In some ways, Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) was a revolutionary character for the nerd community. While most fans of Star Trek and Game of Thrones are portrayed as the garden variety loser a la The Big Bang Theory, the creators of Parks and Recreation decided to go a slightly different route. Yes, Ben had his moments of social awkwardness, but he’s great at his job, finds a beautiful partnership with Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), builds meaningful friendships, and finds a great nerd/life balance.
Honestly, Ben Wyatt is an inspiration to nerds everywhere. No longer are the geekily inclined among us relegated to Loserville unless they give up their passions. Embrace your love of science fiction and political role-playing, ya freaks! The next time someone gives you a hard time about your dream of creating the next great table top game, channel your inner Tall Tyrion Lannister and embrace your love of all things nerdy by thinking to these Ben Wyatt moments.
“I don’t even have time to tell you how wrong you are. Actually, it’s gonna bug me if I don’t.”
No matter their creative persuasion, the thing that unites all nerds is pedantry. The insatiable desire to ensure that whoever you’re discussing understands all the finer details of Middle-earth politics or what actually constitutes a parsec unites us all, even if it makes us look a little bit insufferable. Still, like most nerds, Ben’s heart is in the right place when correcting Ann’s (Rashida Jones) understanding of Westeros’ magic. So, the next time you feel a canon rant coming on, just embrace it and endure the possible eye rolls. You’ll sleep better at night.
“No, of course, yeah. I’ll just put on my Star Wars pajamas and sit in my mom’s basement and pour over some spreadsheets. It sounds great.”
What started out as a joke eventually led to the admission that a night at (your mom’s) home sounds pretty great. Ben likes what he likes, and while it may sometimes be embraced with some sheepishness, he’s not going to force himself to be something he’s not. Sure, he’ll compromise with Leslie and make the occasional mac & cheese pizza instead of calzones, but Ben’s not going to conform for the sake of fitting in. So, when Friday night rolls around and your friends are pressuring you to go to a crowded club and do all of the things that entails and you hate, don’t be afraid to stay home and embrace that leisure wear life.
“I have been kinda tense lately. Just thinking about the new Star Wars sequel. I’m worried they’ll rely too heavily on CGI and I’m carrying it all in my shoulders.”
Listen, no matter how good The Force Awakens and Rogue One were, there is always that fear in the back of nerd brains that the Star Wars saga takes a sharp turn back into Attack of the Clones territory. Ben Wyatt feels your pain. However, when you feel this kind of Jar Jar induced panic, just breathe. We have BB-8 now. It’ll be fine.
“You’re like a ninja crossed with a Jedi or something.”
While your partner doesn’t need to have the same interests as you, someone who at least appreciates your inside jokes is always a plus. Leslie might be more of a Harry Potter girl, but she still appreciates when Ben calls her Khaleesi or they break out their Princess Bride couples costume. Being the biggest geek in the room isn’t a bad thing at all, especially if you have someone by your side that really gets it.
“Watch the master work it. I am the Yoda of networking.” — Tom
“Well, Yoda wouldn’t actually need networking, his powers were more spiritual.” –Ben
“Shut up, you nerd!” — Tom
Ben’s friendship with Tom (Aziz Ansari) may have had a few bumps, but these two opposites did manage to find a weird dynamic that somehow worked for them. Sure, Tom was always the first to make fun of Ben’s geekiness (a little hypocritical coming from someone who was obsessed with Twilight), but eventually he even grew to appreciate it ever so slightly. So, when your new bestie rolls their eyes when you start spitballing Westworld theories, don’t worry. They’ll come around.
“Nerd culture is mainstream now! So when you use the word ‘nerd’ derogatorily, that means that you’re the one that’s out of the zeitgeist!”
Every nerd has reached that moment when the ribbing triggers an outsized response. In Ben’s case, the constant prodding by Tom just gets to be a little too much. In your case, it might happen if someone within the community calls Rey a Mary Sue again or a normal questions the importance of Buffy The Vampire Slayer in the television landscape, and you end up blowing a gasket. You might even yell a little. But when that happens, brush it off, apologize for mishandling the situation, and bask in the self-satisfaction of knowing that you’re right.
“No, that’s Buckingham Palace. Hogwarts is fictional. You do know that, don’t you? It’s important to me that you know that.”
As much as we’d all like to receive our acceptance letter and take a trip on the Hogwarts Express to the wilds of Scotland, it just isn’t meant to be. You’ve made your peace with it, and you’d rather not be reminded of the harsh realities of Muggle life, thank you very much.
While Ben may be correcting Andy (Chris Pratt) in an effort to ensure that he doesn’t make an embarrassing faux pas in the future, a small part of him is making sure that Andy’s child-like nature doesn’t lead to heartbreak when he tries to buy a wand in the future. If you find yourself getting a little too drawn into a fantasy land, be sure to keep one foot firmly on terra firma.
“Are you busy? And writing Star Trek fan fiction doesn’t count.” — April
“Ha-ha-ha. I finished that last week.” — Ben
Your hobbies tend to morph into extensions of your main interests, so if fan fiction scratches that itch, more power to you. If Ben can write fics about Data so endearing that even April was slightly invested (or just trapped in a car), you can too. It can be a great outlet for your deepest geeky feelings, and you might even beef up those creative muscles at the same time. It’s honestly a win-win, even if there is the possibility of uncovering some weird things about yourself in the process.
“Gotham needs me.”
Damn right. Treat yourself. Get that Batman costume. Your city will thank you.