Impossible Genius


(permanent link) added: 2011-03-28 10:44:23 sponsor: HyperZ (last reply: 2011-04-16 11:18:29)

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You know how you would hear jokes about how The Professor in Gilligan's Island could build anything out of coconut shells and sand? This is when you have a character (or group of characters) who can actually do stuff like that. It's Played for Laughs, but in-universe they aren't joking; the character or group really is that good.

Sometimes a characteristic of an Omnidisciplinary Scientist, Evil Genius, or The Smart Guy. Might involve Bamboo Technology. See also The Spark of Genius, Mad Scientist.

Niece-trope of The Ace. While The Ace can accomplish any feat imaginable because he's Just That Awesome, these characters can perform ludicrous feats Beyond the Impossible because they're Just That Smart. They may casually dismiss such feats as being (from their perspective) pathetically easy. See also Testosterone Poisoning, for characters who are Just That Manly.

Examples

Anime & Manga:
  • Pretty much a staple of all Shonen detective mangas.

Literature:
  • The Smarty-Pants from Gordon Korman's Nose Pickers From Outer Space books. The final exam for admission to their ranks includes memorizing the infinity times-table, and they've harnessed the power of the coleslaw molecule.

Live-Action TV:
  • MacGyver, although his reputation "aren't you that guy that can build a time machine out of three paperclips?" was far less realistic than the actual character.
  • Mythbusters has tested a number of myths of this sort. In a number of cases they actually succeeded in accomplishing the seemingly unlikely in Real Life, for example, building a rope out of toilet paper, but usually only after days of work using large amounts of raw material.
  • On Star Trek, this happens every several episodes: Kirk builds a gun out of bamboo, Spock builds a tricorder using vacuum tubes, etc.

Tabletop Games:
  • The Izzet League from the Ravnica setting of Magic: The Gathering are portrayed like this. Niv-Mizzet himself takes it up another order of magnitude.

Web Original:
  • The Webcomic Girl Genius has Sparks, hyper-geniuses that regularly laugh in the faces of all laws, human or natural, with their wacky creations.

Western Animation:
  • In Phineas and Ferb, the title characters. Dr. Doofenshmirtz and Agent P also have a touch of this.
  • Egghead Jr., the small chicken in Foghorn Leghorn cartoons.
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