Celibate Eccentric Genius
A highly intelligent, eccentric character who avoids sex and romance


(permanent link) added: 2012-03-13 23:30:41 sponsor: Floria (last reply: 2012-05-28 16:57:59)

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In Fiction Land, being very smart can damage your social prospects. This can hold particularly true in the area of sex and dating. However, this character doesn't care about driving off potential suitors with their intelligence or unusual interests. The Celibate Eccentric Genius knows that there are many more interesting and intellectually stimulating activities in this world than dating.

The Celibate Eccentric Genius is Exactly What It Says on the Tin - an intellectually brilliant, eccentric character who does not, in canon, engage in sexual or romantic entanglements. They may or may not be considered a potentially desirable partner by others, but to count as this trope, their celibacy must be, to some degree, voluntary - an eccentric genius who just can't get a date does not qualify.

Possibly due to the influence of Sherlock Holmes, these characters are usually introverts, often lack interest even in conventional social activities that don't involve the pursuit of romantic partners, and tend to suffer from Intelligence Equals Isolation.

These characters often lack a canonical sexual orientation, but are often perceived as Asexual by the fandom, or, for the ones involved in close same-sex platonic friendships, Ambiguously Gay. However, a heterosexual Celibate Eccentric Genius is possible. See also Celibate Hero and Intelligence Equals Isolation.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Lloyd from Code Geass - an eccentric scientist known as the earl of pudding. He seems to show no interest in his fiancee and doesn't seem to mind when his engagement is broken off.

Film

Literature
  • Sherlock Holmes, who may be the Trope Codifier, at least for English-language media. However, some adaptations that play up the Holmes/Irene Adler or Holmes/Watson subtext deemphasize the "celibate" part.
    • Mycroft Holmes as well.
  • Nero Wolfe. The "celibacy" part is due to being rather unsociable and not fond of women.
  • Arguably, Granny Weatherwax is a variation of this trope. Celibacy: her known romantic history consists of an unconsummated youthful romance with Ridcully, and as an old woman she's still capable of attracting unicorns. Eccentricity: she's proud, intimidating, solitary, would have made an impressive Wicked Witch under different circumstances, and rides an alleged broomstick. Genius: she's a powerful witch and accomplished Guile Hero.
    • Interestingly, both Weatherwax and Sherlock Holmes are thin and wiry, have intense light-colored eyes, and are interested in apiculture.
  • This trope is discussed briefly in the Robert A. Heinlein novel Stranger in a Strange Land. Jubal Harshaw explains that Great Men, particularly the great founders or reformers of religions, are either completely celibate, like Jesus, or the complete opposite of celibate, like Mohammed and Joseph Smith.

Live Action TV
  • Sherlock Holmes. He considers himself married to his work, but that doesn't stop the Ho Yay.
  • Dr. Sheldon Cooper, before Amy Farrah Fowler came along. Even his dynamic with Amy isn't particularly conventionally romantic.
    • In the backstory of The Big Bang Theory Leonard's parents only had sex in order to procreate. Once that was done, they were done.
  • This was essentially Gil Grissom for the first few seasons of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; he did make a few remarks to Sara that ship fans now adore, but he really didn't seem interested in romance at all up until it was revealed he was with Sara in the season 6 finale. We don't know the exact time they became an item, but we know it wasn't the entire series.
  • In Seinfeld, George becomes extremely intelligent and analytical when he swears off women, reverting back immediately after an encounter with a Portuguese waitress.

Theatre
  • In My Fair Lady, the linguist Henry Higgins has two whole musical numbers about how much he hates women and loves being a confirmed bachelor.

Video Games
  • Prof. Mordin from the Mass Effect series. Eccentric genius: double check. Celibate: because his entire species has very little sexual drive.

Webcomics
  • Decidedly NSFW Webcomics: the male lead in Chester 5000 XYV is so much this that he builds his wife a sexbot so she'll stop pestering him. (But then he has a Green-Eyed Epiphany and tries to take it back and sell it to someone else. Drama Ensues.)
  • Professor Twiggit, from Eerie Cuties, is another female example of the trope. She appears to be middle-aged, and fairly attractive, but has yet to show any interest in romance. And calling her eccentric, would be putting it mildly.

Western Animation
  • The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series. He's too focused on his schemes to care that his minion is throwing herself at him.
  • The Real Ghostbusters: Much like the film entry, Egon is still in it For Science! and still oblivious to Janine's affections. It's eventually subverted when he finally notices and reciprocates; likely helped by the fact that, here, Janine is a Sexy Secretary. Whereas her film counterpart is just sassy.

Real Life
  • Nikola Tesla, real-life Mad Scientist and life-long bachelor.
  • Another eccentric but genius real-life scientist example: Isaac Newton supposedly said on his deathbed that his proudest accomplishment was managing to die a virgin.
  • Schizoid Personality Disorder
  • Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza never had any relevant relation in his life and liked to live very modestly.
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