Follow TV Tropes

Following

Nerdy Bully

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nerdybully.png

Dinkles: You're such a polynigmion.
Jock: I don't even know what that means. How could I be offended by that?
Dinkles: When you know what it means, you're gonna be super offended.
Advertisement:

Regular bullies are bad enough. They steal your lunch money, shove you into lockers, and generally do everything they can to inflict Bully Brutality on anyone smaller or weaker than them. But at least there's certain prerequisites to being The Bully; they've got to be big enough and strong enough to put the hurt on people. Otherwise, how could they put the hurt on people?

Well, this character knows how.

Have an embarrassing diary on your computer? The Nerdy Bully will hack into it. And email it to all your friends. Bomb a test? This guy'll let you know how dumb you are. At length. And he'll make sure the rest of the school knows it too. And heaven forbid you have an IT problem in his presence — the sheer weight of his mockery might drive you mad. Or at least to transferring schools.

The Nerdy Bully is what happens when a Nerd uses his talents to act with typical bullying characteristics, abusing his power, skills, and knowledge to make life Hellish for others. They tend to show up in works centered at institutions which are nerdy to begin with, such as schools that specialize in math and science, and they also sometimes have an aggressively atheist or antitheist bent. If caught, you can expect a flustered insistence that he can't possibly be a bully because he's just a nerd... no matter how obvious his abusive behavior is to the others in the room (which one of them may have recorded in some way).

Advertisement:

If he was a victim of bullying himself (in which case compare He Who Fights Monsters), he might invoke Who's Laughing Now?. Compare to Academic Alpha Bitch.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Liar Game: Norihiko Yokoya is a scrawny guy who, in his high school years, used his intelligence, manipulation and monetary power to establish a social pecking order on campus which allowed the members of the "higher" order to bully people from the "lower classes".
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! (first anime series): The Digital Pets arc featured Haiyama, who at first appeared to be a vulnerable nerd alongside Kujirada who is a more standard The Bully. But it's later revealed Haiyama had been keeping Kujirada as a pet and whipping him to make him do his bidding. He also tries to make Honda his new pet. Dark Yugi sets to put an end to his inhumane treatment using a Shadow Game.

    Comic Books 
  • Runaways: Gert Yorkes often lords her superior intelligence over her teammates, particularly Karolina, as a cover for her insecurity about her weight and appearance. This becomes especially pronounced in issue #11 of the 2017 series, where she assumes that Klara must be stupid for quitting the team in order to live a normal life.

    Comic Strips 
  • Bloom County: When Steve Dallas is mistakenly arrested for computer piracy, the police lock him up in the "hacker tank" with some child computer hackers. They try to bully Steve by threatening to slash his credit rating.
  • Dennis the Menace (UK): Walter is a nerd who dedicates all of his intellect to ruining Dennis' life. Dennis is no saint and half the time brings the blame on himself, but even so Walter is a lot more hostile and mischievous than the standard nerd. In the earlier strips Walter actually was timid (and effeminate), hence his group being called the "Softies", but he Took a Level in Jerkass so Dennis would seem less like a bully for antagonizing him.
  • Doonesbury: While Alex attended MIT, she and her mentor took part in a featherweight robot competition. Alex's bot defeated its first adversary easily, but added a victory chiptune. Alex's bot was disqualified on the spot by a grandiose nerd for "taunting."
Advertisement:

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Benchwarmers: Gus is portrayed as a nerd, and is later revealed to have verbally bullied a vertically-challenged classmate of his while in grade school. He also made fun of another classmate's prematurely receding hairline.
  • Laserblast: The character Froggy was played by Eddie Deezen as the platonic ideal of a nerd. Both he and his toady (get it?) constantly taunt and torment the easygoing slacker protagonist. The MST3K treatment of the film has the riffers theorize that it takes place in a strange alternate reality where the geeks pick on the cool kids.
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming: The MCU version of Flash Thompson has gone from being a Jerk Jock to an academic rival who verbally bullies Peter Parker.
  • Real Genius is set in an academy for geniuses (inspired by Real Life Caltech), so most of the characters are nerds to an extent. Kent is a Jerkass who loves to pick on others — especially Mitch — which makes him a nerd bullying other nerds.

    Literature 
  • Captain Underpants: Melvin Sneedly is both the school nerd and The Stool Pigeon, always out to get George and Harold into trouble. Book 6 and 7 upgrades him to full-blown bully who blackmails the protagonists into doing his bidding.
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader introduces Eustace Scrubb as an effete Know-Nothing Know-It-All whose bland modernist upbringing taught him to wield intellectualism as a form of petty dominance over others. Much of the story focuses on him cultivating courage, humility, faith, and genuine wisdom through his adventures, and he returns in The Silver Chair and The Last Battle as a far more agreeable and heroic sort.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 30 Rock In the reunion episode, Liz Lemon is revealed to have been the school bully (while she thinks she was the class nerd), using insults and comebacks instead of physically bullying other students.
    Classmate: Hey Liz, how's the telescope?
    Liz: How's your mom's pill addiction?
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Dr. Barry Kripke, in addition to being incredibly nerdy, also checks off most typical high school bully tropes: he's crude, obnoxious, and routinely pranks the guys and foils their projects. Hell, he usually makes his appearances in the cafeteria like a high school bully.
    • There's also an episode in which Sheldon's World of Warcraft account is hacked, and when the guys track down the hacker he turns out to be a nerdy Fat Bastard much larger than they are.
  • Black Mirror: Robert Daly of the episode "USS Callister". In life, he's a nerdy, asocial programmer. He disproportionately takes out his frustrations with his coworkers by creating virtual copies of their minds and placing them in a Star Trek-esquenote  video game mod and abusively forcing them to reenact his power fantasies.
  • iCarly: Nevel Papperman, despite being wimpy and odd, is a bad-tempered kid with great computer skills and a popular blog. When Carly rejected his advances he set out to make her "rue the day" and had since become a recurring villain always attempting to take down iCarly. One episode had him go so far as attempting to get Carly brutally beaten by an MMA fighter in what was meant to be a fun publicity match.
  • Liv and Maddie: Artie Smalls is an obnoxious nerd who constantly mocks and belittles Joey, and is always followed by a group of other nerdy students he calls his "minions".
  • Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide:
    • The Killer Bees are a trio of spelling-bee champions who literally buzz around the school to bully people by spelling at them. They later try to make Cookie join their ranks, separating him from Ned, but all so he'd change their grades in the school computer system.
    • "Nerdy bully" are the words used by The Other Wiki to describe Lance Widget, an extremely bossy and aggressive Fat Bastard who was Ned's tutor for a while and was always yelling at him and calling him "moron".
    • Evelyn is a studious Asian and Nerdy girl who is pretty much Lance's female version. She insults the other students, uses intimidation to fulfill her goals, and has no problem tormenting and beating up her academic rival Cookie (though she's also a Loving Bully to him).
  • Runaways: The nerdy Gert Yorkes regularly mocks and belittles Karolina Dean as an idiot for her sincere religious beliefs.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch: In the episode "Geek Like Me", Sabrina uses her magic to turn Alpha Bitch Libby into a nerd because she believes that it would teach her a lesson in humility and kindness. This ends up backfiring when Libby takes over the Science Club and starts bullying her old friends in the cheerleading squad.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: In the episode 'Jimmy Goes To College', Jimmy enters college and meets a Jerkass nerd named Seymour Flimelflarb. At first Seymour seems to be a good friend to Jimmy, yet it's all an act as he's actually jealous of Jimmy stealing his thunder. So Seymour spends most of the episode framing Jimmy for things he didn't do, sabotaging his work and getting him expelled.
  • Big City Greens: The Cyber Knights are a group who intimidate Cricket's friends by hacking their electronic devices. Cricket is immune to their threats by not owning any devices, thus having nothing for them to hack.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: Mandark is another nerdy genius who often seeks to destroy both Dexter and his laboratory. One of his future selves in "Ego Trip" still has the same nerdy appearance and is also an abusive boss who enjoys tormenting and torturing one of his employees (Dexter's future self).
  • Elena of Avalor: Javier, a one-shot character who is introduced when Isabel joins the Science Academy. Javier is arrogant and pretentious, and when he realizes that Isabel might surpass him he begins bullying her and sabotaging her work in order to get her kicked out.
  • Fillmore! featured one in 'A Dark Score Evened.' After the Bully Hunter team dealt with some more traditional bullies, including a Jerk Jock and an Alpha Bitch, they deal with Horace, an obnoxious kid in the IT department who spent most of the episode mocking everyone for not being as good with computers as he was. Horace protests to the squad that he can't possibly be a bully because he's just a computer geek, but the squad points out that he's just as adroit at hurting people and making them feel small as their first victims.
  • My Gym Partner's a Monkey: Phineas Porpoise acts this way to Adam, often calling him "A-dumb" and generally trying to make Adam miserable when they're around each other.
  • Total Drama: Scarlett at first seems like a standard nerd who befriends Max the Laughably Evil Big Bad Wannabe, but is later revealed to be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing and has tricked Max into hurting himself multiple times for her own amusement.
  • In one episode of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Bloo assumes Mac is a nerd because he was studying during recess (actually being punished for throwing spit wad), and attempts to make Mac "cool". This blows up in Mac's face, making him come off so Totally Radical and dorky that the actual nerds mock him.

Top