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[[quoteright:350:[[Webcomic/TrueMagic http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/book_worm_sword_1912.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Oh no, [[Film/RevengeOfTheNerds the nerds have RISEN AGAINST US!]]]]

->''"Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the sage amongst his books. For to you the Kingdoms and their armies are things mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment, to be overturned by the flicking of a finger."''
-->-- '''Creator/GordonRDickson''', ''Literature/TacticsOfMistake''

This character is a quiet [[TheSmartGuy smart guy]] or girl who is physically unimposing, but with HiddenDepths of formidable physical and practical skills. They are BrainsAndBrawn, with brains dominant.

Their physical abilities might result from applying their genius to [[AwesomenessByAnalysis solve physical challenges like math problems]]. Their attention to detail might also result in a DiagnosisFromDrBadass. While some badass bookworms are [[MusclesAreMeaningless surprisingly strong]], others might be WeakButSkilled, relying on flawless technique or [[SquishyWizard supernatural abilities]]. Sometimes a bookworm can lack any special physical traits, but has access to an ImpossiblyCoolWeapon or [[MoreDakka enough firepower]] to make toe-to-toe combat, as they say, academic. A favorite weapon of the bookworm might even be [[ThrowTheBookAtThem what's always close at hand.]]

Elderly examples are often {{Old Master}}s who have spent decades contemplating philosophy and punching trees in half. Another common type is the AdventurerArchaeologist, who spends as much time studying in the University as they do evading the poison-tipped arrows of angry natives. If the bookworm is [[GeniusDitz a bit of a ditz]], expect them to be CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass. If they prefer not to fight, doing so only when they must, then they have MinoredInAsskicking. They are ''very'' likely to wear SpecsOfAwesome. In a FiveManBand specializing in Brains, they might as well be TheBigGuy.

The trope is the converse of GeniusBruiser. A Badass Bookworm looks like your standard geek, but then displays a surprising amount of physical prowess, whereas a GeniusBruiser looks big, strong and tough, then unexpectedly shows off an intellectual side.

Note this is a different {{trope}} from the typical SecretIdentity superhero like early Peter ''Franchise/SpiderMan'' Parker, as no one suspects the {{nerd}} to be the superhero. Overlaps with DorkKnight.

* BadassBookworm/AnimeAndManga
* BadassBookworm/ComicBooks
* BadassBookworm/FanFiction
* [[BadassBookworm/AnimatedFilms Film -- Animated]]
* [[BadassBookworm/LiveActionFilms Film -- Live-Action]]
* BadassBookworm/{{Literature}}
* BadassBookworm/LiveActionTV
* BadassBookworm/ReligionAndMythology
* BadassBookworm/TabletopGames
* BadassBookworm/{{Toys}}
* BadassBookworm/VideoGames
* BadassBookworm/WebAnimation
* BadassBookworm/WebComics
* BadassBookworm/WebOriginal
* BadassBookworm/WesternAnimation
* BadassBookworm/RealLife