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"Does any kid still do this anymore?
Does any kid still do this anymore?
Does any kid still do this anymore?"
The Simpsons, "Bonfire of the Manatees"

A character is given a line to write over and over and over again as punishment. In the classic version, the character is a child in school, and the line is of the form "I will/must not (do X) in class."

Coming up with methods to evade, enliven or simplify this punishment is commonly attempted. These include getting a computer program or magical spell (in Wizarding School) to write the lines automatically, taping multiple pens together so you can write multiple lines at a time (which does not work in Real Life), drawing a vertical line down the page to reduce each sentence by one word (by creating a non-serif 'I' for the phrase 'I must'), farming the lines out to underlings or altering your handwriting so that 'I must not' starts to look like 'I must'. These may be used successfully by a High-School Hustler. Other characters trying this will most likely be caught out and have to redo the work properly.

This has become something of a Discredited Trope, as using this as a discipline has fallen out of favor, since many teachers have complained that it has a negative impact on students as it turns writing (something which makes up a bulk of the school curriculum) into a punishment. However, depending on the teacher, it still sees application today in uncommon instances.

A variation on this trope is occasionally seen, in which the repeated line is to be spoken (in a deadpan mutter) instead of written.

See the sister trope of Paperwork Punishment.

Distinct from Madness Mantra and/or Room Full of Crazy in that this is enforced as a punishment on someone, not something a character does of their own decision.

I will not add a Zero-Context Example.
I will not add a Zero-Context Example.
I will not add a Zero-Context Example.

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  • A McDonald's commercial from 1987, "Hamburger University", features the Hamburglar stealing hamburgers from Ronald's class. At the end, he is caught and is forced to write "Don't take burgers robble robble".
  • In a commercial for the SNES Super Set features a math teacher showing how the SNES gives you four games in one while the Sega Genesis gives you none. At the end, a dumb student who likes Sega is forced to write the Nintendo slogan "The best play here."
  • In 2001, Dominique Swain made an ad for PETA. In it, she is naked in a classroom writing, "I'd rather go naked than wear fur."

    Anime and Manga 
  • In A Place Further than the Universe, Kimari is asked to read a passage aloud in class, but instead accidentally reads from the article about the civilian expedition to Antarctica that she was reading. When the teacher catches her, he has her write lines.

    Asian Animation 
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Joys of Seasons episode 16, although Weslie is never outright shown doing it, Mr. Slowy punishes him for stealing one of Wolffy's inventions by making him write a thousand lines.

    Comic Books 
  • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, Linda is sentenced to write "I will not whine about my life in Science Class" after being caught dozing off. She tries to use her super speed to get it done in no time, but unfortunately she puts her hand through the blackboard... and the wall.
  • The Powerpuff Girls cure Floyd and Lloyd of their spring fever (issue #56 story "Tardy Boys") which had been causing them to be late for school, but as a result of their efforts, the girls are now late for class. Ms. Keane makes them write "I will not be late for school" multiple times on the chalkboard.

    Fan Works 
  • Harry's New Home: In the prequel Harry's First Detention, Snape realizes that Harry's glasses don't work when he assigns the boy to write "I shall behave myself in the classroom setting" 150 times from the blackboard and instead gets "I should be more careful in class when sitting."
  • Infinity Train: Seeker of Crocus: As punishment for not reading his older brother's email in time that nearly ended with someone committing suicide, Anubis is forced to write "I will not ignore my brother's emails ever again" one thousand times. On clay tablets. In hieroglyphics.
  • In Timeless Academia, when Martha catches Euryale and Asterios attempting to charm Izuku into confessing his feelings, she drags them both to the archive room and makes them write lines. Euryale gets "I will not use my Noble Phantasm on my Master" fifty times, while Asterios gets "I will not listen to everything Euryale says" ten times.
  • Trolling the Toad: Like in the source material, Umbridge assigns Harry to write "I must not tell lies" in Blood Quill. However, in the fic's continuity, he ditches the lines and starts drawing pictures to give himself tattoos and piss Umbridge off.
  • The Kigo fic What Did You Learn in School Today? has Kim writing 'I will not engage in sex in the principal's office", after getting caught mid-coitus with Shego by Mr. Barkin.
  • In Zero no Tsukaima: Saito the Onmyoji, Saito was given the magical equivalent at his old magic school when he was forced to cast a color-changing spell 1,000 times for repeatedly turning in assignments late.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian features a scene where Brian is caught by a Roman centurion while he's writing ROMANES EUNT DOMUS on the wall of the amphitheatre. The centurion couldn't care less what the actual message is, he just wants to tell Brian off for his poor Latin grammar ("The people called Romanes, they go the house?") and deliver a strict Latin lesson. Brian is then told to write the corrected message (ROMANI ITE DOMUM, "Romans, go home!") 100 times on the wall before sunrise (which is seen by his fellow rebels as a far more courageous protest than the minor act of graffiti expected of him). But then a less eccentric patrol sees him admiring his work, paint in hand, and Surprisingly Realistic Outcome occurs.
  • The Mighty Ducks: The entire Ducks team is detained for quacking at the principal.
    "I will not quack at the principal."
  • Cyclops in X-Men Origins: Wolverine is sentenced to this after refusing to take off his sunglasses in class.
    Chris Sims: He’s writing "I will not leave this franchise for a Superman movie" a hundred times.
  • The Shining: Suffering from boredom and writer's block, Jack types "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" repeatedly just so he can give himself the illusion of progress, but eventually it turns into a Madness Mantra.
  • In Loose Screws, Brad Lovett is forced to write "I will not make sexual advances toward the female teachers of this institution" on the chalkboard one thousand times as punishment for masquerading as an Asian masseuse and attempting to give Mona Lott an arousing massage.
  • In The Little Rascals (1994), as part of Alfalfa's probation for burning down the clubhouse, the other members of the He-Man Womun Haters Club make Alfalfa write "I will not think of Darla" as many times as he can on a notepad. When he runs out of paper, he requests some more, and Petey brings him the paper with Spanky's plans to sabotage his date with Darla written on it.
  • In Matilda, Miss Trunchbull orders a student to write "I must obey Miss Trunchbull" sixty times.
  • In Yours, Mine, and Ours, Phillip signs a homework assignment with his new father's last name instead of his birth name. As punishment, his teacher makes him write his birth name on the chalkboards after school.
  • In Madeline (1998), after Madeline ruins Pepito's birthday party and gets her, Miss Clavel, and the other girls kicked out, Miss Clavel makes the girls write "I will control my temper" on paper 200 times as punishment. When she discovers that Victoria only wrote it 197 times, she makes her do it again, and Victoria is quick to blame Madeline for it.

  • Harry Potter:
    • Draco Malfoy expects this punishment for breaking curfew in the Philosopher's Stone, but instead has to go with Harry and Neville to help Hagrid locate a wounded unicorn... in the Forbidden Forest... at night... while whatever attacked the unicorn is still wandering around in there. (Keep in mind he's eleven years old, and much more sheltered than Harry is.)
    • The infamous detentions with Professor Umbridge, a Sadist Teacher character in Order of the Phoenix. Harry is forced to write with a quill that doesn't use ink, but as you write, the words are etched onto your hand, and the writing appears on the paper in your own blood. He still has the "I must not tell lies" scar in the last two books. And the wound proper doesn't appear the first time: for Harry to receive the scars, he had to write the line several times, every night of the week, on several occasions.
    • In their sixth year Seamus is set to write "I am a wizard, not a baboon brandishing a stick." This is because he accidentally produces a spout of water (that hits Professor Flitwick in the face) by talking while waving his wand around.
    • After becoming a prefect, Ron fantasizes about catching Gregory Goyle (one of Malfoy's mate) for something, so that he can make him write lines, which he figures would kill him since he's so stupid. He'd have him write "I must not look like a baboon's backside."
  • In Gordon Korman's book The War With Mr. Wizzle, the new Pointy-Haired Boss of an assistant principal introduces lines as a standardized universal punishment (as his job is to modernise the school, the irony of this is immediately lampshaded). The students retaliate by picking a handful to write everybody's lines for them, giving the other students time to sabotage Wizzle's computer, make an Invented Individual, and so on. (The kids who get picked to do lines soon begin to resent the ones who got assigned to the fun stuff, but they prevail anyway.) By contrast, the Headmaster, Mr. Sturgeon, whose power the students respect, disapproves of lines and prefers to impose lengthy essays as punishment.
  • One of the protagonists of Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones is assigned lines. He tries to invent a spell that will animate a pen to write them for him; it works, sort of, but the pen doesn't remember which order the words are supposed to go in, so he has to rewrite them by hand. Also, if he's discovered by the wrong people, he'll be burnt as a witch.
  • Sethra Lavode punishes one of her followers this way in Yendi. The character had been involved in some really evil plotting, but was too valuable to The Empire to kill. Sethra exiles her to a timeless desert "pocket dimension", and has her write "I will not interfere with the Dragon Council" 17 x 17 x 17 x 17note  times in the sand. (17 is a sacred number in their culture.)
  • Happens is Fairy Oak :
    • A variant. Tomelilla has Telli read the definitions of "nothing" and "unusual" 1500 times each because she failed to report Vanilla's flying for years.
    • Euforbia Flumel makes Lavender do this with the 1st article of the Magical Law when she transforms Cherry into a viper.
  • In Frindle, to make the students stop referring to pens as "frindles", the teacher makes them stay after school and write "I am writing this with a pen" one hundred times. The students make a game of seeing how many times they can get away with changing the sentence to "I am writing this with a frindle" without the teacher noticing.
  • George and Harold from the Captain Underpants series have been punished this way so many times that they keep a set of poles in their backpacks they put several chalksticks into to write multiple lines at once.
  • In the autobiographical Homesick: My Own Story, Jean Fritz says she would write fifty "I"'s, fifty "will"'s, etc so she wouldn't have to think about what she was writing, because she wasn't really promising not to talk in class.
  • Parodied (unsuprisingly) in the Discworld book The Last Continent. The Bursar recalls a fellow student wizard who invented a machine to write lines for him, however preparing the machine and winding it up took far longer than it would to write the lines (this is a sign of Progress). Nevertheless, other students would queue up and pay to use it, until an experimental multi-quill version exploded.
  • Harry And The Wrinklies, about a boy adopted by a retirement home full of well-meaning ex-cons, has an amusing occurrence: Harry is unfairly given lines as a punishment, so the resident forger tells him to just do half a dozen and he'll print off the rest.
  • In Naamah's Curse, Moirin's penance, set for her by the Patriarch of Riva who is holding her prisoner, is that she must scrub the floor of the cathedral, on her hands and knees, with a very small scrub brush and a bucket of lye. For each floor tile, she must recite the line "Yeshua the Anointed, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." It's a very large cathedral.
  • In the 1956 young-adult novel Danny Dunn and the Anti-Gravity Paint by Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams, Danny's teacher, in an effort to get him to stop daydreaming about space travel, makes him write "Space flight is a hundred years away" over and over. Before he can begin the assignment, the spaceship his friend Professor Bullfinch has secretly invented is accidentally lauched, with Danny and friends aboard. They make it back to Earth and Danny presents the assignment to his teacher, having finished it during the voyage. She humbly says she'll keep it as a souvenir.
  • A variant in some older British school stories is that the offender is made to copy out lines of poetry. This crops in, among others, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Stalky & Co. (In the latter, Sadist Teacher Mr. King gets a rare Pet the Dog moment when he reads outnote  Virgil's The Aeneid to a student who's been sentenced to write out several hundred lines of that work. Really it's just an excuse for keeping the lad company and taking his mind off the upcoming ordeal: the detention means he will miss games practice and thus get caned.)
    • Stalky, Beetle and M'Turk, on the other hand, spend rainy afternoons writing lines pre-emptively, so that when they get punished on a day when they have something better to do, they can use up some of the ones they have banked.
  • Mentioned in Jennings. In the first book, when Temple is giving a comically exaggerated impression of Mr Wilkins to scare the New Meat, he says that he had to write out "The angles at the base of an isoceles triangle are jolly nearly equal" 150 million times. Darbishire takes this literally and tries to work out how long it would take, eventually arriving at a figure of just over 47 years.
  • Space Cadet (Heinlein): One of the cadets resents being pulled up over his lack of table manners, and when told to eat his pie with a fork instead of his hands, insists on getting the order in writing as per regulations. The senior cadet does so without complaint, then gives him another written order telling him to report to his commanding officer. He gets a roasting, and an explanation of why such petty matters are necessary, and an order to write out two thousand times, "I will eat my pie with my fork."
  • In Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Won't-Walk-the-Dog Cure, Missy's possible boyfriend, Harold Spectacle, expresses appreciation at how creative her cures are after she successfully administers the titular Won't-Walk-the-Dog Cure, which involves turning the child's dog into a talking dog which is placed in charge of caring of the child, but shirks the responsibility. He notes that when he was a child, a teacher once tried to correct his behavior by making him write 100 lines on a chalkboard, but it only made him hate chalk.
  • Le Petit Nicolas: The class is usually punished at the same time, so one story has them stuck inside on a beautiful afternoon (French schoolchildren used to have Thursday afternoons off except for detentions) all writing lines under a teacher's supervision (who would clearly much rather be home). One kid starts to ask a question and is told to be quiet, but when the class is nearly done an hour or so later, it turns out he was asking if he could borrow a pen. The teacher actually sits down and starts doing the kid's lines for him, and when the class leaves they run into the principal... and one kid accidentally gets the whole class in detention.
  • In one short story that ran in Cicada, which takes place in a Catholic school, the main character's rambunctious friend is forced to write "God forgive my wicked ways" repeatedly as punishment. The main character, unimpressed with the nun who handed it out, notes that the nun isn't creative, just cruel.
  • In Goodbye, Mr. Chips, the first punishment Mr Chipping hands out when he starts teaching at Brookfield is 100 lines assigned to a student who is too noisy during prep.
  • Meg Langslow Mysteries: During chapter twenty of Owl Be Home For Christmas, Meg forces herself to write "I must not tell Dr. Czerny what an idiot he is" several times, in order to appear like she is taking notes and to resist bursting out laughing at Dr. Czerny's ideas about who the murder(s) is.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Bottom, Richie orders Eddie to write "I'm sorry I am a twat", ten times. Richie writes: "I'm sorry I am a twat, ten times", just once.
  • In Brat Camp, teenagers who break minor rules are made to say the rule out loud several times, such as "I must learn to put my gloves away!"
  • In Our Miss Brooks, it happens at the end of "Spare That Rod". Walter Denton, Stretch Snodgrass, and teachers Mr. Boynton and Miss Brooks, are forced to stay until 7:00 in the evening, writing out "Our principal is the best principal that any school ever had."
  • Italian Comedic Sociopathy series Caméra Café has Paolo ending up this way because he screwed with the girls in the office.The result is this trope, but on a paper sheet lying on the floor. An enormous one, at that. It covers the whole corridor.
  • In Warehouse 13, Artie makes Claudia fill a blackboard with "I will not disobey Artie" after she almost destroys the Warehouse by using a magnetic coat to change a lightbulb.
  • In one episode of So Weird, Annie and Jack get trapped in a magical version of detention by an artifact until they can learn to get along with each other. One of the assignments is to fill a blackboard with lines. A blackboard that covers every inch of the courtroom. They're understandably sore after it's over.
  • Tootie is given this assignment in an episode of The Facts of Life. She tries to get away with writing the sentence only once and putting ditto marks (") under each word for the rest of them. Needless to say, it doesn't fly.
  • Tyler Perry's House of Payne: Ella makes Curtis and Jazmine write 'I will not use profanity' near the end of "What the ... ?" after learning that the latter learned the bad word "Hell" from Curtis. It's not long before Curtis makes Ella do it when she says it.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze has the students in Sunday Detention writing the kanji "reflection" a thousand times. Gentaro, on the other hand, needs to do his with a calligraphy brush.
  • On The Cosby Show, Dr. Huxtable gets it from one of his kid's teachers, and when he starts, the teacher tells him to not write big as she's onto that one. Cliff instead writes in teeny tiny letters.
  • In the Supernatural episode "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part One" (S02, Ep21), the Acheri demon has filled the chalkboard in the one room schoolhouse with the line “I will not kill” written over and over again. She does not seem to have learned her lesson.
  • One episode of The Weakest Link had Anne Robinson order a teacher who had been voted off by the other contestants to write on the blackboard many times, "I AM the Weakest Link!" Goodbye!
  • Played for Laughs during the MythBusters "The Simpsons" special. While Jamie, in the foreground, explained why they wouldn't be using cherry bombs for the in-shop tests, Adam was in the background writing "I will not set off cherry bombs in the shop" on a blackboard.
  • The poster sent to fans who joined the fan club for the Imagination Movers depicted the four movers, Rich, Scott, Dave and Smitty against a blackboard on which they had written several times "I will think big! I will reach high! I will work hard! I will have fun!", which was essentially a variation of their Catchphrase, "Reach high, think big, work hard, have fun."
  • Some episodes of Super Sloppy Double Dare had a physical challenge where contestants had to stick graduation caps on a chalkboard. To introduce the challenge, Marc would have to stop Harvey and Robin from writing "I will not watch Fun House" on it.
  • Occurs three times in Back in Time for School, a British reality show in which 21st Century schoolkids get a taste of the lessons and extra-curricular activities on offer to their counterparts from the late 19th to the late 20th Centuries. In the inter-war years episode, two boys are given lines for not wearing their uniform in the prescribed manner. The Fifties grammar school episode has the pupil assigned to be Head Boy use the same punishment on a fellow pupil for flicking paper at him. And, when one of the kids is caught letting off a stink bomb in the Sixties secondary modern episode, his punishment is more lines.
  • My World… and Welcome to It: When Lydia takes John's fanciful re-imagining of the surrender at Appomattox that ended The American Civil War literally (he concocts a scenario where Ulysses S. Grant drunkenly surrenders to Robert E. Lee) — and submits this for a class assignment — her teacher forces her to write "I am a liar" on the blackboard 200 times as punishment. Occurs in the episode "Man Against the World."
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch: in one episode's B Plot, Hilda accepts to pass off as the author of Salem's pictures in order to sell them, but when his/her popularity starts to drop, Salem publishes an obituary saying that Hilda died, causing the prices to skyrocket, but also causing a great fright to her boyfriend when he goes to their house to mourn. At the end of the episode Salem is seen writing in a blackboard "I will not kill Hilda".

  • One of the covers of MAD #481, which spoofed The Simpsons Movie, parodied Bart Simpson's writing of lines with Alfred E. Neuman as Bart writing "I WILL NOT USE THE SIMPSONS MOVIE TO SELL MAD".

  • The Villain Protagonist of The Beatles' "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" is ordered to do this by his teacher. He decides to murder her instead.
  • In the music video for Brentalfloss' "Classic Ending Credits WITH LYRICS", which is set to the credits theme from Super Mario World, when Brent says, "And missed a day of school", he is shown in front of a chalkboard that has "I will not skip school to find Dracula's rib" written on it repeatedly.
  • "I Must Not Chase the Boys by Play shows one of the girls writing the title phrase repeatedly.
  • The music video for "Cure 4 Psycho" by RedHook features a blackboard with "There's no cure 4 psycho" written on it repeatedly.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Happens constantly to Jason in FoxTrot. He tried to automate it with a C++ program twice; once by printing out the lines with the computer to tape it to the blackboard, and once by writing the program directly in chalk. Miss O'Malley didn't accept either attempt.
    • Jason has even written lines in advance, such as "I will not throw paper airplanes during assembly" the day before the actual assembly, explaining he had a doctor's appointment after school and couldn't stay late.
  • The Far Side had a caveman writing "I will not act primitive in class."
    • Also, a young Doctor Frankenstein writing "I will not play in God's domain."
  • Happened once to Iggy in Heathcliff, after what appeared to be a disastrous show-and-tell day at school: "I will not bring Heathcliff to school anymore."
  • The title panel of the October 25, 1992 strip of Garfield shows Garfield writing his name on the blackboard 18 times.

  • In Damn Yankees, Applegate punishes Lola for her conscientious failure to seduce Joe by asking her to repeat "Never feel sorry for anybody" one hundred times. She repeats the line, but with no show of penitence.
  • At the end of the second act of Mary Mary, after one of Mary's stupid remarks drives her ex-husband out of his own apartment into the winter night, Mary starts repeating "I must keep my big mouth shut" to herself "mechanically, like a child writing 'lines' as a punishment" (as the stage directions put it).

    Theme Parks 
  • The pre-show for I Lost My 'M' in Vegas has a scene of Red in a classroom writing "I will not melt in the hand" on the chalkboards.

    Video Games 
  • Revolution X has this in its Attract Mode, with the Big Bad Helga standing in front of the board. All the lines are things one must do to progress.
    NO! Shooting power-ups
    NO! Looking for Aerosmith members
    NO! Tattoos
  • A key gameplay mechanic in Skool Daze (and its sequel Back To Skool) - get caught misbehaving and you are given lines; earn too many and it's game over. Unfortunately, while it's possible to write on chalkboards, there's no way of actually doing the lines in order to prevent yourself from accumulating too many.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: Francesca won't help you with your quest until her husband Frankie apologizes to her by repeating "I love you" 100 times, requiring the player to press "A" following each one.

  • Darths & Droids uses a No-Paper Future version of this trope here when Yoda punishes Count Dookû by ordering him to Say one hundred times: "Jedi don't break promises!" Okay, Dookû is a grown man, but bear in mind that (a) Yoda, being nearly nine hundred years old, still thinks of him as a child, and (b) this is a role-playing game where Yoda is being played by an actual child.
  • The verbal variation shows up in Girl Genius, where Baron Oublenmach is made to repeat the line "Ladies are delicate creatures who should never be struck or awakened too early in the morning" a hundred times after walking into Mamma Gkika's bar with a gun. By the time he's done, he's ready to ask for the sweet release of death.
  • In this strip of The Whiteboard, after Roger pushes a button labeled "For the love of God do NOT push this button" that gets Doc plastered with thrown creme pies, he's forced to repeatedly write "I will not push the button again" on a blackboard.

    Web Original 
  • Looney Tunes Intro Bloopers: In episode 183, Dave makes Sam write "I will not be mean to Scotty" over and over on the blackboard, after Maya Logan zapped him to calm him down. This follows in episode 194, with Sam writing "I will not plant people in the ground with tantrums" 100 times after Anna and Dave dug their way out of the ground, and in episode 202, "I will never fire Scotty without Dave's permission".
  • Moshi Monsters: In one of the magazines, Humphrey had to write lines saying "I must not fall Asleep in Class". He fell asleep anyway, while writing them.
  • In the SuperMarioLogan episode, "Jeffy's Nanny!", when Jeffy refuses to eat the healthy dinner that Mrs. Nesbitt prepared for him, she punishes him by making him go to school and write "I will be a good boy" on the chalkboard 10,000 times. When Mario begins to doubt if this punishment will work, Jeffy writes "Lick my butthole" on the board.
  • Whateley Universe: In their eponymous story, The Three Little Witches have to copy out the Whateley Code of Mystic Ethics twenty times, and as the Code of Ethics is five pages long, it's a hundred pages.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons: Bart writes lines on the blackboard in the opening credits of every episode; the lines themselves differ from episode to episode. Including the movie, in which he writes "I will not illegally download this movie." Usually, it's punishment one of the many unseen things Bart's done in his career as a school terror, but sometimes there's a twist:
    • Bart has occasionally lampshaded the trope being discredited over time. In the intro to "The Parent Rap", he writes, "Nobody reads these anymore," and in the intro to "Bonfire of the Manatees", he writes, "Does any kid still do this anymore?"
    • In "Separate Vocations", Bart writes, "I will not expose the teachers' ignorance." He's in trouble for stealing the teacher's books. Except it wasn't him that time — he was Taking the Heat for Lisa, who had taken a vocational test that told her she'd be a housewife and responded with something of a rebel phase.
    • In "Marge vs. Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens, and Gays", Bart doesn't want to go home because Maggie keeps listening to a Roofi song. He begs Mrs. Krabappel to let him stay after school and write lines, even admitting he fed coffee to the class's gerbil. Mrs. Krabappel says no:
      Mrs. Krabappel: We all got tired of that chalkboard years ago. Now go home!
    • In the intro to "At Long Last Leave", the 500th episode, Milhouse is writing lines instead of Bart. They read, "Bart's earned a day off."
    • "Four Regrettings and a Funeral" was the first episode after the death of Mrs. Krabappel's voice actress Marcia Wallace. The character died with her, and the chalkboard segment in the intro was a single line: "We'll really miss you, Mrs. K." Bart's expression is what sells it — his normally frustrated look is abject sadness.

    • Lisa occasionally has to write lines, too:
      • In "Lisa's Date With Density", the music teacher Mr. Largo makes Lisa write lines after class. Nelson suggests she save time by using the music staff chalk holder to write five lines at once. Lisa lampshades how hard a time she has with it:
      Lisa: How does Bart do this every week?
      • In "Grift of the Magi", Springfield Elementary is bought out by a toy company, and the new teachers force the students to pitch new toy ideas. They catch Lisa writing Venn Diagrams in class and make her write, "I will not do math in class."
      • In the intro to "The Kids Are All Fight", Lisa is seen writing, "I will not pay my sister to do my punishment." Bart is sitting there watching.
    • Sometimes the tables are turned, and Principal Skinner has to write lines:
      • In "Skinner's Sense of Snow", Bart gooses Skinner into writing lines. Skinner can't take it, complaining that it's making his hand lock up. Bart then replies that he's been doing it so long, the bones in his hand and wrist "sound like a cement mixer". And he shows it.
      • In "Please, Homer, Don't Hammer 'Em", Bart learns about Skinner's peanut allergy (or, as Comic Book Guy described it, his Kryptonite) and exploits it to make him write, "A baby beat me up."
      • In the intro to "How Lisa Got Her Marge Back", Bart is watching Skinner write the line, "Never lose a bet with Bart Simpson."
    • Homer does it a couple of times. In "Love is a Many-Strangled Thing", a therapist tries to scare Homer into not strangling Bart and succeeds a little too well. Bart turns a doormat Homer into his punching bag, forcing him to write that he's an adult afraid of his own son. "Frink Gets Testy" also has Homer writing, "Strangling is not an effective parenting tool."
    • Even Marge does it once! In "Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie", Mrs. Krabappel makes Marge write, "I will try to raise a better child."
      Marge: I really don't see how this is helping Bart.
      Mrs. Krabappel: Just do it.
  • Family Guy
    • In "The Simpsons Guy", Stewie does this in his room at the end, crying as he writes, "I will not think about Bart anymore" as a direct reference to The Simpsons' opening sequence.
    • In "The Birthday Bootlegger", when Stewie has to go to Detention at Quahog Elementary School, he sees Bart Simpson writing "It is a pleasure to work for the Disney Corporation" on the chalkboard. He then says, "Oh, that is such a load of..." but is suddenly cut off by Mickey Mouse dubbing his voice and saying "Truth! A wonderful load of truth!"
  • A parody of The Simpsons intro on Histeria!! has Loud Kiddington writing "I do not need a megaphone!"
  • Ms. Barch of Daria will often assign lines to male students because, well, they're male.
  • In the Doug episode "Doug's Big News", Doug imagines doing this until he's an old man, then an even older Mr. Bone orders him to do it again after flipping the chalkboard. After Doug flips the script on Roger after the latter got the former and the rest of the class kicked out of the news in the same episode, Roger has to do this as punishment as well.
  • The pilot episode of Invader Zim has Miss Bitters ordering Dib to write that Zim is not an alien.
  • The first ChalkZone episode has Rudy writing "Cartoons are not funny" over and over on the blackboard, until his piece of chalk breaks. The next stick he grabs is the magic chalk, and you know the rest.
  • The Fairly OddParents! special Channel Chasers has the inevitable Simpsons parody in which Timmy writes on the blackboard, "This is the sincerest form of flattery."
  • Tex Avery's "Ventriloquist Cat" opens with the title feline writing "I hate dogs" over and over again on an alley fence, until he realizes he's just written it on Spike the bulldog.
  • One Winx Club episode had Griffin, headmistress of a school for witches, temporarily neutralize the Trix by trapping them in a pocket dimension they would be able to leave only after passing several tests and writing various lines on a living blackboard. With one of them being very skilled in illusions and very knowledgeable about the subjects, it kept them busy for barely five minutes, much for the blackboard's chagrin.
  • Phineas and Ferb: During Sensitivity Training, Major Monogram was forced to write "Animals are people too".
  • In the CatDog episode "Back to School," Cat writes "I will not start food fights" in a chalkboard for the food fight incident.
  • In the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode, "Crime After Crime", Mr. Herriman makes up new rules so that no one will suspect his carrot addiction, one of which involves not standing on rugs. Wilt stands on a rug upon hearing this new rule, and throughout the episode, tries to decide on how to punish himself. One of these punishments involves writing "I will not stand on rugs" on the chalkboard repeatedly.
  • In the Hey Arnold! episode "Full Moon", Arnold is forced by Principal Wartz to write "Mooning is not funny" on both a sheet of paper and on the blackboard when he chooses not to identify Sid, Harold, and Stinky as the ones who mooned the principal.
  • The Dexter's Laboratory episode "Dexter Detention" has Dexter and the other students in detention writing "I Am A Criminal", with some writing it pretty wrong. Then Dexter decides to use the chalk to devise an escape plan in Morse code.
  • In Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines, the Magnificent Muttley segment "Leonardo De Muttley" begins with Dick Dastardly ordering Muttley to write "I will mind my own business" 100 times on a blackboard.
  • In Frosty the Snowman, as a punishment to Professor Hinkle of how he made Frosty melt, Santa Claus makes him write "I'm sorry what I did to Frosty" a zillion times, and maybe, just maybe, he will find something under his tree the following Christmas.
  • Kaeloo: In one episode, the characters play a make-believe game where Kaeloo is a teacher and everyone else is a student. Stumpy wants to get kicked out of class so he hits Quack Quack with a baseball bat in front of Kaeloo, hoping to get "expelled". Instead, Kaeloo makes Stumpy write "I will never again hit my classmate with a baseball bat" a thousand times.
  • Looney Tunes: At the end of 1939's "Thugs With Dirty Mugs," the captured Killer receives a long sentence. In a prison suit and dunce cap, he is writing "I've been a bad boy" over and over on a blackboard.
  • The 1973 Superfriends episode "The Ultra Beam" shows Marvin in school having to write "I will not talk out of turn in class" 100 times. Before he can finish writing the sentence a second time, a frequency caused by the Ultra Beam shatters the chalk board.
  • In the Bunsen Is a Beast episode "The Case of the Cold Case", Commander Cone is forced to write "I am quite sorry for stealing" 100 times in cursive after Amanda Killman frames him for stealing her phone case. At the end of the episode, Amanda is punished by having to write "I'm super sorry for selfishly setting up the ice cream man."

    Real Life 
  • Adam Clarkson was told to write a hundred lines. If he didn't finish by the end of the day, that number would double. After over half a year, it had reached 10^19 lines, and he was told that if he didn't finish them that day, it would be squared. That was in 1998. It's now much, much more than a googolplex.
    • By October 16, 2007 the number became larger than 10^10^1000. (The next major checkpoint, 10^10^10000, will only be achieved on August 24, 2089.)
  • Cadets at the United States Military Academy (and several other military schools in the US) perform a variation of the trope when they get in trouble. Instead of writing lines, they march back and forth in a courtyard on the campus. Proper marching form must be maintained, which can be exhausting. The severity of the punishment can be fine-tuned by altering the uniform and equipment requirements. The default is wearing fatigues and carrying rifles; lighter punishment might involve PT uniform (gym clothes) and no weapons. Heavier punishment might involve full combat gear, including a heavy pack, or dress uniforms — with the cadets being forced to spend hours shining and polishing before starting their punishment.
  • One teacher became famous for punishing late students by making them write an insanely complicated Chinese character 1000 times.


Video Example(s):


Don't Take Burgers

The Hamburglar gets caught trying to kidnap the sentient burgers Ronald McDonald was teaching and is punished by having to write "Don't take burgers robble robble" several times on the chalkboard.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / WritingLines

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