"You must excuse Wimp Lo... he is an idiot. We have purposely trained him wrong, as a joke."
Alice has asked Bob to help her learn about a certain thing (for example, how to drive, since she's never bothered to learn). Or, maybe Bob has been assigned to act as a mentor of sorts at the workplace, since Alice is new there. However, rather than teach her properly, Bob decides to teach her all the wrong things. (This trope assumes that Bob is doing it on purpose; cases where Bob is making a sincere but incompetent effort don't count.)
The reasons for this vary. Perhaps Bob doesn't want Alice to pass her driving test; maybe he's afraid Alice will outshine him at work, so he tries to get her fired; perhaps Bob does this as a joke; or maybe Bob's just an asshole
. Whatever happens, you can be sure hilarity will ensue
This doesn't have to just be a tutor in the academic sense, but any time somebody is instructing another person in a subject. If it fails, may lead to Springtime for Hitler
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Anime and Manga
- When Amelia asks Lina to teach her the Dragon Slave in a season one episode of Slayers, Lina deliberately puts her through a pointless Training from Hell that has absolutely nothing to do with magic in the hopes that Amelia will give up and go away.
- In Welcome to the N.H.K., Misaki's stated goal for Sato is to help him overcome his hikikomori tendencies and become a functional member of society. In truth, she wants to make Sato dependent on her, so as to assuage her own feelings of worthlessness.
- This is a common plot device used in Naruto fanfiction. Naruto's lack of skills are often attributed to his teachers deliberately sabotaging his ninja training. This provides a convenient way for authors to explain his rapid growth in power once he begins learning things correctly.
- In the First Try Series, Naruto and many other Academy students were sabotaged by Academy teachers as part of large-scale plan to weaken Konoha.
- Guru of Dragon Ball Z Abridged encourages Nail to stand up to Freeza by telling him that he's a champion of the old ways. After he leaves, Guru comments that if he'd taught him in the new ways, he might have stood a chance.
- Dogtooth: The father and mother of the main characters purposefully teaches them incorrect definitions to words in order to manipulate their world view and prevent them from ever learning certain concepts.
- Harry Potter suspects Snape of this when Snape teaches him Occlumency. He was wrong: turns out Harry's just really bad at Occlumency. Not that it makes Snape any less of a lousy teacher. The same applies to Potions, as Harry notes in the Half-Blood Prince that he finds Potions easier because Snape isn't shadowing over them like a bat, ready to bite their heads off at over all small mistakes while he's insulting them.
- In Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Corelli wants to get on with the people whose village his men are occupying, so he asks an Italian-speaking local to teach him how to greet the villagers in their own language. The "greeting" he gets taught is thoroughly impolite, and causes him to become even less popular.
- In Warrior Cats, Lionblaze claims that Ashfur (who has a grudge against Lionblaze's parents, as he was part of a Love Triangle involving them) has been teaching him to do everything the wrong way. Brambleclaw (Lionblaze's father), is shocked at the accusation because he knows it could possibly be true, but he also scolds Lionblaze for blaming others.
- There's a whole series of humour books called "Great Lies To Tell Small Kids".
- In the first book of the Darth Bane series, the Brotherhood's lightsaber instructor always warned his students that Dual Wielding lightsabers was Awesome but Impractical. When Bane duels him later in the book, the instructor suddenly starts dual wielding lightsabers. Bane realizes the real reason for the instructor's "warnings".
- In the The Witcher short story "The Last Wish", Geralt recites what he was taught was a multipurpose exorcism. It turns out to be a translation of "go and fuck yourself". The Literal Genie he used it on is very angry.
Live Action TV
- In Teenagers from Outer Space, human characters have the ability "Fake Out", representing their ability to convince an alien visitor of almost anything regarding Earth culture, customs, and what is cool, since after all a human would be an expert on the subject. (The attempt succeeds on a d6 roll of three or higher.) Teaching them wildly inappropriate things is the most common practice. (Although telling the hot alien babe you want to date that kissing is a standard form of casual greeting will backfire horribly.)
- Played as a dramatic plot twist in Jade Empire. It is revealed that your master deliberately built in weaknesses into your fighting style, so that he could take you down after revealing that his name, Sun Li The Glorious Strategist was well-earned. The weakness is mentioned repeatedly by various masters, but they assume it's merely a ploy by you to lure them into a trap, as it's been specifically designed by Sun Li in such a way that only he can take advantage of it and no one else.
- From the Street Fighter mythos: While training Dan, Gouken asks him his reason for taking up martial arts. When Dan tells him that it is so he can kill Sagat to avenge his father's death, Gouken lied and told him that his training is complete. Dan believes that there is nothing left for him to learn when in fact he is very lacking in technique.
- Most Popular Chinese Tattoo Symbols. Totally not a prank.
- A Brief Synopsis of The Lord of the Rings Subtitled "Your homework done for free!" and you get what you paid for. Notable for having fooled a London Sunday Times reporter.
- Has been known to happen with American POWs during the Cold War being forced to teach enemy spies about how to pass as an American. For example, they might say to NVA agents that the Dead Man's Hand in poker is two pair, kings and jacks (it's aces and eights).
- This is a common retaliation against bullies and cheaters on notalwayslearning.com. Here are examples.