Revenge of the Nerds is a 1984 American comedy film satirizing social life on a college campus. The film 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 film's storyline chronicles of a group of nerds trying to stop harassment by the persecuting jock fraternity, the Alpha Betas. Revenge of the Nerds is number 91 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies.
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 own house and the team's coach (John Goodman) uses his intimidation to overrule the school's nebbishy 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 a school gymnasium 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 (or "Tri-Lambs"), an African-American fraternity. 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 geeky women, and a supply of marijuana provided by Booger (Curtis Armstrong), the party becomes a resounding success. The Alpha Betas and Pis, however, ultimately manage to ruin the affair by unleashing pigs in the nerds' house, then taunting and mooning 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 neither the Dean nor the Greek Council are able to do anything about it, because of the rules that Stan has put in place. Gilbert realizes 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, Stan's girlfriend, Betty Childs (Julia Montgomery), approaches him romantically, but is rebuffed. Lewis disguises himself as Stan and proceeds to have sex with her. Upon finding out the truth after the fact, instead of being angry, she proceeds to dump 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 savagely 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, which intimidates the Alpha Betas into backing off. U.N. 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 he and the Alpha Betas repair the Lambda home, and that the Alpha Betas, as jocks, are welcome to sleep in the gym.
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