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Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork
Willow: Goody! Study party!
Xander: Will, you need a life in the worst way.

Fiction thinks that tough schoolwork is the greatest thing ever to a nerd. They go beyond the mere Bookworm it that they live for pop quizzes, midterms, and final exams. Not that they are enthusiastic about subjects they are interested in, but tough work is awesome on its own. Basically, they are portrayed as the bizarro student. Having an extra day of school is like having a day off from school to most students. These nerds commonly suffer from Opinion Myopia, and will be baffled at why their fellow classmates aren't acting like they're meeting a rock star. "Why do you guys look so down? We're having a pop quiz on calculus! Isn't that great?!"

Heck, some nerds might even find these nerds too nerdy.

Is this Truth in Television? Somewhat. Again, people will be glad to learn about things that interest them (especially if they are going for higher college degrees) but there's a difference between being interested in learning calculus, and acting like a pop quiz on calculus is like meeting a rock star. Then too, a nerd might like to learn but absolutely loathe having to learn in a school setting. It can also be true with children who are especially gifted. Many schools are incredibly reluctant to let gifted students skip a grade, even when they really should. For those kids, this can be frustrating in a "has the keys to a Ferrari, but forced to ride a tricycle" way. When they get to something more their speed, it can be downright refreshing. There's also the ones who're enjoying it because they get to show off and make themselves look better than their less nerdy peers.

Compare Proud to Be a Geek.

Contrast Brilliant but Lazy.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Ami from Sailor Moon, although justified by the fact that she is someday planning to become a doctor.
  • In Soul Eater, Maka is asked by Blair if tests are fun in the Super Exam episode. Maka replies that yes, of course they are! You learn things while you're studying and you get to see your class ranking! Blair is not convinced because she saw Soul studying miserably across the hall.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man: Peter Parker was a mild example of this in his high school days. In fact, Flash Thompson once used Peter's overachiever tendencies to explain why he picked on him in high school (keep in mind that this conversation took place at a time when Peter and Flash had been friends for years).

    Comic Strips 
  • In Foxtrot, Jason is portrayed as a super-nerd who loves doing math and science homework, often doing his older siblings' homework for fun.
    Andy: How was the big math test?
    Jason: Outstanding. Shades of fall '99 with daring reminders of finals '01. Imagine the playfulness of a mid-term '00, coupled with the difficulty of a late '97 or '98.
    Andy: You know, there's a thin line between "connoisseur" and "nut case", Jason.
    Jason: I still have an old '98 upstairs. I really should take it again.
    • In one strip, Jason does his math final exam in literally the last minute. He does this because "he enjoys the challenge".
    • Like most nerds in fiction, Jason has little to no understanding of people, and assumes that the other students in his class share his love of tough schoolwork - and is always genuinely surprised to discover the opposite is true. In one strip, he sits at his desk on the first day of school with an ear-to-ear grin, freshly-sharpened pencil, and calculator as Ms. O'Malley discovers that he has written "Give really hard math test" on her agenda for the day; after being rescued from the resulting angry mob, he exclaims, "It's been three months! You'd think everyone would want one!"
  • Cuthbert Cringeworthy of the Bash Street Kids in The Beano, and occasionally Walter and the Softies in the Dennis the Menace strips.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • In Harry Potter, Hermione shows this to varying degrees. She was more afraid of being expelled over death. She says "oh no" when she hears that all tests have been canceled as a school treat.
  • There are also definite signs of this in Artemis Fowl, where one quote says he hacked a school computer to make the tests harder. Then again, he knows more than the teachers there so that was probably a joke more than anything else.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of Full House, DJ complains that the nerds brought homework back from Summer vacation.
  • In Friends, we learn Monica was like this, and is again when she goes to night school with Phoebe.
  • Family Matters: Steve Urkel was implied to be this, though so little of the show took place in the halls of their school.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Willow looks forward to homework as the summer draws to a close.
  • Averted in episode of Saved by the Bell when the jocks decided to skip class and the nerds wonder why they should have to take the test if the jocks don't have to. When told "Because you care about your education." one of the nerds responds "Nerd Myth! Nerd Myth! Deep down Nerds like to party!" Then they all leave the classrooom followed by pretty girls who say "Nerds are better than nothing."
  • Alex of Modern Family would rather do homework than work on her Halloween costume or even attend her own Sweet Sixteen. Discussed in later series, as her mother in particular comes to realise that she's actually putting herself through an incredible amount of strain, which results in her having to see a therapist.
  • A throwaway line in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has Fitz forced to admit that Simmons is probably cleverer than him, "but only because she loves homework more than life itself".

    Music 
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's "White and Nerdy" has the singer (Al in-character) mention that he does vector calculus just for fun.

    Video Games 
  • Hikami in Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 2 has some shades of this. He studies astrophysics in his spare time, is implied to research dates beforehand, and talks with great satisfaction about a difficult mathematics problem that he is looking forward to solving.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe: the Whateley Academy devisers and gadgeteers even have specially advanced math and science classes that the ordinary kids (even the really smart "ordinary" kids who have eidetic memory and read at 900 words a minute) don't get to take.

    Western Animation 
  • Dexter's Laboratory: Dexter not only looks forward to hard tests, but is so proud of being in school and being a genius that he was a Teacher's Pet until Mandark comes along and gives him a rival. Mandark also enjoys the tests and challenging work.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Baljeet is introduced reading a big pile of school books...during summer vacation. He was furious when he found out that one of his summer classes didn't assign grades.
    • Inverted with Phineas and possibly Ferb: both are Gadgeteer Geniuses, but the whole plot of the show is them trying to do all the things they want to do before school starts up again.
  • Rocket Power has Sam "Squid" Dullard. He gets ecstatic when school starts back up.
  • Recess: For Gretchen, college level mathematics are like kickball.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Twilight Sparkle so enjoyed reading and studying that when we meet her in the first episode of the series she prefers to do so at the exclusion of socializing. In "Lesson Zero", she states that doing homework is one of the things she did with her doll; PRETENDING to do homework even. In "Spike at Your Service", Twilight practically salivates at the prospect of her latest assignment: reading a dozen books in a single weekend.
  • Kick Buttowski: Kendall so loves school and learning that she got her dad to request a snow day not be called for Mellowbrook middle school.
  • Arthur: Every time Mr. Ratburn assigns a new big homework assignment, everybody groans...except Brain.
  • The Simpsons
    • Martin Prince has been shown to be like this from time to time, enjoying getting homework and pop quizzes. On more than one occasion he has reminded the teacher about the test or big homework assignment that she was going to give.
    • Lisa Simpson also does this from time to time. In one episode the school has to shut down, and by the time Lisa gets home she is hysterical due to withdrawal. She immediately takes out an emergency kit she keeps under the couch, which contains a picture of Spingfield Elementary and a tape recording of a teacher yelling at students.
    • From episode "Lisa the Skeptic":
    Principal Skinner: (over intercom) Attention. All honor roll students will be rewarded by a trip to an archaeological dig.[Martin Prince cheers] Also, all detention students will be punished with a trip to an archaeological dig. [the rest of the class groans]
  • Averted with Daria, who is extremely intelligent and nerdy (to Ambiguous Disorder levels), but loathes school due to a combination of Surrounded by Idiots and just being kind of lazy.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants was ecstatic at an 800-word essay about what not to do at a stoplight. Subverted in that he became a Ridiculous Procrastinator when he actually sat down in front of it.

Nerds Are VirginsIndexed and NerdyNerdy Inhaler
Last Minute ProjectSchool TropesThe Parent Produced Project
KawaiikoImageSource/Web ComicsParental Obliviousness

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