The aim of this study is to compare 2 in situ hybridization (ISH) detection methods for human papilloma virus (HPV) 16 E6/E7 mRNA, that is, the RNAscope 2.0 High Definition (HD) and the upgraded RNAscope 2.5 HD version. The RNAscope 2.5 HD has recently replaced the RNAscope 2.0 HD detection kit. Therefore, this investigation starts from the need to analytically validate the new mRNA ISH assay and, possibly, to refine the current algorithm for HPV detection in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma with the final goal of applying it to daily laboratory practice. The study was based on HPV status and on generated data, interpreted by a scoring algorithm. The results highlighted that the compared RNAscope HPV tests had a good level of interchangeability and enabled to identify oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma that are truly driven by high-risk HPV infection. This was also supported by the comparison of the RNAscope HPV test with HPV E6/E7 mRNA real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction in a fraction of cases where material for HPV E6/E7 mRNA real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction was available. Furthermore, the algorithm that associates p16 immunohistochemistry with the identification of HPV mRNA by RNAscope was more effective than the one that associated p16 immunohistochemistry with the identification of HPV DNA by ISH.