she said to him that lots of girls at Rydell who would love to go with a guy like him.
Seeing an opportunity, he asked gently if she would. She scoffed at the idea and said that they were just different types. They'd gotten really close in the restaurant, he complimented her, she complimented him - a rarity! They'd made a lot of headway. He'd gone from `Gawd, what a nerd' to `You're a really smart guy'. What went wrong?
She defended her choice with the damnable Pink Lady code. Yep… that was the friggin' monkey wrench in the gears.
"`Pink Lady Code. Well, to quote Dolores, `The code stinks'!"
Later, during the lunch rush in the cafeteria, Davey accidentally pushed Steph into Michael. Both were heartbroken. Steph didn't act it but she really did care about Michael, and if not for "The Code" - and her seeming obsession with Lone Rider - she'd probably have actually been interested in him. Besides, he wasn't as (seemingly) callous and chauvinistic as Johnny.
Michael was distraught over the vaguely `Romeo and Juliet' relationship, and also his having to choose between being her Lone Rider or being himself (Charades).
Friday, June 15th, 1962, The night of the June Moon Talent Show, he reappeared as Lone Rider, to take Steph on another romantic ride, but the T-Birds intervened, giving chase.
He and his Cool Rider motorcycle tore through the town until he came to a dead end, Dead Man's Curve.
Let’s see: Make a potentially fatal, death-defying leap over a pitch-black chasm, or get mauled by Steph’s jealous ex. On one hand, there’s Death-jump. On the other hand, there’s getting beaten up. Death-jump. Get beaten up. Well, maybe he could just stop, and try to reason with the T-Bi… crap, looks like it’s the `Death-Jump’ option!
He bashed through the barricades, the cycle hit the edge of the deep chasm, and he and his cycle flew off into the inky darkness.
Although the T-Birds and Steph thought he perished - The Pink Ladies new better as Lone Rider was a pro biker - Michael had actually made the 100-foot jump and had enough time to return to Rydell, get to the talent show, and play the piano - as well as sing along with Steph when she went into her grief-induced catatonic state, (Love Will) Turn Back The Hands of Time, which helped the Pink Ladies with the Girl's division of the talent show.
Saturday, June 16, 1962, at the Lani Kai Lani Luau, when Coach Calhoun drove Principal McGee and Blanche Hodel around the Pool of Enchantment, in the bottom right, Michael could be seen, munching on a cotton candy.
Later that night, as the luau raged on, the Cycle Lords gate-crashed and ruined the luau.
As the Cycle Lords and Leo Balmudo gloated, Michael re-appeared as Lone Rider - amazing everybody ("it's him!" "It's him!" "He's alive") - and commenced a royal smack-down on the rival cyclers.
After their defeat, Michael revealed his true identity, to several cries of "You?!".
Though Johnny was agitated that Steph loved Michael as Lone Rider, and now himself, he was amazed that a `nerd' had become so bad-ass a biker. As Johnny was now with Paulette Rebchuck, he finally let Steph go, and accepted Michael as their newest member - although they graduated the next Monday (assumed).
Steph was amazed and relieved that he was alive, and shocked that the guy who she initially rejected had changed himself to become her beloved Cool Rider. It was him she had loved all along.
Besides, how many nerds could train themselves to become a bad-ass biker? Michael went from naïve book-smart `nerd' to leather-wearing `Cool Rider' in just a few months… and all just to be with her. She got two for the price of one. Win-win situation.
According to Television Tropes And Idioms, Michael `Took A Level in Badass'. Level 1 Nerd to Level 6 Biker. Johnny and the T-Birds were, at best, level 4 badasses.
He was played by Maxwell Caulfield.
Note: Despite the film's commercial failure and subsequent damage to Maxwell Caulfield's career in the '80s, in recent interviews he has stated he loves Grease 2 now because of the film's adoring fans - and they are legion - and also that his daughter is a huge fan of Grease 2 herself.