15 Most Stereotypical Depictions of Nerds

By Ethan Kaye in Daily Lists, Movies, TV
Friday, October 15, 2010 at 8:05 am
First off: Topless Robot readers are all sophisticated, cosmopolitan people. They are all brilliant, classy, attractive, well-adjusted social members of society. Topless Robot readers are the Cristal of internet readers. And you are nerds.

That's fine. Being a nerd no longer means that you carry a pocket protectors and have taped glasses and no social skills; unfortunately, no one has seemed to alert mainstream pop culture of this. It's still portraying nerds in movies and TV shows as the old stereotypes still hold true. Admittedly, some nerd portrayals are more accurate than others, but none of them are doing real, regular nerds that can actually function in society and maintain eye contact with the opposite sex any favors. In no particular order, here's 15 of the worst offenders.

15) Napoleon Dynamite
Sure, his star has faded after the billionth "Vote for Pedro" shirt and bobblehead, but his combination of fashion, interest in the Loch Ness Monster, 4-H, and enthusiasm for nunchucks actually made the world love nerds a little more. John Heder's been trying to shake that image for years now. Just make a damn sequel already, gosh!

14) Mort Goldman
Now, as we all know, not every nerd is a hypochondriac. But when you spend a lifetime surfing the internet (or in Mort's case, as a pharmacist), you can imagine that you're catching every disease known to man. Not only is he a hypochondriac, but he's whiny, bespectacled, and has awful red hair, which adds up to one of the biggest nerd stereotypes in history. AND HE REPRODUCED.

13) Wesley Crusher
When you're writing a character in science fiction that you want to be a stand-in for your dorky self, it's called a "Mary Sue." Wesley was the writers' Mary Sue, simultaneously doing all the awesome sci-fi stuff that fans wished they themselves could do, while being an out-of-it virgin who everyone picked on. Celebrities of the future! They're just like us!

12) Comic Book Guy
Funny story: I was at a restaurant a few years back and sitting at the table behind me was Comic Book Guy. It was like he stepped out of Springfiel; he was wearing the shorts, the ponytail (bald on top, so it was technically a "skullet"), the awful beard, and the t-shirt. And he was fat. Now, people like this do exist, as every body type does somewhere in the world. What really set him apart from those guys? I overheard him bitching to his friend about Magneto.

11) Samuel "Screech" Powers
Life off-screen mirrors life on. Screech was the lovable nerd in Saved By the Bell and all its early and later incarnations. In 2001, after the show ended, he made a video that taught people how to play chess better. Then he made a sex tape that made everyone hate him. Still, Screech was a pretty successful nerd, going to college and working at the beach and all. He even dated Tori Spelling's character. What's Dustin up to now? Wikipedia has him cast in a 2011 "Untitled Tetherball Comedy."

10) Morgan Grimes
Buy More employee Morgan Grimes embodies the nerd qualities of "unhealthy obsession with girls" and "would rather play video games than interact with those girls." People like to say that Chuck is about a nerd who gets secret agent knowledge, but compared to Morgan, Chuck is the Fonz. Hell, he's the Fonz plus Marlon Brando in The Wild One.

9) Seymour Krelborn
Rick Moranis, part 1. Seymour gets the hot girl at the end, but that's mostly because everyone else in the city is eaten by a plant. The rest of the time, he's living in a basement apartment, reading books about plants. For some reason, he's followed by a female doo-wop group, while he shops for plants. Little Shop of Horrors is the classic "nerd makes good" story, and he's a rare breed of nerd -- the herbology nerd.
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