Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.
Your Primitive Intellect Wouldn't Understand
Sometimes your primitive culture comes into contact with science and technology ahead of it. When that happens, YPIWU.
Tropeworthy? Needs Examples Description Needs Help Better Name Better Name

(permanent link) added: 2012-12-27 17:25:18 sponsor: gunryo (last reply: 2012-12-30 12:47:20)

Add Tag:
"Don't touch that please, your primitive intellect wouldn't understand alloys and compositions and things with... molecular structures." - Ashley Williams, Army of Darkness

Let's be honest -- Humans Are Morons. Whether trading a continent for a giant bead or jousting an uninhabited car, sometimes primitive people just do things that donít make any sense. Thatís why itís good for them that they have more advanced benefactors to show them the way, teach them the value of things, and stop their hand before they add a torch to a bowl full of gunpowder.

This trope requires at least one primitive character and one more advanced benefactor, who will often be a Conqueror or Missionary.

- If helpful, the benefactor will have been sent, or chosen to visit, the primitive culture to bring them forth into the next century.

- If played comically, the primitive character will have a lot of silly encounters with the new science, often involving trying to eat it or kill it.

- If condescending, the benefactor will be operating from a Moral High Ground. In this case, they are operating under the White Man's Burden. If they offer advice, though, it's Can't Argue with Elves.

Can also be Giving Radio to the Romans and This Is My Boomstick if the Hero brings technology to the less advanced culture for their own purposes.

May happen as a result of Medieval Morons.

If the primitive culture believes the new technology is magic, then its Clarke's Third Law.

Not to be confused with A Wizard Did It.

Some examples include:

- Fire + Gunpowder = bad

  • The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers: Grima Wormtongue holds a torch over a bowl of gunpowder to get a better look and Saruman quickly shoves him away and glares at him like a misbehaving child.

  • Army of Darkness: In her curiosity, Sheila constantly tries to fidget with the things Ash is making. Further, the castle's Wiseman tries to hold a bag of gunpowder over a flame, making Ash jump out of his skin and shove him away.

- It runs without horsepower (The mysterious automobile)

  • The Beastmaster: Upon visiting the modern age, the eponymous hero is amazed by the way cars move without horses.

  • Army of Darkness: Anonymous knights face off against Ash's uninhabited car.

- Thatís like a baby game! (Technology Marches On subtrope?)

  • Back to the Future 2: Marty Mc Fly shows a Kid From the Future how to play a game and the kid sighs about how lame it is to use your hands.

  • Back to the Future, part 3: In the past, Marty Mc Fly aces a gunslinger game and his great-grandfather is impressed by his talents.
replies: 10

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy