->''"Okay, so I'd give us an A for effort, a B for skill, and an..." (winces as I-beams collapse) "F... for stealth."''
-->--'''Michelangelo''', ''WesternAnimation/{{TMNT}}''

When going through TheHerosJourney, the [[HeroProtagonist protagonist]] will typically have to undergo some trial (or test, whether physical or written) to prove his or her own worth. The test will come at any given time, normally during the Road of Trials for the inexperienced adventurer, but for the returning victor, it can happen as early as Crossing The First Threshold. The standard obstacle (but not always) that he or she will face will be some unknown EldritchAbomination, so powerful that it will even terrify [[MentorArchetype the Mentor]], prompting the fledgling savior to TakeAThirdOption, one that his or her mentor would never have thought have in a million years. After the fight, the mentor, still having a sense of [[NotSoStoic awe and pride in his voice]], will try to keep a sense of authority by making some rather [[DeadpanSnarker snarky]] comments, almost as if he was grading a test, about how he would've handled the situation differently.

More than often will result in some form of MadLibsCatchphrase if it happens on more than one occasion. Can appear as CasualDangerDialogue also, though the timing of the quip and subsequent action can follow each other in any random order, as seen by the page-topping quote.

An obvious {{Subtrope}} of DeadpanSnarker. Compare OnAScaleFromOneToTen, which uses this ratings system with numbers instead of an alphabetical rank. Please no TruthInTelevision examples, as no group of friends ever seem to be able to take a rating system seriously.

Contrast TheReasonYouSuckSpeech, which, unlike this, there is (usually) no humor involved in the berating involved. Compare BrokeTheRatingScale, which can involve grading snark in whatever odd rating is assigned.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* The 2007 ''WesternAnimation/{{TMNT}}'' film provides us with the page quote from [[CloudCuckooLander Michelangelo]] after the FiveManBand, directly disobeying Splinter's orders, pass through The Return and Crossing The Return Threshold phases by randomly attacking monsters (just because they looked suspicious) on an unfinished skyscraper. Splinter was pissed when he found out what happened.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* In the ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' short story "Cave Dwellers", which sheds some light on one of Batgirl's numerous training missions with the famous Caped Crusaders, [[TheStoic Batman]] himself gives a rather nasty [[InvertedTrope inversion]] of this, without any form of sarcasm whatsoever:
-->'''Batman''': I wouldn't grade you as ''high'' as my partner.
-->'''Batgirl''': Yeah? Well, I have a few words for ''you'', too.
-->'''Batman''': I don't think you ''passed''.
-->'''Batgirl''': I ''survived'', didn't I?
-->'''Batman''': That's ''not'' enough. You used ''lethal force'' against your last opponents. We don't ''do'' that. We don't kill ''even'' to defend ourselves.
-->'''Batgirl''': Was I supposed to let your paperdolls ''shoot'' me? What would ''that'' have proved?
-->'''Batman''': Only that you could be one of ''us''.
* From ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy1'': "'Ten out of ten' for style, but 'Minus several million' for good thinking."
* The grading system for the O.W.L.s in ''Franchise/HarryPotter''.
--> O - Outstanding
--> E - Exceeds Expectations
--> A - Acceptable
--> P - Poor
--> D - Dreadful
--> T - Troll
** Keep in mind that Harry, Ron, and Hermione thought Fred and George were ''joking'' when they said the lowest grade is named after the phenomenally stupid ([[DumbMuscle but very strong]]) creatures known as trolls.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* The Australian game review show ''Series/GoodGame'''s review of RobotUnicornAttack: Despite giving deadly serious scores out of ten on every other game, Hex gave it a rating of 8971 Rubber Chickens. Bajo was "...not sure how to score it after that."
** In the end show summary, it have Bajo's score as a picture of a purple unicorn head.
* ConanOBrien as the Clueless Gamer has these as the end scores for his reviews. At first, he gives games a numerical score with no rhyme or reason behind it, before he moves on to grading games with various colors, noises, and how he beats up Aaron Bleyaert.
--> '''Conan''': "Out of an 88 - an 88 being pretty good, a 110 being excellent, a 150 being awful, a 3 being...eh, not bad, I'd give this a...say, a 26C."

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* GLaDOS, of ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' fame, does this rather stealthily through a BaitAndSwitch technique. While at first she seems like she's congratulating you for a job well done after each and every test chamber, listen closely-- the compliments are heavily drenched with [[SarcasmMode sarcasm]].
** Taken UpToEleven in the sequel.
-->'''[=GLaDOS=]:''' Oh you did VERY well. I'm going to write that on your form. Oh there's ''lots'' of room here. "Did well... enough."
* There's a minor report card gag in the third case in the third ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' game. The characters note things like "gets into trouble being the center of attention" supposedly getting written on others' report cards.
* Trevor's end-of-battle soundbyte from ''JaggedAlliance'' ''2''.
--> Way hay, they're all dead! Got to give them an A for effort, though...

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* In ''WebComic/DarthsAndDroids'', Yoda snarks at the antics the protagonists have gotten into:
-->Remedial course in Jedi Ethics, you need.
** Which later gets a CallBack during the climactic Obi-Wan/Anakin duel:
-->'''Obi-Wan:''' I give you a failing grade in Jedi Ethics.
-->'''Anakin:''' That's it, Obi-Wan! YouHaveFailedMe [[IncrediblyLamePun for the last time!]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* From ''{{Futurama}}'': In "Mars University", Fry, Amy, and Gunter, a chimp whose intelligence was enhanced through [[MakesAsMuchSenseInContext a bowler hat powered by sun spots]] participate in a class on 20th century history. Not only is the professor in charge of the class thick on the [[SarcasmMode sarcasm]], but every seat in his lecture hall is rigged to [[DisproportionateRetribution electrocute any student who makes a snide remark, calls out of turn, or answers incorrectly.]]
* ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'': After Hercules defeats Nessus the River Guardian and rescues Meg by [[UseYourHead literally using his head]], Philotetes mutters under his breath "[[LiteralMetaphor Not exactly what I had in mind]], but not bad..."
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', this is Rainbow Dash's response to a tortoise who joined the competition to see who would be her pet; she gave him an A for effort, and would give him a gold star if she had one.
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