Yeah, you work that swag, Zac.
Guys want to be him, gals want to be with him
The Big Man on Campus
is the most popular guy in the High School
. He is handsome, charming, a superb athlete and usually pretty smart and an A student. Unlike his peers Alpha Bitch
(who is usually his girlfriend until he realizes how awful she is) and the Jerk Jock
(usually his friend until he realizes how awful he
is) the Big Man on Campus
never bullies anyone: he rules through charisma and general awesomeness rather than fear and manipulation. He'll probably grow up to become The Ace
The Big Man on Campus is very
popular in Prep school fiction, as an well-read, handsome, athletic, affable, and articulate man is the epitome of prep.
The High School Hustler
is often also a Big Man.
Generally this character is either the protagonist himself, or is the chief love interest
in a story about a Cool Loser
heroine. He rarely turns up if the story is about male outcasts (as the existence of a benign popular kid makes it harder to use jocks as villains) or about a popular girl (as those sort of stories usually give her an outsider love interest).
The Big Man on Campus
is Always Male
. For a "popular but good hearted" High School female equivalent Spoiled Sweet
is the trope of choice. Compare School Idol
and Lovable Jock
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- Parodied in Peanuts with Snoopy's "Joe Cool" persona. (There was also a one-off strip in which his persona was actually called "Big Man on the Campus").
- The Trope Maker may be the Harold Lloyd silent comedy classic The Freshman, in which nerdy Lloyd greatly admires the resident Big Man On Campus and desperately wants to be one himself.
- Zach Siler from She's All That.
- Guy Perkins from Never Been Kissed.
- John Tucker from John Tucker Must Die.
- Woody Deanne from It's a Boy Girl Thing.
- National Lampoon's Van Wilder
- Paul Metzler of Election (1999). He's one of the few nice characters in the story, as well as The Ditz.
- Troy Bolton in High School Musical, though he might fit into the flawless category.
- Marcia repeatedly refers to her love interest Doug by this title in A Very Brady Movie.
- Aaron Samuels from Mean Girls.
- Mike Dexter from Can't Hardly Wait
- Ferris Bueller from Ferris Bueller's Day Off!
- Will Wagner in Avalon High. Not so surprising, since he's the modern reincarnation of King Arthur.
- Subverted in the Stephen King novel Rage, where the local BMOC proves to be almost as messed up as the guy who just shot two teachers and is holding the rest of the class hostage.
- Cedric Diggory from Harry Potter is this at Hogwarts. Viktor Krum is implied to be this at Durmstrang.
- Harry himself develops into one in Half-Blood Prince, albeit rather reluctantly. He becomes the captain of his Quidditch team and develops a gang of groupies to go along with it.
- Harry's dad James and godfather Sirius were considered "the height of cool" in their own schooldays. Harry is a bit dismayed to learn that this meant they could be, in Sirius's own words, "arrogant little berks" to people they disliked. They grew out of it.
- Eino Fflliikkiinnenn in Barefoot Boy With Cheek.
- Even though he's at college, Fiyero Tiggular from Wicked is a perfect example. He is handsome, very shallow and popular and has a reputation for being "scandalicious" and everyone worships him. He even goes out with a Libbyish girl (though she turns out not to be) until he dumps her for Elphaba.
- Throughout the musical, Brett from 13 flip flops between this and the Jerk Jock he ends up being a decided Jerk Jock in the end.
- Evan tries to be this to get people to come to his Bar Mitzvah.
- Bully. Hopkins is a class example, with his position being directly referred to as 'King of the school' on a number of occasions. Of course, he's only this during certain parts of the game, since the rest basically concerns him fighting to GET to this station. However, he's got the qualifications at all times: Smart enough to ace every class, tough enough to beat down the entire football-team (literally), and charming enough to score with literally every girl in school (and quite a few of the boys, too).
- In the university expansion of The Sims 2, college Sims can become the big man on campus by having a full influence bar (basically, 20 friends at once).
- Edgar from Psychonauts seems to have been this in his teenage years. For a while.
- Akihiko Sanada from Persona 3.
- Also, the main character from both 3 and 4 can become one of these over time.
- Charlie Macdonald in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, the most popular student in his university and the star of its (American) football team. He is a professional assassin. He also has 24 cheerleaders with him at all times. They are also all professional assassins.
- Akira from Lux Pain is hinted to be this by observing some conversations in the game. He's apparently very popular in school despite failing and Akira himself doesn't seem aware of his status. Then again, stopping the Serial Killer from last year's incident is a great way to become popular. Sayuri calls him out on this and even accuses him of being a Jerk Jock behind the facade. This actually pisses him off only because she said it in front of Atsuki.
- Luero from Ears for Elves thrives as this. He doesn't need people to know, his KNOWS people know.
- Zill from Zoophobia is the guy everybody wants to know, and who everybody else wants to be, all without even realizing it.
- Arguably Survival of the Fittest character Steve Digaetano, probably the most popular guy in the V3 highschool: Southridge. He isn't perhaps a Jerkass of the highest order, but he certainly has his moments.
- Harry in A Very Potter Musical is totally this trope except he somewhat of a Jerk Ass near the beginning (prior to his Character Development). Draco wants to be this but fails since he is a Small Name, Big Ego (though he thinks it is Harry's fault). Cedric Diggory is a more classic example and would be this but he is in Hufflepuff House.
- Quarterman/Quarterback from Teen Girl Squad. He ends up falling in love with Ugly One, asking her to see him to the end credits after a really confusing speech.
- TJ from Recess. He shows one of the key traits most openly in the episode where he was forced to stay with the 'indoor kids', kids who would rather stay inside and play Dungons and Dragons than play in the playground. Though he is intially hesitant it isn't long before he has blended in perfectly and counts each and every one of them as a friend, rallying their unique talents to his side in several future episodes.
- Johnny Hitswell in The Replacements.
- Kim Possible: Brick Flagg might be the boyfriend to Bonnie Rockwaller, but he's actually pretty decent (if a bit dim) judging from what few appearances he gets. He later goes off to college in the fourth season and dumps Bonnie.
- Josh Mankey might better qualify... smart, cute and popular. He was with Kim for the first two seasons before ending up with Tara and Put on a Bus.
- Ulrich from Code Lyoko has all the trappings of a Big Man on Campus, but he doesn't actively pursue this status. Regardless, he still has several girls vying for his attention at any one point.
- Doyle was this before attending Galaxy High.