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Inner Journeys, LLC Group

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Elisha Bespalov
Elisha Bespalov

Cute Teen Nerd


A cute and brainy bibliophile, this trope embodies the cute, shy, and vulnerable archetype as applied to a nerdy girl. She wanders around with her head in a book and is ready to spout out facts at the drop of a hat. There's a tendency for her to be shy, young, quiet, and socially awkward. Occasionally this is highlighted by having her wear glasses, or have her bangs in her face to hide her eyes. She'll almost always be more conservatively dressed than most of the cast.




cute teen nerd



  • Fan Works Anchor Foal: Mentioned in Chapter 10 by self-aware genre novel Harem Fantasy as a common character type, and one who frequently wins the battle to be the last mare standing. Any resemblance to Twilight is probably coincidental.

  • Male example in Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Japan is very smart. He also happens to be quite cute as pointed out by Italy.

  • Avalina in Hope for the Heartless. Because she's a peasant girl, she doesn't have much time for her passion for books (she likes fairy tales in particular), until she's forced to stay for months in the Horned King's castle. She's quite happy when the Horned King provides her a library.

  • Chloe Cerise in Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail spends a week and a half in the Library of Flying Book Cars, and reads different types of books, and even writes her (macabre) stories. All while being a sweet ten-year-old girl who loves and invokes Alice in Wonderland.

  • Vale Whitaker, the heroine of the Hunger Games fanfiction Some Semblance of Meaning, not only loves books (and can be quite dorkily cute), but she even wants to write stories of her own someday.

  • The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova: Sofia of The Glaceon and the Shadow is very fond of science and loves to show off her knowledge, yet is somewhat shy and awkward about it, and tends to suddenly interrupt herself and worry the person she's talking to is bored by her.

  • Katherine from Total Drama Legacy. A shy girl who spent most of her life as a Hikikomori, she loves to read more than anything else, and often makes allusions to classic literature.

  • Arcanus from the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic Whispers: Cute in the eyes of his (female) peers and bookworm by virtue of it being his special talent.



  • Live-Action TV Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow spends much of her time in the library with Giles or on a computer. When Willow first appears, Cordelia mocks her clothes, joking about having seen the softer side of Sears. She tends to start saying something, then trail off as she realizes that whatever she is saying is weird.

  • Annie Edison on Community, especially in the first season. She's a very pretty girl obsessed with school and doing well. She's overachieving, but she's very cute with all her books, copybooks, and notes. Over time her character becomes less focused on school and doing well but still remains extremely cute.

  • Game of Thrones: Shireen Baratheon is an adorable little princess who loves reading and always has a book with her. She has a disfigured face from greyscale, but it only makes her more vulnerable and even cuter. When Ser Davos refuses the book she brought him, she's completely lost and confused: how can anyone refuse a book? Books are awesome! When it turns out Ser Davos can't read, she decides to teach him. Shireen says in Season 5 that she learned to read when she was three years old. Even bookworm Samwell Tarly was surprised at this. She explains that given her Ill Girl status, confined indoors all the time, reading was the main activity she could do.

  • Gilmore Girls: Rory seems like an adorable bookworm in-universe to Dean starting with the first episode. He thought she was cute reading a book under a tree oblivious to anything else.

  • April Nardini, who appears in later seasons as Luke's teenage daughter. She is a science-oriented geek who loves books, reading, and school.

  • Amelia from The Ministry of Time. She proudly says that she learned from books everything she knows, which includes her vast knowledge of History and Literature up to her origin year of 1880. In an episode, Pacino tells her that she's "like the Enciclopedia Espasa, but in pretty."

  • Daniel Jackson on Stargate SG-1 starts out as one of these before he Took a Level in Badass. He's awkward, nerdy, has peek-a-bangs, wears glasses, and stutters when he's nervous. He's also a huge linguistics nerd which leads to him spending a lot of time reading, be it books, or the walls of ancient tombs.

  • The Wilds: Nora loves to read, and is often seen with a book when she has free time. She's also a pretty young woman who's shy and socially awkward to the point of having implied autism.



  • Visual Novels CLANNAD: Kotomi Ichinose is very socially awkward, shy, and ridiculously intelligent.

  • All four girls in Doki Doki Literature Club!, but especially the dark-haired, intelligent Shrinking Violet Yuri. Even her ideal date is you and her reading a book together over tea and chocolate.

  • Katawa Shoujo: Hanako, though the social isolation is actually due to a complex over her burn scars. The Peek-a-Bangs part of the trope are also for the same reason. Still a shy, quiet bookworm that covers her face, though.

  • Little Busters!: Mio is almost always found on her own, reading books quietly. Underneath that, she's less passive than most examples, having a rather snarky, perverted, ruthless side to her, but underneath that she's a wonderfully kind girl with a terrible guilt complex and a tendency to worry too much. And her younger self, who was very shy and used books and make-believe to escape into other worlds, was this trope even more so.

  • Becca from Melody is a pretty and cultured girl who reads her share of books, especially romance novels, and has an interest in psychology.

  • Tokimeki Memorial 1: Mio Kisaragi, a cute and shy Meganekko who loves reading books (to the point of reading four of them per day), thus she spends a lot of her time at libraries, and she often helps at Kirameki High's one. It's also her who finds the Soccer Manual that'll help the protagonist improve his striker skills, during the storyline of the side game Nijiiro no Seishun.

  • True Love Junai Monogatari: Remi Himekawa (the very booksmart vice-president of the student council) and Miyuki Tanaka (the local high school artist).

  • Yume Miru Kusuri: Hiroko which is immensely different from the 'normal' face she presents as Nekoko because her normal life pains her.

  • Yumina the Ethereal: Maino, who is, of course, the school's librarian.

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