TV Tropes Needs Your Help
View Kickstarter Project
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here
and discuss here
Cool but Stupid
aka: Stupid But Awesome
"So, ten out of ten for style, but minus several million for good thinking."
The intersection of the sets "Stupid things" and "Awesome things", which, surprisingly, are non-disjoint sets. A field mainly occupied by the obsessions of 8-year old boys, but one that can be surprisingly fertile for all that.
Examples should be confined to things that are acknowledged in-universe as being stupid or ridiculous, yet are treated as being awesome or cool despite or because of this.
Differs from So Bad, It's Good
and So Cool It's Awesome
by being the localized case; those apply to the whole show. See also Achievements in Ignorance
, a Sister Trope
: when the "impossible" is achieved due to not knowing it's impossible; frequently, cases of Cool but Stupid
are acknowledged as being stupid, but carry on regardless "just to see what will happen". Compare Awesome but Impractical
Live Action Television
- Toby Keith said that he decided to record "Red Solo Cup" because it was both the stupidest and most awesome song he had ever heard.
- Flavor text from Dungeons & Dragons suggests that most of the gnomes' most brilliant inventions started with astoundingly dumb ideas. For instance, the Gnomish Magnetic Armor, which repels magical attacks, was originally intended to repel metal debris on workroom floors.
- GURPS Ultra-Tech has the rocket striker. It's a swinging melee weapon with a rocket engine attached for extra power. Yes, you read that right. May be either So Bad, It's Good or just far too silly for the setting.
- Rifts has no such compunctious, however, and will gladly introduce weapons like the bangstick, a truncheon(also available in staff and hammer) with a single-round shotgun chamber built into one end and an impact trigger. It sells like hotcakes because Rifts' Earth adventurers and mercenaries are stated in-universe to live and die by Rule of Cool, and many of them love the concept of being able to finish off the enemy by poking them with a stick.
- SWAG.MOV's climactic battle between a Kaiju-sized Rainbow Dash and Discord. The Freeze-Frame Bonus in this scene reads, "THIS IS SO FUCKING RETARDED OH MY GOD I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M ANIMATING THIS".
- The martians of Invader Zim destroyed their own civilization and worked themselves to extinction to turn Mars into a workable space-craft (except, of course, that upon completion there was no-one left to drive it). Why? Because it was cool.