->'''Bender''': I went to bending college. I majored in bending.
->'''Fry''': What was your minor?
->'''Bender''': Robo-American Studies.
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}''

This is when a character reveals that she or he was educated in (or is being educated in) a field or subject that is unexpected for the character. Typically, this gag takes the form of a college minor, as per the title suggests.

For example, a tough macho man could minor in Women's Studies or a ditzy society girl is minoring in Particle Physics.

A great, if narratively cheap, way to showcase HiddenDepths. It may come up at a plot relevant moment and not just as small talk. In such a situation this can act as a [[JustifiedTrope justification]] for a DeusExMachina or AssPull (possibly softening the blow). SubTrope of SuddenlyAlwaysKnewThat. Compare {{Subject101}}. MinoredInAsskicking is when combat ability is the character's secondary but notable asset.

[[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Not exactly related to]] [[TVTropesWillRuinYourLife becoming TV Tropes savvy]].


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/GamblingEmperorLegendZero'' has the comic relief idiot {{Yakuza}} [[spoiler:answer a ridiculously difficult quiz question and reveal that, because his father was a diplomat, he knows a lot about world geography and international relations]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* One of the Sigma Tau Delta {{Alpha Bitch}}es in ''Hazed'' is majoring in "Hitler Studies". Main character Ileana's major is Women's Studies, which wouldn't be so unusual if she weren't a Sigma Tau herself.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] in ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'': Team Four Star's Nappa graduated from Sayian University with a major in Child Psychology and [[MinoredInAssKicking a minor in]] '''[[MinoredInAssKicking PAIN]]'''.
* ''Doctor'' Jeremiah from ''WebVideo/CodeMENT'' has a [=PhD=] in Ass kicking, a Bachelor's in Pain and a minor in Women's Studies.
* ''FanWorks/TheNextFrontier'' gives us Kurt Kerjel, the CommunicationsOfficer and token military liaison aboard [[VideoGame/KerbalSpaceProgram Kerbin's]] first FTL starship. His degree turns out to be in ''Sociology''. [[spoiler:He also turns out to be an intelligence officer rather than a pure radioman.]]

[[folder:Films -- Live Action]]
* In ''Film/MrHollandsOpus'', it becomes a minor plot point that that the school's physical education teacher "minored in modern dance."
* Film/JamesBond himself, in the film version of ''Film/YouOnlyLiveTwice'', claims to have earned a first in Oriental languages from Cambridge. However, he only says this to Moneypenny and never demonstrates any great language skills, so it's possibly an exaggeration or joke.
** The ''Literature/JamesBond'' books actually do emphasize Bond's language skills quite a lot.
* In ''Film/UpInTheAir'', Creator/GeorgeClooney's character inspires a recently fired man by reminding him that he had minored in French Cuisine.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/MonstersVsAliens'', the MadScientist Dr. Cockroach (who turned himself into a half-cockroach monster while working on a teleportation system, in a ShoutOut to ''The Fly'') turns out to have a very plot-relevant degree.
--> My Ph.D. is in [=DANCE!=]

* Vicki Nelson in Creator/TanyaHuff's ''Literature/BloodBooks'' surprises vampire Henry Fitzroy by having [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_FitzRoy,_1st_Duke_of_Richmond_and_Somerset heard of him]]. She explains that she was a history major in college. In the [[Series/BloodTies TV series]], it's changed to a minor.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Adam frequently makes jokes to this extent about Jamie in ''Series/MythBusters''. While it's true Jamie has done some peculiar things -- like being a licensed SCUBA instructor -- most of them are made up by Adam on the spot [[RuleOfFunny for the lulz.]] Most of them gags on Jamie's age, such as offhanded mentions of his supposed actions during the Great Depression, though it is a fact that Jamie has a major in Russian Literature of all things.
* A RunningGag on ''Series/{{Greek}}'' is that Cappie has supposedly majored in pretty much anything plot-relevant.
* A stripper in ''Series/{{Bones}}'' mentioned majoring in Criminology while giving Booth a lapdance. In another episode, Sully mentions having minored in kinesics - he knew what a scapula was.
* The ''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou'' perennial gag of Paul Merton's CSE in metalwork.
* Annie Cartwright, quiet and put-upon mild-mannered WPC of ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2006}}'', turns out to be a psychology graduate.
* Used as a joke in an episode of ''Series/FullHouse''. Normally straight-laced uptight Danny reveals that he's an ace at billiards since he played it all through college. Another character challenges him to darts and, when Danny scores two bullseyes in a row, Danny says, "I minored in Darts."
* ''Series/MadMen'': Betty majored in Anthropology.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': Bashir took extension courses in engineering at Starfleet Academy. O'Brien is actually grudgingly impressed by his abilities. [[spoiler:Subverted in that it's later revealed that it was a changeling saboteur rather than Bashir who had carried out the work.]]
-->'''O'Brien''': Not bad for an extension course.
* In ''Series/TheSiflAndOllyShow'', Sifl reveals that he only has, "8 doctorates, one is just a masters in theoretical biomechanical interplanetary advancement".

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In [[MassivelyMultiplayerCrossover the crossover game]] ''VideoGame/PokerNightAtTheInventory'', the massive, ultra-violent mercenary Heavy Weapons Guy from ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' reveals that he has a [=PhD=] in [[HiddenDepths Russian Literature]].
-->'''Tycho''': "Does that come in useful in your line of work?"
-->'''Heavy''': "[[Literature/CrimeAndPunishment More than you think]]..."

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Fighter from ''WebComic/EightBitTheater'' minored in an ancient, almost unreadable language, making him a GeniusDitz. [[RuleOfFunny Even though he never went to college.]]
* Kari of ''Webcomic/CrimsonDark'' took "Applied Riftspace Dynamics" in flight school. Not very useful for a fighter pilot.
-->'''Kari:''' I had a crush on the tute leader. [beat]. Hey, don't give me that look. I was seventeen, give me a break.
* TheRealMan who plays Qui-Gon, and now Amidala, in ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'' is doing a Ph.D. in geophysics. It turns out he is a serious academic in RealLife, but it counts for this because the focus of the story is on the events of the game, and he likes to shut his brain off in those.
* Captain Bob Smith of ''Webcomic/LegostarGalactica'' took a "Complex Linguistics" course at the "Academy"... which explains why he can talk to the engineer's ''cat'' (he also claims he can speak Wookiee and "a few other weird languages").
* Roy from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' took goat herding instead of horse riding as his compulsory animal husbandry class in fighter college, because it sounded like a easy A.
** [[ChekhovsSkill He also studied engineering and architecture.]]
** And Belkar is a gourmet cook.
* In ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent'', [[{{Tsundere}} Faye]] studied Art at college, and [[TheDitz Raven]] has started studying Physics.
* ''Webcomic/TriggerStar'' has Sauerkraut, who has a masters degree in Liberal Arts and Finance, and paid for her education by using her football player physique to crush various monsters and people for money. Easier than getting a student loan, anyways.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/MissionHill'', Andy mentions that he minored in ''massage'' at his alma mater, the notorious (fictional) party school Borthchmore, who's main claim to fame is its high number of fraternity drinking deaths.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'':
** In one episode, Bender mentions that he went to Bending College, majoring in Bending and minoring in Robo-American Studies.
** In another episode, we even got a flashback to him getting this "major": as you would expect, it consisted of a data upload to his head. And then getting a diploma via robotic arm.
** In the first [[WhatIf "Anthology of Interest"]] episode, Zoidberg says that he took correspondence courses in Murderology and Murderonomy.
*** Zoidberg's medical specialty is supposedly humans. However, he was shocked to find out that Fry only possessed one mouth... because he ''majored'' in [[NotThatKindOfDoctor Art]] [[ArtMajorBiology History]].
* Jim "I'd Rather Not Talk About It" Moralès of ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'' seems to have an ExpansionPackPast composed entirely of these, in NoodleIncident format.
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'': DarkActionGirl and {{supervillain}}'s {{sidekick}} Shego majored in Child Development, which is plot-relevant when it's introduced but still unexpected.
* The ''WesternAnimation/VeggieTales'' spoof of ''Franchise/StarTrek'' had this conversation:
-->'''Junior:''' But why ask me for help?\\
'''Bob:''' Didn't you minor in aerospace technology at the Happy Tots Preschool?\\
'''Junior:''' Why, yes I did!\\
'''Larry:''' What did you major in?\\
'''Junior:''' Play-Doh.\\
'''Larry:''' Me too!
* An early pre-{{Flanderization}} episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' has Flanders joke that he had a [=PhD=] in "Mixology" and make Homer a cocktail that gets him immediately hammered.
* Ratso, one of the lower leveled intellects in ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'', says he studied Theoretical Physics before becoming a crook.
* An early episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' reveals that Music/DrDre does indeed have an actual [=PhD=], but when Chris asks him if he can fix himself up if he gets shot in a rap feud, Dr says that his degree is in optometry.
* A variation occurs in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'', when it turns out Fenton's girlfriend Gandra knows how to pilot a HumongousMecha. When asked about how she learned that...
--> Night school. Nail polishing class was full, so I took Advanced Espionage Robotics instead.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Robert Mugabe, President of [[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny Zimbabwe]], claims to have [[http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1817328,00.html a degree in violence]].
* Indiana University offers a [[http://www.indiana.edu/~imp/ "Build Your Own Major" major.]] It's the same way ''New York Times'' Crossword Puzzle Editor Will Shortz got his degree in Enigmatology.
* Creator/UweBoll holds a doctorate in Literature.
* Thanks to Polish psychologist Andrzej Łobaczewski, students may now receive an actual degree in evil--ponerology, in his terms. It's the study of societal causes of sociopathy and social injustice, although nonetheless his students can legitimately claim to have least taken a few courses in evil.
* Indie actress and screenwriter Creator/BritMarling majored in Economics at Georgetown University and was offered a job with Goldman Sachs, then turned it down to pursue acting.