The Wise Fool YKTTW Discussion

The Wise Fool
The character that seems the most foolish, but knows or understands more than everyone else.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-10-31 07:46:29 sponsor: Tick (last reply: 2014-09-19 10:54:05)

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There may be varying opinions on what to think of them, but everyone shrugs off their opinions and fails to take them seriously. They may be - at least in others' viewpoints - a ditz, immature, silly, ignorant, stupid, paranoid, crazy, or simply fail to understand where they ever got their conclusion from (and thus question their thinking in general). However, in reality, the Wise Fool is the most aware or understanding of what's happening, or going to happen, or how to feel about it. They can often be Genre Savvy, but don't have to be.

The result is that all other characters ignore the Wise Fool's claims, even if the Wise Fool persistently tries to persuade said characters of the same point, and usually are hit by misfortune or make the mistake they were already warned of - only, perhaps, realizing the fool was right all along too late. The Wise Fool may also be a way of making a serious point or argument through a character or person the audience wouldn't typically take seriously.

Compare with Smarter Than You Look, where the character has certain behaviors that make them look less intelligent than they are, but doesn't necessarily know better about the situation (have more wisdom, in a sense), or point out, notice, or recognize things the other characters don't, and may have a better chance of being listened to in the plot. Contrast with its opposite Seemingly Profound Fool, where a character is nearly worshiped and assumed to be very profound and intelligent when they are actually The Fool.


  • Marty in Cabin in the Woods - whose role in the movie is essentially this.
  • There are lots of these in Shakespeare, like The Fool in King Lear, and Feste in Twelfth Night.
  • Gooboo Steve in Ty The Tasmanian Tiger. In number 2, he seems like a crazy man who keeps talking about Them and gooboo juice. In number 3 you realize that They are the Quinkan and Goobooo Steve defeated them before with the Shadowrangs.
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