History ObfuscatingStupidity / LiveActionTV

11th Aug '17 5:41:26 AM Sinister_Sandwich
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** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E1SmithAndJones "Smith and Jones"]]: "I must appear to be human..." "Well you're very welcome to come home and meet the wife, she'd be honoured. We can have cake!"

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** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E1SmithAndJones "Smith and Jones"]]: "I must appear The Doctor pretends to be human..." "Well you're very welcome to come home and meet a dim-witted human patient dazzled by the wife, she'd be honoured. We can have cake!"alien presence in the hospital in order to dupe the Plasmavore into revealing her entire plan.
18th Jun '17 12:03:27 PM MasterFuzzy
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Added DiffLines:

** Nardole seems to have picked up on this from the Doctor.
6th Jun '17 9:55:37 PM AthenaBlue
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* During the 2015 Christmas Special of ''Series/EightOutOfTenCats'', Jimmy Carr asked Sean Lock and Jon Richardson to play a game of "Carrot in a Box".[[note]]A closed box is given to each contestant; One has a carrot in it, the other does not. One contestant peeks in his box, to see if there's a carrot in it, and then the other contestant must observe his reaction and decide which of the two boxes to keep for himself. Whoever ends up with the carrot wins.[[/note]] As Jimmy tries to explain the rules, [[spoiler: Sean does nothing but complain what a stupid idea it is, and seems to be missing the point of the game altogether. When instructed to peek into his box, he even reaches right in to grab the carrot, and then asks to keep his box because "there's a carrot in it". Jimmy chides him for screwing up and game and explains the rules to Sean once again (while everyone in the studio is crying with laughter at how badly the game is going), but Sean keeps arguing that he doesn't want to give up his box. Jon is finally given the choice of which box to take, and obviously picks the one Sean had just proclaimed as having a carrot in it.]] He then opens the box... [[spoiler:only to find it empty.]]
--> '''[[spoiler:Jon]]:''' Can I just say at this point: If there's no carrot in the box, you are a fucking genius.
* In ''Series/ThirtyRock'', Kenneth is seen as the bumbling {{Pollyanna}} of the show, yet Jack thinks that "In five years we'll all be working for him... or dead by his hand." [[spoiler:As in most things, Jack is mostly correct. It took 6 years before Kenneth was named president of NBC.]]
* Peggy, Shirley's grandmother in ''Series/TheAdventuresOfShirleyHolmes'', has shades of this sometimes. Some other times, she's more of a BunnyEarsLawyer. Also Shirley often "disguises" as a ditz when she's trying to find clues.
* ''Series/AgentCarter''. Peggy Carter 'accidentally' reveals that Director Dooley is lying about not having the missing car report that Javis filed, to stop him cracking and confessing all. This is PlayedForDrama because she's been trying to prove her worth, only to end up reinforcing Dooley's belief that a woman can't make a good SSR agent. Peggy's EvilCounterpart in the Black Widow program plays the trope straight by acting TheDitz.
* In one episode of ''Series/AllInTheFamily'', Mike is spouting off about how clueless Archie is when Edith tells him, "If you were really smarter than Archie, you would be smart enough not to let him ''see'' that you're smarter than him." (Which offers a tantalizing hint that Edith's [[TheDitz ditzy]] exterior might be at least a partial application of this trope in its own right.)
** In the early seasons, Lionel Jefferson would have fun with Archie by adopting a stereotypically "black" version of this around him.



* Lt. Series/{{Columbo}}, famously. Maybe the single most well-developed example ever on television, to the point that many doubt it's an act at all.
* ''Series/TeenWolf'': Lydia. She outsmarts Jackson by knowing a cougar and a mountain lion are the same thing, then plays dumb again asking "Isn't it?". She also has a 5.0 GPA. Though by season 3, Jackson is gone, and Lydia is much more willing to display her intelligence.

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* Lt. Series/{{Columbo}}, famously. Maybe ''Series/TheAvengers'': John Steed, almost every episode.
* In ''Series/BeingHumanUK'', George does menial labor in a hospital and is later revealed to have "a brain
the single most well-developed example ever on television, to size of a planet". Of course, there's the point problem that many doubt it's an act at all.
* ''Series/TeenWolf'': Lydia. She outsmarts Jackson by knowing
he turns into a cougar and wolf every month, so it makes sense that he'd want a mountain lion are the same thing, then plays dumb again asking "Isn't it?". She also has low-profile job with access to a 5.0 GPA. Though by room to lock himself up in. [[spoiler:The first season 3, Jackson is gone, and Lydia is much more willing finale gives another example, when he appears to display her intelligence.be scared enough of an evil vampire to abandon Mitchell. It turns out that he'd cleverly set up a trap in which the evil vampire would find himself locked in an isolated room with George...just as the full moon comes up.]]



* ''Series/{{Community}}'': Jeff Winger, while obviously very intelligent, rarely chooses to use said intelligence, instead skating by off of other people's efforts.
* ''Series/GreenAcres'' had Eb take an accountancy course via the Clarkwell Institute only to be sent an acting course instead. Turns out Mr. Drucker and Mr. Kimball are also Clarkwell alums (who had also gotten the wrong courses which led them to their current careers). Clarkwell also has its [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39QfpUl261s own anthem]].
* ''Series/HowToRock'': [[DumbBlonde Grace King]], while clearly not the smartest, shows that she has a savvy to her that she doesn't reveal often. In "How to Rock Camping", she was revealed to have a surprisingly expert knowledge in camping that helped to not only make roughing it easier for her team, but helped them find the convenience store in an emergency crisis too. On that occasion, TheDitz turned out to be quite the CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass.
* ''Series/SledgeHammer'': Used every few episodes by Detective Hammer. He is written off by everybody as a violent idiot, but then manages to crack the case, with a sudden admission that he had been taking notes all along -- even if in most other episodes he was just a lucky idiot. This is even given a spot of Lampshade Hanging in one episode, when a game show host killed off a competitor who was getting close to the top prize. He avoided having to do this before by only recruiting idiots. When the sidekick is confused how someone that smart got on the show, Sledge enlightens us with this line: "You see, he looks dumb, but turned out to be a genius; a trick I've used myself."

to:

* ''Series/{{Community}}'': Jeff Winger, while obviously very intelligent, rarely chooses to use said intelligence, instead skating by off of other people's efforts.
* ''Series/GreenAcres'' had Eb take an accountancy course via
Vila Restal from ''Series/BlakesSeven'' is a genius safecracker/pickpocket who spends the Clarkwell Institute only to be sent an majority of his time acting course instead. Turns out Mr. Drucker like a cowardly imbecile. While he ''is'' a coward, he isn't stupid. There's a ''reason'' he's the only protagonist to have survived from the first episode to the last, [[spoiler: and Mr. Kimball are also Clarkwell alums (who had also gotten the wrong courses which led them most likely to their current careers). Clarkwell also have survived that BolivianArmyEnding]].
** In one episode he
has its [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39QfpUl261s own anthem]].
* ''Series/HowToRock'': [[DumbBlonde Grace King]],
an idea for how to repair the engines while clearly not the smartest, shows that she has a savvy to her that she in flight, but doesn't reveal often. In "How want to Rock Camping", she was revealed actually ''do'' it because it would be dangerous. He wanders on to have the bridge drunk and waving a surprisingly expert knowledge bottle (entirely in camping character) and ramblingly describes his plan. Avon and Tarrant go to repair the engines and Vila reassures the rest that helped to not only make roughing it easier for her team, but helped them find the convenience store in an emergency crisis too. On [[spoiler:you can't get drunk on water]].
* ''Series/{{Bones}}'':
** It's been observed in-show
that occasion, TheDitz turned out Seeley Booth's ObfuscatingStupidity serves the dual purposes of making people underestimate him and allowing Brennan to be quite "the smart one" (granted, she ''is'' the CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass.
* ''Series/SledgeHammer'': Used every few
smart one, but he lets her think the gap between them is even larger than it is).
--> '''Dr. Wyatt:''' (after Booth makes a wisecrack, appearing ignorant) He does that. He ''wants'' to be underestimated.
** Bones is guilty of this as well, as several conversations and
episodes by Detective Hammer. He is written off by everybody as a violent idiot, but then manages to crack the case, with a sudden admission imply or state outright that he had been taking notes all along -- even if in most other she knows perfectly well how smart/dumb Booth is. Later episodes expand the idea as her playing dumb to his particular skills so that he was just can have his thing.
* ''Series/BostonLegal'''s Denny Crane seems like
a lucky idiot. This senile, self absorbed whackjob, and he usually is... until he steps into a courtroom. Then he is even given again Denny Crane.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'':
** Skyler's old boss Ted becomes noticed by the IRS CID, due to massive tax fraud that she helped cover up. She fixes it by pretending to be
a spot of Lampshade Hanging in one episode, when a game show host killed off a competitor DumbBlonde secretary who was only got the job by sleeping with Ted, and hopelessly screwed up the company's accounts by stupidity rather than intentional fraud. Plus, she gets revenge on Ted for getting close to her involved by not telling him about the top prize. He avoided having to do this plan beforehand, and making him sweat through part of the audit alone before by only recruiting idiots. When the sidekick showing up late as part of her character.
** Saul Goodman
is confused how someone that smart got on the show, Sledge enlightens us with this line: "You see, he looks dumb, an extremely talented lawyer and business associate, but turned out to be a genius; a trick I've used myself."has no problem letting Albuquerque think he's sleazy and incompetent.



* Most everyone on ''Series/BurnNotice'' uses this at some point, being a spy show it is what they do.
** On many occasions Michael has had to allow himself to be beaten up as part of his BatmanGambit. At one point he went all out and walked with a lanky stride, had matted and greasy hair, talked about two pitches higher than normal and came complete with an inhaler. For that matter, Michael's normal personality (or generic one when he's working a cover) when he isn't on the job has some elements of being a snarky idiot just to put people at ease.
** Sam basically embodies this completely. The initial impression one gets of him is a slightly overweight womanizer who chugs beers and has about as much insight as a sixth grader. While the first part is still completely true, one learns over the course of the series that he's a former Navy SEAL, has numerous contacts across multiple government agencies, and can be just as manipulative and technologically proficient as Michael or Fi.
* ''Series/{{Caprica}}'': Serge Graystone, the RobotMaid about the size of a trashcan, has a Website/{{twitter}} [[CharacterBlog feed]] that suggests he knows more than he's letting on - and that he's not simply very well programmed to fake sapience.
* ''Series/{{Castle}}'': At a shooting range, Castle first appears to be a terrible shot. Until Beckett promises to give him the files he wants, if he's able to hit the ten ring. He sinks the next three bullets exactly there.
-->'''Castle:''' You're a very good teacher.
** Castle in general. In the first 4 seasons, he spends most of his time cowering behind Ryan and Esposito in takedowns, goofing off, flirting with/annoying Beckett, and coming up with CIA conspiracy theories. The fact that he's taken down a trained assassin while Beckett got nerfed; shows excellent marksmanship; has saved Beckett's ass at least as many times as she has his; and got further in the span of about 2 years on Beckett's mother's case than the police or Beckett herself managed to in 10, says he's not quite as hapless or physically ineffectual as he lets on. By the second half of the 5th season, the show had largely given up this angle, but it makes an appearance now and again DependingOnTheWriter.
* Lauren "Am I bovvered" Cooper from ''Series/TheCatherineTateShow'' appears to her teachers to be a dim, rude, and dismissive teenage layabout. She is rude and dismissive, but certain sketches have revealed her to be smarter than she appears. She can recite obscure Shakespeare from memory, she has memorized at least part of the periodic table of elements, and can converse in fluent French (and knows her signature catch phrase in Modern English, Elizabethan English, French, and Sign Language). It seems she is pretending to be dim as to not be alienated by her much dimmer friends (while being smart enough to manipulate them).
* Lauren Graham (of ''Series/GilmoreGirls'' fame) pulled off this stunt while participating in the second tournament of ''Celebrity Poker Showdown.'' Despite being known as a fairly intelligent woman, she would flip her hair and say generally stupid/sarcastic things ("So many numbers!") to throw off her competition. Not only did the other players fall for it, but Lauren went on to the Championship Game of the season, losing only to former co-star Maura Tierney.
* On ''Series/{{Cheers}}'', Coach had the reputation of being somewhat of a ditz, and when he passed away, he was replaced by Woody, who was something of a ''young'' ditz. However, both characters often did things to suggest they were more on the ball than they seemed. Coach was able to convince Sam to stop relapsing into drinking by saying he'd cause Diane (who had just been released from a psychiatric ward) to go nuts again, while convincing Diane to stay by telling her Sam would start drinking again if she left, solving both problems at once. Woody, on the other hand, was able to learn chess quickly and win against Frasier, and managed to become elected to the Boston City Council (partially due to an experiment orchestrated by Frasier that went awry) and tended to be a StraightMan to the entire cast. (Often by accident.)
* Done by quite a few characters on ''Series/{{Chuck}}''.
** Sarah especially seems fond of adopting the role of a [[TheDitz ditzy]] girl who has [[PlayingDrunk drunkenly]] wandered into whatever situation she's in by accident, which allows her to walk out of places she's found herself trapped in and serves as a good excuse to walk into places where she would otherwise be immediately shot dead or at least regarded with suspicion.
** Chuck himself falls back on this at times, relying on his nerdiness and $12-an-hour Buy More job to make the bad guys assume that there's no way he's a spy.
** Alexi Volkoff is a villainous example, at least in his first appearance. His first episode characterizes him as a mostly incompetent, bumbling agent. Then TheReveal hits and he turns out to be one of the most dangerous characters in the show, if a bit eccentric.
* Brenda Johnson in ''Series/TheCloser'' is a sweet, scatterbrained Southern eccentric - until her suspect slips up and gives her what she wants. At which point said suspect is painfully reminded that Brenda Leigh Johnson is ''a CIA-trained interrogator.''
* Lt. Series/{{Columbo}}, famously. Maybe the single most well-developed example ever on television, to the point that many doubt it's an act at all.
* ''Series/{{Community}}'': Jeff Winger, while obviously very intelligent, rarely chooses to use said intelligence, instead skating by off of other people's efforts.
* In the ''Series/CriminalMinds'' episode "Proof" [[SerialKiller Ben Bradstone]] is genuinely dumb. He is not as dumb as he acts however, and intentionally plays this to lure victims in.
* ''Series/Daredevil2015'':
** Wilson Fisk allows Madame Gao to believe he cannot understand Chinese, but later reveals that he is somewhat fluent. His obfuscation has mostly been so that he has an excuse to have James Wesley around for their meetings. Turns out Madame Gao is doing the exact same thing - she pretends that she does not speak English and requires a translator. Fisk also understands Japanese to an extent, but prefers to have Wesley provide a more TactfulTranslation of Nobu's remarks.
** Matt Murdock uses obfuscating ignorance in everyday life. He can effectively "see" just fine, can hear conversations from blocks away, and can tell whenever anybody is lying to him, but he has to act like an average blind man anyway and play along.
* Whitley plays with this trope on an episode of ''Series/ADifferentWorld''. When she and Dwayne are partners in a quiz bowl, Dwayne tells her that their kiss on a previous episode meant nothing and that he was in love in Kinu. He also alludes that Whitley is not very smart and that she is spoiled. Whitley becomes angry and sabotages the second half of the game by giving wrong or flat out stupid answers, and at one point not giving any answers. She even files her nails in one scene. Of course Hillman is eliminated from the tournament.



** The Doctor, particularly in his second and fourth incarnations, often used to play the fool to lull his enemies into a false sense of security ("Would you care for a jelly baby?"). Later on, in 'Family of Blood' whilst pretending to be still human, his blundering nervousness lulls the Family into such a state of arrogant superiority that they don't notice that the buttons he's 'accidentally' pushing will destroy their ship until it's much, much too late. This was occasionally subverted, as well, with the enemies realising that this was what he was doing - most notably in 'City of Death', in which Count Scarlioni's [[GenreSavvy understanding of the Doctor]] prevents him from being deceived.
-->'''Countess''': My dear, I don't think he's as stupid as he seems.
-->'''Count Scarlioni''': My dear, ''nobody'' could be as stupid as ''he'' seems.
** The Seventh Doctor also has his moments of this, seeing how he often appears to play the buffoon only to continually outwit the enemy without effort. Particularly highlighted with his 'adjustment' of old quotes.
--->'''The Doctor:''' "A stitch in time...takes up space."
** "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS6E1TheDominators The Dominators]]" demonstrated what happens when this trope combines with HamAndCheese. The Doctor and Jamie get captured by Dominators, who are planning an invasion and running experiments on the natives to find out how intelligent and strong they are. The Doctor gets himself and Jamie to pretend to be stupid in order to put the enemy off their guard ("An unintelligent enemy is far less dangerous then an intelligent one") and HilarityEnsues. "We don't like the clever ones much! They tell us what to do, you see!"
** "Smith and Jones". "I must appear to be human..." "Well you're very welcome to come home and meet the wife, she'd be honoured. We can have cake!"

to:

** The Doctor, particularly in his second and fourth incarnations, often used to play the fool to lull his enemies into a false sense of security ("Would you care for a jelly baby?"). Later on, in 'Family [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E9TheFamilyOfBlood "The Family of Blood' Blood"]], whilst pretending to be still human, human his blundering nervousness lulls the Family into such a state of arrogant superiority that they don't notice that the buttons he's 'accidentally' "accidentally" pushing will destroy their ship until it's much, much too late. This was occasionally subverted, as well, with the enemies realising that this was what he was doing - -- most notably in 'City [[Recap/DoctorWhoS17E2CityOfDeath "City of Death', Death"]], in which Count Scarlioni's [[GenreSavvy understanding of the Doctor]] prevents him from being deceived.
-->'''Countess''': --->'''Countess:''' My dear, I don't think he's as stupid as he seems.
-->'''Count Scarlioni''':
seems.\\
'''Count Scarlioni:'''
My dear, ''nobody'' could be as stupid as ''he'' seems.
** The Seventh Doctor also has his moments of this, seeing how he often appears to play the buffoon only to continually outwit the enemy without effort. Particularly highlighted with his 'adjustment' "adjustment" of old quotes.
--->'''The Doctor:''' "A A stitch in time...time... takes up space."
space.
** "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS6E1TheDominators The Dominators]]" [[Recap/DoctorWhoS6E1TheDominators "The Dominators"]] demonstrated what happens when this trope combines with HamAndCheese. The Doctor and Jamie get captured by Dominators, who are planning an invasion and running experiments on the natives to find out how intelligent and strong they are. The Doctor gets himself and Jamie to pretend to be stupid in order to put the enemy off their guard ("An unintelligent enemy is far less dangerous then an intelligent one") and HilarityEnsues. "We don't like the clever ones much! They tell us what to do, you see!"
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E1SmithAndJones "Smith and Jones". Jones"]]: "I must appear to be human..." "Well you're very welcome to come home and meet the wife, she'd be honoured. We can have cake!"



** Interestingly subverted in "Inferno", when the Doctor is being completely serious about what he knows to the [[MirrorUniverse Brigade Leader]], who immediately accuses him of this and decides to have him shot (as soon as he's [[LawfulEvil filled in all the paperwork for doing that, of course]]).
* On ''Series/{{Cheers}}'', Coach had the reputation of being somewhat of a ditz, and when he passed away, he was replaced by Woody, who was something of a ''young'' ditz. However, both characters often did things to suggest they were more on the ball than they seemed. Coach was able to convince Sam to stop relapsing into drinking by saying he'd cause Diane (who had just been released from a psychiatric ward) to go nuts again, while convincing Diane to stay by telling her Sam would start drinking again if she left, solving both problems at once. Woody, on the other hand, was able to learn chess quickly and win against Fraiser, and managed to become elected to the Boston City Council (partially due to an experiment orchestrated by Fraiser that went awry) and tended to be a StraightMan to the entire cast. (Often by accident.)

to:

** Interestingly subverted in "Inferno", [[Recap/DoctorWhoS7E4Inferno "Inferno"]], when the Doctor is being completely serious about what he knows to the [[MirrorUniverse Brigade Leader]], who immediately accuses him of this and decides to have him shot (as soon as he's [[LawfulEvil filled in all the paperwork for doing that, of course]]).
* On ''Series/{{Cheers}}'', Coach ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': [[spoiler:Alpha]]. The character's reveal gave cold shivers, considering how convincingly the actor had been selling the reputation goofy one-off hilarious fanservice guest star part up to that point in the episode.
* Megan in ''Series/DrakeAndJosh'' pretends to be an innocent little girl in front
of being somewhat of a ditz, and her parents so they won't believe her brothers when he passed away, he was replaced by Woody, who was something of a ''young'' ditz. However, both they go to tattle about the not-exactly-harmless pranks she pulls.
* Other
characters often did things to suggest they were more on the ball than they seemed. Coach was able to convince Sam to stop relapsing into drinking by saying he'd cause Diane (who had accuse Constable Benton Fraser of ''Series/DueSouth'' of this, disbelieving he really is that polite, honest, and noble and it's not an act.
* The title character of ''Series/EverybodyLovesRaymond'' demonstrates this frequently.
--> "I may seem dumb, but that's
just been released from a psychiatric ward) to go nuts again, while convincing Diane get your mother to stay by telling her Sam would start drinking again if she left, solving both problems at once. Woody, on the other hand, was able not ask me to learn chess quickly and win against Fraiser, and managed to become elected to the Boston City Council (partially due to an experiment orchestrated by Fraiser that went awry) and tended to be a StraightMan to the entire cast. (Often by accident.)do stuff!"



** Rigel uses this as well, though to a lesser extent. Such as in the first season episode when he was playing a game of chance with a pirate over the location a person the pirate was hunting. After he lost the game and gave the pirate the information, Zhaan was ready to chew him out until he revealed that he'd lost deliberately and given the pirate false information that would lead him wildly off course while still making it look like he'd been trying to win because he knew that the pirate wouldn't leave them alone unless he thought he'd gotten something more valuable. Rigel even complains how difficult it had been to pull off, since compared to him the pirate was a terrible player.
* Other characters accuse Constable Benton Fraser of ''Series/DueSouth'' of this, disbelieving he really is that polite, honest, and noble and it's not an act.
* In ''Series/Studio60OnTheSunsetStrip'', we discover that Chinese businessman Zhang Tao has been pretending that he can't speak English because "it's fun". Jack Rudolph is not impressed.
* Lauren Graham (of ''Series/GilmoreGirls'' fame) pulled off this stunt while participating in the second tournament of ''Celebrity Poker Showdown.'' Despite being known as a fairly intelligent woman, she would flip her hair and say generally stupid/sarcastic things ("So many numbers!") to throw off her competition. Not only did the other players fall for it, but Lauren went on to the Championship Game of the season, losing only to former co-star Maura Tierney.
* Bull Shannon on ''Series/NightCourt'', though only occasionally.
* One episode of ''Series/JackOfAllTrades'' [[HistoricalInJoke revealed]] that George III was feigning his legendary madness in order to confuse Napoleon.
* In ''Series/ThirtyRock'', Kenneth is seen as the bumbling {{Pollyanna}} of the show, yet Jack thinks that "In five years we'll all be working for him...or dead by his hand." [[spoiler:As in most things, Jack is mostly correct. It took 6 years before Kenneth was named president of NBC]]

to:

** Rigel Rygel uses this as well, though to a lesser extent. Such as in the first season episode when he was playing a game of chance with a pirate over the location a person the pirate was hunting. After he lost the game and gave the pirate the information, Zhaan was ready to chew him out until he revealed that he'd lost deliberately and given the pirate false information that would lead him wildly off course while still making it look like he'd been trying to win because he knew that the pirate wouldn't leave them alone unless he thought he'd gotten something more valuable. Rigel Rygel even complains how difficult it had been to pull off, since compared to him the pirate was a terrible player.
* Other characters accuse Constable Benton Fraser of ''Series/DueSouth'' of this, disbelieving he really is ''Series/FawltyTowers'': Some episodes, like "The Germans" and "The Builders", suggest that polite, honest, [[FunnyForeigner Manuel]]'s English isn't actually quite as bad as he lets on, and noble and it's not an act.
* In ''Series/Studio60OnTheSunsetStrip'', we discover that Chinese businessman Zhang Tao has been pretending
that he can't pretends to speak barely any English because "it's fun". Jack Rudolph is not impressed.
* Lauren Graham (of ''Series/GilmoreGirls'' fame) pulled off this stunt while participating in the second tournament of ''Celebrity Poker Showdown.'' Despite being known as a fairly intelligent woman, she would flip her hair and say generally stupid/sarcastic things ("So many numbers!") to throw off her competition. Not only did the other players fall for it, but Lauren went on to the Championship Game of the season, losing only to former co-star Maura Tierney.
* Bull Shannon on ''Series/NightCourt'', though only occasionally.
* One episode of ''Series/JackOfAllTrades'' [[HistoricalInJoke revealed]]
so that George III was feigning his legendary madness in order to confuse Napoleon.
* In ''Series/ThirtyRock'', Kenneth is seen as the bumbling {{Pollyanna}} of the show, yet Jack thinks that "In five years we'll all be working for him...or dead by his hand." [[spoiler:As in most things, Jack is mostly correct. It took 6 years before Kenneth was named president of NBC]]
Basil won't expect too much from him.



* Colonel O'Neill on ''Series/StargateSG1'', while far from a rocket scientist, usually presented a snarky persona that appeared much dumber than he actually was, often to fool his enemies or simply to annoy his allies. He is an amateur astronomer (when he's not spying on his neighbors through his telescope) and a brilliant strategist/tactician. He is also fluent in Spanish, [[SmartPeoplePlayChess can beat General Landry in chess,]] can be diplomatic if he has to, and is smart enough to quickly pick up how to control an alien starship with a little guidance. He is also the only one who can come even close to keep an alien database in his head without dying immediately. Teen Cassandra lampshades this, saying, "Jack likes to pretend he's not as smart as he really is."
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'':
** Colonel John Sheppard of often appears to be goofy and laid back with a predilection of not taking things very seriously. His detractors tend to underestimate him and take his easy-going personality at face value, especially if there are other officers who want his position as Atlantis's military commander. This usually comes back to bite them in the ass when Sheppard goes to prove that his rank and job are rightfully his. He's also extremely intelligent to the extent that [[InsufferableGenius the genius Dr McKay]] was very surprised to hear he could have gotten into MENSA.
** In an AlternateUniverse Sheppard actually joined MENSA.
** In ''another'' AlternateUniverse, Sheppard is a Las Vegas detective after getting kicked out of the Air Force for the Afghanistan mess-up that got him [[ReassignedToAntarctica sent to Antarctica]] in the [[ReassignmentBackfire main universe]]. He's unshaven, drinks a lot, sleeps around, and a little bit corrupt. Not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, right? Well, he's pretty good at poker, and he's the ''only'' one to figure out where the Wraith is hiding.
* Though Tony's mother Livia on ''Series/TheSopranos'' was clearly suffering from some level of senility, it was more than hinted she was playing it up as a cover for her more terrifyingly evil moves.
* Otoya Kurenai from ''Series/KamenRiderKiva'' combines this with his [[GeniusDitz savant-level]] violin playing to pretty much get whatever he wants. The problem is that it works a little ''too'' well, and when he tries to tell people [[CassandraTruth what's really going on]] the results are [[YouHaveToBelieveMe somewhat predictable]].
* ''Series/KamenRiderDenO'' has a case based on ignorance rather than stupidity: [[spoiler:throughout the series, Ryotaro's sister Airi is a sweet, caring big sister whose memory seems to have been altered so she doesn't even remember her fiancé Yuuto Sakurai following his mysterious disappearance. In a later episode, she reveals to Ryotaro (and the teenage version of Yuuto) that she knew all along, and in fact helped create Sakurai's {{plan}} to protect the CosmicKeystone (their future daughter Hana) from the BigBad. In order to throw the villain off the trail, Airi had to pretend to be innocent and clueless so he never realized she was important until Ryotaro was strong enough to defeat him.]]
* Vila Restal from ''Series/BlakesSeven'' is a genius safecracker/pickpocket who spends the majority of his time acting like a cowardly imbecile. While he ''is'' a coward, he isn't stupid. There's a ''reason'' he's the only protagonist to have survived from the first episode to the last, [[spoiler: and the most likely to have survived that BolivianArmyEnding]].
** In one episode he has an idea for how to repair the engines while in flight, but doesn't want to actually ''do'' it because it would be dangerous. He wanders on to the bridge drunk and waving a bottle (entirely in character) and ramblingly describes his plan. Avon and Tarrant go to repair the engines and Vila reassures the rest that [[spoiler:you can't get drunk on water]].
* Most everyone on ''Series/BurnNotice'' uses this at some point, being a spy show it is what they do.
** On many occasions Michael has had to allow himself to be beaten up as part of his BatmanGambit. At one point he went all out and walked with a lanky stride, had matted and greasy hair, talked about two pitches higher than normal and came complete with an inhaler. For that matter, Michael's normal personality (or generic one when he's working a cover) when he isn't on the job has some elements of being a snarky idiot just to put people at ease.
** Sam basically embodies this completely. The initial impression one gets of him is a slightly overweight womanizer who chugs beers and has about as much insight as a sixth grader. While the first part is still completely true, one learns over the course of the series that he's a former Navy SEAL, has numerous contacts across multiple government agencies, and can be just as manipulative and technologically proficient as Michael or Fi.
* In an episode of ''Series/UnhappilyEverAfter'', Tiffany tests the hypothesis that guys prefer stupid girls by playing the part of two people--a smart person with glasses and a [[TheDitz Ditz]] without--for the same guy.
* A similar plotline was also used in an episode of ''TheLoveBoat'' (female HollywoodNerd starts acting ditzy and vapid to get a date).

to:

* Colonel O'Neill on ''Series/StargateSG1'', while far from a rocket scientist, usually presented a snarky persona that appeared much dumber than he actually was, often In one episode of ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'', Will loses some money to fool his enemies or simply to annoy his allies. He is an amateur astronomer (when he's not spying on his neighbors through his telescope) a pool hustler, and a brilliant strategist/tactician. He is also fluent in Spanish, [[SmartPeoplePlayChess can beat General Landry in chess,]] can be diplomatic if he has to, and is smart enough then Uncle Phil loses some more trying to quickly pick up how to control an alien starship with a little guidance. He is also get it back. Then, as soon as the only one who can come even close hustler agrees to keep an alien database in his head without dying immediately. Teen Cassandra lampshades this, saying, "Jack likes to pretend he's not as smart as he really is."
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'':
** Colonel John Sheppard of often appears to be goofy and laid back with a predilection of not taking things very seriously. His detractors tend to underestimate him and take his easy-going personality at face value, especially if there are other officers who want his position as Atlantis's military commander. This usually comes back to bite them in the ass when Sheppard goes to prove that his rank and job are rightfully his. He's also extremely intelligent to the extent that [[InsufferableGenius the genius Dr McKay]] was very surprised to hear he could have gotten into MENSA.
** In an AlternateUniverse Sheppard actually joined MENSA.
** In
''another'' AlternateUniverse, Sheppard round at higher stakes:
-->'''Uncle Phil:''' Geoffrey? ''[[LetsGetDangerous Break out]] [[ICallItVera Lucille]]''.
* While ''Series/GomerPyleUSMC'' was built on the idea that the titular character was a dumb-as-bricks hick out of place, more than once he was shown to have exceptional wartime skills, such as him and the Sergeant being the only team in the survival exercise to gain weight, or dismantling a wooden bridge that was to be simulated as detonated so he had ropes to build snare traps with.
* ''Series/GreenAcres'' had Eb take an accountancy course via the Clarkwell Institute only to be sent an acting course instead. Turns out Mr. Drucker and Mr. Kimball are also Clarkwell alums (who had also gotten the wrong courses which led them to their current careers). Clarkwell also has its [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39QfpUl261s own anthem]].
* A large part of the modus operandi of rookie lawyer protagonist Kuryu Kohei in ''Hero'' is to act ditzy and excitable, hiding his brilliant mind.
* Mohinder Suresh of ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' has many moments of [[IdiotBall real stupidity]], which means his occasional forays into ObfuscatingStupidity can still catch the audience and other characters off-guard. In particular, he successfully pretended to have no idea of Sylar's [[SerialKiller real identity]] on an eight-hour roadtrip, even going so far as to invite him into his home and cheerfully offer him tea-which Sylar accepts, silently [[EvilGloating gloating]] that he's got Mohinder so completely fooled, only to find himself passed out on the floor five seconds after he actually drinks the "tea".
* Sergeant Schultz on ''Series/HogansHeroes'' repeatedly states, "I know NOTHING!" but in reality he's probably on to just about everything that goes on in Stalag 13. At one point, he stops Hogan's crew from pushing him too far on a deal: "Sometimes I have to work for OUR side!" This was reportedly a conscious decision of actor John Banner's, to portray a decent human being who just happened to be in the German army and to [[TakeThat subvert the ironic pattern of typecasting as a Nazi]] that Banner (who was Jewish and escaped Austria one step ahead of the Nazi occupation) experienced in his career.
** In-series, it's also revealed that Schultz not only managed to get himself promoted to Hauptfeldtwebel (that's Senior Master Sergeant, or E-8 equivalent), he also ran a highly successful toy company in the interbellum years, and only re-enlisted because he had no better options when his factory was seized for the war effort.
* ''Series/HowToRock'': [[DumbBlonde Grace King]], while clearly not the smartest, shows that she has a savvy to her that she doesn't reveal often. In "How to Rock Camping", she was revealed to have a surprisingly expert knowledge in camping that helped to not only make roughing it easier for her team, but helped them find the convenience store in an emergency crisis too. On that occasion, TheDitz turned out to be quite the CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass.
* ''Series/{{iCarly}}'': In "iHire An Idiot", Ashley, the hot intern Freddie picked. She seems to be as dumb as Cort but in the end is revealed to be a very intelligent college student. She only pretended to be stupid as part of Freddie's plan.
* The title character of ''Series/IClaudius''
is a Las Vegas famous example.
* A subversion occurred in the Creator/VH1 Reality show, ''I Love Money 2'' where a contestant simply referred to as "It" floated into the final episode because he was likable, physically nonthreatening despite his size and just one more vote for the main alliance. Channelling Johnny Fairplay of ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' fame's "Dead Grandma" ploy, claiming he had a sick/dying grandfather won him the sympathy to reach the Final 3 where he [[OhCrap revealed it was a lie, he doesn't need glasses]] and dropping his UncleTomFoolery speech pattern, making it seem like he really ''would'' become the show's winner...only to [[WhatAnIdiot get lost, lazily reach a challenge the other two contestants were almost finishing then not even bothering to finish and simply ordering food]] and to cap the HumiliationConga, he dropped his plate on the ground.
* ''Series/TheInspectorLynleyMysteries'': Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers is tiny and adorable, with a pair of enormous green eyes and an accent that thoroughly betrays her working-class origins. She uses all of these to devastating effect, playing the "silly, uneducated little girl" card right up until she gets what she needs from her suspect - at which point she reveals that she is more than a match for her Oxford-educated partner in terms of her
detective after getting kicked out skills. She might not be an Oxford grad, but she is a frighteningly competent detective with several decades of the Air Force for the Afghanistan mess-up street smarts who is much, ''much'' smarter than anyone would guess.
* One episode of ''Series/JackOfAllTrades'' [[HistoricalInJoke revealed]]
that got him [[ReassignedToAntarctica sent to Antarctica]] in the [[ReassignmentBackfire main universe]]. He's unshaven, drinks a lot, sleeps around, and a little bit corrupt. Not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, right? Well, he's pretty good at poker, and he's the ''only'' one to figure out where the Wraith is hiding.
* Though Tony's mother Livia on ''Series/TheSopranos''
George III was clearly suffering from some level of senility, feigning his legendary madness in order to confuse Napoleon.
* Lt. Commander Bud Roberts on ''Series/{{JAG}}'' once used this as a means to get a serial killer who felt
it was more than hinted she was playing it up as a cover for her more terrifyingly evil moves.
his duty to remove the "waste" from the Navy to confess in court.
* ''Franchise/KamenRider'':
**
Otoya Kurenai from ''Series/KamenRiderKiva'' combines this with his [[GeniusDitz savant-level]] violin playing to pretty much get whatever he wants. The problem is that it works a little ''too'' well, and when he tries to tell people [[CassandraTruth what's really going on]] the results are [[YouHaveToBelieveMe somewhat predictable]].
* ** ''Series/KamenRiderDenO'' has a case based on ignorance rather than stupidity: [[spoiler:throughout the series, Ryotaro's sister Airi is a sweet, caring big sister whose memory seems to have been altered so she doesn't even remember her fiancé Yuuto Sakurai following his mysterious disappearance. In a later episode, she reveals to Ryotaro (and the teenage version of Yuuto) that she knew all along, and in fact helped create Sakurai's {{plan}} to protect the CosmicKeystone (their future daughter Hana) from the BigBad. In order to throw the villain off the trail, Airi had to pretend to be innocent and clueless so he never realized she was important until Ryotaro was strong enough to defeat him.]]
* Vila Restal from ''Series/BlakesSeven'' is a genius safecracker/pickpocket who spends the majority of his time acting like a cowardly imbecile. While he ''is'' a coward, he isn't stupid. There's a ''reason'' he's the only protagonist to have survived from The bad guys in the first episode to the last, [[spoiler: and the most likely to have survived that BolivianArmyEnding]].
** In one episode he has an idea for how to repair the engines while in flight, but doesn't want to actually ''do'' it because it would be dangerous. He wanders on to the bridge drunk and waving a bottle (entirely in character) and ramblingly describes his plan. Avon and Tarrant go to repair the engines and Vila reassures the rest that [[spoiler:you can't get drunk on water]].
* Most everyone on ''Series/BurnNotice'' uses this at some point, being a spy show it is what they do.
** On many occasions Michael has had to allow himself to be beaten up as part of his BatmanGambit. At one point he went all out and walked with a lanky stride, had matted and greasy hair, talked about two pitches higher than normal and came complete with an inhaler. For that matter, Michael's normal personality (or generic one when he's working a cover) when he isn't on the job has some elements of being a snarky idiot just to put people at ease.
** Sam basically embodies this completely. The initial impression one gets of him is a slightly overweight womanizer who chugs beers and has about as much insight as a sixth grader. While the first part is still completely true, one learns over the course of the series that he's a former Navy SEAL, has numerous contacts across multiple government agencies, and can be just as manipulative and technologically proficient as Michael or Fi.
* In an
season 2 episode of ''Series/UnhappilyEverAfter'', Tiffany tests ''Series/LasVegas'' use this to infiltrate the hypothesis Montecito surveillance room.
* Used by then rookie defense lawyer Randy Dworkin in ''Series/LawAndOrder'': After letting all the People's witnesses go unchallenged, he lays out a case basically saying finding his client guilty is questioning the will of God. After the judge shoots this down, he then changes his client's plea to [[InsanityDefense not guilty by reason of mental defect]]. Normally this wouldn't be allowed at
that guys prefer stupid girls by playing stage of the part of two people--a smart person trial, but he then reveals his client will have a solid appeal on Sixth Amendment (right to a fair trial) grounds, using his own incompetent defense up to this point as evidence. All to catch the prosecution off guard with glasses and a [[TheDitz Ditz]] without--for the same guy.
* A similar plotline was also used
plea change.
-->'''Judge:''' Either you are a brilliant strategist, or you are the biggest jackass to step foot
in an episode of ''TheLoveBoat'' (female HollywoodNerd starts acting ditzy and vapid to get a date).my courtroom.



* ''Series/Daredevil2015'':
** Wilson Fisk allows Madame Gao to believe he cannot understand Chinese, but later reveals that he is somewhat fluent. His obfuscation has mostly been so that he has an excuse to have James Wesley around for their meetings. Turns out Madame Gao is doing the exact same thing - she pretends that she does not speak English and requires a translator. Fisk also understands Japanese to an extent, but prefers to have Wesley provide a more TactfulTranslation of Nobu's remarks.
** Matt Murdock uses obfuscating ignorance in everyday life. He can effectively "see" just fine, can hear conversations from blocks away, and can tell whenever anybody is lying to him, but he has to act like an average blind man anyway and play along.
* ''Series/{{iCarly}}'': In iHire An Idiot, Ashley, the hot intern Freddie picked. She seems to be as dumb as Cort but in the end is revealed to be a very intelligent college student. She only pretended to be stupid as part of Freddie's plan.
* Lauren "Am I bovvered" Cooper from ''Series/TheCatherineTateShow'' appears to her teachers to be a dim, rude, and dismissive teenage layabout. She is rude and dismissive, but certain sketches have revealed her to be smarter than she appears. She can recite obscure Shakespeare from memory, she has memorized at least part of the periodic table of elements, and can converse in fluent French (and knows her signature catch phrase in Modern English, Elizabethan English, French, and Sign Language). It seems she is pretending to be dim as to not be alienated by her much dimmer friends (while being smart enough to manipulate them).

to:

* ''Series/Daredevil2015'':
** Wilson Fisk allows Madame Gao
Papa Lazarou from ''Series/TheLeagueOfGentlemen'' uses this as part of his stage act to believe he cannot understand Chinese, but later reveals that he is somewhat fluent. His obfuscation has mostly been so that he has an excuse confuse his volunteers (mostly women) to have James Wesley around for hand over their meetings. Turns out Madame Gao is doing the exact same thing - she pretends that she does not speak English and requires a translator. Fisk also understands Japanese to an extent, but prefers to have Wesley provide a more TactfulTranslation of Nobu's remarks.
** Matt Murdock uses obfuscating ignorance in everyday life. He can effectively "see"
jewelry.
* Eliot from ''Series/{{Leverage}}''. Ostensibly
just fine, can hear conversations from blocks away, and can tell whenever anybody is lying to him, but he has to act like an average blind man anyway and play along.
* ''Series/{{iCarly}}'': In iHire An Idiot, Ashley,
the hot intern Freddie picked. She seems to be as dumb as Cort but in the end is revealed to be a very heavy, he's actually quite intelligent college student. She only pretended to be stupid as part of Freddie's plan.
* Lauren "Am I bovvered" Cooper from ''Series/TheCatherineTateShow'' appears to her teachers to be a dim, rude,
and dismissive teenage layabout. She is rude and dismissive, but certain sketches have revealed her to be smarter than she appears. She can recite obscure Shakespeare from memory, she has memorized at least part enjoys activities such as gourmet cooking. In "The Zanzibar Marketplace Job", he ends up running the entire con-slash-rescue mission.
-->'''Maggie:''' You know, people underestimate you, Eliot.\\
'''Nate:''' That's kind
of the periodic table of elements, and can converse in fluent French (and knows her signature catch phrase in Modern English, Elizabethan English, French, and Sign Language). It seems she is pretending to be dim as to not be alienated by her much dimmer friends (while being smart enough to manipulate them).point.



* In ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'''s "In a Mirror Darkly," Mirror Hoshi pulls it on both the characters and the audience. She seems like nothing more than a willing consort for whoever her captain is at the moment, then at the end she [[spoiler:poisons Mirror Archer and declares herself Empress of the Terrans.]]
* The Pakleds in the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode ''Samaritan Snare'' are to all indications genuinely some of the most stupid aliens featured in ''Star Trek'', but they ''are'' capable of playing it up even more in some areas to appear more harmless than they actually are and manipulate others into doing what they want.
* Tony [=DiNozzo=] in ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' comes across as an immature JerkJock HandsomeLech who spends far more energy goofing off, chasing women, and giving his teammates a hard time than he does actually investigating. When he has to get serious, however, he quickly proves that he is not only a highly skilled investigator, he's also an effective leader, and particularly following the fourth season it becomes clear that most of his immature behavior is a front under which he is a lot smarter and more capable than he lets on.

to:

* In ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'''s "In a Mirror Darkly," Mirror Hoshi pulls it on both the characters and the audience. She seems like nothing more than a willing consort for whoever her captain is at the moment, then at the end she [[spoiler:poisons Mirror Archer and declares herself Empress of the Terrans.]]
* The Pakleds
A similar plotline was also used in the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' an episode ''Samaritan Snare'' are to all indications genuinely some of the most stupid aliens featured in ''Star Trek'', but they ''are'' capable of playing it up even more in some areas to appear more harmless than they actually are ''Series/TheLoveBoat'' (female HollywoodNerd starts acting ditzy and manipulate others into doing what they want.
* Tony [=DiNozzo=] in ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' comes across as an immature JerkJock HandsomeLech who spends far more energy goofing off, chasing women, and giving his teammates a hard time than he does actually investigating. When he has
vapid to get serious, however, he quickly proves that he is not only a highly skilled investigator, he's also an effective leader, and particularly following the fourth season it becomes clear that most of his immature behavior is a front under which he is a lot smarter and more capable than he lets on.date).



* Michael Guerin, in early episodes of ''Series/{{Roswell}}'', is one step up from being a high school drop-out, playing truant and skipping classes as often as not. In conversation with Maria, his eventual love interest, he claims his favourite book is Creator/JamesJoyce's ''Literature/{{Ulysses}}''. She scoffs and doesn't believe him...so he recites a very long passage from said book from memory.
* Megan in ''Series/DrakeAndJosh'' pretends to be an innocent little girl in front of her parents so they won't believe her brothers when they go to tattle about the not-exactly-harmless pranks she pulls.
* Mohinder Suresh of ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' has many moments of [[IdiotBall real stupidity]], which means his occasional forays into ObfuscatingStupidity can still catch the audience and other characters off-guard. In particular, he successfully pretended to have no idea of Sylar's [[SerialKiller real identity]] on an eight-hour roadtrip, even going so far as to invite him into his home and cheerfully offer him tea-which Sylar accepts, silently [[EvilGloating gloating]] that he's got Mohinder so completely fooled, only to find himself passed out on the floor five seconds after he actually drinks the "tea."
* ''Series/{{Bones}}'':
** It's been observed in-show that Seeley Booth's ObfuscatingStupidity serves the dual purposes of making people underestimate him and allowing Brennan to be "the smart one" (granted, she ''is'' the smart one, but he lets her think the gap between them is even larger than it is).
--> '''Dr. Wyatt:''' (after Booth makes a wisecrack, appearing ignorant) He does that. He ''wants'' to be underestimated.
** Bones is guilty of this as well, as several conversations and episodes imply or state outright that she knows perfectly well how smart/dumb Booth is. Later episodes expand the idea as her playing dumb to his particular skills so that he can have his thing.
* Like in the earlier films, the '50s ''Series/{{Zorro}}'' television show had the title character disguise his secret identity with stupidity; however, instead of being a [[RichIdiotWithNoDayJob rich fop]], his alter ego was a bumbling Zorro sympathizer who supposedly lacked the skills of his idol.

to:

* Michael Guerin, The title character of ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' does have his moments of clumsiness and cluelessness, but sometimes he may use it to his advantage.
* Most of the main characters
in early ''Series/{{Misfits}}'' could fit, as all of them are smarter than they let on. The best example is possibly Simon, who at first appears to just be a creepy weirdo, but soon becomes TheSmartGuy, [[spoiler:organizing the group to get away with murder. ''Twice'']].
* In the "Village Idiot" sketch from ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'', Creator/JohnCleese's idiot is portrayed this way. When nobody else from their village (except possibly other idiots) is around, he'll discourse learnedly to the camera on the "vital psychosocial role" played by idiocy; as soon as someone walks by, he slips back into character and starts babbling nonsense and comedically falling off walls.
* Tony [=DiNozzo=] in ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' comes across as an immature JerkJock HandsomeLech who spends far more energy goofing off, chasing women, and giving his teammates a hard time than he does actually investigating. When he has to get serious, however, he quickly proves that he is not only a highly skilled investigator, he's also an effective leader, and particularly following the fourth season it becomes clear that most of his immature behavior is a front under which he is a lot smarter and more capable than he lets on.
* Bull Shannon on ''Series/NightCourt'', though only occasionally.
* Del Boy from ''Series/OnlyFoolsAndHorses'' sometimes does this when he wants to manipulate someone else into having an idea that he's had, and thinking it was their idea in the first place. For example, in one of the later
episodes of ''Series/{{Roswell}}'', is one step up the show (after the Trotters have become multi-millionaires and lost it all), Del has been declared bankrupt and banned from being a high school drop-out, playing truant the manager of Trotters Independent Traders. He realizes that someone else - namely, Rodney - could manage Trotters Independent Traders and skipping classes as often as not. In conversation hire him to work for them. Instead of just asking Rodney if he'll be the new manager, Del proceeds to manipulate Rodney into coming up with Maria, his eventual love interest, he claims his favourite book is Creator/JamesJoyce's ''Literature/{{Ulysses}}''. She scoffs and doesn't believe him...so he recites a very long passage from said book from memory.
* Megan in ''Series/DrakeAndJosh''
the idea of managing the company himself. He even pretends to be an innocent little girl in front of her parents so they won't believe her brothers when they go not understand what Rodney is suggesting and that he needs it explaining to tattle about him again, presumably to strengthen the not-exactly-harmless pranks she pulls.
illusion that it was Rodney's idea.
* Mohinder Suresh of ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' has many moments of [[IdiotBall real stupidity]], which means his occasional forays into ''Series/{{Oz}}'':
** Ryan O'Reilly was a Chessmaster and used
ObfuscatingStupidity can still catch the audience to make sure his targets never suspected they were being played.
** When Chris Keller plays chess with Verne Schillinger after having apparently been taught by Tobias Beecher, it's implied that he already knew how to play
and other characters off-guard. In particular, he successfully was pretending not to in order to bond with Beecher.
** William Giles suffered from dementia, but
pretended to have no idea of Sylar's [[SerialKiller real identity]] on an eight-hour roadtrip, even going so far as to invite him into his home and cheerfully offer him tea-which Sylar accepts, silently [[EvilGloating gloating]] that he's got Mohinder so completely fooled, only to find himself passed out on the floor five seconds after he actually drinks the "tea."
* ''Series/{{Bones}}'':
** It's been observed in-show that Seeley Booth's ObfuscatingStupidity serves the dual purposes of making people underestimate him and allowing Brennan to be "the smart one" (granted, she ''is'' the smart one, but he lets her think the gap between them is even larger than it is).
--> '''Dr. Wyatt:''' (after Booth makes a wisecrack, appearing ignorant) He does that. He ''wants'' to be underestimated.
** Bones is guilty of this as well, as several conversations and episodes imply or state outright that she knows perfectly well how smart/dumb Booth is. Later episodes expand the idea as her playing dumb to his particular skills so
was further gone that he can have really was. While on death row [[spoiler: and asked to pick his thing.
* Like in the earlier films, the '50s ''Series/{{Zorro}}'' television show had the title character disguise
method of execution, Giles said that he would like to be stoned to death, knowing that he would likely die of old age while his secret identity with stupidity; however, instead of being a [[RichIdiotWithNoDayJob rich fop]], his alter ego execution was a bumbling Zorro sympathizer who supposedly lacked the skills of his idol.stalled by lawsuits from human rights organizations]].



** As a topper, when Lothor returns in "Series/{{DinoThunder}}", he attacks the Wind Academy where Marah and Kapri are now training and captures all the other ninjas. The two are able to talk their uncle into taking them back, claiming they can be tough now that they're (semi) ninja trained. Lothor agrees, although warning them that one screw-up and they're done. The two go back into their old ditz routine so well that Lothor is annoyed and ignores them...allowing them to rescue Sensei Kanoi right under their uncle's nose.
* ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': [[spoiler:Alpha]]. The character's reveal gave cold shivers, considering how convincingly the actor had been selling the goofy one-off hilarious fanservice guest star part up to that point in the episode.
* During his early TV career, British presenter Creator/LouisTheroux ruthlessly exploited a put-on faux-naif persona to lull his subjects into a false sense of security. He also intentionally played stupid until he annoys his subjects to spell out their views, which has been couched beforehand in elaborate euphemisms and doublespeak, in offensively plain language. This was a surprisingly effective interview technique, though it seems that people eventually caught on, and he doesn't do it much now.
* A large part of the modus operandi of rookie lawyer protagonist Kuryu Kohei in ''Hero'' is to act ditzy and excitable, hiding his brilliant mind.
* Used by then rookie defense lawyer Randy Dworkin in ''Series/LawAndOrder'': After letting all the People's witnesses go unchallenged, he lays out a case basically saying finding his client guilty is questioning the will of God. After the judge shoots this down, he then changes his client's plea to [[InsanityDefense not guilty by reason of mental defect]]. Normally this wouldn't be allowed at that stage of the trial, but he then reveals his client will have a solid appeal on Sixth Amendment (right to a fair trial) grounds, using his own incompetent defense up to this point as evidence. All to catch the prosecution off guard with the plea change.
-->Judge: Either you are a brilliant strategist, or you are the biggest jackass to step foot in my courtroom.
* ''Series/BostonLegal'''s Denny Crane seems like a senile, self absorbed whackjob, and he usually is...until he steps into a courtroom. Then he is again Denny Crane.
* Dave, the truck driver who doused Alex in superpower-inducing chemicals in ''Series/TheSecretWorldOfAlexMack'', puts his own safety on the line by foiling the greedy and evil Danielle Atron's schemes to find out Alex's identity. Dave pretends he has no idea who the victim of the accident was, but reveals in the last episode he had discovered the secret in his ADayInTheLimelight episode, where he used the skills learned by a rather goofy "How to be a spy" course on tape. He decided to keep quiet in accordance to said course's last lesson: "Whenever you discover a secret, no matter how big it is, it's best to keep it for yourself."

to:

** As a topper, when Lothor returns in "Series/{{DinoThunder}}", he attacks the Wind Academy where Marah and Kapri are now training and captures all the other ninjas. The two are able to talk their uncle into taking them back, claiming they can be tough now that they're (semi) ninja trained. Lothor agrees, although warning them that one screw-up and they're done. The two go back into their old ditz routine so well that Lothor is annoyed and ignores them... allowing them to rescue Sensei Kanoi right under their uncle's nose.
* ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'': [[spoiler:Alpha]]. The character's reveal gave cold shivers, considering how convincingly the actor had been selling the goofy one-off hilarious fanservice guest star part up Oliver Leek from ''Series/{{Primeval}}'' manages to convince everyone around him that point he's a bumbling right-hand man, when he's actually a [[EvilGenius coldly intelligent]] DiabolicalMastermind.
* Shawn Spencer of ''Series/{{Psych}}'' got a perfect score on the California detective's exam at age fifteen, identified T-rex bite marks from a time he climbed on a museum exhibit several years previous, and once fired a gun from the hood of a moving vehicle, between the slats of the grill of another moving vehicle, after ''being shot
in the episode.
* During his early TV career, British presenter Creator/LouisTheroux ruthlessly exploited a put-on faux-naif persona to lull his subjects into a false sense of security.
shoulder''. He also intentionally played stupid until he annoys his subjects to spell out their views, which has been couched beforehand in elaborate euphemisms and doublespeak, in offensively plain language. This was a surprisingly effective interview technique, generally acts as though it seems that he knows [[BookDumb absolutely nothing about anything]] apart from [[TheEighties pop culture]] and detective work (and the latter only with Gus and his father). This is an odd example, however, because he does this not to get people eventually caught on, and to underestimate him, but because he doesn't do it much now.
* A large part
needs to believe he's a somewhat normal human being.
-->'''Declan Rand ("Shawn 2.0"):''' You're highly intelligent, but you're shameful
of the modus operandi of rookie lawyer protagonist Kuryu Kohei in ''Hero'' is to act ditzy and excitable, hiding his brilliant mind.
* Used by then rookie defense lawyer Randy Dworkin in ''Series/LawAndOrder'': After letting all the People's witnesses go unchallenged, he lays out a case basically saying finding his client guilty is questioning the will of God. After the judge shoots this down, he then changes his client's plea to [[InsanityDefense not guilty by reason of mental defect]]. Normally this wouldn't be allowed at
that stage of the trial, but he then reveals his client will have a solid appeal on Sixth Amendment (right to a fair trial) grounds, using his own incompetent defense up to this point as evidence. All to catch the prosecution off guard fact so you play it down with the plea change.
-->Judge: Either
use of inappropriate behavior. And you are a brilliant strategist, or live in fear of showing weakness so you are hide behind a constant barrage of jokes and sarcasm.
* Alan Davies,
the biggest jackass permanent panelist slash resident ButtMonkey from the PanelGame ''Series/{{QI}}''. He admitted that the show requires someone to step foot in my courtroom.
* ''Series/BostonLegal'''s Denny Crane seems like a senile, self absorbed whackjob,
do the dirty job of feigning ignorance from time to time, and he usually is...until he steps into a courtroom. Then he is again Denny Crane.
up to do it.
* Dave, the truck driver who doused Alex in superpower-inducing chemicals in ''Series/TheSecretWorldOfAlexMack'', puts his own safety Mr. Eldridge on the line by foiling the greedy and evil Danielle Atron's schemes to find out Alex's identity. Dave pretends he has no idea who the victim of the accident was, ''Series/RememberWENN'' usually comes off as TheDitz, but reveals in the last episode he had discovered the secret in his ADayInTheLimelight episode, where he used wins the skills learned by a rather goofy "How lottery, he manages to be a spy" course on tape. He decided [[spoiler:use his winnings to keep quiet buy a controlling interest in accordance to the station and save his own job]].
* Michael Guerin, in early episodes of ''Series/{{Roswell}}'', is one step up from being a high school drop-out, playing truant and skipping classes as often as not. In conversation with Maria, his eventual love interest, he claims his favourite book is Creator/JamesJoyce's ''Literature/{{Ulysses}}''. She scoffs and doesn't believe him... so he recites a very long passage from
said course's last lesson: "Whenever you discover a secret, no matter how big it is, it's best to keep it for yourself."book from memory.



** Im the sketch "Masterbrain," Phil Hartman portrayed then-president UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan as a doddering-yet-genial goofball (the image that was and still is popular among his detractors) when presenting himself before the press or the public. Behind closed doors however, Hartman's Reagan revealed himself to be a [[MagnificentBastard Machiavellian manipulator]] in full command of the issues of the day (while everyone else in his Cabinet is struggling to keep up).

to:

** Im the sketch "Masterbrain," "Masterbrain", Phil Hartman portrayed then-president UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan as a doddering-yet-genial goofball (the image that was and still is popular among his detractors) when presenting himself before the press or the public. Behind closed doors however, Hartman's Reagan revealed himself to be a [[MagnificentBastard Machiavellian manipulator]] in full command of the issues of the day (while everyone else in his Cabinet is struggling to keep up).



* On one episode of ''Series/TheSteveHarveyShow'', Lydia (with encouragement from Romeo and Bullethead) dumbs herself down when her boyfriend Arthur starts to lose interest in her because she aced a chemistry exam.
* Whitley plays with this trope on an episode of ''Series/ADifferentWorld''. When she and Dwayne are partners in a quiz bowl, Dwayne tells her that their kiss on a previous episode meant nothing and that he was in love in Kinu. He also alludes that Whitley is not very smart and that she is spoiled. Whitley becomes angry and sabotages the second half of the game by giving wrong or flat out stupid answers, and at one point not giving any answers. She even files her nails in one scene. Of course Hillman is eliminated from the tournament.



* Mr. Eldridge on ''Remember WENN'' usually comes off as TheDitz, but in the episode where he wins the lottery, he manages to [[spoiler:use his winnings to buy a controlling interest in the station and save his own job]].
* ''Series/TheAvengers'': John Steed, almost every episode.
* The title character of ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' does have his moments of clumsiness and cluelessness, but sometimes he may use it to his advantage.
* In one episode of ''Series/AllInTheFamily'', Mike is spouting off about how clueless Archie is when Edith tells him, "If you were really smarter than Archie, you would be smart enough not to let him ''see'' that you're smarter than him." (Which offers a tantalizing hint that Edith's [[TheDitz ditzy]] exterior might be at least a partial application of this trope in its own right.)
** In the early seasons, Lionel Jefferson would have fun with Archie by adopting a stereotypically "black" version of this around him.
* Eliot from ''Series/{{Leverage}}''. Ostensibly just the dumb heavy, he's actually quite intelligent and enjoys activities such as gourmet cooking. In the "Zanzibar Marketplace Job", he ends up running the entire con-slash-rescue mission.
-->'''Maggie:''' You know, people underestimate you, Eliot \\
'''Nate:''' That's kind of the point.
* ''Series/{{Caprica}}'': Serge Graystone, the RobotMaid about the size of a trashcan, has a Website/{{twitter}} [[CharacterBlog feed]] that suggests he knows more than he's letting on - and that he's not simply very well programmed to fake sapience.
* The title character of ''Series/EverybodyLovesRaymond'' demonstrates this frequently.
--> "I may seem dumb, but that's just to get your mother to not ask me to do stuff!"
* In ''Series/BeingHumanUK'', George does menial labor in a hospital and is later revealed to have "a brain the size of a planet". Of course, there's the problem that he turns into a wolf every month, so it makes sense that he'd want a low-profile job with access to a room to lock himself up in. [[spoiler:The first season finale gives another example, when he appears to be scared enough of an evil vampire to abandon Mitchell. It turns out that he'd cleverly set up a trap in which the evil vampire would find himself locked in an isolated room with George...just as the full moon comes up.]]
* Peggy, Shirley's grandmother in ''Series/TheAdventuresOfShirleyHolmes'', has shades of this sometimes. Some other times, she's more of a BunnyEarsLawyer. Also Shirley often "disguises" as a ditz when she's trying to find clues.

to:

* Mr. Eldridge Dave, the truck driver who doused Alex in superpower-inducing chemicals in ''Series/TheSecretWorldOfAlexMack'', puts his own safety on ''Remember WENN'' usually comes off as TheDitz, the line by foiling the greedy and evil Danielle Atron's schemes to find out Alex's identity. Dave pretends he has no idea who the victim of the accident was, but reveals in the last episode he had discovered the secret in his ADayInTheLimelight episode, where he wins used the lottery, he manages to [[spoiler:use his winnings to buy a controlling interest in the station and save his own job]].
* ''Series/TheAvengers'': John Steed, almost every episode.
* The title character of ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' does have his moments of clumsiness and cluelessness, but sometimes he may use it to his advantage.
* In one episode of ''Series/AllInTheFamily'', Mike is spouting off about how clueless Archie is when Edith tells him, "If you were really smarter than Archie, you would be smart enough not to let him ''see'' that you're smarter than him." (Which offers a tantalizing hint that Edith's [[TheDitz ditzy]] exterior might be at least a partial application of this trope in its own right.)
** In the early seasons, Lionel Jefferson would have fun with Archie
skills learned by adopting a stereotypically "black" version of this around him.
* Eliot from ''Series/{{Leverage}}''. Ostensibly just the dumb heavy, he's actually quite intelligent and enjoys activities such as gourmet cooking. In the "Zanzibar Marketplace Job", he ends up running the entire con-slash-rescue mission.
-->'''Maggie:''' You know, people underestimate you, Eliot \\
'''Nate:''' That's kind of the point.
* ''Series/{{Caprica}}'': Serge Graystone, the RobotMaid about the size of a trashcan, has a Website/{{twitter}} [[CharacterBlog feed]] that suggests he knows more than he's letting on - and that he's not simply very well programmed to fake sapience.
* The title character of ''Series/EverybodyLovesRaymond'' demonstrates this frequently.
--> "I may seem dumb, but that's just to get your mother to not ask me to do stuff!"
* In ''Series/BeingHumanUK'', George does menial labor in a hospital and is later revealed to have "a brain the size of a planet". Of course, there's the problem that he turns into a wolf every month, so it makes sense that he'd want a low-profile job with access to a room to lock himself up in. [[spoiler:The first season finale gives another example, when he appears
rather goofy "How to be scared enough of an evil vampire a spy" course on tape. He decided to abandon Mitchell. It turns out that he'd cleverly set up a trap keep quiet in which the evil vampire would find himself locked in an isolated room with George...just as the full moon comes up.]]
* Peggy, Shirley's grandmother in ''Series/TheAdventuresOfShirleyHolmes'', has shades of this sometimes. Some other times, she's more of a BunnyEarsLawyer. Also Shirley often "disguises" as a ditz when she's trying
accordance to find clues.said course's last lesson: "Whenever you discover a secret, no matter how big it is, it's best to keep it for yourself."



** It's implied that Mycroft actually used this himself a little; it turns out that [[spoiler: He and Sherlock were actually playing Moriarity all along.]]
* A subversion occurred in the Creator/VH1 Reality show, ''I Love Money 2'' where a contestant simply referred to as "It" floated into the final episode because he was likable, physically nonthreatening despite his size and just one more vote for the main alliance. Channelling Johnny Fairplay of ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' fame's "Dead Grandma" ploy, claiming he had a sick/dying grandfather won him the sympathy to reach the Final 3 where he [[OhCrap revealed it was a lie, he doesn't need glasses]] and dropping his UncleTomFoolery speech pattern, making it seem like he really ''would'' become the show's winner...only to [[WhatAnIdiot get lost, lazily reach a challenge the other two contestants were almost finishing then not even bothering to finish and simply ordering food]] and to cap the HumiliationConga, he dropped his plate on the ground.

to:

** It's implied that Mycroft actually used this himself a little; it turns out that [[spoiler: He and Sherlock were actually playing Moriarity Moriarty all along.]]
* A subversion occurred in ''Series/SledgeHammer'': Used every few episodes by Detective Hammer. He is written off by everybody as a violent idiot, but then manages to crack the Creator/VH1 Reality case, with a sudden admission that he had been taking notes all along -- even if in most other episodes he was just a lucky idiot. This is even given a spot of Lampshade Hanging in one episode, when a game show host killed off a competitor who was getting close to the top prize. He avoided having to do this before by only recruiting idiots. When the sidekick is confused how someone that smart got on the show, ''I Love Money 2'' Sledge enlightens us with this line: "You see, he looks dumb, but turned out to be a genius; a trick I've used myself."
* Though Tony's mother Livia on ''Series/TheSopranos'' was clearly suffering from some level of senility, it was more than hinted she was playing it up as a cover for her more terrifyingly evil moves.
* Clu from ''Series/SoWeird'' seems like nothing more than a [[SurferDude beach bum wanna-be]], but he often notices the weird things happening almost before [[AgentMulder Fi]] does. In season 2, he was accepted into UC Santa Cruz,
where the minimum required GPA for out-of-state students is 3.40.
* ''Franchise/{{Stargate Verse}}'':
** Colonel O'Neill on ''Series/StargateSG1'', while far from
a contestant rocket scientist, usually presented a snarky persona that appeared much dumber than he actually was, often to fool his enemies or simply referred to as "It" floated into annoy his allies. He is an amateur astronomer (when he's not spying on his neighbors through his telescope) and a brilliant strategist/tactician. He is also fluent in Spanish, [[SmartPeoplePlayChess can beat General Landry in chess,]] can be diplomatic if he has to, and is smart enough to quickly pick up how to control an alien starship with a little guidance. He is also the final episode because he was likable, physically nonthreatening despite only one who can come even close to keep an alien database in his size and just one more vote for the main alliance. Channelling Johnny Fairplay of ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' fame's "Dead Grandma" ploy, claiming he had a sick/dying grandfather won him the sympathy head without dying immediately. Teen Cassandra lampshades this, saying, "Jack likes to reach the Final 3 where he [[OhCrap revealed it was a lie, he doesn't need glasses]] and dropping his UncleTomFoolery speech pattern, making it seem like pretend he's not as smart as he really ''would'' become the show's winner...only is."
** ''Series/StargateAtlantis'':
*** Colonel John Sheppard of often appears
to [[WhatAnIdiot get lost, lazily reach be goofy and laid back with a challenge the predilection of not taking things very seriously. His detractors tend to underestimate him and take his easy-going personality at face value, especially if there are other two contestants were almost finishing officers who want his position as Atlantis's military commander. This usually comes back to bite them in the ass when Sheppard goes to prove that his rank and job are rightfully his. He's also extremely intelligent to the extent that [[InsufferableGenius the genius Dr McKay]] was very surprised to hear he could have gotten into MENSA.
*** In an AlternateUniverse Sheppard actually joined MENSA.
*** In ''another'' AlternateUniverse, Sheppard is a Las Vegas detective after getting kicked out of the Air Force for the Afghanistan mess-up that got him [[ReassignedToAntarctica sent to Antarctica]] in the [[ReassignmentBackfire main universe]]. He's unshaven, drinks a lot, sleeps around, and a little bit corrupt. Not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, right? Well, he's pretty good at poker, and he's the ''only'' one to figure out where the Wraith is hiding.
* In ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'''s "In a Mirror Darkly", Mirror Hoshi pulls it on both the characters and the audience. She seems like nothing more than a willing consort for whoever her captain is at the moment,
then not at the end she [[spoiler:poisons Mirror Archer and declares herself Empress of the Terrans.]]
* The Pakleds in the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode ''Samaritan Snare'' are to all indications genuinely some of the most stupid aliens featured in ''Star Trek'', but they ''are'' capable of playing it up
even bothering more in some areas to finish appear more harmless than they actually are and simply ordering food]] manipulate others into doing what they want.
* On one episode of ''Series/TheSteveHarveyShow'', Lydia (with encouragement from Romeo
and Bullethead) dumbs herself down when her boyfriend Arthur starts to cap the HumiliationConga, lose interest in her because she aced a chemistry exam.
* In ''Series/Studio60OnTheSunsetStrip'', we discover that Chinese businessman Zhang Tao has been pretending that
he dropped his plate on the ground.can't speak English because "it's fun". Jack Rudolph is not impressed.



* Brenda Johnson in ''Series/TheCloser'' is a sweet, scatterbrained Southern eccentric - until her suspect slips up and gives her what she wants. At which point said suspect is painfully reminded that Brenda Leigh Johnson is ''a CIA-trained interrogator.''
* Most of the main characters in ''Series/{{Misfits}}'' could fit, as all of them are smarter than they let on. The best example is possibly Simon, who at first appears to just be a creepy weirdo, but soon becomes TheSmartGuy, [[spoiler:organizing the group to get away with murder. ''Twice'']].
* Oliver Leek from ''Series/{{Primeval}}'' manages to convince everyone around him that he's a bumbling right-hand man, when he's actually a [[EvilGenius coldly intelligent]] DiabolicalMastermind.
* Papa Lazarou from ''Series/TheLeagueOfGentlemen'' uses this as part of his stage act to confuse his volunteers (mostly women) to hand over their jewelry.
* Shawn Spencer of ''Series/{{Psych}}'' got a perfect score on the California detective's exam at age fifteen, identified T-rex bite marks from a time he climbed on a museum exhibit several years previous, and once fired a gun from the hood of a moving vehicle, between the slats of the grill of another moving vehicle, after ''being shot in the shoulder''. He generally acts as though he knows [[BookDumb absolutely nothing about anything]] apart from [[TheEighties pop culture]] and detective work (and the latter only with Gus and his father). This is an odd example, however, because he does this not to get people to underestimate him, but because he needs to believe he's a somewhat normal human being.
--> '''Declan Rand''' ("Shawn 2.0"): "You're highly intelligent, but you're shameful of that fact so you play it down with the use of inappropriate behavior. And you live in fear of showing weakness so you hide behind a constant barrage of jokes and sarcasm."
* Sergeant Schultz on ''Series/HogansHeroes'' repeatedly states, "I know NOTHING!" but in reality he's probably on to just about everything that goes on in Stalag 13. At one point, he stops Hogan's crew from pushing him too far on a deal: "Sometimes I have to work for OUR side!" This was reportedly a conscious decision of actor John Banner's, to portray a decent human being who just happened to be in the German army and to [[TakeThat subvert the ironic pattern of typecasting as a Nazi]] that Banner (who was Jewish and escaped Austria one step ahead of the Nazi occupation) experienced in his career.
** In-series, it's also revealed that Schultz not only managed to get himself promoted to Hauptfeldtwebel (that's Senior Master Sergeant, or E-8 equivalent), he also ran a highly successful toy company in the interbellum years, and only re-enlisted because he had no better options when his factory was seized for the war effort.

to:

* Brenda Johnson in ''Series/TheCloser'' ''Series/TeenWolf'': Lydia. She outsmarts Jackson by knowing a cougar and a mountain lion are the same thing, then plays dumb again asking "Isn't it?". She also has a 5.0 GPA. Though by season 3, Jackson is gone, and Lydia is much more willing to display her intelligence.
* During his early TV career, British presenter Creator/LouisTheroux ruthlessly exploited
a sweet, scatterbrained Southern eccentric - put-on faux-naif persona to lull his subjects into a false sense of security. He also intentionally played stupid until her suspect slips up and gives her what she wants. At he annoys his subjects to spell out their views, which point said suspect is painfully reminded that Brenda Leigh Johnson is ''a CIA-trained interrogator.''
* Most of the main characters
has been couched beforehand in ''Series/{{Misfits}}'' could fit, as all of them are smarter than they let on. The best example is possibly Simon, who at first appears to just be a creepy weirdo, but soon becomes TheSmartGuy, [[spoiler:organizing the group to get away with murder. ''Twice'']].
* Oliver Leek from ''Series/{{Primeval}}'' manages to convince everyone around him that he's a bumbling right-hand man, when he's actually a [[EvilGenius coldly intelligent]] DiabolicalMastermind.
* Papa Lazarou from ''Series/TheLeagueOfGentlemen'' uses this as part of his stage act to confuse his volunteers (mostly women) to hand over their jewelry.
* Shawn Spencer of ''Series/{{Psych}}'' got a perfect score on the California detective's exam at age fifteen, identified T-rex bite marks from a time he climbed on a museum exhibit several years previous,
elaborate euphemisms and once fired a gun from the hood of a moving vehicle, between the slats of the grill of another moving vehicle, after ''being shot doublespeak, in the shoulder''. He generally acts as though he knows [[BookDumb absolutely nothing about anything]] apart from [[TheEighties pop culture]] and detective work (and the latter only with Gus and his father). This is an odd example, however, because he does this not to get people to underestimate him, but because he needs to believe he's a somewhat normal human being.
--> '''Declan Rand''' ("Shawn 2.0"): "You're highly intelligent, but you're shameful of that fact so you play it down with the use of inappropriate behavior. And you live in fear of showing weakness so you hide behind a constant barrage of jokes and sarcasm."
* Sergeant Schultz on ''Series/HogansHeroes'' repeatedly states, "I know NOTHING!" but in reality he's probably on to just about everything that goes on in Stalag 13. At one point, he stops Hogan's crew from pushing him too far on a deal: "Sometimes I have to work for OUR side!"
offensively plain language. This was reportedly a conscious decision of actor John Banner's, to portray a decent human being who just happened to be in the German army and to [[TakeThat subvert the ironic pattern of typecasting as a Nazi]] surprisingly effective interview technique, though it seems that Banner (who was Jewish people eventually caught on, and escaped Austria one step ahead he doesn't do it much now.
* In an episode
of ''Series/UnhappilyEverAfter'', Tiffany tests the Nazi occupation) experienced in his career.
** In-series, it's also revealed
hypothesis that Schultz not only managed to get himself promoted to Hauptfeldtwebel (that's Senior Master Sergeant, or E-8 equivalent), he also ran a highly successful toy company in guys prefer stupid girls by playing the interbellum years, part of two people -- a smart person with glasses and only re-enlisted because he had no better options when his factory was seized a [[TheDitz Ditz]] without -- for the war effort. same guy.



* Lt. Commander Bud Roberts on ''Series/{{JAG}}'' once used this as a means to get a serial killer who felt it was his duty to remove the "waste" from the Navy to confess in court.
* Done by quite a few characters on ''Series/{{Chuck}}''.
** Sarah especially seems fond of adopting the role of a [[TheDitz ditzy]] girl who has [[PlayingDrunk drunkenly]] wandered into whatever situation she's in by accident, which allows her to walk out of places she's found herself trapped in and serves as a good excuse to walk into places where she would otherwise be immediately shot dead or at least regarded with suspicion.
** Chuck himself falls back on this at times, relying on his nerdiness and $12-an-hour Buy More job to make the bad guys assume that there's no way he's a spy.
** Alexi Volkoff is a villainous example, at least in his first appearance. His first episode characterizes him as a mostly incompetent, bumbling agent. Then TheReveal hits and he turns out to be one of the most dangerous characters in the show, if a bit eccentric.
* ''Series/{{Castle}}'': At a shooting range, Castle first appears to be a terrible shot. Until Beckett promises to give him the files he wants, if he's able to hit the ten ring. He sinks the next three bullets exactly there.
-->'''Castle:''' You're a very good teacher.
** Castle in general. In the first 4 seasons, he spends most of his time cowering behind Ryan and Esposito in takedowns, goofing off, flirting with/annoying Beckett, and coming up with CIA conspiracy theories. The fact that he's taken down a trained assassin while Beckett got nerfed; shows excellent marksmanship; has saved Beckett's ass at least as many times as she has his; and got further in the span of about 2 years on Beckett's mother's case than the police or Beckett herself managed to in 10, says he's not quite as hapless or physically ineffectual as he lets on. By the second half of the 5th season, the show had largely given up this angle, but it makes an appearance now and again DependingOnTheWriter.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'':
** Skyler's old boss Ted becomes noticed by the IRS CID, due to massive tax fraud that she helped cover up. She fixes it by pretending to be a DumbBlonde secretary who only got the job by sleeping with Ted, and hopelessly screwed up the company's accounts by stupidity rather than intentional fraud. Plus, she gets revenge on Ted for getting her involved by not telling him about the plan beforehand, and making him sweat through part of the audit alone before showing up late as part of her character.
** Saul Goodman is an extremely talented lawyer and business associate, but has no problem letting Albuquerque think he's sleazy and incompetent.
* In the "Village Idiot" sketch from ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'', Creator/JohnCleese's idiot is portrayed this way. When nobody else from their village (except possibly other idiots) is around, he'll discourse learnedly to the camera on the "vital psychosocial role" played by idiocy; as soon as someone walks by, he slips back into character and starts babbling nonsense and comedically falling off walls.
* Del Boy from ''Series/OnlyFoolsAndHorses'' sometimes does this when he wants to manipulate someone else into having an idea that he's had, and thinking it was their idea in the first place. For example, in one of the later episodes of the show (after the Trotters have become multi-millionaires and lost it all), Del has been declared bankrupt and banned from being the manager of Trotters Independant Traders. He realises that someone else - namely, Rodney - could manage Trotters Independant Traders and hire him to work for them. Instead of just asking Rodney if he'll be the new manager, Del proceeds to manipulate Rodney into coming up with the idea of managing the company himself. He even pretends to not understand what Rodney is suggesting and that he needs it explaining to him again, presumably to strengthen the illusion that it was Rodney's idea.
* ''Series/TheInspectorLynleyMysteries'': Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers is tiny and adorable, with a pair of enormous green eyes and an accent that thoroughly betrays her working-class origins. She uses all of these to devastating effect, playing the "silly, uneducated little girl" card right up until she gets what she needs from her suspect - at which point she reveals that she is more than a match for her Oxford-educated partner in terms of her detective skills. She might not be an Oxford grad, but she is a frighteningly competent detective with several decades of street smarts who is much, ''much'' smarter than anyone would guess.
* While ''Series/GomerPyleUSMC'' was built on the idea that the titular character was a dumb-as-bricks hick out of place, more than once he was shown to have exceptional wartime skills, such as him and the Sergeant being the only team in the survival exercise to gain weight, or dismantling a wooden bridge that was to be simulated as detonated so he had ropes to build snare traps with.
* Detective Lester Freamon is the master of this on the first season of ''Series/TheWire'', convincing all around him that he's a "hump" who, in the words of his new commanding officer, "couldn't find his own gun." When he finally does reveal his inner {{Chessmaster}} to his colleagues, they literally stare at him slack-jawed. He still keeps up the facade to the bosses, though, which pays big dividends in the season finale: [[spoiler:despite being the prime mover behind the decision to investigate the politicians who took money from BigBad Avon Barksdale, he's the only member of squad who ends up being rewarded by the bosses for his work on the detail, receiving a transfer to the Homicide Squad while most of the other detectives were being ReassignedToAntarctica]].
* Alan Davies, the permanent panelist slash resident ButtMonkey from the PanelGame ''Series/{{QI}}''. He admitted that the show requires someone to do the dirty job of feigning ignorance from time to time, and he usually steps up to do it.



* ''Series/{{Oz}}'':
** Ryan O'Reilly was a Chessmaster and used ObfuscatingStupidity to make sure his targets never suspected they were being played.
** When Chris Keller plays chess with Verne Schillinger after having apparently been taught by Tobias Beecher, it's implied that he already knew how to play and was pretending not to in order to bond with Beecher.
** William Giles suffered from dementia, but pretended he was further gone that he really was. While on death row [[spoiler: and asked to pick his method of execution, Giles said that he would like to be stoned to death, knowing that he would likely die of old age while his execution was stalled by lawsuits from human rights organisations]].
* The title character of ''Series/IClaudius'' is a famous example.
* The bad guys in the first season 2 episode of ''Series/LasVegas'' use this to infiltrate the Montecito surveillance room.

to:

* ''Series/{{Oz}}'':
** Ryan O'Reilly was a Chessmaster and used ObfuscatingStupidity to make sure his targets never suspected they were being played.
** When Chris Keller plays chess with Verne Schillinger after having apparently been taught by Tobias Beecher, it's implied that he already knew how to play and was pretending not to in order to bond with Beecher.
** William Giles suffered from dementia, but pretended he was further gone that he really was. While
Used on death row [[spoiler: and asked to pick his method of execution, Giles said that he would like to be stoned to death, knowing that he would likely die of old age while his execution was stalled by lawsuits from human rights organisations]].
* The title character of ''Series/IClaudius'' is a famous example.
* The bad guys
''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway'' when Wayne Brady provides an example for "Things Goerge W. Bush does in the first season 2 episode Oval Office when no one's around":
--> "I grow weary
of ''Series/LasVegas'' use this charade. How I long to infiltrate be me! Dickens...the Montecito surveillance room.encyclopedia...the tomes I have loved all my life--"\\
"Mr. President?"\\
"Uh, yeah?"



* Detective Lester Freamon is the master of this on the first season of ''Series/TheWire'', convincing all around him that he's a "hump" who, in the words of his new commanding officer, "couldn't find his own gun." When he finally does reveal his inner {{Chessmaster}} to his colleagues, they literally stare at him slack-jawed. He still keeps up the facade to the bosses, though, which pays big dividends in the season finale: [[spoiler:despite being the prime mover behind the decision to investigate the politicians who took money from BigBad Avon Barksdale, he's the only member of the squad who ends up being rewarded by the bosses for his work on the detail, receiving a transfer to the Homicide Squad while most of the other detectives were being ReassignedToAntarctica]].



* In the ''Series/CriminalMinds'' episode "Proof" [[SerialKiller Ben Bradstone]] is genuinely dumb. He is not as dumb as he acts however, and intentionally plays this to lure victims in.



* Clu from ''Series/SoWeird'' seems like nothing more than a [[SurferDude beach bum wanna-be]], but he often notices the weird things happening almost before [[AgentMulder Fi]] does. In season 2, he was accepted into UC Santa Cruz, where the minimum required GPA for out-of-state students is 3.40.
* In one episode of ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'', Will loses some money to a pool hustler, and then Uncle Phil loses some more trying to get it back. Then, as soon as the hustler agrees to ''another'' round at higher stakes:
-->'''Uncle Phil:''' Geoffrey? ''[[LetsGetDangerous Break out]] [[ICallItVera Lucille]]''.
* ''Series/AgentCarter''. Peggy Carter 'accidentally' reveals that Director Dooley is lying about not having the missing car report that Javis filed, to stop him cracking and confessing all. This is PlayedForDrama because she's been trying to prove her worth, only to end up reinforcing Dooley's belief that a woman can't make a good SSR agent. Peggy's EvilCounterpart in the Black Widow program plays the trope straight by acting TheDitz.
* Used on ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway'' when Wayne Brady provides an example for "Things Goerge W. Bush does in the Oval Office when no one's around":
--> "I grow weary of this charade. How I long to be me! Dickens...the encyclopedia...the tomes I have loved all my life--"\\
"Mr. President?"\\
"Uh, yeah?"
* ''Series/FawltyTowers'': Some episodes, like "The Germans" and "The Builders", suggest that [[FunnyForeigner Manuel]]'s English isn't actually quite as bad as he lets on, and that he pretends to speak barely any English so that Basil won't expect too much from him.
* During the 2015 Christmas Special of ''Series/EightOutOfTenCats'', Jimmy Carr asked Sean Lock and Jon Richardson to play a game of "Carrot in a Box".[[note]]A closed box is given to each contestant; One has a carrot in it, the other does not. One contestant peeks in his box, to see if there's a carrot in it, and then the other contestant must observe his reaction and decide which of the two boxes to keep for himself. Whoever ends up with the carrot wins.[[/note]] As Jimmy tries to explain the rules, [[spoiler: Sean does nothing but complain what a stupid idea it is, and seems to be missing the point of the game altogether. When instructed to peek into his box, he even reaches right in to grab the carrot, and then asks to keep his box because "there's a carrot in it". Jimmy chides him for screwing up and game and explains the rules to Sean once again (while everyone in the studio is crying with laughter at how badly the game is going), but Sean keeps arguing that he doesn't want to give up his box. Jon is finally given the choice of which box to take, and obviously picks the one Sean had just proclaimed as having a carrot in it.]] He then opens the box... [[spoiler:only to find it empty.]]
--> '''[[spoiler:Jon]]:''' Can I just say at this point: If there's no carrot in the box, you are a fucking genius.

to:

* Clu from ''Series/SoWeird'' seems like nothing more than a [[SurferDude beach bum wanna-be]], but he often notices the weird things happening almost before [[AgentMulder Fi]] does. In season 2, he was accepted into UC Santa Cruz, where the minimum required GPA for out-of-state students is 3.40.
* In one episode of ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'', Will loses some money to a pool hustler, and then Uncle Phil loses some more trying to get it back. Then, as soon as the hustler agrees to ''another'' round at higher stakes:
-->'''Uncle Phil:''' Geoffrey? ''[[LetsGetDangerous Break out]] [[ICallItVera Lucille]]''.
* ''Series/AgentCarter''. Peggy Carter 'accidentally' reveals that Director Dooley is lying about not having the missing car report that Javis filed, to stop him cracking and confessing all. This is PlayedForDrama because she's been trying to prove her worth, only to end up reinforcing Dooley's belief that a woman can't make a good SSR agent. Peggy's EvilCounterpart
Like in the Black Widow program plays earlier films, the trope straight by acting TheDitz.
* Used on ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway'' when Wayne Brady provides an example for "Things Goerge W. Bush does in
'50s ''Series/{{Zorro}}'' television show had the Oval Office when no one's around":
--> "I grow weary of this charade. How I long to be me! Dickens...the encyclopedia...the tomes I have loved all my life--"\\
"Mr. President?"\\
"Uh, yeah?"
* ''Series/FawltyTowers'': Some episodes, like "The Germans" and "The Builders", suggest that [[FunnyForeigner Manuel]]'s English isn't actually quite as bad as he lets on, and that he pretends to speak barely any English so that Basil won't expect too much from him.
* During the 2015 Christmas Special of ''Series/EightOutOfTenCats'', Jimmy Carr asked Sean Lock and Jon Richardson to play a game of "Carrot in a Box".[[note]]A closed box is given to each contestant; One has a carrot in it, the other does not. One contestant peeks in
title character disguise his box, to see if there's a carrot in it, and then the other contestant must observe his reaction and decide which of the two boxes to keep for himself. Whoever ends up secret identity with stupidity; however, instead of being a [[RichIdiotWithNoDayJob rich fop]], his alter ego was a bumbling Zorro sympathizer who supposedly lacked the carrot wins.[[/note]] As Jimmy tries to explain the rules, [[spoiler: Sean does nothing but complain what a stupid idea it is, and seems to be missing the point skills of the game altogether. When instructed to peek into his box, he even reaches right in to grab the carrot, and then asks to keep his box because "there's a carrot in it". Jimmy chides him for screwing up and game and explains the rules to Sean once again (while everyone in the studio is crying with laughter at how badly the game is going), but Sean keeps arguing that he doesn't want to give up his box. Jon is finally given the choice of which box to take, and obviously picks the one Sean had just proclaimed as having a carrot in it.]] He then opens the box... [[spoiler:only to find it empty.]]
--> '''[[spoiler:Jon]]:''' Can I just say at this point: If there's no carrot in the box, you are a fucking genius.
idol.
21st May '17 9:57:25 AM nombretomado
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* A subversion occurred in the VH1 Reality show, ''I Love Money 2'' where a contestant simply referred to as "It" floated into the final episode because he was likable, physically nonthreatening despite his size and just one more vote for the main alliance. Channelling Johnny Fairplay of ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' fame's "Dead Grandma" ploy, claiming he had a sick/dying grandfather won him the sympathy to reach the Final 3 where he [[OhCrap revealed it was a lie, he doesn't need glasses]] and dropping his UncleTomFoolery speech pattern, making it seem like he really ''would'' become the show's winner...only to [[WhatAnIdiot get lost, lazily reach a challenge the other two contestants were almost finishing then not even bothering to finish and simply ordering food]] and to cap the HumiliationConga, he dropped his plate on the ground.

to:

* A subversion occurred in the VH1 Creator/VH1 Reality show, ''I Love Money 2'' where a contestant simply referred to as "It" floated into the final episode because he was likable, physically nonthreatening despite his size and just one more vote for the main alliance. Channelling Johnny Fairplay of ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' fame's "Dead Grandma" ploy, claiming he had a sick/dying grandfather won him the sympathy to reach the Final 3 where he [[OhCrap revealed it was a lie, he doesn't need glasses]] and dropping his UncleTomFoolery speech pattern, making it seem like he really ''would'' become the show's winner...only to [[WhatAnIdiot get lost, lazily reach a challenge the other two contestants were almost finishing then not even bothering to finish and simply ordering food]] and to cap the HumiliationConga, he dropped his plate on the ground.
19th May '17 10:37:30 PM nombretomado
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* ''Series/{{Caprica}}'': Serge Graystone, the RobotMaid about the size of a trashcan, has a {{twitter}} [[CharacterBlog feed]] that suggests he knows more than he's letting on - and that he's not simply very well programmed to fake sapience.

to:

* ''Series/{{Caprica}}'': Serge Graystone, the RobotMaid about the size of a trashcan, has a {{twitter}} Website/{{twitter}} [[CharacterBlog feed]] that suggests he knows more than he's letting on - and that he's not simply very well programmed to fake sapience.
18th May '17 7:55:48 AM Headrock
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* During the 2015 Christmas Special of ''Series/EightOutOfTenCats'', Jimmy Carr asked Sean Lock and Jon Richardson to play a game of "Carrot in a Box". The idea of the game is that each contestant gets a box, only one of which contains a carrot. One of the contestant peeks in his box, to see if there's a carrot in it, and then the other contestant must observe his reaction and decide which of the two boxes to keep for himself. Whoever ends up with the carrot wins. As Jimmy tries to explain the rules, [[spoiler: Sean does nothing but complain what a stupid idea it is, and seems to be missing the point of the game altogether. When instructed to peek into his box, he even reaches right in to grab the carrot, and then asks to keep his box because "there's a carrot in it". Jimmy chides him for screwing up and game and explains the rules to Sean once again (while everyone in the studio is crying with laughter at how badly the game is going), but Sean keeps arguing that he doesn't want to give up his box. Jon is finally given the choice of which box to take, and obviously picks the one Sean had just proclaimed as having a carrot in it.]] He then opens the box... [[spoiler:only to find it empty.]]

to:

* During the 2015 Christmas Special of ''Series/EightOutOfTenCats'', Jimmy Carr asked Sean Lock and Jon Richardson to play a game of "Carrot in a Box". The idea of the game [[note]]A closed box is that given to each contestant gets a box, only one of which contains a carrot. contestant; One of has a carrot in it, the other does not. One contestant peeks in his box, to see if there's a carrot in it, and then the other contestant must observe his reaction and decide which of the two boxes to keep for himself. Whoever ends up with the carrot wins. [[/note]] As Jimmy tries to explain the rules, [[spoiler: Sean does nothing but complain what a stupid idea it is, and seems to be missing the point of the game altogether. When instructed to peek into his box, he even reaches right in to grab the carrot, and then asks to keep his box because "there's a carrot in it". Jimmy chides him for screwing up and game and explains the rules to Sean once again (while everyone in the studio is crying with laughter at how badly the game is going), but Sean keeps arguing that he doesn't want to give up his box. Jon is finally given the choice of which box to take, and obviously picks the one Sean had just proclaimed as having a carrot in it.]] He then opens the box... [[spoiler:only to find it empty.]]
13th May '17 10:49:01 PM Headrock
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* During the 2015 Christmas Special of ''Series/8OutOf10Cats'', Jimmy Carr asked Sean Lock and Jon Richardson to play a game of "Carrot in a Box". The idea of the game is that each contestant gets a box, only one of which contains a carrot. One of the contestant peeks in his box, to see if there's a carrot in it, and then the other contestant must observe his reaction and decide which of the two boxes to keep for himself. Whoever ends up with the carrot wins. As Jimmy tries to explain the rules, [[spoiler: Sean does nothing but complain what a stupid idea it is, and seems to be missing the point of the game altogether. When instructed to peek into his box, he even reaches right in to grab the carrot, and then asks to keep his box because "there's a carrot in it". Jimmy chides him for screwing up and game and explains the rules to Sean once again (while everyone in the studio is crying with laughter at how badly the game is going), but Sean keeps arguing that he doesn't want to give up his box. Jon is finally given the choice of which box to take, and obviously picks the one Sean had just proclaimed as having a carrot in it.]] He then opens the box... [[spoiler:only to find it empty.]]

to:

* During the 2015 Christmas Special of ''Series/8OutOf10Cats'', ''Series/EightOutOfTenCats'', Jimmy Carr asked Sean Lock and Jon Richardson to play a game of "Carrot in a Box". The idea of the game is that each contestant gets a box, only one of which contains a carrot. One of the contestant peeks in his box, to see if there's a carrot in it, and then the other contestant must observe his reaction and decide which of the two boxes to keep for himself. Whoever ends up with the carrot wins. As Jimmy tries to explain the rules, [[spoiler: Sean does nothing but complain what a stupid idea it is, and seems to be missing the point of the game altogether. When instructed to peek into his box, he even reaches right in to grab the carrot, and then asks to keep his box because "there's a carrot in it". Jimmy chides him for screwing up and game and explains the rules to Sean once again (while everyone in the studio is crying with laughter at how badly the game is going), but Sean keeps arguing that he doesn't want to give up his box. Jon is finally given the choice of which box to take, and obviously picks the one Sean had just proclaimed as having a carrot in it.]] He then opens the box... [[spoiler:only to find it empty.]]
13th May '17 10:48:36 PM Headrock
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Added DiffLines:

* During the 2015 Christmas Special of ''Series/8OutOf10Cats'', Jimmy Carr asked Sean Lock and Jon Richardson to play a game of "Carrot in a Box". The idea of the game is that each contestant gets a box, only one of which contains a carrot. One of the contestant peeks in his box, to see if there's a carrot in it, and then the other contestant must observe his reaction and decide which of the two boxes to keep for himself. Whoever ends up with the carrot wins. As Jimmy tries to explain the rules, [[spoiler: Sean does nothing but complain what a stupid idea it is, and seems to be missing the point of the game altogether. When instructed to peek into his box, he even reaches right in to grab the carrot, and then asks to keep his box because "there's a carrot in it". Jimmy chides him for screwing up and game and explains the rules to Sean once again (while everyone in the studio is crying with laughter at how badly the game is going), but Sean keeps arguing that he doesn't want to give up his box. Jon is finally given the choice of which box to take, and obviously picks the one Sean had just proclaimed as having a carrot in it.]] He then opens the box... [[spoiler:only to find it empty.]]
--> '''[[spoiler:Jon]]:''' Can I just say at this point: If there's no carrot in the box, you are a fucking genius.
24th Apr '17 9:45:45 AM Premonition45
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Series/FawltyTowers'': Some episodes, like "The Germans" and "The Builders", suggest that [[FunnyForeigner Manuel]]'s English isn't actually quite as bad as he lets on, and that he pretends to speak barely any English so that Basil won't expect too much from him.
23rd Mar '17 6:37:13 AM Sootyuk
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Added DiffLines:

** Turk does this himself once he learns Spanish, he learns to impress Carla, but doesn't admit it in the end, as he finds out he likes being able to understand what she's saying to her family, without her realising, a bit too much.
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