We at Paste can't get enough of high-school principals looking flustered and heart-attack-prone, barking at future dropouts, "shape up!" or "get your act together!" or "I'll ship your butt to detention so fast, it'll make your pretty little head spin!" They're far superior to the real-life principals we had growing up, who just walked around looking bored and direly nicotine-deprived. In honor of Bruce Willis' performance as war-veteran-turned-principal in director Brett Simon's new black comedy Assassination of a High School President, we thus unveil Paste's favorite high-school principals in cinema. If you've got a problem with our picks, take it up with the administration.
1. Edward R. Rooney (Jeffrey Jones)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
"If you don't like my policies you can come on down here and smooch my
big ol' white butt. Pucker up, Buttercup."
2. Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
mess with the bull, young man. You'll get the horns."
3. Dr. Nelson Guggenheim (Brian Cox) Rushmore
"We're putting you
on what we call sudden-death academic probation."
4. Mr. Strickland (James Tolkan) Back to the Future
a real attitude problem, McFly. You're a slacker!"
5. Principal Togar (Mary Woronov) Rock 'n' Roll High School
your parents know you're Ramones?"
6. Principal McGee (Eve Arden) Grease
"If you can't be an
athlete, be an athletic supporter."
7. Principal Gold (David Cross) She's the Man
"I played soccer once. Or was it chess?"