Created By: LordGro on April 2, 2013 Last Edited By: SharleeD on August 20, 2013
Nuked

Dumb Dodo Bird

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Many creatures have become extinct thoughout earth history, but while different kinds of Stock Dinosaurs are usually selected for prehistoric settings, there are a variety of much more recent extinct species. One of these creatures is the dodo bird, which is kind of the poster-child when someone thinks of extinct birdies.

The dodo was a large flightless bird of the pigeon family solely found on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. After Mauritius (then without human inhabitation) had been claimed by the Dutch c. 1600, Dutch ships very customarily replenished their food supplies with dodos and dodo eggs. Predators brought in by man (i.e. rats, pigs and monkeys) took care of the rest and thus, the species had become extinct by the end of the 17th century. All our knowledge about dodos is based on descriptions, images, and a handful of remains collected by scientists before the species disappeared.

Dodos supposedly were slow and fat, giving them a somewhat goofy appearance[[note]]Although it is not sure if this was a natural state or if this image is based on chronical overfeeding of captive birds.[[/note]], and together with their inability to fly or, more generally, to avoid extinction, the idea that dodos must have been "stupid" somewhat naturally arose.

Factor in that "dodo" is an Inherently Funny Word, and it follows that dodos in fiction tend to be comedic dimbulbs whose inability to fly or survive often leads to jokes at their expense. They can sometimes act as Cloudcuckoolanders or The Fool, or in any other way display suicidal behavior. In short, dodos are rarely to be taken seriously; although in the light of the real fate of the dodo species, the comedy is always a bit on the black side.

Due to being extinct, they also sometimes appear alongside animals that died out a much longer time ago in pre-historic environments.

Examples:

[[folder:Film - Animated]]
  • Ice Age has a group of dodos that are preparing for the Ice Age. However, at the point they're introduced they've only gathered three melons, one of which the main trio need to feed the human baby. They end up killing themselves through their own stupidity.
  • Disney's Alice in Wonderland has The Dodo, who is a Composite Character of the original Dodo, and another character named Pat.
  • The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! has Polly, a Dodo bird that acts as Pirate Captains' Pirate Parrot. She becomes quite important to the films plot when The Pirate Captain sells her to Queen Victoria. Smarter than most examples, aside from not knowing she's a dodo rather than a parrot.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Live Action]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
  • Sly Cooper has a dodo guard type that appears in the fourth installment, that attacks by swinging its' beak, throwing rocks, and rolling eggs. Each time it lands a hit thats not a counter-attack, it does a Happy Dance.
  • Pocket God has dodo birds as one of the animals featured, and are one of the few animals incapable of eating the Pygmies.
  • Breath of Fire III has a Dodo bird as part of its Boss Bonanza.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
  • Looney Tunes had Yoyo Dodo in one of their most famous cartoons, "Porky in Wackyland", who looked nothing like the real thing (being green with a little red umbrella on his head), and is a Reality Warper of the highest order.
  • The Phineas and Ferb intro theme talks about "finding a dodo bird" and has the accompanying animation of the two brothers finding one on top of a tall mountain. They have yet to actually find one in an episode though.
[[/folder]]
Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • April 2, 2013
    LordGro
    Dumb Dodo Bird was created by a newbie witout sending it through YKTTW. I copied it here without changes (except formatting). It seems it has potential, but "any reference to a dodo bird" is not a trope.
  • April 2, 2013
    Arivne
    Literature
    • Mr. Pudgins. The title character owns a pet dodo named Podo, which can not only fly but carry him on its back. It is portrayed as being not very bright.
  • April 2, 2013
    TonyG
    On The Penguins Of Madagascar, the penguins accidentally clone a dodo, who acts like a reckless daredevil with no common sense. He keeps getting killed doing stupid stunts, and the penguins keep cloning him.
  • April 2, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    You need to rewrite the sentences so that it sounds like the Dodo is indeed dumb. As it is, it's just a list of works that have Dodo in it.
  • April 2, 2013
    StarSword
    Newspaper Comics:
    • Inverted in The Far Side, where dodos apparently had quite an advanced culture before the Europeans showed up. (Dodos are shown playing with a Rubik's cube and doing calculus, among other things.)
  • April 2, 2013
    KingGhost
    Just so you all know the examples just need to be about dodo birds, the examples do not need to be stupid dod birds alone, just dodo birds in general.
  • April 2, 2013
    LordGro
    @KingGhost: I think that is actually a shortcoming of your write-up: The appearance of any dodo bird in media is Not A Trope. A trope would be a recurring pattern in the characterization of dodo birds in media. So if dodos are frequently shown to be dumb (and I'm ready to believe that they are, even if I are not familiar with most of the listed examples), that would be a trope.
  • April 3, 2013
    Frank75
    Seems to me that there are enough examples of dumb Dodos for a trope.
  • April 3, 2013
    SharleeD
    The Real Life dodo bird wasn't necessarily stupid in all respects. It was entirely naive about humans and other land-bound predators, but such behavior is common to all sorts of wildlife from isolated islands, not just dodos.
  • April 4, 2013
    Frank75
    We can mention this on the page, but this is about the depiction of dumb dodos in fiction.
  • April 12, 2013
    KingGhost
    maybe I should change the title a bit then...
  • August 20, 2013
    LordGro
    I rewrote the description to get away from the "any dodo in fiction" angle and also provide more details on the dodo and its extinction (the dodo did not go extinct in "prehistoric" times, by the way).

    The example list still needs cleaning up. Unfortunately, many examples do not make clear as what kind of character the dodo is depicted. So if anybody can provide context to the entries that lack it, that'd be nice.
  • August 20, 2013
    SharleeD
    • Dodos from the Extinct Animals expansion-pack for Zoo Tycoon 2 have fairly limited attention-spans, and often need to be supplied with one-use enrichment items (edible treats or chewable "dodo rocks") to keep them from becoming unhappy.

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