|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
The Spear Counterpart to the Alpha Bitch, the Jerk Jock is the Chief Bully who dominates the school/college environment through physical violence and threats of brutal retaliation. A boorish, obnoxious, spiteful asshole with an out-of-control sense of entitlement, he spends his time beating people up, getting drunk and destroying property; and in darker works, he may also be an incorrigible serial rapist. Just as the Alpha Bitch has a Girl Posse, the Jerk Jock has the Cool Crowd, a crowd of hangers-on who bow to his every whim and help him victimize whomever he decides to pick on. And he inevitably decides that Our Heroes are his favorite targets.
Like the Alpha Bitch, despite his largely repellent personality the Jerk Jock is surprisingly popular and can get away with most anything. However, where the Alpha Bitch uses her wiles and sex-appeal to get what she wants, the Jerk Jock usually isn't very smart and is more likely to fall back on fear of violent reprisal instead. Usually, violence is not an option to deal with him, unless The Hero or somebody on their side is indeed physically stronger than him (like, say, The Big Guy?). Other than that, manipulating him to his doom often proves being the more effective way, since he's seldom bright enough to see through intrigues and the fear of public humiliation, loss of status or his parents discovering his ways is often sufficient to keep him at bay.
Unlike the Alpha Bitch who almost always gets what's coming to her, the Jerk Jock is a frequent Karma Houdini in fiction. But if the heroes try to get revenge on him by alternative means, this will often result in an Anvilicious Family-Unfriendly Aesop about "not stooping to his level". If the hero does manage to take revenge, it will be glorious and extravagant to such a brutal degree that one wonders if the writers are working through issues from their own childhood. In other cases, when Karma eventually comes for him, we'll see the Jerk Jock all grown-up, probably either a Jaded Washout, dreaming about his glory days, or a failed corporate thug who ended up in jail.
In shows focusing entirely on school life, he'll be a primary antagonist; however, if the school environment is merely a setting and not the key focus he's more likely to be just a recurring nuisance for the characters to deal with, or a Villain of the Week. In shows dealing with the fantastic, he can often be found Mugging the Monster, or portrayed as stupid enough to bully someone even if he knows that they have powers that could reduce him to a smear on the wall.
Whilst it's not as common to get a sympathetic side to the Jerk Jock as with the Alpha Bitch, you'll sometimes get a softer version who isn't evil so much as an arrogant, self-absorbed Jerk with a Heart of Gold who doesn't really know any better. This version is much more likely to end up petting the dog, and may reveal his sensitive side in an Enemy Mine. He may also mend his ways and join the hero's side. And even while still a villain, the Jerk Jock can garner sympathy if he's given a Freudian Excuse (with being a "Well Done, Son" Guy or a brutal childhood the most common).
See Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up and Kids Are Cruel. Compare to, and sometimes may even overlap with, Big Man on Campus, who usually matches the Jerk Jock in popularity, but is less of an antagonistic force. Also compare Dumb Jock. Little relation to Violent Glaswegian.
Contrast with Lovable Jock, which is often deliberately done to show that not all jocks are like this.
Anime & Manga Edit
- In the Marmalade Boy anime, Michael Grant's older brother Brian is a basketball genius who started out as a Jerk Jock with an horrible temper, a Stalker with a Crush-level love for Jinny Golding and a big competitive streak. When Yuu beats him at his game, though, he admits his defeat and becomes Yuu's friend.
- Subverted in Slam Dunk. At the beginning, Takenori Akagi is a bit of a jerk jock, but this stems more out of his own stoic tendencies augmented by his backstory as a player with mere potential who practically taught himself to play but lacked support, except from Kogure and Anzai and later his underclassmen than real jockiness. Once Sakuragi fully joins, Akagi is shown more as the Team Dad and Big Brother Mentor.
- Agon from Eyeshield 21 isn't just a jerk, he's a borderline sociopath. He's also extremely selfish, egotistical, yet brilliant and he finds the concept of hard work itself utterly baffling; for him, getting into the NFL would be a nightmare, because, as he says, then it would be work. It doesn't help that he has incredible talent for anything he does.
- Clifford from the American Youth Cup team plays this trope a little closer to its roots, if not to the level that Agon does. He's certainly arrogant enough, and constantly downplays the talent of his teammates in favor of aggrandizing his own ability and accomplishments.
- Donald Oberman, meanwhile, takes the "rich dad who bails him out" part to new heights; His father is the president of the United States.
- Inverted with the Ha-Ha brothers, who stopped being bullies when they redirected their aggression into football.
- Sasabe from The Prince of Tennis. Keigo Atobe and the Rikkaidai players seem at first to be like this too, but thankfully they get some more Character Development.
- More or less averted in Captain Tsubasa, surprisingly. The closest would be the Shuutetsu players before they lost to the Nankatsu, and Hyuga before his Character Development.
- Jun Manjoume, The Hero's main rival on Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, was shaping up to be this, or at least a Japanese Draco Malfoy, in the first half of the first season; fortunately, a Journey to Find Oneself and Character Development intervened.
- In the original Yu-Gi-Oh! Bandit Keith, Weevil Underwood, Rex Raptor, and Seto Kaiba are what happens when this character type decides to play card games instead of rule the school.
- Will from Heroman, makes sense since he's basically an Expy of Flash Thompson from Spider-Man.
- Hanagaza Mamoru from Hell Girl. To the point of sabotaging his own baseball team to "save his abilities" for the major leagues. Oh and also to the point of killing one of his fellow classmates, and inculpating his friend. Succeeded in both barring the fact that he was sent to hell for it.
Comic Books Edit
- Eugene "Flash" Thompson, one of Spider-Man's foils. He bullies Peter Parker constantly, but is a big fan of Spider-Man, not knowing they're the same person. In a subversion, the comics have him and Peter actually becoming friends after they graduate from high school. How's that possible? Of course, he isn't without his bad sides; When he was framed for being the Hobgoblin, everybody believed it immediately.
- At least until a car accident gave him amnesia all the way back to college, erasing the past 10-20 years or so from him memory (Comic Book Time, of course). Of course, since Joe Quesada basically did to the entire Spider-Man continuity, who the hell knows what anyone remembers anymore.
- In the Ultimate universe, Peter does try to defend himself from Flash after he gets his powers. He winds up accidentally breaking Flash's hand, and the jerk's parents sue Aunt May and Uncle Ben for the medical costs.
- In the Ultimate universe, much of the character development Flash would later go through in the regular continuity is instead given to Kong, one of his friends and a fellow Jerk Jock who also picked on Peter Parker... until he, a fan of Spider-Man, came to the (independently-reached) realization that Peter and Spider-Man were one and the same. Over the course of the series, he eventually mended bridges with Peter and became friendly with him, and seemed to break with Flash entirely.
- A major theme in the Ultimate Spider-Man title is that bad people often aren't seen as bad by society itself and that lets them step on people to get what they want. After Gwen Stacy dies, when Kong tries to claim that Flash isn't that bad of a person, Peter gives a long "The Reason You Suck" Speech about why Flash is ultimately the high school equivalent of this. His position on the football team lets him get away with bullying and be rewarded for acting like a jerk to people who 'don't matter' in his eyes, and he when he grows up he'll continue to behave this way thanks to being coddled and indulged. As mentioned, Flash in this series is much more of a dick and his Pet the Dog moments are extremely rare.
- In Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, Flash is one of MJ's best friends. In that series, he's depicted in a more sympathetic light, as he's also frequently belittled and demeaned by his Alpha Bitch-ish girlfriend Liz and nurses a crush on MJ herself. Whilst the other members of the football team are also Jerk Jocks to an extent, and some even bigger ones than Flash (at one point even planning to ruin a drama club performance that MJ was starring in because it happened to be scheduled at the same time as one of their games, until Flash persuaded them not too), MJ and his other best friends are quick to call Flash out on his being a jerk, especially to Peter.
- Flash's evolution may have come with his military service after he graduated from high school. When he comes back to the U.S. after his tour of duty is over, he's a lot more circumspect and mature than the arrogant prick he was at the start of the series. This is partly represented by his sincere and heart-felt apology to Peter for all the crap that he put him through during high school.
- A surprising version of his development takes place in The Spectacular Spider-Man in which Peter's aunt has had a heart attack. Some of the kids at school express their sympathies to Peter (who at the time is being manipulated by the black suit). Peter basically tells them that their sympathy won't pay the medical bills and that they can go to hell. Flash later calls him out on this, since some of those people were his friends. Still, even though beating Flash up would be somewhat justified (grief over his aunt, plus long history of being bullied should be enough to make anyone snap), this comment allows to Peter to wise up and get rid of the black suit. He later goes to thank Flash who in return, is quite polite (well, for Flash anyway).
- Flash in this series all round is a little more three dimensional. A notable example is when the class receives their test results. Liz, his girlfriend, receives a D and he can see she is visibly upset by it. He then sees the teacher praising Peter on getting yet another A and decides to get even by throwing a football at him. Not exactly justified, but you can actually see it from his point of view.
- Another example is in the second season when Harry returns from his rehab and lets it slip that the reason he left was to recover from his addiction and not a vacation. Flash is, not surprisingly, pissed that Harry was juiced during his time on the team, because that would mean they'd lose the football championship he busted his leg for. Later in the episode the trophy is taken away and the coach informs them they have to wait for the investigation. Everyone assumes Harry was the one who came clean, only for Flash to step up and admit he was the one who told the coach, saying there was no point in having it if they didn't win it fair.
- Lately he doesn't get an even break for the character development he'd gone through before, and the movies made him downright irredeemable (although he does only appear for about ten minutes early in the first movie, when he's still in his 'bullying dick' phase, which doesn't help). Post-high school he'd become a Boisterous Bruiser, competitive but not a bad guy, a friend to Peter and loyal to his friends, putting his life at risk for both Spider-Man and Peter Parker. It's curious how the image of him as Jerk Jock still sticks seeing as how he's only fit the trope less than 15% of his total appearances.
- And even more lately, he became an Ensemble Darkhorse and gets to be the fourth Venom.
- Tiny, one of Flash's pals, is like this in Untold Tales of Spider Man, but both the reader and Peter discover why he's such a jerk: He's under constant pressure from his abusive father to keep his grades up for football but genuinely lacks the intelligence, so he takes it out on Pete because school seems so easy for him.
- Steve Lombard, in the Superman comics, is sort of a grown-up one of these. He's the sports writer for the Daily Planet, and enjoys picking on clumsy, bespectacled reporter Clark Kent.
- Lance from the comic book The Invincible Ed is a rare case of a Jerk Jock who actually has brains -- which makes him scarier.
- Sort of applies to Roark Junior/Yellow Bastard from the Sin City story "That Yellow Bastard," who, while not particularly athletic, certainly believed he had the right to rape anybody he felt like, and was protected by his U.S. Senator daddy. "I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, however I want it!" A particularly messy death really was the only way to deal with him, as getting shot in the groin by the Anti-Hero didn't make him change his ways one iota.
- In the Silver Age Superboy comics, Clark had to put up with Smallville High's resident top jock (and jerk) Bash Bashford. Somewhat ironically, post-crisis continuity has Clark as a star athlete throughout high school instead.
Fan Fiction Edit
- The Battle Royale based 72 Hours has the wrestling club, all of whom except one are horrifically brutal sadists who take great pleasure from torturing and murdering their way through the Program. As flashbacks prove, their head, Joel, has been leading them in such crimes as armed robbery before the Program as well. They're all 17.
- Theres a High School AU That Guy With The Glasses fanfic that features a group of homophobic jock's who are all promptly Murderd by Phelous and The Cinema Snob.
- Sack Lodge from Wedding Crashers is a combination of this and a Complete Monster.
- As discussed in the comic book section, Flash Thompson also makes an appearance in the first Spider-Man film.
- Brilliantly parodied by Austin, the cocky blonde guy in Not Another Teen Movie.
- Lance from Superhero Movie is an interesting case for this. He is essentially an Expy of Flash Thompson, and so he constantly wants to beat Rick up. However throughout the course of the movie Rick kept accidentally hitting Lance with things, which may partially explain why Lance always has an axe to grind with him.
- This is essentially every William Zabka role in an 80s movie, from The Karate Kid to Back to School.
- Gaston from Disney's Beauty and the Beast is a non-school example of this.
- Trent comes off as a Jerk Jock in his brief appearance in Transformers.
- Jim in Edward Scissorhands. Meets a not-undeserved violent end, but partly because the hero is The Grotesque, it leads only to a Bittersweet Ending.
- Biff Tannen, as well as his whole family line from the Back to The Future trilogy.
- Old Biff, at least, after dealing with his identical grandson for years, realizing how moronic and foolish being a Jerk Jock makes you look, and doesn't particularly like his past self because of it. However, he decides the wisdom of age pales in comparison to his desire to be filthy rich, and he ends up creating a Bad Future, where Jerk Jock Biff has gotten everything he's ever wanted and is thus even more of a jerk.
- Sam from Kidulthood is a perfect example.
- Ryan in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel definitely qualifies as this trope: he verbally threatens Alvin, gives Simon a swirly and subsequently drops him into the toilet, and literally pokes fun at Theodore's girth (which is naturally a Berserk Button for Alvin and Simon). His sidekick would too, if he weren't . . . well, the side-kick.
- Andy Clark from The Breakfast Club acts like this, but he turns out to be a deconstruction. He only participates in the stereotypical behavior of beating up a nerd because he's pressured by his father. In the Saturday detention, it's made clear that he feels genuinely guilty over it.
- Ram and Kurt from Heathers.
- Slightly subverted, Revenge of the Nerds have a entire frat full of jerk jocks, but nerds eventually had their revenge. They got revenge again in second movie...
- Brad Bramish in Brick, though the gumshoe exposes him as a sap.
- In Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation, it's taunting from the self-proclaimed Camp Champ that leads Christy to turn to The Dark Side.
- Troy in The Goonies. He inherited his Jerkass genes from his father. "Come on, Walsh. We don't have all day. There's 50 more houses to tear down after yours."
- The entire football team in The Rage: Carrie 2, which rates girls according to their hotness and then scores points with each other by sleeping with them. Sadly, this was based on something that actually happened (see below).
- Tommy in the original film was a subversion; he was a nice boy who genuinely cared for Carrie, and was visibly pissed off when she fell victim to Chris' prom-night prank. The book subverted it further by showing that he was a straight-A student and an amateur writer, who wanted to get a college degree before pursuing a career in professional baseball. The remake (and to some extent the original film), while keeping his niceness, turned him into a Brainless Beauty for little discernible reason.
- The majority of Ben Affleck's career.
- Bo from Cursed qualifies. He's the captain of the wrestling team, who constantly goes out of the way to harass the nerdy protagonist, Jessie. It is revealed later that he's actually gay and likes Jessie, he just was overcompensating by acting macho so that no one else would find out.
- Can't Hardly Wait, a teenage flick from late nineties has Mike Dexter, who plays this trope straight. It makes sense considering the movie is supose to be a tribute to eighties teenage movies.
- John Cusack vehicle Better Off Dead has the captain of the high school ski squad (the only one to survive the dreaded K-12), who steals Cusack's girl, denies him a spot on the squad despite a qualifying try-out, is rude to the foreign French student that's crushing on Cusack...
- Garth from Alpha and Omega is the wolf version of this, especially to another wolf named Humphrey.
- Surprisingly averted in Mystery Team. Although the football team has potential for this, they never come off as jerks and just want Charlie to leave them alone.
- Inverted in Grease, where the jocks are the 'nice but dumb' guys.
- The Jerk Jock who torments the protagonist who is really the Antichrist in the Carrie/Omen mashup Fear No Evil gets punished later in the movie when he is given female breasts, referencing earlier in the movie a comment that smoking weed would make a person grow breasts. He becomes horrified to the point where he stabs himself, most likely to prevent his tormentor from taking it into rape territory.
- Chris's boyfriend Chet from Dead Poets Society. This is naturally a bit of an obstacle for Knox when he falls for Chris.
- Lancelot in Shrek the Third.
- Ian, Manliest of Mule Deer Stags in Open Season is one, although he's not the Big Bad and generally helps everybody out.
- Harry Potter: Cormac McLaggen, a talented but obnoxious and self-satisfied quidditch player. Some of the Slytherin players like Marcus Flint fit the trope.
- Draco Malfoy hovers between this and a male Alpha Bitch.
- Harry is horrified to discover that James Potter was also one of these in his youth.
- Averted with Cedric Diggory who is a pretty decent and friendly guy.
- Dudley Dursley becomes a boxer around book five, and goes from beating up Harry to beating up any unlucky kid who looks at him funny. He grows out of it later, though.
- Bonzo Madrid in Ender's Game.
- Tom Buchanan from The Great Gatsby used to be one.
- Ace and his gang of thugs in Stephen King's "The Body". This guy goes beyond the realms of being an asshole to utter sadism. After Gordon scares off Ace and his gang with a pistol, he gets back at him by breaking his nose and fingers and kicking him in the testicles (they were actually on the verge of harming him more seriously when they are run off by Gordon's neighbor). They then attack his friends Chris, Teddy, and Vern by breaking Chris's arm and "leaving his face looking like a Canadian sunrise" and giving less severe beatings to the other two. It's very satisfying when adult Gordon, whose friends have not surived beyond young adult hood, finds Ace a fat, empty shell of a man who doesn't even recognize his former punching bag.
- Vampire Kisses: Trevor Mitchell. He's bullied Raven ever since kindergarden though he flirts with her from time to time. It's hinted on various occasions that he has a crush on her and is incapable of expressing his feelings.
- In one Animorphs book, Marco ended up on the wrong side of an argument with two Jerk Jocks - Drake, who was a big deal on the swim team, and Woo, who wasn't. Drake was actually the lesser of the two jerks, and drew the line at making fun of Marco's deceased mother. Woo, however, didn't. Marco was in the pool about to test his shark morph, and he'd just grown shark teeth. Jake showed up just in time to very likely save Woo from literally getting his throat ripped out.
- Related to the Harry Potter example, British "school stories" tend toward having aristocratic bullies who are a proto-version of this tropes. Before being used in his own series, Flashman was one of these in Tom Brown's Schooldays, and he fits the jock part too, being good at cricket and other sports.
- As revealed in Night Watch, Lord Downey, the head of the Assassin's Guild in Discworld, was one of these in his youth, and his nerdy punching bag was the young Lord Vetinari.
- Not particularly successfully, however. One can only imagine Downey's reaction when Vetinari became Patrician.
- Although in fact, the reason he's Lord Downey is because Vetinari ennobled him, so unless there's an extremely subtle and unnecessarily complicated revenge coming, Vetinari probably wasn't that bothered. (Other than elevating him; Downey seems intelligent enough to worry about the second shoe dropping...but not smart enough to realize that may be the point, so long as he's not bad for the city.)
- Both played straight and subverted in Artichoke's Heart. The Love Interest Kyle despite being a jock is one of the nicest, most sweetest guys there was. A few other jocks at the school on the other hand ... not so much.
- The Molesworth series provides a very British example in the form of "grabber m.a. head of skool captain of everything and winner of the mrs joyful prize for raffia work", who owes his multiple positions and ability to lord it over everyone to the fact that st custards is virtually bankrupt and his family is filthy rich.
- The Wave contains something of a deconstruction. The football team's egotistical players are all so obsessed with making themselves look good and competing with each other for glory that they barely function as a team, and have suffered several losing seasons.
- Chris Crutcher often plays with this in his books. He usually has several straight examples of the Jerk Jock, but his protagonists are often jocks who are good people, and the extra characters who are jocks can be either. But he has stated in several books that (especially in small towns) the jock subculture in schools creates, supports, and admires Jerk Jocks.
- George Hellebore and Tony Fitzpaine in the Young Bond novels.
Live-Action TV Edit
- Dean from Degrassi the Next Generation is this trope incarnate; a soulless monster who exists only to drink, smash, and rape.
- The Shep from Season 8, who was the school's principal. He pretty much discriminated against the "weirdos" of the school and favored the football team more than anything. He even called Clare a "little bitch" after she stuck up for Connor when the Shep planned on expelling him. Derek pushed Jane down and kicked her for being on the football team with him. Shep didn't care.
- Owen in Season 10. His main hobbies include playing football and being a bigoted, homophobic jerk towards openly gay Zane and Riley, whose homosexuality was already rumored among the football players by that point. At one point, he writes a homophobic slur across a school bus outside the school just to provoke Riley.
- Drew, from when he was first introduced in season 10. He gets better, however.
- Brody Mitchum from Heroes is a jock and serial rapist who targets Claire and, if only temporarily, kills her. He gets extravagantly punished: Claire crashes his car with him aboard, she survives thanks to her Healing Factor, he is confined to a wheelchair, and later he has his entire memory erased (at the order of her Father).
- Logan in his early appearances on Veronica Mars.
- Veronica Mars notably averts this in one episode where a girl cheats on her football playing boyfriend with an artist. The "star athlete" turns out to be genuinely decent and caring, the artist... not so much.
- Also heavily averted by Wallace, the star basketball player who is, with the possible exception of Meg (Alpha Bitch aversion cheerleader popular girl who is the nicest person around), the best person in the entire series.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- "Go Fish" has a Jerk Jock swim team who take steroid abuse to a new level.
- "Reptile Boy" has a Jerk Jock fraternity, which turns out to be a front for a demon-worshipping conspiracy.
- And don't forget Larry, until he came to terms with who he was, and Percy, until Vampire Willow kicked his ass some.
- And there's another one in "Him." Xander says that he was a bully in school. Now that high school is behind them, he is a pudgy pizza delivery guy.
- Merlin''s Prince Arthur starts out this way, but changes through association with Merlin... or maybe Merlin just gets to know him better.
- At least one of the murder victims in Cold Case was like this. That one raped four girls, got away with it thanks to his family's wealth, was cornered by his four victims who wanted Revenge... and ended up shot to death by one of the girls's pre-teen younger brother.
- Ian and Paul Branaugh in Young Dracula are a comparitively mild pair of Jerk Jocks.
- Shane in the mystery/slasher series Harpers Island.
- Al Bundy was implied to be one of these on Married... with Children. This example stands out because the Jerk Jock is actually the protagonist.
- Al is also something of a deconstruction of this trope, showing what happens to a lot of jocks once they're no longer on the gravy train.
- Glee has a whole squad of these.
- It's averted, inverted, or subverted as often as it is played straight, though. Quarterback Finn is one of the kindest, sweetest people in the show and seems to feel that the rest of the team is redeemable if he sets the right example. Puck fits the Jerk Jock archetype best out of the main cast, but he's not privileged, is quite intelligent even though he often states that school is for suckers, and later in the season struggles quite a bit with the consequences of his womanizing in the first few episodes. More recently he has been less of a jerk as well. The show also has Mike and Matt, who despite having Those Two Guys status, they actually seem like nice guys and all four of them have been bullied by the other Jerk Jock types due to being in glee club. Played straight by Karofsky and Azimo, who often target Kurt for his sexuality. It is later revealed that Karofsky is actually gay himself, and specifically targets Kurt, the only openly gay kid in school, because of his confusion on his own sexuality.
- For some viewers, this has been subverted again, much more interestingly, in the second season, with Puck moving further away from the Jerk Jock through his experiences in juvie and his relationship with Lauren, while Finn has moved much closer to being one (or shown his true colours more plainly) through his treatment of Rachel, Kurt (particularly early in the season) and Quinn, and the way his self-centred thoughtlessness destroyed the team's chances at Nationals.
- In the third season, Finn has mellowed out, Puck is becoming a responsible student and father, and Karofsky transferred schools and has started coming to terms with his homosexuality. The only remaining Jerk Jock is the hockey captain, a minor background character.
- Smallville has it in the beginning with Whitney, the star quarterback who's dating Lana Lang. He eventually reforms but the first episode has him basically crucifying (no, really) Clark.
- Luke was this early on in The OC, the captain of the water polo team who was dating Marissa and who was always picking fights with Ryan.
- Flashpoint deals with this in one episode, where a group of bullies takes it too far and humiliates a kid in front of his crush and posts it on the Internet, causing the kid to snap and bring a gun to school intending to make them pay. However, the kid had no intention of actually killing the bullies. He only wanted them to feel the embarrassment he had felt.
- Averted with Harvey in Sabrina the Teenage Witch. He's a genuinely sweet, if a little ditzy guy. Cheerleader Alpha Bitch wants to be his girlfriend, but he doesn't show much interest in her.
- Mike from Community episode Comparative Religion.
- Sunny Capaduca of Fifteen Love is a wierd example, being a young female example. She's got the ego, manipulation, and free ride parts down though.
- Shun Daimonji from Kamen Rider Fourze. However, it's eventually revealed he's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and he changes his ways. In fact, when he sees another Jerk Jock, he even comments on how he used to be that way and steps in to help the victim.
- Averted with Devon "Captain Awesome" Woodcombe from Chuck. Devon is a jock and main character Chuck is a nerd, creating the perfect conditions for this trope to appear. However, Devon is a good friend to Chuck, a good boyfriend/husband to Chuck's sister Ellie, and an excellent doctor.
- Luke from The OC started out as a jerk jock, but then he went through a Heel Face Turn and became likable.
- Given a twist in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Dennis believed himself to have been this in high school, thinking he was the most important person in the school and everyone else was his "Minions". Although Dennis has the arrogant, idiotic bullying aspects of this trope down perfectly, he later learns that he was not even at all popular in high school and everyone thought he was a smug jerk and hated being referred to as his minions. Unsurprisingly, Dennis does not take this revelation well.
- Young Biff in Death of a Salesman.
- Brett in 13 is this. And he is involved in a Betty and Veronica with the Brainless Beauty Kendra and Lucy
Video Games Edit
- Bully has an entire clique of jocks, all of whom fit the trope to some degree or other. Especially their leader, Ted Thompson. The Preppies clique fits the trope almost as well.
- Dean a.k.a. Dingo and the luchadores from Psychonauts. An unusual case in the former since he's the head cheerleader instead of the wrestling team (that role being Edgar, the patient of the level).
- And let's not forget about Bobby Zilch, all right?
- He was more of your run of the mill bully. There was nothing even remotely sports-associated about him.
- And let's not forget about Bobby Zilch, all right?
- In Backyard Baseball, Barry Bonds is exactly like this. However in real life he is more of a jerk in a Loners Are Freaks kind of way.
- Tidus borders on being a heroic Jerk Jock in the beginning of Final Fantasy X, but his father Jecht is a more straight example. He's also Sin.
- But Tidus isn't ever a jerk, he's just kind of an Idiot Hero- he's friendly and nice to people, but kind of stupid sometimes. A better example would be the Luca Goers, who are just plain dicks.
- Fallout 3 has the Tunnel Snakes, a bunch of thugs who pick you when you turn ten and the main character's love interest at age 16. It's fair to say there's more in the intervening years, but the game glosses over that.
- Issur, The Blacksmith of Quest for Glory II: Trial By Fire gives off this vibe. It's kind of funny to see him refer to the Hero as a wimp; depending on how you played him in the first game, the Hero is probably the bane of dozens of brigands, trolls, cheetaurs, and saurus rex.
- The jocks in The Trail of Anguish chase the gang of nerds, forcing you to travel underground.
- Ozy and Millie features one rather prominently. Much like in Calvin and Hobbes, the titular characters never actually get back at him, and rarely manages to avoid him. Millie could initially avoid his more physical attention since he Wouldn't Hit a Girl, but when she demanded equal treatment, he complied. However, while the kids couldn't do much against him, the fact that Ozy's family consists entirely of dragons has occasionally brought some truly satisfying results.
- Goes under some Deconstruction in El Goonish Shive with regards to Tony. Grace seems to think Tony harbors a secret crush on Tedd, whom he bullies constantly. More telling, though, is a strip in which it's revealed that he's a Jerk Jock even by the standards of his teammates.
- In The Wotch, four Jerk Jocks are turned into girls (in body AND mind), and become the school's cheerleaders, getting their own spin-off, Cheer!. Ironically, they're much happier that way. Except for the most cheerful looking one, who somehow remembers "her" past as a football player and misses the sport, if nothing else. She keeps quiet for the sake of her happier friends.
- Loserz also has several of them.
- Arguably the King of this trope is Brett Taggerty from Dominic Deegan who is also mysognistic, and borderline psychotic, the only use he has for women is giving him sex, and he will fly into a rage at the drop of a pin. His most memorable scene is after breaking his hand, and finding out that Pam can't fix it in time for a game hits her so that he can hold her hostage until Greg can fix it.
- Chris from Shadowgirls.
- Pontagar, Champion of the Fire Clan is the Proud Warrior Race Guy version of this in The Challenges of Zona
- Biff in Tales Of Gnosis College is a narcissistic athlete who coerces his own girlfriend into playing a humiliating role in his fraternity's initiation ceremony. She gives him his comeuppance, though.
- Sam in General Protection Fault is an interesting case. While the viewer knows that his engagement with Ki did not end well, he's introduced as a nice person. A darker side of him manifests later on, as he insults Fooker, overreacts to Ki getting a haircut, cheats on Ki (it's never confirmed, but he married the person he was suspected of seeing) and finally attempts to rape Ki, leading to their breakup.
Web Original Edit
- This is usually subverted in Survival of the Fittest, but in v1 the baseball team was said to sometimes bully other students despite the fact that they were like brothers to each other, and in v3 a few members of the football team have shown tendencies to do such, with Gentle Giant / Scary Black Man Darnell Butler having had to fight some of them on occasion to stop them from particularly severe actions. Though that doesn't change that he used to be one himself. V3 character Adam Reeves practically epitomizes this trope, with a touch of fatalism and Social Darwinism thrown in. V4 character Phillip Ward, a member of the ice hockey team, is also known to a bully and once beat up Jimmy Brennan during a tryout. Not counting the occasional bullies who're otherwise good people, though, this trope almost never appears in SOTF, which is slightly surprising.
- A textbook example of the narcissistic gloating Jerk Jock is superstrong Captain Hammer, the nemesis of Dr. Horrible in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, an online Supervillain Musical by Joss Whedon. Not only does Captain Hammer beat up Dr. Horrible on a regular basis, he steals his sweet girl, too. The Jock part is particularly notable in a prequel comic in which it is shown that Captain Hammer believes that goths and any kid really good at math or science are all potential supervillains and advises kids to get them arrested by the police.
- Blake from Sorority Forever, the president of Omega Tau Omega, is a textbook example.
- The Stuntman from the second season of The Guild is not so much a Jerk Jock as an Oblivious Jock, as he's really only an asshole to Codex occasionally because he doesn't understand what's going on with her.
- There are several examples in the Whateley Universe, but Kodiak at Whateley Academy might be the best, even if he isn't in sports. He's been an Alpha for years, he cut a swath through the hot girls of the school, he has a history of picking on people, and he has now taken over the Alphas. On the other hand, he already got his karmic payback, it turns out he's smart, he has now fallen for a girl who's a nerd, and he seems to be trying to make all the Alphas behave. But it's an ongoing story, so who knows?
- Part of Retsupurae's Alternate Character Interpretation of MuscleBomber2021.
- Lampshaded in Cracked's 5 Classic Movie High Schools That Would Suck To Attend, where Soren Bowie states that since he was captain of a few sports teams back in high school, if he were in a sports movie he'd be obligated to kick the nerds' asses out of sheer peer pressure.
Western Animation Edit
- Dash and Kwan from Danny Phantom. Like Spider-Man with Flash, Danny could give them what they deserve in an instant, but not without blowing his secret identity. They had at least one Enemy Mine episode, as well.
- However, Danny does give it to them in one episode - but it backfires horribly when the ghost of picked-on and bullied Sidney Poindexter stumbles upon what Danny is doing and decides to avenge the bullied jocks.
- Additionally, like Spider-Man above, Dash is a big fan of Inviso-Bill [before the Danny Phantom appellation is widely used]. He's quite blatantly a Flash Thompson Expy.
- Kwan is more of a Jerk Jock Sidekick, as he rarely initiates bullying on his own, and in fact protested when Valerie asked him to "hurt the unpopular boy" for spilling something on her sweater, and only reluctantly went along with it when she growled in response to his protest.
- Emphasized to its fullest in "Lucky in Love" where Kwan exhibits Hidden Depths of painful loneliness. It indicates he only got popularity through bullying out of desperate desire for friends because he wanted to belong somewhere then nowhere. If anything, he has a lot in common with an earlier Danny who was also seeking his path in life (ya know, before he found it).
- The Buzz on Maggie has her older brother Aldrin.
- David in Monster Allergy. After having Annie as a friend, he stops bullying anyone.
- Soup and Ford, his minions, are also under this trope.
- In the comic, David was a closet bookworm all along.
- Parodied with Jared and Blaine on The Oblongs. They're dumb bullies who will often pause their bullying for a moment to talk about their philosophy of life or their therapists.
- Kevin from Daria is an unusual exception: he's far too stupid to be anything more than an annoyance, and while he bluntly alludes to Daria's unpopularity he still treats her like a friend most of the time. The same goes with Mack, who's less sports-obsessed and much smarter.
- In one episode a Jerk Jock graduate appears and is killed by the very goal post being put up in his honor. The episode focuses less on revenge, however, than exploring characters' reactions to his death.
- Buzz in The Replacements.
- Lightning McQueen from Cars starts out as a Jerk Jock, before mellowing out in Radiator Springs.
- Averted in Kim Possible; Brick Flagg might be the boyfriend to Bonnie Rockwaller, but he's actually pretty decent (if a bit dim) judging from what few appearances he gets. He later goes off to college in the fourth season and dumps Bonnie.
- Dean Larrity from Code Monkeys is justified in that he's partially brain damaged and partially retarded, "Wutz up!?"
- Kevin from Ed, Edd n Eddy does come off as a jerk jock because of his arrogance. However, he usually only acts like a jerk towards the Eds and then usually because they've provoked him somehow. Kevin also has average intelligence and sticks up for the other kids if the Eds does something to them (especially when he suspects a scam). All in all he's really not that bad. In the Grand Finale, even he decides to stand up for Eddy against his brother, who's a way bigger jerk than him.
- Nelson Nash from Batman Beyond. When Bruce asks Terry about who would hate him enough to use a Humongous Mecha to flatten his car, Terry tells him that "The line starts with me and goes around the block twice".
- Duncan from X-Men Evolution makes his debut with two of his friends about to beat Toad to a pulp. (Although to be fair, Toad had just stolen their wallets.) He only manages to get worse once mutants are exposed. His every appearance following the reveal in the second season has him harassing the X-kids or other mutants in some form. It does eventually bite him in the ass, thankfully.
- Palmer of Titan Maximum is what happens when you make a Hot-Blooded egotistical Jerk Jock the hero of a Humongous Mecha series. Hint: It doesn't end well.
- Rocko of Undergrads isn't much of an athlete, but he's pretty big and muscular and he sure is a jerk.
- Roger Klotz from Doug. Chalky's usually nice, though.
- In the Retool, Roger wins the lottery, causing some interesting developments as he no longer has the sympathetic background. (Previously, he was living in a trailer.) His hitting on Bebe only disgusts her.
- Although to be fair, Roger is actually a pretty mild example. While he's no doubt a bully, Roger often finds himself on civil terms with Doug, and rarely threatens him physically, preferring to stick to immature pranks.
- Francis from The Fairly Odd Parents.
- Averted in Moville Mysteries. The school jock is extremely talented and popular (not to mention dumb), but he's also one of the nicest guys around.
- The Very Special Episode of Static Shock about bullying and guns had Nick Connor, who repeatedly bullied a kid named Jimmy to the point where Jimmy brought a gun to school and nearly killed him (Richie got shot instead when someone tried to tackle Jimmy). Nick got off with a short suspension and some other fairly mild punishment.
- Averted and played straight in King of the Hill. Hank and his friends were all jocks in high-school (Dale only sort of counts, though, being the team's towel manager), but were all friendly, upstanding young men and nice to the rest of the student body. Further, Hank himself believes that the act of being on a sport's team and being a good athlete will automatically make you an upstanding citizen. On the other hand, there was an episode involving their old, high school rivals who would barge into their houses and gloat loudly about how they won The Big Game twenty years after it happened. Further, some of the jocks still in school that Hank encounters over the series, although not outright antagonists, are less-then-friendly.
- Further averted in the episode "Peggy Makes the Big Leagues", in which Peggy meets a talented football player named David who is allowed to stay on the team inspite of his poor grades. When Peggy flunks him, therefore suspending him from the team because of the school's "no pass, no play" policy, it's the teachers and booster club who come after her and practically ostracize her, not David. In fact, throughout the episode, David was never seen as anything other than somewhat oblivious and entitled yet ultimately good natured. When the booster club made a plan to make him look like he had a learning disability, he was furious, and sided with Peggy's decision. Peggy ultimately decided to let him play however.
- Total Drama:
- Averted with Tyler who looks like a jock and is obsessed with sports (though not actually very good at them) yet is generally decent to everyone and DJ who is a star quarterback but is considered the nicest contestant on the island.
- Played straight with arrogant and violent footballer Lightning in season four.
- Averted with Lee of The Amazing Spiez. He's great at sports and quite popular around school, but he's friendly to everyone and a great big brother to his three siblings. He occasionally has a moment of arrogance or chauvinism, but he's set straight pretty quickly and usually learns his lesson.
- Vince Chung in American Dad!
- Lawson in Recess plays this trope straight. Averted with Vince.
Professional Wrestling Edit
- The original Jerk Jocks of professional wrestling were the Varsity Club of NWA fame, originally featuring former collegiate amateur wrestlers Rick Steiner, Mike Rotunda, and Kevin Sullivan who wore their letterman jackets to the ring and bragged about how much better their amateur background made them in comparison to other wrestlers. They later reformed the group in WCW in 1999 to... decidedly less success. Rotunda, Steiner and Sullivan were all years past their prime at that point, and the stable wasn't utilized well or often. It did, however, feature Leia Meow bouncing on a trampoline and doing calisthenics.
- Curently in WWE the best example of the trope is "The All-American American" Jack Swagger, another former amateur wrestler (who, as his nickname implies, was an All-American wrestler in his college years) who is pretty much the embodiment of what happens when the Jerk Jock graduates from school and doesn't change even the slightest bit.
- The Spirit Squad (a "popular" heel faction from back in 2006) are an interesting case. They're heavily muscled, gung-ho, and prone to picking on people who don't measure up to their standards. But....they're cheerleaders. Yes, with pom-poms and a megaphone and cheesy rhyming chants. If they were girls, they'd of course serve as a Girl Posse. As it is, they reside in an uncomfortable frontier between the above trope and Sissy Villain. (If they were faces, they'd probably be an example of Real Men Wear Pink.)
- Then there was Christopher Nowinski, (supposedly) the first WWE Superstar to graduate from Harvard University. He played his character more as an upper-crust snob than a Jerk Jock per se, but he did wear his old letterman jacket and thus fit into this trope.
- The Miz's protege Alex Riley. The fact that he wears a letterman jacket-like vest with "Varsity Villain" on the back really says all you need to know.
- Um, Kurt Angle, people? Bonus points for inverting it as a face.
Truth In Television Edit
- The Spur Posse, who used a point system to keep track of and compare their sexual conquests. They were the inspiration for the villains in The Rage: Carrie 2.
- A study conducted at a Los Angeles institute suggested that high-school athletes are actually more likely to cheat in class then students who aren't involved in sports.
- On the other hand, the washed-up loser stereotype, while karmic, is an inversion of reality. High school athletic participation is associated with greater academic achievement, particularly in males, as well as higher income. The stereotype may come from the fact that the bigger they are, the harder they fall, so people who were once The Ace now standing as a loser is much more noticeable than someone who was once a loser remaining one. It can also heavily depend on the coach of the athlete in question.
- John Bradshaw Leyfield from WWE had a rather notorious reputation for being a bully to newer wrestlers in the backstage. The Miz actually went as far as to do several shoots about his treatment.
- Of course, jerk jocks sporadically exist in real high schools. As do jerk nerds, jerk cripples, etc.