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"Principal" redirects here. For other uses, see Principal (disambiguation).
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detention for you!
 
— Principal of the Thing, after sending the player to detention

Principal of the Thing is, hence his name, the principal of the Schoolhouse or the Super Schoolhouse. He is one of the most prominent and most bothersome characters that the player will encounter.

Description

Principal of the Thing is a dithered realistic photo of a lanky adult man with his right hand pointing upwards. His eyebrows are raised and his mouth is open as if he is shouting. He wears a dark gray sweater-shirt with lighter stripes, pale blue jeans, and brownish-red socks (originally white) without shoes. His legs are slightly glitched/erased, along with part of his left arm.

According to mystman12, Principal of the Thing is, in fact, wearing a yellow bow-tie, but it is extremely hard to see because mystman12 uses very few colors to dither the Principal's image.[1] The Principal's skin color is very similar to the color of his bow-tie. It is located on his neck and can more clearly be seen in his merchandise items.

Personality

Principal of the Thing has a very calm personality, speaking in a monotone voice and barely raises his voice without expressing any other emotions. Like a hall monitor, he is in charge of the Schoolhouse or Super Schoolhouse and will put students in detention upon getting caught breaking any of the school rules "in the halls", even if they are in any location except for the playground and his office. He is known to be very strict as he sends the player to detention without warning for a small infraction such as running in the halls.

Artificial intelligence

Main gameplay

Principal of the Thing will spawn in his office and he seems to be doing what a normal hall monitor would do in a school environment. He will wander around the school quickly, checking the rooms and occasionally whistling. He will pass by the player without conflict unless the player is caught breaking any of the school rules. Principal of the Thing moves very fast, so the player should wait until he passes by, and then start running once the Principal cannot see them.

Principal of the Thing scolding the player for breaking one of the school rules.

If Principal of the Thing sees the player breaking the rules for more than half a second, he will chase the player at a speed that is faster than the player's running speed until he catches them. He will not whistle while chasing the player, so it is hard to know where he is coming from. Plus, he will not join the party during that time. While the Faculty Nametag is in action, Principal of the Thing will not scold the player, but he will still chase them and send them to detention if they broke the rule before using the Faculty Nametag.

Principal of the Thing in his office after sending the player to detention.

Once he has caught up to the player, he will teleport himself and the player to his office, giving them detention for a certain amount of time. Unless there is a glitch, whenever teleported, the player will be located at the center of the Principal's office and the Principal will be located one chunk in front of where they are looking at. After he sends them to detention, he will stand still for 3 seconds and he goes toward the location where he caught them. During detention, the player is unable to open any door to the Principal's office for 15 seconds for the first time, and the timer will be increased by 5 seconds each time they are caught. Any detention after 60 seconds will last for 99 seconds.

There are some items, such as the Principal's Keys, the Portal Poster, and the Dangerous Teleporter that can be used to escape detention. The player can also get out through a window if it has been smashed by 1st Prize earlier on. However, the longer the detention time is, the riskier this is to do because if the Principal catches the player escaping detention, they will get sent back to his office with a longer waiting time.

Being put into detention attracts Baldi to the center of the Principal's office unless a sound with higher value than 95 plays before he completely reaches the source of it. This will cause Baldi to go towards the player's location unless the Alarm Clock rings before he enters the Principal's office or the player uses the Dirty Chalk Eraser to hide from him. Baldi's Least Favorite Tape and the pay phone would work when Baldi gets attracted by detention, but he may enter the Principal's office while wandering around. As such, getting a 45-second (or longer) detention is an almost guaranteed game over without these items or a distraction, as it will take too long for the timer to hit 0 seconds before Baldi enters the Principal's office and catches the player.

Principal of the Thing can actually help the player at certain times. If he takes the player to his office, they can potentially escape from Baldi, then use Baldi's Least Favorite Tape. Principal of the Thing is one of the few characters that can interrupt Playtime's jump rope minigame, which can sometimes be useful. He also opens doors when entering rooms, allowing the player to sneak inside without Baldi hearing them.

Principal of the Thing can send It's a Bully to detention for bullying in the halls if the Bully asks for an item from the player. This can make him quite helpful on some occasions, but he will not send him to detention if the Principal chases the player for breaking a rule. Unlike the player, if It's a Bully is sent to detention, Principal of the Thing does not teleport to his office.

Sometimes, there is a window that is found in some of the faculty rooms. Even though the player can see Principal of the Thing through that window, he cannot scold the player because he has no eyesight through windows, similar to other characters like Baldi and Beans. However, he can scold and chase the player through the Portal Poster as he can see the player through it.

Some items like the BSODA, Swinging Door Lock, and Dangerous Teleporter can be used to avoid being put in detention for a short while if needed, but he will chase the player relentlessly when he is in their sight.

Principal of the Thing tends to only go to places he has not visited, rather than just wandering in completely random directions in Classic/Birthday Bash.[2]

By using the Principal Whistle, Principal of the Thing will come to the player at a very high speed and say "Don't worry, I'm coming!".

Challenges

  • In the Stealthy Challenge, a total of 6 Principal clones will spawn. If any of them notices the player, the Principal clone will call the player out for being in school after hours and chase them for detention. These clones can find the player hiding in a blue locker or the dust cloud created by a Dirty Chalk Eraser.
  • Principal of the Thing is absent in the Speedy Challenge and Grapple Challenge.

Other appearances

  • In Baldi's Basics Classic, Principal of the Thing wanders randomly around the entire map. The timer will be increased by 15 seconds each time the player gets detention, except when the player gets detention for the fifth time and onwards. The detention time list is shorter, ranging from 15, 30, 45, 60, to 99 seconds. He will always know the player's location whenever he chases the player, so even if he is out of the player's sight, he can find them and send them to detention.
  • Principal of the Thing with the original cast for a birthday surprise.

    In Baldi's Basics Birthday Bash, Principal of the Thing has the same appearance and mechanisms from Classic, expect that he also wears a party hat to celebrate Baldi's Basics Classic's first anniversary. When appearing with the original cast for a surprise when the player reaches the last exit in the cafeteria, he will say "No surprises in the halls!" for comical purposes.
  • Principal of the Thing in the Field Trip demo.

    In Baldi's Basics - Field Trip demo: Camping, Principal of the Thing plays a very minor role and is one of the four characters who appeared and returned from Baldi's Basics Classic. He can only be found past a few dark walls in a hallway, where he will say "No breaking the fourth wall in the halls!". However, Principal of the Thing will not send the player to detention and will simply stand there idly. There is no Principal's office in the school's map for Field Trip demo, as it has only two small hallways and an outdoor area.


Guilt system

Principal of the Thing has a certain "guilt system" to detect the player breaking the school rules. The guilt time in seconds varies depending on the school rule that was broken.

Each school rule has its own guilt time in seconds. If Principal of the Thing sees the player breaking the rules, the guilt time will increase the time that he sees the player breaking them. If the time that he sees the player breaking the rules reaches over 0.5 seconds, he will call out the player for what they have done and chase them for detention.

Rule broken Guilt time
"No running" 0.1 seconds
"No entering faculty" 1 second if exiting
"No drinking" 0.8 seconds
"No escaping detention" Depends on detention time remaining
Getting out of a blue locker 0.5 seconds

Trivia

General
  • His name is a play on words of the phrase: "It's the principle of the thing." A principle is a fundamental rule, law, or tenet.
  • Principal of the Thing's whistle is inspired by a scene in the Cartoon Network animation series The Amazing World of Gumball. In the episode "The Banana", a character known as Banana Joe is seen whistling a similar tune.
  • According to mystman12's live stream, he was unsure where Principal of the Thing's shirt came from. He went on to mention it was simply a shirt he just happened to have in his possession.[3]
  • In the trailer of a Baldi's Basics fan game, Yukon's Basics, there is a voice line of Principal saying "No making a Baldi's Basics fangame in the halls!" made by mystman12.[4]
  • In one of the pictures from MAGFest 2020 by mystman12, he made a pose and facial expression that looked like Principal of the Thing.
Baldi's Basics Plus
  • All other characters, except for Beans, have a reason to not get sent to detention for running in the halls: Arts and Crafters, 1st Prize, Chalkles, and Gotta Sweep are non-human, Baldi is a teacher and he is not running (he is seemingly teleporting), Playtime is jumping rope in the halls instead of running, Mrs. Pomp is a teacher and is hopping around instead of running, and It's a Bully does not move in the school. (Although he is put into detention solely for bullying. After all, he is a bully.)
    • Despite this, Principal of the Thing is clearly running around the school, since he is always faster than the player's running speed, which is against the rules. Even being faculty, it is unprofessional to break the player's own rules constantly.
  • There is an odd, idiomatic tongue-in-cheek joke for the Principal's office description: While using the "justice is served" phrase (an idiom used to give proper punishment or fair treatment) when catching the students violating any rules, Principal then states that the served justice tastes good for him like a legitimate food similar to the "dinner is served" idiom.
  • Despite Principal of the Thing's quotes "No being at school after-hours in the halls!" and "No looking in other peoples' lockers in the halls!" not being mentioned in the School Rules poster, he scolds the player for breaking these rules.
  • If the player is in the faculty room before teleporting and Principal of the Thing is in the player's sight after teleporting, he will scold them for entering the faculty room. The same thing will happen while hiding in a blue locker before doing so. In that case, the Principal will scold the player for looking in other people's lockers.
  • Prior to V0.1.2, when using the Principal Whistle, he came to the player at normal speed.
  • From V0.1.2 onwards, it is now possible to lose him. However, this does not work in the Stealthy Challenge.
  • Prior to V0.1.3, Principal of the Thing did not send It's a Bully to detention.[5]
  • Since V0.3.3, most of his voices are re-recorded. The only sounds that are not re-recorded are his whistling sound, "No being in school after-hours in the halls!", and "Don't worry, I'm coming!" quotes. There is also a new voice line ("Don't make me do this again!") when he scolds the player after mentioning the detention time.
  • Prior to V0.3.5, Principal of the Thing could spawn in any room or hallway, not only his office.
Baldi's Basics Classic
  • As of the V1.3 update, he detects the player breaking rules in his line of sight, rather than a small radius as in older versions. Also, he was not able to send It's a Bully to detention at all, but he could scold the player if he detected the player using an Energy Flavored Zesty Bar as there wasn't a "No bullying" rule, but there was the "No eating" rule instead.
  • There are unused audio files for Principal of the Thing that say "No stabbing people with pencils in the halls!" and "No looking in other people's lockers in the halls!".
    • mystman12 revealed in his gaming livestream that the "No stabbing people with pencils in the halls!" quote was going to be used for when a cut character named "Pencil Boy" stabs the player.[6]
    • The "No looking in other people's lockers in the halls!" quote was used for an unused concept where the player was intended to be able to open lockers and find items. mystman12 has revealed that the reason he did not implement this concept is that he thought the idea would be too tedious to pull off. However, the audio file is used when he catches the player hiding in a blue locker since Kickstarter Exclusive Demo.
  • Using hacks, if the player in the starting T-shaped hallway uses the Yellow Door Lock on all three swinging doors to get the player themselves trapped while the Principal is running after them for detention, Principal's speed limit will glitch; moving extremely slow and steady but also rarely moves in normal speed for brief amounts of time, and using the BSODA on him will not push him away normally. This will last until any Yellow Door Lock expires.
Baldi's Basics Birthday Bash
  • Strangely, Principal of the Thing's sprite has a lot of space above him.
Baldi's Basics - Field Trip demo: Camping
  • Principal of the Thing's "No breaking the fourth wall in the halls!" line from the Field Trip demo is a pun for going through the final wall, which reads "You'll regret this...".
  • Principal of the Thing is much taller than in Baldi's Basics Plus.

Glitches

Baldi's Basics Plus
  • Prior to V0.1.2, the maximum detention time was 65 seconds. However, Principal of the Thing said "99 seconds" instead.
  • Luring the Principal to the player's location with the Principal Whistle while the party event is active will cause the Principal to go to their location and freeze in place until the party event ends.
  • If the player stands halfway in and out of the door when the Principal's Keys are used while in detention, the Principal of the Thing does not detect that they have escaped detention.
  • If he catches the player breaking the rule while idle, then he will move right away after sending them to detention.
  • In V0.2 and V0.2.1, sometimes, if Principal of the Thing sent the player to detention, he would scold them and then send them to detention again. Also, during the fog event, he could still scold the player, even if he was not seen in their vision.
  • In V0.3.3, most of his captions used the white color. Plus, a few of his captions used the key instead of the value.
  • In V0.3.4, in Endless Mode - Medium, Principal of the Thing does not scold the player for escaping detention, allowing the player to leave detention earlier without getting scolded.
Baldi's Basics Classic
  • If the player is already in the Principal's office and is caught breaking one of the school rules, Principal of the Thing will overlap the player until he leaves the office, then send them back with detention. If the player runs back to the door as soon as they are returned with detention, they can escape through the door before it closes, then run away before the Principal leaves the room to avoid being spotted, effectively escaping detention just like when the player uses the Principal's Keys.
  • Sometimes, he will not send It's a Bully to detention even after calling the Bully out for the "No bullying" violations.
  • If the player holds the "Run" key (Shift by default) for less than a half-second with a 1-second delay repeatedly, they can actually run in the halls without Principal of the Thing catching them.
    • If the player is close enough to Principal of the Thing, or in a certain angle, he will not scold them, even if they break any rule.
  • Although this is only when hacking if Principal catches the player running while using noclip, he will take them to detention and then say: "No escaping detention in the halls!", and get frozen in his office.
  • Before V1.3.2, Principal of the Thing would scold the player for running if he saw them being pushed by Gotta Sweep or 1st Prize while they were pressing the "Run" key. However, the Principal did not move.
Demos
  • While whistling, the sound overlaps when the Principal calls the player out over the rule breaks. It was fixed on V1.1 of Full Game Early Demo.
  • In Full Game Early Demo and Kickstarter Exclusive Demo, when the stamina bar is empty and the player is still holding the "Run" key, the Principal still sends the player to detention for running in the halls.

References

  1. "Actually, he's always had a bow-tie, you just can't see it in the game because of how few colors his sprite uses. :P" - Twitter DM
  2. "Principal of the Thing used to wander around just like everyone else, but now he does so differently. Rather than wandering completely randomly, Principal of the Thing now prefers going to places he hasn't been in a while. This means if you see him pass through a hall, it's likely you won't see him come that way again for a while!" - Kickstarter UPDATE #20: Status Update #8 - Everyone is here!
  3. "I have no idea where the shirt for the Principal came from. Just a shirt I had..." - Livestream archive 1:25:55~1:26:04
  4. "Special thanks to Mystman12 for doing a voice line for the game!" - Description of Yukon's Basics' trailer
  5. "Just a heads up, I'll be uploading version 0.1.3 of #BaldisBasics Plus tomorrow! It will include a handful of bug fixes, and the Principal of the Thing will also be able to send It's a Bully to detention again!" - mystman12. July 6, 2020. Twitter
  6. "The "stabbing people with pencils in the halls" thing was actually going to do a character I would think I was gonna call him just like "Pencil Boy" or something. ... And basically what I was gonna be was this little kid who would basically come to you and start stabbing with pencils, and if the Principal saw, then he would get rid of him." - Livestream archive 48:31-48:56

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