When Did Nerds Become Cool?

This is something I have been thinking a lot about lately. It seems like for a long time geeks/nerds were persona non grata, and were doomed to suffer the torment and ridicule of “cool kids” everywhere. Over the years movies and characters like Revenge of the Nerds, Screech (Saved by the Bell), Steve Urkel and Freaks and Geeks kept this stereotype alive. Now I admit most of the “geeks” I just mentioned above ended up getting the girl in the end but not without years of suffering through wedgies and getting stuffed in their lockers.

In 2003 something changed. A little show debuted and swept the nation, The O.C. and with it introduced the world to Seth Cohen.

Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) reading a comic on The OC

At the start of the show Seth Cohen was an outsider, he liked comics and video games and was generally shunned by the chiseled, tan people of Orange County. What was different about Seth Cohen from the previous incarnations of the “nerd” character was that he showed that even though a guy might like the above items that doesn’t doom him to a life of glasses, suspenders and high waisted pants. Seth Cohen quickly became a heartthrob on the show but the character’s love of all things nerd never wavered. And in the end he got the girl. That’s right he got the original “We Date Nerds” normal girl, Summer. Summer was also initial horrified by her attraction to a nerd but eventually she succumbed to his nerd charms.

The OC Seth / Summer Spiderman Kiss

So thank you to Seth Cohen and the writers at The O.C. for starting a nerd revolution and making being a nerd cool.

Posted by Liz 
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One thought on “When Did Nerds Become Cool?

  1. Charles

    I for one have not benefited from this “nerds are cool” revolution. To this day not one single girl has ever been interested in me. No matter how nice I try to be, girls treat me like crap. Im just too ugly to get a girl no matter “how nerdy cool” I am

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