Nobody's That Dumb

Stan: Hooper, this isn't a safe house. It's a Burger King!
Hooper: It's a U.S. corporation, Stan, which makes it technically U.S. soil. They can offer us asylum.note 
Burger King Cashier: Welcome to Burger King. May I take your order?
Hooper: We're C.I.A. agents, and we require asylum. You know, 'cause this is American soil?
Burger King Cashier: I grew up in a pile of straw. The only education I have is one week of Burger King training, and even I know that's not how the international justice system works.
(Stan, Jackson, and Dick glares at Hooper)
Burger King Cashier: But would you like to try our new "berry good" milkshake?
American Dad!, season 11 "CIAPow"

Just because a character is dumb doesn't mean that they don't know anything, they're completely incompetent at doing something right, they believe everything they see or hear, they're easily impressed with everything, or they can't understand how dangerous something is. Once in a while, this character will bring up their low intelligence and point out that they at least have some common sense.

This is when a character who is established to be dumb or not as smart as their colleague feels that, while they're not that bright, they're not that stupid. The character has to acknowledge their low intelligence in any shape or form. It is also okay for a character to acknowledge another character for being dumb but not that stupid. Also, the character doesn't necessary have to be dumb, it could also be a character who just lacks the knowledge for a certain subject but has common sense about it or someone who is naive. This could also apply to someone with a disability, like blindness or a mental disorder as examples, where they point out that their disabilities does not affect their intelligence or common sense. This can also apply to elders who are viewed as Scatterbrained Senior but can still prove they can still understand what's going on around them.

They may say it in response to an accusation of them doing something really stupid. They may also say it when they see someone do or say something that even they think is dumb. Sometimes they might feel insulted when people would think their intelligent is that low. They might even reveal some Hidden Depths about their intelligence.

This will usually lead to Hypocrisy Nod and Self-Deprecation. Compare Too Dumb to Fool, who is dumb, but not gullible, Smarter Than You Look, for when somebody appears to be dumb but they're not, and Good Is Not Dumb, when someone who is good gets underestimated because of it. The inverse is Who Would Be Stupid Enough?, for when somebody really is that dumb. See Dumbass Has a Point.


Examples

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     Anime & Manga 
  • In Attack on Titan, when rescuing Eren while numerous Titans are in the area, Krista insist to Connie that he leaves her behind with Ymir, who claims that her captors will kill her if she doesn't come along with them. Connie doubts the claim and even points out that an idiot like him can see how dangerous their current situation is.
    Connie: Well, I don't know how exactly Ymir is going to get killed, but you guys calm down a bit. No matter how you think about it, the chances of the both of you dying are higher if you stay here now, right? Even an idiot like me can understand that much.

     Film - Animation 
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit: When confronting Judge Doom, Roger says that "We toons may act idiotic, but we're not stupid!"

     Film - Live Action 
  • Good Burger. Rather than go along with Dexter's plans to expose Mondo Burger using illegal chemicals in their beef to make their burgers bigger, Cloud Cuckoolander Ed decides to sabotage the restaurant instead by pouring said chemicals into their meat supply, causing the patties to grow abnormally large and explode, turning the restaurant to ruins. When Dexter inquires about Ed's intentions, he explains that he knew if he followed through with Dexter's plans, Kurt would have hired high-powered attorneys that would dispute any claims brought against him or Mondo Burger by manipulating the legal system, and also taking into consideration that because the court system is congested, it would have taken months to convict Kurt for anything, hence why he took matters into his own hand. Dexter is flabberghasted that Ed thought of all that, to which Ed says, "Sure! I'm not stupid!"
  • Stalag17. When the POWs start putting their plan into action to subdue the Gestapo and get Dunbar to safety, they begin pressing out into the compound in a hurry, to which Marco the mailman tells them to take it easy, "Remember, just because the Krauts are dumb, that doesn't mean they're stupid."

     Joke 
  • Old joke: A man's car loses a wheel outside an insane asylum. He puts the spare wheel on, but realizes he's lost the bolts. One of the inmates yells at him from a window to remove a bolt from the other three wheels and drive slowly until he finds an auto shop. The man thanks him and asks what he's doing in an asylum if he's not crazy. The inmate then says that no, he's crazy, he's just not stupid.

     Literature 
  • In the Discworld novel Monstrous Regiment, Shufti is the least wordly of all the characters, having disguised herself as a boy to look for her fiancé who'd left her pregnant. She's repeatedly shown to be painfully naive, like believing the guy had been mislaid when she'd given him a sixpence to split in half or the Double Entendre of a Bawdy Song. However, she does get a moment once the squad is captured and claiming to be women by showing her belly to the officer. Polly then asks the officer with icy politeness if he needs the rest of the squad to strip down as well, and they're quickly left alone out of sheer embarrassment.
    Shufti: I'm not clever, but I'm not stupid.
  • In the Xanth novel Ogre Ogre one of of the challenges Smash faces to get in to Humfrey's castle is a basilisk which Smash recognizes and blocks the view of and the reader is told that ogres are stupid not suicidal.

     Live Action TV 
  • In Family Matters, season 6 "Midterm Crisis", when Eddie and Steve accidentally eat Waldo's gourmet cake for his mid-term, they try to cover up the situation by baking the same cake for his mid-term but ended up blowing up the oven. When Waldo arrives, they both come clean and Waldo gets upset by them and tells them off.
    Waldo: Hold the pickles. This isn't over till the fat lady takes a bath. I know what you guys are thinking. That you can walk all over me because you think I'm dumb. Well, I have feelings, too. If you cut me, do I not cough? If you hit me, do I not sneeze? And if you call me names, do I not eat?
    Steve: Oh, my God. I actually understood that.
  • In a crossover episode between Wizards of Waverly Place and The Suite Life on Deck, season 2 "Cast-Away (To Another Show)", Justin meets London by pretending that he's a doctor to gain her interest but he loses interest in her when he discovers how unintelligent she is. Even Max calls her dumb.
    Max: That girl is really dumb. And that's coming from me.
    • When Justin tells Alex about London:
      Justin: I got exactly what I wanted and now it's terrible, because she's not so smart.
      Alex: What do you mean?
      Justin: Max thinks she's dumb.
      Alex: Whoa. You gotta dump her.

     Video Game 
  • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, when CJ learns that Woozie is really blind, he assumes that Woozie doesn't know what's really going on around his surroundings, which he sometimes does. So after Woozie reveals to CJ that he's blind:
    CJ: Uh... Woozie... You do know I'm black, right? And not Chinese?
    Woozie: I'm blind, Carl, not stupid.
  • In South Park: The Stick of Truth, after you complete the side quest for Mr. Hankey, he will help the New Kid where you can summon him, but not for boss fights.
    Mr. Hankey: Anytime you need my help, you just call on me and I'll be there sure as a shit on a Sunday! Howwwwdy Ho! Except against bosses of course. I might have shit for brains, but I'm not stupid.

     Visual Novel 
  • During the fifth trial in Danganronpa, the students are discussing why the most recent corpse exploded when they tried to run the usual autopsy. Resident Cloudcuckoolander Hagakure gives his take, and the normally ditzy Asahina calls him out on it.
    Hagakure: I'll tell ya! I bet some unknown quantum particle caused an atomic-level spontaneous combustion!
    Asahina: I might be dumb, but even I'm not dumb enough to believe that!
    • At one point, Hagakure tries to invoke this when he gets called stupid, only to prove it further.
      Asahina: I'm starting to worry about you, Hiro. Can you tell me what ten plus ten is?
      Hagakure: Hey, come on! You don't ALWAYS have to call me dumb! I may have been held back three times, but that doesn't make me stupid! But if it'll make you happy, I'll answer your dumb question...! So! Um...what was the question again?
      Asahina: Don't worry. You just answered it...

     Web Video 
  • Some Jerk with a Camera: In the Disney California Adventure retrospective, Jerk depicts Buzz Lightyear and Goofy arguing over whether the new park needs their presence or not.
    Buzz: They'll be alright! They have a tractor!
    Goofy: I thought I was supposed to be the idiot...

     Western Animation 
  • In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode, "Birth of a Salesman", this exchange occurs when Scratch and Grounder actually manage to catch Sonic and Tails in a gravity-stopper ray:
    Sonic: Just turn off that gravity stopper ray, and we're yours!
    (Scratch and Grounder laugh evilly, then stop.)
    Grounder: What's so funny?
    Scratch: We're dumb, but we're not that dumb!
    Grounder: That's right! We're not that dumb! We're not?
    Scratch: Of course not! If we shut off the gravity stopper machine, Sonic will fall back to the ground, and run away!
    Grounder: Oh yeah, I knew that!
  • In American Dad!:
    • In Season 11 "CIAPow", when Stan and his friends are trying to avoid the police in Thailand, Hooper's idea of a safehouse is taking refuge in a Burger King restaurant thinking that since it's a U.S. corporation it's technically U.S. soil. Despite the Burger King cashier's lack of education, even he pointed out Hooper's flawed logic.
    • In Season 12 "Criss-Cross Applesauce: The Ballad of Billy Jesusworth", after Francine convinces Stan to be nicer to Roger when they play basketball so he can boost his confidences:
    Stan: Fine. I'll take him back to the game and I'll play nice. But if I get the ball behind the arc and I'm open, I'm gonna drill threes over him. I'm a shooter, and a shooter gotta shoot.
    Francine: Stan, I don't know basketball, but I can tell by the way you're talking that you're not good at it.
  • Near the end of the Grand Finale of Codename: Kids Next Door, "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.", when Numbuh One is saying goodbye to his crew before he leaves Earth to join the Galactic Kids Next Door, he talks with Numbuh 3:
    Numbuh 3: Soooo, what we gonna do tomorrow Numbuh 1?
    Numbuh 1: Ahh, yeah, I'm not going to be here Numbuh 3.
    Numbuh 3: Oh... And what about the day after that?.
    Numbuh 1: Oh, let me explain Kuki...
    Numbuh 3: Oh, I know you're leaving, silly. What do you think I am, an airhead or something?
    Numbuh 1: Never for a second.
  • DuckTales, "Time is Money". After having tried asking the triplets and Mrs. Beakley to watch Bubba until the time machine is repaired, Scrooge tries to dump him off on Launchpad. The pilot initially refuses, saying that he's dumb but not crazy.
  • In Ed, Edd n Eddy season 4, "Here's Mud in Your Ed", after Eddy realizes that Rolf and Jimmy scammed him with a fake money tree seed and bangs on Rolf's front door demanding he get his stuff back, Rolf offers that he will give Eddy the "real" money tree seed if he stops. Edd tells Rolf that Eddy wouldn't fall for the same trick twice but he's proven wrong when Eddy agrees to it and the "real" money tree seed he receives is just a bolt. Ed even comments that even he isn't that gullible.
  • In House of Mouse, "Super Goof", after eating some contaminated peanuts, Goofy becomes a superhero named "Super Goof". When Clarabelle thinks she figures out who Super Goof is after finding a contaminated peanut shell, she thinks it's Dumbo despite Goofy's superhero costume is just him wearing a red jumpsuit and a blue cape with nothing obscuring his face. Goofy was not amused by this.
    Goofy: Oh, come on. I may be goofy but even I'm not that stupid.
  • In Justice League, season 1 "Injustice For All", when Lex Luthor and the Injustice Gang captures Batman, the Joker insist to Luthor that they kill Batman, knowing full well what he's capable of but Luthor ignores him.
    Joker: Lex, Lex, take it from someone who knows: (whispered) don't wait, do it now.
    Luthor: You don't like my decisions? Leave.
    Joker: (walking off) And they say I'm crazy...
  • In the My Life as a Teenage Robot episode, Killgore, a tiny robot by the title's name intends to become a huge super villain by capturing Jenny and handing her over to the cluster. Unfortunately he's a 1 foot toy fueled by a wind up key. Naturally, for all his loud talk, he isn't able to take Jenny by force. But he never gives up, to the point where Jenny and her friends hatch a plan to get him go away. Jenny promises to surrender herself to the Cluster which are actually her friends Chad and Tuck in Paper-Thin Disguise. Too bad for her, her plan backfires spectacularly when the real Cluster show up as Killgore contacted them in advance. For a wind up toy with absurd goals, he's pretty sharp.
    Killgore: "Killgore is small. Killgore is not stupid."
  • In The Simpsons:
    • In season 14, "The Dad Who Knew Too Little", when Lisa is framed for a crime she didn't commit and the cops sees her and Homer flees when they arrive to arrest her, Chief Wiggum said something that even his own son, Ralph, knew the answer to:
    Chief Wiggum: (to Marge) Would an innocent person flee?
    (beat)
    Chief Wiggum: No, really. Tell me. I honestly don't know.
    Lou: Chief, no.
    Ralph: Even I knew that.
    Chief Wiggum: Yeah, yeah, I'm not... I'm not good.
    • In season 23 "At Long Last Leave", after the Simpsons were banished from Springfield, Homer and Marge sneak back into Springfield under the disguise of Mr. Burns and Smithers. When Chief Wiggums first spots them, it appears that he fell for it but it's later revealed that he had seen through their disguises and only pretended to be fooled in order to have time to rally the people to arrest Homer and Marge.
    Chief Wiggum: You really thought you could fool me with that Burns and Smithers getup. I mean, I'm not the sharpest pencil in the pencil thing, but I'm least as smart as a cat. Right, Lou?
    Lou: Uh, what breed, Chief? I mean, I saw an Abyssinian once who could change channels.
    Chief Wiggum: Eh, that is pretty smart.
  • In Sonic Boom, "Beyond the Valley of the Cubots", when Orbot and Cubot meet several prototypes of Cubots, they see how dumb they are that even Cubot thinks they're dumb. When Eggman attacks the prototype Cubots, Cubot tells them to run away but they just stand there.
    Cubot: When I told you to follow me you all ran off, now I tell you to run and you just stand there?! What's wrong with you guys?!
  • In "To the Moon, Baboon" of Donkey Kong Country, The Crystal Coconut goes missing, and Diddy and Cranky think DK put it in a time capsule that is to be sent to the moon, since he was the last person watching it and had been trying think up a contribution. At the end, DK reveals that he just hid the Coconut somewhere so he could prepare his actual contribution;
    Cranky: So, it wasn't in the rocket ship?
    DK: No, why would I send the Crystal Coconut to the moon?

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