Our Favorite High School Principals

Movies  |  Features
Our Favorite High School Principals

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 (1986)
"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)
"Don't mess with the bull, young man. You'll get the horns."

3. Dr. Nelson Guggenheim (Brian Cox) 

Rushmore (1998)
"We're putting you on what we call sudden-death academic probation."

4. Mr. Strickland (James Tolkan)
Back to the Future (1985)
"You've got a real attitude problem, McFly. You're a slacker!"


5. Principal Togar (Mary Woronov)
Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979)
"Do your parents know you're Ramones?"

6. Principal McGee (Eve Arden)
Grease (1978)
"If you can't be an athlete, be an athletic supporter."

7. Principal Gold (David Cross)
She's the Man (2006)
"I played soccer once. Or was it chess?"

Sign up for the Paste newsletter Get our daily summary of the day's top articles and new items. Sign Up Thank you! Your email address has been added to our list. You will begin receiving our newsletter within 48 hours.

Paste Magazine example 1 Paste Magazine example 2 Paste Magazine example 3