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Video Game / Baldi's Basics in Education and Learning

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Education, learning, fun and unadulterated horror all in one!

Welcome to Baldi's Basics in Education and Learning! That's me!
Baldi, upon starting the game.

Baldi's Basics in Education and Learning (also called Baldi's Basics) is a quick indie horror game. It was hurriedly slapped together in a couple of days for a contest, and it shows, yet despite this, the game has almost immediately gained a cult following for uniquely utilizing a "terrible yet nostalgic 90's edutainment games" motif, along with creating a fandom comprised mostly of people from the previous "big" indie horror games. In response, the developer greatly expanded upon it with a content update.

The player is a student at Baldi's Schoolhouse, whose goal is to collect and fill out seven notebooks scattered about the campus (each notebook containing 3 math problems) that their friend had left in the school, but cannot get them himself due to "eating practice". The only problem is that a few questions are unsolvable Black Speech (like in real life), and Baldi gets so mad over failing students that he feels the need to hunt them down like the survival horror monster he really is with a ruler in hand with your butt's name on it. Meanwhile, there are other entities in the school that try to hinder your progress, such as a jump-roping girl, the school's principal, a giant talking broom, a bully, a sock-puppet, and a hug-loving Cyborg on wheels. The game can be downloaded here.


In July 2018, game creator Micah McGonigal began a Kickstarter to fund and create a full retail version of Baldi's Basics, which would tentatively include new features such as new characters and items, randomly generated levels with new rooms featuring new mechanics, random in-game events to change up the gameplay, and a "field trip" bonus round to unlock buffs in the main game. A proof-of-concept demo of said bonus round can be found here. The Kickstarter was successful, with a total of $61,375 raised for the project.

In April 2019, an update to the original game titled "Baldi's Basics: 1 Year Birthday Bash" was released. It adds some new elements to fit the birthday aesthetic, but more importantly adds a new ending.


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  • Animate Inanimate Object: The janitor, Gotta Sweep, is a giant talking broom.
  • Antagonist Title: Baldi is clearly the main villain, and his name is in the title.
  • Bald of Evil: Baldi only has a single hair on his head, meant to represent an ahoge.
  • Berserk Button: Whatever you do, do not fail any of Baldi's math lessons, or he'll get angry and attack you.
  • Big Bad: The titular Baldi is an Evil Teacher who chases after the player with a ruler for getting a math problem wrong and is the main obstacle in getting all the 7 notebooks needed to escape the school.
  • Birthday Episode: The "1 Year Birthday Bash" update, released on the game's actual birthday, adds birthday party elements to the game. The characters now wear party hats, there are floating balloons in some rooms, items now come in birthday presents, etc.
  • Black Speech: Baldi is frequently accompanied by blaring static, which is also his jumpscare sound.
  • Blatant Lies: "Now it's time for everybody's favorite subject: Math!"
  • Broken Bridge: There's a door early on that won't open before getting two notebooks, keeping the player in the friendly entrance area until the first wrong answer, at which point the door disappears completely as the school's layout changes. Apparently, it keeps all the other characters out of your way until then as well.
  • But Thou Must!: From the second notebook and onward, the last math question will always be impossible to answer correctly, forcing you to get it wrong and further anger Baldi.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The title screen depicts a smiling Baldi holding a ruler up to a chalkboard like a pointer. Later on in the game, Baldi does use that ruler... as a weapon.
  • Content Warnings: Right when you boot up the game:
    WARNING! In case you haven't figure [sic] it out yet, this game is intended to be a horror game. As such, it has loud noises, flashing images, and is overall pretty spoopy. (Well, at least it's supposed to be...) If you downloaded this thinking it would be great edutainment for your kid or something, don't let them play it! Unless, of course, they enjoy horror games. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED
  • Controllable Helplessness: There's a corner of the detention room where Baldi won't be able to reach you; he'll just stand there smacking his ruler. However, you have no way out—as soon as you budge from that corner, you've lost.
  • Corporal Punishment: In this horror game, the monster is a school teacher who just wants to kill you for getting his math questions wrong.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The game's art style and presentation is supposed to mimic 90's edutainment games, with chipper voice acting, zany character designs, and bouncy Ear Worm background music. It's still a horror game through and through, however.
  • Creepy Child: Playtime certainly counts within this trope, with her ear-splitting audio mess of a voice and terrifyingly horrible design that looks designed by a person about 4 or so.
  • Dark Humor: Quite a lot of this throughout.
  • Darkness = Death: Featured in the camping minigame demo; if you allow the campfire to go out, an angry Baldi will immediately reappear and run you down.
  • Death Glare: If/when you get a math problem wrong, Baldi's smiling face on the screen slowly turns into an angry glare.
  • Deconstructive Parody: Of edutainment games from The '90s.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Baldi hunts you down throughout the entire school with the intention of beating you to death with a ruler... because you got a math question wrong.
  • Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off: Whenever Baldi is nearby, you can recognise his approach by the sound of him hitting his ruler against his open hand. It's pretty clear what he intends to use it for.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Randomly, on the loading screen shown after death, a small rectangle with what appears to be eyes will appear, before it turns red and then gives you a Jump Scare before crashing the game.
    • Also, on the launcher, the only graphic option is "1999".
  • Edutainment Game: The game puts on a facade of being an educational kid's game, but it's actually a horror game. You do have to do math problems, but they're either simple addition or completely unsolvable, so they hardly teach you anything.
  • Endless Game: The update added a self-explanatory "Endless Mode". In this version of the game, Baldi gets faster over time instead of getting faster for every wrong answer.
  • Everybody Hates Mathematics: In this world, not only is math so hard that it's literally unsolvable, but getting even a single problem wrong sics a psychotic lunatic on you.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Played with. Only Baldi's trying to kill you, but there are other characters trying to stop you.
  • Evil Teacher: If you get even a single question wrong, Baldi WILL (or at least try to) kill you.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: 1st Prize is apparently a science fair project that won first prize.
  • Excuse Plot: For some reason, the developer bothered writing lore for the game: school is out but the player's friend left his notebooks in all the classrooms. He can't fetch them himself since he's stuck in "eating pracitce" (sic), so it's up to the player.note 
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Every notebook except the first one comes with a single problem that's unsolvable gibberish, forcing the player to anger Baldi more and more.
    Baldi: Problem three! *loud static noise* plus *loud static noise* times *loud static noise* equals...
  • Filk Song: Basics in Behavior by The Living Tombstone. It also has a RED version.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Baldi initially acts like a friendly Cool Teacher... but immediately turns Ax-Crazy once you give a wrong answer.
  • Gainax Ending:
    • The Secret Ending: If you escape the school after getting every problem wrong, rather than cutting to the usual A Winner Is You ending, it cuts to a screen showing Baldi frowning and the message: "You Won! But there's room for improvement, though...Go see Baldi in his office for some tips!". At this point, though, you still have control of your character. If you turn around from the message, you can see a door labeled: "Baldi's Office". If you go in, you'll find a skewed and distorted Baldi in the middle of the room, and a deformed image of a real life man (no, not the Principal of the Thing) behind Baldi's desk. If you get close enough to the desk, embers begin dancing around, and in immensely distorted audio full of scratches and beeps, the man implores the player to destroy the game, insists through Suspiciously Specific Denial that the game didn't suck him into it, and that it ended up "corrupting" him upon doing so. The final shot is a close up of the man, now seemingly a ghostly, glitchy version of himself once again insisting to the player to destroy the game before the game closes.
    • The 1 Year Birthday Bash ending blows the original version's Secret Ending out of the water: When you get all seven notebooks and try to escape the school, all of a sudden you end up in the cafeteria in front of the giant birthday cake while surrounded by Baldi and the rest of the characters, who seem to have thrown a surprise party for you. Baldi invites you to blow out the candle at the top of the cake. If you take the lift up to the candle and blow it out...suddenly the building goes dark and the characters float up to the ceiling, and things get weird with a capital W. A hallway appears in the wall. If you "walk" from the lift across thin air to it, you'll find a completely screwed up version of the school with things in places they shouldn't be, deformed and almost zombie-like Baldi clones floating around like balloons (along with clones of some of the other characters), and a bizarre (yet harmless) thing that looks like a hideously deformed version of Baldi's head roaming the halls. If you wander around long enough, you'll find a room encouraging you to count the "balloons" (i.e. the floating miscolored Baldis) along with three more notebooks that serve no real purpose (but have distorted Baldi voices playing over them). If and when you put the amounts of the balloons in correctly, a new room opens up, containing a bunch of desk chairs and a chalkboard reading: "Whoa, you are smart!". Then a bunch of red distorted Baldi clones that seem to be made up of corrupted Baldi faces begin spawning in the school and homing in on you, and continuously do so until you can no longer move, at which point the screen fades to a deranged "Thank You!" screen with equally deranged versions of the cast on it. If you find Filename2 during this sequence, he implies that not destroying the original game when you had the chance per his warning from the original version resulted in this all happening, but still, just...what?
  • Game Mod: There are several, such as Madden's Basics in Football and Memes, which changes characters, and Baldi's BRUTAL Basics in Education and Learning, which makes the game a lot harder, and adds more problems.
  • Glacier Waif: Baldi is really skinny, but he's also really slow (at first). Don't let this fool you into thinking he can't instantly end your game.
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • Baldi's presence is heralded by him menacingly smacking his ruler against his palm. The static sound when he catches you counts as well.
    • Baldi: Congratulations! You found all seven notebooks! Now all you have to do is GETOUTWHILEYOUSTILLCAAAAAAAN!!! HUHUHUH
    • The weird noise Baldi makes in place of actual numbers in notebook 2 also serve as this.
    Baldi: Problem three! *loud static noise* plus *loud static noise* times *loud static noise* equals...
    • The noise Arts and Crafters makes when it attacks, which sounds a bit like amplifier feedback.
    • Some of 1st Prize's lines may count, especially given his Stephen Hawking-esque deadpan computer voice.
    1st Prize: I am programmed to desire your image.
    • The glitchy, static-y noises made by the red Baldi "balloons" that bum-rush you during the ending of the 1 Year Birthday Bash version, as well as the buzzing noise made by the giant floating Baldi head and the corrupted Baldi voice clips playing over the three Think Pad sequences.
  • Hong Kong Dub: Baldi speaks in an intentionally bad lip sync when you open the "You Can Think Pad".
  • Hypocritical Humor: The final rule on the list of rules is "No Breaking the Fourth Wall" which is, in and of itself, a fourth wall break.
  • Idiot Hair: While otherwise completely bald, Baldi does have a single hair on his head that serves as an ahoge.
  • Improvised Weapon: BSoda creates a moving wall of sorts that pushes away anyone in the way, perfect to get some breathing room between you and Baldi.
  • Jump Scare: When you're caught by Baldi.
  • Large Ham: Gotta Sweep sure is enthusiastic about his job.
  • Leitmotif: As of the update, Playtime's is an Ominous Music Box Tune.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • Baldi starts off as a Mighty Glacier, but he gradually becomes faster and faster with every incorrect answer. In the original version, six wrong answers is the point he's straight up faster than the player, and 12 was enough for him to go into hyperspeed.
    • Since an update added an ending that required 21 wrong answers, his speed was nerfed to the point where six answers had him outrun you walking, but not running, and while he'll gain a burst of speed after picking up a book, he'll slow down after a short period, but he'll still outrun your running speed with higher counts of wrong answers.
  • Meaningful Name:
  • Medium Blending: Some characters are intentionally terrible 3D models, others are flat MS paint drawings, and one's even a .JPG of a real person's choppy render.
  • Mighty Glacier: Baldi is extremely slow (though gets faster and faster for every problem you get wrong), but only needs to touch you once to kill you.
  • The Missingno.: May be one explanation for whatever the hell the deranged Baldi clones that you see in the ending of the 1 Year Birthday Bash version are, if what Filename2 implies is correct.
  • Mood Whiplash: Given the type of game this is, it's bound to show up sooner or later.
  • Mook Bouncer:
    • Arts and Crafters can teleport you to where you started, but it can also teleport Baldi as well. It only attacks when every notebook is collected, though.
    • Gotta Sweep is an example, too, though he physically escorts you (and enemies) around the school.
    • 1st Prize pushes you around similarly to Gotta Sweep, but he actively targets you in exchange for moving about the school more slowly.
  • Multiple Endings: An inclusion of the update. The player beating the game normally equates to the infamous default ending. To get the Secret Ending, they must intentionally provoke Baldi into going maximum speed by getting ALL 21 problems wrong.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • Since there's so many enemies you have to juggle, the game is remarkably hard, even after the update.
    • The Secret Ending requires the player to get ALL problems wrong. Baldi is already a Lightning Bruiser at 6 incorrect answers. Imagine him at 21.
  • Nonindicative Name: Even though it's Baldi's Schoolhouse, he's not the principal.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: When you're solving the math problems, at first Baldi's face appears on a little screen near the bottom instructing you on what to do. But once you get a problem wrong, the music suddenly cuts out, and every time after that, Baldi won't be there, it'll just be a black screen. Not to mention the complete lack of music for most of the game. The only thing heard after failing for the first time is Baldi smacking his ruler...
  • Ominous Music Box Tune: Playtime's Leitmotif as of the update.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The only enemy in the game that can kill the player is Baldi, and it's a kill-on-touch.
  • Power-Up: The "Energy Flavored Zesty Bars" refill the player's stamina, with the added bonus of giving them infinite stamina for a short time.
  • Press X to Die: There's nothing stopping you from getting every question wrong on the notebooks, much like there's nothing stopping Baldi from immediately bum-rushing you back to the title screen. On the other hand, getting all the questions wrong is the only way to reach the secret ending.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Some of the characters are this. The Principal is just there to enforce the rules, Gotta Sweep just cleans the hallways, and the only reason why It's a Bully attends Here School is because "every good school needs a good bully.
  • Retraux: Its entire art style is ripped straight from a garbage-looking 90's 3D school computer game.
  • Self-Deprecation: The game is drenched with a lot of negative self-aware jabs poking fun at the fact that in the end, it's just another dumb, gimmicky horror game.
  • Sensory Abuse: Loud static sounds are used in the game's jumpscares à la Slender.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Parodied. In one room, the chalkboard says "Look! A Homestar Runner reference!" (Another chalkboard actually does have a Homestar Runner reference, with a "g" described as "healthy".)
    • It's A Bully's echo-y voice is most likely a reference to PilotRedSun's infamous "Preschool Bully" video. He even says "I'm gonna take your candy" in the exact same way.
    • The Principal's whistling is sampled from an episode of The Amazing World of Gumball. It also serves as a reference to Kill Bill.
  • Stylistic Suck: The game looks terrible, but only to induce a specific kind of nostalgia.
  • Subverted Kids Show: It faithfully starts out like a normal albeit poorly-made edutainment game for kids, but takes a nightmarish turn only minutes in.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!:
    Baldi: Congratulations! You found all seven notebooks! Now all you need to do is... GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!! Hahaha!
    • Arts and Crafters does this as well when he attacks you for having more notebooks than him.
  • Super Senses: Baldi has "incredible hearing abilities", as he can hear any door that the player opens. Baldi's AI has this ability, as when a door is opened, he instantly heads to that door, unless the tape or phone is used, or the door has WD-NoSquee applied to it.
  • Surprise Creepy: The entire point. It looks like a cute 90's edutainment game, but it's in fact a terrifying survival horror title. That said, the surprise is mitigated by the game's opening screen which states outright that it's a horror game, not a real educational game.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: When you cut Playtime's jump rope.
    Playtime: Oh! That makes me sad!
  • The Cake Is a Lie: One of the first things Baldi says that getting all the questions right might result in something good, and even gives you "A shiny quarter!" for doing the first notebook with no errors. Of course, that's as far as the facade can go.
  • Turns Red: Every problem you get wrong (so basically every notebook you collect aside from the first one, at least in Story Mode) makes Baldi get faster. This literally happens to the entire schoolhouse once you collect all the notebooks and trigger the first fake exit.
  • Unwinnable: Whether by mistake, design, or insanity varies from case-to-case, but it's possible for It's A Bully, who won't budge without being given an item (so he's insurmountable if your inventory is empty), to trap you between him and Baldi, at which point you might as well just restart on your own and save yourself the Sensory Abuse from being caught.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: It is unknown if the Principal knows that forcing you into detention will likely get you killed by one of his teachers. Regardless, he strolls through the halls clearly seeing Baldi chasing you with a ruler, so maybe he does know; he just doesn't care.
  • Wham Line: A few from Baldi.
    • "Congratulations! You found all seven notebooks! Now all you need to do is... GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!! Hahahaaaah!"
  • Wham Shot: At the end of the 1 Year Birthday Bash version, Baldi and the others throw a surprise birthday party for you, giving off the impression that the game will end with the characters burying the hatchet with you long enough to celebrate the game's anniversary. Then you blow out the candle, and Baldi and the others suddenly float up to the ceiling and a new hallway appears in the wall. It turns out the game isn't quite over yet...
  • A Winner Is You:
    • When you get all the notebooks and exit the school, you get a screen which contains a slightly-altered picture from the title screen with text reading "Congratulations!!!! You won!". Back to the title screen. Considering the nature of the game, odds are this was on purpose.
    • As of the update, this is the normal ending, and the image is accompanied by "Wow, great job. *Stuttered buzzing* Please try and do worse though I need to-" followed by a long beeping sound.
    • Subverted with the secret ending. If you get all of the math questions wrong then finish the game, you are greeted with a screen telling you to go to Baldi's office for some tips to help you improve, except you still have control of your character, and you can enter Baldi's office behind you. Entering his office will lead to filename2 telling you to delete the game and never play it again before it crashes.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The player is presumably a child.
  • Zerg Rush: What happens at the end of the 1 Year Birthday Bash ending if you don't find Filename2 beforehand; if you enter the correct number of "balloons" in the balloon room and open the secret classroom, you get swarmed by red Baldi "balloons" and the game ends.

Congraaatulations! You've read every last trope! Now all you need to do is GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAAAAAAN! Hahahaaaah!

Alternative Title(s): Baldis Basics


Example of: