Lovable Jock

The Jerk Jock answer to the Lovable Alpha Bitch. It is typical in most high school settings to have the jock as the bad guy but this trope is a method of portraying jocks in a positive light. After all, people don't automatically turn into a sociopath the moment they join a sports team.

The Lovable Jock differs from the Lovable Alpha Bitch in that while the Alpha Bitch can still be a bully to everyone except the main character to count, the Lovable Jock will be a nice guy by default. He is rarely the main man of the high school and will usually be in contrast to an actual Jerk Jock. Expect the Jerk Jock to be blond while the Lovable Jock is brunet or redheaded though blond Lovable Jocks are common too.

A variation can come where the Jock is merely too stupid to actually be spiteful, in which case compare Brainless Beauty. At other points the Jock is a Genius Bruiser and Academic Athlete, and gets on with nerds and other sorts because he's capable of holding a conversation with them, and may himself be geeky about the sport he plays. Doubly so if the sport he plays is Baseball, in which case see Game of Nerds.

Female cheerleaders who are not the Alpha Bitch can go here instead of Lovable Alpha Bitch since that trope is reserved for the actual Alpha Bitches. The Jock need not only be on the football team, but on any other sports team in the school.

Compare with Big Man on Campus.


Examples:

Male examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Tsubasa Ohzora from Captain Tsubasa is THE Lovable Jock and possibly the Trope Codifier in anime and manga. Yes, he's handsome and popular. Yes, he's a Child Prodigy in regards to soccer. But he works very hard for his success, truly loves the sport, and cares very much for his teammates and his friends.
    • Pretty much every school team captain is like this, with the exception of Hyuuga — and Hyuuga not only has genuinely good reasons to be harsher, but he does not get rewarded when he pulls the asshole card.
  • Eyeshield 21 is basically what happens when you take the most socially challenged kids in Japan and make them play team sports. Kurita is probably the most prominent, though there's also Sakuraba, Mizumachi, and Yamato.
  • Slam Dunk has Akira Sendoh and Kenji Fujima. Both are high-ranked aces in their school teams and very popular among girls, but remain polite and relatively down-to-Earth.
  • The new Subterra brawler in Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders is a football player, with the same football team as cheerleader and previous Subterra brawler Juli.
  • Masaki Miyamoto from Amakusa 1637, with his girlfriend Natsuki Hayami as a female example.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men: Gentle Giant Beast was an athlete in high school, before he grew his fur.
  • "Moose" Mason from Archie Comics. Originally he was batshit insane and was universally feared by the entire school (even some teachers) since he would savagely beat anyone who even looked in Midge's general direction. He's mellowed considerably as the comics moved on, so long as no one is trying to steal his girl.
  • Ben Grimm, AKA The Thing, from the Fantastic Four, who used to be a star football player in high school. He became fast friends with the intellectual Reed Richards, AKA Mr Fantastic, once the two of them met in college.
  • While Flash Thompson is arguably the Trope Codifier of the Jerk Jock, he actually transitioned into becoming this after he and Peter started attending college.

    Fan Fiction 
  • In Under The Northern Lights Prince Vigg can be an immature brat but is usually quite a nice guy. His greatest interest seem to be winter sports, mostly skiing both cross-country and down-hill. He and his friends have apparently invented the snowboard as well.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Bee Movie, the Pollen Jocks (i.e., the bees who leave the hive to collect pollen). When Barry and Adam are pretending to be Pollen Jocks to impress some girls a pair of real Pollen Jocks come over and, while not revealing the truth, decide to mess with them by challenging them to come along on their next mission. When Barry actually shows up they talk their superior into letting him come along.
  • Mitch from ParaNorman, who has a strong Big Brother Instinct towards his younger brother Neil, and who agrees to drive everyone to go look for Norman, apparently for no better reason than that Neil is worried about Norman.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Breakfast Club: The Trope Codifier is probably Emilio Estevez as Andrew, a wrestler who gets no attention from his father and resorts to bullying a nerd once (which is what lands him in detention) and feels awful about it.
  • Shawn Hatosy's Stan from The Faculty is a five star athlete who wants to work hard to better his grades and is probably the nicest in the main cast.
  • Most of the guys from Remember the Titans but Gerry sticks out the most.
  • A few of the guys from Coach Carter, which is basically Remember The Titans with basketball instead.
  • Jonathon from Were the World Mine is the only one on his school's rugby team who is not a Jerk Jock, and the only one who consoles the bullied protagonist Timothy, who has a crush on him. Turns out that Jonathon is a Straight Gay and Timothy is his Closet Key.
  • Troy from High School Musical. Zeke and Chad could also qualify.
  • Paul from Election, while not too bright, is a genuine Nice Guy who votes for his opponent in the titular school election because he thinks it wouldn't be fair if he voted for himself.
  • Cappie from Lucas used to bully the titular character, but did a Heel-Face Turn after Lucas helped him keep up with his studies when he fell ill and became Lucas's friend and protector, and it's not really his fault that the girl Lucas liked had a crush on him instead.
  • Varsity Blues has Mox first and foremost, but also the likes of Billy Bob and Wendell Brown.
  • The jocks in Grease are like this, although they still don't get the girl because they're too dumb and boring.
  • Flash Thompson of The Amazing Spider-Man initially started out as the resident Jerk Jock, but when Peter's uncle was killed, Flash goes to console Peter, and continues to do so, even when Peter shoves him against the lockers, telling him calmly to "let it all out". By the end of the film, the two have become good friends.
  • Summer School gives us Kevin, all-around Dumb Jock and Nice Guy.

    Literature 
  • Jake from Animorphs is introduced this way. He tries and fails to get on the basketball team, but it's stated right away his build and strengths are suited more for football.
  • Tommy Ross from Carrie. It's written that none of his classmates ( well, the surviving ones anyway, who tended to be some of the least popular kids in school) had anything bad to say about him. Unfortunately, he's usually considered a Jerk Jock by those who didn't know him but are writing about the incident at the prom.
  • Harry Potter: Harry himself. Most of the Quidditch players who don't play for Slytherin or Hufflepuff count, with Cedric Diggory (who does play for Hufflepuff ironically) being the most prominent other example.
    • Cedric is such a Nice Guy that he once tried to forfeit a match immediately after winning. (Harry ended up passing out due to the presence of the Dementors while the two were racing for the Golden Snitch, and Cedric didn't notice until after he caught it.) His request was denied on the grounds that he hadn't actually broken any rules, so his win was totally fair.
    • James Potter had elements of this and of Jerk Jock (though outside of just be a showoff, the only jerk moments was his mutual hatred with Snape.) After he 'deflates his head,' he is much more readily seen as one.
  • Josh Newman from The Alchemyst series is stated to be on the football team though the books are set in the summer.
  • Frank Merriwell, hero of the book series of the same name is an exemplary athlete both in skill and sportsmanship, and an all-round decent chap. Other athletes in the story, not always so decent.
  • Calvin from A Wrinkle in Time, who's said to be a popular athlete at Meg's school but has no problems hanging out with geeky, bespectacled Meg and going on a multidimensional space quest with her and her brother Charles Wallace.
  • P. G. Wodehouse's schoolboy hero Mike Jackson, best-known as Sidekick to Psmith in the Psmith series. He's terrible in school but an exceedingly skilled cricket player, and he suffers from a severe case of Chronic Hero Syndrome.
  • Mike Peterefsky in Dinoverse is friends to shy, bumbling geek Bertram and doesn't seem to have a mean bone in his body - he's actually worried that Bertram will think less of him when they're thrust into a chaotic unfamiliar situation. For all that, though, he was more or less going along with it when Sean was making plans to cripple a slower moving player on their team, until the adventure happens. When he returns he finds his courage and denounces Sean.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Several examples from Glee including Finn, Mike, Sam, Artie (who is in a wheelchair), and Puck (after some Character Development).
    • Karofsky after coming to terms with his sexuality.
  • Booth from Bones is an former jock version.
  • Most of the cast from Friday Night Lights but especially Matt Saracen and Luke Cafferty. Taken further by Matt explicitly being stated as more of an art kid than a quarterback, he just happens to have the brains to back himself up on the field.
  • Todd from Freaks and Geeks, despite dating shallow and vapid Cindy Sanders and being Sam's unaware rival, is a super nice guy who thinks Sam is cool and doesn't try to battle him for Cindy.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze has Shun Daimonji, the school's star quarterback. He starts off as a Jerk Jock taken to such an extreme that he even interferes with Fourze defeating the Monster of the Week because of a grudge with the titular Kamen Rider. Later, though, he owns up to his Freudian Excuse (a controlling, perfectionist father) and works toward becoming a better person. He even joins the Kamen Rider Club, and assists Fourze in battle by piloting the Power Dizer.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Jason Lee Scott is into martial arts rather than playing for the Angel Grove High sports teams, but he otherwise fits this trope. His outgoing, athletic nature makes him a natural leader of the Power Rangers, and he functions as a Big Brother Mentor to geeky Billy Cranston, building Billy's self-confidence by teaching him martial arts.
    • Rocky (football) and T.J. (baseball) were on their respective high school teams. Shane and Dustin fit this to a lesser extent (they're technically closer to the Jason example.)
  • Riley from Degrassi is this trope in spades, except he's also a Big Man on Campus and genuinely is not stupid.
  • Super Human Samurai Syber Squad: Tanker is a football star but isn't mean to anyone other than Jerkass Malcolm Frink and even then he's quite mild in comparison to a regular Jerk Jock. Also, Tanker dates the resident genius.
  • Devon "Captain Awesome" Woodcomb from Chuck. A hyper-athletic, ridiculously good-looking surgeon who is genuinely just the nicest guy on the planet.
  • Matty and Jake on Awkward. Jake and, to a lesser extent, Matty also qualify as the Big Man on Campus.
  • Danny on Teen Wolf. Ironically, he is best friends with Jackson, the Jerk Jock.
  • Matt Donovan and Stefan Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries. On the other hand, Matt's best friend Tyler Lockwood is a Jerk Jock (at first).
  • Mick Campbell from House of Anubis is a jock, yes, but also thought to be one of the sweetest and funniest people in the house.
  • David in Dead Gorgeous. Affable and good-natured, he is not bright enough to be the Big Man on Campus. However, when he finds out that a nerd is being bullied into doing his homework for him (he was initially told the nerd was doing it voluntarily) he quickly forces the bully doing it to stop.
  • Zack, Penny's occasional boyfriend on The Big Bang Theory. Friendly, good-natured, even a bit of a closet geek himself, and gets along very well with the guys. He's also incredibly dumb.
  • Tommy Dawkins, the titular werewolf of Big Wolf on Campus, is this. He's generally a good-natured guy (if a little ditzy at times) and goes on to be good friends with the local weird goth guy, Merton. He also does what he can to help out the Monster of the Week, if said monster isn't actively trying to hurt someone.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Minor character Ox from Luann is a good-hearted simple big guy who protects would-be bullying victims by threatening the bully.
  • During his football-playing days, BD from Doonesbury tended to oscillate between this and Jerk Jock.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • This is essentially The Rock's gimmick when he's a face, especially post Rock & Sock Connection. He already was this to everyone in The Nation Of Domination not named Farooq, buying them all expensive gifts so they could look the part like him.
  • Jesse Sorensen of U Know Pro, TNA, Ring of Honor and many others. His gimmick is that of a former high school quarterback who still carries around a football to remember his glory days. Despite that, he's a very nice guy.
  • Alex Riley had a Jerk Jock gimmick on NXT so after his Heel-Face Turn he may qualify.
  • Really any wrestler who isn't a dickhead behind the scenes could qualify.

    Video Games 
  • From Rival Schools we have Roy Bromwell: star quarterback of Pacific High. In the first game, he was a Jerk with a Heart of Gold bordering on Jerk Ass and with a serious hate fore Japanese people due to his grandfather's bad experiences in World War II. He loses much of his jerkassery in the sequel, recognizes it was wrong from him to hate on others, and becomes an all around nice guy.
  • Akihiko Sanada from Persona 3 is a talented boxer with a laid back personality.
  • Daisuke and Kou from Persona 4. They're dubbed the "Fellow Athletes", and they're outgoing, friendly people.
  • Roy from Harvest Moon: Animal Parade. Roy is a fun, outgoing jockey (i.e., the literal sort of jock as in he likes riding animals) and is fun-loving.
  • Tidus and Wakka from Final Fantasy X. Really most of the Besaid Aurochs count. The Kilika Beasts are also shown to be nice enough.
  • The Jock villagers of the Animal Crossing series are basically this by design.
  • Kurt from Nicole is a blond Lovable Jock, although he's also a Chivalrous Pervert.

    Web Animation 

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • Evan/Spyke from X-Men: Evolution, though this is mostly in-universe since he's The Scrappy to most people.
  • On Daria, pretty much all the jocks (but especially Kevin) fall into the "too-dumb-to-be-mean" category. An exception is Mack, who is smart but still nice ("Saint Mack" is his Fan Nickname).
  • Vince from Recess happily hangs out with a group of friends with various niches, and worships his "cool" older brother, unaware that he's actually a massive Geek.
  • Bolin from The Legend of Korra has his Establishing Character Moment when he meets Korra and helps her avoid getting caught by the gym's owner. Mako has a Sugar and Ice Personality, but still qualifies.
  • Kwan from Danny Phantom, though this was more of a case of Characterization Marches On since in his first few appearances, he was a bit of a Jerkass, albeit one pushed into being one by his peers.
  • Cyborg used to be an athlete before he turned into what he is today in Teen Titans.
  • Meat from Sym-Bionic Titan also falls under the "too dumb to be spiteful" category, but he's actually quite nice to Newton/Octus.
  • On The Spectacular Spider-Man Flash Thompson starts out as a Jerk Jock but evolves into this. Some of the other jocks, like Rand Robertson, are nicer to begin with.
  • Larry the Lobster is easily the strongest character in SpongeBob SquarePants but he's also the friendliest after Spongebob himself. However, in a case of Early Installment Weirdness, the season one episode "Ripped Pants" features a song with lyrics about how "big Larry came around just to put [Spongebob] down. This is especially odd because even in this episode, Larry is portrayed as friendly.
  • Lee from The Amazing Spiez is really nice despite being the biggest jock in school.
  • Angela Anaconda's brothers tease her a bit, but are more lovable than anything and genuinely do care about her. Very dumb, but lovable.
  • The appropriately named Bulk Biceps from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is a massive musclebound over-excitable and completely adorable example of this. He also must have one heck of a gentle and sensitive side, if he's able to be friends with Fluttershy of all ponies.

Female examples:

    Anime and Manga 
  • Natsuki Hayami from Amakusa 1637 was this, the Kendo Team Captain and the Student Council President before the Time Travel action took place.
  • Sakura Kinomoto from Cardcaptor Sakura is both a cheerleader and the sweetest girl around. By extension, so are her cheerleader friends Chiharu and Naoko.
  • The cheerleaders from Mahou Sensei Negima!: Misa Kakizaki, Sakurako Shiina and Madoka Kugimiya. Also the "sports girls": Akira Ookochi, Ako Izumi, and Makie Sasaki. Misora Kasuga and even Ayaka Yukihiro would count, but Misora can get very snarky and Ayaka takes a while to get there.
  • Minako Aino from Sailor Moon was previously a star volleyball player on her school's team. She is also a hyperactive, outgoing Bully Hunter.

    Comic Books 
  • In Spider-Girl Mayday Parker started out as belonging both to the jocks and the nerds of Midtown High. Her good friend Davida Kirby is a more straight example of this trope.

    Film 
  • Lynda of Halloween (1978) is a cheerleader and the Final Girl's best friend, considerably nicer than the other, non-cheerleader, friend.

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy herself might count, as she was a cheerleader in her last school and she attempts to join them again. Back in her old school she just appeared to be a bit ditzy as opposed to actually mean.
  • In Sabrina the Teenage Witch Valerie joins the second string cheerleader squad.
  • Kelly and Lisa were on the cheerleading squad in Saved by the Bell. Jessie also joins as well. The girls are also said to play volleyball.

    Newspaper Comics 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Michelle McCool in her face persona was created around this trope, with the announcers talking up her athletic ability and vignettes also promoting it.
  • Naomi Knight from NXT season 3 is another example. The other girls were mostly talked up as being in fitness and power lifting but Naomi came from a dancing and basketball background and her athletic prowess was always referenced.

    Video Games 
  • Rival Schools: Tiffany, Roy's girlfriend, is a cheerleader and is mentioned to be outgoing and friendly from the very start, unlike Roy who first had to get Character Development.
  • Lucy from Harvest Moon: Animal Parade loves a number of sports, including running and dance, and she's also very friendly. Bonus points: Both her and Roy are small children; about six years old. Sort of.
  • Emi Ibarazaki and Miki Miura from Katawa Shoujo. Both are talented track runners despite their physical handicaps (Emi had her legs amputated and runs with prosthetics, Miki lost a hand and had only her stump), as well as very lovable persons. And Emi is one of the five possible love interests as well! Getting her route, however, will show the player that while Emi is a genuinely kind girl, she's got far more issues than you'd think.
  • Vivian Bergman (Ravian Merii) from Cherry Tree High Comedy Club is good at several sports, including hockey. Talking to her about sports makes it much easier for Miley to recruit her into the comedy club, as it's one of Vivian's favorite conversation subjects.

    Webcomics 
  • Ida Portinari from Academia, training to be an Olympic figure skater, tries to be an example of this, but can be a little bitchy now and then.

    Western Animation