Film / Teaching Mrs. Tingle

A 1999 Black Comedy film in which a poor girl's college stipend depends on her acing a history project in the class taught by the vile Mrs. Tingle (Helen Mirren).

Due to a friend's stupidity, the girl, Leigh Ann (Katie Holmes), is caught with a copy of the final exam, by Mrs. Tingle, who threatens to have her expelled. Leigh Ann, along with her two friends, go to Tingle's home to reason with her. But before long the situation gets out of control.

Due to recent events before the movie came out, its title was changed from the original "Killing Mrs. Tingle" to the above. Written and directed by Kevin Williamson, and understandably his only turn in the director's chair to date.


  • Artistic License History: The fake diary that the main character worked on for several months mentions witch burnings in Salem. Not a single witch was burned during the Salem Witch Trials, they were for the most part hung with the only exception being Giles Corey, who was crushed to death with rocks. What makes it worse is that the audience is supposed to see Mrs. Tingle as a horrid person for only giving the main character a C for something she worked so hard on, but considering she made such a big and easily rectified mistake, the whole film falls apart. Really, a "C" grade was generous.
  • Bound and Gagged: The method of restraining Mrs. Tingle.
  • Chekhov's Skill: The book stopping a crossbow bolt, thereby stopping someone from being killed.
  • Coitus Ensues: Leigh Anne and Luke have sex on Mrs. Tingle's couch.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • The kids go way over the line to try making Mrs. Tingle do what they want.
    • Mrs Tingle's reason for hurting Leigh Ann is just as petty, she never left town when she had the chance and decided to take anyone with the same potential down with her.
    • When one considers Tingle never believed Leigh Ann was a cheater in the first place and just used it as an excuse to fail her, it's even more petty.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: Tingle confidently points out to Jo Lynn that she won't shoot her with the crossbow, when Jo Lynn retorts "No?", Tingle shows the bolt in her hand.
  • Sadist Teacher: Deserved or not, Mrs. Tingle still gives Leigh Ann a C based solely on her own personal bitterness, rather than because the report was wrong.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Since the film was obviously marketed at the teeny bopper crowd, the titular Mrs. Tingle is nowhere to be found on the poster.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Even sociopathic, it seems. They threaten Mrs. Tingle with a crossbow, knock her out, tie her up and hold her hostage, torment her, attempt to blackmail her with incriminating photos, actively plan to ruin their adulterous school coach's life simply to spite Mrs. Tingle and mess with Tingle's graded papers so Leigh Ann can become valedictorian.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Those kids had no idea Tingle could fight so well.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Until Tingle catches them cheating!
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The romantic love triangle between the 3 teens is quickly dropped once Mrs. Tingle escapes, and is never resolved.
  • Whole Plot Reference: To 9 to 5
  • Wrote the Book: Mrs. Tingle, in the middle of a rant, claims that she wrote the book on Leigh Ann's situation.