Thanksgiving is upon us once again, and in customary celebration of the gourd and Facehugger-adorned holiday, we’d like to give thanks for a few of the little moments from nerdom that elicit smiles, good vibes, and small squirts of dopamine all around. To that end, here is a list of 10 deliciously nerdy moments that make all of our lives a little better by consistently giving us something to look forward to.
10. Pressing “Play” on Movie Night (with Snacks)
Getting through the workday or workweek can seem a lot more tolerable if you have a movie (or bingeable TV series) waiting for you when you get home. It’s specifically wonderful to think about that moment when you have the film set to go on your television, all of your snacks ready — popcorn mixed with Reese’s Pieces, mouth-watering Krispy Kreme Jelly Belly jelly beans — and your finger poised on the remote. You hit “play,” the movie starts, your hand claws a mouthful of sweet, salty goodness toward your face, and life is good.
9. Moseying Around a Comic Book Store
Comic book stores are nerd temples where one can go to peruse endless shelves of colorful comics,and glass cases packed with rare, trademarked treasures. A lazy Sunday afternoon spent loafing around a comic book store, leafing through the crisp pages of the latest Spider-Man prequel comic or gawking at a collectible K-2SO can be just as calming as a walk on the beach or a visit to Risa.
8. Beating a Video Game Level, or Friend in Multiplayer
There is a quiet — many times not so quiet — moment of celebration every time you put the work and patience into beating a video game level or quest (without using help from the internet). Sure, the neurochemical reward for completing a quest in The Witcher or slapping Bowser’s dome for the final time before he’s defeated in Super Mario Bros. keeps you hooked and wanting more, but that makes meeting the challenge no less significant. Perhaps even better: The feeling of being the last character standing in a party-sized multiplayer game like Smash Bros.
7. Solving a “Left-Brained” Problem and Getting the Right Answer
Solving a math, physics, or other sciencey problem can be especially rewarding because, on some level, it feels like you’re figuring out how nature really works. Sitting down and grappling with some equations to make a physical prediction, which is then borne out by reality, ironically feels like magic. Whether it’s building a “real” working lightsaber or theorizing the bounce physics of Cap’s shield, that moment when the numbers work out is worth every ounce of the required mental strain.
6. Finding Out Somebody Has the Same Taste in Media As You
We build our identities around the media we consume, so it’s no wonder the moment when you realize somebody you know loves the same TV show, film, book, or video game as you do feels like winning a tiny lottery. Perhaps you’re both blown away by Stephenson’s Snow Crash or smitten with Broad City. Bonus points if the media you connect over is on the more esoteric side, allowing you both to feel like you’re rebels in a world full of clones.
5. The Moment When a LEGO Build Finally Comes Together
Building something out of LEGO while following the instructions can be an exercise in trust. Often times, especially with larger builds, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees when assembling component structures. But every once in a while, there comes a step where all the parts come together, and everything just clicks with immense satisfaction. This is particularly true if there are a lot of moving pieces involved or if you’re building the largest official Millennium Falcon ever.
4. Finding a Great Track, Listening to It on Repeat with Headphones
Finding a new song you love requires skipping through a lot of not-right-for-me tracks. And then you find the one that speaks to your soul and/or makes all your cells move in just the right rhythm. But the best moment doesn’t even come when you listen to it for the first time. It comes when you pop your headphones on and go for a stroll to your new anthem, which could be anything from sublime cave sounds to straight-up weird Rick and Morty music.
3. Seeing Somebody You Hate on Game of Thrones Get Their Comeuppance
There is no fictional world out there right now better at delivering a high dose of schadenfreude than Game of Thrones. The show’s effects, battles, and locations are all mind blowing, but there’s nothing more viscerally entertaining than watching Joffrey or Ramsay or Little Finger finally get what’s coming to them. The moment you watch a Frey pie served is as sweet as any dessert.
2. Listening to Carl Sagan Talk About Space
In a world full of high-speed communication and infinite distraction, the late Carl Sagan’s work still stands out as a signal in the noise. The universe always seems to make a lot more sense when it’s considered by one of the most kind and knowledgeable science communicators of the 20th century, and the moment you climb aboard his sweet 80s starship in Cosmos, you know you’re in for a relaxing ride around the galaxy.
1. The Contemplative Moment Right After Finishing a Good Book
Since there have been novels, there have been readers who’ve turned the final page, read the last word, and then sighed a sigh of accomplishment and wonder. Finishing a good book and then resting with it on your chest somehow forces you to think not just about the contents of the book, but about life in general. This moment is especially intense if the last word of the last line hits you in the soul with a Falcon Punch of a metaphor.
What do you think about these delightful nerd moments? Do you have any you can think of that weren’t on this list? Let us know in the comments below!