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Ordinary High-School Student

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"I am Kenichi Shirahama, an extremely ordinary first-year high school student who loves reading books and growing flowers. But, for some reason now, I'm locked in a desperate battle on top of a speeding bus!"

The most common protagonist of a show targeted at teenagers.

They seem like a teenaged Everyman, but they have special powers. Whether or not they discover their Powers in the First Episode or merely receive a Call to Adventure that sends them on a quest for their true nature, it usually quickly becomes apparent they are anything but ordinary. Or even if they really are as ordinary as they seem, they won't stay ordinary for much longer.

They're revealed to be reincarnated ancient heroes or alien princesses Raised by Humans. They suddenly find a use for the obscure skill or art they've been practicing since they could walk, or they discover their entire life has been a Secret Test of Character to prepare them for a great responsibility. They find out their Secret Legacy as heirs to a Badass Family of demon hunters, wizards, or Yakuza. They find an ancient mystical MacGuffin in their attic, buy one for a few coins from a junk dealer, or are given one by a mysterious stranger on their Dangerous 16th Birthday. They suddenly gain a Trickster Mentor or a Magical Girlfriend. They establish secret identities as a Henshin Hero or a Magical Girl Warrior, find a way to channel Ki Manipulation, summon a powerful Guardian Entity or fall into the cockpit of a Humongous Mecha.

Sometimes, instead of gaining superpowers or Taking a Level in Badass, they merely become a Weirdness Magnet: for example, they gain something that makes the opposite sex flock to them, and possibly the odd member of their own, whether they want the attention or not. Or they are a Cosmic Plaything who frequently find themselves in the unenviable position of having to save the world without any special powers.

Sometimes they're actually gods. And sometimes they are truly average joes who simply lead truly ordinary lives.

Protagonists based on this trope are typically invoked to provide an Audience Surrogate. Considering the demographic works with these protagonists are generally aimed at, the Ordinary High School Student is someone every young person can easily relate to and place themselves into. By extension, such a character also appeals to older viewers for a similar reason. The character may additionally be The Everyman or a Ridiculously Average Guy.

Look for the kid in the fully open button shirt over a T-shirt, jeans and Converse sneakers. If Japanese, an open blazer with slacks or a sailor fuku/gakuran will do. See Farm Boy for their rural counterpart. Many, MANY Japanese media live off this trope. For ordinary high school students doing ordinary things, you're better off looking for a Schoolgirl Series or a Slice of Life than one of these guys.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You: Rentarou Aijou appears to be one at first glance, but in reality he was destined by the God of Love to have 100 soulmates and had trained himself his whole life to be someone’s ideal boyfriend. As he collects more and more girlfriends, he shows himself to be a master at keeping all of his girlfriends happy.
  • Toki from Amatsuki wouldn't even have become the hero if his school hadn't sent him to the museum for failing history class. And just when he finally gets a fresh new start in life after being dragged into the past against his will, he's given phenomenal cosmic powers that ruin his life! His friend and fellow victim Kon could also qualify, however, there's evidence to suggest he's not all he seems.
  • Koyomi Mizuhara (Yomi) from Azumanga Daioh is a subversion in the sense that, not only is she really and truly normal (even—especially—compared to her friends), she actually gets to stay that way.
  • Tsutomu Senkawa is this until Birdy Cephon Altirra/Altera accidentally fatally injures him, starting off the premise of Birdy the Mighty.
  • Mato and Yomi in the Black★Rock Shooter OVA. They're still ordinary, though their counterparts in the other world interact with them. It's also implied that other people have similar counterparts.
  • Subverted in Bleach. Main character Ichigo Kurosaki protests frequently in the beginning of the series that he's an Ordinary High School Student... who just happens to be able to see ghosts. This proves to be a crucial distinction.
    • Ichigo's more-ordinary friends do have an unusual tendency to turn out to be not so ordinary after all, including a girl whose hairpins can raise the dead, a huge foreigner with a demonic arm, the last remaining member of an ancient order of magical warriors, and the secret concealed by Ichigo's father's Obfuscating Stupidity: he's a Shinigami.
      • In later episodes, a random classmate developed the ability to sense the spirit world, after showing no such ability before.
  • Saya from Blood+ is an ordinary high school girl on the surface, but thanks to almost a lifetime's worth of amnesia, she has no idea of her vampiric abilities... until a Chiropteran shows up at her school and starts messing things up, and she's forced to kill it.
  • Buso Renkin: Kazuki was just a normal, if overly energetic, high school student until he got killed while trying to save a girl from a monster and was brought back to life by implanting a Kakugane into his chest as a replacement heart.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • Kamijou Touma's Imagine Breaker certainly makes him look like an ordinary student compared to people like his lightning-wielding Unknown Rival Mikoto under most circumstances. In their first onscreen confrontation, Touma protests to a sparking Mikoto that he's "just a Level 0" esper. Mikoto makes a compelling rebuttal in the form of a giant blast of (ineffectual) electricity. He's "Level 0" only because his power is impossible to quantify.
    • Like Touma, Kakeru Kamisato is an ordinary high school student who possesses World Rejecter and an entire Unwanted Harem of girls. Despite this, Kamisato continues to insist he's the kind of normal high school boy that can be found anywhere, accrediting all his achievements to World Rejecter. But in a subversion, prior to receiving World Rejecter, he really was just an ordinary student.
    • If you're looking for the truly normal students, there are Saten Ruiko, Hamazura Shiage and Wataru Kurozuma, who do not have the benefit of anti-magic or anything of the like, they really have no abilities. The latter two are Badass Normal, but even normals can outdo espers and mages where it counts.
    • Though even a Level 0 is technically an esper, emitting their own AIM fields and as well as experiencing harmful backlash if they attempt to use magic. It's just that their ability to bend reality is so insignificant it's practically nonexistent. The only people that could be truly called ordinary are those who have not gone through the power curriculum program.
  • Taken to extremes in Code Geass. Lelouch is an ordinary high school student... who is an outcast prince, genius military strategist chessmaster, and all around Magnificent Bastard (with freaky mind-control powers) biding his time to jump at a chance to destroy Britannia. Kallen and Suzaku are inversions, being ace mecha pilots (with inexplicably superhuman physical abilities, especially Suzaku) for their respective sides who in the first few episodes come back to high school.
    • This can also be said of fellow student Nina, who starts the series as an above-intelligent but otherwise normal student and ends up a Psycho Lesbian Gadgeteer Genius. Shirley and Milly are also fairly normal, but start to really get wrapped up in events later in the series... really, the only character in their group of friends who stays absolutely normal throughout the show's run is Rivalz.
  • A hilarious aversion in Daily Lives of High School Boys, where all the characters are indeed entirely ordinary highschool students.
  • Light Yagami from Death Note is a perfect example of this trope, until it's derailed by the fact that he's both incredibly smart and megomaniacally insane. Though all indications are that said insanity would never have manifested had not been granted the ability to kill anyone just by writing down their name; during a Memory Gambit he's legitimately horrified by the notion that he could be the infamous serial killer Kira.
  • The heroes of Dreamland are all this in real life and have special powers in their dreams. Especially Terrence. You can't be more ordinary than that.
  • Notable among these incarnations is Kazuki Yotsuga from Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure, who is also the Humongous Mecha Zinv.
  • Mikado, Masaomi, and Anri in Durarara!!. And yes, they're all hiding some pretty serious secrets or abilities—even from each other.
  • A good quarter of the cast in El-Hazard: The Magnificent World (the ordinary Earthlings who develop extraordinary abilities). Well, Makoto Mizuhara and Nanami Jinnai were ordinary high school studnets, and Mr. Fujisawa an ordinary high school teacher. Katsuhiko Jinnai, on the other hand, was hardly "normal" when he was a high school student, given his tendency to start ranting upon any slight to him or breaking out into crazed, maniacal laughter.
  • Asanaga Shun is a completely normal high school student in Endride, but his Genki Guy nature sure helps when he gets Trapped in Another World where suddenly he has a magical sword and is on the run with a prince. He remains very ordinary regardless.
  • Saito Hiraga of The Familiar of Zero was one of these until he was summoned by Louise to her world.
  • Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA: Illya is an ordinary elementary school student living an ordinary life when she gets a talking magical wand that tells her she needs to become a Magical Girl and collect the Class Cards. What makes this notable is that in Fate/Stay Night (below) she was very much not ordinary. She was a Master of the Holy Grail War, actually eighteen, and fully prepared to kill anyone besides her adopted brother Shirou (who didn't know they were related). Fate/Kaleid implies very strongly that the only reason Illya was able to live a normal life was because her parents slaughtered the rest of the family, who would have used her as a tool.
  • Fate/stay night: Emiya Shirou is sort of this. Sure, he's the adopted son of a magus and (unknowingly) possesses his own magic circuits, but his own magic isn't useful for anything other than fixing radios. Until such time as it makes him a candidate to summon Saber...
  • Kaname Chidori in Full Metal Panic!. And Sōsuke, being a militaristic nut. At least that's what she thought until it turned out that he's actually a mercenary working for an anti-terrorist organisation. His age made him a perfect candidate for being a bodyguard, even though he had no idea how an ordinary student behaves at all.
  • Miaka Yuuki, Yui Hongou, Suzuno Oosugi, Takiko Okuda and Mayo Sakaki of Fushigi Yuugi all started out as examples of this trope.
  • Mikan Sakura from Gakuen Alice who suddenly discovers she has a special ability called an alice and is admitted to the Alice Academy. Though she is younger than a high-school student at the time.
  • Kei Kurono and Masaru Katou (and, in fact, all high school-aged characters) in Gantz are bona fide Ordinary High School Students until they get hit by a train and resurrected to play the Gantz Game. They're still technically Ordinary High School Students after that, they just have super-powered combat suits and deadly weapons—and Kei is extremely good at using them.
  • Yasuhara of Ghost Hunt puts an unusual twist on this trope. He was a relatively normal high-school student until the rest of the main characters showed up and kind of absorbed him into their group. Out of the eight main characters, Yasuhara is one of only two characters who has no powers at all though the other "normal" character is actually just hiding his identity and amazing powers, though we don't find that out until the last episode. The twist? The series does not focus on him. In fact, he doesn't even show up until halfway through the series. He's there more to do the off-screen research for the group, which means that the assholish-yet-somehow-charming character who had been doing the research previously now gets more screentime.
    • Mai is a more typical example—she's the "normal" girl interested in ghost stories who gets involved with the ghost-hunting group and early on wonders what it would be like to have psychic/spiritual/etc powers. Turns out she has quite a few.
  • Girls Go Around: All of the characters seem like this at first, albeit with the power to create time-loops.
  • Kyon from Haruhi Suzumiya is certified as ordinary by Itsuki. If it weren't for Haruhi's liking him, he wouldn't be worth looking at twice. Some fans have different theories, and there is some support for them in the novels.
    • Ordinary or not, he has leashes on two of the most powerful beings in the area who can destroy the universe at will, one with merely a subconscious whim—or, rather, holds the keys to the molly guard over the nuke button, as it were. And the third girl trusts him to keep her secret from herself.
  • Ayase Yuuto, the male protagonist of Haruka Nogizaka's Secret, found out the female protagonist's secret and the two of them became friends because of this since he didn't look down on her for this. Her fans can't understand what she sees in him.
  • Hayate and Ayumu started off as this in Hayate the Combat Butler, the rest of the cast being between Child Prodigy and Teen Genius, and a few Ojou just to top off the cake.
  • Tomoki Sakurai from Heaven's Lost Property. He is just a completely normal high-school student who loves his ordinary life, but one day he becomes the master of an Angeloid who fell from the sky and his normal life seems to come to an end.
  • Takashi Komura, the main character of the anime/manga Highschool of the Dead, is a pretty ordinary average high school student, prone to skipping classes and accused by his childhood sweetheart of being lazy... that is, until the school's professors, then students, start being turned into zombies, and the aforementioned childhood sweetheart's current boyfriend starts turning into one. Takashi bashes his head in with a baseball bat.
  • Natsuki in the manga Houkago×Ponytail seems pretty normal, but she's a hardcore Shoujo-manga otaku, and got black belt in both karate and taekwondo.
  • Takumi from Initial D delivers tofu in an old beater; and in the process, has learned drifting techniques that racers take years to master.
  • Kagome Higurashi in Inuyasha. In fact, this trend was specifically mentioned in the Anime. "It's been a while now since this every day average school girl has been crossing back and forth between the warring states era and modern times!" Unlike many anime where this is eventually eliminated, Kagome retains most of her School Girl-ness, to the point of always wearing her school fuku in the warring states period of Japan. Like Sailor Moon's Usagi, her gifts are related to a jewel or crystal, she's the reincarnation of the powerful miko Kikyou, keeper of the Shikon Jewel, and her greatest strengths personality-wise are her kindness, love for others, and ability to make friends. This can bite her in the butt with such characters as Kouga the wolf prince who just doesn't take the hint, and Hojo, who like-wise can't take a hint.
  • Ayumu from Is This A Zombie? is a student killed by a Serial Killer before the start of the series and revived as a zombie.
  • Jotaro Kujo and Noriaki Kakyoin from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders. Jotaro was a genius student before developing Star Platinum and travelling the world to defeat Dio, and Kakyoin beecome embroiled in the plot after being controlled by Dio to kill the Joestar Group, but he later joins them following his defeat and removal of the mind-control.
    • Similarly, Josuke Higashikata, Okuyasu Nijimura, Koichi Hirose and Yukako Yamagishi from the next part JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable, getting mixed up in the Stand business after Okuyasu's brother gave him, Koichi and Yukako their powers, and them later joining to thwart the Serial Killer rampaging in Morioh. They are mentored by Jotaro himself, now Older and Wiser.
  • Yashiro Isana of K, thinks he's this at the beginning of the series, even though he's already had his cat turn into a naked girl, and an anachronistic Bishōnen swordsman after him because he's been framed for a murder. He ends up being one of the more extreme cases of not-so-ordinary - a 90 year old immortal scientist, body-swapped and memory wiped. He's actually only been in school for under two weeks, and all of his memories before that are fake, courtesy of that psychic cat girl. Averted with everyone else - the few under-20 characters in the rest of the class aren't in school. Shiro himself ends up as a teacher.
  • Nanami from Kamisama Kiss starts out as one before being unwittingly turned into a Physical God before the end of episode one. Even after this she still tries to act like one and maintain the illusion that she is one.
  • Kenichi Shirahama in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple is explicitly stated in the manga/anime to be completely ordinary and to have no talent for martial arts. His only talent is being a hard worker. Eventually, they're able to beat skill into him.
  • Hitohito Tadano from Komi Can't Communicate is so average that in a school full of weirdos, his weirdness is being smack dab in the middle of the bell curve in basically everything, even matching the national average in every fitness exam category. He makes a point of wanting to be normal and not draw attention to himself due to shame over his Chuunibyou phase in middle school, and his name is even a pun on his averageness, translating roughly to "just an average guy". This goal is quickly torpedoed when he ends up sitting next to and later befriending Komi Shouko, the prettiest, most popular girl in school.
  • Shibuya Yuuri, in the manga Kyo Kara Maoh! is an average high schooler, while he's suddenly summoned through a toilet seat to another world where he is the ruler of the whole thing. Again, average.
  • The title character of Lyrical Nanoha was an ordinary elementary school student, which shocked her students in the third season when they visited her home planet during the first Sound Stage and discovered that the legendary mage Nanoha had a completely unlegendary past and civilian life. Well, an unlegendary past before she was 9 years old.note 
  • Kouji Kabuto from Mazinger Z was an ordinary student sometimes skipped classes, drove bikes and took care of his little brother. Then he found out his grandfather had built a Humongous Mecha and wanted him piloting it to save the world of a Mad Scientist. His friend Boss also counts: before Kouji moved to his school, his life was completely normal. If we check the sequels, Tetsuya and Jun from Great Mazinger averted this trope, but Hikaru Makiba from UFO Robo Grendizer did not. She was a pretty normal high-school student lived in a ranch and loved riding horse... until she found out the cute boy worked at the ranch run by his father was an alien prince in disguise and a Humongous Mecha pilot. Maria Fleed believed she was an ordinary high-school student, raised by her grandfather... until her grandafather revealed to her that she was the last survivor—as far as he knew—of the royal family from planet Fleed.
  • Nanami Lucia in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, although she already had a Secret Identity—she just didn't know half her own secret.
  • Kira Yamato of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED averts this trope—he's actually a genetically-enhanced superhuman who wants to be a normal high school/college student. It's later revealed that he was designed to not just be genetically improved but genetically "perfect".
  • Tachibana Shingo from Musashi #9. Ultimate Blue agents often appear as such, but are anything but.
  • Nagasumi of My Bride is a Mermaid. Then, through a series of incidents, he was rescued and engaged to a mermaid Yakuza princess, whose family promptly takes over his school. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Izuku Midorya in My Hero Academia started as this. He was the only kid in his high school class without a quirk, or superpower. Then he meets his hero, All Might, and gets superpowers passed on to him just after graduating. Now he’s going to superhero school as the only kid with no idea how to even control his new powers. At least in the early part. He gets better later on.
  • Almost all of the HiME from My-HiME start out at this stage (although a few of them are dead set on staying that way). Those that aren't (Midori and Sister Yukariko) were Ordinary High School Teachers.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Negi thinks early on that he'll need to hide his being a Magister Magi from his class of ordinary middle school students... who just so happen to include an Anti-Magic-capable princess (Asuna), two Magistra Magi (Evangeline, Chao), a Magic Knight Half-Bird Tribe (Setsuna), two children of Magi (Konoka and Yuna), a Ministra Magi (Misora), a mercenary, former Ministra Magi, and half-demon (Mana), a full demon (Zazie), a vampire (Evangeline again), a time traveler (Chao again), a ghost (Sayo), a magic puppet/robot (Chachamaru), and a Ninja (Kaede); meaning that roughly a third his 31 students are already in on his secret or have one of their own. One can just imagine Haruhi Suzumiya kicking herself for not enrolling in Mahora Academy.
    • The animes didn't wait as long, being only one season each (compared to the Long Runner manga), and made all the Muggles abnormal in the season finale.
    • If you stop and think of it, there were only four Ordinary High School Students (Nodoka, Haruna, Misa, and Madoka) to start with, although exactly how involved they were varied greatly. Yue, for example, didn't know anything about magic but knew that Mana, Kaede and Ku Fei were some type of mercenaries who would be able to help fight monsters.
    • As of 34 volumes in, only two characters in his class are not supernatural, either due to the above list, training from another, or a pactio.
  • Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion is a very intentional Deconstruction. An ordinary student put in an extraordinary situation, Shinji faces a lot of issues and difficulties when facing off against the Angels, and because he suffers from a crippling lack of self-esteem and doesn't have any extraordinary abilities or skills, he's frequently out of his depth.
  • Nichijou literally means "my ordinary life" but the events that happen during that life are anything but...
  • Kaede of Ninja Nonsense was one of these. Until a Highly-Visible Ninja attempted to sneak into her room to steal her panties.
  • One of the ending themes to Nurse Angel Ririka SOS outright says that Ririka is an ordinary girl like any other (though in her case she is an elementary schooler). That is, until she puts on her Angel Cap and becomes a Magical Girl Warrior.
  • Mahiro Yasaka from Nyaruko: Crawling with Love! is one of these who just happens to be in a Love Dodecahedron, and lives with, a group of literal Lovecraftian horrors, without somehow going permanently insane. It's revealed early on that his mother is a part-time Evil God Slayer, and he inherited her skill with forks. The novels take it a step further, revealing that Mahiro can perceive and resist distortions in space-time, an extremely rare ability.
  • Ayumu Mikoshiba from Otasuke Miko Miko-chan was one before his mother passed down the title of Miko-chan onto him. He still is one, in many respects.
  • Ouran High School Host Clubs Haruhi, who is the subject of a reverse harem situation, for reasons she doesn't understand. The normal(-esque)commoner put in a school of rich kids with trope personalities. She just wants to study. Lampshaded by the fact that she is only revealed as a girl at the end of the first episode.
  • Sorata from The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, a pretty average boy, was first sent to the local Quirky Household for keeping a cat, then had the responsibility of looking after an Idiot Savant dumped on him...
  • As with most Magical Girl series, the main characters of Puella Magi Madoka Magica fall into this category (mostly in the Ordinary Middle School Student variant) before gaining supernatural powers. The Weasel Mascot, Kyubey, even mentions that it's strange how much karmic potential the Madoka seems to have, since girls who fall into this category really shouldn't be that significant. As with most typical genre tropes, the show brutally deconstructs this. It turns out that ordinary teenagers aren't the greatest fighters and actually tend to die horribly and/or be psychologically traumatized when forced to fight monsters- which is all part of Kyubey’s plan to harvest despair for energy. Then reconstructed when one particularly ordinary student, who constantly berates herself for being ordinary, becomes a goddess and destroys Kyubey’s system, followed by her friend/possible lover who destroys/enslaves Kyubey itself. Somewhat re-deconstructed when it’s shown that young girls may not be the best at running an entire universe...
  • Re:Zero's protagonist, Subaru, is an ordinary student Trapped in Another World. One of the main Deconstructions of the series is actually to show how an ordinary person with no special abilities will struggle in a fantasy setting rather than thrive, and how they will cope with this realization.
  • Yukari Morita of Rocket Girls is an average student at a high-class girls' finishing school, whose exploits during her summer break find her suddenly becoming the world's youngest astronaut. She's initially pretty intent on going back to an ordinary life after fulfilling her deal with the space agency of making one trip to orbit, but even before circumstances force her into staying on board, it's implied that said trip is making her start to reconsider.
  • Tsukune from Rosario + Vampire is a normal high school student, at a distinctly not normal high school, with not normal high school friends. He eventually becomes not normal himself.
  • Shuji in Saikano. (One of the few examples on this page that doesn't have powers, and ultimately, is powerless to change anything.)
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Tsukino Usagi, junior high student and reincarnated moon princess. And indeed all the Sailor Senshi.
    • In particular, Tomeo Hotaru a.k.a. Sailor Saturn, who when introduced is a small sickly girl who made friends with Chibi-Usa, only for us to discover that not only is she the host for the Big Bad of the season, Mistress 9, but is also the as-of-yet unawakened Sailor Saturn, the senshi of destruction and rebirth that Rei had been having visions of destroying the world. In the manga she then is aged back to a baby and adopted by Sailors Pluto, Uranus and Neptune only to age at an incredible rate when their presence is later needed by Sailor Moon.
  • Lain in Serial Experiments Lain. She gets progressively less ordinary (along with the show), ending with The Reveal that she’s basically God.
  • Sakai Yuuji of Shakugan no Shana. All extraordinary traits he has he owe to an artifact he received out of luck. Unusually, we never learn how long he's had it. Also unusually, he winds up fusing with the Big Bad Snake of the Festival and becomes Shana’s opponent (and wins, but it’s not that horrible).
  • Rin Tsuchimi from SHUFFLE!, who just happens to be liked by five beautiful girls all at the same time. Two of which are princesses of worlds. Another two aren't exactly normal either.
  • Amu Hinamori from Shugo Chara!, though in elementary school, is a good example. After she obtains her guardian characters, she ends up with a couple of friends and a somewhat reluctant membership of the Seiyo Elementary Guardians.
  • Luluco of Space Patrol Luluco tried so hard to be this in the beginning of the show, and for the most part it worked. Her plea for normalcy isn't unfounded, since most of her childhood was her father and mother fighting 24/7.
  • Aoi Mitsukuni thinks he's an ordinary high school student until he learns his mother is really Space Pirate Mito. Which makes him both a Half-Human Hybrid and the Hidden Backup Prince of the entire galaxy.
  • Taken to its logical conclusion in Star Driver, where evidently every student of the Elaborate University High is an Ordinary High-School Student that's anything but ordinary. The new guy? He's The Chosen One. That girl he befriended on the first day? The Living MacGuffin. The resident adviser for the dorms? She's one of the villains. Same goes for the school bicycle , the head of the boxing club, and the Class Representative. As for the Drama Club, it turns out they're all in La Résistance...
  • Tenchi Masaki in any of the incarnations of Tenchi Muyo!. Turns out he's an alien prince, and his family never bothered to tell him. Then there's Sasami, who tries to become one of these in the manga volumes. Being that she is an alien princess (and, unlike Tenchi, knew all along), it doesn't quite work out. She should be glad that the goddess she's symbiotically fused with didn't decide to show up.
  • Ken Kaneki in Tokyo Ghoul is an Ordinary College Student who wants to go on a date with a cute girl. Then she turns out to be a ghoul and tries to eat him. One accident involving steel beams and an organ transplant later, and Kaneki is now a one-eyed ghoul- the most powerful kind of ghoul. He soon gets dragged into a turf war between an Anti-Human Alliance and a ghoul-hunting organization. However, unlike most examples of this trope, this is played for tragedy- poor Kaneki endures a horrifying Trauma Conga Line, and it’s frequently pointed out that all this horror is happening to an ordinary guy who just wanted a date. Furuta even confirms that Kaneki happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, and was not personally a factor in his plans at all. Kaneki is less The Chosen One who’s destined to save the world and more the Unlucky Everydude who undeservingly became the world’s punching bag. That being said, he does ultimately become the new One-Eyed King, defeats the villains, and saves the world, after taking a dozen levels in badass.
  • Rito from To Love Ru wishes he was still an unremarkable Ordinary High School Student instead of the center of a complicated Love Triangle with at least half a dozen points on it, including three or possibly four Alien PrincessesLala, Run, Lala's little sister Momo, and maybe Momo's twin Nana.
  • The Tower of Druaga. As Kai said about her hero king husband who slew a god and united two warring nations under one rule: "Even Gil was just a ordinary boy in love."
  • Tohno Shiki in Tsukihime, whose attitude to mystic eyes that let him kill anything is to politely thank the person who gives him a Power Nullifier for them so he can go back to his normal life - and, for several years, succeeding. Arcueid even comments on it even lampshades it. The best thing about Arcueid: she's being completely earnest without a trace of irony.
  • Youko from The Twelve Kingdoms objects that she's just an ordinary high school student word-for-word during The Reveal.
  • Ataru Moroboshi of Urusei Yatsura started the series as one. Then he arrived at home and discovered he had to foil an alien invasion by chasing down and touching the horns of the cute daughter of the leader of the invasion force, and normality went down to the drain.
    • A later manga episode lampshaded it. When the principal organized a contest of physical prowess among the classes one student immediately protested that one class had an unfair advantage due to the presence of students with superhuman abilities. Ataru, Lum, Mendo and Ryunosuke agreed that those students had to be equalized... Only to realize too late they were speaking of themselves: Ataru was incredibly fast, Lum could fly (to be fair she's an alien, and on her planet it's normal), Mendo's arms were so strong he could break a bronze bell from the inside and Ryunosuke had Charles Atlas Superpowers!
    • An anime episode brought the trope Up to Eleven by adding Kenshiro Kasumi to the class rooster!
  • Honoka Takamiya describes himself as such within thirty seconds (discounting the title sequence) of the start of Witch Craft Works. It turns out that in fact, there are a number of witches out to kill him for some reason, and the hottest girl in the entire school is a Magical Girl Warrior whose mission is to protect him.
  • The main characters of both Yu-Gi-Oh! and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, although in the latter case the high school is actually a training school for professional Duel Monsters players, changing the standard of "ordinary".
  • The main characters of Yuki Yuna is a Hero are all ordinary Middle or High School students, with the exception of one girl who has been trained to fight as a Magical Girl Warrior for years. Because of the relatively low chance that any particular Hero Club would actually be called on to fight, they were mostly picked for reasons completely unrelated to their skill in battle.
  • Yusuke Urameshi and Kazuma Kuwabara, as well as Kurama/Shuichi Minamoto in YuYu Hakusho.
    Yusuke: Guy saves the world, still has to do algebra. Makes sense.
  • Zombie Land Saga: Sakura originally was one before being killed and revived as a zombie for an idol group.

    Audio Plays 
  • Emma Grayson of The Elysium Project is an ordinary teenage girl who happens to be the daughter of the creator of the eponymous Elysium formula, a Super Serum which grants people reality-bending powers, and as a result ends up getting exposed to the formula and targeted by the villains.

    Comic Books 
  • Jaime Reyes, the current Blue Beetle in The DCU. One day he's just hanging out with his friends, the next he gets bonded to an alien symbiote, helps Batman save infinite universes, and goes missing for a year, yet he still manages to come off as more of a normal kid than 90% of other teenage superheroes in comics.
  • Dave Lizewski from Kick-Ass, supposedly. He makes it very clear in the beginning that there's nothing special about him that would lead him to become a superhero. He just does it because he's bored. But he makes the case that he's so ordinary by listing a bunch of things that normal high-schoolers do and then pointing out that he's ordinary because he doesn't do any of them.
  • Kamala Khan, the current Ms. Marvel, was a normal sixteen-year-old from Jersey City until an encounter with the Terrigen Mists.
  • New Mutants: Doug Ramsey was a kid from suburban New York who was good at languages and didn't know any different until he was informed by an acquaintance from the odd boarding school nearby that he was in fact a mutant the with powers of... comprehending languages... and dragged out of bed in the middle of the night to come establish communications with a potentially-hostile alien.
  • For a while Tim Drake was this being just a regular, although brilliant, kid who through diligent detective work uncovered the secret identity of the first Robin and through him Batman and the second Robin. Even after taking up the mantle and becoming the third Robin he still fit the mold for a good portion of his career; his change didn't come until Identity Crisis (2004) led to his father's death.
  • The Runaways were all normal teenagers... who in the course of a night watched their parents kill a young woman, discovered superpowers/super gadgets/a telepathic dinosaur, fought off their parents, and ended up becoming runaways living in an underground mansion.
  • Putri from an Indonesian comic Satu Atap is an ordinary human who lived with a demon, elf, forest fairy, a were-tiger, and a merman.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) attempted this during its Dork Age by shoving Sonic, Bunnie and Rotor into a high school. It didn't last at all.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Peter Parker, which was revolutionary at the time. A sidekick-aged protagonist?!
    • Inverted in Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, however, in which Mary Jane—the protagonist—actually is an ordinary high-school student.
  • Tales Calculated To Drive You MAD: Their parody of Archie, "Starchie", lampoons this by having Starchie refer to himself as a "typical teen-age boy" constantly and everyting he does is prefaced with the adjectives "typical" and "teen-age", even when he's doing things that are both atypical and un-teen-age. This includes his father's typical teen-age job of slaving in the boiler factory, among other things.

    Fan Works 
  • Justin is one in Kira Is Justice besides for the fact he is a Shrinking Violet and a little smarter than normal... until he receives the Death Note.
  • In Let Us Be Your Poison, Ruby Rose is a normal teenager who goes to Southtown High. After stopping a criminal, she's accepted into Beacon Academy, a prestigious huntsman academy, despite the fact she is two years too young and wasn't already enrolled in a huntsman school.
  • Fan fiction for The Lord of the Rings has a genre of stories about ordinary girls who fall into Middle-earth. Some stories use a high school student. Some stories are Self-Insert Fic by a high schooler. When a student arrives in Middle-earth, she no longer goes to school.
    • The Awkward Adventures of Meghan Whimblesby are about a nineteen-year-old high school student from South Carolina. Meghan was in class when she Fainted from the sight of blood and somehow woke in Middle-earth.
    • In How to Survive in Middle Earth When You're a Teenaged Girl, Priscilla is the teenaged girl of seventeen years from a cattle ranch near Magnolia, Texas. The story did not show Priscilla in school, but it was summer, when most schools have summer break.
    • In Time Will Tell, Jorryn is sixteen years old when she falls into the Shire. This happens, not during school, but during the summer holiday of 2001. Jorryn is only four feet and five inches, short, but taller than a hobbit. Other than that, Jorryn is a generic girl from some small town in the USA.
  • Suzaku in My Mirror, Sword and Shield is ordinary high school student making average grades who ends up time-travelling in his adoptive father’s time machine and ends up as an Ace Pilot for the Evil Empire warring with his native people. Despite the hints of Suzaku having his canonical relations and backstory, he retains his backstory of being a normal person and willingly goes back to normalcy in the end.
  • Rachel The Vampire Slayer: In contrast to Buffy's situation, where she already knew about vampires and being the Slayer before coming to Sunnydale, here Rachel has no idea about them until Elfangor and Tobias explain.
  • There are few of these floating around about these kinds of people being thrown into the world of RWBY. The fanfiction RWBY: Reckoning is considered by quite a few to be surprisingly well written.
  • Jorge from The Secret Life of the Backyard Kids. Except he's not in high school, he's in middle school.
  • In the Soul Eater prequel Soul Eater Zeta, Kami (the unseen mother of Maka Albarn in canon) starts out this way.
  • Superwomen of Eva: Legacies: True Blue: Well, junior high school student. Hikari is one of the few teenaged superwomen in the series to actually serve as an example of this trope, since most of the others were already mecha pilots, part Angel, child soldiers, child prodigies, or some combination thereof before ever getting superpowers.
  • Mary Jane Watson of Ultimate Spider-Woman was an Ordinary College Student when she began to develop her bizarre superhuman abilities, and continues to be one even as she tries to juggle a superhero career along with it.
  • Voyages of the Wild Sea Horse: Nabiki Tendo was originally just your ordinary everyday 17 year old high school girl. She worked out to keep her figure nice, she liked playing tennis and, okay, she was very greedy and an incorrigible scam artist, but still normal. Then she wound up in the Grand Line. For added contrast, most of her sailing companions are extremely unordinary high school students, being crazy skilled (and just plain crazy) practitioners of Supernatural Martial Arts.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Turning Red, Mei was just an Ordinary Middle School Student until she discovered the women in her family gain the ability to turn into giant red pandas when they come of age.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Black Lightning (2009): Dima starts as a classical nobody of the Moscow's State University.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The movie, unlike the show, starts with Buffy not even knowing about vampires and Slayers.
  • The film and book of Stephen King's Carrie, and the film sequel, The Rage: Carrie 2. At the start of the story, Carrie is only notable for being one of the school outcasts. In reality, Carrie has supernatural powers that even she was not entirely aware of.
  • Clockstoppers features an Ordinary High School Student who stumbles upon a device that allows him to functionally stop time.
  • Carmen and Juni Cortez in Spy Kids.
  • Transformers (2007): Sam Witwicky was just an Ordinary High School Student until he bought his first car. Turns out it was an alien robot. Who knew? His special quality is just being the great-grandkid of the man who found Megatron.
  • The World of Kanako: The narrator starts out as just a normal high school boy with the wish to make a difference in his life, but he's weak and gets bullied constantly. When he meets Kanako, he falls in love on first sight and he wants to run away with her. Little does he know which pains are still in store for him...

  • Hal Beck of Adventures on Trains really is pretty ordinary - except for his talent for drawing. He knows it helps him think; soon it helps him solve crimes, too. It's a natural talent, but he works on getting faster and more accurate over the course of the series. He becomes very self-conscious if anyone claims he's special, though.
  • In the Alex Rider series, British teen spy Alex Rider gets a lot of flak from his teachers after spending too much time "off sick"—though the obliviousness of everyone else does stretch credulity after Alex, having used a school trip to investigate a GM facility, escapes by jumping onto the roof of the coach as it leaves the now-badly-damaged building. When he uses a toilet break as a way of getting on board properly, the teachers barely say a word.
  • The Animorphs. Ordinary middle/high school kids whose lives are changed forever when they decide to take a shortcut through a construction site.
  • The Exile's Violin: When the story begins, Jacquie is on her way home from school. The school itself is never seen because her life is blown up and she goes straight to vocational training, so to speak, under her foster father. Occasionally, she'll reflect back on this time with regret, thinking of lost opportunities.
  • The Eyes of Kid Midas (also by Neal Shusterman) stars an Ordinary Middle School Student. Close enough.
  • Inverted in Harry Potter, as everyone knows that he's special from the start—except him.
  • Subverted in Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series, in which the protagonist essentially becomes the heir to the House (the "epicenter of creation", the denizens of which give our universe about the same casual interest as a rather exciting zoo) simply because he almost died on the right day. That's right, kids. This kid essentially becomes God by nearly dying at the right time.
  • The DHIs in The Kingdom Keepers
  • David Rain from The Last Dragon Chronicles is an Ordinary College Student. For awhile.
  • The Percy Jackson series does this. Although, to be fair, he is an Ordinary Middle School Student for most of the books. In fact, almost all the demigods fit into this trope. Why? Because most of them don't survive longer than that. Ouch.
  • Mia from The Princess Diaries is an Ordinary High School Student who turns out to be a princess of a minor European principality.
  • Neal Shusterman's Scorpion Shards trilogy features a group of ordinary teenagers who turn out to be shards of a far-off star born as humans to eventually save the world.
  • Kaylee in Soul Screamers until she realises she is a banshee.
  • Played with in Strength & Justice. The story starts with Jeremy Itsubishi's role as a law enforcement cadet with Improbable Aiming Skills as his superpower. It's only after that we find out he's a high school student as well. Then he's pulled into the main conflict, playing the trope straight.
  • Stuck's Tre Listman is also an Ordinary Middle School Student. At first, anyway.
  • Ben was this before he was Trapped on Draconica—and, in defiance of what almost always happens next, he stays ordinary. By the time he finds out that he has a unique power to travel between worlds, at the end of the story, Dronor says he has to take it away from him to make sure a villain never gets their hands on it again.
  • Bella Swan in The Twilight Saga. Until she falls in love with a vampire—or, more to the point, the vampire falls for her.
  • Initially subverted, then played straight in Un Lun Dun. Zanna is said to be obviously special to all who see her, and she is the "Shwazzy", the prophesied savior of UnLondon. Until she is attacked and her memory of UnLondon is removed. Then her friend Deeba—the completely normal, non-prophesied high schooler—must save the city instead.
  • Tsuruhara Iori and Aragaki Koji in War and Snowflakes. Aragaki, it is revealed, is not so ordinary: he had been conscripted to be a titan pilot until a training accident made him unable to be a pilot, and left him with uncanny mechanical abilities.
  • In the lovely juvenile novel Wings by Bill Britain, the main character is an Ordinary High School Student who inexplicably develops a huge pair of fully-functional bat-like wings.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: True of the Scoobies (Xander, Willow, Cordelia, etc.), but not so much Buffy herself; she knows at the start of the series that she's the Slayer.
  • H₂O: Just Add Water: three ordinary teenage girls suddenly realize they have the ability to turn into mermaids whenever they're splashed with water, and this is accompanied by elemental powers.
  • Claire Bennet of Heroes.
  • iCarly on Nickelodeon has ordinary high school students hosting an internationally-popular hit webshow.
  • Joan of Arcadia talks to and does missions for God.
  • The opening narration of Kamen Rider Zi-O calls Sougo this trope verbatim until he graduates half way through the story. Ironically, school is usually out of picture, because most of Sougo's time is occupied by trying to prevent the future where he becomes an all-powerful, world wrecking tyrant.
  • Our Miss Brooks: Walter Denton and Harriet Conklin meet the bill, although Harriet's somewhat atypical in the fact her father is the high school principal. Neither are the program's protagonist, that honor goes to English teacher Miss Brooks.
  • Power Rangers:
    • The original Rangers were the trope namers for Recruit Teenagers with Attitude. By Turbo, the founders had all graduated, and by Space the high school concept was left behind. It wasn't revisited until Dino Thunder, which brought back an original Ranger as a teacher.
    • A good chunk of Ranger teams are implicitly in their early 20s - and in some cases, such as Power Rangers Time Force, are full-time heroes who only have to maintain a civilian identity for the purpose of blending in.
  • Roswell had this as the main hook for the series (and helped pioneer the genre). Max in particular strives to appear as "average" as possible.
  • Pete, Linda and Bronson in Round the Twist turn out to be Weirdness Magnets—a lot of the supernatural shenanigans they attract happen at their local school.
  • Sabrina from Sabrina the Teenage Witch was just a normal high school girl until her sixteenth birthday, when her witch half manifested itself.
  • Maria, Kelsey, Clyde and Rani from The Sarah Jane Adventures. Clyde and Rani do have distinct talents, however—Clyde's a splendid sketch artist and Rani has great journalism skills. Maria is more the average protagonist until actor Yasmin Paige's own academic life persuaded her to leave the show. Kelsey was just a pilot-only character who got a Second Episode Substitute in the form of Clyde because there were too many females in the cast... and she was a bit bratty, too. Luke and Sky don't fit this trope because they were created to be extraordinary. In fact, Luke ends up going right into college because of his high intelligence.
  • Alex from The Secret World of Alex Mack. She even says "I was just another average kid until an accident changed my life" in the opening credits. It's also worth noting that she wore a similar outfit to the one described above on the day she was soaked with the chemicals that gave her superpowers.
  • Spellbinder: the main character, Paul, gets trapped in a parallel world during a school field trip, and his arrival is a catalyst that causes political upheaval in the otherworldly society. His friends Alex and Katrina have to juggle school as they work to bring him back.
  • Scott McCall from Teen Wolf was an ordinary high school student (and asthmatic, no less, which severely curtailed his attempts to make the lacrosse team) until he was bitten by a werewolf.
  • Nickelodeon's The Troop plays this straight and hard with Jake.
  • The Vampire Diaries: Elena, Matt, Bonnie, Caroline, Tyler, Jeremy. This all changes when all of the characters start to develop their own individual identities.
  • Veronica Mars: a normal high school student... and a private eye.
  • Ben in Wayward Pines fits the trope remarkably well for a character whose parents are also major characters.
  • Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior

  • Hao Xuan, or so he claims, from School Shock when the school is over run with terrorists and he finds himself in a hostage situation, only to be saved by Liu Lu who's new mission (after defecting the terrorists) is to protect him as he is a "Child of Eden", something that a lot of dangerous people seem to be after.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Kyo Kusanagi in The King of Fighters, although as the series went on his high school student image was dropped entirely (it's also been implied that he never attends high school at all due to his constant fighting). And according to the Maximum Impact series, he's spent so much time fighting and training that he still hasn't graduated from high school.
  • Soma Cruz from Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. The game specifically says he is a high school student on a foreign exchange trip to Japan. He turns out to be the reincarnation of Dracula.
  • Arguably all of the all-student survivors of the bus crash in GU-L could qualify after beating back a mansion full of mutated scientists. Especially Kaske, since he’s the one calling all the shots and guiding the group to safety.
  • While just about everyone of the Raimon members in Inazuma Eleven can easily count, it is most notably Handa Shinichi's main gimmick. He's in fact so normal, that it has become a meme in the fandom.
  • Kazama Jin from Tekken started out somewhat ordinary, but things haven't been exactly going well since. Ling Xiaoyu is a milder example. The Tekken 5 ending for Kazama Asuka suggests she might be more than just a brawler, too.
  • Kasugano Sakura seems like a typical schoolgirl enamored with a rough famous fighter. Aside from the fact that instead of trying to date him, she prefers mirroring his moves as best she can. Including martial-arts fireballs. Everybody in Rival Schools.
  • Fei from Xenogears plays almost every part of this troupe. Yeah, he knew martial arts, but he thought it was just "normal" martial arts. Besides knowing martial arts that can destroy God and giant robots, he's also the only one that can pilot a special gears, which turns out to be the super-ultra-special one in the title. He is also secretly one of the most powerful beings in the game's universe, whom "God" gave his power to. While he is utterly oblivious to all or this at the beginning, he has several split personalities, one of which has shut himself off from the world, and another of which is an utter sociopath who makes full use of his godly power.
  • Many (though not all) recent Shin Megami Tensei games feature Ordinary High School Students as protagonists. Something usually happens to make them considerably less ordinary, such as finding a computer that can summon demons, learning to call forth entities from the inside of their mind, being forced to share their body with a Devil Summoner, or being turned into a demon after witnessing the end of the world.
    • The Persona series centers on Ordinary High School Students and the friends they make along the way dealing with paranormal phenomena and in general trying to protect the world from otherworldly entities. To wit:
      • Persona: A group of Ordinary High School Students test an urban legend, only to find the world around them thrown off-kilter as demons invade.
      • Persona 2: Ordinary High School Student Tatsuya Suou and his friends must get to the bottom of a strange force that causes rumors in Sumaru City to become reality.
      • Persona 3: A group of Ordinary High School Students (plus a dog, an android, and an Ordinary Elementary School Student) investigate a mysterious tower crawling with monsters that appears from beneath their school every night at midnight.
      • Persona 4: A group of Ordinary High School Students (plus a bear mascot) investigate an alternate dimension hidden within televisions, which a serial killer is using to conduct their murders.
      • Persona 5: A group of Ordinary High School Students (plus a talking cat, a shut-in and later a detective who is actually a criminal and a mockery of an accomplished gymnast) investigate an alternate dimension formed by the twisted desires of those who abuse their power.
  • Lan Hikari and Geo Stelar, but the latter fits better the description. None of them are high schoolers, but close enough.
  • Even Disgaea can't stay away from this one. Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten introduces Fuka Kazamatsuri, a human girl who thinks that her adventures in the Netherworld are just an elaborate dream, including the part where she's actually dead and supposed to be a Prinny.
  • Link and Zelda start out as students at a knight academy in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
  • Valis heroine Yuko Ahso is an ordinary high school student in the human world who becomes a Valis warrior in a Magical Land.
  • A few protagonists are this in the Super Robot Wars series. Most notable is Touya Shun of Super Robot Wars Judgment who was an Ordinary High School student (who went to school with the protagonists of Mazinkaiser and Full Metal Panic!) until a Humongous Mecha crashed into his school.
  • Max in Life Is Strange comments on how she is "just some geek girl in a small town"- with the ability to rewind time.
  • Hyde Kido from Under Night In-Birth was just a normal 2nd-year high school student living alone when he ended up in the Hollow Night, an event which nearly saw him killed by the invisible entities known as the Voids. Saved by the timely intervention of the wandering Rebellious Princess Linne, Hyde was given a month's sword training (supplemented by what he remembers from the kendo training he did as a kid) and pledged to help Linne in her mission to end the Hollow Nights. In his appearance in Blazblue Cross Tag Battle, Hyde's relative inexperience and his youthful Trash Talker tendencies are highlighted against the other protagonists, especially against Ruby Rose - he offers a poorly-worded Declaration of Protection to her unaware (or forgetting) that Ruby grew up in the wilds of a world overrun by soul-eating horrors and has trained since early childhood to be a Huntress.
  • April Ryan from The Longest Journey starts out as an ordinary art student. Soon it turns out that she is a "shifter", meaning that she can travel between the two worlds: Start (our world) and Arcadia (a Medieval Fantasy world), making her The Chosen One to Save Both Worlds.
  • ZanZarah: The Hidden Portal: Amy is an ordinary teenager who is transported into a world of magic that she is prophesied to save from evil.

    Visual Novels 
  • Hiroyuki in To Heart.
  • Played with in the Nasuverse, where Shiki and Shirou know they are not ordinary, yet fail to realize the full extent of how extraordinary they are.
  • Muv-Luv: Takeru is a typical harem protagonist who is dragged into an alternate crapsack universe.
  • Battler, from Umineko: When They Cry. All his powers to "fight" witches were granted by the witch herself, at least at first. The "student" part of him doesn't get much focus, though, as the story takes place on his off day, what with him getting killed and all.
  • Ethan Kairos in Time Hollow is completely ordinary. He just happens to be the latest in the line of his family to receive the power to adjust history via a special pen.
    • The English manual quotes this trope exactly, describing him as an "ordinary high school student".
  • Danganronpa:
    • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc: The Ultimate Luckster, Makoto Naegi, considered himself one, since he was picked to go to elite academy Hope's Peak by winning a lottery. His only outstanding trait is that he tends to be more optimistic than others. And while he can be said to be pretty lucky (except for the whole 'trapped in a killing game' bit), it's his optimism that helps defeat the Big Bad Monokuma/the Mastermind/Junko Enoshima/the True Ultimate Despair.
    • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair: Hajime Hinata and Nagito Komaeda, at least initially. Despite Komaeda's title being the same as Naegi's and the fact that he got into Hope's Peak under the exact same circumstances (lottery), his luck is very real and present in his life, on top of being a rare villainous example, having a personality that is anything but ordinary. Hinata, however, is revealed to have no outstanding talent, and is actually an Ordinary High School Student from one of the reserve groups. At least, before his transformation that he underwent out of hatred for being ordinary.
    • Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls: Komaru Naegi tops them all: she's not even associated with Hope's Peak, thus making her the most truly ordinary protagonist in the series. Heck, she was supposed to have died with her parents in the beginning. Probably the only thing that makes her stand out from other targets is the fact that she's a Naegi, specifically the sister of original protagonist Makoto. Kanon from the Ultra Despair Hagakure spinoff also fits the mold, with her standout trait being she's related to one of the first game's students.
  • Akira from Spirit Hunter: NG is a little out of the norm, being a prized underground fighter for the Yakuza on top of a high school student, but he considers himself and his life to be average and boring until he's marked by a supernatural spirit. On top of that, he discovers at the end of the game that he's the son of the spiritualist that was keeping the Big Bad at bay for years.

    Web Animation 
  • Matt 'n' Dusty has Matt. No magic powers, no super-intelligence, no respect from anyone.

  • Darkbolt: The lead three characters (Naoko, Mariko, and Yun) start out as this before being force-bonded to demons trapped in small little orbs.
  • Megatokyo: Sonoda Yuki is actually a Magical Girl.
  • Kanzaki Kei from Circumstances of the Revenant Braves, more so than any other character.
  • Sarah from El Goonish Shive is, to her regret, the only member of her group of friends who isn't a shapeshifter, magic user, mad scientist, or martial artist of some kind.
    • For most of the first story arc, Elliot seems to be an ordinary student with a weird friend, but it's progressively revealed that he's far more unusual than that.
    • Catalina appears to be pretty normal, too. Her girlfriend Rhoda was normal until she got a magic mark that she doesn't know about.
  • Ash and Emily from Misfile, until Rumisiel got stoned while in charge of the Celestial Files. Wackiness Ensued.
  • Divided Sky, like so many other tropes, lampshades it.
  • Uma from Everyday Heroes. To everyone else, she's perfectly normal.
  • Iris Kolrick and Jacob Freeman from Shadownova. Iris is later revealed to be an ESPer with pyrokinesis, but Jacob is truly ordinary.
  • Girl Genius: Agatha Clay is an ordinary (if exceptionally clumsy) student at Transylvania U, raised by completely ordinary parents. Until it turns out her father is a famous hero, her mother is some kind of evil goddess, the most powerful man in Europa wants to imprison her (while his son would like to "form a mutual alliance" with her), and she might cause an apocalyptic disaster just by existing. She stops being "ordinary" pretty fast.
  • Hatsune Rondo of Mayonaka Densha, until her transportation back to Victorian London.
  • In Yokoka's Quest, Grace is an ordinary (aside from being a conspiracy theorist) student at the University of Las Vegas before she travels to Cisum.

    Web Original 
  • Yuri Mikagami in the round-robin story Dark Heart High. A bit of a subversion as its revealed in the very first scene that her father is a retired Evil Overlord. (A nonhuman one at that!)
  • As far as Survival of the Fittest goes, it would be easier to list exceptions, since everyone in the entire cast is an Ordinary High School Student. For example, Johnathan Michaels of V2 was a world champion boxer and Renee Valenti of V3 a burgeoning movie star. In fact, this trope is actually encouraged when it comes to designing a character for the site. Most people feel that the more average a student is, the more interesting Character Development they'll have once the terrorists abduct their school.
  • Nick Reilly, Bill Wilson, Tony Chandler... a lot of the kids who become mutants and then go to Superhero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe.
  • Yu Jin of TAL. Partly subverted, however, when Ei Mae Tal tells him he likely is older than he thinks.

    Western Animation 
  • Amphibia: Main characters Anne Boonchuy, Sasha Waybright, and Marcy Wu before they are transported to the titular world.
  • Terry McGinnis in Batman Beyond until he was chosen to become the new Batman when Bruce Wayne became too old and weak for it.
  • Ben 10: Ben Tennyson was this, but was the star of the (apparently hugely popular for high school) soccer team at the end of the Time Skip. Well, he was the goalie anyway.
  • Code Lyoko: Every member of the group is an Ordinary Student. Jeremie is the only one who can use the supercomputer, Aelita is the only member who can deactivate towers, and the other three are her protectors.
    • Aelita's status is a lot more complicated; she didn't start out ordinary in any sense.
    • Oddly enough, William is an actual Ordinary Student until Season 3. Debate has been going on for quite some time on several fan forums as to whether he's still a Warrior or an Ordinary Student in the series finale.
  • Danny Phantom: Danny Phantom was one of these before gaining his powers, and during the brief periods he's Brought Down to Normal.
  • Lee Ping, protagonist of Detentionaire. He's a level-headed straight-A student who doesn't care much for the cliques that dominate his school and just tries to get by. However, this ends up being flipped on its head at the start of the series when he gets framed for pulling a massive prank and ends up getting a reputation as a rebellious troublemaker for it.
  • Freakazoid!'s Dexter Douglas—"nerd computer ace, when surfing on the internet he got zapped into cyber space! He turned into the Freakazoid! He's strong and super-quick!" is an excellent example, as Dexter didn't ask for his powers and Freakazoid is an entirely separate personality from Dexter.
  • Kim Possible... sort of. Right from the start she's insanely overachieving, even without the Wake Up, Go to School & Save the World stuff. Her sidekick Ron fits the trope a bit better.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Both Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien Agreste were these until they were chosen to become Miraculous guardians Ladybug and Cat Noir.
  • Inverted in ''My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic'. Twilight Sparkle, the main character, is a pony who grew up as a student studying in magic and friendship. In "Equestria Girls", however, she is sent on a mission to another world through a Magic Mirror, and the accompanying metamorphosis left her as a powerless human in high school.
  • Virgil from Static Shock, until the Big Bang gave him (and a bunch of other people) superpowers.
  • Bloom from Winx Club started out as this, until she discovered she's a fairy and eventually the princess of her true home realm Domino.

Alternative Title(s): Ordinary Middle School Student