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Detention Episode

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Student gets in trouble; gets detention. It's like prison, but for students.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
alnair20aug93 on Oct 3rd 2017 at 1:15:40 PM
Last Edited By:
alnair20aug93 on Jan 28th 2018 at 11:29:56 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

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In Anglophone pre-collegiate schools, detention is a disciplinary action where students are required to stay in a designated room, keep calm, and do nothing for some amount of time. In fiction, detention is one thing where a well-to-do student does not want to go to. The other one is dodgeball. The room is run down and gritty, the teacher running the room is keeping a watchful eye on you and may give your stay a living heck, the desks are filled with bullies and delinquents, graffiti is everywhere, and there're decades-old gum beneath your desk. And heaven forbid if you spend your time in detention on a weekend.

Naturally, the student will find ways to get out of this heckhole, with the help of the delinquents of course. In real life, failing to show up on detention or bailing out can lead to an even more severe disciplinary action such as a longer detention period or suspension.

Can be the school equivalent to a Prison Episode. It can be a form of a Bottle Episode due to the nature of the room. Compare Standing in the Hall, the Japanese equivalent; After-School Cleaning Duty, When a student is made to clean school property after school; and Writing Lines, when a student is made to write something they are not supposed to do repeatedly.


Examples

Comic Books

  • In Archie Comics, at least through the bronze age of comics, the titular character is frequently given detention, usually by Principal Weatherbee. Sometimes given for the pettiest issues, detention seems to be the school's punishment of choice, both for Archie and (less frequently) for other characters.

Film

  • The Breakfast Club is formed by five students from different cliques under detention on a Saturday.
  • Detention: It's a comedy/horror teen film about a group of students who were sent to detention before prom night when their principal suspects that one of them is a slasher. Whacky hijinks ensue such as finding the slasher, one of which involves going back to 1992.

Live-Action TV

  • In the Class (2016) episode "Detained", Quill puts all the regular pupils in detention so that she can go off on a secret mission. The detention room then gets transported to a very nasty part of space due to a Rift incident.
  • The Community episode "Basic Rocket Science" is part this and part Parody Episode. The Detention part comes when the study group is punished for creating and submitting a design for the school flag with a hidden obscene image. The punishment is cleaning out a new space simulator acquired by the college. The Parody part comes when the simulator gets towed with them in it and they have to get back to the college, sending up numerous space exploration movies in the process.
  • iCarly: In "iGot Detention", Sam gets detention around the same time she has to do the show, so Carly and Freddie deliberately get detention and host the show from there whenever Mr. Howard is out of the room.

Web Comics

  • Chapter 13 of Rock and Riot features the Jaquettes and Rollers in detention. Connie comes out, leading the rest of the cast to do so as well.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • In The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Lesson", Gumball and Darwin get caught by Principal Brown cheating on a math test, and has to spend the entire spring break in detention, which is portrayed like a maximum security prison, with Principal Brown acting like a warden, and a cupcake implied to have literally "lost their cherry" in a riot.
  • Being Ian had one episode with Ian landing the whole class detention and his repeated attempts at escaping detention keep accumulating more hours for the rest of the class.
  • In the pilot episode of ChalkZone, when Reggie Bullnerd picks on Rudy, Rudy draws a cartoon of "Bully Nerd" getting beaten up by Snap in retaliation. After Reggie uses Rudy as a human eraser, Mr. Wilter gives Rudy detention, forcing him to write "Cartoons Are Not Funny" on the chalkboard repeatedly. After Rudy's chalk breaks, the next one he finds is a piece of magic chalk, which sets the show's premise in motion.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: The episode "Dexter Detention" involves Dexter getting sent to detention after accidentally yelling out a test answer in annoyance. This trope is turned on its head at the end, when Dexter and a pair of detention-birds dig their way out of the school...and into an actual prison.
  • Detentionaire is a series worth of this. Falsely accused of causing a prank on the first day, Lee Ping is sent to detention for a whole year. To add insult to the injury, his mother who is also a teacher at his school grounds him for that. The series revolves around him and his friends to sneak out of detention and find out who the real culprit of the prank is.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: The episode "Detention X" has Grim becoming a substitute teacher and sending the class, Billy and Mandy included, into the Detention Dimension.
  • In the Hey Arnold! episode, "Full Moon", Harold, Stinky, and Sid moon Principal Wartz. Arnold is the only witness, and because he refuses to rat them out, Principal Wartz gives Arnold 30 days of hard labor in detention. If Arnold confesses before the end of the deadline, Principal Wartz will lift his punishment, and if he doesn't, he will mark Arnold as a "Failure to cooperate" on his permanent record, but Arnold still refuses to rat his friends out. Near the end of the episode, Harold, Stinky and Sid's guilty consciences catch up with them and they confess what they did to Principal Wartz just before he can mark Arnold as a failure to cooperate.
  • Kick Buttowski: The episode "Detained" has Kick and his friends getting detention, with Miss Chiccarelli, who already hates him with a burning passion, being hired to watch the room.
  • Kim Possible: The first episode (in production order) "Tick Tick Tick" involves Kim getting detention for being late to class, which she believes will stain her status on the school's social hierarchy, as cheerleaders don't "do" detention. Her father helps her realize that she isn't above or below anyone else at school, and that she had to do the time because she broke the rules.
  • In the The Loud House episode, "Pulp Friction", Principal Huggins gives Lincoln and Clyde detention when he finds out that they have an idea for the next Ace Savvy comic book. Lincoln's sisters help bust Lincoln and Clyde out of detention to reach the post office in time for the contest's deadline. In the end, it is revealed that Principal Huggins deliberately gave Lincoln and Clyde detention until after the deadline to get them out of the way so that he could submit his own entry for the contest. When Lincoln and Clyde find out, they and Principal Huggins form an alliance and submit their conjoined entry.
  • My Gym Partner's a Monkey: In "Basic Jake", it turns out Jake deliberately gets himself into detention every Saturday so he can sneak into the old A/V room and host his own TV show.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Bart the Lover", Bart gets a month's detention when he plays with a yo-yo in class and accidentally breaks the fish tank.
    • The Treehouse of Horror segment "Nightmare Cafeteria" has detention being held in the cafeteria due to the normal room being stuffed to overflowing. After the teachers discover a taste for students, they start finding petty reasons to send their next meals into detention.
    • In "Lisa's Date with Destiny", Lisa gets detention when Mr. Largo thought that she was disrupting class by laughing at the word "tromboner". What Lisa was really laughing at was Nelson spraying Groundskeeper Willie with a hose and misunderstanding what he was saying.
  • In one episode of Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Star is thrown into detention for releasing the class hamster. There, she is elected "Mayor" of detention and sets to work fulfilling the requests of the other students there. Most are easy; the last one, batteries for a TV remote, requires her to leave the room and sneak around the school.

Real Life

  • One aspect of this trope, at least in the aforementioned Archie Comics but probably in other sources as well, is that there's a dedicated "Detention Room", possibly with a stenciled sign on the door. In real life, most schools cannot spare such a space, and use a regular classroom that no one would be using it after regular school hours anyway.

Indexes

Feedback: 44 replies

Oct 3rd 2017 at 1:46:00 PM

Live Action TV

  • iCarly: In "iGot Detention", Sam gets detention around the same time she has to do the show, so Carly and Freddie deliberately get detention and host the show from there whenever Mr. Howard is out of the room.

Western Animation

  • Dexters Laboratory: The episode "Dexter Detention" involves Dexter getting sent to detention after accidentally yelling out a test answer in annoyance. This trope is turned on its head at the end, when Dexter and a pair of detention-birds dig their way out of the school...and into an actual prison.
  • My Gym Partners A Monkey: In "Basic Jake", it turns out Jake deliberately gets himself into detention every Saturday so he can sneak into the old A/V room and host his own TV show.

Oct 3rd 2017 at 4:14:37 PM

Western Animation

  • In the pilot episode of Chalk Zone, when Reggie Bullnerd picks on Rudy, Rudy draws a cartoon of "Bully Nerd" getting beaten up by Snap in retaliation. After Reggie uses Rudy as a human eraser, Mr. Wilter gives Rudy detention, forcing him to write "Cartoons Are Not Funny" on the chalkboard repeatedly. After Rudy's chalk breaks, the next one he finds is a piece of magic chalk, which sets the show's premise in motion.
  • In the Hey Arnold episode, "Full Moon", Harold, Stinky, and Sid moon Principal Wartz. Arnold is the only witness, and because he refuses to rat them out, Principal Wartz gives Arnold 30 days of hard labor in detention. If Arnold confesses before the end of the deadline, Principal Wartz will lift his punishment, and if he doesn't, he will mark Arnold as a "Failure to cooperate" on his permanent record, but Arnold still refuses to rat his friends out. Near the end of the episode, Harold, Stinky and Sid's guilty consciences catch up with them and they confess what they did to Principal Wartz just before he can mark Arnold as a failure to cooperate.
  • In the The Loud House episode, "Pulp Friction", Principal Huggins gives Lincoln and Clyde detention when he finds out that they have an idea for the next Ace Savvy comic book. Lincoln's sisters help bust Lincoln and Clyde out of detention to reach the post office in time for the contest's deadline. In the end, it is revealed that Principal Huggins deliberately gave Lincoln and Clyde detention until after the deadline to get them out of the way so that he could submit his own entry for the contest. When Lincoln and Clyde find out, they and Principal Huggins form an alliance and submit their conjoined entry.

Oct 3rd 2017 at 4:08:39 PM

"Detention is prison" should be separated from "students in detention".

Oct 3rd 2017 at 4:16:56 PM

Related Tropes/Tropes Found in Scenes:

Oct 3rd 2017 at 6:57:37 PM

In Archie Comics, at least through the bronze age of comics, the titular character is frequently given detention, usually by Riverdale High principal Mr. Weatherbee. Sometimes given for the pettiest issues, detention seems to be the school's punishment of choice, both for Archie and (less frequently) for other characters.

Oct 3rd 2017 at 7:00:27 PM

One aspect of this trope, at least in the aforementioned Archie Comics but probably in other sources as well, is that there's a dedicated "Detention Room", possibly with a stenciled sign on the door. I would think that in real life, most schools cannot spare such a space, and use a regular classroom that no one would be using it after regular school hours anyway. At least that's how I remember it being done.

Oct 4th 2017 at 6:23:19 AM

  • Chapter 13 of Rock And Riot features the Jaquettes and Rollers in detention. Connie comes out, leading the rest of the cast to do so as well.

Oct 4th 2017 at 7:25:40 AM

Related Tropes/Tropes Found In Scenes:

Oct 4th 2017 at 7:39:50 AM

  • Kim Possible: The first episode (in production order) "Tick Tick Tick" involves Kim getting detention for being late to class, which she believes will stain her status on the school's social hierarchy, as cheerleaders don't "do" detention. Her father helps her realize that she isn't above or below anyone else at school, and that she had to do the time because she broke the rules.

Oct 4th 2017 at 8:38:55 AM

Oct 7th 2017 at 10:58:36 AM

^ Explain the context, please.

And, I think the Amazing World of Gumball has an episode of this...

Oct 8th 2017 at 8:25:49 AM

In the Class 2016 episode "Detained", Quill puts all the regular pupils in detention so that she can go off on a secret mission. The detention room then gets transported to a very nasty part of space due to a Rift incident.

Oct 11th 2017 at 10:14:19 AM

  • The Grim Adventures Of Billy And Mandy: The episode "Detention X" has Grim becoming a substitute teacher and sending the class, Billy and Mandy included, into the Detention Dimension.
  • Kick Buttowski: The episode "Detained" has Kick and his friends getting detention, with Miss Chiccarelli, who already hates him with a burning passion, being hired to watch the room.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Bart the Lover", Bart gets a month's detention when he plays with a yo-yo in class and accidentally breaks the fish tank.
    • The Treehouse Of Horror segment "Nightmare Cafeteria" has detention being held in the cafeteria due to the normal room being stuffed to overflowing. After the teachers discover a taste for students, they start finding petty reasons to send their next meals into detention.
    • In "Lisa's Date with Destiny", Lisa gets detention when she disrupts class by laughing at the word "tromboner".
  • Sponge Bob Square Pants: In "New Student Starfish", SpongeBob brings Patrick with him to boating school, only for Patrick to constantly get him onto trouble, culminating in both of them getting detention for having a (wimpy) fight in the hallway.
    Mrs. Puff: May Neptune have mercy on your souls.

Oct 11th 2017 at 1:29:05 PM

  • In one episode of Star Vs The Forces Of Evil, Star is thrown into detention for releasing the class hamster. There, she is elected "Mayor" of detention and sets to work fulfilling the requests of the other students there. Most are easy; the last one, batteries for a TV remote, requires her to leave the room and sneak around the school.

Oct 11th 2017 at 6:02:06 PM

^^ Regarding the "Lisa's Date With Destiny" example, Lisa didn't laugh at the word, "Tromboner". Rather, Mr. Largo thought she did. What Lisa was really laughing at was Nelson spraying Groundskeeper Willie with a hose and misunderstanding what he was saying.

Oct 16th 2017 at 5:41:21 AM

  • Being Ian had one episode with Ian landing the whole class detention and his repeated attempts at escaping detention keep accumulating more hours for the rest of the class.

Oct 16th 2017 at 1:31:28 PM

The 2017 Power Rangers movie has the protagonists all meet in detention.

Oct 16th 2017 at 2:19:23 PM

Regarding the description, it looks kind of like a Bluenose Bowlderizer just passed through.

Oct 16th 2017 at 9:43:38 PM

'Heck' was already in the description. I intentionally put it there to emphasize a kid protagonist in a school setting.

Plus, my Catholic upbringing had this thing against swearing, unless if it's necessary.

Oct 16th 2017 at 9:45:06 PM

Speaking of Catholic, perhaps I should include Catholic/private school examples.

Oct 20th 2017 at 3:11:21 AM

Any suggestions for a page image?

Oct 24th 2017 at 4:12:41 AM

How about the overloaded detention room from The Simpsons? "Oxygen...running out..."

Oct 24th 2017 at 12:08:45 PM

Would "Other" be better as "Real Life"?

The main reason this doesn't happen in real life as often now is that detention is held at lunch hour so kids can go home at the usual time.

Oct 25th 2017 at 1:01:04 AM

^^ Kartoonkid 95:

Please don't put pictures in posts by themselves, as it breaks TLP. You can prevent problems by putting a line (four dashes: ——) beneath the picture.

Oct 26th 2017 at 2:39:53 AM

Well, it used to fix the problem, but with the advent of v1.3 it apparently no longer does. <sigh>

Oct 26th 2017 at 6:29:17 AM

Detention: The cartoon's plot revolves around the students unsuccessfully attempting to avoid this situation.

Oct 26th 2017 at 7:11:05 AM

Live Action Television

  • The Community episode "Basic Rocket Science" is part this and part Parody Episode. The Detention part comes when the study group is punished for creating and submitting a design for the school flag with a hidden obscene image. The punishment is cleaning out a new space simulator acquired by the college. The Parody part comes when the simulator gets towed with them in it and they have to get back to the college, sending up numerous space exploration movies in the process.

Nov 9th 2017 at 6:05:20 AM

Seems launchable enough. What do you think?

Nov 15th 2017 at 9:48:51 AM

Launching sometime within next week.

Nov 15th 2017 at 10:30:04 AM

The South Park image doesn't get across the point that most of these episodes exaggerate the severity of detention. Also, here's a condensed version of the first two sentences: "Detention is a disciplinary action where students are required to stay in a designated room, keep calm, and do nothing for some amount of time."

Nov 21st 2017 at 4:23:45 AM

^ Thanks for the condensed version.

The image was picked by the thread, and that was the only one suitable enough.

Nov 21st 2017 at 6:59:16 AM

I still think that Simpsons picture I tried to post here was good. Maybe I'll put it there when the page actually launches.

Jan 14th 2018 at 9:27:12 AM

Web Original

Jan 26th 2018 at 5:47:45 AM

Any objections before I launch this?

Jan 26th 2018 at 12:03:57 PM

^ None from me whatsoever. I'm eager for this to get launched.

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