Continuing with our celebration of excellence in geek -- the Geek Awards -- we present the 25 best geek characters to grace the silver screen.

To truly separate the great geeks from the good, we had to dig into the true meaning of the term. In today's culture, the term has become a catchall for nerds, hipsters, pariahs, etc. Being a true geek is more than just being awkward, smart or wearing the wrong clothes. It is someone who is overly obsessed with one or more things, usually of a intellectual, electronic, or collecting nature, to the point of societal exclusion. Other factors may accompany that, but those are more byproducts than a root cause.

The rankings were determined by what impact the characters have had in society and the successes their geek tendencies won them in the film(s). (Some actors, of course, play the geek card to perfection -- just look at Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who at the tender age of 21 has already made our list twice.) Ultimately, we went with Richard Clarke's sentiment when he told Stephen Colbert on 'The Colbert Report' that the difference between nerds and geeks is "geeks get it done." Without further ado, these are the geeks who have gotten it done.

25. William Lichter in 'Can't Hardly Wait' (1998)
Geek-tor: Charlie Korsmo
Geekery Focus: Computers, revenge on Mike Dexter, detailed toy dioramas
Geek Quote: "Nobody drink the beer, the beer has gone bad!"
Geek-Down: While the rest of the film's partygoers just want one last night of drunken debauchery with their graduating classmates, valedictorian William has arrived with the intention of humiliating his jock tormentor Mike Dexter (Peter Facinelli). He's obsessed with the revenge plot -- mapping it with a detailed diorama and stationing two geeks on the roof to help. Instead he accidentally gets wasted, sings 'Paradise City' and becomes the life of the party. He goes on to become the most popular geek at Harvard.
(Rent | Buy)


24. Chuck Sherman in the 'American Pie' series
Geek-tor: Chris Owen
Geekery Focus: Science fiction, sex, referring to self in third person
Geek Quote: "I'm a sophisticated sex robot, sent back in time to change the future for one lucky lady."
Geek-Down: The Shermanator is an inspiration to struggling geeks everywhere: Stick to your geek guns and eventually you'll be rewarded with a gorgeous, oversexed Russian exchange student. Just be patient, because the payoff may not come until the sequel. In 'American Pie 2,' Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth) even calls him a geek in the throws of passion.
(Rent | Buy)

23. Augie Farks in 'Role Models' (2008)
Geek-tor: Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Geekery Focus: Medieval live-action role-playing, chivalry, swordplay
Geek Quote: "Naysayers tell me, 'You should be embarrassed. You should not be fighting. You look like Marvin Hamlisch.' I say, 'Nay, I am not embarrassed. I will fight. Who the f*** is Marvin Hamlisch?'"
Geek-Down: Augie is essentially a Renaissance Fair geek who has gone overboard. He uses his medieval role-playing world to escape the loneliness of high school and his crappy stepfather. Everyone thinks he's a freak, including his "Big" from Sturdy Wings, Danny Donahue (Paul Rudd); but Augie ends up being the most noble character in the film. After defeating the evil king of LAIRE (Ken Jeong), his obsession pays off with the sexy wench Esplen.
(Rent | Buy)

22. Ned Gold in '17 Again' (2009)
Geek-tor: Thomas Lennon
Geekery Focus: Technology, fantasy, 'The Lord of the Rings,' Elvish language
Geek Quote: "It's a classic transformation story. Are you now or have you ever been a Norse god, vampire, or time-traveling cyborg?"
Geek-Down: If you find yourself suddenly kicked out of your house and/or transformed into a teenager, Ned is the perfect friend. You can crash at his billionaire mansion due to his technology geekery, and he will believe in the magic that turned you into your teenage self because of his love of fantasy. He also has the ability to actually score a woman after delivering the pickup line, "I think our hands just made a baby."
(Rent | Buy)

21. Josie Geller in 'Never Been Kissed' (1999)
Geek-tress: Drew Barrymore
Geekery Focus: Words, writing, Shakespeare
Geek Quote: "Yes, you are a guy. Quite a guy. Oh my. Hey, that rhymes! Yikes. Bikes!"
Geek-Down: Known in high school as "Josie Grossie," Josie has never been able to get over her insecurities of being unpopular. All she wants is to be a reporter for the Chicago Sun Times and get a boyfriend. However, she can't get past copyeditor and "the friend" stage with guys. That is until she goes undercover as a high school student for a story and finds everything she wants. Sometimes you just have to follow your obsessive, unrealistic storyline until it yields a geek jackpot.
(Rent | Buy)

20. Wayne Szalinski in 'Honey I Shrunk the Kids' (1989)
Geek-tor: Rick Moranis
Geekery Focus: Science, inventions, electromagnetic shrink rays
Geek Quote: "No, if the machine had blown up the kids, there'd be pieces of them everywhere ..."
Geek-Down: Moranis is a master at playing geeks, and Wayne is his most iconic. An eccentric bordering on nutty scientist, he knows his research will change the world, but he cannot convince NASA. Isn't that always the case? Finally, he develops an electromagnetic ray that doesn't blow things up. The problem is his pesky children accidentally shrink themselves. Wayne figures it out when he finds his "thinking couch" missing. Luckily, his obsessive genius saves the day in the end.
(Rent | Buy)


19. Lucas Blye in 'Lucas' (1986)
Geek-tor:
Corey Haim
Geekery Focus: Bug collecting, Maggie
Geek Quote: "Either you're an athlete or you're not an athlete."
Geek-Down: Lucas may be the most relatable geek on this list. Most of us have lusted after someone who only sees us as a friend. The difference with Lucas is he turns his laser geek focus on overcoming Maggie's preconceptions of him. He joins the football team and almost dies because of it. While his sacrifice doesn't get him the girl, it does win him school hero status, a letterman jacket and every geek's dream, a school-wide slow clap in his honor.
(Rent | Buy)

18. Number 5 in 'Short Circuit' series
Geek-tor: Tim Blaney (voice)
Geekery Focus: Robotics, electronics, toy repair, '80s dance-pop
Geek Quote: "Attractive! Nice software."
Geek-Down: One of five prototype robots designed for the U.S. military's use in the Cold War, Number 5 is recharging when an electrical storm-induced power surge changes the programming. The robot is now geekier than Newton Graham Crosby (Steve Guttenberg), the scientist who created it. After hearing the dance-pop hit 'Who's Johnny?' Number 5 changes its name to Johnny 5 and then eludes the military by building a copy robot for them to destroy. This robotics knowledge helps Johnny 5 return in the sequel build and repair mini-Johnny 5 toys in New York.
(Rent | Buy)


17. William Miller in 'Almost Famous' (2000)
Geek-tor: Patrick Fugit
Geekery Focus: Music, journalism
Geek Quote: "Even when I thought I was [cool], I knew I wasn't."
Geek-Down: William is based on a real geek, director Cameron Crowe, who himself became a teenage music writer for 'Rolling Stone.' During the '70s, the magazine was the hippest source for culture. Ironically, you had to be a music-obsessed geek to work there. William fits the bill -- being super-intelligent, socially awkward from always being younger than his classmates and using music to escape his overbearing mother. For a while he's lured into believing he's cool by rock stars. Thankfully that evaporates, otherwise we wouldn't have Cameron Crowe movies today.
(Rent | Buy)

16. Enid in 'Ghost World' (2001)
Geek-tress: Thora Birch
Geekery Focus: Vintage stuff, vinyl records, hating happy people
Geek Quote: "That's not true. I just hate all these extroverted, obnoxious, pseudo-bohemian losers."
Geek-Down: Enid did geek chic way before American Apparel became popular. The most bitter geek on the list, her self-deprecating humor and hatred of anyone not socially inept rival any of Janeane Garofalo's standup acts. She's likely such a great character because she was born from the mind of a comics geek, Daniel Clowes. Yet the thing that really sets her apart is she sleeps with a character played by Steve Buscemi. What better geek love it there than that?
(Rent | Buy)

15. George McFly in 'Back to the Future' series
Geek-tor: Crispin Glover, Jeffrey Weissman
Geekery Focus: Science fiction, writing
Geek Quote: "Last night, Darth Vader came down from planet Vulcan and told me that if I didn't take Lorraine out that he'd melt my brain."
Geek-Down: George answers the question most high school geeks wonder: "What would happen if I stood up to my bully?" After George punches Biff, he gets the girl and becomes a successful sci-fi writer in the future, able to hire Biff to work for him. Unfortunately, eccentric geek actor Glover refused to return for the sequels, and Weissman had to fill his orthotics shoes. Otherwise, we'd have more George McFly scenes to love.
(Rent | Buy)

14. Andy Stitzer in 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin' (2005)
Geek-tor: Steve Carell
Geekery Focus: Electronics, action figures, collecting, video games, tuba
Geek Quote: "I'm a virgin."
Geek-Down: Andy being a virgin at 40 years old is sad on a few levels. Obviously, the first is that he's never had sex. On the other hand, it's sad because the reason stems from his contentment with hanging by himself, in his one-bedroom apartment, with all of his collectibles and video game accessories around him. However, the thing that kept him from a normal life -- his collecting -- ultimately pays off when he is able to sell his sweet stash and use the money to start his own electronics business.
(Rent | Buy)


13. Max Fischer in 'Rushmore' (1998)
Geek-tor: Jason Schwartzman
Geekery Focus: Rushmore Academy, theater, clubs, teachers
Geek Quote: "My top schools where I want to apply to are Oxford and the Sorbonne. My safety's Harvard."
Geek-Down: Max is the worst student at Rushmore Academy, but it's not for a lack of interest. He is obsessed with joining and starting school clubs: beekeeping, stamp and coin collecting, French, model United Nations, wrestling, etc. The only thing that can make him stray from this course is a pretty British teacher, who ultimately brings about Max's downfall when he tries to build her an aquarium on the baseball diamond.
(Rent | Buy)

12. Garth Algar in 'Wayne's World' series
Geek-tor: Dana Carvey
Geekery Focus: Music, inventing, gadgets, cable access, "schwinging"
Geek Quote: "Hey Mr. Donut Man, who's trying to kill ya? I don't know but they better not!"
Geek-Down: Also one of the best sidekicks of all time, Garth backs up Wayne (Mike Myers) on their cable access show and drums the theme song on his lap, "Wayne's World! Wayne's World! Party time! Excellent!" The most popular geek around Aurora, Illinois, he drives his fire-painted Gremlin around cranking Queen, invents random gadgets to keep himself busy and voices little men he makes from doughnuts.
(Rent | Buy)

11. Dr. Frankenstein in 'Young Frankenstein' (1974)
Geek-tor: Gene Wilder
Geekery Focus: Medical school, re-animating the dead
Geek Quote: "I am not a Frankenstein. I'm a Fronkensteen."
Geek-Down: In the beginning, Frankenstein tries to deny his family name and becomes a respected lecturer at an American medical school. When he inherits his family estate in Transylvania, he moves there and resumes his grandfather's quest for re-animating the dead. Unfortunately, his assistant Igor steals a brain marked, "Do Not Use This Brain! Abnormal," and everything goes downhill from there.
(Rent | Buy)

10. Louis Skolnick & Gilbert Lowell in 'Revenge of the Nerds' (1984)
Geek-tors: Anthony Edwards and Robert Carradine
Geekery Focus: Nerd rights, computer science, frat life
Geek Quote: "I just wanted to say that I'm a nerd, and I'm here tonight to stand up for the rights of other nerds."
Geek-Down: Best friends Louis and Gilbert enroll at Adams College to study computer science and have a good time. However, when the football team accidentally burns down their frat house, they seize the freshman dorm for themselves -- forcing the geeks to live in the gym. Louis and Gilbert refuse to stand for it and fight back, starting their own fraternity complete with panty raids. They really stick it to the jocks by winning the annual Greek Games and sleeping with the head jock's girlfriend on the moon bounce.
(Buy)

9. Milton Waddams in 'Office Space' (1999)
Geek-tor: Stephen Root
Geekery Focus: Swingline stapler, public radio, revenge against Initech
Geek Quote: "Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler ..."
Geek-Down: 'Office Space' is based on Mike Judge's original series of animated shorts, 'Milton,' so it makes sense the character would shine through with the best lines. Milton only wants a few things in life: to listen to his radio on at a reasonable volume, to have consistency in his work environment, to eat a piece of cake and to hang onto his Swingline stapler. When he doesn't get these things, he explains that he will burn down the building. Of course, no one pays attention because he's mumbling. In the end, Milton proves that the meek will inherit the money.
(Rent | Buy)

8. Richard 'Data' Wang in 'The Goonies' (1985)
Geek-tor: Jonathan Ke Quan
Geekery Focus: Gadgets, inventing, booby traps, James Bond
Geek Quote: "Hey I've got a great idea you guys! Slick shoes!"
Geek-Down: Since Data doesn't have Q like Bond does, he's forced to invent his own gadgets. At first they seem pointless and silly, but they end up saving lives when the Goonies venture into the caves to find One-Eyed Willie's treasure. His inventions like Pinchers of Peril inspired a generation of '80s children to disassemble their toys and parents' electronics in attempts to invent their own gadgets.
(Rent | Buy)

7. Chris Knight in 'Real Genius' (1985)
Geek-tor: Val Kilmer
Geekery Focus: Science, lasers, ladies, elaborate pranks
Geek Quote: "Ick invented a nude virus and we're going to release it in Kent's room."
Geek-Down: Very few make geekery look as cool as does Chris Knight. The most brilliant student in the elite university Pacific Tech, he learned early on that college is as much for meeting women and goofing off as it is for studying. Despite his distractions, Chris invents a laser "hotter than the sun" and then uses it to get back at evil Professor Hathaway, who wants it as a weapon for the CIA. House full of popcorn, anyone?
'Real Genius' vs. 'Weird Science'
(Rent | Buy)

6. David Lightman in 'WarGames' (1983)
Geek-tor: Matthew Broderick
Geekery Focus: Hacking computers, starting World War III
Geek Quote: "Let's play Global Thermonuclear War."
Geek-Down: In a time when computers were not in every home, David Lightman reigned supreme. He didn't have to study for class because he could just hack into the school's computers and change his grade. Looking for new challenges and games, he hacks into the NORAD supercomputer, WOPR, and accidentally incites World War III. Fortunately, David's computer geekdom also saves the day when he teaches the computer futility.
(Rent | Buy)

5. Hermione Granger in 'Harry Potter' series
Geek-tress: Emma Watson
Geekery Focus: Magic, Hogwarts, proving she's no regular Muggle
Geek Quote: "I hope you're pleased with yourselves. We could all have been killed -- or worse, expelled."
Geek-Down: A Muggle-born Gryffindor student, Hermione is determined to prove she's as good or better than any student born from magical parents. Author JK Rowling calls her a "borderline genius," and throughout the series, Hermione proves herself to be the best student in Harry Potter's year -- repeatedly being the first to master each new spell or charm. Without her guidance, Harry often wouldn't know what to do with all his talent.
(Rent | Buy)

4. Peter Parker in the 'Spider-Man' series
Geek-tor: Tobey Maguire
Geekery Focus: Photography, science, crime-fighting, Mary Jane
Geek Quote: "Some spiders change colors to blend into their environment. It's a defense mechanism."
Geek-Down: Stan Lee designed Spider-Man's alter ego to appeal to high school geeks who dreamed of fighting their bullies. Film geek director Sam Raimi only added to Peter Parker's geek charm. For example, in 'Spider-Man 3,' when Peter gets a taste of the extraterrestrial symbiote that creates Venom, he becomes geeky arrogant instead of cocky cool. Does anyone really believe geeks would only use superpowers for good? They would at least steal a few comic books.
(Rent | Buy)

3. Fogell in 'Superbad' (2007)
Geek-tor: Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Geekery Focus: Fake IDs, fake names, vests
Geek Quote: "I am McLovin."
Geek-Down: No high school geek has ever lived through a crazier, more amazing night than Fogell: buying booze, getting punched in the face, drinking with cops, shooting guns, blowing up cars, losing his virginity ... Renaming himself McLovin is a moment of geek genius that only he recognized, as is the case with true genius at first.
(Rent | Buy)

2. Spock in the 'Star Trek' series
Geektor: Leonard Nimoy, Zachary Quinto
Geekery Focus: Language, science, technology, mastering emotion
Geek Quote: "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic circuit using stone knives and bearskins."
Geek-Down: The son of a Vulcan ambassador and a human woman, Spock is only alive because Vulcan scientists intervened during his mother's pregnancy and placed his fetus in a specially designed gestation environment. You can see, he was meant to be a geek before even being born. Spock (last name unpronounceable by humans) has saved the USS Enterprise with his calm wit and genius countless times. He'll no doubt save it countless more with the re-imagining of the series.
(Rent | Buy)

1. Anthony Michael Hall in everything from 1982 to 1985
Best Geek Roles: The Geek in 'Sixteen Candles,' Brian Johnson in 'The Breakfast Club,' Garry Wallace in 'Weird Science'
Geekery Focus: Academics, girls' underwear, computers, science, '80s culture
Geek Quote: "I've never bagged a babe. I'm not a stud."
Geek-Down: No geek-tor has had a better run than Anthony Michael Hall from 1982 to 1985. During that time, he went from a skinny dorky actor to A-list celebrity based solely on his ability to nail the geek character perfectly in a high school film. He took geeks from quiet background characters to the forefront. Hall's stardom only faded because he decided to beef up and try to play the alpha male rather than continuing to embrace being the king of geekdom.
'Sixteen Candles' (Rent | Buy), 'The Breakfast Club' (Rent | Buy), 'Weird Science' (Rent | Buy)



The Geek Awards happen live on Wednesday, August 18, at 8PM from the Conga Room in Los Angeles, CA, with a live stream of the pre-show at 7PM, on PopEater. Featuring a surprise host, celebrity guests, and a special musical performance, the ceremony will celebrate the super-fans of culture. Tune into PopEater, Spinner, StyleList, Urlesque and Asylum for your music, fashion, and Internet geekdom.
CATEGORIES Top 25, Features