Simpleton Voice

A character will open his mouth to speak, and the minute he does you immediately know that this character is stupid. Whether he's an over-muscled Mook or the Plucky Comic Relief, the one thing you can tell just by his voice is the fact that his elevator just doesn't go all the way to the top floor.

Very common in animated works, because allegedly such an obvious characterization tool appeals to children. In The Golden Age of Animation, this sort of voice was used a lot by characters who were a parody of Lenny from the film adaptation of Of Mice and Men.

When the character is male, generally expect a halting voice in the low registers, or else a high-pitched, nasally quavering, with most sentences beginning with the word 'duh'. When the character is female, expect a high-pitched nasally whine or an even higher-pitched squeak-fest. Often, characters with this voice will use poor grammar. Male characters often substitute the t or d sounds for the th sound, like saying "dat" for "that." A Valley Girl accent helps for female ditzes.

A very common characteristic of Mooks and The Ditz.


Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • Grimace from McDonald's commercials
  • This GEICO talking pothole mixes Valley Girl and a Southern drawl for her ditz voice.
    • Subverted when 'she' reveals herself to not so much be a ditz, as much as a snarky inanimate object. "Cuz I'm a POTHOLE!"

    Abridged Series 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Dorodoron's voice from Futari Wa Pretty Cure Splash Star sounds very similar to this type, sounding rather like Grounder from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog would if he was speaking Japanese.
  • The French dub of Dragon Ball Z is notable for giving an extraordinarily nasal voice to Vegeta of all people. It's been theorized that not having read the entire story, the voice actors had originally expected him to be a generic cartoon villain, and thus gave him a generic cartoon villain voice; cue Heel–Face Turn...
    • It was never a "moron" voice though, more of a "evil schemer with permanent Psychotic Smirk" voice.
    • Recoome of the Ginyu Force; the "dumb-as-nails Psychopathic Manchild" vs "hammy sadist who's just toying with you" ratio depends on who's voicing him.
  • Bear in the English dub of Yo Kai Watch. Would make scene, considering what what type of character he is. Also, his English voice actor is unknown at this time though.

    Comic Books 

    Film - Animation 

    Film - Live Action 

    Literature 
  • Referenced in the novel version of Flowers for Algernon; Charlie notes that he had a stupid-sounding voice before his increase in intelligence, and he lapses back into it whenever he gets drunk.
  • Discworld trolls tend to have this type of voice. Detritus, the troll that tends to show up the most, says "dis," "dat" and "der" instead of "this", "that", and "the." (He also sometimes replaces "th" with "f", for example "fink" instead of "think".)
  • M-O-O-N, that spells Tom Cullen from The Stand.
  • Napoleon's low-pitched voice and his brother Kip's higher-pitched one in Napoleon Dynamite.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Pets, Aiku and inspector Kukeke from Wremja.
  • Michael Westen on Burn Notice occasionally affects something resembling this accent for his "Bubba"-ish characters.
  • The Pakleds in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • The Ogrons in Doctor Who should be this, with one exception. In Day of the Daleks, the Controller confronts two Ogrons. The first one says, "We found...and destroyed...the enemy." The controller asks if there were any complications, and the second one replies, "No complications," in a perfectly normal voice.
  • Subverted in The Big Bang Theory: Bernadette speaks with a high, nasal, squeaky Dumb Blonde voice, but has a doctorate in Microbiology.
  • Rom from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has one.
  • Lew Zealand from The Muppet Show has one, not because he's dumb, but rather a Cloudcuckoolander.

    Music 
  • Booji Boy, mascot of Devo, a character portrayed by their singer Mark Mothersbaugh in a baby mask. Booji Boy exemplifies the band's philosophy of Devolution, and talks with a squeaky voice, known for such phrases as "We're all Devo".
  • Wesley Willis lapsed into this every time he sang a chorus.
  • Frank Zappa used many of these across his career, like the teenage doo wop singer voice he uses on used on several tracks on Freak Out.

    Radio 
  • Eccles from The Goon Show.
    • "Well, I'll say this much... I don't say much, but what I do say... don't make sense."
    • Spike Milligan admitted that Eccles' voice was based on Disney's Goofy (see below).

     Theatre  
  • Leaf Coneybear from The25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee generally has one.
  • Kitty from The Drowsy Chaperone
  • Lilly from Annie.
  • In Bells Are Ringing, Ella adopts a "dumb chorus girl" voice during "Just In Time" when an audience gathers to watches her dance with Jeff, but goes back to singing in a normal voice before the song ends. (This was another role originated by Judy Holliday.)
  • In "Buddy's Blues" from Follies, the "Margie" and "Sally" caricatures talk this way. Mostly they just echo Buddy's words.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Strong Mad from Homestar Runner speaks in an extremely exaggerated version of this trope, Played for Laughs. Most of his dialogue is nigh-unintelligible growls, but if you listen closely he is saying actual words...probably. Homestar Runner himself is a (somewhat) more subdued version of this trope.
    • Homsar. Dear God, HOMSAR.
  • The Nostalgia Chick did it in her review of Spice World.
    Mel B: Girl power, feminism, you know what I mean?
    Chick: (in the stupidest voice she can manage) No. Do you?
  • The two titular leads of Baman Piderman.
  • The voice of the Wii in this Dreamcast vs Wii video.
  • Jimbob from GEOWeasel speaks in a low-pitched voice. Averted with Nar, who is also a simpleton, and speaks in a normal voice.
  • Yellow guy in Don't Hug Me I'm Scared.
    • The Spinach Can from the fifth installment has one too, and then the Lamp from the sixth.

    Western Animation 
  • Hyuck! Goofy (1932), first appearing in the early days of the sound era, may have been the very first cartoon character with a voice like this. Bill Farmer is capable of pulling off the voice while still giving Goofy an impressive emotional range in modern productions.
  • Homer Simpson is the leader of a small crowd of such characters from The Simpsons.
    • Barney Gumble has an exaggerated one because he's almost always drunk.
    • Quite ironically, Ralph Wiggum, a character well-known for being unintelligent, is an aversion of this trope. His voice is high-pitched because he's a child, not because he's dumb, and it is no higher than the other characters who are children.
    • Parodied/subverted with Oxford "Ox" Haas, one of the soldiers Grampa Simpson served with in World War II in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish." He spoke with this voice, and looked exactly like the kind of person who would.
      Burns: How many of you are familiar with the concept of a "Tontine"?
      (Beat; all stare at Burns silently, until Ox raises his hand).
      Burns: All right, Ox. Why don't you take us through it?
      Ox: Duh, essentially, we all enter into a contract whereby the last surviving participant becomes the sole possessor of...all them purty pictures.
    • In one Imagine Spot where Lisa imagines her future after losing her intelligence, she's inexplicably gained a southern accent.
  • Used in the Futurama episode "Fear of a Bot Planet" where the crew meets the council of robot elders. They promote human hunts to distract from their bigger problems.
    Elder 1: Like our crippling lugnut shortage.
    Elder 2: And an incompetent group of robot elders.
    Elder 3: Duh, that's for sure.
    Elder 1: Quiet, Jimmy!
  • Pinky from Pinky and the Brain.
  • Mungo from Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats.
  • Hugo the Abominable Snowman from Looney Tunes.
    • Also Beaky Buzzard, and Junior from the Three Bears shorts.
    • Mugsy of Rocky and Mugsy.
    • A particularly notable example is Pete the Puma from "Rabbit's Kin".
  • The identically-sounding Runt and Ralph from Animaniacs.
  • Various minor Ren & Stimpy Show characters, such as Lump and Loaf. Not to mention Stimpy himself.
  • Chris Griffin from Family Guy. This wasn't actually the intention; Seth Green went into the audition and decided to do his impression of Ted Levine as Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs as a joke, but ended up getting the part. Inevitably, this is referenced in a cut-away gag where Chris does an impression of Buffalo Bill dancing naked (and tucked back) in front of a mirror.
    • And in the original version of the Pilot, his voice is more of a typical low-pitched simpleton voice.
    • For that matter, Barry in American Dad!, who has the same voice, only slightly more affected. Well, it isn't his real voice but the voice he has while heavily drugged to suppress his true, evil personality. His real voice is a cultured accent.
  • Cleveland Jr. from The Cleveland Show.
  • Brittany, from Daria.
  • Grounder in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. His voice changes to Received Pronunciation when he gets a genius chip.
  • Bebop and Rocksteady in the '80s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon.
  • Luanne and Bill from King of the Hill.
  • Linsday from Total Drama.
  • Ed (single "d") and May from Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy.
  • Ringo Starr from The Beatles. The actual Ringo wasn't happy about it.
  • Junior from Tex Avery's George and Junior shorts
  • Patrick from SpongeBob SquarePants.
  • Heffer from Rocko's Modern Life.
  • Stinky from Hey Arnold!, but he's not a complete idiot, just comically awkward.
  • Willy White from Doug.
  • Waffle from Catscratch.
  • Brain from Top Cat.
  • Megawatt from ˇMucha Lucha!.
  • Scooby Dum from Scooby-Doo.
  • Rocky from Avenger Penguins.
  • Meathead from Tex Avery's Screwy Squirrel cartoons.
  • Snails and Derpy Hooves from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
    • Derpy is a strange case; Tabitha St. Germain was, apparently, under the impression that Derpy was meant to be a boy. So Derpy was never actually intended to have this trope; she just got one because Tabitha isn't very good at Crossdressing Voices.
  • Tred Possum in Get Muggsy!.
  • Cheif from Tak and the Power of Juju.
  • Gerold from The Goode Family.
  • Ranger Stu from Squirrel Boy.
  • Wally Gator as he appeared in Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.
  • Principal Pixiefrog and Neardy Crockodile from My Gym Partner's a Monkey.
  • The titled protagonist of Yakkity Yak.
  • Penny from The Mighty B!.
  • Baby Shellby from House of Mouse.
  • Professor Pamplemoose from Sidekick.
  • Lube from CatDog
  • Nester, Momma, Paddy, Dan Duck and Paulie from Scaredy Squirrel.
  • Mr. Flea from Pearlie.
  • Airhead, and no doubt several other characters, in Filmation's Ghostbusters.
  • Officer Barbrady from South Park combines this with No Indoor Voice.
    • Shelley also talks this way (though it may just be a Speech Impediment caused by cumbersome dental work).
  • Joe Tabootie, Mr. Wilter, Reggie and Bruno Bullnerd, Thor Throat, Brick Buster and By-Clops from ChalkZone.
  • Peppermint Larry from The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.
  • Vlad from Shuriken School.
  • Ticket Guy from the Regular Show episode "Caffinated Concert Tickets".
  • Mole from Mr. Bogus, as well as Bogus himself.
  • Hubert "Dad" Test from Johnny Test.
  • Tooley from Motorcity.
  • On the few occasions Tom spoke, it was this voice more often than not.
  • The titled character of Uncle Grandpa and it's no joke, he really talks in this voice.
  • Hi-Riser from Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch.
  • Lumpy from Happy Tree Friends.
  • Richard from The Amazing World of Gumball. Sussie the Chinikin is an even more extremely version.
  • Scorpia from She-Ra: Princess of Power has one, though the character didn't seem particularly stupid.
  • Lilly from Timothy Goes to School a rare female example. However she loses this voice when she get's very upset,ashamed, or annoyed.
    • From the same show the duo Frank and Frank.
  • From Camp Lazlo we have the Dung Beetles, Chip and Skip. There's also Clam who subverts the trope as he only behaves like one.
  • Shirley from Shaun the Sheep. Seeing that she's the Fat Idiot of the idiot, her voice is low and raspy.
  • Harley Quinn in Batman: The Animated Series spoke in the female variation, complete with a Jersey-like accent. In the episode, Mad Love, it's revealed that before she was brainwashed by the Joker, her she spoke in a lower pitched voice and the accent was more subtle.
    • Also subverted; not only can she switch to a deeper, un-accented voice at will (as shown in the episode, "The Man Who Killed Batman"), but she's actually highly intelligent, not only having been a psychiatrist before her brainwashing, but able to pull off a perfectly good and understated gem heist on her own. The implication is that she acts like this because the Joker prefers for her to act stupid.
  • As in the comics, Moose in The Archie Show and Archie's Funhouse is voiced this way. Same goes for Big Ethel.
  • Wild Card and the Watchdog janitor in the Wander over Yonder episode "The Big Job".
  • The Sea Monster from Harvey Beaks.
  • Baby Bugs, Baby Taz and Baby Sylvester in Baby Looney Tunes.

    Real Life 
  • Actor Bill Fagerbakke (who is quite intelligent, urbane, and friendly in person) has made a career out of this trope, and he does it by only very slightly exaggerating the way he naturally speaks. In addition to voicing Patrick Star in Spongebob Squarepants, Broadway in Gargoyles and Bulkhead in Transformers Animated, Fagerbakke played Tom Cullen in the miniseries adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand and Dauber on Coach; all of them had the "big dumb doofus" form of this trope.
  • Karl Pilkington of The Ricky Gervais Show and An Idiot Abroad sounds notably less intelligent than Ricky and Steve...naturally, he is.
    • He is intelligent enough sounding for a working class guy from Manchester though.
  • Studies done on rural American Accents found that a disproportionate amount of preschoolers who spoke with vernacular rural accents (Vermont, Appalachia, etc.) were placed in special education classes for it.
  • Stephen Colbert was raised in South Carolina, but by adulthood, had shed his Southern accent because when he was growing up, he'd seen that stupid characters were frequently shown speaking with similar accents, which led him to imitate the accents of American news anchors.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SimpletonVoice