Nerds come in all shapes and sizes, and it can be hard to peg down exactly what unifies us.
So really, what defines a nerd? Is it being an outlier or preferring passions that others consider weird? Does it mean you’re smart or goofy, that you stereotypically tote an inhaler, or that your wardrobe leans more to the fantasy realm than reality?
We think Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s former Wesley Crusher said it best at a recent convention when explaining what it means: “The defining characteristic of [being a nerd] is that we love things.” Right on.
Here’s a roundup of some of the most lovable male nerds who have embraced this characteristic in film.
Image via Movie Fanatic
Brian Johnson, the “brain” in The Breakfast Club, wrote a passionate essay to finish off the film about prejudice and societal roles we’ll never … forget (hey, hey, hey, hey!).
Image via Hi You Look Nice
The endearing Ducky of Pretty in Pink was so dedicated in his devotion to his best friend, he’s willing to walk away for her happiness. Ducky’s New Wave style was a thing of envy.
Image via TREKSPACE
Wayne Szalinski, inventor extraordinaire, in Honey I Shrunk the Kids made endless mistakes, but he never stopped trying to make the world a better place for his family.
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Mikey and his gang in The Goonies were brave enough to do whatever it took to save their neighborhood, including fending off evil criminals during their grand, treasure-seeking adventure.
Image via Films and Things
Can’t Buy Me Love‘s Ronald Miller was always an astronomy-loving geek at heart, even when playing it cool.
Image via YouTube
Chris Knight may have been the hottest guy on campus in Real Genius, but this laser-building “brain” was still a nerd.
Image via Mia Marlowe
By the end of the Harry Potter series, Neville Longbottom surprised us with his bravery in the best of ways. He started off as an awkward child, but he eventually stood up to evil Voldemort when no one else did — all while sporting a fantastic cardigan.
Image via US Weekly
Egon Spengler, Ph.D., made all of the Ghostbusters gear and specter-busting plans possible with his super smarts.
Image via Movie Steve
Max Fischer in Rushmore was crazy for his extensive involvement in extracurricular activities.
Image via DOGO Movies
Napoleon Dynamite’s dance moves in his self-titled movie left us massively impressed. And let’s not forget about his drawing skills: Liger much?
Image via Inside Pulse
All of the boys in Revenge of the Nerds were trailblazers, forever changing the way viewers considered what it meant to be a nerd.
+ Who’s your favorite guy nerd and why?