Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Seth: Removed -

But that's just the tip of the iceberg, baby. He's got an odd sense of humor, can be easily distracted, seems to choose friends and associates through the Rule of Cool, and is a huge Batman fanboy. He's a weirdo. Never change, Doc.

- from the Doctor McNinja example since it goes off point. Kept here for posterity.

Scrounge: Added it back. It's the entire point. His first response to a tough situation is "What would Batman do?"

Morgan Wick: Doesn't come off that way. It just comes off as Doctor Mc Ninja love. The Long List doth not an example make. And none of it, as phrased, makes him a Bunny-Ears Lawyer, especially in comparison to the "doctor/ninja" one, especially in the world of fiction. I mean, "an odd sense of humor"? "Easily distracted"? Please.

Scrounge: Fine. We'll leave it out until someone can word it better, okay?

Jefepato: Does Dexter really count? I'd think that having a low-key quirk that other characters don't know about would be the opposite of Bunny Ears.

  • Shocking that Zuko's uncle Iroh hasn't been included in this yet. He's a genial and faintly bumbling old man who's obsessed with tea, which masks a mind like a steel trap, a Firebending talent equal to that of his prodigy niece Azula's, and a military history that saw him come closer than anyone before him in history to conquering Ba Sing Se and led to his being nicknamed "Dragon of the West". Even when it looks like he's out, he's not out.

Pulled this. Iroh fits general Obfuscating Stupidity better. He doesn't really use his ideosyncracies as an advantage in combat, even early on, when he is pushed to fight he uses entirely sensible combat strategies for the situation, he's just masking his actual skill by not actually fighting unless he really has to.

Bumi might be your actual Bunny-Ears Lawyer though. Or at least, what Bunny Ears Lawyers grow up to be when they take a few dozen levels in badass.

That Other 1 Dude: With the exception of the time he was in jail, Iroh falls more under Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, as I'm pretty sure it's not an act, he just is that odd and goofy when he's not serious.
Sketch: Pulled the following examples -

  • Sokka on Avatar: The Last Airbender, due to his lack of bending powers and his role as the Plucky Comic Relief, often comes off as an harmless oaf, often getting involved in exaggerated Slap Stick. However, behind this is a innovative tactician, a trait which he inherits directly from his father. Sokka is usually the one to come up with plans for victory, and over the series, gradually develops as a warrior.
    • One good demonstration of these skills comes from "The Library":
      Sokka: Oh great spirit, check this out! (does a few hand tricks and presents a butterfly knot) It's a knot, a special knot!
      Knowledge Spirit: You're not very bright are you?
      Sokka: (under his breath) Bright enough to fool you.
    • Another example from The Western Air Temple: Sokka defeats Combustion Man by working out the angle of his fire-blasts and nailing him with a boomerang shot from behind cover.

Because that's not a Bunny-Ears Lawyer. Sokka's just a Badass Normal with occiasional bouts Plucky Comic Relief and Butt-Monkey. And That "The Library" example is Obfuscating Stupidity.

That is the definition of stretching it.

  • Uryu Ishida of Bleach is an extremely odd person...who just happens to be a powerful, spiritually aware human and the top-ranking student in his class.
    • Not to mention he has leet sewing skillz and likes to wear his Quincy uniform - even when the rest of the cast opts for casual clothes.

Unless being The Stoic is "odd" (because Loners Are Freaks), he is not a Bunny-Ears Lawyer.

  • Requesting that the description of Clinton as 'deranged' be pulled. That's politically biased and oh-so-not true.

Nornagest: Yanked —

* A character in a story this troper wrote was a very talented areospace engineer who just happened to dye her hair green.
* This troper had an original story as a teenager where practically everyone in the cast were Bunny Ears Lawyers.

The first doesn't qualify for the trope. The second is just uninformative. Both would probably be better placed in Troper Tales.

Elihu: This trope is not a dumping ground for damaged geniuses. This is NOT the place for people like House. A BEL has highly noticeable quirks. QUIRKS. Being a heavy drinker or a Jerk Ass or a violent person is NOT a quirk, it's a character flaw, and most interesting characters have them, especially if they're going to be the best at something in the narrative world. Because of these ideas, this trope tends to apply mostly to comedic figures - it's not exclusive to them, but just think of the image of a bunny-eared lawyer. It's quirky, it's odd, it's comedic.

For once, the instinctive reaction to add a Death Note example is perfectly fine. The other instinctive adds... not so much. Here are some of them:

  • Melissa Mao of Full Metal Panic! is a top AS pilot and combat officer. She also, if her apartment when staking out Kaname's school is any indication, goes through enough beer in a week to kill a bear through alcohol poisoning.
  • Misato Katsuragi from Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the world's most competent combat tacticians, yet is well known for her messy, heavy-drinking ditzy lifestyle outside of her job.
  • Tony Stark starts off his movie as only slightly less quirky than the other examples - he spends virtually all of his time either partying or working, to the point where he can make speeches while drunk and rarely shows up on time. Somehow he heads Stark Industries, probably because of Obidiah Stane's help, the fact that the company was founded by his father, and his unbelievable skill at building things. And then, at the end of the movie, he reveals that he is a super hero.
  • Dr. House from House, M.D. is a cynical, sardonic, unsympathetic drug addict, and wouldn't even talk to his patients if he didn't have to, but is an unparalleled genius as a doctor. It's revealed that he only became a doctor so everyone would have to listen to him, even if he was an intolerable drug addict, so in effect he always wanted to be a Bunny-Ears Lawyer. In one episode his hot boss casually informs him that she earmarks a part of the budget specifically for legal fees relating to House's doctor-patient interactions.
  • There is one Ax-Crazy Bunny-Ears Lawyer I know of: Dexter. However, his Bunny Ears-ness is low-key, and mostly involves being Ax-Crazy — which the other characters don't realize.
  • Joshua Norton was famously a well-spoken, extremely intelligent, and kindly man who acted normally outside of his delusion that he was the Emperor of America. He is rare example of a real Bunny-Ears Lawyer treated as understandingly as in fiction, as the people of San Francisco were willing to support Norton and treat him respectfully rather than incarcerating him in an asylum... It might be more accurate to say they simply made all of San Francisco into his asylum.
  • Tim Burton. Most of his movies are considered charmingly quirky, though some like him better then others. He is one of the few directors to have made successful big-budget movies on the outright bizarre. Oddly enough, his more mainstream type films are less well received.

Such a huge deal is made of House and Stark's personality defects that they can't qualify. Norton wasn't actually good at anything, not exceptionally.

The Truth in Television section is just a stash of weird people, some of them not quirky, some of them not good at anything beside having a political position, and most of them not fitting the trope at all.

Wow, that sounded really bitchy, didn't it? Sorry.

  • Raekuul has a Question: Can we change Delicious Coffee to be more... understandable? I'm in the middle of a Sailor Moon kick and I didn't make the connection to Tomoe until I went to the Sailor Moon page. What I thought it was, was a reference to Usagi/Serena's fiasco at the finishing school...

  • Xenon Zaleo: I wholeheartedly endorse this Elihu's point, and suggest further culling of many of these examples. Sumeragi from Gundam 00 is an alcoholic, but it not only never interferes with her work, but is a completely common trait sadly. Alcoholism isn't quirky. Waltfield from Gundam SEED loves his coffee...but doesn't sit around in his mobile suit or on the deck of his battle ship making it. It's called a hobby. I'll try to avoid just listing things I feel should be removed, but I think this trope page has lost its way, as most of the examples are about things the characters do in their off-time, or is of a situation that's so off the wall that there is no "normal", and hence who can say that wearing bunny-ears isn't the best solution?
    • However, as an aside, I do believe that House is perhaps the Trope's near ur-example. He's addicted to drugs, is a complete jerk, is totally lazy, refuses the vast majority of cases that are sent his way, has broken several laws, and avoids almost all contact with the people he's supposed to be treating. There's absolutely no chance he should be still employed, and his quirks are several magnitudes above simple bunny-ears. While yes,these flaws are pointed out several times a season, if not an episode, in the end, nothing or next to nothing is done about them. Cuddy and Wilson are 90% talk, and in the end, simply enable and put up with his ridiculousness because of the results he brings. But other than THAT, I agree with previous troper.

Plasma Hydra: I couldn't resist adding the picture, when I saw it on a rerun of Boston Legal...

Madrugada: deleted examples that were either not quirks or not particularly good at what they did. Lincoln's hat was not a quirk. Grant's drinking is not a quirk. LBJ's attitude to Vietnam was not a quirk. Blagoevich was not good at what he did. Also deleted natter.

The Pocket: I just wanted to say, to whoever added that global warming guy with the funny hats... I never watch "lecture-style" YouTube videos, and I mean NEVER, assuming that any given one will be boring and uninformative at best, and, given the average intelligence level of that site's users, obnoxiously grating and horribly misinformed at worst. And yet... his inclusion in this list compelled me to click, and I wound up watching like a third of all his material and thoroughly enjoyed it. And, thinking of how I could convince anyone else to watch them, nothing really compelling comes to mind. This is pretty much the only context in which I would have even bothered clicking. And the hats, the whole reason it was on here, had almost nothing to do with anything anyway! So... thank you? And please don't ever let it get removed? o_o

KJMackley: I did some major clean-up, and its evident the trope has had some problems in the past. I pulled these for obviously focusing on just plain weird characters who happen to be amazing at whatever they do and not talking about their skill outweighing their quirks. As well, the quirk has to be a point of confliction with their talent/job and also be a legitimate quirk, not just a jerkass who is also skilled. If there isn't that "if they weren't so good they wouldn't have a job" benchmark, it would go into Obfuscating Stupidity, Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass or Genius Ditz. Here is what I cut:
  • Genma Saotome from Ranma 1/2 is a world-class martial artist. He is sly, scheming, brighter than he looks, and perhaps a bit of a sociopath. He has been cursed to turn into a panda under certain circumstances. And he goes out of his way to remain in panda form, because he prefers it.
    • Likewise his son, the titular Ranma Saotome. Though cursed with the social intelligence of a toaster and a constant need to vindicate his own fragile ego, Ranma also seems to have almost unsurpassable observational skills that allow him to pick up, master, and alter martial arts techniques, or even whole styles, just by watching them performed.
  • There's a man in a red coat in the Trigun series who is frequently drunk, runs away from thugs screaming like a girl, seems to avoid getting into a fight at any oppurtunity, uses the catchphrase "Love and Peace!" and is a relatively unsuccessful womanizer. The characters of the series are then surprised to find out that said red-coated man is the famed Vash The Stampede who can hit a pin-sized target with a pistol from a mile away, has avoided capture from dozens upon dozens of bounty hunters, and has been deemed dangerous enough to be labelled a "Natural Disaster".
  • Harley Quinn used to be a brilliant psychiatrist. She also once was able to perfect one of Joker's deathtraps so that it would not only kill Batman but do it in a way deemed "funny".
  • Speaking of sardonic and cynical, Dr. Meredith "Rodney" McKay from Stargate Atlantis is a cynical, sardonic, competitive, egotistical coward. He's also a genius scientist, second only to Dr. Samantha Carter. He was originally introduced in Stargate SG-1, and was brought in later as the lead scientist for the Atlantis expedition. Originally thoroughly unlikable, his character has softened somewhat over the course of the last four and a half seasons.
    • In fact, an observation made by outsiders (even on Earth) is that Rodney must be really good, or somebody would've shot him by now.
    • What about SG-1's Jack O'Neill. He's a regular Deadpan Snarker, refuses to stop taunting the enemy, is obsessed with The Simpsons and cake, and is more likely to bicker with Daniel than actually do anything productive. But he saves the world more often than not.
  • Firefly
    • Really, most of the Serenity's crew. Jayne is loud-mouthed, unrefined, and a very likely candidate for a Face–Heel Turn, but he also has a penchant for firearms that makes him vital when dealing with even more loud-mouthed and unrefined folks. Kaylee is bubbly, socially awkward, and prone to offhand discussions about masturbation, and also the best mechanic in the entire setting. Wash is prone to playing with toys and is generally incompetent wherever violence is called for, but he's an amazingly talented pilot. Meanwhile, Simon Tam is a Non Bunny Ears Lawyer, as a completely normal person with a respectable Alliance upbringing and little to no experience dealing with outlaws, but he gets along with the crew because he has medical expertise that's hard to come by unless you're on good terms with the Alliance (in fact, it's implied he's better than nearly all Alliance doctors).
      • It should be pointed out that while Simon may at first seem like a Fish out of Water when compared to his crewmates, he's actually much more subtle than that. He might appear completely normal, but when push comes to shove, he's scarily competent at manipulating people into giving him what he wants. Take for example, the time he was able to walk into a top secret research facility by posing as a government official and then talk his way into being given a tour of the illegal experiments, the time he convinced the crew (all of whom are wanted criminals) to help him break into a hospital on a heavily guarded core-world, or how he was able to intimidated Jayne in "Trash."
  • The entire casts of Buffy and Angel. As well as a good number of the villains and minor characters.
  • Umemori Genta from Samurai Sentai Shinkenger. Outwardly looks like a barely functional Manchild Sushi-ya. But he's a Chef of Iron, self taught backhand iai master, and pulls off stuff with the series Applied Phlebotinum that make the other Shinkenger in awe.
  • Final Fantasy VII. Cait Sith. Near as anyone can tell, it's a robot cat with an Irish accent that is controlled by Reeve, but somehow has a mind of its own. It also controls a giant stuffed mog using megaphones and has attacks that "make the enemy lines look like an overturned toybox."
  • Most of the bosses in No More Heroes fall into this category.
    • Maybe even Travis himself, given that he defeats them all. (C'mon, is that really a spoiler?) He displays amazing combat skills despite being a Western Otaku, perverted lech and mid-battle ramblings about social issues. Then again, he's such an Idiot Hero that he may qualify for Genius Ditz.
  • Nero from Devil May Cry anyone? He's a major Jerk Ass to just about everybody he knows, listens to his own theme song very loudly during church, and should by rights have been excommunicated long ago. He also happens to be incredibly good at his job. Weirdly, he seems to be kosher to the idea of God, as seen by his end-game speech, he's just not really fond of the church he freaking works for.
    • Police commissioner Kyösti Pöysti from Pasila, who's constanty sucking a pacifier for a reason he refuses to tell anyone, save for a single blind date offscreen, who then proceeds to comment on how thoroughly logical his reasoning for doing it is. He also plays videogames on work hours and sometimes commits arrests for no other reason than his hangover. He is, however, skillful in talking to suspects and scoping out their psychological weak spots to make them crack.
  • Most of the G.I. Joe cast.
  • Essentially Darkwing Duck's role. He tends to be a dramatic egomaniac until he buckles down and focuses, suddenly performing perfectly. The Mighty Heroes are usually a bunch of bunglers, but after they escape the villain's deathtrap at the cliffhanger, they always remember to fight as a team and are invincible.
  • King Bumi. Over a century old, lord of Omashu, the most powerful Earthbender alive (although Toph will probably be equal or better inside of a decade), and utterly deranged. He may be faking some of his eccentricity, but nowhere near all.
    • Is it any surprise that he's an old friend of Aang?
      • For that matter, Aang HIMSELF. He is without question the goofiest little kid you could ever hope to meet, tends not to take much of anything seriously...and yet his airbending skills make him virtually untouchable, and God help you if you really piss him off. (Just ask Zhao, the Sandbenders, Ozai...)
    • On the subject, probably all of the Order of Old Guys count. Pakku: sexist jerkass, Jeong-Jeong: antisocial self-hating jerkass, Iroh: insatiable hedonist, and Piandao: only not in prison because he's too damn hard to arrest.
    • For that matter, Toph herself. Rude, unhygenic, barefoot blind preadolescent girl, who can kick the ass of any Earthbender short of Bumi.
    • Ty Lee as well. Despite the fact that she's kind of a ditz, the moment it's time to stop playing around and fight seriously, she becomes one of the best hand-to-hand combatants in the entire series, capable of beating multiple benders at once.
      Ty Lee: *disabling several elite warriors with a few pokes* "You are not prettier than we are."
  • Wildcat, Baloo's mechanic from TaleSpin is a regular The Ditz when it comes to everything but mechanics. Otherwise, he's a Gadgeteer Genius. He has repaired the Sea Duck on multiple occasions, even after being completely totaled. Baloo even shows Becky how quickly Wildcat can repair something by smashing his phone with a hammer.
  • Glenn Quagmire is a Kavorka Man who chases Anything That Moves (to the point that it's hinted several times that he's a full blown registered sex offender)...but he's also extremely skilled and competent when it comes to his job as a commercial airline pilot. Who knew?
  • Yoda in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. In the first episode, he greets an entire army's worth of tanks and droids simply by sitting in their path in a meditation position. About fifteen seconds later, he proceeds to hand their nuts and bolts to them in a truly spectacular fashion.
  • In Transformers:
    • Blitzwing of Transformers Animated is a pretty good example. He's got multiple personalities, one of which is somewhere between wacky and Ax-Crazy. He's also got two vehicle modes and can take down a team of Autobots without breaking a robot sweat.
    • Some of the Autobots (and even Puny Earthlings) have their fair share of quirks as well. Decepticons tend to go full on into Psycho for Hire.

Allan Aokage: I was the one who added the Antihero For Hire quote, since it's rather fitting. Feel free to pull it down/add it to "Quotes," though.
Count Dorku: Cut:
  • Deadpool is the absolute epitome of everything a Bunny Ears Lawyer is. He's rude, undisciplined, unpredictable, and by all signs batshit insane, yet that's what makes him such a great assassin/mercenary.
Because this isn't actually an example. Yes, those traits (well, some of them at least) improve his ability to do his job. That is why he doesn't count. He's Crazy Awesome, not a Bunny-Ears Lawyer, because his quirks aren't neutral to his job but actively beneficial.