Note: This trope has been subjected to some misuse. Please read this article before listing it on a work's YMMV page.
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
Someone who is Crazy Awesome is someone who's completely nuts, in an amusing way, and is effective at what they do because of
that craziness. In real life they would get fired from whatever job they have, or even arrested—at the very least, the things they do just plain wouldn't work
. But somehow, as their every action is generally protected by the Rule of Cool
, they manage to be both effective and a character that the audience likes or even loves.
However, this trope has been subject to much misuse and misunderstanding. A plain old Cloudcuckoolander
is just a weird character. A Bunny-Ears Lawyer
is someone who is still effective despite of or alongside
their quirks, but a Crazy Awesome character is effective because
of his/her quirks.
For example: Let's say The Chosen One
's best friend, Ed Smith, wears a traffic cone on his head. Said traffic cone is spray painted metallic purple and has a grinning chimpanzee's face painted on the front. And Ed insists
that you call it Sheldon. Yet despite this, Ed is very loyal to The Chosen One
and can hold his own against the army of Mooks
. So far, he seems like your average Bunny-Ears Lawyer
, right? The traffic cone is an eccentric trait if there ever was one, but it's not necessarily why he's effective. Now suppose about ten episodes into the series, the Big Bad
decides to drop a bomb on the Hero's city
, and only Ed can do something to stop it. If Ed were to catch the bomb in his hand then kick it back to the Big Bad's jet, thus destroying them both, he's still not Crazy Awesome, only a Badass Bunny-Ears Lawyer
If, instead, Ed pushes an inconspicuous button on the underside of Sheldon's base, and a jack-in-the-box chicken head springs out of the top and shoots Frickin' Laser Beams
out of its eyes that disintegrate both the bomb and
the jet in the space of five seconds, then
Ed Smith (and Sheldon) has become Crazy Awesome.
In other words, it is because
of Ed's quirkiness that he is an effective cast member. He would not be as effective (or, indeed, the same character) without the eccentricities. There can't be one without the other.
On average, every other action the Crazy Awesome does is cool
, awesome, and/or funny
, or a combination thereof. The Heroic Comedic Sociopath
Awesome. A Large Ham
is a verbal Crazy Awesome. As previously mentioned, a character that can "work" without the quirks (but still wouldn't be the same
) is a Bunny-Ears Lawyer
. If (s)he's just crazy, (s)he's a Cloudcuckoolander
. If his/her crazy awesomeness prevents him/her from being killed or arrested when anyone else would be, (s)he's just benefited from a Lunatic Loophole
. May be a Lethal Joke Character
. Expect lots of Insane Troll Logic
to be behind their plans and antics. Compare Power Born of Madness
, Eccentric Mentor
, and The Wonka
. Compare and contrast Creepy Awesome