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Revenge of the Nerds is a comedy film from 1984 satirizing social life in the United Statesmarker on a college campus. The movie stars Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards, with Curtis Armstrong, Ted McGinley, Julia Montgomery, Brian Tochi, Larry B. Scott, John Goodman, and Donald Gibb. The film was directed by Jeff Kanew.

The movie's storyline chronicles of a group of nerds trying to stop harassment by the persecuting jock fraternity, the Alpha Betas.This film is number 91 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies."

Plot summary

Lewis Skolnick (Robert Carradine) and Gilbert Lowe (Anthony Edwards) are nerds and best-friends, both heading to Adams College to study computer science. Lewis and Gilbert move into the mens' freshmen dorm with other first-year students. The Alpha Betas, a fraternity to which many members of the school's football team belong, carelessly burn down their house. The team's coach (John Goodman) uses his intimidation to overrule the school's Administrative Dean Ulich (David Wohl) and has the Alpha Betas evict the freshmen from the dorm for their own purposes. The Dean allows the freshmen to live in one half of the gym and suspends normal fraternity rules to allow the displaced freshmen to join fraternities early or move to other housing. However, as nerds, Lewis and Gilbert have no luck, and along with other outcast freshmen, are stuck living in the gym. The two work with the other outcasts and renovate a dilapidated house to serve as their own frat house.

The Alpha Betas and their associated sorority, the Pi Delta Pis, harass the nerds. The nerds try to file complaints to the Greek Council, but it is run by Stan Gable (Ted McGinley), the head of the Alpha Betas, who flatly rejects them, as the nerds are not a part of any fraternity. The nerds attempt to gain membership into a national fraternity but are rejected by all but one (the only one to which they did not send a group photo with their application). The nerds meet U.N. Jefferson (Bernie Casey), the head of the Lambda Lambda Lambdas (Tri-Lambs), a fraternity primarily for African-Americans. Though Jefferson is ready to dismiss them, the group discovers a clause in the fraternity's policy that allows for a trial membership. Jefferson reluctantly grants them this.

The nerds prepare a party and invite Jefferson, but the party is nearly ruined before it starts when the Pi Delta Pis, after promising to be their dates, proceed to stand them up. However, thanks to the arrival of women from the Omega Mu sorority, a sorority consisting largely of overweight or geekish women, and a supply of marijuana provided by Booger (Curtis Armstrong), the party becomes a resounding success. The Alpha Betas and Pis, however, succeed in ruining it by unleashing pigs in the nerds' house, then taunting them.

The nerds have had enough at this point, and decide to retaliate. They perform a panty raid on the Pi Delta Pi house, using the distraction to install cameras to spy on the women while they are undressing. As for the Alpha Betas, the nerds sneak into their locker room and put Liquid Heat, an extra-powerful liniment, on their jock straps, resulting in an exquisitely painful and humiliating experience at their next football practice. Jefferson is impressed with the nerds' spunk and ingenuity, and formally welcomes them as Lambdas.

However, the nerds are still harassed by the Alpha Betas, and realize that the only way to put an end to it is to take control of the Greek Council by winning the annual Greek Games during homecoming. They are able to use their smarts to compete with the Alpha Betas during the athletic portion of the event, losing only by a small margin. They then use topless photos taken from their Pi Delta cameras placed at the bottom of whipped cream pies to easily win the charity sales and costume events. During this event, Lewis takes an opportunity to disguise himself as Stan and seduce Stan's girlfriend, Betty Childs (Julia Montgomery). Upon finding out the truth after the fact, she dumps Stan. The Lambdas easily win the final event of the Greek Games with an elaborate musical production, and Lewis is quick to nominate Gilbert as the new head of the Greek Council.

That night, the Alpha Betas are chastised by their coach, which inflames them into going to the Tri-Lambs' house and wrecking it. The nerds return from their celebration to find a scene of devastation, prompting Gilbert to storm onto the scene of the homecoming pep rally and try to get a word in edgewise, but the Alpha Betas push him into a fountain. Undaunted, Gilbert tries again, and is nearly attacked by Coach Harris and several of the football players. The dean intervenes and orders him to stop, causing the coach to turn on him. However, U.N. Jefferson arrives, flanked by a sizable group of angry Tri-Lambs from other chapters, intimidating the Alpha Betas. He hands the microphone to Gilbert, who gives an inspiring speech about how it feels to be mistreated just for being different. Lewis joins him, and invites anyone who has ever felt left out, laughed at, or picked on to come and join them. Their respective girlfriends do so, as do the other Lambda nerds, followed by many members of the assembled crowd. The Dean uses the opportunity to tell the coach that the Lambdas will be staying in the Alpha Beta house while the Alpha Betas repair the Lambda home, and that the Alpha Betas, as jocks, are welcome to sleep in the gym.


  1. "Manhattan" - Andrea & Hot Mink 3:45
  2. "Don't Talk" - Ya Ya 4:02
  3. "One Foot In Front Of The Other" - Bone Symphony 3:10
  4. "Breakdown" - The Rubinoos 3:34
  5. "Revenge of the Nerds" - The Rubinoos 3:19
  6. "They're So Incredible" - Revenge 3:54
  7. "Are You Ready?" - Ya Ya 4:02
  8. "Are You Ready For The Sex Girls" - Gleaming Spires 4:10
  9. "Right Time For Love" - Pat Robinson and Jill Michaels 4:00
  10. "All Night Party" - Gleaming Spires 2:31

The other songs in the film not on the soundtrack are "Thriller" by Michael Jackson, "We Are the Champions" by Queen, as well as "Burning Down the House" by Talking Heads.


Exterior scenes such as the arrival of the nerds at college and the fraternity houses were filmed at the University of Arizonamarker in Tucson, Arizonamarker. The original Nerds residence, from which they were ousted, was in fact Cochise Hall. Their subsequent residence was Bear Down Gymnasium. One scene was filmed at Kyle Fieldmarker on the campus of Texas A&M Universitymarker. The original Alpha Beta fraternity house that gets burned down was shot at the Beta Theta Pi house on University Boulevard and the Pi house was the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house.


DVD release

On January 3, 2007 Revenge of the Nerds was released as a special edition DVD entitled "Panty Raid Edition" (The special edition name was changed from "The 'We've Got Bush' Edition", with preliminary artwork shown on websites such as The Digital Bits). Special features included : Audio Commentary, Making of Documentary, Deleted Scenes, Television Pilot, and two theatrical trailers.


Revenge of the Nerds was rated moderately well, by most critics. Rotten Tomatoes scored it an average of 76% fresh.

Shelved remake

Teaser poster for the 2007 film.
A remake of the original Revenge of the Nerds 1984 film was slated for release in 2007; however, the project was canceled in 2006.

The cast included Adam Brody (who also co-produced), Dan Byrd, Katie Cassidy, Kristin Cavallari, Jenna Dewan, Chris Marquette, Ryan Pinkston, Efren Ramirez, and Nick Zano. It was to be directed by Kyle Newman and executive produced by McG. The script was written by Gabe Sachs & Jeff Judah, Adam Jay Epstein & Andrew Jacobson and Adam F. Goldberg. Filming took place in Atlanta, Georgiamarker at Agnes Scott Collegemarker, the Georgia State Capitolmarker, and Inman Parkmarker. Filming was originally scheduled to take place at Emory College but university officials changed their minds after reading the script.

In November 2006, the film was shelved by Fox Atomic. Producers found it difficult to shoot on the smaller Agnes Scottmarker campus and studio head Peter Rice was disappointed with the dailies.


  1. [1]
  2. ResLife: Cochise Hall
  3. Revenge of the Nerds (1984) - Filming locations
  5. [ Revenge of the Nerds at Rotten Tomatoes]

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