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Playing With: Absurdly Powerful Student Council
Basic Trope: A high school's Student Council has significant authority over the management of the school that it would not have in Real Life
  • Straight: The Tropeville High Student Council has authority over such things as student discipline, extracurricular activities, what the cafeteria serves for lunch, etc.
  • Exaggerated:
    • The Tropeville High Student Council has absolute power over every school around the district/country/world/galaxy etc. The staff answers to them, and they have an S.S-like safety patrol
    • Tropeville High Student Council is an Ancient Conspiracy, manipulating events worldwide from the shadows.
    • The school is the only remaining structure in the world/region, for some reason. As such, the elected government of the students (the student council) not only is in control of the school, but also have a fully functioning military based around conscription of delinquents, taxes the classes that perform poorly, and arranges the classes to act as families.
    • The school faculty, the fascist student faction, the anarcho-communist hippie student faction, and the janitors are in active warfare for control of the school. Each individual clique forms a platoon.
  • Downplayed: The Student Council can decide things like methods of discipline, but all ideas must go through the School Board before being put into effect.
  • Justified:
    • The teachers and staff are bumbling incompetents, so someone has to step in and take control of the situation.
    • It is a special or alternative institution and the greater power is actually a way of teaching responsibility.
    • It's a public college in Mexico or Sweden.
  • Inverted:
    • The Tropeville High School Student Council is run by pawns of the staff and governors in order to keep the students powerless. Not that that's ever happened.
    • The Tropeville High School Student Council has no real power of any kind in the first place, even less than a normal student council usually would have.
    • The Student council consists of two or three students. Even if they did have any authority, they barely have the manpower to do so much as pass out and collect forms, and they're too busy and exhausted to do much of anything. They haven't even appointed any positions beside "President" yet!
  • Subverted: When the Council confronts the principal on something unpopular he did, he firmly explains that they in fact have no actual authority.
  • Double Subverted: ...and after a receiving cold stare from the council, he backs down... and goes home to cry.
  • Parodied: The Troperville High School Student Council is regularly followed around by security guards and the press. The staff cower before them. (Be aware that any exaggerations of this trope are probably parodies anyways.)
  • Zig Zagged: The Tropeville High School Student Council's power varies greatly depending on the plot. It starts out a joke, ends up inexplicably becoming powerful enough to oust the principal, then drifting down to just influential before becoming a puppet of the administration again.
  • Averted: The Tropeville High School Student Council is just an ordinary student council - they present students' grievances to appropriate authorities but have no real power themselves.
  • Enforced: The authors are writing a primarily for a teenage audience and know that the idea of giving students authority would appeal to them
  • Lampshaded: "Aren't you guys a little young to have this much power?" (Yes. Yes they are.)
  • Invoked:
    • Students' elected figureheads are heavily supported by their electors, to the point that ignoring them would fuel a big back-draft.
    • "I know how to get rid of that mean teacher! I'll run for student council and demand his resignation!"
  • Exploited: The student council has no actual power, but bluffs the students by acting as if they do.
  • Defied: The principal makes sure that the student council isn't a threat to his authority, and that he still has power over the school.
  • Discussed: "Unlike what you've seen on TV, we don't actually have the power to set the budget for student groups."
  • Conversed: "The Student Council is always the supreme authority in these high school movies."
  • Deconstructed:
    • Absolute power corrupts all: the Student Council Members have a power struggle when a split occurs between moderate and extremist members.
    • The students claim too much power and realize they have no idea how to handle the logistics of a large school.
    • Troperille's La Résistance won. Workers control the factories, Students control the colleges.
  • Reconstructed: ...But the main characters back the one member that can be redeemed, who breaks their power forevermore to prevent a recurrence of the struggle.

"Go back to Absurdly Powerful Student Council, or I'll write you up for insubordination! And no, going to the principal won't help you!"note 

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