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Educated With Commoners [Title Crowner]

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A rich kid that sticks out in a public school.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
ElBuenCuate on Sep 11th 2018 at 9:11:27 PM
Last Edited By:
ElBuenCuate on 3 hours ago
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

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Name Crowner Here, accepting other suggestions.


Rich and influential people normally have the money and influence to get their kids in the best spots, to get them the best jobs, and send them to the best schools. Yet, in fiction, whenever the plot is set in a school that seems to be populated mostly by middle-class kids, you will always find that one kid from a wealthy family among them.

There can be some explanations: Maybe the kid actually wants to see how the life of the common people is like, maybe they have been expelled from more exclusive schools, or maybe their parents got in financial trouble and needed to cut spending (with their kid's education being first), but in must cases this is rarely, if ever, explained, or even lampshaded. If the rich kid is the main character except a Fish out of Water situation while they try to adapt to their new environment. If not, then them to be a Spoiled Brat to serve as a foil and rival for the poorer but more likable protagonist, or a Lonely Rich Kid that the hero must help to come out of their shell.

Compare and contrast with Secretly Wealthy, where the character is rich, but hides the fact, and Slumming It, if the character is doing it because they think it's fun. Contrast Scholarship Student.


Examples:

Anime and Manga

  • Cool-Kyou Shinsha has had three series starring rich heiresses attending public schools (and all three of them ending up in Uptown Girl romances):
    • Justified in My Girlfriend Without Wasabi, where Rino attends a low level university due to her being a lazy student and her identity being kept a secret from the public until she becomes the family head.
    • Kurume from RaButa attends a public high school without any real comment, though it's possible that the lack of any legal guardians (her parents died when she was in middle school) is why she never applied for a private one.
    • Haru from Ojojojo transferred schools every couple of weeks ever since she was a child due to her Rich Bitch attitude alienating her from her classmates. Why she never attended a private school with her social peers (which would circumnavigate the problem) is never explained. Chris (the son of a British noble) transfers into the school later in the series, though he is at least justified by the fact that he specifically transferred in to try and get Haru to agree to an Arranged Marriage.
  • While PK Academy of The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. is mentioned to be a small private school rather than a public one, neither the school nor the gaggle of students the story follows are mentioned to be particularly well off...except for Saiko Metori, heir to a ridiculously rich family, who constantly flaunts his wealth and sticks up his nose at the "commoners" surrounding him. His given reason for slumming it when he could obviously afford much better is that he intends to woo Teruhashi.
  • Saya from Onidere is the daughter of a very wealthy CEO (enough so that she was able to personally commission a Kill Sat as a child), but she attends an ordinary public school.
  • In Sword Art Online, Asuna is an ojou who ends up attending a special public school for kids who are SAO Survivors. Though in her case it's justified as the government enforced students like her to attend. It's actually invoked as Asuna's mother wants her to change to a better school, but Asuna refuses as she wishes to be with her friends.
  • Seto Kaiba in Yu-Gi-Oh! is actually the president of one of the biggest gaming companies in the world. Yet he apparently goes to the same school as the protagonists. Although, after the first episode, it becomes a moot point.

Comic Books

  • Veronica from Archie Comics, a rich girl who transfers in to a public school, and who often flaunts her family's wealth.

Literature

  • Deconstructed in A Dance with Dragons. Varys and Illyrio (two very wealthy men) deliberately raised Prince Aegon Targaryen amongst the smallfolk and taught him practical skills (like fishing, mending clothes, and providing first aid) in the hopes this would make him a more empathetic, wise, and humble ruler. This not only didn't work, as Aegon is as entitled and foolish as any other Prince, but it appears to have actually handicapped him, as Aegon lacks experience in courtly life (and of those in it) and is easily manipulated.
    Varys: He has lived with fisherfolk, worked with his hands, swum in rivers and mended nets and learned to wash his own clothes at need. He can fish and cook and bind up a wound, he knows what it is like to be hungry, to be hunted, to be afraid.
  • Le Petit Nicolas: Nicolas' classmate Geoffroy's father is rich, though we never know why his son goes to the same school as other middle-class children. Geoffroy also doesn't flaunt his wealth or gets particularly respected/bullied for it (the kids' parents are a different matter, being very much aware of how little they make compared to Geoffroy's family) and in some cases it even gets him into trouble, like when his father buys him a cowboy costume that he wears to class.

Film - Live Action

  • Spider-Man: Harry Osborn, despite his dad being rich enough to be driven in a vintage Rolls Royce, goes to the same public high school as financially struggling Peter Parker. It's explicitly because Harry's been kicked out of every private school Norman could send him to.

Live-Action TV

  • In Madam Secretary, Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord's son Jason finishes at a public high school after he's kicked out of Quaker school for breaking his bully's nose (and refusing to apologize for it).
  • The Suite Life of Zack and Cody: London, the daughter of the extremely wealthy Wilfred Tipton. While she was originally in a Catholic School with Maddie, she was later transferred to a public school as it was the only school she'd not yet been expelled from. She continued going to public school when traveling on the S.S. Tipton, along with all the other students.

Video Games

  • Mega Man Battle Network and its anime has Yaito Ayanokouji, the only rich kid in Akihara Elementary School. She's also the daughter of the president of Gabcom.

Western Animation

  • In Allen Gregory, the title character is a spoiled rich kid who's forced to attend a public elementary school after his family falls on hard times.
  • Angela Anaconda had Nanette Manoir, Angela's Arch-Nemesis, who is a posh Daddy's Girl who dresses fashionably and gets chauffeured around in a limo.
  • In Arthur, Muffy is the resident Alpha Bitch and Spoiled Brat who is the daughter of a business tycoon, meaning she lives in a mansion and has her own personal butler. Yet she still attends the same public school as the rest of the kids.
  • In The Fairly Oddparents we have the cool kids. A group of four kids that are so wealthy that they can pay to have separate areas for them in school like a cool booth at the cafeteria, cool restrooms, and cool seats in the bus(which consists on a dance floor and a jacuzzi.)
  • Hey Arnold! has Rhonda Lloyd, who is always flaunting her wealth and her parents are so rich that they considered a financial "crisis" having to sell a yacht to afford their honeymoon, yet she attends P.S.118 along the other kids.
    • One episode introduced Lorenzo, an even richer kid that was transfered to the school. His debut centers around Arnold trying to help him to act more like a kid, since he spends most of his time acting like an adult.
  • In Miraculous Ladybug we have both Chloe, who is the daughter of the Mayor, and Adrien, son of a fashion tycoon, but we are not given any indication that any other of the kids are that well off. They are also complete opposites since she is the Alpha Bitch, while he is Spoiled Sweet.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Diamond Tiara's family is very wealthy, but she still attends the same school as every other foal in Ponyville, likely because it's the only school in town.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: Princess Morbucks is a rich Spoiled Brat who attends the same elementary school as the Powerpuff Girls and other normal students.
  • In Tiny Toon Adventures, most of the "well to do" toons in ACME Acres attend Perfecto Prep, as all the students there appear to be rich, and quite snobbish. Montana Max, however, is an exception, as while he is just as rich and snobbish as the Perfectos (if not more so), he attends ACME Looniversity alongside Buster, Babs, and the other middle-class toons in ACME Acres.

Feedback: 71 replies

Sep 11th 2018 at 9:40:04 PM

  • One of the classic examples is Veronica from Archie, a rich girl who transfers in to a public school, and who often flaunts her family's wealth.

Sep 11th 2018 at 9:53:27 PM

  • Soul Eater: Death The Kid is the son of Shinigami (Lord Death in English), although he doesn't take pride in his rich status as shown by the fact that he picked two delinquents from off the street to be his weapons over the people his father had offered. He also enrolled in school on his own terms even though he didn't even need to attend due to being the son of Death.

Sep 11th 2018 at 10:00:59 PM

  • Street Fighter Alpha introduce Karin Kanzuki, heir to the kanzuki zaibatsu and rival of Sakura Kasugano. She's in the same public school as Sakura.

  • Tekken 5 introduced Emilie de rochefort, an expy of Karin from street fighter who joined a public school to "observe the commoners" (but mostly Asuka)

Sep 11th 2018 at 10:13:05 PM

  • The Suite Life Of Zach And Cody: London, the daughter of the extremely wealthy Wilfred Tipton. While she was originally in a Catholic School with Maddie, she was later transferred to a public school as it was the only school she'd not yet been expelled from. She continued going to public school when traveling on the S.S. Tipton, along with all the other students.

Sep 12th 2018 at 6:23:09 PM

Contrast with Scholarship Student.

  • Cool Kyou Shinsha has had three series starring rich heiresses attending public schools (and all three of them ending up in Uptown Girl romances):
    • Justified in My Girlfriend Without Wasabi, where Rino attends a low level university due to her being a lazy student and her identity being kept a secret from the public until she becomes the family head.
    • Kurume from Rabuta attends a public high school without any real comment, though it's possible that the lack of any legal guardians (her parents died when she was in middle school) is why she never applied for a private one.
    • Haru from Ojojojo transferred schools every couple of weeks ever since she was a child due to her Rich Bitch attitude alienating her from her classmates. Why she never attended a private school with her social peers (which would circumnavigate the problem) is never explained. Chris (the son of a British noble) transfers into the school later in the series, though he is at least justified by the fact that he specifically transferred in to try and get Haru to agree to an Arranged Marriage.
  • Saya from Onidere is the daughter of a very wealthy CEO (enough so that she was able to personally commission a Kill Sat as a child), but she attends an ordinary public school.

Sep 11th 2018 at 10:31:51 PM

^^I was about to question that, but it's true that none of the other students are supposed to be higher class. Yet, you have to wonder how public can be a school in a friggin' cruise!

^ That's the trope I was searching for contrast, thanks.

Sep 12th 2018 at 3:10:22 AM

I think there's a related trope for a genius kid attending a public school instead of a more specialized one (Jimmy Neutron is an example of it).

What's the name?

Sep 12th 2018 at 3:21:15 AM

Spider Man 1: Harry Osborn, despite his dad being rich enough to be driven in a vintage Rolls Royce, goes to the same public high school as financially struggling Peter Parker. It's explicitly because Harry's been kicked out of every private school Norman could send him to.

Sep 12th 2018 at 4:40:26 AM

Anime and Manga

  • In Gabriel Dropout, Rapiel comes from a very affluent family of angels but attends the same public high school as her friends. It's justified in her case that she's undercover as a human and doesn't really show off the fact she's rich.
  • In Sword Art Online, Asuna is an ojou who ends up attending a special public school for kids who are SAO Survivors. Though in her case it's justified as the government enforced students like her to attend.

Western Animation

  • In Arthur, Muffy is the resident Alpha Bitch and Spoiled Brat who is the daughter of a business tycoon, meaning she lives in a mansion and has her own personal butler. Yet she still attends the same public school as the rest of the kids.
  • Angela Anaconda had Nanette Manoir, Angela's Arch Nemesis, who is a posh Daddys Girl who dresses fashionably and gets chauffeured around in a limo.

Sep 12th 2018 at 5:07:35 AM

In the Gordon Korman young adult novel The Twinkie Squad Douglas Fairchild is the son of one of the most important American ambassadors. He has his own wing of a mansion and so forth. He's in a public school because he got kicked out of all of the high-class private schools (long story, short version is he's acting out to deal with insecurities).

Sep 12th 2018 at 7:27:07 AM

I'd advise using something other than "public school", since for British English speakers it sounds redundant ("Public school" in UK English means a type of private school).

What about Educated With Common People (as a riff on "Live with common people")?

Sep 12th 2018 at 7:50:56 AM

So, is a wealthy child going to public school really notable enough to inherently be a trope?

Bisected's suggestion for a title suggests more of a trope. Token Rich Kid sounds more tropable than "there's no way a rich person would go to school with these plebs."

Sep 12th 2018 at 10:30:30 AM

^ Would you say that the description needs improvement as well?

Sep 12th 2018 at 10:52:30 AM

Ah. I was about to say that in the Discworld, the Assassins' Guild School, Hugglestones and the Quirm Academy for Young Ladies are packed with them - it's what these schools are for and that's the client group they want - and then I realised you mean "public school" in the American sense, what we might call The Good Old British Comp - the sort of normal state school everybody else sends their kids to. You should differentiate.

  • Not sure of the specifics, but in the sense you intend, I think Grange Hill had a plot like this once: a family who had fallen on hard times and could no longer afford to pay to send their kid to a public school - ie, fee-paying - had to resort to biting the bullet and sending said kid to the local bog-standard secondary modern. Thus driving the plot.

Sep 12th 2018 at 5:34:30 PM

"Token Rich Kid" is Slumming It, apparently.

Sep 12th 2018 at 6:17:57 PM

TV:

Sep 12th 2018 at 6:18:25 PM

In Yu Gi Oh VRAINS Aoi Zaizen the main female lead comes from a wealthy family and goes to a public high school at Den City

Sep 12th 2018 at 6:28:17 PM

Western Animation

  • In Tiny Toon Adventures, most of the "well to do" toons in ACME Acres attend Perfecto Prep, as all the students there appear to be rich, and quite snobbish. Montana Max, however, is an exception, as while he is just as rich and snobbish as the Perfectos (if not more so), he attends ACME Looniversity alongside Buster, Babs, and the other middle-class toons in ACME Acres.

Sep 12th 2018 at 11:05:55 PM

Western Animation

  • In Allen Gregory, the title character is a spoiled rich kid who's forced to attend a public elementary school after his family falls on hard times.

Sep 13th 2018 at 12:07:30 AM

The idea of the title is good, but I think it might be a little better if you replace "common people" with "commoners"

Sep 13th 2018 at 2:32:04 AM

Made an edit, Commoners is with one 'n'

Sep 13th 2018 at 2:47:49 AM

^thanks, I always get those spellings confused

Sep 13th 2018 at 2:58:01 AM

It's possible I wasn't the one who got that wrong but I do get those wrong sometimes so it's not unlikely

Sep 13th 2018 at 3:51:58 AM

I think that "school" is sufficiently distinct setting, and a rich kid who would be out of place at a given school a sufficiently distinct character concept, that it's tropable. A rich kid at a school of rich kids is just another rich kid. Since the default assumption (at least, in American media) is that parents who can afford to send their kids to private school will do so, someone who could be in private school but isn't says something about them or their parents.

Sep 13th 2018 at 4:18:43 AM

Subtrope of Slumming It, in case you didn't get it earlier

Sep 13th 2018 at 8:10:41 AM

The protagonist of the book Fourth Grade Loser is the son of a wealthy real estate developer who is going to a regular public school.

Sep 13th 2018 at 11:35:31 AM

This title makes me think of a medieval setting instead of modern...

Laconic makes me unsure of how general this is.

Sep 13th 2018 at 2:45:45 PM

  • Mega Man Battle Network and its anime has Yaito Ayanokouji, the only rich kid in Akihara Elementary School. She's also the daughter of the president of Gabcom.

Sep 13th 2018 at 3:28:46 PM

Sep 13th 2018 at 4:41:43 PM

This may fit, since the title has broadened the trope.

Literature

  • Deconstructed in A Dance With Dragons. Varys and Illyrio (two very wealthy men) deliberately raised Prince Aegon Targaryen amongst the smallfolk and taught him practical skills (like fishing, mending clothes, and providing first aid) in the hopes this would make him a more empathetic, wise, and humble ruler. This not only didn't work, as Aegon is as entitled and foolish as any other Prince, but it appears to have actually handicapped him, as Aegon lacks experience in courtly life (and of those in it) and is easily manipulated.
    Varys: He has lived with fisherfolk, worked with his hands, swum in rivers and mended nets and learned to wash his own clothes at need. He can fish and cook and bind up a wound, he knows what it is like to be hungry, to be hunted, to be afraid.

Sep 13th 2018 at 4:30:42 PM

In the original Yu-gi-oh we have Seto Kaiba, who runs one of the biggest gaming companies in the world and yet goes to an ordinary high school.

Sep 13th 2018 at 7:06:29 PM

  • While PK Academy of The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K is mentioned to be a small private school rather than a public one, neither the school nor the gaggle of students the story follows are mentioned to be particularly well off...except for Saiko Metori, heir to a ridiculously rich family, who constantly flaunts his wealth and sticks up his nose at the "commoners" surrounding him. His given reason for slumming it when he could obviously afford much better is that he intends to woo Teruhashi.

Sep 13th 2018 at 9:26:49 PM

I'll repeat my question:

I think there's a related trope for a genius kid attending a public school instead of a more specialized one (Jimmy Neutron is an example of it).

What's the name?

Sep 13th 2018 at 9:37:20 PM

^ I tried to check but I don't find anything like that. Maybe you should go to the trope finder and see if you have more luck.

Sep 14th 2018 at 8:12:28 AM

  • The Fairly Oddparents:
    • Trixie Tang comes from a wealthy family. She lives in a mansion. Trixie has been going to Dimmsdale Elementary her entire life.
    • Remy Buxaplenty is a billionare yet he was shown going to Dimmsdale Elementary before being sent off to military school.

Sep 15th 2018 at 4:11:02 PM

Batman: Damian Wayne is the son of Bruce Wayne and one of the heirs to the illustrious Wayne Enterprises, a Fiction 500 Mega Corp responsible for infrastructure and technological development around the world as well as funding the Justice League. He still gets sent to public school in a vain effort to teach him social skills, almost always getting expelled or leaving of his own accord when he's done spiting the teachers with his intellect.

Sep 14th 2018 at 1:39:32 PM

Le Petit Nicolas: Nicolas' classmate Geoffroy's father is rich, though we never know why his son goes to the same school as other middle-class children. Geoffroy also doesn't flaunt his wealth or gets particularly respected/bullied for it (the kids' parents are a different matter, being very much aware of how little they make compared to Geoffroy's family) and in some cases it even gets him into trouble, like when his father buys him a cowboy costume that he wears to class.

Sep 14th 2018 at 2:19:05 PM

  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: Diamond Tiara's family is very wealthy, but she still attends the same school as every other foal in Ponyville, likely because it's the only school in town.

Sep 14th 2018 at 3:31:22 PM

No one has problems with the name?

Sep 14th 2018 at 3:40:45 PM

I do a little bit, but I didn't say anything because I couldn't think of anything better

Sep 14th 2018 at 8:15:58 PM

Yeah, the name implies the trope is much broader than it actually is (the name suggests this trope is about a 'high-born' person is taught amongst the common folk, rather than this being specifically about a school setting where a rich kid is inexplicably educated in a poorer school). The old name was better.

Sep 14th 2018 at 6:02:59 PM

^ what? The name is broader for the very reason you mentioned. So I'm liking the current name.

Sep 14th 2018 at 6:49:01 PM

The OP rejected my example (of a Prince raised with commoners), so I assumed the broader name doesn't reflect the trope itself.

Sep 14th 2018 at 7:04:37 PM

^ Sorry, I actually didn't see that example, but that would count.

Sep 14th 2018 at 8:15:30 PM

^ In that case, I retract my earlier complaint on the name.

Sep 14th 2018 at 8:51:28 PM

Another Hey Arnold example.

Lorenzo who is shown too be richer then Rhonda transfer to P.S. 118. His debut centers around Arnold trying to act more like a kid since he spends most of his time acting like an adult.

Sep 14th 2018 at 11:02:40 PM

You also missed some more examples in the comments.

Sep 15th 2018 at 3:38:56 PM

I don't know, if Rich Kid In Public School assumes a different definition of "public school" than the one used in the UK, Educated With Commoners feels like it goes too far in the opposite direction, with a class divide that doesn't necessarily exist in the same way elsewhere. As Malady said, at first glance it makes the trope sound like it belongs in medieval times.

Why not just go with the original title, then have an alternate title, Rich Kid In State School, and call out the difference between the two in the description?

See also Lonely Rich Kid.

Sep 15th 2018 at 3:14:26 PM

But the school isn't necessarily poor. It could be middle class, even relatively well-funded by public school standards. It just doesn't charge a fee and it isn't exclusive to a certain social set among the parents.

Sep 15th 2018 at 3:33:03 PM

I personally like the current name, but does anyone have a better idea? so maybe we could start a crowner.

Sep 16th 2018 at 7:55:47 PM

The title can NOT be "Token Rich Kid" because it's far broader in scope than this, which is strictly "education".

Sep 16th 2018 at 7:59:43 PM

So why can't we risk letting the scope be a little broader? It'll still probably default to this for the most part, because kids are usually in school at this age in the modern day, but that doesn't have to rule out other possibilities.

Sep 16th 2018 at 11:24:00 PM

^ But, regardless of Token Rich Kid apparently being Slumming It for whatever reason, I don't see how broadening this trope will make it turn into Slumming It? That's for when a rich person actively chooses to act like someone poor because they think it's fun. Token Rich Kid would just be for cases where there's one, well, token rich person among the cast of characters- and I can think of so many examples of that beyond the scope of this trope.

Sep 16th 2018 at 11:38:27 PM

^ Yeah, this. I don't really see the two being confused as much of a danger, and a rich kid with a bunch of non-rich friends is a bit of a trope in its own right.

But just in case that's still considered too broad... I know the UK doesn't have this either, but at least it shouldn't be confused for anything else: Rich Kid At Grade School? With Rich Kid At State School still on standby as a redirect?

Sep 16th 2018 at 11:38:22 PM

^ I don't know, AFAIK "Grade School" is another term for Elementary School in the United States, has zero to do with the school itself. Rich Kid At Normal School maybe?

Sep 17th 2018 at 3:12:32 PM

The problem with it being Rich Kid In Public School is that it basically means opposite things between NA and the UK — a public school in the UK is exclusive and expensive the way a private school is in the US and Canada. While technically there's no such thing as a grade school in the UK, it's unambiguous.

Rich Kid In Normal School or Rich Kid In Average School... You kind of lose the part where it's elementary school or high school, and not so much university? It's workable, but in that case I think Token Rich Kid is snappier.

Sep 17th 2018 at 12:10:05 AM

Oh, I agree, of all them I prefer Token Rich Kid + Expansion. The problem is that there's no one term for a public/state school, no matter what we use it's ambiguous at best and misleading at worst.

Sep 17th 2018 at 12:53:41 AM

Italicized work names as per How To Write An Example - Emphasis For Work Names.

Sep 17th 2018 at 5:56:12 PM

^ I don't mind that either

yesterday

So the main problem seems to be the name, specifically that it can be confusing (since various terms differ between the US and the UK) and how broad the scope of the trope is. How I see it this is suposed to be a school trope, where the main focus is the interaction between the rich kid and the other characters (so Secretly Wealthy doesn't apply here) and the difference in class is important, so royalty can also count. I see that maybe a "token" title might be better.

yesterday

So far it seems like Token Rich Student has the most consensus, at least without taking the crowner into account.

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