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Teacher go stand in the hall!

Until the 1970s, a common punishment used by Japanese school teachers for tardiness or rowdiness in class was to have the student (almost always a boy) stand out in the hall holding two water-filled buckets (every classroom has buckets since the students normally do the cleaning anyway); the public disgrace could be compounded if the student weakened and had to put the buckets down on the floor.

While being asked to stand outside the classroom as punishment is hardly unknown in Western schools, of course, the buckets of water are an added wrinkle unique to Eastern schools.

Now used jokingly — similar to references to "teacher's hickory stick" (being rapped on the knuckles with a ruler), or sitting on a stool wearing a Dunce Cap.

Becoming a Discredited Trope, due to the times, and also due to some Values Dissonance. Not commonly used in Western schools because kids might take the opportunity to wander about the school instead of standing in one place (and some might even consider it a reward, not a punishment).

Examples of Standing in the Hall include:

Anime and Manga

  • Ranma and Akane get sent out into the hall in the second episode of Ranma ½. Kuno does too, and comes by to fight Ranma.
    • Later on, Ranma, Akane, and Gosunkugi get sent out to the hall.
  • In the first episode of Azumanga Daioh, Genki Girl Tomo actually sends herself out into the hall to prove she's up to the challenge of holding those heavy buckets. Tomo being Tomo, though, she isn't. She soon enough finds this punishment very taxing.
    • And Yukari being Yukari, she finds Tomo's standing into the hall yapping to passersby and eventually dropping the buckets to be far more annoying than the actual tardiness, about which she couldn't care less.
  • An episode of Dragonball Z featured Gohan punished in this manner, although the joke was at the time he was secretly one of the strongest people on earth. Indeed, he accidentally spills one when he does the Hand Behind Head gesture out of habit, showing that the bucket didn't weigh a thing to him.
  • Manabi from Manabi Straight! manages to be assigned to hold heavy buckets of water on stage while being elected Student Council President.
  • To deal with a certain Evil Twin Cloning Blues scenario in Angel Beats, SSS members are told to attend class but do anything to not pay attention (It Makes Sense in Context). The hijinks they do range from listening to music, drawing random stuff, and for Noda, spinning his halberd with one arm outside the window. What does resident Cloudcuckoolander Yui do? Why, Standing in the Hall of course (with a third water bucket on top of her head)!
  • Ichigo Mashimaro features a running gag where a boy in Ana and Matsuri's class is constantly and unfairly assigned to stand in the hall at the slightest provocation, such as, well, being there. Miu tends to end up in the hall for, well, being Miu; and being Miu, unable to understand she did anything wrong.
  • The first episode of Kaitou Saint Tail has Meimi and Asuka Jr. sent to the hall for fighting.
  • Subverted in one episode of Hare+Guu, when the teacher, Lazy, is sent out like this several times for being, well, too lazy to be bothered with teaching.
  • Parodied in Puni Puni Poemi, where the main character points out that no school in Japan has done this for a good ten years and concludes that the writing staff must all be really really old.
    • Only ten years?
  • In Minami-ke, Chiaki (with no authority) regularly disciplines a classmate with buckets.
  • In Kekkaishi, Yoshimori's teacher does this to him once, making him stand in the hallway with a bucket of water on his head. He doesn't really seem to mind since his powers allow him to generate box-like force fields of spiritual energy which are invisible to non-spiritually sensitive people. He balances the bucket on this until something causes him to loose concentration, dispelling the field and causing the bucket to fall and pour the water all over him.
  • Alluded to by Kisaragi Itsuki in RahXephon, referring to a bickering Kamina Ayato and Kim Hotal acting like misbehaving schoolchildren.
  • A suitable punishment for Gawl in Generator Gawl after he falls asleep in class for the Nth time.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Yoko does this to a couple of the students during her time as a teacher.
  • Female example: in the first episode of Fushigi Yuugi, Miaka is kicked out of her classroom for hitting the teacher with her table because he woke her up from a nightmare. The next scene, she's seen carrying her desk above her head.
  • An episode of Negima!? featured as a sideplot, Negi's older sister dressing as a student and making herself hold a bucket outside the classroom.
    • In the last volumes of the original manga Mahou Sensei Negima, Negi (officially) becomes too busy with extra-school activities, so his former enemy Fate starts to substitute him as a teacher. This substitute turns out to be a Stern Teacher (although a calm and collected type), and in one moment he uses this trope on two students who were talking during the class.
  • Mildly Military example: In Strike Witches, Francesca has several instances where she's made to hold buckets of water as punishment. In some of the promotional shorts, Mio makes Yoshika hold buckets of water as punishment for forgetting Sanya, one of the main characters.
  • Ayane of Ayanes High Kick finds herself standing in the hall of her school — complete with a water bucket in each hand — after her first night of grueling kick-boxing training causes her to sleep through her classes the next day.
  • In the first episode of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, Kenichi is made to stand in the hall for being late on his first day. Miu, the girl who escorted him, elects to stand in the hall along with him.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Ed's father makes him hold a pail of water as punishment.
    • The pail actually had an Aesop hidden in it. Hoenheim had Ed hold the pail after he said that his mom loved Alphonse more than him. Ed put down the pail after a few minutes, and complained. Hoenheim pointed out that the pail (with water) weighed about as much as a baby in the womb, and that their mother had carried that weight for nine months. The point was that their mother carried them both, and loved them both.
  • In a quite epic example in Bankara, Gouda Takeru is condemned to "an eternity of Standing in the Hall", with the buckets chained to his hands and encased in a block of ice. See here
  • In the first episode of Digimon Tamers, Takato is exiled to the hallway after being Late for School, though he doesn't have to hold any buckets of water. He takes the opportunity to draw his fan-made Digimon, and then gets busted for that too.
  • Usagi of Sailor Moon was sent out to the hall in the first episode and a time or two since. It was implied she spends a lot of time there...
  • In Nichijou, Yukko often ends up here due to either forgetting her homework, or a classroom disruption.
  • In GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class, Chikako made a fake branch of cherry blossoms to see if it'd be thought real. But when she went to go put it in the tree, it looked like she was stealing a branch, and Sasamoto-sensei had her stand in the hall with buckets... something she'd never had to do before, her friend Mizubuchi had never seen before, and Sasamoto had never prescribed before.
  • In Soul Eater, Black*Star gets sent out in the hall by Stein giving him an opportunity to work out.


  • Similar to the Simpsons example below, the movie Heaven Help Us has Catholic-school students who have to kneel on the floor with their arms out, balancing heavy books.

Live Action TV


 Chandler: Now you sit there! and think about what you've done!

Ross: Uh... That's a duck.

Chandler: That's a BAD duck!


Video Games

  • In the school stage of the video game We Love Katamari, a pair of students can be seen holding buckets of water in the hall.
  • Lloyd in Tales of Symphonia, while not in the hall (he's in the back of the classroom in a one-room school), is holding buckets of water at the beginning of the game. In fact, the game starts with Lloyd getting an eraser thrown at his head becasue he fell asleep while doing this. Hilariously enough, he hadn't put the buckets down while he was asleep, either. They were still a good three inches off the ground while he was snoozing.
  • Mega Man Battle Network 6 requires you to put out a fire in a school at one point. You do this by borrowing a bucket of water from someone standing in the hall — definitely an easier guess for Japanese players.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • One episode of The Simpsons has Bart being expelled from Springfield Elementary and ends up attending a Catholic private school. On his first day, a nun makes him stand in the hallway in "the crucifix position" and makes him hold dictionaries. (After he makes a snarky comment, she adds two more.)