Main Hollywood Nerd Discussion

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08:06:09 AM Sep 22nd 2016
Adding my on $0,03 to the discussion, a 'Hollywood Nerd' is any character portrayed as a member of intellectual profession (nowadays usually connect with computers in this way or another) that displays the traits commonly associated with 'nerds' even with no justification whatsoever.

For example, if you need a programmer male character, you can portray him as a guy proficient in programming, who has a family and friends, enjoys football and has a good physique because he exercises to make up for his sedentary job. This is a real-life programmer. Think Barney Collier from 'Mission Impossible' series or Greg Sanders from original CSI (Las Vegas).

Then again, he might be a guy deeply interested in programming, who doesn't like to associate with people who are not into computers because he finds them boring, but shows good social skill among people he can talk shop with. This is real-life nerd, a younger counterpart to Absent-Minded Professor. Think Mc Gee, Abby or Ducky from NCIS.

And them you can make this guy an overly fat/skinny guy, usually wearing big, old-style spectacles (apparently no contact lenses, slim glasses or lasic procedures exist in their world), socially withdrawn or even suffering from social phobias with no real explanation behind it and having hobbies usually associated with nerds (video games, miniatures, cosplay, comic books), usually more than one as if each and every intellectual was unable to have a hobby considered 'manly'. This is your Hollywood Nerd, more a caricature that a real person. En example (still a moderate one) would be Matthew Farrel from 'Live Free or Die Hard'.

What is curious, I think that 'X-Files' nailed it with the Lone Gunmen. All three are computer buffs and conspiracy theorists, but Byers is suave and easy-going, Frohike is withdrawn but professional and open among friends and Langly is neurotic, showing heavy traits of immaturity.
08:46:05 PM Sep 1st 2013
The examples on the trope page, examples under other pages linking here and even this very discussion page refer to types 1 and 2. I do not see any mention of types in the trope discussion. Am I blind, or was the trope rewritten? If it was, shouldn't the examples be cleaned up?
08:45:20 AM Dec 22nd 2013
Yeah, that's a good question. Why were the distinctions between Type 1's and Type 2's removed?
06:56:50 AM Dec 15th 2012
edited by MithrandirOlorin
This is a completely justified Trope every real life nerd I know is very attractive, well the females anyway. So when I see people whine about attractive nerds on TV, I just get annoyed, and want to scream "NO IT'S TV THAT TOLD THEIR NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ATTRACTIVE MORON!!!!!"

As far as the aspects of this other then physical attractiveness go. An actuate movie of my life I'm certain would be labeled this. I'm not gonna pass judgment on my own attractiveness.

This page seems to also deal with any kind of Social Outcast not just nerds. That's the thing, what some people really consider Blasphemous is an attractive persons being Bullied. But I have a few friends who where all bullied in High School, but their also the hottest girls I've ever met.

This Trope is actually an aversion of social stereotypes that are completely false, we should be encouraging it.
09:14:42 AM Feb 10th 2013
It's not really clear if the article is about nerds in Hollywood, or dorks, nerds and geeks in Hollywood, but I think you are combining Geek and Geek chic affectionados into this nerd definition (as the article seems to do sometimes) which on tvtopes is socially awkward and unpopular. Most people like being around ascetically pleasing people (and even subconciously ascribe qualities like intelligence and niceness to the person), attractive decorations, attractive horses, etc., so all things being equal they will prefer an attractive person, meaning most attractive people are not unpopular (and therefore will have more social interactions making them less likely to be socially awkward). It may well be a case of Life Imitates Art as you suggest (or at the very least Flandarization from being middleclass-suburbanites to being Urkles), but in general, high attractiveness leads to low likelihood of being considered a nerd (though what is considered nerdy varies widely depending on the gender gender). eg, Rentzscha's "physical attractiveness is a much stronger predictor of the rating [as a nerd or not] of others than various behavioral patterns".

I do wonder though, how how Hollywood is the one guilty perpetuating the unattractive stereotypes if they are the ones making many of their nerds too attractive for the audience? It seems they are trying to subvert this trope, if type 2 is any indication. In fact, unattractiveness tends to get audiences to perceive characters as nerds regardless of other factors.

Also, being bullied alone doesn't make one a nerd. Especially in women (due at least in part to the higher importance society places on their attractiveness), bullying attractive people is a common reaction to rivalries (Phoebe Prince is a tragic example of a freshman who dated the varsity quarterback who then was bullied into suicide). Even as adults, attractive women far are less likely to get interviews, which is thought to be a result of rivalry from the predominately young HR women who are doing the hiring.
02:33:08 PM Mar 21st 2013
  • looks in mirror*, I'd say this trope isn't always justified.
04:41:15 AM Jan 6th 2014
Yeah, I think this. Trope makes way to much emphasis on looks. Being a nerd/geek is much more about attitude and (as relevant to media) characterization. It's about interests and attitudes, not weight and bone structure.

I know plenty of nerdy, geeky people who are quite good looking and fit, IF they so choose to be. Conversely, I know a fair number who will never be more than a 4 (out of 10) physically, even after professional attention.

Hollywood Nerd should focus on Hollywood's (mis)perception of what Nerd/Geek interests and attitudes and personality are. its not about how good.looking the person playing the part is. It's about what kind of outfit they're wearing, what kind of things they are predominantly interested in, and how they interact with those presented as "normal".

09:29:54 AM Jul 25th 2012
What if a character is a mix of types 1 and 2? Like, they have the typical Geek Physique (and Hollywood being Hollywood, it's more likely a Type 1), glasses and some other traits, but are also very cute and even somewhat popular - subverting the usual Cool Loser stereotype. Or since the main page said there is "nothing in between", would it be an aversion?
02:32:54 PM Jul 21st 2012
Why is there a general attitude that nerds can't be attractive?
07:26:58 AM Nov 14th 2012
because generally, attractive people are less likely to become obsessed with dungeons and dragons, importing anime, etc while having poor social skills. People tend to have peers that are similar to them (socio economic status, race, interests, etc are all common) and since enough unattractive/fat people already identify with nerdy/uncool things, then an attractive person is less likely to feel similar to them.
04:01:47 PM Feb 7th 2013
Because of Hollywood, that's my problem with this Trope, it's the "nerds must be ugly" stereotype that is pure Hollywood.
05:01:43 AM Jan 6th 2014
Nerds and geeks are no more or less likely to be physically attractive than the rest of the populace. It's mostly about presentation and social interaction. Most simply place very little value (or have little interest/aptitude in learning the skill) on conforming to the standards of personal appearance in society, which is why society generally judges them as "ugly". Same goes for social skills.

I work in computing, and most of us are nerds. However, pretty much all of us clean up just fine, and frankly look better than most of the blue-collar folks I know. It's just that day-to-day, few.of us give 5 seconds thought as to what we look like before walking out the door.

Besides, do you want to see the fastest way to lose respect from a bunch of nerds? Be a nerd girl who likes to wear makeup. Not goth or other "alternative" outfit, but straight, ordinary makeup,.tastefully done (ie nice, but not Tammy Fae or supermodel level). You'd be surprised at the bigotry from nerdy people against those who can walk the talk, but also like to dress/appear well.

04:40:36 PM Nov 2nd 2011
edited by Stoogebie
So, I'm worried I might be guilty of this trope...I have a character* who is essentially the "cool computer geek". Not a Cool Loser or The Urkel, since he shows definite traits of most geeks, just that he knows he's a nerd and is proud of the fact. Also, Nerds Are Sexy definitely comes into play.
05:03:17 AM Apr 25th 2010
Am I the only one who thinks there's way too much unjustified crossover with the Hollywood Homely article here? A lot of these examples aren't "nerds". e.g. Michael Scott from The Office, Liz Lemon from 30 Rock. They're just portrayed as mundane and awkward, not as particularly geeky.
04:40:17 PM May 23rd 2010
That's probably more a problem with examples than the trope itself. Cut 'em if you don't think they fit.
05:48:41 PM May 23rd 2010
I think it's a problem with the description, myself. The only common thread I see in any of the examples is "someone somewhere might think (s)he is a nerd". Even Laconic Wiki gives us "the nerds that we all wish we could be", which is so vague it could mean almost anything.

How about we overhaul it so that Type 1 is what this trope is about? Type 2 is practically Nerds Are Sexy anyway, and is probably the main reason why this trope doesn't seem to mean anything anymore.
07:50:29 PM May 23rd 2010
It seems like a lot of these examples basically boil down to "someone attractive is cast as a nerd," which, given Hollywood casting, is pretty much inevitable. I think the idea of Type 2 is more like "informed nerdiness," but somehow that's not getting across?
07:00:04 PM Jul 11th 2010
Type 2 and Nerds Are Sexy don't seem anything alike to me. Heck, I think Nerds Are Sexy might need some rewriting to begin with, because it seems to focus on "inconsequential character" a lot more than any nerdiness, at least at the beginning of the description.
11:43:53 AM Feb 17th 2011
edited by Ju
Personally, I don't think Type 1 is that much of the Hollywood Nerd as Type 2, since Type 1's are more of an accurate portrayal of a typical 'nerd.' Type 2 basically involves sticking some smokin' hot sexy actor in plaid or argyle (supposedly 'nerdy' attire), put a pair of glasses on them and stick on the label of 'geek.' Then again, I think Nerds Are Sexy pretty much defines Type 2, but I can't be totally sure.
11:17:19 AM Mar 30th 2011
edited by FreeRadical
You sure about that? Both types can sometimes occur in real life, but as for Type 2, it's not like nerds can't be sexy. However, it's when said nerd doesn't show the usual signs of geekdom and would essentially pass as a "normal" person were it not for having the label Geek. Type 1 seems to be a caricature of Nerd to the point of TV Genius.
01:59:16 PM Jun 29th 2011
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