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School Idol

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The single most popular student(s) in school.

Beyond that, however, school idols can be a widely varying bunch. Though membership of The Beautiful Elite is generally mandatory, school idols can be academically accomplished (or not), great athletes (or not), or the nicest people you've ever met (or not). While more school idols tend towards being Aces than not, what really only defines this trope is massive in-series popularity; most common symptoms of which include being met with fawning adulation wherever they go, an Instant Fan Club or three, and/or a group of highly jealous and violently protective stalkers.

Storywise, if the school idol is a secondary character, they are likely to be a Love Interest, most likely in a Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy setting; if they're the main character, the story usually revolves around their struggles to keep up the perfect facade.

This trope is frequent in Japanese media, where the character is often an Ojou, functioning as something of a School Princess. While the notion of "most popular student(s)" exists in the standard Western High School setting as well, Alpha Bitches and Jerk Jocks are generally portrayed in a much less positive light, and as such rarely have a similar cult of personality to the school idol. A possibly helpful distinction: is the student an idol (as in, are they idolized?), or "merely" wildly popular?

Not to be confused with the characters in the Love Live! franchise, which features competing high school Idol Singer clubs, who are also referred to in universe as "School Idols". See also Teen Idol, and compare Big Man on Campus and Class Princess for more gender specific versions.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ai Ore! Love Me! features Akira, the "Princess" of the all-boys High School he attends; and his girlfriend Mizuki, the "Prince" of the all-girls school she attends.
  • Azumanga Daioh: Sakaki achieved her status by coincidence, because of her beauty, her natural athleticism, and her perceived reticence. Which has made her popular with the other female students, who're awed by her, when in fact, she's just too shy to make friends.
  • Love interest Natsu in Baby Steps is referred to by the protagonist's best friend as the school's "Number 1 cutie." He and several other students then threaten the protagonist with bodily harm when they catch him talking to Natsu in the hall.
  • Beastars: Louis the deer is the single most popular senior student in Cherryton. Leader and star actor of the drama club, always acting confident, and followed around by fangirls, he serves as a foil to the awkward, introverted wolf protagonist Legoshi.
  • Dear Brother actually has three school idols, who are known around Seiran Academy as "the Three Magnificent Ones". The first is Student Council President Fukiko "Miya-sama" Ichinomiya, an elegant and beautiful and very unstable Ojou; the second is Fukiko's half-sister Rei "Hana no Saint-Juste" Asaka, a kind yet troubled Bifauxnen who's also a musician and ex-sportswoman; and the third is Kaoru "Kaoru no Kimi" Orihara, a tomboyish sports star and the Class Representative for Nanako's class (and the Only Sane Man of the three).
  • Yuki Sohma from Fruits Basket is the single most popular boy at his high school, being known as "Prince" Yuki and having a fan club that over half the school's female students are part of, and he's later elected Student Council President. Despite this, he's secretly a Broken Ace and Stepford Smiler with major self-esteem issues.
  • Yuno Gasai from Future Diary is often described as the school idol, being on the outside a pretty girl with excellent grades that is very nice to everyone around her. The reader soon realizes the truth is a bit more disturbing.
  • Miki Nakayama from Hakaiou Noritaka. Strong yet beautiful. She is the desire of every male in her high school including the protagonist. Though she is more noticed for her busty chest as both the star of the boxing team and even the male judo team just want to get close to her bosom. Even the black boxer Ken Jackson considers making out with her after his fight with the protagonist.
  • Taro Hanaukyo in Hanaukyō Maid Team, as the recent inheritor of the fabulous Hanaukyo fortune, has a lot of servants (most of whom appear to genuinely be fond of him as opposed to just sucking up to the boss) who do everything they can to make him instantly popular at his new school by making him appear to be a star athlete, genius student, etc.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler:
    • Hinagiku Katsura. It's even called out on, particularly during the Valentines Day and White Day arcs, and a lampshade is hung during her birthday arc.
    • Maria and Athena Tennos used to hold this position before they graduated, Athena is even said to have shared the title with Hinagiku.
  • He Is My Master has Sawatari Mitsuki, who works as a maid along with her big sister. She has bodyguards at school. Her master, on the other hand, is far from being popular.
  • Hikaru No Densetsu: Both Hikari and Shiina; Hikari is a patient learner that produces amazing results once she's given some polish, while Shiina has already dominated the school's "best gymnast" role for years before Hikari showed up.
  • Inside Mari:
    • Mari, prior to her possession by Isao, was one of these. She was a popular, straight A student who was respected by her classmates. There are hints that this might just be a facade she puts in order to interact with others. Once she gets possessed by Isao he fails to live up to this as he's constantly skipping school, ignoring Mari's friends, and acting like a socially awkward weirdo.
    • Isao himself wanted to be this during his High School years, and thought that if he became a model student people would flock to him. His hopes were shattered when, after becoming a very good student, he found himself lonely and with no friends. This led him to quit school altogether in college, and he became a shut-in hikikkomori.
  • Kaguya from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is stated to be one of three most popular girls in school, and unlike Tsubame or Koromo, other students (specifically, Karen and Erika) are actually shown to worship her.
  • Ayaka from Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl has quite a few similarities to Rin Tohsaka, being always pretty, talented, kind and helpful at school but lacking any sort of tact outside of it. It comes partly from her mother expecting her to be a perfect student and putting an unreasonable pressure on her, but she's proud of being the school idol nonetheless (hence her distress when Yurine beats her in the score ranking). Chapter 22 lampshades that even if she's number 2 in grades, everyone still loves her, while Yurine is gifted but too socially inept to qualify.
  • Shouko Komi from Komi Can't Communicate is practically worshiped by everyone at school due to her beauty, and she even has the informal position as "class goddess" in her class. Ironically, Komi herself is actually incredibly shy and would rather not have that kind of attention. Unfortunately for her, her quiet demeanor only makes her more alluring to everyone else, and that just makes her social anxiety even worse.
  • Discussed like everything else in Lucky Star: Konata wonders who the school idol of Ryouou is, but the other girls just look at her quizzically.
  • Maken-ki!: Haruko is introduced as being the most popular girl at Tenbi Academy and as the vice-president of the student council. She's especially popular with the first and second year female students, who look up to her for her strength and girlish charm.
  • Nurse Angel Ririka SOS has Nozomu Kanou, who gets great grades, is great at sports, is handsome and kind and has the added appeal of being a Foreign Exchange Student. Turns out he's actually from a lot further away than advertised.
  • Benibara is the most popular girl at the Lobelia Girls' Academy, The Rival to Ouran High School Host Club. The girls at the school have T-shirts and everything, as though she were an actual celebrity.
  • The Fujimori High of Princess Princess has a "Princess" system, in which the prettiest students are made to dress up like girls and fill in school functions (such as sport events and festivals) to entertain the other guys. Princesses are, for all intent and purposes, treated as celebrities, and are given numerous student benefits, such as a private bathroom, free meals and royalties for their troubles.
  • Sgt. Frog: Natsumi in the earlier manga volumes and seasons. However, this aspect of her character seems to be dropped in later chapters and episodes of the series, with later school scenes showing her more like an average girl.
    • Later chapters and seasons basically eliminated this side of her character. Natsumi's still popular in her class, but isn't portrayed as an idol admired by every girl in school anymore.
  • Star★Twinkle Pretty Cure has two school idols at Hikaru's middle school: Elena Amamiya, known as "the Sun of Mihoshi Town", and Madoka Kaguya, known as "the Moon of Mihoshi Town". Elena is extremely popular for her cheerful, friendly personality and athletic abilities, while Madoka is the Student Council President and is admired for being highly skilled at piano, archery, flower arrangement and tea ceremonies. They both end up becoming Pretty Cures along with Hikaru and Lala.
  • Kasumi in Tomica Hyper Rescue Drive Head Kidou Kyuukyuu Keisatsu is considered the idol of Takatomi Elementary. Yes, she manages to be this popular with her peers despite being a 5th grader.
  • The guys from The Wallflower. Kyohei is a total jerk, but the other three aren't as prickly as he is and every bit as popular.
  • Ayaka Kagari from Witch Craft Works is the "Princess" of her school, with an adoring fan club that schedules mass lunches with her and an extremely enthusiastic self-proclaimed guard squad. They try to interfere with her relationship with love interest Honoka Takamiya until she puts her foot down.

  • Ferris Bueller is the definitive Western example. The entire school grinds to a halt when they learn that Ferris is "sick", and devote all their energies to making his life better. He's also beloved by all, regardless of their own place on the school totem pole:
    The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads - they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude.
  • The Heathers from Heathers, especially Heather Chandler. Deconstructed in that, while everyone wants to have sex, befriend, or otherwise be associated with them, they're awful to everyone and their "cool" lifestyle is leaving them pretty neurotic and dysfunctional privately.
  • Gary King from The World's End, if he's to be believed.
  • In Turning Red, Mei becomes this through the appeal of her giant red panda form to the point that several of her classmates show up for a party at an unpopular character's house only because she will be there.

  • Dear Dumb Diary:
    • Angeline, who is seen by the narrator as a mixture of the Alpha Bitch and this trope. It's played almost completely straight in the eyes of the rest of the school.
    • A lesser example is Chip, mentioned in the second book as "the cutest guy in school," with his dog being more popular and better-looking than most boys.
  • In Devin and the Teacher the title character is heavily implied to be this by the narrator.
  • Kaname Chidori from Full Metal Panic! is called "The School Idol Nobody Wants" In-Universe because, while she hits most of the notes listed in the trope description (beautiful, intelligent, athletic), her aggressive, emotionally open, take-no-crap personality is regarded as a complete deal-breaker by her male classmates.
  • Gamers! (2015)—which shares an author with and is set in the same universe as Student Council’s Discretion—has two characters with this status. The first is Parody Sue Karen Tendō, who starts out as this but becomes a Broken Ace and loses her perfect reputation once her infatuation with the main protagonist consumes her thoughts to the point that it disrupts her ordered daily life. The second is Konoha Hoshinomori, Karen’s Unknown Rival who is the Student Council President of the aforementioned Hekiyō’s 37th student council. While it’s one of Konoha’s proudest achievements, it’s also soured by the widely-held perception that Karen would have taken that place instead had she not chosen to attend Otobuki to join its Game Club.
  • Haruka Nogizaka's Secret has Haruka Nogizaka, who is an idol at her school. She's an otaku but hides it out of fear of a repeat of the humiliation she suffered at middle school, where she was an idol until then. Her little sister, Mika Nogizaka, who attends an all-girls middle school, is an idol there.
  • The whole student council of Hekiyō in Student Council's Discretion is more or less this as the members are chosen via popularity poll, except for the main character who occupies the specially-made Blue Chip seat for the student with the best grades.
  • In Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note, Aya mentions that the New Transfer Student Takuzu Mikado has became this a month since he transferred in. While he's a Nice Bishōnen, but then he's so much The Ace that the girls can't stop (literally!) squeeing.
  • Ami from Toradora! had a lot of bad experiences as one at her previous school, turning her into the Bitch in Sheep's Clothing that viewers see her as when she's first introduced.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Cesare - Il Creatore che ha distrutto is about a young Cesare Borgia in university in Pisa. The students are separated into groups based on what country they come from, and each group has a number one student. Of course, Cesare is this for the Spain group. France's group has Barbaric Bully Henri, and Florence's number one is the airhead princeling Giovanni de'Medici (the future Pope Leo X). A subplot is Cesare's trying to get Giovanni to have some depth before he becomes a cardinal (which his father arranged with the pope). He... almost manages. Giovanni defends himself at his graduation in prime 1990's-ballad style.

    Video Games 
  • Alphinaud Leveilleur in Final Fantasy XIV was the youngest to enter the Studium, the most prestigious school in Sharlayan, graduated with the highest honors, and was undefeated in debates. He's adored by the student body as their shining example and is swiftly mobbed by admirers when he enters to ask after one of the scholarchs (professors).
  • Vladimir has most of the female students in Kraken Academy!! under his spell. Not only is he extremely good looking, and he knows it, but he's also the lead singer of the music club's band. The drama club students, who are somehow more self-absorbed than Vladimir, are probably the only ones who don't worship the ground he walks on. Them, and his fellow bandmates of course. But that's just because they know what it's like to have to put up with him for extended periods of time.
  • Persona:
    • The original Persona has Eriko Kirishima, one of the more popular girls at St. Hermelin thanks to her beauty and amiable personality.
    • Deconstructed in Persona 2: Innocent Sin. Lisa Silverman is the top candidate at Seven Sister's Beauty Contest, but the same exotic American features that make her desirable now caused her to be bullied as a young child, and her current popularity still causes quite a few problems for her.
    • Persona 3:
      • Mitsuru Kirijo, the wealthy heiress to the Kirijo Group. Granted, the fact that her family's somewhat shady MegaCorp makes generous donations to the school allows her to practically run Gekkoukan High regardless of what others may think of her, but she still has quite a good reputation and more than a few fans among the student body.
      • Yukari Takeba is quite popular among the student body as well. Hell, she's even called "the famous Yukari Takeba" in-game.
    • Yukiko Amagi is vaguely hinted to be one of these in Persona 4, given all the guys who try to ask her out, but Naoto Shirogane actually makes the local news as the "Detective Prince". Amusingly enough, despite being a Teen Idol, Rise Kujikawa doesn't appear to become a school idol once she enrolls.
    • Persona 5 deconstructs this in an interesting way; most of its female party members have character archetypes that would traditionally slot them in for this trope, but are instead social outcasts for those reasons. Ann Takamaki is a quarter-white part-time model whose exotic beauty just makes her the target of multiple undesirable rumors, Makoto Niijima is the intelligent and studious Student Council President who's seen by her schoolmates as nothing more than a Teacher's Pet and Academic Alpha Bitch, and Haru Okumura is the wealthy heiress who has trouble connecting with others precisely because she realizes most people are only interested in her for her family's wealth. Persona 5 Royal adds in Kasumi Yoshizawa, the hard-working, sporty New Transfer Student who is shunned by the school for her scholarship. Due to a nasty cocktail of anxiety, inferiority complex, and Dead Person Impersonation of her sister, the real Kasumi, the school is also rightly convinced she's not in her right mind.
  • Amagami's very own Haruka Morishima who is also explicitly called, "Man-Killing Phenomenal Queen" in their school. She doesn't act like one though.
  • The Love Letter is a short flash game that distills this trope to its bare essentials. Explaining how would spoil the entire game.

    Visual Novels 
  • The protagonist of Double Homework was this before the Barbarossa incident. He never realizes how many eyes in his school are on him until he attends the regular summer school class and interacts with some of them.
  • Rin Tohsaka from Fate/stay night is the most popular girl at her school. This is achieved by being very good looking and keeping up an honor student facade, but she's actually quite a short tempered Tsundere (more evident in the original Visual Novel than the anime).
  • Da Capo has Kotori Shirakawa. She's explicitly referred to as this, and it's easy to see why: she's pretty (enough to win the school beauty pageant!), a good singer, and one of the nicest people a person could hope to meet.
  • Tokimeki Memorial 1's High School, Kirameki High, has three School Idols dominating the campus: Saki Nijino, "The Idol of Kirameki High's Sports Clubs"; Mira Kagami, "The Madonna of Kirameki High", and Shiori Fujisaki, "The Superstar of Kirameki High". Their Iconic Items (Saki's home-made "NijiBen" lunch box, Mira's earrings, and Shiori's hairband), are, according to Info Man Yoshio, the most valuable items among the boys in the school, and getting one of them is considered as a feat and a proof of close relationship with the girl.
  • This is an Informed Attribute of Sakazaki Yuuya in Hatoful Boyfriend. He's referred to as an "ever-popular trend-setter and ladies' man", famous or infamous throughout the school, and claims to know everyone. Certainly he's excessively friendly, cheerful, and easygoing. But he's also very frequently absent from school and exceedingly secretive, and the nature of the game means he's not too often shown in the company of other characters. In the Q and A for the second game one letter asks if he's really "got it". Confidently, he says "A man who's 'got it' never says he does."
  • Shall We Date?: Wizardess Heart:
    • Prefect Klaus Goldstein is the most famous and most influential student at Gedonelune Royal Academy. He comes from a prominent family famous for creating magical items, and has enough pull at the school that the faculty have foregone naming a second prefect (as they normally would have) because there are no candidates that Klaus would accept. Despite still being a student, he doesn't have a curfew and is allowed in areas normally forbidden to students, and even occasionally teaches classes when instructors are unavailable. His fellow students call him "the Emperor" and he's a popular subject of admiration and gossip.
    • Klaus's younger brother Elias Goldstein is also very popular, albeit overshadowed by his brother in most respects. Because he's somewhat more approachable than the arrogant, commanding Klaus, he attracts a lot of fangirls.
  • Katja from Missing Stars is a very good student and choir singer who is well-respected at her school. She has a lot of admirers. Katja also counts as an Ojou.

    Web Animation 
  • Parodied to Hell in back in RWBY Chibi. Coco is such a popular student within Beacon that students, teachers, students from other schools, villains and even people who long graduated from school admire her or are threatened by her coolness.

    Western Animation 
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
    • Alpha Bitch Chloé Bourgeois; thinks she's a School Idol, frequently insisting that "everybody loves me" and apparently being deluded enough to actually believe it, but in actuality, almost the entire school hates her for being a petty bully.
    • Adrien Agreste is the deuteragonist of the show, and a lot of focus is placed on his Broken Ace status and fixation on pleasing his abusive father. He has the school's admiration.
    • Lila Rossi might be the most popular student in her school and enjoys being the center of attention.