Principal: It's not a reward!
When a student misbehaves in school, they may get suspended, which means they have to stay home from school for a certain amount of time. Schools see it as a punishment so that the kid can use their time at home to "Think about what they've done", but many kids will treat it as some sort of reward since School Is for Losers. It's essentially a free vacation for them and they can do whatever they want. They may even start getting in trouble on purpose just so they can stay home even longer!
How the kid's parents treat the suspension varies. Some won't punish their child and take them to do something fun, especially if they don't care, the kid was innocent, or they think the punishment was unfair compared to what they did, while other parents may end up punishing them further, including giving them chores or grounding them. The student may also have to complete the work that they missed, either during the suspension or after they get back.
Another variation is with getting expelled, with the kid being ecstatic over possibly never having to go to school again. Of course, parents wouldn't let their kids go without education, so they'll either send them to another school or homeschool them.
This has become a Discredited Trope due to schools realizing that sending kids home for misbehaving doesn't work, and instead favor in-school suspensions, which makes getting in trouble not so awesome since students will have to do work all day if they get in trouble.
Anime and Manga
- Played with in Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School. Instead of being expelled after blowing up the school gym in a ploy to postpone exams, Nagito is merely suspended because the school deems him too valuable to lose, and several students and faculty are scapegoated and given much harsher punishments. Not much is known about what happened during the year-long suspension, though the teachers theorize Nagito went on vacation, and he was, once again, the sole survivor of a plane crash and wound up in an island paradise.
- Robin (1993): At several points, Tim Drake hopes his punishment for frequently falling asleep in class or outright ditching his morning classes will be suspension as his work as Robin is making him too tired to find school anything but torture and he already knows everything he's being "taught" at school in the subjects he actually cares about.
- Wonder Woman Vol 2: Cassie wishes her rather useless history teacher would punish her with suspension instead of detention for "disrespecting" him in class whenever she answers his questions correctly while he's trying to catch her off guard since she doesn't seem to be paying attention. Coincidentally she and Tim of the Batman mythos are friends and co-founders of the team Young Justice.
- Defied in CONSEQUENCES (Miraculous Ladybug) when Lila gets busted for her lies and lack of attendance, as the school thought about suspending her, but figured she would treat it like a vacation. Instead, she has six months of detention with Ms. Mendeleiev and has to complete all the homework she never did.
- In With Pearl and Ruby Glowing, Holt was suspended for getting into a fight with his brother Jackson (who was simply lectured due to him looking white while Holt was obviously black), but he was happy with it, seeing it as an extra vacation.
- In Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars, Alan gets a long suspension for causing a riot at school by telling everyone he's from Mars. He's first excited, then bored by the suspension, but then his friend Leonard gets an excuse to skip school as well. They use the time to have exciting adventures in the City of Adventure Hogboro, where they meet aliens and learn to travel through dimensions.
- Big Nate Flips Out: When Nate hears that Nick got suspended for stealing a camera and framing Francis, he believes that he got off light compared to the punishment he got (three days of detention for getting into a fight with Randy).
- Bridge of Clay: Middle brother Rory hates school with all his heart and does things like throwing grapes at a teacher to get suspended. While suspended, he goes with his eldest brother Matthew to work, which he likes very much — and when Rory finally gets expelled, he promptly finds a job and is finally happy.
- This trope tends to happen in Shivers (M. D. Spenser) entries with a school setting. Near the end of "The Curse of the New Kid" and the start of "The Spider Kingdom", both the respective main characters receives suspensions from their schools, only to enjoy their day off because they can play video games and watch cartoons all day. The former even has the 12-year-old protagonist smoking when he's alone.
- Carrusel: Discussed when the Principal decides to give Jaime a 10-day-suspension. His father thinks it'll just damage his learning so she instead gives him 10 days without recess.
- The Middle: In the episode "The Quarry", Axl gets suspended from school for playing hooky and plans to watch TV the whole week. Mike says it's supposed to be a punishment, so he takes him to be put to work at the quarry to teach him a lesson... and Axl ends up enjoying it more than school, much to Mike's dismay.
- If My Heart Had Wings: In the climax of Kotori's route, the Soaring Club is suspended for stealing back the glider, but since it was right before the beginning of the school year, they all see it as an extended vacation.
- The title character of Selkie is suspended for a week when she kicks a bully in the groin in self-defense. She's initially upset about it, but when told that suspended means that she has to stay home from school, she is ecstatic. The principal isn't pleased, saying that it isn't supposed to be a reward. Todd, of course, doesn't punish Selkie because she was only defending herself, while the bully's parents threaten the principal into revoking their kid's suspension.
Georgie: Dude! I wonder if we get a week off PER KID?!Selkie: Let's finds outs!Paul: Kids, if y'all actually kick anyone, I'm just giving you triple homework instead.
- In "Jeffy Gets Bullied!," Jeffy gets suspended for beating up Bully Bill. When Mario tells him that he has to stay home for a week, he's happy about it, saying that he should have gotten himself suspended a long time ago.
- Similarly, in "Jeffy Gets Expelled!," after being expelled for fighting too many times (as well as being placed under house arrest due to Bully Bill pressing charges), Jeffy is thrilled that he doesn't have to go to school anymore. He gets upset when told he has to go back after putting his ankle bracelet on Bully Bill and causing him to blow up.
- "Cody Gets Expelled" has Cody get kicked out of school for making an AK-47 joke in class. Junior and Joseph think that getting expelled is "sick" and that Cody can just stay home all day, but Cody, being a nerd, enjoys school, and he says his parent got mad at him and want to move to Vermont so he can attend school again, so they all come up with a plan to get him un-expelled.
- American Dragon: Jake Long: Discussed, played straight and subverted. In "Being Human," Brad pranks Professor Rotwood with an exploding cake near the end of the term. He's suspended for it, leading Trix and Spud to question the act's effectiveness. Jake, who is seriously struggling under the weight of his responsibilities, is inspired to do the same to the Dragon Council so he can get some time off. However, their suspension leaves him temporarily powerless, which inevitably makes things go wrong when Councillor Chang attacks.
- Invoked in Beavis And Butthead episode "No Laughing", in which Principal McVicker initially suspends the moronic duo for a week for constantly disrupting classes with laughter, but when they announce that being suspended is "cool" and start air-guitaring, McVicker changes his mind and goes with something more effective.
- Defied in the Bob's Burgers episode "Thelma and Louise Except Thelma is Linda." Louise is given in-school suspension for pantsing a bully, with Mr. Frond acknowledging that kids usually see getting sent home from school as a reward rather than a punishment.
- In the Clarence episode "Suspended," Clarence and Sumo get suspended for pulling a prank on Ms. Baker. While they initially take the opportunity to goof off and have fun, they quickly get bored.
- In one episode of The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants, George and Harold try to get suspended after another student compares it to a vacation. They get their wish in the end, but the fun is short-lived; their parents are naturally upset with this and end up punishing them.
- Played with; in the Hey Arnold! episode, "Suspended", after receiving a D on his test, Harold decides that he hates school so much that he wishes he never had to go again. When he sees Wolfgang get punished for playing with the fire extinguisher, it inspires him to deliberately earn himself a week-long suspension. At first, Harold thinks being suspended will be fun, but everything backfires on him; when he tries to watch some TV, the only thing on is news coverage of an economic summit in Japan, which he finds very boring. Harold goes to the basketball court to shoot baskets but realizes that he can't invite his friends because they're still at school. When trying to shoot baskets by himself, he can't score a hit in the basket and accidentally tosses the ball out of the court, where it bounces off and damages several cars offscreen, which makes him realize the true misery of his punishment and desperate to return to school.
- The Replacements: In "A Clockwork Buzz," Todd frames Buzz, leading to him getting suspended for a month. After spending the episode faking being traumatized and brainwashed to get Todd to confess, Buzz admits that he spent his suspension watching TV and eating beans. Todd shrugs, looking forward to doing the same, but the principal makes him do community service for the month instead.