Archived Discussion

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


Being X: Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass woud be a great name for a rock band...

Tzintzuntzan: Love the title and examples, does this differ from Genius Ditz?

Solandra: A Genius Ditz is a normally loopy, airheaded person who goes into Super Genius mode at the call of duty. A Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass is a normally affable, nonviolent person who goes into an Unstoppable Rage or So Calm You Know He's DEADLY Serious Rage at the cackling laugh of the villain who's about to annihilate his loved ones or item he cannot live without.

Kizor: To help keep the two separate - and there are a few in Genius Ditz that would be more at home here - Genius Ditz has no particular trigger. It's just idiot savant behavior. Take Largo from Megatokyo, who's set up some amazing computer systems. While naked.

Solandra: Isn't that example more like Bunny-Ears Lawyer? I thought Bunny-Ears Lawyer meant a person who's quirky all the time, but whose quirks don't help or hinder their work, while Genius Ditz meant a person who's ditzy and useless one moment, ultra-concentrated and greatly useful the next.

Kizor: You got me.

Ununnilium: It's a matter of degree. Bunny-Ears Lawyer is a competent person with a quirk; Genius Ditz is a quirky person with an area of competence.

Tzintzuntzan: In response to Solandra, what confuses me is that the entry places so much emphasis on the character not being normally peaceful, but on being normally stupid: "At first glance, he's The Fool. She's probably The Ditz. Either may be a Love Freak, or even The Messiah. And no, it's not Obfuscating Stupidity — they're really like that. Most of the time." The distinction seems to be between sudden genius and sudden superpowers. But idiot-savant genius is often portrayed as a superpower. (Literally — some comic-book characters have the superpower of their brain suddenly going into overdrive.)

Your Obedient Serpent thinks that none of the alternative tropes really cover Ron Stoppable. There are enough similar examples to justify it as a trope, but Ron is indisputably the type specimen.
Adam850: "Vash the Stampede from Trigun is a glowing example of this." Now, wait, isn't he an example of Obfuscating Stupidity?
Unknown Troper: I'm not sure if Abel Nightroad of Trinity Blood is an example of this. The anime suggests that the entire thing is an act. Abel seems to be more like Clark Kent...except his secret identity has ten times more angst and homicidal tendencies.

Daibhid C: Does Captain Carrot really count? There's no real change; he's incredibly competent and does what he feels is right all the time. It's just that sometimes what's right is being polite and respectful to everyone and other times it's nailing a bad guy to a pillar. A better Discworld example might be Magrat, who spends most of her time as a wet hen with no idea what the right thing to do is, and then snaps into focus about once a book.

Squitz: Is Niki/Jessica from Heroes an example of this? Or does her Dissociative Identity Disorder make it more of a case of "My other personality has super powers"?

Peteman: I remember an episode of Danny Phantom (The Million Dollar Ghost), where despite being humiliated the entire episode, at the end, when Plasmius attacks Danny in his home, Jack Fenton (the father) proceeds to kick the crap out of Plasmius, and Plasmius is utterly surprised because Jack is a moron.

Rogue 7: Changed the Kenshin example because even in the depths of the Bakumatsu, Kenshin never enjoyed killing- he only saw it as something he had to do. He could do it easily, but he never enjoyed it.

Antheia: Cut Naruto from the anime examples, and Thick (Tawny Man trilogy) from the literature examples. Thick is more of a Bunny-Ears Lawyer — he is like that all the time — and Naruto is a case of Superpowered Evil Side.

Filby: I just wanted to say how much the wording in this example amused me:

  • Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion has an unique ability to go berserk in his Humongous Mecha when having received enough mental pain. He transforms then into an enemy-killing war machine, famous all over the universe. When taken out from his mecha, he is usually just a sobbing wreckage of a man.

  • He's really a Colonel Badass, but General Jack O'Neill from SG-1 is also a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, although perhaps you could call it more of a Moron Facade. He acts like he has zero knowledge about anything other than the Simpsons and fishing, and he sometimes seems like he couldn't care less if the world is blown up. Of course, should you be dumb enough to cross him or harm his team...well, sucks to be you.

Real Slim Shadowen: I was about to turn Moron Facade into Obfuscating Stupidity...and then I realized that the very first line describing the trope says it isn't Obfuscating Stupidity. *ka-click* Baleted!

Unknown Troper: I was wondering about the Kung Fu Hustle example—isn't main character Sing's badass-ness a result of Character Development? I'd think a better example would be the landlord, who spends most of his time perving on girls and cowering in fear of his wife, but turns out to be an amazing Kung Fu master. I'd include the landlady as this trope as well, but she's scary all the time.

Over William: The addition beginning with "Or the babysitter" under The Incredibles... has absolutely nothing to do with the babysitter. However, I'm not quite sure how to fix it myself, so I'll just leave this here.

crapface Hey I thought the old lutonic (or however that's spelled) was stupid so I changed it to something more appropriate