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Just because someone is a criminal does not mean they're not a nice person. Besides, if you're on the run from the law, you're bound to get cranky from time to time.
 
— Mrs. Bass, The Penultimate Peril

Mrs. Bass was the math teacher at Prufrock Preparatory School prior to being arrested for bank robbery.

Biography

Early Life

Bass began teaching at Prufrock Preparatory School at least forty-seven years before the arrival of the Baudelaire orphans.

She taught a class that passed for Math/Arithmetic in Room Two. Her method of teaching involved bringing a bag into her class every morning, placing the items on her students' desks, and demanding they measure their lengths, widths and depths. She would then write measurements on the board and have everybody switch objects, and eventually would quiz them on how long everything had been. One of her students was Isadora Quagmire.

One of her jobs appears to be counting which students are absent from Vice Principal Nero's violin recitals, along with her coworker, Mr. Remora.

Her obsession with the metric system seems to be seen as irritating and obsessive.[1]

The Austere Academy

In all my years of teaching, I've never encountered a more metric-wise boy than Klaus, here. And it looks like Sunny is a fine secretary as well. Look at these booklets! They're gorgeous.
 
— Mrs. Bass, The Austere Academy
Klaus Baudelaire is enrolled in Bass's class, which bores him. During one of Nero's recitals, the Baudelaires notice that Remora and Bass are giggling and sharing a banana in the back row of the auditorium. Neither of them seem aware of the new gym teacher, Coach Genghis. The next morning, she has her class measure a box of pencils.
Mrs. Bass

After starting S.O.R.E. in gym class, Klaus begins failing to measure items due to his exhaustion, and falls asleep when he was supposed to be measuring a tube sock, causing him to fail his recent test. She reports to Nero that Klaus "can scarcely tell one end of a metric ruler from another." Nero instructs Remora and Bass to make comprehensive exams to give to Klaus and his sister, Violet Baudelaire, on everything they have learned since they've arrived at the school, in order to determine whether or not they will be expelled.

The next morning, the teachers and Nero arrive at the Orphans Shack to test the students. Bass quizzes Klaus, but finds that he has memorized all of her items, and she tells Nero that not only is Klaus the most metric-wise boy she's met, his younger sister, Sunny Baudelaire, who was being tested on her secretarial skills, made gorgeous booklets. Nero is upset, as he wanted to expel someone, and Remora suggests Carmelita, as she never studies and "is an awful person besides;" this excites Bass, who asks that they give her an extra-challenging exam instead.

Coach Genghis arrives and claims the Baudelaires skipped gym class to study, which Bass does not believe is cheating. However, she does not argue with Nero when he decides to expel the students. She, the other teachers, and Arthur Poe end up chasing after a fleeing Coach Genghis to discover that he is Count Olaf in disguise, and he has kidnapped the Quagmire triplets.

Bank Robbery

As a teacher, I don't earn enough money to purchase any valuables, so I had to resort to a life of crime.
 
— Mrs. Bass, The Penultimate Peril
Bass is invited to a party at the Hotel Denouement in celebration of the metric system, telling her to bring as many valuables as possible in order to measure them. As a teacher with a poor salary, Bass resorts to a life of crime in order to purchase some valuables to measure.

She acquires blueprints for different banks,[3] and often takes several days off from her job to "take care of some business" at a bank, likely casing the joint.[4]

Mrs. Bass eventually does rob a bank, taking several large, bulky bags with the words "PROPERTY OF MULCTUARY MONEY MANAGEMENT" stamped on them, filled with cash. She brings the bags with her to the Hotel Denouement. Arthur Poe is sent to investigate the robbery.[3]

The Penultimate Peril

I say they're criminals, and criminals ought to be punished.
 
— Mrs. Bass, The Penultimate Peril
As a concierge arrives- Sunny Baudelaire in disguise- Remora and Bass beg Nero to cease violin practice for a little bit in order to have a lunch break. Bass recommends an Indian restaurant in Room 954 that she'd heard about, and Nero finally concedes. Bass leaves her loot in the room, thinking it'll be safer there.

Upon reaching the restaurant, Bass orders ten grams of rice, one-tenth of a hectogram of shrimp vindaloo, a dekagram of chana aloo masala, one thousand centigrams of tandoori salmon, four samosas with a surface area of nineteen cubic centimeters, five deciliters of mango lassi, and a sada rava dosai that's exactly nineteen centimeters long. Nero and Remora begin discussing Coach Genghis, and Bass defends him by saying that some criminals are nice people, and people on the run from the law are bound to get cranky. Remora attempts to bring up her status as a fugitive, but Nero interrupts him, and the rest of their conversation is whispered.

When an argument breaks out at night over whether or not the Baudelaire children are murderers, Bass claims that they are criminals and ought to be punished. During their and Olaf's trial the next day, she submits blueprints of banks as evidence, and when the trial falls into disarray, she claims that the Baudelaires are bank robbers.

When the Hotel Denouement Fire begins, Mrs. Bass is seen on the third story, still wearing her disguise and wearing a blindfold over her mask, muttering something about a getaway car.

Later Life

Mrs. Bass was eventually arrested for her bank robbery, causing Prufrock Preparatory School to close, leaving the building an empty, silent place.[1]

Netflix Series Divergent Canon

Classbass

Mrs. Bass's class.

Bass's role in The Austere Academy is relatively the same. It is mentioned, however, that her new motive for a life of crime is to not have to deal with Carmelita Spats.[5] She and Mr. Remora also unknowingly intercept the Quagmires' attempts to warn the Baudelaires that Count Olaf is on the property. She later assists in quizzing the Baudelaires in front of the school.[6]

She and Mr. Remora later go to Caligari Carnival to watch someone get devoured by lions. They sit in front of Arthur Poe, who notices her interest in banks. After the show ends and the carnival sets on fire, she leaves with Poe in order to make "a withdrawl" from his bank.[7]

Bass gets alone in Poe's office with him before knocking him out with her handbag and kidnapping him while she robs the bank. At some point, Poe develops Stockholm syndrome and befriends Bass, and they play Go Fish just before the police break in and arrest her.[8]

Sometime during the series, she met and got into a relationship with Babs, and while she was invited to the Hotel Denouement with her girlfriend/wife/partner, Bass could not attend as she was imprisoned.[9]

She is portrayed by B.J. Harrison.

Physical Appearance

Bass is described as having black hair so long and messy that she resembled a gorilla.[1] After becoming a fugitive, Bass constantly wears a narrow mask and puts a small blonde wig atop her mountain of hair.

In the Netflix series, she has very short white hair, large glasses, and dark skin.

Quotes

The Austere Academy

Measure!
 
— Chapter Four
Mrs. Bass: How wide was the book with the yellow cover?
Klaus Baudelaire: Nineteen centimeters.
Vice Principal Nero: "Nineteen centimeters." That's wrong, isn't it, Mrs. Bass?
Mrs. Bass: No. That's the right answer.
—Chapter Twelve
Mrs. Bass: How long was chicken breast number seven?
Klaus Baudelaire: Fourteen centimeters and five millimeters.
Vice Principal Nero, mimicking: "Fourteen centimeters and five millimeters."
Mrs. Bass: That's right. You're actually both very good students, even if you've been sleeping through class lately.
—Chapter Twelve
Mr. Remora: Oh, let them stay, Nero. Why don't you expel that Carmelita Spats? She never studies, and she's an awful person besides.
Mrs. Bass: Oh yes. Let's give her an extra-challenging examination.
—Chapter Twelve
Smelly feet. Ew, gross.
 
— Chapter Thirteen

The Penultimate Peril

I'm so hungry I could eat a dekagram of rice.
 
— Chapter Six
Mr. Remora: How do you know there will be music critics at the party? My invitation just said there'd be an all-you-can-eat banana buffet.
Mrs. Bass: Mine didn't say anything about music critics, either. It just says that there's a party in celebration of the metric system, and that I should bring as many valuables as possible so they could be measured. As a teacher, I don't earn enough money to purchase any valuables, so I had to resort to a life of crime.
—Chapter Six
I submit these blueprints of banks!
 
— Chapter Eleven
They're bank robbers!
 
— Chapter Twelve

Netflix

  • "Pop quiz! Question number one. What is the circumference of yesterday's pomegranate? Question two: What are the dimensions of the vault at Mulctuary Money Management? Question three: how far apart in decimeters are the security cameras? I need you to really pay attention to these numbers and give me exactly what I'm asking for."

Trivia

  • Mrs. Bass, Ms. Tench and Mr. Remora are named after fish as a pun; a group of fish is called a school.

Appearances



Gallery

Sources

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