Sadist Teacher

aka: Sadistic Teacher

"When we grew up and went to school
There were certain teachers who
Would hurt the children any way they could
By pouring their derision
Upon anything we did
Exposing every weakness
However carefully hidden by the kids"
Pink Floyd, The Wall, "The Happiest Days of Our Lives"

So you made it past the evil bus driver, avoided the cafeteria lady with her Mystery Meat, and dodged The Bully in the schoolyard. You're safe now, right?

Guess again. Now it's time to face... that teacher.

You know which one. The teacher who singles you out for ridicule and humiliation. The one who openly mocks you in front of the rest of the class. The one who tells you they want you to fail because you don't deserve to move up. If you're not paying enough attention in class, beware of flying objects. If they teach gym, you'd better be ready for Dodgeball Hell every day, if not worse. They're the Sadist Teacher, the education system's answer to Drill Sergeant Nasty (or worse).

Sometimes they hate all children, but sometimes it's just one special child who becomes the target of their rancor. Either way, they are as cruel as they can possibly be within the confines of their job, but because they're a teacher, anyone seeking justice for their sadistic behavior is likely to be summarily dismissed.

They're also almost always the most suspicious of the Ordinary High-School Student with a Secret Identity and determined to uncover the Masquerade. Worse, maybe they have discovered it, and now the hero has to keep them from proving it.

Principals, counselors, and coaches are no exceptions to this trope. Sadly, after escaping them at graduation, the hero may run into their classier (but just as cruel) college equivalent, Dean Bitterman.

All too often this is a case of Truth in Television. Sometimes this trope will be inspired by the creator's own personal experiences, but many examples take it Up to Eleven and portray levels of abuse to the point where it crosses the Moral Event Horizon that would have any real teacher fired or arrested on the spot.

See Stern Teacher for their more reasonable counterpart. Dean Bitterman is usually somewhere in between. May overlap with Evil Teacher, or with Sinister Minister in a parochial school. Pick on Someone Your Own Size comes in any time an adult sees a child or teenager as a personal enemy. Commonly found in a Boarding School of Horrors. Contrast Hippie Teacher, Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher, and Badass Teacher.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Taken to its literal extremes in the different teachers for the book, manga and film versions of Battle Royale.
    • In the manga version at least, the "teacher", who is also the host of "the Program", shoots one student twice when he raises a furor over the fact that said teacher raped his caretaker, then sinks a knife into another student's head for talking. In all three versions, when some of the students are about to escape the island, they make a point of finding and killing the "teacher".
    • In the manga, there's an interlude during the Sugimura/Kotohiki section that talks about Jaguar, a gym teacher they had. Jaguar was a jerk, challenging the students to martial arts duels and humiliating and/or hurting them when they wouldn't fight back. He eventually challenged Kiriyama, who plucked out and squished his eye.
  • The Kirby anime series has King Dedede setting up a school. The teachers are required to wear this hat while teaching. Their lessons included math (throwing students across rooms for wrong answers), science (splitting plutonium!) and so on... And the producer is embarrassed.
  • Several examples in Gokusen, all of which are fairly realistic and Played for Drama; you've got a teacher that purposefully isolated a student he didn't like for no reason, a teacher that refused to give one student an education because the student was delinquent-ish... and then you have a teacher who is literally a sadist with a BDSM fetish and has a very disturbing obsession with one of the high school-aged protagonists...
  • Yukari from Azumanga Daioh with disturbing frequency abuses her students for such things as "going on vacation with his parents" or being shorter than the rest of the students.
  • Played with on Yu-Gi-Oh! GX with Professor Chronos. In addition to being as biased as Snape to the students in his dorm, Chronos has a personal grudge against Judai for publicly defeating him in a duel and thus devoted Season 1 to trying to get Judai kicked out of school. However, Chronos has had his moments that prove deep down, he really cares about his students. He also manages to combine a Heroic Sacrifice with a Rousing Speech to raise his students' morale, just before getting beaten by one of the Shadow Riders.
  • The first 7 volumes of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! have: a Vamp who dates men and breaks their hearts for the hell of it, a sadistic guidance counselor who regularly mocks the lower-scoring students and tried to stomp on Anzu/Tea's electronic keychain, and a gym teacher who bullies Bakura because of his hairstyle. All three found themselves on the receiving end of karma in the end, though (the Vamp had her makeup peeled off, revealing how ugly she really was to the whole class; the counselor was revealed to be bald and wearing a toupee; the gym teacher got turned into an RPG figurine by Dark Bakura).
  • And The Vamp, Chono, likes ordering desk inspections so that she can catch students with contraband and have them expelled. She does this with the puzzle love letter Honda made for Miho, but Dark Yugi gives her the Shadow Game as soon as she completes the puzzle to determine whether Yugi, Jounouchi or Honda had given it to Miho, as all three claimed responsibility.
    • Though the gym teacher got turned back once Dark Yugi beat Dark Bakura, and goes back to being his old Jerkass self.
  • Chrono/Crowler shows some sadistic tendencies in the GX manga, like when he forced Judai and Sho to duel each other after Sho got a zero on a test (which wasn't even his actual grade, as it was a preliminary form, and the zero was a formality since he'd forgotten to write his name), and Judai had failed every test since entering. If Judai won, Sho would have been expelled, but if Sho won, Judai's deck, which he got from world champion Koyo Hibiki, would have been confiscated. Judai wins and Midori comes to resolve the misundertanding, but while she plans on informing the principal, apparently, nothing happens to Chrono.
  • Hell Girl follows a group of supernatural beings who can be "hired" to send one person bodily to Hell, at the cost of the contractors' soul upon death. Sadist Teachers are some of their more frequent victims, ranging from a literal sadist who felt sexual pleasure from humiliating one of her female students, to an extremely strict teacher who kept a notebook full of details about the students' misbehavior (which, it turns out, was actually blank).
  • Mr. Iwamoto and Mr. Akashi from YuYu Hakusho. The latter forces Kuwabara and his friends to swear off violence under threat of Okubo losing permission for his job, which he needs to provide for his family. When the students keep their end of the bargain, he forces them to score above 50% on the next test. When even Kuwabara succeeds, he alters his test score to provoke him to hit him and break the agreement, but he relents with Yusuke's help. Mr. Iwamoto takes items out of students' bags to frame Yusuke, and keeps one student's pen for himself. Why Mr. Takanaka, the principal (and decent guy) hasn't fired their asses, the world will never know.
    • Mr. Akashi isn't seen after Takanaka catches him altering Kuwabara's test score, so his ass probably was fired.
    • When Yusuke dies in the first episode of the series, these two actually discuss how happy they are that they don't have to put up with him anymore. At his funeral.
    • Iwamoto's sadistic tendencies really come out when he's possessed by a Makai insect and tries to kill Keiko for simply being associated with Yusuke.
    • Two other teachers in a manga-only arc did their utmost to set their prize pupils at each other's throats in a competition to see who in their school would be able to produce the one student who would go on to a prestigious high school. The fact that the girls in question had been friends before they did this didn't matter to them. In the end, the girls decided that their friendship was more important than the egos of all involved and selected a slightly less prestigious high school that they could both attend.
  • Miss Minchin from Shokojo Sera makes her novel counterpart look positively benign. Not only is she greedy and unjust, but she resents the slightest threat to her inflated self-esteem, and has serious anger management issues.
  • Soul Eater: Franken Stein will beat up students for the purposes of training, throw scalpels at them, and speculate on experimenting upon one girl after pointing out his previous test subject was her father, and also his former Weapon. His sadistic tendencies are usually played for laughs, but in serious moments including his introduction, are genuinely creepy. And it's not too difficult to imagine him making good on any of his "dissection" threats. With that description, it's worth pointing out that Stein is a decent guy, who seems to genuinely care about his students. Well, okay, a guy who makes an effort to be decent because his less-than-decent compulsions scare even him.
  • Gunjou-sensei from Super Gals, an unrepentant Social Darwinist at heart, forced his class to bully the girl who he blamed for their loss at the sports festival. When Ran confronted him about this, he punched her. Protip: don't punch the student who punches back even harder.
  • In one Ghost Hunt arc, Hideaki Matsuyama was so obsessed about his students applying themselves academically, he would destroy his student's personal belongings for not being related to classwork. He actually drove one student to suicide - but not before the student created a ritual curse intended to kill his tormentor and tricked half the student body into continuing the ritual.
  • Higanbana No Saku Yoru Ni: In the first manga story, Yoshihito Kanamori, the teacher who initially defended protagonist Marie Moriya against her cruel classmates, has taken to sexually molesting her during their "supplementary lessons" to relieve the stress of the job. Between his abuse and the abuse that she still has to deal with from her classmates, it's little wonder that poor Marie wants to become a youkai.
  • The school staff from Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu seems to be this, if not just lazy. They fail Himeji on her placement exam despite the fact that she was having a medical emergency. They blatantly insult the students of Class F, calling them idiots to their faces. No one ever seems to break it up whenever Minami beats the everloving crap out of Akihisa. How these people became educators is beyond me.
    • Surprisingly, Mr. Nishimura (who is definitely one of these when he takes the students away for remedial lessons) is a Reasonable Authority Figure as well.
  • Being a deconstruction of the Fighting Series Played for Laughs, Muteki Kanban Musume has Kayahara Sensei: she tries to be a Save Our Students teacher, and she is a Bully Hunter, always trying to stop any abuse. Unfortunately, she is always depressed (maybe because she cannot admit to herself that she doesn’t enjoy teaching) and for that, is always being taken as a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl, all her students are very afraid of her.

    Comic Books 
  • In the 4th volume of The Sandman, "Season Of Mists", Lucifer closes down Hell, so all the damned are forced to wonder other places of the universe, including Earth. One chapter focuses on a boy at a boarding school left there for the holidays when this happens. The students who died while at school and went to hell are all resurrected, as is an old headmaster who proceeds to openly torture and torment the student body using old-school punishments. He is literally a teacher from hell. To be fair, he's the only dead headmaster to come back to life, implying the others were nice enough to go Heaven, but even before the dead rose, the school was shown as a very depressing place.
  • James-Michael from Omega The Unknown encounters this when he first arrives at his Inner City School, where the teacher is so flustered and mistrustful of children, he hits James-Michale before he even has a chance to introduce himself.
  • Teacher in The Bash Street Kids is usually just stuck with an uncontrollable class (except for the pet). Well, one annual had him bring the kids (along with goody two-shoes Walter, and Dennis the Menace and Minnie the Minx) on a field trip. Nice, right? Except it was a trip into space. After which, obviously with his approval, Walter and Cuthbert LAUNCH ALL THE TROUBLEMAKING KIDS INTO SPACE. Where they realized that they would fly through space forever. Sure, everything works out in the end, and the kids were a bunch of jerkasses, but he was essentially starving a bunch of kids to death. Beware the Nice Ones!
  • The British comic strip Billy Bunter often featured Billy getting beaten by his sadist headmaster, even on those occasions where something wasn't his own fault.
  • In the story Batman: Gothic, it's shown that Bruce had one of these growing up, named Mr. Winchester, as if his childhood wasn't messed up enough already. to most people, he appeared to simply be an extremely mean spirited sadistic brute, who was eventually fired for some sort of "scandal." Bruce reveals however, that Mr. Winchester murdered a boy there, and it's eventually found out that he is the villain of the story, and made a Deal with the Devil to live forever, and has done all sorts of atrocities over the years.
  • ''Legion of Super-Heroes: Rejected Legion applicant Eyeful Ethel later joined the Justice League of Earth as a teacher at their satellite headquarters, "reeducating" Earth children about Superman's supposed human origins. While Ethel does not physically abuse any of her students, she takes a great amount of pleasure knowing that they will believe everything she tells them simply because she's their teacher, including lies about how the Martian Manhunter was an alien invader and that the Legion of Super-Heroes were alien terrorists. While not the most violent or powerful, Ethel's by far the worst member of the League due to the sadistic pleasure she takes in exploiting impressionable young children.
  • Urbanus: Meester Kweepeer is a sadist teacher, Up to Eleven, though this could also be the result of Urbanus' bad behaviour. He beats the pupils up, gives them impossible to answer exam questions, orders them to strip naked so that they are unable to cheat during a test, takes credit for stuff they discovered and makes everybody repeat the same grade each year.
  • St. Trinians: In this series of drawn cartoons by Ronald Searle the pupils of a local girls' school are all shown to be juvenile delinquents who are frequently seen murdering and torturing their fellow students, while also being mistreated by their teachers too, by being hung by their wrists in cellars for instance.

    Fan Works 
  • Mr. Davidson in a similar work. He likes shooting aliens and talking about George Bush and shit.
  • It's clear by now that the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom loves the Ron the Death Eater trope. An infamous fic to take this trope is a surprising-not-Cupcakes-inspired fic entitled Cheerilee's Garden. In said fic, Cheerilee gets fed up with her classes behaviour, even questioning her Cutie Mark in the process. So, what does she do? Frackin' KILL them by, in this order, Impaling them with spears, crushing them with a lead block, disolving them in acid, setting them on fire, eaten alive by rats, impaled vampire-style with their own unicorn-horn, and drowned in their own friends blood. All of which masquerades as a school play. In the direct sequel called Scarlet Harvest, she does arguably worse things to the mane 6 and Spike. It's safe to assume she can be considered this and in the sequel, she can also be considered a villain with good publicity, even more so than this trope by itself implies.
  • In Discworld fanfiction set at the Assassins' Guild School, the Teacher-Assassins develop a canonical theme where pupils who have been slack, or lazy, or over-confident (or who have simply annoyed the teacher) are sent out on humiliating tasks, or painful assignments which are bound to fail. This is partly to instruct, educate and correct the pupil, and partly so the teaching staff can compare notes and have a jolly good laugh in the staffroom later. Assignments given by teachers have included Extra Elephants at the city zoo ("Wear old clothes. A shovel and a wheelbarrow will be provided."); being sent to the University to research supernatural entities, whose theoretical inhumation can win prizes (the unfortunate student involved ended up looking at the wrong entities, and became catatonic with terror); or merely being sent to deliver a message to Sam Vimes.
  • In New Chance, Minato is this to Iruka. Iruka considers that being a Jonin. Minato decides to be his teacher.
    Minato: (pointing at a food stand) "There!"
    Iruka: "Dango will help me become a Jonin?"
    Minato: "No. You see Mitarashi Anko there? (Iruka nods) Well go grope her."
    Iruka: "WHAT!?
    Minato: "Come on! If you can outrun or hide from her it means you're getting better."
    Iruka: "And if she catches me!?"
    Minato: (smiling) "You get to work on increasing your pain threshold."

    Films — Animated 
  • Master Shifu initially comes across as this towards Po in Kungfu Panda, putting him through a lot of butt-kicking and torture and calling it Training, because he believes that Po is not worthy of the title of Dragon Warrior (a position to which Grand Master Oogway himself appointed Po). Later Shifu becomes more of a Stern Teacher and sincerely tries to teach Po the ways of kung fu, through much discipline and exercise.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Professor Terguson in Back to School, harassing college students over the Vietnam War.
    Prof. Terguson: Is she right? 'Cause I know that's the popular version of what went on there. And a lot of people like to believe that. I wish I could, but I was there. I wasn't here in a class room, hoping I was right, thinking about it. I WAS UP TO MY KNEES IN RICE PADDIES, WITH GUNS THAT DIDN'T WORK! GOING IN THERE, LOOKING FOR CHARLIE, SLUGGING IT OUT WITH HIM, WHILE PUSSIES LIKE YOU WERE BACK HERE PARTYING, PUTTING HEADBANDS ON, DOING DRUGS, AND LISTENING TO THE GODDAMN BEATLE ALBUMS! AAAAAAAAAAH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! AAAAAAAAAAAAH!
  • Kids in America (2005) - The main plot of the film involves a group of high school students’ goal to prevent their principal, Donna Weller, from becoming State Superintendent. Since she uses authoritarian methods to suppress the students’ right to free expression and firing a teacher for blocking up them, the entire student body team up to prevent students in other schools from meeting the same faith by telling the voters directly and getting the media involved.
  • Whiplash: Terence Fletcher is a disgustingly callous perfectionist who hurls bile at his students to push them past their limits. His methods work, but the mental scars they leave make it questionable if the skill is worth it.

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events:
    • Vice Principal Nero, a Small Name, Big Ego type who mercilessly butchers the violin every night but considers himself to be a genius. He forces the students of Prufrock Preparatory School to attend six hour concerts, and punishment for not showing up is having to buy him a large bag of candy and watch him eat it. He also loves mimicking the Baudelaire siblings every chance he gets, forces them to leave in a horrible little shack infested with crabs and fungus, and makes Sunny his secretary.
    • Olaf as Coach Genghis, who purposefully makes the Baudelaires run laps all night in order for them to do poorly in class. Nero praises him as "the greatest gym teacher in the world" after Olaf praises his musical "genius".
    • Subverted with Mr. Remora and Mrs. Bass, who are not evil so much as they are very, very bad teachers. Remora's class consists of him endlessly telling short, boring stories while eating bananas, and Bass is obsessed with measuring things. When they are forced to give the Baudelaires "special exams" for sleeping in class (which they studied for thanks to notes collected by Duncan and Isadora Quagmire), by the third question they realize Violet and Klaus are actually very smart students, and only continue the exam because of Nero. They ask Nero if they can give an extra hard exam to Carmelita Spats instead because she's so awful, and when Nero decides he's going to expel the Baudelaires anyway for skipping gym, Remora and Bass state it's not cheating if you're trying to make sure athletics don't affect your schoolwork. They aren't in a position to do anything since Nero is their boss, so they prove to be just as useless as the rest of the adults in the series.
  • Already in the 19th century Charles Dickens wrote about sadist teachers.
    • Wackford Squeers from Nicholas Nickleby. He runs an orphanage full of unwanted children and asks for a large fee. Then he starves and mistreats them while using the money sent by their parents to pad his own pockets. He and his wife regularly beat up the children, while spoiling their own son. The character was rumored to have been based on a notorious English headmaster, William Shaw, who once beat a boy so badly that he turned blind. Dickens denied the claims, however, out of fear for libel.
    • Mr. Creakle, of David Copperfield. He is a harsh boarding school headmaster who singles out David for extra torment. Later in the novel he does have a change of heart, though.
  • Principal Trunchbull of Matilda, reputedly used by Roald Dahl as a surrogate for all the cruel tutors he had over the years. Her treatment of children, as Matilda deduces, is deliberately so extreme and outlandish that no kid's parents will believe the truth even on the off chance any child got up the courage to tell. It is also explained that the parents are just as terrified as the kids. She cites Wackford Squeers from Nicholas Nickleby as inspiration: "He knew how to handle the little brutes, didn't he!" Plus the way she treats her own niece, the much more benevolent teacher Miss Honey.... It's actually implied that Trunchbull even may have had a hand in Miss Honey's father's death. Made even more explicit later, when Matilda uses her telekinetic powers to write on the blackboard, pretending to be the ghost of Miss Honey's father: "[...] or I will come and get you... like you got me." Trunchbull is appropriately terrified, and the illustration shows her reflexively grasping at her throat.
  • Goose Bumps: Mr. Murphy from Monster Blood II mocks Evan for falling asleep in class, doesn't give him a second thought when he ends up being trapped inside a locker by bullies, forces him to sit down in his chair (which is covered with goo) without giving him a chance to explain himself, and scolds him for lightly tapping a student on the head.
  • Captain Lancaster in Danny, the Champion of the World is a more realistic example. He wants to be named captain instead of headmaster (which was his rank during the war). He is described as prying on the children while rustling his moustache hairs in order to catch them on tiny mistakes. In the book he hears Danny and his school boy friend talk while finishing an exercise. He immediately orders them to come forward and beats their hands with a very thin cane. Dahl based this teacher on one of his actual headmasters, a certain Captain Hardcastle. The incident described in the novel is almost word-for-word a real anecdote between Hardcastle and Dahl, described in Dahl's autobiography Boy.
  • Brother Leon from The Chocolate War. He fails David Caroni, a straight-A student, to show Jerry what he's willing to do if the chocolates aren't sold.
  • In Chip Kidd's novel The Cheese Monkeys, Professor Sorbeck straddles the line between this and Stern Teacher. A notable example: the class is Graphic Design, the assignment is to illustrate a word with appropriate form for the word's content. A student presents his rendition of "HOT" made of match-heads stuck to posterboard with rubber cement. Sorbeck scowls at this and has the student touch it. Is his finger warmed? No? So it's not very hot, is it, which would make it an F. The student loses some composure — at which point Sorbeck tosses him a cigarette lighter and points out that he can remedy the situation. After a little browbeating, the student lights his work, resulting in a brief, intense conflagration and a large scorch mark on the wall. Sorbeck blandly comments that it was an A while it was going.
  • In the Stephen King novella "The Body" (and its movie adaptation, Stand by Me), Chris Chambers tells Gordie how he stole their class's milk money, had a change of heart and tried to return it, only to have their teacher steal the money in turn and then blame it on Chris, whose reputation for criminal mischief came back to haunt him.
  • Lucy Maud Montgomery's heroines almost always fall victim to this teacher. Probably the worst offender was Miss Brownell, of Emily of New Moon fame. Her worst offense was taking Emily's manuscripts in class and reading aloud Emily's poems in a mocking voice, with snide comments, and occasionally accusing Emily of passing off other author's works as her own. When Emily refused to apologize for writing poetry in class, Miss Brownell came to New Moon and tried to convince Emily's guardian to force the girl to kneel to Miss Brownell and apologize.
    • The TV series topped her with an even worse male teacher who made racist remarks and beat an Indian boy for not answering him fast enough, then beat Emily when she tried to stop him.
  • Harry Potter
  • Mrs. Gorf in the first book of Louis Sachar's Wayside School series turns her students into apples when they do anything wrong. Including sneezing in class. The students manage to outsmart her by forcing her to turn them back into humans and tricking her into turning herself into an apple, which Louis then unknowingly eats.
    • Wendy Nogard in Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger is a more subtle (but even more insidious) example: while she appears to be a sweet, considerate teacher, she uses her mind-reading abilities to humiliate and turn her students against each other — all without ever compromising her "nice teacher" facade. An example of this is when, during a homework-checking session, she deliberately calls on the one student who has the incorrect answer for each question, and using the resulting slew of wrong answers to retract her promise of no homework for that day. Every student ends up hating all the others for being idiots who cheated him/her out of a homework-free afternoon, even though in reality none of them missed more than two questions on the assignment.
    • Wayside School had terrible luck with their substitute teachers.
      • Their first one, Mr. Gorf, was actually the son of Mrs. Gorf and had the freakish ability to steal the voices of people through his nose! Which had three nostrils! Then, when he had stolen the students' voices, he called their parents up and used their voices to say terrible things, making their parents think the kids hated them.
      • Their second substitute, Ms. Drazil, seemed very nice at first but turned out to be the yard teacher Louis's old teacher and according to him had humiliated him over the state of his nails and put a wastebasket over his head so he couldn't read the board and failed him as a result of not being able to answer the questions. While she never does any of this to the Wayside kids, she does resume her tyrannical control over Louis which is enough to make the students hate her. Oh, and it's later revealed that she kept a blue notebook with information on various students she held grudges with and upon getting a lead on a girl who escaped, tracks down said girl (now a successful dentist) and breaks into her house yelling that the girl has homework to do. And the girl was expecting something like this to happen, even keeping a suitcase and getaway boat for the occasion!
      • Oddly, it's implied the reason Ms. Drazil was so nice to the Wayside kids because she was trying to atone for her former strict tendencies. The unexpected arrival of Louis and the dentist force her right back into her old habits when she chases the latter down.
      • Even the regular teachers aren't always safe. One chapter in Sideways Stories from Wayside School comments that every nice teacher has a mean teacher wanting to break out and illustrates this by showing a class in which Ms Jewel's "mean teacher" breaks out and threatens to dump pickle brine on a student for being unable to answer three questions (to be fair, the questions were "what's seven plus five", "what's the capital of England", and "how do you make pickles" and she is cured by having brine dumped on herself).
      • The principal, named Mr. Kidswatter, is apparently a holy terror and students dread going to his office. At one point, the intercom catches him going on about how much he hates kids.
  • Eliza Jane Wilder, the idealistic but ineffectual new De Smet schoolmarm from the Little House books, whose pet was the Alpha Bitch Nellie Oleson, Laura's longtime rival. After Laura taunts Nellie with the fact that Mr. Oleson isn't on the school board and Laura's dad is, Nellie retaliates by convincing Miss Wilder that Laura is fomenting all the trouble in school because she thinks she's untouchable. Miss Wilder's growing spite, as the class' rebellion gets more and more open, eventually leads to her imposing a far too harsh punishment on Laura's sickly little sister Carrie (even though another girl was equally guilty, Eliza Jane let her off scot-free). Things eventually get so out-of-control that the school board is called in, and Miss Wilder takes the opportunity to triumphantly denounce Laura to her father... except that Laura, oblivious to any of this subtext, has actually been trying her best to discourage the mischief, and is stunned. We never do find out if Miss Wilder learns the truth, but apparently when she became Laura's sister-in-law a few years later their relationship was notably strained. Go figure.
    • The first season of the TV series also had an episode that featured a sadistic substitute teacher.
  • Viola Swamp from Miss Nelson is Missing: A very nice teacher with an unmanageable class suddenly goes AWOL from her class for a period, and the class celebrates... until the wretched Viola Swamp takes over as the teacher causing the class to ultimately be so grateful when Miss Nelson returns that they shape up and start behaving better. At the very end we discover that Viola was actually Miss Nelson in disguise.
  • Professor Mericet of the Assassins' Guild (teaching Strategy and Poison Theory) in Discworld. Rumour amongst the students is that if you get him as the examiner for your final exam, you might as well kill yourself immediately and save time. The events of Pyramids show this isn't entirely true, although he does expect the student to identify a thiefsign he's "accidentally" holding upside down.
  • An extremely mild case of this trope applies to Fudge's first kindergarten teacher in Superfudge. While actual deliberate cruelty is not shown, she refuses to call him "Fudge" even when this sends him into screaming fits, and her students behave like little robots without a spark of individuality.
    "Fudge" actually tells off the teacher at the very end of the chapter by calling her 'Rat Face'.
  • Osip Senkovsky is portrayed as this in The Death of the Vazir Mukhtar, when asked to preside over an exam in the School of Oriental Languages. He is passive-agressive, demanding, perfectionistic and hammy as he bombards hapless students with questions about and demands for translations of Arabic and Persian poetry. The main character is eventually compelled to intercede, after which point Senkovsky considerably mellows out.
  • Apparently, Fitz, from the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, attracted these; it seems he's had several, which may explain why he's fairly Book Dumb:
    Scraped-back grey hair and a snotty manner; this woman reminded Fitz of his old maths teacher. One of the ones who used to say things like, ‘that may be how you used to do things in Germany’ really sarcastically, knowing Fitz’d never been further than the other end of Southend pier in his life.note 
  • In Louis Sachar's Someday Angeline, Mrs. Hardlick is one of the sixth-grade teachers, and the titular Angeline, eight-year-old child genius, has the misfortune to be sent to her class. Mrs. Hardlick frequently gives the class wrong information and gets angry when Angeline corrects her, and takes immense delight in telling students that they answered incorrectly. On her first day of class, Angeline is driven to tears and sucks on her thumb to console herself, prompting Mrs. Hardlick to taunt her about it in front of the whole class (who start laughing at her), and gleefully tells her "Only babies suck their thumbs!" After Angeline's father forces her to resign from being "Secretary of Trash" (meaning she empties the garbage bin), Hardlick refuses to listen, or to let her resign, and then says she'll send a letter to Angeline's mother about her—simply tossing an uncaring "Too bad," when the girl tries to tell her that her mother is dead. When Angeline later reads said letter, she finds Hardlick didn't even bother writing to her father, but wrote to her mother even after being told her mother was dead, then made it sound like Angeline was loud, disruptive, and destructive—all lies. (Even the other teachers know how horrible Hardlick is—the fifth-grade teacher, Miss Turbone, admits "If I were in [Mrs. Hardlick's] class, I'd [skip school], too.")
  • The principal, Mr. Payne in The Year My Parents Ruined My Life is an asshole in general, biased against the protagonist because he crashed into her parents' car (and is now faking a neck injury) and is, oh yeah, racist. Which he does not make a secret about, in regards to one of the fourth-grade protagonist's friends, a Japanese-American girl.
  • Mr Large, the chief physical trainer at the CHERUB campus. Partly justified in that he has the job of ensuring ordinary children develop special-forces levels of physical and mental toughness, so shouting at exhausted children and forcing then to run laps until they vomit or making them spend the night outside in thin clothing in December is expected, but the fact is he A: enjoys it and B: picks on specific children who anger him unfairly. He at one point takes the children in basic 100 day training out on Christmas day, lines them up outside the campus canteen so they can see the other children inside having Christmas dinner, and makes them do push-ups. When this fails to break their spirit he blames it on specific children he has a grudge against and punishes them for little reason.
  • In the Sidney Sheldon novel Nothing Last Forever, Dr. Paige Taylor deals with an attending physician who criticizes her endlessly for everything she does or doesn't do. Only when he's almost broken her spirit does he finally admit that he actually regards her very highly as a doctor and was so hard on her because he wanted her to be perfect.
  • In Mysterious Ways A Divine Comedy, Ms. Slaphappy is well-known for slapping (read "assualting") students with a ruler whenever she thinks they're sleeping, talking back, not paying attention, or just not doing well in class. Made way worse because it's a school for angels, and the class is all about learning to meditate and use magic, both of which look like sleep and are hard to do when under attack, leading to a Catch-22.
  • Horrible Histories: A Running Gag in every book is that all teachers are sadistic, cruel and shouldn't be pitied. Author Terry Deary had very bad memories of his school years and feels he never learned a thing. In the book about the Second World War Deary claims that Hitler survived the war: "He was my teacher in secondary school. I know this for sure!"
  • Mr. Click of A Bad Day For Voodoo. He gives Tyler an undeserved F, and announces to the entire class when a kid gets a bad grade.
  • Deconstructed in The Great Brain. In the first book, boys' old teacher retires and is replaced by Mr. Standish, who paddles students over the slightest infraction (bare in mind, paddling was a common punishment in schools at the time). After Tom himself gets spanked, he decides to take revenge by setting him up to look like a closeted drinker and nearly gets him fired as a result. While it's firmly established that Tom went too far when the truth gets out, Mr. Standish does end up experiencing something of a Heel Realization, and eases up on the class.
  • Mr. Nagy from Vampire Academy, "legendary for his ability to humiliate students by reading notes aloud". He seems to take pleasure in revealing their embarrassing secrets in public.
  • The teacher described in Michael Rosen's poem "Strict", who forbids students from breathing in her class. Those who didn't keel over and die from not breathing were sent to "school prison" if they slammed the desk lid while snatching a quick breath under the desk, where they'd be strung up in a dungeon with rats nibbling at their toes.
    "Ma'am? Can I go out and do some breathing?"
    "No! You've got all playtime to do that!"

    Live Action TV 
  • A.N.T. Farm: Principal Skidmore, who uses the eponymous A.N.T. Farm as a sweat shop. On one occasion, she herself admitted that the entire purpose of the A.N.T. Farm is so she can exploit the students' talents for her own use.
  • The Secret World of Alex Mack: Alex, in one episode has to do a science project for a teacher who also had her older sister Annie for a student. as such, the teacher continually mocks Alex for not being as smart as Annie, provoking Alex to use her powers to "spice up" her project in a way that would be very hard to explain.
  • Family Ties:
    • In the episode "The Harder They Fall", Reuben Tedesco is an insufferably rude and insulting to parents as well as students, he provokes both Keaton parents to violence when Mr. Tedesco can't shut his mouth:
      Mother 1: My son says you're always insulting him in front of the other students. You call him names.
      Tedesco: Who's your son?
      Mother 1: Larry Morgan.
      Tedesco: Larry the Loser? Madam, your son is a pimple-faced liar!
      Mother 2: My daughter Cindy so enjoyed reading The Little Prince. Is there anything else you could recommend for her?
      Tedesco: Yes, I'd recommend she lose about forty pounds. You could lose about thirty yourself.
    • Tedesco happens to be one of Alex's favorite teachers, and Alex is at first upset with his parents; however, Alex eventually realizes Tedesco is modeling behavior he doesn't want to be associated with and dis-associates with him.
  • Bonanza: The 1972 episode "First Love" focused on the school's new headmaster Dan Edwards, who belittles and humiliates the students ... except for star pupil Jamie Hunter Cartwright, who somehow meets the teacher's demands. But the teacher-student relationship is doomed by other means, as Jamie becomes friends with Mr. Edwards' wife, Kelly ... who is abused by her husband. In the end, Jamie tells Mr. Edwards that he is aware that he is abusive, and after Edwards slaps Jamie it isn't long before he is run out of Virginia City.
  • Little House on the Prairie: In the 1976 episode "Troublemaker", Miss Beadle is fired for her inability to control the older students (but that's largely and solely due to the influence of Mrs. Oleson). Miss Beadle is replaced by Hannibal Applewood, a mean, cruel headmaster that singles out Laura Ingalls as the school's bad seed after she is incorrectly blamed for a series of infractions the other students were responsible for, thanks to a completely false tip by Mrs. Oleson. Charles learns about "Mr. Crabapple" and his past and, after confronting Applewood about his demeanor, forces his resignation. Mrs. Beadle is returned to her job and the schoolchildren finally stand up to the school's true troublemakers.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch:
    • Principal Kraft. Where he will give out detention slips at the literal Drop Of A Hat.
    • An episode had the one-off character Mr. Rockwell, a rude and incredibly sadistic maths teacher (for example, after warning students that anyone who was late to the test by even a second would fail, he shuts the door and taunts a student who was one second late due to helping a fellow student in a wheelchair). Sabrina asks her aunts for help and they eventually get him to stand trial in an Other Realm court, where he claims he hates teaching and is only doing it to raise money for his computer start-up. Rockwell is then sentenced to his worst nightmare: remaining a maths teacher for the rest of his life. When Sabrina complaints about the effect this ends up having on those unfortunate to be his students, Zelda handwaves this by claiming he teaches them a "valuable lesson" that some people are just jerks. Yay.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Principal Snyder. He does explain why he's a teacher, despite hating kids: "Somebody has to keep an eye on them." An example of an Aborted Arc, as the end of an episode reveals he's among Mayor Wilkins' inner circle and is aware of the existence of vampires. The Season 2 finale also shows him reacting more with glee that Buffy is wanted by the police rather than nervous of being in the presence of a mundane juvenile delinquent. After she was cleared of all charges, Snyder still refused to let her back into Sunnydale High simply because he was glad that she was gone, but the school board, along with physical and professional threats from Giles, forced him to change his mind. However, he's returned to standard Sadist Teacher when Season 3 begins, and is as astonished as anyone when the Mayor ascends.
  • Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide:
    • Played for Laughs with Mr. Sweeney. In one episode, Ned asks Mr. Sweeney to explain how a science fair diorama should look. In response, Mr. Sweeney reaches behind his desk, takes out an elaborately detailed diorama explaining why Ned is likely to get an "F" on his science fair project — and shows it to the whole class. However, he does soften up over time, with the eventual result being that Sweeney was only sadistic from Ned's point of view and Ned usually deserved the grades Sweeney gave him.
    • Sweeney also subverts this trope in the Grand Finale, where he admits to Ned (who is hanging upside in a tree) that Ned was his favorite student and enjoyed his antics. And leaves him hanging in the tree.
  • Back in 1986, Christopher Lloyd had a field day playing the gleefully sadistic Professor B.O. Beanes in "Go to the Head of the Class", a memorable, hour-long episode of Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories. One fan's excellent review, available here, goes into loving detail and includes numerous clips that must be seen. Especially the clip wherein hapless high school student Peter Brand is forced to "meet the Misters!!"
  • iCarly:
    • Mr. Howard, the teacher in the iGot Detention episode. This leads to double the trouble in a newer episode. After Principal Franklin gets fired, Briggs and Howard are made co-principals, and apparently turn the school into a miniature police state. Not only do they act horrible to the kids (Gibby got detention just for being Gibby, and the guy told Freddie to wipe "that look off of his face", despite it being Freddie's neutral face. When Freddie protested by saying that it was his face, the guy said "Well maybe you should change it, then!"), they also force them to wear uniforms, and apparently have hidden microphones in the hallway.
  • Drake & Josh:
    • Mrs. Hayfer is considered an overall nice teacher by Josh, but she often nitpicks at Drake for his poor performance, even going as far as to continuously say she hates him out loud. The most obvious example of how much she hates him would be in one episode where she asked him what language The Odyssey was in. Drake answers Greek. She says "Wrong," then asks another student who gives the exact same answer, which is right. She even said he was wrong on a rhetorical question! However, Drake is frequently a complete Jerk Ass.
    • Mr. Roland, a chemistry teacher, is far more sadistic as he doesn't allow Josh to take the exam due to his tardiness, tells him that he will have a make-up test at next Saturday at 6 am, and marks him down to one grade. Josh was late because of Drake and when Drake moves out, Mr. Roland treats him much better at the make-up exam and Josh gets better. Drake living in the same house as Josh must have been why Josh was having bad days.
    • On one occasion Josh himself. When he tries to be a student teacher for Megan's class, the first homework assignment he gives? A science one with college level textbooks that even the class's parents couldn't figure out. Then the next day, when he finds out none of them could do it, punishes them.
  • Reese's teacher Mr. Woodward from before Herkabe showed up. Malcolm figured it out when he proofread an F on one of Reese's papers that for once he didn't deserve, along with the teacher's "Kids like Reese..." speech.
  • Haresh Chandra appears to be this when he first appears as the new headteacher in The Sarah Jane Adventures, then it turns out he is the new regular character Rani's father (much to the dismay of Class Clown Clyde who has an obvious crush on Rani). He's also a nicer person when he gets home, and Rani and her mother Gita make fun of him for his stern streak.
  • Sue Sylvester from Glee. From her brutal yet efficient ways of training the 'Cheerios' cheerleading squad, to the way she throws things around and almost throws a kid out of a corridor when she's angry in one episode, you'd be hard pressed to find someone worse than her (Roald Dahl notwithstanding). Even then, admittedly, it's only done mainly for comedy purposes... Surprisingly enough she's a reasonable principal (with the exceptions of trying to disband football and fire Will. That she relents when she sees him as a very competent teacher). She even responds to the bullying in the school better than Figgins ever did, and does seem genuinely upset that she couldn't protect Kurt. She has her reasons for this - bullying someone for being different seems to be her own Berserk Button. Although she ruthlessly terrorizes the school, she is very much an equal-opportunity bully, and the kids know it.
  • Sister Dominique from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Despite being a nun, she shows blatant favoritism towards London, always punishing Maddie for things that London does. One episode has her giving Maddie detention for "tempting" London when she accidentally violated a copyright while writing a kid's book. London was the one that decided to blow the entire thing out of proportion and have her book published. Another episode (one where Maddie is Put on a Bus) has her giving Maddie a pamphlet that was at least 30 years old to get her to come over to a camp. Said camp is a horrible place (they're across the street from a slaughterhouse and they once had leech cobbler as a meal). However, given that she is a nun, she is a downplayed example, and she is generally nice. It's usually when Maddie slips up that it shows.
    • This is somewhat justified. London is a well-meaning idiot who rarely intentionally tries to do something wrong, whereas Maddie is a snarky little witch who constantly makes mean-spirited insults to everyone. This might actually be the show's way of Lampshading Protagonist-Centered Morality.
  • Mr. Messerschmidt from Phil of the Future delighted in making the students miserable. He once administered a test, the Omicron Gambit, that's so difficult no one has ever passed. Even opening the test booklet is impossible:
    Messerschmidt: Opening the test is part of the test!
  • Saskia Duncan from Dance Academy: An inexperienced teacher in the process of recovering from an injury that could shorten or end her career as a principal dancer, Saskia becomes intensely jealous of Tara's lyrical style and ability to dance the same solo (the Red Shoes) that made Saskia the youngest ever principal dancer with the Company. Initially, this jealousy leads Saskia to undermine Tara's confidence and bully her both in and outside of class. Later, in a private pas de deux class, she forces Tara into a dangerous stretch that results in a broken vertebra, leaving Tara courting paraplegia with every step. Fortunately Ben was there too...
  • Mr Tanner from The Vampire Diaries proves himself one in his thankfully short run of episodes. During his time, he openly insults students who don't know things and brings up personal tragedies in front of the class (Such as the death of Elena's parents), keeps files on students he doesn't like such as Jeremy, proves he doesn't know basic facts such as the end of The Korean War, bullies students and tells Stefan he hopes to see him hurt while playing football (Though to be fair, he did change his mind after seeing his skill).
  • The Horrible Histories franchise gleefully invokes this both on the page and screen (a direct result of creator Terry Deary's deep mistrust of formal education). Highlights from the TV series include the puppet rat host introducing a single pea on a plate as a brain 'from a PE teacher', the Grim Reaper deciding to quit and 'become a school headmaster', and this doozy from Elagabalus in the "Evil Emperors' Song":
    "You'd think to children, I'd be cuter
    No, I was their biggest executor
    Used their guts to read the future
    Says here I should get a job as a school tutor!"
  • Miss Sinclaire in Dead Gorgeous. She makes it her life mission to have the Ainsworth sisters expelled.
  • Mr Norris in The Worst Year of My Life, Again. He particularly seems to have it in for the protagonist Alex King, but is also shown handing out detentions at the drop of hat to almost anyone.
  • Mr Bronson of Grange Hill was mostly a stern man but his treatment to one student in particular was definitely sadistic. The kid, Danny Kendall, was about to leave school and was even given an offer to his ideal job... before Bronson found out, called up the business and said some truly awful things about him. The two had been having this arc where Bronson was trying to 'Bring [Kendall] into line' which ended when Danny lost the job offer, they had a fight in Bronson's office and Danny stole Mr Bronson's car and used it in his carbon monoxide suicide. The fact that Bronson was Hitler shows how bad he was.

  • Pink's teacher in the Rock Opera The Wall by Pink Floyd, as quoted at the top of the page. Also, by his own admission, Roger Waters' experiences were something like this.
    • To use an example, in the film version one of Pink's teachers is shown humiliating him in class, by grabbing his book of poems and reading one of them aloud to the class, then calling them absolute rubbish.
    • Ah, but in the town, it was well known when they got home at night their fat and psychopathic wives would thrash them within inches of their lives!
    • The teacher is portrayed in a slightly more sympathetic light in The Final Cut, in which we learn that he is a bitter veteran of the World War II who takes his anger out on the children, whom he perceives as whiny and ungrateful.
  • Mrs Blaileen, she was a sixth grade teacher/ and she controlled the children/by using humiliation..
  • From Neil Innes' My New School:
    The teacher's like a bear with a greasy head
    And if he had a gun we'd all be dead
    In my new school
  • The Smiths "The Headmaster Ritual"
    Belligerent ghouls
    Run Manchester schools
  • This song from Danny Elfman's abandoned musical project "The World of Jimmy Calicutt" is told from the perspective of one such teacher.
  • Verse two of The Beatles song "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" has a teacher with no recourse but to punish Maxwell:
    Back in school again
    Maxwell plays the fool again
    Teacher gets annoyed
    Wishing to avoid an unpleasant sce-e-e-ene
    She tells Max to stay
    When the class has gone away
    So he waits behind
    Writing fifty times I must not be so, uh-uh-oh
    • "Getting Better" cites this:
    I used to get mad at my school
    Teachers that taught me weren't cool
    You're holding me down, turning me 'round
    Filling me up with your rules

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In Zbeng!, one of the main characters, is this trope taken to the absurd, a green dress wearing monster named Anuga Zaafani. In her own personal book, it is even showed how she drove to extremes Peter Parker (drove him up the wall), Clark Kent (green dress... guess what material), Garfield the Cat (decided to take a vacation in Thailand), and her day schedule consists of waking up, falling asleep, and eleven cases of shouting in between. In the end, where everybody is supposed to have their graves shown — she is alive and well among everyone else's graves. Naturally, she'll bury them all.
  • Chalky, the cadaverously evil teacher with an impressive collection of canes and a love of terrifying schoolchildren and other teachers, from the newspaper cartoons by Giles.
  • Ms. Butcher from Zits. She supposedly writes Jeremy's grades in blood.
  • FoxTrot:
    • In one week-long series Paige's biology teacher Mr. Ting assigned 60 chapter of reading for a test the next day, thinking it would "allieve the tension" of the torrential rainstorms they were having. This only got worse for Paige, even though you can't blame the rest on Ting; the storm caused a blackout that made the assignment an even greater nightmare. And the worst part of it? While she managed to complete the reading assignment, Ting had no access to his computer due to the blackout, and wasn't able to hold the test. (Meaning she had done it for nothing. I guess that wasn't technically his fault either, but he gave the assignment in the first place...)
    • In another strip, he showed disappointment that Paige's lab reports were improving, claiming they were a source of entertainment for him.
    • In another strip, Paige's unnamed math teacher handed out the test sheets for the final exams dressed in a Grim Reaper costume.
  • In the Fort Collins Collegian, a comic strip featured a sadist professor. Aptly named the "PR Ofessor", the strip showed a professor (implied to be teaching chemistry) throughout a year at Colorado State University. Played for Laughs, since half the stuff would get a professor fired faster than you can say Trope Namer. Such antics included:
    • Scheduling office hours at the same time as lecture
      • Then misleading students to the physical location of his office with signs pointing to the other door.
    • Apparently holding his teacher's assistants captive
    • Miscalculating someone's grade by 20 points, then taking 20 points as a regrading fee
    • And on the final, stapling the syllabus for the next class (taught by him) to the test and saying "Since most of you guys are going to fail anyways, I'm going to get a head-start!"
  • Mrs. Wormwood from Calvin and Hobbes is an interesting take on this trope. Calvin (being Calvin) believes his behavior is justified, even appropriate, so when she doles out completely reasonable punishments, it appears to him that she is a sadist.
  • Archie's teacher Miss Grundy did the same thing as Charlie Brown's teacher (see below) in December of 2013, assigning The Brothers Karamazov over Christmas break.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Wrestling school in general is this, by a combination of tradition and necessity. First of all, no matter how choreographed it is, wrestling hurts. And it hurts more when you're learning how to take the expected bumps. There's also a belief in the industry that the training has to be brutal as a safeguard to keep out the insufficiently determined - if the training is sadistically painful, only the kids determined enough to become wrestlers that they'll always put the business first stick with it. Lastly, in a bit of Enforced Method Acting, wrestlers are often taught to sell submission holds by the trainer applying the hold to the point of significant discomfort. This practice is known as "stretching."
  • Very common in the Japanese pro wrestling scene, where training regimes tend to be extremely hard. Pretty much every puroresu company has had at least one sadist trainer in its dojo.
    • Kotetsu Yamamoto from New Japan Pro Wrestling was feared by his trainees. After his retire, Riki Choshu and his apprentice Kensuke Sasaki became the worst offenders. It's said that Sasaki killed a student named Hiromitsu Gompei who failed to impress Choshu during a training session, and years after, an elite wrestling prospect named Giant Ochiai died under suspicious circumstances in a dojo run by Choshu. In general, the NJPW Dojo has also been subject to allegations of abuse for years.
    • During the 90s, All Japan Pro Wrestling trainers were accused of physically and sexually assaulting the students of its dojo.
    • Yoshiaki Fujiwara was a legit tough guy, and he passed his toughness to his New Japan and Universal Wrestling Federation trainees through terrifying training regimes.
    • As Chris Jericho cites in his book, Genichiro Tenryu used to have his students from Wrestle Association R dojo to be repeatedly beaten up for no reason. He even told the foreign wrestlers (Jericho himself) to punch them as hard as possible while working in the ring.
    • Satoru Sayama was a incredibly cruel and harsh trainer both in wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts promotions, to the extent that there are clips of him beating students with a shinai cane. In fact, Karl Gotch supposedly remarked that Sayama was a great trainer and an equally great gym bully.
    • In the RINGS promotion, Akira Maeda once assaulted his trainee Wataru Sakata during a post match interview (with the TV camera running!) after the latter lost a bout too quickly for Maeda's liking. According to some, this was just the tip of the iceberg.
    • Former FMW wrestlers claim to have passed beatings and humiliating initiation ceremonies in the FMW Dojo. Similarly, there are stories about All Japan Pro Wrestling trainers sexually harassing trainees as a sort of hazing, and an especially ugly rumor saw an apprentice of Satoshi Kojima choosing to quit wrestling due to these actions.
  • Old catch wrestlers like Billy Robinson and Stu Hart were very, very sadistic towards their trainees. It's said that The Dungeon, Hart's training gym, had holes on the walls from slamming people against them while sparring.
  • To the surprise of no one, Homicide admitted to brainstorming and actively searching out new ways to make his students miserable such as wearing abrasive material or dipping his hands in chemicals to burn their eyes. Most of his students interviewed play it for laughs though some of his already established peers have joked there would be more good wrestlers if so many up and comers weren't too scared to get training from him.
  • These allegations have followed WWE's farm leagues for years. Specifically, Jacqueline was accused of working trainees at Ohio Valley Wrestling to the point of injury while Ivory was said to be verbally demeaning and abusive. Meanwhile, Deep South Wrestling trainer Bill DeMott was accused of physically abusing students and Kevin Matthews produced a picture on Twitter of DeMott over seeing a naked wrestler giving a stink face to a trainee. DeMott defended his actions by saying he was often acting on the orders of John Laurinaitis.
  • The trope is at least nominally acknowledged by NWA Quebec's school, which is known as "Onyx and LuFisto's Torture Chamber".
  • In kayfabe:
    • Matt Striker, who parlayed his real-life job as a high school teacher into a gimmick as a sadistic teacher. He had a Piper's Pit-style segment called "Matt Striker's Classroom," where he insulted the fans and the faces as intellectually inferior — all while playing up the heels as his friends. Naturally, his behavior led to plenty of feuds with his opponents wanting to shut him up.
    • Terry Taylor: His gimmick as the Red Rooster during the late 1980s WWF, a novice wrestler guided by his "teacher" … Bobby "the Brain" Heenan. In promos prior to Taylor's debut, Heenan boasted that he was such a great manager and teacher that he could turn a "mediocre" wrestler into a feared championship contender. Naturally, Heenan succeeded only in embarrassing Taylor, often yelling at him, belittling him in interviews (e.g., "Maybe he's not the fastest wrestler" or "He often doesn't hit hard enough," etc.) and at least once slapping him after he lost a match. Predictably, Taylor eventually realized he didn't need Heenan and began doing things his way, further frustrating "the Brain," and eventually, Taylor turned on his "teacher".

  • For a little while, Adventures in Odyssey had "Dr. Hawthorne", who was always convinced that local Nice Guy kid Trent Dewhite was up to no good. Said teacher crossed into this trope in the episode "A Glass Darkly", where he repeatedly accuses Trent for all sorts of random crimes that Trent had nothing to with, and wouldn't let Trent off the hook even though Trent had a very important meeting to attend.
    Trent: "You can't do this to me! I have an important meeting to get to!"
    Dr. Hawthorne: "Well, you should have thought of that before you flung your jello.
  • Headmaster Hardthrasher of St Bastard's is a parody of Wackford Squeers in Bleak Expectations. Unlike Squeers, he isn't stealing funds from the student, but his school boasts a 100% fatality rating for every student. Usually by savage beating, for any number of insane and irrational reasons (crying, not obeying the rules, talking back, not talking back then talking back when told to, not convincingly miming eating...).

  • In A Chorus Line Diana Morales recounts the story of her first acting teacher at the High School for Performing Arts, Mr. Karp, who turns on her after she questions his approach, and allows the other students to humiliate her.
  • Professor Calahan from Legally Blonde The Musical is unafraid to kick Elle out of class on the first day. Justified in that she didn't do the reading, but still. And he treats his TA like crap, and he teaches students that ethics shouldn't play into law. He gets better... until we find out he hits on interns...
    • In the movie, the teacher who kicked Elle out was Professor Stromwell, who Elle initially saw as a Sadist Teacher (Emmett also said "she can really kick you in the balls"). Stromwell does give Elle an inspirational talk about not giving up when Elle is seriously considering going home.
  • Terence Rattigan's The Browning Version deconstructs this trope. The protagonist, Andrew Crocker-Harris, appears to be a stuffy, hateful bore who enjoys humiliating his students. Students despise him as the "Himmler of the lower fifth" and even his fellow teachers don't much care for him. But Crocker-Harris reveals his Hidden Depths as a brilliant but frustrated academic with a fractious private life, who's lost sight of why he went into teaching in the first place.

    Video Games 
  • The teacher seen in the intro movie of Heart of Darkness, wherein he puts Andy in a hole and asks him if he's afraid of the dark...
  • Mr. Yamato from Lux-Pain. It's fairly obvious from when you first meet him, but just to cement the point, he tries (and succeeds, for a while anyway) to take several students in school hostage. He fires a few shots, but no one dies.
  • Persona 2 had a straighter example with Principal Hanya. He's a massive jackass who abuses his authority in very creative ways in order to ensure his power, and uses the city's powers to brainwash his students into believing he's the best. Except magic has a price, and he should have read the price tag...
  • Persona 4 has Mr. Morooka, a.k.a "King Moron", a brutally conservative Jerkass who is convinced that all teenagers are horny troublemakers and that the the main character is nothing but trouble from the city. He treats his students rudely (putting the main character on his "Shit List" within minutes of meeting him if he talks back to him in response to being told that he's a loser), and has a tendency to get drunk on school fieldtrips. Still, his accusations of the Main Character being a horny bastard may actually have some truth behind it.
    • Conversations with some students in the school reveal that he's dragged several girls into his office for "private talks" which he advises them on their career paths and urges them to follow their dreams. Morooka might be one of the subtler mean nice guys out there, since you'll never, ever find this out without talking to everybody. It's likely that he genuinely cares for his students, but really doesn't know how to properly show it.
    • Even the main cast, who all hate him, admit that he really didn't deserve to die when Mitsuo murders him. And his replacement, Ms. Kashiwagi, is if anything an even worse Jerkass than him!
  • The staff from Harvest's only school in Harvester takes this trope to an insane level; the teacher Steve meets gleefully uses a baseball bat to punish her students. A cutscene shows that she whacks a child so hard on the head, he bleeds out on the floor.
  • In Fortune Summoners Mr. Harnel is a pretty open version of this (much of his dialogue early in the game is gleefully thinking of how he can torment his students). Ms. Sophia is a more subtle version; she seems nicer, but still has a mean streak (one student had to be "rescued" from her by the headmaster and she picks Arche to answer a mathematics question because she was the only one who didn't put her hand up).
  • Mr. Namyah, the gym teacher with No Indoor Voice from the Reality On The Norm series. In his very first game he forces a student to box a punchbag covered with little shards of glass, all while he is screaming insults at the student. He is also a bigoted, paranoid conspiracy theorist.
  • Law teacher Aristotle Means in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies teaches some very, very grim and underhanded tactics and philosophies in the classroom, despite his apparent pleasantness. And then if you insult his motto in court, he'll shift his demeanor, complete with hairstyle change, into 100% this, tossing chalk at everyone that fails to answer any of his statements or questions.

  • Mr. Albany from, ''I.M. Hip'' He goes to great lengths to put the main character in detention (again!)
  • Von Pinn from Girl Genius seems to be like this. It is subverted though, as later it is revealed that the students actually love her.
  • An arc in So You're A Cartoonist? involves Curmudgeonly Carl, a substitute art teacher who verbally eviscerates an artistic hopeful's style and abilities to the point where the kid is at a loss for words. However, Carl quickly turns into more of a Stern Teacher, since not only does the kid in question has an over-inflated sense of his own ability and really needed to be brought down a peg, but Carl actually gives him pointers and tells him that he does have potential, his skills just need fine-tuning. The arc ends with the kid trying what Carl suggested, but mumbling to himself, "I still hate that old coot."
    • In his second appearance, Carl's calmed down considerably, and offers to help the same kid with his portfolio after an abysmal college fair visit, if he agrees to visit the college fair every year so Carl can critique his work personally. The kid balks at the idea, until Carl smugly reminds him the college he's representing is the only one in the state that has a comic art degree program. The kid begrudgingly agrees, claiming he still hates that old coot.
  • Miss Arlene from Neko Machi, who is constantly coming up with new ways to mess with her students. Among other things, she's the inventor of the "pop-midterm" (basically a pop-quiz, but worth 25% of your grade), and she considers clicking erasers to be "cheating erasers".
    Kitty: You're trying to hurt my brain, aren't you?

    Web Original 
  • Usually subverted and/or averted in the Whateley Universe, even though the stories center around the Super Hero School Whateley Academy and some of the teachers are retired supervillains. Erik Mahren, the ex-Marine range master on Range 4 (the heavy weapons range) was notorious for being absolutely ruthless when it came to weapons safety, but the net result of that was that no students were hurt or killed on the ranges in his entire tenure as rangemaster. The Reverend Darren England has gone after a couple students when he sensed their connection to planet-threatening evil...but went way over the line when he hired Syndicate hitmen to help some of his minions try to assassinate one such student (who happens to be one of the good guys).
    • The closest thing to the "sadist teacher" archetype seen at Whateley so far would actually be Amelia Hartford, though she ends up being more of a highly placed Obstructive Bureaucrat or Dean Bitterman due to not actually having a teaching position (that we've seen thus far).
  • Xin anyone? The school rules are practically built around allowing teachers to do whatever it takes... violent or non-violent... to keep order in class. Including brutalising students into bloody shivering pulps... for homework violations...

    Western Animation 
  • Doug had Mr. Bone & Mrs. Wingo in Doug's own nightmarish imagination. Only his imagination though—in reality, they're both actually Stern Teachers—yes, even Mr. Bone. The latter actually went Papa Wolf for Doug at one point and expelled his own nephew when he caught him bullying Doug.
  • Mrs. Martin from "Watch My Chops" punishes Bernie and Corneil all the time even when Bernie is not in school nor when school is open. It should be noted that Martin is breaking the law as this is illegal to punish children outside of school. Once, she punished Romeo for no reason. This is also illegal.
  • Headmistress from ¡Mucha Lucha! loves to yell and menace with expulsion, but still has a lighter side that isn't really hidden.
  • Mr. Crocker from The Fairly OddParents. Besides his fairy-hunting obsession, he also takes a sadistic glee in handing out "F" grades to his students, and his favorite child to torment is none other than Timmy Turner. In The Movie, he actually manages to use magic to change reality and make himself Evil Overlord of a Dystopian world. However this is balanced out by making him one of the show's resident Butt Monkeys.
    • One episode had a substitute teacher who came across as being a Cool Teacher... until a kid with fairies wishes her to be a permanent teacher, at which point she reveals she's a terrifyingly competent fairy hunter. As soon as the façade drops, she begins torturing her class to try to catch which one has fairies attempting to do something about it.
  • Ms. Bitters from Invader Zim is an extreme example. She's a Nietzsche Wannabe who not only hates her students (especially Dib and Zim), but everyone and everything in the world. "Children, your performance was miserable. Your parents will all receive phone calls instructing them to love you less now."
    • One could argue that she is the Only Sane Man and is well aware of how much of a Crapsack World it is.
      • Her design is almost exactly the same as the teacher in Squee (also by Jhonen Vasquez), who's just as sadistic, and intentionally teaches the students wrong information.
    • There's also the popular theory that she's not even human, but rather a Humanoid Abomination. Word of God is that she wasn't hired by the school — they built it around her.
  • Inverted in Beavis And Butthead; Mr. Van Driessen, the boys' overly spiritual social studies teacher, apparently can't bring himself to discipline anyone and gets steamrolled by their pranks time and time again.
  • The Gromble from Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, who at one point forced two students to be meshed into the same body as a punishment for their bickering. He ate a student on-screen in one episode because the student accidentally disrupted his lecture by having to chase after his nose, which was running away on little legs. On the other hand, he doesn't let anyone else mess with his students, and he does have a few signs of caring for them.
    • One episode hints that his mistreatment is him projecting his pain from the overly tight high-heeled shoes he insists on wearing. Another episode implies that cultivating such a fearsome reputation is what keeps the students in-line.
  • Mr./Ms. Garrison of South Park sometimes slips into this trope, openly mocking his students if they get some question wrong. The rest of the time he's just plain incompetent, or perhaps this week he's trying to get the school to fire him so he can sue them, not caring about the mental damage he might inflict on the children in the process.
    • This goes even further in the episode where Mr. Garrison hires a masochistic leatherman named Mr. Slave as the teacher's assistant, thus becoming a literal sadist teacher.
  • Mr. Lancer from Danny Phantom both uses this trope straight and subverts it. He had the terrible tendency to pick on the unpopular main character Danny by choosing the popular kids over him, harshly criticizing his schoolwork, and doling out punishments, yet a few episodes have shown he does care for all his students, even Danny.
  • Subversion in Mr. Ratburn of Arthur: Ratburn is feared as the strictest and toughest teacher in the school, so his reputation lives up to the trope. However, he is an excellent teacher in spite of, or indeed because of his strictness, and several episodes feature him outside of school in order to humanize him.
    • One episode revealed he had an even worse teacher, who was also very competent for the same reasons, when he was in school (he was taught Latin in 3rd grade!).
    • When a Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher took his place one day, everyone wanted Mr. Ratburn back by the day's end.
    • One episode featured an Academic Decathlon between the school's Third Grade classes. Ratburn's class won every single challenge. Not surprising to see as he is the only 3rd grade teacher who seems to actually teach the kids anything.
  • A couple of the teachers in Daria: Ms. Barch hates all her male students, and gives them terrible grades. The unfairness of this is only slightly mitigated by the fact that often they deserve them. It is not for nothing that she is depicted as Xena The Warrior Princess in the show's closing credits. Mr. Demartino likes to see all his students suffer, but in his case it's because he feels it's payback for the pain they put him through with their stupidity. However he greatly fears Ms. Barch (she beats him up in more than one episode and, when given a paintball gun and permission to fire it, she expends an entire magazine on a cowering diMartino. It is revealed the real reason for her hatred of men are all the unresolved issues with her former husband - diMartino reminds her of him).
    • In fairness, Demartino's students are so ignorant you could understand how they'd drive him off the deep end at times. He also acknowledges the good students and grades them appropriately. (Daria never seems to have problems getting As in his class)
  • Vice Principal Chakal of El Tigre fits this trope. He has it in for Manny and Frida, and enjoys setting harsh punishments for them. However, said students are often troublemaking kids, so you can't really blame him.
  • In the animated Peanuts New Year's special, Charlie Brown's elementary school teacher decides to give the kid War and Peace as a reading assignment. War And Peace. To a normal elementary school student. Over Christmas break no less.
    • Not only that, but she gave Charlie Brown an F despite his best efforts.
    • This was actually an exaggerated version of a storyline that ran in the comic strip, where his teacher assigned Gulliver's Travels during Christmas break (not as long, but still way too advanced for grade school) and Charlie Brown didn't help matters by procrastinating. (He got a D-minus in that version.)
  • The Simpsons
    • Edna Krabappel seems to alternate between being one of these and, more sympathetically, an unfairly put-upon foil to Bart. Generally she's not particularly sadistic, just careless, overworked and depressed.
    • Bart's kindergarten teacher. Ohh boy, did Bart have it rough in Kindergarten... Even worse is that her treatment towards Bart happened before he became the brat that he is known as. That's right, she is the reason that Bart is the trouble maker that he is today!
    Class: (singing) There was a farmer, had a dog, and Bingo was his name-O!
    Bart: B-I-(clap)-(clap)-O! B-I-(clap)-(clap)-O! B-I-(clap)-(clap)-(clap)! And Bingo was his name-O!
    Teacher: (writes on clipboard) Added extra clap; not college material.
    • Subverted in "The PTA Disbands!". The teachers go on strike due to Bart's manipulation and a series of substitutes from the townspeople are introduced and quit one by one. Principal Skinner then introduces a thuggish-looking substitute who immediately starts hurling abuse at the students and terrifies them. He's just there to introduce Marge, the real substitute.
    • There are also teachers (despite their upbeat attitude) that are known penalize students who tattle and moan (even if they're A-students), show no sympathy towards those who cry, and initially pair up students who clearly do not get along at all, causing even more friction in the class. Audrey McConnell from the episode "Bart vs. Lisa in Third Grade", is a clear candidate for this trope.
    • In "Black-Eyed, Please", a new teacher, Mrs. Cantwel, takes a liking to everyone in the class except for Lisa, whom Cantwel bullies by giving her below-average grades and taking the paper cutout joeys off the kangaroo-themed "good behavior" board. When Homer and Marge try to get Principal Skinner to do something, the bullying worsens. Later, Edna got the idea of putting Bart in Cantwell's class and when Cantwell leaves to go to the bathroom, Bart brings chaos to the classroom and then he shows her a compromising video of herself in the bathroom cursing Lisa and tells her he posted it online. The plan works in getting Cantwell to leave and before she drives off, the bully teacher confesses the reason for her hatred of Lisa, Mrs. Cantwell thinks that pretty girls like Lisa have it easier than girls like herself.
    • All of these pale in comparison to Jack Lassen, Edna's replacement in "Blazed and Confused", who will smokes in school even more frequently than Edna and Hoover, and will not tolerate class clown behaviour at all and gets glee in kicking the dog (or in this case, the cat) literally and metaphorically. He even shaved Bart just for attempting to pull a prank. He's so bad he even steals lunch money from the bullies and Bart vows revenge. Finally, when Lassen is publicly embarrassed by Bart, he tries to kill the boy.
  • Mrs. Grimley from As Told by Ginger takes it Up to Eleven. She makes the students sit facing the wall, she does not allow passing notes in class, drifting off into space, hall passes, talking, smiling, laughing, or breathing (if she hears you doing it), and she forces them to write essays for minor infractions. The essays get longer as the episode goes on. She makes Ginger, Miranda, and Courtney write 16,000-word essays for passing a note in class (and adds another thousand words for complaining). Ginger tries to see the good side of Mrs. Grimley by defending her house when the other students egg and TP it. And as it turns out, she doesn't have a good side and doesn't even care that her students pulled pranks on her house. Ginger and the students all rebel against her, and Ginger promptly gets detention for her "Reason You Suck" Speech.
    Miranda: That's inhumane!
    Courtney: I don't even know 16,000 words!
  • The Teen Titans episode "Mad Mod" took this to extremes, in which Mad Mod traps the heroes in a school that's constantly trying to kill or brainwash them.
  • Were it not for the fact that the show is a cartoon and has a number of bizarre moments, Principal I.M. Greedyguts from Jacob Two-Two would have been fired and sent to jail years ago. Besides always having it out for Jacob (although the latter does frequently ruin his plans), his crimes include appropriating money from the Dreary Meadows and spending it on luxuries for himself, planning to turn said school into a stable for his horses (sending the kids to the sub-basement to learn, but allowing one to come up "once in a while" to rub his feet) and not caring if Jacob, his friend and a fellow teacher are trapped forever in another dimension.
  • In the last episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog, Courage develops self-esteem issues that manifest in the form of a Sadist Teacher that immediately starts tormenting the poor dog and criticizing everything he does, and giving him horrible nightmares. It disperses when Courage eventually accepts himself.
  • Spiro Garkos from Hurricanes fits this trope as the coach of the Garkos Gorgons Youth Team. He seems to be this to all footballers but Stevie Pepenopolis had it the worst. And he couldn't be reported to Child Welfare because, in the Island of Garkos, he heads the Department of Child Welfare.

  • A Latin teacher tells his colleagues: "I had a wonderful dream tonight: I gave Cicero an F in Latin."
  • In this Hershey's commercial, a class of 2nd graders bid farewell to their kind-hearted teacher for the summer, only to wind up with a menacing replacement when they reach 3rd grade.

    Real Life 
  • For centuries teachers were allowed to "discipline" children by beating them in class for "bad behaviour". Since the 1980s and 1990s, these practices have mostly become illegal in Western countries.
    • Especially in Great Britain teachers and headmasters had a long tradition of beating and mentally abusing pupils with canes. Corporal punishment in British government-run schools was made illegal in 1987, and all schools in 2003.
  • Attached to above, it's something of a common trope for teaching nuns in Catholic schools to be stereotypes as always smacking their students on the back of the hand with a ruler.
  • This trope is sometimes invoked as a reason for homeschooling, though given that the Real Life incidents tend to be a few highly publicized but isolated cases it's usually an excuse for parents who have other reasons, like religious or political beliefs, that they don't want to discuss.
  • Charles Dickens inspired the teacher Wackford Squeers from Nicholas Nickleby on a notorius sadistic teacher called William Shaw.
  • Writer Roald Dahl describes in his memoir "Boy" how his teachers often beat the children with a cane and choose the thinnest ones to inflict more pain. He describes one particular teacher, Mr. Hardcastle, as particularly heartless (even forcing a child who was stung in his lip by a wasp to continue writing, as he didn't use his lip for writing, did he?) and focused on punishing even the slightest breaking of the rules. The teacher later inspired the character Captain Lancaster in Danny, the Champion of the World, Mrs. Trunchbull in "Matilda" is also inspired by his teacher's abuse of pupils.
  • The 6 Most Horrific Lessons Ever Taught in Elementary School brought to you by Cracked. It's possible that the teachers involved didn't torment their students out of sadism but out of a genuine belief that they were doing the right thing. That arguably makes it worse.
  • There's a news story on Yahoo about a teacher that took twenty percent off of a girl's paper. His explanation? "For being a loser."
  • There was once a minor scandal in Poland about one batshit crazy teacher. She made her students (seven year old children!) sit with hands tied behind their backs (for "better concentration") and, judging from videos recorded by a student with a cell-phone, was also an utter insane bitch whose lessons consisted mainly of screaming at the top of her lungs. (However, her main claim to infamy was her utter, terrifying ignorance. She taught students that whales are fishes, Christopher Columbus was a Polish scientist who made a trip around Earth, "szalik" (scarf) is a five-letter word...)
  • As seen on the Can't Get Away with Nuthin' page, one teacher called the police on a girl for drawing on her desk in washable ink. Disproportionate Retribution, much?
  • This is Truth in Television as far along as the university level; professors who hate teaching undergrade students. Some take it out on them in the courseload and grades assigned, some indulge in verbal abuse to unprofessional degrees, and seize any opportunity to belittle their students publicly. A few times, a teacher/professor even uses their position as a bully pulpit to essentially indoctrinate their students with viewpoints that only tangentially have any bearing on the subject, and sometimes even makes it a point to arrange it in regards to people providing proof to back their claims on history that they have to find proof at short notice (between class sessions), with no definitively confirmed method of disproving them by the next class.
    • This guy stands out of all of them.
    • Averted in Israel, where people usually go through military service and sometimes have worked and/or travelled before beginning their studies; it’s a lot harder to look down upon a fellow adult than it is upon someone who’s practically a teenager.
  • There was a supreme Jerk Ass teacher in Texas who told one of his Muslim students, "I'll bet you're grieving. I heard about your uncle's death." shortly after Bin Laden was killed.
  • Oh boy have I got a lot for you guys....
  • Ron Williams, director of the religious Boarding School of Horrors in Indiana called Hephzibah House, has gone so far as to publish articles arguing that it is necessary to beat all children — his choice of verb— including babies. Source.
  • As mentioned under Literature, C. S. Lewis's first boarding school was run by a headmaster named Robert "Oldie" Capron who was a literal sadist, and who was eventually committed to an insane asylum.
  • An incident from the news during the early 1990's: Some nine year old girl in an elementary school in The Bronx was molested by a janitor. When she reported the attack to the principal, she called the girl a liar and a whore. The principal's dismissal caused public outrage in the New York Tri-State area and parents tried to get the school board to fire her ass, but the board rejected their demands... twice! Only when she was caught in an undercover video involved in a bribery scandal did anybody punish her.
  • Many schools nowadays, especially high schools, have security guards. The problem is many teachers take advantage of this and call security on a student for the most minor of infractions. The irony of this is that calling security causes a much bigger distraction to class than a student who's slightly misbehaving.
  • Practically every single doctor on Earth can speak of dealing with one of these at some point in their training—medical school, residency. Most of whom will justify their behavior by claiming that they themselves had to deal with one of these, as well as the fact that given that human lives are at stake, it's understandable that there would be such strict demands for perfection and zero tolerance for mistakes.
  • Possibly justified during the World War II years. People in certain occupations did not have to report to Basic Training for the Draft. Teaching was one of these occupations, and since War Is Hell, all sorts of people, even people who hated children, got into teaching jobs. After several years, the war ended, but the child-haters were still teaching. They couldn't leave, lest they attract suspicion that they were draft-dodgers, so they took their anger out on the hapless children.
  • Mostly Subverted with Drill Sergeants in the military. Most of them aren't seeking to destroy the recruits, but instead to mold them into professional soldiers/marines/sailors/airmen by using Drill Sergeant Nasty behavior to invoke Dare to Be Badass. However, you will sometimes find those drills who are abusive towards the recruits, usually by either doling out excessive punishments or by training them in an unsafe manner.

Alternative Title(s):

Sadist Teachers, School Teacher From Hell, Sadistic Teacher