%% Image and caption chosen by Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1294385989003180100
%% Please do not change or remove either without starting a new thread.
[[quoteright:240:[[Manga/DragonBall http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/crouching_moron_hidden_badass.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:240:"As soon as I find my pants, I'm going to kick your ass!"]]

->'''Vlad Plasmius:''' This can't be happening! You're an idiot! ''An idiot''!
->'''Jack Fenton:''' That may be, but I'm the idiot who beat ''you''.
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'', "The Million Dollar Ghost"

At first glance, they're TheFool. TheDitz. [[TheKlutz The sort of person you wouldn't trust to screw in a lightbulb without hurting themselves]]. And no, it's not ObfuscatingStupidity -- they're really like that.

Most of the time.

Then someone pushes the [[BerserkButton right button]] at the right time [[note]]translation: the ''wrong'' button at ''any time at all''[[/note]] and things suddenly change. The goofy smile disappears. [[GlowingEyesOfDoom Their eyes start glowing.]] An [[BattleAura aura of energy]] surrounds them. [[ChunkyUpdraft Little pieces of rock start floating up from the ground.]] And they proceed to demonstrate the fine art of the CurbStompBattle on everyone involved.

It doesn't really matter what makes the character badass when they switch gears. They may display enhanced speed, strength, and martial skills. They might demonstrate latent competence, leadership skills, and courage completely inconsistent with their normal personality. They may HulkOut, manifest PsychicPowers, {{MacGyver|ing}} together a plasma rifle out of a toaster and a tv remote, unleash an AngstNuke, or even become a OneWingedAngel.

Similarly, the reasons for this deceptive outward appearance vary. They may be [[DumbIsGood a genuine kindhearted moron]] who only fights [[MartialPacifist when they have no other choice]]. They might be a RetiredBadass who's gone a bit senile. They may be handicapping themselves in some way that reduces their overall abilities-- for instance the IneptMage may fumble with FunctionalMagic because their ''true'' strength and skill lies in dangerously uncontrollable WildMagic. Occasionally the character even has a PowerLimiter that [[SealedBadassInACan seals away their full strength until needed]]-- they might not ''know'' they have the power, let alone [[HowDoIShotWeb how to control it]].

The main point is not the powers, but the personality shift that comes with them. No matter what their exact situation is, when these characters find themselves in a situation where a badass is needed and they are the only ones available, the guy who's been written off as harmlessly incompetent grits their teeth and becomes a OneManArmy.

Common triggers include a [[ThePowerOfFriendship friend]] or [[ThePowerOfLove loved one]] in danger (see MamaBear and PapaWolf), a MillionToOneChance scenario, or just a "worthy cause." Sometimes, just getting 'em [[UnstoppableRage really, really pissed off]] will do the trick -- although their easy-going personalities make that a rare occurrence.

Inevitably, after the dust settles they're right back to smiling goofily, tripping over their own feet, and just generally acting like the PluckyComicRelief once again-- while their teammates are rubbing their eyes, and trying to figure out what just happened. Often, the character doesn't actually know himself.

In some cases, the character will gradually learn to control his power -- although he'll usually still need to FreakOut a bit to use his ''full'' power -- and may evolve into an IdiotHero, or more rarely, a straight-up {{Messia|nicArchetype}}h.

In other cases, things will go bad. The badass powers are required too often, and they gradually take their toll on a previously cheerful individual. It might even turn out that the individual was once like their badass side all the time, but somehow 'sealed' that part of themselves away -- or it was sealed away by someone else -- to keep them under control. Usually results in an KnightInSourArmor or, in the case of females, an EmotionlessGirl or BrokenBird, and their friends wondering if SavingTheWorld was really worth the price. In the worst cases, this can end up as a full-blown SuperpoweredEvilSide or JekyllAndHyde scenario. The Japanese term for this is "dame elite" ("dame" meaning ''no good'').

Contrast ObfuscatingStupidity, where the incompetence is just an act; and MinoredInAsskicking, where the character acts like TheSmartGuy instead of TheFool; and MistakenForBadass and LeeroyJenkins, which are essentially two forms of Crouching Badass Hidden Moron. Compare/contrast WeakButSkilled, GeniusDitz, HeroicResolve and EccentricMentor, which can overlap. If the body count they rack up is unintentional, then we're dealing with MikeNelsonDestroyerOfWorlds or NonMaliciousMonster. See also ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman, where their badassdom occurs because they're in an environment where ''their'' abilities stand out relative to everyone else's. Crouching Moron Hidden Badass will sometimes occur as a result of GivingTheSwordToANoob or putting TheLoad in the right situation.
The RichIdiotWithNoDayJob counts on people not thinking of this trope.

'''Please do not confuse this with''' LetsGetDangerous, which is when a seemingly ditzy or harmless character also demonstrates fighting skill, but ''without'' the change in personality and may not involve powers.

[[HiddenBadass Check out the index for sub-types of this trope.]]
%%Do not remove the folders, they are the standard.

!!Example subpages:
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass/AnimeAndManga
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass/{{Literature}}
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass/LiveActionTV
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass/VideoGames
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass/WebComics
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass/WesternAnimation


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Sheemie in ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' prequel comics [[spoiler:is the village idiot who gains incredible psychic powers and rescues the lost Gunslinger princes.]]
* Chin-Kee from ''ComicBook/AmericanBornChinese'' is a pitch-perfect example. Superficially he appears to be a clueless FunnyForeigner, a deliberate EthnicScrappy encapsulating every negative Chinese stereotype available in broken [[JapaneseRanguage Engrish]]. [[spoiler:But when Danny attacks him for being an embarrassment, Chin-Kee turns into an unstoppable martial arts badass. Justified in that he's secretly the [[Literature/JourneyToTheWest Monkey King, Great Sage Equal of Heaven]].]]
* [[Characters/GLOrangeLanternCorps Larfleeze]], the wielder of the orange light in the Franchise/GreenLantern universe. Most of the time, he comes off as completely insane, with a Gollum-like drive to own ''everything'' and a tendency to talk to himself. At one point, Sinestro and [[Characters/GLRedLanternCorps Atrocitus]] get so annoyed by him they suggest just killing him and taking along whoever his ring goes to next. Despite his {{Cloudcuckoolander}} tendencies, however, he's incredibly powerful, as his light represents avarice, and is at its most potent when wielded by one lone ringslinger. In terms of sheer raw power, he's probably the strongest Lantern as his ring is capable of charging to ''100,000 percent energy'' - in comparison, Hal Jordan's maxes out around 210% under certain circumstances, and it's explained any more might blow up the ring and take his hand with it. Insane? Yes. Take him lightly, though, and you're dead.
** All those Orange Lantern constructs he has hanging around? He killed them and took their identities to serve him.
* [[CelebrityResemblance Rasputin]] in the ''ComicBook/CortoMaltese'' series. He's a {{Foil}} to the title character and a SociopathicHero sidekick. Totally unpredictable, too.
* ComicBook/SquirrelGirl, hands down. Cute. Fuzzy. Talks to squirrels. Lips taste like hazelnuts. Defeated ComicBook/DoctorDoom [[note]]which, before you ask, was ''not'' retconned as being ActuallyADoombot[[/note]], The Mandarin, Giganto, ComicBook/{{MODOK}}, ComicBook/{{Thanos}}, Terrax, Bug-Eyed Voice, Bi-Beast, ComicBook/{{Deadpool}}, Pluto, Fin Fang Foom, Baron Mordo, Korvac, and Ego the Living Planet...
** Somewhat related is [[http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/frogm2.htm The Fabulous Frog-Man]]. Fat, clumsy, untrained, and with no idea what he's doing, he's proven time and again capable of taking on the most nefarious villains and coming out on top. Usually by virtue of sheer luck or coincidence, but he often exhibits the bravery necessary to charge at baddies who give ComicBook/CaptainAmerica pause nonetheless.
** Emery Schaub, a.k.a. Butterball, could be counted as one. Much like Frog-Man, he's fat, clumsy, untrained (not for lack of trying; Taskmaster does try, but declares him hopeless), and has no idea what he's doing ([[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking plus his costume seems like it's picked out from his wardrobe, with a domino mask for good measure]]). He'd be a baseline specimen of humanity, if not for one detail: he is ''completely invulnerable'' to pretty much anything. This comes in handy when Mr. Hyde assembles a group of villains to attack Camp Hammond and they take Butterball hostage, assuming him to be an easy pick. The instructors (War Machine, Constrictor, Yellowjacket[[spoiler: - the Skrull one -]] and Taskmaster, whom these guys were actually after) just blast them the hell away anyway, while the kid comes off without a single scratch. And during his stint with the Comicbook/AvengersAcademy, he got ''immortality'' as a {{Required Secondary Power|s}}, with Hybrid (a lifeforce-sucking villain) noting that he could feed on him forever.
* The entire population of [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Metropolis]] is pretty much this trope. Of course, when you've SeenItAll the way they have, it's taken for granted that you should look both ways for [[StupidJetpackHitler invading nuclear fission-powered Nazi clone armies]] before crossing the street, and be handy with a crowbar so you don't have to [[HundredPercentHeroismRating bother that good ol' boy Superman with all your problems.]] [[HeroicBystander Isn't it YOUR turn to give back to the community?]]
* ComicBook/PlasticMan has been largely considered this due to the non-serious nature of most of his appearances. One must not forget that he is a trained FBI operative, can go toe-to-toe with many other big names in the DCU (he can take punches from SUPERMAN without so much as batting an eye!), and survived dismemberment for thousands of years.
* Comicbook/ScottPilgrim. Face it, you too thought he was just a 23 year old hipster video gamer slacker without any shame or glory, hanging onto his gay roommate to pay for everything, and just being a bad bass player on a semi crappy band. Then, the first evil ex of Ramona came, and we learned that not only is he capable of fighting, he's the best fighter in the province. Dumb and with a little OCD, yeah, but don't mess with his girlfriend or his friends.
* [[spoiler:Monchito]] from ''Negation''. Most of the time [[spoiler:he does little more than eat a lot and get underfoot]], but in a highly stressful fight scene late in the series, [[spoiler:he hulks out and gets uber-powerful for a brief moment, clobbering one of the bad guys and expending all his power in one blow before reverting to normal]]. Even the bad guys were shocked.
* ComicBook/{{Deadpool}} sometimes slips into this, DependingOnTheWriter. His {{Cloudcuckoolander}} tendencies and ability to both shake off bodily harm and make a joke of it tend to obscure the fact that he is an immortal, unstoppable, superhuman killing-machine with a penchant for inventively torturing and/or brutally slaughtering anyone who manages to get on his bad side. In the ''ComicBook/DeadpoolKillsTheMarvelUniverse'' miniseries, he singlehandedly slaughters nearly every superhero on the planet. This is caused when [[spoiler:Psycho-Man fiddled with Deadpool's brain until something clicked, turning him into the perfect killing machine with a penchant for nihilism. He resolves to destroy reality itself, believing that it never mattered anyway, due to him being aware that he is a comic book character.]] This is proof that he isn't just capable of fighting A-list Marvel heroes and villains, he is capable of '''murdering every single one with ease'''.
* In the Franchise/{{Superman}} story "ComicBook/WhateverHappenedToTheManOfTomorrow" by Creator/AlanMoore, ''every single joke villain does this''. It's chilling, if not bordering on outright terrifying.
* Marvel's Hercules became this around ''Comicbook/TheIncredibleHercules.'' At first glance, he's a [[DumbMuscle second-rate Thor with an IQ on par with brine shrimp]], whose strategy in every fight is to [[PowerfulButUnskilled club his opponents until they stop moving.]] As it turns out, this is mostly because Herc is a BoisterousBruiser in all incarnations. Far from unskilled, he's one of the best hand-to-hand fighters out there, being a superb wrestler and boxer with [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld millennia of experience.]] Additionally, though he's not super-smart, he's very perceptive and great with puzzles and thinking on his feet. All that, on a guy who's strong enough to fight Thor to a draw.
* Though often DependingOnTheWriter, [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Bruce Wayne]] is sometimes seen as a foppish UpperClassTwit that many Gothamites believe couldn't put on his own pants. This is, of course, [[MemeticMutation all part of the plan]].
* The ComicBook/XMen's [[XMen90sMembers Jubilee]]. On the surface she's a somewhat ditzy, ''very'' [[TheNineties 90s]] [[TotallyRadical mallrat]], and ''especially'' for those who only know her from the animated ''WesternAnimation/XMen'' her ''pafs'' [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway come across as a joke]]. And it certainly helps that Jubilee never really learned to develop her powers to their full potential. But then you read ''why'' she didn't: Jubilee is capable of manipulating and ''detonating'' matter at the ''sub-atomic'' level, and once ''leveled The Mandarin's castle'' when she cut loose because she thought Wolverine had been hurt. And that ''still'' wasn't the full extent of her powers. Emma Frost more or less likened her to ''[[PersonOfMassDestruction a walking fusion bomb]]''.
** Keep in mind she manipulates plasma. As in ''the'' most pervasive state of matter ''in the universe''. The sun is a ''big ball of plasma''. It's what ''outer space'' is made of. And Jubilee can potentially control ''any of it''.
* ''ComicBook/GrooTheWanderer,'' though the badass part isn't really hidden. Most of the time, Groo is a complete {{Ditz}} who can be easily confused by polysyllabic words. But when there's a fight -- against anyone -- he's an unstoppable killing machine, and if you're in his sights, your only hope of survival is to try and direct him towards anyone else.
* ComicBook/{{Impulse}} may be a [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} cloudcuckoolander]] [[AttentionDeficitOohShiny with ADHD]] but he is also a speedster with access to the Speed Force, training by a Golden Age hero (Quicksilver) and a [[PhotographicMemory photographic memory]].

[[folder:Fan Fics]]
* ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' fanfic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11886910/1/Gankona-Unnachgiebig-Unità Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità]]'': Italy ''hates'' fighting and would rather surrender than hurt someone. He can also match [[{{Samurai}} Japan]] in swordplay.
* Wheatley in the ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' fic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6953776/1/Test_Of_Humanity Test Of Humanity]]''. He's normally a dim-witted GentleGiant. But, push him too far, and he won't hesitate to punch you in the eye. [[spoiler:[=GLaDOS=]]] found this out the hard way.
* [[DumbBlonde Lindsay]] from Fanfic/KeepersOfTheElements turns into this if you hit her BerserkButton. Although to be fair, [[spoiler:[[TookALevelInJerkass Courtney]]]] had it coming...
* [[StealthPun Thunderhead]] from ''Fanfic/RiseOfTheGaleforces''. [[PunnyName His name pretty much sums it all up.]]
* Kasumi of all people managed to {{MacGyver|ing}} a fuel-air bomb using the Dojo's oven, flour, spices, and a bottle of cooking spray to knock back a trio of Youma in ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7696140/1/ War in Tokyo]]''. She comments that she used too much Cayenne in a complete normal tone of voice. Genma and Soun only stare at her.
* ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'': Normally {{harmless|Villain}} villain Dr. Brainstorm manages to both think his plan through ''and'' actually sound reasonably threatening in "Thunderstorm"! [[LampshadeHanging Naturally, everyone else is surprised.]]
** [[spoiler:''And'' he [[TookALevelInBadass takes a level in badass]] during the climax!]]
* ''Fanfic/BurningBlack'': Cosmo. The changes are so abrupt at times, it's frightening to anyone who witnesses it. It's especially alarming to Wanda and Anti-Cosmo, as the change comes with hyper-competence and he's ''not supposed to ever get smart''.
* In a number of ''[[WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983 He-Man]]'' fanfictions, Orko gets quite upset when someone hurts Teela.
* Shikamaru in ''Fanfic/KitsuneNoKenFistOfTheFox''. Of course, we already know from the canon. ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' series that he's this, but in this fic, he is so lazy that he prefers watching clouds to ''buying his own lunch at school'', yet he was able to point out flaws in Tenten's defense [[spoiler:even while groping her naughty bits]] during their fight in Sasuke's tournament, and later on [[spoiler:he knocked [[TheBully Aoi]] unconscious with one punch during said tournament]].
* Diplomatic Incident looks like this at first in ''[[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Fanfic/Legionnaire Legionnaire]]'', but he's actually perhaps the world's single greatest spy.
* [[http://shipoffools.wikia.com/wiki/Majestic_T._Decaden Majestic T. Decaden]] from TheShipOfFools plays this trope '''very''' straight. Most of the time he is a DirtyCoward of a RoyalBrat with a talent for throwing all of his share of the pirating onto his fellow [[http://shipoffools.wikia.com/wiki/Pop_Band_Pirates Pop Bands]]. However, endanger his livelihood and you're quickly find out why it's a bad idea to bother TheStrategist who change all of you into PeoplePuppets within the blink of an eye.
* Portrayal of [[TheDitz Derpy Hooves]] varies wildly amongst fans of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', but she is almost universally depicted as this. Generally anything that messes with [[MamaBear her daughter]] or [[TrademarkFavoriteFood her muffins]] will be torn to absolute shreds in a nanosecond.

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'': Jack-Jack (not a moron, but a baby) demonstrates a startling array of powers (which, by most reckonings, are probably more badass than those of the rest of the cast) when threatened by the BigBad, Syndrome.
** Or the babysitter. In the fairly amusing short packaged with the DVD, ''Jack Jack Attack'', Jack-Jack reduces the babysitter to a [[BadlyBatteredBabysitter stress-overloaded wreck]] by spontaneously generating anti-gravity powers, teleportation, the ability to shoot EyeBeams, and Human-Torch-esque flame powers. Since the whole film seems to be a {{Homage}} to the Comicbook/FantasticFour, he might be a sly reference to the fifth Fantastic: [[GooGooGodlike Franklin]]. The writers, for their part, note that the reason they gave him so many powers he flips through like he's channel surfing is because he's a baby: he hasn't defined himself yet. What this means for the world of ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'' as far as power development goes...
*** The babysitter herself qualifies for this trope. She starts out just seeming to be a typical teenage ditz. She not only gets though the short alive, but able to counter most of the effects of Jack-Jack's powers (albeit with some minor property damage).
* The CGI movie ''WesternAnimation/TheMagicRoundabout'', in which the affable stoner rabbit, Dylan, suddenly snaps and opens up a can of Whup Ass.
* Trusty from Disney/LadyAndTheTramp.
* Pumbaa from the ''Disney/TheLionKing'', shown when he goes bowling for hyenas. And [[IAmNotWeasel anyone who calls him a pig]] will get [[IncrediblyLamePun pork-chopped]]
** Also, Ed, when he shows his dark side at the end.
* ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail 2'': The only nice cat, who gets repeatedly pushed around, abused, and chased (either by dogs, native american mice, or even dog fish!) all the way to the American west, takes a level in badass when he gets trained by a reluctant aged, canine gunslinger. When he sees his love in danger, he goes into a literal barking rage and takes down almost the entire Big Bad's cat mook army.
* Po from ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda''. While not inept, he's a bumbler and a daydreamer. After some focus and hardcore training, however, he not only managed to take down the BigBad, but [[spoiler: his idols are so impressed, they kneel before him]]. In the sequel, he is more consistently badass, having become a very skilled martial artist who can at least keep up with the Furious Five in battle and [[AcroFatic is quite good at using his weight and bulk to his advantage]], but he is still a [[BigEater big-eating]] goofball, his [[AscendedFanboy fanboyishness]] is still showing a lot, and he ''still'' can't handle stairs.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars}} 2'': Mater, oh excuse me Sir Tow Mater. He spends most of the movie being his lovable bumbling self. Then he finds out Lightning [=McQueen=] is in trouble. Lesson when dealing with Mater, [[BerserkButton NEVER]] [[LetsGetDangerous threaten]] his friends, just ask [[spoiler:the three or four bad guys he took BY HIMSELF.]]
* Captain [=McCrea=] of ''WesternAnimation/WallE'' goes from the typical clueless, near-helpless human aboard the ''Axiom'' to the first human to stand under his own power in centuries, deactivating the mutinous taser-wielding Autopilot.
* Subverted with Scuttle from ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid''. He has a total misunderstanding of things from the surface world and is the comic relief for most of the film, but it seems like he will become one of these. In the end, however, he is nearly strangled by Ursula at the wedding. Although it is [[DoubleSubversion double subverted]], as he did managed to stall the wedding and destroy Ursula's amulet, restoring Ariel's voice and breaking Eric from Ursula's spell, and therefore leading to Ursula's defeat.
* Captain Haddock in ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfTintin'' is a perfect example. He's a complete idiot, but his brute strength comes in handy. In a simultaneous CrowningMomentOfAwesome and CrowningMomentOfFunny he crawled out of the cockpit of a seaplane that was running out of gas while it was flying in midair and breathed into an exhaust pipe so that his alcoholic breath could fuel the plane on its fumes for a little while longer (even if it didn't exactly work as planned).

[[folder:Film -- Live Action]]
* ''Creator/LaurelAndHardy'' were quite fond of this. Their characters may have been TooDumbToLive and (mostly) harmless VagabondBuddies, but they were certainly badass.
** At the end of ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEVRkrZ81O4 One Good Turn]]'', Stan snaps and starts physically attacking Ollie while shouting threats. The boys added this in because Stan's little girl was scared of her "Uncle Ollie" (she thought the way he bullied Stan in the films was ''real''); seeing a movie where her dad finally stood up to him completely fixed the problem.
** This was also an example of SerendipityWritesThePlot: The ending was improvised because Stanley's daughter was actually on the set that day and he wanted her to be happy.
** In ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvxEytUO1pU Block-Heads]]'', the boys have a run-in with a bratty little kid (played by Tommy Bond, aka "Butch" in ''Film/TheLittleRascals''). This leads to the kid's father twice kicking Ollie in the rear...for which Stan retaliates in turn by landing a punch on the guy's chin that ''knocks him out cold.''
** In ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZ_JZBCkqvA Two Tars]]'', they push a man hard enough to send him flying into his car-which then ''falls over.''
* ''Film/TheQuickAndTheDead'': Cort starts out this way, a somewhat awkward, hapless preacher who initially seems to be way in over his head when he's forcibly entered into the quick draw competition. He refuses to participate and repeats over and over again that he won't draw...until the clock strikes the hour and he's shot his opponent without even seeming to realise it.
* ''Film/KungFuHustle'':
** Sing, the hapless hero, starts off as a complete failure of a small-time street crook. Then he double-crosses the Axe Gang, gets beaten into a bloody pile of meat -- and wakes up as an indestructible kung fu god.
** Just about the entire cast fits this trope. Ranging from the pervy landlord and bitchy landlady, to a secretary geek wearing golden glasses kicking both Sing and his partner's arse, and the farmer lady who managed to make Sing vomit blood with a punch -- there are ''loads'' more.
** And then there's [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast The Beast.]] He's built up like some kind of monster when Sing is sent to recruit him, and when the audience finally sees him...he looks like a balding homeless man in a wifebeater, boxers and flip-flops, and acts very silly and nonchalant. The Axe Gang are torn between taking him seriously and thinking they've been had...until he kicks ''everyone's'' ass and usurps the position of BigBad.
* ''[[Film/PoliceAcademy Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach]]'' had Commandant Lassard being kidnapped and held hostage by the BigBad. He mistakenly thinks it's all a game being put on for the media, and when someone points out that it's not, he rather quickly frees himself without breaking a sweat.
* ''Film/GetSmart'': Maxwell Smart is ridiculously skilled and resourceful, an excellent marksman, and really damn lucky. Except for when it's [[RuleOfFunny funny]] for him to be an idiot.
* Loren Visser, the private detective in ''Film/BloodSimple'', comes across as a goofy, loudmouthed, dumbass joke at the start of the movie...[[spoiler:until he shoots Julian, the man who hired him.]] From then on, he's a nigh-unstoppable killer.
* In ''Film/GalaxyQuest'', Sir Alexander Dane spends most of his time [[DeadpanSnarker complaining]], about the degeneration of his career from classically trained Shakespearean actor to being most famous for his role as the token alien in a cheesy space opera. But when an alien trooper shoots his biggest fan, the character dies in his arms while saying that he always thought of Dane's character as a father figure. Dane then utters the alien vow his character is known for (which he had utterly hated up to this point), swearing vengeance, and ''lunges'' out of cover. The alien trooper takes aim at him but he charges, bare-handed. The alien's gun fails just in time for Dane to leap on top of him and start beating him to death bare-handed -- which in turn gives the rest of the Thermians the courage to join in the fight.
** Then there's Jason Nesmith, the star of said cheesy space opera. When the film begins, he's an drunken egotistical {{Jerkass}} who is looked down by everyone as a NiceCharacterMeanActor. But when the gravity of the situation finally dawns on him, Nesmith ascends to become a badass GuileHero, first by improvising an escape plan and rallying his colleagues into defeating an army of invaders, then navigating a DeathCourse through the bowels of the ship (that he was completely unfamiliar with), and culminating with calling the BigBad's bluff in the face of death and saving the day with an ''unarmed spaceship.''
* Elle Woods from ''Film/LegallyBlonde''. She starts out appearing to be TheDitz, but apparently superior knowledge of fashion and haircare do not preclude intelligence.
* The Mad Hatter in Creator/TimBurton's ''Film/AliceInWonderland2010'' is a {{Cloudcuckoolander}} with a side order of TheWoobie. However, he doesn't hesitate to put himself in danger to save Alice, or the White Queen. [[spoiler: Not to mention fighting the Knave of Hearts, TheDragon of the Red Queen, and ''kicking his ass''.]]
* ''Film/DodgeballATrueUnderdogStory'' has Gordon Pibb, a bumbling loser whose mail order wife hates him and who can't get angry or throw a ball with any force to save his life, making him the weakest link on the Average Joes team. However, that changes during the semi-finals. By himself against almost the entire opposing team, he sees his wife having fun with another guy and gets super pissed, going psycho and single handedly taking out the entire opposing team.
** The scene in question may be a homage to the original ''Film/{{Rollerball}}''. The film climaxes its over the top sermon on individuality vs. collective thinking and sports fixing by having the hero's team deliberately killed off all around him, until the quiet rebel in said hero snaps and he brutally destroys the entire opposing team by himself before scoring a goal nice and slow to drive the point home.
* In ''Film/JosieAndThePussycats'', Melody uses some serious Kung-Fu on the villainess' henchmen.
* Kwan-Yin from the ''Literature/JourneyToTheWest'' TV film kicked demon ass without breaking her Goddess hand gesture.
* ''Film/MysteryMen'''s Mr. Furious, when his love interest was threatened, wiped the floor with Casanova Frankenstein.
* In the 1986 film ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' Private Hudson (Bill Paxton) would like to be viewed as a badass but is constantly slapped down by his more-badass companions and spends much of the film whining and complaining -- until the chips are down, when he goes into full badass mode and mows down countless aliens before falling.
-->"Come on you bastard! Come on, you too! Oh, you want some of this? Fuck you! FUCK YOU!"
* Wikus van de Merwe of ''Film/{{District 9}}'' is a sniveling, naive corporate pencil-pusher with a silly mustache - and when the chips are down, he [[spoiler:climbs into a suit of alien PoweredArmor and proceeds to vaporize the local voodoo gang as well as the psycho PMC troops sent to retrieve him]].
* Zen from the Thai film ''Film/{{Chocolate}}'' is a severe autistic, yet has the ability to watch a martial-arts fight and absorb the various movements. In a point of awesome, the martial-artist playing Zen ''really does'' learn at least a dozen separate fighting styles for the movie, and displays them flawlessly.
* Lance, the token white temp in ''Film/UndercoverBrother''. [[BerserkButton NEVER CALL HIM A SISSY!!!]]
* ''Film/DannyTheDog'' stars Creator/JetLi as the slave-enforcer of a British gang boss, raised as something approximate to an attack-dog, leaving him with the mind of a child. In fact, the character only achieves contentment when he is able to abandon his history of violence and embrace a life of non-badassery.
* Tuco, "The Ugly" from ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly'', is a hairy, goofy, scruffy, slovenly klutz compared to the more mature, soft-spoken and reserved Man With No Name and Angel Eyes (not unlike Daffy Duck, actually), but is capable of shooting with incredible speed and accuracy, escaping from an armed guard by cunning use of the train tracks, as well as nearly killing Blondie several times only for him to be saved by luck (or cannonfire). When he first meets said armed guard, he threatens to take him down. We think he's just blowing smoke until it actually happens.
* Tuco's Expy, Tae-goo from ''Film/TheGoodTheBadTheWeird'', is a massive goofball in conspicuously eclectic clothes who is still incredibly dangerous and [[spoiler: the one who cut off Chang-yi's finger]].
* ''Film/StarTrek''. James T. Kirk is a brat, a chronic juvenile offender, a wanna-be ladies' man, and he seems to excel only at getting beat up. He is also the baddest mother in all of Starfleet, and not even [[spoiler:killing his dad or blowing up planets will change that.]] You may now go to warp.
* Count Vile from ''Film/PressStart'' spends most of the movie acting like a complete dolt, leading many to question how he managed to assume total control, only revealing his true power and psychopathic ferocity in the final battle.
* Miss Piggy in ''Film/TheMuppetMovie'' seems like a ditzy wannabe actress...until Kermit gets threatened, upon which [[{{Tsundere}} she goes berserk on a pack of Doc Hopper's goons]]. Of course, fans of ''Series/TheMuppetShow'' would know that Piggy has a bit of a temper (and [[IKnowKarate is quite dangerous when provoked]]).
* Perpetually horny CIA operative Colette Dubois (Anna Nicole Smith) in the unbelievably cheesy erotic thriller ''Film/ToTheLimit'' is a bit of a question mark. Most of the time, she seems to almost have the mind of a child and doesn't even try to come off as anything but TheDitz. When it's time for action, however, she can inexplicably hold her own in fights with ninja assassins and coolly kill whole carloads of villains. It's all very bizarre even by the standards of a bizarre movie, and leaves one wondering whether Colette is actually this or another practitioner of ObfuscatingStupidity. But considering Anna Nicole's real-life persona...
* ''Franchise/EvilDead'': Ash is for the most part a total idiot; but if there's one thing he's good at it's making dead things deader.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** Jar Jar Binks (who else?) - Anyone else remember how essentially all of the droid kills he managed to get during the [[DelayingAction Battle of Naboo]] were entirely by accident and a result of his incompetent screwing around? As long as he is free to be a complete klutz, that guy is a walking, er, stumbling disaster zone.
*** The Gungan commander tries to toss him a booma (plasma grenade ball), which he juggles around for a second or two before dropping it onto a droid driving a tank (of which Binks is straddling the cannon), causing said tank to crash.
*** When he's on the ground, he gets his foot caught in some exposed wiring from a droid that's been torn in half (but still semi-operational), and his attempts to shake it free cause the droid to fire its weapon at other droids, scoring some kills.
*** When the Gungan forces retreat, Binks tries to grab the tailgate of an ammunition wagon in a desperate attempt to avoid being left behind, but instead causes the tailgate to fall open, spilling the plasma balls down the hill and onto the advancing droid armies.
*** Jar Jar further proves himself a competent politician in ''Attack of the Clones'', instrumental in giving Supreme Chancellor Palpatine emergency powers he requests to fight the Separatists.
** Also from ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'', Ben Quadinaros is introduced as an inept Podracer who previously raced on only the safest tracks and mocked by the other pilots for trying to take on the dangerous Boonta Classic. Not helping his reputation is that his Podracer malfunctions and falls apart before he can even pass the starting line. He seemed to have manned up following the Boonta Classic, however, as he has since become highly skilled at navigating the Inferno, a course considered difficult and extremely deadly [[BloodSport even by Podracing standards]], and after that, ''winning'' races on locations taken seriously by high-level Podracers that he achieves status comparable to celebrity champion Sebulba. He is still incredibly meek and timid off the racetracks though.
** Yoda seems this way at first in ''The Empire Strikes Back'', but is largely considered the philosophical heart of the franchise.
* Abby in ''Film/DeathProof''. [[spoiler: She disapproves of Kim's gun and whines a bit. Until the BigBad attacks them that is. She's the one who suggested killing him and later stomps in his head after beating him up]]
* In ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'', when Vespa [[BerserkButton takes a laser beam in the hairdo]], [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge she goes all Rambo and takes an entire platoon out.]]
* Subverted in ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade''. Indy has given his father's Grail Diary to Marcus Brody, an apparently goofy, harmless professor. The villains indicate that Brody will be easy to find, but Indy tells them that Brody fits this trope.
-->'''Walter Donovan''': [[FishOutOfWater He sticks out like a sore thumb.]] We'll find him.\\
'''Indiana Jones''': The hell you will. He's got a two day head start on you, which is more than he needs. Brody's got friends in every town and village from here to the Sudan, he speaks a dozen languages, knows every local custom, he'll blend in, disappear, you'll never see him again. With any luck, he's got the grail already.
** The camera then [[DescriptionCut cuts]] to a scene of [[spoiler:Brody in a crowded market, conspicuously wearing the same thing he always does, calling out "Does anybody speak English?"]] He eventually redeems himself by clonking a Nazi unconscious with a bottle while in the tank.
** Played straight with Indy's father Henry. Throughout much of the movie, he comes off as comically aloof, but he takes down a Nazi fighter plane by scaring some seagulls with his umbrella.
-->'''Henry:''' I suddenly remembered my Charlemagne: "Let my armies be the rocks and the trees, and the birds in the sky!"
%%* Creator/DustinHoffman's character in ''Film/StrawDogs1971''.
* Mamiya in ''Cure'': seemingly unaware of his identity or surroundings, but a master of hypnotic suggestion who is capable of taking command of another person's will in a matter of seconds. He's accused of ObfuscatingStupidity, although this is never made explicit. The fact that the detective's wife ''definitely'' suffers from such an ailment adds to the uncertainty.
* Both Scooby Doo AND Shaggy step it up at the end of ''Film/ScoobyDooMonstersUnleashed'', although they tried (and failed) throughout most of the movie.
** Eventually turns into a LetsGetDangerous moment for Scooby in the climax when his friends are threatened. He quite easily takes out every EliteMook the BigBad has with nothing but a [[ItMakesSenseInContext fire extinguisher]].
%%* The eponymous ''Film/MysteryTeam'' takes a level in Badass by the end of the movie.
%%* Sergeant Gerry Boyle from ''Film/TheGuard''.
%%* Creator/AdamSandler's eponymous hero in ''Film/TheWaterboy'' looks like the poster child for the trope. And ''Film/HappyGilmore'', and ''Film/PunchDrunkLove''... pretty much any Adam Sandler movie.
* At the start of ''Film/LawrenceOfArabia'', T.E. Lawrence is stationed at a humdrum position in Cairo, and most of his fellow officers view him as [[MilitaryMaverick insurbordinate]] and [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} quite the eccentric]]. It's only after he's sent on a mission to Arabia that he reveals himself to be a superb military commander.
* Danny Kaye's character Hawkins in ''Film/TheCourtJester'' is TheFool. Literally, since Hawkins is playing the character of Giacomo, "King of Jesters and Jester of Kings," in-universe (it's that kind of movie). Then he gets hypnotized into believing he's essentially Don Juan and Musashi all rolled into one. Pity that the switch between Hawkins (who barely knows how to ''hold'' a sword) and his hypnotized ''alter ego'' is the sound of a finger snap. Cue the most epically hilarious swordfight ever filmed.
-->'''Hawkins:''' And now, Ravenhurst, your life isn't worth ''that'' *snap*! Ooooh...
* The Sandford PD from ''Film/HotFuzz''. For all their weird ways of doing things, and their almost naive, {{Cloudcuckoolander}} personalities, they ''excel'' at armed response.
* Radagast from the film adaptation of ''Film/TheHobbit''. Though eccentric (he lets birds nest in his hair, and Saruman is convinced that eating so many mushrooms has affected his brain), he is able to bring recently deceased animals to life, outrun wargs on his sled, and even [[spoiler: defeat the Witch King in hand-to-hand combat without breaking a sweat!]]
* Natalie Voss, the rich girl in ''TheChase''. Kidnapped at a convenience store, she begs for her life, vomits in terror, and [[ScreamingWoman shrieks so loudly and shrilly]] that her suave, dark-haired kidnapper (who else but Creator/CharlieSheen?) [[PityTheKidnapper can just barely tolerate her]]. As the getaway car heads to Mexico and Natalie gets to know her captor a lot more, learning that he's actually an unjustly accused criminal acting out of desperation, she not only [[StockholmSyndrome grows to like him]] but realizes that he's her ticket out of her stiflingly buttoned-down existence. When Sheen's character is finally caught just short of the border, Natalie sees him getting hauled into a police car in handcuffs and, realizing this is her last chance to escape her former life, and despite never having handled a gun before and in fact [[DoesntLikeGuns finding guns repellent]], steals a gun from one of the police officers, puts him in a headlock...and after her father scolds her for [[LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt pretending to defy him]], shoots a nearby hovering helicopter right out of the sky with one shot from the pistol. This sudden feat takes ''everyone'' aback - not least of all Natalie herself, who for a moment can do nothing but stare saucer-eyed at her handiwork as if to say, [[Series/FamilyMatters "Did I do that?"]]
%%* ''Film/PaulBlartMallCop'': Paul during the robbery.
%%* ''Film/TheWorldsEnd'': Four out of the five are surprisingly handy in a fight.
* Per canon, Michelangelo in ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2014'', who even manages to kick ass on accident. It's Mikey who suggests [[spoiler:playing a game of "Buck-Buck" on Shredder]]. Vernon also qualifies due his driving skills and confrontation with Sacks.
* In ''Film/{{Pixels}}'', Sam and Ludlow are considered to be useless civilian idiots for the first act of the film, but once they get their hands on photon guns and rush to fight the aliens, they completely surpass professional soldiers and the enemy.

[[folder:Let's Play]]
* LetsPlay/SimonLane and LetsPlay/LewisBrindley of the LetsPlay/{{Yogscast}} usually play quirky IdiotHeroes. And then you hurt someone they like, and they ''will kick your ass''. Not to mention that despite their usual stupidity they both have studied advanced sciences in real life.
* LetsPlay/{{Sips}} is one of the go-to goofballs, frequently spelling things wrong and neglecting his grammar, while making bad jokes. He's also one hell of a gamer when he decides to stop messing around.
* LetsPlay/{{Turpster}} is goofy as hell and has a tendency to break the rules on a ridiculously frequent basis. However, when he's the murderer in ''VideoGame/GarrysMod'', or a traitor in ''VideoGame/TroubleInTerroristTown'', he's surprisingly resourceful.
* LetsPlay/HatFilms enjoy frequently verbally abusing one another, constantly end up hurting or killing themselves by accident and often impede their own progress, but they've designed very efficient mob grinders and ways to retrieve underwater gear, won many [=PvP=] maps and regularly manage to give Sips and co a good run for their money.
* LetsPlay/SeaNanners often goofs off, jokes around, embodies BondVillainStupidity and [[TheHyena laughs like there's no tomorrow]]. In spite of this, he regularly beats opponents in-game handily and gets to gloat afterwards.
* Creator/AchievementHunter, with the exception of [[TheAce Ray Narvaez Jr.]] and [[EvilGenius Ryan Haywood]] (whose in-series persona is ''very'' crazy), are all rather quirky and have regular moments of stupidity. In spite of this, every single one has pulled off some crazily impressive stunts, being good gamers when push comes to shove. Of special mention is Creator/GavinFree, who for the most part speaks in a somewhat unusual manner and serves as TheLoad.

* Inverted with Japanese singer Music/{{Gackt}}. He often portrays himself on TV as a [[TheStoic stoic]] badass with few emotions and exceptional [[AllAsiansKnowMartialArts martial arts]] skills...until he answers a silly or private question, thus revealing himself as a [[OneOfUs hidden dork]] with a habit of saying goofy or embarrassing things. This is especially evident in Gackt's later "Platinum Box" [=DVDs=]. No matter how hard he tries to remain serious and stoic, his bandmates will always reduce him to hysterics with their shenanigans, shattering his well-practiced persona.
* Music/PublicEnemy hype man and human cartoon character Flavor Flav. He may seem like he doesn't know his back end from a hole in the ground, but the man has deeply underappreciated musical chops--for one, he (taught himself how to) play(s) '''''fifteen''''' instruments, and consequently took away the DJ's need to look for appropriate samples. Even Chuck D, by his own admission "can't play lotto."

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* In an early ''ComicStrip/BloomCounty'' strip, Opus serves as the bouncer at a New Years Eve party. Seems pretty stupid, until he drags a particularly large, menacing looking guy down under the bar, then asks for some rope. And if you are a mime, do not taunt Opus or he will beat you down. With a salami/an olive loaf.
* Typically, the Crocodiles in ''ComicStrip/PearlsBeforeSwine'' are TooDumbToLive (oftentimes literally so). But on one occasion, Rat, in a variation of the Pied Piper, used music to lead stupid people to a lake to drown them. When he attempted to do this to the Crocs, he gloated about this, and in an uncharacteristically angry (but characteristically badly-pronounced) reply, one croc mentioned "We can sweem." This could be CanonDisContinuity (which Stephan Pastis is infamous for), because an earlier strip had one of the crocs drown in a kiddie pool because he couldn't swim.
* Satchel from ''ComicStrip/GetFuzzy''. The guy has about half the IQ of a rock, but as Bucky is often reminded, pushing Satchel too far is a very bad idea.

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/DrewHankinson's Festus gimmick ran entirely on this. Most of the time, he was little short of catatonic, staring blankly into space with his tongue hanging out as his tag team partner Jesse dragged him around. However, when the ring bell rang, he would wake up and destroy all of his opponents, and would not let up until the bell sounded the end of the match.
* Pro Wrestling has a long-standing tradition of mental retardation as a gimmick. Interestingly, they always "mark" these wrestlers through behavior or attire.
** The most famous would be turnbuckle eating. [[Wrestling/GeorgeSteele George "The Animal" Steele]] would use this gimmick to show he was crazy, however, he copied it from earlier wrestlers, like Antonio Pugliese.
** [[Wrestling/NickDinsmore Nick "Eugene" Dinsmore]] would act like Dustin Hoffman's character in ''Film/RainMan'', as well as wear two large foam hands.
* Wrestling/MariaKanellis initially in her run as a WWE diva was so vapid she could leave viewers wondering how she hadn't died from forgetting to breathe, but she apparently possessed an impressive breadth of knowledge about law. She got better over time, simply being naive about people towards the end of her WWE run, then becoming a downright queen of manipulation on the independent circuit since leaving WWE.
* Wrestling/SantinoMarella is [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} probably one of the silliest guys on the roster]], but when the man does have genuine wrestling skill and now that he's [[TookALevelInBadass taken a few levels in badass]], he's cleanly won quite a few matches and even become US Champion.
* The GZRS of Wrestling/{{Progress Wrestling}} come across as a pair of idiots but, Sebastian is currently in the semi finals of The Natural Progression Series (The Prize is a title shot) and has held his own against Zack Sabre Jr. Tom Irvin has pinned a former Progress Champion as well.
* Toru Yano of Wrestling/{{New Japan Pro Wrestling}} is this trope personified. He's generally more interested in promoting [=DVDs=] on the way to the ring than his actual match. His entire moveset pretty much consists of running away, rope breaks, hair pulling, removing turnbuckle covers and low blows. However, he's always seen as an unpredictable, tough opponent in big tournaments and has frequently held belts within the promotion.

* Pick any sportsperson who occasionally excels in a discipline within their sport that they aren't expected to.
** Australian cricketer Jason Gillespie once famously scored 201 not out after being temporarily promoted in the batting order as a "nightwatchman" - the only batsman with an average under 20 ever to achieve this milestone. The very important qualifier is that this was against the highly unskilled Bangladesh, but that doesn't explain how he was able to outperform the other five batsman who batted before Australia's declaration, all of whom had averages roughly two and a half times that of Gillespie. To top it off, Gillespie took 3/11 in his professional role as a bowler in Bangladesh's first innings.
* [[http://www.elitefeet.com/the-legend-of-cliff-young Cliff Young]]. One day, this Australian potato farmer showed up at the [[MarathonLevel 550-mile long]] [[DeathCourse Sydney to Melbourne Ultramarathon]]. Wearing overalls and rain boots, Young shuffled off the line while the highly-trained, corporate-sponsored distance runners left him in the dust. But Cliff Young had two things on his side: one, his goofy running style was actually very efficient; future race winners would adopt his technique. Two, he had [[TheSleepless no need for sleep]]. He completed the five-day run [[{{Determinator}} without stopping to rest]], crushing the field of super-athletes by 10 hours. By the way, he was [[BadassGrandpa 61 years old]].

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The Autistic Psychic Savant class in Palladium's ''Beyond The Supernatural'' game pretty much has to be this trope. Most of the time, they can barely communicate, but in the presence of supernatural evil they prove to be smarter and more powerful than anyone else.
* Jerry-R-Igg, one of the characters in the ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'' Second Edition sample adventure, is a total coward, constantly freaking out at the slightest thing...while anyone's looking. Truth is, all of that's a front. As soon as he's sure nobody can report it back to the Computer, he becomes Captain X-Cess, standout in Deth Leopard and lover of StuffBlowingUp (one of his possessions is a set of explosives disguised as snack food).

* Leaf Coneybear from ''The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee'' is an airhead until he is asked to spell a word, at which point he turns into a scary blinking robot and gives the right answer.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Taiga in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' is a silly SenseiChan who spends most of her time at the house of one of her students, begging for food. When a random girl shows up, apparently freeloading, Taiga demands they duel for Shirou, at which point it is revealed that she is a world-class kendo champion. [[spoiler: Subverted, since she's up against someone [[OvershadowedByAwesome literally superhuman]]]].
** And played straight with [[TheHero Shirou]], for that matter, whose AmbiguousDisorder makes him eccentric, helpful, and self-sacrificing. And also means that he has enough HeroicWillpower to [[PersonalityPowers break reality.]]
* Kazuhide in ''VisualNovel/FragmentsNote'', despite appearing to be a lazy, insensitive slacker, is actually quite perceptive and analytical. He's the first one to notice that Yukitsuki is putting up a facade, and miraculously manages to obtain a petition to prevent Mischa's deportation, and get 90% of the school - including faculty - to sign it, all without Yukiha's or Mikiya's knowledge.
* Bark in ''VisualNovel/TickTack'' is a complete doofus and the butt of numerous jokes, but [[InformedAttribute apparently]] he's actually a powerful and decorated soldier.


[[folder:Web Original]]
* Subverted with [[spoiler:Arthur Williams]] in ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'', who shoves aside his shyness and fear, charging an armed player in order to save a hostage, and gets shot in the face for his trouble. Paul Smith, also from ''Survival of the Fittest'' is usually a ChivalrousPervert, pretty goofy and laid back -- very much a comic relief character. However, from time to time, he almost seems to "switch on" and become one hell of a lot more dangerous. And try ''lethally'' dangerous.
* Essentially the entire core cast of ''WebVideo/{{Mega64}}'', but special mention should go to Sean and Horatio. Do ''not'' make them mad.
* In ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' Caboose is usually a complete idiot who loads his gun with crayons and keeps killing his teammates, however in episode 40 Caboose thought about everything that made him angry (spiky kittens, Red bull and Babies) and was able to kill every single one of the flag obsessed zealots in about 10 seconds.
** This also happens to Tucker. He's as useless as anybody else until he gets his sword and, even then, he only shows brief moments of competence. However, in the final few episodes of the Blood Gulch Chronicles, [[spoiler:he manages to defeat Wyoming and Gamma, quickly becomes a master sniper, and actually proves to be a pretty good leader for the blue team (a job which he was too lazy to accept previously). By the time he reappears in Recreation, he's mastered his sword as well and is able to destroy C.T.'s Warthog with one well-timed swipe.]] At this point, he's one of the most competent non-freelancer characters in the series.
*** All without losing his ("Bow Chicka Bow Wow") annoying/endearing original personality traits.
*** Not to mention [[spoiler:going toe to toe with Tex, Maine, more Texes, and now running through an active battlefield with no cover, cutting down soldiers and not taking a single hit]]. At this point, the "non-freelancer" part is redundant. He's one of the most competent characters in the series.
*** Bear in mind the amount of pain and major injuries he's sustained during the entire series. Early on [[spoiler:he takes a rocket to the back and still manages to recover; an alien ambushes and attacks him brutally, yet he recovers quickly afterwards; not long after he goes through the (excruciating) miracle of giving birth to an alien baby.]] He even manages to crack wise while Tex is beating his ass, suggesting he can shrug off her punches better than most non-freelancers.
** As the series progresses, all of the [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits Blood Gulch Crew]] end up becoming this. They were the lowest grunts of the UNSC military, constantly bickering with each other and deliberately kept away from major conflict, and thus should be completely unprepared for the super-soldiers and conspiracies they encounter. Except they repeatedly defeat them - with quirks and all.
* WebAnimation/HomestarRunner is one of the most idiotic characters to hit the internet. In "The Strongest Man in the World", he bicycle kicks the Cheat, ''while upside down'', into the far horizon.
** In ''4 Branches'', it's mentioned that Homestar's stupidity occasionally reaches such heights that it "flips back to smart", and shows him answering the calculation "2 + 2" by defining Coulomb's law. When this is pointed out, he reverts to normal, revising his answer as "22".
* Tristan from ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries''. A [[TheDitz ditz]] to the max - however, as he puts it, "My voice gives me super strength!"
** "Yeah, I can break necks with my mind."
* When he's not reviewing movies, WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic is a mix of TheDitz and a loser. But apparently he's a good enough gamer to absolutely whup [[WebVideo/TheAngryJoeShow Angry Joe's]] ass at ''Marvel Vs. Capcom''.
* Linkara from ''WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall'' is a nerd who reviews comic books for a living. He also has the power to manifest, invent, or contact any fictional person or thing. His standard weapon is his magic gun, but he's also found often using his ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' Morpher, a ''Franchise/StarTrek'' phaser, the giant robot death machine ComicBook/{{Neutro}}, a Pokéball [[Franchise/SilentHill with Pyramid Head in it]], and several other things. He has used this to defeat Vyce, a MultiversalConqueror, amongst other enemies.
* Paul of ''WebVideo/LoadingReadyRun''. Ridiculously techy, he can make anything from time machines to nerf rocket launchers from the junk in his garage.
* Rebecca Stone from ''WebVideo/DemoReel'' comes off at first as a ditzy {{Cloudcuckoolander}} with no empathy and no clue how to look after pets. Turns out? She's a GunNut security guard who won't hesitate to beat the shit out of anyone who hurts her best friends.
* ''{{WebAnimation/RWBY}}'': Penny's first appearances paint a picture of a mild mannered girl, who appears slightly touched in the head. Although she makes it clear from the outset that she's "combat ready", she turns out to be far more capable a fighter than Ruby has ever seen. When Torchwick lands a cheap blow on Ruby, Penny not only wipes the floor with the White Fang, she single-handedly downs three armed airships.
* Brendan Castner beats NintendoHard games like ''[[VideoGame/PunchOut Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!]]'' and ''VideoGame/{{Battletoads}}''. Who is Brendan Castner? He's better known as [[TheJinx Bad Luck Bootsy]] on ''WebVideo/BoardJames''.
* From ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale'', the bumbling [[SitcomArchNemesis Steve Carlsberg]] of all people. In episode 49, [[spoiler:when Kevin suggests that Steve's wheelchair-bound step-daughter needs "fixing", an enraged Steve picks up Kevin by his lapels and throws him through one of the Old Oak Doors]].
* Hercule/Mr Satan from Manga/DragonBall, according to ''WebAnimation/DeathBattle''. Yes, he is a bumbling idiot in his own series... [[CantCatchUp compared to the Z Fighters, that is]]. Compared to aliens as well as fighters trained in using Ki for powerful martial arts magic he simply can't compare, but as a completely normal human without Ki [[BadassNormal he is one of the best fighters in the franchise]]. [[spoiler: This is why he beat Dan Hibiki who is a complete joke of a martial artist.]]
* Inevitable ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'' example: Generator (Jade Sinclair) looks like a joke character, with her [[CuteButPsycho adorable child-like appearance]], [[MadScientist silly-looking techno-toys]], endless pranks, and love of Franchise/HelloKitty. She is also the battle-hardened tactical genius who gives the combat instructors nightmares, strikes fear in the hearts of super-powered school bullies, and once wiped out a Syndicate hard-site pretty much single-handedly.
* Goku from ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'' is a ManChild whose IdiotHero tendencies from the [[Anime/DragonBallZ original series]] get taken to ludicrous heights. That said, he's still Goku, and can mop the floor with the most powerful warriors in the universe without breaking a sweat.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* As of the 3rd November 2009, [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/nov/03/boris-johnson-saves-franny-armstrong Boris Johnson]]. Normally poked fun at for always saying and doing the wrong things, the London mayor {{took a level in badass}} when he saw a woman on the street under attack by a gang of teenage girls; charging in to intervene, he picked up an iron bar one of the girls had dropped and chased them down the street on his bike.
* The Cast Members at [[Ride/DisneyThemeParks Disney World]]. A bunch of employees in funny outfits who, by the admissions of the "Jungle Cruise" operators, couldn't get into college. On 9/11, they evacuated the entire park. ''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome In 10 minutes]]''
* UsefulNotes/OdaNobunaga was nicknamed the "Fool of Owari" in his youth, due to his bizarre behavior and disregard for his rank in society. Then came the Battle of Okehazama, where Nobunaga led an army of a paltry 3,000 against the warlord Imagawa Yoshimoto and his 25,000 soldiers, ''[[CurbStompBattle and won]]'', placing him in a key position to unite all of Japan under his rule. After that, [[FromNobodyToNightmare no one dared call him a "fool"]].
* UsefulNotes/JoeBiden is notorious [[OpenMouthInsertFoot for making embarrassing statements]], but surprised many when he eloquently debated with the Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan during the 2012 presidential election, which restored the Democratic party's confidence after [[UsefulNotes/BarackObama President Obama]]'s lackluster performance during the first presidential debate a week earlier. Biden has also had a strong reputation for foreign policy, and wasn't afraid to tell the rather-intimidating UsefulNotes/VladimirPutin that he had "no soul."
* Xu Zhu was known as "Tiger Fool" or "Sleeping Tiger". Noted to be a kind, humble, and quiet man off the battlefield, in battle, he turned from gentle giant into terrifying figure, often compared to a tiger.