Extracurricular Enthusiast

I think this is referred to as "preemptive" recruiting.

The Extracurricular Enthusiast is an individual who is eager to participate in social organizations, especially school-related. He's at every school football game, is always decked out on school spirit day and when anything new comes up on the school activities radar he's always lurking in the cafeteria as the Heroes sit down for lunch, ready to tell everyone about it, and badger them into signing up.

Common traits an Extracurricular Enthusiast may have is as a plot Catalyst, giving needed information or unilaterally signing the heroes up for a 'fun' day manning the bake sale, whereupon plot will ensue. After doing so they will then leave in a flurry, busy to decorate the gym for homecoming night or something. This is related to another common trait, which is being that person who knows everyone, thus acting as the main character's source for rumors, gossip and any other information about the school history or what's going on around town.

Extracurricular Enthusiasts are not necessarily smart or talented, they are just ready and willing, though the All-Star Soccer Player and the Straight-A Student also tend to be this trope. Sometimes the Extracurricular Enthusiast is motivated to participate in school activities because they want as many things to write down on their college applications as possible. Other motivations might be that they genuinely feel like they are helping some cause, they like being part of something bigger than themselves, or they are just in it for the 'fun'.

Extracurricular Enthusiasts can be any gender and technically be of any age or environment, but they crop up most often in High School Slice of Life stories or College life stories. While the Extracurricular Enthusiast can sometimes overlap with the Nerd, Geek, and Teacher's Pet tropes, they are generally much better accepted by the school population because they do everything 'normal' kids do, they are just also heavily involved in other extracurricular activities (however, they do tend to enjoy tough schoolwork). They are very rarely the Alpha Bitch or Jerk Jock, and more often are a minor member of the hero's group or a Satellite Character.

Characters likely to be Extracurricular Enthusiast, are any member of the ASB or Student Council, including The Class Rep and Student Council President. In general they have more boisterous and outgoing personalities, and are rarely a Shrinking Violet. Typical characterizations of the Extracurricular Enthusiast are the Genki Girl or Genki Guy, The Ojou, or Meganekko.

Keep in mind that in order to be this trope, a character must be heavily involved in more than one extracurricular activity, or be an aggressive promoter and recruiter of their chosen activity.


Anime and Manga
  • Hana from Flunk Punk Rumble, who wanted to participate in everything the high School experience had to offer, because she used to be a delinquent and never participated in activities in junior high. She enthusiastically (to the point of lunacy) participates in every student activities, becoming the Class Rep and then later the Student Council President. She is seen in the picture, unilaterally deciding that Shinagawa will run for Student Council with her.
  • In Medaka Box, Medaka takes her job as student body council president very seriously and forces her best friend to join. Of course, given that the student body council are the only ones capable of protecting the students from the Minus class, it's probably for the best.
  • Played with in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya where, although the titular character joined every club, she did not stay in any of them and simply joined to see if they were interesting.

Comic Books
  • Referenced in a 1994 DC Comics advertisment that showed a High School Yearbook for five teen heroes who had "graduated" to their own titles. After four entries where "Afterschool Activities" were listed as "NOT APPLICABLE" and the reason this character wasn't in the school system, Robin gets "PRESIDENT, chess club; PRESIDENT, computer club; PRESIDENT, chemistry club" along with the quote "I'm just one of the guys. Really." (In-continuity, of course, Tim Drake had one afterschool activity that rather precluded any others.)

  • Max Fischer's extracurricular activities at Rushmore Academy include: Yankee Review editor-in-chief, French Club president, representing Russia in the model UN, Stamp & Coin Club vice-president, debate team captain, Lacrosse team manager, Calligraphy Club president, Astronomy Society founder, fencing team captain, track & field J. V. decathlon, 2nd Chorale choirmaster, bombardment society founder, Kung Fu Club yellow belt, Trap & Skeet Club founder, Rushmore Beekeepers president, Yankee Racers founder, Max Fischer Players director and the Piper Cub Club. Yeah, and he saved Latin - what did you ever do?
  • Patty Simcox from Grease, who was an over-enthusiastic goody-toe-shoes cheerleader, nominated for student council, helped set up for the prom, and gossiped her way through the whole movie/play.
  • In the Korean film Volcano High School, virtually everyone tries to get the new main character to sign up with one of their clubs—he is swamped by enthusiastic recruiters.

  • In the Discworld Assassins' Guild Diary, the same four or five names keep cropping up in the list of Student Officials. Of particular note is Victor Ludorum who, amongst several other titles, is "Captain of Everything Else".
  • Scobie in Don't Call Me Ishmael!. He becomes College Captain, started the debate team and participates in a lot of school activities. He tries to become an Academic Athlete even though he is horrible at playing sports and ends up being a member of the (fifth) volleyball team.

Live-Action TV
  • Alexis from Castle seems to be involved in a huge number of school clubs. She takes them very seriously and she's a star academically as she wants to go to a prestigious college.
  • Muffy Tepperman from Square Pegs was involved in, if not the head of, every extracurricular activity.
  • Dean Pelton from Community. There is no school activity/event that he can't get excited about.
    • Annie Edison is the Straight-A Student equivalent.
  • Modern Family:
    • Alex plays the cello, plays lacrosse, and has participated in a bottle-collection program to help build schools in third-world countries. Note that she doesn't do all this because she loves all the activities, but rather to pad her resume for when she has to apply for colleges.
    • Cameron. In various episodes he has played drums in a rock band, led a band of Christmas carolers, and sang a verse from an opera at a wedding. And, of course, he is a classically trained Auguste clown.
  • Rachel Berry from Glee, and it's only a minor element of her character. However, she doesn't do it because she loves or cares about the activities, but only so she can have more photos in the yearbook than any other student - to the point where she actually suggests to a student who (at the time) loathes her that they start a club together so she can get that one last vital photo. Apparently this is to "practice" for later years when she is confident that she'll be pursued by the paparazzi.
  • Sue on The Middle tries out for things constantly, but only very rarely succeeds. When she does, she is wildly enthusiastic; you could make a drinking game out of how many times she says "cross country" in season 2.
  • Paris Geller and Rory Gilmore of Gilmore Girls. They are both involved in their school newspaper and heavily invested in it, and they are later active in students' council.
  • Spencer Hastings of Pretty Little Liars could qualify as this. She takes a myriad of AP classes and is a member of the hockey team and a tennis player, as well as runnning for class president, internships and charity work.

Web Comics
  • Head Trip in its collection of oddball superheroes has one built upon this concept — "Hot Topic Avenger".
  • Suzy from Paranatural is enthusiastic about the journalism club and frighteningly aggressive about recruiting the protagonist to said club.

Web Original
  • So-and-So in Teen Girl Squad is a stereotypical overachieving preppy, and in Issue 15 she claims "I was on every committee ever!" with a manic look on her face.

Western Animation
  • As part of her incredible-overachiever character design, Kim Possible is involved with or in charge of just about everything in Middleton High short of being a supply teacher, though most of these are merely referred to unless they're significant to the episode.

Real Life
  • In Penny Eckert's famous study of Jocks and Burnouts, this is the defining characteristic of Jocks (that is, people very invested in the institution, not specifically in terms of sports. Someone who is in band, choir, and theater for instance would be a Jock under this definition).

Alternative Title(s): The Keener