This character would be nothing more than The Ditz
, except they have one area of expertise in which no one
can beat them. When that skill or talent is needed, they suddenly switch gears from airheadedness to hyper-competency. Sometimes they don't even know that they're doing it.
Genius Ditz is closely related to Idiot Savant
. An extreme form may border on The Rainman
. The main difference between those tropes and the Genius Ditz is that the Genius Ditz is merely stupid outside his field of expertise while the Idiot Savant
and The Rainman
are implied to have genuine mental disorders.
Such a character who is well respected may become a Bunny-Ears Lawyer
. Opposite of the Modern Major General
, who appears to have specialised incompetence. Contrast with Cloudcuckoolander
. Compare Too Dumb to Fool
. Compare and
Contrast Ditzy Genius
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Anime & Manga
- Deadpool probably counts as one. Sure, he's certifiably insane, completely unpredictable, constantly breaks the fourth wall and never ever ever stops talking — ever — but when it comes to fighting, shooting, stabbing and generally causing mayhem, he's one of the best in the whole Marvel Universe. Suffice it to say that Deadpool is really good at his job as a mercenary. He once detected seventeen weaknesses in Shatterstar's fighting techniques just from watching him practice for a few minutes. Shatterstar is one of the best swordsmen in the entire Marvel Universe, and quite skilled at all other forms of close-range combat to boot.
- Several Donald Duck stories would have the titular duck discovering an previously unexpressed aptitude at some obscure field, like counting objects or instrument playing.
- Modesty Blaise's lover Dr Pennyfeather, a bungling but surprisingly efficient doctor.
- In Doom Patrol, Flash Forward is The Smart Guy and a Deadpan Snarker who often shows a greater capacity for lateral or existential thought than his teammates. He's also a poor kid from rural Alabama who dropped out of school in the 7th grade.
- Miss Martian from the Teen Titans comic has pulled some rather impressive stunts like disguising herself to infiltrate a underground super fight league to free a bunch of trapped superheroes and working with a resistance cell in Final Crisis. She also threw a pie in Ravagers face and cried when Rose yelled at her.
- Every once in a while Harley Quinn will remind you that she is a certified psychologist. Interestingly, she seems to have been ditzy even before going insane, though. For a long time, writers went back and forth as to whether she truly earned her degree or whether she cheated her way through school to get it, until her own series, where they eventually settled on the former.
- Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: Spinister alternates between a Too Dumb to Live Trigger Happy moron who Misfire once called 'the biggest idiot of the universe', or a genius surgeon.
- Arsenal from Red Hood and the Outlaws. He's a cheery clown, but he's also brilliant at making weapons.
- Dr Dinosaur of Atomic Robo is capable of feats of science that astonish Robo, such as the "timevolution" of a T-rex egg into the weapon-encrusted FUTURESAURUS REX, but he's also fundamentally kind of a moron who dedicated quite some time to building a machine with the sole purpose of sending Robo unsolicited bulk email.
Dr Dinosaur: From hell's heart I spam at thee!
- Dungeon Keeper Ami has Mukrezar, an example with a serious bloodthirsty streak. Unlike most examples, however, he dosen't appear to have any real mental impairment, aside from his general maddness. Most of it is simply his willingness to try ridiculous schemes, despite, or perhaps because of how unlikely they are to succeed. But he's a terrible cook.
- Lockhart in Oh God Not Again is interpreted like this. While he's still incompetent as a teacher, Harry admits he's a genius when it comes to anything dealing with the media.
- In CSI Death By Chocolate, Grissom finds that while Willy Wonka is rather childlike and whimsical, he has a mind like a steel trap and knows everything there is to know about candy.
- In Azumanga und Panzer Osaka is the same dreamy, absent-minded girl she is in Azumanga Daioh... and a natural genius at tank gunnery. Give her the long-range firepower of the SU-100 the Azu girls are driving, and she's well able to hold off superior forces all by herself.
Film - Animated
- Kronk in The Emperor's New Groove displays rock-hard stupidity unless he's working in a kitchen or talking to squirrels.
- Mr. Ping in Kung Fu Panda would in most senses be only The Ditz — as Word of God puts it, "he's got a tiny little head, and there's nothing in it except noodles. And love for Po." However, not only is his knowledge of noodles and cooking in general something he is obviously very skilled at, since he teaches Po everything he knows and the Furious Five (almost) unanimously declare the panda's cooking sensational, but the end credits reveal he has another hidden talent: to judge by Shifu's horrified expression, Mr. Ping is apparently a stellar player of Mahjong.
- Linguini from Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille is shown as gangly, clumsy, dorky, fluent in Buffy Speak, and utterly useless at cooking, ruining a soup so badly he caused himself to throw up upon tasting. Then he discovers that it's legal to wait orders on rollerskates, and becomes little short of a Super Waiter.
- Barbie in Toy Story 3, aside from being more of an Action Girl than you might expect, seems to have a bit of a knack for political science when the heroes confront the Big Bad.
- There was also outsmarting Ken to get the manual for Buzz.
- Dopey of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Disney didn't want him to be a complete idiot, so they let him do some fancy footwork during the dance sequence.
Film - Live Action
- In Georgette Heyer's novel Cotillion, Freddy Standen is generally (if fondly) regarded as a complete idiot by most of his family. However, he has impeccable manners and his shrewd knowledge of social niceties make him extremely competent at dealing with the situations the heroine finds herself in. As she notes, Freddy may not have brains, but he does have address, which is far more useful.
- Fred Colon of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, a long-time copper (who is in fact at the age he should have retired but has decided he doesn't want to) who is not very intelligent, but has peerless instincts as a Watchman.
- Stanley from Going Postal appears to be Raised by Wolves (by peas, actually) but has an encyclopaedic knowledge of pins, and later, postage stamps.
- Lofty of Monstrous Regiment silently shuns everything and everyone except one longtime friend, right up until there is a pressing need to have something burnt, blown up, or otherwise combusted.
- Also in Monstrous Regiment, Lieutenant Blouse repeatedly shows himself to be a useless, incompetent officer who exasperates the experienced Sergeant Jackrum in every scene, yet astounds William De Worde by extrapolating the mechanics of the Clacks system without even seeing them up close.
- Mr. Tulip in The Truth is a hulking bruiser who could probably be outsmarted by Detritus on a warm day. He's so dumb, in fact, that his efforts to cultivate a drug habit have resulted in him snorting baking soda, washing powder, powdered chalk, etc. and never knowing the difference. He doesn't even swear properly; he just drops an "-ing" three times in the average sentence, and it's not a euphemism for anything. Show the man a work of art, however, and you'll suddenly have a giant, slurry-mouthed, red-nostriled expert on your hands.
- Owlswick Jenkins in Making Money is clearly suffering from some sort of mental illness, including paranoid delusions of being followed by "Them", and so removed from reality that he he can't even comprehend the illegality of forging government stamps. But put him in front of a canvas and hand him some paints and he'll produce artwork so intricate that it's impossible to forge. Igor tries to fix him by transferring his insanity into a turnip, but he loses his artistic abilities in the process and is forced to switch back.
- Leonard of Quirm shows flashes of this in his appearances. He's not so much "pure ditz" as he is absent minded and unbelievably naive, but he's also probably the most brilliant, and potentially dangerous, inventor on the Disc. For the good of everybody, Lord Vetinari keeps him locked away. Not that he minds, as long as he can keep inventing things.
- Harry Potter
- Neville Longbottom can't seem to cast even the simplest spell without a critical fumble... until he discovers that he's crazy skilled at Herbology. And then Took a Level in Badass around the 5th book.
- Professor Sybill Trelawney is both this trope and its inverse: she is apparently utterly incompetent at Divination, her own field of study. However, upon occasion, she is capable of oracular predictions about the future, which, due to happening in a trance, she knows nothing about, and refuses to believe in when she is told what it was that she predicted. While her normal predictions are about as reliable as a take-out Chinese restaurant's fortune cookies, anything she says in her trances will come true.
- Ron is Book Dumb but amazing at... chess. At least he gets a Plot Tailored to the Party for it.
- Freddy Arbuthnot from the Lord Peter Wimsey novels is a classic Genius Ditz, whose talent is finance. Lord Peter himself comes across as this, though that is explicitly stated to be a coping strategy for the post-traumatic stress he acquired in the Great War.
- Julia Larwood of Sarah Caudwell's Hilary Tamar mysteries is presented as a highly skilled tax barrister who, apart from regularly getting lost in the city she lives in, completely forgets to pay her own taxes.
- Enrique Borgos in Lois McMaster Bujold's ''A Civil Campaign''. Brilliant at biochemistry, but the man lacks knowledge of economics, social interaction, plumbing, personal hygiene, and can barely tie his own shoes.
- Dr. Stephen Maturin, from Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey-Maturin series of naval history novels. Although a well respected physician and natural philosopher, after having been at sea for nearly 20 years he can barely row a boat, and still doesn't understand basic nautical terminology.
- Jack Aubrey himself is an even better example. He is a highly skilled sailor and capable personal combatant. He has also become so good at the mathematics and astronomy needed to navigate he has come to the attention of the Royal Society, he builds his own telescopes, and is an accomplished violinist. He is also dreadful at languages, dispenses wisdoms like "they have made their cake, and must now lie in it" and firmly believes the sons of Noah were named Cain, Abel and Moses.
- Georgette "Buffy" Messonier in Mira Grant's Feed is a dreamy space case who makes her living writing zombie romance and poetry, but her technological genius is eclipsed only by her paranoia — she managed to successfully bug pretty much every government office she ever set foot in, and given that she was part of news team embedded with Senator Ryman's presidential campaign, she spent time in a lot of Super Secret Locations. Some of her public persona may have been Obfuscating Stupidity, but she was still pretty ditzy.
- Paul Dekker, from C.J.Cherryh's Heavy Time and Hellburner has basically no sense of time, routinely forgetting which year it is and vividly hallucinating past traumatic events. The other side of the coin is his ability to hyperfocus (concentrating very deeply, improving his reaction times) which allows him to fly space fighters moving at significant fractions of lightspeed.
- In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero Regained, Mephisto, so crazy as to earn the nickname "Harebrain" nevertheless manages to persuade his brothers and sisters to let him lead them — and then does it.
- Bertie Wooster may come off as an idiot, but anyone who's a fan of Jeeves and Wooster knows that he's got some serious writing chops.
- Quite a lot of characters from The Heroes of Olympus, including Leo, Frank, Percy, and Ella.
- Mothflight from Warrior Cats. While she spaces out a lot, leading to some near-death situations, she's an expert with herbs and healing.
- Simona Ahrnstedt gives us Sofia LŲwenstrŲm in her debut novel ÷verenskommelser. While you can't call her stupid, she still comes across as a fragile pretty-face, who never could manage in the world on her own. But at least she's really good at playing the piano (which ironically seems to be the only thing, that her otherwise super-competent cousin Beatrice can't do).
- Henry Branwell from The Infernal Devices. Big time - Henry is as absentminded as they come, but when it comes to mechanical stuff, he's your guy.
- In a Miss Marple short story where the guests at a dinner party take turns to tell mysteries for the others to solve, a famous but ditzy actress starts off her tale saying that it happened to a friend of hers. Immediately it is lampshaded that the others are certain it actually happened to her, and it isn't long before she accidentally admits it. However, afterwards, when she is privately talking to the hostess, she tells her that she is the culprit of her tale. It is not something that happened in the past but a future plan. She may not be bright, but she is an excellent actress to be able to tell her tale in such a manner that she doesn't give herself away (except to Miss Marple).
- In Seraphina, Goreddi Princess Glisselda is giggly, silly, spoiled, scarily misinformed about the dragons her country is no longer at war with ... and a highly capable leader when it comes to the crunch.
- In Fearless, there's a recurring character named Zolov, an old Russian man with whom Gaia frequently plays Chess. Zolov suffers from Alzheimer's Disease and is stubbornly convinced that Gaia's name is Cindy (she's long since given up trying to convince him otherwise). He also beats her every time they play, which is an impressive feat considering that Gaia's skill level is equivalent to that of an internationally ranked Grand Master.
Live Action TV
- Cordelia in Buffy the Vampire Slayer is often vacuous, insensitive and viewed as an airhead by others but she was declared "a brain" by Xander after he saw her SAT scores, she got into numerous Ivy League Universities and she was in the top 10% of her year at school. Her insensitive comments often portray that she is a shrewd observer of human nature.
Cordelia: "You're really campaigning for bitch-of-the-year, aren't you?"
Buffy: "As defending champion, you nervous?"
Cordelia: "I can hold my own. You know, we've never really been close, which is nice 'cause I don't really like you that much, but you have on occasion saved the world and stuff, so I'm gonna do you a favor."
Buffy: "And this great favor is?"
Cordelia: "I'm gonna give you some advice. Get over it."
Buffy: "Excuse me?"
Cordelia: "Whatever is causing the Joan Collins 'tude, deal with it. Embrace the pain, spank your inner moppet, whatever, but get over it. 'Cause pretty soon you're not even gonna have the loser friends you've got now."
- In Merlin, the title character is a servant who has trouble cleaning his own room, let alone Arthur's, manages to trip over nearly anything you put in front of him, is a horrible liar (about the little things), gets things thrown at him all the time by the prince, doesn't respect royalty and gets put in the stocks all the time, can barely hold his liquor, rarely varies between the social extremes of over-affectionate and sarcastically aggressive, has a weird penchant for awkward situations... and also happens to be the most powerful, badass warlock the world has ever known.
- Herb Tarlek, the unlikable, tasteless ad salesman from WKRP in Cincinnati was considered a stooge by his coworkers because of his abrasive personality and atrocious wardrobe. However when they "fixed" him in one episode by changing his look, it became apparent that the low rent clientele of such a low-rated radio station no longer felt welcomed by Herb's new "upscale" persona. As horrible as he was, he was perfect for the job he had.
- Ricky in the Canadian comedy series Trailer Park Boys is an absolute moron most of the time, but whenever he and best friend Julian are at risk of being arrested by the police, he suddenly becomes a tactical genius, able to generate fake evidence and alibis that get them off the hook 99% of the time. Nevertheless, almost every season ends with the pair being arrested and sent to jail. Ricky's also an expert when it comes to growing marijuana and converting it to hashish. He and Julian make an effective team when it comes to dealing drugs — Julian handles the business side of the operation, while Ricky grows and harvests the dope crop.
- Troy Barnes may be dumb in the most lovable way, but he's still pretty dumb; except for his incredible natural talent as a repairman. He even gets coerced into joining the cult-like Air Conditioning Repair Annex because of his abilities.
- Pierce Hawthorne is a ditz through and through, but is also hinted to be a competent businessman and a skilled orator.
- In Boy Meets World, after spending the first couple of seasons as Brilliant but Lazy Eric took over the role of Cloudcuckoolander, with shades of Genius Ditz, Fun Personified, and The Woobie.
- Waldo of Family Matters. After spending a couple seasons as The Ditz bordering on the Cloudcuckoolander, he surprises everyone when he takes a home economics course and proves a natural genius as a chef, to such an extent that in one episode he reveals he was trading recipes with Wolfgang Puck. His mom is a lousy cook, so he had to fend for himself.
- Rom, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, appears to be a total idiot for much of the time — until he reveals a hidden, and borderline savant-like, talent for engineering. (A field Ferengi have little respect for.) His son Nog (introduced as a petty thief with no respect for women or education) proves to have some of his uncle's business acumen, a knack for engineering, and in one potential future becomes a respected Starfleet captain. Most notably (although it also doubles as Characterization Marches On) Rom is described early on as "an idiot" even by Constable Odo, who has a Sherlock Holmes level of attention to detail.
- Fargo North, Decoder in The Electric Company is clumsy, egotistical, and obsessed with sandwiches. However, as his name implies, he is a great decoder... well, actually, sometimes he isn't even good at that. Sometimes he forgets where the period goes, for example (this is deliberately done so that the kids at home have a chance to figure it out themselves). Nevertheless, the rest of the characters always turn to him for all their decoding needs.
- Michael Scott, from the American version of The Office is childish, selfish, egotistical, deeply insecure and lonely, and an all around buffoon with no managerial skills whatsoever. He also demonstrates on occasion that he is a superb salesman who is roundly beloved by his clients, which is what got him promoted in the first place. (David Brent, his counterpart in the original UK series, lacks any such redeeming features). He also occasionally demonstrates a certain cunning streak, such as when he tricked Dwight (who had been gunning for his job) into thinking he had been promoted in order to tear it away from him in a manner which would ensure that he would never try such a thing again and when he bluffed David Wallace into buying out his worthless and bankrupt company by hiring back himself, Pam and Ryan.
- Carter from Hogan's Heroes is enthusiastic but generally oblivious and he tends to get teased for his cluelessness — until they need something blown up. Or Hitler impersonated. He's scarily good at impersonating angry German officers of various calibers, despite his puppy-esque normal demeanor.
- The (radio) newsreader in In The Red is invariably stoned and away with the fairies — right up to the second she goes on air, when she suddenly turns completely sane and professional.
- Shawn Spencer of Psych tends to be immature and goofy and annoys the heck out of everyone he works with... but they put up with him because underneath all the psychic hoopla, his Hyper Awareness makes him a brilliant detective.
- Likewise, Adrian Monk of Monk is normally unable to function in society due to his severe obsessive-compulsive disorder and fear of just about everything. However, once he sets foot in a crime scene, he can almost instantly solve the crime with the smallest or most overlooked pieces of evidence.
- Monk's brother exhibits similar qualities: He has an extreme case of agoraphobia that prevents him from (nearly) ever leaving his house (as well as a related phobia that prevents him from entering the study of their father), but is evidently a highly skilled writer of technical manuals.
- Lord John Marbury from The West Wing is a specialist on India and Pakistan who is prone to great insight on the subject. Too bad that the rest of the time, he's a pompous Cloud Cuckoo Lander who can't even keep Leo's name straight. Then again, this may be more Obfuscating Stupidity / Obfuscating Insanity, coupled with a mischievous desire to needle Leo (he also frequently claims to have mistaken Leo for the White House butler) than anything that belongs on this page. His persona does seem to radically shift when he gets serious, including getting people's names right, making it seem at least partly a strategy.
- Joey from Friends is dim, shallow and a fairly bad actor, but he has an amazing talent to attract girls. It helps that he's blandly pretty and can be quite earnest. He also once memorized everything from an encyclopedia volume (the one with the words starting with "V") and he was the first one from the gang to deduce that Monica and Chandler are hooking up.
- Mr. Bean from Mr. Bean on some occasions but most of the time he comes across as just The Ditz. Mr. Bean's Diary includes the character's school certificate on which, among others, the following marks are given:
Chemistry — 53% — He is inventive. As a result, form. SB is lucky to be alive.
Physics — 65% — Very encouraging. A boy died when co-operating with his lie-detector experiment, as you know, but nevertheless the exam results are excellent.
Geography — 54% — A surprisingly good result considering he only succeeded in finding the classroom twice this term.
Art — 58% — He draws well, but has difficulty with nudes (looking at them).
Mathematics — 94% — An obnoxious, self-satisfied, self-centred, shabby, dribbling, bone-idle, toadying cow-put of a pupil; his most revolting quality being that he is quite, quite brilliant.
He seems to have difficulty understanding things in his day-to-day life, but many of the solutions to the problems he faces are actually rather complicated, and dare we say it, clever. In one prominent example in the film
, he spectacularly destroys an extremely valuable and famous painting by trying to remove a pen-ink stain with paint-thinner
, but then later breaks into the gallery and successfully repairs the painting without being detected by the tight security
- Kramer on Seinfeld is a prime example of the character whose life is a complete shambles (no job, no source of income, no sense of stability or direction, and no clue how or if his situation is ever going to change) and who would seem to be a perfect male incarnation of The Ditz (as he doesn't really appear to be concerned about any of the above), were it not for the fact that, as at least one major character has remarked, his "...whole life is a fantasy camp. People should plunk down $2000 to live like him for a week. Sleep, do nothing, fall ass-backwards into money, mooch food off your neighbors and have sex without dating... that's a fantasy camp." He might also be considered an example of an Idiot Savant.
- Doctor Who:
- Donna Noble was constantly self-defeating at her own brilliance, and yet her training as a temp has got her out more than one scrape.
- Jo Grant. She's a Plucky, skilled escapologist who once managed to dig her way out of her cell with a spoon. She's also thicker than a plank. She's also possibly the only character in the entire series (at least out of the John Pertwee era) to resist being hypnotised by The Master through sheer willpower alone. Jo can be said to have "matured" over the course of the series, starting off as this before gradually getting smarter.
- Zoe Heriot, who was a whiz at physics—but didn't know her history (c.f. The Wheel in Space part 6, "The Stolen Earth") and had a hard time disregarding what she saw when she needed to (c.f. The Mind Robber).
- Constable Turnbull of Due South is eccentric even compared to Fraser (the Bunny-Ears Lawyer series lead), is easily flustered, sometimes clearly isn't operating on the same wavelength as the rest of the cast, and doesn't perform very impressively at his actual job most of the time, but shows skill at cooking, art, and country music trivia.
- Doug from Scrubs. Bonus points because it's his inadequacy (in being a doctor) that makes him such a genius in the morgue at figuring out what killed patients.
- Reese from Malcolm in the Middle is almost Too Dumb to Live, but an amazing cook.
- Kelly Bundy from Married... with Children has, on a couple of occasions, shown herself to have a few shining moments of competence. Some instances include figuring out the correct way to assemble a work desk that her father and neighbor had worked on for a day in a matter of seconds, and piercing an apple off the head of her brother with a bow and arrow when angered by her competitor. She was also capable of learning a huge amount of sports trivia in 48 hours, and was also proven to be exceptionally proficient at pool. After several seasons of Flanderization where she became more and more stupid, there was a flashback showing Kelly as a bright, polite, bookish girl... Until Al slammed on the brakes and she hit her head on the back of the seat in front of her, and when asked if she was okay only responded with "Shiny, shiny shoes!" Cue Oh, Crap look from the parents.
- Arrested Development:
- Buster, who in spite of being a dependent man child, has a great deal of knowledge in several fields (although most of them are fairly useless), and proves to be highly adept after his army training.
Lucille: And Iím putting Buster in charge.
Michael: Buster? You mean, the one who thought the blue on the map was land?
Lucille: Buster can do it. Heís had business classes.
Buster: Wait, 18th century agrarian business. But I guess itís all the same principles. Let me ask you, are you at all concerned about an uprising?
- Tobias FŁnke is clueless about pretty much anything that doesn't involve psychology. He often becomes mistaken about just about anything.
- The Suite Life of Zack and Cody has London Tipton, and I (paraphrasingly) quote:
Maddie: This is insane! How can you be so good at chess!
London: You just stink at chess.
Maddie: But I'm the smart one!
London: You're Maddie, the smart one who stinks at chess.
- Gem and Gemma from Power Rangers RPM act like 5-year-old psychopaths, but they're geniuses when it comes to advanced physics and technology.
- Amber, the intern at Red, White & Blue in Brothers and Sisters. A ditz and fairly excitable, she is a genius when it comes to politics and research.
- Super-goofy and clumsy Matthew is an incompetent radio station cub reporter and office boy in NewsRadio, then he got fired during two episodes revealing to have a degree in dentistry (which he detested) and actually finding a job as a highly skilled and competent dentist, only to revert to his usual state after being rehired at his old job.
- Junior from My Wife and Kids. He's stupid, but he has proven himself to be smart when necessary, and he's a great cartoonist.
- Chumlee from Pawn Stars isn't allowed to handle any money in the store, is referred to as the "village idiot" and only has any useful knowledge in a few specific areas. Yet when it comes those areas, such as tennis shoes and pinball machines, he knows more than everyone else there.
- Perceval on Kaamelott can barely form proper sentences but he is a genius at mathematics.
- Fletcher from A.N.T. Farm skipped several grades due to his artistic ability, but he thinks snow angels are dead snowmen.
- In Jeeves and Wooster, Bertie is an Upper-Class Twit...but he sure can play the piano.
- In Survivor's 21st season, Nicaragua, contestant Jud Fabio Birza is revealed to be this. The early episodes show him doing some unbelievably stupid things like getting the fishing hook caught in his thumb, apparently not knowing crabs can pinch, annoying the hell out of other contestants, and asking Kelly B if she can move her prosthetic leg. He revealed later on that while he honestly is kind of this way in real life, he pretty much exaggerated this in the show specifically so people would underestimate him and he could pull a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass. And boy did it work, as he won the season.
- Brittany Pierce in Glee may think the square root of four is rainbows, but put the girl on a dance floor and prepare to be blown away. Also, she knows an unbelievable amount about feline diseases. In the season four finale it is revealed that she was admitted to MIT because the doodles she made on the back of a test paper turned out to be a revolutionary new way to look at mathematics.
- Lydia Martin and Stiles Stilinski both display signs of this on Teen Wolf. Lydia is a vacant Alpha Bitch, and you wouldn't know it from her fashionable exterior or Jerk Jock boyfriend, but she has a 5.0 GPA and a brilliant scientific mind capable of coming up with self-igniting molotov cocktails using the materials available in a high school chem lab. Stiles talks. A lot. But he also has perfect grades, despite having ADHD severe enough that he wrote an essay detailing the history of male circumcision on his econ midterm. He's an amazing investigator and a brilliant researcher, but no one who just looked at him would tell you he was competent.
- Skull from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers is incredibly stupid/lacking in basic common sense; amongst other things, he's been shown opening a shaken can of soda directly into his face and having a difficult time pronouncing simple words like "fourth". In Power Rangers Zeo, he is revealed to be an incredibly talented, classically-trained pianist. Obviously he's got some smarts in his head, since when he reunites with Bulk at the end of Power Rangers Samurai he arrives in a limo wearing a nice suit.
- Parks and Recreation: Andy Dwyer is a loveable ditz (after Season 2) and a not-so-successful musician, but proves to have some Hidden Depths. A perfect example is when he scores a 100 on the written part of his Police Academy exam (a feat that's never happened before), but completely fails his personality test.
- Jerry is completely incompetent at his job... but is repeatedly shown to be, outside of his job, a talented artist and musician.
- Amber on House of Anubis. While she isn't shown to be very smart overall, she does have many moments of genius and is very skilled at fashion. In the original Dutch version, she's more of an Spoiled Sweet, with some ditzy moments.
- In Up The Women Margaret, the wannabe suffragette, is shown to be very clever, writing love letters to Ovid and able to give complex explanations about how electricity works, but she thinks you can get a degree in common sense.
- 2D of the Gorillaz seems to be something like this, being known to compose beautiful melodies and vivid lyrics, as well as playing multiple instruments professionally, yet failing to wrap his head around... most everything else. Ninety percent of the time he's The Ditz or even Too Dumb to Live, but he'll occasionally say something shockingly deep or philosophical. Some people feel that he's not unintelligent at all, just lazy and eccentric.
- A number of rock and pop musicians are very talented despite being unable to read music.
- Arcueid of Tsukihime, even if nobody realizes until Shiki gets involved with her. She has No Social Skills due to her upbringing and Ciel is even astonished that she can actually speak. Apart from her super strength, Marble Phantasm and knowledge of the occult she's a Cloudcuckoolander with no life experience. Actual intelligence is pretty difficult to pin down because of how, well, ditzy she is. If she's not killing vampires, she's somewhere between a hyperactive six-year-old and someone a year or three older than Shiki.
- In Hatoful Boyfriend, Cloudcuckoolander Oko San is significantly less mentally developed than the other birds, talks only in 'coo's and is looked upon with disdain as a 'feral' or a 'throwback' to before birds were uplifted. He is also a brilliant athlete and can run faster than he can fly, apparently with enough stamina to beat the human girl in a marathon race.
- The player character herself can qualify. She's a Hot-Blooded cave-dwelling barbarian who couldn't finish the summer reading assignment, and her starting stats show it... but she demonstrates a startling understanding of diplomacy and politics expressed in erudite vocabulary, and if the player makes the correct choices, she can earn the top grades in the class and become a star student, geek out over books in the library, or even become a Teen Superspy. It's explained in the "Bad Boys Love" route that she actually does have a background in politics: her late parents were diplomats negotiating for peace during the fractious aftermath of the human-bird wars.
- Commander Kitty: Mr. Socks the ferret from is the ship's engineer. He speaks in unintelligible nonsense but is good enough at his job to keep CK's ship spaceworthy.
- Clau from M9 Girls! seems to manage her lab job without completely understanding the science behind it. She is shown to be very intuitive, being the first one to command her cosmic powers by simply concentrating on yoga fashion.
- Largo is a pretty good example. He has, at best, a tenuous hold on reality, but he's a genius when it comes to assembling and programming computers.
- Ping also qualifies, being an incredibly complex artificial intelligence system, combat droid and medical diagnosis unit that has been programmed to be a dizzy Satellite Love Interest. The other characters continue to express surprise when she suddenly displays detailed knowledge of her internal make up, no matter how often it happens.
- Fighter in 8-Bit Theater often displays a childish stupidity of sorts as well as immense naivety. However he is at times capable of making comments and having thoughts that suggest a higher intellect than one would believe. And as his name suggests, he's a master of armed combat, capable of safely wielding ludicrous numbers of swords at once, including the normally impossible to wield swordchucks. Fighter was a genius for a few comics but then Black Mage stabbed him in the head. He actually managed to store his genius persona in a part of his brain, unfortunately he stored it next to the part that knows everything about swords. The problem being that he really, really, really likes swords.
- Similarly, Mega Man in Bob and George is an idiot most of the time, but when he's fighting a Robot Master (or even thinks he is), he comes up with effective winning strategies. This can be explained in that his functions are 1. defeat the robot master and 2. be an idiot, so he always does the second except when he can't since he has to do the first.
- Captain Kaff Tagon of Schlock Mercenary is a complete idiot regarding most things, misunderstanding matters social and scientific, and letting his greed get the better of him on numerous occasions. However, when it regards matters of the military or combat, he's at least highly competent, and perhaps a minor genius. The extensive differences between his aptitudes led to this memorable strip. He's also fair at contract negotiations, as far as they concern getting as much money as possible for the job. His idiocy has been toned down, and he is being shown to be more cunning in various matters. For example, he identifies the planet of origin and likely personality traits of one client just from his accent. A bit less impressive given that Tagon was from the planet in question, but still.
- Scarlett from Sequential Art is a ditz who has the amazing capability to build Death Rays. She's also easily distracted by watching the washing machine spin round and round and round, and anything shiny. She is part squirrel after all. Turns out she gets less ditzy and more genius when she's near her "sisters" Amber, Jade, and Violet — she used to be a part of "Think Tank" Hive Mind.
- The Order of the Stick:
- Celia. She's come up with plans to unite the Azure City resistance, saved Haley from murderous rogues twice using only words and quick thinking, and even managed to win a complicated legal process while still a student well, it was rigged anyway, but none of the lawyers knew that and the opposition was nervous about her skill, but demonstrates that she lacks some very basic knowledge about humans here. (It's a good thing she didn't try anything exotic with Roy on their date...) Of course, Haley lampshades this.
- Elan, who is so Genre Savvy that he could probably recite the entire rest of the comic's plot if he focused hard enough on it. Of course he can't, as Intelligence was most probably his dump stat. When they get horses, they are shocked to learn that Elan is the best horseman among them.
- The Monster in the Dark is obviously as dumb as toast.
- Except that here, it instantly sees that she's working with only half a ritual.
- Or here, where he not only recognizes Roy, he comes up with a plan to keep Xykon and Redcloak from instantly splatting the Order. Of course, considering where the bad guys head next, it's not a perfect plan.
- Several RPG-based comics seem to use a combination of Fighter and Gourry as a template: Hero of RPG World and Karn of Adventurers! come to mind.
- Eerie Cuties/Magick Chicks: Make no mistake, Tiffany is a goofball and a ditz, but she's amazingly sharp-witted when the situation calls for it.
"Now that said, it is definitely not Faith's finest hour. She was too focused on her little experiment to be alert to Tiff's shenanigans until way too late. But then, one of Tiff's few advantages in their conflict is that Tiff can be just the kind of crazy
that a master planner like Faith
can't always anticipate."
- The Last Days of FOXHOUND: Mei Ling is portrayed this way. Otacon is even worse, spending the entirety of the comic thinking the nuclear equipped walking death-mobile he's building is actually a missile defense system. All the while laughing at GIFs of Penguins falling into water, believing everything his Corrupt Corporate Executive boss tells him, trying to rationalize the need for making a stealth missile for his pet project, playing with action figures on the job, and misplacing his instruction manual for the aforementioned Death-Mobile.
- Jim from Darths & Droids acts like an idiot most of the time in his portrayal of Qui-Gon. As it turns out, he's taking a Ph.D. in Geophysics, and simply acts stupid because he roleplays in his downtime and "He likes to turn his brain off."
- Jo Starr from Cheer! is a Cloudcuckoolander who talks to squirrels. She's also an absolute genius when it comes to analyzing motives and relationships.
- The Law of Purple: Lynnah comes off as this at first, though she proves to have a much more developed personality later on. Her genius ability to is be a Bad Ass Normal Action Girl. A more recently-introduced minor character, Kitty, seems to fit the trope much better, though she does get annoyed when her coworkers at NASA don't always take her seriously as a result.
- Molly in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! is tremendously knowledgeable on a vast array of subjects. She's just less than a year old and has very little common sense. Combine this naivete with being a Gadgeteer Genius and wacky hijinks ensue.
- Yatta-ta in The Challenges of Zona came off as a Small Name, Big Ego version of a Blood Knight at first but has turned out to be an excellent swordsman.
- Torg in Sluggy Freelance keeps sliding between Genius and Ditz. Lampshaded here.
- Raven from Questionable Content seems to be written for this trope. She may be an absolute social ditz, but she's all too manipulative at times, knows applied calculus and is going for a doctorate in physics.
- Sam Starfall from Freefall has no knowledge of physics and is the laziest sqid you will ever meet...but is unmatched in the art of thievery and picking locks. Prisons won't take him any more because he stole the cell doors the the last time he was there. He's also a master improviser - Got the Mayor to say "This is a direct order. Hit me with a pie." in the presence of no less than 4 AIs, then on a later scam got one of the said AIs off scot-free by Playing Possum in their arms.
- Gordon Frohman, the literally Too Dumb to Live main character of Concerned, once built a fully functional, biomechanical Strider out of spare parts, solely because he missed the dystopia of City 17.
- John Egbert. In the beginning he was always goofing off, pulling pranks and acting like a kid, but he used his knowledge of programming and data structure to figure out the alchemization system very quickly, and at this point is easily the strongest of the protagonists... though he came into that status unintentionally and pretty much by accident. Similarly, his sister Jade Harley is a Cloudcuckoolander ... who happens to have a working knowledge of robotics and nuclear technology, is successful at selectively cloning and breeding frogs to create a perfect god-frog in less than 24 hours, and is the one who both formulated and executed a plan that saved both the kids and the trolls from their impending doom.
- Jade has likely since passed John as strongest character, now being a combination of an entity with deep knowledge of the game world, an omnipotent dog, and and a God with powers over space itself.
- Gawaine in Arthur, King of Time and Space seems to be the classic Dumb Warrior in the Fairytale Arc, but in the Space Arc, he's the ship's engineer ... and still often comes across as a Dumb Warrior. According to Fairytale!Arthur "Gawaine's not stupid. He just hasn't any retention for what's outside his field of interest." This is engineering in the Space Arc, the roll of arms in the Fairytale Arc, and computer science in the Contemporary Arc.
- Awkward Zombie's version of Link is a total idiot and Dumb Blonde... unless you show him a puzzle.
- Doug from Phil Likes Tacos is a computer genius, to the point that the FBI were after him. If it wern't for his immaturity, he could get a job in tech field.
- Clara of The Guild is beginning to show a streak of this. In Season Five, Episode 4, she says in response to Tink's complaining that no one will let them use their booth to sell T shirts, "Well, it really doesn't make sense for these vendors to cut in a middleman, Tink. Their profit margin barely covers their booth rental and travel cost so they'd have to charge 90% of our wholesale to justify a partnership—ah! Shiny!" Lampshaded by Tink's immediate response, "Wait, you sounded smart for a minute."
- Keiji Tanaka of Survival of the Fittest is firmly established to be an utter moron within moments of his entry into V3. However, he has an almost unparalleled skill handling a sword (due to years of practice), to the point where he comes close to defeating an axe-wielding opponent with a broken sabre whilst bleeding to death.
- AttackingTucans spends all his LP's being silly and talking about the most profound of things, yet he scored a 4.0 in high school and his official IQ test came back as 142, GENIUS LEVEL. 18 POINTS LOWER THAN STEPHAN HAWKING. HOW.
- The new series version of Sir Schmoopy, in Unforgotten Realms. In particular, he is a strategic (and loophole-finding) genius, who has, for example, figured out a way to survive blowing himself into a billion pieces. On purpose.
- Homestar Runner is a bit of a Cloudcuckoolander, refers to the star on his trademark shirt as "a pointy duck" and his supreme honesty makes him somewhat naive, but he is the star (no pun intended) athlete on Coach Z's team. He's also pulled a fast one on Strong Bad at least once, and recited Coulomb's law correctly when asked what 2+2 was. He then said 2+2 was 22.
- The Show Within a Show Teen Girl Squad has So-and-So, whose ditzy lack of common sense masks quite a bit of book smarts and a desire to overachieve. Cheerleader may be the one forcing her to repress this.
- Nappa from Dragon Ball Abridged. So very, very much. On the one hand, he's an alumnus of Saiyan University, with a degree in Child Psychology and is currently a movie producer once he was resurrected. On the other hand, every other sentence to come out of his mouth.
- The Nostalgia Critic can be very silly and not all there, shows a profound knowledge of various topics, in particularly film and comedy, as shown in his editorial videos.
- Motor Ed from Kim Possible is widely regarded as the best mechanical and engineering genius in the country, so much so that Drakken has to turn to him for help when creating a doomsday vehicle, (they're revealed to be cousins so perhaps eccentric genius runs in the family). He's also an extremely ditzy rocker archetype who cares more about his mullet and cruising on some hot wheels than anything else. His plans often involve using his genius skills for some almost moronically simple goal, like stealing a rocket that could easily destroy everything for miles simply to make a hotrod to cruise down the highway with.
- South Park:
- Randy Marsh is a brilliant scientist (a geologist to be exact), but otherwise a complete idiot.
- Cartman can come up with crazy villainous schemes and speak Spanish and German fluently, yet is otherwise dimwitted and clueless.
- Stimpy from The Ren & Stimpy Show is a complete idiot almost entirely lacking in common sense and logic, and often comes across as a drooling retard. However, he spends a great deal of time in the show tinkering around in a laboratory, creating various scientific inventions which work surprisingly well (though, being created by Stimpy, they're usually not very practical, to say the least.) Stimpy has been shown to perform experiments on brains, and performed brain surgery on Ren, successfully replacing Ren's brain with a telephone so he and Ren could play together (something "smart Ren" would never do on his own accord.) For someone whose alter ego is named "Doctor Stupid," Stimpy can be quite the scientist. He's also smart enough to brush his teeth, while Ren usually forgets to.
- Hoagie aka Numbuh 2 of Codename: Kids Next Door has a great talent for building and flying planes, but is otherwise a bit of a doofus. In later seasons, he shows more competence, with the Idiot Ball now passed to Numbuh 4. His mother, Betty Gilligan, seems quite ditzy but is capable of using her son's 2x4 technology. His brother Tommy is also shown to be similar to him, having been able to do emergency ship repairs.
- Melody from Josie and the Pussycats is a Genius Ditz whose talent is music.
- In one episode of Daria, Brittany shows herself to be a tactical genius in a game of paintball. The cheerleading really seems to pay off in this episode. In another episode, when Daria is worried about her self image, it's actually Brittany who knows just the right thing to say.
- Invader Zim's titular character is a scientific and engineering genius, repeatedly showing himself capable of building devices beyond even those of his own species, such as a nigh-invincible nanotech exoskeleton, a time machine, a device capable of turning house pets into civilization-destroying abominations, and a monster capable of extracting energy from devouring anything. Zim could probably have destroyed Earth in a day, had he not been utterly incapable of common sense — his inventions always blow up in his own face, usually through no-one else's fault but his own. He's also more than capable of using the gullibility and general idiocy of humans to his own advantage in certain cases.
- The members of the band Dethklok in Metalocalypse are completely incompetent at anything not related to music, partying, or contract negotiation. On the latter subject, they can out-negotiate the devil. And even then, while they have those skills, they have none of the skills one would deem necessary to be good at those things. Skwisgaar, who writes the guitar lines and bass lines, and Toki, both of them the best guitarists alive, cannot read sheet music, and both Skwisgaar, Murderface & Toki do not know how to tune a guitar. Nathan, the guy that writes the lyrics, has lots of problem expressing himself, can barely read and seems to have a severely limited vocabulary when talking (but evidently, not when writing songs), in fact, he didn't speak before the age of 5. Lastly, despite their negotiation skills, they have no idea of the value of money or even how to manage it. Really, Dethklok's general level of competency depends entirely on what makes for the funniest scene.
- In Disney's Gargoyles, Broadway is initially portrayed as being generally less intelligent, or at least less erudite, than the other gargoyles. For one thing, he started off illiterate; for another, he seems more susceptible to pop culture influences; Hudson had both of these qualities, but he was also a canny veteran warrior. He's also the Plucky Comic Relief Big Eater. However, he matures rapidly through the series, unleashing the soul of a poet, and becoming a skilled detective as well. And, naturally, a fine chef.
- In Futurama:
- Professor Farnsworth is a babbling old fool most of the time, but he is unmatched in the field of creating doomsday weapons. He never really uses them, though, except to save the Earth.
Farnsworth: I suppose I could part with one and still be feared...
- Amy is usually known for being cute, ditzy, and occasionally, somewhat immodest, but she did make a scientific theory on the Earth's rotation and how it works, explaining an invention that can use electricity to polarize it from the Earth's core. It was also part of the plot being that alien cats would take over and transfer Earth's rotation to their dying home planet. She is an engineering student, after all. As the fourth made-for-DVD movie showed, Amy is also an ace player with the mini-golf putter.
- Actually, it's Dr. Amy Wong, Ph.D.
- Sponge Bob Square Pants:
- Bob falls into this category, as he is generally stupid and naive, but he is excellent at making Krabby Patties, doing math, and art. He was once able to calculate the number of hours left in a week, in his head, in less than five seconds.
- Patrick, too. In at least one boating episode, he was shown to be perfectly accurate behind the wheel, as he could give perfect instructions to Spongebob simply via a large telescope, sometimes while barely paying attention, and in another episode, he even GOT a boating license despite not knowing everything there is to know about boats.
- Adventure Time:
- Lemongrab is revealed to be a highly competent yet still crazy inventor in "You Made Me!" as he demonstrates surprising knowlege of how to build things that can non-lethally hurt and incapacitate people. His known inventions include an electrical torture chamber, and a "Sound Sword" powered by the frequency of his own screams, which fires sound blasts at people and KO's them. Until this specific area of know-how was revealed, fans just assumed that Lemongrab was borderline retarded and completely inept in all areas of his life.
- Finn comes across as this sometimes, too. He's a goofy, somewhat foolish young teenager, but his strategies and imagination are utterly brilliant, and have saved countless lives.
- Transformers Animated:
- Bulkhead is revealed to be Cybertron's foremost space bridge expert. Professor Sumdac and his fellow Autobots refuse to believe it, assuming that Blurr (and Megatron) got his intel wrong. In addition, Bulkhead is apparently a pretty good artist.
- Sumdac himself probably qualifies. He's a master roboticist (even if he cribbed most of his best stuff from reverse-engineering Megatron), but he occasionally forgets to do important things like eat, sleep or make sure there's a legal record of his daughter's existence.
- Wallace from Wallace & Gromit is a good example — he's pretty clueless, but he's also an inventor of machines, which, except for regularly going spectacularly awry, seem to work pretty well. In his introductory short, he manages to make a working moon rocket out of items found around the house. The book Cheese Lover's Yearbook introduced a number of non-filmed gadgets of his, such as the Recyc-O-Matic. The fact that when said out loud this includes "Psycho" is significant, because after he put arms and wheels on it, it proceeded to run amok, recycling building fronts and people's clothes before crashing into a brass band.
The tuba player has not been seen since.
- Family Guy:
- Chris is good at drawing... or at least used to be. They had an episode about and showed it a few other times, but then they apparently forgot about it. Chris also has a good knowledge about drugs, as shown in the episode where Lois and Peter get high before a talent show.
- Peter himself knows a lot about pop culture, KISS in particular. He's also a skilled musician, able to sing and play trombone, and when he's drunk, he's a piano virtuoso with presumably no prior training.
- No one beats Lois when it comes to drugs. She computed the street value of uncut Nicaraguan cocaine in her head.
- On CatDog, Lube is the dumbest of The Greasers, but is apparently a genius mechanic.
- Teen Titans has Beast Boy. Normally the Plucky Comic Relief, he's also very Genre Savvy, and in the penultimate episode, he rallies the four remaining Titans and gets pretty close to taking down the Brotherhood of Evil, before they get caught. But of course, then Cyborg, Starfire and Raven, among others, pop out of the woodwork when it was thought they were frozen like the rest. Beast Boy continues acting as leader until Robin is unfrozen, however.
- Wolverine and the X-Men has Forge, a mutant with the power to invent and repair anything technological. As opposed to his persona in the comics — a combination of Gadgeteer Genius and Magical Native American — Forge in the TV show is a bumbling, neurotic teenager, useless in the field, with the temperament of an overworked, distracted mechanic, whose sole job on the team seems to be "keep the Blackbird in the air." And "Fix Cerebro." And "Fix the Danger Room." And "Fix the Danger Room after Wolverine has a temper tantrum in it." Strangely, he always gets mocked and scolded for not being useful in combat, despite not being on the team to fight and being the actual reason their entire technology works.
- Danny Phantom has Bumbling Dad Jack Fenton, who doesn't seem very smart, but invented probably half of the Fenton gadgets. He's also a very competent fighter, as a very dismayed Vlad found out. He's also stated to have had solid "B-"s during his school years.
- Ruby-Spears' Mega Man has Brain Bot, a genius robot (who wears glasses, natch) who, while being a great mechanic, doesn't seem to have any concept of appropriateness; he tries to "repair" an already-working jet while it's airborne.
- Coop, of Megas XLR, is a bumbling idiot who creates half the problems the cast faces, is obsessed with video games (world champ) and eating (also world champ), and lives in his mom's basement. However, he's also a remarkable engineer, able to rebuild a robot from the future, and a skilled pilot, able to pilot said robot, even with its...odder... modifications.
- A great deal of the cast of The Simpsons falls into this category.
- Homer himself, despite being famous for his bumbling ways, is capable of almost oddly remarkable talents when the episode calls on it, and is consistently shown to have a professional standard ability with the piano. Homer has been seen speaking Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, and penguin. He also seemed to be well on his way to understanding Hindi while eavesdropping on an argument in that language.
- Bart is even more noteworthy, as he's sometimes depicted as being not too bright...yet he's been shown to be a remarkably gifted linguist, learning the French language by mere observance and more than couple times acquiring at least competent grasp of an entire language in record time. He can just as quickly unlearn however. Bart also creeps into the Book Dumb category with this quality. Bart also mastered Spanish on short notice for a family trip. That their destination was Brazil made the feat only slightly less impressive. Throughout the series, Bart has also been seen speaking Japanese and Cantonese. He also seems to have at least some proficiency with Latin. Bart may have inherited this from Homer.
- Ralph Wiggum. One episode had him playing a very talented George Washington in the school play. Or that he's a good Machiavellian politician, somehow uniting the Democrats and the Republicans in Springfield's presidential election by staying politically independent, and drove some effective campaign to get the majority of Springfield's votes.
- "The Boys Of Bummer" revealed that Lenny is an author of mystery novels that are praised by Stephen King.
- Sewer Urchin from The Tick is ineffectual, annoying, and smelly, but when The Tick and Arthur need his help to do crimefighting in the sewers, he proves to be the "apotheosis of cool".
- Wally from Young Justice. Robin says that they need a dumb, illogical idea to find Red Tornado. Cue everyone turning to Kid Flash:
Kid Flash: As a matter of fact...
- Philly Phil from Class of 3000 has, at best, average intelligence. However, he can't be beat when it comes to building devices at the drop of a hat.
- Skeeter from Doug is a ditz in day-to-day interaction through and through, and he has a phobia of taking tests. When he ends up taking a standardized placement test without realizing it was a test, he gets a perfect score, and it's revealed that he's actually amazingly skilled in mechanics. This goes unmentioned for the rest of the Nickelodeon run, but it gets brought up now and then in the Disney run.
- Played with in various Rocky and Bullwinkle story arcs, as Bullwinkle, generally a dimwit, frequently demonstrates unusual talents for the sake of a specific story. For example, he was called in as an expert on boxtops to crack down on a boxtop counterfeiting ring, his bunion could forecast the weather, he could tame lions with a harmonica rigged from a comb and some tissue-paper, he could remember everything he ever ate in his lifetime (including a secret formula for a silent explosive that happened to have been written on a banana), and possessed a skill for making shiskabobs that bordered on expert swordsmanship!
- Wildcat of TaleSpin. Genius at repairs: once fixed a phone smashed with a metal bucket in ten seconds. Knows enough about flying to handle the Sea Duck (although he lacks basic directional skills and can't match some of the more skilled pilots, especially Baloo). Otherwise downright childlike. Word of God claims Baloo and Rebecca were meant to foil each other in this regard. Baloo is extremely Book Dumb and slovenly, but also streetwise and resourceful due to his adventuring (as well as being a grade A Ace Pilot). In contrast Rebecca is well educated and has profound business ethics, but due to her pampered lifestyle is somewhat naive and inept to the outside world. Depending on what the scenario fit, either character would play The Ditz while another would act as The Straight Man.
- Professor Moshimo of Robotboy, great at robotics and most other scientific pursuits, proceeds to give a ten-year-old a robot the military would kill for. To make matters worse the robot itself has the intelligence of a child.
- DuckTales and Darkwing Duck:
- Launchpad. Despite being an incredibly incompetent sidekick, he built the Thunderquack (Dark's plane) all by himself and is apparently a brilliant mechanic. He's even better flying the thing! Landing it, on the other hand...Not so much.
- His sister Loopy (who appears in "Top Duck") despite her initial ditzy qualities, is a pretty capable pilot and mechanic.
- Cleveland Jr. from The Cleveland Show generally acts like a childish idiot, however he is skilled with math, science, and rapping. It's because he's a secret agent that killed the true Cleveland Jr., he acted like an idiot to keep his true identity hidden.
- Luanne Platter from King of the Hill was generally a naive airhead but she was an incredibly gifted mechanic... or least she used to be.
- In the early episodes of KaBlam!, June could be this. She was a whiz with technology, and had some inventions of her own....however aside from that, she was dumber than rocks. Please note that this was season one only.
- Freddy from Scooby-Doo in some incarnations, particularly Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. Completely clueless about everything except for traps, particularly of the Rube Goldberg variety.
- Ed from Ed, Edd n Eddy. A bit of a moron most of the time...but a near encyclopedic knowledge of B-grade horror and sci fi movies, an unusual talent on the flute, some of the odd non-sequiters he says are rather profound and he saves Eddy from his abusive brother not by beating him up, but by pulling the pin holding a hinge together, causing the door to slam on Eddy's brother's head, knocking him out.
- Dudley Puppy is a complete idiot... until it comes time for him to fight villains as a secret agent, where he shows surprising cunning and planning ability.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender has Sokka, who is often portrayed as the lovable idiot, has a lot of awkward moments, and gets caught in a lot of bad situations. But, he's also shown himself to be highly intelligent. He's the "ideas guy", he's the one who comes up with solutions to the many problems the group runs into. He plans out the invasion of the fire nation, and even helps invent some submarines
- Camp Lazlo: In "Prodigous Clamus" it is revealed that Clam - who is either The Ditz or a Cloudcuckoolander depending on the episode - is both an artistic genius (able to create an exact copy of the Mona Lisa in 30 seconds) and a musical genius (able to play an entire symphony by blowing across the top of a bottle).
- Johnny Bravo is socially inept and idiotic (with the later being played up more during seaons 2 and 3) but he is fairly competent at martial arts (at least in the first season) and he does have a rather impressive knowledge of things like Beef Jerky.
- Pinkie Pie in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is a high grade Cloudcuckoolander, but has a natural talent for throwing parties, a lesser talent in baking, and possesses uncanny intuition and an absolutely perfect memory for details regarding her friends, to the point that she successfully reunited two long lost lovers with a glimpse at the right clues. She's also an incredibly talented musician, and with this skill, was the only one who knew how to save Ponyville from a ravenous swarm of insects. She is also Crazy-Prepared. AND she may have amazing technological skills assuming she made her helicopter-thing (from Gryphon the Brush-Off) and her Party Cannon herself. She seems as wrong-placed in a silent library as her loud party cannon. That doesn't keep her from finding books there much faster than even Twilight (who lives in a library) or Spike (whose main task is in assisting Twilight in the library)
- T.J. Detweiler from Recess is a genius when it comes to coming up with his latest schemes...but everywhere else, he's a ditz.
- A popular Alternative Character Interpretation for Pinky and the Brain is that Pinky is this. Word of God even pointed out that the theme song never says which one is the genius and which one is insane...
- Bubbles from The Powerpuff Girls is a complete Ditz but is able to communicate with most small animals, is just as good in battle as her sisters and in one episode where Buttercup and Blossom can't get rid of the Monster of the Week, it's Bubbles who figures out what to do. She asks it politely to leave. And it does.
- The Mayor of Townsville, its a wonder how he got the title, but he seems to a math wiz when he solves the last riddle Him gives the girls.
- Sterling Archer is a boorish, egotistical jackass who is exceptionally bad at the "tradecraft" parts of spying... but not only is he remarkably good at the "action hero" parts, but he keeps dropping references to people like Alan Turing, Indira Gandhi, and Eugene V. Debs. Wordof God is that Archer treated his school work the same way he treats spying; he'd be competent if he cared.
- Pam is terrible at her office job... and is an experienced underground bare-knuckle boxer and street-racer. Similarly, Cyril should not be in the field, but he's a fairly talented accountant and lawyer.
- On Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines , Klunk is just as inept as the other Vulture Squadron pilots, but he's the go-to guy for inventions on how to stop Yankee Doodle Pigeon.
- Gravity Falls:
Soos: My wisdom is both a blessing and a curse.
- Mabel's an energetic Cloudcuckoolander who has trouble keeping her feet on their ground, but she's a lot smarter than she looks (she was able to improvise a plan to get rid of the gnomes in the pilot) and has a number of artistic skills. For example, all those colorful sweaters Mabel wears are knitted by her. She even has one with a light-bulb on it that lights up when pressed, so it can light the way ("Into The Bunker").
- Dan from Dan VS. To illustrate:
Elise: Can't we just drop him off somewhere and tell him it's Mount Vernon?
Chris: Dan has a very strange patchwork of knowledge. It's anybody's guess what he knows about any given topic. Watch: Dan? Who made Mt. Rushmore?
Dan:Gutzon Borglum. Then his son finished it. Why?
Chris: And what state is it in?
Dan: I DON'T KNOW! ECUADOR? WHAT'S WITH ALL THE QUESTIONS?!
Elise: So there IS a savant half.
- Brittany and Whittany Biskit from Littlest Pet Shop (2012). They're not exactly all that bright (what with their constant use of Buffy Speak and Like Is, Like, a Comma, and occasional Too Dumb to Live moments)...they're even offended at the idea of being called smart. But "Books And Covers" shows that the two of them are actually extremely good at math. That is, only when they're working together. Brittany can solve algebra equations near effortlessly, but can't understand them unless they're put in terms of shopping and clothes, while Whittany doesn't actually know how to solve them, but can read into them well enough to put them in terms her sister can understand.
- Balk of the Flexers from Mixels. True, he knocks a few screws loose and is the least intelligent from his tribe (which is made up of super-strong intellectuals), he's still pretty intelligent and has moments of brightness at times.