Created By: Sackett on February 11, 2012 Last Edited By: atheywa on February 27, 2012
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Academic Athlete

Character who excells at both academics and athletics

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Yes, usually jocks are just dumb. But this jock is different. This jock just made the Dean's list and has to choose between an academic scholarship to a prestigious Ivy League School, or the football scholarship in the Pac10. In other words it's what you get when you combined a well toned mind with well toned muscles.

Possibly as a form of Positive Discrimination, girls are more likely to get this treatment then guys, even though the sports being played are traditional male sports. If there's a contrast between two girls this one will be firmly the Tomboy in Tomboy and Girly Girl because of how independent she is. Sensitive Guy and Manly Man on the other hand are less likely to use this as the sensitive guy is more likely to be academic and the manly man is more likely to be athletic.

They don't have a Dumb Muscle look to them, neither a smart one but sporty look, somewhere between casual and tough.

Can overlap with Renaissance Man if the Academic Athlete has more than just the two skills, especially if he has artistic ones.

Compare Genius Bruiser, Badass Bookworm, Adventurer Archaeologist, and the duo of Brains and Brawn.

Examples:

Anime and Manga

  • Azumanga Daioh's Koyomi Mizuhara is an honors student, second only to Chiyo academically. She's also an outstanding athlete and usually does well during their school's annual sports fest.
    • However, Sakaki is the best athlete at the school, and also excels in her studies. She has the next highest test scores after Chiyo and Yomi.
  • In Kare Kano Miyazawa and Arima are always near the top of the school's exam rankings, and Arima wins nationally at kendo. For Miyazawa, only other characters praise her sports ability, though.

Literature
  • Jess of Bridge to Terabithia thinks highly of Leslie Burke because she beat all the fifth grade boys in their race and she can impress teachers with her imaginative essays and ability to appear focused in class.
  • The Dear America book With The Might of Angels has Dawnie who has the highest grades in the elementary division of her school but more than anything she wants to be part of the All-American Girls Baseball League.
  • Kristin Amanda “Kristy” Thomas from The Babysitters Club has the management skills to create the club and be it's president. Her sport is softball and she even starts a kids' team.

Live-Action TV
  • Basketball star Mary Camden from 7th Heaven will occasionally tutor other characters.
  • Samantha “Sam” Kepler from Wishbone participates in every sport her male friends do and is picked for her class team captain spelling bee because she's always reading.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder from LittleHouseOnThePrairie will get dirty and play baseball as a child but at sixteen she becomes more elegant and gets her first teaching job.
  • Jane Vaughan of Degrassi is a skilled football player and the Valedictorian of her class. Her plan is to become a lawyer.

Real Life
  • New York 1, a major cable news channel in The Big Apple offers a "Scholar Athlete of the Month Award" to one high-achieving high school student, in a praise-heavy featurette.
  • Truth in Television for how some well-educated American athletes appear to Europeans where sports is not typically tied to academics but often involves dropping out of school early to pursue one's sports career full-time.
Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • February 11, 2012
    jatay3
    Vance in NCIS both knows how to box and how to solve codes.
  • February 15, 2012
    TonyG
    Kim Possible is head of the cheerleader squad and the smartest student in her class. And she fights supercriminals besides.
  • February 16, 2012
    atheywa
    This is the inversion of Dumb Jock so it's about characters who play traditional male sports. The Cheerleader and other characters who play traditional female sports (like dance) are typically portrayed as a Brainless Beauty. If there are other examples then it can be it's own trope too.
  • February 16, 2012
    LobsterMagnus
    An Adventurer Archaeologist like e.g. Indiana Jones is this by default.
  • February 16, 2012
    atheywa
    I would say that Indiana Jones blends the two aspects together and those listed are when a character has two sides to them, but there is similarity there.
  • February 16, 2012
    animeg3282
    This tends to be remarked on in anime a lot "S/he's good at sports AND school! They are the idol of the class!"

    In Kare Kano Yukino Miyazawa worked her butt off to become this type, but Soichiro Arima could do this seemingly effortlessly.
  • February 16, 2012
    Sackett
    I would think a gymnast would count for this, but a cheerleader would not. Competitive sports. Cheerleading is not typically considered a sport. (Yes, yes, I know there are competitions, but it's not generally considered a sport).
  • February 16, 2012
    MiinU

    Anime and Manga

    • Azumanga Daioh's Koyomi Mizuhara is an honors student, second only to Chiyo academically. She's also an outstanding athlete and usually does well during their school's annual sports fest.
      • However, Sakaki is the best athlete at the school, and also excels in her studies. She has the next highest test scores after Chiyo and Yomi.
  • February 16, 2012
    Unknown Troper
    New York 1, a major cable news channel in The Big Apple offers a "Scholar Athlete of the Month Award" to one high-achieving high school student, in a praise-heavy featurette.
  • February 17, 2012
    atheywa
    Kare Kano needs some detail to show that the characters are above adverage both academically and athletically.

    Would you call a gymnast a jock? If so it goes here.
  • February 17, 2012
    ChunkyDaddy
    ^^^^ Oh no! Are we going to play the That-is-not-a-sport game? I think regardless of whether cheerleading is a sport or not, it does require a certain amount of athleticism. This trope is about athletic academics, not about academics who are good at sports. So, IMO, cheerleading qualifies.
  • February 17, 2012
    surgoshan
    A name for this already exists: Renaissance Man. It's a person who's good at sports, at academics, usually also at literature, music, art, and languages. In short, he's the archetypal gentleman with a classical education.
  • February 18, 2012
    fulltimeD
    ^ That seems distinct from "Athlete who contrary to the Dumb Jock stereotype is shown to be academically gifted as well"
  • February 18, 2012
    Bisected8
    Often a sign that you're dealing with The Ace.
  • February 18, 2012
    atheywa
    Cheerleading is a sport. So is ballet, ballroom dancing, figure skating, tennis, swimming, gymnastics, golf, running. However this is about jocks, characters who play traditional boys sports such as football or basketball, not gracefully sports. Characters who play traditional female sports (like dance and cheerleading) are typically portrayed as a Brainless Beauty, a feminine counterpart to the Dumb Jock.
  • February 19, 2012
    Sackett
    Hmmm... so wouldn't an Acedemic Athlete in one of these other non "jock" sports also be the opposite of the Brainless Beauty stereotype?
  • February 19, 2012
    atheywa
    Yes, a girl who does ballet for example, is expected to be a Brainless Beauty. As far as I know there is no trope inversion of Brainless Beauty. If there was then cheerleader Kim Possible, if she is really smartest student in her class, would go there.
  • February 21, 2012
    atheywa
    Would anyone mind if I launch this now?
  • February 21, 2012
    BuckRivera
    Truth In Television for how some well-educated American athletes appear to Europeans where sports is not typically tied to academics but often involves dropping out of school early to pursue one's sports career full-time.
  • February 21, 2012
    animeg3282
    In Kare Kano Miyazawa and Arima are always near the top of the school's exam rankings, and Arima wins nationally at kendo. For Miyazawa, only other characters praise her sports ability, though.
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