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All too often, movies exaggerate the life of a nerd. Not all nerds are geniuses, and definitely not all of us wear taped glasses or get pushed into lockers every day. We see this stereotype in dozens of shows and movies, and they make nerds look bad each and every time.
Only a handful of movies depict the true-to-life experiences of a nerd. They realistically incorporate all of the awkwardness, eccentricity, and quirkiness that come along with being a nerd.
Superbad is your classic nerd movie. The two main geeks, Seth and Evan, decide to go outside of their comfort zone by attending parties and attempting to flirt with girls. Of course, this results in plenty of awkward situations.
After all, only a nerd could craft a fake ID that uses the name”McLovin,” and then hitch a ride to a party in a police cruiser. All in all, Superbad might have some outrageous scenes, but it at least gets the personality of a nerd down pat.
All nerds can find themselves in Booksmart, especially when it comes to the friendship of the two leading geeks, Amy and Molly. After spending all of high school studying, acing tests, and religiously doing homework, the girls decide to live it up the day before they graduate.
Molly convinces Amy to attend a graduation party, and the crazy events just pile up from there. The two unknowingly get tangled up in drugs, wind up at a murder mystery party, and later get the chance to party with their crushes. It’s a wild, nerdy ride that geeks can definitely relate to.
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a film about the tumultuous life of high school freshman, Charlie. He has no friends besides his English teacher, but later grows close to senior students Sam, and her stepbrother Patrick.
As an introverted nerd, Charlie doesn’t know his way around parties or social situations. Despite this, Sam and Patrick force Charlie out into the world—they drag him to parties, introduce him to new friends, and expose him to the fun side of high school. Charlie goes along with it, all while dealing with past tragedies, anxiety, and depression.
4. The Way, Way Back
The Way, Way Back is yet another movie that will give you that nostalgic feeling of growing up as a nerd. It follows the awkward teenager, Duncan, and his family vacation to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Not only does Duncan have to deal with his mom’s arrogant boyfriend, Trent, but he also has to put up with Trent’s snobby daughter.
Duncan ends up getting a job at a local water park, and finds a role model in his laidback boss, Owen. As the summer days pass, Duncan slowly grows more confident.
5. The Breakfast Club
Everyone knows The Breakfast Club as the iconic 80s movie that brings together all of the stereotypical cliques in high school. The nerd, jock, snob, punk, and kook land in detention at the same time, and end up forming a friendship.
The Breakfast Club doesn’t depict Brian the geek as a kid with overalls, glasses, and a nasal voice—the film manages to tone down the nerdy stereotype, and actually gives Brian a more lifelike personality.
6. Office Space
Had enough of movies that take place in high school? Office Space offers a refreshing take on adult nerds. Peter Gibbons is an overworked programmer who has to cope with a cocky boss who’s constantly looking over his shoulder.
When the company announces its plans to downsize, Peter and his geeky friends risk losing their jobs. To get back at Initech, they come up with a scheme to develop a virus and steal money from the company.
Getting Rid of Nerdy Stereotypes
It’s always nice to see a film that makes an effort to create a real-life depiction of a nerd. If more movies avoided the Poindexter stereotype, they would stop spreading the negative connotations that come along with being a nerd.
Although the above films don’t have the most obvious nerds, they still feature nerds nonetheless. For a list of in-your-face geeky characters in the film industry, check out our list of the most iconic movie nerds.