The diametric opposite of the Open-Minded Parent is the Education Mama, a mother (and it's usually, but not always a mother) who is obsessed with her children's education and pushes them to succeed academically, no matter the cost. She will shell out thousands of dollars to send her kids to private school or move to another town with good schools, and her kids will be forced to surrender their social lives in the pursuit of good grades (Cram School may be involved). And God help her kids if any of them gets anything less than an A or A Degree in Useless.
If her kids still have some free time after studying enough to get perfect grades, then she will also force them to master a musical instrument (almost always the violin), and then keep tacking on more extracurricular activities until there is no free time left. Of course, this is all to make her kids seem more impressive to the Dean of Admissions at whatever Ivy League university she has picked out for them.
While it is a problem in many countries around the world, this trope is especially pervasive in East Asian families, due to the existence of the Imperial examination, a standardized test you could take in China that was absolutely necessary for a position as an Obstructive Bureaucrat, one of the cushiest, most respected and most well-paying jobs then available. (The topic of the test was the writings of and about the great philosopher Confucius, meaning that theoretically anyone who could read had a shot at a government job. Needless to say, competition is fierce.) Many of the other nations in China's cultural shadow adopted this system, giving rise to the stereotype that all Asian parents are like this. Such parents have been given the name "Tiger Moms" (Traditional: 虎媽, Simplified: 虎妈, Pinyin: hǔmā) in Chinese, and specifically kyoiku mama (教育ママ) in Japanese. With the increase in migration, this trope takes on a whole new meaning in migrant diaspora - a fear of their children being locked out from opportunities.
The term "Tiger Mom" was coined by Yale law professor Amy Chua in her book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and despite it only being used by Chinese people at first, it has spread widely throughout the Anglosphere and is used by many non-Chinese women to describe themselves, being the most common term to describe academically-driven mothers in Australia.
Variants include Stage Mom, the performing-arts-focused sister of this trope, and Sports Dad, its sports-oriented brother. Often overlaps with the Fantasy-Forbidding Father, in that the Education Mama will try to stamp out any of her child's non-academic interests or different professional aspirations than what she's planned.
Contrast: Parental Abandonment, Open-Minded Parent. Compare Jewish Mother and My Beloved Smother. Can turn your child into a "Well Done, Son!" Guy if all goes according to plan. If it goes pear-shaped, it can lead to a You Are Grounded! moment, or worse still, teen angst or teen rebellion. In the worst cases, particularly in East Asia, the end result is attempted suicide, running away from home, becoming a hikikomori or some other variety of The Shut-In or even snapping out and committing violence against the parents.
- This Tim Hortons commercial has a Chinese son and father at the grandson's hockey game. In the flashback, the father often berated his son for playing hockey when he should be studying. It was revealed that the father would secretly watch all his son's hockey games. And now, he proudly watched as his grandson played.
- One of Yuko Saitou's Sega SG-1000 commercials plays this trope for laughs with her mother (played by Yuko herself) asking why she's playing all of those games when she should be studying.
- A UNICEF PSA in Hong Kong advocating the benefits of unstructured play has a ball bouncing and rolling towards the front doors of children. Each time it arrives at the child's door, his or her parent would take him or her inside, shutting it out so he or she can concentrate on practicing the piano, doing homework, and studying. The ball forlornly rolls throughout the city, being neglected due to parents restricting their children from playing with it because doing so interferes with their highly-expected educational pursuits. When it rests on the field, one boy tries to pick it up, but his mother led him away to attend a class. Fortunately, the PSA ends on a happy note, with the children eagerly playing with it after being neglected and abused for a while.
- Hatori's mother from the manga and its anime adaptation, Alice & Zoroku, becomes this when Hatori fails to get into a prominent school that her mother pushed for. It grows to the point Hatori's mother becomes emotionally abusive towards her daughter and added stress when her parents begin fighting constantly. Hatori considers running away from home at first until she discovers her magic can manipulate her parents.
- Takagi's mother is this, for which he consistently scored top in his school, but the pressure of it all leading him to rebel by choosing a career in manga. This was confronted early in the series when he said he's going to the same high school, and later college as Mashiro so he could skip classes when needed and focus on writing manga, even though he has the intelligence to aim higher. It's implied that she wanted him to study so that he can "avenge" his father, who was fired from his job after Taking the Heat for his boss. However, when he called her out on this, she apparently became willing to allow him to live as he wanted. His mother apparently has no such standards for Akito's older brother, who is fooling around in college around the start of the series.
- Mashiro's mother also follows this in the early parts of the series; she's the only one in the household who doesn't approve of Mashiro's goals to be a manga artist and constantly encourages him to study instead (although, in fairness, there was the problem with Mashiro's uncle having probably died from overworking, having unsuccessfully tried the rest of his life to get another hit manga). When she notices him playing video games instead of studying, she angrily tells him he won't even get into Minami High if he continues at that rate. She eventually relents, though.
- In Battle Spirits Shonen Toppa Bashin, Bashin's mother Hayami is shown to be very concerned with his academic success. She doesn't want him to put other things (namely, Battle Spirits) before his school work. It's not so much that she's strict as that her husband abandoned the family to go and travel the world. She's concerned that Bashin will turn out like him. So it is rather justified.
- Hinata has signs of this. She's really into Boruto studying in the academy and is angry when he tries to (blatantly) fake an excuse note. She's rather justified, as Boruto is a Brilliant, but Lazy Child Prodigy who cuts corners whenever he can, and expects cool ninjutsu to just fall into his lap.
- Temari is even worse. When she learns Shikadai tried to cut class, she smacks him in the face, leaving a smarting mark.
Shikadai: Compared to my mom, yours is mild.
- In the original Captain Tsubasa anime, Taro Misaki and his father Ichirou meet a nerdy kid whose mother is like this and refuses to let him join a local soccer team. The kid is clearly uncomfortable with his mom's behavior and really wants to join the team. After a pep talk from Ichirou and witnessing the boy's interaction with the team kids, the mom has a change of heart and gives in.
- Taichi's mother in Chihayafuru, but extends to any competition (just look at all the trophies and certificates in that one room of his house!). Ever since Taichi was little, his mother always wanted him to be the best at everything he did, so much she would chastise him harshly for not getting first place. Chihaya personally calls her "Mrs. Pressure" because of all the stress Taichi gets from living up to his mother's expectations.
- In Coffee & Cat, Kon's grandfather forced him to drink nothing but bitter tea and drilled him in the making of it ever since Kon was little. He also pressures Kon constantly to pass his university exams. The thought of telling his grandfather that he failed is so terrifying to Kon that he flees across the country rather than face his grandfather's ire.
- Digimon Adventure:
- Jyou Kido's father, a well-known doctor, pushed all of his three sons to become medics. The eldest, Shin, complied but chose to work abroad rather than with him; the middle son, Shuu, successfully rebelled against him and is studying Digimon; and Jyou actually reached a compromise with Dad and became a doctor out of his own will, but in Jyou's own terms —specifically, he became the very first doctor in the Digital World, according to the epilogue.
- Sora Takenouchi's mother, Toshiko, was a mixture of this and My Beloved Smother before the girl was spirited to the Digital World. Since Sora's father Haruhiko is well-intentioned but workaholic and works in Kyoto, poor Sora had huge identity issues that took quite a while to be resolved, and not before Toshiko went Mama Bear and allowed herself to be captured to save Sora and Biyomon.
- Chi-Chi in Dragon Ball Z acts like this towards her eldest son, Gohan, wanting him to be a scholar and avoid the violent lifestyle of his father. In the end, Gohan becomes a scholar (though he still enjoys martial arts), and while she does train Goten in martial arts, one can tell she's far less pushy.
Goku: A-are you trying to tell me that Gohan's studies are more important than saving the Earth?
Chi-Chi: That's right, mister! There is nothing more important than Gohan's studies right now! If Gohan takes three years off, he'll fall behind!!!
- In Dramacon Bethany has to sneak around her mother Mary's back just to be an artist as a hobby because she refuses to accept the idea of Beth becoming anything less than a lawyer with impeccable grades throughout her entire educational career. Mary also makes it quite clear that if Beth ever attempted anything else she'd flat out disown her. In the third volume Beth finally confronts Mary on this and states that she will accept a job offer from a manga publishing company if she's offered again, and her mom pulls I Have No Son! the moment Beth refuses to do what she wants. Moments afterwards, Mary is almost killed in a car crash and the two reconcile as she recovers in the hospital.
- Yukimitsu's mother in Eyeshield 21. She doesn't even know he's on the football team, because he's been telling her he's at cram school. The only reason she does take it well when he eventually tells her is that the team is a championship-caliber team and so looks even better for college entry: A student pulling in nothing but As? Dime-a-dozen. An all-A student who also plays high-level sports? That's a fierce combination for college application.
- Fushigi Yuugi: Miaka's mother. The manga hints that she became like that after her traumatic divorce.
- One of the stand-alone stories in Mitsukazu Mihara's IC in a Doll had a woman who would give her son a timed math test every morning and yell at him when he cried or was two seconds slower than her friends' children. It turns out this is out of stress; partly because she thinks her husband is cheating on her (actually, no. He's a crossdresser and the lipstick stains and perfume on his clothes is from him) and partly because she has a bit of an inferiority complex. It didn't end well.
- In I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up, Machi Morimoto's parents were rather controlling of every aspect of her life, especially her schooling. Mrs. Morimoto even yelled at Machi for only getting a 90 out of 100 on a test.
- Kaguya-sama: Love Is War: Shirogane's mother valued education above all else and constantly pushed him and his little sister to excel, eventually walking out on the family with Kei because she was the only one who showed promise (though Kei is back to living with her brother and father in the present for reasons that have yet to be explained). Part of the reason why Shirogane is so obsessed with being the number one student in the school (aside from feeling that it's the only way that Kaguya would acknowledge him as an equal) is that he secretly hopes that his mother will come back for him if he's successful.
- Marmalade Boy: Kei's parents were like that at first, but more in the art fields since Kei was an excellent pianist. That led to Kei running away from his parents and become extremely selfish and possessive of Miki, the first real friend he's had. Later, though, they make amends.
- Mrs. Yamada in My Neighbors the Yamadas is a classic example.
- Miyuki Gotou of Noein starts off this way toward her son Yuu, even cutting him off from his friends so he can study more, to the point where he was clinically depressed and showing signs of incipient psychosis. Thankfully, she lightens up later in the series, after a Journey to the Center of the Mind.
- Male example: Kyouya's father in Ouran High School Host Club.
- Paradise Kiss: Yukari's mother Yasuko.
- Pokémon: The mother of one of May's earlier coordinator rivals also was like that, as a cover for her own childhood traumas with her parents.
- In Saki, Nodoka's father seems to be this, disapproving of her decision to turn down going to Tokyo's best prep school to go to Kiyosumi, although she manages to get him to consider letting her stay if she wins the tournament.
- Sailor Moon:
- In Ami's introduction episode, Beryl and Jadeite discuss "education mothers that are as fierce as demons" before setting up an Evil Plan in a cram school.
- Usagi's mother Ikuko is shown as being somewhat more of an Education Mama, as well as Ami's own mother Dr. Saeko Mizuno in the live-action series. With Ikuko, this is a Justified Trope, since any parent would be understandably mad when their kid keeps getting 20s and 30s on their tests with no show of improvement.
- Medusa from Soul Eater calls herself this to explain her treatment of Crona.
- In Sword Art Online, Asuna's mother Kyoko is strict with her when it comes to her studies. After Asuna escapes the eponymous video game, Kyoko plans on pulling strings and getting Asuna out of the SAO Survivor School so that she can get a better education, regardless of whether Asuna wants it.
- Spencer's mom from Tokyo Pig is an inversion. She wants him to focus on exercising instead of his schoolwork.
- Kei Yuzuki's mother from Vampire Princess Miyu. Not helped by him being both Book Dumb and The Un Favourite compared to his brother and sister.
- In The World God Only Knows, Yui's mother is an overbearing one, not letting her daughter do anything she disapproves of, forcing Yui to become a Yamato Nadeshiko. Not strictly academic education but close enough.
- X1999: Male example: Satsuki's father. She ultimately gets so fed up that she uses her computer skills to arrange Mr. Yatouji's death in an accident.
- Shizuru Kuwabara of YuYu Hakusho adopts this role for her younger brother Kazuma in the Three Kings Saga, wanting him to get a good education and job. From what we see of Kuwabara later (which isn't much), she succeeded.
- Robin Series: Jack Drake manages to combine this with being a mostly absentee parent by using his son's "poor" grades as a reason to force him to transfer schools. For the record, Tim was implied to be a straight-A student though he needed extra credit to get there in his Literature class.
- Parodied in The Shadow Hero, in which Hank Chu's mother is obsessed with turning him into a superhero.
- Watchmen: Laurie "Silk Spectre II" Juspeczyk had this problem with her mother, the original Silk Spectre. Though played oddly in that her education is primarily focused on being a Superhero. Laurie realizes at one point, after vigilantism has been outlawed and her "job" as Doctor Manhattan's unofficial handler is gone, she literally has no prospects or real career options because that's all she ever learned.
- Young Justice: The reluctant superheroine Arrowette had this problem with her mother, who was once the original Arrowette.
- In Peanuts, a 1990 storyline has Marcie explaining to Charlie Brown that her parents are like this and put a lot of pressure on her to bring home good grades.
- Chairman Tsukino does this from a distance in A Brief History of Histories, enrolling his daughter in an expensive private school and hiring various tutors, switching them around if Usagi isn't showing enough improvement. This only adds to Usagi's Guilt Complex, as she hates seeing others punished for her failures.
- Retrograde Motion: Bruce's Maiden Aunt, Aunt Agatha. This is why the older and younger Jason were her favorites of Bruce's brood — they were the only ones that actually liked school. Her influence is such that by the end of the story, Damian and the younger Jason are (re-)enrolled into Gotham Academy, with Duke considering a transfer there, while Cass is in the midst of deciding dance schools. Even Dick ends up going back to college, though in this case, he's doing online schooling instead so he can properly raise Jason. The only exception is Tim, who is currently negotiating whether or not he can get a GED in lieu of going back to high school.
- Total Drama Legacy: The chapter "Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself" reveals that Cameron was one towards his daughter Storm. He wanted his child to be as smart as he was, so from an early age, he read lots of books to her and encouraged her to push herself to the limit intellectually. His efforts ultimately paid off, as Storm ended up being highly intelligent; however, the one time Storm got a D on a test, he felt as if she had betrayed him.
- Akeelah and the Bee has a male Chinese-American version in the form of the main rival's father. Luckily, all was resolved by both of them winning the contest. His son isn't too bothered by his opinion, telling Akeelah not to sabotage her chances of winning to appease his father.
- Bad Education: Mrs. Schweitzer, who keeps pestering Frank Tassone, the school superintendent. She is trying to get her poor dim son Chad into an advanced education program despite the fact that Chad can't read the word "accelerate". First she complains that the teacher wouldn't let Chad take enough bathroom breaks for the test, then after Chad fails a second time she says the teacher made the test harder out of spite. This pisses a stressed-out Frank off and triggers his Motive Rant. (Frank's embezzled a lot of money and is about to be exposed.)
- The Breakfast Club: Brian's parents may be the nastiest, most cynical example of this trope on celluloid. Emotionally, they treat the poor kid like garbage, apparently don't care about his suicidal tendencies, and it is strongly implied they are living vicariously through his academic achievements. Even worse, Brian has a younger sister, whom they raise in a similar way. Damn.
Brian's Mom: Get in there and use the time to your advantage.
Brian: Mom, we're not supposed to study we just have to sit there and do nothing.
Brian's Mom: Well, mister, you figure out a way to study!
- Mud's dad in Camp Nowhere. To be fair, Mud is a smart and proactive kid, but his dad keeps complaining that Mud has wasted potential, and repeatedly does all that he can to get Mud to grow up as soon as possible (and for the record, Mud is 12). Mud eventually learns to stand up to his dad and does so at the end of the movie.
- Dead Poets Society: Neil Perry's father. He wants his son to be a doctor even though it's not where Neil's heart is. The poor boy manages to have the best marks but still, students' theatre is a no-no for his father as it might distract him. It's little wonder that Neil was Driven to Suicide when his father plans to ship him off to military school.
- In a deleted scene, the Andersons send Todd to Welton, believing that if he doesn't improve himself, the chemicals in his body would only be worth $5.98 if they were bottled up and sold.
- An Education: Jenny is very talented and hopes to read English Literature at Oxford. She works very hard on her dream, but she also wants to enjoy her life, listening to popular music, and reading modern literature. Her father approves of her intentions of going to Oxford, and he pressures her even more to study. Ideally, she should only study and improve her Latin, and as far as music goes, her playing the violin is just fine. He simply does not want her to be distracted by anything inappropriate. However, he's also fairly kind and understanding, and Jenny's mother knows how to influence him.
- Gifted: Evelyn was this to her daughter Diane, focusing her entirely on academic achievements and preventing her from having any kind of social life. Once she discovers Mary has inherited her mother's smarts she tries to become this to Mary too. For Evelyn this is also a case of Vicariously Ambitious - as her own career in mathematics was cut short by moving to America and having a family, she hopes to gain academic fame through her descendants.
- Joan Carlyle in Ice Princess pressures her daughter Casey to study hard and get into Harvard the same way all the other skaters Stage Moms push them to succeed in figure skating.
- In The Langoliers, during one character's psychotic breakdown, we see that his father was this trope, Up to Eleven. The lecture the father gives for a B is roughly equivalent to any other parent lecturing for getting an F.
- The protagonist of Hirokazu Koreeda's film Like Father, Like Son, Ryota, is a male version of this trope. He puts great pressure on his son Keita to succeed academically, enrolls him in many extracurricular activities, and even coaches him to lie and give the most compelling answers possible to gain entrance into a selective elementary school. The film deals with Ryota's attempts to shake off this mentality and be a more loving father to his son.
- Molly's Game: Larry pushed Molly for greatness when she was growing up, and she recognizes this quality in Charlie towards his own daughter.
- The documentary film Race To Nowhere fittingly enough, directed by a former education mama who after seeing her daughter get physically ill from stress and high standards made the movie as a refreshingly frank condemnation of this trope's transformation into a cultural phenomenon, taking its entire duration to deconstruct the entire concept, manages to lay bare its oft-overlooked detrimental consequences that burden the children raised this way, haunting them for the rest of their lives.
- Mrs. Watson in Sister Act 2. It's made quite clear, albeit obliquely, that the reason that she disapproves of her daughter's desire to sing and instead tries to force her to focus only on education is not a general "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" or "you have to have better opportunities and do better than I did" mentality, but because her husband had tried the same path, failed utterly, and left the family destitute. So it isn't that she disparages Rita's dream, but that she finds it impractical and unrealistic and is afraid that pursuing it could cost her as it had cost Mrs. Watson.
- Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is a tongue-in-cheek how-to guide for Education Mamas. The book chronicles her attempt to raise her children in the standard Chinese overachiever tradition (but in America!), and the inevitable culture clash that ensues.
When Western parents think they're being strict, they usually don't come close to being Chinese mothers. For example, my Western friends who consider themselves strict make their children practice their instruments thirty minutes every day. An hour at most. For a Chinese mother, the first hour is the easy part. It's hours two and three that get tough.
- The third Bridget Jones book features Nicolette, a mother at the school Bridget's children attend, who puts her young sons under a huge amount of pressure to succeed in school. When it's pointed out to her what this is doing to her children, she has a breakdown and eventually learns to relax a little after Bridget reaches out to her.
- In A Brother's Price, the protagonist, Jerin, had an Education Grandpa who insisted that all the kids learn how to read and write, including the boys. They even had a teacher come to the farm and give private lessons for the boys.
- DV-9, in Galaxy of Fear, has elements of this. He's an advanced research droid who, after his employer/owner adopted two kids, got press-ganged into babysitting duties. Since he's a very advanced droid he feels like this is a waste of his talents, but still is determined that the Arrandas be as educated as he can get them and is exasperated and annoyed by their lack of motivation. While marking Death in the Slave Pits of Lorrd, or How I Spent My Inter-Term Break he leaves this note.
As this will be the last assignment you will receive from me, I have seen fit to give this rambling and uneven collection of information a passing grade — however, you may find your uncle is not as forgiving as I am.
- In The Infected Brian Yi's mother was like this, and it drove him to drop out of school and sever ties with his parents the moment he was old enough to do so. Later this is revealed to be part of mental illness on her part, an obsession with driving those close to her to succeed and basking in reflected glory that drove away not only her son but her husband.
- British statesman Lord Chesterfield, as shown in his Letters to His Son. He expected his son to learn not only Latin and Greek, but to speak the important languages of the continent — that is, French, German, Spanish, and Italian — as well as his native language. Not like the average speaker, but at the level of a courtier, with spirit and perfect manners. Also, he should have a foundation in geography and history. And know the basics of various arts and sciences, like architecture, geometry, astronomy, logic... And know about the important parts of the economies of the various countries, their political/judicial systems, and military. Or rather, he should gather this information himself while in other countries. After all, Chesterfield expected his son to become a minister one day. Note: His son was fourteen when he left Britain for the "grand tour". Also note that the Earl did not expect his son to learn to play a musical instrument, deeming this as beneath a gentleman's dignity.
- Little House on the Prairie: Ma Ingalls, who was a teacher as a young woman and hoped to have one of her daughters follow in her footsteps. Her main reason for wanting her husband to choose a place to settle down, already, was so her four daughters could get a stable education. Also, the rest of the family and she are determined to do whatever it takes to send Mary to the college for the blind in Iowa. This benefits Mary in more ways than the academic: one of the facets of the school's education is teaching the students to work around their blindness and do things for themselves. When Mary returns from her first year, Laura notes that she moves around the house quite easily instead of staying put in her rocking chair, and unlocked and opened her travelling trunk quite as though she saw it.
- Little Men: One of the Men from the title, Billy, had an Education Papa who drove his promising student son to mental handicapping and physical frailty. He then dropped him off at boarding school in shame.
- In Isaac Babel's Odessa Tales, Edwardian Age poor Jews from Odessa push their boys to learn music, the violin being their instrument of choice. Even if the kid had no musical talent at all. They scrabbled together their last coins to pay for a violin and music classes, seeing the musical career as one of the few paths out of the miserable existence in the Tsarist state. When the hero's father finds out the boy had dodged the music classes, he chases him with openly expressed murderous intentions.
- Radio Silence: Carol Last believes that academic success (and academic success alone) is the key to success in life. She has extremely high expectations for her son Aled, and clearly has no respect for his privacy, interests, or relationships, thinking of all these things as distractions. To say nothing of how she treated her eldest daughter Carys like garbage for just not wanting or being able to be a top student, and thought nothing of disowning her when she ran away.
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: Katie Nolan is told by her immigrant mother that education is the key to rising in America, and to that end, she should make her kids stay in school longer than she did and read them a page a day from the Bible and the collected works of Shakespeare. How well this is or isn't working is a constant source of worry for her. She is pretty easy on her son Neeley, who graduates primary school with B's and C's on his report card than most parents of this type would be.
- Widow Kang from The Years of Rice and Salt mercilessly drills her youngest son in the Confucian classics, in order to make a proper scholar out of him.
- A Little Princess Sara's friend Ermengarde has a father who is extremely clever and is unable to empathize with his Book Dumb daughter. He tells Miss Minchin that she must be made to learn, with the result that Ermengarde spends the majority of her time at school "either in disgrace or in tears." She gets somewhat better at her studies thanks to Sara's help.
- Bud, Not Buddy: Herman E. Calloway was determined that his daughter would go to college and become a teacher. He pushed her harder and harder the more burned out she became, and never gave her the opportunity to decide what her dreams were. Eventually she ran away, and no one knew what became of her for the next eleven years until her son Bud showed up.
- Bob Hearts Abishola: Abishola is this to her son Dele, pushing him to study hard so he can become a doctor and not allowing him much time for fun. Dele doesn't want to be a doctor, however, he'd rather be a dance choreographer, and has been making music videos behind his mother's back.
- In Bunk'd, the Asian and Nerdy Tiffany has one of these (although in a subversion of the stereotype, her mother isn't Asian). She wants Tiffany to go to medical school at Harvard, therefore Tiffany has been prohibited from doing anything remotely fun or enjoyable for her entire life. She herself is a scientist, who is researching a cure for sleep since she believes anything that takes eight hours per day away from studying can't possibly be healthy. She also hid all of Tiffany's Christmas presents from Santa, telling her that he only gives presents to people who have gotten a paper published in an Ivy league journal. The only reason she allowed Tiffany to come to camp in the first place was that Tiffany told her it was an educational camp for child geniuses. When Tiffany tries Calling the Old Woman Out, she dismisses Tiffany's feelings as nonsense. After all, her own mother treated her the same way, and look how successful she turned out! She has a Heel Realization and agrees to ease up a bit when Tiffany points out that Grandma's treatment of her ruined their relationship and they don't even talk to each other anymore.
Tiffany's Mom: Well, I do send her a Christmas card every year.
Tiffany: Yeah, with the word "Merry" crossed off!
- In The Big Bang Theory, another Asian form of this trope emerges: it is implied that Raj Koothrappali's parents hot-housed him through the notoriously competitive Indian education system this way.
- Cold Case: In "Knuckle Up", the victim's father sends his son into a private prep school and obsesses over his grades. It didn't end well after the son lashed out on him and left, marking this occasion as the last time he saw his son alive.
- The Doctor Who episode "The God Complex" implied that Rita grew up in a household like this. Her worst fear is her doctor father's disappointment in her grades, despite the fact when we meet Rita she's already a doctor.
- Fresh Off the Boat: If her oldest son Eddie is getting straight A's it can only mean one thing to Jessica Huang: school is too easy and must be made more challenging.
- Glee combines this trope with "Gender-Normative Parent" Plot. Mike Chang's father flips out over an A-minus, or, as the episode calls it, "an Asian F" and thinks Mike's involvement in sports and the Glee Club is distracting him from his studies. Even Principal Figgins, normally an Obstructive Bureaucrat towards the Glee Club, thinks Mike's father is over-the-top. Meanwhile, his mother is the understanding one and supports his dreams of becoming a dancer. This is because her parents played this trope straight and crushed her own dreams, and she doesn't want to repeat that experience with her own son.
- Parodied and Gender Flipped in a sketch from the TV adaptation of Goodness Gracious Me. An Indian father opens his son's exam results and is horrified to see that his son got a B. When his wife points out how well their son is doing (he got As in six other subjects and a place to study medicine at Cambridge University) the father then complains that the boy is "only" taking A-Levels and should be sitting on a PhD. It's revealed at the end of the sketch that the son is only six years old.
- A mild example in the Inside No. 9 episode "Diddle Diddle Dumpling": Louise coaches her seven-year-old daughter to do well academically, encourages her to mix with wealthy classmates, and asks her husband to help her assess the competition at school.
- Parodied (and taken to extremes) in a Jam sketch where a couple plies other people's children with drugs and pornography so they can sabotage their daughter's rivals for a place at a good school.
- A second-season episode of Law & Order featured an Education Mama who also had a large helping of racism against Asians. When her son's Asian-American classmate looked like he was going to beat him for a prestigious scholarship, she murdered him.
- Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Robbie, the title character from the episode "Bright Boy", had an extreme version. Robbie did have above-average intelligence and could likely have excelled academically in an environment where his abilities were properly nurtured, but he was honor student-smart, not an academic Child Prodigy. His father, however, was convinced he was a child genius and pushed him well beyond what he was actually capable of. Goren's investigation eventually reveals that Robbie's father repeatedly cheated on behalf of his son and yet, despite this fact, he somehow continued to believe that Robbie's genius was real.
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: When a teenage girl is murdered, investigation reveals that her father was a particularly brutal example of this trope. She and her sister were forced to kneel on grains of rice on the basement floor while their father drilled them on different topics. It also turns out that the girl's killer was her roommate from her incredibly prestigious school, who killed the victim out of jealousy because she felt that she needed to be the best or else she was a failure. It's implied that most of the students at that school have similar backgrounds (if only because the school's mentality was similar to that of this type of parent, which would have attracted those parents and potentially put off others).
- In The Librarians "And the Rule of Three," Cassandra bonds with a teen named Amy Meyer over their mutual experiences with parents who place academic success over everything else: no dates, no movies, no social life, no hobbies that don't look good on a college application, and so forth. Amy's mother spends most of the episode shamelessly making herself obnoxious in pushing for Amy to win at the STEM fair, until Amy finally tells her bluntly that it's her life, not her mother's.
- Lost: Eloise Hawking combines this pressure on education with neglect and emotional abuse. Of course, if you knew your son was going to travel back in time and end up being shot dead by your younger self, you probably wouldn't want to get too attached to him either.
- MacGyver (1985): Ma Colton when it comes to the education of her youngest son Billy. She seems to have given up on the older two.
- Malcolm in the Middle: Lois enrolls Malcolm in classes and extracurricular activities that he doesn't want to be a part of, forces him to tutor his brothers, tries to keep him from dating on the off chance that it'll distract him from homework, and eavesdrops on his college interviews. Malcolm finds this behavior unreasonable and highly pressured, and considers her an overbearing Education Mama; Lois, on the other hand, thinks that these are necessary efforts to make on behalf of a lazy child with an IQ of 165. This comes to a head in the series finale, where it's revealed that she had planned his entire future for him, up to, and including being President of the United States.
- In Mustangs FC, Anusha's mother is a classic Asian 'Tiger Mom'. pressing her daughter to excel in academics, music, and fencing. Marnie and Live are only able to persuade her to join the team by explaining how good participation in a team sport will look on her CV.
- Subverted in NUMB3RS with the Eppes parents. Even though they had a son who was a clear Child Prodigy, they worked hard to ensure they were giving him what he needed rather than pressuring him to perform to an external standard.
- Never Have I Ever: Nalini is very focused on Devi's academic performance.
- In the Korean Drama Sassy Go Go, Kwon Soo-Ah's mother is an extreme version of this, and could easily be the page image. She considers anything less than being the top-ranked student as a failure, severely chastises Soo-Ah for not getting a perfect score on an exam, forbids her from closely associating with the Real King dance club members (or anyone else, really), and makes her focus exclusively on her studies, and pushes Soo-Ah to follow her own carefully laid out road map to get into an Ivy League college. With all this pressure, it is hardly surprising that Soo-Ah is such a messed up girl who spends most of the series undergoing increasingly rapid Sanity Slippage.
- Super Sentai doesnt so much use this trope, as it deconstructs it.
- Choujuu Sentai Liveman has the child of said mama become totally dedicated to proving that he is genuinely smart, to the point of making a FaceHeel Turn and becoming The Dragon to Great Professor Bias. After his mother has a Heel Realisation, he makes a HeelFace Turn and is the Sole Survivor of the villains faction.
- Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger has one of these characters become the Victim of the Week due to her fear that her son is disobeying her. It turns out that he is because he just wants to be normal.
- Deconstructed in Kamen Rider Zero-One. Arc Villain Gai Amatsu had an extremely strict father growing up, who expected nothing less than 1000% out of him in terms of academic performance. Even scoring 100% on a test only won him a lecture on how he shouldn't even be happy about 100% and instead strive for nothing but 1000%, despite that being, y'know, kinda impossible. And the one time that the young Gai scored 99%, his asshat dad not only scolded him for being "an embarrassment", but forced Gai to get rid of his Robot Dog, the only thing he ever loved. This caused Gai to not only become obsessed with achieving 1000% but also to grow into the sour, uncaring, eternally 24 Jerkass extraordinaire that he is in the present. And all from a single incorrect answer.
- Parodied in Survival Tobita's Saitama Pro Wrestling Company, which featured Tobita fighting different monsters. One of them is Education Mamagon, whose gimmick was that he would force Tobita to read a book during the match.
- Jacob's mother from Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues gave up her job so that she could focus entirely on making sure that her son got the best possible grades he could manage. She won't even let Jacob in the house until he's finished his studying, and only then if he gets most of the answers correct.
- Fangirls: Although the dialogue indicates that Edna won her scholarship to an exclusive private school entirely off her own bat, her mother Catherine is very proud of her for having done so, and keeps pushing her to make sure that she does not screw up the opportunity this presents her with.
- In Battleborn, Beatrix's mother in her lore apparently was quite the Tiger Mom. Excerpts from her diary from the lore in Battleplan 32 reveal her mother, a Silent Sister, constantly pushed Beatrix to apply herself in her studies. As Beatrix was quite the Teen Genius who was excelling in her grades, her mother negotiated her early graduation and as such Beatrix graduated from Archsciences Academy at 14 years old, the youngest ever to do so. However, even then that wasn't enough as Beatrix's mother later applied her in grad school. All of this was to make Beatrix a candidate for sustainment before she died of her illness though her mother did so without really asking Beatrix herself what she really wanted.
- In Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls, Nagisa Shingetsu's parents are a very dark example, having viewed child-raising to be like a game, essentially forcing him to "level grind" in studying without sleeping under threat of physical punishment. The worst part is that it isn't even for Nagisa's benefit, but they apparently viewed him as an experiment in how much cramming kids could do before breaking, and a document implies that Nagisa's father was considering replacing him with another test subject.
- Demona in Fantasy Life. Justified in that her son is supposed to run a kingdom. The son in question eventually joins the list of people that the player can recruit as battle companions and tells the player that these occasions will officially be "educational outings".
- Luis Lopez's mother in Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony has a hard time trying to convince Luis of going to school.
- Your parents in Growing Up set Side Quests called Expectations for you to complete starting in elementary school. Accomplishing them within the number of turns given will raise their satisfaction meter, but failing to complete them will lower it. You can also raise the meter by mainly learning and mastering skills, and they'll give you extra allowance and grant you special requests if you raise it above 70. However, lowering it below 20 will prevent you from making requests from them and they'll also take away your allowance.
- Lan/Netto's mother Haruka in Mega Man Battle Network is a benign version of this. Yes, she harps on Lan to get his schoolwork done constantly, but this is a good thing because he has a severe case of Brilliant, but Lazy.
- Persona has a rare male example of the trope. Kumi Hirose had a father who pressures her to keep on top of her grades and is furious that said grades had slipped because of her involvement with the drama club. He rants to her about how he gave up drinking and smoking and how he sacrificed his weekends of golf so that he could make extra money to send her to a better school. Kumi is also berated by her peers at the drama club because she's too distracted with her studying to contribute to the school play. Kumi becomes a total wreck who feels like no one gives her a chance.
- In Persona 3, the mother of seven-year-old Maiko forces her to attend cram school and other lessons constantly, on top of neglecting household chores like laundry that Maiko is forced to do in her place. (And that pressure is on top of the stress she faces dealing with her parents' bitter divorce.) Fuuka Yamagishi's parents similarly obsess over her education due to their own inferiority complexes, to the point that one of the reasons she participates in SEES is to escape from them. Another student from Gekkoukan High also complains about her parents being like this, forcing her to do nothing but study in her free time.
- Returns in Persona 4, the Tower Social Link involves you tutoring a boy named Shu, whose mother considers him a genius and wants him to excel. It ends up being somewhat downplayed in that his mother isn't overtly overbearing about it, but doesn't realize how much she's fueling his issues. This leads him to cheat on a test and getting suspended though, with the Protagonist's help, he gets over this. By the end of the Social Link, he and his mother have worked out their issues and agreed to start over.
- The Serial Killer Tohru Adachi's Freudian Excuse in Persona 4 was that growing up he had strict parents who never let him have friends or do anything other than study.
- In Persona 5, Makoto Nijima's older sister and legal guardian Sae pressure her to focus on her studies, as a result of Sae's own personal issues, which include bitterness and the need to prove herself.
- Minor NPC Suzanna in Xenoblade Chronicles is defined as a "study-mad housewife". She asks you twice to collect things that will help her son Moritz study harder.
- This is Riddle's Freudian Excuse for all his actions in Twisted Wonderland: his mother micromanaged his life to the extreme to ensure his success in his studies and punished him for the smallest rebellions against it, resulting in his rule-obsessed attitude in the present.
- The protagonist's father from Lucy ~The Eternity She Wished For~ is almost never home, but when he is, he's angrily berating the protagonist for not getting good enough grades (even though the protagonist is second in his class) and constantly reminding him how much of a disappointment he is compared to how he was as a kid. When the protagonist finally Calls The Old Man Out after failing a mock exam, his father immediately blames Lucy for twisting his son's mind.
- Nanase's mother in El Goonish Shive (the page image) is one of these. She even insists on her children speaking Japanese at home, so they'll be just as fluent as they are with English.
- Mei-Li (Lin's mother) in Kevin & Kell, who is a Tiger Mom in more ways than one. She starts learning to loosen up thanks to Kell and Coney.
- Emily's mother in Misfile, mainly because she had to drop out of school to take care of Emily at a young age.
- The High Expectations Asian Father meme is a parody of this.
Asian Father: We are A-sians, not B-sians!Asian Father: Jeremy Lin plays B-Ball? Why no A-Ball?Asian Father: You got beads at Mardi-Gras? Why not... nevermind. Beads are fine.
- The second most-upvoted post on /r/asianparentstories is a snowclone of "Is This a Pigeon?" poking fun at this trope.
- The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Choices" reveals that Nicole's mother, Mary, was this. Not only did she have Nicole's future planned down to the minute, but she criticized Nicole for a report card with perfect grades because she had an F in the line for "Gender."
Nicole: Uh, yeah. "F" because I'm female!
- The later episode "The Parents" reveals Nicole's parents named their daughter "Doctor" ("Nicole" is her middle name), signed her up every after-school club at once, and gave her the wrong blood type in a blood transfusion because "Why settle for B- when you can have A+?"
- American Dad!:
- Toshi and Akiko's mother is this in spades. She works both her children like slaves, though she seems to give Toshi slightly more freedom as he is often seen hanging out with Steve and his other friends. Akiko, on the other hand, is given treatment that makes the Tiger Mom look slack. When Akiko loses a spelling bee to Steve, her mother swears to DOUBLE her workload.
- The Smith's Camp Gay neighbors Greg & Terry were shown to be this at various points towards their daughter Libby, but especially in the episode "A Boy Named Michael" towards her and Roger's "Michael" persona. They forced Libby to learn fencing and three languages by the time she reached preschool, and upon meeting "Michael" for the first time they have his entire future neurotically planned out in a "Life Binder" and expect him to master Japanese within a year.
- Batman Beyond:
- One episode had a Valedictorian student, Carter, whose mother was like this. He had the second-best score on a school-wide test, falling short of Max, and his mother considered it terrible. The show, however, demonstrates why this attitude was bad; her strict upbringing drove him to become a member of the Jokerz just to have some freedom.
- The comics reveal that his capture and subsequent rehabilitation backfired. Now Terminal, Carter's gang persona, is a separate personality that Carter is doomed to be at war with for control of his mind. A constant battle that takes place within the confines of Arkham Asylum.
- On Big Mouth, 13-year-old Jessi's mother Shannon weighs her down with tremendous expectations for academic and career success. This is partly motivated by her Straw Feminism, as she seems to want Jessi to be a successful woman more than she wants her to be happy. This does not help Jessi's depression and ironically, Shannon's ex-husband Greg has to talk Shannon into putting less pressure on Jessi when Jessi has a bout of depression during annual standardized tests that have Shannon talking about her getting into Yale (Jessi is only in 7th grade).
- Jodie's nouveau riche parents push her into every extracurricular activity possible. This is augmented by Jodie's own perception (possibly inherited from them) that she needs to prove herself as a black student in a school that's primarily white. All There in the Manual: The Daria Database has one picture of several character's new year resolutions. Jodie's imply that she actually dives into extracurriculars to escape her parent's behavior in this regard as much as to please them. However, Jodie does wish she could have more freedom to just enjoy her spare time instead of filling it up with extra work, especially during the summer, and her parents aren't exactly above having her do extracurricular work that would make them look good. However, they finally concede in Is It College Yet? after realizing Jodie applied to Turner, an all-black college, behind their backs, for the sake of being among people like her and being able to relax for once.
- Daria's own parents, especially Helen, try to push her towards more extracurricular activities to augment her perfunctorily good grades. Daria, however, is not as much of a doormat as Jodie; in the end, Helen usually has to either bribe her or find something worse to threaten her with.
- Mrs. Ping of Detentionaire, to the point that she's a teacher at Lee's school. It was one lousy C, mom. In gym! That's not even a subject, it's like, some guy's name! Of course, her being a teacher at the school might be the whole reason she's an Education Mama to begin with. After all, who wants to be known as the teacher whose own kid gets bad grades?
- A Cutaway Gag example from Family Guy.
Japanese Father: (Walks into his son's room) You doctor yet?Japanese Son: No Dad, I'm twelve.Japanese Father: Talk to me when you doctor! (Slams door)
- Generator Rex: When Rex shows off his grades from the brief time he attended Noah's school, Doctor Holiday takes exception to a 98% and decides to intensify the study courses she teaches him because "I know you can do better".
- Olga from Hey Arnold! was so pressured to be perfect by her parents that she winds up mentally unstable when faced with failure (a B+ on her report card makes her suffer a complete mental breakdown), to be, as she put it "A wind-up doll expected to perform perfectly." After Helga reveals she forged said grade, she admits that she'd rather be like Helga is to her parents. Since she had been built up as The Ace, it serves as a nice deconstruction. Of note, however, is that her parents were disappointed, but quick to reassure her that a B+ was still good during the episode proper - it was still years of high expectations that came crashing down.
- In Inside Job (2021), Reagan's father Rand prioritized her academic progress above all else to the point of throwing out the TV so she'd focus on science and deleting all her memories of her childhood friend Orrin Carthwait so Orrin wouldn't "hold her back" from skipping fourth grade, which resulted in Reagan having No Social Skills and a lot of trauma and resentment towards him. While he tries to claim it was for Reagan's own good, it's soon made clear that it was mainly so she'd be his "insurance" in case he ever got fired from Cognito Inc.
- King of the Hill: Kahn. His wife Mihn is like this to a lesser extent, but Kahn is always pushing his daughter to study, learn, and practice the violin. Worse still, it isn't even for her benefit. Kahn sees an intelligent, successful daughter as a requirement for the "perfect life" he's been seeking, so he can rub it in the faces of everyone he knew growing up. Also, his father-in-law was a famous general who seems to view him with contempt. However, Kahn later lets up on this. In the last episode of the series, he lets Connie take the night off from studying to attend the Hill's barbecue.
- Implied in an episode of The Littles with an "education papa". When the episode begins, he threatens to send his daughter to a private school "where [her] friends won't be such a bad influence on [her]", unless she gets straight A's on her report card, resulting in her running away from home.
- The Owl House:
- Deconstructed with Amity Blight's parents. They push her and her siblings to excel in school, not to give them better opportunities in life or reach their full potential, but to make the family look good. The mother, Odalia, in particular clearly couldn't care less about Amity's emotional well-being, even attempting to remove her friends from school as a punishment when her grades start slipping. While her older brother and sister became irrepressible troublemakers, possibly as a form of rebellion against their parents, Amity starts the series as an Academic Alpha Bitch with no real friends who focuses all her energy into becoming a better witch and one day joining the Emperor's coven, because that's all she thinks matters.
- Willow's dads are this combined with Parents as People. When we first meet Willow, she's on the abominations track at school despite hating it, and not really being any good at it, at her fathers' behest. They refuse to let her study plant magic, which she loves and is really good at, because they feel studying abomination magic will set her up for better opportunities later on. (Bear in mind, if Willow were to complete her education on this track and join the abominations coven when she graduated, the rest of her magic would be sealed off forever — she wouldn't even be able to use plant magic for fun anymore.) They also rather understandably freak out when she gets expelled and threaten to ground her for three years. However, they're not totally unreasonable. When Principal Bump sees that Willow, previously considered one of the worst students at Hexside, is actually a plant magic prodigy, he talks to her dads and they let her switch tracks, which makes her much happier and has the bonus of getting her grades up. When the expulsion happens and they've had a chance to cool off, they both resolve to homeschool her themselves and take advantage of the crappy situation to spend more time with her as a family, and the books they give her include some on plant magic. So while they do place pressure on her to do well academically and don't always take her feelings into account, it seems to come from a good place and they obviously just want what's best for her.
- One episode of The Proud Family showed that the father of the Chang Triplets is an education papa. When Dijonay switches with the Chang Triplets for "Cultural Switch Day," she brags to their father about how she got a B in math, in which he retorts to "B stands for 'better work hard to get an A'", and makes her study more.
- In The Simpsons "Changing of the Guardian" episode, Selma (with Patty's help) is raising her adopted Chinese daughter Ling Bouvier in the "tiger mom" method, pushing her to become a child prodigy with no praise or affection, and they lash out at Homer when he boorishly complements Ling's progress, which threatens to ruin Patty's and Selma's cynical influence on their parenting skills.
- One of Virgil's Asian and Nerdy classmates in Static Shock has an Education Papa. Virgil sees his father studying with him and berating him one day when the poor guy got a 99 on an essay. He later develops Hulk-like powers.
"Dad, it's just one point."
"One point away from a perfect score!"
- Claire's parents from Trollhunters might be this, though the only indicator is their suggestion that she drop out of the school play after getting a "B" on a class assignment.
- Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? begins with Mom Unit forcing Robot Jones to attend school with humans so he can learn about their ways. She tends to get testy whenever Robot tries to stray from learning what he is asked to learn.
- Young Justice: Artemis's mother is a downplayed example. She worries about Artemis's grades and thinks that she should focus more on her education than her hero work, but this is shown to be because she herself is a former supervillain, Huntress, who was left crippled after a Career-Ending Injury and watched her other daughter, Cheshire, go down the path of villainy already. She drops her complaints when Artemis is awarded a Wayne Foundation scholarship to Gotham Acadamy.