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[[quoteright:348:[[Film/ThePhantomMenace http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TPMR2repairs_2140.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:348:Being an actual guy is optional for the title.]]

->'''Aang:''' The question is, how are we gonna stop that thing?\\
''[{{beat}}]''\\
'''Sokka:''' [[WhyAreYouLookingAtMeLikeThat Why are you all looking at me?]]\\
'''Aang:''' You're The Idea Guy.\\
'''Sokka:''' So I'm the ''only'' one who can ''ever'' come up with a plan? That's a lot of pressure. \\
[He comes up with a plan 45 seconds later]
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''

This is the guy in the FiveManBand whose focus is on intellectual pursuits. This is TheTeam member who will always be prepared, sometimes CrazyPrepared. They will be at the computer doing RapidFireTyping. Expect some [[SesquipedalianLoquaciousness fancy talk]] and TechnoBabble from this character. Because their role is about ideas, plans, and being MissionControl, they often [[NonActionGuy leave the action stuff to the others.]]

Physically they are usually {{short|erMeansSmarter}} [[TheShortGuyWithGlasses and wear glasses]]. They may even be [[TeenGenius a]] ChildProdigy. The Smart Guy is sometimes written as mousey and withdrawn. If not antisocial, at least non-social, sliding into TVGenius. Can be expected to [[SmartPeoplePlayChess play a mean game of chess.]] WeakButSkilled is definitely not out of the question, either.

Sometimes the Smart Guy is more street savvy then they appear. If this is the case it usually makes The Smart Guy physically as well as mentally capable. This is the path of the BadassBookworm. They remain firmly planted as the Smart Guy, but are just as ready to fight as everyone else. The results are often impressive, and usually have the advantage of surprise. Who expects the little guy with glasses to be an asskicker?

Powers and skills common to the smart guy include:
* In modern or sci-fi settings, The Smart Guy often has great skill with technology and engineering, in order to build and repair devices for TheTeam. The GadgeteerGenius, MadScientist, and TheProfessor will often fill this role. If they're the protagonist, they'll be a ScienceHero. In such cases, The Smart Guy will rarely have good tactical skills, and may lack in common sense as well. Quite often they're an alien, cyborg or robot. If all of the characters are using guns, the Smart Guy may be packing a SniperRifle.
* In settings where [[FantasyGunControl guns are rare]], he might be one of those few who uses one, considering a lack of combat skill.
* In fantasy settings, he'll usually be [[SquishyWizard skilled at magic and physically weak]], particularly of the offensive variety, in which case he serves as the team's [[AnAdventurerIsYou "nuker"]]. His WeaponOfChoice tends to be a MagicWand, a SimpleStaff, or [[MagicStaff both in one package]]. Alternatively, he may prefer a [[KnifeNut easily manageable dagger]]. Or, if magic is the de facto power of the age, the Smart Guy will probably use a sword or a gun.
* In a {{Superhero}} setting, or any one with superpowers that don't quite fall under magic, The Smart Guy is often WeakButSkilled or has SuperIntelligence or will [[HeartIsAnAwesomePower find ways to utilise apparently useless powers to great effect]]). He could also achieve PsychicPowers after reaching BrainCriticalMass. Conversely, they'll be the ones in the PoweredArmor. in this case they might be a GeniusBruiser or BadassBookworm who doubles as TheBigGuy).
* Some incarnations have TheSmartGuy be less of a book-smart genius, and more of a DeadpanSnarker; a wisecracking, street-smart {{Trickster}} who has traded in knowledge and intelligence for know-how and intel, and uses his guile and wits to outwit his foes.

His knowledge will allow him to [[EnemyScan find enemy weaknesses]] and to serve as MrExposition in order to explain plot points to the less intelligent members of the team (and the audience).

The Smart Guy archetype is often unfairly vilified in shows where DumbIsGood. Other times, he's not so much the Smart Guy as the ''Smartass'' Guy. The Smartass Guy will occur in a team with a [[GeniusBruiser Big Smart Guy]]. The team doesn't need another brainy guy so much, and since Big Smart Guys tend to be {{Gentle Giant}}s, adding a DeadpanSnarker just seems natural.

In recent years, as casts have become more gender-balanced, TheSmartGirl is the one most likely to swap genders. Since the character type is outwardly sexless and non-masculine, turning them into The Smart Girl is not that big a stretch. Mousey, shy and withdrawn work equally well on female characters, and can sometimes be appealing (see HotLibrarian and NerdsAreSexy). When used in this way, she's usually much less girly than TheChick (see WrenchWench). In a fantasy setting, she's often the BlackMage, or sometimes the WhiteMage.

Because ShorterMeansSmarter, the SmartGuy may be a [[TeensAreShort often a]] TeenGenius and can overlap with TagalongKid. This will lead to a LittleGuyBigBuddy duo with TheBigGuy, especially because their [[BetaCouple contrast doesn't lead to fights]] as often as TheHero and TheLancer will. Alternatively he can overlap with TheMentor as a MiniatureSeniorCitizen. Some teams even replace having a smart guy with having a ''small'' guy for the [[GeekPhysiques visual]] [[ShorterMeansSmarter contrast]] [[MiniatureSeniorCitizen with the rest]] of TheTeam even if he isn't particularly more intelligent.

In an ensemble cast, the Smart Guy is usually the last character to have a LoveInterest if they even bother to give him one at all. He may or may not be {{asexual}}. He may also explicitly be said to have no luck with women (we are frequently showed just one instance of this as a pretext to at least answer the question and to completely avoid the romance issue afterwards) and that's often cruelly played for laughs, especially when the Smart Guy's feelings are unrequited. When present, the shoehorned love interest character is often little more than an uninspired female version of himself (a sterotypical Nerd Girl variant), or close to it. Often, this relationship does not last for a number of reasons (a convientent pretext for the smart guy to avoid future romances) or the love interest falls victim to either ChuckCunninghamSyndrome or the CartwrightCurse. Invariably, because smart guys are relatively difficult to write for without relying on tropes and cliches, this allows writers to avoid having to develop the Smart Guy character beyond his basic fuctional role.

If there's a RobotBuddy on the team, he's usually The Smart Guy.

If you're looking for his EvilCounterpart in the FiveBadBand, it's TheEvilGenius.

Oh, and he's also part of the FourManBand in a comedy ensemble.

Not to be confused with the series ''Series/SmartGuy''.
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!!Examples
[[index]]
* TheSmartGuy/AnimeAndManga
* TheSmartGuy/{{Literature}}
* TheSmartGuy/LiveActionTV
* TheSmartGuy/VideoGames
* TheSmartGuy/WesternAnimation
[[/index]]

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'': Donatello, he who does machines, pretty much defines this trope.
* Brainiac 5 fills this role in every version of the ''ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}}''.
** ''JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' lampshaded this:
--->'''Supergirl:''' So what's your power? SuperStrength? [[SuperSpeed Speed]]?\\
'''Brainiac 5:''' I have a 12th level intellect...\\
'''Supergirl:''' Great. You can knock him out with your diploma.
* Though the Smart Guy in ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'' can vary depending on the current roster, generally speaking it's Hank [=McCoy=]/Beast.
** On the original team, Iceman filled the role of The Smartass Guy to Beast's GeniusBruiser. It bears pointing out that he had the poorest grades of the class.
* In most incarnations of the ''JusticeLeagueOfAmerica'', Franchise/{{Batman}} is a mix of The Smart Guy and TheLancer.
** The MartianManhunter also fulfills this role in some incarnations.
* Similarly, the ''JusticeSocietyOfAmerica'' has Mr. Terrific, the third smartest guy in the DCU.
* Frank Einstein Jr. of ''Minimonsters'' is one of these, although his inventions usually fail. He's also TheLeader of his own gang of good guys, Frank's gang.
* ''ComicStrip/KnightsOfTheDinnerTable'' has Brian, who has memorized all the {{Hackmaster}} books (their version of DungeonsAndDragons) and is a master of tactics. In the "real life" of the strip makes his living building and repairing computers, trading on Ebay, and painting miniatures. In game, he tends to play wizards whenever he can and has gone to great pains to make sure each character inherits the meticulously kept journals of the previous one (amongst other CrazyPrepared preparations.)
* Taranee Cook in ''Comicbook/{{WITCH}}'' is archetypical of this trope.
* Reed Richards, aka Mr Fantastic, is a rare example combining this and TheHero as part of the ''ComicBook/FantasticFour''. He's also one for the larger MarvelUniverse in general, being regarded as the smartest man in the world. (which is no mean feat)
* IronMan and [[ComicBook/AntMan Hank Pym]] usually share this role in ''Comicbook/TheAvengers'', with slightly different fields. (one being the GadgeteerGenius in the PoweredArmor, the other being a more [[HollywoodScience comic booky scientist]] with his [[MinovskyPhysics Pym Particles]])
* In SonicTheComic TheSmartGuy role in the Freedom Fighters is taken by Porker Lewis and after Porker leaves the Freedom Fighters the role is taken by [[TeenGenius Tekno]], in the Chaotix Crew the role is taken by [[GeniusBruiser Vector the Crocodile]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* [[InsufferableGenius Sherman]] of ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries''. Though he's a bungling inventor, he's still the resident MrExposition.
* Henry Wong fills this role in the ''FanFic/TamersForeverSeries''
* Lightning Bolt in ''Fanfic/AceCombatTheEquestrianWar''.
* Brain from ''Fanfic/MyLittleUnicorn'', [[InformedAttribute in theory anyway]].
* In ''FanFic/{{Horseshoes and Hand Grenades}}'' and its sidestories, we have different members. In Horseshoes alone we have [[BadassBookworm Riderman]], [[KnowledgeBroker JK]] and [[TheLeader Miu Kazashiro]]
** In ''Month of Sundays'' we have [[ShorterMeansSmarter Ibuki Watanabe]] for the "Cosmic Hunting Dogs".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films]]
* The SuperHero spoof film ''Film/TheSpecials'' from 2000 includes a brainy gadgeteer member of the titular superteam whose ''nom de guerre'' is simply "Mr. Smart".
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': There's a reason C-3PO refers to RD-D2 as his counterpart: They split the usual Smart Guy duties between them, with R2 handling the practical side and 3PO handling the exposition side.
* Kevin Sandusky of ''Film/TropicThunder'' is the one who knows what is going on the most. He recognized the Heroin Processing plant, he can read the map, and [[spoiler: he's the only one of the actors who had actually read the script and the book.]]
* Lucius Fox in ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga''. He runs Wayne Enterprises, either invents or improves upon most of Batman's tech, and can come up with an antidote to Scarecrow's fear gas in the span of a night.
-->'''Bruce:''' (after Lucius explains how he made the antidote) Am I supposed to understand any of that?
-->'''Fox:''' No. I just wanted you to know how hard it was.
* Bruce Banner in ''Film/TheAvengers''. While the "[[ComicBook/IncredibleHulk other guy]]" gets his share of action, Nick Fury brings Bruce into the plot specifically because he knows more about gamma radiation than anyone on the planet. Tony Stark, InsufferableGenius extraordinaire, doesn't even mind playing Bruce's assistant.
* Breaker from ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra''.
** Lady Jaye from ''Film/GIJoeRetaliation''.
* Pete from ''[[Film/{{Neighbors2014}} Neighbors]]''.
* Hank [=McCoy=]/Beast from the ''Film/XMen'' films, is incredibly intelligent and a brilliant scientist who has invented most of the nifty tools and gadgets (X-Jet, Cerebro, etc.) that the X-Men use.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Religion and Mythology]]
* In ClassicalMythology, Athena is this among the Olympians. Hermes sometimes fill this role in a trickster-ish sort of way.
* Among mortals, Odysseus is the "ideas man" for the [[strike:Greeks]] Achaeans in the Literature/TrojanCycle (including ''Literature/TheIliad'' and his very own story, ''Literature/TheOdyssey''). Pretty much every actual ''strategy'' mentioned in relation to the TrojanWar starts with him, including (ironically) both one of the reasons for the war (the Achaean kings agreeing to protect whoever married Helen, to keep them from fighting over her) and the reason it ends (the TrojanHorse, of course). Naturally, Athena favors him and helps him out a lot (against the wishes of her uncle Poseidon, whom he had somehow offended).
* The [[Literature/TheBible Biblical prophet]] Daniel (aka Belteshazzar) was a brilliant scholar and a top-notch administrator.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Toys]]
* The [[DishingOutDirt Toa of Earth]] (such as [[GeniusBruiser Onua]] or [[GadgeteerGenius Nuparu]]) tend to fill this role on their respective Toa teams in ''{{Bionicle}}''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', some of the Sparks are even identified by the Jagers as "da schmot guy".
** In Gil's case, [[NiceHat it's even on his hat.]]
* Vaarsuvius fills this role in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''. Although Roy Greenhilt has more common sense and Haley Starshine is more observant, V's sheer 18 INT has them beat. Besides, Roy and Haley are TheHero and TheLancer respectively.
* Hod, god of darkness and winter, is The Smart Guy to the Norse kids in ''Webcomic/BratHalla'', although he is a CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass as well.
* ''WebComic/MagickChicks'': [[StudentCouncilPresident Faith]] recognized [[{{meganekko}} Sandi's]] talents as a {{technopath}}, when she was young, and [[http://www.magickchicks.com/strips-mc/she_looks_out_for_us helped her learn to properly control her abilities.]] Now, she's so adept at her gift that she can [[http://www.magickchicks.com/strips-mc/where_is_musical_starlight mentally project multiple holo-screens at once]]; with each containing separate bits of data, including video feeds. What's more, the cast page of the comic's print edition describes her as "a living {{Google}}", which is why Faith is chose her as her personal secretary and is genuinely surprised whenever Sandi ''[[http://www.magickchicks.com/strips-mc/the_dollar_store can't]]'' find intel on something.
* Riff from ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' is both The Smart Guy and TheLancer, being a MadScientist with a [[TimTaylorTechnology penchant for]] [[MoreDakka destruction]].
* Sweden from ''Webcomic/ScandinaviaAndTheWorld''.
* Tedd of ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive''.
* In DubiousCompany, Walter starts out as this to [[BrainsAndBrawn Tiren]] and after they pick up [[BeautyBrainsAndBrawn Elly]]. But when the team picks up Sal, she then becomes the TheSmartGirl and Walter functionally shifts to TheLeader.
** This also occurs on the [[AntiVillain Imperial side]], with [[TheDragon Izor]] shifting the responsibility to [[HyperCompetentSidekick Gary]] once he becomes a prominent character.
* In ''[[{{Webcomic/Morphe}} morphE]]'', Asia Ellis fills the role of smart guy through being the analytical thinker of the FiveManBand who takes notes, makes maps when introduced to new areas and studies every text she can find to discover the many truths of the awakened world. Despite not being the most intellectual member of the party Asia fits this trope perfectly.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* While not part of a FiveManBand, computer programmer Raimi definitely fulfills this function in ''BrokenSaints''.
* Iridescence from ''WebAnimation/DusksDawn'', sort of. It's inferred that she's an expert in the medical field by her Cutie Mark, and she senses something bad is happening in the De Noir's castle.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* On the group Team Kimba in the ''WhateleyUniverse'', Phase is probably the smart one, even if Chaka seems to be best at coming up with ideas in the middle of a fight. Phase is over-educated for a freshman in high school, is most likely to use the big words, and is a smart aleck too. The SmartGuy they go to for gadgets is Bugs, who is a HotScientist.
* While not intelligent to a superlative degree, Chip from the web fiction serial ''Literature/DimensionHeroes'' proves on several occasions that his reservoir of book knowledge can prove beneficial in making it out of various tight spots the heroes get into.
* Open to debate, since none of the characters are all that bright, but in RedvsBlue, Simmons is arguably the smartest member of either team when it comes to pure common sense.
[[/folder]]
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