[[caption-width-right:350:What a typical Bollywood nerd will look like.]]
People from India portrayed as various forms of geeks and nerds, although almost always on the smart end.

American media has very little to go by in terms of Indian stereotypes. While many Indians do speak English, this was under Imperial British rule. Americans know virtually nothing about them. One possibly apocryphal story relates UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan being asked a question about the 197577 Indian Emergency and he mistakenly thought he was being asked about American Indians on US reservations.

So as far as Indian characters go, we really only know a few things: One, they have funny accents. Two, they drive cabs and [[AsianStoreOwner run convenience stores]]. [[OnceAcceptableTargets Yeah, those ain't gonna fly anymore]]. Three, Indians are so intelligent, they are the source of many white collar job outsourcings. So, obviously, all Indians must be geniuses. And therefore, nerds.

Note that the Bollywood Nerd is much less pronounced in nerdiness than other character types because of where the stereotype comes from -- they're intelligent because they're stealing jobs from hard-working Americans. As is such, it doesn't make a whole heck of a lot of sense to show them as being lazy. Your typical Bollywood Nerd will be a scientist, doctor, or just plain normal guy who has an IQ of 153. In other words, what your mom wishes you were instead of [[TVTropesWillRuinYourLife wasting your time]] on this website.

According to the 2000 census Indian Americans have the highest educational qualifications of all national origin groups in the USA with about two thirds of Indian Americans having attained a Bachelor's degree or more. Around two fifths of all Indian Americans have a master's, doctorate or other professional degree, which is five times the national average. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, Indian American men had "the highest year-round, full-time median earnings". So TruthInTelevision to a certain extent.

This trope is not as common in Great Britain, where a higher percentage of the population is of South Asian ancestry. However, it did exist to some extent in colonial India, where the British were fond of stereotyping the different ethnicities on the subcontinent. There were some exceptions, but in general Punjabis (from northwestern India) were seen as tough and brave and were popular choices for sepoy troops, while Bengalis (from northeastern India) were supposedly weak and cowardly intellectuals. In a nutshell, Punjabis = jocks, Bengalis = nerds. This was an egregiously odd racial profile to give them given that the sons of prominent Bengali warrior families constituted more than half the entire British East India Company's mercenary force - indeed, the move to reduce Bengali recruitment and diversify the force was a major contributing factor to the 1857 mercenary rebellion which resulted in the company's dissolution - but then again Racial Profiling is by definition neither a logically-consistent discipline nor one founded in reality.

Note that actual UsefulNotes/{{Bollywood}} films rarely use this character type. That's because [[ShapedLikeItself Indians are pretty common over in India]], so they don't have any trouble giving them diverse roles.

A subtrope of AsianAndNerdy. Compare BlackAndNerdy, JewishAndNerdy, and of course {{Geek}}, {{Nerd}}, and HollywoodNerd.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Dr. Rakshata Chawla from ''Anime/CodeGeass'', a [[BunnyEarsLawyer Bunny Ears]] HotScientist. Also, most of China's [[HumongousMecha Knightmare Frames]] are implied to have been designed by Indian engineers.
* Kaolla Su from ''Manga/LoveHina'' is a mechanical genius who hails from Molmol, a Pacific island kingdom that really resembles India (and everyone thought she was Indian before).
* In ''Anime/HappinessChargePrettyCure'', the Pretty Cure team from India has a technology and computer theme to their powers, and they are called the Wonderful Net Pretty Cure. They also both have glasses in their Cure forms, to add to the typical "brainy nerd" image.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Dr. Kavita Rao in ''ComicBook/XMen'', who first appeared after having developed a serum that could cure the ''Homo superior'' mutations, and later joined them as part of the X-Club, a think tank assembled by Beast in order to try and reverse the effects of the [[ComicBook/HouseOfM Decimation]].
* Salah from ''ComicBook/BatmanAndTheOutsiders'', who is probably Pakistani but fulfills this role as the tech expert and robotics engineer.
* Kamala Khan aka ComicBook/{{Ms Marvel|2014}}. She's Pakistani rather than Indian, but she probably still counts. She is a huge superhero nerd, having intricate knowledge of her universe's superheroes, and she is a keen MMORPG player and fanfic writer. Downplayed, though, because, while she is fairly intelligent, her best friend Bruno (as well as his girlfriend, Mike) are smarter and fulfill the role of the SmartGuy in her solo series.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* Asok from ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' is so smart and his school is so good that they taught how to use psychic powers. Which the great Indian hierarchy may remove from him if he abuses them too much. The dullness of his job strains his ultra-powerful brain into near bouts of madness.
** When he did break the rules with his powers in order to save the day, he was sentenced to go back to his cubicle at the office.
** In ''Seven Years of Highly Defective People'', Scott Adams admitted that he wrote Asok the way he did because he didn't think he could get away with making a minority as moronic as the rest of the cast.
** Tiny, tiny bit of TruthInTelevision in this. Asok's intelligence and, more importantly, his psychic powers are more due to the fact that he attended an Indian Institute of Technology school, consistently ranked as the best in India. You gotta be ''real'' smart to get through there.
* Andy, a one-shot ''ComicStrip/{{Curtis}}'' character spotted by ''Blog/TheComicsCurmudgeon'' [[http://joshreads.com/?p=1619 here.]]

* This is a common AnthropomorphicPersonification for Twilight from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''. Some artists have her as AmbiguouslyBrown while others headcanon her human version as Indian.
* Twilight Sparkle from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' is reimagined as one in ''Blog/AskTheManeSix''.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Ben in ''Film/ShortCircuit'' was a computer scientist Indian guy (even though he was [[FakeNationality portrayed by]] Fisher Stevens). [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in one scene:
-->'''Newton''': Where are you from, anyway?\\
'''Ben''': Bakersfield, originally.\\
'''Newton''': No, I mean your ancestors.\\
'''Ben''': Oh, them. Pittsburgh.
* ''Film/HaroldAndKumarGoToWhiteCastle'' attempted to avert this, but eventually ended up admitting that Indians just make good doctors for some reason. The straight use of this trope is seen in that Kumar comes off as far less nerdy than his AsianAndNerdy friend Harold (though they both smoke pot).
** It wasn't so much that he was a good doctor by virtue of being Indian so much as by the end of the first film he (at least temporarily) decides that he should go to his medical school interview and take it seriously because he now appreciates his father more and wants to make him happy.
** Kumar was actively trying to defy this trope. Even though he was highly intelligent and had a natural talent for medicine, he didn't want to be seen as a stereotypical BollywoodNerd, so he dropped out of med school and spent his time getting stoned. Then he realised that being a doctor would actually be pretty cool.
* In the live action movie adaptation of ''Film/StreetFighter'', Dhalsim works for Bison as a scientist, and is responsible for running (and ruining) his experiments.
** Averted in the {{anime}} film, however; that version is just a generically wise holy warrior (which is accurate with Dhalsim's MartialPacifist role in the games).
* Dileep Rao seems to be the go-to guy to play this kind of role in Hollywood, as evidenced by his roles in ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' and ''Film/{{Inception}}''. He's also one in real life, as he is a former winner on ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'' prior to his acting career.
* Jimi Mistry plays one in ''Film/TwoThousandTwelve''.
* Real-life Bollywood nerd Divya Narendra was portrayed by [[FakeNationality British actor]] Max Minghella (who is of Chinese and Italian descent), in the film ''Film/TheSocialNetwork''.
* Arnau in ''Film/SafetyNotGuaranteed''

* Anji Kapoor, from the Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse. She's a futures trader and damn good at it, watches documentaries about economics for fun, and occasionally reads Creator/JaneAusten, although, like many examples of this trope, she's not actually geeky. Also, she was the first recurring ''Series/DoctorWho'' character of Asian descent, though Rani from the Franchise/{{Whoniverse}} series ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'' and Toshiko from ''{{Series/Torchwood}}'' have appeared subsequently.
* Doctor Sivasubramanian Chandrasegarampillai (also known as Dr. Chandra) from ''[[Film/TwoThousandTenTheYearWeMakeContact 2010: Odyssey Two]]''.
** {{Averted|Trope}} in the film, however, where he's played by the white and Jewish Bob Balaban and is always referred to as Dr. Chandra instead of his full name.
* ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' briefly mentions a "calculus whiz" named Raj Mandali, who got picked on a lot.
* In ''Literature/{{Victoria}}'', intelligence officer Captain Christian Patel is a stereotypical computer geek.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Dr. Mohinder Suresh from ''Series/{{Heroes}}''. Now, granted, he and his father were both college professors, so it makes sense for them to be smart. But like AsianAndNerdy Hiro, the implications of this are pretty difficult to ignore when he's pretty much the only Indian in the series.
** ''And'' he's a cab driver. And so was his father (lampshaded in the series itself, where Mohinder warns his father that Indian academics who migrate to America end up driving cabs).
* On ''Series/TheDailyShow'', Aasif Mandvi once insisted that Jon Stewart introduce him as "Dr. Aasif Mandvi"; claiming: "I'm an Indian American, Jon. We're all born with a certain level of graduate school medical training."
** In fact, as listed on the IMDB, Mandvi has played a doctor at least eleven times (though not usually particularly nerdy ones).
* Rajesh "Raj" Koothrappali from ''Series/TheBigBangTheory''. At least he's surrounded by other nerds, but is often the ChewToy of the group. On the other hand, women do seem to find him attractive. Too bad he can't talk to them - sober.
** This changes in a later season though.
* Subverted in season 8 of ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' with new intern Ed. He's [[BrilliantButLazy smart, but is ridiculously lazy]] and trendy, [[spoiler:but because he doesn't take being a doctor seriously he gets fired.]]
** Every role played by Aziz Ansari seems to subvert this role. His character in ''Series/{{Parks and Recreation}}'', Tom, is also intelligent yet underachieving.
* Jawaharlal on ''Series/HeadOfTheClass'' is a surprisingly early example. So early probably that the writers weren't so much deliberately associating India with intelligence so much as needing him to round out a FiveTokenBand of kids who were all nerds anyway.
* Averted by [[CasanovaWannabe Lester Patel]] in ''Series/{{Chuck}}''. He knows enough about computers to scrape by working in the [[BlandNameProduct Buy More Nerd Herd]], but when the only person below you on the Buy More totem pole is [[TheAlcoholic Jeff]] [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Barnes]], you're not exactly a genius.
* Mostly played straight but sometimes subverted by Kutner from ''Series/{{House}}''. He's a doctor whose interests include ''Franchise/StarWars'', ''Literature/HarryPotter'', ''Franchise/StarTrek'', etc. Thirteen describes his apartment as "man-boy heaven". During high school, however, he was a bully.
* Averted on the American version of ''Series/{{The Office|US}}'': Kelly Kapoor is portrayed as a bit of an airhead, far too [[GenkiGirl excitable]] and into pop culture for her own good, even if she does seem to be fairly intelligent and good at her job.
* Dr. Mahesh Vijayaraghavensatyanaryanamurthy aka "Bug" from ''Series/CrossingJordan''
* Ranjid from the German SketchComedy show ''Series/WasGuckstDu''.
** More of a subversion - while being the best known (if not the only) fictional Indian on German TV, he's more of a dork, and not very bright.
* Dr Nayak from ''Series/{{Fringe}}''. [[spoiler: A rare villainous example. Okay, anti-villainous example.]]
* Dr. Mindy Lahiri from ''Series/TheMindyProject'' zigzags this in a rare female example. She's an OB/GYN who is very very good at her job, makes nerdy pop-culture references, and is implied to have gotten excellent grades in school. However, she also obsessed with shopping and fashion as well as celebrity culture, and is a bit boy-crazy.
* Tammy from ''Series/IAmFrankie'' is both this ''and'' the AlphaBitch!

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Pravin Lal of ''VideoGame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'' was a talented enough doctor to be made chief medical officer on the colony ship sent to Alpha Centauri, and leads the UN Peacekeeping Forces on Planet.
* The {{Backstory}} of the 'Bloody Bay' [[PlayerVersusPlayer PVP]] zone in ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' involves an Indian scientist, who named the PlanetEater creature approaching Earth 'Shiva', as the destroyer of worlds. The rest [[ItMakesSenseInContext really only makes sense in context]].
* Although he isn't shown directly, the head Human researcher in ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars'' has an Indian accent.
* ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'' has Symmetra, an Indian scientist who became a prodigy in the use of {{hard light}} constructs and several of her emotes or highlight intros are her doing dances based on mythological aspects.

[[folder:Web Originals]]
* Subverted with Zaboo of ''WebVideo/TheGuild''. He has the intelligence and computer savvy but not the work ethic.
* Make, Overclock's Indian pal, in the Literature/WhateleyUniverse. The two of them are still just two more devisers in a SuperheroSchool of about 600 kids.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Hadji in ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuest'': In the original series at least, he always knew much more than Jonny. Given the time of the show's production, this was probably done to make his relationship to Jonny [[BrainsAndBrawn more interesting]]. In ''[[WesternAnimation/JonnyQuestTheRealAdventures The Real Adventures]]'', they made him the MissionControl computer expert.
** HilariousInHindsight. Hadji was created long before India gained a reputation for this. Specifically, he's the lost prince of Bangalore, India's current tech hub.
* Apu in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' is a computer science graduate, first in his class of seven million people. He originally went to the United States to study science under a student visa. In spite of his high intelligence, though, he works at a [[AsianStoreOwner Kwik-E-Mart]], and has eight children. [[MST3KMantra Best not to think about it too much]].
** In-Universe justification was attempted. He works at the Kwik-E-Mart purely because he loves the job, and the eight children came about because his [[ArrangedMarriage wife]] was [[NiceJobBreakingItHero irresponsibly given fertility drugs]] by the well-intentioned Simpson family and by Apu, as well as taking them herself when she and Apu were [[LawOfInverseFertility trying desperately to conceive one child]].
* Isaac Sumdac from ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated''. The strange thing is that he apparently grew up on a farm in rural Michigan, yet still speaks with a Bombay accent. While the Detroit Indian expat community is one of the biggest in the world, it doesn't extend quite all the way to Bad Axe yet (Animated ''is'' set in the 22nd century).
* Baljeet from ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' is a prepubescent BollywoodNerd, and even gets his own UsefulNotes/{{Bollywood}} [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO5mSAXIzKQ&feature=related musical number]] about it in "The Unfair Science Fair".
* {{Downplayed}} on ''WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland:'' WordOfGod says that [[TeenGenius Noah]] is Indian, but he's AmbiguouslyBrown without any of the usual stereotypical cues. While something of an InsufferableGenius, he's also BrilliantButLazy and more prone to [[DeadpanSnarker sarcastic quips]] than typical nerdy clichés.
* Scaredy Bat from ''WesternAnimation/RubyGloom'' has the accent and mannerisms down, despite being well, a ''[[TalkingAnimal Bat]]''.
* Downplayed with [[CuteBookworm Connie Maheswaran]] on ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'', who doesn't fit too many nerd tropes despite her intelligence. Even though she does display several "geeky" qualities towards anime and books, as well as practicing the violin and playing tennis, she has recently developed into quite a skilled sword fighter and Steven's love interest. Her mother's a doctor, too!
* Dr. Vindaloo from ''WesternAnimation/CourageTheCowardlyDog''.
* Slav from ''WesternAnimation/VoltronLegendaryDefender'' qualifies as an alien equivalent, with his exaggerated Indian accent. Albeit, he's a downplayed example, as he mostly fits into the "intelligent" category, being a super-genius inventor in spite of all his quirks.