Created By: lu127 on January 27, 2013 Last Edited By: lu127 on May 14, 2013
Troped

School Club Front

A school club serves as a coverup for other activities

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Wake up, go to school, join a club, save the world.

We all know School Clubs Are Serious Business. However, some high school settings have those that take it a step further. Though they pose as regular clubs, they actually exists as a coverup for some extracurricular activity that is usually supernaturally-oriented.

The members will often be ordinary high school students that are the only ones equipped to investigate and battle some shadowy threat, and a school club presents the perfect story to keep up The Masquerade. They can take advantage of funding, equipment and gathering after school without unfortunate questions arising.

The club advisor will either be a non-existant figurehead or a grown-up who supports the students from behind the scenes because he is unable to interfere directly. Commonly found in an Academy of Adventure.

Compare Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club.

Examples:

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
  • The Exorcists in Blue Exorcist train the students exorcists in the academy under the guise of a "Cram-Class".
  • The Digidestined of Digimon Adventure 02 have referred to their group as the "Computer Club". It's basically a cover for their afterschool trips to the Digital World, using one of the school computers to get there. An early episode shows that there is a teacher who acts as the club's advisor - but he doesn't know the first thing about using computers and is a nonentity for the rest of the series. (His story purpose was to send Taichi to Not Important to This Episode Camp by forcing him to run interference.)
  • In Hallelujah Overdrive: the group(s heavy metal band), masquerades as a "Experimental Physics Club" to avoid getting closed down by the principle.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: The S.O.S. Brigade is one of these with a twist. On paper, it exists to find supernatural stuff (espers, aliens and time travellers, among other things). On application, it exists only to cater to every crazy whimsy that Haruhi Suzumiya has. The 'twist' lies in that there *is* an alien, an esper and a time traveller amongst the members of the club-and their objective is to observe, report, and keep The Masquerade in front of Haruhi's eyes, because she's a Reality Warper of massive power who could bring along The End of the World as We Know It without even wanting to... and her getting bored increases the chances of it happening a whole damn lot. The Lemony Narrator and POV character of the show is the club's sole normal member, an Unfazed Everyman who is on the Dark Secret, and supports The Masquerade whole-heartedly (if snarkily).
  • Shugo Chara!: the Guardians uses their Absurdly Powerful Student Council position to hunt X-Charas and fight Easter.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
  • The S.O.S. Brigade, in addition to its regular purpose of keeping Haruhi entertained from the source material, has a second hidden purpose in SOS Pretty Cure--specifically, it's to hide the fact that all five of them are also the eponymous magical warriors. This is most evident during the Magical Mystery Patrols.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore's Army was formed with this intention (although they weren't keeping its purpose a secret, they weren't exactly openly advertising for members), but Umbridge got wind of it and had a rule allowing her to veto clubs introduced. As a result it became more of a secret club, the only one openly acknowledging Voldemort's return, and La Résistance in the 7th book.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
  • In The Haunting Hour: The Series: the episode "Alien Candy" features the alien club, which is for actual aliens planning to take over the school instead of sci-fi fans, as the club advertised.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze has the Kamen Rider Club at school, which is actually made up of the students helping the Kamen Riders and has a portal to a base on the moon. It is unclear just how much the club claims to be a legitimate school club.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
  • In Persona 3, the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (known as SEES) is registered as a school club with Chairman Ikutsuki as its advisor, and members even stay in the same dorm. However, the true purpose of the "club" is to investigate the Shadows, Tartarus and the Dark Hour, supernaturally phenomena that can only be experienced by a few. All members possess the ability to summon a Persona, which is the only known weapon against the Shadows.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
  • Paranatural features the Paranatural Activity Club, whose purpose is to keep paranormal activity around the school in check, and to help young spectrals like Max understand and control their powers, while Invisible to Normals creatures roam around the town.
[[/folder]]
Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • January 27, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    Technically speaking, the S.O.S. Squad of 'Haruhi Suzumiya' is this. Formed as a school club which has no reason to exist nor objective other than to follow Haruhi's every whimsy... because if it didn't existed she probably would get bored and, with her Reality Warper powers, Bad Things would ensue (certainly worse things that what happen with the club active, at least...).

    So the club's secret purpose is to keep Haruhi entertained, keep an eye on her, and keep her uninformed that she's a Reality Warper.
  • January 28, 2013
    Frank75
    Dumbledore's Army might count.
  • January 28, 2013
    Bisected8
    ^ I'll elaborate;

    • In the 5th Harry Potter book, Dumbledore's Army was formed with this intention (although they weren't keeping its purpose a secret, they weren't exactly openly advertising for members), but Umbridge got wind of it and had a rule allowing her to veto clubs introduced. As a result it became more of a secret club and La Resistance in the 7th book.
  • January 28, 2013
    TheAnswer
    • Victorious Has an episode that's all about a cover up, the schol has a ping-pong team but they don't except new members. The reason being? sports teams get endorsements and discounts and coupons to expensive restraunts, they only wanted to do it once but they just couldn't help themselves.
  • February 2, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Not sure I like the connotations of the word "coverup" here. I'm thinking more along the lines of the group being a "cover" or "front" for the secret purpose....
  • February 2, 2013
    nlpnt
    The Paranatural Activity Club in Paranatural.
  • March 6, 2013
    lu127
    Bump. Do we have any others?
  • March 6, 2013
    dakta
    The operative term here is "cover" or "front". The club appears to be one thing, but in reality is something else, ideally something much, much different.

    On these grounds, the S.O.S. Brigade is a special case, because it throws out the window the assumption that the club's creator is privy to the club's true purpose. It most definitely qualifies for this trope.

    This trope also covers fictional clubs used by characters as an excuse to justify consistent after-school extracurricular activities which would otherwise be suspicious, or clubs where a handful of members (but not all) use that club as a front for something else.

    I'll throw a hat on here if the name is changed from "coverup" to "cover" or "front". "School Club Front" or "School Club Cover".
  • March 6, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    [[folder:Fan Fiction]]
    • The S.O.S. Brigade, in addition to its regular purpose of keeping Haruhi entertained from the source material, has a second hidden purpose in SOS Pretty Cure--specifically, it's to hide the fact that all five of them are also the eponymous magical warriors. This is most evident during the Magical Mystery Patrols.
    [[/folder]]
  • April 10, 2013
    lu127
    ^^ Front works for me.
  • April 10, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya: The S.O.S. Brigade is one of these with a twist. On paper, it exists to find supernatural stuff (espers, aliens and time travellers, among other things). On application, it exists only to cater to every crazy whimsy that Haruhi Suzumiya has.

    The 'twist' lies in that there *is* an alien, an esper and a time traveller amongst the members of the club-and their objective is to observe, report, and keep The Masquerade in front of Haruhi's eyes, because she's a Reality Warper of massive power who could bring along The End Of The World As We Know It without even wanting to... and her getting bored increases the chances of it happening a whole damn lot.

    The Lemony Narrator and POV character of the show is the club's sole normal member, an Unfazed Everyman who is on the Dark Secret, and supports The Masquerade whole-heartedly (if snarkily).
  • April 10, 2013
    unluckykillerchibi

    Manga and Anime

    • In Hallelujah Overdrive - the group(A heavy metal band), masquerades as a "Experimental Physics Club" to avoid getting closed down by the principle.
    • The Exorcists in Ao No Exorcist train the students exorcists in the academy under the guise of a "Cram-Class"
    • The Main cast of When They Cry often use their Game club for other purposesOnce the Hate Plague sets in
    And Shugo Chara - the Guardians uses their Absurdly Powerful Student Council position to hunt X-Charas and fight Easter.
  • April 14, 2013
    lu127
    Any more examples?
  • April 17, 2013
    lu127
    Bump. This is still too little to crosswick.
  • April 17, 2013
    DracMonster
  • April 17, 2013
    polarbear2217
    In The Haunting Hour The Series episode "Alien Candy", the alien club is for actual aliens planning to take over the school instead of sci-fi fans, as the club advertised.
  • April 22, 2013
    arromdee
    Kamen Rider Fourze has the Kamen Rider Club at school, which is actually made up of the students helping the Kamen Riders and has a portal to a base on the moon. It is unclear just how much the club claims to be a legitimate school club.
  • May 14, 2013
    chicagomel
    would The Sharing fromAnimorphs count? It was technically like scouts or something but adults were in too...it was a front for the Yeerks to obtain more human hosts. I think it did sometimes meet at school and it was promoted there a lot.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=to8ahzrwa6hqb5h7v57opfuo&trope=SchoolClubFront