We can miss out school
(Won't that be cool?)
Why go to learn the words of fools?
— The Small Faces, "Itchycoo Park"
The common attitude of many a Book Dumb
character is that "cool" people don't go to school. Even if forced, they must make absolutely no effort to do well in class, because that would indicate they care about "useless" things like how to add numbers and spell correctly.
No, you're not going crazy.
The basic idea behind this trope is that there's some place called "the street" that teaches you everything you'll ever really
need to know in life. If you're on this website
, the closest you've ever gotten is the fabled Sesame Street
There's also a small but vocal minority who oppose formalized public education as a Government Conspiracy
to keep the populace dumb and conformist.
Whatever the reason, it's very often a Family-Unfriendly Aesop
, especially when characters are shown to be successful at life despite having dropped out of even the most basic form of education.
of Cool People Rebel Against Authority
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Anime & Manga
- Half the cast of AKIRA fits this trope.
- YuYu Hakusho. Yusuke is too cool for school, especially in the first couple of episodes.
- The standard attitude of the characters in The Beano.
- Creeps in around the edges of the books in the X-Men line. While the original X-Men were sometimes shown studying actual school subjects, in recent years, despite the characters often living in a school, they're almost never shown studying anything other than using their powers, fighting, and, in recent years, "superhuman ethics." The implication being that superhumans don't need to know silly things like history, math, reading, or science. Virtually all of the major characters are adults, so the fact that they're not students is rather less surprising.
- This was long the attitude held by the Runaways, especially after various adults tried to force them to enter foster care and go to school. More recently, they reluctantly agreed to enroll Molly Hayes and Klara Prast in a home-schooling program offered by Avengers Academy, in exchange for a promise of non-interference.
- Approximately 50% of the lyrics of "She's Sexy + 17" by the Stray Cats.
- "Billy S" by Skye Sweetnam.
- "Troublemaker" by Weezer.
- Mocked by "Weird Al" Yankovic in a stanza from "Jackson Park Express":
Think of the beautiful children we could have some day
We could school them at home, raise them up the right way
And protect them from the evils of the world
- The bestselling book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which claims has the secrets of how to become rich, has a bit of this trope in its main message: It mentions how several billionaires were school dropouts, and that education serves only to become a salaried worker trapped in a never-ending spending race (or "rat race" as the author calls it). Although probably it was not how the author intended it, this ended up being the main message understood by its readers.
- The version of Jenny Everywhere in The Genesis Of Jenny Everywhere is still a teenager who hates school and would much rather be still in bed dreaming about the adventures she'll ultimately end up having, but her Education Mama mother won't let her. (Compounded by the fact most of the other girls, notably Alpha Bitch Charlotte Mitchell, hate her guts, and vice versa). Her one friend Leelee doubly subverts this trope- turning up whenever she feels like it, but bunking off most of the time (being an Alternate Universe, there is no law against this, with the implication it's up to the parent or guardian).
Live Action TV
- In Disgaea 3, the Maritsu Evil Academy rewards students who act this way. But then, it is an evil academy...
- The teachers have very practical reasons for this: namely, with no students, they effectively get paid to sit on their ass all day. At one point, you have to beat the teacher into actually showing up for a class you take.
- Harry Potter says this in one of the Potter Puppet Pals skits, where he thinks he's too cool for school. He doesn't normally think this in the actual books, though; while he doesn't always like the class work, he does like Hogwarts in general.
- YouTube atheist and science educator Thunderf00t chews and deconstructs this trope in his responses to fellow Youtuber, Pogobat's, rants against traditional education and how college "was interfering with his education".