->It's your freshman year and you're gonna be here\\
For the next four years in this town\\
Hoping one of those senior boys will wink at you and say\\
"You know, I haven't seen you around before"
-->-- '''Music/TaylorSwift''', "Fifteen"

There's something about the BigManOnCampus that drives all the girls wild... even the ones that know he is ''sooo'' out of their league. If the dorky girl wants the most popular guy at school, it usually ends in one of two ways: either the two end up together, or she finds out that he's actually a huge jerk. Sometimes all it takes is [[BeautifulAllAlong a makeover]] to get the guy to notice the girl. If he ends up returning her feelings, often his ex-girlfriend the AlphaBitch will get [[GreenEyedMonster jealous]]. [[NoAccountingForTaste Classmates will wonder]] [[WhatDoesSheSeeInHim what the quarterback is doing with the nerd.]] This version is common WishFulfillment often seen in shows aimed at tweens and in {{chick flick}}s. If it doesn't work out between them, expect there to be AnAesop, usually something like [[BeYourself "Don't change yourself for a jerk"]] or "Popularity isn't everything".

Related to "ICantBelieveAGuyLikeYouWouldNoticeMe" if the guy decides to GiveGeeksAChance.

AllGuysWantCheerleaders is often the gender-flipped version of this trope.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Extremely common in {{shojo}} anime and manga. Some examples:
** In ''Manga/CharismaDoll'', Sara likes Hayase, who's the most popular guy. He's also a huge popstar, so that's why he's so popular. He actually likes Sara's alter ego popstar personality Sala.

** In ''{{Manga/ION}}'', Ion has a huge crush on the most popular guy and StudentCouncilPresident, Koki.
** In ''Himekei Doll'', Ayumu is obsessed with Renji, who's not only popular, but a fashion designer as well.
* In a {{shonen}} example, Sakura of ''{{Naruto}}'', has an infatuation with Sasuke, which is one of her defining traits, particularly at the beginning. It is also totally unrequited, with Sasuke often calling Sakura out for being average. Of course, this is often PlayedForLaughs, as almost every girl in ''Naruto'' (except [[SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan Hinata]]) is obsessed with Sasuke, particularly while they're still in the Academy. The competition over Sasuke has had such results as ending friendships, causing fights in classrooms, and trampling innocent bystanders.
** Later is played for more tragedy, as Sakura's specific case is actually a {{deconstruction}} of AllGirlsWantBadBoys. [[spoiler:Ultimately she still marries him and has a daughter with him anyway.]]
* Most of [[Manga/FruitsBasket Tohru's]] homeroom think this is going on between her and the very popular Yuki. [[BetterAsFriends It isn't]]. Played with in the end, as he does hook up with the shy and usually-overlooked Machi, but he is the one who falls for her first.
* In ''Manga/TokyoMewMew'', Ichigo has a crush on Aoyama, the popular KendoTeamCaptain (sort of the Japanese equivalent of the football quarterback) and they start dating partway through the series.
* In ''Manga/MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'', Lucia is involved with Kaito, a local surfing celebrity with hordes of fangirls.
* ''Manga/SugarSugarRune'' has Chocolat paired up with Pierre, the prettiest and most popular boy in school, although theirs is a weird case because a) she initially dislikes him and soon finds out that [[DatingCatwoman he's her enemy]], and b) at first she's only pursuing him so that she can [[PlotCoupon take his heart]], which would kill him.
* Sadako likes Kazehaya in ''Manga/KimiNiTodoke''. This is actually played with in the series because her love is requited by him, but ''because'' she's a loner.
** For an added bonus, he fell for her first and is genuinely a nice guy who wants her to be happy. When she stops being a loner, he's a little sad she's not just his anymore, but overlooks his desires for her happiness. Cue "Aaaww."
* In ''Manga/ShugoChara'', heroine Amu has a crush on the school's resident ChickMagnet, Tadase, [[spoiler: which he eventually reciprocates. She still ends up with [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys bad boy]] Ikuto anyway.]]
* In ''Manga/AoNoFlag'', Kuze is attracted to Mita, a very friendly and popular baseball player. She asks Ichinose, the main character and childhood friend of Mita to help her get Mita's attention. Little do either Kuze or Ichinose know that [[spoiler:Mita is actually gay and crushing on Ichinose.]]

* ''Film/CantHardlyWait'': Preston has been in love with Amanda since the first day of high school but she's been dating the JerkJock all this time, until he dumps her prior to graduation. He plans on revealing his feelings for her at a graduation party.
* ''Film/HighSchoolMusical'': Gabriella towards Troy, though she's not actually interested in his popularity. She falls for him when they meet on vacation and doesn't discover he's the 'most popular guy' until later on. In fact, she's noticeably put off when he acts like a jerk to please his friends and tells him she prefers the real him instead of the BigManOnCampus everyone else see's. It also helps that Troy is smitten with her from the get-go, (even though she's a ShrinkingViolet / HollywoodNerd that ''doesn't'' undergo a makeover) and they single-handily demolish the schools social structure.
** Played straight with [[{{AlphaBitch}} Sharpay]]. She's obsessed with making them East High's 'primo girl and guy' and goes to near sexual-harrassment levels to win him over. Add in that Troy [[{{BrokenAce}} carries a lot of insecurity about being defined only as the popular, basketball guy]] and its gets worrying.
* ''Film/{{Sleepover}}'' has this with Julie liking the most popular guy, even though he's "out of her league".
* Played straight in ''Film/ACinderellaStory''. [[CoolLoser Supposedly dorky]] and [[HollywoodHomely unattractive]] Sam (Hilary Duff in a baseball cap) likes the BigManOnCampus and quarterback.
** Except that Sam doesn't like Austin because everyone else does. At the beginning she seems to think he's just another [[JerkJock Jerk Jock]], and she doesn't spare him any real thought until she finds out that he's Nomad.
* In ''Film/ThirteenGoingOnThirty'', Jenna Rink wants to be with the most popular guy. She gets put in the closet with him playing "Seven Minutes In Heaven", and it turns out to be a mean prank. When she magically becomes 30 years old, she finds out [[FutureLoser that he becomes a fat taxi driver.]]
* In the movie ''Film/TeenWitch'', the nerdy girl Louise wants the most popular guy. She uses her magically gained popularity to try to fall in love with him. The obnoxiousness of this was pointed out many a time by WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick.
* ''Film/SixteenCandles'', Sam has a crush on Jake Ryan the whole movie. He's curious about her, and then comes to like her back.
* In the Creator/DisneyChannel movie ''Read It and Weep'', the dorky protagonist likes Marco Vega, the most popular and hot guy in school.
* In another Disney Channel movie, ''Film/SuzieQ'', the girl tries to change herself so the popular guy likes her.
* In ''Film/NeverBeenKissed'', the sweet but dorky Josie likes the BigManOnCampus but gets humiliated by him.
* Similar to ''Film/ThirteenGoingOnThirty'', Romy of ''Film/RomyAndMichelesHighSchoolReunion'' crushed hard on the popular guy in high school who spurned her affections at the prom. At the reunion we find he's a loser unhappily married to the AlphaBitch.
* ''Film/{{Hairspray}}'', in all incarnations, features this, though Link Larkin is genuinely nice in the end and it doesn't take a makeover to get him to notice Tracy.
* In the goofy film adaptation of ''Film/{{The Brady Bunch|Movie}}'', Marcia single-mindedly pursues the very cute but jerkish Doug specifically because "he's the BigManOnCampus." This has a different result than the similar situation in the original show (see below).
* Carter, in ''Film/PrincessProtectionProgram'', had a crush on Donny since third grade. Everyone who knows her, even her enemies, knows about it. At the dance, when SheCleansUpNicely and he finally notices her, she turns him down flat. "Before I put on this dress, you couldn't even remember my ''name''." (She's right. His inability to remember her name was actually a running gag throughout the movie.)
* In ''Film/TheWorldsEnd'' Sam, as a teenager, had a one-night stand with resident SchoolIdol Gary King (in the Disabled bathroom, no less). Twenty-odd years down the road [[Main/SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan her priorities are very different]], especially since Gary, as she tells him he's "not boyfriend material".

* In ''Literature/BrasAndBroomsticks'', Rachel likes the hottest guy. She uses her sister's new witch powers to try to get him to fall in love with her.
* In ''Literature/ThePrincessDiaries'', Mia has a huge crush on Josh, the most popular guy ([[JerkJock who's a huge jerk]]). He only pretends to like her once she finds out she's a princess.
* [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed]] in ''Literature/{{Carrie}}'', where it does ''not'' end well for anybody involved.
* [[ShrinkingViolet Amy]] liking Ian near the start of ''Literature/{{The 39 Clues}}'' series.
* ''Literature/TheHouseOfNight'':
** Zoey catches the eye of Erik, who's repeatedly referred to as "the hottest guy in the school" and makes practically all girls swoon while thinking about how gorgeous he is. True to this trope's description, his ex-girlfriend is the AlphaBitch Aphrodite who is not amused when she finds out about his relationship with Zoey. They eventually break up, though, mainly because of [[HormoneAddledTeenager Zoey]]'s utter inability to not throw herself at every hot guy who crosses her path.
** Zoey's other boyfriends, incidentally, are the popular football star from her previous high school and the incredibly handsome poetry teacher that all the female students seem to have crushes on.
* Genderbent-flipped for "John" and Sarah in ''Literature/IAmNumberFour''
* In ''Literature/{{Beastly}}'', the quiet, bookish Lindsy admits that she's had a long-standing crush on Kyle, the most popular guy in her school. When Adrian (who is Kyle under a curse, [[TwoPersonLoveTriangle which Lindsy doesn't know]]) asks if she liked him because he was attractive, she was more interested in his confidence and charisma.

* Lizzie of ''Series/LizzieMcGuire'' likes [[BrainlessBeauty Ethan Kraft]] for the entire series. Her [[AllLoveIsUnrequited love is unrequited]].
* In ''Series/NedsDeclassifiedSchoolSurvivalGuide'', level-headed Moze surprisingly does fall for Seth, the DumbJock who doesn't do much but spin a basketball on his hand. He does end up liking her, but she realises he's a waste of time.
* In ''Series/{{Unfabulous}}'', Addy has a crush on Jake, the coolest guy at school. It comes as a shock to everyone when [[BigManOnCampus he]] and [[HollywoodNerd she]] actually end up dating.
* In ''Series/TheBradyBunch'', Marcia gets a crush on Doug Simpson, the BigManOnCampus. She actually manages to get a date with him but he ditches the date once he sees her bruised, broken nose.
* ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'': Sabrina for Harvey, in the live-action show. He is a regular guy in the [[ComicBook/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch comics]] (and its more faithful adaptions.)
* ''Series/{{Glee}}'' does this, with Rachel's crush on Finn. He seems to like her, but doesn't like that he gets ostracized by his friends for being with her.
* From ''Series/RobinHood'', half the outlaws have a crush on [[TheScrappy Kate]], but she only has eyes for RobinHood.
* In the Mexican telenovela ''Sonadoras'', nerdy Lucia falls for popular Gerardo. But Gerardo pines for beautiful dancer Emilia, who loves somebody else. Subverted in that Lucia does get Gerardo in the end- after a makeover involving creating Lucia into an alter ego cousin named Adriana goes wrong!
* Played straight with [[LoveTriangle both of Jenna's love interests]] on ''{{Series/Awkward}}''
* ''Series/FakingIt'': Karma wants Liam...who only really starts to notice her after she's [[MistakenForGay (falsely) outed as a lesbian]].
* ''Series/TheWorstYearOfMyLifeAgain'' has a gender-flipped version. Alex has a crush on Nicola, the most popular girl in school.

* The speaker in "You Belong With Me", a Music/TaylorSwift song.
** Subverted in that the nerdy girl and the popular guy are actually close friends. The song actually gives the impression that it had been a case of Single Guy Seeks Most Popular Girl, with the newly not-single guy's friend being left behind.
** Also applies to Teardrops On My Guitar. Also subverted in that the speaker and the object of her affections (Drew) are good friends but she wishes that he would break up with his girlfriend and start dating her instead.

[[folder:Video Game]]
* ''VideoGame/YandereSimulator'' is about a high school girl called "Yandere-chan" falling in love with the ChickMagnet "Senpai", and proceeds to get him [[MurderTheHypotenuse by eliminating everyone else]].
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'', Paya, a shy girl from Kakariko village, has a crush on Link, TheChosenOne and the most important young man in all of Hyrule.

* In ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', Bonnie's attraction to Brick and Ron was mainly due to both being popular at something. Brick at football and Ron after his brief period as a millionaire and becoming the star running back.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePony Tales'' had Starlight crushing on [[TheAce Ace]]. Unfortunately for her, Ace was a massive {{Jerkass}} who was often the closest thing this incarnation of the series had to an antagonist. No matter how badly he treated her, however, she continued to pine after him... uselessly, since [[AllLoveIsUnrequited he had his own hopeless crush on her friend]] [[AlphaBitch Melody]].
** This was done with Rarity in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''. In the first season, she has a huge crush on [[MeaningfulName Prince Blueblood]]. She meets him in person in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E26TheBestNightEver The Best Night Ever]]", and [[spoiler: finds out that he's a major [[RoyalBrat douche]]. [[PrinceCharmless So very typical]]]].
** Happens to Rarity ''again'' in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E13SimpleWays Simple Ways]]" when she develops a crush on the travel writer Trenderhoof. He's not such a bad guy, being InnocentlyInsensitive and a bit smug at worst, but Trenderhoof [[LoveTriangle ends up falling for Applejack]].
* Spinelli for T.J. in ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'', as hinted in a few episodes. Various episodes show that he likes her as well.
* Riley for Johnny in ''WesternAnimation/TheReplacements'', on {{Yandere}} levels.
* A bit of subversion in ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug''. Marinette didn't like Adrien at first when she caught him cleaning up the chewing gum that [[AlphaBitch Chloe]] had intended to put in her seat, assuming he was in on the prank. However, the next day, Adrien offers her his umbrella and explains what had happened. [[SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan After seeing how kind he was, Marinette immediately falls for him]].

* Singer Music/KatyPerry went back and performed at her old high school, and took the time to single out the football star she had a big crush on, who never noticed her. Shane Lopes is a football coach at his old high school now, and Katy kind of rubbed it in.