History Main / ObfuscatingStupidity

29th Jan '17 1:02:40 PM Malady
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This may lead to someone UnderestimatingBadassery.


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** [[http://whateleyacademy.net/index.php/original-timeline/383-silent-nacht-chapter-2 Silent Nacht Chapter 2]]: As Nacht says:
29th Jan '17 1:00:18 PM Malady
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* ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'': A tactic used by Sunburst, among others.
--> "you take in her looks and her Malibu beach bunny persona, and you think that she’s an airhead. She’s NOT; it’s a ‘Lord Peter Wimsey’ act. Check this out: she takes in hundreds of thousands a year for endorsements, personal appearances and things like that, but she doesn’t OWN anything. She arranges it so that she lives in elegant housing, drives top-end cars, dines at the big name restaurants, and goes to all the A-list parties; but none of it costs her a CENT. She has no real secret identity, so there aren’t any handles on her. Yet, for all that, she isn’t regarded as a mooch. Everyone’s always glad to have her around.
12th Jan '17 7:02:53 PM CurledUpWithDakka
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** A female version of the legend has a man kill his tribe's chief and take his place, shortly before lusting after the former chief's daughter. Said daughter knew full well who murdered her father, but pretended to not know anything. Then the murderer asked her to meet him in his tent one night, and she brought a knife with her...and cut some bread?

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** A female version of the legend has a man kill his tribe's chief and take his place, shortly before lusting after the former chief's daughter. Said daughter knew full well who murdered her father, but pretended to not know anything. Then the murderer asked her to meet him in his tent one night, and she brought a knife with her... and cut some bread?



* One joke recounts the tale of a kindly shopkeeper and a little kid named Billy (other variations have it as the village idiot and a tourist). On many an occasion, the shopkeeper would witness older boys teasing Billy by offering him a choice between a nickel and a dime, then laughing at him choosing the nickel, supposedly because the nickel was larger and Billy was too slow to realize that the dime was worth more. Eventually, the shopkeeper took pity on Billy, and took him aside for a quiet word on the matter...only for Billy to reveal that he was playing this trope all along: he knows very well how much the two coins are worth, but if he ever picks the dime, the kids will stop giving him free nickels.

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* One joke recounts the tale of a kindly shopkeeper and a little kid named Billy (other variations have it as the village idiot and a tourist). On many an occasion, the shopkeeper would witness older boys teasing Billy by offering him a choice between a nickel and a dime, then laughing at him choosing the nickel, supposedly because the nickel was larger and Billy was too slow to realize that the dime was worth more. Eventually, the shopkeeper took pity on Billy, and took him aside for a quiet word on the matter... only for Billy to reveal that he was playing this trope all along: he knows very well how much the two coins are worth, but if he ever picks the dime, the kids will stop giving him free nickels.



** A beautiful blonde ends up sitting on a plane next to an arrogant professor. He's amused by her ditzy attitude, and the two start playing a trivia game. The blonde agrees to pay a dollar for every question she gets wrong, and the professor, feeling pompous, offers to pay a hundred dollars for his incorrect answers. After missing the first question, the blonde asks something along the lines of "What goes up a hill wet, then comes down the hill dry?" The professor spends the whole ride trying to solve the riddle, but eventually gives up and hands the blonde a hundred dollar bill when the plane lands. As she stands up to leave, the professor asks "So what ''does'' go up a hill wet, then down a hill dry?"...at which point the blonde takes out another dollar and hands it to him with a wink.

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** A beautiful blonde ends up sitting on a plane next to an arrogant professor. He's amused by her ditzy attitude, and the two start playing a trivia game. The blonde agrees to pay a dollar for every question she gets wrong, and the professor, feeling pompous, offers to pay a hundred dollars for his incorrect answers. After missing the first question, the blonde asks something along the lines of "What goes up a hill wet, then comes down the hill dry?" The professor spends the whole ride trying to solve the riddle, but eventually gives up and hands the blonde a hundred dollar bill when the plane lands. As she stands up to leave, the professor asks "So what ''does'' go up a hill wet, then down a hill dry?"...dry?" ...at which point the blonde takes out another dollar and hands it to him with a wink.
26th Dec '16 7:54:22 PM Goldfritha
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[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* In ''[[http://www.mythfolklore.net/andrewlang/423.htm Master and Pupil]]'', the wizard rejects the boy as a servant because he can read. So the boy turned his jacket inside out to disguise himself and lied the next time, that he could not read. Then he learns wizardry by reading the books.
** Other fairy tales with the hero in the power of the evil wizard have someone warn him to feign incompetence at a lesson even though he gets beaten. Thus, he manages to master all the spells while the wizard thinks he's stuck, and use them to escape.
[[/folder]]
6th Nov '16 5:07:24 AM JustKnown
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This can backfire in a big way if the person using Obfuscating Stupidity needs people to trust him or her--only to realize that no one will believe the "idiot". Inversely, if other characters ''think'' the person is being obfuscating but he really ''is'' simple-minded, then he's a SeeminglyProfoundFool.

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This can backfire in a big way if the person using Obfuscating Stupidity needs people to trust him or her--only to realize that no one will believe the "idiot". Inversely, if other characters ''think'' the person is being obfuscating but he really ''is'' simple-minded, then he's a SeeminglyProfoundFool.
SeeminglyProfoundFool. Occasional lapses might be dismissed with TooDumbToFool.
8th Sep '16 6:11:47 AM Gravidef
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* One joke recounts the tale of a kindly shopkeeper and a little kid named Billy. On many an occasion, the shopkeeper would witness older boys teasing Billy by offering him a choice between a nickel and a dime, then laughing at him choosing the nickel, supposedly because the nickel was larger and Billy was too slow to realize that the dime was worth more. Eventually, the shopkeeper took pity on Billy, and took him aside for a quiet word on the matter...only for Billy to reveal that he was playing this trope all along: he knows very well how much the two coins are worth, but if he ever picks the dime, the kids will stop giving him free nickels.

to:

* One joke recounts the tale of a kindly shopkeeper and a little kid named Billy.Billy (other variations have it as the village idiot and a tourist). On many an occasion, the shopkeeper would witness older boys teasing Billy by offering him a choice between a nickel and a dime, then laughing at him choosing the nickel, supposedly because the nickel was larger and Billy was too slow to realize that the dime was worth more. Eventually, the shopkeeper took pity on Billy, and took him aside for a quiet word on the matter...only for Billy to reveal that he was playing this trope all along: he knows very well how much the two coins are worth, but if he ever picks the dime, the kids will stop giving him free nickels.


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* A few DumbBlonde jokes fall into this territory, with the apparently stupid blonde playing on the stereotype to trick people:
** A beautiful blonde ends up sitting on a plane next to an arrogant professor. He's amused by her ditzy attitude, and the two start playing a trivia game. The blonde agrees to pay a dollar for every question she gets wrong, and the professor, feeling pompous, offers to pay a hundred dollars for his incorrect answers. After missing the first question, the blonde asks something along the lines of "What goes up a hill wet, then comes down the hill dry?" The professor spends the whole ride trying to solve the riddle, but eventually gives up and hands the blonde a hundred dollar bill when the plane lands. As she stands up to leave, the professor asks "So what ''does'' go up a hill wet, then down a hill dry?"...at which point the blonde takes out another dollar and hands it to him with a wink.
** A blonde walks into a New York City bank and asks for a small loan of $2,000 for her upcoming vacation. When asked for collateral, she offers up her brand-new late-model Ferrari, which is worth at least $100,000. The bank manager accepts the terms, and he and all of his employees laugh at how stupid the woman is for making such a deal while a valet parks the car in the bank's underground vault. A month later, the blonde returns to pick up her car and pays back the $2,000, along with the $15.71 that she owes in interest. The bank manager takes her aside and comments that he looked up the woman's records; she's actually a multimillionaire, so why on earth did she need to borrow such a paltry sum? With a smile, the blonde replies, "Well, sir, where else could I park a brand-new Ferrari in New York City for a month, know that it would be kept totally safe, and only have to pay $15.71 for it?"
23rd Jun '16 8:38:11 PM FordPrefect
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** Even better? He proved how smart he really was by memorizing the names, ranks, locations, and health status of every single POW in his camp. Which he then sung to US authorites in the style of Old Macdonald as that was how he remembered it. Because of that over 700 [=POWs=] didn't have an "accident" or "escape" as everyone knew exactly where they were.

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** Even better? He proved how smart he really was by memorizing the names, ranks, locations, and health status of every single POW in his camp. Which he then sung to US authorites authorities in the style of Old Macdonald as that was how he remembered it. Because of that over 700 [=POWs=] didn't have an "accident" or "escape" as everyone knew exactly where they were.
14th May '16 9:58:20 PM 10-13-2
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* Wrestling/{{Batista}} played this role to some extent during the first two years or so of his career, serving as the DumbMuscle of Evolution and remaining more or less in the background; he was the last member to receive a serious title opportunity. He even played along with Wrestling/TripleH and Wrestling/RicFlair for a while after turning face. Both in kayfabe and out, many people probably didn't expect him to defeat Triple H for the world title, especially considering his [[OlderThanTheyLook (relatively) advanced age]].
14th May '16 9:52:18 PM 10-13-2
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* Wrestling/{{LayCool}} could count. A pair of bubbly ditzy {{Valley Girl}}s who have managed to dominate the division for over a year, capturing four sets of titles for themselves.

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* Wrestling/{{LayCool}} could count. A pair of bubbly ditzy {{Valley Girl}}s who have managed to dominate the division for over a year, capturing four sets of titles for themselves. The ditziness also (somewhat) concealed their extreme cruelty, making them FauxAffablyEvil [[AlphaBitch Alpha Bitches]] as well.
2nd May '16 8:40:48 AM Goldfritha
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This differs from the GeniusDitz in that the latter is brilliant in a single field (or multiple obscure fields) but genuinely ditzy otherwise. Another variant is of someone who is a genuine genius but who pretends to be TheFool in order to avoid responsibility, either because [[BrilliantButLazy they are lazy]] or because of some trauma which has undermined their confidence. May appear to be TheFool until the viewer realizes he's just so good at making intentional actions seem like total coincidences that it appears to be blind luck. If done well, you may not be able to tell if the character is an AlmightyJanitor, a CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass or a BunnyEarsLawyer. Or, for that matter, TooDumbToFool, especially if the character is good at noticing what is too obvious to be seen.

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This differs from the GeniusDitz in that the latter is brilliant in a single field (or multiple obscure fields) but genuinely ditzy otherwise. Another variant is of someone who is a genuine genius but who pretends to be TheFool in order to avoid responsibility, either because [[BrilliantButLazy they are lazy]] or because of some trauma which has undermined their confidence. May appear to be TheFool until the viewer realizes he's just so good at making intentional actions seem like total coincidences that it appears to be blind luck. If done well, [[RiddleForTheAges you may not be able to tell tell]] if the character is an AlmightyJanitor, a CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass, a not-so-IneptMage, or a BunnyEarsLawyer. Or, for that matter, TooDumbToFool, especially if the character is good at noticing what is too obvious to be seen.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.ObfuscatingStupidity