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 '70s
or so, any
teachers beating students would not go over well with parents or administrators, whether those teachers have taken vows or not- but at one time occasionally Truth in Television
The strictness that was their halmark was partly due to the nuns applying the same standards to their students that nuns were expected to hold themselves to, and also partly because Catholic schools both then and now were occasionally used as reform schools for problem children.
See also Stern Teacher
. The nun in question may or may not be a Child Hater
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.
- Sister Grace, the director of the English Boarding School in Candy Candy fits in here to a T. She's not evil, but is 'extremely by the rules and does NOT tolerate when the students break them.
- This trope played a part in the origin of Alpha Flight's Aurora / Jeanne-Marie Beaubier. The not-so-fond memories kind.
- Sin City: Marv named his gun Gladys after the toughest nun he had in school. He feels it has almost lived up to the name.
- 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.)
- Sister Edgar has this reputation in Don DeLillo's Underworld. She stopped hitting her students when the majority of them became black and Latin, though, because her conscience wouldn't allow her to beat someone who didn't look like her.
- 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
- Sister Dominick from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Who knew that nuns could be so sarcastic?
- Septa Mordane in Game of Thrones, who acts as the private teacher for Arya and Sansa Stark.
- The only thing in the world that can scare Father Jack Hackett is a no-nonsense old-school nun.
- In children's Britcom Educating Marmalade, Sister Conception and Sister Purification of The Convent of the Blessed Limit. They were men with moustaches and baseball bats.
- Played for Laughs on Good Eats, when the nutritional anthropologist dresses up as one (and smacks Alton with a ruler) to explain the Roman Catholic origins of the modern waffle.
- 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.