Lovable Jock

"It's gonna be okay, man. Just tell me who they were... so I can go beat the crap out of them."

The Jerk Jock's 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 sociopaths 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. But that isn't a license to try anything funny on him; he will mop the floor with anyone who dares.

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 be on only the football team, but on any other sports team in the school.

Compare with Big Man on Campus.


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.
  • Touya and Yukito from Card Captor Sakura are both this trope. Yukito, in particular.
  • Mob Psycho 100 has the Body Improvement Club, a school club consisting of a group of fitness freaks that Mob joins in hopes of improving himself. They quickly accept him as one of their own and legitimately care for him as a friend rather than as a powerful esper like most others in his life.

    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.
    • Even his high-school self, though often cruel and petty, had his moments. For all his bullying of Peter, Flash's admiration for Spider-Man was genuine, and went deep enough that he remained a vocal Spidey supporter even when the rest of New York was convinced that Spidey was a murderer.

    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: 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.
  • Oz from American Pie becomes this as he joins the glee club and gets in touch with his sensitive side. This is Played for Drama when he tries to convince Heather that he's not just a jerk jock.
  • Aaron from Mean Girls is seen playing football and is also on the swim team - and he's quite possibly the only wholly decent person in the 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.
  • Forrest Gump's eponoymous character is a kind and gentle (if very simple) young man and played football in college. He later becomes known for table tennis.
  • 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.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master: Dan Jordan, the popular sports jock whom Alice crushes on, is an all-around nice guy who avoids the mean behavior of the trope's counterpart.
  • Dazed and Confused : Main protagonist Randy "Pink" Floyd is the school's star football player, but unlike most of his teammates, he is friendly to all of the cliques - his fellow jocks, the stoners, even the nerds. In fact, it's his insistence to hang out with "losers" like the stoner kids that proves to be a main point of contention between himself and his coach and some teammates, especially Jerk Jock Benny.
  • Wes from The Duff. Despite being introduced as a stereotypical football jock in his first scenes, he is actually one of the few people who try to help Bianca in the movie.
  • 22 Jump Street plays with this. The college football team welcome Jenko but not Schmidt. This is partially due to Schmidt making a bad first impression, particularly when he antagonises Rooster at a party.

  • 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 (however, beyond his complex and mutual hatred with Severus Snape, his only jerk qualities were being a show-off and hot-headed.) After he 'deflates his head,' he is much more readily seen as one. Subverted in that we only hear about him from his friends and archenemy Snape.
  • 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 
  • Big Wolf on Campus: Tommy Dawkins, the titular werewolf is 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.
  • Chuck: Devon "Captain Awesome" Woodcomb is a hyper-athletic, ridiculously good-looking surgeon who is genuinely just the nicest guy on the planet.
  • Dead Gorgeous: David is 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.
  • 8 Simple Rules: Kyle is said to have shoved nerds in lockers but we've never actually seen him bully someone and he seems like a nice enough guy.
  • Freaks and Geeks: Todd, 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.
  • Friday Night Lights: Most of the cast, 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.
  • Glee: Several examples
    • Mike and Matt are probably the only ones to have never bullied anyone, and are immediately True Companions with the glee kids. The same goes for Sam, who was initially the target of bullying and so is more of a glee kid who happens to be a jock than the other way around (which probably is also Artie, too, though he is in a wheelchair).
    • Finn and Puck (after some Character Development) also count. Finn was more immediately kind, and is the Quarterback, whilst Puck took longer and more realisation that high school bullying is fickle. And the same goes for Karofsky, who is a nice guy and even dates Blaine for a short while after coming to terms with his sexuality.
    • Out of the cheerleaders, Brittany probably counts as this since though she is part of the Power Trio, she is too sweet and dumb to be a Lovable Alpha Bitch, compared with the others.
  • House of Anubis: Mick Campbell is a jock, yes, but also thought to be one of the sweetest and funniest people in the house.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze: 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.)
  • One Tree Hill: Lucas, Skills, Jake and (after Character Development) Nathan are players of the Tree Hill High basketball team and nice guys.
  • Our Miss Brooks: Stretch Snodgrass, Madison High's star athlete is dimwitted, but good natured to the point where he's willing to transfer schools if it'll get his best friend Walter Denton on the Madison football team ("Two Way Stretch Snodgrass"). Stretch is apparently very popular; when he accidentally vandalizes the school in "Stuffed Gopher", Miss Brooks and Walter gets a crew of students to fix the damage and cover for him.
  • Party of Five: Will. Bailey does blur the lines as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold though the Jerk part usually cancels out the Heart of Gold.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Harvey. His friends on the football team also seem nice enough.
  • Saved by the Bell: AC Slater is a star wrestler and basketball player and, while a bit of a hothead, he's ultimately good natured.
  • 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.
  • Teen Wolf: Danny. Ironically, he is best friends with Jackson, the Jerk Jock.
  • The Vampire Diaries: Matt Donovan. On the other hand, Matt's best friend Tyler Lockwood is a Jerk Jock (at first).
  • Scream Queens (2015): Chad Radwell. While initially appearing to be a straight up Jerk Jock, it's revealed that his best friend is gay and he's completely accepting of it - even warning his Alpha Bitch of a girlfriend not to spread rumours about it in case he gets bullied. More Hidden Depths to Chad are revealed as the series goes on - to the point where he walks out on his family after they're rude to Chanel and Hester. By the end of the first season, he's one of only two people in the main cast who has not yet tried to murder 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.

    Visual Novels 
  • Extracurricular Activities features an entire cast of huge and lovable jocks who all play tennis together and you can date them.

    Web Animation 

  • Academia has Jack Fortinbras, The Ace. Also a Genius Bruiser. See below for a female example.
  • Most of the hockey bros in Check, Please!, overlapping with Academic Athlete in Shitty and Ransom's cases, although the two main characters don't play it quite straight. Bitty, the protagonist, is much more In Touch with His Feminine Side that the stereotypical male student athlete, and Jack is an emotionally inept perfectionist with anxiety issues, but they're both very sympathetic characters.

    Western Animation 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Chalky Studebaker from Doug. Unless he lets his competitiveness get the better of him, he's really nice.
  • Brick from Kim Possible, granted he seems too dumb to known how to exploit his position.
    • Ron later becomes this in the final season where all the experience running from danger and supervillains allowed him to become a very good linebacker.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • On The Spectacular Spider-Man Flash Thompson starts out as a Jerk Jock but eventually evolves into this.
  • 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.
  • Meat from Sym-Bionic Titan also falls under the "too dumb to be spiteful" category, but he's actually quite nice to Newton/Octus.
  • Cyborg used to be an athlete before he turned into what he is today in Teen Titans.
  • Total Drama
    • Tyler: While his sports skills aren't as good as he'd like them to be, he's still defined primarily by his sports playing — and he's also a devoted, patient boyfriend who's willing to befriend geeks and nerds and is adamantly against infidelity.
    • Brick as a foil to Jerk Jock Jo. Though he's a military cadet.
  • Evan/Spyke from X-Men: Evolution, though this is mostly in-universe since he's The Scrappy to most people.

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 a top track & field athlete, a cheerleader and the sweetest girl around. By extension, so are her cheerleader friends Chiharu and Naoko.
  • Kagura from Azumanga Daioh is a Hot-Blooded Boisterous Bruiser, who is overly energetic and often Book Dumb, yet she is kind and well-intentioned and deeply caring for her friends.
  • 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.

  • Lynda of Halloween (1978) is a cheerleader and the Final Girl's best friend, considerably nicer than the other, non-cheerleader, friend.
  • The jock girls in Mean Girls are competitive but still shown as good people. Regina joins them at the end. This is said to be a good thing, as they're not afraid of her and so she doesn't bully them.
  • Bring It On was one of the first mainstream films to show cheerleading as a legitimate athletic pursuit, and subvert a lot of the negative stereotypes surrounding cheerleaders. Torrance for example just wants to help her team win, and she shows Tomboy Missy that there's more to the sport that what she expects.
  • Amber from Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story is a cheerleader but is kind and sweet, in contrast to her rather nasty boyfriend.
  • The leads (and other teammates) from Bend It Like Beckham - all kind, fun-loving girls who play as a team.
  • Casey from The Duff may count, being a soccer player. She may be tough, but she's not mean.


    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.

  • 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 
  • On Total Drama, Sky makes some questionable choices, but is never malicious, always dedicated to teamwork and despises cheaters.