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Lovable Jock

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The Jerk Jock's answer to the Lovable Alpha Bitch. It is typical in most high school settings to have the jock as the bad guy but this trope is a method of portraying jocks in a positive light. After all, people don't automatically turn into sociopaths the moment they join a sports team.

The Lovable Jock differs from the Lovable Alpha Bitch in that while the Alpha Bitch can still be a bully to everyone except the main character to count, the Lovable Jock will be a nice guy by default. Though sometimes connected to one, he is rarely the main man of the high school and will usually be in contrast to an actual Jerk Jock. Expect the Jerk Jock to be blond while the Lovable Jock is brunet or redheaded, though blond Lovable Jocks are common too. But that isn't a license to try anything funny on him or anyone he cares about; he will wipe the grass with anyone who dares.


A variation can come where the Jock is merely too stupid to actually be spiteful, in which case compare Brainless Beauty. At other points the Jock is a Genius Bruiser and Academic Athlete, and gets on with nerds and other sorts because he's capable of holding a conversation with them, and may himself be geeky about the sport he plays. Doubly so if the sport he plays is Baseball, in which case see Game of Nerds.

Female cheerleaders or athletes who are not the Alpha Bitch can go here instead of Lovable Alpha Bitch since that trope is reserved for the actual Alpha Bitches. Speaking of female characters, a Lesbian Jock can be an example too. The Jock need not be on the football team, but on any other sports team in the school. Both are Truth in Television.

Compare and often overlaps with The Quarterback and Big Man on Campus.



Male examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Blue Flag has Touma Mita, the Big Man on Campus. He is the star of the school's baseball team with many women fawning over him. He is also a complete sweetheart who is nice even to the people that others seem to ostracize.
  • Tsubasa Ohzora from Captain Tsubasa is THE Lovable Jock and possibly the Trope Codifier in anime and manga. Yes, he's handsome and popular. Yes, he's a Child Prodigy in regards to soccer. But he works very hard for his success, truly loves the sport, and cares very much for his teammates and his friends.
    • Pretty much every school team captain is like this, with the exception of Hyuuga — and Hyuuga not only has genuinely good reasons to be harsher, but he does not get rewarded when he pulls the asshole card.
  • Eyeshield 21 is basically what happens when you take the most socially challenged kids in Japan and make them play team sports. Kurita is probably the most prominent, though there's also Sakuraba, Mizumachi, and Yamato.
  • Slam Dunk has Akira Sendoh and Kenji Fujima. Both are high-ranked aces in their school teams and very popular among girls, but remain polite and relatively down-to-Earth.
  • Kuroko's Basketball:
    • Subverted with Kuroko, who is a very nice and polite individual, but lacks the athletism to fit this trope. Even with all his improvements, he's still below the level of the average player (for the most part).
    • Kagami falls into this from time to time after he becoming a full-fleshed member of Seirin. He's respectful to his coach and senpai, he's nice to his fellow first-year teammates and supportive to Kuroko. He's still a very aggressive player with a hot temperament though.
    • Kiyoshi, one of the Five Uncrowned Kings, is always friendly and cheerful (unless he's pissed) and very supportive towards his teammates and puts the safety of his team above his own.
    • Kise, while occasional very arrogant, becomes this soon after his debut and losing to Seirin. Even when the members of Generation of Miracles started to become Jerk Jocks, Kise never became a full jerk and he was always nice to Kuroko.
    • Aomine, the Ace of the Generation of Miracles, was originally this, encouraging Kuroko to continue practicing and he was overall a very friendly and happy individual. Then he felt Lonely at the Top and descended into a Jerk Jock. Even after mellowing out, he has never fully returned to being a Lovable Jock.
  • The new Subterra brawler in Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders is a football player, with the same football team as cheerleader and previous Subterra brawler Juli.
  • Masaki Miyamoto from Amakusa 1637, with his girlfriend Natsuki Hayami as a female example.
  • Touya and Yukito from Cardcaptor Sakura are both this trope. Yukito, in particular.
  • Mashin Hero Wataru Series: Wataru is an academically average kid who's talents lies on sports. One of the reasons the Dragon God chose Wataru to be their world's savior was by checking the amount of awards he received from sports competitions that was laid out in his bedroom. On top of that, he is an All-Loving Hero.
  • Mob Psycho 100 has the Body Improvement Club, a school club consisting of a group of fitness freaks that the hilariously scrawny Mob joins in hopes of improving himself. Even though he can’t remotely keep up with their strenuous fitness regimen, they respect that he tries his hardest and legitimately care for him as a friend rather than as a powerful esper like most others in his life. When Mob is threatened, the whole club doesn’t hesitate to go out and protect him.
  • The majority cast of Haikyuu!! are technically all jocks, with some——partcularly our two main characters, being more passionate than others. And it is an absolute joy to watch these characters interact and play the game that they all love.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men: Gentle Giant Beast was an athlete in high school, before he grew his fur.
  • Archie Comics
    • "Moose" Mason. Originally he was batshit insane and was universally feared by the entire school (even some teachers) since he would savagely beat anyone who even looked in Midge's general direction. He's mellowed considerably as the comics moved on, so long as no one is trying to steal his girl.
    • Archie himself, who is portrayed as playing baseball, football, and basketball, although he's significantly less talented at it than Moose. He's still known as one of the nicest guys in Riverdale, walking disaster or not.
  • Ben Grimm, a.k.a. The Thing, from the Fantastic Four, who used to be a star football player in high school. He became fast friends with the intellectual Reed Richards, a.k.a. Mr. Fantastic, once the two of them met in college.
  • Spider-Man: While Flash Thompson is arguably the Trope Codifier of the Jerk Jock, he actually transitioned into becoming this after he and Peter started attending college. Even his high-school self, though often cruel and petty, had his moments. For all his bullying of Peter, Flash's admiration for Spider-Man was genuine, and went deep enough that he remained a vocal Spidey supporter even when the rest of New York was convinced that Spidey was a murderer.
  • In Robin Tim finds his burgeoning relationship with Zoanne threatened by a really kind tennis player and his own frequent absences. Tim can't even be mad at the guy since he goes out of his way to help Tim improve his tennis game without ever being condescending about Tim's shortcomings in the sport and the fact that he doesn't actually ask Zo out since he's aware there's something undecided going on between her and Tim.
  • Kyle Mizoguchi of Gotham Academy is a popular tennis star who is also caring, respectful and kind and willing to make an embarrassment of himself in front of the entire school to help his sister and her friends get away with escaping from the school chaperones to go looking for answers to one of their family mystery.
  • Ronnie Raymond, one half of Firestorm, as well as his teammate Jefferson Jackson. Gerry Conway wanted to invert the Spider-Man set-up, so he made the protagonist a likable but aloof jock, who is hassled by a Nerdy Bully. Modern adaptations like the New 52 tend to make Ronnie a lot less lovable.
  • In contrast to most of the character's history, John Byrne retconned Superman's alter ego Clark Kent to have been a football star in high school. Being Clark, he was still a nice guy, of course, but in the late 80's and into the 90's, he was depicted as actually having been both popular and visibly athletic in his teen years.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • The Bolt Chronicles: Nice guy Bolt goes on daily conditioning runs, is able to do full backflips, and remains in top shape well into old age.
    • In "The Ski Trip," Bolt is able to downhill ski by standing on all fours on a pair of skis (with Mittens and Rhino in tow) despite never having attempted this before. His somewhat awkwardly executed success is attributed to "his crouched stance and decent sense of balance."
    • In "The Baseball Game," Bolt is pressed into playing duty while serving as honorary team mascot. He scores the winning run as a pinch runner for an injured player (demonstrating significant speed and leaping ability), and later clinches victory when he pulls off a triple play manning second base despite lacking a glove and the ability to throw a baseball properly (showing alertness and quick reflexes in addition to the qualities mentioned above).
  • Skyhold Academy Yearbook gives this role to Krem Aclassi, who is also The Quarterback and the Big Man on Campus.
  • In Under The Northern Lights Prince Vigg can be an immature brat but is usually quite a nice guy. His greatest interest seem to be winter sports, mostly skiing both cross-country and down-hill. He and his friends have apparently invented the snowboard as well.
  • A Dance On The Mats: Anon is a tough fighter and throws some shade, but he is a decent guy who refuses to hurt someone severely and gives honest praise to his opponents.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Bee Movie, these are the Pollen Jocks (i.e., the bees who leave the hive to collect pollen). When Barry and Adam are pretending to be Pollen Jocks to impress some girls, a pair of real Pollen Jocks come over and, while not revealing the truth, decide to mess with them by challenging them to come along on their next mission. When Barry actually shows up, they talk their superior into letting him come along.
  • Mitch from ParaNorman is of the Dumb Jock variety, who has a strong Big Brother Instinct towards his younger brother Neil, and who agrees to drive everyone to go look for Norman, apparently for no better reason than that Neil is worried about Norman. This is in spite of the fact that Mitch shares the low opinion the rest of the town has toward Norman.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Breakfast Club: Andrew, a wrestler who gets no attention from his father and resorts to bullying a nerd once (which is what lands him in detention) and feels awful about it.
  • Shawn Hatosy's Stan from The Faculty is a five star athlete who wants to work hard to better his grades and is probably the nicest in the main cast.
  • Oz from American Pie becomes this as he joins the glee club and gets in touch with his sensitive side. This is Played for Drama when he tries to convince Heather that he's not just a jerk jock.
  • Aaron from Mean Girls is seen playing football and is also on the swim team - and he's quite possibly the only wholly decent person in the cast.
  • Most of the guys from Remember the Titans, but Gerry sticks out the most. So does Julius — once they get over their mutual prejudice and become Fire-Forged Friends, they're the ones most committed to keeping the team from falling apart.
  • A few of the guys from Coach Carter, which is basically Remember The Titans with basketball instead.
  • Forrest Gump's eponoymous character is a kind and gentle (if very simple) young man and played football in college. He later becomes known for table tennis.
  • Jonathon from Were the World Mine is the only one on his school's rugby team who is not a Jerk Jock, and the only one who consoles the bullied protagonist Timothy, who has a crush on him. Turns out that Jonathon is a Straight Gay and Timothy is his Closet Key.
  • Troy from High School Musical. Zeke and Chad could also qualify.
  • Paul from Election, while not too bright, is a genuine Nice Guy who votes for his opponent in the titular school election because he thinks it wouldn't be fair if he voted for himself.
  • Cappie from Lucas used to bully the titular character, but did a Heel–Face Turn after Lucas helped him keep up with his studies when he fell ill and became Lucas's friend and protector, and it's not really his fault that the girl Lucas liked had a crush on him instead.
  • Varsity Blues has Mox first and foremost, but also the likes of Billy Bob and Wendell Brown.
  • The jocks in Grease are like this, although they still don't get the girl because they're too dumb and boring.
  • Flash Thompson of The Amazing Spider-Man initially started out as the resident Jerk Jock, but when Peter's uncle was killed, Flash goes to console Peter, and continues to do so, even when Peter shoves him against the lockers, telling him calmly to "let it all out". By the end of the film, the two have become good friends.
  • Summer School gives us Kevin, all-around Dumb Jock and Nice Guy.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master: Dan Jordan, the popular sports jock whom Alice crushes on, is an all-around nice guy who avoids the mean behavior of the trope's counterpart.
  • Dazed and Confused : Main protagonist Randy "Pink" Floyd is the school's star football player, but unlike most of his teammates, he is friendly to all of the cliques - his fellow jocks, the stoners, even the nerds. In fact, it's his insistence to hang out with "losers" like the stoner kids that proves to be a main point of contention between himself and his coach and some teammates, especially Jerk Jock Benny.
  • Wes from The Duff. Despite being introduced as a stereotypical football jock in his first scenes, he is actually one of the few people who try to help Bianca in the movie.
  • Tea and Sympathy has Al - an offscreen character in the original play. He's roommates with the Camp Straight Tom and tries to defend him from being bullied by the other boys.
  • 22 Jump Street has Zook. Zook is a college football player whose also a very Nice Guy to everyone he meets. He also welcomes Jenko to the football team with open arms, while also being the only one amongst his football team to vouch for Schmidt because of his loyalties to Jenko.
  • Not Another Teen Movie: While Jake is certainly the Big Man on Campus, he's really not a bad guy. Spoofed however when he tries to be the "sensitive guy" by protecting his Love Interest's little brother from being bullied, only to receive an accidental punch to the face in return. Jake kicks the shit out of him in response.
  • Paul in The Half of It isn't the brightest guy and is essentially Ellie's romantic rival, he's a geniunely kind person and becomes her best friend.

  • Jake from Animorphs is introduced this way. He tries and fails to get on the basketball team, but it's stated right away his build and strengths are suited more for football.
  • Tommy Ross from Carrie. It's written that none of his classmates ( well, the surviving ones anyway, who tended to be some of the least popular kids in school) had anything bad to say about him. Unfortunately, he's usually considered a Jerk Jock by those who didn't know him but are writing about the incident at the prom.
  • Fun Jungle: Basketball stars Ethan and Dash, who befriend Teddy in the second book, save him from a bully's attack and are sometimes willing to help him out in later books.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry is an example, along with most Quidditch players who don't play for Slytherin.
    • Cedric Diggory is another prominent example, even though his house (Hufflepuff) isn't usually considered a "jock" house. He's such a Nice Guy that he once tried to forfeit a match immediately after winning. (Harry ended up passing out due to the presence of the Dementors while the two were racing for the Golden Snitch, and Cedric didn't notice until after he caught it.) His request was denied on the grounds that he hadn't actually broken any rules, so his win was totally fair.
    • Ron became a Quidditch Keeper in book 5 (But not in the movies until 6) and is a still pretty decent, if occasionally very insensitive, guy.
    • James Potter is overall this with elements of Jerk Jock (however, the only time he was a jerk was mainly beyond his complex and mutual hatred with Severus Snape and beyond that were his pranks.) After he 'deflates his head,' he is much more readily seen as one. However, it's difficult to guise this since the only perspective we've seen this of him were the Maruders (his long time friends), Snape (mutual hatred) and Lily (she initially thought little of him though a large part may have stemmed from his and Snape's animosity with one another, since Snape was her friend until 5th year. Interestingly enough, after that point, she goes from supposedly not liking him in 5th year to dating him in 7th year and marriage soon after. This prompts some to assume Lily's dislike was actually her being a form of Tsundere.
  • Josh Newman from The Alchemyst series is stated to be on the football team though the books are set in the summer.
  • Frank Merriwell, hero of the book series of the same name is an exemplary athlete both in skill and sportsmanship, and an all-round decent chap. Other athletes in the story, not always so decent.
  • Calvin from A Wrinkle in Time, who's said to be a popular athlete at Meg's school but has no problems hanging out with geeky, bespectacled Meg and going on a multidimensional space quest with her and her brother Charles Wallace.
  • P. G. Wodehouse's schoolboy hero Mike Jackson, best-known as Sidekick to Psmith in the Psmith series. He's terrible in school but an exceedingly skilled cricket player, and he suffers from a severe case of Chronic Hero Syndrome.
  • Mike Peterefsky in Dinoverse is friends to shy, bumbling geek Bertram and doesn't seem to have a mean bone in his body — he's actually worried that Bertram will think less of him when they're thrust into a chaotic unfamiliar situation. For all that, though, he was more or less going along with it when Sean was making plans to cripple a slower moving player on their team, until the adventure happens. When he returns he finds his courage and denounces Sean.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Big Wolf on Campus: Tommy Dawkins, the titular werewolf is a good-natured guy (if a little ditzy at times) and goes on to be good friends with the local weird goth guy, Merton. He also does what he can to help out the Monster of the Week, if said monster isn't actively trying to hurt someone.
  • All American: Both the Beverly Hills and Crenshaw team are full of them, but Spencer stands out as he cares for his family and friends, sometimes above his own needs. And while Jordan and Asher started out as the opposite of this trope, after Character Development they become a lot nicer.
  • Chuck: Devon "Captain Awesome" Woodcomb is a hyper-athletic, ridiculously good-looking surgeon who is genuinely just the nicest guy on the planet.
  • Dead Gorgeous: David is affable and good-natured, he is not bright enough to be the Big Man on Campus. However, when he finds out that a nerd is being bullied into doing his homework for him (he was initially told the nerd was doing it voluntarily) he quickly forces the bully doing it to stop.
  • Degrassi: Riley is also a Big Man on Campus and genuinely is not stupid. He starts off as a Jerk Jock but to him being in the closet about his sexuality but later opens up and becomes a lot more vulnerable and friendly.
  • 8 Simple Rules: Kyle is said to have shoved nerds in lockers but we've never actually seen him bully someone and he seems like a nice enough guy.
  • Freaks and Geeks: Todd, despite dating shallow and vapid Cindy Sanders and being Sam's unaware rival, is a super nice guy who thinks Sam is cool and doesn't try to battle him for Cindy.
  • Friday Night Lights: Most of the cast, but especially Matt Saracen and Luke Cafferty. Taken further by Matt explicitly being stated as more of an art kid than a quarterback, he just happens to have the brains to back himself up on the field.
  • Glee: Several examples
    • Mike and Matt are probably the only ones to have never bullied anyone, and are immediately True Companions with the glee kids. The same goes for Sam, who was initially the target of bullying and so is more of a glee kid who happens to be a jock than the other way around (which probably is also Artie, too, though he is in a wheelchair).
    • Finn and Puck (after some Character Development) also count. Finn was more immediately kind, and is the Quarterback, whilst Puck took longer and more realisation that high school bullying is fickle. And the same goes for Karofsky, who is a nice guy and even dates Blaine for a short while after coming to terms with his sexuality.
    • Out of the cheerleaders, Brittany probably counts as this since though she is part of the Power Trio, she is too sweet and dumb to be a Lovable Alpha Bitch, compared with the others.
  • House of Anubis: Mick Campbell is a jock, yes, but also thought to be one of the sweetest and funniest people in the house.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze: Shun Daimonji, the school's star quarterback. He starts off as a Jerk Jock taken to such an extreme that he even interferes with Fourze defeating the Monster of the Week because of a grudge with the titular Kamen Rider. Later, though, he owns up to his father) and works toward becoming a better person. He even joins the Kamen Rider Club, and assists Fourze in battle by piloting the Power Dizer.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Jason Lee Scott is into martial arts rather than playing for the Angel Grove High sports teams, but he otherwise fits this trope. His outgoing, athletic nature makes him a natural leader of the Power Rangers, and he functions as a Big Brother Mentor to geeky Billy Cranston, building Billy's self-confidence by teaching him martial arts. Rocky (football) and T.J. (baseball) were on their respective high school teams. Shane and Dustin fit this to a lesser extent (they're technically closer to the Jason example.)
    • A fairly straight forward example is Conner McKnight, a star soccer player at Reefside High. While he starts off with an edge, he quickly bonds with Ethan and Kira, and he grows kinder over time. By the halfway point he's firmly this trope.
  • One Tree Hill: Lucas, Skills, Jake and (after Character Development) Nathan are players of the Tree Hill High basketball team and nice guys.
  • Our Miss Brooks: Stretch Snodgrass, Madison High's star athlete is dimwitted, but good natured to the point where he's willing to transfer schools if it'll get his best friend Walter Denton on the Madison football team ("Two Way Stretch Snodgrass"). Stretch is apparently very popular; when he accidentally vandalizes the school in "Stuffed Gopher", Miss Brooks and Walter gets a crew of students to fix the damage and cover for him.
  • Party of Five: Will. Bailey does blur the lines as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold though the Jerk part usually cancels out the Heart of Gold.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Harvey. His friends on the football team also seem nice enough.
  • Saved by the Bell: AC Slater is a star wrestler and basketball player and, while a bit of a hothead, he's ultimately good natured.
  • Scrubs - Turk played basketball and football in high school and in college took JD under his wing. They've been Heterosexual Life-Partners ever since.
  • Super Human Samurai Syber Squad: Tanker is a football star but isn't mean to anyone other than Jerkass Malcolm Frink and even then he's quite mild in comparison to a regular Jerk Jock. Also, Tanker dates the resident genius.
  • Teen Wolf: Danny. Ironically, he is best friends with Jackson, the Jerk Jock.
  • The Vampire Diaries: Matt Donovan. On the other hand, Matt's best friend Tyler Lockwood is a Jerk Jock (at first).
  • Scream Queens (2015): Chad Radwell. While initially appearing to be a straight up Jerk Jock, it's revealed that his best friend is gay and he's completely accepting of it - even warning his Alpha Bitch of a girlfriend not to spread rumours about it in case he gets bullied. More Hidden Depths to Chad are revealed as the series goes on - to the point where he walks out on his family after they're rude to Chanel and Hester. By the end of the first season, he's one of only two people in the main cast who has not yet tried to murder someone.
  • 13 Reasons Why:
    • Jeff is the lone Nice Guy among the jocks, who get ridiculous privilege because of their athletic success. When Clay helps him with his schoolwork, he responds by trying to set him up with girls. Making it all the more heart-breaking when it's revealed he died in a car accident months ago.
    • Zach seems to also be slightly nicer than his meathead teammates. He makes something of a Heel–Face Turn in the finale.
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • In "Stranded", Kevin Buchanan's elder brother Josh is a jock and a genuinely nice guy.
    • In "Abduction", the former Eden Park High School running back Ray seems to be a Jerk Jock since he taunts both Cody Phillips and Jason but he turns out to be a nice guy.

  • Ethan Wright from the Cool Kids Table game Creepy Town. He's not too bright, but he's polite to everyone he interacts with. Shannon liked him enough that she brought him back for Sequinox.
    • JT from Bloody Mooney is an average jock (his claim to fame is a single catch in middle school, though it was a pretty good one). As such he's nicer than others. He also gets bullied by Keri.
    • Ethan returns for Sequinox and is just as nice a guy.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • This was pretty much every babyface in the territory days. Typically, faces were guys with legitimate athletic credentials (usually in football or amateur wrestling) which became part of their gimmick. On television, this would be emphasized as well as their scientific wrestling background, which meant they took the sport seriously and so should the fans. If a heel had athletic credentials, it was rarely mentioned (if ever at all) to give the impression that they couldn't match the fan favorites' athletic prowess and was why they resorted to cheating and rule breaking to win matches.
  • This is essentially The Rock's gimmick when he's a face, especially post Rock & Sock Connection. He already was this to everyone in The Nation of Domination not named Farooq, buying them all expensive gifts so they could look the part like him.
  • Jesse Sorensen of U Know Pro, TNA, Ring of Honor and many others. His gimmick is that of a former high school quarterback who still carries around a football to p his glory days. Despite that, he's a very nice guy.
  • Alex Riley had a Jerk Jock gimmick on NXT so after his Heel–Face Turn he may qualify.
  • Really any wrestler who isn't a dickhead behind the scenes could qualify.

    Video Games 
  • The Jock villagers of the Animal Crossing series are basically this by design.
  • Jules from Final Fantasy VII Remake is very much this, being nothing but supportive and encouraging to Cloud, Tifa, and everyone else in his gym, he also shares his brother Andrea's open-mindedness and appreciatively commends Cloud's dance performance at the Honeybee Inn. In fact, going one step beyond, he even chastises Ronnie, one of his bodybuilding buddies, for being a Jerk Jock, pitting him in a squat-off against the considerably skinnier Cloud for the sole reason of serving Ronnie a helping of humble pie and teaching him not to be so superficial and full of himself.
  • Tidus and Wakka from Final Fantasy X. Really most of the Besaid Aurochs count. The Kilika Beasts are also shown to be nice enough.
  • Roy from Harvest Moon: Animal Parade. Roy is a fun, outgoing jockey (i.e., the literal sort of jock as in he likes riding animals) and is fun-loving.
  • Akihiko Sanada from Persona 3 is a talented boxer with a laid back personality.
  • Daisuke and Kou from Persona 4. They're dubbed the "Fellow Athletes", and they're outgoing, friendly people.
  • From Rival Schools we have Roy Bromwell: star quarterback of Pacific High. In the first game, he was a Jerk with a Heart of Gold bordering on Jerkass and with a serious hate for Japanese people due to his grandfather's bad experiences in World War II. He loses much of his jerkassery in the sequel, recognizes it was wrong from him to hate on others, and becomes an all around nice guy.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog, usually characterized as cocky and somewhat aloof, yet friendly and laidback. He's also a Big Brother Mentor of sorts to Tails, and is always supportive of him. This helped Tails overcome his timidness and insecurities, after this one was bullied during his early childhood by his peers for his twin tails and dorkiness.
  • Beat from The World Ends with You is a pro skateboarder who tries to act tough but is mostly goofy and kind, something he is embarrassed by when it's pointed out

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • Hunter from Grim Trigger is introduced as a Jerk Jock, but once he's in the story more, it's clear that he's actually a lovable jock.
  • Academia has Jack Fortinbras, The Ace. Also a Genius Bruiser. See below for a female example.
  • Most of the hockey bros in Check, Please!, overlapping with Academic Athlete in Shitty and Ransom's cases, although the two main characters don't play it quite straight. Bitty, the protagonist, is much more In Touch with His Feminine Side that the stereotypical male student athlete, and Jack is an emotionally inept perfectionist with anxiety issues, but they're both very sympathetic characters.
  • Dear Children, a comic about a band of misfit high school teens who chase ghosts, surprisingly has several likeable athletes, including:
    • Cailin Carver, one of the main characters, is a ghost-obsessed girl one of whose ambitions is to join in girls' sports at her school. She is a Nice Girl who is friendly and kind to others.
    • Leo Fitzgerald, a side character, is a huge handsome hairy guy who is one of the highest-status students in the school, captain of the football team, and incredibly good to everyone with whom he deals, ranging from his equally high-status girlfriend Paige (whom he deeply loves) to Gabe, whom he had just met.
  • This is the normal personality of Brother America in Scandinavia and the World, presented as a big, sorta dumb and obnoxious but always well-meaning jock. This changed in the period when he was possessed by the Trump skin blob, when he became horrible to everyone, and America's nicer personality traits were taken up by Sister America. Eventually, the blob fissioned off to become an independent character, and Brother America returned to normal (the author has admitted he just missed the big lug too much to leave him possessed).

    Web Original 
  • Caleb from The Bright Sessions might come off as a Jerk Jock at first due to his anger issues, but he's a genuinely sweet kid who tries his best to handle those issues, is friendly to just about everyone, loves his family and his boyfriend, Adam, and wants to use his empathy to help people.

    Western Animation 
  • Lee from The Amazing Spiez is the biggest jock in school and also really nice.
  • Angela Anaconda's brothers tease her a bit, but are more lovable than anything and genuinely do care about her. Very dumb, but lovable.
  • Kwan from Danny Phantom, though this was more of a case of Characterization Marches On since in his first few appearances, he was a bit of a Jerkass, albeit one pushed into being one by his peers.
  • On Daria, pretty much all the jocks (but especially Kevin) fall into the "too-dumb-to-be-mean" category. An exception is Mack, who is smart but still nice ("Saint Mack" is his Fan Nickname).
  • Chalky Studebaker from Doug. Unless he lets his competitiveness get the better of him, he's really nice.
  • Wilt from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends is very tall and enjoys sports and, as a result, is an excellent basketball player. Even his creator was Jordan Michaels. Yet even so, he's very kind to his friends, enemies, and even to total strangers, and will help anyone whenever possible.
  • Brick from Kim Possible, granted he seems too dumb to known how to exploit his position.
    • Ron later becomes this in the final season where all the experience running from danger and supervillains allowed him to become a very good running back.
  • Bolin from The Legend of Korra has his Establishing Character Moment when he meets Korra and helps her avoid getting caught by the gym's owner. Mako has a Sugar-and-Ice Personality, but still qualifies.
  • Martha Speaks: Alice Boxwood is very good at baseball, soccer and ice hockey and she's very active (if a bit clumsy). She's also a very good friend to the other children. Helen, Truman and T.D., her friends, are also very friendly. They're athletic too and sometimes play sports, but they're not as sporty as Alice.
  • The appropriately named Bulk Biceps from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is a massive musclebound over-excitable and completely adorable example of this. He also must have one heck of a gentle and sensitive side, if he's able to be friends with Fluttershy of all ponies.
  • Vince from Recess happily hangs out with a group of friends with various niches, and worships his "cool" older brother, unaware that he's actually a massive Geek.
  • On The Spectacular Spider Man Flash Thompson starts out as a Jerk Jock but eventually evolves into this.
  • Larry the Lobster is easily the strongest character in SpongeBob SquarePants but he's also the friendliest after Spongebob himself. However, in a case of Early Installment Weirdness, the season one episode "Ripped Pants" features a song with lyrics about how "big Larry came around just to put [Spongebob] down". This is especially odd because even in this episode, Larry is portrayed as friendly.
  • Meat from Sym-Bionic Titan also falls under the "too dumb to be spiteful" category, but he's actually quite nice to Newton/Octus.
  • Cyborg used to be an athlete before he turned into what he is today in Teen Titans.
  • Total Drama
    • Tyler. While his sports skills aren't as good as he'd like them to be, he's still defined primarily by his sports playing — and he's also a devoted, patient boyfriend who's willing to befriend geeks and nerds and is adamantly against infidelity.
    • DJ and Geoff. While sports isn't as much of a defining characteristic for them compared to Tyler, they're both described by their official bios as being star players on their high schools' football team and are very much Nice Guys who get along with everyone.
    • Brick as a foil to Jerk Jock Jo. Although he's really a military cadet, he has a lot of traits associated with Lovable Jocks - strength, athleticism, loyalty, bravery, and a firm adherence to teamwork and good sportsmanship.
  • Evan/Spyke from X-Men: Evolution, though this is mostly in-universe since he's The Scrappy to most people.
  • Rico from Moville Mysteries is a jock so skilled he plays in adult teams despite being in high school, is skilled in basically any sport he plays, has talent hunters constantly hounding him and is dumb as a sack of bricks. He is also the nicest guy at school and always tries to help people in need. And in the episode he accidentally became a supergenius, he wanted to use his talents in order to help the world instead of wasting them in sports.
  • Lê Chiến Kim from Miraculous Ladybug is a hyper-competitive jock who has his jerkish moments, but is generally a nice enough dude.

Female examples:

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • In Spider-Girl Mayday Parker started out as belonging both to the jocks and the nerds of Midtown High. Her good friend Davida Kirby is a more straight example of this trope.
  • More from Archie Comics: especially in modern day stories, Betty is portrayed as an Academic Athlete who also does about a million different volunteer jobs around town and is well-liked.
  • The New 52 version of Harley Quinn loves full contact sports such a boxing and roller derby, mainly due to the raw physicality involved. And while she's not a straight-up good guy, she still has enough redeeming qualities to count as "lovable".

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Lynda of Halloween (1978) is a cheerleader and the Final Girl's best friend, considerably nicer than the other, non-cheerleader, friend.
  • The jock girls in Mean Girls are competitive but still shown as good people. Regina joins them at the end. This is said to be a good thing, as they're not afraid of her and so she doesn't bully them.
  • Bring It On was one of the first mainstream films to show cheerleading as a legitimate athletic pursuit, and subvert a lot of the negative stereotypes surrounding cheerleaders. Torrance for example just wants to help her team win, and she shows Tomboy Missy that there's more to the sport that what she expects.
  • Amber from DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story is a cheerleader but is kind and sweet, in contrast to her rather nasty boyfriend.
  • The leads (and other teammates) from Bend It Like Beckham - all kind, fun-loving girls who play as a team.
  • Casey from The Duff may count, being a soccer player. She may be tough, but she's not mean.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy herself might count, as she was a cheerleader in her last school and she attempts to join them again. Back in her old school she just appeared to be a bit ditzy as opposed to actually mean.
  • In Sabrina the Teenage Witch Valerie joins the second string cheerleader squad.
  • Kelly and Lisa were on the cheerleading squad in Saved by the Bell. Jessie also joins as well. The girls are also said to play volleyball.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Michelle McCool in her face persona was created around this trope, with the announcers talking up her athletic ability and vignettes also promoting it.
  • Naomi Knight from NXT season 3 is another example. The other girls were mostly talked up as being in fitness and power lifting but Naomi came from a dancing and basketball background and her athletic prowess was always referenced.

    Video Games 
  • Rival Schools: Tiffany, Roy's girlfriend, is a cheerleader and is mentioned to be outgoing and friendly from the very start, unlike Roy who first had to get Character Development.
  • Lucy from Harvest Moon: Animal Parade loves a number of sports, including running and dance, and she's also very friendly. Bonus points: Both her and Roy are small children; about six years old. Sort of.
  • Emi Ibarazaki and Miki Miura from Katawa Shoujo. Both are talented track runners despite their physical handicaps (Emi had her legs amputated and runs with prosthetics, Miki lost a hand and had only her stump), as well as very lovable persons. And Emi is one of the five possible love interests as well! Getting her route, however, will show the player that while Emi is a genuinely kind girl, she's got far more issues than you'd think.
  • Vivian Bergman (Ravian Merii) from Cherry Tree High Comedy Club is good at several sports, including hockey. Talking to her about sports makes it much easier for Miley to recruit her into the comedy club, as it's one of Vivian's favorite conversation subjects.

    Web Comics 
  • Ida Portinari from Academia, training to be an Olympic figure skater, tries to be an example of this, but can be a little bitchy now and then.

    Western Animation 


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