--> ''"If you're not smart enough to play a real instrument, they give you two sticks, put you in the back, and call you a drummer."''

In the eyes of many people, a percussionist isn't a real musician. After all, how many brain cells can it really take to bang on stuff with sticks? For a ''single'' item, probably not many. As a result, it's common for a drummer to be portrayed as, well, stupid. And yet...

Playing percussion adequately often involves managing many more actions and ideas at once than most other instruments. Real drummers often refer to themselves as "[[InsistentTerminology percussionists]]" in an attempt to distance themselves from this trope as well as because many drummers also play general percussion. So it's ''not'' TruthInTelevision.

Compare AllDrummersAreAnimals, as there can be some overlap. Contrast NobodyLovesTheBassist.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''{{K-ON}}'' has Ritsu Tainaka. As the Light Music Club's drummer, she isn't particularly stupid, just lazy and forgetful. Although the reason she plays the drums is because she thinks playing the guitar or keyboard is too complicated and would frustrate her.
** As with NobodyLovesTheBassist (Mio, the bassist, is the most-loved character in ''and'' out of universe) it's kind of an inversion: the dumbest character by far is Yui, the ''lead guitarist''. [[GeniusDitz She learns to play relatively quickly, but simultaneously forgot everything else she'd learned recently and flunks an exam.]]

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[[folder: Comics ]]

* ''Vertigo Pop: London'' is about an aging rock star named Rocky looking to regain his lost youth. In a flashback set in India, a guru offers him some hash to smoke and Rocky's drummer gets envious:
-->'''Daz:''' Hey, I want some of this present. It sounds crazy.\\
'''Rocky:''' Sorry, Daz. Not for you.\\
'''Daz:''' And why not?\\
'''Rocky:''' Because... Because you're a drummer. And drummers... they're not meant to have life-changing transcendental experiences.
* Pierce, from ''{{Zits}}''. Unworldly, soft-hearted when it comes to living creatures, and lacking impulse control-yes. He's definitely not stupid, though,and the trope rarely if ever is mentioned in the strip.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* PlayedForLaughs in ''ThisIsSpinalTap''. All of their drummers get killed off.
** Three spontaneously combust
** One dies in a "bizarre gardening accident"
** One dies in a {{Noodle Incident}}
--->"A case better left unsolved"
*** They didn't really die from stupidity though. They were more a parody of high rates of mortality among musicians. There are several real life examples of "cursed" spots in certain bands, though as with everything else in Spinal Tap, it's turned up to 11 for the film.
**** Admittedly, that doesn't excuse drummer Mick Shrimpton from taking a bath with a plugged-in toaster resting on the side.
* Animal from ''TheMuppetMovie'' was portrayed this way.
* Inverted with ThatThingYouDo. The drummer is the hero of the story and even inspires a brief fashion trend with his trademark sunglasses.
* The drummer in StillCrazy clearly isn't the brightest in the band and the narrator expresses the opinion that "If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, then drummers are from Pluto."

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* Averted in ''[[Literature/BigendBooks Zero History]]'' by WilliamGibson: Heidi Hyde is a former drummer, but it doesn't seem to have caused any lasting mental handicap.
* Lias "Cliff" Bluestone from ''Discworld/SoulMusic'' is a rather simple-minded [[AllTrollsAreDifferent troll]] who's frequently described as "one of nature's drummers".
** Scum of Ande Supporting Bandes is apparently ''too stupid'' to be a drummer. "What if I miss?"

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Ash from ''ImInTheBand'' is considered a GeniusDitz...at best. At worst, he's a moron.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer:'' Faith's list of loser ex-boyfriends went "[[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking Ronnie: deadbeat. Steve: klepto. Kenny:]] [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking ''drummer'']]."
* ''DrakeAndJosh'' utilized this trope whenever Drake's band appeared, and his drummer felt the need to call drums every time they went onstage.
* ''{{Glee}}'': In some respects, Finn Hudson ''is'' a walking, talking (though not at the same time) drummer joke...
* ''TheMuppetShow'': Animal, again.

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[[folder: Music ]]

* Brad Paisley's "Kung Pao Buckaroo Holiday," running down the list of holiday songs identifying [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad who they'd offend]]:
-->"How 'bout 'Little Drummer Boy?'"\\
"Nope, that offends short people."\\
"And you can't say 'drummer,' 'cause that'll offend real musicians."
* Averted by {{Rush}}'s drummer Neil Peart, who is incredibly technical in his playing, writes the band's lyrics, has authored several books, and is outright stated by both of his bandmates to "have a bigger brain than [they] do."
* While DaveGrohl averts this, he stated that when {{Nirvana}} was in Australia getting a visa to travel to New Zealand, the consultate wrote "musician" on both KurtCobain and Krist Novoselic's documents, but "drummer" on his.
* ''Strongly'' averted by Lille Gruber of Defeated Sanity, who, in addition to writing most of the band's material, is an experienced jazz drummer and theory nerd with a degree in classical composition as well.
* Also averted by Yanic Bercier, former drummer for Canadian death metal band Quo Vadis. He holds a PhD in Physics from McGill University.

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[[folder: New Media ]]

* Bandcamp - "[[http://bandcamp.com/features So Easy Even Your Drummer Could...Well, Perhaps Not That Easy]]"

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The LoadingScreen for ''GuitarHero 3'' has random quotes, one of which is, "I'm the drummer, I don't get paid to understand any of this!"
** Another reads, "Don't let your drummer handle the money."

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[[folder: Web Animation ]]

* In the [[WebAnimation/HomestarRunner Strong Bad E-mail]] "best thing", the drummer of Limozeen was made the [[FatIdiot fat, dumb]] PluckyComicRelief in their [[OneEpisodeWonder short-lived]] BandToon "[[ShowWithinAShow Limozeen: But They're In Space]]!"
-->'''Mary Palaroncini:''' How come they made me fat and have orange hair?\\
'''Larry Palaroncini:''' Because you're the comic relief!
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[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* Kevin from {{Rhapsodies}} is essentially a amalgamation of every drummer joke you ever heard. Though he's more oblivious than stupid.

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Averted with ''{{Metalocalypse}}''; Pickles the Drummer is almost certainly the smartest member of the band (that is to say, [[SurroundedByIdiots the only member of even average intelligence]]), and was lead singer and guitarist of Snakes & Barrels before joining Dethklok.
* In one episode, SpongeBobSquarePants' band, [=SpongeBob=] and the Hi-Seas, has the [[TheDitz village-idiot]] [[AchievementsInIgnorance character]] [[TooDumbToLive Patrick]] as its drummer.
** Also in 'Band Geeks'.
* The 60's animated series ''WesternAnimation/TheBeatles'' gave Ringo this treatment.
* [[DumbBlonde Melody]] from ''WesternAnimation/JosieAndThePussycats''.
* Howard Weinerman from ''WesternAnimation/RandyCunninghamNinthGradeNinja''.
* Kon Kujira isn't the smartest member in ''WesternAnimation/{{Grojband}}'' obviously, but being TheBigGuy pretty much makes up for it.

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[[folder: Jokes and Anecdotes ]]

* "What does it mean when the drummer's drooling out of both sides of his mouth?" "The stage is level."
* "What's got three legs and a twat at the top?" "A drum stool."
* "How do you turn a guitarist into a bassist?" "[[NobodyLovesTheBassist Knock his head on something]], but not too hard, so he doesn't turn into a drummer."
* "How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb?" "Just one, but he has to figure out not to hit it with a stick first."
* "How can you tell if there's a drummer at your door?" "The knocking speeds up and he comes in at the wrong time."
* "Did you hear about the guitarist who locked his keys in his car?" "It took him an hour to get the drummer out."
* "How do you confuse a drummer?" "Put sheet music in front of him."
* "What do you call a drummer who's broken up with his girlfriend?" "Homeless."
* "What do you call a guy who likes to hang out with musicians?" "A drummer."
* "Why can't drummers tell jokes timing".
* Q: What's the difference between a drummer and a drum machine?\\
A: With a drum machine you only have to punch the information in once. \\
''Alternate Answer:'' About 40 seconds by the end of the song.
* And in revenge: "How late does [band] play?" "About half a beat behind the drummer..."
* "What's the difference between a drummer and a large pizza?" "A large pizza can feed a family of four."

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--> ''"And if you're not smart enough to play drums, they take away a stick, and put you in the front."''