Created By: DAPU on October 29, 2012 Last Edited By: DAPU on March 13, 2013
Nuked

Evil Scientist Dumbass

Where an evil scientist has the equivilent of 5 or 6 P.h. D.s but is still thwarted by 10-year-olds.

Name Space:
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Page Type:
Trope
Evil scientists can be awesome (GLaDOS, technically) or very, very stupid(Lex Luthor). However, sometimes the evil guy manages to be really stupid(like letting the hero unplug there own device. Why is it even plugged in?) Usually Played For Laughs. These Scientists are capable of making reality warping devices, time traveling tech, and anything For Science. But they are incapable of getting things done to all the obvious ends since they leave their own undoing to the reach of the meddling kid and or the Hero. This however is more focused on the kids show but there are some details in other media such as films (Villains that don't take the Evil Overlord List as a reference).

Basically, you have a villain who is an "Evil Genius" - he's got the tech, the diplomas, and the minions to prove it - but despite all the faculties at his disposal, a five-year old could (and regularly does) defeat him at every turn, because he also happens to do mind-blowingly stupid things (like leaving the power cord to his death ray within easy unplugging reach) that prove his undoing every single time.

In other words, this trope refers to a disconnect between a villain's observable reputation and capabilities and the mistakes they make that allow them to be defeated - the guy is smart enough to build an engine that will catapult the moon into the sun. He knows his arch-nemesis is some stupid kid who keeps getting into his Evil Base. Why does he never think to keep the emergency self-destruct switch under a child-proof cap?

Examples: Doctor Doofinsmirtz from Phineas and Ferb. Not much to say here.

There's one Batman / Aliens comic where the mad scientist injects Batman's Rogues Gallery with xenomorph DNA to use as sentient superweapons (she also injects her own DNA, so they won't be able to attack her). However, when she does the same to Killer Croc, she doesn't use her DNA, so he attacks her as well.

Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • October 29, 2012
    Rotpar
    If this isn't something we already have, it is going to need a ton of work to be useful. It sounds like you proposed a new trope for one character/event in question rather then placing that example where it belongs.

    Who is Dr. Doofinsmirtz? You didn't even wick what he comes from. Does he normally leave things that can easily be unplugged? Please give us something to work with and consider Zero Context Example.
  • October 29, 2012
    Ryusui
    Look, this is actually tropeable, but it needs a hell of a lot of work.

    Basically, you have a villain who is an "Evil Genius" - he's got the tech, the diplomas, and the minions to prove it - but despite all the faculties at his disposal, a five-year old could (and regularly does) defeat him at every turn, because he also happens to do mind-blowingly stupid things (like leaving the power cord to his death ray within easy unplugging reach) that prove his undoing every single time.

    In other words, this trope refers to a disconnect between a villain's observable reputation and capabilities and the mistakes they make that allow them to be defeated - the guy is smart enough to build an engine that will catapult the moon into the sun; he knows his arch-nemesis is some stupid kid who keeps getting into his Evil Base; why does he never think to keep the emergency self-destruct switch under a child-proof cap?

    (Also, it's Dr. Doofenshmirtz, and he's from Phineas And Ferb.)
  • October 29, 2012
    JonnyB
    I'm not liking the trope name; I don't think "asshole" fits at all. More like Evil Genius Imbecile. I'd say just call it The Doofenshmirtz, if there wasn't a rule against naming tropes after characters now.

    Needs a LOT more examples, but Ryusui gave a good start on a better description.
  • October 29, 2012
    NimmerStill
    "Asshole" actually means "imbecile" in my father's generation. (This use can be seen in Spaceballs, where the Asshole family are portrayed more as buffoons than as being mean.) But I don't know if that's what's going on here.
  • October 29, 2012
    JonnyB
    These days it means more like "jerk" or "dick", so it might cause a lot of confusion.
  • October 29, 2012
    NimmerStill
    Actually "jerk" used to mean "buffoon" too (cf. The Jerk), but I know what you mean. (Dunno about "dick", but probably that too.) It's a common semantic change, it seems. I was just wondering out loud if that's why the sponsor chose the title in the first place.
  • October 29, 2012
    MorganWick
    Yeah, OP seems more like a Licence To Whine than anything else, but there is the germ of something here. Stupid Evil Genius? Evil Genius Idiot? Evil Idiot Savant?
  • October 30, 2012
    Rotpar
  • October 30, 2012
    DRCEQ
    "Examples: Doctor Doofinsmirtz. Not much to say here."

    ... Dafuq is Doctor Doofinsmirtz?
  • October 30, 2012
    MichaelKatsuro
    He's an evil scientist from Phineas And Ferb.
  • October 30, 2012
    Stratadrake
    IMHO, if there's something salvageable here I would rather see someone with a little more experience be at the helm.
  • October 30, 2012
    Mauri
    Well seems I came late to the party again but here are some things I saw (taking some notes from Ryusui on this one, also the optional title from Jonny B):

    The Doofenshmirtz

    Evil Genius or Mad Scientist named after Dr Doofenshmirtz from Phineas And Ferb.

    These Scientists are capable of making reality warping devices, time traveling tech, and anything For Science. But they are incapable of getting things done to all the obvious ends since they leave their own undoing to the reach of the meddling kid and or the Hero. This however is more focused on the kids show but there are some details in other media such as films (Villains that don't take the Evil Overlord List as a reference).

    The fact is that despite their high intelligence and low wisdom they are highly related to the Absent Minded Professor, since they can build the doomsday device and happens to do mind-blowingly stupid things (like leaving the power cord to his death ray within easy unplugging reach, or the Self Destruct Mechanism as a stock piece) that prove his undoing every single time.

    However a few details to note: These individuals will have one (or many with the namer) Freudian Excuse and some redeeming traits (they may be the opposite to the Bad Boss).

    Examples: If it is to be tropable please take notes on it.
  • October 30, 2012
    collex
    Don't name it after the character. Character-named tropes are for very iconic characters only - mostly coming from very old and/or very popular works. Or if the character's name is actually descriptive, like Sergeant Rock, which is named after an obscure character, but actually gets the meaning across even if you don,t know who is referred to. This is a Disney Channel series that began in 2007. Few people over the age of 18 is going to know who the hell Doofenshmirtz is.

    And this is probably going to have to have a link to Informed Attribute somewhere.
  • October 31, 2012
    DAPU
    This trope does need help I admit. But I think that it has potential. Please give name help, but also give me some examples!!!
  • October 31, 2012
    DAPU
    P.S. DAPU stands for Doom and Pie Unlimited, a short lived webcomic made by me.
  • October 31, 2012
    Mauri
    A note for helping if you are using something other troper has used there is a little pencil button that you can use for editing you can use it for copying and pasting. That way you can copy and paste entire blocks which include the way the linking goes (more of this in administratrivia and others).

    Also examples might be difficult in certain cases since for some it may be under a certain area or two and given that tropes are flexible but also square peg round trope issues. While some may identify what you mentioned as your main example but it may be subjective in some cases like some of the ideas behind to what the people that saw the original GI JoeCartoon with some of the wacky Commander Cobra aspects.

  • November 1, 2012
    arbane
    We already have Genius Ditz, which seems to fit this pretty well.
  • November 2, 2012
    Chabal2
    There's this one Batman / Aliens comic where the mad scientist injects Batman's Rogues Gallery with xenomorph DNA to use as sentient superweapons (she also injects her own DNA, so they won't be able to attack her). However, when she does the same to Killer Croc, she doesn't use her DNA, so he attacks her as well.

  • March 13, 2013
    grenekni3t
    I think this is Ditzy Genius.
  • March 13, 2013
    jatay3
    The article assumes skills at a given trade are transferable. Is there any reason why good scientists need be good tacticians?
  • March 13, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    ^ Agreed, this is the established trope Ditzy Genius exaggerated. Doc Doofenshmirtz would qualify. Aversions abound under the Mad Scientist trope, as they not only construct their world-conquering juggernaut, but also devise anti-thwart mechanisms. Syndrome from The Incredibles, for instance.

    Regrets, DAPU, this is covered already. Motion to discard, seconded. :(

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=7rde9z8lcrqtscxoe13u2f9n&trope=DiscardedYKTTW