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Chekhov's Classroom

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Boss: Jack, you need to know what it means to be a soldier. Today's friends might be tomorrow's enemies. Like next week, when you'll have to kill me.
Snake: WHAT.

Pay attention in class, especially science class, because you will need the information later in the episode.

This trope is the awkward tendency of programs to use precisely what they learned in school (almost always science) earlier that episode, and to lampshade it through grating dialogue. Shows aimed at an older audience can make it slightly more subtle; even so, it usually comes out like this:

"Oh no! We're being attacked by Gef the Talking Mongoose. Wait a minute, say, Swotty McCliche, weren't you studying how to defeat talking mongooses just this morning?"
"Oh yes, I totally forgot. How conveniently stupid of me!"

Common in Edutainment Shows. May be the payoff for a "Reading Is Cool" Aesop.

Compare Strange Minds Think Alike and Lecture as Exposition.


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  • Invoked by Spider-Man in Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man Vol 2 #1. Learning about Genghis Khan's strategies in high school, he decides to use one of them against a corrupt Supreme Court Judge in the latter half of the story.
  • The Dethklok song "Bloodrocuted" has the protagonist come up with the idea of using his own blood to electrocute his pursuers after having a brief flashback to his high school biology class, where he learned that blood conducts electricity.
  • Katawa Shoujo has this in Emi's route. Mutou, Yamaku's science teacher, takes Hisao aside for a short lecture about observing things (if you let him). Namely, that if you can't observe something directly, observe its effect on other things. This advice comes in very handy, as it unlocks new dialogue options when Hisao and Emi's relationship starts getting off-track.


     Real Life 
  • Foreign language courses if you ever use them. NOT having language skills is not only inconvenient, but downright dangerous, especially if you ever have to deal with security forces or even just toughs.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Chekhovs Lecture, School Saved My Life


The Simpsons- Roman Numerals

Bart lampshades and subverts this by learning about Roman numerals earlier in the episode, and then totally forgetting it at the critical moment.

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Example of:

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Media sources:

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