Jay: Maybe we can just ask him to shut down the church. If it's closed that day, uh, those guys can't get blessed or whatever, right?
: Good Lord, the little stoner's got a point!
Even a Stopped Clock
is right twice a day.
A character who's normally Book Dumb
and/or The Ditz
comes up with a valuable insight.
The character most often heard belittling their intelligence sighs heavily and concedes, "I Can't Believe I'm Saying This
, but I agree
with him." (Often adding, "And that scares me to death.")
This can often be the result of pure chance; a wild guess turning out to be true. In other cases, this is because the dumbass isn't willing to rule out an option due to thinking it illogical
at first, or lacks knowledge of something that would limit more intelligent characters' thinking and cause them to rule out the correct idea. Or sometimes, more intelligent characters are overthinking it and the simple guy is the only one to think of Stating the Simple Solution
(especially if it involves Cutting the Knot
Also heard when two people of more or less equal intelligence, who normally disagree about everything on ideological grounds, find that there's one opinion they share. In other cases, the character with a valuable insight may be of a little less moral standing — in which case, this trope then becomes somewhat of an inversion of Your Approval Fills Me with Shame
Truth in Television
, and can be seen between Vitriolic Best Buds
and Internet-nemeses on Message Boards
Compare Actually Pretty Funny
, Too Dumb to Fool
, The Cuckoolander Was Right
, Wisdom from the Gutter
, Mistaken for Profound
, and I Have Nothing to Say to That
. When the character is the subject of this reaction because they're mean, unlikable, or evil, it's Jerkass Has a Point
. When the author has a stupid character make a point, but the reader and not the character sees it, it's Strawman Has a Point
. Related to Wisdom from the Gutter
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- In one of the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League of America stories: Blue Beetle says "Booster was right!" in one panel and in the next is muttering "'Booster was right'? I can't believe I said that!"
- In one volume of the short-lived Super Mario Bros. comic book:
Mario: You know what bothers me about Wooster's betrayal?
Toad: The sheer, heinous, enormity of it?
: No. It means the King
was right about something!
- That case is subverted, though, because it turns out Wooster wasn't betraying them at all.
- From issue #32 of Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
Sonic: [regarding Mobie the cave-bear] We should've left the big dope frozen!
Antione: For once, Sonic is right! He is ze librarian!
Sally: I think you mean barbarian, Antione!
- Asterix the Gaul's best bud, Obelix, is ordinarily the Dumb Muscle of the group. He does occasionally have ideas that actually save the day, when he figured out that, since he took a horse, Cacophonix the bard went on a long journey, meaning he went to Luteia as he earlier considered to try his hand at professional singing. Druid Getafix, surprised at the dumb but lovable hero's insight, stated "That boy does have his moments!"
- In Ultimate X-Men, during the "Return to Weapon-X" arc, Sabretooth is fighting Wolverine, when it occurs to Sabretooth that nobody has ever thought of drowning Wolvie, and that a Healing Factor would be pretty useless against such a predicament.
- In the Injustice: Gods Among Us tie-in comic, Green Arrow is being picked on by Harley Quinn for the name of his lair, the Arrowcave. Harley then asks him why didn't he just call it "The Quiver" (a case for holding arrows), and Oliver... says that name is a lot better.
- In issue two of Archie's Sonic Boom, Amy Rose is shocked that Knuckles is working with Eggman. Knuckles tells her that he's doing so because he's tired of her picking on him. When she goes Grammar Nazi on him over a minor flub, he blows up, roaring "THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!"
- In Metaverse Sirius tried to buy the Daily Prophet in order to stop it from slandering Harry and himself, only to be turned down. His wife Helga, who used to be a house elf, then suggested that if he couldn't buy the paper, then he should buy their paper. (I.e., their future supply of printing paper.)
- Naruto in Be A Realist doesn't want to know who his parents are. Simply he prefers the idea that they loved him and wanted to take care of him but died for some reason. The idea that they were alive and abandoned him is simply too depressing. Sasuke finds it stupid that Naruto would not want to know where he came from, and Sai suggests that knowing his parents might also help him know what he could inherit from them, but Kakashi knows that Naruto is actually right.
- In one Love Hina story, when Motoko notes how often Keitaro has an accident, Keitaro responds that despite the frequency of said accidents, none of the girls ever move out of the way. Motoko admits he does have a point.
- Xander's explanation in ''And Another Thing I Hate About You" of why a relationship between Angel and Cordelia would never work makes far more sense than Angel is comfortable admitting. Particularly when he explains what would happen if a being with Cordelia didn't break the curse (by giving him a moment of perfect happiness).
Xander: "Cordelia Chase. Junior Miss California, seventh grade. May Queen, Queen of Sunnydale High 1996, prettiest girl in Sunnydale eighteen years running. Miss 'I have to have the most expensive thing not because it's the best, but because it's expensive'. Used to nothing but the very best of everything for all her life, until maybe lately. And then she gets slapped in the face with the fact that the guy she maybe falls in love with isn't, can't be, doesn't get a rush of perfect fucking happiness just from being with her. Long term? Man, that knowledge would eat at and fucking destroy her."
Angel: "She's stronger than that."
Xander: "She shouldn't have to be... I dunno much. But I do know: when you love someone, it's not about you. It's your whole fucking world wrapped up in what's best for them, and what makes them happiest. It's reaching for the moon, just because it's there, and it makes their eyes glow. When you love someone, really love them: you don't make them settle. You just don't."
- While far from a genius, Ranma quickly realizes there is something very wrong with the Mass Effect universe in The Effect of a Horse and a Dragon. First is that there seems to be almost no technological difference between civilizations (whereas back in his own time/world there could be massive differences between neighboring countries). Second, since most objects he finds randomly laying around tend to be magical and/or cursed, he's incredibly leery of the idea that the Council simply found the Citadel, moved in, and started using it without understanding anything about the place. Likewise, Herb is highly unnerved that humanity eschewed all other forms of technological advancement after discovering eezo. Both him and Ranma find Elemental Zero fundamentally wrong though they aren't sure why.
- In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Marvel crossover Blue Belle, Harmony and Brittany (the former considered too dumb to walk and chew gum at the same time and the latter only marginally smarter) figure out what book was stolen by a vampire before anyone else by simply checking off every book on the card index they can find. Giles even admits he wouldn't have thought of something so simple.
Film — Animated
Film — Live Action
- Animal House:
Bluto: What the fuck happened to the Delta I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst. "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Wormer, he's a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer...
Otter: Dead! Bluto's right.
[Other characters look at each other in amazement]
Otter: Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards.
- In Dogma, the characters are considering how to keep two fallen angels from entering a church and undoing reality. When Jay says that they should "just ask [Cardinal Glick] to close the church," Metatron exclaims, stunned, "My God! The little stoner's got a point!" Subverted in that it doesn't work at all, although Jay later provides another character with a Eureka Moment, saving the day.
- In Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, this overlaps with a Eureka Moment: Shadow calls Chance a genius for giving him an idea. Chance's rebuttal is: "No, I'm not! What's a genius?"
- In the Coen Brothers' remake of The Ladykillers, Tom Hanks' character thinks aloud as he tries to come up with an elaborate scheme to deal with Stephen Root's character, a potential obstacle to their heist. The dumb jock character tries to interject with an idea, only to be silenced several times by Hanks. When he is finally allowed to speak, he asks "couldn't we just bribe the guy?" It works.
- In Withnail & I, when Withnail observes that he and Marwood are on a downward spiral, Marwood even says (in voiceover), "Even a stopped clock is right twice a day."
- In Star Trek, when young Kirk (who up to this point has been depicted as an ignorant jackass) presents an idea to Captain Pike, Spock supports him: "The cadet's logic is sound".
- Hudson and Vasquez have insulted each other previously, and Hudson has acted stupidly/foolishly throughout the movie. Once the aliens infiltrate the complex:
Hudson: There's something. It's inside the complex. [snip] They're inside the perimeter. They're in here. [snip]
Vasquez: Hudson may be right.
- In the extended cut, Hudson is the one who first theorizes the possible existence of a xenomorph "queen".
- In Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, only Caroline, who has spent the evening entirely sloshed, figures out that the clue to the location of the "Where's Fluffy" performance given out on the radio is an address.
- Hud has his moment in Cloverfield. He suggests getting into a near collapsed building by going up the adjacent building that it's leaning against, and walking across the roof.
- Towards the ending of Notting Hill, Will has turned Down Anna Scott, the woman he loves, with the reasoning that her celebrity life would just get in the way for them, and his friends attempts to comfort him by telling him he made the right decision. Enter Cloudcuckoolander Spike who, upon hearing the news, immediately calls him a "daft prick!"
- Maybe some people would not call a 19 year old college kid who protests against Vietnam War a Dumbass or a Jerkass, but Nixon certainly does:
Richard M. Nixon: She got it, Bob. 19-year-old college kid.
H. R. Haldeman: What? Who?
H. R. Haldeman: Sir?
- While not a complete dumbass, Maxwell Smart isn't the brightest of bulbs. However, there is an exchange in the 2008 film adaptation of Get Smart that plays with this in a scene where Smart is trying to infiltrate the KAOS command and encounters Siegfried and Shtarker.
Siegfried: How do I know you're not CONTROL?
Maxwell: If I were CONTROL, you'd already be dead.
Siegfried: If you were CONTROL, you'd already be dead.
Maxwell: Well, neither of us are dead, so obviously I'm not from CONTROL.
Shtarker: That actually makes sense.
- In The Three Stooges short subjects, Moe would often comment "You're pretty smart for a guy with no brains" or "You're pretty smart for an imbecile" whenever Larry or Curly (later Shemp) had a good idea.
- Detective Greenly in Boondock Saints is firmly established as an idiot in the eyes of FBI agent Paul Smecker for wrongly deducing two Russian monsters were "... serial crushed by some huge friggin' guy." However, Greenly manages to correctly deduce the motives of the brothers, as well as the nature of the hitmen sent after them... only to get immediately shut down by Smecker.
- Mike in Black Sheep is the first (and perhaps only) to realize that the vote count for Garfield county is almost 400 more than the number of registered voters (1882 vs 1502)
- In Home Alone 2, at the climax, Marv warns Harry that they should leave when he notices all the pigeons. He proves right when the pigeon lady appears.
- The second version (two characters who constantly disagree with each other, but are otherwise intelligent) happens in the denouement of 1632. The most outspoken conservative and most outspoken liberal on the town's leadership committee reflect on the alliance being forged by the town's president and King Gustavus Adolphus and find themselves in rare agreement that neither of them likes the deal being made, but if it must happen, they're glad to know who is doing it.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
- In the first book, when Zaphod, Trillian and Ford panic as they fall towards Magrethea with two nuclear missiles coming for them and no propulsion, Arthur's suggestion to use the Infinite Improbability Drive is dismissed as a risk because "without proper programming, anything could happen!" Arthur points out that they're definitely going to die otherwise. He turns it on, turning the missiles into a sperm whale and a bowl of petunias. Zaphod praises him for his thinking, but takes it back after he says "It was nothing really."
- In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, when the group are trying to understand how they ended up at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Arthur suddenly has a flash of insight about time travel, saying that they've travelled in time but not in space. Zaphod mocks him but the waiter interrupts: "Your monkey has got it right, sir."
- Appears again in the radio series when the group steal a ship from the Restaurant At the End of the Universe car park. Arthur deduces that the ship must have been programmed to return to the time it left, and he's right.
- Despite the fact that The Ditz-y Maiden Aunt Leonella in The Monk is generally ridiculous, she immediately dislikes Ambrosio and points out that his sermon was severe, stern, and frankly terrifying, all of which hint at his true nature before be becomes the viewpoint character.
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea: Chapter after chapter, Idiot Hero Book Dumb Ned Land opines Captain Nemo is a despot and the Power Trio must attempt the Great Escape as soon as possible. The Professor Aronnax and Battle Butler Conseil are impressed with Nemo and their incredible voyage, and it is not until they see Nemo crossing the Moral Event Horizon that they realize Ned was the Only Sane Man.
- Vicar Allayn Maigwair is repeatedly remarked as the least intelligent among the Safehold antagonists known as the Group of Four. His actions, such as wasting time and resources building ships that had been outclassed by the protagonists, confirm this. Yet, it is his idea to engage in subterfuge intended to make the Empire of Charis think they were sending their newly built fleet to one location when they had a separate target. Even with their near omnipotent spying capabilities, this trick catches the Charisian leadership entirely flat-footed.
- Paper Towns: When Ben suggests that Margo is being completely literal when she said "Unscrew the doors from their jambs", Radar's response is, "Sometimes, he's so retarded that he becomes kind of brilliant."
- When Brandon delivers his San Francisco speech in The Leonard Regime.
- Generation Kill: Pearson's stimulant- and sleep-deprivation-fueled rants seem to be just that at first, but if you pay more attention to what he says than how he says it, his ranting is surprisingly insightful.
- On the Australian music quiz show Spicks and Specks the host Adam Hills once said to Alan Brough (one of the team captains), "I never thought I'd say this, Alan, but listen to Hamish. He's right!" For those not in the know, Hamish Blake is almost literally a Real Life Joke Character on the show.
- He's had a good run recently...although in one episode he had answers written on his tie.
- In Red Dwarf, everybody but Rimmer goes with Lister's idea to play pool with planets. Neither agree with him, but Kryten's programming forces him to side with the living human over the Virtual Ghost, and the Cat refuses to support Rimmer because of his miserable fashion sense. (It does work.)
- In another episode, the gang decides to follow the Cat's advised course of action in dealing with a ship of hostile Simulants, prompting the Cat to reply "You're going to go with one of my plans? Are you nuts?! What happens if we all get killed? I'll never hear the last of it!" (It does work. Again.)
- Also, when Lister, after a history reboot, suggest they pick up a time machine they found before the reboot and use it again to go back in time to buy curries, Rimmer insist they must leave the time machine alone. Cat responds: "You know I'd rather wear sideways-pressed flares and a clip-on polyester tie than agree with Goalpost-Head... but this time he's right."
- In one episode of Cheers, Sam actually admits to his own stupidity in an episode where everyone is frightened of a fortune telling machine and he tries to talk sense into them.
Sam: Come on, people! Isn't it kind of pathetic when I'm the voice of reason around here?
- In an episode of Veronicas Closet, Veronica is discussing her company's overproduction of swimsuits, which has resulted in heaps of useless leftover stock now that it's winter. Her oafish, hated ex-husband, who happens to be passing through the room, jokes that they should ship the lot to Australia — "It's summer there." Veronica's assistant timidly suggests:
Olive: Bryce's idea-
Veronica: Is stupid?
Olive: Actually, it could work.
Veronica: But it won't, because it's stupid?
- In the (BBC's) Robin Hood episode "Who Shot the Sheriff", Roy admits to agreeing with "cheese boy", i.e. Much.
- In the Deadwood episode "Amateur Hour," the cunning Al Swearengen puzzles over a pictorial message from Wu until resident slack-jaw Johnny Burns steps in and decodes it. Al responds by punching Johnny in the face.
- Hannah Montana
- When Oliver claims to have an idea, even when he promises that it's a good one, everyone with half a braincell runs for the hills. Once he asked quite reasonably why he and Lilly were hiding behind a cardboard cutout when it was only Jackson and Miley that couldn't afford to be spotted by their dad, prompting Lilly to remark "Oh, Oliver, you sweet naive boy... with a very good point" before taking off.
- Another episode had a ditzy television host sum up the Aesop in a thoughtful and beautiful way... causing Hannah, her father, his co-host, and the entire audience to look at him shocked.
- The comparable-intelligence, ideologically-opposed version happens in the early The West Wing episode "Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics". The President has a sit-down with a key Republican named Lobel where the two (quite cheerfully) express their general loathing for one another's politics and list their many disagreements, but they make it clear that there is one issue they agree on - campaign finance reform. The president offers to get Lobel onto the FEC if he'll support Bartlett's other candidates. Asked what Lobel gets in return, Bartlett replies "a grateful President"; Lobel promptly accepts.
- On NewsRadio, Dave informs the staff that there will be massive budget cuts, and then Bill McNeal stands up and says that they should all tighten their belts and support the decision. Dave (who's more used to Bill raising a commotion) says, "Well thank you Bill, for that... uncharacteristically well-reasoned outburst." Of course, Dave was right to be instantly suspicious of a reasonable Bill McNeal... The reason the station is overbudget is because Bill has just received a massive pay increase.
- On Charles In Charge, Buddy Lembeck does this to himself.
Buddy: [describes a bizarre event that unfolded exactly as he had predicted] Isn't that weird?
Charles: What do you mean? You were right.
Buddy: I know, that's what's weird.
- Major John Casey, any time Chuck Bartowski says something sensible-in the first two seasons, at least.
- Any time Spencer comes up with an idea on iCarly, Carly generally reacts in this way.
- Jack Carter in Eureka, being the normal guy in a town of geniuses, is frequently on the receiving end of this.
- One episode of Big Wolf on Campus has Tommy and Merton trying to figure out what an evil cyborg school counsellor (It Makes Sense in Context) is going to do next. Merton makes a sarcastic remark on how they don't know what his plans are, only for Tommy to suggest looking in the file marked "day planner".
- On Father Ted, when Ted is Mistaken for Racist, Father Dougal surprises everyone, including himself, by coming up with the solution to the problem. (Hold a festival of diversity). This is particularly distressing for Dougal, who insists that there must be some Fatal Flaw neither of them have realised yet.
- In M*A*S*H, when a general's prized gun turned up missing and Radar was about to take the fall for the theft, Hawkeye and BJ confronted Major Burns, who openly admired the gun when he saw it. Burns refused to answer their questions and accused them of convicting him without a trial, asking, "What happened to 'innocent until proven guilty'?" After Burns left, Hawkeye turned to BJ and asked, "Don't you hate it when he's right?" Subverted, because Burns really was the thief.
- Happens occasionally on Friends, usually with respect to Joey. For example, when discussing Rachel's inappropriate crush on her assistant,
Joey: The big question is, does he like you? Because if he doesn't like you this is all a moo point.
Rachel: Huh. A moo point?
Joey: Yeah. Like a cow's opinion. It doesn't matter. It's moo.
Rachel: Have I been living with him too long or did that just make sense?
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- During the Second Season finale the Scoobies discover a way to return Angel's soul, thus stopping Angelus. Xander's reaction is "I don't care, Angel needs to die," pointing out that Buffy is "ignoring Miss Calendar's murder just so you can get your boyfriend back". While the actual ethics of whether or not Angel can be held liable for Angelus' actions can be debated back and forth (and the show itself seems to take the position that he can't be) Xander is still correct in pointing out that Buffy visibly doesn't care about what Angelus has done, which is a tad self-centered of her.
- Xander is also the only person in the room making the valid point that Willow is an inexperienced spellcaster attempting a magical ritual requiring power well beyond anything she's ever shown before and that she's going to try and do it while in the hospital with a concussion — i.e., she has no realistic chance to successfully cast the ensouling spell and every chance of killing herself trying. Of course Willow does manage to pull it off in the end, but that's because she had the writer on her side.
- In the penultimate episode of season 4, Xander makes a suggestion half-jokingly and catches Giles' look to which Xander says "Yeah, don't tell me. I'm just full of helpful suggestions." Giles says "As a matter of fact, you are."
- In the Firefly episode "Out Of Gas", Jayne, of all people, tells Wash and Mal to stop fighting because they're using up more air than if they were calm.
- In Misfits, when Simon and Alisha think it's their moral duty to try and defeat a demented criminal who's been terrorizing their neighborhood, cloudcuckoolander Nathan responds with: "Listen guys, I think I speak for all of us when I say - we are lazy and incompetent. We're practically handicapped! Leave it to the Police. They get paid to get shot." In the stunned silence that follows, Curtis admits: "I never thought I'd say this, but he's talking sense."
- In the Community episode "The Politics Of Human Sexuality" Pierce demonstrates unexpected maturity, wisdom and humility in both discussing Jeff's and his own experiences with women at the end.
Jeff: ...Oh, I'm sorry, I was waiting for that to become inappropriate or racist.
- Pierce actually does this quite a few times in the series. The election episode contains a standout - he becomes very profound, but it takes being stabbed in the face with a pencil.
- In Horror Fiction In Seven Spooky Steps, after Britta did a psychological evaluation that "proved" one of them had homicidal tendencies, Pierce is the one to point out that in over two years they've been together, they would have picked out something before now.
- The Golden Girls used to play this for laughs a lot with Rose, since she was the one who seemed dumb all the time. Also played straight in the episode with Dorothy's gambling problem. Dorothy gets so bad that she lies to Rose about needing money and Rose gives Dorothy her bank card. Dorothy asks Rose if she realizes that she's stealing her own money, and Rose says "I know."
- "Yo, how about magnets?" Some clarity on this one. After the events when Gus Fring has died and his possessions have been taken into police custody, Walter White realizes that a laptop was taken which has video files of him and his colleagues cooking crystal meth. Mike Ehrmantraut confirms the laptop is in police evidence as he and Walter go back and forth with lewd ideas with how to skip town or blow up the evidence locker. As they argue, the show's resident Butt Monkey Jessie Pinkman continuously points out that they could easily get a magnet powerful enough to wipe the contents of the computer. After several attempts to get them to listen, Walt catches on as they decide to go with that plan. They rig a construction magnet with several batteries to do this. In the process they wipe the computer but police discover in the mess Gus' off shore bank accounts that held his drug money.
- Done by Joffrey Lannister of all people in Game of Thrones. When consulting his grandfather Tywin in the throne room, Joffrey voices his concerns about Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons. This is understandable as dragons were used by the Valyrians to carve out a massive empire before their extinction thousands of years ago. However, Tywin brushes off his grandson's concerns by asserting that dragons have been extinct for centuries and even if Daenerys does have dragons, they are on the far side of the world and no threat to Joffrey's rule. As is shown in the books, this is obviously not the case. Of course, this is not helped by Joffrey's inclination towards ridiculing, humiliating, and dominating those around him, even to people where it's not wise to do so, especially his grandfather.
- He also points out in the second season how counter-productive a feudal system is towards maintaining a strong, centralised state and suggests forming a nationalised military loyal to the state itself. While a fair observation in itself (given that it's the reason half the country currently wants to kill him), his solutions towards implementing such a system are less well-thought out.
- Derek uses this as one of its central tropes. Derek is simple-minded, but devoid of malice and pretension, and although he misunderstands things a lot of the time, he makes salient and succinct (if naive) points at other times about the benefits of kindness and being grateful for what you have.
- Baldrick manages one in Blackadder:
Baldrick: Well my cousin Bert Baldrick, Mr Gainsborough's butler's dogsbody, says that he's heard that all portraits look the same these days, 'cause they're painted to a romantic ideal rather than as a true depiction of the idiosyncratic facial qualities of the person in question.
Blackadder: [impressed] Your cousin Bert obviously has a larger vocabulary than you do, Baldrick.
- Micheal Scott of The Office (US) generally comes up with incredibly stupid and self-centered ideas and observations, to the point where one of the show's running gags is to have Micheal try to explain the Aesop of the episode, only to completely miss the mark. However, there are times when he is genuinely right, such as when he correctly deduces that a new "restructure" of the chain of command is an attempt by David Wallace to not have to interact with Micheal so often.
Michael: I don't understand that after fifteen years of service here, I have to get in the car and drive to New York in order to talk to you. That doesn't seem right to me. That doesn't seem fair. And I think that I've earned more than that.
Wallace: [a little stunned] Yeah. You're right. Yes.
- Pearls Before Swine:
What does it mean to be happy? Is it something subjective? Or is there an objective component? Is it simply the absence of pain? Or is it something more? How does a dumb guy like you answer a question like that? Pig:
I think happiness is finding a couple extra fries at the bottom of the bag. (Beat Panel) Rat:
Pig made sense. The apocalypse is upon us. Pig:
Yay! The apocalypse! Yaaaaaay! Wait... wait... what's an apocalypse?
- Done by the Pointy-Haired Boss in Dilbert when describing the other departments as being staffed with professional liars.
- Sin Cara Azul defeats and unmasks Sin Cara Negro in a match. Michael Cole actually has a point that Booker T was overreacting:
Booker T: Oh, my goodness! No wonder he was wearing a mask! The man is ugly!
Michael Cole: What? It's just a Mexican with a crew cut.
Booker T: Look at 'im, he's hideous!
- Ace Attorney:
- Detective Dick Gumshoe has his fair share of these. He's usually a slow witted idiot however he does have his moments, such as when he suggests that the true killer's motive in the murder of Russel Berry could be the fact that they HAD NO motive in the first place. Phoenix immediately shakes this off as Gumshoe being stupid again, and the player probably would on a first run through as well. Turns out he IS right, because the killing was actually accidental and thus there was no motive.
- In the second game, local Country Mouse Lotta Hart suggests that the culprit of the case you're working on is in fact the perpetually spacey Ini Miney. She's right, although for a surprisingly logical reason for this trope- she says if Maya is innocent, Ini is the only other suspect without an alibi. In the same case, she is the only one to point out that Franziska Von Karma is committing assault by whipping others.
- Killzone, as seen in the quote above. When the party came across a Helghast base en route to their destination. Templar thinks that they should sneak around it while Rico suggests that they go through the base and kill everything. Hakha agrees with Rico, but only because the base's MLRS are firing at ISA troops and thus must be destroyed.
- Happens in this dialogue in Mana Khemia Alchemists Of Alrevis:
: "You rely too much on your logic. We must defeat the enemy in front of us!"
: "...Sometimes, I envy your simplicity."
- In Mass Effect, the council (or at least the Turian member) seem to believe this whenever the find out Shepard is telling the truth. They even use the saying at one point;
Turian Councillor: I believe your people have a saying - even a broken clock is right twice a day.
- In the third game, there's a conversation between Shepard and Conrad Verner about the switch from overheating weapons in the first game to "thermal clips" in the later ones. Conrad takes the common fan position that being able to shoot indefinitely with the old weapons is still a tactical advantage over the new weapons, which might as well be using limited ammunition again. In this case, they're both right. Thermal clips let you send more fire down range with a skilled reload, and heat sinks can just keep going without the need for supplies. Mass Effect 3 has both types of weapons.
- Another BioWare example: Sir Roderick from Jade Empire does manage to make several good points about the Empire's failings, in the midst of his racist complaining about tea and trousers, in particular regarding the fact no one in the Jade Empire thought to use dragonpowder for personal firearms.
- It is, however, implied in the loading screens that the armies use dragonpowder when going to war, and in the ruins near Tien's Landing, some dragonpowder-fueled rockets are used to blast a hole in a wall.
- One of the song titles in Guilty Gear Isuka is "Drunkard Does Make Wise Remarks".
- A character trait of Wheatley in Portal 2. Possibly deconstructed. His ideas are smart just often enough that you'll trust him, letting him function as an Intelligence Dampener.
- Also, he surprises everyone at the end when he booby traps the stalemate button. However, he is specifically designed to come up with bad ideas, and preventing the repair of the reactor or getting in Chell's way are both very bad ideas.
- In the Visual Novel of CLANNAD, Youhei is generally as thick as a brick regarding relationships and people in general. Until midway through Kyou's route, when he uses an Armor-Piercing Question to force Tomoya to come to terms with the fact that the Fujibayashi sister he is dating is not the one he cares for.
- Youhei proves to be useful at least once in Tomoyo's route, too, but not until near the end: Tomoya breaks up with Tomoyo so that Tomoya's delinquency won't hold Tomoyo back from winning a position on the Student Council and using it to save the sakura tree from being cut down. Youhei's the one who gives Tomoya the idea that maybe breaking up with Tomoyo was a bad idea, since they loved each other so much. And indeed, later on Tomoya and Tomoyo get back together.
- During the introduction to the Game Boy Advance Pinky and the Brain Licensed Game Pinky asked why they didn't spend the entire week on their plan to take over the world rather than just a single night.
- In Hatoful Boyfriend's "Bad Boys Love" route, Sakuya (the racist pigeon) learns that he's a mixed-breed instead of a pure fantail. When his frustration over this drives him to yell at Oko San (who is borderline non-sapient), the latter's reply is this:
Oko San: Sakuya, and Yuuya, and Okosan all have their own wonderful names! Names more important than any breed!
- In the Dink Smallwood mod Cast Awakening: Initiation doors disappear if you use them while the right color key is in your possession. This led to something roughly like the following exchange between two Cast members sent to fetch Dink for execution during the introduction.
Junior Recruit: Father, the door disappeared!
Cast Father: Of course the door disappeared! That is a magic door and you have a magic key!
Junior Recruit: Then how do we lock the cell again?
Cast Father: Don't ask stupid questions!
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim the Player Character can respond to an intellectual discussion by a group of learned sages about the rightness or wrongness of stopping Alduin from causing The End of the World as We Know It, which he is destined and supposed to do, by simply stating they like the world and want to save it. The leader of the sages admits that's a fair response.
- In Dangan Ronpa, Yasuhiro Hagakure, who's typically not very bright, makes the observation that it's highly unlikely that one of the victims from Chapter 3 was killed with one of the weapons the students already found, since the killer would've had to take the risk of retrieving the weapon, killing the victim, and putting it back where it was originally found, without anyone noticing.
: I'm surprised. It seems there's some semblance of a brain knocking around inside that skull of yours after all.
- When Scout is reading lines of "Ghost D.A." in the Team Fortress 2 comic "Unhappy Returns", Spy tells him to just take the public defender. Scout responds that the last two times they did that, they were assigned Soldier and a lamp. Fortunately, they managed to get a surprisingly competent lawyer during the trial. Too bad Soldier snaps his neck.
- Chie Satonaka of Persona 4 is the Book Dumb variety: She's not particularly known for performing well in school or having the kind of mind that would be suited to solving a murder mystery, but she'll occasionally spout some random theory about the case that turns out to be exactly right.
- In Chapter 14 of Red vs. Blue Reconstruction, Caboose is the one that manages to come up with a plan that would get them into Command without anyone getting suspicious of them: by putting the unrecognizable ones inside the opaque tank. Caboose actually gets a number of these throughout the series.
Tucker: "I'm confused. That actually sounded like a good idea."
Church: "I know."
Tucker: "But... Caboose said it."
Church: "I know."
- Caboose once said that there was probably wet plains in between the freezing plains and the burning plains, which he is (sort of) right because there's a swamp in between the two plains.
- The Red team's resident Ditz, Donut, also has his share, including his accurate assessment of every unlikely plot twist. The others derided this as too stupid.
- Tom from Echo Chamber tries to invoke this trope on himself in the episode Dumbass Has A Point, but, as Dana points out, the trope didn't fit.
Dana: To be a dumbass with a point, you have to have a point, dumbass.
- The real dumbass with a point is Zack. He uses his knowledge of After Effects to help create an intro to the vlog that was way better than anything Tom could have come up with on his own.
- During Spoony's review of Highlander II: The Quickening, he gets angry when General Katana hits one of his Mooks simply for pointing out why his evil plan is flawed...
General Katana: You leave for the Planet earth immediately. Find Macleod and kill him.
Insano brother #1
: But I thought you said MacLeod was mortal, and can never return.
Spoony: Wait, why'd you hit him? Dumbass there just pointed out one of the biggest plotholes of the whole fucking movie! Yeah, this guy figured out one of the potholes! And Katana doesn't even have an answer for the guy!
- Arby 'n' the Chief features this line in Season 6 from Master Chief, after Arbiter is complaining about how much his life sucks. Also counts as a Double Entree such Chief is an enormous asshole to Arbiter in the series as well.
Master Chief: if ur s0 smrt and thers no point in anythign wats teh point of crying abot it?
- The Simpsons
- In the episode "Bart's Comet":
Lisa: I can't believe that extra-thick layer of pollution that I've actually picketed against burned up the comet.
Bart: But what's really amazing, is that this is exactly what Dad said would happen.
Lisa: Yeah, Dad was right.
Homer: I know, kids. I'm scared too!
- In the episode in which the Simpsons go to Africa when it's revealed that Doctor Bushwell is using the monkeys to run a diamond mine this exchange occurs:
Bart: I think we should look at her research before we condemn her completely.
(everyone stares at Bart, shocked)
Bart: I haven't said anything for a while.
- In part 2 of "Who Shot Mr. Burns", after Smithers was cleared of shooting Burns (because he shot Jasper instead), the normally completely incompetent police chief has this to say:
Chief Wiggum: Wait a minute! If a second old geezer got shot, how come nobody reported it?note
- Wiggum gets another one shortly after. When Lisa points out that Burns' recent actions provide motives for several people, namely his oil-drilling endangered both the school and Moe's tavern. After she fingers Skinner, Willie, Moe and Barney, Wiggum points out that Tito Puente would also be a suspect by her logic, as he was supposed to be hired but was fired because of Burns' drilling. Lisa sheepishly concedes to the point. Of course, Wiggum's competence is immediately offset by the fact that Tito Puente stops being a suspect because he plays the police a catchy musical number. The musical number was Tito Puente's revenge against Burns. One of its lyrics was about how bullet wounds are nothing compared to the humiliation the taunting song gives.
- In "Homer the Vigilante", the entire town is all set to forgive the elderly catburglar who stole from the entire town after he claims he just wanted people to respect the elderly. Wiggum arrests him anyway because the guy had just confessed to burglary. Wiggum's competence is again offset when he and the rest of the town are tricked by the catburglar into chasing after his nonexistent stash.
- In one episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Billy suggests that Nergal Jr turn himself into a pair of pants so that Billy can wear them and win a race:
Mandy: Billy, that has to be the stupidest idea... (stops short) Come to think of it, Billy, that's probably the smartest idea you've ever had.
Billy: I know. That's why I wanna do it.
- Raven did this to Beast Boy in Teen Titans at least once. Notably, Beast Boy calls out Robin for acting like Slade in his search for him, as well as showing insight into Terra's character when the Titans were ready to consider her just another villain. In the second to last episode, he also quickly took charge of the remaining heroes, citing that he's had the most experience fighting them.
- Happens a few times in Kim Possible, usually in relation to Ron Stoppable.
- Ed from Ed, Edd n Eddy has a few moments like this. In "O-Ed Eleven", he manages to puzzle out a map belonging to Eddy's mysterious older brother. Of course, he's still Ed, so he tries to explain it thusly:
Edd: Ed, how on earth did you do that?
Ed: Because I am a brother, and Eddy's brother is a brother, and Eddy is a brother to Eddy's brother as a brother I am.
- In one episode of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Pooh narrates the "Three Little Pigs" with Rabbit as the Big Bad Bunny, but the story keeps on getting derailed by Pooh's thoughts always straying toward honey. When a scene more resembling "Little Red Riding Hood" occurs, Tigger comments, "Hey, for a Big Bad Bunny, he's sure not being very bad." Rabbit (the Big Bad Bunny) replies, "For once, you're right, Tigger. We have lost track of the story, haven't we?"
- In The Venture Bros., when a spike-laden deathtrap comes closing in on them, Hank suggests they contact Dr. Orpheus. Dr. Venture vehemently objects half because Hank is a dumbass and half because he really doesn't like Dr. Orpheus. Brock outright says "I know it sounds crazy, but Hank has the only idea." Dr. Venture only relents when Brock starts lining them up for the least painful death.
- In Code Lyoko, Odd is usually regarded as not being very bright. However, in one episode in the last season, where a mission to destroy one of XANA's Replikas took him and Yumi's virtual forms to the International Space Station, he actually had two good ideas in the same episode. First, when Jeremie warned them that they had to make the computer's destruction look like an accident (because the Station was too well-known and suspected sabotage would be a headache they did not need) Odd suggested breaking a pipe to cause water damage. His second good idea came when XANA attacked them using flying, spiked orbs that he was using the Station's equipment to build; he got rid of them by opening a hatch door, causing the orbs to be blown out of the station.
- Happens every so often in the 2003 Ninja Turtles cartoon, and almost always in reference to Michelangelo. Usually it's Raphael who gets to admit it.
- Happens at least once in The Fairly OddParents:
: Wow, Cosmo
, you were right! (expression of sudden shock) Cosmo
that's a great idea! Gee, I never thought I'd say those 5 words in a row before.
(writing in diary) "Cosmo had a good day today."
- Later in the same episode, Cosmo keeps the TV running by, well, running on a hamster wheel.
Wanda: (writing in diary) "This has been a great day for Cosmo."
- In "Kung-Timmy", while Timmy's Dad is usually pretty much an oblivious fool and somehow at the same time a borderline Abusive Dad he WAS right stating he couldn't beat up Francis for Timmy since he's only a 12 year old child (albeit a really scary looking 12 year old but a kid nonetheless).
- In "School of Crock", Cosmo again makes a good point when he finds out that Timmy's been sleeping in class:
Cosmo: How are you going to learn anything if you never pay attention?
- Done a few times with Pinky in Pinky and the Brain. Most of the time when Pinky says something stupid it earns him a hit on the head from Brain. But the few times he actually made a good point, Brain is getting ready to hit him out of habit when he stops and thinks and then admits he has a point.
- In the Futurama episode "Parasites Lost", Zoidberg of all characters gets one of these moments when he suggests escaping the nasal capillary into the sinus. Turns out, he was just remembering an old commercial he had seen.
- In the Donkey Kong Country episode "Buried Treasure", K. Rool decides that the treasure the Kongs are looking for is an Artifact of Doom "Capable of wiping out the island";
K. Rool: Do you know what this means!?
Krusha: The apes will have complete control over Kongo Bongo, and probably turn us into matching luggage.
K. Rool: ...He does have his moments...
- Spongebob Squarepants
- Patrick seems to have quite a few of these moments throughout the series. One such instance has him beating out Sandy in coming up with a plan. The reaction to this was fairly obvious.
- In earlier episodes, Patrick tended to be the one to suggest that Squidward didn't like him and Spongebob. Spongebob, naturally found such a notion unthinkable.
- One episode features Spongebob and Patrick getting paint on Mr. Krabs' first dollar, his most prized possession. They spend the rest of the episode trying to fix it before Mr. Krabs comes home, only for Patrick to point out how ridiculous the whole situation is.
"I mean, it's not like it looks any different than a regular dollar! Why hang it? You could just hang any dollar bill up on the wall and no one would know the difference! You might as well just reach into my wallet, pull out a dollar, and put it on the wall!"
- On an episode of Beavis and Butt-Head, Mr. Van Driessen asks the class "Where do we get our food?" Butt-Head (who usually lives up to his name) answers "Uh... the store?" This was indeed the point he was trying to make. Even Butt-Head was shocked to find out he got an answer right.
- On an episode of Frisky Dingo Ronnie, the dimwitted Russian rapist member of the Xtacles, interrupts Xander Crews' long lost brother Nearl's revenge speech by shooting him in the head. Cue this exchange:
Random Xtacle: What the hell, Ronnie?
Ronnie: What? Is complicated enough without all this Evil Twin bullshit having.
Xtacle: That's... actually a good point. Good for you!
- In one episode, the title character hides in a bathroom stall having believed she has sold out her principles by wearing contact lenses instead of her 'manstopper glasses'. Her best friend Jane, as well as acquaintance Jodie couldn't get her out. So imagine their shock when ditzy cheerleader Brittany manages to get through to her…
Brittany: By the way, Daria, I just want you to know I think it's really brave of you to get those contact lenses and admit that you care about the way you look, even just a little. Because knowing that a brain can be worried about her looks makes me feel, um, I don't know, not so shallow or something. Like we're not that different, just human, or whatever.
(after a moment, Daria emerges from the stall)
Daria: Well, thank you, Brittany. You're right. We are just human or whatever.
- "The Daria Hunter" also showed Brittany to be a pretty good military tactician.
- In Transformers Animated, Prowl assumes Sentinel is getting help from Lockdown in capturing Megatron's lieutenants, and uses the fact that they are stripped of their equipment as evidence when confronting him. Sentinel shows him Lugnut's mods and points out he'd have to be really stupid not to disarm dangerous prisoners. Prowl is proven to be correct later on, and Lugnut's mods were used to try and "throw him off the scent" — but Sentinel has a point. Incidentally, Starscream had escaped Sentinel's custody once before precisely because he didn't disarm him, so Prowl's assertion is based on past experience.
- On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Beezy comes up with a plan to catch Lucius' Toothy Bird. Heloise begrudgenly admits it's a good plan.
- In the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Total Re-Carl", Carl's body gets destroyed by Frylock's experimental high-tech toilet, and Frylock tries to make him a new body. One of the attempts is a heavily-armed cybernetic suit, and Master Shake, known for being a stupid Jerk Ass, points out that this might not be a good idea:
Frylock: I give you the ultimate in military hardware! Complete with laser cannon, indestructible titanium exoskeleton, and motion activated plasma pulse rifles.
Master Shake: And you're gonna plug him in?
Frylock: ...You're right. Damn, what the hell was I thinking?
- In Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, the one person who pointed out how illogical the show's premise is turned out to be crazy.
- Carl and Sheen from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius occasionally have their moments.
Jimmy: Carl, that's brilliant!
- Regular Show: In the episode "Stick Hockey", Rigby points out that Benson does have a responsibility to trust his workers, instead of assuming they'll slack off. Then again, it's the one of the few instances where Mordecai and Rigby actually keep up their end of the bargain.
Rigby: (rolls eyes after Mordecai moans about Margaret for the umpteenth time) "Whatever. You could just ask her out you know."
Mordecai: "I can't just do that! You don't get it. It's too complicated."
Rigby: "No it's not. Just ask her.
- Close to the end of the alien suit arc of The Spectacular Spider-Man, Jerk Jock Flash calls Peter out on rejecting his friends when they were trying to support him, leading to him realizing that the suit is changing him along with this hilarious line.
Spider-Man: Okay, if Flash Thompson's making sense, something must be seriously wrong.
- Invader Zim:
- The scatterbrained and totally crazy robot Gir is prone to occasional observations of this nature. For example, in "Walk For Your Lives!" Zim's plan to deal with an explosion that's trapped in a field that slows down time (resulting in what appears to be a slowly-expanding energy ball) is to return its speed to normal.
Gir: But if the 'sploding goes FAST, won't it be all BAD?
- Dib's insistence on fighting to prevent Zim from conquering the world is also this; though it's not brought up in-universe, the fact of the matter is that Zim may be too crazy and stupid to conquer Earth on purpose, but he's plenty crazy-stupid to destroy it by accident while trying. So, yes, Dib really is saving the Earth by his constant foilings of Zim's plots. Just not how either of them actually thinks it's happening.
- In Chaotic Majar, a creature who is the epitome of Dumb Muscle points out to his partner Borth, that he is smart but small and he himself is strong but dumb and suggests they stop their bickering and work together.
- During season 2 of Archer, the title character finds out that he has breast cancer and the drugs he takes for it are fake. He then goes on a rampage to find the source of the fake drugs, which turns out to be The Irish Mob. When straight woman Lana asks if the whole affair is really worth it, Archer points out that although it is a personal mission for him, the gangsters are still selling fake cancer medicine, which is pretty heinous.
Lana: Still though, you really want to take on the Irish mob?
Archer: No, I don't, but they've the ones switching out lifesaving cancer drugs with candy and Zima.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Inspiration Manifestation", the spell book was left unguarded and defended only by a single lock, rather than, say, being moved to the secure archives in Canterlot, or at least having a barrier that needed more than some bolt cutters to get through. By then, one would expect the dangerous artifacts to have been moved to a secure location. Spike was correct in saying that the book was basically unguarded.
- In The Legend of Korra episode "Operation Beifong", the usually flimsy and vain Wu suggests that the people in Republic City can evacuate so Kuvira can't harm them. Korra, Mako, and everyone else is surprised and take his advice. Frustratingly for Mako, Wu admits he only suggested it to impress Korra.
- He also suggested sending an army of trained badger moles to attack Kuvira, which gets him nothing but disdained looks. Later, badgermoles prove to be so effective that one wonders what they could have done if they actually had an army of trained badgermoles available, instead of the two random ones he grabbed from the zoo.