History Main / ObfuscatingStupidity

17th Jun '17 2:07:15 PM nombretomado
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* Folk legends of various European peoples speak of [[UpToEleven entire towns and villages]] of unusually-smart folks who purposefully feign stupidity. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wise_Men_of_Gotham This article]] on the OtherWiki sums it up pretty well.

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* Folk legends of various European peoples speak of [[UpToEleven entire towns and villages]] of unusually-smart folks who purposefully feign stupidity. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wise_Men_of_Gotham This article]] on the OtherWiki Wiki/TheOtherWiki sums it up pretty well.
26th Apr '17 4:47:10 PM bt8257
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[[caption-width-right:350:[-Advice for spies. And many others.-] ]]

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[[caption-width-right:350:[-Advice [[caption-width-right:350:Advice for spies. And many others.-] ]]
22nd Apr '17 6:40:47 AM Jeduthun
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See also BeneathTheMask, FakingAmnesia, ObfuscatingDisability, and PlayingSick.

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See also BeneathTheMask, FakingAmnesia, ObfuscatingDisability, ObfuscatingInsanity, and PlayingSick.
31st Mar '17 5:26:02 AM hszmv1
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*** In some online material, PawnStars host Rick points out this is a fairly common tactic used by some people at his shop. He has a few regulars that will bring in seasonal recreational equipment (ATVs, Snowmobiles, ect) during the off season and pawn them for a small loan. They always come back right before the new season for said item with the loan and interest. Unlike the Bank, the Pawn Stars are very much aware this is going on and see it as more of one of their services they offer rather than anything sneaky on the part of the customer.
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.

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* 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?"
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.ObfuscatingStupidity