The word "Adorkable" is a portmanteau of "Adorable" and "Dork." That neatly encapsulates this trope. Adorkable characters are "dorky" in some fashion. Maybe they're socially inept or shy. Maybe they're really clumsy. Maybe they have some really, really conspicuous character tic that tends to earn them weird looks. Maybe they're just so darn sweet, that it borders on embarrassing. Heck, maybe they're just an out-and-out Nerd. However, rather than making them an outcast, these quirks give the character an endearing vulnerability.
This character type is usually male, but can be female as well. While societal norms would seem to suggest that this is the opposite of the (Western) "Male Ideal", in reality, many people find these characters appealing: Rather than an over-the-top caricature, these characters are enjoyable and relatable because they're not absurd supermen.
Not to be confused with the Hollywood Nerd, who are likable because they're attractive nerds, whereas adorkable people are likable because of their dorkiness. The two can and often do overlap, but are not mutually inclusive; if a battle-hardened marine or a grizzled biker has a sweet, shy and awkward personality when he's not being a badass, then he not only still totally counts, but even gets bonus points for bucking the stereotype.
This term has become increasingly common in use, and can nowadays be heard at a higher frequency in movies and on the internet. It's definitely Truth in Television, although there is some debate over how much social awkwardness should be glamorized.
It's also a real word in a dictionary now.
- Animated Films
- Anime & Manga
- Comic Books
- Fan Works
- Live-Action Films
- Live-Action TV
- Professional Wrestling
- Video Games
- Web Original
- Western Animation