The song is best known for Alex Van Halen's double bass drum performance, and its music video, featuring the band as both adults and young students. The ending of this song comes from a studio outtake from the band's club days, entitled "Voodoo Queen". The Parents Music Resource Center protested the song due to its sexually suggestive lyrics and music video.
In 2009 it was named the 36th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.
The music video (directed by Pete Angelus and David Lee Roth, and produced by Jerry Kramer and Glenn Goodwin, choreographed by Vincent Paterson with concept/treatment by Anthony Nasch) was filmed at John Marshall High School, with Phil Hartman performing the voice of Waldo, the video's protagonist. Along with Waldo, the "kid versions" of Van Halen face the trials and tribulations of grade school. Once the schoolteacher, (Lillian Müller) arrives, she steps onto the desks, arrayed like a runway. She then tears off her dress, revealing a bikini bottom, cropped top and a sash that reads "Phys Ed", all to the cheers of the students, male and female. At the end of the video, the kids are shown to have grown up to become a gynecologist (Alex Van Halen), a sumo wrestler (Michael Anthony), a psychiatric hospital patient (Eddie Van Halen), and a game show host (David Lee Roth). While it is said that no one was sure what Waldo grew up to be, the video hints at him becoming a pimp, the total opposite of his child self.
The song appears in Guitar Hero World Tour and Guitar Hero Van Halen as one of the most difficult songs on the setlists. In an advertisement for play testers for future Guitar Hero games, released by Neversoft in 2008, "Hot For Teacher" was one of four songs applicants had to be capable of playing to receive the job.
The song was used in Glee in 2011 in the sixth episode of Season 3 entitled "Mash Off", sung by the character Puck. This version is featured on the album Glee: The Music, Volume 7.
The song was referenced in the 2013 Regular Show episode "Quips". Before a game of Pictionary (referred to as "Drawsome" in the episode), the character Pops quotes the song, saying "I brought my pencil, give me something to write on, man."