Created By: Jordan on August 6, 2011 Last Edited By: Jordan on July 5, 2017

Undercover As A Teacher

In media with teen superheroes, someone involved in their super-life is also involved in their school life

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Trope
Up for Grabs and may need a better title, as I wasn't thinking to include instances like Kindergarten Cop, where a protagonist is undercover as a teacher.

So, as the description says, I've noticed Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World plots will sometimes like to have a teacher (often the principal) be a cover identity for someone who the kids also interact with in their super-hero life. Generally, but not always, it will be a villain undercover, allowing them to create problems for both identities (which will mean that they know/suspect the secret identity).

Examples:

Anime and Manga

Live Action Tv
  • Played around with a bit in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Principal Snyder is nasty and obstructive, especially to the heroes, leading to suspicion that he was a case of this. However, while he was told by the Mayor (a villain) to give them a hard time, he's not knowingly helping the bad guys- he's just a jerkass.

Western Animation
  • In X-Men: Evolution, Mystique was initially undercover as the principal of the high school where the heroes attended in civilian life.
  • In the upcoming Ultimate Spiderman cartoon, Agent Coulson who seems to be Peter's handler at SHIELD is under-cover as his school principal.
Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • August 6, 2011
    foxley
    In Spy Boy, Spy Guy (a product of an earlier version of the Spy Boy program) goes undercover in Spy Boy's school as susbstitute teacher 'Guy McGuffin'.
  • August 6, 2011
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    • Percy Jackson has a teacher who is still a teacher once he becomes aware of his mythic origins.
    • Kim Possible had the janitor turn up as a spy undercover sent to help teach Kim. Because he was the janitor, Kim was avoiding him.
  • August 7, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Buffy also plays it straight with Giles, Buffy's Watcher undercover as the school librarian.
  • July 3, 2017
    Arivne
    Web Comics
    • El Goonish Shive. Several of the protagonists attend Moperville South High School. A history teacher at that school, Adrian Raven, is an elf (the product of the mating between an Immortal and a human) and a wizard, with supernatural powers. He was involved in thwarting an assassination attempt against Ellen.
  • August 7, 2011
    Bisected8
  • August 7, 2011
    foxley
    In the Young Bond novels, one of Bond's teachers turns out to be a recruiter for MI 6.
  • August 7, 2011
    stupac85
    Power Rangers Dino Thunder also had a heroic example with Tommy Oliver being not only The Mentor to the rangers, but also their high school science teacher. When he eventually discovers the principal's true identity, he fights her unmorphed in the middle of the parking lot with the entire student body watching.
  • August 7, 2011
    TBeholder
    ^^^^ But... he's not "undercover". He is a teacher. Just unofficially provides some extracurricular studies.
  • August 8, 2011
    stupac85
    The description doesn't say that the heroes themselves must be unaware of the teacher's true identity. Outside of the rangers and the principal who's really a villain, none of the other teachers or students at the school know anything about it. Also, it's obvious in the first episode Tommy is using his job as a teacher at the school as a way to get close to the student body in order to recruit the new team of rangers and that between the two jobs, he clearly views his duties as the new ranger team's mentor as the more important one.
  • August 8, 2011
    Antheia
    Villetta Nu in the second season of Code Geass.
  • July 2, 2017
    AmourMitts
  • July 2, 2017
    Kartoonkid95
  • July 2, 2017
    HeroGal2347
    The name might need a little work if you're specifically only referring to incidents where the hero's two lives are intersected by one character being a part of their school and hero lives. I thought it could refer to any incident where a person is undercover as a teacher (like when Monk takes a temporary job in a school to investigate a murder in "Mr. Monk Goes Back to School").
  • July 3, 2017
    Basara-kun
    Live-Action TV:
    • Various of the incarnations of The Doctor from Doctor Who acts as undercover in various schools and universities, not just being teachers. A notable and recent example is the actual one, the Twelfth Doctor, who was a janitor in Coal Hill School and a lecturer in St. Luke's University.
  • July 5, 2017
    hszmv1
    How about The Principle Villain as this trope tends to find the Principal of the School in the role of the evil villain. They often take the role of Authority and can crack down on the kids (and allied teachers, who they are the boss of) per regular course and can call the parents to crack down on the kids. They are also connected to the Ancient Conspiricy which has grasps on the local School Board.

    • A notable Aversion with Principle Prickly in Recess. He may be a strict authoritarian, but more than one episode hints that he has more in common with the gang, TJ in particular than he lets on. He even became Principle after his close friend and successor tried to get rid of recess at the school. Most episodes featuring him as the main antagonist end with both the kids and him having a greater respect for each other.

    • Vice-Principle Chapman from Literature/Animorphs is one of the highest ranking controllors the Animorphs face off against.
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