A Beginner’s Guide to Nerdfighteria

The Fault in Our Stars, the summer blockbuster you’ve been hearing about on morning talk shows, new sites and your little cousin’s Twitter feed comes with some built-in fans. John Green, author of the young adult book the movie is based on, has been making geeky YouTube videos with his brother Hank since 2007, and in those seven years they’ve helped create an army of fans, or Nerdfighters. Nerdfighteria is an internet (and IRL community) all its own, and it has its own unique shorthand and quirks. Here’s a quick guide to the slang and references you might hear coming from the corners of the theater when you check out TFIOS.


Definition: Nerdfighters are fans of Hank and John Green and their Vlogbrothers videos. They were named for an old arcade game. They don’t fight nerds.

French the Llama!

Definition: An expression of excitement or frustration. This should explain any llamas in berets on shirts you might see worn by the theater going nerdfighters.

DFTBA (Don’t Forget to Be Awesome)

Definition: The motto of all nerdfighters who have vowed to “decrease world suck.” Often used as a sign off, it can also be used as a greeting of sorts among nerdfighters, accompanied by the hang signal below.

Giant squid of anger

Definition: Something a nerdfighter turns into when faced with a frustrating or anger-inducing dilemma. The transformation is signified by a wild flailing of the arms — similar to a wacky inflatable tube man.

Puppy-sized elephants

Definition: A dream yet to be realized. Or rather one that was realized, then lost long before any nerdfighters were born.

Who the eff is Hank?

Definition: A question with no answer, though there have been many attempts.

Filed Under