Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Bad Education Movie

Go To

"I’m gonna take them on a holiday that is so batshit mental if it was a movie, EVERYONE would be played by Nicolas Cage!"

Big screen adaptation of the BBC3 sitcom starring Jack Whitehall as Alfie Wickers - the worst teacher to ever grace the British education system.

Alfie wants to take his class on a post-exam school trip to Las Vegas. But thanks to Fraser (Matthew Horne) blowing the school’s travel bursary by investing it in paintings by Rolf Harris several years before, he is forced to change his plans. So Form K are off to Cornwall and a house party hosted by Alfie’s old school friend Atticus Hoye.

But unfortunately; Joe Poulter’s overbearing mother Susan (Joanna Scanlan) is along for the ride and the fake itinerary Alfie put together for the pupils’ parents becomes a reality, with trips to the Eden Project and various historical sites on the cards. And if things weren’t bad enough, an unfinished tattoo and a chance meeting with smuggler Pasco Trevelyan (Iain Glen) leads to Alfie and his pupils unwittingly getting involved with the Cornish Liberation Army, a group of local revolutionaries ready to fight to the death for independence from the rest of the UK. Alfie wanted a memorable trip, and it certainly looks like he'll get one...

This film provides examples of:

  • Axe-Crazy: Pasco Trevelyan. Literally.
  • Ascended Extra: Joe’s mother Susan Poulter previously made a single appearance in the TV series’ first episode. Here, she is a leading character.
    • Atticus Hoye finally makes an appearance after three series of being The Ghost.
  • Ass Shove: Gagarin the class hamster. See Denser and Wackier.
  • Big Damn Movie
  • Bland-Name Product: Susan’s wearable tech is called “Go Glass” rather than "Google Glass".
  • Book Ends: The film both begins and ends with Mitchell spiking Alfie’s food and him hallucinating a female character (Jing in the prologue and Rosie in the epilogue) as a panda.
  • Brick Joke: The Cornish Liberation Army’s artillery gets mixed up with a delivery for a sex shop in Bodmin. Later, during the battle scenes, we see CLA members armed with dildos and anal beads.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: When the police are looking for Alfie and his students, Pasco claims that Alfie is his bastard son conceived in a far off port. Which Alfie tries to support by affecting a Cornish accent, leading to Pasco claiming that the port was Kingston in Jamaica. Alfie then tries a Jamaican accent.
  • Broken Pedestal: Alfie finally realises how little Atticus Hoye thinks of him.
    • Susan tries to invoke this between Joe and Alfie but it never really works.
  • Butt-Monkey: Alfie and Joe. A lot more than usual.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Alfie gets Mitchell to tattoo “Class K Forever” on his back. He passes out after the first three letters, leading to him later being mistaken for a member of the Cornish Liberation Army.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Fraser suggests taking a helicopter tour several times. It’s how he, Rosie, and Martin eventually rescue Alfie from an axe-wielding Pasco.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Almost every local that the main characters run into in Port Jago is a member of the CLA.
    • The Similar Squad that Alfie and Form K run into at Pennlaven Castle. The Police follow them to the Eden Project thinking that their teacher is Alfie. Who, at that point, is a wanted terrorist.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Alfie mentions several times that he used to fence at school. He ends up duelling Pasco through Pennlaven Castle.
  • Continuity Snarl / Retroactive Continuity: The film plays fast and loose with quite a bit of the continuity of Series 3 (being set roughly between Episodes 5 and 6), and plays out the final episode’s plot of Alfie dealing with his students moving on from Abbey Grove in its own more minor way.
  • Deadly Prank: The truth about Alfie’s Magaluf story. His friends told him the trip was to Sierra Leone and he spent a week there where he caught Ebola and nearly died
    • Mitchell spiking Alfie's crepe with magic mushrooms on a school trip to Amsterdam leads to him riding a stolen bicycle into a canal.
    • At Atticus Hoye's house party; Alfie is dared to teabag a swan, and is later buried up to his neck in the cabbage patch as a prank.
  • Denser and Wackier: Within the first ten minutes; Alfie unwittingly eats magic mushrooms at an Anne Frank exhibit, and (in a scene set a year later) Gagarin the class hamster crawls into a tennis ball serving machine and gets shot into Susan’s vagina.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Joe getting a history tutor is treated like him cheating on Alfie.
  • Easily Forgiven: Joe forgives Alfie far too easily for both accidentally stabbing him in the hand, and for drugging his mother and having her smuggled to France. The latter does earn Alfie a What the Hell, Hero? though.
  • Epic Fail: Alfie’s attempt to jump a canal on a bicycle with a waxwork of Anne Frank in the basket while high on magic mushrooms. It goes about as well as you’d expect.
  • Gilligan Cut: Susan claims that Cornwall is a cosmopolitan area with both feet firmly in the 21st century. At that exact moment; a large group of locals come parading down the street in period dress, commemorating an ancient tradition.
    • When Alfie takes his class to the pub, he tells them to try and blend in. Stephen immediately goes to the bar and orders “Eight Smirnoff Ices, babe.”
  • Gunship Rescue: The climax features two. Susan and her army of PTA members pick up the children from the beach in a fleet of small boats, and Alfie is rescued from the top of Pennlaven Castle by Rosie, Fraser, and Martin in a helicopter.
  • Master Swordsman: Both Alfie and Pasco.
  • Meaningful Name: Form K’s hamster is named Gagarin. He ends up being launched somewhere dark. See Denser and Wackier for more details.
    • Inverted with Gay Colin, who isn’t actually gay but was given the nickname when he ordered a white wine spritzer in 1984.
  • Mistaken for Terrorist: Alfie for the second half of the film.
  • Mushroom Samba: Alfie at an Anne Frank exhibition in Amsterdam after Mitchell spikes his crepe with magic mushrooms.
    • And during the school leavers’ photos thanks to some spiked brownies. Again, courtesy of Mitchell.
  • My Beloved Smother: Susan. Dear God, Susan. Forcing herself onto the Cornwall trip is the tip of the iceberg.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Alfie and Pasco have lengthy duel through Pennlaven castle, which Alfie eventually wins by disarming Pasco. But when he tries to stab him, it turns out the swords weren't real.
  • The Nicknamer: Pasco nicknames Joe “Smee” and Jing “Lotus Blossom”.
  • Precision F-Strike: The normally measured Rosie provides two of these when driven to distraction during a journey to Cornwall with Fraser and Martin by them listening to Shakin’ Stevens and playing I Spy.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Susan gets one before pepper spraying two CLA members and rescuing the children.
    Susan: In loco parentis, motherfucker!
  • Priceless Ming Vase: The two thousand year old human foreskin on display at Pennlaven Castle.
  • Running Gag: Joe using his knowledge of history to answer the questions Pasco asks Alfie about carrying out a revolution, much to the latter’s annoyance.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Alfie and Pasco’s lengthy duel through Pennlaven Castle turns out to be this since the swords weren’t actually real.
  • Shout-Out: Alfie’s Mushroom Samba in the prologue leads to an E.T.homage as he tries to jump a canal on a bicycle with a waxwork of Anne Frank in the basket.
    • The scene of the Cornish locals parading through the streets and in period dress was written as a homage to The Wicker Man (1973).
    • Upon meeting Alfie's very posh school friends, Cleo tells them she doesn't speak Hogwarts.
    • Several of Pasco’s lines (such as “The fire rises” and “Let the games begin”) are lifted from The Dark Knight Rises, cementing his characterisation as a violent revolutionary.
    • Word of God says that the scene of Interpol tracking Form K's Similar Squad through the Eden Project was inspired by Predator.
    • Part of Alfie’s Rousing Speech is him declaring that “This! Is! Cornwall!”
  • Similar Squad: The group run into a German one at Pennlaven Castle. Complete with a wheelchair-bound pupil named “Remm Hund”
  • Slipping a Mickey: Mitchell does this to Susan with berries stolen from the Eden Project that have a laxative effect, and to Alfie on a trip to Amsterdam by spiking his crepe with magic mushrooms. And again with a box of brownies.
    • After getting tired of Susan dominating the trip, Alfie drugs her with sleeping pills and has her smuggled to Cherbourg in France.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: When Alfie poses the question “Who is the most popular person at a house party” (His answer being the person with drugs); Joe suggests that it’s the person playing the bongos, much to Alfie’s derision. Later, at Atticus’s house party, the news that someone is going to play the bongos elicits a massive cheer from the guests.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Alfie accidentally detonates a car bomb set up by Pasco at Atticus's house party.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Susan considers Alfie to be this for Joe.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The explosion at Atticus Hoye’s house and Alfie’s duel with Pasco were prominent parts of the trailer.
    • Also subverted with the shots of news reports about the CLA being re-edited to just be about the class causing mayhem on their own.
  • Waxing Lyrical: While delivering a Rousing Speech to the CLA, Alfie proclaims that “We have to fight fight fight for this love!”
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Joe having a tracking chip implanted in his neck is never mentioned after the scene that reveals it, and the film very likely ends without him ever finding out.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Joe gives Alfie one when he reveals that he drugged Susan and had her smuggled to France.
    • Susan gets one from Rosie when it comes out that she had a tracking chip implanted in Joe's neck when he had his appendix removed.