Sometimes, its not just the bad boys we find ourselves pining over. Sometimes, its the Star Wars-quoting, computer-hacking, socially awkward nerds that make our hearts beat faster. Check out 15 of our favorite nerdy movie characters that have managed at one point in time to pull at our heartstrings.
1. John Cusack as Lloyd DoblerEven if youve never seen the movie, youre bound to recognize that iconic scene from Cameron Crowes 1989 cult classic, Say Anything: a freshly dumped but fiercely determined Lloyd Dobler stands outside the window of the girl of his dreams, holding a boombox thats blasting Peter Gabriels In Your Eyes. Of course, we fully realize that with anyone else this would probably come across as downright creepy. However, due to John Cusacks acting skills (not to mention his boyish good looks) and Crowes impeccable writing talent, we find ourselves wishing we had our very own beatboxing hopeless romantic. Sigh.
2. Crispin Glover as George McFlyMarty McFly (Michael J. Fox) may have been the coolest guy on the block, but we were a little too busy swooning over George McFly to notice. They say that the apple doesnt fall far from the tree. In this case, it seems that Martys dad is the exception to the rule. McFly is your typical nerd: pocket-protectors, sci-fi obsession, and all. Sure, he tends to stutter, and his idea of a romantic evening is fiddling around with a ham radio, but we find his geekiness rather endearing.
3. Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker Before he gets blessed with the spidey sense, Peter Parker is just another high school bullys punching bag. However, what he lacks in suaveness he makes up for in compassion and intelligence. Peter may wear glasses and drive a moped, but his rigid sense of duty and loyalty are enough to make any girl weak in the knees. Besides, who wants James Dean when youve got a boyfriend that can climb up walls and swing from rooftop to rooftop? Mary Jane better consider herself lucky!
4. Jon Cryer as Duckie Now, we don’t know about you, but we still think that Andie (Molly Ringwald) was crazy to have picked Blane (Andrew McCarthy) over Duckie. Sure, Blane had money, but Duckie had style. Persistent, witty, and fashion-forward, Duckie was the one who captured our hearts. Any guy willing to ride his bike every day past our house who can do an impeccable rendition of Otis Redding always takes precedence over the preppy rich kid.
5. Anthony Michael Hall as Ted You could say that Anthony Michael Halls career was founded upon playing nerds. In The Breakfast Club, hes The Brain, and in Weird Science, hes a science whiz who uses his skills for geekdoms greater good by creating the Ultimate Woman. In this John Hughes classic, Sixteen Candles, Hall plays Ted, a lowly freshman and King of the Dorks. Sure, he cant dance to save his life and he has to wear a retainer at night, but were willing to look past the goofiness.
6. Jason Schwartzman as Max FischerYouve probably met a Max Fischer. Were sure that you know the type: an overly-ambitious, socially awkward know-it-all who thinks that his upcoming class debate is equivalent to the Nixon vs. Kennedy presidental showdown. Nothing can stop Max Fischer from ruling the school. Dont have a bee-keeping society? Hell make one. True, Maxs go-for-the-jugular tactics can be irritating, but its only an attempt to cover up his all-too-human vulnerabilities. Besides, weve always had a thing for boys in uniforms.
7. Alan Ruck as Cameron Frye Cameron Frye wasnt going to win any popularity contests any time soon. Anxiety-ridden, uptight, and a chronic hypochondriac, Cameron is the type that would pop a blood vessel if you coughed without covering your mouth. On the other hand, his friendship with Ferris shows that hes capable of letting loose and getting crazy when the occasion calls for it.
8. Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Cameron James Cameron James is willing to do anything to get the girl of his dreams. She needs a French tutor but he doesnt speak a word of the language? No problem! She cant get a date unless her shrew of a sister has one? Its done. Not only was 10 Things I Hate About You a clever remake of The Taming of The Shrew, but it showed that nice guys dont always have to finish last.
9. Superman as Clark Kent When hes not donning tights and flying through the sky, Superman is Clark Kent, crime reporter for The Daily Planet. George Reeves, Christopher Reeves, and Brandon Routh have all tried their hands at The Man of Steel. Although the premise of Superman has gone through multiple transformations, the wide-eyed and fumbling naivety of Clark Kent has remained relatively unchanged.
10. Michael Cera as Paulie Bleeker Like Anthony Michael Hall, Michael Cera seems to be making a career out of playing socially awkward nerds. After he schemed with Jonah Hill in Superbad, Cera starred alongside Ellen Page in the film Juno as Paulie Bleeker, track star and Hot Pocket fanatic.
11. Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky
He may be one of Hollywood’s hottest rising stars, but Shia LaBeouf first caught our eye in Transformers. Sam Witwicky (or rather Shia LaBeouf) won us over with his sarcasm and general goofball demeanor. After all, its not every day that you meet a guy who has a Chevy Camaro that can transform into a robot from outer space.
12. John Cusack as Lane Meyer Lane Meyer is on top of the world. Why? Because hes dating Beth, the most sought-after girl in the entire school. Unfortunately, this all comes crashing down when Beth decides to ditch her offbeat boyfriend for Roy Stalin, resident jock and jerk extraordinaire. Whether hes running from the paper boy or drawing cartoons, we cant help but love Lane for his earnest determination to win back the girl of his dreams. Thankfully, Lane finally realizes that maybe Beth isnt so perfect after all.
13. Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane Johnny Depp is known for playing offbeat and oddball characters. The majority of these roles, from Edward Scissorhands to Jack Sparrow, are all about magnifying the quirky, rather than the nerdy. However, in Tim Burtons Sleepy Hollow, Johnny Depp is the highly analytical, play-by-the-rules Ichabod Crane, who becomes absolutely giddy at the prospect of The Headless Horseman descending upon the idle town of Sleepy Hollow. Think less Keith Richards and more Sherlock Holmes.
14. Hugh Grant as William Thacker
In Notting Hill, Hugh Grant plays the type of character hes best known for: the stumbling, clumsy, yet completely endearing Englishman. When movie megastar Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) walks into William Thackers bookstore, sparks fly. Maybe William isnt Prince Charming, but were willing to settle for a little old-fashioned courtship in the heart of London.
15. Jake Gyllenhaal as Donnie Darko
So maybe Donnie can be considered more of an outcast than a nerd, but that doesnt mean hes going to be nominated for Prom King. If you like contemplating the intricacies of time travel, then Donnies your guy. Hopefully, youre not scared of bunny rabbits with an apocalyptic agenda