Created By: RossN on November 6, 2010 Last Edited By: Paradisesnake on December 19, 2013

Nerds Are Nicer

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Trope
In Hollywood High School the nerds are not simply smart, they also tend to be the nicest guys you can ever hope to meet. They might be snarky but most of the time their cutting sense of humour will be directed only at themselves or evil jocks. Nerds are sensitive, chivalrous, romantic and simply better than the popular kids. Give Geeks a Chance is about a geeky guy ending up with a hot babe. Nerds Being Nicer is usually a big part but Give Geeks a Chance is more of an actual plot while Nerds Are Nicer is more of a stock characteristic. Nerds Are Nicer doesn't even strictly need the hot babe.

Contrast Jerk Jock, The Libby, The Cheerleader and Popular Is Dumb. Compare with Cool Loser. See also Adorkable. See also: Nice Guy, Dogged Nice Guy Seen It a Million Times


Examples

Films — Animated
  • Milo Thatch in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, who is the only genuinely nice person on the team, and isn't in it for the money.

Films — Live-Action
  • Can't Buy Me Love (and presumably its Ethnic Remake Love Don't Cost a Thing): nerd cons his way into Jock lifestyle and becomes a Jerk, realizes that Nerds Are Nicer.

Live-Action Television
Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • November 6, 2010
    TGGeko
  • November 7, 2010
    RossN
    There is overlap but they aren't the same. Give Geeks A Chance is about a geeky guy ending up with a hot babe. Nerds Being Nicer is usually a big part but Give Geeks A Chance is more of an actual plot while Nerds Are Nicer is more of a stock characteristic. Nerds Are Nicer doesn't even strictly need the hot babe.
  • November 7, 2010
    randomsurfer
  • November 7, 2010
    SKJAM
    • Judging by mentions on this site, 30Rock subverts this by revealing that Liz Lemon was actually a pretty mean person in high school.
  • November 29, 2010
    RossN
    Bump.
  • February 8, 2011
    RossN
    I still think this a trope but it needs a lot of help.
  • February 8, 2011
    madmerry
    Carol Seaver from Growing Pains,

    Screech from Saved by the Bell,

    Steve Urkel from Family Matters,

    Willow Rosenburg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer,

    Xander Harris from Buffy the Vampire Slayer,

    Nyssa of the Traken from Classic Doctor Who,

    Does Adric from Classic Doctor Who subvert this trope as he's a math wiz and a complete jerkass?
  • February 8, 2011
    thegrenekni3t
    • Subverted in the Sabrina The Teenage Witch episode "Geek Like Me": Sabrina turns her popular rival Libby into a nerd to give her a taste of what it's like to be teased. Unexpectedly, Libby remains a jerk, and winds up turning the science club into the same kind of clique the cheer squad had been.
  • February 10, 2011
    MoG2
  • February 10, 2011
    JeddtheJedi
    Milo Thatch in Atlantis The Lost Empire, who is the only genuinely nice person on the team, and isn't in it for the money.
  • March 22, 2011
    RossN
    A rare subversion in 90210 where the Lovable Libby Naomi fell in love with the geeky Max and had to put up with a lot of crap from his similarly geeky friends because her tastes were more mainstream.
  • December 6, 2013
    CrazyCatKid
    Reviving unless it's been done already.
  • December 6, 2013
    DAN004
    Rework the description plz.

    Contrast Academic Alpha Bitch for nerds who manage to be jerks.
  • December 6, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    Holy Zero Context Example Batman! FIX THEM FELIX!!
  • December 7, 2013
    Psi001
    • Sabrina still plays it straight with Gordy however, who was the one geek not to be corrupted by Libby and gets frequent displays of being a pretty likable Extreme Doormat. The other geeks themselves are mostly only He Who Fights Monsters, and are quite welcoming when the rest of the school joins the geek club (much to the fury of Libby, who forms clubs to isolate and bully people).
    • Steve Smith and his clique of friends are this Depending On The Writer in American Dad. One episode they are soft spoken underdogs, in another they'll be arrogant and constantly turning on each other. "Bully For Steve" has Stan rather vigorously try to corrupt Steve, as his innocence often escalates into outright wimpiness.
  • December 7, 2013
    Snicka
  • December 7, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Linked the examples to their respective work pages, sorted the examples by media, italicized and namespaced the examples + did some other formatting.

    EDIT: This still needs a laconic by the way.
  • December 7, 2013
    kjnoren
    I think a better trope name would be Nice Nerd, since X Are Y makes implications about all nerds being nice (and thus opens up for listing irrelevant aversions).
  • December 7, 2013
    xanderiskander
    ^ I agree that Nice Nerd is a better name for the same reason. There are just as many mean nerds in media as nice ones from what I see.

    I think this might be covered by Lovable Nerd though. Although the description for Lovable Nerd is terrible, and it's full of Zero Context Examples.
  • December 18, 2013
    Sibuna
    • House Of Anubis- Fabian, Mara and Nina are considered the nerds of the house, yet are usually the nicest ones in the house. Until... Subverted a little, however, as they have their moments of being jerks like everyone else, and characters like Mick and Amber are also among the nicest people.
  • December 18, 2013
    DAN004
    Is this Up For Grabs yet?
  • December 18, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ would you grab it if it was?
  • December 19, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Prolly. At least I'm thinking of fixing the descriptions...
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