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Standing in the Hall

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Until the 1970s, a common punishment used by Japanese school teachers for tardiness or rowdiness in class was to have the student (almost always a boy) stand out in the hall holding two water-filled buckets (every classroom has buckets since the students normally do the cleaning anyway); the public disgrace could be compounded if the student weakened and had to put the buckets down on the floor.

While being asked to stand outside the classroom as punishment is hardly unknown in Western schools, of course, the buckets of water are an added wrinkle unique to Eastern schools.

Now used jokingly — similar to references to "teacher's hickory stick" (being rapped on the knuckles with a ruler), or sitting on a stool wearing a Dunce Cap. Often the fate of the Class Clown.

Becoming a Discredited Trope, due to the times, and also due to some Values Dissonance. Not commonly used in Western schools because kids might take the opportunity to wander about the school instead of standing in one place (and some might even consider it a reward, not a punishment).


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  • BoBoiBoy:
    • In "Football Fight!", after Fang and his team of bad guys (Adu Du, Probe and their Robolabots) lose the football match, Papa Zola is angry that one of the goals had been burned through by Probe's kick earlier. He reports them to the disciplinary teacher/vice principal, who has Probe, Adu Du and Fang stand in the hall while holding buckets in each hand (which Adu Du thinks is ridiculous).
    • Downplayed in "Emotive Chemical Y", where Yaya punishes BoBoiBoy and Fang for quarreling by making them stand on the class tables (instead of the hall) while holding chairs above their heads. They still bicker when Yaya's back is turned by kicking each other, before Adu Du loudly calls for BoBoiBoy from outside, causing both of them to fall.
  • Mechamato: In "Amazeey's Labyrinth Challenge", Mr. Jamie still doesn't believe Amato when he says that he's Mechamato (who just saved his life), and instead punishes him for bringing MechaBot (who he calls a gadget) to school by having him (and MechaBot) stand in the hall while holding up chairs.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Hayate the Combat Butler: An early chapter sees head butler Klaus egg on a fight between Hayate and Tama that tears up Maria's garden. In response, Maria makes Klaus carry two water buckets with his arms extended while also balancing a third bucket on his head.
  • 7 minutes into the 11th episode of the 1982 anime series Tokimeki Tonight, the main character Ranze Eto has to hold 1 bucket (due to being a girl) and her love interest Shun Makabe has to hold 2 buckets (due to being a boy) after they are both late for school discussing the upcoming birthday party of Ranze's brother Rinze which Shun was planning to attend. Ranze reflects to Shun's friend later (who offers to hold the bucket for her if it happened again) that she doesn't feel any discomfort due to being in Shun's presence.
  • Ranma :
    • Ranma and Akane get sent out into the hall in the second episode. Kuno does too, and comes by to fight Ranma.
    • Later on, Ranma, Akane, and Gosunkugi get sent out to the hall.
  • In the first episode of Azumanga Daioh, Genki Girl Tomo actually sends herself out into the hall (over Yukari's objections that the punishment in question isn't done anymore) to prove she's up to the challenge of holding those heavy buckets. Tomo being Tomo, though, she isn't. She soon enough finds this punishment very taxing. Yukari being Yukari, she finds Tomo's standing into the hall yapping to passersby and eventually dropping the buckets to be far more annoying than the actual tardiness, about which she couldn't care less.
  • An episode of Dragon Ball Z featured Gohan punished in this manner, although the joke was at the time he was secretly one of the strongest people on earth. Indeed, he accidentally spills one when he does the Hand Behind Head gesture out of habit, showing that the bucket didn't weigh a thing to him.
  • Manabi from Manabi Straight! manages to be assigned to hold heavy buckets of water on stage while being elected Student Council President.
  • To deal with a certain Evil Twin/clone scenario in Angel Beats!, SSS members are told to attend class but do anything to not pay attention (It Makes Sense in Context). The hijinks they do range from listening to music, drawing random stuff, and for Noda, spinning his halberd with one arm outside the window. What does resident Cloud Cuckoo Lander Yui do? Why, Standing in the Hall of course (with a third water bucket on top of her head)!
  • Strawberry Marshmallow features a running gag where a boy in Ana and Matsuri's class is constantly and unfairly assigned to stand in the hall at the slightest provocation, such as, well, being there. Miu tends to end up in the hall for, well, being Miu; and being Miu, unable to understand she did anything wrong.
  • The first episode of Kaitou Saint Tail has Meimi and Asuka Jr. sent to the hall for fighting.
  • Subverted in one episode of Hare+Guu, when the teacher, Lazy, is sent out like this several times for being, well, too lazy to be bothered with teaching.
  • Parodied in Puni Puni Poemi, where the main character points out that no school in Japan has done this for a good ten years and concludes that the writing staff must all be really really old.
  • In Minami-ke, Chiaki (with no authority) regularly disciplines a classmate with buckets.
  • In Kekkaishi, Yoshimori's teacher does this to him once, making him stand in the hallway with a bucket of water on his head. He doesn't really seem to mind since his powers allow him to generate box-like force fields of spiritual energy which are invisible to non-spiritually sensitive people. He balances the bucket on this until something causes him to loose concentration, dispelling the field and causing the bucket to fall and pour the water all over him.
  • Alluded to by Kisaragi Itsuki in RahXephon, referring to a bickering Kamina Ayato and Kim Hotal acting like misbehaving schoolchildren.
  • A suitable punishment for Gawl in Generator Gawl after he falls asleep in class for the Nth time.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Yoko does this to a couple of the students during her time as a teacher.
  • Female example: in the first episode of Fushigi Yuugi, Miaka is kicked out of her classroom for hitting the teacher with her table because he woke her up from a nightmare. The next scene, she's seen carrying her desk above her head.
  • An episode of Negima!? featured as a sideplot, Negi's older sister dressing as a student and making herself hold a bucket outside the classroom.
    • In the last volumes of the original manga Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Negi (officially) becomes too busy with extra-school activities, so his former enemy Fate starts to substitute him as a teacher. This substitute turns out to be a Stern Teacher (although a calm and collected type), and in one moment he uses this trope on two students who were talking during the class.
  • Mildly Military example: In Strike Witches, Francesca has several instances where she's made to hold buckets of water as punishment. In some of the promotional shorts, Mio makes Yoshika hold buckets of water as punishment for forgetting Sanya, one of the main characters.
  • Ayane of Ayane's High Kick finds herself standing in the hall of her school complete with a water bucket in each hand after her first night of grueling kick-boxing training causes her to sleep through her classes the next day.
  • In the first episode of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, Kenichi is made to stand in the hall for being late on his first day. Miu, the girl who escorted him, elects to stand in the hall along with him.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Ed's father makes him hold a pail of water as punishment. The pail actually had an aesop hidden in it though. Hohenheim had Ed hold the pail after he said that his mom loved Alphonse more than him. Ed put down the pail after a few minutes, and complained. Hohenheim pointed out that the pail (with water) weighed about as much as a baby in the womb, and that their mother had carried that weight for nine months. The point was that their mother carried them both, and loved them both.
  • In a quite epic example in Bankara, Gouda Takeru is condemned to "an eternity of Standing in the Hall", with the buckets chained to his hands and encased in a block of ice. See here
  • Digimon Tamers:
    • In the first episode, Takato is exiled to the hallway after being Late for School, though he doesn't have to hold any buckets of water. He takes the opportunity to draw his fan-made Digimon, and then gets busted for that too.
    • He gets sent out into the hallway in a later episode for being distracted in class (his mind was on the upcoming trip to the Digiworld), and Kenta, Hirokazu and Juri all follow him out in a show of solidarity.
  • Usagi of Sailor Moon was sent out to the hall in the first episode and a time or two since. It was implied she spends a lot of time there, to say nothing of the damage it ends up doing to her grades (her own teacher singled it out as the reason why she keeps failing her tests).
  • In Nichijou, Yukko Aioi often ends up here due to either forgetting her homework or disrupting class. One memorable instance of this had her witness a wild brawl between the principal and a deer while standing there; when she frantically rushes back into the classroom to tell what she saw, she decides against it out of fear that nobody would believe her and gets sent back out with two buckets this time.
  • In GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class, Chikako made a fake branch of cherry blossoms to see if it'd be thought real. But when she went to go put it in the tree, it looked like she was stealing a branch, and Sasamoto-sensei had her stand in the hall with buckets... something she'd never had to do before, her friend Mizubuchi had never seen before, and Sasamoto had never prescribed before.
  • In Soul Eater, Black*Star gets sent out in the hall by Stein giving him an opportunity to work out.
  • In Barefoot Gen, Gen is punished this way after telling his class he agrees with his father about war being bad.
  • In K-On!, the four members of the club who are in Yamanaka's class are discussing via passed notes the upcoming wedding that an old club member wants them to convince Yamanaka to play for with the rest of the old band. Ritsu makes Mio crack up with a picture, causing Yamanaka to catch her. Tsumugi, wanting to fulfill a dream of hers, stands up to take the fall, but all four of them get sent to stand in the hallway, so it kills two birds with one stone by providing them a place to continue their conversation without so much fear of being caught.
  • In Yugami-kun ni wa Tomodachi ga Inai, Yugami gets sent out into the hall for being late and for being a bit of a smartass to his teacher. ...Mostly for the latter. Chihiro joins Yugami in the hall as well, although she didn't have to.
  • Happens twice in Senran Kagura anime. First time was in episode 5, where Katsuragi has to hang upside down from the ceiling with the buckets for sleeping in the class. In episode 8 (which is a flashback), Katsuragi and Ikaruga are punished for fighting and using their Shinobi techniques in the public, this time needing to do it over the night.
  • Nobi Nobita from Doraemon gets punished this way many times either because he comes to school late, forgets to do his homework, fails his tests, or falls asleep in class.
  • Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto: Sakamoto does this in the intro narration to every episode, naturally looking impossibly stylish while doing so.
  • Yukihime makes both Karin and Touta do this in UQ Holder! after they eat some chocolates on her desk. Only, instead of standing in the hallway of a school, they're standing in a pocket dimension set up to look like the hallway of a school (to keep them separate from everyone since the chocolate was laced with a truth potion).
  • Episode 482 of Naruto Shippuden is a flashback to Shikamaru's childhood. At the start Iruka make Shikamaru, Chouji, and Naruto stand in the hall for slacking off during class.
  • Happens to Satania in Gabriel Dropout when she proudly declares to her teacher she purposely didn't do her homework.
  • In the second episode of Isekai Quartet, this happens to Aqua, who got caught attacking Ainz' group. Two episodes later, it happens to Kazuma and Subaru for arriving late.
  • In My Daddy Long Legs, Judy's first day of class has he being told to leave class when she asks if Maurice Maeterlinck was a freshman. Judy meant it as an innocent question and not a joke as the teacher takes it to be, due to Judy's previous educational neglect. Said teacher later realizes this when he runs into her and Sallie in the library.
  • In the title page for Chapter 23 of Yuugai Shitei Doukyuusei, Reika is shown standing with buckets in her hands and wearing a sign saying "I touched myself in school".
  • The opening of Burn Up Excess has this happening to Rio after she falls asleep while Da Chief is berating her, complete with the water buckets.

    Fan Works 
  • Control: Just two weeks into her first year of high school, Yukari caused a scandal when she splashed the vice principal with water (with some rumors even claiming it was bleach or ammonia). What actually happened was she was holding buckets for sleeping in class, fell asleep standing up, and accidentally splashed the vice principal when he woke her up. Yukari ended up meeting Nyamo due to that incident.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Friends made the duck stand in the hall:
    Chandler: Now you sit there! and think about what you've done!
    Ross: Uh... That's a duck.
    Chandler: That's a BAD duck!
  • In the first episode of the Japanese drama Ashita, Mama ga Inai, Mana Ashida's character is made to stand in the bathroom of her group home with holding buckets after being caught fighting with another girl in the home. At the end of the episode all four of the main girls receive the same punishment when they're caught returning home after curfew.
  • The British comedy sketch show Laugh Out Loud had this in a skit, where someone threw a ball of paper at the teacher who immediately sent the class clown (as in, an actual clown) out into the hallway. We see a follow-up skit to the above where another clown is sent out into the hallway as well!
  • Sukeban Deka: Yui Kazama a.k.a. Saki Asamiya, who is new in Tokio, has an argument with her classmates and is punished this way.
  • Variation in the Chinese series My Little Princess (亲爱的公主病), set at a school for the arts: the extremely strict piano teacher punishes anyone who gets any notes wrong in their recitation by having them stand holding a bucket of water in front of them, but at the front of the class instead of in the hall. When Lin Xin Chen arrives late, there are already half a dozen students so afflicted. She makes a bet with the professor that if she plays any song of his choosing perfectly, he'll end this form of punishment. (He tries to accuse her of getting notes wrong, but another student successfully argues she followed the composer's intent rather than the modern sheet music.)

    Video Games 
  • In the school stage of the video game We Love Katamari, a pair of students can be seen holding buckets of water in the hall.
  • Lloyd in Tales of Symphonia, while not in the hall (he's in the back of the classroom in a one-room school), is holding buckets of water at the beginning of the game. In fact, the game starts with Lloyd getting an eraser thrown at his head becasue he fell asleep while doing this. Hilariously enough, he hadn't put the buckets down while he was asleep, either. They were still a good three inches off the ground while he was snoozing. This is the first hint at his enhanced strength due to his exsphere.
  • Mega Man Battle Network 6 requires you to put out a fire in a school at one point. You do this by borrowing a bucket of water from someone standing in the hall — definitely an easier guess for Japanese players.

    Web Animation 
  • This occurs in the second episode of Senpai Club. Tsumiki is sent to stand in the hall holding buckets because she came to class late and very loudly screamed "I'M SORRY!" while Kurokawa was given the same punishment for trying to seduce Teacher-sensei.

    Web Original 
  • There's a well-known story on Tumblr by someone who (allegedly) was given the punishment to stand in the hall inside an empty bucket, but was told "don't leave the bucket" rather than "stand still." Hilarity Ensues, as the kid managed to use the bucket to hop down the hall and out into the parking lot, and when caught said "I didn't get out of the bucket." When the principal calls his mom to come get him, she says "Well, he never left the bucket."

    Western Animation 
  • One episode of The Simpsons has Bart being expelled from Springfield Elementary and ends up attending a Catholic private school. On his first day, a nun makes him stand in the hallway in "the crucifix position" and makes him hold dictionaries. (After he makes a snarky comment, she adds two more.)
  • In the Kaeloo episode "Let's Play Teachers", Stumpy tries to behave badly so this will happen to him and he gets to miss class. Subverted though as he is forced to write lines instead.