Billy Madison vs. Van Wilder: Which Character would be a Better Teacher?

If you are looking for an online teaching degree, it is important to look to others for a good role model for you.

The characters of Billy Madison and Van Wilder are two incredibly different and similar people. In popular comedies about education, they were both influenced by wealth and family to go back to school in order to achieve goals that others had made for them. The outcomes of these movies are both different, but both of the characters learn a lot about themselves and others. Both would be great teachers in a world where children are easily influenced by popularity and wealth.

Billy Madison

  • This film features Adam Sandler as Billy Madison.
  • Billy is a 28 year old man who is the heir to his father’s million dollar hotel industry.
  • He has spent his entire life living off of his father’s money.
  • Billy spends his days partying and trashing his father’s vast estate. His brother and father’s associates feel that someone like Billy should not be the one that inherits the hotel business.
  • One night at a dinner with the associates and his father, Billy is told that his entire school career was a sham and that his teacher’s were all bribed so that he could pass his classes in school. This angers Billy and Brian, make a compromise. If Billy can get through all twelve grades, he can be the one who solely inherits the business.
  • Billy enrolls in school and begins to learn things about himself and others. In his third grade class, he stands up for one of the students who is being bullied and becomes a hero.
  • As he enters high school, he suddenly is the one that is considered a loser and begins to be bullied himself. None of the students even look up to him anymore the way that they did in the third grade.
  • Brian ends up finding out how great Billy is doing in school and is angered by this. He ends up paying off the principal of the school in order to see Billy fail. This turns Billy back into his old ways of partying and not being concerned about his education any longer. His friends help him to get out of this shell and he makes a compromise to take a game show type test in order to graduate. His friends help him study and he ends up winning!
  • Billy ends up graduating and decides to give his rights to the company to Carl, a long time employee of the hotel. He wants to attend college and become a teacher and make a real difference in people’s lives.

Van Wilder

  • This is a film from 2002 featuring Ryan Reynolds and Tara Reid.
  • Van Wilder is a very outgoing guy who has been in college for seven years. He parties, he fails classes, but people on campus love him.
  • His wealthy father decides to stop paying for his tuition because he has seen no effort to graduate on Van’s part.
  • After a student reporter does a piece on him, he starts to see how he needs to change his life after he starts to have feelings for her.
  • She ignores his advances because she has a boyfriend already, but she later finds out that he has been cheating on her and plotting against Van.
  • Van and her boyfriend become instant enemies and then she finds out that he has been cheating on her. She eventually breaks it off with him.
  • Van finally throws a party and there is some underage drinking. He is almost expelled from school, but makes a compromise that he will be able to graduate in the 6 days left of school.
  • Gwen is impressed by his sudden changes and falls for him. He ends up graduating and celebrates with her.

If you are looking into an online teaching degree, both of these characters are good teachers. They can both be great teachers because they show that it is possible to become a teacher, even with an online teaching degree. If you pursue an online teaching degree, these both would be role models for you.

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