Enraged by Idiocy

Nappa: You okay, Vegeta?
Vegeta: Oh, nothing. Jus—Just an aneurysm out of sheer stupidity.
Nappa: Wow. Didn't realize you were that stupid, Vegeta.

Have you ever heard a remark so spectacularly dumb that it just made you angry? Do you have a low tolerance for Cloudcuckoolanders or ditzes? While some might respond with sarcasm, pity, or even despair, these characters just can't handle the dumbness around them. They seethe, they rant, they curse or even resort to violence.

When this trait kicks in it can be the last straw for a normally reasonable person or an intense enough irritation to be their Berserk Button — especially for the Only Sane Man or those Surrounded by Idiots. Of course, this reaction is sometimes totally justified when the act of foolishness is or has put people in danger.

The results of becoming Enraged By Idiocy can vary from a Dope Slap to a Cluster F-Bomb to acts of violence. As with any loss of temper, this usually becomes a weak point or dangerous distraction for the angry party — making it a handy tactic for anyone merely playing dumb.

Obviously a Sub-Trope of Berserk Button. Characters who are the Only Sane Man or Surrounded by Idiots tend to have this, but it is also one of the main Jerk Justifications. You can expect the Tsundere to have this characteristic, especially if she's around the Idiot Hero. If both the idiocy persists and the inability to treat the anger go on for too long, it can go into Madden Into Misanthropy territory.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In One Piece, while Luffy's extreme stupidity is enough to make all of his friends lose their patience now and then, Nami is the only one to really flip out every time he says something really stupid (which is half of the time; the other half he just says something somewhat stupid). She gets equally angry at the other crew members when they act idiotic. Usopp is becoming similar to her though he seems more enraged by the inability to think normally than stupidity per se.
  • In 3-gatsu no Lion, Rei becomes incensed when Yasui doesn't learn from his mistakes both inside professional shogi (choosing not to learn from his losses) and outside (opting to once again drink his loss away instead of spending his last Christmas with his daughter as a family and initially pretending to forget about the presents he bought). Implicitly blaming Rei for the latter is what sets it off.
  • Vegeta in Dragon Ball Z. He has spent most of his life dealing with Nappa, and gets extremely pissed at him for his idiocy during his fight against Goku (to the extent that he murders him in cold blood for being an embarrassment after Nappa gets himself crippled while defying one of Vegeta's orders). He also constantly expresses anger at the perceived stupidity of most of the other Z Fighters (though ironically it's his pride that allows the Android/Cell situation to escalate to a point where Cell manages to kill Goku). Also, when Goku says or does something stupid, Vegeta yells at him with the phrase "you idiot!"

  • George Carlin dedicated a lot of routines to stupid human behaviour.
  • Lewis Black seems to constantly suffer from this trope.

    Comic Books 
  • Deadpool — consciously or not — uses this to great effect on his opponents, distracting them with babble until they lose focus.

    Films — Animated 
  • Strange Magic: After a line of talking mushrooms creates enough Gossip Evolution that the message "An elf is in the dark forest" becomes "A tall chef is into shark storage", the Bog King gets so frustrated that he physically beats his way through the line of mushrooms until he reaches the original.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the The Pink Panther film series, Clouseau's constant bungling actually drives his superior, Chief Inspector Dreyfus, to try and outright murder him.
  • In The Big Short, investor Mark Baum has no tolerance for anything he suspects is bullshit, and will immediately respond with a barrage of F-bombs.
  • The Wolf of Wall Street has Max Belfort, Jordan's father and Stratton Oakmont's unofficial CFO. He is frequently seen yelling at his son and his cronies for their behavior such as racking up thousands of dollars in business expenses (read drugs and prostitutes), horsing around while the SEC is visiting the office, and all the other idiotic things they do.

  • Known for his "impatience with a less active intelligence than his own," Sherlock Holmes' exasperation at the police's bungling could drive him into condescending rants. The only mention in the entire canon of Holmes cursing comes by his frustration at the police for failing to capture Professor Moriarty after he had all but gift wrapped the evidence and capture for them.
  • Animorphs: Visser Three. He has little tolerance for incompetence, and more often than not, it ended with whoever was being stupid getting offed (usually by Visser 3 eating them whole).
  • In Dragon Bones, Ward has been Obfuscating Stupidity for seven years. His father is enraged by Ward's stupid facial expression and overall stupidity - quite ironic, considering that Ward started to pretend to have more brain damage from his father's violent beatings than he actually had because he feared his father would kill him if he seemed too dangerous.
  • In The Leonard Regime, Nick demonstrates this whenever Brandon says or does something stupid.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, Peregrine ("Pippin") Took accidentally makes a potentially enemy-alerting noise in the Mines of Moria (namely, dropping a stone down a deep well — exaggerated to a bucket with chains in the movie). The usually calm and compassionate Gandalf's response is uncharacteristically upset. (Considering what happened next, it's hard not to sympathise with him.)
    Gandalf: Fool of a Took! Throw yourself in next time, and rid us of your stupidity!
  • In the Kharkanas Trilogy, this is the biggest reason the artist Kadaspala Enes behaves like a Jerkass. He often sees through people and hates it how they shower him with praise when he's looking and call him a pretentious brat when he's not. Add such remarks while he's painting, and he's this close to stabbing people with brushes.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Blackadder: Later incarnations of Edmund Blackadder are usually quite resigned to being Surrounded by Idiots. Whenever he does snap, however, it's usually because of Baldrick, George, Percy or The Queen doing something profoundly stupid.
  • In the early days of Breaking Bad, Walter was prone to extensive ranting at Jesse's screw-ups.
  • Doctor Who: Luke Rattigan, from season 4 of NuWho. He's an Insufferable Genius who, among many things, hate it when people refer to his creation as the ATMOS System. "It's a tautology! It stands for Atmospheric Omission System so you're just saying Atmospheric Omission System System!" Note: that's not a tautology.
  • Tywin Lannister from Game of Thrones. He's perpetually unamused, given that his standards are high, has no tolerance for incompetence and Joffrey's rule has been a long parade of follies and disasters. Given that many of his subordinates (including Joffrey) are frequently Stupid Evil, it's little wonder Tywin sees himself as Surrounded by Idiots.
    • Tyrion as well, his habit of bitchslapping Joffrey for outstandingly foolish decisions even earning him the Fan Nickname "Kingslapper".
  • Uther in Merlin. Most of the time it just resulted in an angry tirade and Merlin getting sent to the stocks, but he wasn't above having someone imprisoned or killed if it went too far.
  • By his own admission, Kevin from the US version of The Office (US) has very little patience for stupidity.
  • In The Outer Limits (1963) episode "The Sixth Finger"
    Gwylim Griffiths: Your ignorance makes me ill and angry.
  • Dr. Cox of Scrubs, habitually.
  • In an SCTV skit of Kent Brockman News, the anchor shouted that he was annoyed because "I'm surrounded by incompetence!".
  • Bert from Sesame Street.
  • Almost anyone who encounters Frank Spencer of Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em is reduced this, followed by blubbering.
  • Tony Soprano of The Sopranos has a Hair-Trigger Temper in general, but the stupidity of his mooks and his Son ranks near the top of his list of triggers. In a later episode, he considers murdering Paulie for his annoying and dimwitted tendencies.
  • One of the few things to make Malcolm Tucker of The Thick of It lose his cool. Witness.
  • This is one of David Mitchell's many buttons, as seen frequently on panel shows, mostly Would I Lie to You?.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess appears to experience this while she, Gabrielle, Joxer and Callisto (who is currently a god) are on their way to defeat another mad god. Joxer falls off his horse (again), and Xena becomes enraged and kicks him out of the party. In reality, she needed to get him away from the rest of the party so that he could retrieve a god-killing weapon without Callisto noticing.
  • Used to cement a Kick the Dog moment by the new Big Bad Ram in season 4 of The Tribe. One of Ram's Techno mooks presents him with a set of nonsensical programming orders that would actually erase most of Ram's computer systems. Ram calls him a moron and executes him in front of Ebony for his idiotic failure.
  • QI: Stephen Fry went of on a tirade on this theme after Lee Mack repeatedly attempted to use the word "ceiling" to disprove the former "i before e except after c"-rule.
    Stephen: You can't be this stupid! You cannot be this stupid!... Are you completely incapable of rational thought?!


  • Brand, when the quite ditzy bailiff does not grasp the meaning of Brand`s speech pattern for the umpteenth time, Brand reacts almost with an Aaaargh - or he would have, if Henrik Ibsen had read enough comics to get the reference. This instigates a big Berserk Button when his superior, the provost, acts and talks just as stupid.

    Video Games 
  • Wess from MOTHER 3. When his son Duster brought back the wrong artifact from Osohe Castle, Wess FLIPS OUT AND SMASHES IT ON THE GROUND, then comes with Duster to Osohe Castle to guide him so he gets the correct artifact this time. For the rest of the game, he refers to Duster as "Moron."
  • Leon Magnus in Tales of Destiny. A lot. In the original, he'd use shock tiaras on whoever the perceived idiot is or storm off in disgust.
  • This trope is basically Kotal Kahn's Fatal Flaw in a nutshell.
  • Pick an MMO. Any MMO. Chances are, if you participated in any team-based events or dungeons, you've either met someone like this, or been that person yourself. Goes double for MOBA players.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • Black Mage of 8-Bit Theater. As with most of life's problems, he responds to it with extreme violence.
  • The Bedfellows: Be the idiocy in the form of an Ear Worm, or Being Touched, or who knows what else, you can count on Sheen to yell and curse and become violent on a hair trigger whenever it happens.
  • Alex Williams of Captain SNES: The Game Masta apparrantly hates stupid people so much that the Anthropomorphic Personification of his "hatred" is, consequently, an utter moron.
  • Durkon, Roy and Vaarsuvius of The Order of the Stick have each had "moments" thanks to Elan. Thog considering himself to be Roy's Evil Counterpart also drives Roy to distraction.
    • Redcloak also finds himself exasperated with Xykon's impulsiveness and refusal to think deeply or strategise.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Hank Hill on King of the Hill is this rather frequently. He even said as much on an episode where he had to go to anger management classes to end a restraining order filed on him by Dale, saying that he didn't have an anger problem, but an "idiot problem".
  • Benson from Regular Show takes this trope to new levels whenever Mordecai & Rigby's antics create problems for the park.
  • An episode of Dan Vs. is dedicated to the title character's annoyance of everyone's stupidity.
  • Ren and Stimpy: Ren simply cannot stand Stimpy's stupidity. There's a very good reason why his Catch Phrase is "You eeeeeediot!"
  • The Simpsons:
    • Frank Grimes in the episode "Homer's Enemy".
    • Lisa is like this too sometimes.
      Lisa: (to Homer) You, sir, are a baboon! BABOON, BABOON, BABOON!!!
  • Squidward from SpongeBob SquarePants. It doesn't help that his house is located smack dab in the middle of complete morons SpongeBob and Patrick's. For Squilvia, this is what makes her attracted to him.
  • Col. Nozzaire to Lieutenant Gadget on Gadget and the Gadgetinis.
  • Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy:
    • Eddy sometimes gets annoyed by other people's idiotic behavior around him, especially Ed's. On occasion, though, Eddy seems to be amused by Ed's idiotic antics (as long as they don't ruin one of his plans, obviously).
    • Edd also qualifies based on his last lines at the end of the episode "Dim Lit Ed". Though he was more annoyed than enraged.
  • Daria: Mr. DeMartino has a Hair-Trigger Temper as a general rule, but few things will send him into a frothing rage as readily as the ignorance of some of his students.
  • Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory is always angered by his older sister Dee Dee messing around with his experiments and breaking things in his laboratory as well as her ditzy behavior.