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Stranger in a Strange School

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By mistake or some odd chain of events, an Ordinary High-School Student winds up attending an Extranormal Institute. Perhaps they're a human in an All-Ghouls School, or a muggle in a Wizarding School, but whichever it is, they clearly don't fit in. If the masquerade is in full effect, they'll probably have to try to blend in with the usual type of student, with the consequence of failure ranging from Laser-Guided Amnesia to Cruel and Unusual Death to uphold the masquerade.

Acts as a Naďve Newcomer. After sufficient experience, they may upgrade to something that does fit in. Often a New Transfer Student.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Afterschool Charisma: Shiro's the only non-clone in a school for clones. Or Is He?
  • Animal Academy: Hakobune Hakusho: A Book Dumb girl is mistakenly accepted to a school for animal shapeshifters and begs her way in (still not knowing what the school was) when the head faculty see that she's human because no other school will take her. The other students believe she's a cat, because her given name is—quite conveniently (and probably why she was first accepted)—Neko.
  • Hollow Fields: Lucy Snow is a fairly ordinary child in a school for the children of mad scientists.
  • Kanokon is a borderline case, since the school is dedicated to rehabilitate youkai who have trouble integrating into human society, but at least some unwitting humans attend as well to provide an incentive to be more stealthy about their true natures.
  • Mx0: After failing to sneak into (unknown to him) a secret Wizarding School, Taiga gets dragged though the school's barrier by a teacher mistaking him for a student trying to sneak out. A sequence of unlikely events establishes him as a genius mage when he actually has no power at all—a reputation he is forced to uphold thereafter.
  • My Hero Academia: Midoriya is one of the only people in his generation born without a Quirk, but manages to achieve his dream of attending the elite Superhero School (and later gets Super Empowered by All Might).
  • Ouran High School Host Club has a non-supernatural example, with the titular school being one for the comically rich. Haruhi, who is already attending the school at the start of the story and has blended in so well that nobody's really noticed her yet, is from a working-class background and is there on scholarship. And while pre-series there's nothing at all secret about this (anybody whose business it is already knows and as long as she continued keeping to herself none of the students would care about her being there), when the plot kicks off it promptly gives her a secret to keep and a high-profile identity at the school.
  • Pokémon: The Original Series: Jessie apparently attended one of these prior to joining Team Rocket - she wanted to become a Pokémon nurse, but somehow wound up at a school training Chansey as medical assistants.
  • Rosario + Vampire: Tsukune accidentally gets accepted to All-Ghouls School in Another Dimension and faces the death penalty for spying if discovered. Turns out the Big Bad of the second major arc is himself a former human who ended up at Youkai Academy under the same circumstances. And in both cases, their acceptance to the school wasn't an accident at all.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei: Nami Hitou, the normal girl in a Dysfunction Junction class. Ironically, she develops a complex about it, making her Not So Above It All.
  • Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun is entirely based on a normal human boy who is so bad at saying no that he agrees to be adopted by a powerful demon, and his adventures attending demon school. While there, he must keep his humanity a secret - not only are humans as mythical to most demons as demons are to humans, but the school song is about eating humans...

    Comic Books 
  • Angela, the protagonist of The Underburbs and her admirer, George, for entirely different reasons. (Angela has actually gotten turned into a witch by the time she enrolls a short time before.)
  • The strip Strange Hill in The Beezer was a variation—an ordinary teacher stuck in a horror-themed school. On one occasion he was delighted when an apparently normal boy joined his class, but he turned out to be a Mad Scientist.
  • In All-Ghouls School, Becca Norman is suspended for cheating at her old school. Her only chance to pass is to attend summer school at the Darkmoor Academy boarding school. What she does not know is that darkmoor is an All-Ghouls School and her attendence there has been carefully orchestrated.
  • Tyler Marlocke of PS238 — normal, unpowered child in a school for superkids. He doesn't pretend to be anything else, but between the fact that both his parents are legendary superheroes and the school being a constant Weirdness Magnet, he has no choice but to become an Action Survivor in order to, well, survive. Currently in training to become Badass Normal.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • The entire plot of Vampire High is that Cody, as a newcomer to a small town in Massachusetts, is one of the few people unaware that there are vampires living there as well. As a result, he has no idea that the high school he attends is primarily intended for vampires (there are a few humans, but all are there through necessity and not choice).
  • Kazuki from Cerberus High is a human who is unexpectedly moved to the titular boarding school for canid breeds, people with canine features. With zero means of defending himself against the delinquent beasts that run rampant in the school, Kazuki accepts his sorry fate. However, the longer he stays at the school, Kazuki begins to realize that he may not be as human as he previously thought.
    • Blanc was the only canid breed when he attended his all-human private school. Despite being a frosthound, most the favored breed in human society, Blanc was still looked down on by his classmates and even by his so-called friends.
  • Inverted in HOWL High - the protagonist is a half-warlock who attends a high school dedicated to Hollywood horror effects. Also played with in that the "normals" attending the school with him are weird enough to shake a guy with actual monsters in his family.
  • Zigzagged in Harry Potter, as it's unclear if Squibs (that is, non-magical people from magical families) actually get sent to Hogwarts or not. In the early books, Neville's apparent lack of magical abilities means he sometimes gets accused of being one, and the Squib caretaker Filch may have attended Hogwarts as a student, but no information is given either way.
  • Alex feels this way initially in Ninth House.
  • One Goosebumps book has this premise: a kid is accidentally sent first to a school for zombie kids, and then, it's strongly implied, one for vampires.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Other Kingdom takes the usual setup and flips the players: The protagonist, Astral, is a young fairy girl who attends a regular human school.

    Visual Novels 
  • The heroine of Hatoful Boyfriend is a human teenager attending a prestigious private high school for birds. Going by the official manga, it's also a boys' school. Added to that is the fact that she is a hunter-gatherer who lives in a cave.

    Video Games 
  • Dragon Age: Origins: A side quest involves a dwarven scholar who is fascinated with magic and desperately wishes to join the Circle of Magi. She's aware that as a dwarf, she'll never be able to use magic, but she's fine with simply studying it, and if the Grey Warden vouches for her, First Enchanter Irving will gladly accept her.
  • Downplayed example in Ensemble Stars!: everyone involved is human, but Audience Surrogate Anzu is the sole girl and non-idol attending an otherwise all-male school for raising upcoming idols. This is because she entered as a single-student trial of the new producer course, so for practicality she attends class alongside the idols. The next year, the producer course is up and running so Anzu starts attending that new attached campus instead. Naturally, when she first starts school, word of the new female transfer student causes quite a buzz among the guys.

    Web Comics 
  • A-san of Overlord Academy is an accidentally transferred into the titular school. He's an oboist.
  • Graham in Wizard School is a rich, drunken jerk who replaces the "Chosen One" at a school for wizards.
  • Cameron of Zoophobia is the Zoo-Phoenix Academy's new guidance counselor, and happens to be the only fully human staff member.
  • The Pink Girl in the appropriately named Strange School.

    Western Animation 
  • My Gym Partner's a Monkey:
    • The basic premise is about Adam Lyon, a human boy accidentally sent to an animal school due to clerical error that misspelled his last name as "Lion." One episode actually has another character point out that there's nothing preventing him from easily transferring back to his old middle school, since everyone is now aware of the obvious error. Adam's response is more-or-less that he's grown attached to his new classmates.
    • One episode plays with this, where his monkey best friend is sent to a plant school when his last name is written as "Spiderplant" rather than "Spidermonkey."
  • Mini Monsters (aka Camp Mini-Mon) had two normal kids accidentally be sent to a summer camp for movie monsters' (Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, etc.) kids.
  • Gravedale High featured Rick Moranis as the only human teacher at an All-Ghouls School.
  • In The Magic School Bus, Phoebe seems to be this trope. Her catchphrase is "This never happened at my old school!" while several of the other kids seem much more accustomed to the strange things Ms. Frizzle does.
    • Eventually, Phoebe does seem to acclimate to the strangeness and finds her own niche, leading to the addition of Arnold's cousin Janet to the show as the new outsider.
  • Galaxy High is about two normal teenagers who become the first Earthling students at the eponymous school for aliens.
  • Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School is a Scooby Doo movie about Scooby, Shaggy, and Scrappy becoming teachers at an Extranormal Institute full of Cute Monster Girls. They are the only human staff members... well, Shaggy is.
  • Over the Garden Wall has an episode where Wirt, Gregory, and Beatrice run into a schoolhouse of well-dressed animals.
  • Part way through the first season of The Owl House, Luz ends up as the first human at Hexside, a school for witches and demons. In a variation of the norm, she actually chose to attend rather than being enrolled by accident, and fits in rather well from the outset (she is targeted by the resident Jerk Jock, but that's more because she was already friends with their favorite bullying victim.)
  • Wayside: In a Tropes Are Tools example of this trope, the original Wayside School book series was not this, as the students and staff always treated the fantastic elements of the school as mundane, so there was no chance of anyone of them being a Fish out of Water. The Animated Adaptation became this trope by rewriting Todd's character to be a transfer student fresh to the school, making him the Audience Surrogate.