College Depicted Negatively

Double Standard Bias  
Table Of Contents

Conservative Trope Examples

  • Rizzoli says she didn't go to college because she couldn't stand the idea of listening to a professor "drone on and on" and instead wanted to do work right away. Even though she was top student with academic accolades.
  • Professor Hadley (David Koechner) is a kooky college professor consumed with proving that Bigfoot is real.
  • Old School (2003)
    College dean Gordon Pritchard (Jeremy Piven) is depicted as corrupt, uncaring and overbearing and is the main antagonist of the fraternity three adults created to circumvent college zoning laws.
  • Rounders (1998)
    Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) quits law school with the blessing of his professor in order to be a professional poker player.
  • The Big Lebowski (1998)
    The Dude tells Brandt (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) that he attended college, but "spent most of my time occupying various administration building, uh, smoking a lot of thai sticks, breaking into the ROTC, bowling. To tell you the truth Brandt, I don't remember most of it."
  • PCU (1994)
    College president Garcia-Thompson is depicted as an over-the-top liberal foil who takes political correctness to extreme levels.
  • PCU (1994)
    A college student seeking help from Droz is majoring in Sanskrit. His reply, "Sanskrit? You are majoring in a 5000 year old dead language?"
  • PCU (1994)
    One student Pigman just sat and watched TV for hours every day trying to prove his senior thesis the "Caine-Hackman" theory that no matter what time of day it is, you can find a Michael Caine or Gene Hackman movie playing on TV. Droz explains, "That's the beauty of college these days." and "You can major in Game Boy if you know how to bullshit." He finally figures out how to finish his thesis when he sees Caine and Hackman in the same movie together, "A Bridge Too Far."
    Staff Aside
    This fuels negative conservative stereotypes about college that many classes are not useful and that young people are lazy and make bad decisions.
  • Ghostbusters (1984)
    Dr. Raymond Stantz says, "I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities. We didn't have to produce anything." followed by "I've worked in the private sector. They expect results."
    Historical Context
    Ghostbusters debuted in theaters four months before the 1984 Presidential election and was the 2nd highest grossing movie that year. Reagan obviously benefits by a joke about professors worried about the private sector expecting results when actually colleges and universities are on the leading edge of the newest advances in thought, science, technology and medicine and educating most of the best workers in the private sector.
  • Animal House (1978)
    The entire Delta fraternity has failing GPAs with 1.2, 0.2, 1.6 and 0.0 which is played for laughs because they spend more time partying and having fun instead of taking college seriously.
  • Animal House (1978)
    Dean Wormer is depicted as overly vindictive, corrupt and an all-around bad person and the main antagonist of the Delta fraternity.
  • Professor Jennings (Donald Sutherland) smokes pot with his students, has been working on a novel for 4 1/2 years which he calls "a piece of shit" and says that he finds famed writer John Milton as boring as his students probably do.

How Trope is Biased

Double Standard

  • In real-life, it is usually always better to have a college education, but in Hollywood it is reversed where "street smarts" are more often touted over "book smarts"