[[quoteright:200:[[Webcomic/{{Goblins}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Goblins_Sacrificed_Skill_4904.jpg]]]]

->"You know why he’s so awkward when he’s so smart? It’s because he took all his talent and poured it into places that have nothing to do with living a normal life!"
-->-- '''Graham Spectre''', ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}''

There are characters who as a result of their lifestyle or education have one area of great strength while being weaker in another. Some people might just have been born that way, but these guys [[TitleDrop sacrificed a basic skill for awesome training]]. Whether from lifestyle, schooling, or personal preference they have grown up without learning a very basic skill. It can be a chore like cooking or laundry, to more important things like reading and dating, or downright ''essential'' like dressing oneself and [[NoSocialSkills social interaction]].

As a result of a sheltered and highly structured lifestyle where their education and training was tightly controlled, they become so that a key part in their upbringing or skill set is completely ignored, sometimes ''purposely'' by their teacher as "unnecessary" or distracting. Before long, they become something of an idiot savant: an [[TechnicianVersusPerformer expert artist]] that is nonetheless unable to carry out a basic ability. In extreme cases they may not even understand it.

This trope has two different setups. The more common one involves a character who spends their formative years in a convent, school or sequestered in a family home and trained in the "family ways". Usually, these involve warfare, magic, or assassination. Expect there to be TrainingFromHell and TheSpartanWay especially that is so [[CripplingOverspecialization highly specialized]] it leaves no room for anything else. So instead of Home Ec 101, they're getting Tundra Guerrilla Tactics 101. The children who "graduate" are usually {{Tyke Bomb}}s, in which case it was probably done purposely by their teacher. They might have considered it "unnecessary" or distracting, or useful to exclude both make their job easier and keep them tightly controlled. In the case of a school or the like, the students are likely so rigorously policed and kept apart that they don't interact enough to learn basic social skills.

The other set up is perhaps more alien, it's when a character purposely ignores the basic skill because he or she considers it "wasteful". This isn't just a SpoiledBrat forking off laundry to a maid, but usually a highly focused (or at least willful) character who purposely avoids all knowledge in that field in favor of more interesting pursuits.

Cue FishOutOfWater moment when the princess is dumped on the street, or the chaste assassin rebel starts interacting with the (very sexy) opposite gender. Usually they'll make a friend [[UpbringingMakesTheHero (or partner)]] who can help them with the missing skill.

If there is a whole ''team'' of people with the same absent basic skill, expect them to panic and try their best to do the job themselves. [[VetinariJobSecurity Understandably, you can expect]] [[HilarityEnsues hilarious results]].

If the character has developed awesome abilities and lacks important skills due to a mental difference rather than TrainingFromHell, they may be an IdiotSavant or TheRainman. When what is sacrificed is common sense or social skill, it may lead to the creation of a BunnyEarsLawyer. Compare UnskilledButStrong. See also CripplingOverspecialization.

Infamously used when MinMaxing roleplaying characters, whether it makes any sense or not.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Many {{Idiot Hero}}es seems to act like this, lacking many of the conventional skills and smarts in order to be a normal person, but usually being a good fighter or exceedingly skilled at whatever the plot is based around.
* Medaka of ''Manga/MedakaBox'' can do ''everything'', literally ''everything''. She is a master of every single sport ever played, top of ''every'' class, could read entire libraries of books when she ''was three'' and can rip entire buildings off their foundations with her bare hands. Because of her near perfection though, her people skills are non-existent. She can barely understand how normal people work and generally causes trouble everywhere she goes. It has required the life time effort and struggle of her childhood friend Zenkichi to just barely keep her in check.
* L from ''Manga/DeathNote'' was [[spoiler: raised in an orphanage for genius children,]] making him insanely smart, but with NoSocialSkills and a couple other... uhh, quirks.
* Sosuke Sagara from ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic''. Most of the time, he approaches everyday life as if he were in a combat environment. He has landmines buried on school grounds. He responded to a secret admirer leaving him a package by ''blowing it up'' from a safe distance as per EOD protocol. And when he was buying food from a popular vendor, Chidori advised him to be "aggressive"...as such, he fired a pistol into the air and made his order as if he were robbing a bank. The tradeoff is that he's an incredible soldier and pilot, especially considering he's a teenager[[note]]16 at the start of the series, 18 at the end[[/note]].
* Goku from ''Manga/DragonBall'', due to living all his childhood in the mountains with only his adoptive grandfather, has NoSocialSkills, no concepts of things like money and gender and as we find out later, no job skills either. He can survive very well off the land, and even provide for his family in ''Z'', but his wife isn't entirely happy with the situation. Though, if the first episode of ''Z'' is to believed, he could've made a living as a lumberjack working just a couple of months a year or he could have kept entering (and winning) the World Martial Arts Tournaments.
** If the latest OVA is anything to by, he could make a good living as a farmer.
* Used well with characterization in ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}''. When Ash and Pikachu go against Lt. Surge and Raichu, they lose. Now, Ash can evolve Pikachu at any time using a Thunderstone, but Pikachu vehemently refuses to evolve to match Raichu. Turns out that in Lt. Surge's haste to evolve his Pikachu into a Raichu, it didn't learn basic attacks (especially ones involving speed). Bulbasaur and Squirtle also adopt this philosophy, but contrast Charizard who evolved as quickly as possible because of its low self-esteem. It ends up leaving Ash to train because it is ''relatively weak'', while Bulbasaur and Squirtle lead Pokemon teams with more advanced Pokemon following ''them''.
** Though Charizard's a bit more complicated. While it did evolve early, it remains as Ash's most powerful pokemon throughout just about the entire series. It's weakness compared to other Charizard is more attributed to the facts that A. It flat out refused to battle/train for most of it's time with Ash, and B. The Charizard it's compared to spend ALL their time in brutal training with other Charizard. After Ash's Charizard spends some time training, it briefly comes back and ''beats a [[OlympusMons Legendary Pokemon]] in a one-on-one battle''.
** Also see the Team Rocket trio's Meowth, who can't use Pay Day because he learned to talk and walk upright instead.
** In the games themselves, holding a Pokemon back from evolving leaves them with lower base stats (until they evolve, at least), but they learn many attacks sooner, or, in several cases (mostly involving evolutionary stones), moves they couldn't otherwise learn at all.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' revealed that Wonderweiss [[spoiler: is the only modded Arrancar in existence - his effective autism is because he lost everything to counteract and seal away Ryujin Jakka, considered to be the Zanpakuto with the most raw power ever.]] Also, most arrancars gave up their basic hollow regenerative abilities for greater strength. Nnoitra and Ulquiorra are the exception, since both their Resurrecions include even more powerful regenerative abilities.
* Ippo from ''Manga/HajimeNoIppo'' is the best infighter in Japan, and possibly even the world. However, he's done so by all but ignoring the skills that would make him a well rounded fighter, to focus his training only into increasing his devastating punching power and his inhuman endurance, and almost nothing else.
** Ippo and his coach had given effort to make Ippo into a well rounded fighter, but had realized that such choice would be less effective rather than just trying him into the best pure-infighter they can, for: A) Ippo has a very small physique and very short reach making him extremely effective in close range but the exact opposite otherwise. B) Ippo is a 'top of top' tier hardpuncher with 'inhuman endurance' thus wild brawling such as even trading hits will be extremely at his advantage C) Ippo just wasn't born to be an outfighter, unable to match the skills of other top notch boxers in outfighting D) Ippo and his coach are the type of people who cry 'gutsu gutsu', often almost to the degree of 'Throw the towel? Rather die!'
* The cast from ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf''. In particular, see Ranma, Ryouga, Mousse and Shampoo; by and large, they make up for their extensive martial abilities with their lack of social skill and modern knowledge. Ranma, because of his father's upbringing, Ryouga, because of his lack of upbringing, and Shampoo and Mousse, because they were raised in a warrior society. It should be noted that the extensive fandom means that the exact balance between the characters (as well as the extent of their abilities or lack thereof, as the case may be) can be argued, ad infinitum ad nauseum.
* Shichika from ''LightNovel/{{Katanagatari}}'' spent his entire life training under his father to master Kyotoryuu on a deserted island. At the start of the series he has absolutely no knowledge of the outside world and can't even pick up the differences between other people. This seems to have been intentional on his father's part; a Kyotoryuu master is supposed to be a sword (not a swordsman) with no will of his own that someone else wields. Most of Shichika's CharacterDevelopment has him realizing that he is still a human and has a will of his own. Another side effect of Shichika's training is that he is completely unable to wield swords. This becomes an issue in episode 9 since the owner of that episode's Deviant blade is a kendo master who refuses to duel Shichika unless he is also armed and armored.
** At the last episodes, we discover that this trope is exaggerated: Shichika was the last product of an AncientConspiracy, the Kyotouryuu, the No Sword School, that wants to create the perfect swordman (a man so powerful that don’t need swords anymore), and he is the seventh generation of a school that had made the practicing of this martial art the principal motive of their lives. That means that Sinichika is the last generation of five guys, each of them who were educated by a father who SacrificedBasicSkillForAwesomeTraining, meaning each generation had more and more NoSocialSkills.
* Guts from ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'', who [[RaisedByDudes grew up in a medieval mercenary camp]] and remained a mercenary until the Eclipse came down. Though he is intelligent in his own way, he knows little more than how to fight and survive.
* Seijirou Shin of ''Manga/{{Eyeshield 21}}'' is incredibly intelligent, [[TrainingFromHell freakishly hardworking]], and athletically gifted, but lacks any awareness of social norms and has a tendency to break any piece of machinery within seconds of getting it.
* Barnaby from ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'' has been focused on becoming a superhero for four-fifths of his life, and as a result has developed a very odd personality; he knows exactly how to behave in public in order to inspire awe and boost popularity, but flounders ''badly'' when it comes to personal relationships. Throw in the "absolute trust or complete mistrust, nothing in-between" bit and you've got a guy with a very weird form of NoSocialSkills.
* Jin from ''Anime/SamuraiChamploo'' fits this to a T. Trained from childhood in a high-level and super purist dojo, by age 20 he's a fearsome, near-unbeatable kenjutsu prodigy who can't cook, catch fish, hold a conversation (especially with women), or drink more than two shots of sake without falling asleep. He does get better once he has to.
* Poor, poor Extendeds from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny''. Especially Stella. One of the Alliance best pilots, but has a mind of an eight-year-old.
* The Claymores from ''Manga/{{Claymore}}''. Though not all of them may have been 100% willing, they sacrifice their recognition as humans to be monster hybrids for superhuman strength, speed and other superpowers whilst being despised and feared by those they protect. They are also made to fight monsters until they are killed or become a monster themselves.
* Sai in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' can go toe-to-toe with S-Class criminals twice his age but needs a book that tells him how act tactfully and politely. This is explained as part of his training in Root, which kills emotions and empathy, though none of the other Root members seen in the series so far are nearly as socially maladjusted as Sai.
* ''Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'': Subtly played by the Masters of the Ryouzanpaku: Six masters of their own martial arts, all of them (except the oldest) are {{Socially Awkward Hero}}es: Akisame Koetsuji is a BrokenAce, Shio Sakaki is a JerkWithAHeartOfGold, Apachai Hopachai is a ManChild, Shigure Kosaka has NoSocialSkills, Kensei Mai is a HenpeckedHusband that ran out on his family, all of them depend of Miu Furinji to run the dojo. All of them were reunited at the Dojo because they have not other place to go. Hayato Furinji claimed that Kenichi (TheHeart) united them in a true family.
* This trope fits Millia Falnya Jenius from ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'' to a T. She is an ace pilot and proficient in close-combat as well, but as soon as she and Max are married, she nearly burns them out of Max's quarters by the simple act of making coffee. {{Justified}} due to her Zentraedi upbringing: cooking is not a necessary skill for a race of pure warriors.
* Unlike most shonen protagonists, Black of ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'' actually studied extensively on his own for nine years before officially going out on his quest ToBeAMaster. Unfortunately, while Black isn't inherently a JerkAss, this has made him so focused on his goal that he honestly doesn't notice at times how his actions can inconvenience other people.
** Sapphire has a bit of a problem with this, due to living in the wild for most of her life. She's incredibly strong and agile, with a powerful sense of smell and quite a bit of nature survival knowledge... but she has some trouble with reading and writing. She's not completely illiterate (she maintained ''some'' contact with the civilized world), but can't read kanji (original Japanese) or big words (English translation). She is also unaware of ''what a Pokemon Center is'', although she's capable of treating her Pokemon's ailments herself.
* ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'': Sanosuke doesn't really have many skills outside of fighting; his activities mainly included mooching off and being lazy. Even during fights he's often reckless and relies more on his inherent strength, but his inhuman endurance and power from street fighting make him a formidable opponent.
** Kenshin fits to a lesser extent; he's a nice guy with a fair bit of wisdom to offer. However, most of his life was devoted to learning swordsmanship. Coupled with his wanderer lifestyle, there's not much else he's good at.
** A sadder example exists with the Oniwabanshu. Other than Aoshi, none of his four comrades had any skills that were applicable in a new era. This coupled with their grotesque appearances meant that they desired to only fight.
* ''Manga/HeavensLostProperty'': Ikaros has strength & intelligence maxed out at the expense of her emotions, Nymph has intelligence & emotions maxed at the expense of strength, and Astraea has sacrificed intelligence for strength & emotions.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* [[ComicBook/{{Batgirl 2000}} Cassandra Cain]] was trained from birth to be the perfect assassin and martial artist, with the ability to read body language so well that she can predict how her opponents will move. The method of teaching her this incredible understanding of body language? She was raised with absolutely no exposure to language of any other kind. She was seven or eight before she even ''heard'' speech for the first time, and only telepathic intervention well into her teens enabled her to understand it.
** Which destroyed her intuitive combat abilities. Only after a lot of training and a lethal ordeal ([[spoiler: only after being killed, then revived by ComicBook/LadyShiva does she begin to regain her talents]]).
* Threeboot Titanians, such as Threeboot ''Saturn Girl'' from the Comicbook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}} fall into this. Titanias are an highly evolved race of telepaths, highly skilled in mindreading, thoughtcasting and ESP. However, their faculty over generation caused their offspring to born with underdeveloped, if not nonexistent, voice boxes. If not for telepathic speech, every single Titanian in existence would be a mute.
* Bruce Wayne, more commonly known as Franchise/{{Batman}}, occasionally falls into this, with Alfred as his occasional voice of reason. Sometimes Bruce needs reminding to do everyday activities, or at least do stuff normal people would expect of a RichIdiotWithNoDayJob.
** Like ''sleep.''
** He is at least aware of his limits when it comes to his cover: "What does somebody like me do?"
** Also Bruce Wayne absolutely cannot cook, though that's mostly because he's had such an excellent chef available to him his whole life. DependingOnTheWriter.
** His son Damian is even more socially retarded. He started ninja training at the age of three, and at the age of ten, he has never even been in a bounce house.
** Also, for all his crime fighting abilities, he has absolutely dismal social skills.
* {{X-23}} was raised from birth to be the perfect assassin, and kept isolated from the rest of the world(except for assassination missions). Because of this she does not understand emotions and has no clue how to interact with other people.
* {{Taskmaster}}'s ability to memorize fighting techniques simply by seeing them also has the downside of making him forget things unrelated to combat such as his memories or basic information.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Julius Benedict (Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger) in the movie ''Film/{{Twins}}'' learned to speak 12 languages, and excelled in mathematics, history, science and literature. Highly intelligent, but extremely naive about the real world which his more worldly brother inhabits.
* ''Film/{{Hanna}}'' was raised to know how to fight in an instant, but never learned basic social skills or how the real world works. This becomes a problem when she is separated from her dad and enters the real world.
* Kurt Russell's character in ''Film/{{Soldier}}'', along with everyone else in his unit, was taken by the military as an infant and raised to be little more than an obedient weapon. He has '''''no''''' social skills whatsoever, and barely speaks excepts when giving a one or two word reply to someone else.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In the first Literature/SherlockHolmes story, ''A Study in Scarlet'', it's said that Holmes has next to no practical knowledge that isn't related to detective work. He professes surprise when Watson tells him that the earth revolves around the sun (and states his intention to forget about it as best he can, so as not to fill up his mind with irrelevant information- comparing it to a 'brain attic', and information with furniture). This part of his character was quickly dropped by the author, as by ''A Scandal in Bohemia'', Sherlock has quite a great deal of political knowledge (in contradiction to Watson's claim in ''Scarlet'' that Holmes' has a "feeble" grasp of politics), Holmes often peppers his speech with literature references, and, in any case, Holmes' ultimate career as a bee-keeper would suggest he's picked up the practical gardening knowledge that Watson claims he lacks.
** Lampshaded in the [[Series/{{Sherlock}} new BBC adaptation]], where his rant about the uselessness of astronomy comes back to bite him in the arse, but he [[ChekhovsClassroom just happens to visit a planetarium]] in pursuit of a suspect, where he hears part of a presentation that contains the astronomy information he needs to solve the next of Moriarty's riddles.
* Captain Carrot in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' was raised by dwarfs, so while he's quite apt at taking out threats, he doesn't get sarcasm or innuendo. Then again, neither do dwarfs (this is a cultural thing, because dwarves live in relatively dangerous locations, so making sure everyone believes you when you say a cave-in is about to occur is a survival trait).
** This is not to say he's incapable of guile or deception; he just does it in his own way. In one scene in ''Discworld/MenAtArms'', he tells the head of the Fools' Guild that he has "special orders" he must follow if he is asked to leave (namely, that he must ''accept'' such a request), and insinuates that the consequences would be very bad for ''someone'' if he was forced to carry them out.
*** He also admits quite honestly that he would feel "very ashamed" if forced to carry out his orders. This ability is something he developed after prolonged exposure to city life; when he first left the mountain, he was ''absolutely'' straightforward. Dwarves have also developed the ability to be quite sneaky at times and have a highly complex culture. Maybe it's just that Carrot was raised by uncomplicated country folk, and was also rather young when he first arrived in Ankh-Morpork.
** Rincewind as well: he's a FragileSpeedster, smart, but with few practical skills. This is largely because wizards aren't supposed to ''have'' any practical skills; they leave those to the [[UnEqualRites witches]].
*** Rincewind is an odd example of this trope as applied to ''wizards'': having practically no capacity for magic whatsoever, he's had to become ''much'' more physically capable than your average wizard simply to survive [[EverythingTryingToKillYou in a world that seems to be actively trying to kill him.]] As a result, at the end of ''The Light Fantastic'', [[spoiler:he managed to defeat one of the [[EldritchAbomination Things from the Dungeon Dimensions]] - which was strong enough to ''[[TakenForGranite petrify]]'' several senior wizards - ''[[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu by punching it into submission.]]'']] He also solved the problem of the unstoppable Sourcerer, a fountainhead of magic, with a brick in a sock. He's not tough at all--just compared to most wizards, and has more importantly developed a talent for thinking in straight lines.
** The Last Continent hangs a lampshade on the fact that society itself has done this when Ponder Stibbons' internal monologue defines a savage as someone who only knows useless and backwards things like how to tell an edible mushroom from a poisonous one, instead of important, civilized things like the square root of 27 (five and a bit)...while he's stranded on a deserted island with the rest of the wizards, who are equally civilized.
* The children in ''Literature/EndersGame'', most notably the titular character, are separated from their families at a young age and placed in an orbiting military boarding school. The most promising, such as Ender and Bean, are intentionally isolated even from this small community by the teachers. The result are genius commanders who have little connection with their culture of origin and have no idea how to navigate typical social situations outside of a military command structure. Being geniuses, those who are motivated to do so can learn to fake it pretty easily, and most seem to adapt okay after a few years on the outside.
** Hilariously alluded to in OrsonScottCard's ''Shadow of the Giant'' at a gathering of Ender's old jeesh of military supergeniuses.
-->"It was an analogy," said [[RetiredBadass Rackham]]. "[[ChildSoldier If you hadn't spent your entire childhood playing war games]], you'd actually know something. You're all so uneducated."
* Not so much a basic skill as cultural knowledge, but wizards in ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' are very ignorant of the world outside their community. For example, Hogwarts has to offer classes in basic {{Muggle}} technology and culture. Despite Hogsmeade being the only all-wizard community [[HiddenElfVillage in Britain]], most wizards are so self ostracized they can't function outside their {{Masquerade}} without drawing attention to themselves. Even Arthur Weasley, who was ''director of the Ministry office dealing with Misuse of Muggle Artefacts'', needed Harry's help to correctly pay a cashier with British pounds.
** Also, in the first book, one of the obstacles defending the Philosopher's Stone is a logic riddle because, as Hermione puts it, "A lot of the greatest wizards don't have an ounce of logic in them, they'd be stuck here forever."
** Interestingly, as Harry and Hermione were raised by Muggles, they can be ignorant of wizard culture. For example, in the final book, they haven't heard of the tales of Beedle the Bard, which are fairy tales set in the wizarding world and which would be very familiar to magical youths, who wouldn't have heard of Cinderella and other Muggle mythology.
** Though given the increasingly small number of Pureblood wizards and the rising number of Muggleborn or half-Muggle children, it's mostly older wizards who are clueless. Many students and younger wizards are perfectly capable of passing for Muggle when they need to.
** We also only have a fairly small sample set when it comes to wizards in the wider world, and both the primary examples do have some sort of excuse: Hagrid's job probably keeps him in and around Hogwarts and the neighbouring village, so he wouldn't get a lot of practice, and Arthur comes off as more than a little absent-minded.
* In ''Le Mort D'Arthur'', Lancelot says at one point that he's bad at climbing trees. ''Literature/TheOnceAndFutureKing'', a modern update, expands this to a general lack of all skills that children normally learn through play, since he spent most of his childhood concentrating on his combat skills to the exclusion of all else.
* Kirth Gersen of ''Literature/TheDemonPrinces'' series, much like Sosuke Sagara, has been focused primarily on combat since childhood; his social skills aren't ''completely'' missing, but he's pretty inept.
** He had a different love-interest to one degree or another in each of the five books. Not exactly a shabby performance, plus he was aware of, and occasionally [[{{Wangst}} prone to undue introspection about]], the abnormal life he chose to lead.
* DocSavage, GeniusBruiser, righter of wrongs, and certified BadAss with CharlesAtlasSuperpower is one of the most learned men in the world in several fields of endeavor, but he never figured out how to cook.
* Literature/ArtemisFowl is the world's smartest human; he has several patents, designed an opera house, became a musical genius and expert in combat tactics, and wrote several medical books, all by the age of 13 or so. However, he has cannot cook (he tries, and pretty much fails, to make a sandwich), is too physically weak to hold or shoot anything heavier than a fairy handgun, and even when [[GenreSavvy he has Butler start teaching him martial arts]], he has no skill with it. He can't even remember having climbed a ladder in his life.
** He also SUCKS at communicating with people without making them hate him. His only friend (Butler) is literally paid to be around him. And once puberty hit, he was quickly distracted by every girl he found pretty and struggled to keep his mind straight.
** On the other hand, [[spoiler: Orion is more skilled at it.]]
** Butler, on the other hand, ''can'' cook (to make sure no one poisons Artemis, presumably) and is ludicrously skilled in combat, but has very little ability to do anything creative, or things outside his training/orders. As a min-maxed pair, Butler and Artemis work pretty well; they only have problems when they get split up, so, naturally, they get separated pretty often.
** Foaly is in the same boat, although as a centaur, he ''is'' able to trample people...
*** ''Small'' people. Centaurs are on the same scale as the rest of the fairy folk, meaning Foaly probably equals ponyman.
* In Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''{{Foundation}}'' series, the entire Second Foundation did this; they didn't develop any new advances in technology or the physical sciences, or even preserve most of the existing ones, instead focusing exclusively on developing psychohistory. As a result, they can pretty much control people's minds and can predict the future with astonishing accuracy, but they can't defend themselves against physical attack--which is why they have to stay hidden.
** And which is why, every hundred years or so, they must scramble to mind-wipe yet another person who threatens to develop an [[NoSell anti-psychic field]], which, in-universe, is slightly less complicated that [[ScienceMarchesOn a button-and-a-dial remote control]].
* In Anne Mason's YA novels about linguist Kira Warden, throughout Kira's childhood her parents were constantly taking her on their missions to other planets. This helped make her a outstanding linguist and cultural interpreter, but meant that she missed out on a lot of the general education that her agemates received.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Arthur from ''The Adventures of Merlin'' is unable to dress himself without his personal servant, Merlin.
* Sheldon from ''TheBigBangTheory'' has, as he puts it "a working knowledge of the ''important'' things in the universe"... which apparently does not include driving a car.
** [[BlatantLies Justified]] in that [[InsaneTrollLogic cars do not seem to be a frequent transportation method in most of our solar system or of our universe.]]
*** Nevermind that he was quite capable of driving Penny to the hospital, except for running a red light because Penny told him to, he doesn't seem to actually have any problems driving.
**** It's not that he isn't capable of driving, but he's just so ridiculously paranoid that if he drove on a regular basis, he'd be gray by 30.
** Sheldon also DoesNotUnderstandSarcasm or even symbolism, adheres rigidly to familiar habits and schedules, and knows little to nothing of non-nerdy popular culture (a trait shared somewhat with his roommate Leonard). Sheldon's social skills are also lacking, but that's more by choice; he's relentlessly logical, [[WillNotTellALie brutally honest]], and refuses to feign interest in people or situations he finds boring. He's also incapable of keeping secrets.
*** The main reason he doesn't lie or keep secrets is because he's paranoid that someone will PullTheThread. The one time we see him try to lie, he constructs an elaborate back story (which he insists Leonard learn and help him construct alibis and documentation for) and provides unsolicited details about it at awkward moments. With the effort he puts into lying, it's just easier to accept the consequences of honesty.
* In the ''Series/TwilightZone'' episode "Mute" we have a young girl, orphaned in a house fire, who apparently cannot speak a word. We find this trope applies when she turns out to be completely telepathic. Unfortunately, a strictly conformist teacher forces the girl to be BroughtDownToNormal by forcing the girl to speak (which causes her to lose her gift).
* Parker from ''Series/{{Leverage}}''. An incredibly talented thief who plans complicated robberies the same way normal people do crosswords, she nonetheless has serious problems interacting with people on an everyday basis. Because of an abusive childhood ''(during which she may or may not have blown up her foster parents)'' and later being raised/trained by a master thief, she comes across in non-heist situations as awkward, disturbing, or somewhere in between.
* Dr. Temperance Brennan from ''{{Bones}}'' is a genius forensic anthropologist, but has zero social skills, no knowledge of pop culture, and DoesNotUnderstandSarcasm.
** Every time Brennan says "I don't know what that means." take a shot. You won't make it to the first act break.
*** While she still lacks social skills and can often be overly LiteralMinded, [[CharacterDevelopment her understanding of society has greatly improved in later seasons.]]
** Oddly enough this only extends to ''her own'' culture. She has shown a working knowledge of several other cultures, including their pop culture, over the course of the show.
*** Making it even odder, she shows an understanding of many things in her own pop culture, making it a bit off-putting that she misunderstands common metaphors but views JerseyShore of all things as a documentary.
** Zach Addy, Brennan's assistant until [[spoiler:he goes batshit crazy and becomes the apprentice of a cannibal]], is the same way, leading to [[WildMassGuessing widespread speculation]] that he has Asperger's.
* The Swedish comedian group ''VaranTV'' made a sketch about a family who didn't let their son go to school, because that would take time from their busy schedule of teaching him ninjutsu so he could participate in junior leagues of UFC. "Why learn math when there are so many other important things to know in life? Like how to escape when attacked by three people at the same time."
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' has a version of this with a one-off race of [[HumanAliens aliens]]. The "awesome training" is instant learning from nanobots, which are imprinted with the information by specially selected children who basically act as information harvesters. The children are filled with these nanobots, then tasked with learning everything there is to know about a specific topic. Once the child reaches a certain age, the nanobots are harvested and spread to every member of the society - leaving the child essentially mindless. Learning is painless and thorough, but because the kids their information comes from are treated as pure data-gathering units, they never learn things like play, with the result that no one else on the planet learns it either; the concept of drawing something that isn't an exact diagram is utterly foreign to them.
** Later upped by the Ancient Repository of Knowledge. It writes everything there is to know about the universe into one's brain... but the human brain is not meant to store that much information, gradually overwriting things and eventually killing the subject when it starts mucking up low-level things. O'Neill was the only one who actually used it on-screen; it gave him insane scientific prowess, to the point that he invented a revolutionary new method of distance calculations between Stargates using base 8 math, and tweaked the battery of a handheld energy weapon into a one-use energy source of astronomical power... at the expense of losing his ability to speak, read or even understand English.
** Dr. [=McKay=] encounters another Ancient device in ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', which enhances his brain activity in preparation for [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence ascension]]. However, as he starts developing advanced powers such as telepathy and telekinesis, his brain starts losing the ability to regulate the more basic functions needed to keep his body alive, until it becomes a choice of "ascend or die".
* Tom in ''Series/BeingHuman'' is incredibly naive and socially awkward, due to having been raised in near-isolation from a young age by his adopted father. His lack of social graces are because all of his training was focused on managing his Lycanthropy and in hunting down and killing Vampires. Considering that Vampires have superior strength to humans, while Werewolves are regular individuals for most of the month, it's a testament to this training that Tom is able to go toe-to-toe with numerous Vampires and is said to have an incredible bodycount to his name.
* In ''Series/{{BurnNotice}}'', Michael mentions that spying is a great way to learn things like how to survive in the back mountains of Afghanistan, or how to disassemble a .50 caliber machinegun, but it does't teach you how to do more basic skills of normal life, like keeping track of sports teams or how to hold a baby.
* The title character in ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' is a polymath forensic genius who has honed his memory and reasoning skills into precision weapons and spends his spare time researching things like what harpoon wounds look like. His knowledge of human interaction is limited to criminology and he's absolutely hopeless at navigating social situations. His older brother Mycroft is even more brilliant and even worse at emotional reasoning.
--> '''Sherlock Holmes:''' Look, it doesn't matter to me who's Prime Minister, or who's sleeping with whom--
--> '''John Watson:''' [somewhat bitterly] Or that the earth goes around the sun.
--> '''Sherlock Holmes:''' Oh God, that again?! It's not important!
--> '''John Watson:''' Not important? It's primary school stuff! How can you not know that?
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Radio]]
* On ''Radio/CabinPressure'', Martin knows very little about [[PopCulturalOsmosisFailure literature and pop culture]], has NoSocialSkills and is pitifully hopeless in a fight. He does have encyclopaedic knowledge of aeroplanes. Unfortunately for him, skill at operating an aeroplane was not part of the deal.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Practically a universal rule of all {{RPG}}s: since the mechanics usually enforce some kind of balance on the game, creating a character who is exceedingly proficient at one thing (be it magic, sword-fighting, unarmed combat, whatever) will usually result in sub-par abilities elsewhere. It is all too easy to slip into the realm of "Min-Maxing", where a character contains a ridiculous number of weaknesses or quirks (usually applying to everything ''but'' their chosen skill) because each optional weakness taken provides precious character points for strengthening their one chosen skill.
** This can backfire very badly, depending of course on the GM's level of personal evil and the style of the campaign.
** Specifically, the "min" part leaves a very obvious ManOfKryptonite situation open to a GM that's tired of your nonsense.
* Games that use [[http://nc-gamers.com/pointbuy.aspx Point Buy]] for ability scores (such as ''DungeonsAndDragons'') can fall into this. A player can maximise their chosen ability score, but have so few points left that the rest of their ability scores are average at best.
* The Barbarian of pre-third edition of ''DungeonsAndDragons'' is a LightningBruiser, and is considered by some to be the best melee class. He has exactly 3 weaknesses: He has no resistance to magic whatsoever, he is illiterate [[LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards and he isn't a spell caster]].
* In third edition DungeonsAndDragons, wizards can do this by specializing in a single school of magic. This gives them the ability to cast more spells of that school but they become completely unable to use two other schools of magic.
* Characters in ''TabletopGame/TheWorldOfDarkness'' systems, especially those that are built toward combat, can often end up in this category -- they still get raw attributes toward their rolls, but penalties can be insurmountable.
* Averted in ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' and possibly others: the starting skill value of 0 just means no special training (eg. 0 in a knowledge skill represents what a high school student knows).
** The above-mentioned universal rule still looms, however. Players can take the "Incompetent" flaw, which means their character lacks even the common knowledge that might apply to the skill. Zero skill in driving means you can't be a stunt driver. Incompetent: Driving means you don't have a driver's license.
* Several archetypes from ''TabletopGame/FengShui'', such as the Killer, the Techie and the Sorcerer, have no Martial Arts skill, with their only combat skills being in guns or sorcery, and thus have to default to Reflexes in order to do things that do not involve guns or sorcery that isn't covered by their other major skills.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', the Infernal Exalted have Charms that work like this -- which makes sense, as their Charm trees are more about emulating the [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils Yozi]] who gave them their powers more than anything else. [[AxCrazy Adorjan]], for instance, has Charms that allow the Exalted to block all social influence attempts -- by turning all noise into wretched, hateful discord; or communicate telepathically -- by losing the ability to vocalize anything but laughter. [[MyBelovedSmother Kimbery]], meanwhile, has the Intolerable Burning Truths Charm, which covers a number of conditions the Infernal can buy into while at the same time losing the ability to do something else (such as making it easier to establish and protect an Intimacy to someone while losing the ability to hate someone for their betrayal).
* Averted in SavageWorlds: While it is possible to min-max to the moon and back, SavageWorlds introduced the "Common Knowledge"-roll as a way to get a reasonably well-rounded character without having to spend a whole slow of experience points on a number of vaguely useful knowledge skills.
* BattleTech: [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Clan]] [[DesignerBabies Trueborns]] are raised from birth to fight. Their training programs produce some of the best warriors, tacticians and (for the more prominent bloodlines) leaders around but other areas get neglected. Trueborns generally don't perform well in other fields if they don't have the civilian castes to back them up and this can often be a problem for anyone (that is, around 90%) who washes out of the warrior caste.
** The RPG system also enforces this for characters; everything is purchased with experience. A special forces operative isn't going to have room for negotiating prowess after he's spent his experience points on stealth, demolitions and marksmanship skills.
* ''WarhammerFantasyRoleplay'', a setting that depends heavily on diversifying skills and gives even most combat-related careers some non-combat skills for roleplaying reasons (for instance, mercenaries tend to be decent at gambling and haggling), the troll slayer has only three skills, of which one is only useful in a fight (Dodge Blow) and the two others generally useful for starting one (Intimidate, Consume Alcohol).
* The Spycraft system, which runs primarily on skills and a skill-focus/proficiency system, hits this intentionally very, very hard. Not having full ranks in a skill places a flat cap on your total result, which can make advanced tasks literally impossible. Having no ranks in a skill lowers the cap to where it's barely possible to do basic tasks, and dramatically increases the likelihood of catastrophic failure. So players have to choose between extreme specialization and crippling mediocrity, with the first usually winning.
** It's even worse with weapons, given that the non-proficient penalty to attacks is substantial and, for instance, the critical failure on a grenade is to pull the pin and drop it at your feet...
* The rules for most TabletopGame/ProseDescriptiveQualities games are explicitly written to avert it - anything you don't have a better rank in, you have automatically at Average [+0], which is general competence that anyone has. You might not be a gourmet chef if you don't take a cooking Quality, but you can at least boil water or cook meat without burning it. Though you can still hyper-specialize to your detriment by overlapping your Qualities as much as possible. In ''Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies'', this may even be a good way to rack up [[ExperiencePoints Training Points]] quickly, by jumping in outside your area of expertise, because you only gain TP for failed rolls. Whether your party will appreciate it, on the other hand...
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* This happens a lot in video games; just look at all of the near-gods of combat who don't know how to jump, or [[SuperDrowningSkills how to swim.]]
* In ''{{Halo}}'', especially the background books, Master Chief and the other SPARTANS are this. Taken from their homes and normal lives, their life from early childhood has been nothing but the military. As such, they are basically incapable in normal social situations, and often have difficulty relating to anyone who isn't a SPARTAN. One of the side effects of their augmentation is suppression of any sort of sex drive whatsoever.
** The SPARTAN-[=IIIs=] are even worse, as they consist of war orphans from worlds destroyed by the Covenant, raised by focusing entirely on their drive for revenge and made into disposable suicide soldiers. SPARTAN-[=IIs=] were at least given a reasonably well-rounded education and can at least pass as normal amongst enlisted personnel. [=IIIs=] are socially unskilled ''and'' AxCrazy. This can be seen in ''HaloReach'', comparing the personality and behavior of Jorge (the lone SPARTAN-II) with the rest of Noble Team, especially Emile.
* Starkiller from ''TheForceUnleashed'' was raised his whole life by Darth Vader as his personal assassin, and as a result is unsure how to act around his lovely pilot, Juno Eclipse. It's also a miracle that he successfully impersonated a Jedi and rallied The Emperor's enemies into The Rebel Alliance.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Summoner 2}}'', Sangaril was raised from a young age to be an assassin, but couldn't kill when she witnessed joy for the first time, instead becoming Maia's most trusted companion instead of her killer. Sangaril's mentor, however, sought revenge for her betrayal.
* Similarly to Sangaril, Zevran from ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' was raised as an assassin by the Antivan crows. He alludes to not having many skills apart from this. You can suggest (at a different point) that he would make a good prostitute, which makes him laugh.
* In ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'', more than one Valkyria (Selvaria from [[VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles VCI]] and Aliasse from [[VideoGame/ValkyriaChroniclesII VCII]]) knew no life besides being used in experiments, until chance encounters changed their lives (Selvaria's encounter with Maximilian, or Aliasse's friendship with Avan and Cosette) Aliasse in particular is still very young, and as such, is a powerful Valkyria but is also very naive and uneducated.
* Luke from ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' comes to mind. After being found with no memories, his parents refused to let him leave the manor. While he studied swordsmanship to pass the time, he was so ignorantly unaware of how the world outside worked that he bit into an apple without paying (an excuse for the tutorial on shopping) and was branded a thief for it. As well, despite his amazing ability to use the seventh fonon to create a hyperresonnance, he is also incapable of learning healing spells, which are the basic application of the seventh fonon.
* Ashtarte in ''[[VideoGame/TearsToTiara2 Tears to Tiara 2]]'' is a goddess who haven't appeared on earth for a long time. She needs to be taught what ''hunger'' is and ''how to eat''.
* SuperpoweredEvilSide: The God of War Melqart, who [[TheHero Hamil]] summon to take possession of his body by promising the blood and destruction of [[TheEmpire The
* Similar to tabletop RPG s, one of the earlier SmackdownVsRaw games (back when it was still called Smackdown!) allowed your created characters to sacrifice attribute points for quirks that gave you a slight advantage in combat. On the other hand you could also pick negative traits to give you additional attribute points. This allowed the wrestler to receive ungodly strength or endurance in exchange for being hampered by multiple ''crippled limbs''. Happily elective quadriplegia had almost [[GameplayAndStorySegregation no affect whatsoever]], effectively granting you a massive power boost for free.
* Mitsuru in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' has spent her life learning how to fight shadows and take over the Kirijo group when the time comes. She is absolutely hopeless when it comes to day to day common activities such as normal friendships, dating, small things like fast food or considering her own goals for the future.
* Asura of ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'' is an outstanding fighter, but he doesn't know how to interact with people outside of punching. He still tries hard to be a good father and husband, but is always very awkward about it.
-->'''Durga:''' [As Asura is scared by baby Mithra crying]. Even one of the Eight Guardian Generals is no match for his own daughter, is he?
-->'''Asura:''' She's... so small...
-->'''Durga:''' Do you know what I think? I believe that you wish only the best for our daughter...
* Most player characters of modern video games that are heavy on scripting, especially the ''CallOfDuty'' series. For example, Soap, from Modern Warfare. [[BadAss Highly trained SAS operator.]] [[OneManArmy Can shred through dozens of baddies in a matter of minutes.]] [[InsurmountableWaistHighFence Cannot open a door.]]
* Bullet from ''VideoGame/{{Blazblue}}'' was born on a battlefield, raised by soldiers and has been working as a mercenary her whole life. As a result, she's a great combatant but she has no idea how to do anything outside fighting.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Shirou Emiya of FateStayNight recognizes that he can never become a true magus or learn high-grade magecraft, so he decides to focus on specializing in the basic magecraft he already knows. The end result is exemplified with [[spoiler: Archer.]]
** Although this one might not really count, as what he considers to be "basic magecraft", aka strengthening and especially projection, were just mundane applications of the unique and very powerful talent he had from the very beginning.
* Masaomi Hibiya of ''VisualNovel/SerendipityNextDoor'', aka the famous musician OMI, is of the opinion that people shouldn't bother expending their energy on doing things they're not good at. Mostly what this means is that Masaomi spends all of his time on his music and ''nothing else'', to the point that he's only barely capable of taking care of himself and lives entirely on energy drinks, nutritional supplements, and beer because learning even a minimal level of cooking ability would be too much trouble.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* The early strips of ''{{Goblins}}'' have [[{{Munchkin}} Minmax The Unstoppable Warrior]], who lives and breathes this trope. He's a low level fighter with stupidly high combat related stats and abilities, but completely lacking in other abilities (and stats; it's quite obvious that he used both Wisdom and Intelligence as "dump stats"). He has sacrificed everything for maximum combat ability. An AlternateUniverse version even sacrificed his ability to speak for more bonuses.
** The current list of Minmax's sacrificed skills includes starting fires, literacy, the ability to rhyme on purpose, the ability to wink, and even the skill to ''dress himself''. Readers tend to find them out along with other characters when Minmax does something that should have been impossible; someone will look at him incredulously and say "How...?" and Minmax reveals what he traded for the ability just demonstrated. See the page image for one such event.
** Minmax knows 38 ways to kill a man with his ''thumb'', but doesn't know what chess is.
* This is Pete's rationalization for his ludicrous MinMaxing of R2-D2 in ''DarthsAndDroids''. He lacks the ability to even speak to other characters (in-character anyway), but consequently his mechanical and hacking skills are through the roof.
** Bizarrely, this makes sense in-universe. Mech droids can't speak to humans specifically because they're over-optimized for their job of fixing things. Their "droidspeak" is much more efficient than human speech...for communicating with computers, so it's higher priority than being able to speak human languages.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Phase of the WhateleyUniverse. Filthy rich. Trained from birth to be the ultimate financial wizard, so he could one day be one of the rulers of the Goodkind empire. Unfortunately, that means he doesn't know how to do things like use a can opener or do laundry. That would be fine, given how much money his family has, but then he gets kicked out of the family and disinherited...
** The relative pittance his family eventually basically bought him off with to avoid future trouble still makes him one of the richest kids at Whateley, and the same 'financial wizard' training is helping him build on that even with him spending money left and right to simply ''buy'' even fairly exotic equipment at fair prices or hire competent help as needed. That said, the struggle between his refined palate and common cafeteria food (to say nothing of his shock at the first time he ever saw the inside of a common ''supermarket'') remains fun to watch.
* There's a fan theory regarding ''WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee'' that while other Psychlos were learning how to SPELL THEIR NAMES, Turrell, was being trained, to conquer ''galaxies''. This has the reverse implication that Turrell was so busy learning how to conquer galaxies that he doesn't actually know how to spell his name (it was 'Terl' in the original). The sad thing is, he's not even all that good at conquering galaxies. As the ''Nostalgia Critic'' put it, he couldn't even conquer Rhode Island. Finally Turrell's latest clone shows some effectiveness, when he showed up in Angry Joe's XCOM review he handed him a comprehensive defeat as the head of the invaders. The real reason was copyright concerns, but the reviewers have heard of the theory and were amused by it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** Azula, having grown up in the midst of a cutthroat royal court that heads a nation that instigated a century-long war, has manipulation, Firebending and intimidation down pat. When it comes to associating with people on equal terms to her, it [[VillainousBreakdown ultimately doesn't go well.]]
*** The third season BeachEpisode is a VillainsOutShopping episode ''on the beach'', with the Gaang relegated to B-plot. Azula's attempt to flirt normally deteriorates into a declaration that their children will conquer the world, thoroughly weirding out Normal Guy With Beach House, who has failed to recognize his Princess.
** Likewise, Zuko, who grew up in the same circumstances and spent three years at sea. Good Firebender, good martial artist with ninja skillz, but when he has to help re-shingle a roof, he's awkwardly holding a hammer with two hands and bending all the nails. He also is significantly lacking in social skills. At least he usually has his down-to-earth uncle to help him get along…
* In the SequelSeries ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', Korra herself has this, but also somewhat involuntarily imposed on her. Because the White Lotus took Aang's dying wish to "keep his next incarnation safe" a bit too much to heart, Korra pretty much grew up in a GildedCage, practicing only bending. Once she debuts in Republic City, it is plainly obvious that she's quite lacking in social graces and discretion.
* Twilight Sparkle of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' is the personal apprentice of Princess Celestia and is a wildly powerful and talented magic-user in her own right, but she has almost NoSocialSkills because she's a [[DeadpanSnarker snarky]] introvert and spends too much time [[{{Bookworm}} studying]]. Celestia takes it upon herself to [[DefiedTrope do something about this before it's too late]], which actually becomes a framing device for the whole show. In the very first episode, Celestia sends Twilight Sparkle on an important mission that involves meeting and cooperating with five ponies with very diverse interests and personalities, hoping that Twilight Sparkle would learn the value of friendship. This series actually begins as a GenreDeconstruction of previous versions of MyLittlePony, but it [[DeconReconSwitch ultimately works out]].
[[/folder]]
[[folder:RealLife]]
* Unfortunately, this is often TruthInTelevision: many [[ChildProdigy child prodigies]] tend to practise and hone their skills and allocate all their resources on their skills that they neglect some very basic aspects on growth into a fully-socialized person.
** Some argue that the Autistic Disorder is just an exaggerated example of this trope. Reasoning that the person did so in return of their "special interests".
* This was the main problem with the "New Math" curriculum that was briefly popular in American schools in TheSixties. In a race to close [[UsefulNotes/ColdWar a perceived gap with the Soviets]] in science and engineering ([[TheSpaceRace they beat us into space]], [[YouCanPanicNow after all]]), grade school students were taught advanced mathematical concepts in lieu of basic arithmetic. Given that math education is a cumulative process, New Math was a disaster that [[EverybodyHatesMathematics taught an entire generation to hate math]] and see it as having no practical use, and it is now remembered as a DorkAge in American education.
** YMMV but critics of "Common Core" and "whole language" believe they are also examples of this trope.
* This is sometimes the case with musicians who received formal educations at Berklee or similarly prestigious institutions and then attempt to start or join bands with no formal band experience. They generally have all the technical knowledge and ability in the world, but they also frequently have no idea how to write a full-fledged song that sticks with the listener, an overly sterile and robotic feel because they never really developed one on their own (you can't exactly teach feel, after all), and no idea how to function in a band setting, which often leads to [[RevolvingDoorBand frequent turnover]] if they're the leader (as they often wind up being difficult to work with and/or are [[PrimaDonnaDirector egotistical assholes]]) and a steady stream of ejections if they're not (as they frequently try to take control of the band or just have trouble working with others in general).
[[/folder]]
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