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Stern Nun
A character type of stern, usually elderly nun, who acts as a Stern Teacher at a Catholic school (possibly even a Sadist Teacher at a Boarding School of Horrors variety) but may (or may not) be looked back upon with some affection. A Discredited Trope nowadays, since a good many teachers at Catholic schools are now laypeople. (Not to mention that after about The Seventies or so, any teachers beating students would not go over well with parents or administrators, whether those teachers have taken vows or not.)

See also Stern Teacher.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Dee from Fake was raised in an Orphanage of Love by one of these. He even calls her "Penguin" out of affection (and to rile her up), and encourages the other kids to do so as well.

Comic Books
  • This trope played a part in the origin of Alpha Flight's Aurora / Jeanne-Marie Beaubier. The not-so-fond memories kind.

Film
  • The Penguin from The Blues Brothers
  • The reverend mother for much of the first Sister Act movie.
  • Sister Aloysius in Doubt is basically an example of showing this character type as having Hidden Depths
  • Rosalind Russel's character in The Trouble With Angels was one of these character types. (But a lot nicer than most. She's firm, because you have to be with adolescents or they'll walk right over you, but never mean.)

Live-Action Television

Literature
  • Although they were nurses, not teachers, the nuns at the hospital in Angela's Ashes fit the trope perfectly.
  • The Mother Superior in Bless Me Father

Newspaper Comics
  • Ronald-Ann had one of these in her Catholic school in Berkeley Breathed's Outland.
  • Sister Steven in 9 Chickweed Lane.

Theatre
  • Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You by Christopher Durang.
  • The popular "interactive play" Late Night Catechism is based upon this trope.
  • In the musical remake of Sister Act, reverend mother once again takes up this role.

Western Animation


Sadist TeacherSchool TeachersScary Librarian
Senior Sleep CycleEldersStronger with Age
Standard '50s FatherDead Horse TropeSubverted Suspicion Aesop
Stepford SmilerCharacters as DeviceStern Teacher

alternative title(s): Mother Penguin
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