A character of superlative intelligence and a superlative lack of hygiene. This type of character is seen at pretty much every variation of the alignment spectrum
, and is usually associated with the image of the reclusive hacker. Usually, their slovenliness is combined with No Social Skills
— whether it's a tendency for bluntness or extreme timidness, as well as a tendency for unsavory habits and eccentricity. The character's clothes will typically be unstylish
as well as rumpled and dirty. Good guy genius slobs are usually portrayed as just being too dedicated to their vocation to have much time for hygiene, while the filth on bad guy genius slobs is used as an outward reflection of inner rottenness.
Keep in mind that this is not a genius who is constantly filthy because
of his job. A genius engineer who's constantly dirty from working on machines is not a genius slob, he's just dirty because in his line of work it's inevitable. This trope specifically refers to geniuses who are filthy in their personal lives. It's not a consequence, it's a character trait.
Subtrope of Brilliant, but Lazy
. May go hand in hand with the monomaniacal focus of The Madness Place
. In extreme cases, overlaps with The Pig Pen
Anime and Manga
- Hange Zoë from Attack on Titan is an excitable scientist who gets so caught up in her work that Captain Levi needs to knock her unconscious and forcibly bathe her. Being the Neat Freak he is, he has to remind her of hygiene in general.
- Kosuke Entouji of GaoGaiGar could pretty much be the ultimate example of this trope. A very good guy, essential to the 3G's operations as their information analyst, and thoroughly disgusting hygiene. His workspace is a total mess of empty snack bags and magazines(not to mention many fans have suspicions about that box of tissues...), and he'll go for days at a time without taking a bath. Every time he scratches his head, a cloud of dandruff erupts from it.
- The Hacker from the old AD Police OVAs, who was overweight, always barefoot, and could barely move within his apartment from all the crap lying around.
- Death Note: L, while not as filthy as other genius slobs, is VERY eccentric, a challenge to have a conversation with, and always has a disheveled appearance and bare feet. His eating habits leave a lot to be desired, too.
- Dr. Greg "Bear" Eagan in Eureka Seven is a reclusive, slovenly, colossally fat man who only seems to eat candy — and an absolutely brilliant scientist.
- Supervisor Komui from D.Gray-Man. Science genius and one of the most important members of the Black Order. So disorganized you can't see the floor of his office.
- Hakase from Mahou Sensei Negima!. She sleeps in her lab sometimes and leaves her underwear lying around, which gets comments from the guy scientists who share the lab.
- Erica Hartmann from Strike Witches, one of the squad's top ace's in the air, lazy slob on the ground.
- Dwun from Hunter × Hunter.
- In Eden of the East, the genius programmer Yutaka Itazu just put the finishing touches on a computer-program that can predict the future. He also lives in an apartment that's so messy he's practically had to dig tunnels though the rubbish, never leaves it, and never wears anything but underwear. His excuse is that his only pair of pants blew away when he was drying them, hence his nickname of 'Pantsu'...
- In Saiyuki Gaiden, Marshall Tenpou. A brilliant tactician and historical scholar, he deduces the corruption in Heaven's army well before any of the other protagonists. His subordinate General Kenren has to remind him to eat, sleep, and bathe periodically, and also cleans his office for him: Tenpou never puts anything away after reading it, causing his office to become an avalanche of books and scrolls within a month.
Live Action TV
- Sherlock Holmes: Holmes, of all people. Yes, his living room and general appearance to the public is neat and fastidious, but walk past the curtain into his study and you'd be flabbergasted at the enormous clutter of evidence and experiments. The recent Guy Ritchie-directed film starring Robert Downey, Jr. illustrates it excellently, and in the modern version Holmes drives Watson crazy by, for example, keeping severed heads in the refrigerator and eyeballs in the microwave.
- Holmes is a slob with respect to his home and belongings, but not in his appearance — in fact he is said to have a "catlike love of personal cleanliness". Fridge Brilliance: he'd not want to contaminate a crime scene.
- Plague, Lisbeth's hacker friend in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, is balding, overweight, smelly and supposedly has a porn collection to baffle minds. He's also a genius with computers (both their construction and programming), and is a master investigator, able to get information for Lisbeth that she has trouble finding (or getting access to).
- Tokita of Paprika. He's fat, clumsy, and his work area is a mess. Doesn't stop him from getting the girl in the end, though.
- From Mary Gentle's White Crow stories, Baltazar Casaubon: A brilliant architect and/or hacker (depending on the exact story)...who's almost invariably either freshly bathed, or absolutely covered in dirt, grease, and food stains.
- Evil Smelling Bugger from Pyramids is the greatest mathematician on the 'Disc as well as being a camel.
- Helen Burns in Jane Eyre is something of this. She's a brilliant student and very mature for her years, but is constantly lectured about her dirty nails and untidy appearance. Miss Scatcherd writes the word SLATTERN (slob) on a piece of cardboard and ties it to Helen's head. This is all very likely to have happened to Charlotte Bronte's sister Maria, on whom Helen is based.
- Sherlock Holmes in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson is, true to the books, reasonably well groomed but not inclined to clean up after himself. He doesn't even want Mrs. Hudson to dust his things, and he seems to dislike cleaning in principle because it destroys evidence.
- Likewise, Sherlock Holmes in Elementary. Papers, files, the detritus of experiments and dirty dishes crowd every surface in the brownstone, much to Watson's exasperation, although the introduction of Ms. Hudson might change this.
- Onslow from Keeping Up Appearances is a Fat Slob with a broken-down car on his lawn, but is regularly shown reading grad-school level philosophical texts.
- Cameron Howe from Halt and Catch Fire is a programming prodigy; however, her unprofessionalism and unkempt appearance often clash with the corporate environment of Cardiff Electric.
- Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street. He loves trash and garbage, but can be rather ingenious with it. He's built a Robot Buddy out of junk, and his trashcan has a dimension gate to Grouchland USA, his hometown (which he presumably built) and he can train worms to sing.
- The Mad Scientist's desk in Strange Science is cluttered with various bits of trash, including a half-empty can of cola, a partially-eaten cheeseburger and a tube of ketchup.
- Kenneth Kennethson, Nerdcubed's sim from The Sims 3 series had the "Genius" trait, and was seen digging through thrash.
- The Greek philosopher Diogenes purposely lived like a slob in a way resembling poverty, because he taught by example. Being a Cynic, he rejected society and everything it entailed, such as hygiene and social skills. The behavioral disorder Diogenes syndrome, named after him, is characterized by self-neglect and hoarding.
- According to Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison 'lived in utter disregard of the most elementary rules of hygiene'.
- Michelangelo was a real life historical example. He apparently only took a bath twice a year or so, something considered disgusting even in those days.
- The Brilliant, but Lazy John Lennon, though you could also chalk up his style to lax hippie-era standards.
- Albert Einstein was a chain-smoker (even going as far as picking up cigarette butts off the street when his doctor tried to curb his tobacco intake), a scruffy dresser (avoiding socks and combing his hair), and a great proponent of messy workspaces - "If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?"
- Ludwig van Beethoven
- Isaac Newton rarely changed his clothes or combed his hair. The combination of alchemical experiments and obsessive note taking left his rooms such a mess that it was both a potential fire hazard, (see the story of his dog Diamond,) and a pain in the ass for the collaborative efforts of Edmond Halley.
- Howard Hughes hated other people's germs, but he did not mind his own. He apparently liked to sneak around his factory spying on his employees but he was usually given away by the horrendous smell of old tennis shoes he constantly wore. And this was before he locked himself away with jars full of his own urine.
- This is characteristic of certain types of autism. There is also chronic disorganization. This is not officially classified as a mental disease, but a behavioral trait often resulting from life stresses. Professional organizers emphasize developing systems based on individual personalities rather than trying to arrange things as "normal" people do. Not all chronic disorganizers are autistic, but may have non-autistic neurodiverse personality traits.