Celibate Eccentric Genius

He just wants to show off his latest electrical wonder.

Okabe: Bite your tongue! My IQ is on par with Sir Isaac Newton's, and like his august self, I have no use for the fairer sex! Hououin Kyouma is devoted to higher purposes than these ridiculous flights of fancy!—
Kurisu: Yes, we get it - you're a genius as dedicated to science as you are to virginity.

In Fiction Land, being very smart can damage your social prospects. This can hold particularly true in the area of sex and dating. However, this character doesn't care about driving off potential suitors with their intelligence or unusual interests. The Celibate Eccentric Genius knows that there are many more interesting and intellectually stimulating activities in this world than dating.

The Celibate Eccentric Genius is Exactly What It Says on the Tin - an intellectually brilliant, eccentric character who does not, in canon, engage in sexual or romantic entanglements. They may or may not be considered a potentially desirable partner by others, but to count as this trope, their celibacy must be, to some degree, voluntary - an eccentric genius who just can't get a date does not qualify.

Possibly due to the influence of Sherlock Holmes, these characters are usually introverts, often lack interest even in conventional social activities that don't involve the pursuit of romantic partners, and tend to suffer from Intelligence Equals Isolation.

These characters often lack a canonical sexual orientation, but are often perceived as Asexual by the fandom, or, for the ones involved in close same-sex platonic friendships, Ambiguously Gay. However, a heterosexual Celibate Eccentric Genius is possible.

See also Celibate Hero, Confirmed Bachelor, and Intelligence Equals Isolation.


Anime and Manga
  • Lloyd from Code Geass - an eccentric scientist known as the earl of pudding. He seems to show no interest in his fiancee and doesn't seem to mind when his engagement is broken off. In fact, he outright admits that the only reason he agreed to marry her was solely so he could inherit the old Ganymede-class Knightmare Frame her family owned.
  • L from Death Note appears to be this. He avoids thinking about anything other than detective work, which honestly seems to be only thing he's interested in. He's partly based on Sherlock Holmes, which might explain this.
    • While his Arch-Enemy Light has at least two relationships in the series, both are based entirely on manipulation and usefulness, so he may qualify as this as well. Its not clear how far either girl "gets" with him, but the second isn't with him very long before he murders her and as for the first, Misa, he only shows interest in her when he wants her to kill or otherwise do something for him; he also thinks about killing her on several occasions, and the only reason Misa lives is due to Xanatos Speed Chess necessitating Light keeping her alive. Its established early on that Light is quite popular with the ladies but rarely showed interest in them even before becoming a Serial Killer.
  • Steins;Gate's Okabe Rintarou claims to be one of these, though mostly it's an excuse for his social and romantic inexperience.
  • Sasuke from Naruto seems to be this, since though he plans to eventually revive his dead clan, he shows zero interest in all of the In-Universe fangirls who have been throwing themselves at his feet since he was at least 8.

  • Adrian "Ozymandias" Veidt from Watchmen, maybe. In the original graphic novel, "the smartest man in the world" is shown totally devoid of any visible romantic or sexual interest (and doesn't appear to be repressing it a la Rorschach, either), despite being regarded as something of a celebrity sex god in-universe (reporter Doug Roth comments "[e]very girlfriend [he's] had in the last four years has wanted to lay this guy") and thus implicitly having his free pick of partners, if he wanted them. Rorschach believes he is "possibly homosexual", but this is never elaborated upon.

Fan Works


  • Sherlock Holmes in the original novels by Arthur Conan Doyle, may very well be the Trope Codifier, despite what most later, non-Doylean, adaptations will have you believe.
    • Sherlock's brother, Mycroft Holmes, as well.
  • Nero Wolfe. The "celibacy" part is due to being rather unsociable and not fond of women.
  • Arguably, Granny Weatherwax in the Discworld novels is a variation of this trope. Celibacy: her known romantic history consists of an unconsummated youthful romance with Ridcully, and as an old woman she's still capable of attracting unicorns. Eccentricity: she's proud, intimidating, solitary, would have made an impressive Wicked Witch under different circumstances, and rides an alleged broomstick. Genius: she's a powerful witch and accomplished Guile Hero.
    • Interestingly, both Weatherwax and Sherlock Holmes are thin and wiry, have intense light-colored eyes, and are interested in apiculture.
  • This trope is discussed briefly in the Robert A. Heinlein novel Stranger in a Strange Land. Jubal Harshaw explains that Great Men, particularly the great founders or reformers of religions, are either completely celibate, like Jesus, or the complete opposite of celibate, like Mohammed and Joseph Smith.
  • The title character of the Mediochre Q Seth Series is one of these. The genius is natural, the eccentricity is implied to be a coping mechanism, and he forces the celibacy on himself because he's functionally immortal and trapped in the body of a fifteen-year-old, so things would be too confusing otherwise.

Live Action TV
  • The title character of Sherlock considers himself married to his work, though that doesn't stop an intense - but brief - relationship from blossoming between him and Irene Adler in A Scandal in Belgravia, the exact romantic/sexual nature of which is not discussed; and then there's the Ho Yay between him and John Watson that certain fans claim to see all over the place (and which is occasionally referenced in-universe to John's annoyance).
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Dr. Sheldon Cooper before Amy Farrah Fowler came along. Even his dynamic with Amy isn't particularly conventionally romantic.
    • Sheldon and Amy both qualify. Ironically, it's the very thing that brought them so close together - they understand each other's disdain for sex better than anyone else.
    • In the backstory Leonard's parents only had sex in order to procreate. Once that was done, they were done.
  • This was essentially Gil Grissom for the first few seasons of CSI; he did make a few remarks to Sara that ship fans now adore, but he really didn't seem interested in romance at all up until it was revealed he was with Sara in the season 6 finale. We don't know the exact time they became an item, but we know it wasn't the entire series.
  • In Seinfeld, men become more intelligent when they stop having sex, because most of their brains are always obsessed with sex, and that part begins to function properly when sex is no longer a factor in their lives.
  • The Doctor in Doctor Who, depending on his regeneration. Five and Seven were extremely celibate, which became a plot point with some frequency in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe. From his Eighth regeneration onwards, the Doctor starts getting more and more intimate with his companions (though Tom Baker loves to imply that this started way back with Four). And of course, the First Doctor had a granddaughter and even got engaged to a Girl of the Week.
    • Eleven certainly fit this trope for a while, though it went away somewhere between the Battle of Demons Run and when he got married.
  • Atlantis has Pythagoras, who is explicitly more interested in his triangles than women.

  • Played with and Deconstructed in Hawkwind's ''Quark, Strangeness, and Charm,''. The song pokes fun at certain acclaimed scientists throughout history, such as Einstein and Galileo, as being lovelorn through missing that one titular piece of discovery (and if you're wondering, no, Lemmy was not involved).

  • In My Fair Lady, the linguist Henry Higgins has two whole musical numbers about how much he hates women and loves being a confirmed bachelor.
  • In Chess, Freddie prefers to get his kicks "above the waistline". He's also the second-best chess player in the world. He's also freaking insane.
  • In the Mrs Hawking play series, the deductive genius titular character Victoria Hawking is, according to Word of God, an aromantic asexual.

Video Games


Western Animation
  • For a value of "genius" that includes "Crazy Awesome schemer," the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series. He's too focused on his schemes to care that his minion is throwing herself at him.
  • The Real Ghostbusters: Much like the film entry, Egon is still in it For Science! and still oblivious to Janine's affections. It's eventually subverted when he finally notices and reciprocates; likely helped by the fact that, here, Janine is a Sexy Secretary. Whereas her film counterpart is just sassy.

Real Life
  • In general, not uncommon for people with Schizoid Personality Disorder.
  • Nikola Tesla, real-life Mad Scientist and life-long bachelor.
  • Isaac Newton supposedly said on his deathbed that his proudest accomplishment was managing to die a virgin.