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Dumbass Teenage Son
A standard sitcom family usually has one or more of the following: the Beloved Smother, the Bratty Half-Pint, the Over-dramatic Teenage Daughter and the Bumbling Dad. Of course, to round out the nuclear sitcom family, there's one more element needed to balance out the 2.4 kids...

...the Dumbass Teenage Son.

Like the name suggests, the character is a male, a teenager, and incredibly stupid. Growing up and hitting puberty appears to have caused him to sacrifice some IQ points for height and hair. Often looked at with disdain by the rest of the family who view him as an annoyance at the worst of times, the Dumbass Teenage Son is often times easily tricked or manipulated by his other family members, even those younger than him. He has no aspirations of getting an education or a "real job", usually thinking about becoming a rock star despite lacking in musical talent. Sometimes, this character tends to pepper his sentences with Totally Radical phrases like "Dude!" or "Awesome!".

Dumbass Teenage Sons are common in sitcoms, but can be found in other genres as well. Sometimes they are shown to be Book Dumb or knowledgeable about certain things others don't know, but not all the time. They are rarely if ever the Main Character or get focused on unless it's being viewed with contempt by the rest of the family. May overlap with Dumb Jock if said teenager is portrayed as dimwitted but athletically fit. If he grows up and doesn't grow out of it, he's likely to become a Basement-Dweller.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 
  • Downplayed with Peter Fox of Foxtrot. While he does play his electric guitar at wall-blasting volumes, he's otherwise mostly intelligent, his life revolving mostly around food and the fact that he can't seem to grow hair, gain weight or get muscles. A bad grade on a physics test was brought about by over-doodling on a diagram rather then a lack of brains.

    Live Action TV 
  • Eric Matthews from Boy Meets World, though like Brad he's a bit smarter than the rest of the examples here.
  • All over the place in the Disney Channel Live-Action Universe:
  • Drake from Drake & Josh is like this, but at times is shown to be Brilliant, but Lazy. He devises a plan that would enable him and Josh to ride a Roller Coaster and be able to get back in time to watch over their Grandfather before their parents got back. Josh is stunned he's failing classes after hearing that.
  • In The George Lopez Show, Max is depicted as being this, though he is later diagnosed with dyslexia.
  • Although he's smarter than most of those listed here. Brad from Home Improvement had his moments during the shows run.
  • Reese from Malcolm in the Middle. To quote his own mother: "some people have book smarts, some people have street smarts, you have neither." Francis is also portrayed as having been this, which is why he is sent to military school before the start of the series.
  • Axl from The Middle. He's both the oldest and the most immature of the Heck kids.
  • Junior from My Wife and Kids, Flanderized to where even his little sister had to help him with his homework. Little sister is about ten years younger than him. He even once forgot how to spell his own name.
  • That '70s Show:
    • Kelso was already an idiot as a kid, and got dumber as a teenager where sex was the only thing he could think about or focus on for a length of time. Though he may have Freudian Excuse as he was dropped on his head and doesn't like it when people bring it up.
    • Eric is this in the eyes of his father Red, and while he's nowhere near as dumb as Kelso, neither is he a paragon of sensibleness. Then again, everyone's a dumbass in Red's eyes.
  • Jake from Two and a Half Men was originally a Bratty Half-Pint, but as the show went on he got older and...dumber.
  • Flashbacks in Titus show the title character was this as a teenager. In every flashback he's a stoned, drooling idiot reeled in by his tough, badass father.
  • Theo Huxtable from The Cosby Show starts off like this, with the first episode in particular demonstrating a lack of intelligence when it comes to school. Later on in the show's run, he's eventually diagnosed with dyslexia, and starts working to overcome it. By the end of the series, he's become a teacher.
  • Eddie Winslow from Family Matters starts as this. He grows out of it.

    Video Games 
  • Jimmy, Michael de Santa's 20-year-old son in Grand Theft Auto V, isn't a teenager anymore, but otherwise fits every other beat of this trope. He still lives with his parents, leeching off of them and doing nothing but sitting around all day playing video games and speaking in hip-hop slang.
  • Deconstructed with Inigo in Fire Emblem Awakening. During their B support his father accuses him of being a carefree fool who only cares about chasing skirts, causing Inigo to promptly explode that no, that is not the case:
    You may think me a dandy and a fool, but a lot of people depend on me in the future. Every day, I was out there fighting Risen and risking my life. With everyone looking to me to be strong, I had no choice. I HAD to be invincible. I couldn't complain or show any weakness. Not with everyone else struggling in that damn war-torn wasteland... Even with you and Mother gone, I had to pretend I was fine. That I wasn't hurting. I had to fight every day of my sorry life and wear a smile while I did it!

    Western Animation 
  • The Cleveland Show has Raymond, Tim the Bear's stoner son.
  • Chris Griffin of Family Guy is one, but to due to lack of focus the viewers don't really see him acting dumb.
  • Joseph Gribble, Dale's son from King of the Hill.
  • Junyer Bear from the Looney Tunes Three Bears shorts. He appears to be a teenager, and yet he still wears diapers.
  • The Simpsons: Bart Simpson is often depicted as this during episodes that take place in the future when he and Lisa are growing up. Homer was one as well growing up.

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