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    Mean popular characters (regardless of whether they are girls or boys) is a character trope that is shared between two genders, so both will be discussed on this page with reasons explaining why they are bad on their own and other information. They are also the opposite of The Friendly Loved Boy/Girl trope.

    Mean Popular Girl

    The mean popular girl (also known as an "alpha bitch" or "Queen Bee") is a stock character in most TV shows or movies or some video games and some books that usually take place in a high school setting. They're often portrayed as a teenage girl who are popular in school but is often mean and prissy to less popular girls, mostly towards the main female protagonist. She is usually very attractive and often has sidekicks following her everywhere.

    Male variants of that cliché also exist too where they're called the mean popular boy (also known as the "alpha bastard"). Check below for more info.

    Tsundere characters are also part of the range from the cold "silent treatment" to the hotheaded "kindergartener who pushes you into the sandbox." The reasons behind a tsundere's behavior vary widely but usually boil down to the conflict between their feelings of affection towards a love interest, and their reaction to having those feelings. Though in most examples the reason has something to do with a Madonna-Whore Complex or at least a fear of Slut-Shaming. Truth in Television for many teenage girls: they both try too hard to be attractive and also try to look like they aren't trying. In an adult though, this type of behavior is generally seen as distastefully immature. The tsun ツン in the Japanese word tsundere ツンデレ comes from the word tsuntsun つんつん, which is a mimetic word for "irritable" or "grumpy," meaning someone is tsuntsun when they become hard to approach and to talk with.

    The term was originally used to describe characters who began with a harsh outgoing personality, but slowly revealed a soft and vulnerable interior over time, which made this a plot trope as much as it is a character trope. Over the years the character archetype has become flanderized, and is now generically associated with a character who flips between the two emotional states at the slightest provocation, and usually at a specific person rather than a general sociability problem. The former is usually referred to as Classic Tsundere and the latter as Modern Tsundere. A Tsundere, especially a classic one, is usually a tomboy with a Girly Streak.

    The tsuntsun can range from the cold "silent treatment" to the hotheaded "kindergartner who pushes you into the sandbox." The reasons behind a tsundere's behavior vary widely but usually boil down to the conflict between their feelings of affection towards a love interest, and their reaction to having those feelings.

    A himedere (oujidere if a male) also refers to a character who wishes to be treated like a princess (prince) by the person she (he) loves, even if she (he) is not an actual royalty. This word is an abbreviation of "hime" ("ouji"), which means "princess" ("prince"), and "deredere" (デレデレ), which means "lovey-dovey". A himedere (oujidere) can be truly befriended by the few who can see past their ego. Sometimes the himedere (oujidere) takes their companions for granted and chooses to treat them unfairly. Those who tolerate her (him) either let the himedere (oujidere) walk all over them or retaliate eventually, but there is usually a sense of loyalty or a strong bond that is difficult to break.

    This type of character has traits of a stereotypical, snooty princess (prince), and comes off at first as arrogant, self-centered, and vain. Still, they have the capacity for love and friendship and often will soften over time, learning a valuable lesson in the process.

    Himedere (Oujidere) characters are very similar to tsundere characters and have a similar personality. They will both be arrogant and insult their love interest, acting like they're not interested when they care about them. The difference between the two is how himedere (oujidere) characters have a princess (prince) and superior complex, acting sometimes like a diva and very demanding to other people.

    Himedere (Oujidere) character's behavior is like a spoiled brat but with a princess (prince) complex. The kinder and more mature version of this dere is oujodere (jendere, despite not being an official dere type) characters, who act like gentle, kind, and fair princesses (princes) and don't demand others to treat them differently if they are royalty.

    Mean Popular Boy

    The term mean popular boy, (also referred as a “jerk jock”) is a character portraying male characters as cool, stronger, and often bullying anyone, even the main character, for no good reason, similar to mean popular girls. However, not all boys look like this, and there's an opposite version on the different page of him who is smart, kindhearted, and extremely likable.

    The term was originally used to describe characters who began with a seemingly harsh personality, but slowly revealed a softer and vulnerable interior over time, which made this a plot trope as much as it is a character trope. Over the years, this character archetype has become flanderized and is now generically associated with a character who is ruthless with little to no redeeming value of their characterization, and usually at a specific person rather than having social issues and/or disorders.

    This type of character has traits of a stereotypical egotist/narcissist and comes off at first as arrogant, self-centered, and having many jerkish qualities to them. Still, they may have the capacity for love and friendship and some of these characters will soften over time as they learn a valuable lesson in the process (depending on how they're written), otherwise, they'd just continue to never change and remain as the obnoxious jerks they've always been.

    Why These Clichés Are Intentionally Mean

    1. It's a carbon copy of the Bully cliché, both female and male.
    2. They're just there to go up to the main protagonist and bully them for the sake of their characters, serving no purpose other than to pad a scene out.
    3. For mean popular girls are more annoying and hateful than hilarious. And mean popular boys, are more obnoxious, punchable, and hateful than funny.
    4. They don't have or show any motive or reason to bully the male or female protagonist, making their vendetta against the main character unjustifiable and unnecessary.
    5. What makes their mean-spirited attitude towards the main character more unreasonable is that the main character didn't do anything mean to them. In fact, in some shows like The C-Students pilot and Pixel Pinkie, the main female characters were trying to be nice to them, so that makes the Alpha Bitch's hatred towards the protagonist more pathetic.
    6. They usually get no character development whatsoever.
    7. When these so-called "side antagonists" do serve a purpose, they just cause problems and conflict for the protagonist to get the plot going in the direction that the writer wants it to.
    8. Some of them are so talkative that you wish they could shut up.
    9. They are pretty much Karma Houdinis, meaning that they get no consequences for their actions.
    10. They often stand out victorious from humiliating their victim-prone protagonist(s) (and to a lesser extent, background characters).
    11. Tsundere girls are more aggressive and violent than boys they can beat up hard is more like bullying than lovable, though they usually try not to bully the protagonist, start to learn rational feelings, and develop love and/or kindness toward them.
      • Sometimes, some of the Tsunderes can be downright gender abusers for no real reason such as Asuka brutally mistreating Shinji by kicking him on the table, spilling coffee on his face, therefore Shinji cries for help and mentally choking her for that, making both archetypes very pointless to some people.
    12. Himedere/Oujidere girls/boys are extremely spoiled and bratty royal princesses/princes.
    13. In Western media, if she's Asian, she's usually Chinese (examples include Tammy from Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures, Penelope from Atomic Betty, Heather from Total Drama, Brittney from Star, Trixie from The Fairly OddParents, and Gwen from Mighty B!). This isn't necessarily anti-Chinese propaganda, as many of these shows have Chinese heroes and/or neutral characters, but it's overdone and questionable why that seems to be the default "Asian female bully" nationality.
    14. Most mean girls and mean boys overuse blonde hair stereotypes such as Connie D'Amico from Family Guy, Chloé Bourgeois from Miraculous Ladybug, Dash Baxter from Danny Phantom, and more.
    15. Because of this, some of them are so loud-mouthed, insulting, brash, blunt, or downright insensitive, that the viewer would probably get angry and want to hurt them for their ruthless actions (even when they get away with being offensive).
    16. Jealousy is also part of the horrible cliché (especially for any gender). For example, when people fall in love with each other (regardless of gender or sexuality), this causes the boy to get extremely toxic to him or her. And of course, their malice is more dangerous than just jealousy itself, especially anime girls themselves.

    Redeeming Qualities

    1. Some mean popular girls and boys are loved by fans. They aren't (or at least less) mean-spirited such as Libby Chessler, Heather, Rose Wilson, Junko Enoshima, Azula, Kazooie, Juri Han, Andrea Davenport, Beni from Tenkai Knights, Miu Iruma, Lord Dominator, Elise (Wims) Harris, and Marga M. Bartolome. And some mean popular boys are very well-written, redeemable, entertaining and/or likable (especially when some of them get satisfying comeuppances for their actions). For example, John F. Kennedy from Clone High, Duckman, Spike Bulldog from Tom and Jerry, Dan from Dan Vs., Squidward Tentacles from SpongeBob SquarePants, Wario and Waluigi from Super Mario, Chuck from Angry Birds, Eric Cartman from South Park, and Katsuki Bakugo from My Hero Academia.
    2. Some of them have a purpose or an actual reason for being the way they are, such as Kevin from Ed Edd n Eddy (his reason is that he was at the butt of Eddy’s scams for nearly a decade).
    3. Most of them do get comeuppance from other characters with a moral compass.
    4. Not all of them are mean-spirited to the point of doing physical abuse.
    5. Although it's a minority, some of them do undergo character development, such as Cordelia Chase, Draco Malfoy, Amity Blight, Sasha Waybright, Diamond Tiara, Silver Spoon, Regina George, Quinn Fabray, Santana Lopez, Kitty Wilde, Miu Kazashiro, The Dazzlings, Chanel Oberlin, Chanel #3, Chanel #5, Pacifica Northwest, Ronnie Anne Santiago, Wildernessa, Chloé Bourgeois, Penny Peterson, Hiyoko Saionji, Ami Kawashima, Katsuki Bakugo, Mako Sato, Sayuki, Shingo Shoji, Miki, Applejack, Diana Cavendish, etc.
    6. Some of them do have a reason to dislike the main protagonist.
    7. Tsundere is a Japanese term for a character development process that depicts a person who is initially cold (and sometimes even hostile) before gradually showing a warmer, friendlier side over time. Tsunderes do not like being arrogant and try to be kind in which they try to adapt to the world and understand better from time to time.
    8. Himederes/Oujideres demand to be treated like royalty by their loved ones. They can be princesses/princes or only think that they are in a higher position than others and, consequently, that they should be treated as such and admired by those they think are inferior to them.
      • The comedy anime will never be great without both tropes.
    9. Other bullies and families are also often the main reasons for their bullying behavior.
    10. They are pretty much hate sinks.

    How to make a well-written Tsundere and Himedere

    1. First of all, portraying female characters (especially anime female characters) such as Tsundere and Himedere (Oujidere for male anime characters) is very hard and pointless! This means you can't just portray them as Tsundere and Himedere archetypes when some female characters are just annoying, naggy, and sexist. Because if they made females way too far, the fans would hate it and become the Mean Popular Girl trope. The perfect example is Sakura Haruno, she is hated by Naruto fans due to her poor portrayal of being tsundere because she often hits Naruto throughout the many episodes for no reason.
    2. Keep their likability balanced and be careful of making female characters like Tsundere and Himedere because there is a chance that it will be very annoying and frustrating to some people if it's not done right. The worst part: They will never watch anime because of it.
    3. Give them some flaws and motivations like Taiga Aisaka, who gets neglected by her parents. It depends on the portrayal of being a tsundere and himedere to make them reasonable.

    Examples of Mean Popular Girls

    • Nina Harper (Braceface) - constantly bullies Sharon and acts very bratty
    • Muffy Crosswire (Arthur) - she is very spoiled and often acts horrible to her friends
    • The dance group Cuties (Cuties) - the group constantly acts sexually and like a sociopath toward the others, especially Angelica
    • Heather (Total Drama) - despite being well-written, she can usually act cruel and mean-spirited at all times, such as the time when she ruined Gwen and Trent’s relationship just to get Trent eliminated in that one episode
    • Vana Glama (Sidekick) - she constantly acts "pretty" and "popular" to the others, and for literally no reason hates Eric to the guts
    • The Golden Girls (American Dad!) - They pick on all the kids at school and treat Steve horribly. They also manipulate Francine into pouring sludge onto Steve during his fashion show. They do however get a comeuppance when Francine exposes all three of them with private information, thus ruining their reputations.
    • Connie D'Amico (Family Guy) - a mean-spirited bully who picks on Meg for being unpopular and torments her family.
    • Penelope Lang (Atomic Betty) - Self-obsessed girl, who thinks of herself as the most popular girl at her school and always antagonizes Betty because she believes she's better than her.
    • Mindy (The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy) - she's a blatant incarnation of this stereotype who also serves as Mandy's arch-nemesis.
    • Nana Astar Deviluke (To Love Ru) - Aside from being an overly toxic tsundere, she is just a stereotypical vain, spoiled, attention-seeking brat who mostly lacks any sympathetic or relatable aspects to accompany those traits (despite not being a bad individual overall and the fact that she still cares about her sisters). In regards to her tsundere traits, she constantly abuses and humiliates Rito (the main protagonist of the series) because of his clumsiness (which leads to him accidentally fondling other girls) even though in each time, it's clear he didn't mean to do that and they were clearly all coincidental accidents, and even when other characters are the ones who started the situation and she sees this, she ignores the fact that other characters started it and instead blindly believes Rito is the one who started everything (and she does this out of stupidity and paranoia, not out of awkwardness, shyness, or insecurity). She also gets more screen time in the sequel series To Love Ru Darkness, and most of her appearances are just filler and it's almost always just her abusing Rito and purposely trying to ruin his reputation towards other girls. In contrast to Kotegawa Yui, Nana is unbalanced and is often quite detestable.
      • She's also a hypocrite because she constantly calls Rito a big pervert who deserves to be avoided by every girl when Nana herself befriends Kurosaki Mea (someone who does perverted things deliberately and enjoys doing them). Another thing is that she calls Rito an idiot when she is way more idiotic than him.
      • She also constantly whines about why her older sister Lala likes him, but she never even tries asking her why she likes him so much.
      • She also frequently whines about Rito being indecisive in the series even though his situation with so many girls was tough and not easy to deal with, but Nana never tries understanding anything.
      • Whenever Rito does something good to her, she either disregards them after seeing him in sensual situations (which are not things he wants) or just straight-up acts stubborn and refuses to see anything good in him at all.
      • Above all, she had to be told by Kotegawa Yui that Rito is someone who dislikes perverted stuff to be fully aware that he never meant any of the situations to happen; it's painfully dumb because Nana has known Rito enough to know that he's a nice guy who doesn't want to be a problem. This just further summarizes that Nana is a tsundere who is blind and isn't the kind who mistreats the MC out of difficulty expressing her feelings; she does try finding the worst in Rito and mistreats him out of stupidity and paranoia.
    • Bonnie Rockwaller (Kim Possible) - a stereotypical cheerleader who frequently shames Kim.
    • Nebra Silva (Black Clover) - she takes pleasure in judging and laughing at others (especially her only sister Noelle since childhood) who suffer in humiliation and defeat.
    • Sincerity Travers (What About Mimi?) - a generic "mean popular girl", and is pretty much the atypical rich girl who is spoiled, snobby, selfish, and obsessed with popularity. Her only motive for doing anything is also for popularity.
    • Sharpay Evans (High School Musical series; pre-character development) - She forced Ms. Darbus to push the callbacks to the same day as Troy's basketball game and Gabriella's scholastic decathlon, so they cannot perform on stage. During summer vacation at Lava Springs, she manipulated Mr. Fulton into banning her employed classmates from entering the talent show, so she can earn the Star Dazzle Award and steal Troy away from Gabriella
    • Daki (Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba) - as a beautiful yet infamous demon under many oiran disguises worn throughout the years, she cruelly bullies her clients to the point of committing Ashinuke (or breaking one's ties) and suicide.
    • Kokomi Teruhashi (The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.) - beneath the mask of her "nice and popular pretty girl" image, she is truly a conceited attention whore who manipulates people who easily adore her natural beauty to have Kusuo Saiki for herself; however, this is rather a good and well-written example of this trope
    • Mami Nanami (Rent-A-Girlfriend) - She breaks up with Kazuya at the beginning of the story after having dated for just a month, claiming she fell in love with someone else. She appears to be friendly on the outside but harbors jealous and possessive feelings that scare her friends sometimes. Once she finds out about Kazuya's relationship with Chizuru, She actively tries to sabotage it out of spite.
    • Ren Yamai (Komi Can't Communicate) - She resents Hitohito Tadano just for befriending Shouko Komi, the most beautiful girl that she dangerously falls in love with. She also resents Omoharu Nakanaka for the same reason, along with the latter's personality that Yamai finds it "unladylike" while she is the one to talk.
    • Miki Kawai (A Silent Voice) - Plays the victim in the bullying back at the elementary school and acts more of a bully when denying it, especially when she exposes Shōya's bullying to both their classmates in their current grades and even their friend circle.
    • Naoka Ueno (A Silent Voice) - She treats both Shōya and Shōko badly by mocking them and giving punishments to them when it isn't really necessary, as well as Tomihiro when he asks her if she has feelings for him, making her unreasonably mad at him for a mistake that was her fault. She even treated her "friend" Miyoko much worse as she bullied her back at elementary school and even after they became friends, she still mocked her for standing up for Shōko in the infamous hospital scene in the manga.
    • Aika S. Granzchesta (Aria/Aqua) - Treats Akari Mizunashi like trash several times by slapping her, snitching on her, stalking her, and abusing President Aria to the point where she is nearly unsympathetic in general. She was also flanderized in the picture dramas, where she was portrayed as a much bigger Unwilling Weed Reaper for taking advantage and treating both Akari and Alice like Butt-Monkey slaves.
    • Mai Zenin (Jujutsu Kaisen; pre-character development) - The talentless daughter from the popular Zenin clan and student of Kyoto Jujutsu High who belittled her stronger twin sister Maki and the rest of the latter's teammates (especially Nobara) from the Tokyo side.
    • Winnie Coyle (Rumble) - She is a reckless and bossy girl who causes the plot of the movie by interfering with a wrestling match and helping a monster cheat at wrestling. When this backfires on her and all of Stoker, she refuses to take responsibility for it and blames that monster alone for everything. Even worse is that she interferes with another wrestling match with her close friend, Steve, and compromises him, allowing her to force him to let her coach him and boss him around. She is shown mostly caring about herself and does not take into account what Steve or her mother actually wants yet the film tries to force viewers to sympathize with her because her father died years ago. Nobody even calls her out for her actions and behavior throughout the film either, allowing her to get away with what she has done.
    • Suzi (Camp Lakebottom) - A stereotypical spoiled fashionista who complains about not getting a crown and is a bad sister to McGee.
    • Stella (Helluva Boss) - She is the spoiled and bratty ex-wife of Stolas. In the season 2 premiere, she was revealed to be an animal hater in childhood but then she is shown to rudely gossip about her husband behind his back during parties. She also repeatedly throws temper tantrums after finding out that Stolas, who is gay, cheated on her with an imp named Blitzo.

    Examples of Mean Popular Boys

    • Duncan (Total Drama) - he is notable for being the "badass punk" stereotype, but like other characters, he is pretty well written.
    • Chandler (The Loud House) - he is popular for his parties and uses Lincoln to get what he wants, and he becomes even more cruel every since he became classmates with Lincoln in 6th grade.
    • Doofus Drake (DuckTales 2017) - According to Louie, he only mingles with wealthy people, which means he doesn't interact with regular people. He also tries to make Louie's life a living hell for him and also ejects anyone at his birthday party for lying to him.
    • Drake (The Pebble and the Penguin) - he is popular among every female penguin in the rookery (save for Marina) and has three loyal henchmen by his sidenote to mention he outright tried to get rid of Hubie to the point of tossing him into the sea, just so he can have Marina for himself.
    • Neito Monoma (My Hero Academia) - he bullies and laughs at Class 1-A, an entire class of superheroes, for being the most popular of the whole academy and tries to make that class look bad for any mistake they made so his classroom Class 1-B to be much superior to the other class in comparison. It's not helping that Monoma has got two classes to agree with him rivaling Class 1-A while Monoma is also responsible for creating the animosity between both classes to rival each other.
    • Solid Silva (Black Clover) - he tends to cruelly belittle others for their status and power, as well as picking on his little sister Noelle since childhood (i.e. destroying her toys and throwing away her food) and just smirks just like Nebra whenever he encounters and taunts others.
    • Metori Saiko (The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.; pre-character development) In season 1, he's the rich transfer student who made his classmates suffer terrible consequences (i.e. forcing Kusuo Saiki and his family to transfer to Siberia) for not letting him have Kokomi Teruhashi for himself. In season 2, he took away all of the costumes, sets, and props that he bought with his money after figuring out Kaido's real plan for "The Other Taro Urashima" play shortly before the day of the cultural festival.
    • Bix Wheelie (The Raccoons) - he smashed a hole in Cyril's boat and set his garage on fire, let Bert ride Toof's bike when it had no brakes and he did nothing to help and set Cyril's garage on fire.
    • Makoto Teruhashi (The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.) - A popular TV show actor who tends to be rude to others (including Saiki albeit the latter has no purpose to do so) that he thought tries to get closer to his sister Kokomi, in whom he has a perverting sister-complex with.
    • Shouta Itou (Jujutsu Kaisen) - a mean popular boy who is responsible for tormenting Junpei Yoshino to the point the latter received a scar on his forehead that is currently covered by his hair. He also had an impact on Junpei's decision to stop attending school and encounter Mahito, who used the big bully's victim to become a Curse user against everyone, including the former, at his school for revenge, as well as not showing remorse about Junpei when he died and doesn’t show any surprise of his punishment from his principal.
    • Marcus (Big Nate) - Your stereotypical popular jerk who bullies people younger than him, mainly Nate and his friends. He also tries to steal the girl Chad likes and has a group of dumbasses protecting him, similar to Randy Betancourt. Karma did strike him eventually, but that was the only time it happened and he’s rarely appeared since.
    • Chad the Cheerleader (The LEGO Ninjago Movie; pre-character development) - bullied Lloyd Garmadon just for having a four-armed father (who also has his son’s last name) who wants to rule and conquer Ninjago City while he didn't do anything wrong for others.
    • Jordan Buttsquat (Camp Lakebottom) - Always taunts McGee and his friends just to take over the camp they are staying in.
    • Lance Richmond (Nexo Knights) - A knight and a celebrity who cares about his looks, public image, money, and entertainment way more than his duties as a knight, and butts heads with his friends, usually Clay, over petty reasons. He mistreated his butler Dennis and showed no concern over his parents being taken prisoners.
    • Louie Farley (George Brown, Class Clown) - Treats George Brown like garbage for having a big burp, making him an ableist, as well as acting incredibly whiny for throwing temper tantrums that are way worse than Caillou and D.W.'s first 15 seasons combined. He is also notable for suing others for the dumbest reasons like losing a contest.
    • Allan Amazing (Sidekick) - He's a grotesque combination of that trope and a gary stu because girls have a crush on him because "he's handsome", he's pretty mean to Eric, and he has a horrible temper when he gets angry.


    Mean Popular Girls

    Mean Popular Boys


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