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I just don't get this trope. Has anyone ever been to high school? Popularity is just an abstract concept, how can we decide who would be popular in real life?
In my experience, high schools, universities and workplaces don't have the rigid social hierarchies that you see portrayed in films and TV shows.
That said, I think it's very unlikely that someone who has movie star good looks and reasonably well-adjusted personality would ever be a social outcast in the way that is often portrayed on television.
I know what you mean but this trope is about traits that are associated with popularity in general such as good looks, good social skills, niceness (not always) and so on. If a character displays some of these but is still unpopular he falls under this trope.
From what I understand this is when a character is so cool she (or he) should be popular but something gets in the way, most likely the Alpha Bitch, like in Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Buffy. I think a number of the examples though have an uncool character and shouldn't be listed like Boy Meets World and Heroes. Could use some editing?
Not quite what this is. This is when a character is portrayed as being less popular, or lower in the social hierarchy, than you would ultimately expect them to be in the real world. So I think Boy Meets World sometimes fits this trope and sometimes doesn't. Cory is ultimately a relatively smart, funny and reasonably attractive kid. At my high school he would have been fairly popular. Not in the alpha crowd, but certainly not unpopular. In Boy Meets World, he sometimes is this, but sometimes isn't.
So, if a character is intelligent, cute, and has a great personality, would they be this trope if they are still considered uncool? (Note that the character also has an odd quirk of hypersensitivity, which makes them react to certain things* ie: loud noises or certain clothing material very negatively. Arguably, it would be safe to say it marks them as "really freakin' weird".)
So this is entierly YMMV on if the character should be popular? In the first season of Boy Meets World the popular girls aren't bored enough to talk about Cory. No one else ever says that he's cool or anyting. Buffy on the other hand would have been friends with Cordilia if she haden't started talking to Willow.
As awesome as Yudkowsky may be, I can't really see the relevance of this quote to this page. What does the feeling of going against the grain have to do with characters being unpopular for no reason?
The idea was that being a Cool Loser is like wearing black; being a genuine loser is like wearing a clown suit.
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