Created By: Digitalpotato on August 23, 2011 Last Edited By: Digitalpotato on August 24, 2011

Shop Class

A class that teaches kids Industrial Arts.

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Shop Class is shown in some High School themed works, sometimes even Jr. High works as being a class where students are taught Industrial Arts. It is mostly called "Shop" in American themed works. As is explained in the linked article; a lot of the emphasis on the class is towards the basis of home repairs, a useful skill, as well as to open up the possibility of it as a career.

The most common form is "Wood Shop", wherein students are taught how to cut wood and use power tools such as drills and saws. Other forms of Shop Class are Metal shop, wherein students work with metal, or Auto Shop where students work with cars. These may be shown in fiction, but in real life, metal and auto shop is not as common due to expense of supplies. Metal&Auto shop may be seen more in vocational schools.

This is sometimes a compulsory course, but it is mostly populated by males who might actually take an interest in it. Whenever female characters are shown taking shop, it's either because it's required or they're a tomboy, and this is sometimes shown as being a tomboyish trait.

Sometimes, Shop class may bring down a brainy student's ego because it requires a completely different set of skills than math, science, and English. Stereotypical nerds are not always shown at being good with their hands. Naturally; the Jerk Jock or the Dumb Muscle often excels in this subject. Expect a couple mistakes, although mistakes in Shop Class tend to cross into Dude, Not Funny! territory moreso than mistakes in Chemistry or Home Economics.

The teacher is almost Always Male, and may even be a Sadist Teacher. Combine this with the proximity to power tools and...well it's going to unnerve a couple characters.

This is Truth in Television; but it's not often a required course anymore.


  • In Beavis And Butthead, Beavis cuts his finger off in shop class.
  • In Pepper Ann, Pepper Ann is forced to take Shop class, and fears it because she's afraid of the Sadist Teacher. She then proceeds to form a petition to get it dropped as a required course, only to realize after she succeeded that she liked it, and the teacher was just very stern and not a sadist. She persuades him to return to the school and fix it after it's replaced.
  • In King of the Hill, Hank teaches Shop for awhile. He also tries to (unsuccessfully) sign Bobby up for Auto Shop.
  • Shop is one of the classes in Bully, although you only work on bicycles. When Jimmy enters, the teacher tells him that "Cars are for seniors".
  • In Adventures of Pete and Pete, Pete is placed into Shop Class.
  • 100DeedsForEddieMcDowd shows this as being Eddie's only good subject after the episode revolved around the main character's dad almost becoming the new shop teacher and being extra hard on his son despite that he was very competent.
  • In {{Daria]}, one of the legends of the mall was of a metal shop teacher with a short temper who was driven crazy by his students. After he ground his teeth down to nothing due to frustration, he made a set of steel dentures that picked up radio signals.
  • Truth in Television; although it was often dropped from some schools due to budget cuts, or more focus shifted towards academic classes and college prep. Some schools may actually do have Shop offered but it is not compulsory for graduation.
    • Not to mention, Industrial arts institutes and other such vocational schools exist specifically to teach these.
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • August 23, 2011
    This shows up once in a while in Archie Comics. Sometimes the instructor is Professor Flutesnoot (who usually teaches Chemistry), but other times they've had a Mr. Hammer or Mr. Krosskut. These may have been one-time-only instructors, though. The classes are typically all-boys, while the girls take home-ec/cooking. Occasionally a story will have a girl in a shop class and/or a boy in home-ec, perhaps with an equal-rights premise. One time Betty decided to take shop:
    Betty, you missed shop class yesterday.
    But not as much as your shop class missed me!
  • August 23, 2011
    When this troper was in Jr. High, boys took Shop (Industrial Arts) while girls took Home Economics. Although the rules had recently changed, and one 8th Grade girl did in fact take Shop, in practice it was more like a Xanatos Gambit.
  • August 23, 2011
    The female characters take shop because they're a tomboy situation is used in Neds Declassified School Survival Guide, where Wood Shop is Jennifer Mosely's favourite class.
  • August 23, 2011
    ^The annoying glitch fairy strikes again in the above post. Here's what I was trying to write:

    The females take shop because they're a tomboy situation is used in Neds Declassified School Survival Guide, where wood shop is Jennifer Mosely's favourite class.

    EDIT: And now the glitch reverted back to what it was supposed to look like, making me seem like a complete nut. Thanks, glitch fairy. Appreciate it.
  • August 23, 2011
    An episode of MST3K has the short Why Study Industrial Arts?, which inspires Mike to set up a shop class of his own. It doesn't work out well: Tom can't use the equipment because his arms don't work, and Crow accidentally cuts himself in half.
  • August 23, 2011
    Can a paragraph be dedicated to how Shop is occasionally used as a tool to bring down a brainy character's ego? Like in these two examples:

    • In an episode of The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody, the boys take Shop. Cody, the smart twin, assumes it will be a breeze but finds that he can barely nail two pieces of wood together. Zack, the laid-back, slacker twin creates masterpieces.
    • The Breakfast Club: Brian discusses how he took Shop for the easy A it would give him, managing to insult Bender's intelligence while he did it. The class was much, much harder than he anticipated, and he panicked when he realized his grades wouldn't recover.

    And my memory is a touch shaky on this one:
    • One episode of South Park focuses on boys taking Woodshop and girls taking Home Ec. Kenny breaks the mold and takes Home Ec because he fears, not unreasonably, that one of the machines will kill him.
  • August 24, 2011
    • In Home Improvement, Tim Talyor had his former shop teach appear as a guest on Tool Time. According to the teacher, Tim was as error prone as a kid as he is as an adult.
  • August 24, 2011
    ^^You mean Kenny takes Home Ec, don't you?
    • On Hercules, Icarus' father Daedalus is the shop teacher at Prometeus Academy. In one episode he considers quitting because the school board won't let him use his own inventions because they're too "edgy", so he is stuck doing the usual mundane shop projects, like birdhouses.
  • August 24, 2011
    "Other forms of Shop Class are Metal shop, wherein students make metal"

    That is one rich damn school, to be able to afford a smelting plant and the attendant insurance. Or did you mean "make things out of metal?"
  • August 24, 2011
    ^^ That is definitely what I meant. I was exhausted when I wrote that. I'll edit it.