Intelligence Showoff Backfire


(permanent link) added: 2010-12-25 20:59:10 sponsor: shedemei (last reply: 2011-06-05 09:32:40)

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Occurs when a usually intelligent character tries to show off how brilliant they are, smugly reciting a little-known factoid or observation. Too bad somebody either smarter than them and/or who knows they're wrong is standing right there and corrects them. Can also very often occur when the person snidely asks a question that they think is impossible to answer, and much to their chagrin, the question is answered correctly. Called an "intelligence showoff backfire" because the person is shown to not be as much of a total brainiac as they're trying to be. Can occur with a character that is a Know-Nothing Know-It-All, but the person has to be corrected and possibly humiliated to make the occurrence an intelligence showoff backfire.

Seen It a Million Times, but for some reason I'm blanking, so Needs More Examples.

Film
  • In the first National Treasure film, Riley is ecstatic when he knows something about daylight savings time that Ben Gates and Abigail Chase don't. He then tries to continue bragging by snottily asking if Gates and Chase know who came up with the idea for daylight savings time and appears visibly annoyed when they answer in concert, "Benjamin Franklin."

Live-Action TV
  • In an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, Trip Tucker and Malcolm Reed are discussing time travel. Malcolm tries to joke about Trip being potentially eaten by a triceratops should he carry out his wish to travel to prehistoric times, but Trip retorts that the triceratops was a herbivore.

Western Animation
  • In Family Guy, Brian briefly dated Lauren Conrad, who was revealed to be a secret genius. In an attempt to appear smarter than her, he once exclaimed "How could I have been so myopic?" hoping to impress her with his vocabulary. He pronounced "myopic" wrong and she corrected him.

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