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Nerdy Bully

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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.
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Regular bullies (mostly the Jerk Jock types) 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 (as well as popular enough) to put the hurt on people. Otherwise, how could they?

Well, this character figured it out.

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.

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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).

If he was a victim of bullying himself (in which case compare He Who Fights Monsters), he might invoke Who's Laughing Now?. More often than not, they're the Insufferable Genius, or a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.

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Compare to Academic Alpha Bitch, who's unpleasant but generally more goal-oriented and rule-abiding; Evil Nerd, who is unpleasant and goal-oriented, but definitely not rule-abiding; and Even Nerds Have Standards, which they find other nerds more pathetic.

Contrast Lovable Jock, a benevolent athlete as opposed to a malevolent geek.


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.
  • In comics version of The Simpsons: Jimbo's backstory explains how Springfield Elementary was controlled by those with strong attendance and education. As a result, nerds made up the majority of the population of bullies.
  • In Archie Comics, Fletcher Foley serves as The Rival to fellow, much better-adjusted and better-liked, nerd Dilton Doiley. Occasionally he'll stray into outright bullying.
  • In Firestorm (DC Comics) Cliff Carmichael was this to Lovable Jocks Ronnie Raymond and Jefferson Jackson. The author deliberately wanted to subvert the Peter Parker/Flash Thompson setup.

    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."

    Fan Works 
  • The Vigilante Boss and His Failed Retirement Plan: Futaba is a Ditzy Genius that refuses to leave her room and she's Bakugou's primary bully. Futaba has her robots identify him as trash, insult him to his face, spread rumors about him and uses her position as smartest in the Support Department to have Bakugou ostracized.

    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.
  • Goosebumps—the Monster Blood books give us Kermit, cousin of protagonist Evan. He coerces Evan to be a guinea pig in his experiments, which inevitably backfire, and can manipulate both his mom and the local bully, Conan, into punishing Evan for things that are actually his fault.
  • Severus Snape from Harry Potter is both geekily enthusiastic about magic (especially potions) and a Sadist Teacher. Even in his adolescence, though he did endure a lot of bullying, he gave at least as good as he got (to the point of regularly using Black Magic, while the guys who bullied him only rarely tried anything that dangerousnote ).

    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?
  • Beverly Hills, 90210: One episode of the Sequel Series has a strange case of a Lovable Alpha Bitch (Naomi) trying to seduce a nerd (Max), who doesn't like her because he finds her a stuck-up Alpha Bitch just like the people she hangs out with. Then Naomi attempts to impress Max by dressing up in an Avatar costume, but she ends up looking ridiculous and being mocked and humiliated by Max's equally nerdy friends.
    Naomi: You know what, Max? You can say whatever you want about me and my friends, but your friends are just as arrogant, snobbish and mean as anyone I know.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Dr. Sheldon Cooper is very condescending and an egotistical narcissist towards nearly everyone, including his close friends, because he believes himself to be intellectually superior to them, and therefore superior to them and will go out of his way to insult, belittle, and otherwise make them suffer for anything he feels offended for. Though, other times show he is completely oblivious to how insensitive and annoying he is, because he lacks basic social skills.
    • 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.
    • Invoked in "The Justice League Recombination", when Penny's nerdy friends were making fun of her boyfriend Zack for being stupid, despite the fact that Zack was just trying to be friendly with them.
    Penny: You know, for a group of guys who claim they spent most of their lives being bullied, you can be real jerks.
  • Black Mirror: Robert Daly of the episode "USS Callister". In life, he's a nerdy, asocial programmer, who is obstinately the second-in-command at his company, but is not respected very much by his co-workers (technically his subordinates) due to his meek personality and general absent-mindedness. He disproportionately takes out his frustrations with his co-workers 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.
  • The Twelfth Doctor from Doctor Who. Most Doctors (invariably Science Hero intellectuals) butt heads with machos, military types, and the physically-inclined, but Twelve was outright contemptuous of them. It was mostly played for laughs, since it was such bizarre behavior from an apparent sixty-year-old man whose school days were long behind him. It was later explained that this related to this Doctor's particular disdain for the military. While none of them are particular fans of the military, Twelve's attitude was rooted in his own self-loathing over how he used his experience and unconventional Science Hero tactics to ruthless effect as a military commander in the Time War (other Time Lords explicitly refer to him as "the man who won the Time War") and his history as what Danny Pink, a former infantryman, contemptuously refers to as "an officer", shaping his companions into soldiers in his own image.
  • 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".
  • Modern Family: Manny and Luke run into a gang of these in the episode "After the Fire."
    Manny: You guys are bullies!
    Luke: They can't be bullies, they're nerds.
    Abraham: Don't pigeonhole us. We can be both.
  • 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.
  • The Wilds: Ivan Taylor is a variation; he is a Camp Gay boy that would be bullied the same way a Hollywood Nerd would, except he can be a bully himself. He’s a shining example of how bullies in current days can come in different forms and sometimes use the "cancel culture" method as a loophole to be a bully in the guise of someone doing something just, such as when he caught Kirin O'Conner Drowning His Sorrows after his coach was fired due to an old Blackface photo that Ivan justifiably exposed him for. Kirin was just sad that the closest thing he had to a father was now gone but Ivan was having none of it and started recording him, trying to get Kirin to call him a slur. Kirin, wanting to be left alone, gave him what he wanted on video which Ivan then released getting Kirin expelled. Since Kirin was just in a genuinely sad moment and Ivan was looking for a fight, Ivan was the bully in this situation. Ivan's own boyfriend calls him out for kicking Kirin while he's down and breaks up with him.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Smart babyfaces certainly aren't unheard of, what with promoters recruiting heavily from colleges, but there is no "super genius" face archetype in the same way there is for heels. Yoshihiro Tajiri may be licensed in acupuncture, Blue Tiger may run a clinic, Matt Hardy may be an expert cracker but their intelligence is usually only referenced when they are heels. The most famous "super genius" heel is Randy Savage's Canadian brother Lanny Poffo, if only for how well he demonstrates this divide. He always insulted opponents of his or his friends, often with poetry, but as a face his focus was on his athleticism and coordination, as the super genius heel he attempted to confuse people with overly complicated math problems. And rather than show off his skill, tended to hide behind other wrestlers like Mr Perfect or Jay Lethal as an "executive consultant".
  • This what Leva Bates typically looks like after a Face–Heel Turn. Because she's a mousy voiced short woman and pro wrestling is a very physical activity built around Chewing the Scenery, heel turns are rare for Bates, but she was a prominent member of The Age Of The Fall in FIP and nuisance for then rookie wrestling model Santana Garrett.
  • Damien Sandow, "the intellectual savior of the unwashed masses" was a more tunnel visioned expy of Lanny Poffo, focusing mostly on making Sheamus look stupid. Unlike Poffo, Sandow usually had no second to hide behind and thus got beaten up, but persisted in humiliating Sheamus in contests of wit and puzzle solving anyway.

    Video Games 
  • In Deltarune, one of Kris's classmates is a very arrogant anthropomorphic bird named Berdly. While he doesn't show up much in the first chapter, the second chapter shows that he'll never miss an opportunity to rub his intelligence in the other characters' faces. When he follows the playable characters into the Dark World, he immediately allies himself with Queen, the chapter's Arc Villain, in the hopes that he can create a "Smartopia" where "protozoans" like Kris and Susie will never be allowed in. The truth is a lot more complicated. While he does have narcissistic tendencies, he cares just as deeply about his Only Friend Noelle, and many of his less pleasant actions throughout the chapter stem more from his dependence on her than any real malice. Pursue a Pacifist route and he'll wholeheartedly embrace his "stupidity", although this doesn't diminish his ego much. Pursue the Weird Route, and he'll be Killed Off for Real trying to protect Noelle from the player's abuse (while incorrectly assuming that Kris is the one at fault).

    Visual Novels 
  • Dennis from Double Homework uses trickery and control of information to bully his classmates. This often takes the form of blackmail, which he gives teeth by a combination of hacking, "free" services to his schoolmates, and using Sinister Surveillance for eavesdropping.

    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.
  • The Fairly Oddparents: Poor Cosmo was not only bullied by the resident Jerk Jock during fairy high school, but was also so pathetic even his school's math club joined in the harassment, as pictured above.
    • Timmy's fairy-obsessed teacher Mr. Crocker is a nerd and likes to bully his students, usually by handing out Fs.
  • 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.
    Squad Member: You might not throw people up against lockers or take their lunch money, but you've got power and you use it to intimidate and humiliate people!
  • 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.
  • Daria:
    • In one episode Daria and Jodie visit an advanced private school that they have an option of transferring to. They tentatively befriend some kids who are eventually revealed to be this, as they openly ostracize another kid for only scoring in the top 90% on his SATs.
    • Daria herself can skate on the edge of this in her less sympathetic moments. Notably "Mart of Darkness" implies that Andrea initially sees her and Jane this way, using their snark to cut down everyone around them.
  • The Simpsons has Artie Ziff, Marge's high school prom date, the head of Springfield High School's debate team and present-day I.T. wizard who has constantly lusted after Marge to the point of harassment since high school and constantly talks down to Homer and others he views as inferior intellect, even letting Homer take the fall for the misappropriation of his I.T. company's assets in his final canonical appearance. His words after being nominated Prom King in high school sum him up best:
    Artie: Hello, classmates. Instead of voting for some athletic hero or pretty boy, you have elected me, your intellectual superior, as your king. Good for you.
  • Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters: In the first episode, as Jake is showing Ricardo around his new school, we see some nerds use one of their robots to humiliate a jock.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • Bubble Bass’s geekiness and bullying nature don’t go hand-in-hand, but in his first episode alone he is a spiteful bully to SpongeBob by lying about getting no pickles, forcing the latter to suffer a Heroic B So D. "Moving Bubble Bass" also reveals he’s a Basement-Dweller, and in this episode he manipulates SpongeBob and Patrick (who were promised Krabby Patties) into moving his stuff from his mother’s basement to his grandmother’s basement... because his mother interrupted his fantasy talk show. He fakes breaking his back so that he has to do none of the work and eats both of the patties he promised them.
    • Kevin C. Cucumber has an extremely nasal voice, dorky glasses, and a pocket protector, but he's established a reputation as an expert on jellyfishing, and he takes advantage of SpongeBob's admiration of him so that he can subject him to cruel pranks (although all of them backfire in some way or another). It's implied that SpongeBob isn't the only fan he's abused, either.

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