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Playing With / Cool Loser

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Basic Trope: Character is less popular than you would expect them to be in Real Life.

  • Straight:
    • Bob is athletic, smart, has good looks to match and is known to be friends with a famous movie star. Yet he is still treated like a loser by more popular kids.
    • Alice is prettier than most of the cheerleaders at school, has a good fashion sense, and is an all-around bubbly Nice Girl. Despite that, she has only a couple friends and is tormented by Claire and her Girl Posse.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bob's the freaking Ace, and yet even the janitor hates him.
    • Alice is the most gorgeous girl in town to the point where she even took up a modeling job, yet she's a total outcast at school.
  • Downplayed:
    • Bob is a handsome football player. He does have a few friends, but doesn't attend any parties and isn't too popular among girls.
    • Alice is friendly, fairly good-looking, and wears nice clothes, but she doesn't get much attention outside her friend circle and occasionally get catty remarks from Claire.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: Bob rescues a little girl and becomes wildly popular due to his heroics.
  • Double Subverted: Then he loses his popularity because of rumors spread by Tim.
  • Parodied: Bob walks into a school via Big Entrance coupled with a choir of fans singing about his awesomeness. Yet the second a Jerk Jock or an Alpha Bitch enter the picture people suddenly start complaining of how uncool he is.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob starts out as a popular kid, then he loses his popularity because of a stupid prank. He gets his status back after taking part in a school musical.
    • Bob manages to be both more and less popular than would be expected depending on if people remember him as The Ace or a delinquent, and judge him as cool or a freak for his unique apperance.
  • Averted: Bob is as popular as you’d expect him to be.
  • Enforced: The author wants Bob to be a social outcast, but also feels he can’t make him too mundane, because reader would quickly get bored.
  • Lampshaded:
    • “It doesn’t matter how good-looking, athletic or smart I am. I’m still considered a loser.”
    • "How the hell could Alice be unpopular when she has just as good of looks and fashion sense as Claire? At least she's actually nice and not a complete bitch!"
  • Invoked: Bob doesn’t want to be a center of attention, so he deliberately makes himself unpopular.
  • Exploited: Bob uses his athletic skills and charisma to become a Teen Superspy, and being in the shadows most of the time means he won't have to worry about people finding out his secret.
  • Defied: Bob decides he doesn’t want to be unpopular and does everything he can to gain and keep his place at the top of the Popularity Food Chain.
  • Discussed: “You'd think that Bob would be more popular, considering how good-looking and smart he is.” “No, he’s one of the biggest losers in the school.”
  • Conversed: “Protagonists of these teen dramas are always at the bottom of the Popularity Food Chain, despite being much smarter and no less beautiful than a local Alpha Bitch.”
  • Deconstructed: Because of his low social status Bob is constantly mistreated by other kids. He finally snaps and attacks one of his bullies with a knife.
    • Eventually being seen as an outcast has caused Bob to suffer from self esteem issues.
  • Reconstructed: After a local Jerk Jock moves to another town and there is no one to spread nasty rumors about Bob, he become gradually more popular.

Back to Cool Loser

Example of: