Lucas (Corey Haim) is a nerdy kid who, due to his high intelligence, advanced up a few grades and is currently attending high school. He meets Maggie (Green), a teenage girl who just moved to Lucas' town, and the two become best friends over the course of a summer. Cut to the beginning of the school year, and Lucas becomes infatuated with Maggie, despite Maggie being in love with Cappie, a high school senior and Captain of the football who acts like Lucas' bodyguard.
Tropes in this film:
- Adorkable: Lucas himself — he's highly intelligent, socially awkward, and absolutely adorable in his earnest mission to win Maggie's heart.
- Ambiguous Disorder: It's never stated, but there's an implication that Lucas has Asperger Syndrome or some other form of high-functioning autism. He's incredibly smart and knowledgeable about his interests, but has a difficult time reading social cues and relating to other kids at their level.
- The Determinator: Perhaps Lucas' most admirable trait is that no matter what kind of humiliation or torment he suffers from his peers, he rolls with the punches and dusts himself off and keeps right on going when he gets knocked down:"You can't make me quit! EVER!!"
- Did Not Get the Girl: A particularly bittersweet case, as Maggie really does love and care for Lucas as a friend, but it takes him a long time to fully understand the "as a friend" part, and he's deeply hurt when she falls for Cappie. Mind, it takes a lot of the sting out that Cappie is a genuinely good guy who also cares a great deal about Lucas. note
- The Freelance Shame Squad: Lucas gets the squad sicced on him four separate times!
- Groin Attack: Some of the meaner guys on the team put liniment on Lucas' jockstrap, forcing him to run across the schoolyard to find a drinking fountain to hose it off— while numerous other kids point and laugh, of course.
- Jerk Jock: Subverted with Cappie Roew. Cappie used to bully Lucas, but did a HeelFace Turn after Lucas helped him keep up with his studies when he fell ill and became Lucas's friend and protector, and he's nothing but a Lovable Jock in the story proper.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Subverted. Maggie thinks Lucas is this, because she always sees him fooling around in the garden of a huge, palatial house on the nice side of town. Rina explains much later that he merely works as that family's gardener, and his real home is a run-down trailer he shares with an abusive, alcoholic father.
- Love Hurts: When Lucas realizes that Maggie doesn't return his affections — worse, that she IS interested in his football player friend Cappie — he is *shattered*. After a failed attempt at kissing her (met with an amused "what are we going to do with you?"), Lucas screams at her repeatedly to go away. The next day, he tries to go out for the football team, an act his band friends interpret as "suicide."
- Oblivious to Love: While Lucas misreads Maggie's affection as being more that it is, he remains utterly clueless of Rina's obvious interest in him.
- Reality Ensues: Lucas gives it his all in the climatic football game, but it turns out that no matter how much fighting spirit you have, being felled upon by several burly jocks when you're half their size is going to put you out of the game.
- Rules Lawyer: When the school's football coach tries to keep Lucas from trying out for the team, Rudy cites a *sexual discrimination act* on why he has to be given the same chance as everyone else, and threatens to sue if he isn't.
- Slow Clap: Played straight at the very end.