Follicular helper T cells (Tfh) are essential for B cell production of high-affinity, class-switched antibodies. Much interest in Tfh development focuses on the priming environment of CD4 T cells. Here we explored the role that peptide specificity plays in the partitioning of the polyclonal CD4 T cell repertoire between Tfh and NonTfh lineages during the response to influenza. Surprisingly, we found that CD4 T cells specific for different epitopes exhibited distinct tendencies to segregate into Tfh or NonTfh. To alter the microenvironment and abundance, viral antigens were introduced as purified recombinant proteins in adjuvant as native proteins. Also, the most prototypical epitopes were expressed in a completely foreign protein. In many cases, the epitope-specific response patterns of Tfh vs. NonTfh persisted. The functional TcR avidity of only a subset of epitope-specific cells correlated with the tendency to drive a Tfh response. Thus, we conclude that in a polyclonal CD4 T cell repertoire, features of TcR-peptide:MHC class II complex have a strong deterministic influence on the ability of CD4 T cells to become a Tfh or a NonTfh. Our data is most consistent with at least 2 checkpoints of Tfh selection that include both TcR affinity and B cell presentation.