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Dumbass No More
aka: Took A Level In Smart Ass
A cousin to Took a Level in Badass, only the major change is in the character's intelligence. Tired of being thrown around, said dumbass decides to do some "brain trainin'". He (or she) will drop out of the storyline for a while. If he's the main character, this will be used to develop the other characters.

Contrast Took a Level in Dumbass.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Naruto is an interesting case. Naruto went from last in ninja school to a shinobi that could think on his feet. Then, he went to trading ideological arguments with several human war machines as much as he traded blows with the same people. His allies still push him to think before he acts, though it most often turns out he already has several tactics in mind, leading the allies to say something like "he's not the same dumb kid we knew, after all...".
  • At the end of School Rumble Tenma went through it.
  • Hachi in One Piece. He's still not terribly bright but he's quite a bit smarter than the Dumb Muscle he used to be.
  • Two-layer Dragon Ball example: Majin Buu is a short-witted villain. After transforming into Super Buu, he gains an intelligence boost to some degree, but is still prone to impulsive acts and is lacking in patience and human emotion or mannerisms. However, after getting thrashed by Gohan, he manages to come up with a plan and absorb Piccolo (one of the most intelligent characters in the series) and Gotenks (a character at least his equal in power) into his body. After that, he becomes a Genius Bruiser, starts playing mindgames and emotional torment on his opponents, having backup plans, and overall being a ruder version of Cell, boosted even further after absorbing Gohan himself. And then he inverts the trope, being forcibly downgraded into his Kid Buu form. His original form, he is like a very young child, unrestrained and his most dangerous form.
  • Gourry Gabriev, in the Slayers anime series, is pretty much the resident Idiot Hero and seems to get stupider in each season. Evolution-R, the fifth season, starts portraying him more akin to his novel self (who is not an Idiot Hero but instead Obfuscating Stupidity for a number of reasons, including the fact he likes Lina explaining things to him/thinks she's cute when she's mad).

Comic Books
  • Impulse from Teen Titans got sick of being the The Fool of the team (which was mostly on account of his extreme ADHD), so he used his super speed to read the contents of an entire library. Because he also has Photographic Memory he basically became a walking encyclopedia. Unfortunately, he's more a Genius Ditz given that he's got the knowledge but not the wisdom or common sense.

Literature
  • This is the very end (which is also the beginning) of Invisible Man, with the title character "hibernating" and thinking over what he's done and how he could improve.
  • Algorind the shiny-eyed paladin from Thornhold by Elaine Cunningham was less than bright lad raised in a monastery and then released into non-black-and-white world with a mission that wasn't what it seems. As such, he was a Butt Monkey who barely survived a completely deserved and mostly self-inflicted slapstick pinball, and ended up shrunk to the size of a mouse. In the sequel The Knights of Samular he got a clue enough to realize what's going on, spot a fallen paladin and deal with this problem, though still was easily manipulated by another party.

Live Action Television
  • The very point in Canada's Worst Driver. When you achieve this trope, you graduate. In Canada's Worst Driver Ever, Chris and Shirley (from Season 1 and Season 7, respectively) had enormously improved—Chris from simple experience, Shirley by dogged study and practice.

Video Games
  • A strange example of this trope exists within certain CRPG games like Fallout or Arcanum. Because it is possible to both start the game off as dumb (read: Int 1-3) and permanently increase stats without using bugs, some players may be playing a game "stupid" and then accidentally turn him back to standard dialogue choices as a "normal person."

Web Comics
  • After the timeskip following the battle for the Sapphire gate, The Order of the Stick's Elan has gone from a total retard to... well, an idiot that still managed to make V look dumb by using illusion magic.
    • He leveled his Int again in this strip, learning to use his Bard levels effectively.
      • Neutralize Poison has already come in handy, though it's still not enough.
    • Elan once again demonstrates that his INT score is higher than it seems, although he's still severely lacking in WIS, having failed to notice the "Evil" part of his father's Affably Evil manner.

Web Original
  • Caboose from Red vs. Blue quickly became a rather extreme form of The Ditz. Come Recreation, however, he's managed to regain much of his intelligence (and sanity), to the point that he is fully capable of rational thought and even managed to repair and awaken Epsilon-Church. He's still fairly ditzy though.

Western Animation


Don't Think. FeelSkills and Training TropesHAD to Be Sharp

alternative title(s): Took A Level In Smartass
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