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Sometimes you have a teacher who is not a sadist, particularly strict, or overly nice. They are just a regular teacher. Until you threaten their students. After that you might want to start praying to whatever god is out there for mercy. You do not mess with their students. Getting away with just a lecture is not an option. Detention, even less. And don't even think about getting off with a warning. These are the teachers that make you wish they'd leave discipline up to the principal.
A Sadist Teacher wants their students to suffer. A Badass Teacher wants those who make their students suffer to suffer.
Usually they're the Non-Action Guy (or Girl) type, or a Nerd. Often they're well-respected and popular with their students (though this isn't always the case). This is also common with Evil Teachers who actually like their day job.
If a Hippie Teacher or a Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher is prone to this, running away as fast as possible is probably a good idea.
For the parenting equivalents, see Mama Bear and Papa Wolf. For an older sibling who acts like this, see Knight Templar Big Brother. Can overlap with Beware the Nice Ones, and occasionally Badass Normal in worlds with Supers. For a similar character, see Badass Bureaucrat. Contrast Sadist Teacher.
Anime & Manga
- Yoko Littner from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann may be the queen of this trope, managing to defeat two Ganmen with just her rifle and a hoverbike in order to protect her students.
"This will be on the test, so remember well. Don't wreck people's houses! (strafes a Ganmen with over a dozen shots) Don't take children hostage! (dodges the other Ganmen's attack) Don't threaten people with force! (finishes off the second Ganmen) That's it. Class dismissed. (Dramatic Gun Cock, the Ganmens explode) You fail!"
- Onizuka from Great Teacher Onizuka is the epitome of this. The guy took multiple gun shots to save a girl that's been slandering him and threatening his job, dived off a building multiple times to save students, biked through a building with an impending explosion, forced a student to give up her death wish, and destroyed multiple gangs.
- Granted, he's done insane things to his students (forcing bullies through rather extreme humiliation, for example), but only to teach a lesson to help them survive in the world (Picking on people is wrong, not just morally but also because those people sometimes get pushed too far and do much worse to you).
- If there's a questionable trait here it's "Teacher". Onizuka is a badass who has decided to start teaching to repay society for all the bad things he has done. He's not very good at teaching but he tries.
- Not to mention what happened in the final few chapters - upon mention that the new headmistress has trapped herself inside of the highschool and set the building ablaze, Onizuka - who was moments earlier pronounced dead - sneaks out of the hospital, rides his motorcycle into the burning school building, grabs the headmistress, and proceeds to ride out of a fourth story window with a maniacal grin on his face Like a Badass Out of Hell.
- Negi Springfield from Mahou Sensei Negima becomes dramatically more dangerous if his students are in danger. The same goes for Takahata. If there's a queen then Negi could be considered the king; after being impaled with a stone spear he collapses in a pool of his own blood. Then person that injured him turned his attention to Negi's student... and that's when he gets mad: he tears the spear out of his body and uses it to bash the guy in the head.
- Also keep in mind that he's only 10 years old.
- Hell Teacher Nube. Harm his students, and it doesn't matter if you're a powerful ghost or demon. He will kill you.
- Ritsuko also qualifies: despite being absolutely devoid of spiritual power, her Crowning Moment of Awesome had her doing what she could to protect a student endangered by an evil ghost, until Nube came to rescue them both.
- And of course, there's Sexy Mentor Minako-sensei, who actually died to save little Nube's life.
- Kumiko Yamaguchi from Gokusen is the homeroom teacher for a delinquent-filled school. However, she's also the 4th Generation female heir of a notorious Yakuza gang. Indeed, she does a lot to protect (and also correct) her students...
- Seki-sensei from Ojamajo Doremi isn't just a Badass Teacher, she's a Badass Biker.
- Colbert-sensei from Zero no Tsukaima is a Technical Pacifist and vehemently opposes war, but when the students are in danger he kicks major amounts of ass.
- Izumi "I'm a Housewife" Curtis. Endanger her students/child figures and you're in big trouble. Big trouble.
- Be one of her students and you're in even bigger trouble.
- Aoki Daisuke from Kodomo no Jikan can be pretty badass when it comes to protecting Rin.
- Early on in The Law of Ueki, Kobayashi (pictured) demonstrates that he may be against violence, but if you threaten or harass his students, you will wake up in a lot of pain. Also, despite his love of justice, he is very mischievous...
- In Weiss Kreuz Gluhen, history teacher Fujimiya Aya is the only person in the school to stand up to the Absurdly Powerful Student Council when they declare their control over the school, rushing to the defense of one of his students when S Class calls out a manhunt on the boy. Of course, this is mostly because both Aya and the student are undercover assassins investigating the school, although Aya probably would also have taken action to defend other innocent students if it had ever come up.
- Most of the teachers at Shibusen.
- The protectiveness aspect was exemplified for this series recently, by Marie stating she would not allow Justin Law to harm any one of her students, and proceeding to attack him single-handed, at least until Stein joins in.
- Chronos-sensei, of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Not only does he stand up to Camula to protect the other students who are carrying Spirit Keys (and most especially the pride of the school at the time, Kaiser Marufuji Ryou), but in season three, he puts himself in between his students and a rampaging horde of duel zombies, to delay said zombies and prevent them from stopping the students from getting to where they could get the help they needed to leave the desert dimension. And both times, he knew he was going to fail. He did it anyway. He has his bad points, but when his students are threatened, he will put his foot down (and then get knocked on his ass, but he doesn't let that get him down!).
- The Tales of Symphonia OVA has a scene where Raine takes out Lloyd with a piece of chalk when he was
not paying attentionsleeping in class. And it knocked him down along with his seat. That or she caught him off guard. Kratos would be disappointed.
- Basically every sensei on Naruto. Especially Kakashi.
- Special mention to Asuma as well, who took on a group of Sound nin about to kill his student... and beat every single one of them in under thirty seconds. While still smoking.
- They are superpowered ninjas, whose job is to teach other superpowered ninjas. This trope was guaranteed from the start.
- And let's not forget poor Iruka, a chuunin Academy teacher who in episode one completely fools an Ax Crazy colleague... after having a giant shuriken (among other things) embedded in his back.
- Jiraiya. As one of the strongest characters in the series, he's Badass from the word go; but its his students who really define him. Namikaze Minato, Yahiko, Nagato/Pain, Konan and Uzumaki Naruto.
- Professor Oak of Pokémon may qualify as he has, on one occasion during Pokémon the Mastermind of Mirage Pokemon, sent out a freakin' Dragonite to combat the aforementioned Mirage Pokémon.
- Stewart, the agent posing as a teacher in Sonic X, fell fully into the role and did everything in his power to protect the kids, most notably throwing off his orders to protect them during Chaos' rampage. Not to mention the episode where he gets captured along with some of the kids, and has to break out and protect them.
- Special mention goes to Ur of Fairy Tail who sacrificed her life in save her students.
- Sanjou, Ibuki's teacher in Street Fighter Legends: Ibuki is this, fighting off evil Geki ninjas when they invaded. Pretty much all her elders could qualify to a lesser extent.
- Spider-Man, for the brief time he worked as a science teacher at his old high school.
- Huntress, of the Batfamily.
- Black Lighting is also a teacher in his day job, and spends a lot of time trying to defend his students from the dangers of the streets. Often in costume.
- Chaim Levon from the Global Guardians was a Jewish school teacher before becoming the super hero Seraph and aiding Superman to dismantle bombs in Israel.
- The X-Men are almost always Badass, and this extends to their teaching careers at the Xavier Institute as well. Emma Frost in particular is very protective of her students, probably because two of her previous classes of students were murdered.
- The teachers at PS238 are almost all retired superheroes. This follows logically.
- Sanjou, Ibuki (and Yuta's) ninja teacher in the her comic is able to restrain her and use his ninja skills to physically move her position before she could even react. Later when their village is raided by the Geki clan of ninjas he is shown among the Glade of Ninjas residents who are defending their own village and he is holding his own well.
- In Oh God, Not Again!, Sirius gets to become a Hogwarts professor. Yeah, you heard that right.
- Futari wa Pretty Cure Blue Moon has Ami-sensei, who, despite her ditzy nature and constant striving for a promotion she'll never attain, is a Gadgeteer Genius who built a machine to communicate across dimensions. Oh, and she's a retired Magical Girl Warrior who's aware of the danger that her students put themselves in on a regular basis. When things get serious, especially when the Distressed Damsel to whom she is an Honourary Aunt is involved, out come the plans, the super strength, and the friendship beams of death.
- Dangerous Minds, with Michelle Pfeiffer.
- Kindergarten Cop. Bonus for being played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Papa Wolf extraordinaire in his movies.
"You hit the kid, I hit you!"
- The Substitute.
- David Niven's character in The Guns of Navarone was a chemistry teacher turned explosives expert. He's never shown around students, though...
- In Saving Private Ryan Captain Miller's occupation back home is a mystery to his men. It turns out he was a high school English teacher.
- Indiana Jones is never actually seen protecting his own students, but given he is a teacher with extreme protectivity towards kids, he probably counts.
- Principal "Crazy Joe" Clark, from Lean On Me comes across as a Stern Teacher, but in reality is a Badass Teacher for his entire school, chaining the doors during the school day to keep the students in and the bad influences out. Remembered largely for carrying a bullhorn and a baseball bat.
- Subverted in the film Bad Teacher, where Cameron Diaz plays it as being just as much a jerk to her students as she is to non-students.
- He's a dick, but Snape also definitely counts. Take a look at the Prisoner of Azkaban film. What does Snape do when he sees Lupin transformed? Instinctively puts himself between an out-of-control werewolf and his three least favorite students.
- This becomes even more apparent when you take into account that this was the same werewolf that had nearly killed him as a teenager.
- At the end of the X-Men movie, Magneto asks Xavier what happens when someone finds out about his mutant school, and Xavier replies that he has a great deal of pity for anyone who comes to the school looking for trouble. In the sequel, he's proven right, when the teachers and caretakers fight side by side with some of the more powerful mutant students.
- More accurately: Wolverine kills a lot of black ops soldiers very efficiently and violently. Colossus hits a couple, and Siryn holds them up by screaming but that's it.
- Susan sto Helit from Discworld becomes one of these in Thief of Time.
- also from Discworld, "Interesting times", Teach.(At the end, he goes berserk. After he's been mellow all his life)
- Most of the teachers in Harry Potter would count.
- Mad-Eye Moody would be the straightest example. Both, the real Moody, even though he never gets a chance to actually be a badass while a teacher, and the fake Moody, who manages to do a great job of impersonating a badass.
- Dumbledore gets special mention, as the one and only time he rebuked Professor Umbridge was when she started physically attacking one of his students. And the one and only time he ever got angry with Harry Potter was when Harry thoughtlessly suggested that Dumbledore was leaving the school unprotected. There is also his Unstoppable Rage when a bunch of Dementors showed up at a Quidditch match.
- As does McGonagall. Mess with her, and you get a disapproving glare. Mess with one of her students or colleagues, and she takes four Stunners to the chest at age seventy and bounces back with only a walking stick to show she was hospitalized for a month.
- Then, for an encore, she and Slughorn help an Auror take on TOM RIDDLE HIMSELF and live to tell about it.
- Let's not forget Severus Snape. He was a spy for Dumbledore, could fly without a broom, and during his spying days he lied to Voldemort's FACE for years. And he was an innovator, too. He is in fact the Half-Blood Prince who was behind a number of innovative—and sometimes nasty—spells. And when he actually does teach, once you get past his Jerkass-ness, he is focused; he teaches with a purpose.
- Harry Dresden, once he takes on Molly as his apprentice.
- The short story This Year's Class Picture by Dan Simmons has one of these who actually teaches a class of zombies after the Zombie Apocalypse, and sits in a bell tower daily to mow down zombies invading her school. When the outside zombies mob together to attack her zombie schoolchildren, she burns them alive in a freakin' gasoline moat.
- Sister Montoya from World War Z. A badass nun teacher.
Five three and a buck even, she'd protected her whole Sunday school class for nine days with nothing but a six-foot iron candlestick.
- Sherlock Holmes' Arch Nemesis Professor Moriarty who is this, while being a Chessmaster.
- In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel "Fallen Heroes", schoolteacher Keiko O'Brian holds off the marauding Bekkir long enough for Jake and Nog to escape. It gets Reset Buttoned, but it was still pretty awesome.
- This also qualifies as a Mama Bear moment, because Keiko's primary motivation was to protect her daughter Molly who was also with Jake and Nog.
- Miss Chadwick, the quiet math teacher from the Agatha Christie novel "Cat Among the Pigeons", tackles a gunman in order to protect her fellow teachers and one of the parents. She doesn't survive the experience.
- Numair from The Immortals. It helps that he's the strongest mage in the kingdom.
- Miss Wilson in the Chalet School series. Leading a group of kids to safety through a secret passageway, with a gang of angry Nazis in hot pursuit? I'd say that's pretty Badass. Doubles as a Mama Bear moment.
- Time Scout: Kit and Malcolm take it upon themselves to manage Margo's education in badassery. They hire Ann and Sven as tutor's for guns and close-quarters combat; two seperate sub-badassitudes, and not the sum.
Live Action TV
- Takeshi Hongo of Kamen Rider would like to do a Rider Kick to the monsters who harms not just his students, but to those who harm other people as well. And he's a Badass Biker too!
- Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright from Doctor Who.
- Hell, the Doctor himself in the episode School Reunion. And John Smith ends up being one by sacrificing his life in "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood".
- Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- Technically he's just the school librarian, he doesn't actually teach any classes. Except private ones after hours about vampire slaying for a select audience, ofcourse.
- Harry Senate from Boston Public.
- Tommy Oliver in Power Rangers Dino Thunder. He doesn't want to be badass, he just wants to be an ordinary science teacher. Nonetheless, he shows that he's more than willing to step back onto the battlefield after years of retirement if his students are threatened.
- Santiago Mancilla in Rebelde Way. You don't mess with Third Year. Period.
- The protagonist of The Greatest American Hero
- The Hoshikawa siblings of Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman are all Badass Teachers.
- The human form of Ultraman Eighty, Takeshi Yamato took elementary school teaching as his job. Considering what he can do in Ultraman form, it's not a good idea to threaten his students.
- Mr Rimmer, headmaster of Waterloo Road.
- World History Professor Milton Fine, alias Brainiac on Smallville combines this with Evil Teacher and Badass Bookworm for truly dangerous results.
- In The Vampire Diaries Alaric Saltzman, history teacher by day, vampire hunter by night. On a few happy occasions, these two interests have synergized when he finds old documents about vampires.
- Though she never actually takes anyone down physically, Laura Roslin of Battlestar Galactica Reimagined probably counts, considering she is a political badass who used to be a school teacher and will airlock anyone she sees as a threat to her people.
- All three teachers in the Rival Schools series—Hayato Nekketsu of Taiyo High, and Hideo Shimazu and Kyoko Minazuki of Justice High—exhibit this trope to varying degrees.
- Raine of Tales of Symphonia continues to teach her three students Lloyd, Colette, and Genis while they are traveling across the world on their quest. Then she fights monsters and bandits and half-elves and brings down holy light on enemies with devastating power. Her role as the group's primary healer further cements her as a Badass Teacher, since she has spells that are used for the express purpose of protecting her students from harm.
- Attack the Blood Raven initiates, especially the ones trained by Cyrus, I dare you. Even if you're a Super Soldier enhanced with demonic power.
- I think it's safe to say that the instructors of Garden qualify for this. Case in point: Quistis Trepe. How did she once assist her students on the field? By taking down the giant spider robot that's pursuing them with a gatling gun.
- Keine Kamishirasawa of the Touhou series. Half-Beast history teacher and protector of the human village. Best portrayed in this fanvid.
- Professor Layton, although we don't see a great deal of him interacting with his actual students in the archaeology classes he teaches, is certainly this for his apprentice Luke.
- Jack in Mass Effect 3. Also a Cool Teacher, judging by her students' comments towards her.
- Magical Diary gives us Professor Potsdam. Sweet little old lady who calls her students such things as "starshines" and "cygnet" in utter sincerity, doesn't seem to quite get the idea of discipline...and is over six hundred years old, with all the power to match. When it comes to it, Damien runs rather than face her on her own ground. Not that she can keep him from coming back for the May Ball, if you decide to take him back.
- Miss Spencer from Rumble Roses is a history teacher with wrestling experience who joins the organization as a bid to get her student Candy Cane back to class. Along the way she defeats other wrestlers varying from Statuesque Stunners, Pint-Sized Powerhouses and even SNK Bosses. Expect some tailbone pain in the sequel. Her superstar lethal attack (pictured above) forced her victim to read before they get their head smashed in a book.
- Lee Everett of The Walking Dead was a history professor at the University of Georgia, and proved himself as a great fighter during the apocalypse.
- Souichirou Kuzuki in Fate/stay night in the Unlimited Blade Works route. The Drifter who randomly came to town prior to the story and stayed at the local shrine. Despite being a perfectly normal human, he becomes the suspect of who Servant Caster's Master is. Simple mission: shoot him with a sleeping spell. If he is the Master then job well done, and if not then no harm done. Of course this doesn't turn out well when Caster warps in and saves him. But the battle is on our heroes' side! They've got Saber, The Chick who is the strongest Servant! She gets past Caster and goes for Souichirou! And THWACK. Souichirou counters and proceeds to unleash a Spam Attack on Fist of the North Star levels. Yes, Souichirou just beat up King Arthur with his bare hands.
- And then if you think back a day or two ago, this means he was also the one who snapped Rider's neck in twain.
- Even after Archer betrays Caster and kills her, he's back to being a normal human, he challenges Archer to a one-on-one battle despite knowing he's going to be killed in one hit.
- And then if you think back a day or two ago, this means he was also the one who snapped Rider's neck in twain.
- In the opening of Tsukihime, Shiki gets visited by Aoko, and by the end of their little sessions, calls her Sensei from then on. Cue Melty Blood, where Aoko is Kung Fu Wizard specializing in Frickin' Laser Beams.
- Similarly, most of the teachers at Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe, since many of them are retired superheroes. Even more frightening, some of them are retired supervillains.
- Mr. Sly in Destiny Fails Us.
- James Eglamore in Gunnerkrigg Court. As was his predecessor.
- Not to mention Jones, who mentors mediums and beat Eglamore in a sword fight while unarmed. By blocking the sword with her face.
- Kat's parents are scientists at the Court and she follows their footsteps. Her mother built a magitek computer to trap a body-stealing demon and in youth was building robots.
- Mr. Raven in El Goonish Shive.
- Largo from Megatokyo is a subversion,because while he tries to do this, he just as often leads his students into danger.
- Although the fact that he's teaching an English class in Japan and doesn't speak Japanese is interesting. But they're still learning somehow.
"Doesn't Great Teacher Largo make you want to learn English so you can understand what he's saying?"
- Any of the teachers in MSF High.
- Miranda Deegan. A very evil mage once killed several of her students to get to her. She banished him to a realm of Mind Rape.
- Don't mess with Vonn Pinn. It is not pretty.
- Sidney Burns of Mob Ties.
- Laid-back Hippie Teacher Mr. Van Dreissen attacks a guest speaker (somewhat wimpily) when Beavis and Butthead claim the speaker "touched" them.
- In a later episode Teacher/Coach Buzzcut walks in on the same speaker threatening the duo. Said speaker then unwisely attempts an attack on Buzzcut, an ex-Marine, who proceeds to beat the stuffing out of him.
"I do the ass-kicking around here!"
- Van Dreissen's real Crowning Moment of Awesome comes in Incognito, where not only does he fail to show anything resembling fear when an unknown assailant shoots through the window of his classroom, after when Earl shoots back, driving the attacker off, Van Dreissen calmly confiscates Earl's pistol and Earl complies. Sure it was supposed to be a satire about how desensitized to violence everybody has become, but it ends up making Van Dreissen look like a fearless Badass Pacifist.
- Some of the teachers from Recess in Recess: School's Out.
- Of the four named faculty, two were accomplished martial artists, one was able to use his Janitorial Supplies as Improvised Weapons, and the other one was a Hippie Teacher as well as The Cutie, and showed a perfect example of Beware the Nice Ones. The principal handled capture pretty nicely as well. Course, one scene had all the teachers rappelling into the cafeteria to help the kids in the fight against the Big Bad.
- Especially effective in that of the four named faculty, two are the main antagonists of the series, one an Apathetic Teacher who wants nothing more than to move up the career path and stop dealing with children, and the other is the very essence of a kids show Sadist Teacher. But if you mess with their kids, you're going down hard.
- One episode had a substitute teacher fall into this trope. The gang goes to school, expecting a free day, only to be greeted by a teacher, whom Spinelli describes, after seeing some of his actions, having "zero fear."
- The core of the Order of the White Lotus from Avatar: The Last Airbender is made up of Cool Old Guy Badass Teachers: Iroh, Pakku, Bumi, Jeong Jeong, and Piandao.
- Let's not forget Gyatso. He took on an army of powerful firebenders. And appeared to fight them to a draw.
- Arguably, Toph as well. She joins the group in order to teach earthbending to Aang, and she's pretty much made of badass.
- Xavier, Wolverine, and Storm in X-Men Evolution, along with Hank McCoy who was pretty tough before mutating into a blue, furry form.
- The title character of Cybersix, who's a literature teacher by day and a superhero by night. There's also her love interest, the Badass Normal biology teacher Lucas.
- Principle Seymour Skinner from The Simpsons, while more of a Retired Badass in his civilian life, Skinner is a Vietnam veteran and was a relatively successful military officer back in the day. While he usually goes out of his way to avoid conflict, he has no qualms about kicking serious ass if the situation (rarely) calls for it.
- The Gromble from Aaahh Real Monsters. He is a Sadist Teacher, but he'll also rain fiery vengance upon anyone who dares threaten his students.
- Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus. C'mon, who wouldn't want to go one of her field-trips? (Besides Arnold, of course).
- Brian Lewis, who for most of his screen time delves into Moral Myopia as an Apathetic Teacher on American Dad, shattered a hot pot of coffee in Steve Smith's face when he learned Steve had just punched a very young exchange student everybody liked with absolutely no provocation.
- Because of the threat of suicide bombings against a certain girls school in Afghanistan, the complex was walled with only one gate placed far away from the main school building. At this gate a single teacher would sit, watching the gate. If a suicide bomber entered the teacher would attack him and try to detonate the explosive, killing them both. And if that's not Badass enough, the teachers were 50 year-old women.
- Dr. Liviu Librescu of Virginia Tech, personally kept the door shut to prevent gunman Seung-Hui Cho from entering the classroom so his students could escape. It took five shots to take him down. Of course, he had a history, since surviving the Holocaust takes a Determinator in itself...
- The same can be said for the four other (murdered) professors who attempted to confront or stop Cho from hurting their students.
- There is the Troops to Teachers program; former military members get certified to teach, then go to (generally dangerous) schools.
- Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. A university professor, he took a sabbatical to fight for the Union in the American Civil War, saved the whole Union army with a bayonet charge, was wounded a half-a-dozen times, won the Congressional Medal of Honor, became a Brigadier General (after he was given a few hours to live; he got better) and returned after the war to become head of the school and teach every subject except Mathematics.
- You forgot the parts where he was the officer chosen to accept Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House and where he served four terms as Governor of Maine.
- Dr. David Benke, a math teacher at Deer Creek Middle School in Denver, tackled a gunman when he tried to attack the school. In a letter to the public explaining what happened, he wrote, "If we could have told the students what we felt before the incident happened we would have said, 'Not on my watch. On my watch you are going to be as safe as I can make you.'"
- Teachers Christopher Fowler and Luke Haen at Oakton High School. The former served in the 101'st Airborne in Desert Storm and is partially deaf in one side of his head due to a grenade going off right by his head. The latter joined the Army and later became a Ranger. He served in the first Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the opening stages of the War in Iraq.