Jerri: Speaking of cute, there's this new kid at school...If a show has scenes featuring a school, the easiest way to drop a new character into the cast is to have that character enter as a transfer student. This is usually done by the Second Episode Morning. If the transfer student is the main character, the series will usually begin on his or her first day at the new school and deal with his struggle to make friends. This will always happen around mid-semester, so the other characters can exposit at them. Often this ignores the inherent problem of characters with no credentials or information (since a lot aren't even human) being able to sign up for a school within a week or so after getting the idea. See Undead Tax Exemption. This is a common way to introduce the mysterious stranger who'll become a character's Magical Girlfriend. Conversely, it's a way to have a character who is initially severely irritating to another to force them to deal with each other. In both cases, they'll end up sitting next to each other. Note how long they wear their old uniforms tells whether they assimilate. Especially if the new school doesn't have uniforms. Compare Foreign Exchange Student.
Sara: New? I don't like the sound of that.
Jerri: He's really nice!
Sara: Most new people are, until provoked. And then they turn out to be... different.
Sara: New? I don't like the sound of that.
Jerri: He's really nice!
Sara: Most new people are, until provoked. And then they turn out to be... different.
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Anime & Manga
- Ryuko Matoi of Kill la Kill, in an example where the transfer student is the main character. She arrives at Honouji Academy after having started fights at every other school she's gone to in the Kanto region. Luckily, she fits right in at her new school.
- In the Mazinger Z series:
- Kouji -the main character- transferred to Sayaka's high school after his first battle in order to live closer to the Base.
- In Shin Mazinger Zero Minerva arrived at Kouji, Sayaka and Boss' school shortly after waking up in the final time loop.
- Mone in Yumeria is registered and attending Tomokazu's high school almost within minutes of exiting the dream world and showing up in his bed.
- Sailor Moon used this plot point several times.
- Makoto, a main character, is introduced to the cast as a new transfer in the first season of the first anime. This corresponds to a similar introduction in the manga. In both stories, she's considered a frightening and intimidating person due to her intimidatingly large height and naturally light and wavy hair (which in Japan is normally the sign of a delinquent student). In fact, she wear her old school's uniform because they didn't have any in her size. In both storylines, she is quickly revealed to be a kind and easy to approach person and joins the cast as Sailor Jupiter.
- In the DiC dub only, Amy was introduced like this. In all other dubs, she was already a student at the same school, just in a different class from Usagi and only drawing her attention conveniently when the plot needed to add another heroine to the cast.
- Al and En in the "Makaiju" Filler Arc effortlessly masquerade as normal middle schoolers.
- While the Sailor Starlights are already known to the cast due to being super famous Idol Singers, they join the cast proper when they transfer in. The manga had already introduced them much sooner, however, which doesn't quite match this trope (they transfer into Juuban High to stay close to Usagi), but the anime plays it almost completely straight (where they're simply searching for Princess Kakyuu.)
- In the manga, Koan poses as new student Koan Kurozuki in order to harvest students at Rei's school - and later to capture Rei as well.
- The first chapter of Chibiusa's Picture Diary starts with Chibiusa having her first day of classes at Juuban primary school, after time travelling from 30th century to 20th century. She was mocked by her classmates due to her name, pink hair, weird haircut, big head, and being small (it is a 4th year class). The chapter's Monster of the Week also joined her class a few days before Chibiusa.
- Likewise, Tin Nyanko is introduced to the cast posing as a student, Nyanko Suzu, trying to get close to Usagi and also to harass the Starlights (as she knows their true identities as Wholesome Crossdressers.)
- The story of Ao No Fuuin begins with Kiryu Soko transferring to a new school after just having moved into the area.
- Strangely enough Black Butler pulls this off with Ciel and the Weston College arc. He joined the school recently after... he and Sebastian made sure there was room for a new student. The whole school thing is so out of place for the manga that the chapter beginning with Ciel in school actually lampshades this by having a note on the side saying that this is indeed Black Butler.
- Arika's enrollment in Garderobe Academy in Mai-Otome isn't exactly a transfer, but it has all the other symptoms of the trope, including having the one student who knows (and dislikes) her being assigned as her roommate and guide around the school.
- Mai Tokiha and her brother Takumi are such. Their arrival at the school was planned well ahead of time, however.
- In the Mai-HiME manga, Yuuichi transfers in at the start of the series, and later on, Shiho and several students from Searrs do so as well.
- In the fake movie trailer, Arika transfers in this way. She is also seen discussing enrolling at Fuuka Academy with Mashiro and Fumi at the end of the manga.
- Belldandy from Ah! My Goddess had to go through some shenanigans so that she wouldn't be revealed as a fake student at Keiichi's college.
- In Zatch Bell!, the character Shion (partner to the momodo Nya) is introduced as a transfer student to Kiyo's high school. When her mini-story-arc is completed, she exits with the excuse that her transfer stay was over, and she didn't want to stay around 'cause she might start relying on Kiyo and Zatch too much.
- Shattered Angels more or less depends on this trope to get the story started.
- The ever-Genre Savvy Haruhi from Haruhi Suzumiya goes looking for a "mysterious transfer student" to complete her club — and latches onto Koizumi, who's just tickled pink to join the SOS-dan. Even if he hadn't exactly been planning to transfer in until Haruhi decided she needed a transfer student.
- In Vividred Operation, Akane, Aoi, and Momo transfer the same school as Wakaba, Himawari, and Rei. Mizuha also joins, but as a teacher.
- At the end of the first episode of Witch Craft Works, five show up at once. One of them is the girl who'd just spent half the episode trying to kill Honoka, and it's a safe bet that the other four are after him as well.
- Bleach: Shinigami seem to enjoy this as a method of remaining in contact with Ichigo. Rukia, Hitsugaya, Renji, Matsumoto, Ikkaku and Yumichika have all attempted it. Even Shinji tried it when the Vaizards decided to make contact with Ichigo. The anime takes this even further in filler arcs, to the point where a filler character "transferred" to Ichigo's class who was clearly far too young for the class age-group. This was noticed by other classmates (Hitsugaya had also drawn attention in the canon, although not as much).
- "Tessa" Testarossa from Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, a Whispered prodigy and submarine captain, decides to take a holiday as a transfer student at Sōsuke and Kaname's school. Sōsuke (himself an ostensible transfer student) nearly has a total breakdown ensuring she comes to no harm.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's didn't even show the school that often, but Fate transferred in and became friends with Nanoha's groupies effortlessly anyway (they had already knew about her from the video mail that Nanoha and Fate had been exchanging for the previous six months). Hayate transfers in during the spring after A's, having become well enough to attend.
- Parodied in the Magical Girl Fatal Fate oneshot set about a month after the first season when Fate dreams about being a transfer student after watching too much Magical Girl anime.
- Happened to both Bakura and Kaiba in the manga and first series of Yu-Gi-Oh!. (Kaiba is already a student at the beginning of the second series and in the manga).
- Happened to Tenchi, the "main character", in Tenchi in Tokyo, after he moved to Tokyo.
- The manga spinoff of the original Tenchi Muyo! has Sasami transfer into a local elementary school. Being a 700 year old alien with no record of her existence on Earth is no impediment; all that's necessary is to have the greatest genius the history of the universe create those records, so flawlessly that no one would ever question them.
- Kanon, Yuuichi — another main character. Coincidently or not, his past is connected with three of the five harem heroines who are initially introduced as strangers, not counting his cousin Nayuki for obvious reasons.
- Sara in Str.A.In.: Strategic Armored Infantry, who managed to get into military school under a false name and raise no eyebrows.
- Aiko and Onpu came in to the first Ojamajo Doremi series as transfer students. In Motto, Momoko would come in this way as well.
- Negi Springfield from Mahou Sensei Negima! is essentially a New Transfer Teacher.
- Many of the students refer to Evangeline as a transfer student, even though she's been stuck in that class since before any of the other students (or the teacher, for that matter) were even born.
- It never was stated that she was in junior high all time, which would be highly visible... Actually opposite was stated as Takamichi was her classmate, which could happen only in highschool or university. So it's only her 2nd or 3rd time in junior high for that 15 years. And she can change visble age and appearance. So for the sake of masquerade she is a transfer student.
- Yue herself becomes a transfer student, as she joins another school late in the manga.
- Many of the students refer to Evangeline as a transfer student, even though she's been stuck in that class since before any of the other students (or the teacher, for that matter) were even born.
- This particular trope is a major plot device in Gakuen Heaven. Not only is Keita Itou a transfer student as there is a lot of speculation concerning his particular transfer to Bell Liberty.
- Azumanga Daioh starts with two transfer students. Chiyo is introduced right away, but Osaka's entrance is delayed until the first episode afternoon to give Chiyo some screen time.
- Both My Bride Is a Mermaid and Sumomo Mo Momo Mo feature new students transferring in without delay throughout the series, as the main cast slowly accumulates not just into the same school, but also the same class.
- In the latter series, Koshi wonders how a dimwit like Momoko passed the entrance examination. Turns out she went to an interview with a school official and her Battle Aura frightened him so much that he admitted her immediately.
- In Mermaid, it helps that San's family has effectively taken over the school by the third episode.
- In the first episode of Futari Wa Pretty Cure Splash Star, Mai is the New Transfer Student, having just returned to the area after leaving years ago. Until Urara a year later, and Kurumi from Yes! Pretty Cure 5 Go Go! the year after that, Mai was unique among transfer students in the Pretty Cure franchise in that she does not start out with a bad attitude, gradually improve while becoming friends with main characters, suddenly turn out to be evil (though the audience knew this all along), fight the main characters, change affiliations during the fight, head off to apparent death, and then reappear near the end of the season. And later on, we would get Setsuna and Tsubomi, albeit the former is another villain turned good, then Ellen, Miyuki, Makoto and Hime. Of those nine, two are formerly evil and five come from other worlds (there's a bit of overlap there).
- There's also something of a Running Gag since Kurumi arrived — the size of their name in their introduction and the state of panic they're in. Kurumi, Ellen and Hime wrote their names large, Tsubomi wrote hers teeny-tiny, Tsubomi and Miyuki suffered Stage Fright, Ellen passed out from lack of sleep and Hime passed out from sheer fright.
- In Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage, the film's protagonist Ayumi moves with her family to the town where the film takes place. Her transferring to a new class is one of her many worries she suffers from moving to different town. Fuu-chan, a piece of the Big Bad Fusion which she befriends, attempts to fulfill her "wish" of getting rid of the school and town as part of their friendship. During the run of the movie, Ayumi gets to learn more and more about how to deal with her worries and manages to tell Fuu-chan her feelings straight. By the end of the movie, she starts befriending with her new classmates.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion subverts this trope, while touching all the normal bases with impressive grace. Each of the children/pilots has a different "first day" and covers a different "transfer student" plot.
- Shinji gets the "main character is starting a new life bit". He's ignored, worshiped and beat up by turns on his first day. Most conventionally, he becomes friends with Those Two Guys.
- Asuka's first week of school is played and shot like the "hot new girl in school" from countless romantic comedies and love sims, more specifically a "returned overseas student" (someone who lived abroad because of daddy's job). Actually, she was born overseas (given her citizenship, in Germany or the USA most likely), and has never lived in Japan. It immediately becomes clear that Asuka doesn't care anything about "fitting in", academics or dating with any of all those star-struck boys. She only cares for Shinji and makes friends with Hikari.
- Loveless: Aoyagi Ritsuka begins as a transfer student both in the manga and the anime.
- Ai Haibara in Detective Conan is introduced as "the first transfer student since Conan arrived". It's not a coincidence. Conan seems to have picked up on this as he is immediately suspicious when he hears of a new exchange student in Ran's class who soon becomes the focus of his plot investigations.
- Conan himself is an example; however, he actually gets transferred back to Teitan Elementary... because the last time he attended was seven years prior to the series. Also subverted in the anime, when the scene where he was transferred was in the stinger.
- In the parent series Magic Kaito, Saguru Hakuba enters the classroom the same way (interestingly, both he and Haibara have English mothers). This may be a subversion, as he only transfers at the end of the chapter... after having already been established as a teenaged detective going after the eponymous thief. Needless to say, Kaito has a headache.
- Eisuke Hondou is like this, too.
- A filler case starts with a handsome boy named Tamanosuke Itou transferring into Teitan Highschool. He even shows up in a gakuran uniform, contrasting with the school's blazer-type ones.
- Masayuki from Ghost Hound.
- Both Yasako and Isako from Dennou Coil.
- The two lead characters Takaki and Akari from 5 Centimeters per Second transfer schools several times, which is crucial to the plot.
- Code Geass:
- Suzaku transfers in early on in Code Geass. It's not the first time the viewers have seen him, though. He does it again in the second season, and there's a marked difference in how the students treat him, since he's gone from being "that Eleven who they say killed Prince Clovis" to "ace pilot and war hero".
- Also in R2, Gino and Anya transfer in to Ashford, just to see what civilian life was like.
- Variation in Cardcaptor Sakura: Syaoran (and in the anime, Meiling as well) presumably has all the documentation an innocuous transfer student would need, as he's a human with a past and a family; the most unusual part from a bureaucratic standpoint would be how he joined the class in the middle of the school year. Played straighter with Eriol; while he joins the class at the beginning of the summer session, he's the reincarnation of Clow Reed, and in the manga is explicitly said to have been a child for years, so not much chance of legitimate records from his former school helping his transition.
- Well he's a wizard so yeah... a wizard did it.
- In the first episode of Digimon Adventure 02 Takeru (TK) transfers to the school where Hikari (Kari) and most of the new Chosen Children are enrolled.
- Happens thrice in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. First, Heero transfers in and out of Relena's high-class boarding school, hacking around a little to make up some fake credentials. Then he and Duo transfer to a public school, with Relena keeping watch (of sorts). Later, Heero and Quatre transfer to the Sank Kingdom's school run by Relena, and they meet another transfer student... Dorothy Catalonia.
- Subverted in Kemeko Deluxe!, in which a Cloudcuckoolander predicts the arrival of a transfer student, and sure enough, a new character bursts onto the stage (through a window) moments later. However, the actual transfer student turns out to be a named extra unrelated to the main plot.
- Both Cab and Minerva in Transformers: Super-God Masterforce, though in their cases, it was revealed soon after they were introduced that arrangements had been made to send them to the International School. In fact, Cab was initially reluctant to attend until he met Shuta.
- Later, Jean transfers to a new school upon landing on Earth in Transformers Victory.
- Himari in Omamori Himari, with a little help through Undead Tax Exemption.
- Largely averted in Ranma ˝. Even though Ranma himself is a transfer student, nothing is ever made of it after season one/volume 2.
- Gosunkugi becomes a New Transfer Student in the anime, while in the manga he was present from the start.
- Ukyo Kuonji transfers over from her (boys-only) school to Furinkan while chasing Ranma down.
- Completely subverted in Manabi Straight! when the new transfer student Manami Amamiya becomes Student Council President on her very first day at her new school, before even being introduced to her new homeroom class.
- Midori Days with Lucy, an American transfer student who has as much of an idea of Japan as your typical anime fangirl. Acts like one, too, not surprisingly.
- Tatsuma Hiyuu from Tokyo Majin. Subverted (a bit), however, as the series begins In Medias Res, following up with How We Got Here. Not so for the game though as this trope firmly applies since Tatsuma is the protagonist of the game and apppears right at the beginning as a transfer student. Later on however a prologue can be unlocked which tells of Tatsuma's past at his previous school but this was omitted from the anime.
- Ami Kawashima in Toradora!.
- Ryu Amakusa and Megumi Minami have to act the part in Detective School Q by enrolling into a Boarding School to investigate a girl's disappearance, supposedly caused by the nasty online bullying coming from the Class Representative. He ends up murdered, and we find out that another girl was the target of his constant and cruel insults.
- Later, a student of said highschool (Kuniko Touya) transfers into the Dan Detective School. She's the girl who was bullied to the point of emotional breakdown, actually.
- Katekyo Hitman Reborn!'s Inheritance Ceremony Arc begins with seven new transfer students to Tsuna's school. It turns out that they are members of the Shinmon Family, sent by the Vongola as guests.
- The Arcobaleno Trials Filler Arc also had two new transfer students (they were actually Belphagor and Mammon from the Varia). After the arc is over, they leave and nobody questions what happened to them.
- At the beginning of volume 2 of Strawberry Marshmallow, this is how Ana becomes introduced to Matsuri (having already encountered Chika and Miu).
- Lampshaded in Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA when Illya shows just how Genre Savvy she is for Magical Girl tropes:
Illya: That Girl seemed to be about the same age as me, didn't she?
Ruby: Seems to be. What about it?
Illya: According to the pattern...
[the next day...]
Illya: I knew it'd turn out like this.
Ruby: I see. The transfer student development, huh? Quite the cliche.
Taiga-sensei: Take the seat all the way at the back by the window. Right behind Illya-chan's seat.
- Corpse Party: Blood Covered inverts this with Mayu: when the story opens, it's her last day at Kisaragi Academy before transferring out. Plot developments put a hold on that plan, however...
- Homura Akemi in Puella Magi Madoka Magica is one, although she doesn't transfer for educational reasons, but rather to keep and eye on and protect Madoka.
- In the beginning, though, she was transferred for a legitimate educational reason— she has been previously hospitalized long-term due to heart disease, and was in the process of mainstreaming.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion, after Homura separates Madoka from the Law of Cycles and rewrites the universe, the roles have been reversed — now it's Madoka who is the transfer student.
- At the beginning of Wandering Son the protagonist and her sister are transfer students to an elementary school.
- Otogi Matsuri: Shortly after Yousuke and his friends meet Yomogi Inaba, the strange new priestess of the town's temple, they discover that she will be the newest member of their class.
Teacher: We have a new student joining us. She came to town on some family matter. Please introduce yourself.
Yomogi: I'm Yomogi Inaba. Pleased to meet you!
Yousuke: Such a predictable development...
- Super Dreadnought Girl 4946 has this a lot.
- Guilty Crown has Inori popping up in Shu's class, right after he rejected the rebel group Undertaker's offer.
- tsuritama's plot kicks off with Yuki's transfer to Enoshima.
- ...and Haru a couple minutes later.
- ....and soon after Akira, who is 25 years old.
- ...and Haru a couple minutes later.
- Veronica's role in more than one chapter Franken Fran, due to Fran desiring her to socialize and the like. It doesn't have a high success rate at finding normalcy.
- Autonomously Thinking Fixed Artillery-san and Itona Horibe from Assassination Classroom. Since Koro-sensei is not allowed to harm his students, those two assassins are thrown in by the government to use advantage of that rule.
- Haruka Kotoura, the main character of Kotoura-san, does this as an attempt to change her cutie-breaking environment. It works.
- Eric in The Heart of Thomas, with the catch that he looks exactly like Thomas, a student of the school who died just one week prior.
- Kiniro Mosaic begins with Alice, a girl Shinobu befriended while the latter was homestaying in England, transfers into her class.
- Parodied in Ore-sama Teacher. The main character Mafuyu Kurosaki is a new transfer student in Midori Ga Oka Academy, but she is such a Cloud Cuckoolander that everything associated with this trope is turned upside-down. She's so excited that she dons a new school uniform a day before the school starts, her well-practised introductory speech is so out-of-character that her homeroom teacher bursts out laughing, and when ordinary classmates (non-delinquents) talk to her she is deeply moved. Her Friendless Background is only her imagination; in fact, her friends from Higashi High appear from time to time and have their own sub-plots.
- Kuroha in Brynhildr in the Darkness, who transfers in to prevent the psychically-foretold deaths of two students, and ends up sticking around. Ryouta is baffled as to how she got into the school with so little education (she knows nothing about multiplication tables and can't read basic kanji).
- Then later on, she's joined by Kazumi (who fiddled the records to get Kuroha in in the first place) and Kotori, both of whom are also witches. Ryouta actually lampshades it by pointing out how suspicious it looks for so many students to be transferring in at once.
- Kakeru Okikura, from Glasslip, transfers to the high school Tōko Fukami attends, in his third year.
- Played completely straight by Chihiro Watanuki from Yugami-kun ni wa Tomodachi ga Inai. First chapter covering her first day at school? Check. Friendless Background? Check. I Just Want to Have Friends mentality? Check.
- Chihiro in Spirited Away is on her way to become the new transfer student, and plays it like it might happen in real life: she is unhappy about parting from her friends and nervous about meeting new ones. Defeats the trope, however, because the story ends before she even reaches the new school. However, within the context of the bath-house she fills the role the transfer student could have served had the bath-house been a school; she has to fit in, acquires a uniform, makes friends, learns the ropes, etc.
- Umino, the transfer student deuteragonist in Satou Kashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai, is the daughter of a formerly popular singer who keeps on insisting she's a mermaid.
- The beginning of Koe no Katachi has Shouko transferring to Shouya's elementary school. Not soon afterwards is when the bullying starts due to her deafness. Afterwards the manga skips ahead to her as a high schooler.
- Basara does this in episode 2 of The Testament of Sister New Devil, in order to stay closer to Mio to help protect her against demons trying to kill her. Unfortunately a childhood friend of his also attends the school, and her giving The Glomp to him in front of their entire class and Mio, stirs some jealousy in the latter, and she tries to forcibly separate the two.
- Several examples in Unlimited Fafnir:
- Yuu in the first episode, as he has a D marking like the girls at the Midgar school he transfers to. This allows him to summon anti-matter to create weapons with.
- Tear and Honoka transfer to the school in episode 4. Both girls also have D markings on them as well, and were sent here to help them understand their powers more, and protect them from unsavory people who may try to exploit them.
- The Tokyo Ghoul Prequel JACK focuses on a teenaged Kishou Arima going undercover at a high school as one. The Class Representative, Minami Uruka, is also noted to have transferred into the school earlier in the year and quickly become popular. This turns into a plot point, since Minami is actually a Ghoul, and the Big Bad of the story.
- In Charlotte, Yu and his younger sister Ayu both get transferred to Hoshinoumi Academy by the end of the first episode, so that Nao can keep tabs on him.
- Suzume in Hirunaka no Ryuusei.
- Subverted in Oniisama e..., where Nanako and Tomoko hav several typical traits (Naive newcomers, have just arrived to class, are shown around by other students, etc) but they did not transfer, having entered Seiran High via normal admission tests. This is because Seiran in itself is an Elevator School, so almost all the other girls have been there for years and having new students arrive in highschool is a very rare thing.
- Babibubebobubobu!! Sapp-kun by Hidemitsu Shigeoka revolved around a Foreign Exchange Student, Bob Sapp, who grew giant when becoming angry and became friends with Akebono.
- Oyasumi Punpun starts with Punpun being enamoured with the new transfer student, Aiko.
- Hatsukoi Zombie features one in the very first chapter with Ririto Ibusuki, the girl the protagonist Tarou was smitten with as a small kid. So he's not too happy to learn that "she" was a guy all along.
- Nurse Angel Ririka SOS begins with Nozomu's fanclub greeting him when he arrives at school for the first time.
- Karin from Yuki Yuna Is a Hero uses being a transfer student to explain her presence. In reality she is a Hero specially trained by Taisha who is meant to supervise the others. She says that she transferred because of her parents job however in reality she doesn't even live with them.
- Kanna starts attending elementary school in chapter 13 of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid. The fact that she's a dragon from another world with no legal identity gets solved by Tohru using magic to create the necessary paperwork. While the school setting rarely shows up in the main series, her new (girl?)friend Saikawa ends up becoming a recurring character.
- Dong-ha in I'm at End of Your Sight, though whether or not he attends school depends on his personality.
- Ma-ri in Orange Marmalade has been her school for around a week before the story starts. Later Si-Hoo transfers to her school as well.
- Sung-Hae at the start of Zippy Ziggy.
- At the start of Dice The Cube That Changes Everything an attractive, tall boy named Taebin transfers to the school.
- In Dragon Ball, after the 7-year time-skip, Son Gohan enters Satan City's high school for studying purposes. While the school setting is barely touched in the manga, the anime extends that his high school life a little bit to give a little bit more focus of his newly created superhero alter ego, the Great Saiyaman. Gohan's transfer also leads him to meet Videl, the daughter of Mister Satan whom he would marry much later.
- After travelling through six different regions with friends, Satoshi/Ash takes a vacation with his mother in Alola when the Sun & Moon Saga of the Pokémon anime begins. After a couple of events, Satoshi/Ash decides to stay there and goes to the Pokémon School and joins the class of the people he has met during his vacation. Due to that, the series changes from the longly known adventure setting to a school setting.
- Dissolving Classroom begins with new transfer student Yuuma Azawa introducing himself to the class, and then immediately apologizing, for no apparent reason. He continues to apologize to people every chance he gets, which gets him bullied and eventually kills the entire class except for one girl who escapes with only brain damage.
- In Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, Felicia Hardy (Black Cat in the mainstream universe) is introduced near the end of the first volume, having rumors of her being expelled due to being violent and confrontational.
- In W.I.T.C.H. Will Vandom and Taranee Cook starts out as this, transferring to the Sheffield Institute on consecutive days.
- In Adventure Comics #397, Nasthalthia 'Nasty' Luthor is transferred to Stanhope College, where Linda Danvers alias "Supergirl" takes classes, as part of a plan of her uncle Lex Luthor to lure Supergirl out and kill her. Although their plan failed, 'Nasty' was a pain in the neck of Supergirl for the rest of that run.
- Most of her solo books start with Supergirl being transferred to a new college or school.
- In Many Happy Returns, Kara gets enrolled in Linda's school as a way to try to blend in. Unfortunately, her schoollmates think she is a freak.
- We present a Chinese publisher's unauthorised attempt to cash in on Harry Potter with: Harry Potter and the Chinese Overseas Students at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
- In Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox, Naruto has transferred to Konoha High School, in Konoha Town, from Uzushio High School in Whirl City. It's later revealed that transferring was one of two options he faced after a fight with a gang that caused a great deal of destruction to Uzushio High (the other option was being expelled and arrested by the local police on suspicion of being a Kyuushingai).
- Friendship Is Magical Girls introduces both Twilight Sparkle and Applejack this way.
- Advice and Trust: At the end of episode 8, Kaworu Nagisa is transferred to Shinji's school. Rei sensed he wasn't human and took a dislike to him right away. For his part, Kaworu found her fascinating... and scary. Very fascinating and very, very scary.
Films — Animation
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls:
- Twilight Sparkle actually arrives at Canterlot High School through a Portal Door that connects to a Magic Mirror in Equestria. But of course she can't tell people that. So she uses this trope as her cover story. Even Principal Celestia accepts this, despite not having seen any transfer paperwork.
- Sunset Shimmer, who arrived at the school in the same way several years earlier, presumably used the same cover story.
- As of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games, the other Twilight Sparkle, the one native to this world, takes up this trope, deciding to finish her studies with her new friends at Canterlot High rather than stay at Crystal Prep.
Films — Live-Action
- The "transfer students" in Battle Royale are two guys voluntarily participating in the game. For Kazuo Kiriyama, this only applies in the film version, with the character being a gang leader (the role assumed by Numai alone in the film) in the novel and manga. For Shogo Kawada, he's a transfer in all three versions.
- Charlie Bartlett is about a rich but troubled boy (the title character) who is kicked out of every private school he attends until he has to resort to a public school. The film opens with him transferring.
- The Hairy Bird: Odette "Odie" Sinclair.
- Marybeth Louise Hutchinson in The Faculty is a transfer student from Atlanta. She's lying. She actually transferred from another planet.
- In A Lullaby Sinister, the main character, Satoshi Yoshida, is the new transfer student. He'll soon wish he'd transferred elsewhere.
- In Animorphs, David is introduced this way.
- Bella Swan transfers to Forks High School to open The Twilight Saga.
- Lena Duchannes in Beautiful Creatures starts out this way. She had also been to many other different schools before finally landing in Gatlin.
- In Enid Blyton's Malory Towers sextet, every new character who enters Darrell Rivers' form in the second and subsequent books. Arguably also Darrell herself, as some of the girls she starts with already seem to know each other and are familiar with the school (the series at times shows severe continuity issues). The one exception is Zerelda Brass, who's a Foreign Exchange Student (from the United States).
- In the original The Magic School Bus books, this is how Phoebe was introduced in the second book, The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth. In the later TV series, she's in Ms. Frizzle's class from the first episode, but constantly says "at my old school" as part of her Mad Libs Catch Phrase.
- Scobie in Don't Call Me Ishmael!. At first he seems slightly weird and a perfect target for bullies, which is why Ishmael, who is regularly bullied himself, is reluctant to spend time with him. However, it turns out that Scobie isn't afraid of fighting back by snarking at Barry Bagsley.
- In The Ruby Red Trilogy, Gideon's younger brother Raphael transfers to Saint Lennox from his old school in France midway through the series. He's not happy about having to wear a school uniform and is bothered by the British Weather, but other than that he doesn't seem to mind the transfer too much.
- In Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note, Tazuku Mikado enters the cast this way during the thirteenth novel.
- 21 Jump Street: Uses this in about every episode (at least during the earlier seasons, when the episodes more consistently took place at schools), due to the premise: the show was about young-looking cops going undercover in high schools. Every time they went undercover into a school, they posed as a high school student that just had transferred. Discussed explicitly in a.o. Season 4's Out of Control when Tom Hanson is filling out a transfer student form, and in Research and Destroy when Tom says he transferred to the college from M.I.T.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- That new girl from L.A., Buffy Summers.
- Buffy's old friend Ford posed as one in "Lie to Me", although he was really faking it.
- Delia Fisher in My So-Called Life.
- Lots of examples in Degrassi.
- In early seasons, Darcy, Mia, Peter, Chester, and others arrived this way.
- Every Lakehurst student who came after Mia was a transfer student (think Holly J, Anya, Sav, etc).
- In season eight, Clare was not the typical example of a transfer student because she arrived in ninth grade HOWEVER she did transfer from private to public school and kept wearing the uniform from private school.
- In season ten we have Owen, Drew, Adam, Bianca, and Eli.
- Season 12 has twins Luke and Becky Baker.
- Strangers with Candy had the entire student body, teachers and parents ostracizing the new kid to the point of almost lynching him for being seen talking to Jerri at the school dance.
- Gentaro Kisaragi in Kamen Rider Fourze. Later on, Ryusei Sakuta/Kamen Rider Meteor.
- Sam Evans in the second season of Glee.
- Subverted with Blaine and Wade/Unique. While both transferred to McKinley in the third and fourth season respectively, both were established characters on the show well before that.
- Saved by the Bell: The New Class had at least one (often more) every season.
- Jack in Kickin' It.
- Tommy Oliver in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Seeing as he stayed on for so long, you wouldn't realize it.
- Tori Vega is an unusual example. Not only is she the main character, but the whole reason why she transfers to Hollywood Arts (a school for the talently gifted) is because she's pressured to do so by the school's students, after she substitutes for her sister (also a Hollywood Arts student) for a song number and gives a stellar performance. Most of the first episode revolves around the described events and how quickly she fits in.
- Like the example above, Chyna Parks, the main character from A.N.T. Farm, transfers into Webster High School to become a part of the gifted "Advanced Natural Talents" program. Since she otherwise would've been a Middle School student, fitting in with the older students becomes an overarching theme from time to time (and a major reason why she's antagonized by the school's Alpha Bitch).
- Nina Martin, Eddie Miller and KT Rush on House of Anubus, all in separate seasons.
- Teen Wolf has characters in high school, and thus commonly uses this.
- Allison is introduced this way at the start of first season. Though Scott eyes (or should it be, hers? Both?) her before she's even introduced to the class. Her family had come to town because they were werewolf hunters, and she's mentioned to have moved around a lot prior to the events of the show.
- Aiden and Ethan, twin Alpha werewolves, join the student body as part of their pack's master plan (although, like Malia, they were introduced prior to their transfer). It is not clear who among their fellows passed as their parental guardians.
- Kira's family moves from New York to Beacon Hills and she transfers in as well in Season 3 before becoming part of the group. Like Allison's family, her parents have a supernatural agenda as well: hunting the Nogitsune.
- Liam transfers to Beacon Hills High School in season 4 after being expelled from his previous school due to anger issues.
- Malia is introduced to the characters before transferring in, but doesn't become part of the group until she does.
- Stefan on The Vampire Diaries poses as this to get close to Elena.
- Appropriate for the school setting of Disgaea 3, your Player Mooks arrive in your classroom as transfer students upon creation. Princess Sapphire is a main character example, though she didn't transfer with the intent of being a student.
- Kori Twelves in Time Hollow. Interestingly, she actually is from that school, just decades in the past.
- Happens three times to Gekkoukan High in Persona 3. First with the main character, second with party member Aigis (implied to have been done by the company in charge of the school, given that she's a Robot Girl built by them), and a third time with plot-important character Ryoji (whose powers allowed him to manipulate the relevant records and memories, though he himself has forgotten having done so). By the time this happens, the homeroom teacher for said students is beginning to get a little suspicious.
- Then it happens again to Persona 4's Yasogami High. However, whereas his predecessor was transferred from the country to the city, Souji Seta/Yu Narukami went the opposite way. Rise and Naoto also transfer to the same school over the course of the plot, while Yosuke transferred to Yasogami the previous year.
- Persona 5's Protagonist gets sent away to Tokyo after a Miscarriage of Justice lands him on probation. You join him on the first day of his exile, as he's forced to transfer from his local school to Shujin High.
- The catalyst for Bully.
- Arthur Chen from Backyard Sports.
- Marche from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance was a new transfer student from the beginning of the game, so he was called "New Kid" at first. "New Kid" is also the name of his job class exclusively during the Snowball Fight.
- Mayu Suzumoto of Corpse Party is an inversion. She's transferring out of Kisaragi Academy. The festival is supposed to be her last day. If only she'd transferred out sooner...
- Too many visual novels to list have transfer student heroines: Princess Waltz, Muv-Luv, Da Capo...
- And probably even more visual novels have transfer student protagonists: Kanon, Higurashi: When They Cry, Sumaga, Katawa Shoujo...
- Nerine and Sia's transfer gets the ball rolling in SHUFFLE!! Later on, Primula transfers into the school as well, one year below the others.
- Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!:
- Chris is a transfer student from Germany, early on in the storyline.
- This is also how all of the sequel's new characters are put into the game. Yoshitsune, Benkei, and Yoichi transfer into 2-S, Seiso transfers into 3-S, Monshiro and Battle Butler Hume transfer into 1-S, and Tsubame drops into 3-F shortly thereafter.
- The aforementioned Hisao of Katawa Shoujo; after having a heart attack, his doctors decided it would be best for him to go to Yamaku Academy, and he transferred in early on in his third year. All the other characters, however, most likely have attended Yamaku since they entered high school.
- Sakuya is introduced this way in Hatoful Boyfriend. Strange, since it's the first day of school.
- The dragon transfers into the protagonist's school in Dra Koi after they get in a fight at the park. People somehow overlook her obviously not being human for the most part, even when she starts firing beams.
- In Date A Live: Rinne Utopia, the eponymous character, Rinne Sonogami, transfers back to Shido's class in a What If? ending.
- In True Love Junai Monogatari, one of the potential love interests is a transfer student: Ryoko Shimazaki, the local Idol Singer.
- Higurashi: When They Cry:
- Keiichi counts, although at the start of the story, he's been there for about a month.
- Rena used to be one, who transferred to that school one year prior to Keiichi.
- A better example would be Hanyuu. She drops in during the final arc, and is immediately taken home...three times. She isn't a new character to the player as she's been a ghost for the entire series and has been a major character for the last few arcs but to everyone besides Rika she is.
- Dangan Ronpa: Technically all students enrolling Kibougamine Gakuen (Hope's Peak Academy) are this, since one of the requirements for entering the school is that they have to be already enrolling a different high school. The respective cast usually enter their new class at the same time and they all are from different school and wear different uniforms (if any uniform at all), even though the school actually provides its own uniforms. Although, all games reveal that they either have been in school for a couple of year and have their school memories stolen. Saishū Gakuen (Ultimate Academy for Gifted Juveniles or Prison School for the Gifted) follows a similar principle, but has a limited student body count of 16 and the plot twist is similar, but different from before. It is also a prison school from the get-go, while Kibougamine Gakuen genuinely started off as a school for talented people and researching talent.
- Deandra is introduced as the new girl in the first episode of The Most Popular Girls in School.
- Tsuki Desu has Chitose Miyamoto, a new transfer student who lived in America who is a blue-eyed blond. Tsuki is instantly attracted to him.
- The first episode of DC Superhero Girls starts with Wonder Woman transferring to Super Hero High.
- Alistair transfers to Gunnerkrigg Court... for a week. He doesn't even bother with a uniform.
- It's mentioned in passing that Antimony also came to the school late. (Word of God puts the time at about halfway through the first year.)
- You could say practically everyone attending the Court is a transfer student, as most of them (such as Zimmy and Gamma) are brought to the school to be studied for their powers or conditions, leading to several students coming and going.
- In Everyday Heroes, Summer starts at her new high school in the middle of her freshman year. Uma just started a few weeks before her, so they're paired in biology lab. Nice to have somebody normal to hang out with.
- In The Adventures of Shan Shan, Cassiopeia's arrival happens with a lot of other events. Not to mention that she's quick on the uptake.
- Rain begins when the titular protagonist transfers to a new school so she can attend as a girl.
- In UC, Kelsi is a transfer student from an as yet undisclosed location. Her parents wanted her to experience American high school, so she starts the comic by joining the high school of the three other main characters.
- Nicole and Derek starts with the arrival of international transfer Nicole Adams.
- Survival of the Fittest... where do we begin? Adam Dodd, Ken Lawson, Erick Rischio, Dacey Ashcroft and Kallie Majors, among others. (and that's only V3)
- In the Whateley Universe, Bladedancer and Carmilla and Heyoka all started at Whateley Academy late in fall term, at different times. Then Seraphim started winter term. Justified in that Whateley is specifically a school for young mutants, whose powers may spontaneously manifest and necessitate a sudden transfer from whatever school for "baselines" they previously attended at any point in the school year. It would have to be a pretty atypical semester in which no new transfer students showed up for a change.
- Invader Zim slips seamlessly into Dib's elementary school despite having a Paper-Thin Disguise that doesn't even change his skin color from its normal green; claiming it's a skin condition and also why he doesn't have ears. Or a nose, for that matter.
- Code Lyoko:
- Odd is the transfer student in the prequel, "XANA Awakens".
- Aelita pretends to be one once she is no longer forced to stay on Lyoko.
- In Season 2, William is such a transfer student.
- In the second Code Lyoko novel, The City With No Name, Eva Skinner/XANA transfers into Kadic Academy with the goal of murdering the Lyoko Warriors. Yeah.
- Bolbi from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.
- In the Davey and Goliath TV special "School, Who Needs It", a boy is introduced into Davey's class on the first day of school. Davey and his friends at first make fun of him behind his back for being the only kid who actually likes school, but eventually accept him into their club when they find out how intelligent and artistic he is.
- Daria moved to a new town and started at her new school in the first episode of her own series, mainly to literally distance the show from the stylings of its parent show, Beavis And Butthead.
- One episode of Arthur had a Flash Back to when Mary Alice "Muffy" Crosswire was a transfer student. Sue Ellen Armstrong is introduced later this way.
- In The Spectacular Spider-Man, Mary Jane counts even though she was introduced several episodes before she transfered to the main characters' school.
- This is how South Park introduces many of its one-time characters, but it is also used to introduce recurring characters, such as Pip.
- Gus from Recess.
- Doug begins the series as a transfer student.
- Will Vandom in W.I.T.C.H. starts as this. In the comics Taranee is another one, having moved a few days earlier (in the cartoon she moved a year before the series). Interestingly, in the comics we see that Taranee was actually born in Heatherfield, as the burned down house of Taranee's real parents is on the city's outskirts and moved out when she was adopted.
- Mandark is introduced to Dexter's Laboratory this way. Like many examples, he's revealed to be similar to our protagonist, being intelligent, well-liked by the teachers... and he also has a laboratory.
- Penny is introduced as one in the ChalkZone episode "Rudy's Story". When she originally debuted in the Oh Yeah! Cartoons short "Rudy's Date" (which was edited into the second episode of the show), she never got a proper introduction. When the shorts became a series, it's explained that she had recently moved to town in "Rudy's Story", possibly to avoid Remember the New Guy.
- The protagonists of Galaxy High, Jerk Jock Doyle and Academic Alpha Bitch Aimee, transfer to the eponymous Galaxy High thanks to his sports prowess and her booksmarts respectively. Their situations get completely flipped: the formerly super popular Doyle turns into the Butt-Monkey whereas the once isolated Aimee becomes a "late bloomer".
- from Mixels, royal children Camillot and Mixadel are transferred to the public Mixopolis Middle School to learn about "mixing with the common folk". Camillot is eager to make new friends, while Mixadel only looks down upon them, and even uses the principal as a servant.
- Milo Murphy's Law begins with Zach as the Supporting Protagonist, waiting for the bus on his first day at a new school and meeting Milo. Being new, he stands next to Milo and doesn't understand why no one else will. Then the two start are nearly crushed by construction equipment.
- Daemona Prune from Phantom Investigators had just recently moved to San Francisco and began attending Lugosi Junior High shortly before the events of the series.