Created By: StevenT on March 28, 2013 Last Edited By: StevenT on July 14, 2013

Creative Caveman

The one person in a less advanced era who is much more intelligent than everyone else.

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Someone in a less advanced era who stands out as the most intelligent person around. Usually an inventor.

Expect a lot of It Will Never Catch On.

Compare Surrounded by Idiots.


  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Tri-Stone Area" Phineas and Ferb's Stone Age counterparts Phinabunk and Gerb take on this role and invent the wheel. Candace's counterpart Candar discovers fire, but entirely by accident.
  • Taken Up to Eleven in the Fairly OddParents episode "Odd, Odd West" when AJ's Wild West ancestor builds a computer.
Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • March 28, 2013
    Far Side cartoon: a caveman (with glasses, natch), uses a stick to cook his dinner, amazing his two colleagues (who are attempting to cook theirs with only their hands), one of which exclaims, "Hey! Look what Zog do!"
  • March 28, 2013
    • Ayla and Jondalar from Earths Children invent... just about everything, really, leading to a lot of Mary Sue criticisms.
    • Dexters Laboratory: In one episode, Dexter invents a time machine to visit the first genius: the cave man who discovered fire. Naturally, he panics upon being brought to the lab.
  • March 28, 2013
    ^ Specifically what Ayla and Jondalar invent should go in a note: taming horses and wolves (and lions, but that never caught on), riding horses, the travois, sewing needles, spear-throwers, detachable spearheads, resuable spearshafts, the concept of fatherhood, and surgical stitches.

    • In this strip from Dresden Codak, one caveman invents fire, "domesticate," "sharp rock," and "poop in hole" instead of on ground. But this being caveman science fiction, his inventions are terrible hubris that always backfire horribly.
  • March 28, 2013
    • In Family Guy, Cave Peter ends up inventing the wheel, but nobody wants to buy it. Cave Brian pushes Cave Lois up onto the stage and rips her modest clothing off into a bikini, attracting all the men in the process. Not only did the Cave Duo invent the Wheel, but also marketing and Fanservice in the process.
  • March 30, 2013
    • Guy from The Croods, who invents fire, shoes, and other things to assist the eponymous family, much to Grug's envy.
  • March 30, 2013
    • A Saturday Night Live sketch featured Steve Martin as a super-intelligent member of a tribe of dim-witted early humans who comes up with such novel concepts as organized bison hunting, art, and avoiding leg burns by not walking through the middle of a campfire.
  • March 30, 2013
    ^ The Saturday Night Live sketch you're mentioning is has a trope of its own, the The Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer.

    I'm thinking this could be a subtrope of the The Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, as the two aren't identical, with the The Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer trope being about the caveman (or other Fish Out Of Water) adapting to the new environment, but not necessarily being smarter than them, whereas this one has that aspect, so it could be a good addition.
  • March 30, 2013
    • The title character of Cro was a cro-magnon in a family of neanderthals.
  • March 30, 2013
    I'm sure this has popped up in B.C. at least once or twice.
  • March 31, 2013
    Sid Caesar's character in the caveman sketches from History Of The World Part I.
  • March 31, 2013
    Vandal Savage becomes this thanks to a meteorite making him immortal and a supergenius (even by modern standards) back when he was a caveman.
  • March 31, 2013
    "Way Ahead of My Time" is a comedy song from the musical The Taxi Cabaret by Pete Mills, which is about a caveman telling his father that he's "not like the other cavemen", which hints at him being a pioneer due to being homosexual.
    Remember when you took me hunting for Mastodon
    How at first I nearly fainted, then I hurried home and painted
    People saw my sketch and learned the story and passed it on
    Cause it was plastered on the wall, for the glory of us all

  • April 2, 2013
    Basically the whole movie Idiocracy - or is that subverted? I am a newb :-(
  • April 2, 2013
    The whole premise of Rahan.
  • April 11, 2013
    A Deleted Scene at the beginning of The Invention Of Lying shows a caveman version of Mark inventing the first lie - then backs up, showing how the world would be if cave-Mark hadn't thought up lying (the rest of the movie).
  • July 12, 2013
    I'd say the Dexter's Laboratory example was a subversion. The Caveman didn't seem particularly intelligent.
  • July 12, 2013
    • The storyline of the book The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom is based on this trope.
  • July 12, 2013
    Maybe not too much for the "Caveman" part, but...
    • Dr. Vegapunk in One Piece is the reason why an Ocean Punk setting has robots and many other scientific wackyness. He's a minor reference to Leonardo da Vinci who's described as being "500 years ahead of his time".
  • July 13, 2013
    Eternal Champions has Slash, a caveman who had many ideas to help improve the condition of life for his tribe. However, his tribe and the elders were against this and then proceeded to stone him to death for his nonconformity.
  • July 13, 2013
    In 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Monolith comes to prehistoric Earth and raises the aptitudes of certain members of a tribe of "man-apes." One of these is named Moon-watcher in the book.
  • July 14, 2013
    Comic Strips
  • July 14, 2013
    Western Animation:
    • In the history-themed BarillĂ© cartoon Once Upon a Time...Man, one of the recurring characters (Maestro) plays this role at several stages of human development.

    • Leonard of Quirm from the Discworld novels once more or less accidentally invented the nuclear bomb. Of course, being an expy/parody of Leonardo da Vinci, that's kind of normal for him.