Congratulations, [[Literature/FlowersForAlgernon Charly]]! You have just been zapped by the UpgradeArtifact that increases intelligence to TvGenius levels, and suddenly, everyone is coming to you for SchizoTech and HollywoodHacking. Only problem is, you never learned these things.

In Hollywood, this is not a problem. If a character is [[SuddenIntelligence zapped with an Intelligence Ray]], they ''will'' [[TheOmniscient suddenly know everything]], despite the fact that they never learned it. This could be {{Justified|Trope}} by saying they uploaded someone else's brainwave pattern etc. into their brains, and therefore know everything that person knows, or that they [[HollywoodEvolution evolved]] into a [[{{Telepathy}} telepath]] and just sucked up some other people's book learnin', but often it's not. Often, they just give the person the AppliedPhlebotinum, and that person knows everything. Period. No explanation. Not even a HandWave. No depictions of them actually learning the information. AWizardDidIt. Usually, this trope goes hand in hand with TVGenius.

Despite what the name might suggest, this is '''not''' "a machine uploaded X knowledge into character Y's brain" (or "taught Y character X knowledge unreasonably quickly", or any other variants); that's NeuralImplanting. This trope is specifically about the distinction between ''intelligence'' (the capacity for learning and understanding) and ''knowledge'' (the possession of facts and figures), and how in fiction, the mere act of "making a character smarter" often results in them having knowledge they haven't actually learned.

Compare InstantExpert and HardWorkHardlyWorks. May be justified by AwesomenessByAnalysis - in this case, their brains are sufficiently boosted to figure out all these things ''[[SuperIntelligence very, very quickly]]''.



[[folder:Audio Play]]
* Subverted in ''AudioPlay/LeDonjonDeNaheulbeuk'' season 1: When the Ranger passes the intelligence ring, the Elf and Dwarf assume it works that way; but he predictably fails to answer their questions.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/SpirouAndFantasio'': The Comte de Champignac discovered a mushroom that can be used to make an intelligence-boosting injection, which he demonstrates by reading and memorising a book in five seconds. In a later story it's played for laughs when he goes through the feverish invention process only to discover he's accidentally redesigned another scientist's invention (he'd injected himself with a formula that makes one immune to cold).
* [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] in a [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] story where a DevolutionDevice devolves {{Franchise/Superman}} into a superpowered caveman while [[GoalOrientedEvolution evolving]] {{Franchise/Batman}} into a [[MyBrainIsBig huge-brained]] genius. Batman soon starts creating all sorts of AppliedPhlebotinum, which may be considered a case of "screw learning" but is actually not too hard to justify.[[note]]Batman is already technologically adept in his normal form, and he may have been doing his research off-panel with the story not showing it for brevity.[[/note]] On the other hand, Superman isn't just dumber -- he ''has actually forgotten what machines are'', and for instance believes a train to be an animal.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Possibly the case with the [[UpliftedAnimal uplifted rats]] in ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretOfNimh''. Seemingly the experiments would have just given them the biological capacity for human-like intelligence, but that doesn't explain how they learned to read or build machinery more complicated than the average person could. Explained better in the book; the rats are taught to read (granted, with experimental drugs injected for added flavor), and are tested for some time before they finally escape.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'' manages this with the MagicFeather the Wizard gives the Scarecrow! Dodged in the book; after the wizard fills the scarecrow's head with bran and needles, the scarecrow says,
--->"I feel wise indeed, when I get used to my brains I shall know everything."
* In ''Film/DeepBlueSea'', apparently when you increase the intelligence of sharks, they suddenly gain knowledge on how humans must breathe air to survive, using the laws of fluid dynamics to their advantage, amongst other things. Hell, they even "learn" how to ''swim backwards'', something that, for sharks at least, is '''''[[YouFailBiologyForever physically impossible]]'''''.
* In ''Film/SpeciesTheAwakening'', Miranda can absorb the contents of a closed book by holding it for a few seconds.
* Averted in ''Film/{{Phenomenon}}'': George Malley has increased learning & memorization capacity, but cannot answer questions about things he hasn't read about.
* Averted in ''Film/{{Limitless}}'', in which Eddie Morra takes a superpill that grants him hyper-intelligence. However, the pill didn't give him straight knowledge; the added brain-power just allowed him to remember everything he ever learned, and also to figure out patterns in the world around him extremely quickly.
* In the Creator/LaurelAndHardy film ''A Chump at Oxford'', a knock on the head not only made Stan Laurel think he was his uncle, but gave him his uncle's intelligence and knowledge as well, to the point where Einstein was asking him for help with the Theory of Relativity. Another knock turned him back into his happy idiot self again.


* Creator/PoulAnderson's ''Brainwave'' has interstellar phlebotinum ''stop'' affecting the entire Earth, raising the intelligence of ''everything with a brain''.
* The [[AppliedPhlebotinum mechanical educator]] plays a large role in the classic ''Literature/SkylarkSeries'', where it is used to teach the space travellers various languages and cultures. One character gets imprinted with the knowledge of the galaxy's greatest physicist ''and'' its greatest psychologist, and as a result masters telepathy.
* In ''Discworld/MenAtArms,'' Detritus is trapped in a freezer, and since trolls' silicon brains work better in the cold, he starts to become disturbingly intelligent. On the Discworld, this is perfectly plausible. But then he exhibits an expanded vocabulary (e.g. using words like 'cogitate') with no evidence that he'd actually had the opportunity to learn them. This could ''possibly'' be justified (like in the example below) by his finally having the intelligence to figure out what those fancy-sounding words meant.
** [[JustifiedTrope It is mentioned in one earlier book]] that trolls are not unintelligent by nature. When they move to the lowlands, which are much warmer than the mountains they normally live in, their brains don't work as well. It's perfectly possible that Detritus already knew the expanded vocabulary, but was unable to recall it until the [[AWizardDidIt magical freezer]] cooled his brain, then overclocked it by cooling it far past the point it would normally have been. Later in the book, he receives a clockwork cooling helmet with fans in it that lets him function at more or less the same level as everyone else.
*** Do note however, that the extreme cold of the Pork Futures warehouse was able to increase Detritus' intelligence to the point where he '''almost''' worked out what was implied to be a Theory of Everything (he was rescued before he could write anything past the final "="), and it's ''rather'' implausible that he would have the information to write it in his head. Again, [[AWizardDidIt it's]] [[TheoryOfNarrativeCausality Discworld.]]
* Justified in ''Literature/MyTeacherFriedMyBrains''. The narration explains that the intelligence-boosted protagonist can use words like "anthropologist" because he's heard them before, and now has the brainpower to remember what they mean. The first sign in the book that the intelligence boost worked was when he was sitting in math class and suddenly realized he understood what the teacher was saying.
* While Ron and Harry at the least are not looking for something which will enter new information into their heads on its own in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'' there are a number of scammers going around the school selling things which supposedly do to panicked students as O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. testing approaches for the fifth and seventh years respectively. Ron and Harry desperately try to buy something from a Ravenclaw sixth year which he swears was solely responsible his nine 'Outstanding' [=OWLs=] before Hermione confiscates it and dumps it out snarling:
-->'''Hermione:''' Don't be stupid, you might as well take Harold Dingle's powdered dragon claw and have done with it.\\
'''Ron:''' ''(eagerly)'' Dingle's got powdered dragon claw?'\\
'''Hermione:''' Not any more, I confiscated that, too. None of these things actually work, you know.\\
'''Ron:''' Dragon claw does work! It's supposed to be incredible, really gives your brain a boost, you come over all cunning for a few hours - Hermione, let me have a pinch, go on, it can't hurt -\\
'''Hermione:''' ''(grimly)'' This stuff can, I've had a look at it, and it's actually [[VeryFalseAdvertising dried Doxy droppings]].
* Not uncommon at all in the ''Literature/LandOfOz'' books. The Patchwork Girl of Oz has brains consisting of a cocktail of powdered essence of personality traits, Bungle the Glass Cat has brains made of pink beads (she's very proud of them; every time she brings them up, she insists that they're the best brains around because you can actually see them work), and the Highly Magnified Wogglebug takes it to the logical extreme; the students at his college spend most of their time focused on sports, because all learning occurs through a rigorously scheduled pill regimen. On top of that, anything with a mouth or analogue thereof exposed to Dr. Pipt's Powder of Life can speak, and quite eloquently at times, regardless of the fact that it was (for example) a log with a vaguely face-shaped arrangement of knots a minute ago.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'': Gunn is instantly upgraded to über-lawyer thanks for Wolfram & Hart's surgeon. The procedure makes him an expert on human and demonic law within a few hours.
* It seems to happen with Slayers in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', as all kinds of moves used by Slayers should take years of training.
** Not to forget Xander's sudden military expertise and knowledge, including military passcodes, when he got turned into a soldier for a night in the Season 2 episode 'Halloween'.
*** That one makes a bit of sense, since he's dressed up as someone who probably knew those things, so the knowledge was part of the costume.
** The vampires too seem to suddenly have super fighting skills once they get sired. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in Season seven's 'Lessons' by Dawn:
--->"But he's new. He doesn't know his strength. H-he might not know all those fancy martial arts skills they inevitably seem to pick up."
* On ''Series/{{Charmed}}'', Phoebe casts a spell to absorb knowledge through her hands by waving them over a book. Strangely, averts being a ChekhovsGun, as it wore off before she had to save the day.
* Justified on ''Series/DoctorWho'' with Donna, who fuses with a part of the Doctor, and not only got that smart, but had that much knowledge.
** Averted earlier on in 'Planet of the Spiders'. When a mentally challenged character received an upgrade in intelligence (to average, not to becoming a genius), he found himself able to read better. However, he realised he still didn't know a lot of the words (like quotient) and actually got a dictionary out to look them up.
* In the TV show of ''Series/HoneyIShrunkTheKids'', one of Wayne's inventions renders Diane capable of [[AllYourPowersCombined absorbing other people's intelligence]], promptly making her an EvilGenius. When Diane discovers this, she also notices that she can now talk about [[TechnoBabble scientific topics]] with ease. Could be justified if she had absorbed at least a scientist's mind... But so far she had only met two lawyers. Seemingly, if you're smart enough, scientific knowledge generates spontaneously inside your brain.
* Averted in an episode of ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', wherein Dr. [=McKay=] got a shot of a machine designed to make him AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence. As a side effect, this made him smarter. However, [=McKay=] showed no sign of obtaining new knowledge merely because of the enhanced intelligence, and spent much of his time using his intelligence to actually do research.
* Completely averted in ''Series/KyleXY''. Despite being incredibly intelligent, Kyle knows absolutely nothing to begin with. Pretty soon, though, he remedies this by reading an entire encyclopedia.
* The premise of ''Series/WickedScience''.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "The Nth Degree," Lt. Barclay is zapped with hyper-intelligence, allowing him to build, from memory, a device the ship's computer has never even heard of. Later, when his brain power is back to normal, he can still make a move in three-dimensional chess and predict checkmate in so-many moves, never having learned the game.
* In ''Series/TheJourneyOfAllenStrange'', Allen can know everything in a book just by touching it with his EnergyBeing powers.
* In the ''Series/{{Eureka}}'' episode "Smarter Carter," Kevin gives Jack a substance that turns him into a genius, so that Jack can impress Kevin's visiting (genius) uncle.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* In a ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' strip, Calvin once dreams about getting a "knowledge implant", in the form of extra brain matter, from a pair of robot surgeons. The point of the fantasy is so that he doesn't need to go to school anymore, which to him would be the ultimate of joys.
** In one story arc, he enlarges his brain to make his homework easier and becomes so intelligent that, within moments, he metally calculates the purpose of the cosmos and all reality into a single, simple answer. However, he was unable to figure out why girls are so weird.
* [[ParodiedTrope Parodied]] in ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}''. Wally dreams of approaching the Pointy-Haired Boss and mocking his "Work smarter, not harder" advice ("I didn't realize I could become smarter just by wanting to!"). He then increases his brain size by straining his muscles and says, "Wow! Suddenly I can speak Latin!"

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Boosts to intelligence and knowledge skills in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' allow you to retry knowledge checks and "know" something you didn't before. Explained as both AWizardDidIt and that you are [[EurekaMoment actually realizing something is relevant]] or that you are recalling information that you could normally not bring to mind, rather than knowing something new.
** If these increases are temporary, however, you don't actually get any new skills. (Except for in ''Pathfinder'', a SpiritualSuccessor to 3.5).
** If you've taken another rank in Knowledge, though, then you actually have learned more than you knew before. Which makes sense if the character gains a level at the end of an adventure, and presumably has some downtime to learn something new. When it happens in the middle of DungeonCrawling, then it's this trope played straight.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Played for laughs in ''VideoGame/Rayman3HoodlumHavoc'', in which Globox becomes a genius as the result of being dangled upside down for so long that all the blood rushes to his head. He also gains an inexplicable upper class English accent and an awareness of the FourthWall.
* In ''VideoGame/SpaceColony'', a staff member can be placed in a training pod to level up their skills. It costs credits, but is faster than having them study in the library, especially if they have a low intelligence stat.
* In ''VideoGame/EmeraldCityConfidential'', the knowledge pills at the university allow students to acquire knowledge on virtually any topic automatically, from elocution lessons to public records.
* In Franchise/MassEffect the Reapers deliberately leave behind giant pieces of phlebotinum called MassRelays that act as CoolGate devices, funneling all life towards each other and towards a readymade headquarters called the Citadel. The Reapers are a synthetic EldritchAbomination army that wants organic life to develop and evolve along a path they created - so that those organic species become too dependent on that Mass Relay network for everything, and are helpless when the Reapers seize back control of these relays. This allows those species to be easily contained for harvesting. Reliance on these Mass Relays prevents a lot of species from even conceptualizing alternate means of {{FTL}}, where such freedom to learn and develop technology of their own accord is considered by the Reapers to be “chaotic”.

* ''Webcomic/KevinAndKell'' had a storyline involving an Intelligence Ray, which was also used to ''give sentience to a tree''.
* ''Webcomic/PvP'' has both played this trope straight and somewhat subverted it: an arc had [[TheDitz Skull]] gain super intelligence after a [[LightningCanDoAnything freak electrical accident]] which apparently also caused him to gain great knowledge of science, medicine, and engineering (to the extent that literally seconds after the accident, he started listing the physical reasons for his survival). He later decides to go back to what he was before, but builds a machine should the need to become intelligent again arise. When later his cat Scratch gains super intelligence, it is handled a smidgen more realistically: yes, he can suddenly talk, but he's shown several times to be ''actually studying'' scientific textbooks and he still has a lot to learn about humans, which has caused trouble for him (notably the time he turned the Ottobot into a human looking robot suit, then tried to take over the Mayor's office...[[RealityEnsues and got unceremoniously thrown in jail]]).
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' subverts this. Sparks who erupt into their potential but were never given formal education tend to be rather pathetic, and do things like baking [[ pies that calm someone when thrown in their face]], or training wasps to attack (not effectively).

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[Wiki/SCPFoundation SCP]]-028 is a small area within an abandoned storage yard that causes anyone who enters it to instantly gain complete, perfect knowledge about a single random subject. Subjects range from cold fusion, to the location of one specific set of car keys[[note]]They belong to a Buick [=LeSabre=] if you're wondering[[/note]], to things that will make you GoMadFromTheRevelation.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutron'', this happens to Sheen when Jimmy [[MyBrainIsBig increases the size of his brain]] so he can pass a test. [[spoiler:This ends with Sheen becoming an EvilOverlord with PsychicPowers, of course.]]
* Subverted/inverted in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot'': [[BrattyHalfPint whippersnapper]] Enzo wants to be smarter so he can help pull his weight, but learning takes too long. So he asks the [=CPU=] to just make him the smartest bit in Mainframe, [[LiteralGenie to which it accords by making everyone else dumb as a box of nulls]].
* Avoided in ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers''. While "Phoenix" (the PilotEpisode) claimed the Series 5 implant makes Dr. Hartford a computer wizard, there's ''plenty'' of evidence in the series to support that he was already a GeniusBruiser and the implant is merely a way to access some incredibly sophisticated tools he otherwise can't.
** It's also shown in several instances ("The Power Within," "Ariel," "Supertroopers") that the S5 implants only crank the Rangers' ''existing'' abilities UpToEleven.
* Similarly avoided in ''WesternAnimation/StaticShock''. When Richie gains SuperIntelligence, he doesn't really gain any knowledge that he didn't already have; his GadgeteerGenius tendencies had been present since the beginning of the series, so they just get taken UpToEleven, suggesting that the powers really just drastically improved and sped up his problem-solving abilities.
* A variant in ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'': "[[Recap/DarkwingDuckS1E36DisguiseTheLimit Disguise the Limit]]" had him transforming into other characters when he'd see them, and thus inheriting their skills: mad science (MadScientist Dr Bellum), classical music (a random musician in the park), piloting (Launchpad), and hockey (Gosalyn). He also tended to acquire the ''equipment'' of said people, too.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'' centres around a "Genius Chip" that does this, and a Sonic Sez about how this doesn't work in real life, and you're going to have to study.
* The normally-idiotic Grimlock does this to himself by accident in ''WesternAnimation/TheTransformers'', becoming immensely intelligent but finding it hard to fit in with the other Dinobots. He eventually transfers his intelligence to the Technobots (after building them in about five minutes) and returns to his normal idiot self.
** Strangely, this is probably the all-round smartest action on this page as a result of this trope.
* Notably averted in ''WesternAnimation/MightyMax''. Dr. Zygote, after inventing a machine that [[EvolutionaryLevels manipulates evolution]], uses it on himself to become a [[MyBrainIsBig huge-brained]] "man of tomorrow". Once he's done this... he's harmless: he has acquired new powers, but he doesn't know how to use them. Sure enough, a dozen episodes later, Zygote is back and has made some practice with his powers.
** And he's defeated ''exactly the same way'', only this time the machine causes him to AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence and [[AboveGoodAndEvil not bother anyone again]].
* In the first ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' series, when Ben transforms into Greymatter, he gains intelligence and the ability to construct machines out of spare parts. In ''WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce'', his Brainstorm form doesn't appear to gain any building knowledge, but does gain an extremely large vocabulary and the desire to show off all of it.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/GalaxyHigh'' had Doyle use "Brain Blasters" to make himself excel at any subject in school. It was their DrugsAreBad episode, so....
* In the ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'' episode "Beezy J. Genius", Beezy gets affected by Heloise's Braniac Booster, making him even smarter than Heloise to the point of InsufferableGenius, thus annoying Heloise, being a {{Jerkass}} to Jimmy, and even overthrowing Lucius as ruler of Miseryville.
* ''WesternAnimation/GetEd'' had an episode where Loogie was zapped by a machine designed to enhance organic computers. This resulted in super-intelligence to the point of creating BiggerOnTheInside vaccuum cleaners. Unfortunately, if he didn't reverse the process, his brain would grow too big, with [[YourHeadAsplode messy results]].
* In the ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'' episode "More Smarter", Rigby is teased because he didn't graduate from high school. He ends up ordering a drink that makes him smarter. It says to take a dose every week; however, he takes a whole bottle. He shows off his knowledge to Mordecai, who then takes some of the drink, and pretty soon they've covered the entire house in algebra equations and [[SmartPeopleKnowLatin started talking to each other in Latin]].
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "Overclockwise" had Cubert upgrade Bender's intelligence, but it results in Bender's intellect exponentially increasing as time goes on. By the final act of the episode, Bender has ''become a god and merged with the universe'', now more interested in managing the cosmos than engaging in his usual immoral shenanigans.
* In the pilot of ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'', seeds Morty has absorbed anally give him temporary intelligence, and allows him to recite the square root of pi to several decimal places, despite the fact that he would need to have known pi to several places beforehand to be able to calculate this.