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File:Big-bang-theory 6651.jpg

One of these things is not like the others.


[The male cast is playing a video game. Enter Penny and some gorgeous girls]

Penny: Hey, guys! My friends and I got tired of dancing so we came over to have sex with you. [Her statement unnoticed, Penny and her friends leave giggling].

Sheldon: Why did you hit pause?

Leonard: I thought I heard something.

Rajesh: What?

Leonard: No, never mind.
The Big Bang Theory, "The Dumpling Paradox"

You are one of Two Gamers on a Couch, enthralled by the latest noisy console game. As you furiously punish the controller old potato chips fly from your shirt, illuminated briefly by the glow of the screen before disappearing into the darkness of the room around you. You feel the sweet victory over your rival drawing near. As you are about to deliver the final blow, a mysterious figure steps between you and the television. Who could it be? Oh, it's just your extremely hot female roommate trying to get you to do something other than play video games. Whatever, you will unpause the game after you pretend to listen to what she says.

This girl is the Nerd Nanny, and how she winds up living with a bunch of lazy guys is a mystery. Even more amazing is the fact that the guys never seem to notice how frickin hot she is, unless some story-driving UST is needed. She is constantly trying to motivate the Non Action Guys to do anything, sometimes even to pay attention to her, but they usually won't have any of it. Fortunately for our male castmembers, she almost never leaves them for a different housing situation, because if she did--well, who would want to watch a show without hot chicks in it? Am I Right??

Note the guys don't always have to be nerds. Any reason to be couch-ridden also works (e.g. drugs, lazyness, etc.).

This character is popular in webcomics and sitcoms (particularly if The Smurfette Principle applies), but is present in other genres as well.

Compare Ignore the Fanservice. Related to Magical Girlfriend, Team Mom, Action Girl, The Chick, and Closer to Earth. See also Ugly Guy, Hot Wife, Odd Couple. Compare Give Geeks a Chance and Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl. Contrast Gamer Chick.

Examples of Nerd Nanny include:

Anime and Manga

  • Genderflipped in Kuragehime. Cross Dresser Kuranosuke frequently visits the "Sisterhood," a group of androphobic otaku women.
  • Played with in Genshiken. Otaku-hating Saki dates Kohsaka and essentially plays a lot of this trope to the hilt, but her status as a character like this is part of the plot. Ohno, on the other hand, is a total otaku like the other men in the club, with Saki playing the same role to her.


  • Jennifer Aniston in The Breakup.
  • Kristen Bell's character in Fanboys. Averted in that she's a fangirl herself, but she seems much more on the ball than all of the titular fanboys.
  • Averted in Grandma's Boy. The Chick smokes, drinks, plays video games, and happens to work with the most pro-active stoner-gamers on the planet.
  • Sydney White, being based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, has this with the eponymous character, who becomes the Nerd Nanny to seven dorky boys.

Live Action TV

  • Donna or Jackie from That 70s Show.
  • Penny from The Big Bang Theory, though she lives across the hall and simply likes the company and Leonard. Although we do see why they hang out with each other, as the guys, most especially Leonard and Sheldon help her out with her problems when she's experiencing them and she helps them get a lot less bullied than they normally still are. Another difference is that they do do things without her coaxing, and she does hers without theirs, but usually in their own social circles and what they try to get from the other party is a crossing of boundaries.
  • Jen from The IT Crowd. She's hired to be the IT team's HR manager. It turns out she knows nothing about computers and relatively little about how to be socially successful, but compared to her two (sometimes three) IT nerds, she's usually the normal one.


  • Lilah from Ctrl+Alt+Del. However, she's a gamer herself and actually makes a living off of it, and even understands if Ethan needed to do something gaming related. On the other hand, any time she needs him to stop acting like an overgrown Man Child...
  • Gender-swapped in Questionable Content with gamer-otaku Marigold and "regular guy" Angus.

Web Original