Idiot Hero

"Why must the fate of the world always end up in the hands of an idiot?"

The Idiot Hero is a common character in action series. Often, he is both the protagonist and the central character of the narrative. He will frequently use the Indy Ploy, will be too stupid to be afraid of imminent peril, and will often have a short memory span. Despite all of this, he is the most effective member of the cast at fighting. He will also usually be the leader of a tight-knit group of characters, despite the fact that he doesn't have the brains to lead a cat out of a paper bag. This is because he's so stupid as to be incorruptible, and has the ability to maintain a childlike innocence and faith in people that inspires those around him.

The Idiot Hero is usually a mutation of The Fool. However, unlike The Fool, the Idiot Hero usually has some idealistic goal in mind, usually becoming the "best warrior ever", and is usually much more aggressive when irked. The Idiot Hero usually enjoys fighting, and is always looking for a challenge. The only way to actually anger the Idiot Hero will be inevitably to hurt one of their friends, or Innocent Bystanders.

Tends to overlap with Small Steps Hero, being too stupid to do anything truly long-term. In his early stages, he may be little more than an Invincible Incompetent; however, with Character Development, the Idiot Hero may mature into an Messianic Archetype. The Idiot Hero is usually opposed or rivaled by The Stoic or the Aloof Big Brother. If the Idiot Hero is actually a sleazy Badass, then his stupidity is actually an Obfuscating Stupidity.

The sidekick of the Idiot Hero is frequently Mr. Exposition or a Hero-Worshipper, who has no compunctions against explaining things the hero ought to already know when The Hero is a moron. Could be a form of Min-Maxing, where the hero sacrifices intelligence (or at least the non-combat related aspects of intelligence) for combat proficiency. Others in general will usually get annoyed or even outright dislike the Idiot Hero, but deep down, they know he is the one whom they can depend on to protect them from the evils of the world.

Does not necessarily star in an Idiot Plot.

Compare with All-Loving Hero, Failure Hero, Nice Job Breaking It, Hero, Hero with an F in Good Good Is Dumb, Stupid Good and Butt Monkey. Contrast with Pragmatic Hero, Guile Hero and Byronic Hero. Not to be confused with Idiot Hair, though the two may overlap.

A reminder that Tropes Are Not Good.


    open/close all folders 

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 


    Web Animation 
  • Stinkoman, from the Homestar Runner 20X6 setting, can be seen as a parody of this character type.
    • It's entirely possible that Homestar Runner himself started off as one of these when he was first created. However, character development exaggerated the idiot part while diminishing the "hero" part. He's still a well-meaning guy, if thoughtless.
  • Jaune Arc of RWBY is this compared to his more educated and better-trained peers. However, he's aware of it and it causes him great distress for a while, until he decides to start training with Pyrrha to overcome it.
  • X-Ray and Vav. "Sometimes you gotta do something stupid to get results!"

    Web Original 
  • Sparadrap from Noob moves from The Fool to this over the course of the story. The earliest signs appear in the webseries when he gets angry over enemies threatening to hurt his friends and his idealistic goal emerges when some of the friends in question leave the guild and he gets obsessed with Putting The Band Back Together. The power vaccum caused by the departures has also made him master of what's left of the guild.