open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Yukino Miyazawa from Kare Kano maintains a facade of outward perfection in order to obtain praise from others. Arima's accidental discovery of the girl behind the mask kicks off both the plot and her own path to self-discovery.
- Utena Tenjou from Revolutionary Girl Utena painfully learns the difference between holding an ideal of achievement and managing actual leadership.
- Lafiel from Crest of the Stars does not coast on her status as a Princess, but instead desires to prove herself as a commander in her own right.
- Asuka Langley Soryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion wants to be this but, due to her traumatic background, does not have the mental health to do so. Her unprovoked rudeness to perceived inferior Shinji is an early sign of the desperation behind her driven personality.
- Naru Narusegawa from Love Hina, as demonstrated by her obsession with entering into Tokyo University.
- Nana from Nana to Kaoru is so wrapped up in her quest for achievement, the only thing that can help her relax is a good session of BDSM.
- Sumire in Kimi Wa Petto is an interesting case. As a woman in her late 20s, she represents the older age limit of this type. While she is well on the way to achieving professional success, she finds herself facing multiple personal anxieties due to the compromises and life decisions she had made along the way. The epilogue shows a happy ending, where she has managed to combine a fulfilling career with a loving relationship, albeit with the very last type of man she would have expected.
- Hiroko Matsukada from Hataraki Man is practically an expy of Sumire. Same driven attitude to work (in practically the same job, no less!), same struggles with balancing work and personal life (and the fact that her professional ambitions have partially contributed to her being single in her late 20s), same issues with sexism where her co-workers value her contributions but see her as not feminine enough.
- Ayaka Machida in Stellvia of the Universe is extremely ambitious, to the point where she is ready to commit amoral and outright criminal acts to come out on top.
- Maid-Sama!: Misaki is a model student, a highly active and effective Student Council President, and works to help financially support her family.
- Ayatsuji Tsukasa from Amagami SS, complete with hidden Bitch in Sheep's Clothing tendencies.
- Kyouko from Skip Beat! starts out as... not this, as she's dropped out of high school and sacrificed her entire life to take care of her actor sorta-boyfriend. Then she happens to overhear what he really thinks of her (disposable labor), and she vows to get her revenge by outshining him in show business. Cue her personality switching 180 degrees, as from then on, nothing will stand in the way of her pursuit of success.
- Tracy Flick from Election epitomizes the negative aspects of this trope, as her need for achievement is shown to get in the way of her forming meaningful personal relationships.
- In Legally Blonde, Vivian Kensington is the prototypical hard-working, serious Harvard Law School student, which is why the ditzy yet competent Elle Woods annoys her to no end.
- Amber Atkins in Drop Dead Gorgeous. She's a good student, holds two jobs, volunteers at the anorexia wing of the hospital and still has time to practice her tap dancing!
- Amy Squirrel and Sasha in Bad Teacher.
- Class persident Summer from School of Rock is so ambitious and driven, she doesn't see a point to goofing around and playing music. She is only ten.
- Zootopia: Judy Hopps was the top student at the police academy and even when she's assigned to parking duty on her first day she still gives her best to show what she's made of. She willingly works harder to compensate for her small stature and discrimination she faces as a bunny.
- Harold Lloyd is a well-known male version.
- Harry Potter: Hermione Granger is an example of how someone can navigate through the pitfalls of this trope and end up a mature, balanced woman.
- Eilonwy from The Chronicles of Prydain is very devoted to achieving excellence as an enchantress, and, like Hermione, can be somewhat snotty to those she sees as slacking off.
- Quite a few of the girls in Enid Blyton's Malory Towers books take their turns at this. Darrell Rivers, Sally Hope and Alicia Johns are the cream of the all-rounders; most of the other girls who stand out for their achievements are known for one particular talent.
Live Action TV
- Rory Gilmore and Paris from Gilmore Girls. Rory is a more balanced example, while Paris is highly unstable and a fierce Academic Alpha Bitch.
- Andie and Joey from Dawson's Creek, with both of them, being part of troubled families and suffering from a terrible home life, consequently becoming ambitious overachievers.
- Smallville: Lois Lane is a major example, and so is her cousin Chloe Sullivan.
- Sabrina from Sabrina the Teenage Witch becomes this. She is something of a nerd in high school and devotes herself to her ambitions of becoming a journalist.
- Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks is a subversion of this. She does well at school, has a part time job, a boyfriend, and regularly volunteers with a local Meals on Wheels... But the deeper the investigation into her death probes, the darker her life seems.
- Topanga Lawrence from Boy Meets World starts off as a weird Granola Girl, but develops into this trope as the series goes on.
- Annie Edison from Community: her character was inspired by Tracy Flick. Although it hasn't worked out so well for her in the past (a disastrous Adderall addiction during high school) she grows into a mature and kind but still very driven young woman over the course of the series.
- Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation is a slightly older, but not necessarily more mature version. Yet another character on this list who was inspired by Tracy Flick.
- Spencer Hastings from Pretty Little Liars. She has straight A's, is an Academic Decathelon champion and plays lacross and field hockey. Eventually she persues a career in politics.
- Michaela Pratt in How to Get Away with Murder. The murder in question ends up cracking her façade badly.
- On season 2 of Veronica Mars, Angie Dahl is one of Veronica's rivals to a desirable scholarship. Angie dips into all of the bad aspect of this trope to get it, but Veronica uncovers her lies.
- Rachel Berry from ''Glee' is set on becoming a broadway diva, no matter what. She is active in every possible extracurricular and has straight A's.
- Quinn also fits the trope - she studies hard, is captain of the cheerleading squad, and will stop at nothing to be prom queen.
- Season 6 gives us Jane, a girl so ambitious she manages to turn an all-male prep school co-ed by insisting on her right to good education.
- Mitsuru Kirijo from Persona 3 may have originally have taken on this role because of her family responsibilities, but she certainly pulls it off (even if she sometimes thinks about what it would be like otherwise).
- Rin Tohsaka from Fate/stay night. Drive to excel? Check. Need to present a perfect front to her peers? Check. Secret impolite, slacker side? Check. Willingness to put personal relationships aside in order to attain her goals? Check (sorry, Sakura). Luckily for her, she has a good heart and a resilient personality which sees her through even after running into setbacks.
- Shizune from Katawa Shoujo has this personality, while at the same time needing to deal with her deafness. Perhaps because of this, she often comes off as more abrasive than others of this type.
- Young Eva from Umineko: When They Cry started out like this in high school. Then her father told her she could never become family head because she was a woman. Things got worse from there...
- Androssi from the Manhwa Tower of God, as a result of a training regimen that boiled down to 'achieve, or starve'.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- Azula is a good example of why this is a bad thing to be if you grow up in an environment that fosters inhumanity, cut-throat competition, and sheer unbridled ruthlessness. Not only does meeting people's expectations in this case mean being an abominable human being, but the need to throw friendship, love, and morality itself aside in the name of obedience and ambition is enough to cause mental instability at the first hint of a true setback.
- Katara also has some of these traits.
- Jodi Landon from Daria, which has something to do with the pressure of being one of the few black students at Lawndale High as well as her parents.
- Edd (Double D) from Ed, Edd n Eddy is a rare male example. He gets good grades at school, is talented in mechanics, gets along with the kids (sometimes when Eddy isn't around) and has an active social life at his school (he is a journalist of the Peach Creek Junior High Tattler and the president of the Happy Clucker's club and the safety clubs).
- Olga from Hey Arnold! is a deconstruction. While Olga has good leadership skills and regularly gets straight As in college, she is held to extremely high expectation by her parents. Also, she is driven to a mental breakdown over a B grade (which Helga forges, mind you).
- Kim Possible. She started her own odd-job website with the phrase "Kim Possible: she can do anything." Now she's famous.
- Twilight Sparkle of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Before the start of the series, her only care was perfecting her mage studies, actively shunning anything that could get in the way of that, which meant no social life for her.
- Blossom of The Powerpuff Girls. "Power-Noia" revealed that she has a serious complex for being perfect.
- Lisa Simpson from The Simpsons often will behave like this, although she is still young enough to balance it out with moments of acting like a normal girl.
- Courtney from Total Drama Island and its sequels. She's a perfectionist who has ambitions to get into law school.
- When extreme, this trope may be a diagnosable mental illness. Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (not to be confused with OCD) is "A pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control, at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency."
- There is evidence to suggest that even today girls at school are expected to be all round perfect (for instance get good grades, be good at sports, music and acting, have a part-time job/volunteer) far more so than boys, who are more expected to be good at just one chosen field, which leads to girls being effectively forced into becoming go getter girls. This is detailed in articles like this one.