[[quoteright:350:[[TheNonAdventuresOfWonderella http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wonderella_sort_of_saves_the_world_3.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Such bitchy selfishness is wisdom for the ages.]]

Any time something is mistaken for deep, intelligent, or artistic, but it's clearly not. This could be for many reasons. Sometimes it's about differing perspectives on the meaning of what is said/done. Sometimes people lack the full context of what they are mistaking. Sometimes there is no reason other than RuleOfFunny.

What happens next can also vary. The mistaken person may never be found out ([[SureLetsGoWithThat and he/she may just go with this]]). Sometimes it cause problems for the mistaken person. Sometimes the mistaken thing is revealed to be what it is almost immediately after being praised (often by a character who is TheDitz, so it's pretending to be DumbassHasAPoint and then subverting it).

A SuperTrope to SeeminglyProfoundFool (when TheFool or TheDitz is constantly mistaken for being profound).

Compare IceCreamKoan, ComicallyMissingThePoint, NotActuallyTheUltimateQuestion.

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!!Administrivia/InUniverseExamplesOnly

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* In ''{{Medabots}}'', a man sitting on the street selling chicks (baby chickens) keeps trying to peddle his birds to protagonist Ikki. Ikki always interprets the man's sales pitches as words of wisdom pertaining to whatever problem he currently has. Occasionally, other characters pass him by when they have trouble and treat him and his speeches the same way Ikki does.
* On ''TigerAndBunny,'' [[BlowYouAway Keith]] is going through an emotional slump when he happens to meet a pretty girl (actually a [[spoiler:malfunctioning RobotGirl]]) in the park. As he explains his problem she continually responds "Why?," which he takes to mean that he needs to look deeper inside himself for answers. He gets over his slump and returns to his [[TheAce usual bombastic self]], ironically by [[spoiler:destroying the robot when she goes beserk]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* There was an issue of ''GreenLantern'' in which Hal Jordan, while living as a drifter, was working temporarily as a seasonal farmhand. One of the other farmhands was a hippie who told Hal that he mostly "follow[ed] the Dead," which Hal thought was poetic until the man explained that he followed TheGratefulDead on tour.

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[[folder: Fan Fiction ]]

* ''Fanfic/MassEffectClashOfCivilizations'': As part of a team exploring a space station built by a never before encountered species ([[Franshise/{{Halo}} the UNSC]]).
-->(...)Liara (...) was utterly intrigued with the architecture. (...)Every now and then she would see words written on hanging signs, above doorways, and on walls in some strange alien language. Perhaps they were words of great wisdom or knowledge.\\
''''Restroom Ahead''''\\
''''Dining to the Left (Kids eat free!)''''\\
''''Do not spit over docking ledge. Thank you''''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Films -- Live-Action ]]

* Brian from ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian'', who gained devoted followers that saw anything he said or did as profound, even if they didn't agree on what he meant by them.
* In ''BillAndTedsExcellentAdventure'', Bill and Ted are trying to convince Socrates to help them. But the only thing they can think of that's "philosophical" is explaining the lyrics of "Dust in the Wind" in pantomime. By coincidence, the concept "All we are is dust in the wind." is similar to what Socrates was trying to explain to someone else a moment before, so he is convinced Bill and Ted are of interest to him.
** Also spoofed again in the sequel, when they quote the band Music/{{Poison}} when asked the meaning of life.
* In ''Fear of a Black Hat'', Tone Def states, "Because when you take the bus, you get there." His fellow musicians think it's gibberish, but the producer is deeply impressed with this sage wisdom.
* ''BeingThere'' revolves around the trope. The main character, a gardener with absolutely no experience with the outside world who may or may not have some sort of mental deficiency, is ''always'' thought of as a genius. Hell, the ending insinuates that some people want him to become the ''president''. For example, when asked about the economy, he simply talks about the seasons in relation to his gardening experience. This is immediately inferred as some sort of profound understanding of the global economy. The best part is that he has ''no idea'' why any of this is happening. He's just a polite man making small talk.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* In ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad'' mentions that wisdom from far off appears more profound, which explains why saffron-clad young men tend to pay visits to Ms. Marietta Cosmopolite, an Ankh-Morpork dressmaker. They take the cliches she spouts like "I wasn't born yesterday" and "When it rains, it pours" as koans, and end up inventing a martial art inspired by her that involves shouting at people and hitting them with brooms. ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime'' reveals that Lu-Tze of the Time Monks is a follower of "The Way of Ms. Cosmopolite", but it's unclear whether Lu-Tze actually believes it to be profound or not. He seems to find a certain profundity to them, but unlike the other monks, he also knows what they actually mean; the other monks try to parse them as koans, which makes them look silly (not that they really need Lu-Tze's help at that).
** He ''is'' doing the latter on purpose though; he wrote it all down in a book he carries with him so he can introduce the quotes with "Is it not written..."
* In ''Literature/TheWastelands'', Jake Chambers writes his final essay while losing his mind due to a time paradox. The result is an incoherent mess combining bits of memories from a timeline that never happened with bits of prophesy. Fortunately, his teacher is of the, "[[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible If I don't understand it, it must be brilliant]]" mindset, gives Jake an "A", and says she wants to talk to him about publishing it.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''{{Cheers}}'': when Woody is running for City Council his simple statements are taken as down home country expressions and powerful political messages by reporters.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', "Definitions": Ted shows up to the wrong classroom on his first day as an architecture professor, and misinterprets his students' attempts to inform him of this as profound reflections on architecture.
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', Dawn brings a robot replica of Buffy to a parent-teacher conference rather than reveal that Buffy (her sole legal provider) is dead. The Buffybot naturally makes boneheaded remarks, such as "[[/folder]]

[[folder: School is where you learn. ]]
", all of which are accompanied by 'yeahs!' and 'you said it!' from the other parents. ("Bargaining Pt. 1")
* In ''BoyMeetsWorld'', Shawn ends up sitting in on a college philosophy class. When he tells the professor that he's "just visiting," everyone takes it as an expression of his belief on the transience of life. This leads Shawn to start thinking that he doesn't need to apply himself in his high school classes anymore, since he's apparently having such an easy time in a college environment. Subverted later on when Cory, who shows up to try and bring Shawn back, tells the professor that he's "just passing through" and gets mocked for seemingly thinking he can pass himself off as profound by spouting {{Ice Cream Koan}}s in class.
* In the "Gettysburg" episode of ''[[Series/TheOfficeUS The Office]] (US)'', Kevin complains about the placement of the cookies in the vending machine during a company brainstorming session. Robert California thinks it's a metaphor for a business plan, and winds up congratulating Kevin on his great idea. Everyone else is dumbfounded.
* In a ''Series/TheKidsInTheHall'' skit, Mark, Bruce, and Dave are SittingOnTheRoof sharing a bottle of wine and looking at the moon. Mark tells a story about the moon watching him during a teenage romance, and Bruce spontaneously responds with an angry beat poem about the moon laughing down at violence in the Middle East. Dave gradually goes from appreciative to panicked as he realizes he'll be expected to come up with something too. When his turn comes, he just blurts out, "Gee, I wonder who owns that moon," then cringes as he waits for judgement. Bruce and Mark act as though it's deep and congratulate him. Dave just shrugs and the skit ends.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In ''Videogame/{{Portal 2}}'' when [=GLaDOS=] finds inspiration in the insane ramblings of Cave Johnson.
** Of course, it helps that they're ''both'' AxeCrazy.
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', Riften's court wizard Wylandriah is preoccupied with a magical conundrum. If you ask her about it, she'll ask for your opinion. As you go through the dialogue tree, you can either tell you her you don't know what she's talking about or offer nonsense. She interprets the nonsense as a fresh perspective on her problem, even if you told her to use "the blue thing."

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[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* [[http://nonadventures.com/2006/09/23/lucy-in-the-sky-with-genocide/ This strip]] of ''TheNonAdventuresOfWonderella''.
* In ''Webcomic/KoanOfTheDay'', this [[http://www.koanoftheday.com/17/ has happened]] in [[http://www.koanoftheday.com/2/ several koans]].
* The audience at Pat's performance in [[http://achewood.com/index.php?date=10062003 this]] strip of ''{{Achewood}}''.

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In ''ThePowerpuffGirls'', Mayor is running for reelection, spouting his usual, tired lines. Fuzzy Lumpkins gets tired of Mayor's shouting to the crowd interrupting his sleep, so he yells "SHUT UP!", and people act like it's the best campaign slogan ever.
* This happens relatively often in ''{{Daria}}'', usually only between the least intelligent members of the cast. For example, [[DumbJock Kevin]] and [[DumbBlonde Brittany]] telling each other how smart they are, [[TheLibby Sandi]] telling [[LovableLibby Quinn]] that she's deep, and [[FakeBand Mystic Spiral]] [[IceCreamKoan lyrics]].
** One episode, "Quinn the Brain," centered around most of the school deciding that Quinn was smart and deep, and her trying to act that way as a result (and thus annoying Daria to no end). There was a ResetButton at the end, though ironically Quinn would legitimately go on to [[CharacterDevelopment gain a boost of intelligence]] in later seasons.
** [[TheSnarkKnight Daria]] herself can get this, oddly enough, when she makes a sarcastic comment that people take literally (or as a suggestion for some school activity):
-->'''[[HippieTeacher Mr. O'Neill]]:''' Now, why do you think it is that Tolstoy felt he had to make ''WarAndPeace'' so darned...unpleasant? Daria?
-->'''Daria:''' [[TorchTheFranchiseAndRun So no one would pester him to do a sequel]]?
-->'''Mr. O'Neill:''' ''(thoughtful)'' Hmm...
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Bart's Inner Child", self-help guru Brad Goodman convinces the entire town of Springfield to copy Bart's mantra of "I do what I feel like".
* On ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', Peggy's father is a senile Montana cowboy whose meaningless ramblings Hank takes as "cowboy wisdom."
* Trash Heap from ''FraggleRock'' who gave out random bits of advice that usually worked out this way.
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy,'' [[CloudCuckooLander Fred Fredburger]] has to cast the deciding vote about whether [[TheDitz Billy]] or [[EnfantTerrible Mandy]] is [[TheGrimReaper Grim's]] true master. [[MathematiciansAnswer He replies yes]], which the judge takes as profound wisdom about how the two friends shouldn't be forced to split up in the first place.
* The entire premise of the ''WesternAnimation/TazMania'' episode "Ask Taz".

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