[[quoteright:295:[[Film/HarryPotter http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Alas_Earwax_4153.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:295:Alas, earwax.]]

->''"Is he -- a bit mad?" asked Harry uncertainly.\\
"Mad?" said Percy airily. "He's a genius! Best wizard in the world! [[NoExceptYes But he is a bit mad, yes.]]"''
-->-- ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'', regarding '''Albus Dumbledore'''

The Eccentric Mentor is an apparent contradiction, a sagacious figure who seems eccentric and possibly foolish; a font of power and respectability who acts like comic relief. Typically the Eccentric Mentor is an older male character, connected to the back story, who acts as a mentor, protector, and/or guide. They often [[ObfuscatingStupidity feign senility and weakness]] when it is useful to do so, and rarely take pains to avoid such an appearance if it requires effort.

When pushed, the Eccentric Mentor easily demonstrates how they have earned their status. Those who underestimated them are [[LetsGetDangerous suddenly confronted with heroic badassery]], Literature/SherlockHolmes-level insight, [[{{Determinator}} moral fortitude in the face of death]], and/or [[ChessMaster a step ahead of everyone else]]. Due to their age, wisdom, and conviction, they fear death far less than a loss of integrity.

Combines aspects of CoolOldGuy, TheObiWan, OldMaster (sometimes), CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass, BunnyEarsLawyer, often {{Cloudcuckoolander}}, and ZenSurvivor into one cranky, tough old biscuit. If they are an authority figure, they are TheWonka. They may fill any of a number of mentor roles, such as TricksterMentor or ReasonableAuthorityFigure, related to their personality and their role in the story. As such, no matter how much power they have, they want the heroes to solve the problem. MentorOccupationalHazard will likely happen at some point.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': Kisuke Urahara, the self-described "mere honest, handsome, perverted businessman." But don't let his sanguine disposition, odd dress-sense or shameless self-promotion fool you; beneath it all lurks the soul of a true badass. A former Shinigami Captain and founder of the Soul Society Research Institute, Kisuke became a legend in the Seireitei after mastering Bankai -- a powerful attack which usually takes decades of study to learn -- in only three days (this record has only been surpassed by the main character who achieved bankai in two-and-a-half days). The catalyst and driving force behind the plot, it is widely believed by fans that the entire series is merely one grand game of GambitRoulette played between him and his MagnificentBastard rival, Captain Aizen.
* Shinigami-sama of ''Manga/SoulEater'' hides his frightening power and appearance behind a cartoonish mask, goofy antics, and childish speech. This is so he doesn't frighten the students at his ExtranormalInstitute. About halfway through the series, it's revealed that he can't leave the city because he bonded his soul to it in order to keep the Kishin [[SealedEvilInACan sealed in its can]], which is why he needs others to go do the heroing for him. [[spoiler:Not that being unable to leave the city ultimately [[HumongousMecha slows him down much]].]]
** Shinigami is far more knowledgeable about the history of the current conflict than he lets on, having been previously involved in every known side of it (witches, the Gorgons, Asura and his fellow {{Eldritch Abomination}}s). He's genuinely nice, but his staff and students are right to be genuinely wary of him at times.
* Hiko Seijuuro from ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'' is a borderline case. So is Okina.
* Xuanwumon from ''Anime/DigimonTamers''.
** Qinglongmon, though it's only really clear in the dub of ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02''. He even has the WizardBeard!
** Hiroshi Yushima of ''Anime/DigimonSavers'' also has elements of this - it's not until a good chunk of the series is out of the way that it's shown that he's anything but an eccentric elderly fisherman with knowledge of Digimon.
* Ha Jinsung from ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'', the mentor and martial art instructor of [[{{Badass}} Jyu]] [[FallenHero Viole]] [[IronWoobie Grace]]. He dotes on his student a lot and is really [[AffablyEvil cheerful and polite, though sometimes overly friendly]], but his mood can swing at the drop of the wrong hat into murderous TranquilFury and even when he's cheerful people around him feel extremely threatened.
* Cologne in ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'', although while she is generally laid-back she is always demonstrated as highly competent and is not used as comic relief, beyond occasionally finding it diverting to trick or play games with other people. Happosai is another subversion. He has extreme expertise, appears to be just as skilled as and far more powerful than Cologne, but is also entirely driven by impulse, is practically never serious, lacks common sense and is easily tricked, can't read his own (gibberish) handwriting, and is a PokeThePoodle PluckyComicRelief or flat-out antagonist more often than not.
* Subverted in ''Anime/PrincessTutu''. Drosselmeyer always seems odd (to put it lightly), but he's the one who gives the main character her powers in the first place, and he seems to want to push her along in helping the Prince. However, it quickly becomes apparent that he really ''is'' quite crazy, and to top it off [[spoiler:he's the BigBad and his main goal is to trap the characters in an endless cycle of tragedy for the sake of his "art"]].
* Hohenheim from ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' is practically a stereotypical example, though some might argue that he really is a [[GeniusDitz genuinely socially awkward]] and emotionally crippled {{Cloudcuckoolander}}.
** In the beginning, the Furher seems to be this. Seems.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'':
** Jiraiya, one of Konoha's Legendary Sannin, and author of numerous pornographic novels. Affectionately nicknamed "Pervy Sage", he enjoys spying on naked women ("research") and is not above robbing 12 year old boys (his ''godson'', no less) to pay for cushy hotel rooms and hookers. But he's a war hero, the Toad Sage a legendary ninja master, the man who taught the 4th Hokage amongst other shinobi greats, and a master of summoning, barrier and sealing jutsu. And he's bad ass enough to shrug off [[spoiler: losing his arm]] without a glance, and spends his free time hunting down the world's most dangerous criminals.
** Also the Third Hokage, Sarutobi, mentor of both Jiraiya and Tsunade. He serves no plot purpose other than being the foil of slapstick and giving occasional orders, usually offscreen, until his village is attacked and the audience sees for the first (and unfortunately only) time why he is held in such respect by his peers, and why in his youth they called him "the God of Shinobi".
** Hatake Kakashi, the Fourth Hokage's protégé (seeing a pattern here?). A laid back, perpetually late ninja obsessed with Jiraiya's porn novels, which he reads even while he has his students train. But he's also the most elite Jounin the Hidden Leaf village possesses, and their ninjutsu specialist with over a thousand justu in his arsenal. He makes jokey excuses for his lateness when he is actually visiting an old comrades grave, near enough every day, and has stated that everybody he loved is dead, but he gets by considering his students and the rest of the village his extended family. He's also so legendary, professional and respected he is pretty much next in line to be Hokage, should the need arise. In fact, at one point was literally ''seconds'' away from being declared the sixth Hokage, only for Tsunade to awaken from her coma just in time to keep the position. He's also apparently legendary enough across the Five Great Countries that [[spoiler:the Shinobi Alliance appointed him as one of their Generals]].
** The current Hokage herself, Tsunade, is also a lot like a female version of this. She is a gambling addict, a terrible one who was constantly on the run due to all the money she owed. She's also vain enough to use a life threatening jutsu to make herself look decades younger than she is (which meant that her ''true'' form is actually decades ''older''). She also has the training regime from Hell whereby she teaches evasion by trying to smash you with her SuperStrength attacks, enough to crack the Earth with a finger. But she is a popular leader and a legendary medic, who has suffered a great deal of personal tragedy.
** Kishi loves this trope. Maito Gai is a genuine goofball, but he is a serious and dedicated mentor and the Leaf's most prominent Taijutsu master. Chiyo of the Sand is an 80 something old hag who spends all day fishing and enjoys making people (esp. her brother) think she's dead for a prank, but she is a puppet master and an especially deadly poisoner, with some medical skill. The Raikage and Killer Bee of the Hidden Cloud both seem to have shades of this in relation to their subordinates, despite both being eccentric weirdos in their own right (though both are, in their own way, genuinely hotheaded, reckless and the Raikage might be a bit of a warmonger). Hell, even the ''parents'' tend to be this trope.
** The Raikage hasn't been stated to have a student, but Killer Bee is this way to his new protégé [[spoiler: Naruto]].
* Kame Sen'nin in the first ''Manga/DragonBall''... sort of.
** Kaio-Sama (King Kai) is a better played example in Z.
* Chairman [[spoiler:Kaien]] Cross from ''VampireKnight''.
* Genshitenson from ''Manga/HoushinEngi''.
* Dean Konoemon of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima''.
** Jack Rakan is also kind of like this, although he's much more [[BoisterousBruiser over the top]] than other examples.
* Vice-Admiral Garp from ''Manga/OnePiece'' is a goofy, lovable father figure (complete with a silly hat)...who also gleefully dispenses TrainingFromHell, throws cannonballs like baseballs, and provokes a rare OhCrap reaction from Monkey D. Luffy himself.
* Makarov from ''Manga/FairyTail''. He even plays almost the same role as the former TropeNamer -- master of a wizard guild while Dumbledore of ''Literature/HarryPotter'' is headmaster of a wizard school -- and they're both the strongest good mages (Makarov might be weaker than Gildarts or Laxus, but he is damn close) of their respective universes.
* Clow Reed from ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura''. Don't let his cheerful, laid-back nature fool you. He's quite the {{Badass}} wizard!
* Aozaki Touko from ''Literature/KaraNoKyoukai'' is very quirky and friendly, but as [[AssholeVictim Cornelius Alba learned the hard way,]] ''do not fuck with Touko if you value your life''.
* Hikaru Tsurugi from ''KeyTheMetalIdol'' serves as an especially eccentric deconstruction of the trope.
* Ichiro Mihara from ''Anime/KidouTenshiAngelicLayer'', who could be the poster boy for MadScientist... and is also the man who invented the game itself.
* ''Anime/KillLaKill'''s Aikuro Mikisugi: the heroine's homeroom teacher, undercover spy, scientist, resistance leader, MiniMecha pilot, and [[BreadEggsMilkSquick flamboyant compulsive stripper with]] [[LensFlareCensor luminescent naughty bits]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* Dumblydore in ''MyImmortal'' is at first an Alzheimer's-ridden, headache-prone old man who swears at everybody. Whether he sides with Enoby or conspires to piss her off is not clear until he saves her from Voldemort and his band [[strike: twice]] [[GroundhogDayLoop once]], even going on to tell the "enitre school and Misery of Mogic" that Ebony can defeat Voldemort.
* The dwarven prince protagonist of [[DragonAgeTheCrownOfThorns this]] ''Franchise/DragonAge'' fanfiction deliberately [[spoiler:allows, even encourages, the other six wardens, plus companions, to assume and believe a lot of erroneous things, including that he might really be a kinslayer,]] just so [[spoiler:the shock of later revelations, like the fact that he actually faked Trian's death and painted himself the murderer on purpose,]] can prompt them to grow wiser.
* Hasim, one of the {{Immortal|ity}}s in ''Fanfic/KeepersOfTheElements'' serves as this to the Keepers. He has been around for hundreds of years, yet he is a cheerful guy who loves his jellybeans and can kick some serious bad guy ass when he needs to.
* Grunnel the Thinker, to a point, in ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached''. He's a jolly guy who latches onto the four because they're interesting. At first he seems a bit goofy, with quite a sadistic sense of humor, but the four realize quickly that he's extremely intelligent and well-educated. He ends up helping them a lot when magic starts to pour out of the sky on them. He also teaches them about Baravadan society, and they teach him about Earth in return. Subverted in that [[spoiler: he backstabs them in Ehndris in order to get control of both Paul and the third piece of the Vasyn]].
* Ghost in "Fanfic/YetAgain" teaches Naruto various skills by [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking throwing him off cliffs, throwing exploding cows at him, covering him with women's underwear and dropping him in the middle of the female baths... and teaching him the importance of a well rounded breakfast.]] He also insists upon [[ObfuscatingInsanity acting as random as possible to fool people on your true intentions and mindset.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Animated]]
* Master Oogway in ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda''. He may seem an old senile turtle, but [[spoiler: he is blindingly fast when necessary with a ''[[TouchOfDeath multiple nerve strike pattern]]'' guaranteed to take anyone down... and of course his selection of Po the Panda for the Dragon Warrior was on the money.]]
* Rafiki in Disney's ''Disney/TheLionKing'' always seems a bit insane, but has all the answers... [[{{Badass}} and knows how to kick some serious hyena tail]].
* Merlin, in ''Disney/TheSwordInTheStone''
** The WizardDuel. CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass, indeed.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Live-Action]]
* Uncle Herbert in ''The Big Brawl''
* ''[[Film/HarryPotter Harry Potter]]'': Dumbledore, of course, him being the former TropeNamer and all. The movies didn't have room to squeeze in all of his eccentric moments, but they made up for it by coming up with a few of their own.
-->'''Harry''': He's free. We did it.
-->'''Dumbledore''': [[ObfuscatingStupidity Did what?]] Goodnight.
-->'''Harry and Hermione''': ''*Share a nonplussed look.*''
** Nor do the films skimp on his moments of wisdom or [[{{Badass}} badassery]]. A great example of the latter comes from a scene in the fifth movie in which he is confronted by four Ministry officials. He proceeds to calmly inform them that he has no intention of being arrested, and before they can react, he somehow uses Fawkes to disappear in a blaze of fiery light. As Kingsley puts it, "Dumbledore's got style."
*** ''Half-Blood Prince'' really drives it home beautifully. Dumbledore's massive fire ring against the [[OurZombiesAreDifferent Inferi]] is one of the most awe-inspiring visuals in the whole series, and a fantastic CrowningMomentOfAwesome for Dumbledore.
* Aughra, in ''Film/TheDarkCrystal'', appears a little crazy and perhaps even dangerous, yet has an uncanny wisdom for the harmonies of existence.
** She was involved in the last cycle and has studied the system for centuries at least, she just incidentally went insane in the intervening time.
* Mr. Miyagi, in ''Film/TheKarateKid''.
* Yoda's appearance in ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack''. He also teases Obi-Wan a bit in ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'', but he was younger (and teaching the younglings) at the time.
** This trope was actually one of the early concepts for [[TheObiWan Obi-Wan]] himself (even after Sir Alec Guinness had already been chosen for the role). Remnants of this remain, as Uncle Owen claims to Luke that Kenobi is merely a crazy old man, and Han later calls the Jedi Master a "damn fool."
* Ian [=McKellen=] plays this up in ''[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring]]'' (although, like in [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings the books]], he [[LetsGetDangerous becomes a more serious character]] in the following two installments). He was even asked to play [[Film/HarryPotter Professor Dumbledore himself]] at one point.
** Again in keeping with [[Literature/TheHobbit the source material]], Gandalf gives off a more enigmatic, even untrustworthy air throughout much of ''[[Film/TheHobbit The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey]]''. The movie even plays up the other characters' perceptions of his apparent ineptitude.
-->'''Bilbo''': And who is the fifth [wizard]?
-->'''Gandalf''': Well, that would be Radagast the Brown.
-->'''Bilbo''': Is he a great wizard, or is he... more like you?
* Jetfire in ''Film/TransformersRevengeOfTheFallen''.
* Fin Raziel, in ''Film/{{Willow}},'' is of the rare female subtype.
** George Lucas seems to have a thing for this type, judging by Yoda.
* Merlin in the 1981 film ''Film/{{Excalibur}}'' comes across this way.
* The owner/operator of ''Film/The7FacesOfDoctorLao'' mostly plays the part of the stereotypical Chinese man (complete with Engrish), and occasionally reveals himself to be a powerful and wise being.
* ''Film/TheNewGuy'' gives us Luther, a crazy-eyed con who teaches Dizzy Harrison how to be cool by giving him a haircut, dance lessons, a prison tattoo, and then setting him on ''fire''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': Albus Percival Wulfric ''Brian'' Dumbledore, former TropeNamer.
** In the fifth book, when fighting Voldemort, Dumbledore fires off a spell that is never identified, but is clearly VERY powerful. Voldemort blocks the spell, and taunts Dumbledore that he does not seek to kill him. Dumbledore calmly responds, "We both know there is more than one way to destroy a man, Tom."
*** He also mentions how ''merely'' killing Voldemort would not satisfy him.
** Also from the fifth book, the scene where Dolores Umbridge and her cronies confront Dumbledore in his office and then try to arrest him.
--->'''Dumbledore:''' Well - it's just that you seem to be labouring under the delusion that I am going to - what is the phrase? "Come quietly." I am afraid I am not going to come quietly at all, Cornelius. I have absolutely no intention of being sent to [[HellholePrison Azkaban]]. I could break out, of course - but what a waste of time, and frankly, I can think of a whole host of things I would rather be doing.
*** When one of the Aurors reaches for his wand, Dumbledore has this to say:
-->'''Dumbledore:''' Don't be silly, Dawlish. [[TheWorfEffect I'm sure you are an excellent Auror, I seem to remember that you achieved "Outstanding" in all your N.E.W.T.s]], but if you attempt to - er - "bring me in" by force, I will have to hurt you.
** Think about how Dumbledore progresses throughout the books. We go from "Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! and Tweak!" to the most powerful wizard in the history of the Wizarding World to a broken man who is grief-stricken over the loss of his [[spoiler:sister, Ariana, whom he may have killed (and considers himself to blame regardless of whether his curse was the one that killed her)]].
*** A fan-favorite quote that epitomizes Dumbledore's transition from "cool grandpa" to "ancient monk badass" came in ''The Goblet of Fire'':
-->''At that moment, Harry fully understood for the first time why people said Dumbledore was the only wizard Voldemort had ever feared. The look upon Dumbledore's faces as he stared down at the unconscious form of Mad-Eye Moody was more terrible than Harry could have ever imagined. There was no benign smile upon Dumbledore's face, no twinkle in the eyes behind the spectacles. There was cold fury in every line of the ancient face; a sense of power radiated from Dumbledore as though he were giving off burning heat.''
* Dallben from Lloyd Alexander's ''Literature/ChroniclesOfPrydain''
* Professor Lidenbrock in Creator/JulesVerne's ''Literature/JourneyToTheCenterOfTheEarth.''
* Noish-pa, Vlad Taltos's grandfather, sometimes fits this trope in the ''Literature/{{Dragaera}}'' novels, albeit with the comic relief coming less from his own remarks than from [[DeadpanSnarker Vlad's reactions]] ''to'' them.
* Shiro from ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' novels. He may act a little senile at times, but he's actually a seriously BadAss paladin and one of the only people in history to take on Nicodemus in a sword fight and ''win''. [[spoiler:Too bad he's TooCoolToLive.]]
** Though he's not as... easygoing and jovial as the trope specifies, though Arthur Langtry is the oldest and most powerful wizard alive, and the head of the White Council, with the title of 'Merlin', he seems to be generally underestimated, and perceived as a figurehead. Until he shows off the strength and depth of his power by doing such things as, oh - holding off [[spoiler: [[EldritchAbomination Outsiders]] ''with a single ward'']] and turning chaos into order by [[spoiler: broadcasting a mental map (with voiceover) to the entire council, whilst attempting to contain an omnilethal nasty with ''the sheer force of his will''.]] 'not [gained his position] by collecting bottle caps' indeed.
** As the series goes on, the eponymous Harry Dresden becomes this to his student, Molly Carpenter. To Molly, he's just her kooky, slightly grumpy teacher who often quotes ''Star Wars'' and can't function without coffee in the morning. A person who'd never seen him in battle would never guess that he's defeated two of the aforementioned Outsiders and ''obliterated'' an entire vampire species when they threatened his family.
* Coriakin from ''TheChroniclesOfNarnia'', who is believed by Dufflepuds to be evil, but turns out to be a wise magician with a sense of humor. [[DoesNotLikeShoes Always walking barefoot]] is among his idiosyncrasies.
* Gandalf, from ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. Even more so in ''Literature/TheHobbit''.
--> "Good Morning!" said Bilbo, and he meant it. But Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out further than the brim of his shady hat. "What do you mean?" he said. "Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?"
--> ''(later)'' "What a lot of things you use Good morning for!" said Gandalf. "Now you mean that you want to get rid of me, and that it won't be good till I move off."
** Although [[LetsGetDangerous much less eccentric]] after [[ItWasHisSled he came back to life]].
*** Though he does pretend to be old and feeble to trick the guards of Meduseld into letting him keep his staff (which he refers to as his "walking-stick") when going in to see Théoden. It works, too.
** What is almost completely left out in the movies is that Gandalf also likes to give the impression of himself as an unpredictably dangerous powerhouse. Frodo, who has known him for decades, is at one point genuinely afraid that Gandalf had burned poor Barliman Butterbur to death for failing to deliver a crucial letter. Also, when Frodo refuses to answer to his knocks, he threatens to blow Bag End's door in, and all the way through the Hill.
** Bilbo Baggins was also this to his nephew Frodo.
* Brom, from ''[[Literature/InheritanceCycle Eragon]]''.
** And later Oromis, to a somewhat lesser degree.
* Fizban the Fabulous, from ''{{Dragonlance}}'', an apparently senile wizard who may or may not have actually been [[spoiler:the god Paladine in disguise]]. It becomes fairly obvious later in the series.
** Also Zifnab of ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle''; essentially the same character in a different series written by the same authors.
*** The latter lampshades his status as an {{Expy}} in his first appearance: he starts to call himself Fizban, but then corrects himself.
**** Zifnab is very different from Fizban in at least one major way, though- Fizban is [[spoiler: a god]] using ObfuscatingStupidity, whereas Zifnab is genuinely insane with only occasional moments of lucidity. He's still incredibly powerful, but it takes some serious effort (usually from his dragon) to get him to reveal important information rather than, say, going off on a [[CloudCuckooLander long rambling monologue]] about how he's really Film/JamesBond. Or [[Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz Dorothy Gale]].
** And also from the same authors is [[SignificantAnagram Zanfib]] of the ''Starshield'' series. [[spoiler: However, he's insane only due to [[BackFromTheDead a slightly flawed resurrection.]] Oh, and he's [[EvilMentor an agent for the]] [[BigBad Sentinels.]] ]]
* Lu-Tze shows up in several Literature/{{Discworld}} books, playing the EccentricMentor in ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime''. Actually, Lu-Tze has more or less made his living appearing to be a weird little monk, on the basis that, since no one notices weird little monks who are just sweeping up the place to begin with, he's far more stealthy and better equipped than the most highly trained of ninja. Not least because, in addition to being [[ImprovisedWeapon able to seriously inconvenience someone about twenty-seven different ways with a broom]], if the floor gets dirty you can take care of that too.
** Remember Rule One: [[OldMaster Never act incautiously when confronting a little old bald wrinkly smiling man]]. (And, of course, Rule Nineteen: Never forget Rule One.)
** Also from the Discworld, a RareFemaleExample: Nanny Ogg.
* Belgarath from ''{{Belgariad}}'' by David and Leigh Eddings.
** A case of deliberate ObfuscatingStupidity here, he specifically has clothes tailored to look like he found them in a trash can so that he could pass unnoticed.
* RareFemaleExample #2: Gladys from ''Literature/ASuddenWildMagic'' by Creator/DianaWynneJones. Externally, a benign CrazyCatLady.
* Elminster from the ''Forgotten Realms'' setting.
* Platon Karataev from ''WarAndPeace''.
* He might be evil, but otherwise Aro of ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' is just your average vampire Dumbledore. Creator/CleolindaJones calls him Dumblevamp at one point, I believe.
** He's just not as smart.
* Nakor is this to perfection, from ''TheRiftwarCycle''.
* Zedd from ''SwordOfTruth''
** And RareFemaleExample #3: His soul mate Adie.
** Because trickery and cleverness are considered the primary weapons of a wizard, before even their potent magic, this is almost a ''professional requirement''.
* Uncle Ebbit in ''Literature/TheSeventhTower'', who may or may not be going senile.
* Drosselmeyer in ''Literature/TheNutcrackerAndTheMouseKing'' (the original story by Creator/ETAHoffmann): is he the children's eccentric but kindly uncle, or is he manipulating all the events of the story? (Hint: he's a skilled builder of mechanical toys (automata).)
* ''Literature/TheOnceAndFutureKing'' version of Merlin, aided by his... [[MerlinSickness unique situation]].
* Most ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'' books featuring Yoda make him entirely serious, but ''Yoda: Literature/DarkRendezvous'' portrays him as very ''odd'' when things aren't serious. The kind of character that you could see fighting with R2-D2 over a flashlight in ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack''.
** At one point, he rolls around incognito in a fake R2 shell and steals a small child's soda. Then, he gets into a fight with the cafeteria droid, who doesn't accept Yoda's self-made food as even "edible." ''Then'', he wipes out an army of battle droids without breaking a sweat, and {{Breaking Speech}}es Count Dooku to a standstill.
* Master Wu of ''Literature/TheGoneAwayWorld'' is an OldMaster (and [[spoiler:founder of a secret society of kung fu mimes]]) who runs a martial arts school that the protagonist trains at. He teaches moves with names like "Walk Like Elvis", gets into arguments about the location of the moon, and cheerfully admits to making up ancient wisdom on the spot.
* Julian Morrow, the Classics professor in ''Literature/TheSecretHistory''. He accepts no payment, practically has his own building on campus, and the few students he accepts must take nearly all their classes with him. Later becomes a BrokenPedestal.
* Wayne from ''TheKingdomKeepers'' is a strange imagineer who guides the DHIs through their trials.
* Mr. Wednesday from ''Literature/AmericanGods'' may be the bad guy, but he most certainly fits the description. He even pretends to be senile in order to get the cashier at the gas station to accidentally pay for his gas.
* Geser in the ''Literature/NightWatch'' series is an ultra-powerful, centuries old Other who likes to hang out in themed bars, has a definite sense of humor, and in one instance is shown wearing Disney pajamas. He's also a rather morally ambiguous {{Chessmaster}}.
* Grandpa Smedry in the ''Literature/AlcatrazSeries''.
* Bayaz in ''TheFirstLaw'' is introduced as the typical grumpy, eccentric old wizard who interacts with the protagonists. Since the series is a DeconstructorFleet of traditional fantasy, it turns out that he's a cruel TautologicalTemplar of a megalomaniac who is the closest thing the series has to a BigBad.
* ''Literature/CatherineLing'': Hu Chang, the Chinese folk medicine expert and master poisoner who took Catherine in as an adolescent, who fools around with chemicals and herbs seemingly for his own amusement and takes very little completely seriously. In the first book he spirits her son away out from under the noses of both the CIA and the NebulousEvilOrganization targeting Catherine, and later puts a {{mook}} under chemical MindControl as part of the BatmanGambit to take out the organization's leader.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The Doctor from ''Series/DoctorWho'' often resembles this kind of character.
** In particular, David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor embodies this trope to a tee. The Family of Blood sought to steal his immortality, and thought he was a doddering pathetic man. [[spoiler:[[FateWorseThanDeath BIG.]] [[AndIMustScream MISTAKE.]]]]
** Matt Smith as the eleventh Doctor plays this to the hilt, He openly admits to being a "Madman with a Box," often acts foolishly, and dotes on grown adults as if they were small children but is almost always in control of the situation and can often manipulate his foes into doing his work for him (he also looks about 25, adding another layer of dissonance).
*** Also, when Amy hits on him and then accuses him of playing hard to get, he protests that he's "not like that", and compares himself to two other examples of this trope: "I dunno, [[Literature/LordOfTheRings Gandalf!]] I'm like a [[RecycledINSPACE Space Gandalf.]] [[TheEmpireStrikesBack Or the little green one from Star Wars]]." ''[[CloudCuckooLander *twirls around making a lightsaber noise*)]]''
** This wonderful bit of dialogue from the Tom Baker story ''City of Death'' (which was co-written by Creator/DouglasAdams): "My dear, I don't think he's as stupid as he seems." "My dear, ''nobody'' could be as stupid as he seems."
** The Eleventh Doctor gets one of his own in the form of The Curator, who seems to be a far, far future regeneration of himself (who has taken the face and personality of the Fourth Doctor again, apparently because it is his favourite).
* ''Series/BabylonFive''
** Draal is both this and a LargeHam.
** Although he didn't play the fool by any means, Kosh is sort of this to Sheridan, as his statements are usually [[MathematiciansAnswer very]] [[CrypticConversation cryptic]], his "lessons" are rather ambiguous, and a lot of people (Sheridan included) even lampshade this with statements like "spoken like a Vorlon".
* Principal Pal from ''NedsDeclassifiedSchoolSurvivalGuide'' is very much a non-magical, Americanized [[strike:ripoff]] version of early Dumbledore.
* President Bartlet from ''TheWestWing'', in his "Uncle Fluffy" persona.
* Bertram Cooper from ''MadMen'' may seem like your run-of-the-mill elderly eccentric, but in reality he is just as shrewd a businessman as Don or St. John Powell.
* ''Series/AroundTheHorn'''s Woody Paige may qualify as this.
* [[ColonelBadass Hannibal Smith]] from ''Series/TheATeam'' often {{Invoke|dTrope}}s this trope if/when he meets clients and/or confronts the weekly bad guys in disguise in an episode.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* In ''Theatre/PokemonLive'', Professor Oak's eccentricity is taken up to eleven.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Theme Parks]]
* At DisneyThemeParks, Dreamfinder from ''Journey Into Imagination'' hovered between this and TheObiWan before he was removed from the ride.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Ford Cruller from ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'' is a rare example where his unwise behaviour is involuntary (his mind literally falls apart when he's away from a psytanium deposit).
* Auron from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' is a mild version, but is good at projecting casual deference when it's handy.
* Gammel Dore from ''VideoGame/GrimGrimoire'', like Dumbledore but not as eccentric.
* A clearer distaff counterpart, Professor Potsdam in ''MagicalDiary'', who appears to be a hippie with a few screws loose most of the time. ''Don't'' make her mad.
* Guildmaster Wigglytuff, in the ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonExplorers'' games is a lovable CloudCuckooLander who has an obession with [[TrademarkFavoriteFood Perfect Apples]]...who is completely immune to the poisonous gas attack of [[MagnificentBastard Team Skull]] and can ''make the earth tremble with his voice alone when angry or sad''.
* Erasmus, the [[HurricaneOfPuns pun loving]] archmage from the ''VideoGame/QuestForGlory'' series of games. He has a rat familiar who is actually a pretty powerful magic user in his own right. Erasmus is a rare male wizard of great power in the QFG setting, where the most powerful magic users tend to be women (for example, [[FriendToAllLivingThings Erana]], [[FemmeFatale Katrina]], [[TheHighQueen Aziza]], [[MentorArchetype Kreesha]] etc).
* Samos the sage from the ''JakAndDaxter'' games.
* Galuf from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' is an old man who loves booze, avoided blame by using his amnesia as an excuse, and [[spoiler:is the king of a kingdom. Who happens to fight alongside his soldiers ''because he's just that good'']]. Oh, and he knows a lot about how to fight the BigBad [[spoiler:because he was one of the ''previous'' four warriors who defeated him in the first place]]. He also starts with a slight strength and stamina boost, making him well-disposed to be a really BadassGrandpa.
* Strago from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', and the ''whole town he lives in'', which practices awesome magicks, but keeps it all under the radar of the TheEvilEmpire. When he joins the heroes, he still comes off a doddering geezer most of the time, but in magical combat, he brings the hurt like nobody else. Also, he learns his most awesome spells by ''letting monsters use them on him first, and surviving''.
* Laike from ''VideoGame/LunarTheSilverStar''. Makes sense, considering [[spoiler: he was the Dragonmaster Dyne whom the main character Alex worships.]]
* Kaepora Gaebora from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' qualifies, considering who he eventually turns out to be. (The Gossip Stones say he's a reincarnation of a Sage.)
* Voodoo Lady from the ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland'' series. Granted, the whole series has a baseline loco level that makes her brand of unhinged seem not as apparent in context.
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'''s Damon Gant is an odd example of that plays to this tropes applied to [[spoiler:a villain. At one point, he even starts switching between lovable eccentric and sociopath within ''seconds''.]]
** Phoenix Wright himself falls into this trope in ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney''.
* Seraph Lamington from ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea|HourOfDarkness}}''.
** As of ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 4|A Promise Unforgotten}}'', [[spoiler:Flonne]] also qualifies.
*** Valvatorez also acts as a mentor for the younger members of the team (Fuka, Desco, and Emizel), and he's odd enough to qualify for the "eccentric" title.
* Silver Hoshipon of ''VideoGame/{{Patapon}} 3'' may qualify. However, the badassery part of the trope has more to do with him being able to fuse together the god of the Patapons [[AGodIsYou (you)]] with a half-dead member of the race, namely your hero, and then still keeping the energy to revive other 3 patapon.
* Bo' Rai Cho from ''Franchise/MortalKombat''. He's a constantly drunk, fat man who attacks by farting and vomiting, yet he trained many legendry heroes in the past, and also many in the present day, including Liu Kang and Kung Lao. He's also BeenThereShapedHistory several times; for example, after Muso Gonnosuke was defeated by MiyamotoMusashi, Bo' Rai Cho would help him improve his jujutsu by using a four-section staff instead of a six-section one.
* Flemeth from ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' is an odd blend of this trope and RetiredMonster. If even half the stories you hear about her are true, she skipped over the MoralEventHorizon centuries before the story even began. However, despite her vast power and alleged ruthlessness, she never actually ''does'' anything openly antagonistic, and has actually helped the protagonists on several occasions (including saving them from what would have otherwise been certain death). She often speaks in riddles and seems to enjoy playing up her crazy-old-woman-who-lives-in-a-swamp persona.
* Asura's OldMaster Augus from ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'' is one of the most powerful warriors in the setting, and his strength is said to be on par with Deus'. He's also a crazy [[TheHedonist hedonist]] who has no goal in life beyond enjoying the pleasures it offers: [[DirtyOldMan carnal knowledge of beautiful women]], [[TheAlcoholic fine wines]], [[BigEater good food]], [[BloodKnight and the sheer joy of battle.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Master Surya from ''TheBeastLegion''. [[http://www.thebeastlegion.com/issue-03-page-04the-masters-wake-up-call/ This page]] explains it all.
* The Dullahan, Jack Jerripher from Grave Academy.
* Shojo from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''. May only be a borderline case, considering [[spoiler:he couldn't avoid having his cover blown and was killed by Miko when she learned of his deception. Then again, she did immediately pay a high price for it.]]
* Though introduced with some foreboding, Fa'lina of ''DanAndMabsFurryAdventures'' is RareFemaleExample #4 (but as a [[HornyDevils succubus]] she [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld doesn't exactly show her age]]).
** She [[GrandmaWhatMassiveHotnessYouHave does look older than most of the cast though]]. Hell, she even has the biggest bustline in the comic!
* Llewellyn in ''WebComic/OzyAndMillie''.
* Aodan, a country-accented Charizard from ''CharCole'' who is developing a habit of appearing out of nowhere during the main character's freakouts.
* Sensei Feng from ''WebComic/SluggyFreelance'' is an OldMaster who trains the deadly assassin Oasis in both mind and body, yet resembles an old hobo as much as a martial arts master, mooching pizza rolls whenever he can, and displaying such incredible fighting techniques as ''literally'' putting his foot in his mouth.
* Donovan Deegan of DominicDeegan is a very capable bard and swordsman, but spent decades mangling the orcish language because of RuleOfFunny.
* Invoked in ''WebComic/ElGoonishShive'' by Tedd for his dad. Most of the time, Mr. Verres is a typical BumblingDad... who works for the government, knows ''everything'', is a VIP in the supernatural world for currently unexplained reasons, and is a powerful wizard that will go absolutely apeshit on anyone that harms his family, or anyone under his protection.
** Also, Mr. Raven for the non-{{Muggles}} that are not under Mr. Verres' care. Though, Raven seems to be a bit more stern that your typical Dumbledore, but he does make it up in [[LargeHam overtheatrics]].
** And for a more literal sense, we have [[AerithAndBob Jerry.]] Self-proclaimed FatBastard, [[CoolOldGuy (though of the jolly sort, not the jumpy sort,)]] has had more than a few weird ideas about what to do with his time, and looks strangely like SantaClaus. However, he's also a 200 year-old Immortal with ludicrous amounts of power simply by ''being'' that old, sage wisdom for Susan, Grace, and Sarah, and powered the HyperspaceMallet ability that, evidently, ''every female on the planet had access too.'' Granted, he's in the process of dying so he can be reborn properly, but he's also sworn himself to repay the debt Immortals owe Susan, making him a weird case. Did we mention he's a master of [[MundaneMadeAwesome Serenity-Inducing Fluffy Animal Attack?]]
* Uncle Ted of ''WebComic/{{Freakwatch}}'' was this to Jessica [[PosthumousCharacter before he died.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Roleplay/TheGamersAlliance'', Harrad is a wise mage but he's also obsessed with building the perfect candy machine and often does weird things which his students simply can't fathom. Despite his quirks he's very good at reaching and magic (except finishing the candy machine [[RunningGag which keeps malfunctioning no matter how much he improves and tweaks the design]]).
* Spencer from ''{{lonelygirl15}}'', although younger than most examples. What a strange little man.
* The ''PotterPuppetPals'' version of Dumbledore, vastly more eccentric than J.K. Rowling ever intended.
-->Naked time!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Iroh from ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' is this, especially in Book 1, to Zuko. In Book 2, also briefly becomes this to Toph and, at the end of the season, [[spoiler:Aang]].
** King Bumi, even more so. At one point, [[spoiler:he asks Aang to choose which Earth Kingdom warrior he wants to fight, presenting him with two intimidating young soldiers. Aang chooses Bumi. Wrong choice.]]
*** Later, when the Fire Nation [[spoiler:conquers Bumi's fortress town Omashu]], they [[spoiler:keep him as a hostage to prevent rebellion. To prevent rebellion ''by Bumi'', they put him in a metal box that doesn't let him move anything except his mouth (so that he can breath and be fed). They think that will make it impossible for Bumi to use his very powerful Earthbending talents. They thought wrong]]. Later, it was revealed that in The Day of Black Sun, [[spoiler: he retook his city all by himself and even took down a ''towering statue'' of Ozai. After defacing it with a crude smiley face, no less]].
** Monk Gyatso, Aang's guardian at the Southern Air Temple. He was a major reason for Aang's cheerful, happy-go-lucky demeanor. And, like most people, he died while Aang was frozen, and took a surprisingly large group of super-charged Firebenders with him. Surprisingly large, because Airbending is a ''defensive'' art. He killed them with ''defensive'' bending.
* Avatar in ''WesternAnimation/{{Wizards}}''.
* Uncle from ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures''. Equal parts crotchety old man and master sorcerer.
* Grampa Smith from ''WesternAnimation/MonsterBusterClub''. A senile old alien in disguise as a senile old human, he probably knows more about the "monsters" the kids encounter than anyone else, but is far too concerned with the upkeep of his garden to do anything other than offer hints, info, and advice.
* [[InexplicablyAwesome Miss Frizzle]] in ''TheMagicSchoolBus'' is a bit young, but otherwise fits this trope quite well.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** [[GodEmperor Princess]] [[BigGood Celestia]] from is an unusual case. Unlike most other examples, whose eccentricity often causes other characters to unfairly discredit them, Celestia is [[HundredPercentAdorationRating highly regarded by all of her subjects]] - too highly, in fact, as it leads them to frantically worship the ground under her feet while feeling terrified that any tiny mistake on their part will provoke her royal fury. In reality, Celestia is not only the most easy-going character in [[SugarBowl the whole series]] despite her position, but enjoys pranks and despises formality to such a degree that [[spoiler:the Season 1 finale has her inviting the mane six to the illustrious Grand Galloping Gala purely to enjoy the chaos [[BatmanGambit she knew their presence would wreak]]]]. Then in Season 4, it's revealed that the old castle that she and Luna used to inhabit is ''full'' of secret passages, trapdoors, an organ (that controls the secret passages and trapdoors), and numerous other oddities (the hallway with legs sticking out of the walls) that are pretty much solely designed to turn the place into a gigantic funhouse.
** Then there's ''Discord'' of all people taking on this role (briefly) in the Season 4 premiere.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Creator/BenjaminFranklin was the EccentricMentor to the other founding fathers-- he was significantly older than the rest, was a noted humorist (and, despite his age, ladies' man), and was respected as the preeminent intellectual of the group.
* RichardFeynman. Aficionado of the bongos (not to mention [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKTSaezB4p8 mad songs about orange juice]]), player of epic practical jokes, irreverent, completely unconcerned with the mores and manners of polite society, and the inventor of branches of particle physics you would never understand if you studied for several lifetimes. He's also the guy who demonstrated the fatal flaw in the O-ring design that led to the Challenger disaster. He also chose to do so [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qAi_9quzUY in the most humiliating way possible]] to ensure that the press would drag those responsible over the coals.
* Creator/GKChesterton. Anyone who's read his books will know he's actually much funnier than any philosopher/theologian has a right to be, and in books like ''Orthodoxy'', he states a great many things about Christianity that makes him look...a bit odd. However, he influenced the likes of Creator/CSLewis and Creator/JRRTolkien, two of the biggest names in popular Christian literature.
* AlbertEinstein. When he taught in the university of Berlin his students would usually agree he was the funniest teacher they ever had since he would crack jokes at every opportunity. He was also somewhat forgetful, like when he arrived to work in slippers and not in shoes. Coupled with him being a DeadpanSnarker, he could very well fit this trope.
[[/folder]]

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