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Nerd Nanny

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And she's a Jack of All Stats, too.

"No one can be that attractive and this skilled at a video game!"
Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

You are one of Two Gamers on a Couch, enthralled by the latest noisy console game. As you furiously punish the controller old potato chips fly from your shirt, illuminated briefly by the glow of the screen before disappearing into the darkness of the room around you. You feel the sweet victory over your rival drawing near. As you are about to deliver the final blow, a mysterious figure steps between you and the television. Who could it be? Oh, it's just your extremely hot female roommate trying to get you to do something other than play video games. Whatever, you will unpause the game after you pretend to listen to what she says.

This girl is the Nerd Nanny, and how she winds up living with a bunch of lazy guys is a mystery. Even more amazing is the fact that the guys never seem to notice how frickin hot she is, unless some story-driving UST is needed. She is constantly trying to motivate the Non Action Guys to do anything, sometimes even to pay attention to her, but they usually won't have any of it. Fortunately for our male castmembers, she almost never leaves them for a different housing situation, because if she did — well, who would want to watch a show without hot chicks in it? Am I Right??

As this is Truth in Television to a large degree, there are reasons why women find themselves in this situation: or even actively seek it out. The sisters of gamers will often find themselves playing this role (or live-in aunts, cousins, extraneous other relatives). They stick around, because's her house too. The woman in question may be some type of nerd herself and have interests in some of the same franchises the guys do: even if she's maybe not as into the gaming side of things. Maybe she's a Hot Librarian, or writes fanfiction, or an avid Cosplayer. In which case, the company of people who get her references is preferable to the company of those who don't: even if some of them are a little difficult at times. Of course it is also possible that the deadbeat guys DO have interesting personalities and are merely too awkward to express themselves in the company of most others (particularly people they find attractive: which might not include women). For particularly attractive women, being ignored by the men in her house may be preferable to the alternative. Especially in their teenage years, a lot of particularly attractive women are constantly harassed by most men AND rejected by most fellow women because of the attention that men pay them. This tends to go away as the women enter their 20s. This woman may have genuine reasons to like these guys, even if they don't willingly do household chores. It helps if the guys have jobs of some sort. Note also that this sort of behavior is perfectly fine when it's an occasional thing: maybe when a new installment of his favorite franchise drops, or during a particularly exciting boss fight. It's only a problem if the behavior becomes constant. In real life, that's called video game addiction, and there is therapy for it.

Note the guys don't always have to be nerds. Any reason to be couch-ridden also works (e.g. drugs, laziness, etc.).

This character is popular in webcomics and sitcoms but is present in other genres as well. The Smurfette Principle is also a driving factor.

Compare Ignore the Fanservice. Related to Magical Girlfriend, Team Mom, Action Girl, Cloudcuckoolander's Minder, and Closer to Earth. See also Ugly Guy, Hot Wife, Odd Couple, and Drop-In Landlord. Compare Give Geeks a Chance and Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl. Contrast actual female nerds such as Gamer Chick.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Genderflipped in Princess Jellyfish. Cross Dresser Kuranosuke frequently visits the "Sisterhood," a group of androphobic otaku women.
  • Played with in Genshiken. Otaku-hating Saki dates Kohsaka and plays this trope straight to some extent in the early episodes, but she mellows when it becomes clear that her controlling and abrasive approach isn't doing anyone any favors. The gender ratio also evens out after otakus Ohno and (reluctantly) Oguie are added to the cast, and after Ohno becomes club president the club becomes majority-female by a wide margin, so the usual gender dynamics are less of a factor as time goes on.

    Comic Books 
  • Fantastic Four: The Invisible Woman often acts as something like this. Only her husband Mister Fantastic is really a nerd; conversely her brother the Human Torch is just a Fun Personified wildcard and The Thing being a Boisterous Bruiser, but Sue is often the one who has to get them to focus and function, and without her, it's pretty obvious the team wouldn't be able to do that.
  • The Flash: Jesse Quick's main function outside of being the token girl is also being the mature sister of the group; she's the one who bluntly calls Wally out when he's not thinking and who drags Bart to and from places whenever he's being too Bart-like, and often tries to wrangle his insanity. Ironically, none of them are nerds; in fact, it's Jesse herself who's probably the biggest nerd in the group.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Kristen Bell's character in Fanboys. Averted in that she's a fangirl herself, but she seems much more on the ball than all of the title fanboys.
  • Averted in Grandma's Boy (2006). Samantha is something of a professional Nerd Nanny, it's her job to get video games that are behind on development finished on time (it helps that all the nerdy testers want to impress her so they stop goofing around and work diligently). But it turns out to be an aversion when she reveals she also smokes pot, drinks, and even plays video games as well as they do.
  • Sydney White, being based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, has this with the eponymous character, who becomes the Nerd Nanny to seven dorky boys.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Donna from That '70s Show, the Girl Next Door and eventual girlfriend of the nerdy protagonist Eric.
  • Penny from The Big Bang Theory, though she lives across the hall and simply likes the company and Leonard. Although we do see why they hang out with each other, as the guys, most especially Leonard and Sheldon help her out with her problems when she's experiencing them and she helps them get a lot less bullied than they normally still are. Another difference is that they do things without her coaxing, and she does hers without theirs, but usually in their own social circles and what they try to get from the other party is a crossing of boundaries.
  • Zigzagged by Jen from The IT Crowd. She's hired to be the IT team's HR manager, but it soon becomes clear that while she doesn't share Roy and Moss' "nerdy" interests, she's not really any more functional than they are. On the other hand, they definitely need her to function; on one occasion when she's away from the office, the IT department devolves into complete insanity within one day. She tells Moss that Richmond's "going to come out and play with us for a while" just like a schoolteacher would in Richmond's debut episode, also suggesting this role. In a later season we see her office full of cute anime characters, so hanging out with nerds has influenced her to become nerdy but in a totally different way.
  • The Trouble With Normal, a short-lived ABC sitcom starring Jon Cryer and David Krumholtz, also featured a foursome of obsessive nerds and their pretty, female liaison to the real world. The difference is, the geeks on that show are acknowledged as suffering from mental health issues. Specifically, they are all obsessive paranoids, whose lives are accurately portrayed as being very dysfunctional thanks to their obsessions, and the girl, rather than a romantic interest, is the therapist who recruited them into her therapy group. After witnessing Sheldon's odd quirks for over a decade, it's unsettling to see Krumholtz's character, who behaves so similarly, go through a Heel Realization saying "There's something very wrong with all of us" in the very first episode.
  • Young Sheldon: In "A Free Scratcher and Feminine Wiles", President Hagemeyer brings in Dr. Lee to lead the telescope project because, along with her scientific credentials, as a mother of three, she knows how to deal with the immature Sturgis, Linkletter, and Sheldon.

    Web Comics 
  • Lilah from Ctrl+Alt+Del. However, she's a gamer herself and actually makes a living off of it, and even understands if Ethan needed to do something gaming related. On the other hand, any time she needs him to stop acting like an overgrown Manchild...
  • Gender-swapped in Questionable Content with gamer-otaku Marigold and "regular guy" Angus.

    Web Original 
  • Blame Halo 3
  • Yahtzee blasts this trope in his "Webcomics" review.
    The third character is The Girl. You know, girls? Those mysterious creatures you see on the bus, who have their own bathrooms and spray stingy liquid in your face. If you don't know much about girls, because your conversations with them don't last for more than a few minutes before the police are called, just use your mum as a frame of reference, characterizing the female as a disapproving, eye-rolling nanny who tolerantly wipes up the whoopsies of the idiot man-children and chastises them with the occasional spanking. And since your ego should be swelling nicely by this point, she should also become the main character's girlfriend somehow.
  • Rachel in The Nostalgia Critic never got to be a fan of anything, even though the real Rachel is a massive Tolkien nerd. Tamara and Malcolm got to enjoy stuff though.