[[quoteright:350:[[Webcomic/{{Freefall}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Freefall_stupidity_9257.JPG]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Edge enjoys living on the edge.]]

Sometimes characters are just not that bright. This is an index of tropes related to stupidity, absentmindedness, and forgetfulness.

See ContrivedStupidityTropes for a specific set of these tropes dealing with unrealistic stupidity driving the plot. Compare AntiIntellectualism and contrast IntelligenceTropes.

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!!Tropes:
[[index]]
* AchievementsInIgnorance: When being too stupid to understand things lets one do the impossible.
* AdultsAreUseless: Adult figures who are too stupid to be helpful to the children.
* AlcoholInducedIdiocy: Getting really drunk makes one do really stupid things.
* AlmightyIdiot: Godlike powers zaps one of their intelligence and sanity.
* ApatheticCitizens: The townspeople must be real idiots if they don't care about the danger right in front of them.
* ArtificialStupidity: The computer AI for a video game does amazingly stupid things like get stuck in a door.
* ArtisticLicenseGunSafety: Stupidly handling guns in ways that would seriously hurt or kill someone.
* AntiAdvice: Can be a sign of stupidity if doing what one was originally told was actually the correct way.
* AsianAirhead: Asian character who averts AsianAndNerdy and instead is not smart enough to tie their own shoes.
* BeliefMakesYouStupid: Radical religious belief impairs one's intelligence.
* BewareTheSillyOnes: Sometimes even characters who aren't that smart can be dangerous when provoked.
* BlatantLies: Lies so obvious only an idiot would fall for them.
** WildCardExcuse: A stupid person uses the same excuse over and over no matter what situation they're in.
* BlindShoulderToss: It's stupid to throw something over your shoulder without second thought if the thing has value or it ends up hurting somebody.
* BookDumb: Stupid when it comes to academics but brilliant when it comes to "street smarts".
* BrainlessBeauty: They have a pretty face and a gorgeous body, but they have nothing going on in their head.
* BullyingADragon: Yes let's antagonize the guy who we just saw beat the crap out of another, it's not like he'll beat us up too ya'know.
* BumblingDad: A clueless idiot who happens to be a father.
* BumblingSidekick: This person is way too stupid to be a competent sidekick.
* ButThouMust: An idiot tries passing off the same answer to a question as different answers.
** StupidityIsTheOnlyOption: The only way the plot can advance is through a character making a boneheaded mistake.
* CallousnessTowardsEmergency: Someone is clearly in danger, but the one who could help them is too stupid to be helpful in addition to being a {{Jerkass}}.
* CannotSpitItOut: A stupid person can't say something important when it matters.
* CannotTalkToWomen: If a female is present, this person turns into a babbling idiot.
* ChildhoodBrainDamage: A character's stupidity was likely caused by them getting hit on the head as a baby.
* ClosedCircle: Not always due to stupidity, but often this happens when the characters only stay in a dangerous situation because the plot demands it.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: They're not always stupid, but often this kind of person has a rather... bizarre and sometimes nonsensical outlook on life.
* CluelessDetective: Don't count on this idiot to solve the crime for you.
* ComicallyCrossEyed: Cross-eyed appearance marks a sign of a dimwit.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: They're not smart enough to see the actual point of what is happening or what was said.
* ContrivedStupidityTropes: When characters do unrealistically stupid things for the sake of the plot.
* CorneredRattlesnake: It's a sign of stupidity if one thinks that person they've got cornered wouldn't actually fight back in self-defense.
* CountingToPotato: Stupid people don't know beans about counting numbers.
* CreditCardPlot: What happens when an idiot is given a credit card? They max it all out on junk of course.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: They may not be very bright, but they are very competent at fighting.
* CultureBlind: How does this dumbass not know the basics of culture norms?
* CuriosityKilledTheCast: The plot kicks off because some idiot thought it would be a good idea to explore something suspicious looking.
* DamselFightAndFlightResponse: She had the upper hand on the villain and could've killed him right then, but she ran away like a moron instead.
* DamselScrappy: They constantly get themselves in danger because they're too dumb to take care of themself thus nobody likes them because of this.
* DeusExitMachina: The most powerful characters never seem to be there when it really matters.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: Stupid people aren't good at coming up with well thought out plans.
* DitchTheBodyguards: Bodyguards that can't keep track of their clients have to be real idiots.
* TheDitz: They're so stupid, you wonder how they're able to care for themself.
* DitzySecretary: How can someone as stupid as her have the job of secretary?
* DogsAreDumb: Dogs, stereotypically, are very simple minded creatures.
* DontTouchItYouIdiot: An idiot touches the world-destroying device.
* DramaticSlip: In chase scenes, the really stupid characters always fall down and can't get back up for some reason.
* DugInDeeper: When one is too stupid to tell the truth about their friend's talentlessness and a whole disaster insues.
* DumbAndDrummer: The drummers for musical groups are stereotyped as brainless.
* DumbassHasAPoint: A stupid character manages to make an excellent point.
* DumbassTeenageSon: Teenage boys in fiction are rarely, if ever, portrayed as being intelligent.
* DumbBlonde: Blonde hair is a sign of stupidity.
* DumbDinos: If you wanna know how dinosaurs went extinct, it's cuz they were TooDumbToLive.
* DumbDodoBird: Dodo birds get portrayed as stupid almost as much as dinosaurs.
* DumbIsGood: Stupid people are nice while smart people are [[{{Jerkass}} Jerkasses]].
* DumbJock: He's a great athlete, but pathetic in anything intellectual.
* DumbMuscle: TheBigGuy tends to be the least intelligent of the FiveManBand.
* EasilyImpressed: Stupid characters are impressed by anything, no matter how unimpressive it really is.
* EatingPetFood: Stupid characters get pet food confused for people food.
* EitherWorldDominationOrSomethingAboutBananas: When an idiot translates another language, they'll come up with an absurd translation of it.
* EnragedByIdiocy: A character who has no patience for stupid people.
* EskimosArentReal: An idiot that actually believes that real things such as ponies or Hawaii don't exist.
* ExplainingYourPowerToTheEnemy: One way stupidity screws you over is by telling your enemy how your abilities work and what weakens them.
* ExplosiveStupidity: When you leave explosives in the hands of idiots, they'll get themselves killed in the process.
* FeigningIntelligence: A stupid person pretends to be smart to impress people.
** IveHeardOfThatWhatIsIt: A stupid person who asks what something is after acting like they knew already.
* FatIdiot: Fat people are rarely intelligent in fiction.
* FishEyes: One way to spot an idiot is if their eyes are never focused.
* TheFool: A stupid person who survives danger through dumb luck.
** FearlessFool: Plus they're too dumb to realize the danger they're in when charging into a fight.
* ForgotAboutHisPowers: When a character is suddenly too stupid to realize they could use their powers to help themselves.
* ForgotICouldntSwim: Stupidly throwing oneself into a situation while forgetting that you can't actually handle it.
* ForgottenPhlebotinum: Useful techniques that never get used again because the cast is either too dumb or forgetful to remember them.
* ForgotToFeedTheMonster: Moronic villains or [[{{Jerkass}} Jerkasses]] starve their pets/minions to death by forgetting to feed them.
* GeniusDitz: Stupid character who is actually quite knowledgeable in a certain field.
* GenreBlindness: Too stupid to realize how their genre of fiction really works out.
** ContractualGenreBlindness: Characters make stupid mistakes on purpose because that's just the role that they're given.
** RealityShowGenreBlindness: How in blazes do these morons auditioning for this well-known reality show not know how this show works?
* GlobalIgnorance: Not knowing about other countries marks a sign of stupidity.
* GoodIsDumb: Heroic characters are prone to boneheaded mistakes.
* GullibleLemmings: Moronic citizens support the ObviouslyEvil villain.
* GunsInChurch: A moron brings a weapon to a place where they'd get in serious trouble for doing so.
* HistoricalCharacterConfusion: When used to show the character doing it is an idiot.
* HoldingBackThePhlebotinum: Unless there's a good reason for it, withholding a powerful weapon or ability when it could help you is just a plain boneheaded move.
* HoldingBothSidesOfTheConversation: Character pretends to be talking to someone who is not there, poorly done attempts at this fool only the really dense characters.
* HonorBeforeReason: Sticking to your moral code is noble in all, but doing so in a way that screws you and other people over shows lack of intelligence and/or good judgment.
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: Too stupid to realize that someone is obviously not a good person.
* HotOnHisOwnTrail: A stupid character follows his own footprints/trail thinking it's someone else's.
* HumansAreMorons: Humanity is the stupidest of all species.
* IdiotBall: Temporarily [[TookALevelInDumbass taking a level in dumbass]] because the plot needs it.
** ConflictBall: Characters go at each other's throats for face-palmingly dumb reasons or no reason at all.
** DistressBall: Character endangers themself by being uncharacteristically stupid.
** HeroBall: TheHero screws himself over through sudden stupidity.
*** OutOfSightOutOfMind: The clueless heroes think throwing out the ArtifactOfDoom and/or the villain will instantly save the day.
*** VillainExitStageLeft: The villain escapes after being defeated because the heroes just stand there like idiots and let him.
** ThirdActStupidity: Character suddenly loses their intelligence at the end of the story in order to drag out the ending.
** VillainBall: Villains always lose because they can't be evil in a smart and competent way.
*** BondVillainStupidity: He could've killed the hero right then but instead, like idiot, decides to either stick him in an easily escapable trap or doesn't make sure he's dead.
*** CutLexLuthorACheck: The villain doesn't seem to be smart enough to realize that he could make money off his evil inventions, instead he wastes them on petty crime.
*** GeneralFailure: Militaries shouldn't have such an utter moron as their commanding officer.
*** JustBetweenYouAndMe: The villain thinks it's a smart idea to reveal his whole plan to the hero since it may look like the hero is about to die; boy was he wrong.
*** RevealingCoverup: You can tell how stupid a villain is by how bad they are at hiding confidential information.
* IdiotHero: TheHero is a complete moron.
* IdiotHoudini: Stupid people can get away with things on the basis that [[HanlonsRazor they didn't know any better]].
* IdioticPartnerConfession: When you tell a stupid person something another character isn't supposed to know, of course they're gonna blurt it out to everyone.
* IdiotPlot: This plot can't go anywhere without the characters sacrificing their intelligence.
* IJustShotMarvinInTheFace: Don't ever let a stupid person handle guns, they don't know anything about or don't care about gun safety.
* IllNeverTellYouWhatImTellingYou
* ImprobablyLowIQ
* ImThinkingItOver
* InsaneTrollLogic: An incredibly idiotic and nonsensical logical fallacy.
* ItSeemedLikeAGoodIdeaAtTheTime
* JugglingLoadedGuns
* JustEatGilligan: The solution to a problem is plain obvious, but nobody appears to be smart enough to realize this.
* KindheartedSimpleton: Not very bright but they're so sweet.
* KnowNothingKnowItAll
* LawfulStupidChaoticStupid
** ChaoticStupid: Being so devoted to anarchy kills common sense.
** LawfulStupid: Being so devoted to following the rules without really stopping to really think about it.
** StupidEvil
** StupidGood
** StupidNeutral
* LeftYourLifesaverBehind
* LethallyStupid: So stupid they could get themself or other people killed.
* LikeIsLikeAComma: A true sign of stupidity is using 'like' every other word.
* LoveMakesYouDumb: Falling in love makes one do irrational and boneheaded things.
* MadeOutToBeAJerkass
* ManChild
* ManiacTongue
* MercyLead
* TheMillstone
* MissConception: Someone is too stupid to understand how people get pregnant
* MisspellingOutLoud
* MookDepletion: A side effect of a villain killing off his minions.
* MooseAreIdiots
* MoralPragmatist: Someone is doing evil, but don't realize that they're hurting their own goal.
* MsRedInk
* MuggingTheMonster
* NaiveAnimalLover
* NeverRecycleYourSchemes
* NoMeansYes
* NoPeripheralVision
* NobodyEverComplainedBefore
* NobodysThatDumb
* NotAZombie
* NumberTwoForBrains
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Pretending to be stupid.
* ObliviousToHints
* ObliviousToHisOwnDescription
* PaperThinDisguise: Only an idiot would fall for this disguise or actually think it would work.
* PhlebotinumInducedStupidity
* PingPongNaivete
* PlayerExclusiveMechanic
* PlotSensitiveSnoopingSkills
* PoorCommunicationKills: Failure to communicate important information with your friends and family is a boneheaded move to make.
* PopularIsDumb: The popular kids in school are dumb as grass.
* RecognitionFailure
* ReedRichardsIsUseless: Not smart enough to realize that they could use their awesome powers or gifts to help people.
* RememberedICouldFly
* RevengeBeforeReason
* ReverseTelescopicVision
* RichInDollarsPoorInSense
* RunsOnIgnorance
* SanityHasAdvantages
* SeeminglyProfoundFool
* SelectiveObliviousness
* SelectiveStupidity
* SidetrackedByTheAnalogy
* StatingTheSimpleSolution
* StopDrowningAndStandUp
* StrangerSafety
* StupidCrooks
* StupidFuturePeople
* StupidSacrifice
* StupidScientist
* StupidSurrender
* StupidityInducingAttack
* SuicidalOverconfidence
* StrategySchmategy
* SuperGullible: They're so stupid they'll believe anything they're told no matter how many times they get tricked.
* SurroundedByIdiots
* TheyJustDontGetIt
* TooDumbToFool
* TooDumbToLive: So stupid it's amazing they haven't got themself killed yet.
* TookALevelInDumbass: They weren't always this stupid in the past.
* TreacherousSpiritChase
* UpperClassTwit
* UselessWithoutCellPhones
* ValleyGirl
* ViewersAreMorons: TV executives seem to think their viewers are complete morons.
* VirginityMakesYouStupid
* ViolationOfCommonSense
* WhatAnIdiot: Doing incredibly stupid things that no sane person would actually do.
** ChainedToABed
** HaveYouToldAnyoneElse
** MistakenForIndex
** OnceIsNotEnough
** WhatWereYouThinking
* WorkingClassPeopleAreMorons
* YourBrainWontBeMuchOfAMeal
[[/index]]
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