Playing With: Asian and Nerdy

Basic Trope: An intellectual character of Asian descent
  • Straight: Makoto has the top grades in his class, and is really good at math.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Makoto already has a Ph.D or two, even though he is only 12.
    • All Asians in the world are super-geniuses and learn college-level lessons during preschool.
  • Downplayed: Makoto is a decent student, and math is one of his stronger subjects.
  • Justified:
    • Makoto just happens to be a very gifted student and a hard worker, character traits he'd have regardless of race.
    • Makoto is under cultural pressure to please his family (especially his mom) by working hard to achieve a lot in school
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted:
    • Except in math, where he has the top grade.
    • He's only pretending to suck at math; he's actually just as good at it as he is with other subjects.
  • Parodied:
    • Bob asks Makoto for help with math, only to find out that Makoto is just as bad at math as Bob is.
    • Everyone has a talent by virtue of their race: The Asian guy is a math wiz, the black guy is good at basketball, etc.
    • Makoto gets an A- and goes to pieces
  • Zig Zagged: Some Asians are good students, others aren't.
  • Averted: Makoto is an average student.
  • Enforced: Positive Discrimination
  • Lampshaded: "So, just because I'm Japanese, I'm automatically good at math?"
  • Invoked: All eyes are on Makoto as he comes up to the board to do a math problem.
  • Exploited: Alice asks Makoto for help with a math problem because she thinks Asians are good at math.
  • Defied:
    • Makoto is tired of people assuming he's good at math because he's Asian, so he purposely pretends to be bad at it (or if he actually is bad at math, makes no secret about it). He's also a bit of a slacker when it comes to studying.
    • Or while intelligent, he is much more interested in the creative arts than academic fields.
  • Discussed: "Unlike what your favourite television program would have you believe, Asians are not always the Smart Guys."
  • Conversed: "How come all the smart people in this show are always of Asian descent?"
  • Deconstructed:
    • It's not that Asians are inherently smarter than everyone else, it's a cultural thing encouraging hard work and studiousness. Makoto has to study and work hard to get good grades, regardless of both his IQ and his ethnic background.
    • Alternatively, people just assume Makoto is good at math, etc. just because he's Asian, which puts a lot of pressure on him. That can cause him to get nervous and make mistakes.
  • Reconstructed: But his hard work certainly pays off, and he reaps the benefits, including scholarships and good grades.
  • Played For Drama:
    • Makoto's intellect saves the day.
    • Makoto is extremely intelligent because his parents force him to study intensively and severely punish him whenever he makes even a small mistake in his homework. All of this means that he has no free time, and no social life. While he is smart, he is also very unhappy. He may even shut down and become a Hikikomori.

Back to Asian and Nerdy