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"When we grew up and went to school

There were certain teachers who

Would hurt the children any way they could"
Pink Floyd, The Wall, "The Happiest Days of Our Lives"

So you made it past the evil bus driver, avoided the cafeteria lady with her Mystery Meat, and dodged the bully in the schoolyard. You're safe now, right?

Guess again. Now it's time to face... that teacher.

You know which one. The teacher who singles you out for ridicule and humiliation. The one who openly mocks you in front of the rest of the class. The one who tells you they want you to fail because you don't deserve to move up. If they teach gym, you'd better be ready for Dodgeball Is Hell every day, if not worse. They're the Sadist Teacher, the education system's answer to Drill Sergeant Nasty (or worse!).

Sometimes they hate all children, but sometimes it's just one special child who becomes the target of their rancor. Either way, they are as cruel as they can possibly be within the confines of their job, but because they're a teacher, anyone seeking justice for their sadistic behaviour is likely to be summarily dismissed.

They're also almost always the most suspicious of either the High School Hustler or the Ordinary High School Student with a Secret Identity and determined to uncover the Masquerade. Worse, maybe they have discovered it, and now the hero has to keep them from proving it.

Principals, counselors, and coaches are no exceptions to this trope. Sadly, after escaping them at graduation, the hero may run into their classier (but just as cruel) college equivalent, Dean Bitterman.

All too often this is a case of Truth in Television. Sometimes this trope will be inspired by the creator's own personal experiences, but many examples take it Up to Eleven and portray levels of abuse that would have any real teacher fired on the spot.

See Stern Teacher for their more reasonable counterpart. Dean Bitterman is usually somewhere in between. May overlap with Evil Teacher, or with Sinister Minister in a parochial school. Pick on Someone Your Own Size comes in any time an adult sees a child or teenager as a personal enemy. Contrast Hippie Teacher, Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher, and Badass Teacher.

Examples of Sadist Teacher include:

Anime and Manga

  • Taken to its literal extremes in the different teachers for the book, manga and film versions of Battle Royale. In the manga version at least, the "teacher", who is also the host of "the Program", shoots one student twice when he raises a furor over the fact that said teacher raped his caretaker, then sinks a knife into another student's head for talking. In all three versions, when some of the students are about to escape the island, they make a point of finding and killing the "teacher".
    • In the manga, there's an interlude during the Sugimura/Kotohiki section that talks about Jaguar, a gym teacher they had. Jaguar was a total jerk, challenging the students to martial arts duels and humiliating and/or hurting them when they wouldn't fight back. He eventually challenged Kiriyama, who plucked out and squished his eye.
  • The Kirby anime series has King Dedede setting up a school. The teachers are required to wear this hat while teaching. Their lessons included math (throwing students across rooms for wrong answers), science (splitting plutonium!) and so on... And the producer is embarrassed.
  • Played with on Yu-Gi-Oh! GX with Professor Chronos. In addition to being as biased as Snape to the students in his dorm, Chronos has a personal grudge against Judai for publicly defeating him in a duel and thus devoted Season 1 to trying to get Judai kicked out of school. However, Chronos has had his moments that prove deep down, he really cares about his students. He also manages to combine a Heroic Sacrifice with a Rousing Speech to raise his students' morale, just before getting beaten by one of the Shadow Riders.
    • Professor Cobra (or Thelonius Viper), on the other hand, is a total wanker, forcing students to duel so he can steal their life energy to resurrect his son.
    • And honestly, Principal Samejima/Chancellor Sheppard isn't much better, since he employed said person. At least he knows and regrets that Adults Are Useless.
    • The first seven volumes of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! have: a Vamp who dates men and breaks their hearts for the hell of it, a sadistic guidance counselor who regularly mocks the lower-scoring students and tried to stomp on Anzu/Tea's electronic keychain, and a gym teacher who bullies Bakura because of his hairstyle. All three found themselves on the receiving end of karma in the end, though (the Vamp had her makeup peeled off, revealing how ugly she really was to the whole class; the counselor was revealed to be bald and wearing a toupee; the gym teacher got turned into an RPG figurine by Dark Bakura).
        • And The Vamp, Chono, likes ordering desk inspections so that she can catch students with contraband and have them expelled. She does this with the puzzle love letter Honda made for Miho, but Yami Yugi gives her the Shadow Game as soon as she completes the puzzle to determine whether Yugi, Jounouchi or Honda had given it to Miho, as all three claimed responsibility.
      • Though it should be noted that the gym teacher got turned back once Yami Yugi beat Bakura, and goes back to being his old Jerkass self.
    • Chrono/Crowler shows some sadistic tendencies in the GX manga, like when he forced Judai and Sho to duel each other after Sho got a zero on a test (which wasn't even his actual grade, as it was a preliminary form, and the zero was a formality since he'd forgotten to write his name), and Judai had failed every test since entering. If Judai won, Sho would have been expelled, but if Sho won, Judai's deck, which he got from world champion Koyo Hibiki, would have been confiscated. Judai wins and Midori comes to resolve the misundertanding, but while she plans on informing the principal, apparently, nothing happens to Chrono.
  • Brilliantly subverted in Osamu Tezuka's Black Jack. A sadistic Maths teacher terrorizes his "weakest" student to the point of traumatizing him, but is actually a good person at heart who only wants to toughen the kiddo up. Actually, the boy almost dies in a street accident that he got in because he was too distraught by his phobia of the teacher, and the man feels so guilty when he finds out that he attempts to kill himself and give the money of his health insurance to the kid's mother so Dr. Black Jack can operate on the boy. In the end, Black Jack saves both of them.
  • Sister Grace, the St. Paul College principal in Candy Candy, straddles the line between this and Stern Teacher.
  • Subverted in Rosario to Vampire by Kagome Ririko, a lamia and literal sadist along with Hitomi Ishigami whose sadistic tendencies really shine after she's fired.
  • In Kodomo no Omocha, Sengoku-sensei has an almost obsessive hatred of Akito, going to great lengths to make the kid miserable, even hit him once. Turns out it's because Akito reminds him of the kids who used to bully him when he was younger.
  • Just before the Trunks saga of Dragonball Z, ChiChi hires a private tutor for Gohan who turns out to be one of these. Mr. Shu is a raging asshole who repeatedly Kicks The Dog by calling Goku worthless as a father and even makes poor Gohan bleed. When ChiChi finally finds out about how much of a sadist he is...let's just say it doesn't end well for Shu.
    • The fact that he was tearing down on Goku by making implications that Goku was a deadbeat brute who is willing to abandon his family in front of Chi-Chi certainly helped Chi-Chi's decision to literally throw him out of the house and chase him off her property, as well.
  • The Dreaming's Avril Merriweather, the first headmistress of Greenwich Private College, punishes her students by locking them in cupboards and coffins.
  • Played for laughs in Full Metal Panic with the gym teacher. He genuinely hates Sousuke, but Sousuke mistakes his malice as respectable boot-camp teacher behavior. Whenever the teacher goes on a tirade against him, Sousuke treats him like an officer, which in turn is taken like smart aleck behavior. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Hell Girl follows a group of supernatural beings who can be "hired" to send one person bodily to Hell, at the cost of the contractors' soul upon death. Sadist Teachers are some of their more frequent victims, ranging from a literal sadist who felt sexual pleasure from humiliating one of her female students, to an extremely strict teacher who kept a notebook full of details about the students' misbehavior (which, it turns out, was actually blank).
  • Mr. Iwamoto and Mr. Akashi from Yu Yu Hakusho. The former forces Kuwabara and his friends to swear off violence under threat of Okubo losing permission for his job, which he needs to provide for his family. When the students keep their end of the bargain, he forces them to score above 50% on the next test. When even Kuwabara succeeds, he alters his test score to provoke him to hit him and break the agreement, but he relents with Yusuke's help. Mr. Iwamoto takes items out of students' bags to frame Yusuke, and keeps one student's pen for himself. Why Mr. Takanaka, the principal (and decent guy) hasn't fired their asses, the world will never know.
    • Mr. Akashi isn't seen after Takanaka catches him altering Kuwabara's test score, so his ass probably was fired.
    • When Yusuke dies in the first episode of the series, these two actually discuss how happy they are that they don't have to put up with him anymore. At his funeral.
    • Iwamoto's sadistic tendencies really come out when he's possessed by a Makai insect and tries to kill Keiko for simply being associated with Yusuke.
    • Two other teachers in a manga-only arc did their utmost to set their prize pupils at each other's throats in a competition to see who in their school would be able to produce the one student who would go on to a prestigious high school. The fact that the girls in question had been friends before they did this didn't matter to them. In the end, the girls decided that their friendship was more important than the egos of all involved and selected a slightly less prestigious high school that they could both attend.
  • Miss Minchin from Shokojo Sera makes her novel counterpart look positively benign. Not only is she greedy and unjust, but she resents the slightest threat to her inflated self-esteem, and has serious anger management issues.
  • Franken Stein will beat up students for the purposes of training, throw scalpels at them, and speculate on experimenting upon one girl after pointing out his previous test subject was her father. His sadistic tendencies are usually played for laughs, but in serious moments including his introduction, are genuinely creepy. And it's not too difficult to imagine him making good on any of his 'dissection' threats.
    • With that description, it's worth pointing out that Stein is a decent guy, who seems to genuinely care about his students. Well, okay, a guy who makes an effort to be decent because his less-than-decent compulsions scare even him.
  • Gunjou-sensei from Super Gals, an unrepentant Social Darwinist at heart, forced his class to bully the girl who he blamed for their loss at the sports festival. When Ran confronted him about this, he punched her. Protip: don't punch the student who punches back even harder.
  • In one Ghost Hunt arc, Hideaki Matsuyama was so obsessed about his students applying themselves academically, he would destroy his student's personal belongings for not being related to classwork. He actually drove one student to suicide - but not before the student created a ritual curse intended to kill his tormentor and tricked half the student body into continuing the ritual.
  • Shidou is a prick often enough to begin with. When the story gets going and he promptly gets worse...
  • Detective Conan gets one of these in the form of Sumiko Kobayashi, or so it seems. She's actually a Shrinking Violet who took on the Sadist Teacher facade after some bad experiences at her old workplace. After her first appearance, she drops it and becomes a Cute Teacher instead.
  • Marie Moriya really got the short end of the stick. Not only do her classmates pick on her, but the teacher who initially defended her, Kanamori-sensei, sexually abuses her to relieve his own stress.
  • In Attacker You!, You's coach Matsugoro Daimon wasn't this in the original manga, but became a huge example in the anime.
  • In Kodomo no Jikan, the teacher who preceeded Aoki-sensei was one. But when he bullied Mimi, Rin decided to strike back and had the whole class harass him back.

Comic Books

  • In the fourth volume of The Sandman, "Season Of Mists", Lucifer closes down Hell, so all the damned are forced to wonder other places of the universe, including Earth. One chapter focuses on a boy at a boarding school left there for the holidays when this happens. The students who died while at school and went to hell are all resurrected, as is an old headmaster who proceeds to openly torture and torment the entire student body using old-school punishments. He is, literally, a teacher from hell. To be fair, he's the only dead headmaster to come back to life, implying the others were nice enough to go Heaven, but even before the dead rose, the school was shown as a very depressing place.
  • James-Michael from Omega the Unknown encounters this when he first arrives at his Inner-City School, where the teacher is so flustered and mistrustful of children, he hits James-Michale before he even has a chance to introduce himself.
  • Teacher in The Bash Street Kids is usually just stuck with an uncontrollable class (except for the pet). Well, one annual had him bring the kids (along with goody two-shoes Walter, and Dennis the Menace and Minnie the Minx) on a field trip. Nice, right? Except it was a trip into space. After which, obviously with his approval, Walter and Cuthbert LAUNCH ALL THE TROUBLEMAKING KIDS INTO SPACE. Where they realized that they would fly through space forever. Sure, everything works out in the end, and the kids were a bunch of jerkasses, but he was essentially starving a bunch of kids to death. Beware the Nice Ones!
  • The British comic strip Billy Bunter often featured Billy getting beaten by his sadist headmaster, even if when something wasn't his own fault.
  • Empowered: Ninjette's father taught her, is the head of her ninja clan and the most powerful. He's also a violent drunk.


  • In My Immortal, every teacher except Trelawney and Proffesor Sinister.
  • Mr. Davidson in a similar work. He likes shooting aliens and talking about George Bush and shit.
  • In The Official Fanfiction University of Middle-Earth, Morgoth and Sauron are this (surprised? neither am I)
  • It's clear by now that the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic fandom loves the Ron the Death Eater trope. The most recent one to take this trope is a surprizing-not-Cupcakes-inspired fic entitled Cheerilee's Garden. In said fic, Cheerilee gets fed up with her classes behaviour, even questioning her Cutie Mark in the process. So, what does she do? Frackin' KILL them by, in this order, Impaling them with spears, crushing them with a lead block, disolving them in acid, setting them on fire, eaten alive by rats, impailed vampire-style with their own unicorn-horn, and drowned in their own friends blood. All of which masquerades as a school play. It's safe to assume she can be considered this.


  • In the more recent Lindsay Lohan version of Freaky Friday, Lindsay Lohan's character had a mean teacher who always put her down in class even when she gave an intelligent answer. Curtis' character didn't believe her until they get their bodies swapped... and suffers at his hands, only to recall that he is a guy she rejected back in the day.
  • Max Keeble's Big Move: Elliot .T. Jindrake, He's more like a Sadist Principal.
  • Miss Edelson, Agent J's 3rd grade teacher in Men in Black, who turned out to be an alien from one of Jupiter's moons.
  • Professor Terguson in Back to School, harassing college students over the Vietnam War.

 Prof. Terguson: Is she right? 'Cause I know that's the popular version of what went on there. And a lot of people like to believe that. I wish I could, but I was there. I wasn't here in a class room, hoping I was right, thinking about it. I WAS UP TO MY KNEES IN RICE PADDIES, WITH GUNS THAT DIDN'T WORK! GOING IN THERE, LOOKING FOR CHARLIE, SLUGGING IT OUT WITH HIM, WHILE PUSSIES LIKE YOU WERE BACK HERE PARTYING, PUTTING HEADBANDS ON, DOING DRUGS, AND LISTENING TO THE GODDAMN BEATLE ALBUMS! AAAAAAAAAAH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! AAAAAAAAAAAAH!

  • The tormenting teacher is also present in Ingmar Bergman's aptly named movie Torment from 1944. The sadistic Latin teacher is even nicknamed Caligula.
  • The title character in Teaching Mrs. Tingle.
  • Indiana Jones's father, Henry Jones, might be one of these. Indy relates, "He's a professor of medieval literature, the one the students hope they don't get." Indy later refers to his father as "Attila the Professor".
    • Though considering Indy and his father were still estranged at that point, it's possible that Indy was exaggerating.
  • Master Shifu in the first Kung Fu Panda when he was trying to make Po quit at first. However, Shifu eventually learns that Po has tremendous talent for kung fu after all and brings it out magnificently.
  • It's noted in Literature, but Imelda Staunton's performance as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films deserves mention simply because it's such horror. Even Snape seems on the side of the angels by comparison.


  • Principal Trunchbull of Matilda, reputedly used by Roald Dahl as a surrogate for all the cruel tutors he had over the years. Her treatment of children, as Matilda deduces, is deliberately so extreme and outlandish that no kid's parents will believe the truth even on the off chance any child got up the courage to tell. (At that, she probably threatens the parents, too.) She cites Wackford Squeers from Nicholas Nickleby as inspiration: "He knew how to handle the little brutes, didn't he!" Not to mention the way she treats her own niece, the more benign teacher Miss Honey.... It's actually implied that Trunchbull even may have had a hand in Miss Honey's father's death.
    • Made even more explicit later, when Matilda uses her telekinetic powers to write on the blackboard, pretending to be the ghost of Miss Honey's father: "[...] or I will come and get you... like you got me." Trunchbull is appropriately terrified, and the illustration shows her reflexively grasping at her throat.
  • Captain Lancaster in Danny, the Champion of the World is a more realistic example. He's obviously based on one of Roald Dahl's actual teachers, Captain Hardcastle, described in his autobiography Boy.
  • The unnamed Head of Experiment House in The Silver Chair, inspired by C.S. Lewis' own unfortunate experience with his first headmaster.
    • More than an actual Sadist Teacher, the Headmistress seems to be a Shout-Out to the Hippie Teacher type. She thought that everything could be solved by merely talking to the kids, even the bullies.
      • And the book is even older than the hippie movement.
    • Which is probably why when her incompetence is exposed, she gets Kicked Upstairs instead of fired.
  • Miss Heaton ("Hawkeye"), Miss Simpson ("Slim") and Miss Stamp ("Adolfa") in the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series.
    • Also Mr. Attwood (called "Elvis" after he broke his hip dancing), the school's extremely unpleasant janitor.
  • It's bad enough is you have a Sadist Teacher, but misery ensues if you have a Sadist (Vice) Principal who doesn't just kick you around, but he kicks all the students. That's right, meet Vice Principal Nero who runs a boarding school in A Series of Unfortunate Events. Not only he was generally mean to the students and tortured them with hours of awful violin playing, but he also had a bunch of outrageous and stupid punishments: For example, if you went to the office building and you weren't an adult you'd have to eat your food without a fork and knife. And if you missed a class or got there late you weren't allowed to have a glass from which to drink, you had to lick your milk from the tray. And if you didn't go to see him play his violin, he'd force you to buy him candy and watch him eat it. I don't want to even think what would happen if you'd skip a class.
  • Schoolteacher from Beloved. Owns. This. Fucking. Trope.
    • Not really—Schoolteacher was a Complete Monster without question, but he wasn't the slaves' teacher.
  • Brother Leon from The Chocolate War. He fails David Caroni, a straight-A student, to show Jerry what he's willing to do if the chocolates aren't sold.
  • If your kids ever think Dame Snap from the Faraway Tree books is unnecessarily mean, tell them she originally was known as Dame Slap.
  • Most, if not all, of the teachers in the Captain Underpants books. The most notable ones are Mr Krupp, the principal, (who's also Captain Underpants, due to a prank gone wrong) and Mrs Ribble, George and Harold's teacher, who undergoes a Face Heel Turn in the fifth book after becoming the supervillain Wedgie Woman. At the end, George and Harold hypnotise her into being nice, which sticks. There was also Professor Poopypants, who was actually a nice person until the teasing about his name drove him to construct a giant robot and force everyone to have silly names like his.
  • Subverted in The Demon Headmaster—the writer claimed that the reason the Headmaster can hypnotize people is because it's the only way she could think of to ensure that the parents never realized what was going on.
  • Miss Minchin from Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess.
  • Charles Dickens,
  • Mesaana from Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series turned to the Dark Side sometime after being turned down for a respected research position and was relegated instead to teaching.
    • Mazrim Taim, the teacher of the Asha'man, should also qualify since a certain amount student fatalities is expected.
  • In Chip Kidd's novel The Cheese Monkeys, Professor Sorbeck straddles the line between this and Stern Teacher. A notable example: the class is Graphic Design, the assignment is to illustrate a word with appropriate form for the word's content. A student presents his rendition of "HOT" made of match-heads stuck to posterboard with rubber cement. Sorbeck scowls at this and has the student touch it. Is his finger warmed? No? So it's not very hot, is it, which would make it an F. The student loses some composure—at which point Sorbeck tosses him a cigarette lighter and points out that he can remedy the situation. After a little browbeating, the student lights his work, resulting in a brief, intense conflagration and a large scorch mark on the wall. Sorbeck blandly comments that it was an A while it was going.
  • In the Stephen King novella "The Body" (and its movie adaptation, Stand by Me), Chris Chambers tells Gordie how he stole their class's milk money, had a change of heart and tried to return it, only to have their teacher steal the money in turn and then blame it on Chris, whose reputation for criminal mischief came back to haunt him.
  • Mr. Jonas, in Richard Llewellyn's How Green Was My Valley.
  • Lucy Maud Montgomery's heroines almost always fall victim to this teacher. Probably the worst offender was Miss Brownell, of Emily of New Moon fame. Her worst offense was taking Emily's manuscripts in class and reading aloud Emily's poems in a mocking voice, with snide comments, and occasionally accusing Emily of passing off other author's works as her own. When Emily refused to apologize for writing poetry in class, Miss Brownell came to New Moon and tried to convince Emily's guardian to force the girl to kneel to Miss Brownell and apologize.
    • The TV series topped her with an even worse male teacher who made racist remarks and beat an Indian boy for not answering him fast enough, then beat Emily when she tried to stop him.
  • Harry Potter
    • Snape is either the nastier sort of Stern Teacher or this, depending on how bad his mood is or if your name's Harry or Neville. The fact that he indirectly orphaned the former makes it even worse. Highlights include testing potions on Neville's pet and verbally abusing him even outside the classroom. But even he can't compete with...
    • Dolores Umbridge. She's a Smug Snake who makes at least two students write lines in their own blood (more than two in the films) and briefly takes over Hogwarts. She emphatically crosses the Moral Event Horizon, all the while maintaining a very annoying Stepford Smiler pretense.
    • The Carrows in The Deathly Hallows are, quite literally, sadists. They force the students to practice torture curses on students who got detention—including eleven year old first years.
  • Mrs. Gorf in the first book of Louis Sachar's Wayside School series turns her students into apples when they do anything wrong. Including sneezing in class. The students manage to outsmart her by forcing her to turn them back into humans and tricking her into turning herself into an apple, which Louis then unknowingly eats.
    • Wendy Nogard in Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger is a more subtle (but even more insidious) example: while she appears to be a sweet, considerate teacher, she uses her mind-reading abilities to humiliate and turn her students against each other—all without ever compromising her "nice teacher" facade. An example of this is when, during a homework-checking session, she deliberately calls on the one student who has the incorrect answer for each question, and using the resulting slew of wrong answers to retract her promise of no homework for that day. Every student ends up hating all the others for being idiots who cheated him/her out of a homework-free afternoon, even though in reality none of them missed more than two questions on the assignment.
    • Wayside School had terrible luck with their substitute teachers.
      • Their first one, Mr. Gorf, was actually the son of Mrs. Gorf and had the freakish ability to steal the voices of people through his nose! Which had three nostrils! Then, when he had stolen the students' voices, he called their parents up and used their voices to say terrible things, making their parents think the kids hated them.
      • Their second substitute, Ms. Drazil, seemed very nice at first but turned out to be the yard teacher Louis's old teacher and according to him had humiliated him over the state of his nails and put a wastebasket over his head so he couldn't read the board and failed him as a result of not being able to answer the questions. While she never does any of this to the Wayside kids, she does resume her tyrannical control over Louis which is enough to make the students hate her. Oh, and it's later revealed that she kept a blue notebook with information on various students she held grudges with and upon getting a lead on a girl who escaped, tracks down said girl (now a successful dentist) and breaks into her house yelling that the girl has homework to do. And the girl was expecting something like this to happen, even keeping a suitcase and getaway boat for the occasion!
      • Even the regular teachers aren't always safe. One chapter in Sideways Stories from Wayside School comments that every nice teacher has a mean teacher wanting to break out and illustrates this by showing a class in which Ms Jewel's "mean teacher" breaks out and threatens to dump pickle brine on a student for being unable to answer three questions (to be fair, the questions were "what's seven plus five", "what's the capital of England", and "how do you make pickles" and she is cured by having brine dumped on herself).
      • The principal, named Mr. Kidswatter, is apparently a holy terror and students dread going to his office.
  • Danish author Hans Scherfig's novel The Stolen Spring takes place in a school where almost every teacher is a sadist, the worst being the main characters' Latin teacher, Professor Blomme.
  • Eliza Jane Wilder, the idealistic but ineffectual new De Smet schoolmarm from the Little House books, whose pet was the Alpha Bitch Nellie Oleson, Laura's longtime rival. After Laura taunts Nellie with the fact that Mr. Oleson isn't on the school board and Laura's dad is, Nellie retaliates by convincing Miss Wilder that Laura is fomenting all the trouble in school because she thinks she's untouchable. Miss Wilder's growing spite, as the class' rebellion gets more and more open, eventually leads to her imposing a far too harsh punishment on Laura's sickly little sister Carrie (even though another girl was equally guilty, Eliza Jane let her off scot-free). Things eventually get so out-of-control that the school board is called in, and Miss Wilder takes the opportunity to triumphantly denounce Laura to her father... except that Laura, oblivious to any of this subtext, has actually been trying her best to discourage the mischief, and is stunned. We never do find out if Miss Wilder learns the truth, but apparently when she became Laura's sister-in-law a few years later their relationship was notably strained. Go figure.
    • The first season of the TV series also had an episode that featured a sadistic substitute teacher.
  • Viola Swamp from Miss Nelson is Missing: A very nice teacher with an unmanageable class suddenly goes AWOL from her class for a period, and the class celebrates... until the wretched Viola Swamp takes over as the teacher causing the class to ultimately be so grateful when Miss Nelson returns that they shape up and start behaving better. At the very end we discover that Viola was actually Miss Nelson in disguise.
  • Professor Mericet of the Assassins' Guild (teaching Strategy and Poison Theory) in Discworld. Rumour amongst the students is that if you get him as the examiner for your final exam, you might as well kill yourself immediately and save time. The events of Pyramids show this isn't entirely true, although he does expect the student to identify a thiefsign he's "accidentally" holding upside down.
  • Codrose, James Bond's house master, in the Young Bond novels:

 "I am to be your father, your priest and your God for the duration of your stay at this school."

  • An extremely mild case of this trope applies to Fudge's first kindergarten teacher in Superfudge. While actual deliberate cruelty is not shown, she refuses to call him "Fudge" even when this sends him into screaming fits, and her students behave like little robots without a spark of individuality.

 "Fudge" actually tells off the teacher at the very end of the chapter by calling her 'Rat Face'.


  • Osip Senkovsky is portrayed as this in The Death of the Vazir Mukhtar, when asked to preside over an exam in the School of Oriental Languages. He is passive-agressive, demanding, perfectionistic and hammy as he bombards hapless students with questions about and demands for translations of Arabic and Persian poetry. The main character is eventually compelled to intercede, after which point Senkovsky considerably mellows out.
  • Apparently, Fitz, from the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, attracted these; it seems he's had several, which may explain why he's fairly Book Dumb:

 Scraped-back grey hair and a snotty manner; this woman reminded Fitz of his old maths teacher. One of the ones who used to say things like, ‘that may be how you used to do things in Germany’ really sarcastically, knowing Fitz’d never been further than the other end of Southend pier in his life.[1]

  • Several in Gene Kemp's Cricklepit School books. Usually they're a fairly mild version, but Mr Carter in Charlie Lewis Plays For Time is something else (although still within the realms of plausibility). Carter is made all the worse by being a tyrant when compared to Psychologist Teacher Mr Merchant.
  • In Louis Sachar's Someday Angeline, Mrs. Hardlick is one of the sixth-grade teachers, and the titular Angeline, eight-year-old child genius, has the misfortune to be sent to her class. Mrs. Hardlick frequently gives the class wrong information and gets angry when Angeline corrects her, and takes immense delight in telling students that they answered incorrectly. On her first day of class, Angeline is driven to tears and sucks on her thumb to console herself, prompting Mrs. Hardlick to taunt her about it in front of the whole class (who start laughing at her), and gleefully tells her "Only babies suck their thumbs!" After Angeline's father forces her to resign from being "Secretary of Trash" (meaning she empties the garbage bin), Hardlick refuses to listen, or to let her resign, and then says she'll send a letter to Angeline's mother about her—simply tossing an uncaring "Too bad," when the girl tries to tell her that her mother is dead. When Angeline later reads said letter, she finds Hardlick didn't even bother writing to her father, but wrote to her mother even after being told her mother was dead, then made it sound like Angeline was loud, disruptive, and destructive—all lies. (Even the other teachers know how horrible Hardlick is—the fifth-grade teacher, Miss Turbone, admits "If I were in [Mrs. Hardlick's] class, I'd [skip school], too.")
  • The principal, Mr. Payne in The Year My Parents Ruined My Life is an asshole in general, biased against the protagonist because he crashed into her parents' car (and is now faking a neck injury) and is, oh yeah, racist. Which he does not make a secret about, in regards to one of the fourth-grade protagonist's friends, a Japanese-American girl.
  • The title character in The Piano Teacher was a very extreme version of this trope, and (although still rather traumatising) appears pretty tame by comparison in Michael Haneke's film adaption. No examples will be given for the sakes of haemophobes and the highly disturbing habits Erika pursues on a daily basis.

Live Action TV

  • The Secret World of Alex Mack: Alex, in one episode has to do a science project for a teahcer who also had her older sister Annie for a student. as such, the teacher continually mocks Alex for not being as smart as Annie, provoking Alex to use her powers to "spice up" her project in a way that would be very hard to explain.
  • Family Ties: In the episode "The Harder They Fall," Reuben Tedesco is an insufferably rude and insulting to parents as well as students, he provokes both Keaton parents to violence when Mr. Tedesco can't shut his mouth:

 Mother 1: My son says you're always insulting him in front of the other students. You call him names.

Tedesco: Who's your son?

Mother 1: Larry Morgan.

Tedesco: Larry the Loser? Madam, your son is a pimple-faced liar!




 Mother 2: My daughter Cindy so enjoyed reading The Little Prince. Is there anything else you could recommend for her?

Tedesco: Yes, I'd recommend she lose about forty pounds. You could lose about thirty yourself.

Tedesco happens to be one of Alex's favorite teachers, and Alex is at first upset with his parents; however, Alex eventually realizes Tedesco is modeling behavior he doesn't want to be associated with and dis-associates with him.
  • Bonanza: The 1972 episode "First Love" focused on the school's new headmaster Dan Edwards, who belittles and humiliates the students ... except for star pupil Jamie Hunter Cartwright, who somehow meets the teacher's demands. But the teacher-student relationship is doomed by other means, as Jamie becomes friends with Mr. Edwards' wife, Kelly ... who is abused by her husband. In the end, Jamie tells Mr. Edwards that he is aware that he is abusive, and after Edwards slaps Jamie it isn't long before he is run out of Virginia City.
  • Little House On the Prairie: In the 1976 episode "Troublemaker," Miss Beadle is fired for her inability to control the older students (but that's largely and solely due to the influence of Mrs. Oleson). Miss Beadle is replaced by Hannibal Applewood, a mean, cruel headmaster that singles out Laura Ingalls as the school's bad seed after she is incorrectly blamed for a series of infractions the other students were responsible for, thanks to a completely false tip by Mrs. Oleson. Charles learns about "Mr. Crabapple" and his past and, after confronting Applewood about his demeanor, forces his resignation.
    • Mrs. Beadle is returned to her job and the schoolchildren finally stand up to the school's true troublemakers.
  • Principal Kraft of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Where he will give out detention slips at the literal Drop Of A Hat.
    • An episode of the same series had the one-off character Mr. Rockwell, a rude and incredibly sadistic maths teacher (for example, after warning students that anyone who was late to the test by even a second would fail, he shuts the door and taunts a student who was one second late due to helping a fellow student in a wheelchair). Sabrina asks her aunts for help and they eventually get him to stand trial in an Other Realm court, where he claims he hates teaching and is only doing it to raise money for his computer start-up. Rockwell is then sentenced to his worst nightmare: remaining a maths teacher for the rest of his life. When Sabrina complaints about the effect this ends up having on those unfortunate to be his students, Zelda handwaves this by claiming he teaches them a "valuable lesson" that some people are just jerks. Yay.
  • And what would an entry on the Wiki be without the mandatory Buffy the Vampire Slayer example? Two words: Principal Snyder.
    • At least he does explain why he's a teacher, despite hating kids. 'Somebody has to keep an eye on them.'
      • Also an example of an Aborted Arc, as the end of an episode reveals he's among Mayor Wilkins' inner circle and is aware of the existence of vampires. The Season 2 finale also shows him reacting more with glee that Buffy is wanted by the police rather than nervous of being in the presence of a mundane juvenile delinquent. However, he's returned to standard Sadist Teacher when Season 3 begins, and is as astonished as anyone when the Mayor ascends.
  • Comedy example: Mr. Sweeney from Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. In one episode, Ned asks Mr. Sweeney to explain how a science fair diorama should look. In response, Mr. Sweeney reaches behind his desk, takes out an elaborately detailed diorama explaining why Ned is likely to get an "F" on his science fair project—and shows it to the whole class.
    • To be fair, he does soften up over time, with the eventual result being that Sweeney was only sadistic from Ned's point of view and Ned usually deserved the grades Sweeney gave him.
    • Sweeney also subverts this in the Grand Finale, where he admits to Ned (who is hanging upside in a tree) that Ned was his favorite student and enjoyed his antics. And leaves him hanging in the tree.
  • Back in 1986, Christopher Lloyd had a field day playing the gleefully sadistic Professor B.O. Beanes in "Go to the Head of the Class", a memorable, hour-long episode of Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories. One fan's excellent review, available here, goes into loving detail and includes numerous clips that must be seen. Especially the clip wherein hapless high school student Peter Brand is forced to "meet the Misters!!"
  • One Maurice Bronson in Grange Hill, the classic example.
  • Mr. Gilbert from The Inbetweeners:

 Will: Mr. Gilbert, you seem like an intelligent man...

Gilbert: I seem intelligent...?

  • Ms. Francine Briggs from ICarly and Mr. Howard, the teacher in the iGot Detention episode.
    • This leads to double the trouble in a newer episode. After Principal Franklin gets fired, Briggs and Howard are made co-principals, and apparently turn the school into a miniature police state. Not only do they act horrible to the kids (Gibby got detention just for being Gibby, and the guy told Freddie to wipe "that look off of his face", despite it being Freddie's neutral face. When Freddie protested by saying that it was his face, the guy said "Well maybe you should change it, then!"), they also force them to wear uniforms, and apparently have hidden microphones in the hallway.
      • Don't forget Miss Ackerman when dumped by her boyfriend.
  • Mrs. Hayfer from Drake and Josh is considered an overall nice teacher by Josh, but she often nitpicks at Drake for his poor performance, even going as far as to continuously say she hates him out loud.
    • The most obvious example of how much she hates him would be in one episode where she asked him what language The Odyssey was in. Drake answers Greek. She says "Wrong," then asks another student who gives the exact same answer, which is right. She even said he was wrong on a rhetorical question!
      • To be fair, however, Drake is frequently a complete Jerkass.
    • Mr. Roland, a chemistry teacher, is far more sadistic as he doesn't allow Josh to take the exam due to his tardiness, tells him that he will have a make-up test at next Saturday at 6 am, and marks him down to one grade.
      • Josh was late because of Drake and when Drake moves out, Mr. Roland treats him much better at the make-up exam and Josh gets better. Drake living in the same house as Josh must have been why Josh was having bad days.
    • There's also, on one occasion, Josh himself. When he tries to be a student teacher for Megan's class, the first homework assignment he gives? A science one with college level textbooks that even the class's parents couldn't figure out. Then the next day, when he finds out none of them could do it, punishes them.
  • Chuck Noblet in Strangers with Candy, particularly to Jerri. Word Of Stephen Colbert says he does this because he's so repressed and secretive, and resents her for trying to find things out and figure out her life.
  • Herkabe from Malcolm in the Middle. (It's not surprising that an important character is a teacher who's a sadist—how many characters on that show aren't sadists?)
  • Haresh Chandra appears to be this when he first appears as the new headteacher in The Sarah Jane Adventures, then it turns out he is the new regular character Rani's father (much to the dismay of Class Clown Clyde who has an obvious crush on Rani). He's also a nicer person when he gets home, and Rani and her mother Gita make fun of him for his stern streak.
  • Sue Sylvester from Glee embodies this trope. From her brutal yet efficient ways of training the 'Cheerios' cheerleading squad, to the way she literally throws things around and even almost throws a kid out of a corridor when she's angry in one episode, you'd be hard pressed to find someone worse than her (Roald Dahl notwithstanding). Even then, admittedly, it's only done mainly for comedy purposes...
    • Surprisingly enough she's a reasonable principal (with the exceptions of trying to disband football and fire Will. And even that she relents when she sees him as a very competent teacher). She even responds to the bullying in the school better than Figgins ever did, and does seem genuinely upset that she couldn't protect Kurt. She has her reasons for this, of course - bullying someone for being different seems to be her own Berserk Button. Although she ruthlessly terrorizes the school, she is very much an equal-opportunity bully, and the kids know it.
  • Senor Chang from Community is another great example of this. He even faked his own death to show his class that he could not be killed.
  • Sister Dominique from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Despite being a nun, she shows blatant favoritism towards London, always punishing Maddie for things that London does. One episode has her giving Maddie detention for "tempting" London when she accidentally violated a copyright while writing a kid's book. Keep in mind that London was the one that decided to blow the entire thing out of proportion and have her book published. Another episode (one where Maddie is Put on a Bus) has her giving Maddie a pamphlet that was at least thirty years old to get her to come over to a camp. Said camp is a horrible place (they're across the street from a slaughterhouse and they once had leech cobbler as a meal).
  • Mr. Litchfield from No Ordinary Family. He's JJ's math teacher who thinks JJ has been cheating since he got his powers, and can't be convinced otherwise.
  • The Inquisitor on Babylon 5.
    • Which figures as that is the Vorlons hat.
  • Sra. Orraca from Carrusel. Everybody was afraid of her- including the teachers and other staff members.
  • In The Nanny episode "The Gym Teacher", Fran tries to help Maggie deal with her tyrannical gym teacher Miss Stone, who is, in fact, Fran's old gym teacher, formerly Miss Wickavich, who's still sadistic as ever.
  • Mr. Messerschmidt from Phil of the Future delighted in making the students miserable. He once administered a test, the Omicron Gambit, that's so difficult no one has ever passed. Even opening the test booklet is impossible:

  Messerschmidt: Opening the test is part of the test!

  • Saskia Duncan from Dance Academy: An inexperienced teacher in the process of recovering from an injury that could shorten or end her career as a principal dancer, Saskia becomes intensely jealous of Tara's lyrical style and ability to dance the same solo (the Red Shoes) that made Saskia the youngest ever principal dancer with the Company. Initially, this jealousy leads Saskia to undermine Tara's confidence and bully her both in and outside of class. Later, in a private pas de deux class, she forces Tara into a dangerous stretch that results in a broken vertebra, leaving Tara courting paraplegia with every step. Fortunately Ben was there too...
  • Mr Tanner from The Vampire Diaries proves himself one in his thankfully short run of episodes. During his time, he openly insults students who don't know things and even brings up personal tragedies in front of the class (Such as the death of Elena's parents), keeps files on students he doesn't like such as Jeremy, proves he doesn't know basic facts such as the end of The Korean War, bullies students and tells Stefan he hopes to see him hurt while playing football (Though to be fair, he did change his mind after seeing his skill).



 The teacher's like a bear with a greasy head

And if he had a gun we'd all be dead

In my new school


 Belligerent ghouls

Run Manchester schools

  • This song from Danny Elfman's abandoned musical project "The World of Jimmy Calicutt" is told from the perspective of one such teacher.

Newspaper Comics

  • In Zbeng!, one of the main characters, is, of course, this trope taken to the absurd, a green dress wearing monster named Anuga Zaafani. In her own personal book, it is even showed how she drove to extremes Peter Parker (literally drove him up the wall), Clark Kent (green dress... guess what material), Garfield the Cat (decided to take a vacation in Thailand), and her day schedule consists of waking up, falling asleep, and eleven cases of shouting in between. In the end, where everybody is supposed to have their graves shown—she is alive and well among everyone else's graves. Naturally, she'll bury them all.
  • Chalky, the cadaverously evil teacher with an impressive collection of canes and a love of terrifying schoolchildren and other teachers, from the newspaper cartoons by Giles.
  • Ms. Butcher from Zits. She supposedly writes Jeremy's grades in blood.
  • In the Fort Collins Collegian, a comic strip featured a sadist professor. Aptly named the "PR Ofessor", the strip showed a professor (implied to be teaching chemistry) throughout a year at Colorado State University. Played for Laughs, since half the stuff would get a professor fired faster than you can say Trope Namer. Such antics included:
    • Scheduling office hours at the same time as lecture
      • Then misleading students to the physical location of his office with signs pointing to the other door.
    • Apparently holding his teacher's assistants captive
    • Miscalculating someone's grade by 20 points, then taking 20 points as a regrading fee
    • And on the final, stapling the syllabus for the next class (taught by him) to the test and saying "Since most of you guys are going to fail anyways, I'm going to get a head-start!"
  • Mrs. Wormwood from Calvin and Hobbes is an interesting take on this trope. Calvin (being Calvin) believes his behavior is justified, even appropriate, so when she doles out completely reasonable punishments, it appears to him that she is a sadist.


  • Headmaster Hardthrasher of St Bastard's is a parody of Wackford Squeers in Bleak Expectations.
  • For a little while, Adventures in Odyssey had "Dr. Hawthorne", who was always convinced that local Nice Guy kid Trent Dewhite was up to no good. Said teacher crossed into this trope in the episode "A Glass Darkly", where he repeatedly accuses Trent for all sorts of random crimes that Trent had nothing to with, and wouldn't let Trent off the hook even though Trent had a very important meeting to attend.

 Trent: "You can't do this to me! I have an important meeting to get to!"

Dr. Hawthorne: "Well, you should have thought of that before you flung your jello.



  • One presumes that Mrs. Thistletwat in Avenue Q is no better to her students than she is to her teaching assistant.
  • In A Chorus Line Diana Morales recounts the story of her first acting teacher at the High School for Performing Arts, Mr. Karp, who turns on her after she questions his approach, and allows the other students to humiliate her.
    • "Mr. Karp" was a thinly-disguised version of a real teacher under whom Priscilla Lopez (the original Morales) suffered, making this also a Real Life example.
  • All of the teachers in the musical Spring Awakening are caricatures of this trope.
    • The original play version makes them seem even more ridiculous.
  • Professor Calahan from Legally Blonde The Musical is unafraid to kick Elle out of class on the first day. Justified in that she didn't do the reading, but still. And he treats his TA like crap, and he teaches students that ethics shouldn't play into law. He gets better... until we find out he hits on interns...
    • In the movie, the teacher who kicked Elle out was Professor Stromwell, who Elle initially saw as a Sadist Teacher (Emmett also said "she can really kick you in the balls"). Stromwell does give Elle an inspirational talk about not giving up when Elle is seriously considering going home.

Video Games

  • Ishikawa-sensei from Yumeria.
  • In Bully, there’s Mr. Hattrick. He encourages corporal punishment of students and makes Mr. Galloway want to drink alcohol to calm himself down, which puts him in danger of being fired. He’s eventually revealed to be selling test answers to the preps. There’s also Mr. Burton who encourages bullying. This is not the case with Crabblesnitch. He doesn’t allow Jimmy to bully other students, and while generally oblivious to how bad Bullworth is takes action to make the school a better place by firing the former two.
  • Persona 4 has Mr. Morooka, a.k.a "King Moron", a rather snobbish (and hideous) man with a grudge against women as well as the main character. He treats his students rudely (putting the main character on his "Shit List" within minutes of meeting him), and has a tendency to get drunk on school fieldtrips. Still, his accusations of the Main Character being a horny bastard may actually have some truth behind it.
    • Conversations with some students in the school reveal that he's dragged several girls into his office for "private talks" which he advises them on their career paths and urges them to follow their dreams. Morooka might be one of the subtler mean nice guys out there, since you'll never, ever find this out without talking to everybody. It's likely that he genuinely cares for his students, but really doesn't know how to properly show it.
    • Even the main cast, who all hate him, admit that he really didn't deserve to die when Mitsuo murders him.
  • Persona 2 had a straighter example with Principal Hanya. He's a massive jackass who abuses his authority in very creative ways in order to ensure his power, and uses the city's powers to brainwash his students into believing he's the best. Except magic has a price, and he should have read the price tag...
  • Persona 5 had two sadist coaches: the track team coach who abused Joker's first friend Ryuuji, and the perverted volleyball coach Suguru Kamoshida who became the Phantom Thieves' first Target after he raped one of the team girls, Shiho Suzui, for being the best friend of his preferred Lust Object Ann Takamaki.
  • The teacher seen in the intro movie of Heart of Darkness, wherein he puts Andy in a hole and asks him if he's afraid of the dark...
  • The title character of Baldi’s Basics, who spanks you with a ruler over getting a problem wrong. The player’s goal is to escape him before he manages to catch you, which is made more complicated by the students and the teachers that are in the school with him.
  • Mr. Yamato from Lux-Pain. It's fairly obvious from when you first meet him, but just to cement the point, he tries (and succeeds, for a while anyway) to take several students in school hostage. He fires a few shots, but no one dies.
  • In the Macintosh version of Déjà Vu Father O'Malley was highly implied to be this towards Ace Harding the playable character. This was Bowdlerised in the Nintendo platform ports with the NES version not giving any added info past him being from your boarding school and the GBC version taking this further by changing that "everything was done with fist" to "he was the only one who believed in you."

Web Comics

  • Thomas Fay Syndicate's webcomic, I.M. Hip features Mr. Albany, who sends many characters into detention for just about anything (i.e. going to an opera).
  • Mr. Dover from College Roomies from Hell!!! There's more to him than the trope, but he certainly enjoys nurturing his students' impressions of him.
  • In Red String, Arata routinely torments his students; he even orchestrates getting the main character expelled when she dares to stand up to him in class for ridiculing a friend. It's to the point that another main character (known for being headstrong and prone to foolhardy heroism) has been asked by the student body to do something about him.
  • Kat from Sequential Art is a photographer by profession; she was once hired to take school photographs—and horrified to discover that the teacher who had put special care into humiliating her in fifth grade was the principal of the school. Their adversarial relationship was promptly renewed, and it's highly probable that Kat may have driven the woman to her fatal heart attack.
    • Though considering that it was the teacher who did all the renewing of hostilities, up to and including trying to threaten Kat's job, Kat's satisfaction at the teacher's demise is fairly understandable. (Though the woman's current students were far more overjoyed.)
      • To be specific, the most hostile thing Kat does when returning is giggle about how she's now taller than the teacher. The teacher, on the other hand, belittling Kat in front of Kat's own boss, mocking Kat for needing a supervisor, and then mocking Kat more when she finally starts doing the shoots without her boss present. And Kat's actions, which potentially caused the heart attack? She finally confronts the teacher about her treatment and declares that she'll put up with it no longer.
  • Keiko Keshin from Triquetra Cats is an evil vampire sadistic Principal, using her position to torture students, those who survive the torture are made into vampire henchmen.
  • In El Goonish Shive, the science teacher (who hasn't actually been seen in a while) quite likes watching his students suffer.
    • Likewise, this history teacher giving Grace a hard time, starting here.
      • Update: He's snapped. I mean, seriously, he's lost it. Go look. It's up now.
      • While he is sadistic, he's mostly just really really weird due to being half human, half immortal (called an "elf" in-story), and his sadistic nature comes from that.
      • And then this happens. Discuss amongst yourselves, class.
    • Conversely, the math teacher offered a subversion—although he initially seemed like he was going to be one of these, he revealed he was actually fooling around and in fact turned out to be quite nice.
  • In a surprising move, the titular character from Dominic Deegan is a subversion of the Sadist Teacher trope; yes, he teaches a very difficult class, but his reputation precedes him, and he's in fact a very approachable person.
    • How is that a subversion, exactly? Not every case of a teacher not being a sadist is a subversion.
    • It's a subversion in that, while he has a reputation as an incredibly difficult teacher, all of his students love him and are better people because of him, he never humiliates or bullies them in any way, and they all actively try to help him in every way they can. The class is hard because the subject is hard, not because he's a bad teacher. In fact, all of his students considered him their favorite, and were devastated when his reputation as a "hard" teacher caused him to get fired.
  • The Sadist Teacher in YU+ME: dream is actually a nun.
  • Precocious has the appropriately named Ms. Monster, though considering her students once rebelled and formed a union she might need to be.
  • Bug shows us that you shouldn't trick-or-treat at the house of a sadist teacher.

Web Original

  • Usually subverted and/or averted in the Whateley Universe, even though the stories center around the Super-Hero School Whateley Academy and some of the teachers are retired supervillains. Erik Mahren, the ex-Marine range master on Range 4 (the heavy weapons range) was notorious for being absolutely ruthless when it came to weapons safety, but the net result of that was that no students were hurt or killed on the ranges in his entire tenure as rangemaster. The Reverend Darren England has gone after a couple students when he sensed their connection to planet-threatening evil...but went way over the line when he hired Syndicate hitmen to help some of his minions try to assassinate one such student (who happens to be one of the good guys).
    • The closest thing to the "sadist teacher" archetype seen at Whateley so far would actually be Amelia Hartford, though she ends up being more of a highly placed Obstructive Bureaucrat or Dean Bitterman due to not actually having a teaching position (that we've seen thus far).
  • Xin anyone? The school rules are practically built around allowing teachers to do whatever it takes... violent or non-violent... to keep order in class. Including brutalising students into bloody shivering pulps... for homework violations...
  • Deconstructed in Final Fantasy A++. The main antagonist of the web video is a draconian teacher who deliberately attempts to make tests so difficult that Failure Is the Only Option, taking particular pleasure in it. However, the main protagonist ends up ruining his attempts by studying. He eventually summons Bahamut (who is a lot nastier than in most Final Fantasy games at the time) in a last ditch effort to have the protagonist fail the test, only for it to massively backfire on him when Bahamut attacks him due to feeling offended at being treated like a "pet." The teacher then ends up fired by the principal, and the protagonist and his party narrowly defeat Bahamut, with the protagonist initially getting an "F" scar that looked as though he failed until the principal revealed that it actually stood for Final Fantasy A++.

Western Animation

  • Doug had Mr. Bone & Mrs. Wingo in Doug's own nightmarish imagination. Only his imagination though—in reality, they both actually Stern Teachers—yes, even Mr. Bone. The latter actually went Papa Wolf for Doug at one point and expelled his own nephew when he caught him bullying Doug.
  • Headmistress from Mucha Lucha loves to yell and menace with expulsion, but still has a lighter side that isn't really hidden.
  • Mr. Crocker from The Fairly Odd Parents. Besides his fairy-hunting obsession, he also takes a sadistic glee in handing out "F" grades to his students. In The Movie, he actually manages to use magic to change history and make himself Evil Overlord of a Dystopian world.
  • Ms. Bitters from Invader Zim is an extreme example. She's a Nietzsche Wannabe who not only hates her students (especially Dib and Zim), but everyone and everything in the world. "Children, your performance was miserable. Your parents will all receive phone calls instructing them to love you less now."
    • Of course one could argue that she is the Only Sane Man and is well aware of how much of a Crapsack World it is.
      • Her design is almost exactly the same as the teacher in Squee (also by Jhonen Vasquez), who's just as sadistic, and intentionally teaches the students wrong information.
    • There's also the popular theory that she's not even human, but rather a Humanoid Abomination. Heck, Word of God is that she wasn't hired by the school — they built it around her.
  • Inverted in Beavis and Butthead Mr. Van Driessen, the boys' overly spiritual social studies teacher, apparently can't bring himself to discipline anyone and gets steamrolled by their pranks time and time again.
  • The Gromble from AAAHH!!! Real Monsters, who at one point forced two students into the same body as a punishment for their bickering. One episode hints that his mistreatment is him projecting his pain from the overly tight high-heeled shoes permanently wedged on his feet.
    • Don't forget that he friggin' ate a student on-screen in the first episode because the student accidentally disrupted his lecture by having to chase after his nose, which was running away on little legs.
    • On the other hand, he doesn't let anyone else mess with his students.
  • Mr./Ms. Garrison of South Park sometimes slips into this trope, openly mocking his students if they get some question wrong. The rest of the time he's just plain incompetent, or perhaps this week he's trying to get the school to fire him so he can sue them, not caring about the mental damage he might inflict on the children in the process.
    • This goes even further in the episode where Mr. Garrison hires a masochistic leatherman named Mr. Slave as the teacher's assistant, thus becoming a literal sadist teacher.
  • Mr. Lancer from Danny Phantom both uses this trope straight and subverts it. He had the terrible tendency to pick on the unpopular main character Danny by choosing the popular kids over him, harshly criticizing his schoolwork, and doling out punishments, yet a few episodes have shown he does care for all his students, even Danny.
  • Subversion in Mr. Ratburn of Arthur: Ratburn is feared as the strictest and toughest teacher in the school, so his reputation lives up to the trope. However, he is an excellent teacher in spite of, or indeed because of his strictness, and several episodes feature him outside of school in order to humanize him.
  • A couple of the teachers in Daria: Ms. Barch hates all her male students, and gives them terrible grades. The unfairness of this is only slightly mitigated by the fact that often they deserve them. Mr. Demartino likes to see all his students suffer, but in his case it's because he feels it's payback for the pain they put him through with their stupidity. However he greatly fears Ms. Barch (she beat him up in one episode).
    • In fairness, Demartino's students are so ignorant you could understand how they'd drive him off the deep end at times. He also acknowledges the good students and grades them appropriately. (Daria never seems to have problems getting As in his class)
  • Vice Principal Chakal of El Tigre fits this trope. He has it in for Manny and Frida, and enjoys setting harsh punishments for them. However, said students are often troublemaking kids, so you can't really blame him.
  • Mr. Agar from Carl Squared definitely has it in for Carl. Mind you, given Carl is the ultimate slacker and he had to deal with angry goth Chloe a few years earlier, a hatred of the Crashman bloodline might not be entirely unjustified.
  • Eugenia P. Kisskillya from Detention.
  • In the animated Peanuts New Year's special, Charlie Brown's elementary school teacher decides to give the kid War and Peace as a reading assignment. War And Peace. To a normal elementary school student.
    • Not only that, but she gave Charlie Brown an F despite his best efforts.
      • Her reasoning was that no kid his age could have possibly read that whole book. She then proceeds to give him an even longer book.
  • The Simpsons' Edna Krabappel seems to alternate between being one of these and, more sympathetically, an unfairly put-upon foil to Bart.
    • Generally she's not particularly sadistic, just careless, overworked and depressed.
    • Of course, that's nothing compared to Bart's kindergarten teacher, who was, for all intents and purposes, a Complete Monster.

 Class: (singing) There was a farmer, had a dog, and Bingo was his name-O!

Bart: B-I-(clap)-(clap)-O! B-I-(clap)-(clap)-O! B-I-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)! And Bingo was his name-O!

Teacher: (writes on clipboard) Added extra clap; not college material.

    • There are also teachers (despite their upbeat attitude) that are known penalize students who tattle and moan (even if they're A-students), show no sympathy towards those who cry, and initially pair up students who clearly do not get along at all, causing even more friction in the class. Audrey Mc Connell from the episode "Bart vs. Lisa in Third Grade", is a clear candidate for this trope.
  • The Teen Titans episode "Mad Mod" took this to extremes, in which Mad Mod traps the heroes in a school that's constantly trying to kill or brainwash them.
  • Were it not for the fact that the show is a cartoon and has a number of bizarre moments, Principal I.M. Greedyguts from Jacob Two Two would have been fired and sent to jail years ago. Besides always having it out for Jacob (although the latter does frequently ruin his plans), his crimes include appropriating money from the Dreary Meadows and spending it on luxuries for himself, planning to turn said school into a stable for his horses (sending the kids to the sub-basement to learn, but allowing one to come up "once in a while" to rub his feet) and not caring if Jacob, his friend and a fellow teacher are trapped forever in another dimension.
  • In the last episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog, Courage develops self-esteem issues that manifest in the form of a Sadist Teacher that immediately starts tormenting the poor dog and criticizing everything he does, not to mention giving him horrible nightmares. It disperses when Courage eventually accepts himself.
  • Principal Madman from Whatever Happened to Robot Jones? is hard on all his students, but especially Robot, since he's also a technophobe.
  • Ms. Finster in Recess, that is, the one time she's shown doing anything even resembling teaching. She’s too complex to be a Hate Sink, (for example, she’s shown to be a very nice woman when she’s off the clock), but the main cast aren’t unjustified not to like her.
  • Played straight in the DuckTales episode "Nothing to Fear" with Huey Dewey and Louie's hallucination of their teacher. Subverted in a later season when the same teacher actually appears, and is very sweet.
  • A Flash Back on Jimmy Two Shoes revealed Lucius had one, despite knowing full well he was the future ruler of Miseryville.
  • Mr. Barkin from Kim Possible seems to be 10% this and 90% Stern Teacher with most of his students, but with Ron, it reverses (It's heavily implied that the reversal stems from revenge for Ron looking at him funny). However, overtime, he has shown to respect Ron.
  • Miss Simian in The Amazing World of Gumball seems to be this.
  • Miss McBeth from Invisible Network of Kids.
  • Spiro Garkos from Hurricanes fits this trope as the coach of the Garkos Gorgons Youth Team. He seems to be this to all footballers but Stevie Pepenopolis had it the worst. And he couldn't be reported to Child Welfare because, in the Island of Garkos, he heads the Department of Child Welfare.

Real Life

  • For centuries teachers were allowed to "discipline" children by beating them in class for "bad behaviour". By the 1970s these practices have mostly become illegal in Western countries.
    • Especially in Great Britain teachers and headmasters had a long tradition of beating and mentally abusing pupils with canes.
  • Attached to above, it's something of a common trope for teaching nuns in Catholic schools to be stereotypes as always smacking their students on the back of the hand with a ruler.
  • Charles Dickens inspired the teacher Wackford Squeers from Nicholas Nickleby on a notorius sadistic teacher called William Shaw.
  • Writer Roald Dahl describes in his memoir "Boy" how his teachers often beat the children with a cane and even choose the thinnest ones to inflict more pain. He describes one particular teacher, Mr. Hardcastle, as particularly heartless and focused on punishing even the slightest breaking of the rules. The teacher later inspired the character Captain Lancaster in Danny, the Champion of the World. Mrs. Trunchbull in "Matilda" is also inspired by his teacher's abuse of pupils.
  • Isaac Newton apparently hated being made a professor and deliberately set up his classes so that no student had any chance of passing in order to prevent anyone from showing up.
    • That doesn't mean he was sadistic. Most of the staff of the Unseen University are like this.
    • There are also claims that he stole from his students.
  • The 6 Most Horrific Lessons Ever Taught in Elementary School brought to you by Cracked. It's possible that the teachers involved didn't torment their students out of sadism but out of a genuine belief that they were doing the right thing. That arguably makes it worse.
  • There's a news story on Yahoo about a teacher that took twenty percent off of a girl's paper. His explanation? "For being a loser."
  • Another story from netlore is the teacher who gave one Adam Clarkson an absurdly huge number of lines to write after showing up unprepared for a chemistry class.
  • There was once a minor scandal in Poland about one batshit crazy teacher. She made her students (seven year old children!) sit with hands tied behind their backs (for "better concentration") and, judging from videos recorded by a student with a cell-phone, was also an utter insane bitch whose lessons consisted mainly of screaming at the top of her lungs. (However, her main claim to infamy was her utter, terrifying ignorance. She taught students that whales are fishes, Christopher Columbus was a Polish scientist who made a trip around Earth, "szalik" (scarf) is a five-letter word...)
  • As seen on the Can't Get Away with Nuthin' page, one teacher called the police on a girl for drawing on her desk in washable ink. Disproportionate Retribution, much?
  • This is Truth in Television as far along as the university level; professors who hate teaching undergrads. Some take it out on them in the courseload and grades assigned, some indulge in verbal abuse to unprofessional degrees, and seize any opportunity to belittle their students publicly. A few times, a teacher/professor even uses their position as a bully pulpit to essentially indoctrinate their students with viewpoints that only tangentially have any bearing on the subject, and sometimes even makes it a point to arrange it in regards to people providing proof to back their claims on history that they have to find proof at short notice (between class sessions), with no definitively confirmed method of disproving them by the next class.
  • One teacher was praised for having an extremely quiet, well-behaved classroom. The big question was: "How does he do it?" Turns out he was using a cattle prod on any student who caused even the slightest disruption.
  • Recently, there was a supreme Jerkass teacher in Texas who told one of his Muslim students, "I'll bet you're grieving. I heard about your uncle's death." shortly after Bin Laden was killed.
  • Oh boy have I got a lot for you guys....
  • Ron Williams, director of the religious Boarding School of Horrors in Indiana called Hephzibah House, has gone so far as to publish articles arguing that it is necessary to beat all children—his choice of verb—including babies. Source.
  • As mentioned under Literature, CS Lewis's first boarding school was run by a headmaster named Robert "Oldie" Capron who was a literal sadist, and who was eventually committed to an insane asylum.
  • Ms. Gina a teacher at the Blue Town House would smack Simon Persica's hand for petty reason's such as coloring a "wrong way," accidentally breaking a crayon and touching an air conditioner.
  • Becky Francioni a teacher a St. Michael's Special School is sadistic as well. She gave Simon Persica and others 3 chapters worth of Science in one night in October 2003, grabbed a little kid by his ear to make it hurt and wouldn't give Simon or others a choice as to whether they wanted to hang out together or not.
  1. He's half-German and was born in London in 1936. Ouch.