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
. Compare Brainless Beauty
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
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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.
- Nakatsu of Hana Kimi
- Masaki Miyamoto from Amakusa 1637, with his girlfriend Natsuki Hayami as a female example.
- X-Men: Beast was an athlete in high school, before he grew his fur.
- "Moose" Mason from Archie Comics.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Oz from American Pie becomes this.
- Aaron from Mean Girls.
- 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 played football in high school.
- Ogre evolves into this in the Revenge of the Nerds series.
- Jonathan from Were the World Mine.
- 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.
- The main character of Disney movie "Luck of the Irish".
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Live Action TV
- Larry from Buffy the Vampire Slayer once he comes out as gay.
- Kyle from 8 Simple Rules 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.
- Turk from Scrubs is said to have been this in high school.
- Harvey from Sabrina the Teenage Witch. His friends on the football team also seem nice enough.
- Will from Party of Five. Bailey does blur the lines as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold though the Jerk part usually cancels out the Heart of Gold.
- AC Slater of Saved by the Bell.
- Troy from Community.
- 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.
- 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 the Jerk Jock.
- One Tree Hill: Lucas, Skills, Jake and (after Character Development) Nathan.
- Matt Donovan from The Vampire Diaries. On the other hand, his best friend Tyler 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.
- Minor character Ox from Luann is a good-hearted simple big guy who protects would-be bullying victims by threatening the bully.
- Alex Riley had a Jerk Jock gimmick on NXT so after his Heel Face Turn he may qualify.
- This is essentially the Rock's character when he's a face, especially post Rock & Sock Connection.
- Really any wrestler who isn't a dickhead behind the scenes could qualify.
- 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.
- 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.
Anime and Manga
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.
- 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.
- 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 Webcomic//Academia, training to be an Olympic figure skater, tries to be an example of this, but can be a little bitchy now and then.