"Rookie Instructor Iruka" (新米教師イルカ, Shinmai Kyōshi Iruka) is episode 176 of the Naruto: Shippūden anime.
As Iruka watches happily as Naruto is celebrated by Konoha, Zetsu, who had been observing Pain's assault from afar, decides to notify Tobi of Pain's death. At the same time, Team Samui begin their journey towards Konoha, having been sent on their mission by the Fourth Raikage. Iruka notices that most of the village has been destroyed but notices that there is a tree that it still intact, smiling as he fondly remembers when Naruto used to sit on the swing of that very same tree.
In the past, Naruto pulled many pranks on the village, including dumping a bucket of red paint on Hokage Rock, all as a plea for attention. Because the other teachers did not want him, the Third Hokage had personally summoned Iruka and asked him to be Naruto's teacher, which he reluctantly accepted. Iruka was warned by another teacher that Naruto was an attention-seeking troublemaker and that the key to dealing with him was to ignore him. During a ninjutsu practise session outside, Sasuke showed his mastery of the Clone Technique, which Naruto was unable to execute, thus causing Naruto to view Sasuke as his rival. As the classmates laughed at Naruto's failure, Iruka told them not to laugh at Naruto. While Naruto was initially overjoyed that someone was defending him, Iruka added that no one should pay any attention to Naruto, causing him to be saddened. Later that day, Naruto headed to the forest after class and attempted to master the Clone Technique, to no avail. He then passed by Ramen Ichiraku, where Teuchi offered him a free bowl of ramen on the house. The next day, after trying to beat Sasuke's proficiency in using shuriken, Naruto overheard two students murmuring that Sasuke's entire clan was killed and that he was the only survivor, which led Naruto to realise that Sasuke is an orphan as well.
- When Naruto closes his apartment, his keys are in a Pakkun key-chain.
- One of Sakura's childhood bullies, Ami, appears in this episode.