Faster Than They Look
A speed demon who looks deceptively slow.
Better Name Up For Grabs

(permanent link) added: 2012-09-15 18:03:09 sponsor: WaxingName edited by: DAN004 (last reply: 2014-09-20 18:18:54)

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DAN 004 wuz here takin over ur druft

So you meet this character. He looks slow somehow. Maybe he's so big, maybe he's so heavily armored, maybe he wields a big weapon, maybe his legs are too small, or he looks sickly and lethargic (or even a zombie), whatever. You'd expect to easily outrun this guy.

But then said so-called "slow" guy suddenly runs really fast! Bonus points if he specifically goes after you.

Despite the above, this can apply to vehicles or animals as well.

Supertrope to Lightning Bruiser and Acro Fatic, as well as Speedy Snail for animals. Contrast Glacier Waif, who's slower than they look.

Anime and Manga
  • Pokémon plays this for laughs in an episode showcasing Slowpoke and Shellder. When Team Rocket tries to force their newly caught Shellder to clamp onto Slowpoke's tail and forcefully evolve it into Slowbro, Slowpoke is not a fan of this idea and is promptly chased around by Shellder, much to Team Rocket's frustration.
    Jessie: I thought you were a Slowpoke! (...)
  • One Piece: In Thriller Bark arc, Nami, Chopper and Usopp are being chased by zombies. When the three start running and think the zombies can't chase them, suddenly the zombies start sprinting at them. But not long after, the zombies have to catch their breath as they lacked the stamina.
  • In Black Lagoon Revy comments that Torch is faster than he looks "for a fat fucker".

Comic Books
  • People often make this observation about The Incredible Hulk (for example The Wasp in the first issue of The Avengers). While they assume being a massive slab of angry green muscle would slow him down, his Super Strength also allows him to move his mass with ease.

  • From A Song of Ice and Fire, Sandor "The Hound" Clegane is one of the largest men in all of Westeros, possibly only short of his older brother Gregor. He is also one of the best swordsmen, if not the best, as Jaime Lannister notes that he is much faster than any man his size has a right to be.

Live Action TV
  • Lampshaded in a 2007 episode of Saturday Night Live, when Seth Myers remarks of Barbara Birmingham (Kenan Thompson) being, "Way faster than she looks", after she attemps to assault him in the blink of an eye.

Video Games
  • A quest in Uldum in World of Warcraft features Harrison Jones (an Indiana Jones Expy) in a fistfight with a large burly man, in reference to the famous propeller scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. He says to the player:
    "My dad always said the big guys hit hard, but they're slow...I don't think my dad ever fought this guy!"

Web Original

Truth in Television
  • Hippos and elephants are both much faster than one would suspect from their bulk.
  • Many Real Life ships are surprisingly fast, due to the fact that a very big ship can fit a very big engine. HMS Dreadnought, launched in 1906, displaced 20,000 tons, was as long as one and a half football fields, and could make 21 knots under full speed. A heavily armed fortress that could travel 24 miles in an hour. USS Iowa, launched in 1943, displaced 45,000 tons, was as long as two and a half football fields, and could make 33 knots, able to cover nearly 40 miles in an hour. The modern day Nimitz class nuclear carriers weigh in at 100,000 tons, are longer than three football fields, and can make better than 30 knots without ever needing to stop to refuel.
  • Many animals, such as penguins, turtles and seals, look very sluggish as they waddle along on land. Once they get in the water they are surprisingly quick by comparison.
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