Comic Book Guy: Quit butting in please. Your IQ is a mere 155 while mine is a muscular 170. I am smart. Much smarter than you. Hibbert!
Professor Frink: You should all do what I say.
My IQ is 199 for crying out glaving!
The use of IQ as a qualification or 'proof' of superiority. Thanks in part to the common belief that IQ is a flawless, accurate representation of every aspect of human intelligence and partly because it's an easy way to show an intelligent character's arrogance, a character might use his or her supposed IQ as an argument for their taking control of a matter, or otherwise being better than others.
The characters who do this will usually be on the border of Improbably High IQ
, if not over it. If it's aliens doing this, it can be part of a Puny Earthlings
In Real Life
, by the way, IQ is a relative measure; the average is always 100. While we're at it, "genius" is kind of a vague term as an official assessment of intelligence; it's generally accepted that the line is at either 130 or 140, but there's no actual agreed-upon documentation making it official. For more information, see the Useful Notes
page for IQ Testing
Anime & Manga
- A variation of this happens in Baka and Test. Students are assigned to a corresponding classroom depending entirely on the score they received during the entrance exams, ranging from the prestigious (Class A) to the insignificant (Class F). The smarter students get better amenities and classroom equipment.
Live Action TV
- In the book Ender's Shadow, the Battle School commander creates resentment toward young Bean from his classmates by revealing that Bean scored highest among them not just on IQ, but on every aptitude measure but one — that of physical ability, since Bean is much younger and smaller.
- It is later revealed that he also scored extremely low in what is arguably one of the most important traits, ambition. Or specifically, the need to dominate and destroy others.
- Mack Reynolds' novel Brain World. The planet Einstein was settled by people who had a minimum IQ of 130, and they've been improving their average IQ ever since. When Einstein applies to join the United Planets, Section G sends Doctor Horsten and Ronny Bronston to investigate because the computers say they have the highest intelligence ratings of all of Section G's agents.
- Used in the Red Dwarf episode Holoship. Crew members of the holoship state their IQ along with their name and rank, and there seems to be a positive correlation between IQ and rank. Rimmer introduces himself with "IQ unknown."
- Also used in White Hole, where Rimmer points to Holly's IQ to explain why he thinks she, as opposed to Lister, should be in charge of their attempts to destroy the white hole.
- In The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon often uses his IQ as a 'proof' that he's correct.
- There's also the first episode when Sheldon and Leonard list their combined IQ of 360 as evidence that they can figure out how to get into a locked apartment building. Two girl scouts then come up, ring every bell, and are immediately buzzed in.
- In The Paper Chase, when James Hart first meets him, Franklin Ford III boasts of having an I.Q. of 190 as a sign of his superiority.
- Frasier: Niles and Frasier are reminded that they took an IQ test as children, and all their mother would tell them is that they were two points apart, and when they discover the results in an old box of childhood memorabilia, Niles reads them and announces that he has the higher score. When a suspicious Frasier insists on seeing the results for himself, he finds out that not only is Niles' score higher, but it's by considerably more than two points. Frasier spends the episode angsting about being dumber than his brother.
- In the opening narration of Scorpion: "My name is Walter O'Brien. I have the 4th highest IQ ever recorded - 197. Einstein's was only 160".
- Elemental Doom: Found by starting with 100, adding 4 for every Int point above 10, and 2 for every Wis point over 10.
- GURPS uses "IQ" as the short-form name of the Intelligence stat — a measure of all forms of intelligence, independent of culture or species — although it has barely any relation to actual measures of IQ. Apparently it wasn't meant to.
- Rifts and other Palladium Games does the same, with a note that the stat x10 is roughly equal to the character's IQ. Since average stats for a human are between 10-12, this works as a rule of thumb.
- In the Commander Keen games, Big Bad Mortimer McMire brags that his IQ is 315, one point higher than our hero (which is 314 in tribute to Pi).
- On The Simpsons, Springfield is left under the control of local Mensa members after the mayor skips town. They disagree on how the town should be run and eventually start arguing by stating their IQ at each other. Frink insists his 199 IQ qualifies him to be in charge — but is soon "outranked" when Stephen Hawking arrives on the scene!