This person tells you, Trust Me Im An X
. They may also insist that you call them doctor, add letters indicating a degree after their name, inter alia. You can see the degree on the wall of their office. It's real. It just doesn't represent the studying that you would expect it to represent.
Compare to Back Alley Doctor
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- In the Maggody mystery novels, Brother Verber got his theology degree from an unnamed correspondence-course seminary. His constant misquotations of biblical verse and misuse of theological terms suggest that his alma mater was either a substandard diploma mill or an outright fraud.
- In Frank Baum's The Wizard Of Oz universe, Professor H.M. Wogglebug, T.E. is a Highly Magnified and Thoroughly Educated wogglebug who lives in the Land of Oz. He is totally this guy. He first appears in the book "The Marvelous Land of Oz" with the transgender protagonist--Tip turns into a girl for part of the book. He (Prof W) got his own book later. Do we think that Mr. Baum had issues with educators?
- The plot of Community is kicked off because Jeff Winger received his undergraduate degree from a diploma mill located in Colombia and thus cannot practice law. However, his actual law degree is legit as he really attended an accredited US law school. This is just one of the many examples of how his Brilliant But Lazy nature gets him in unnecessary trouble.
Jeff: Uh, I am in a bit of a jam. The state Bar has suspended my license. They found out my college degree was less than legitimate.
Professor Duncan: I thought you had a Bachelors from Columbia?
Jeff: And now I have to get one from America.
- Stephen Colbert has an honorary degree from Knox College. During medical segments on The Colbert Report he introduces himself as "Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A.". Also an example of Not That Kind Of Doctor, as the degree is in Fine Arts.
- Thirty Rock: "Dr." Spaceman has a degree from Ho Chi Minh School of Medicine and is legally required to put Scare Quotes around the word Doctor.
- In Dr Who episode Voyage of the Damned, Mr Copper, an alien Earth historian, claims that humans worship Santa, a fearsome beast with claws, and every Christmas the people of the UK go to war with Turkey and eat the Turkey people's remains. He later confides in the Doctor that his Degree in 'Earthonomics' came from Mrs Golightly's Happy Travelling University and Dry Cleaners.
- One story arc in Dondi featured gifted children under the tutelage of purported child psychologist Doctor Helix. When Dondi gushes to investigators about Helix's many degrees, however, the investigators recognize "no-name diploma mills." Doc Helix is qualified to be nothing more than a summer camp councilor.
- In American Dad episode "Helping Handis", Francine earns a medical degree from a diploma mill. She then proceeds to work as a doctor from the Handicapped Mafia, despite having few medical skills.
- The Family Guy episode "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" involves Peter bringing Chris to Las Vegas to get a quickie bar mitzvah (in the fallacious hope that Chris will get smarter if he converts to Judaism). Not a degree per se, but a real bar mitzvah involves some scriptural study to gain familiarity with the Torah and its laws.
- Harvey Birdman Attorney At Law reveals that Birdman's Law Degree is actually from a diploma mill when he tells Birdgirl she can't join because she hasn't gone to law school.
- Dr. Doofenshmirtz has a phony doctorate he paid $25 online.
- Dr. Nick on The Simpsons once stated he had gotten his degree from "Hollywood Upstairs Medical College." Other episodes however have flashbacks to his days in med school. Either way, he is an incompetent and unscrupulous doctor, once realizing that he didn't know how to do a heart bypass graft in the middle of surgery.