[[quoteright:319:[[TVTropesWillRuinYourLife http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dummies_8292.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:319:[[http://www.signgenerator.org/books/dummies/ They really do have a book for everything, don't they?]]]]

The ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_Dummies For Dummies]]'' series of books is a popular way of learning just about anything, [[JustForFun/TheUniversalGenreSavvyGuide from C++ programming to Divorce Law to African-American History]], achieved by simple explanations.

As a result of their popularity, these books are often parodied, and fictional entries to the series are often conjured into existence. This is often done to show that a character knows next to nothing about a subject but is now trying to find out. They will occasionally be ludicrously specific to the task the character is attempting at the time.

Works created before the "For Dummies" series was started will use titles like "How to Do Tropes in N Easy Steps" or "You, Too, Can Trope!" or "Hey, You're not a Genius. Who Cares? Read This and You Won't Suck at X" or "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Tropes But Were Afraid to Ask." Often, titles may also parody the "Complete Idiot's Guide to _______" series as well.

Compare CorrespondenceCourse, its brother in self-education. Also compare {{Snowclone}} and TheJoyOfX, which lead to similar titling conventions.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Fan Fiction ]]

* In "The Trouble With Timelines", SuzumiyaHaruhi goes searching for a missing [[MacGuffin jigsaw puzzle]] using techniques taken from a Dowsing for Dummies.
* In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4740990/3/The-Master-s-Gambit The Master's Gambit]]'' a recently-freed Dobby stole Lucius Malfoy's library and one of the few books left behind was ''Spell-Creation for Dummies''.
* In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2876785/6/It-Only-Takes-A-Drop-of-Blood It Only Takes a Drop of Blood]]'' Harry was searching the Black library for books on transportation when he came across one called ''Magical Transportation for Trolls''.
* In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3127854/4/Harry-Potter-and-the-Pack-of-Shadows Harry Potter and the Pack of Shadows]]'' Hermione sent Harry a copy of ''Occlumency for Dummies'' as a birthday gift.
* In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/9578599/5/Whence-Magic Whence Magic]]'' Draco Malfoy left Harry a dark book disguised as a copy of ''Simple Spells for the Spectacularly Stupid''.
* In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8286766/1/Coach-Granger Coach Granger]]'' Harry gave Draco Malfoy a copy of ''Snappy Put-Downs for Dummies''.
* In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/9104885/9/It-s-OK-Not-To-Be-OK-But-I-Promise-I-m-Trying It's OK Not to Be OK (But I Promise I'm Trying)]]'' [=McGonagall=] picked out some instructional guides on Potions for Harry, one of which was ''Potion Making for Dummies''.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4945904/9/Living-My-Life-Harry-s-Beginning Living My Life: Harry's Beginning]]'' Harry came across a book called ''Bondings and Rituals for Dummies''.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8912494/15/The-Son-of-Prongs-and-the-Snitch-and-Stone The Son of Prongs and the Snitch and Stone]]'' Harry received a copy of ''Dueling for Dummies'' for Christmas.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3426676/5/Rising-Phoenix Rising Phoenix]]'' Scrimgeour threw Harry in jail and Hermione had Harry's phoenix bring him a copy of ''Beginning and Intermediate Sex for Witch and Wizard Dummies'' to keep him busy.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9946888/5/Black-and-White Black and White]]'' Hermione was reading a copy of ''Broom Flying for Nimrods'' before their first flying lesson.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/EvanAlmighty'': God presents Evan with [[http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1961597184/tt0413099 Ark Building for Dummies]].
* ''Film/TheWaterboy'' used the rival learning series "Complete Idiot's Guide" with "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Football" being read by the incompetent football coach, who is then mocked when the rival competent coach is seen reading the exact same book and laughing.
* ''BrideOfChucky'' has Tiffany resurrecting Chucky from the dead through knowledge from a "Voodoo for Dummies" book.
* [[TheMasterofDisguise The Master of Disguise]] [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MasterofDisguiseforDummies_4995.jpg for dummies.]]
* ''LooneyTunesBackInAction'' has Bugs Bunny fighting Marvin the Martian with lightsabers while Bugs reads "The Force For Dummies".
* ''{{Inspector Gadget}} 2'' had "Quantum Physics for Dimwits."
* Kirk, from ''{{Hoodwinked}}'', doesn't even know which part of an ax goes toward the wood. Fortunately, he finds a copy of ''Chopping For [[SelfDeprecation Actors]]''.
* An UrExample could be the 1968 British comedy film ''The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom''. The main character's lover -- who lives secretly in her attic -- uses a series of dubious Do-It-Yourself manuals to build all sorts of items there, including a room-size mainframe computer.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* One full book-length parody of both series was called ''Compleet Idoit's Guide for Dumies'' - misspellings theirs, and presumably intentional.
* In ''Discworld/{{Wintersmith}}'' one village of anti-witchcraft fanatics get their information from the ''Magavenatio Obtusis'', which [[FootnoteFever a footnote]] helpfully translates as ''Witch-Hunting For Dumb People''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In ''Film/ItsAVeryMerryMuppetChristmasMovie'', Daniel is given the book ''Performing Miracles for Dummies''.
* Eric of ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld'' defeats the witches who want to sacrifice the Hunters with the help of ''Witchcraft for Dumb-dumbs''.
* In ''CoryInTheHouse'' Cory procures a copy of "Horses for Numb-Nuts" (but with the stylized cover identical to the Dummies series).
* JD in ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' reads "The Iraq War for Dummies"
** [[TakeThat "I just reached 'mission accomplished,' but there's still like 400 pages left!"]]
* In ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' season 6 episode ''"The Courtship of Wyatt's Father"'' Elder Gideon presents a page in a book titled "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Portals But Were Afraid to Ask."
* The Investigation Discovery channel has a commercial for their week of specials about {{Black Widow}}s that has a woman at the register with normal Thanksgiving stuff, but the last thing the cashier scans is a book called "Killing Your Husband for Dummies".

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* Roger in ''ComicStrip/{{Foxtrot}}'' tries to buy an actual ''For Dummies'' book, but can't bring himself to pronounce the name and admit himself a "dummy", instead asking for a book for "college-educated professionals who majored in the humanities before computers existed."
* In ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'', when the company produces a product that doesn't work and its instruction manual is complete fiction. The Pointy-Headed Boss's reply: "Ship it and hope someone publishes a 'For Dummies' guide."

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop RPG ]]

* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' worlds bless dummies with more literature:
** ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' has something close -- {{canon}}ically, [[FictionalDocument Volo's Guides]] are an awful mix of brilliant investigations and silly hearsay. The most infamous was "Volo's Guide to All Things Magical", the "second edition" of which claimed that v 1.0 contained a lot of [[Literature/AnarchistCookbook recipes how to kill oneself in a funny way]] -- and so much of sensitive information that Volo hesitated to introduce himself in a hearing range of other wizards ever after, and Elminster had to personally hunt down and destroy every last copy.
** Cover art of ''d20 Modern Arcana SRD''[[note]]visible in full resolution if [[http://enworld.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=18135 downloaded]] (it's free)[[/note]] from Infinite Dreamers has a horned greenish lad reading ''"[[spoiler:13 Easy Steps To Overthrow Your Demonic Master]]"'', with a readable annotation traditional for this sort of literature on its back cover.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The [[BribingYourWayToVictory somewhat free]] MMO ''{{Roblox}}'' once had a hat for sale with the title ''Quantum Thermodynamics for Dummies''. It was, indeed, a "For Dummies"-style book that could be worn as a hat (just a mesh, though, so you couldn't read it or anything...).
* ''VideoGame/TheBindingOfIsaac'' features the "Telepathy For Dummies" power-up, granting homing tears for a single room upon use.
* ''UnravelingGod'' had a bookshelf which, along with a couple more serious-sounding books, sported a copy of ''Cellular Molecular Biology for Dummies, Volume 1''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' has "Data Structures for Assholes", which parodies many of the elements associated with programming manuals that bill themselves as accessible to the novice: [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002291 lengthy explanations of simple topics, clip art, diagrams...]]
** Rose also mentions getting ''Knitting for Assholes'' after getting her yarn and knitting needles from John as a birthday gift.
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', Vaarsuvius is looking for a way to regain spellcasting power without sleeping, due to a recurring nightmare. The rules of the OOTS universe says a spellcaster needs to ''rest'' rather than ''sleep'' to regain spells, so Vaarsuvius needs something not mentally taxing that would still help his/her ongoing research into finding Haley. ''[[TakeThat Finding Plot Holes]] [[FanDumb for Dummies]]'' does the trick.
** Also, Xykon's line from ''Start of Darkness'': "This magic is in my bones, not cribbed off of ''Magic for Dummies''."
* ''WebComic/EightBitTheater'' has ''[[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2009/02/26/episode-1099-more-like-borrissey/ Necromantic Arts for Dummies]]''.
* ''{{Slackerz}}'' has a great example. One of the characters attempted to program his own game called Matt's Kickass Game for Winners (a reference to VideoGame/StrongBadsCoolGameForAttractivePeople) However, he knows absolutely nothing about programming. So he consults a regular programming book, a For Dummies book, and a book called [[SesameStreet Grover's Magical C++ Garden]]. (He even denounces that as too difficult.)
* ''Webcomic/UserFriendly'' - [[http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=19980726 Evil Geniuses for Dummies]]. ''Evil Geniuses in a Nutshell'' later became the title of the second print collection.
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' presents: "[[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20030519 Advanced mechanics for the mad]]".
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' once had Grace reading "[[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2003-12-05 Untying Knots For Squirrels]]" as a gag in a storyline cover.
* ''YetAnotherFantasyGamerComic'' has "[[http://yafgc.net/?id=248 Dimensional Doors for Dummies]]".
* ''[[http://www.yip.org/dosmoron.html DOS For Complete and Utter Morons, Like You, Fuckhead]]''
* ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'' has "War for Dummies" in its [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2004-05-06 bestseller list]]. Also, Lil' E used "[[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2008-08-18 Black Magic for Dummies]]" to summon a savage demon {{hellhound}} (for dummies). Later he reads "[[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2012-06-05 World Domination Manual]]".
* ''Webcomic/{{Bug|Martini}}'' has "[[http://www.bugcomic.com/comics/read-between-the-whines/ The Complete Idiot's Guide to Musical Belching]]".
* ''ComicStrip/WhatsNewWithPhilAndDixie'' got "[[http://www.airshipentertainment.com/growfcomic.php?date=20090315 Gothic Romance For Dummies]]".
* In ''Webcomic/KevinAndKell'' when Ralph started programming he tried "For Dummies", "The Complete Idiot's Guide", and finally "For Ralph Dewclaw". Surprisingly he proved rather competent.
* ''{{Webcomic/Roommates}}''' in world books series is "[[TheWikiRule Wiki]]'s _____ for Beginners" for example "[[http://asherhyder.deviantart.com/art/Roommates-309-Astronomy-362859230 Wiki's Astronomy for Beginners]]".
* ''Webcomic/BrunoTheBandit'' had ''[[http://www.brunothebandit.com/d/19991029.html Sorcery for Fatheads]]''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* ''The Emperor's New Clones'', the second StarWars parody from BackyardProductions, features Vader reading "The Dark Side for Dummies", and Han Solo's father checking "The Star Wars Guide to Techno-Babble".
* One of the naughty-scene-re-enactors in WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick's review of ''{{Showgirls}}'' was reading ''Opera for Dummies'' throughout the whole thing.
* Fredrik K.T.Andersson, the author of ''{{Pawn}}'', in his equally NSFW gallery on Elfwood [[http://andersson.elfwood.com/Censoring-for-Dummies.3532623.html presents]]: ''[[MoralGuardians Censoring]] for Dummies''.
* In ''WebVideo/SuburbanKnights'', Ma-Ti showed up with a book to help 8-Bit Mickey's problem. It's "Goatf*cking for Dummies".

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'' has a whole bookstore shelf full of "...for Blockheads" books.
* ''MickeyDonaldGoofyTheThreeMusketeers'' has Goofy reading a ''Complete Idiot's Guide''.
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': MobyDick for Dummies.
-->'''Bart:''' ''Call me Ishmael, Dummy!''
** FridgeBrilliance: For Dummies and Cliffs Notes have the same publisher.
** One episode has Homer going to a book fair, with an entire ''library'' of Books for Dummies where he is quite at home.
** When the Simpsons go to Brazil, Bart learns Spanish on the flight there, which is "Espaņol para Dummies" with Bumblebee Man as the instructor. Marge is quick to point out that Brazilians speak Portuguese, causing Bart to fly off in an angry rant in Spanish.
* ''MegasXLR'' with ''The Complete Moron's Guide To Picking Up Space Chicks''.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}} [[ChristmasSpecial the Halls]]'' with "Christmas For Village Idiots".
* ''"Astrophysics for Morons"'' from the ''"Shelf Life"'' episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents''.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'', in episode "Rodeo Daze", has a book titled ''How to Open Things''. Spongebob can't open Sandy's door, but Patrick brings out the book. It conveniently has a whole page about Sandy's door. Also, Spongebob claims to have seen TheFilmOfTheBook of ''How to Open Things''.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Planes}}'': Chug briefly reads ''Air Racing for Dummies'' at the beginning.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "Look Before You Sleep", Twilight Sparkle hosts a slumber party, but has no idea how, so she relies on a book titled "Slumber 101: [[Creator/WoodyAllen All You've Ever Wanted to Know About Slumber Parties]] ([[GettingCrapPastTheRadar But Were Afraid to Ask]])".
----