Created By: lexicon on May 11, 2012 Last Edited By: lexicon on July 3, 2012
Troped

Academic Alpha Bitch

A student who is in the top of her class and wants to remain there.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Similar to the Class Representative in her concern for anything school related and like the Queen Bee in how ambitious she is. This character is aggressive in his academic superiority. She will act like she's in charge and decide who gets to do what. She's no shy Bookworm. This can be a male character but for some reason, probably Higher Education Is for Women, you can expect a female in the role.

They'll be found in a show that has a private school or a large cast as the one who will fight to be the best but is somehow still popular. The natural Student Council President but not necessarily the only one. Unlike the Queen Bee she is rarely glamorous and much more likely to be a friend sooner or later like the Lovable Alpha Bitch.

The academic subtrope of The Perfectionist.

Examples:

  • Degrassi season one has Ashley Kerwin who is popular and is glad for her unchallenged status for Student Council President. Seasons 5 has Liberty Van Zandt who becomes Student Council President and then fights to be valedictorian. Holly J. Sinclair becomes Student Council President in season nine so she could do things her way.
  • The first time that Rory meets Paris Geller at Chilton Academy in Gilmore Girls, Paris tells her how she's going to be editor of the school paper and valedictorian, ending with, "You'll never catch up. You'll never beat me. This school is my domain and the Franklin is my domain. And don't you ever forget that."
  • When Elle gets to Harvard Law in Legally Blonde she faces this horrible preppy girl, Vivian Kensington, who tries to make her look bad in front of the professor. Vivian is a threat to Elle because she's a smart, serious, law student.
  • Taylor Mc Kessie of High School Musical is the president of the science club at East High and a member of the school's national decathlon team. She wants Gabriella to join the team to beat thier rivals in West High and be involved in nothing else.
  • Corrine Baxter of Strange Days At Blake Holsey High has a very strong competitive streak.
  • Overachieving high school student Tracy Flick is running unopposed for Student Council President in Election.
  • Head of the Class: Alan Pinkard is none too pleased that others in the high IQ class do as well as he does, even better sometimes. And he was really pissed that 11 year old Janice was in his high school - and even more pissed that she left early to go to Harvard, which is where he wants to go. He and Darlene were neck-and-neck when it came time to declare a class valedictorian, but the school's powers that be decided to make another girl, TJ, valedictorian instead because of the challenges she'd had to overcome.
  • In Kare Kano, Yukino aspires to be the #1 in her class and is not pleased with Arima steals her top spot, along with the admiration she feels should be hers.
  • Topanga from Boy Meets World. She even counted up her A's for the year, and insisted that her final assignment get an A, even though it wasn't for the grade, just to ensure valedictorian over Minkus.
  • Lisa Simpson prides herself on her intelligence and always coming top of the class with straight 'A's. One episode of The Simpsons has her world collapsing when she gets her very first B; another deals with an even brighter girl joining her class.
Community Feedback Replies: 32
  • May 12, 2012
    peccantis
    Needs less ambiguous title.
  • May 13, 2012
    TheHandle
  • May 13, 2012
    Oreochan
    Why is this female only?
  • May 13, 2012
    lexicon
    Maybe Ace Student would be good. There's no reason it has to be female only. I would expect more male examples but I could only find female ones.
  • June 13, 2012
    surgoshan
    Combine the gendered title with the negative laconic and you've got an unfortunate trope. I'd second Ace Student, and change the laconic to: "This character has the highest GPA and hopes to keep it that way.", with the acknowledgement in the full description that some of these characters can be villains who eliminate the competition.

    And now, just to make myself something of a hypocrite.

    • Buffy The Vampire Slayer's Willow Rosenburg is her class's valedictorian.
    • A flash forward in the first season of Eureka shows that Zoe Carter will be the valedictorian of her class.
  • June 13, 2012
    lexicon
    I'm not sure how that makes you a hypocrite.

    It's not just about being valedictorian. Willow is intelligence but shy. These characters are as strong and outgoing when it come to other students and academics. They decide who gets to do what.
  • June 13, 2012
    NimmerStill
    Tracy Flick in Election?
  • June 13, 2012
    surgoshan
    ^^ I see what you mean about it being more than just smarts.

    And it made me somewhat a hypocrite because I complained about it being a gendered trope and then threw in two more female examples.
  • June 13, 2012
    nitrokitty
    Ace Student might get confused as a subtrope of The Ace. Maybe just Top Of The Class.
  • June 13, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Head Of The Class: Alan Pinkard is none too pleased that others in the high IQ class do as well as he does, even better sometimes. And he was really pissed that 11 year old Janice was in his high school - and even more pissed that she left early to go to Harvard, which is where he wants to go. He and Darlene were neck-and-neck when it came time to declare a class valedictorian, but the school's powers that be decided to make another girl, TJ, valedictorian instead because of the challenges she'd had to overcome.
  • June 14, 2012
    MetaFour
    ---
  • June 14, 2012
    animeg3282
    In Kare Kano , Yukino aspires to be the #1 in her class and is not pleased with Arima steals her top spot, along with the admiration she feels should be hers.
  • June 14, 2012
    lexicon
    Titles can be a challenge. Top Of The Class sounds too matter of fact. The character is aggressive in his or her academic superiority. I've also been thinking that Ace Student might get confused with The Ace. My first suggestion was Top Dog, but peccantis thought it was too ambiguous.
  • June 14, 2012
    bananasloth
    Star Student maybe? or Preeminent Pupil? ^ I also like Ace Student.
  • June 15, 2012
    Synchronicity
    Subtrope of The Perfectionist.

  • June 16, 2012
    lexicon
    Is it good now?
  • June 24, 2012
    Unknown Troper
    Does Kei Takishima count?

    My main gripe with this one is that the description seems to be female only, when there are top students in a certain class who are male. I think it has something to do with the fact that males tend to be slackers in school while females tend to be more diligent students than the males. Why put up with crap you will never use all your life?

    That, or being a book-smart male is not considered manly. OR probably there's Sword And Sorcerer too.

    Needless to say, we need more male examples of top students in their class to prove that this trope is not limited only to female characters.

    Case in point, engineering courses which are notorious for being heavy on Math and Science, two academically heavy fields, are known to be dominated by males, until recently more and more females become engineers just like the males.

    On the other side of the spectrum, as noted above, achieving in school nowadays is not a matter of sheer intelligence anymore, but by the willingness to say yes and actually do pretty much everything the school and the teachers say. If anything, smart males are often portrayed as Brilliant But Lazy or even downright Bunny Ears Lawyers while the smart females are often looked up by the other females as a source of inspiration.
  • June 25, 2012
    lexicon
    We need to describe how we see the trope as it applies in fiction. If there's nothing to add or change I'm going to launch it soon.
  • June 26, 2012
    judasmartel
    How about changing it to Class Queen? This trope is so prevalent among female characters, after all. I for one, would be hard-pressed to find a male character who's at the top of his class as well.
  • June 28, 2012
    AgProv
    Lisa Simpson. She prides herself on her intelligence and always coming top of the class with straight 'A's. One episode of The Simpsonshas her world collapsing when she gets her very first B+; another deals with an even brighter girl joining her class.
  • June 28, 2012
    MsCC93
    A boy named Thomas from Static shock. He receives a 99 on a paper and is worried about his parents yelling at him.
  • June 28, 2012
    falver
    The World God Only Knows Resident tsundere Haqua

    Kaichou Wa Maid-sama The titular character and Usui

    Harry Potter Hermione, naturally

  • June 28, 2012
    Rognik
    Topanga from Boy Meets World. She even counted up her A's for the year, and insisted that her final assignment get an A, even though it wasn't for the grade, just to ensure valedictorian over Minkus.

    As for titles, maybe Grade Leader? I admit this is a mostly female trope, but it'd be awkward having a gender-based word in the title, male or female.
  • June 29, 2012
    Triterope
    I would suggest something like Obsessed With Being Valedictorian. The trope is not just about being a good student, but with having an unhealthy obsession with being the 'best' student by whatever rating system exists.

    I'm sure we all knew a Real Life Example in our high school days.
  • June 30, 2012
    lexicon
    That would imply that it's specifically about being valedictorian but yes, she does want to be 'the best'.

    @ falver, no Zero Context Example. Hermione is a know-it-all and Class Rep but there's no sense of school hierarchy with her.
  • June 30, 2012
    undefined
    If you actually look at Book 6, the very fact that anyone, namely Harry, began performing better than her, she went out of her way to best the Half-Blood Prince's textbook. Fully justified.

    Instead of just accusing Zero Context Example, why not actually know the series before making such a comment?
  • June 30, 2012
    lexicon
  • July 1, 2012
    nitrokitty
    ^ I don't like it. The character type can be anything from a zealous overachiever, typical Alpha Bitch, to shy Bookworm. Academic Alpha Bitch would be too narrow.
  • July 1, 2012
    lexicon
    Shy bookworms already have the trope bookworm. As I told surgoshan, "These characters are as strong and outgoing when it come to other students and academics. They decide who gets to do what." They're not shy.
  • July 1, 2012
    TonyG
    Kendall from Kick Buttowski. She's so serious about school she even convinces the board to hold class on a snow day.
  • July 1, 2012
    lexicon
    But what is her 'I'm better' attitude toward the other students?
  • July 3, 2012
    lexicon
    I'm going to launch this if no one has anything else to add.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=3qkh9h6y3brwcfasgvhtklri