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Top 10 Meanest Movie Teachers

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Luke Mahoney. Class is in session. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 meanest movie teachers. For this list, a teacher is someone who’s employed by some sort of educational institution, so we’ve included big screen faculty members and principals as well – just as long as they’re stern, strict, or downright scary. You should be glad you didn’t have any of these teachers in school. Special thanks to our users Chris Morris, Charlie Wittke, Margaret Rd, lostfromview, Andrew A. Dennison and lv for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest.

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Script written by Luke Mahoney.

Top 10 Meanest Movie Teachers

Class is in session. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 meanest movie teachers.

For this list, a teacher is someone who’s employed by some sort of educational institution, so we’ve included big screen faculty members and principals as well – just as long as they’re stern, strict, or downright scary.

#10: Mrs. Eve Tingle
“Teaching Mrs. Tingle” (1999)

It’s one thing to hate your teacher, but it’s another thing to try to kill her. Leigh Ann’s history teacher, Mrs. Tingle, does everything in her power to keep her from passing. Vindictive and conniving, Mrs. Tingle envies Leigh Ann’s potential and wants her to fail. While the students are the ones really at fault in this black comedy-drama, Mrs. Tingle’s antics are just plain evil.

#9: Professor Micky Rosa
“21” (2008)

Counting cards in Las Vegas takes skill. When student Ben Campbell can’t afford tuition to Harvard Medical School, he is recruited by Micky Rosa to partake in the professor’s card counting scheme. But after Campbell loses a ton of money, Rosa lets his rage manifest by threatening his blackjack team into paying back his losses, and resorting to stealing money from Campbell’s dorm. Talk about wanting payback.

#8: Sister Marie Therese Vauzous
“The Song of Bernadette” (1943)

Catholic school is already horrifying to some, but Sister Vauzous makes the stereotypes even worse in this drama from 1943. This nun uses psychological warfare to scare Bernadette, a young girl who experiences a visit from the Virgin Mary herself. Sister Vauzous soon becomes extremely jealous that Heaven didn’t choose her, especially considering how much she has suffered for the church. As a result, the mistress of novices openly admits that Bernadette needs to suffer more than she has already.

#7: Kitano
“Battle Royale” (2000)

Unlike most of the other teachers on this list, Kitano from this Japanese action thriller distinguishes himself by using excessive violence and encouraging his students to KILL EACH OTHER! Kitano uses his teaching position to decide who lives and who dies. After returning as head instructor for the Battle Royale program, which is designed to kill off all the students until only one remains, one poor girl dies because she whispers during an instructional video. Impulsive and violent, it’s best you stay as far away from Kitano as possible.

#6: Edward R. Rooney
“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986)

Almost everybody knows the famous scene from this classic ‘80s coming-of-age comedy when the economics teacher calls out for the absent Ferris Bueller. But it’s the Dean of Students we’re focusing on here, and Ed Rooney has had enough of this famous teenager playing hooky, so he goes to great lengths to catch him in the act. The result? Rooney loses his temper, manages to piss off everyone he comes into contact with, and gets mauled by a dog. We should feel bad for him as he’s only trying to do his job… but stalking someone is a bit over the top.

#5: Jonathan Shale / Mr. James Smith
“The Substitute” (1996)

Corporal punishment has no place in schools. Obviously nobody told substitute teacher Jonathan Shale. Going undercover in his girlfriend’s classroom, Shale can’t handle his students at first. That quickly changes though as he resorts to military tactics and physically harming his students. While the action-crime-thriller itself is a bit cheesy, Shale transforms the harmless substitute into a force to be reckoned with.

#4: Coach Willis
“The Faculty” (1998)

Kitano may be the most violent on our list, but Coach Willis sure does give him a run for his money. In this late ‘90s sci-fi horror flick, the head football coach goes on a killing spree for some unknown extra-terrestrial purposes. Coach Willis sounds and acts psychotic and there isn’t much reason given – at least initially – as to why he wants to infect all these people. Then again, this is probably what makes this cult classic much more interesting to watch.

#3: Dolores Umbridge
“Harry Potter” franchise (2007-10)

Before you start screaming at us about how Professor Snape is the meaner choice, let’s examine Dolores Umbridge, who is just cold and more power hungry than anything. The “Harry Potter” villain is deceitful and uses her position to beat out the information she wants. When you’ve got a professor saying phrases like “Because you know, deep down… you deserve to be punished,” it kinda makes Snape look like the nice guy, don’t you think?

#2: Agatha Trunchbull
“Matilda” (1996)

The titular little girl with telekinetic powers of this children’s fantasy comedy had no idea who she was up against when her dead-beat parents finally sent her to school. Miss Trunchbull, otherwise known as THE Trunchbull, is the headmistress of Crunchem Hall. For her, making the lives of all the students miserable is just part of the job. While her size and demeanor are already intimidating, she even resorts to torturing students, sometimes for the silliest of things. Let’s not forget every child’s nightmare: being placed in the dreaded Chokey.

Before we unveil our number one spot, here are some honorable mentions:
- Richard ‘Dick’ Vernon
“The Breakfast Club” (1985)
- Mr. Hand
“Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (1982)
- Caligula
“Torment” (1944)
- Elizabeth Halsey
“Bad Teacher” (2011)

#1: Gerald Strickland
“Back to the Future” franchise (1985-90)

This guy seriously did not like slackers. Mr. Strickland is the resident disciplinarian at Hill Valley High School during not only Marty McFly’s time there, but also his father George’s. On top of looking immensely scary with his bald head and mean scowl, Strickland is just downright cynical and degrades Marty every chance he gets. Not scary enough? We should probably mention that he holds a shotgun to Marty’s head in an alternate 1985, all because of a simple mix-up. But he comes by it honestly, as even his ancestors were hard-asses.

Do you agree with our list? Are these teachers the meanest you’ve ever seen or are they just child’s play compared to others? For more entertaining top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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