This is a school that teaches their students how to be better villains. There will be courses on mayhem, extortion
, use of powers
, money laundering and many other topics. Usually the school will be a strictly evil institution that is staffed entirely with Sadist Teachers
and directed by the Principal / Big Bad
. Despite this rigid order much of the rules have two big caveats: Might Makes Right
, and the teachers won't punish cheating— rather, they'll punish getting caught
because it's a sign of sloppy work.
Presumably, such a school is funded by graduates tithing back money to the principal, though he or she may get funding from parents who enroll their children because they want their kids
to follow their evil jackboot-steps.
Then again, the school may act as a talent agency / crime ring and hire out students as mercenaries, or use them to commit crimes.
To be fair, Dark Is Not Evil
, and the Academy Of Evil may just be suffering from a bad reputation. In this case it will at worst be teaching the
Dark Off-Grey Arts
and fomenting ambition
in the student body. Speaking of which, expect it to have a near Darwinian social scene
that makes most prisons seem like a Sugar Bowl
. The Alpha Bitch
won't just badmouth you, she'll have her Girl Posse
cut you up and sell you for parts to the Mad Scientist
If there is a good aligned Wizarding School
, Ninja School
, or Superhero School
, expect them both to be rivals. May overlap with All-Ghouls School
. This will most likely be where villains get their Morally Ambiguous Doctorates
Anime And Manga
- The eponymous institution in Hollow Fields is a school for mad scientists, with courses in graverobbing, building machines of destruction, and so forth.
- Alan Moore did a 2000 AD gag strip based on one of these for Ming-style Space Opera bad guys.
- The somewhat unsettling on the surface Praetorian Academy in PS238 may look like this to the Genre Savvy, taking "problem children" amongst metahumans and possibly making them even worse while hiding under a public aegis of With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility and 'discipline'. The genre savvy would be wrong.
- Xavier's School for Exceptionally Wayward Youth in X-Men Noir is a reform school... but Professor Xavier taught his students how to be better criminals rather than actually reforming them. He insists this was a ploy to gain their trust so they would gradually open up to him and therapy could begin in earnest. In reality, he was developing and studying them to prove his theory that sociopathy is the next stage of human behavioral evolution.
- In mainstream X-Men continuity, Emma Frost used to be headmistress of the Massachusetts Academy — a front for the Hellfire Club that produced the Hellions, rivals to the then-Xavier Institute student body, the New Mutants. When Emma had her Heel-Face Turn, the Massachusetts Academy became a Superhero School, the front for Generation X.
- In the more recent New Mutants title, the Hellions were another "house" within the Xavier Institute, but still kind of villain-y and rivals to the New Mutants team.
- Oft mentioned in Justice League International was the Manga Khan School of Melodrama, which taught students how to talk like a villain.
- In the Marvel Universe, any institution run by Taskmaster is this - he first came to prominence running schools for henchmen of other supervillains. Later, during Dark Reign, he was in charge of The Initiative for a while. He's so good at what he does that the government sometimes hires him to train their operatives, including a replacement Captain America.
- St. Hadrian's Finishing School for Girls in Batman Incorporated, which is run by the international Terrorists Without a Cause group Leviathan and trains its pupils to become spies, assassins and depraved seducers. After Batman and an undercover Stephanie Brown took it out, it was restarted by Spyral, and trained its pupils to become spies, assassins, and depraved seducers for good causes.
- Villain Academy in Sentai School.
- In Black Hood Comics #9, criminal mastermind Markov started a school for (adult) criminals, teaching them how to fight barehanded, how to evade police capture, etc. He did so out of a simple desire to improve the local criminal landscape, having found the crooks he'd met up to that point clumsy and stupid.
- There is one implied to exist in the Austin PowersVerse.
- Cobra Kai is essentially a Dojo of Evil.
- What Royal Pain plans to turn Sky High into, raising the now infant students and faculty as a generation of supervillains.
- St Trinians is more an academy of anarchy, but there are classes in various forms of lucrative crime and how to avoid arrest in foreign countries. The students and teachers do seem to be chaotic neutral rather than actually evil.
- Catherine Jinks's Evil Genius sends its protagonist, the Sociopathic Hero Cadel, to the Axis Institute, which includes courses like "Poisoning" and "Forgery."
- The Higher Institute of Villainous Education, or H.I.V.E.
- From Harry Potter: Durmstrang, a downplayed example, where people are taught the Dark Arts instead of Defense Against the Dark Arts, has a slight reputation of being this. Grindelwald, Dumbledore's old arch-nemesis, comes from here. We do meet Durmstrang alumni who are definitely not evil and take a hard stand against evil (Viktor Krum comes to mind right away) and this isn't shown as being very odd. And even Durmstrang had to draw the line and expel Gellert Grindelwald, where a school that really played this trope straight would probably have nurtured him.
- The tried to make Hogwarts this, in Book 7 when it's being run by the Death Eaters—they change the curriculum to make the Dark Arts and Muggle "Studies" mandatory, making the curriculum all-evil, all the time. It doesn't work on the students except for House Slytherin.
- Slytherin House has this reputation even earlier in the series; all of the Death Eaters came from Slytherin.
- In Rogue Sorcerer, the Tower is an academy for Sorcerers who use blood magic to control murderous demons.
- There is a "Shadow Academy" in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, as a Dark Side counterpart to the Jedi Academy.
- The Nightmoore Academy of Frank Peretti's Veritas Project series.
- The Wheel of Time has Mesaana opening a lot of those during The age of legends, and its pupils were not dedicated to idle cackling.
- Played with in Discworld with the Assassins' Guild School, which while it does still teach the art of assassination, is also considered a prestigious academy for gentlemen and, as of recently, ladies. Another Academy of Evil is discussed in Sourcery, though it may not actually exist:
Of course, all Grand Viziers
talk like that all the time. There's probably a school somewhere.
- Dracula is mentioned to have studied at the 'Scholomance' - presumably the same one from the folklore section above. Freda Warrington's unofficial sequel has the now-abandoned Scholomance play a big role in the plot.
- Bekinsop's Academy for the Daughters of Gentlefolk in Blonde Genius by J.T. Edson.
- Battle School from Enders Game is on the very dark side of morally ambiguous. On the one hand, they're training commanders to attack an alien race that once attacked them. On the other hand they plan the complete genocide of the aliens and consider students killing one another an acceptable part of their training.
- The dark elven city of Menzoberranzan from Forgotten Realms has one, most elaborated on in R. A. Salvatore's Drizzt novels (but also appearing in Elaine Cunningham's Liriel novels and the War of the Spider Queen series). Tier-Breche (usually simply called "The Academy") is divided into three sub-schools, Melee-Magthere (for warriors) Sorcere (for wizards) and Arach-Tinillith (for the clergy of Lolth). Considering its two functions are to train the students to lethal efficiency in their particular discipline and firmly induct them into a Religion of Evil, it's a very scary place.
- In The Screwtape Letters, it's mentioned that Hell has a Training College for young devils, run by a demon named Slubgob. They study such courses as sexual temptation ("a subject of considerable tedium," complains Screwtape, who is no Horny Devil) and disguising oneself as an Angel of Light.
- Lawless Academy in Lawless is a school for criminals.
- Max Thunderman wants to go to one of these, but for now he's keeping up The Masquerade in a suburban public school. And since that's the whole premise of the show...
- There are two that show up in Charmed, both called simply The Academy. They focus on turning humans into demons.
- The Academy of Evil, from Crash Twinsanity, a private school that literally teaches students to be evil, for the sake of being evil. The series' antagonist, Dr. Neo Cortex studied here, while his niece was thrown out and had to continue her studies at the Evil Public School.
- The Institute of Evil, Nether Academy - the setting of Disgaea 3. It's literally a school in hell, where demons go to learn how to be properly evil (By their generally awkward standards). Also doubles as a Bizarro World, since honor students are the ones who never attend class or do their homework, while delinquents maintain 100% attendance (even though the teachers rarely bother showing up), and give THEMSELVES homework (which they always complete) since the teachers won't. They also pick up litter. Oddly, the so-called "delinquents" are the only ones who ever get to graduate from the academy, since they run off the same standards as any other school in that regard... In fact, the previously mentioned delinquents are the first ones to ever graduate, which amounts to be Kicked Upstairs. You see, the Academy's objective is to make the students remain paying the tuition for all the eternity.
- Scholomance in World of Warcraft.
- The Sith Academies on Korriban and Malachor V in Knights of the Old Republic I and II, respectively. The former encourages backstabbing and killing your fellow students and even teachers to gnaw your way to the top.
- Evil University in Adventurers.
- The defunct webcomic Mad About U was set in a university for mad scientists.
- In Nodwick, the evil wizard Ildomir went to a school for wizards called the Heractium Dark Arts Academy,
- The Round Robin story Dark Heart High uses one as a setting.
- Deville Academy, in the Whateley Universe, is a school that takes in poor, young delinquents... and turns them into the best thieves, spies, and killers on the planet. Except for those mutant supervillains.
- The SCP Foundation frequently has to deal with SCPs created by Alexylva University, a mind control-obsessed organization from an Alternate Universe.
- The play by post roleplay Destine Enormity has SIN Academy, where the city's overlords indoctrinate the city's children.
- In the world of Nocte Yin, there are Evil Academy and Hero Academy, as well as their rival schools.
- In Teen Titans, there was the H.I.V.E. (not this one), which originally trained super-villains to work as mercenaries, its star pupils being Jinx, Gizmo, and Mammoth, used by Slade in a very early episode. Later, in the third season, the school played a much bigger part of the plot, with Brother Blood as the Big Bad of the storyline and headmaster of the school. After Blood's defeat, the school was defunct, but Jinx, Gizmo, and Mammoth formed a team called the H.I.V.E. Five (which actually had six members) which worked for the Brain's Brotherhood of Evil.
- Earthworm Jim feature a humorous advertisement for a school for villains, showing a teacher pointing at the black board and reading, "Ah...ha...ha...ha...ha..."
- The Cloudtower school for witches opposing Alfea Academy in Winx Club initially seems like one, but it's subverted as most witches such as Miss Griffin are mostly good-hearted, even if they are mischievous or jerks sometimes..
- The Huntsclan Academy in American Dragon Jake Long, where students are taught how to slay dragons and to be overall racist Knight Templars.
- Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz intended to open one in "The Swiss Family Phineas". He tried to drive laundromats bankrupt so he could turn them into school buildings.
- An episode of Dog City had mob boss Bugsy attempt to turn a regular school into that.
- Perfecto Prep from Tiny Toon Adventures.
- The Cool McCool episode "College Of Crooks," consisting of Cool's regular roster of villains (The Owl, the Rattler, Hurricane Harry, Jack-In-The-Box, Dr. Madcap and Greta Ghoul).