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Kind Hearted Simpleton

There are many characters who are dumb or airheaded. However, for some of these, what they lack in intelligence they make up for in compassion and altruism. The Kindhearted Simpleton isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but is always well-meaning and compassionate to other characters. Probably will not be quite as dumb as a standard Ditz or as airheaded as a Cloud Cuckoolander, since that is not the focus of their character.

Due to their well-meaning nature but below-average intelligence, these characters have the potential to be taken advantage of and manipulated by smarter (and occasionally evil) characters. The Kindhearted Simpleton should beware of Manipulative Bastards and Guile Heroes. (They should also know it's a snake when they bring it in.) These characters rarely, if ever, get angry, but when they do, it's usually because someone has taken advantage of their trusting nature one time too many, or has dared to hurt the ones they love. This may occasionally result in the character taking a level in badass, or revealing a hidden badass side, but this type of character is very effective at delivering An Aesop without having to resort to violence, whether it's through a Shut Up, Hannibal! speech, giving the villain his "The Reason You Suck" Speech, or asking a friend What the Hell, Hero?, though they are also just as likely to inform hero and villain that You Are Better Than You Think You Are.

Contrast Insufferable Genius and Mad Scientist. May be a Gentle Giant. When they are lucky and carefree instead of compassionate, they're The Fool. See also Idiot Hero, Dumb Is Good and Emotions vs. Stoicism (this landing on the "emotions good, logic bad" side).


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Taipu from BIONICLE, to the point where his friend Onepu constantly takes advantage of him.
  • In Usagi Yojimbo, a mentally challenged man is a great friend of Kitsune. Unfortunately, he's framed for one of her crimes, and is executed for it, despite him being one of the nicest people in town. Kitsune (and other people outside the comic) was driven to tears.
  • Fethry Duck of DuckTales is a clumsy dork and rather na´ve, but is genuinely friendly to everyone around him, and is one of the few characters who sees his cousin Donald as a friend.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Pumbaa from The Lion King. Even his name means "simpleton". Despite not being too bright, this little piggy's got a big heart of gold and is really good with lion cubs.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • Inch from the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy is a serious subversion. He's simpleminded, but EXTREMELY cruel and sadistic. And possibly a pedophile.
  • Piggie from the Elephant & Piggie books often plays this trope.
  • Bertie from Jeeves and Wooster. Most of the plots consisting of him getting himself into trouble while trying to solve his friends' problems.
  • Toby Kwimper in Richard Powell's Pioneers Go Home!, probably the only person in the world who could walk into a bank to get a loan, be mistaken for a robber and come out of it all with the hoped-for loan due purely to a character reference from the bank president. Toby commented in his narration that when trying to obtain money from a bank it probably helped to have either a really good character or a really bad one.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kenneth from 30 Rock, an example so famous he made the Trope Image. Although there are multiple blink-and-you-might-miss-them moments that imply that Kenneth's life might be a bit Darker and Edgier than it seems on the surface. One example that comes to mind is when he rattles off one of his family's "classic Southern recipes." One of the ingredients he lists is a Union soldier.
  • Kramer from Seinfeld. The only person who cares about his fellow human beings in the franchise.... and is portayed as an idiot by Larry David because of it.
  • Joey from Friends is a dim-witted womanizer, but an incredibly loyal and caring friend.
  • Nate from Gossip Girl is the dumbest of the main characters, and probably the sweetest too, especially compared to Chuck and Blair.
  • Randy from My Name Is Earl.
  • Female example: Erin from the American version of The Office.
  • Woody from Cheers.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Zack Johnson, a secondary character. Unlike most of Penny's boyfriends (who are usually muscular, dumb as well as rude and obnoxious), Zack is extremely dim-witted but also an easygoing, friendly person who genuinely likes Penny's nerdy friends and makes a genuine effort to get to know them.
  • Waldo Geraldo Faldo, Eddie's friend from Family Matters.
  • Rose of The Golden Girls is this, although her personality varies from either a full-on nitwit or a smart but naive Country Mouse, Depending on the Writer.

    Music 
  • 2D of Gorillaz is as ditzy as they come, but also a fairly peaceful and nice person.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner is generally a nice guy, but he also has a notoriously poor grasp on most things.

    Web Original 
  • Noob has Sparadrap, who is both one of the dumbest and one of the nicest characters of the franchise. One of his guildmates is a Manipulative Bastard to whom he mentions lending game currency without getting it back in the comic.

    Western Animation 
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • The title character. While he is responsible for most of the havoc in each episode, he usually means well, and is something of an Extreme Doormat.
    • Patrick, similar to his friend SpongeBob, is a well-meaning idiot, and fits this trope for the most part.
  • Winnie the Pooh is a gluttonous idiot, but extremely gentle and friendly. Most of the supporting cast aren't far off this trope either. This is prominent in the original novels too, though most prevalent in the Disney adaptations.
  • The latter half of Ren and Stimpy in contrast to the smarter but manic and violent-tempered Ren.
  • Rufus of The Dreamstone is a borderline example at times. Nug, despite being a villain, isn't a whole lot nastier (or smarter).
  • Butters Stotch, with his occasionally tragic innocence and positive outlook stands out like a sore thumb in the Crapsack World of South Park.
  • Recess:
    • Mikey Blumberg is an All-Loving Hero and the Cloudcuckoolander of the series.
    • To a certain degree, same with T.J. Detweiler. He's the living epitome of Book Dumb but he's also a sweetie and means well towards everyone.
  • Niblet fills a similar role to Mr. Blumberg on Paul & Joe's version of Pound Puppies. He's as kind and sweet as can be, but he can be mind-blowingly dense at times.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
  • Cleveland Jr. of The Cleveland Show. Though he has noticeable bouts of unusual logic and talent, he is probably the most consistently sweet natured of the Brown family, as well as probably the dopiest.
  • Futurama: This trope may well be called the Fry.
  • Finn from Adventure Time is the embodiment of this, as he's said to slay anything evil and will always help anyone in need. His love for being a hero can go a bit Yandere at times, but he always means well.
  • The Smurfs: Clumsy Smurf.
  • Family Guy:
    • Peter Griffin was this before Flanderization sets in. While his irresponsibility caused a lot of trouble, he really did care for his family. In later seasons, he's a borderline Villain Protagonist who has killed several people.
    • Jillian the Brainless Beauty can be just as dumb if not dumber than Peter, but she's also one of the nicest characters in the Crapsack World of Family Guy.
  • Lindsay from Total Drama.
  • Goofy. His ditzy personality is so prevalent it's even in his name but he is a genuinely kind person, on the level of Mickey Mouse.


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