Created By: eowynjedi on June 6, 2013 Last Edited By: eowynjedi on June 12, 2013
Troped

The Bore

The most agonizingly dull person you will have the misfortune to meet.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
When you see this person at a party, you dive behind a potted plant. When you find yourself having to talk to them at work, you pray that there's still a full pot of coffee. This person is a source of dread to everyone in the main cast, and they will do almost anything to avoid a conversation with them.

Why?

They are so unutterably, interminably dull. Usually, they are completely oblivious to the agony they cause, and often they're too nice for anyone in the cast to want to hurt their feelings, although this isn't always so. Some of them are aware of how uninteresting everyone else finds them and simply don't care, or they'll exploit the rules of common etiquette or a position of authority to "enlighten" their victims with their droning. In any case, getting into a conversation with them is like getting caught in Hollywood quicksand: unless someone or something interrupts, you won't be able to escape being sucked down into a bottomless pit of monotony.

Expect this character to partake in some Incredibly Lame Fun. Not related to The Comically Serious, where a boring person gets laughs by having funny things happen to her while she reacts completely seriously.

In-universe examples only, please. This about other characters finding someone boring, not audience members. Also, No Real Life Examples, Please!! We all know someone like this and don't need the page filled with that one teacher, relative, or politician you know.

Indeces: Character Flaw Index, Boredom Tropes


Examples:

Film

Literature
  • In Harry Potter, Professor Binns is infamous for his ability to put students to sleep as soon as he starts teaching his class.
  • Gilles Ponsi in Reflections of Eterna has a tendency to bore the hell out of people near him, especially with his attempts at poetry, but is completely oblivious to this fact and takes offense at them not appreciating his company.
  • In Pride and Prejudice, everyone who knows Mr. Collins will use any excuse to avoid his pomposity and endless sycophantry towards Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

Live-Action TV
  • Frank Pickle of The Vicar of Dibley loves to tell the story of that time the pub completely ran out of crisps and does enthralling impressions of his second cousin, before and after tonsillectomy.
  • Father Austin Purcell of Father Ted, resident Motor Mouth who the other priests despite getting into a conversation with. Inverted with Father Fitzgerald, who is aware of his extremely dreary, boring voice and actually manages to use it as a Chekov's Gun.
  • In the Ripping Yarns episode "The Testing of Eric Olthwaite" Eric is considered extremely boring to everyone due to his interests: rain, shovels, and black pudding. After he gets a job at a bank and gets kidnapped by a bank robber who it turns out has the same interests. They go on a "crime" wave of measuring rainfall and he becomes interesting to the general public, despite not changing at all.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Commander Hutchinson's receptions are dreaded by the Enterprise's senior staff thanks to his limitless ability to talk about absolutely nothing. Fortunately for them, Data has recently written a subroutine for "small talk" that needs to be tested.
  • The Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager becomes this as he starts taking up hobbies, which involve boring the crew half to death with his slide shows.
  • The Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch Vocational Guidance Counsellor has a man who wants to change jobs, and has taken some aptitude tests to determine which one best suits his personality. On learning that this job is chartered accountant, he protests that he already is one, and he wants to change because the job is so desperately dull. It ends with an appeal by the counselor for donations to "prevent chartered accountancy."
    Counsellor: Yes, but you see, Mr. Anchovy, your report here says that you are an extremely dull person. Our experts describe you as an appallingly dull fellow, unimaginative, timid, lacking in initiative, spineless, easily dominated, no sense of humour, tedious company and irrepressibly drab and awful. And whereas in most professions these would be considerable drawbacks, in chartered accountancy they are a positive boon.
    • "The Silliest Interview We've Ever Done" had Mr. Badger.
    Badger: My wife Maureen ran off with a bottle of Bell's whisky during the Aberdeen versus Raith Rovers match which ended in a goalless draw. Robson particularly, in goal, had a magnificent first half, his fine positional sense preventing the build-up of any severe pressure on the suspect Aberdeen defence. Mc Loughlan missed an easy chance to clinch the game towards the final whistle but Raith must be well satisfied with their point.
    Interviewer: Do please go on. This is the least fascinating conversation I've ever had.
    • The protagonist of "Mr. Pither's Cycling Tour" is one of those terrifying people who go on and on about their favorite hobby at stupefying length, not recognizing that the person he's talking to has no interest in cycling, is not listening, or even that they are having a private conversation.
    • In "The Gits," Mr. A Sniveling Little Rat-Faced Git's wife Dreary Fat Boring Old probably qualifies.
  • Barney Miller has Inspector Luger, an old cop who shamelessly exploits Barney's good nature to endlessly repeat his (occasionally horrifying) stories about his old buddies Brownie, Foster, and Kleiner.
  • Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory has this as one of his many flaws. He considers his friends' lack of interest to be evidence of their intellectual inferiority.
  • On Friends, one of Monica's boyfriends was "Fun Bobby", who turned out to be an alcoholic. Once he sobered up, however, he became "Ridiculously Dull Bobby".

Tabletop Games
  • Paranoia adventure The Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues. Angela-G-OGO is a food processing supervisor who loves to talk about food additives. She does it so much that she has bored all of her co-workers blind on the subject, and even Internal Security finds her boringly loyal. However, this is just a front: Angela is in fact Screaming

Web Original
  • Homestar Runner:
    • Strong Sad is dreary and depressing, and even his body is grey. Thanks to the fact that few people around him care about being polite, he's fully aware that they can't stand him, but he still makes an effort to get them interested in his poetry.
    • One of the Strong Bad E-mails deals with strategies to drive off the "office dullard."

Video Games

Western Animation
Community Feedback Replies: 31
  • June 6, 2013
    Stratadrake
  • June 6, 2013
    Psi001
    • Father Austin Purcell of Father Ted resident Motor Mouth who the other priests despite getting into a conversation with. Inverted with Father Fitzgerald, who is aware of his extremely dreary, boring voice and actually manages to use it as a Chekovs Gun.
  • June 6, 2013
    StarSword
    ^^I like that.
  • June 6, 2013
    acrobox
    I feel like limiting it to only people that are oblivious to their boringness is too narrow. This is like the inverse to Plucky Comic Relief. The boring cast member, whether they know it or not, or whether at one point they didnt know it but have since embraced it Characterization Marches On style.

    I feel like Strong Sad from Homestar Runner would qualify, but after a point he's definitly aware of the fact no one likes his dreariness going from sad and depressing to snarky and depressing.

  • June 6, 2013
    thebiguglyalien
    • In Harry Potter, Professor Binns is infamous for his ability to put students to sleep as soon as he starts teaching his class.
  • June 6, 2013
    StarSword
    Probably better flag it as In Universe Examples Only to keep people from saying "I find this guy boring."
  • June 6, 2013
    Koveras
    • Gilles Ponsi in Reflections Of Eterna has a tendency to bore the hell out of people near him, especially with his attempts at poetry, but is completely oblivious to this fact and takes offense at them not appreciating his company.
  • June 7, 2013
    eowynjedi
    Edited it to make it open to non-oblivious bores as suggested; that is a good point! And also added the in-universe example bit at the end.
  • June 7, 2013
    Larkmarn
    • Prince Valium in Space Balls is so boring he puts himself to sleep.
  • June 7, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    Film Example:

    Essentially every role ever that Ben Stein has ever had. (Example: his One Scene Wonder in Ferris Buellers Day Off).

    Western Animation example: The Animaniacs sketch 'Chairman of the Bored', which introduces Francis "Pip" Pumphandle. He is this, The Thing That Would Not Leave and a repeated example of The Cat Came Back, driving The Warner Brothers (and Sister) to near-suicidal (and homicidal) despair during the sketch.
  • June 7, 2013
    StarSword
    Film:
    • A Running Gag in Airplane is Ted Striker telling the passenger he's sitting next to an anecdote about his past. The anecdote goes into a flashback, then when we return to the present the other passenger has been Driven To Suicide by boredom.
  • June 7, 2013
    eowynjedi
    Added! Also added another of my own from Star Trek TNG and one from Final Fantasy X, although I'm not completely sure about the latter.
  • June 7, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In the Ripping Yarns episode "The Testing of Eric Olthwaite" Eric is considered extremely boring to everyone due to his interests: rain, shovels, and black pudding. After he gets a job at a bank and gets kidnapped by a bank robber who it turns out has the same interests. They go on a "crime" wave of measuring rainfall and he becomes interesting to the general public, despite not changing at all.
  • June 7, 2013
    dvorak
    Buzz Killington from Family Guy, a phenomenally boring Englishman with a Meaningful Name.
  • June 8, 2013
    Psi001
    • In The Simpsons, Marge is sometimes this during her Not So Above It All moments. While she often chastises Homer for being irresponsible and wild, most of her attempts to create sane and thoughtful past times are usually treated as even more unbearable by the family.

    Expect this character to partake in Incredibly Lame Fun.
  • June 8, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    Not related to the Comically Serious, where a boring person gets laughs by having funny things happen to her and she doesn't react differently.
  • June 8, 2013
    Chabal2
    The Monty Pythons Flying Circus sketch Vocational Guidance Counsellor has a man who wants to change jobs, and has taken some aptitude tests to determine which one best suits his personality. On learning that this job is chartered accountant, he protests that he already is one, and he wants to change because the job is so desperately dull.
    Counsellor: Yes, but you see, Mr. Anchovy, your report here says that you are an extremely dull person. Our experts describe you as an appallingly dull fellow, unimaginative, timid, lacking in initiative, spineless, easily dominated, no sense of humour, tedious company and irrepressibly drab and awful. And whereas in most professions these would be considerable drawbacks, in chartered accountancy they are a positive boon.
    • "The Silliest Interview We've Ever Done" had Mr. Badger.
    Badger: My wife Maureen ran off with a bottle of Bell's whisky during the Aberdeen versus Raith Rovers match which ended in a goalless draw. Robson particularly, in goal, had a magnificent first half, his fine positional sense preventing the build-up of any severe pressure on the suspect Aberdeen defence. Mc Loughlan missed an easy chance to clinch the game towards the final whistle but Raith must be well satisfied with their point.
    Interviewer: Do please go on. This is the least fascinating conversation I've ever had.
  • June 8, 2013
    eowynjedi
    I noticed the "better name" tag--what other names do you think would be good for this one? The Dullard, maybe? The Boring One?
  • June 8, 2013
    xanderiskander
    Well as for me I'd prefer something without "the" in the title. It should also describe how the character persistently wants to keep talking, while the other character is being bored to death. Like Dull And Determined or Obstinate Bore or something like that.
  • June 8, 2013
    MissKitten
    The Bore seems fine to me. It's a pretty straightforward title.
  • June 8, 2013
    TwoGunAngel
    Another worthy candidate for the Character Flaw Index. Because this is definitely a flaw.
  • June 10, 2013
    eowynjedi
    Edited the description a bit and added a few more examples.
  • June 11, 2013
    Chabal2
    And yet another from Monty Python ("The Cycling Tour"): Mr. Pither, who is one of those terrifying people who go on and on about their favorite hobby at stupefying length, not recognizing that the person he's talking to has no interest in cycling, is not listening, or even that they are having a private conversation.
  • June 11, 2013
    thecookieprince
    Is that what the insurance guy from "Groundhog day" is? Or do we have a differential diagnosis here?

    Moreover, I had this cleaning lady i my students residence who could blab for hours on end and was a true master of the art of not letting people escape from conversations, to the extent that students would literally flee when they saw her. Does that inspire anybody to a title? Also, maybe we should not have a real life category.
  • June 11, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    Five Hats. So... we just need a few more examples (dunno... anybody here knows of any Anime characters that could fit here?) and we're good to go.

    As for Real Life: if this Trope is to have examples on that area (maybe it should, maybe it shouldn't, but what the heck) we need to focus on some really, REALLY spectacular examples.
  • June 11, 2013
    eowynjedi
    Man, how did I forget Mr. Pither and his crushed sandwiches? Not sure about the Groundhog Day guy though--he seemed to be more generally obnoxious and unlikable to me, although boring was part of it.

    No Real Life Examples sounds like a good idea, yeah. Otherwise it'll get filled with that one teacher/professor/politician and it would be YMMV by default, whereas a character like this is usually part of a gag.

    Inescapable Conversationalist? (I know "The Bore" as a title is a little... well, boring, but it does get the point across.)
  • June 11, 2013
    TonyG
    On Friends, one of Monica's boyfriends was "Fun Bobby", who turned out to be an alcoholic. Once he sobered up, however, he became "Ridiculously Dull Bobby".
  • June 11, 2013
    Tallens
    • One of Rocky And Bullwinkle's Fractured Fairy Tales was about Leaping Beauty, a beautiful girl who leaps about spreading joy and cheer, until she runs afoul of a witch, who curses her to become a bore, after which she literally puts the entire kingdom to sleep with her incessant prattling.
  • June 11, 2013
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Paranoia adventure The Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues. Angela-G-OGO is a food processing supervisor who loves to talk about food additives. She does it so much that she has bored all of her co-workers blind on the subject, and even Internal Security finds her boringly loyal. However, this is just a front: Angela is in fact Screaming Sarah Slick, a Superstar class troublemaker in the Death Leopard secret society.
  • June 12, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Also from Monty Python, persumably Mr. A Snivelling Little Rat-Faced Git's wife Dreary Fat Boring Old would qualify.
  • June 12, 2013
    Koveras
    The working title is good. Just Launch It Already.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=uus9go4ej5d1qmwfu326aywj&trope=TheBore