Education Mama

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There's a good reason for that, Nanase.

"The first day of kindergarten, I watched all the parents say 'have fun!' when dropping off their kids for the first time. My mom said to me, 'Alan. Today is the first day of school. You will do well. Go to Harvard. Become good doctor. Make money.'"

The diametric opposite of the Open-Minded Parent is the Education Mama, a mother (and it's usually, but not always a mother) who is obsessed with her children's education and pushes them to succeed academically, no matter the cost. She will shell out thousands of dollars to send her kids to private school or move to another town with good schools, and her kids will be forced to surrender their social lives in the pursuit of good grades (Cram School may be involved). And God help her kids if any of them gets anything less than an A.

If her kids still have some free time after studying enough to get perfect grades, then she will also force them to master a musical instrument (almost always the violin), and then keep tacking on more extracurricular activities until there is no free time left. Of course, this is all to make her kids seem more impressive to the Dean of Admissions at whatever Ivy League university she has picked out for them.

While it is a problem in many countries around the world, this trope is especially pervasive in East Asian families, due to the existence of the Imperial examination, a standardized test you could take in China that was absolutely necessary for a position as an Obstructive Bureaucrat, one of the cushiest and most well-paying jobs then available. (The topic of the test was the writings of and about the great philosopher Confucius, meaning that anyone who could read had a shot at a government job.) Many of the other nations in China's cultural shadow adopted this system, giving rise to the stereotype that all Asian parents are like this. Such parents have been given the name "Tiger Moms" (Traditional: 虎媽, Simplified: 虎妈, Pinyin: hǔmā) in Chinese, and specifically kyoiku mama (教育ママ) in Japanese. However, this parental figure is universally reviled by the current generation, leading to this becoming a Discredited Trope.

Variants include Stage Mom, the performing-arts-focused sister of this trope, and Jock Dad, Nerd Son, its sports-oriented brother.

Contrast: Parental Abandonment, Open-Minded Parent. Compare: Jewish Mother and My Beloved Smother. Can turn your child into a "Well Done, Son!" Guy if all goes according to plan. If it goes pear-shaped, it can lead to a You Are Grounded moment, or worse still, teen angst or teen rebellion. In the worst cases, particularly in East Asia, the end result is attempted suicide, The Runaway, the Hikikomori, or even snapping out and committing violence against the parents.

Not to be confused with Cooking Mama.


Examples

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     Advertising 
  • This Tim Hortons commercial has a Chinese son and father at the grandson's hockey game. In the flashback, the father often berated his son for playing hockey when he should be studying. It was revealed that the father would secretly watch all his son's hockey games And now, he proudly watched as his grandson played.
  • One of Yuko Saitou's Sega SG-1000 commercials plays this trope for laughs with her mother (played by Yuko herself) asking why she's playing all of those games when she should be studying.

     Anime and Manga 
  • Mrs. Yamada in My Neighbors the Yamadas is a classic example.
  • Chi-Chi in Dragon Ball Z acts like this towards her eldest son, Gohan, wanting him to be a scholar and avoid the violent lifestyle of his father. In the end, Gohan becomes a scholar (though he still enjoys martial arts), and while she does train Goten in martial arts, one can tell she's far less pushy. However, Gohan himself repeatedly states that he likes being a scholar.
    Goku: A-are you trying to tell me that Gohan's studies are more important than saving the Earth?
    Chi-Chi: That's right, mister! There is nothing more important than Gohan's studies right now! If Gohan takes three years off, he'll fall behind!!!
  • Yukimitsu's mother in Eyeshield 21. She doesn't even know he's on the football team, because he's been telling her he's at cram school, although when she learns about it, she takes it rather well.
    • The only reason she DOES take it well is because the team is a championship caliber team and so looks even better for college entry: A student pulling in nothing but As? Dime-a-dozen. An all-A student who also plays high-level sports? That's a fierce combination for college application. If the team had sucked you'd can bet your arse she'd have come down on him like a ton o' bricks.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • In Ami's introduction episode, Beryl and Jadeite discuss "education mothers that are as fierce as demons" before setting up an Evil Plan in a cram school.
    • Still, Usagi's mother Ikuko is shown as being somewhat more of an Education Mama, as well as Ami's own mother Dr. Saeko Mizuno in the live-action series. With Ikuko, this is a Justified Trope, since any parent would be understandably mad when their kid keeps getting 20s and 30s on their tests with no show of improvement.
  • Miyuki Gotou of Noein starts off this way toward her son Yuu, even cutting him off from his friends so he can study more, to the point where he was clinically depressed and showing signs of incipient psychosis. Thankfully, she lightens up later in the series, after a Journey to the Center of the Mind.
  • Pokémon: The mother of one of May's earlier coordinator rivals also was like that, as a cover for her own childhood traumas with her parents.
  • X1999: Male example: Satsuki's father. She ultimately gets so fed up that she uses her computer skills to arrange Mr. Yatouji's death in an accident.
  • Digimon Adventure
    • Another male example: Jyou Kido's father, a well-known doctor, pushed all of his three sons to become medics. The eldest, Shin, complied but chose to work abroad rather than with him; the middle son, Shuu, successfully rebelled against him and is studying Digimon; and Jyou actually reached a compromise with Dad and became a doctor out of his own will, but in Jyou's own terms —specifically, he became the very first doctor in the Digital World, according to the epilogue.
    • Sora Takenouchi's mother, Toshiko, was a mixture of this and My Beloved Smother before the girl was spirited to the Digital World. Since Sora's father Haruhiko is well-intentioned but workaholic and works in Kyoto, poor Sora had huge identity issues that took quite a while to be resolved, and not before Toshiko went Mama Bear and allowed herself to be captured to saver Sora and Biyomon.
  • Marmalade Boy: Kei's parents were like that at first, but more in the art fields since Kei was an excellent pianist. That led to Kei running away from his parents and become extremely selfish and possessive of Miki, the first real friend he's had. Later, though, they make amends.
  • Paradise Kiss: Yukari's mother Yasuko.
  • Fushigi Yuugi: Miaka's mother. The manga hints that she became like that after her traumatic divorce.
  • Male example: Kyouya's father in Ouran High School Host Club.
  • Shizuru Kuwabara of YuYu Hakusho adopts this role for her younger brother Kazuma in the Three Kings Saga, wanting him to get a good education and job. From what we see of Kuwabara later (which isn't much), she succeeded.
  • Bakuman。
    • Takagi's mother is this, for which he consistently scored top in his school, but the pressure of it all leading him to rebel by choosing a career in manga. This was confronted early in the series when he said he's go to the same cheap college as Mashiro so he could skip classes when needed and focus on writing manga. It's implied that she wanted him to study so that he can "avenge" his father, who was fired from his job after Taking the Heat for his boss. However, when he called her out on this, she apparently became willing to allow him to live as he wanted. His mother apparently has no such standards for Akito's older brother, who is fooling around in college around the start of the series.
    • Mashiro's mother also follows this in the early parts of the series; she's the only one in the household who doesn't approve of Mashiro's goals to be a manga artist and constantly encourages him to study instead (although, in fairness, there was the problem with Mashiro's uncle having probably died from overworking, having unsuccessfully tried the rest of his life to get another hit manga). When she notices him playing video games instead of studying, she angrily tells him he won't even get into Minami High if he continues at that rate. She eventually relents, though.
  • In The World God Only Knows, Yui's mother is an overbearing one, not letting her daughter do anything she disapproves of, forcing Yui to become a Yamato Nadeshiko. Not strictly academic education but close enough.
  • One of the stand-alone stories in Mitsukazu Mihara's IC in a Doll had a woman who would give her son a timed math-test every morning and yell at him when he cried or was two seconds slower than her friends' children. It turns out this is out of stress; partly because she thinks her husband is cheating on her (actually, no. He's a crossdresser and the lipstick stains and perfume on his clothes is from him) and partly because she has a bit of an inferiority complex. It didn't end well.
  • Taichi's mother in Chihayafuru, but extends to any competition (just look at all the trophies and certificates in that one room of his house!). Ever since Taichi was little, his mother always wanted him to be the best at everything he did, so much she would chastise him harshly for not getting first place. Chihaya personally calls her "Mrs. Pressure" because of all the stress Taichi gets from living up to his mother's expectations.
  • Kei Yuzuki's mother from Vampire Princess Miyu. Not helped by him being both Book Dumb and The Unfavorite compared to his brother and sister.
  • Medusa from Soul Eater calls herself this to explain her treatment of Crona.
  • Spencer's mom from Tokyo Pig is an inversion. She wants him to focus on exercising instead of his schoolwork.
  • In Saki, Nodoka's father seems to be this, disapproving of her decision to turn down going to Tokyo's best prep school to go to Kiyosumi, although she manages to get him to consider letting her stay if she wins the tournament.
  • In Dramacon Bethany has to sneak around her mother Mary's back just to be an artist as a hobby, because she refuses to accept the idea of Beth becoming anything less than a lawyer with impeccable grades throughout her entire educational career. Mary also makes it quite clear that if Beth ever attempted anything else she'd flat out disown her. In the third volume Beth finally confronts Mary on this and states that she will accept a job offer from a manga publishing company if she's offered again, and her mom pulls I Have No Son the moment Beth refuses to do what she wants. Moments afterwards, Mary is almost killed in a car crash and the two reconcile as she recovers in the hospital.
    • On the opposite end, Beth's aunt Jaz is a lot more supportive of Beth's dreams and offers her the advice Mary should be giving her. Jaz is clearly a decent mother to her own children, and states they always do good in school even though she never nags them. She's quite prompt to call her sister out for her domineering behavior, and doesn't give her any slack even when she's just woken up from being in a car wreck. She was that pissed at Mary for trying to abandon her own daughter.
  • In the original Captain Tsubasa anime, Taro Misaki and his father Ichirou meet a nerdy kid whose mother is like this and refuses to let him join a local soccer team. The kid is clearly uncomfortable with his mom's behavior and really wants to join the team. After a pep talk from Ichirou and witnessing the boy's interaction with the team kids, the mom has a change of heart and gives in.
  • In Sword Art Online, Asuna's mother Kyoko is strict with her when it comes to her studies. After Asuna escapes the eponymous video game, Kyoko plans on pulling strings and getting Asuna out of the SAO Survivor School so that she can get a better education, regardless of whether Asuna wants it.
  • Boruto:
    • Hinata has signs of this. She's really into Boruto studying in the academy, and is angry when he tries to (blatantly) fake an excuse note. She's rather justified, as Boruto is a Brilliant, but Lazy Child Prodigy who cuts corners whenever he can, and expects cool ninjutsu to just fall into his lap.
    • Temari is even worse. When she learns Shikadai tried to cut class, she smacks him in the face, leaving a smarting mark.
      Shikadai: Compared to my mom, yours is mild.
  • Hatori's mother from the manga and it's anime adaptation, Alice & Zoroku, becomes this when Hatori fails to get into a prominent school that her mother pushed for. It grows to the point Hatori's mother becomes emotionally abusive towards her daughter and added stress when her parents begin fighting constantly. Hatori considers running away from home at first until she discovers her magic can manipulate her parents.
  • In Battle Spirits Shonen Toppa Bashin, Bashin's mother Hayami is shown to be very concerned with his academic success. She doesn't want him to put other things (namely, Battle Spirits) before his school work. It's not so much that she's strict as that her husband abandoned the family to go and travel the world. She's concerned that Bashin will turn out like him. So it is rather justified.

     Comic Books 
  • Young Justice: The reluctant superheroine Arrowette had this problem with her mother, who was once the original Arrowette.
  • Watchmen: Laurie "Silk Spectre II" Juspeczyk had this problem with her mother, the original Silk Spectre. Though played oddly in that her education is primarily focused on being a Superhero. Laurie realizes at one point, after vigilantism has been outlawed and her "job" as Doctor Manhattan's unofficial handler is gone, she literally has no prospects or real career options because that's all she ever learned.
  • Parodied in The Shadow Hero, in which Hank Chu's mother is obsessed with turning him into a superhero.

     Comic Strip 
  • In Peanuts, a 1990 storyline has Marcie explaining to Charlie Brown that her parents are like this and put a lot of pressure on her to bring home good grades.

     Fan Fiction 
  • Chairman Tsukino does this from a distance in A Brief History of Histories, enrolling his daughter in an expensive private school and hiring various tutors, switching them around if Usagi isn't showing enough improvement. This only adds to Usagi's Guilt Complex, as she hates seeing others punished for her failures.

     Film 
  • The Breakfast Club: Brian's parents may be the nastiest, most cynical example of this trope on celluloid. Emotionally, they treat the poor kid like garbage, apparently don't care about his suicidal tendencies, and it is strongly implied they are living vicariously through his academic achievements. Damn.
    Brian's Mom: Get in there and use the time to your advantage.
    Brian: Mom we're not supposed to study we just have to sit there and do nothing.
    Brian's Mom: Well mister you figure out a way to study!
  • In The Langoliers, during one character's psychotic breakdown, we see that his father was this trope, Up to Eleven. The lecture the father gives for a B is roughly equivalent to any other parent lecturing for getting an F.
  • Akeelah and the Bee has a male Japanese version in the form of the main rival's father. Luckily, all was resolved by both of them winning the contest.
  • Election: Tracy's mother.
  • Dead Poets Society: Neil Perry's father. He wants his son to be a doctor even though it's not where Neil's heart is. The poor boy manages to have the best marks but still, students' theatre is a no-no for his father as it might distract him.
  • Mud's dad in Camp Nowhere. To be fair, Mud is a smart and proactive kid, but his dad keeps complaining that Mud has wasted potential, and repeatedly does all that he can to get Mud to grow up as soon as possible (and for the record, Mud is 12). Mud eventually learns to stand up to his dad, and does so at the end of the movie.
  • Mrs. Watson in Sister Act 2. It's made quite clear, albeit obliquely, that the reason she disapproves of her daughter's desire to sing and instead tries to force her to focus only on education is not a general "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" or "you have to have better opportunities and do better than I did" mentality, but because her husband tried the same path, failed utterly, and left the family destitute. So it isn't that she disparages Rita's dream, but that she finds it impractical and unrealistic and is afraid pursuing it could cost her, the same as happened to her.
  • An Education: Jenny is very talented and hopes to read English Literature at Oxford. She works very hard on her dream, but she also wants to enjoy her life, listening to popular music and reading modern literature. Her father approves of her intentions of going to Oxford, and he pressures her even more to study. Ideally, she should only study and improve her Latin, and as far as music goes, her playing the violin is just fine. He simply does not want her to be distracted by anything inappropriate. However, he's also fairly kind and understanding, and Jenny's mother knows how to influence him.
  • The protagonist of Hirokazu Koreeda's film Like Father, Like Son, Ryota, is a male version of this trope. He puts great pressure on his son Keita to succeed academically, enrolls him in many extracurricular activities, and even coaches him to lie and give the most compelling answers possible to gain entrance into a selective elementary school. The film deals with Ryota's attempts to shake off this mentality and be a more loving father to his son.
  • The documentary film Race To Nowhere fittingly enough, directed by a former education mama who after seeing her daughter get physically ill from stress and high standards made the movie as a refreshingly frank condemnation of this trope's transformation into a cultural phenomenon, taking its entire duration to deconstruct the entire concept, manages to lay bare its oft-overlooked detrimental consequences that burden the children raised this way, haunting them for the rest of their lives.
  • Gifted: Evelyn was this to her daughter Diane, focusing her entirely on academic achievements and preventing her from having any kind of social life. Once she discovers Mary has inherited her mother's smarts she tries to become this to Mary too. For Evelyn this is also a case of Vicariously Ambitious - as her own career in mathematics was cut short by moving to America and having a family, she hopes to gain academic fame through her descendants.

     Literature 
  • In A Brother's Price, the protagonist, Jerin, had an Education Grandpa who insisted that all the kids learn how to read and write, including the boys. They even had a teacher come to the farm and give private lessons for the boys.
  • Little Men: One of the Men men from the title, Billy, had an Education Papa who drove his promising student son to mental handicapping and physical frailty. He then dropped him off at boarding school in shame.
  • Little House on the Prairie: Ma Ingalls, who was a teacher as a young woman and hoped to have one of her daughters follow in her footsteps. Her main reason for wanting her husband to choose a place to settle down, already, was so her four daughters could get a stable education. Also, the rest of the family and she are determined to do whatever it takes to send Mary to the college for the blind in Iowa. This benefits Mary in more ways than the academic: one of the facets of the school's education is teaching the students to work around their blindness and do things for themselves. When Mary returns from her first year, Laura notes that she moves around the house quite easily instead of staying put in her rocking chair, and unlocked and opened her travelling trunk quite as though she saw it.
  • Widow Kang from The Years of Rice and Salt mercilessly drills her youngest son in the Confucian classics, in order to make a proper scholar out of him.
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: Katie Nolan is told by her immigrant mother that education is the key to rising in America, and to that end, she should make her kids stay in school longer than she did and read them a page a day from the Bible and the collected works of Shakespeare. How well this is or isn't working is a constant source of worry for her.
  • DV-9, in Galaxy of Fear, has elements of this. He's an advanced research droid who, after his employer/owner adopted two kids, got press-ganged into babysitting duties. Since he's a very advanced droid he feels like this is a waste of his talents, but still is determined that the Arrandas be as educated as he can get them and is exasperated and annoyed by their lack of motivation. While marking Death in the Slave Pits of Lorrd, or How I Spent My Inter-Term Break he leaves this note.
    As this will be the last assignment you will receive from me, I have seen fit to give this rambling and uneven collection of information a passing grade — however, you may find your uncle is not as forgiving as I am.
  • British statesman Lord Chesterfield, as shown in his Letters to His Son. He expected his son to learn not only Latin and Greek, but to speak the important languages of the continent - that is, French, German, Spanish and Italian - as well as his native language. Not like the average speaker, but at the level of a courtier, with spirit and perfect manners. Also, he should have a foundation in geography and history. And know the basics of various arts and sciences, like architecture, geometry, astronomy, logic... And know about the important parts of economy of the various countries, their political/judicial systems and military. Or rather, gather these informations by himself while in other countries. After all, he expected his son to become a minister one day. Note: His son was fourteen when he left Britain for the "grand tour". Also note that the Earl did not expect his son to learn to play a musical instrument, deeming this as below a gentleman's dignity.
  • In Isaac Babel's Odessa Tales, Edwardian Age poor Jews from Odessa push their boys to learn music, violin being their instrument of choice. Even if the kid had no musical talent at all. They scrabbled together the last coins to pay for a violin and music classes, seeing the musical career as one of the few paths out of the miserable existence in the Tsarist state. When the hero's father finds out the boy had dodged the music classes, he chases him with openly expressed murderous intentions.
  • The third Bridget Jones book features Nicolette, a mother at the school Bridget's children attend, who puts her young sons under a huge amount of pressure to succeed at school. When it's pointed out to her what this is doing to her children, she has a breakdown and eventually learns to relax a little after Bridget reaches out to her.
  • Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is a tongue-in cheek how-to guide for Education Mamas. The book chronicles her attempt to raise her children in the standard Chinese overachiever tradition (but in America!), and the inevitable culture clash that ensues.
    When Western parents think they're being strict, they usually don't come close to being Chinese mothers. For example, my Western friends who consider themselves strict make their children practice their instruments thirty minutes every day. An hour at most. For a Chinese mother, the first hour is the easy part. It's hours two and three that get tough.
  • In rebuttal to Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother, Quentin Hardy wrote "The Song Of The Manatee Father," extolling the virtues of taking it easy.
  • In The Infected Brian Yi's mother was like this, and it drove him to drop out of school and sever ties with his parents the moment he was old enough to do so. Later this is revealed to be part of a mental illness on her part, an obsession with driving those close to her to succeed and basking in reflected glory that drove away not only her son, but her husband.

     Live Action TV 
  • In the Korean Drama "Sassy Go Go", Kwon Soo-Ah's mother is an extreme version of this, and could easily be the page image. She considers anything less than being the top ranked student as a failure, severely chastises Soo-Ah for not getting a perfect score on an exam, forbids her from closely associating with the Real King dance club members (or anyone else, really) and makes her focus exclusively on her studies, and pushes Soo-Ah to follow her own carefully laid out road map to get into an Ivy League college. With all this pressure, it is hardly surprising that Soo-Ah is such a messed up girl who spends most of the series undergoing increasingly rapid Sanity Slippage.
  • Lost: Eloise Hawking combines this pressure on education with neglect and emotional abuse. Of course, if you knew your son was going to travel back in time and end up being shot dead by your younger self, you probably wouldn't want to get too attached to him either.
  • Cold Case: In "Knuckle Up", the victim's father sends his son into a private prep school and obsesses over his grades. It didn't end well after the son lashed out on him and left, marking this occasion as the last time he saw his son alive.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: When a teenage girl is murdered, investigation reveals that her father was a particularly brutal example of this trope. She and her sister were forced to kneel on grains of rice on the basement floor while their father drilled them on different topics. It turns out that a schoolmate from her incredibly prestigious school (who had been up for over a week via drugs studying for exams) snapped and killed her out of jealousy. So basically there was an entire school full of kids with parents like this.
  • A second-season episode of Law & Order featured an Education Mama who also had a large helping of racism against Asians. When her son's Asian-American classmate looked like he was going to beat him for a prestigious scholarship, she murdered him.
  • Glee: Flipped around with Mike Chang's parents. His mother is the understanding one, while his father flips out over an A-minus, or, as the episode calls it, "an Asian F."
  • MacGyver: Ma Colton when it comes to the education of her youngest son Billy. She seems to have given up on the older two.
  • The Doctor Who episode "The God Complex" implied that Rita grew up in a household like this. Her worst fear is her doctor father's disappointment in her grades, despite the fact when we meet Rita she's already a doctor.
  • Fresh Off the Boat: If her son is getting straight As, it can only mean one thing to Jessica Huang: school is too easy and must be made more challenging.
  • Parodied and Gender Flipped in a sketch from the TV adaptation of Goodness Gracious Me. An Indian father opens his son's exam results and is horrified to see that his son got a B. When his wife points out how well their son is doing (he got As in six other subjects and a place to study medicine at Cambridge University) the father then complains that the boy is "only" taking A-Levels and should be sitting a PhD. It's revealed at the end of the sketch that the son is only six years old.
  • Malcolm in the Middle: Lois enrolls Malcolm in classes and extracurricular activities that he doesn't want to be a part of, forces him to tutor his brothers, tries to keep him from dating on the off-chance that it'll distract him from homework, and eavesdrops on his college interviews. Malcolm finds this behavior unreasonable and highly pressuring, and considers her an overbearing Education Mama; Lois, on the other hand, thinks that these are necessary efforts to make on behalf of a lazy child with an IQ of 165.
  • In The Librarians "And the Rule of Three," Cassandra bonds with a teen named Amy Meyer over their mutual experiences with parents who place academic success over everything else: no dates, no movies, no social life, no hobbies that don't look good on a college application, and so forth. Amy's mother spends most of the episode shamelessly making herself obnoxious in pushing for Amy to win at the STEM fair, until Amy finally tells her bluntly that it's her life, not her mother's.
  • A mild example in the Inside No. 9 episode "Diddle Diddle Dumpling": Louise coaches her seven year old daughter to do well academically, encourages her to mix with wealthy classmates, and asks her husband to help her assess the competition at school.
  • Parodied (and taken to extremes) in a Jam sketch where a couple ply other people's children with drugs and pornography so they can sabotage their daughter's rivals for a place at a good school.

     Professional Wrestling 
  • Parodied in Survival Tobita's Saitama Pro Wrestling Company, which featured Tobita fighting different monsters. One of them is Education Mamagon, whose gimmick was that he would force Tobita to read a book during the match.

     Video Games 
  • Persona
    • Persona has a rare male example of the trope. Kumi Hirose had a father who pressures her to keep on top of her grades and is furious that said grades had slipped because of her involvement with the drama club. He rants to her on how he gave up drinking and smoking and how he sacrificed his weekends of golf so that he could make extra money to send her to a better school. Kumi is also berated by her peers at the drama club because she's too distracted with her studying to contribute to the school play. Kumi becomes a total wreck who feels like no one gives her a chance.
    • In Persona 3, the mother of seven year-old Maiko forces her to attend cram school and other lessons constantly, on top of neglecting household chores like laundry that Maiko is forced to do in her place. (And that pressure is on top of the stress she faces dealing with her parents' bitter divorce.) Fuuka Yamagishi's parents similarly obsess over her education due to their own inferiority complexes, to the point that one of the reasons she participates in SEES is to escape from them. Another student from Gekkoukan High also complains about her parents being like this, forcing her to do nothing but study in her free time.
    • Returns in Persona 4. Shu is a kid who is under pressure from his mom to be the best. This leads him to cheating on a test and getting suspended, though with the Protagonist's help, he gets over this.
    • In Persona 5, Makoto Nijima's older sister and legal guardian Sae pressures her to focus on her studies, as a result of Sae's own personal issues, which include bitterness and the need to prove herself.
  • Luis Lopez's mother in Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony has a hard time trying to convince Luis of going to school.
  • Lan/Netto's mother Haruka in Mega Man Battle Network is a benign version of this. Yes, she harps on Lan to get his schoolwork done constantly, but this is a good thing, because he has a severe case of Brilliant, but Lazy.
  • Minor NPC Suzanna in Xenoblade Chronicles is defined as a "study-mad housewife". She asks you twice to collect things that will help her son Moritz study harder.
  • Demona in Fantasy Life. Justified in that her son is supposed to run a kingdom. The son in question eventually joins the list of people that the player can recruit as battle companions and tells the player that these occasions will officially be "educational outings".
  • In Absolute Despair Girls, Nagisa Shingetsu's parents are a very dark example, having viewed child-raising to be like a game, essentially forcing him to "level grind" in studying without sleeping under threat of physical punishment. The worst part is that it isn't even for Nagisa's benefit, but they apparently viewed him as an experiment in how much cramming kids could do before breaking.
  • In Battleborn, Beatrix's mother in her lore apparently was quite the Tiger Mom. Excerpts from her diary from the lore in Battleplan 32 reveal her mother, a Silent Sister, constantly pushed Beatrix to apply herself in her studies. As Beatrix was quite the Teen Genius who was excelling in her grades, her mother negotiated her early graduation and as such Beatrix graduated from Archsciences Academy at 14 years old, the youngest ever to do so. However, even then that wasn't enough as Beatrix's mother later applied her in grad school. All of this was to make Beatrix a candidate for sustainment before she died of her illness though her mother did so without really asking Beatrix herself what she really wanted.

     Web Original 

     Webcomics 
  • Nanase's mother in El Goonish Shive (the page image) is one of these. She even insists on her children speaking Japanese at home, so they'll be just as fluent as they are with English.
  • Emily's mother in Misfile, mainly because she had to drop out of school to take care of Emily at a young age.
  • Mei-Li (Lin's mother) in Kevin & Kell, who is a Tiger Mom in more ways than one. She starts learning to loosen up thanks to Kell and Coney.

     Western Animation 
  • King of the Hill: Kahn. His wife Mihn is like this to a lesser extent, but Kahn is always pushing his daughter to study, learn, and practice the violin. Worse still, it isn't even for her benefit. Kahn sees an intelligent, successful daughter as a requirement for the "perfect life" he's been seeking, so he can rub it in the faces of everyone he knew growing up. Also, his father-in-law was a famous general who seems to view him with contempt. However, Kahn later lets up on this. In the last episode of the series, he lets Connie take the night off from studying to attend the Hill's barbecue.
  • Implied in an episode of The Littles with an "education papa". When the episode begins, he threatens to send his daughter to a private school "where [her] friends won't be such a bad influence on [her]", unless she gets straight A's on her report card, resulting in her running away from home.
  • In Batman Beyond, one episode had a Valedictorian student whose mother was like this. He had the second-best score on a school-wide test, falling short of Max, and his mother considered it terrible. The show, however, demonstrates why this attitude was bad; her strict upbringing drove him to become a member of the Jokerz just to have some freedom.
  • One of Virgil's Asian and Nerdy classmates in Static Shock has an Education Papa. Virgil sees his father studying with him and berating him one day when the poor guy got a 99 on an essay. He later develops Hulk-like powers.
    "Dad, it's just one point."
    "One point away from a perfect score!"
  • Mrs. Ping of Detentionaire, to the point that she's a teacher at Lee's school. “It was one lousy C, mom. In gym! That's not even a subject, it's like, some guy's name!”
  • Daria:
    • Jodie's nouveau riche parents push her into every extracurricular activity possible. This is augmented by Jodie's own perception (possibly inherited from them) that she needs to prove herself as a black student in a school that's primarily white. All There in the Manual: The Daria Database has one picture of several character's new year resolutions. Jodie's imply that she actually dives into extracurriculars to escape her parent's behavior in this regard as much as to please them. However, Jodie does wish she could have more freedom to just enjoy her spare time instead of filling it up with extra work, especially during the summer, and her parents aren't exactly above having her do extracurricular work that would make them look good. However, they finally concede in Is It College Yet? after realizing Jodie applied to Turner, an all black college, behind there backs, for the sake of being among people like her and being able to relax for once.
    • Daria's own parents, especially Helen, try to push her towards more extracurricular activities to augment her perfunctorily good grades. Daria, however, is not as much of a doormat as Jodie; in the end, Helen usually has to either bribe her or find something worse to threaten her with.
  • Olga from Hey Arnold! was so pressured to be perfect by her parents that she winds up mentally unstable when faced with failure (A B-grade makes her suffer a complete mental breakdown), to be, as she put it "A wind up doll expected to preform perfectly.'' After Helga reveals she forged said B-grade, she admits that she'd rather be like Helga is to her parents. Since she had been built up as The Ace, it serves as a nice deconstruction.
  • One episode of The Proud Family showed that the father of the Chang Triplets is an education papa. When Dijonay switches with the Chang Triplets for "Cultural Switch Day," she brags to their father about how she got a B in math, in which he retorts to "B stands for 'better work hard to get an A'", and makes her study more.
  • A Cutaway Gag example from Family Guy.
    Japanese Father: (Walks in to his son's room) You doctor yet?
    Japanese Son: No Dad, I'm twelve.
    Japanese Father: Talk to me when you doctor! (Slams door)
  • Toshi and Akiko's mother on American Dad! is this in spades. She works both her children like slaves, though she seems to give Toshi slightly more freedom as he is often seen hanging out with Steve and his other friends. Akiko on the other hand is given treatment that makes the Tiger Mom look slack. When Akiko loses a spelling bee to Steve, her mother swears to DOUBLE her workload.
  • Claire's parents from Trollhunters might be this, though the only indicator is their suggesting that she drop out of the school play after getting a "B" on a class assignment.
  • Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? begins with Mom Unit forcing Robot Jones to attend school with humans so he can learn about their ways. She tends to get testy whenever Robot tries to stray from learning what he is asked to learn.


Alternative Title(s): Tiger Mom, Education Papa

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EducationMama