Recently, there’s been a major shift in the way we thought about nerds: It’s no longer uncool to be one. Shows like The Big Bang Theory, New Girl and 30 Rock, showed us that it was okay to be a geeky social outcast. Smart became the new sexy, and suddenly, lovable nerds were popping up everywhere. Check out our list of the most lovable nerds on TV below.
Zooey Deschanel as Jess Day
ZoDesch is the epitome of the cute, lovable and quirky nerd. She made being awkward adorable. The second she was cast as New Girl‘s Jess Day, we knew were we in love with those big blue eyes—even if they were behind glasses frames.
Tina Fey as Liz Lemon
We love 30 Rock‘s Liz Lemon because we are Liz Lemon. Liz represents the lovable dork that we all secretly have inside of us. And sometimes, nights when you just stay in, wear a Snuggie and work on your night cheese are totally necessary.
Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt
When Ben Wyatt came to Pawnee in Parks and Recreation, we thought that we would hate him. But a couple of seasons later, we fell in love with him just as quickly as Leslie Knope did. Despite his nerdy tendencies to write fan fiction, make Game Of Thrones references and argue Star Trek plot lines, he really was a sweet guy who cared fiercely about the people he worked with.
Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks
Carlton was the perfect foil to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air‘s Will Smith. Carlton was a bookish snob while Will was a street-smart smooth talker. Despite their differences, they always stuck together and had some wild adventures along the way.
Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute
At first, we found The Office‘s Dwight insufferable. His constant need to follow the rules, his obsession with beets and his kiss-up attitude were all reasons we disliked him. But as the series went on, we saw the more human and relatable side of him when he fell in love, got his heart broken and tried everything to win the woman of his dreams back. He ended up turning out to be a great friend and boss.
Melissa Fumero as Amy Santiago
Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Santiago is talented, great at her job and a bit of an obsessive nerd, but we admire her anyway because she’s an innocent keener who’s just trying to fit in. And who doesn’t want that?
Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir
During Community‘s six seasons, we saw Abed grow from a weird loner into an artistic individual who was kind, personable and introspective. Similar to Will and Carlton, Abed and Troy Barnes had the perfect rhetoric, and ultimately became our #bestfriendsgoals.
Adam Brody as Seth Cohen
Seth Cohen was the original hipster. He was a social outcast in a community of buff water polo players in The O.C. He skateboarded, listened to indie music and was in love with a girl way out of his league. He was the ultimate, and most adorable, underdog.
Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper
We’re endeared by The Big Bang Theory‘s Sheldon Cooper for the same reason we’re endeared by a small child or puppy. Despite being a physics genius, Sheldon is clueless about everything else outside of science. We’ve enjoyed watching him evolve through the series, from having no interest in friendship and women to falling in love with the equably likeable Amy Farrah Fowler.
Watch Sheldon’s Big Bang in The Opening Night Excitation this Thursday at 8E/P on CTV and CTV GO.