Top 10 Teacher’s Pets of All Time

Generally, doing well academically, getting praise from teachers, and paving the way for a college degree and a successful career are considered good things, but not when you’ve been labeled as the teacher’s pet. These sycophantic characters have brown-nosed their way into teacher’s and principal’s hearts, but often haven’t won the admiration of their classmates or siblings. Check out this list for some of the biggest teacher’s pets ever conceived in film and television.

  1. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter: This know-it-all witch-in-training spends a great deal of time with her nose in a book. She always knows the answer when called upon in class and many teachers admire her academic abilities — even the pricklier ones — as she is a standout student from the first scenes of the series. While her quick wit and encyclopedic knowledge of everything from spells to ancient wizards has helped save her friends on multiple occasions throughout the movies, her other peers are often annoyed by her and her academic success and sometimes snobbish attitude when it comes to studies.
  2. Jessie Spano from Saved by the Bell: While friend Zack Morris may have been a bit of a troublemaker, Jessie Spano was the show’s overachiever and teacher’s pet. She is often seen pursuing a wide variety of causes, all while keeping up her high grades  and serving as class president. While her dedication to success at one point leads her to indulge in caffeine pills to stay awake, she graduates at the top of her class (after super-geek Screech yields her the honor) and starts off her college years at Columbia University, NY.
  3. Lisa Simpson from The Simpsons: While Mrs. Hoover may not always appreciate Lisa’s smarts, Principal Skinner does, as well as a host of other adults and one very handsome substitute teacher. Lisa is the ultimate brown-noser and overachiever, learning to read and spell at a very early age and outpacing nearly all of her classmates academically. Her know-it-all attitude extends outside of the classroom as well, and she crusades for a number of environmental, political and generally very liberal causes. Her braininess often makes her the victim of taunts, and she is sometimes excluded from activities with her peers.
  4. Kent from Real Genius: Virtually all the students at the fictional technical college, Pacific Tech, featured in the movie are nerds or geeks in some way or another, but most aren’t teacher’s pets. New student Mitch Taylor begins his semester as a bit of an overachiever, but after being mellowed by fellow student and genius Chris, he learns to relax and enjoy himself as the pair and fellow student Kent work on a Laser project. From the beginning the jealous and spiteful Kent is bent on destroying Mitch, and taking the honor and praise of their instructor for himself. Not only disliked by his classmates, but virtually despised, Kent is perhaps the most alienated teacher’s pet on this list.
  5. Martin Prince from The Simpsons: Like Lisa, Martin is a student at Springfield Elementary with superior intelligence to his peers. But unlike Lisa, Martin is a bit more of a stereotypical nerd and is often bullied by his peers. Martin is perhaps the archetypical teacher’s pet, fawning over his teachers, and even going so far as to encourage that the school day be extended by twenty minutes. These actions make him the darling of his teachers, but often make his life outside of the classroom difficult. While he has occasional friendships with Bart and Millhouse, his only consistent friends are the nerds Wendell and Database and the foreign exchange student Uter.
  6. Carol Seaver from Growing Pains: Unlike her class-clown brother Mike, who was known to write the answers to test questions on his shoe, Carol Seaver never needed to cheat to get perfect grades in class. This overachiever and teacher’s pet is an honors student and often looks down her nose at her troublemaker brother. It is revealed in a later episode of the show that Carol went on to Columbia University and got a degree in law, which makes sense for this goody-two-shoes character.
  7. Willow Rosenburg from Buffy: Part of a good group of friends called the Scooby Gang that surround vampire-slayer-in-training Buffy, this shy and nerdy girl spends a good deal of time studying and always gets good grades. She often uses her intelligence to help her friends learn about new and dangerous types of monsters, and even hacks into a few computers as well. While her character shifts in later seasons as she develops magical powers and becomes a bit of a force to be reckoned with, she is always, at heart, a bit of a nerd.
  8. Cast of Head of the Class: There were few characters on this late 80’s TV show who weren’t in some way or another a bit teacher’s pettish. The series follows a group of gifted students through their honors program studies, as well as outside relationships and interactions as well. From bespectacled nerd Arvid to ultraconservative Alan, this show essentially featured a class full of very-diverse teacher’s pets. Many refuse to accept any grade lower than an ‘A’, are on an academic team and are generally pretty big overachievers– with the exception of the rebellious Eric– who while smart wasn’t quite on the same wavelength as the other students.
  9. Summer Hathaway from School of Rock: When Dewey Finn takes over teaching at a prestigious prep school, student Summer is immediately put at unease, used to doing everything to get good grades and win the favor of her teachers. Serving as the class factotum, Summer eventually wins her way into the hearts of her classmates and her new teacher, and even learns to let go a little bit and have some fun.
  10. Topanga Lawrence from Boy Meets World: In her early days on the show, Topanga was a bit more of a weird kid than a real teacher’s pet. As the show evolved, along with her character, less emphasis was put on her strange hippie upbringing and more was placed on her role as smart overachiever. While Topanga is a bit of a teacher’s pet and a definite overachiever, she is also loyal to her friends and boyfriend, choosing their companionship at Penbrook College over admittance to Yale University, CT.