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The Fool
"Uh, buddy? Watch that last step."

"Sometimes it depresses me how well dumb luck works for you."

Not the kind of fool that Mr T pities.

The Fool has no idea what he's doing, he has a dim idea at best who his enemies are or whether he's in danger, and only has his cheerful disposition to protect him.

That and the blessing of Lady Luck herself. The Fool's strength comes from supernatural fortune bordering on Karma. Since The Fool is such a good person, nothing bad happens to them. The Big Bad may send hundreds of assassins, but each time The Fool will bend over at just the right time, or accidentally activate some Rube Goldberg-esque chain of events that leads to the villain's downfall. Occasionally their good luck will be siphoned from someone else around them so that they suffer bad luck. The Fool might even turn out to be The Chosen One, but he'd be the last one to suspect it.

The Fool was often the Audience Surrogate of medieval plays, representing the Everyman or Karmic Trickster, but typically more clever than smart. In the annual Feast of Fools, he was King For A Day.

See also The Ditz, The Klutz, Too Dumb to Fool, Unluckily Lucky, Obfuscating Stupidity, Cloudcuckoolander, Idiot Hero, Invincible Incompetent, and Dojikko. For the court fool, see The Jester. See Idiot Houdini for the more aggressive variant of this. When mistaken for someone important, he's the Seemingly Profound Fool.

For the Christopher Moore novel about the character from King Lear, see Fool.

Example subpages


    open/close all folders 

    Machinima 
  • The eponymous character from Freeman's Mind is anything but kind or inherently good-natured, but the vast majority of his progress through the series is through sheer dumb luck. Often times, he clears the way forward by doing seemingly random, unrelated things or just wandering around aimlessly until he finds somewhere he hasn't been already.
    Freeman: Awwright! I'm making a lot of progress for not knowing what the hell I'm doing!

    Multiple Media 

    Music 
  • The Fool on the Hill, of course.
  • A song by Brazilian group Titãs has the line: "O acaso vai me proteger enquanto eu andar distraído." - Meaning "Luck will protect me as long as I walk on absent-mindedly".
  • One of jazz composer Stan Kenton's most well known pieces is entitled "La Suerte de los Tontos" - which translates as "the luck of the fool."
  • "The Company of Fools" by Great Big Sea (co-written by Russell Crowe) is about how The Fool can often be the most honest and honorable person around.

    Theatre 
  • Every other Shakespeare play has the Fool, usually as a Foil of some sort. In more serious dramas, he replaces the Fool with Those Two Guys.
    • In The Winter's Tale, the Shepherd's Son (for whom no name is given, but in some printings is called Clown) and to a lesser extent, the Shepherd.
    • Launcelot Gobbo in The Merchant of Venice.
  • A stock character of the Commedia dell'Arte genre.

    Web Animation 
  • The eponymous character from Homestar Runner, especially in the earlier cartoons, when Homestar would always beat Strong Bad, no matter how much Strong Bad cheated; Homestar was eventually flanderized into a character too stupid to know when he'd lost, which also frustrated Strong Bad's efforts.
    Strong Bad: It's like, even when we win, he wins.
  • Pretty much every character in Red vs. Blue is The Fool. Caboose starts out as one as well, but he quickly descends to pure idiocy.

    Web Original 
  • The anthropomorphic cute-girl version of Windows ME, Me-tan.


Fixing The GameLuck TropesFour-Leaf Clover
Clown SchoolClown TropesHappy Harlequin Hat
The Ferry ManArchetypal CharacterFool for Love
The Cuckoolander Was RightBrain ChainThe Ditz
Fetch QuestFairy Tale TropesForbidden Fruit
Folk HeroHeroesGenius Bruiser
Fat IdiotStupidity TropesFearless Fool
Tarot CardsImageSource/Tabletop GamesThe Hermit

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