—Ogre when he first spots Gilbert and Lewis at Adams College
Revenge of the Nerds (1984) is a classic '80s teen sex comedy, one of the rarer breed that takes place in college instead of High School. After the football team accidentally burns down their shared house in an ill-conceived 'fire breathing' stunt, they commandeer the freshman dorms as their own. The Freshmen are allowed to pledge fraternities earlier than usual so they'll have a place to live, but your typical frats' well-known aversion to scholarly types leaves the nine nerdiest new students out in the cold.Not to be discouraged, the nerds decide to start their own frat, and through an oversight are given permission to set up a branch of the normally all-black fraternity Lambda Lambda Lambda. But all is not well; the existing frats, not to mention the resident jocks, don't appreciate nerds horning in on their territory, and so begins a war of attrition that involves vandalism, nude photos, the liberal application of 'liquid heat' to jockstraps, and various other wacky hijinks.Was followed by three more sequels, one a theatrical film and the last two Made For TV Movies:
Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise (1987). The second movie sends the nerds to a national fraternity conference in Florida where they once again have to put up with a Jerk Jock fraternity that gives them no end of grief.
Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation (1992). The third movie focuses on a new batch of nerds going to the same college as the first, which has become a paradise for geeks, nerds and outcasts. However, an alumnus of the college isn't happy with this and, teaming with a former nemesis from the first movie, proceeds to try to change the pecking order of the school. The new cast, of course, goes on the offensive.
Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love (1994). The fourth and final movie finds one of the original nerds getting married, but the father of the bride objects to the union and tries to break them up. It's up to the original cast to keep the wedding going as scheduled.
The series was going to have a remake in 2007, but complications with shooting ultimately shelved the project.
This movie provides examples of:
Absurdly Powerful Student Council: When the Nerds are victims of vandalism and property damage the local police inform them that civil authorities are powerless to oppose a fraternity and if they want justice they need to talk to the Greek Council (who apparently can out-vote the Dean of Students).
Brick Joke: Booger demands to see "bush" after the nerds plant hidden cameras in the girls dorm. In the second movie Booger comes across a giant marijuana plant and drops to his knees in awe, exclaiming, "Bush...."
Corpsing: In the Belching Contest scene in the first film, keep an eye on John Goodman as the coach. He keeps studying his shoes while simultaneously making sure his hat doesn't come off, all to keep from laughing out loud on camera from the antics of actors Donald Gibb and Curtis Armstrong.
Cozy Catastrophe: In a small-scale example, the Alpha Betas seem remarkably cheerful about having just lost everything but the clothes on their backs to a fire their own recklessness started.
They were probably very, very drunk when they were watching the dorms burn.
Dawson Casting: Robert Carradine (Skolnick) and Curtis Armstrong (Booger) were thirty and thirty-one when the movie came out, playing eighteen year olds.
Not to mention that the actor playing the Dean of the college is only two months older than Armstrong.
Demoted to Extra: Gilbert is a protagonist of the first movie, a supporting character in the second, makes a cameo in the third, and is entirely absent from the fourth.
Disproportionate Retribution: What kicks off the whole conflict when the jocks burn down their frat house then take over the dorms the nerds were staying at. And even then, when the nerds find a place of their own and are living peacefully, the jocks still won't quit.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: Lambda Lambda Lambda is usually an all-black Fraternity. Without even realising this, The Jocks leave a burning sign on their lawn, sending pigs in to their party, all because they are nerds. Its implied UN Jefferson was thinking along the same lines.
Good People Have Good Sex: Lewis is apparently good enough to win Betty over after one tumble; Stan is shown on several occasions to not care for sex at all, being too busy with football. The way Lewis describes the difference to Betty thusly:
Lewis: All jocks ever think about is sports. All we [nerds] ever think about is sex.
Hachimaki: Takashi dons the Kamikaze headband before going on the panty raid.
In real life, college campus police do have jurisdiction over "Frat Pranks" and so do the regular police! So both sides of this feud could have gotten in serious legal trouble. A Robot ChickenDeconstructive Parody even showed this to be true.
And the parents could and should have sued Adams College for evicting their sons from the double dorm rooms they'd paid considerable money for, particularly as the eviction proceedings involved the residents and their possessions being bodily flung out doors and windows by the jocks.
In the third movie, when the nerds claim their basic human rights, the judge replies "Nerds don't have rights!". Turns out they do, Chester.
The only thing that Coach Harris would really get from punching the dean in the face in front of large crowd would be a prison term for assault.
Jerk Jock: There's a whole frat full of them, but in due course, the nerds get their revenge. And again in the second movie...
Large Ham: Both Coach Harris and Ogre in the first movie. Ogre: "NERDS!!!"
Long Lost Relative: In Part IV Booger is accused of having a 12 year old daughter out of wedlock in order to scuttle his upcoming wedding. It isn't true, and ultimately doesn't work.
Mook Carryover: The character Ogre from the first movie shows up in the sequel in a different chapter of the Alpha Beta fraternity. The brothers he had in the original film are all gone, apparently defeated.
The Peeping Tom: The Lambdas in Revenge of the Nerds take this trope to an extreme by installing surveillance cameras in all the bedrooms and showers of the sorority house. They literally stay awake all night, just watching women sleep.
Playing Against Type: John Goodman has almost always been associated with kind and affable Big Guys, here he plays the petty, cruel, and almost criminally negligent Coach Harris.
Proud to Be a Geek: The epiphany speech at the end of the movie, given to an audience entirely composed of jocks.
Rape Is Love: Lewis engages in covert seduction via a Darth Vader mask. She finds out it's not her boyfriend when he unmasks halfway through, and is briefly upset - but then decides he's a great lover and is in heat for him thereafter.
—Lewis: All jocks ever think about is sports. All we [nerds] ever think about is sex.
Sadistic Teacher: The coach activly encourages the jocks to assault the nerds, berates them when they fail to beat them, strong arms and bullies the dean into giving him what he wants and actually threatens to punch him in the face in front of a large crowd of people when the Dean remembers that as his boss the Coach must do what 'he' says and stand up to the brute.
Scary Black Man: The 'reinforcements' that accompany U. N. Jefferson when he comes to the aid of the Adams College Tri-Lambs.
The Other Darrin: A pilot for a TV series was produced in 1991 and the returning characters were all recast. Rob Stone played Lewis, Lightfield Lewis was Gilbert, Grant Gelt was Harold and Jeff Benson was Ogre.
Anthony Edwards did not return for the third movie, so he was played by Mike Greenwood in a one scene.