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Long gone are the days being shunned just because you’re a nerd. Nowadays, nerd culture has made its way so deep into mainstream culture that it’s not hard to be a nerd anymore.
Many of the things that used to be exclusive to the ultra-nerdy are popular with all sorts of people. Things like video games, board games, anime, and comics are all relatively popular with everyone.
And when it comes to nerds in film, there have been some fantastic depictions that remind everyone of just how cool being a nerd can be. Today, we’re going to count down the 10 most iconic nerds from movies and see which geek manages to settle into the top spot!
Note: Some of the trailers below have very NSFW language.
10. Evelyn Carnahan
Film: The Mummy
Evie in The Mummy is an awesome nerd. She’s incredibly smart but a bit socially awkward. In the end, she manages to come through and actually ends up saving the day, reminding us that geeks can be badasses when they need to! “Look, I… I may not be an explorer, or an adventurer, or a treasure-seeker, or a gunfighter, Mr. O’Connell, but I am proud of what I am.”
9. Harold Lee
Film: Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle
Harold from Harold and Kumar is the very definition of a nerd. Well, he’s a nerd and stoner, but a nerd nonetheless. He’s an investment banker who doesn’t like to live on the edge. But when he’s convinced to, he’ll pull out all the stop, as he does in all of the movies. “Oh, nice. 16 Candles is on, man.”
8. Chuck Sherman
Film: American Pie series
Chuck Sherman aka The Shermanator is vastly nerdier than anyone else in the American Pie movies, but like all great movie nerds, he finds a way to overcome his social issue and actually ends up with some of the most attractive women in the film—living way above his station. “I am The Sherminator. I’m a sophisticated sex robot sent back through time, to change the future for one lucky lady.”
7. Brian Ralph Johnson
Film: The Breakfast Club
Brian Ralph Johnson is the quintessential geek in his school. When he finds himself in detention with a rather motley crew of other students, we learn that there’s far more than meets the eye with deep character. As the movie progresses, we learn a lot about him, and he ends up giving nerds everywhere a good name! “Could you describe the ruckus, sir?”
Film: The Goonies
Data aka Richard Wang is sort of like a caricature of a nerd. He’s a master of inventions, and his skills end up helping the group tremendously as they face some pretty serious trials and tribulations. He ends up being one of the most important characters in the movie, empowering young geeks everywhere. “I’m setting booty traps.”
5. Dennis Nedry
Film: Jurassic Park
Interestingly, geeks and nerds in movies tend to be good guys. That’s not the case with Dennis Nedry. He’s a despicable excuse for a human being whose actions cost lots of people their lives and spring on the events that make up the conflict in the Jurassic Park film. The annoying hacker and his “Ah ah ah, you didn’t say the magic word” computer is enough to make anyone hate him. “Dodgson, Dodgson, we’ve got Dodgson here! Nobody cares. Nice hat. What are you trying to look like, a secret agent?”
4. Peter Parker
Film: Spider-Man films
Is there a bigger contrast than Peter Parker to Spider-Man? While technically one-in-the-same, Parker and his superhero alter ego couldn’t be more different. Peter Parker is quiet, awkward, and sheepish while Spider-Man is boisterous, smooth, and fearless. What geek wouldn’t want to throw on a spider suit and become one of the toughest superheroes in the world? “With great power, comes great responsibility.”
3. “Doc” Emmett Brown
Film: Back to the Future series
“Doc” is easily one of the most famous geeks in the world. He created a time machine out of a DeLorean and he talks about gigawatts all while being one of the most eccentric individuals to ever grace the silver screen. While he might accomplish the impossible, make no mistake about it, he’s one of the nerdiest characters in any movie and he rocks it with pride. “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need… roads!”
2. Napoleon Dynamite
Film: Napoleon Dynamite
Love him or hate him, you can’t help but acknowledge that Napoleon Dynamite is a giant nerd. You also can’t deny how quotable some of his lines are and how people who’ve likely never seen the movie are aware of him. He’s definitely one of the movie world’s most recognizable nerds, and for a period, he was one of the most well-known characters across all genres. “Nunchuck skills… bowhunting skills… computer hacking skills… Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills!”
Superbad is one of the funniest movies ever made, and that’s in large part due to a character who isn’t even in a large part of it. McLovin aka Fogell is involved in one of comedy’s funniest scenes. He decides to get a face I.D. using only one name: McLovin. No last name. Just McLovin. “Old enough… to party.”