Mean popular girl/boy

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Mean popular girls and mean popular boys are two terrible similar character tropes, so both will be discussed in this page with reasons explaining why they are bad on their own and other information.

Mean popular girl

The mean popular girl (also known as the "alpha bitch" or "Queen Bee") is a stock character in most TV shows or movies or video games that usually take place in a high school setting. They're often portrayed as a teenage girl who is popular among the 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: as 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 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 also refers to a character who wishes to be treated like a princess by the person she loves, even if she is not actual royalty. This word is an abbreviation of "hime" (), which means "princess", and "deredere" (デレデレ), which means "lovey-dovey". A himedere can be truly befriended by the few who can see past their ego. Sometimes the himedere takes their companions for granted and chooses to treat them unfairly. Those who tolerate her either let the himedere 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 is one who has traits of a stereotypical, snooty princess, 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 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 actually care about them. The difference between the two is how himedere characters have a princess and superior complex, acting sometimes like a diva and very demanding to other people.

Himedere character's behavior is like a spoiled brat but with a princess complex. The kinder and more mature version of this dere are oujodere characters, who act like a gentle, kind and fair princess and don't demand others to treat them differently if they really are royalty.

Mean popular boy

The term mean popular boy is a stock 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 a having social issues and/or disorders.

This type of character is one who 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 Suck

  1. It’s basically 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, they are more annoying and hateful than hilarious. And for mean popular boys, they 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 absolutely 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 chatty and talkative that you wish they could shut up.
  9. They are pretty much Karma Houdinis, meaning that they get no consequences for actions.
  10. They often stand out victorious from humiliating their victim-prone protagonist.
  11. Tsundere girls are more aggressive and violent than boys they can beat up really 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 mistreating Shinji by kicking him on the table, spilling coffee on his face, therefore Shinji cries help and mentally choked her for that, making both archetypes very pointless to some people.
  12. Himedere girls are extremely spoiled and bratty royal princesses.
  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 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. Because of this, some of them are so loud-mouthed, insulting, brash, blunt, or downright insensitive, that the viewer would prolly get angry and want to hurt them for their ruthless actions (even when they get away with being offensive).
  15. 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 Heather, Rose Wilson, Junko Enoshima, Azula, Kazooie, Juri Han, Andrea Davenport, Miu Iruma, Lord Dominator, Elise (Wims) Harris, and Marga M. Bartolome. And some mean popular boys are very well-written, redeemable, and/or likable (especially when some of them get satisfying comeuppances for their actions). For example, John F. Kennedy from Clone High, Duckman, Sam Puckett, from iCarly, Spike Bulldog from Tom and Jerry (before he was flanderized in the 2014 series), Dan from Dan Vs., and Eric Cartman from South Park.
  2. Some of them have a purpose or an actual reason for being the way they are, like if there was some backstory that drove them to act like jerks and not because of just liking to be rude.
  3. Most of them do get comeuppance from the characters.
  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 Amity Blight, 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, PONY.MOV Applejack and 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.
  8. Himederes demand to be treated like royalty by their loved ones. They can really be princesses or only think that they are in a higher position to 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 the main reasons for their bullying behavior.

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 is very hard and pointless! 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 will totally hate it and become of the Mean Popular Girl trope. The perfect example is Sakura Haruno, she was hated by Naruto fans due to her poor portrayal of being tsundere because she beat up Naruto throughout the many episodes too quickly.
  2. Keep their likability balanced and be careful of making female characters like Tsundere and Himedere it will be very annoying and frustrating to some people. The worst part: They will never watch anime because of it.
  3. Give them some flaws and motivations like Taiga Aisaka, who get neglected by her parents. It depends on the portrayal of being a tsundere and himedere to make them reasonable.


NOTE: Do not add examples of characters here that are just mean. Make sure that they fit the description of the trope in some way and add a brief explanation of their character.

Mean popular girls

  • Mindy (The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy; she's a blatant incarnation of this stereotype who also serves as Mandy's arch-nemesis)
  • 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 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 where she had cheated on Trent 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)

Mean popular boys

  • Skeebo (Pac-Man & the Ghostly Adventures; he always acts as a bully to Pacster and his friends)
  • Duncan (Total Drama; he is notable for being the "badass punk" stereotype, but like other characters, he is pretty well written)
  • Bufo (Wolfoo; even though the show claims he learns his lesson at the end of the episode, he always acts as an asshole to the rest of the cast, especially Wolfoo)
  • Miki (Initial D; he tries to kidnap Natsuki during Third Stage, but he gets what he deserves thankfully)
  • Chandler (The Loud House; popular for his parties and uses Lincoln to get what he wants, and he becomes even more cruel in seasons 5 to present)
  • Drake (The Pebble and the Penguin; every female penguin in the Rookery (save for Marina) admire him, not 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.)



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