Nerd beloveds fall into certain reliable categories. We like our crushes smart. We like them funny. We don’t mind if they’re socially awkward (in fact, sometimes we prefer that). Not for us the tanned, the gorgeous, the rich, the popular! Bring us your diamonds in the rough who crack wise, or your sensitive souls with the inked-up Converse and notebooks full of poems — those are the ones who’ll win our awkward little hearts.
After careful consideration, we present our list of 16 guys that dominate the affections of nerd girls and boys everywhere. This is the showdown to end all showdowns.
Mr. Darcy versus The Doctor
In one corner, you have Mr. Darcy: the brooding, the prideful, the rich (we’re smart, not impervious). In the other, you have the admittedly alien Doctor—a man capable of taking you anywhere, anywhen. We love a man who can rock a scowl and a charming accent.
Funny and Fine
Paul Rudd versus Aziz Ansari
How do you choose? On one hand, Paul Rudd looked the same in Anchorman and The 40 Year Old Virgin as he did in Clueless. On the other hand, Aziz is one of the funniest things about Parks and Recreation and his faces make reaction-gif gold. If you can make a nerd laugh, you’ve won her heart.
Jim Halpert versus Ron Weasley
Jim pined for Pam on The Office for years while nerd girls the world round shouted, “IF SHE DOESN’T REALIZE HOW AMAZING YOU ARE, I CAN BE IN SCRANTON IN TWO HOURS.” But Ron, guys. Ron! Awkward, fumbly, self-conscious, brave RON. Harry Potter wouldn’t be the same without him. And neither would we. We aren’t going for the brave hero—it’s all about the one who was waiting the whole time.
I Love You For Making Things I Love
Joss Whedon versus Ed Sheeran
Joss has been on our radar since his Buffy days, but Firefly, Doctor Horrible, and The Avengers put that man on lock. On the seriously talented other hand, Ed Sheeran has finally cracked American charts with his hit, “The A Team,” confirming his way with words that had us swooning a long time ago.
I’ll Save You
Jon Snow versus Heathcliff
Like little puppies, both these boys need a serious saving grace. Nerds can appreciate a lost cause. But who do we love more? Jon Snow, the Game of Thrones outcast who resigns himself to death to protect his country, and for a family that never appreciated him? Or Heathcliff, the man so blinded by an impossible love that he ruined himself fighting for it?
Adorable Best Friend
Nick Miller versus Simon Lewis
Oh! The best friend! We nerds appreciate you like no one else ever will! Nick Miller—your weird, sometimes off-putting life choices on New Girl do not intimidate us! Simon Lewis—we would never have gone after Jace, the muscled blonde in The Mortal Instruments. We’ll take be-spectacled and gangly any day.
Only I Understand You
Abed Nadir versus Sherlock
It takes a special sort to love you, Abed and Sherlock. That special sort is a nerd. Abed—we will understand all your weird references on Community. Sherlock—if you don’t talk to us for three days because you are extrapolating the implications of sand at a crime scene, we get it! We love you for all of you. ALL of you.
Jon Stewart versus Neil deGrasse Tyson
Who do you love the most? Vote now! Click anywhere on the bracket to start voting. You can vote on Round One until Sunday, February 10 at 11:59 p.m. ET. And check back on Monday, February 11 to see who moved on to Round Two! (You can only vote for each round once.)