The Bore

"I know I'm probably starting to bore you..."
"YOU WASTE OF AIR. I feel like I wasted a gallon of oxygen just talking to you. Starving children could have used that oxygen you know. NOW THEY'RE DEAD!"
Neckbeard, Frumplequest

This is a person whose conversation is so dull, you would rather watch paint dry for an hour than listen to them for a minute. The Bore may not be talkative—perhaps they just have the charisma of a wooden plank, saying nothing and doing nothing of interest. They're probably an enthusiast for Incredibly Lame Fun and take a keen interest in, say, the history of toothpaste caps. Perhaps they do have interesting stories, but tell them so often or in such a way as to suck all interest out of them. Perhaps whenever they join a conversation, no matter what the subject, they can only talk about how it affects or relates to them. Whichever it is, The Bore is unutterably, interminably dull.

Usually, they are completely oblivious to the agony they cause, and often they're too nice for anyone in the cast to want to hurt their feelings, although this isn't always so. Some of them are aware of how uninteresting everyone else finds them and simply don't care, or they'll exploit the rules of common etiquette or a position of authority to "enlighten" their victims with their droning. In any case, getting into a conversation with them is like getting caught in Hollywood-style quicksand: unless someone or something interrupts, you won't be able to escape being sucked down into a bottomless pit of monotony.

Not related to The Comically Serious, where a boring person gets laughs by having funny things happen to her while she reacts completely seriously. Super trope to Old Windbag, a kind of Bore who is old (usually) and known for telling really long, uninteresting stories.

In-Universe Examples Only, please. This about other characters finding someone boring, not audience members.


Examples:

Comic Books

Film
  • A Running Gag in Airplane is Ted Striker telling the passenger he's sitting next to an anecdote about his past. The anecdote goes into a flashback, then when we return to the present the other passenger has been Driven to Suicide by boredom.
  • John from Christmas in Connecticut is an architect who will not stop droning on about plumbing and fireplaces and home construction. Yardley, the magazine publisher whom John is trying to start a business relationship with, even calls him a bore. This is part of the Romantic False Lead characterization that contrasts John with Jefferson, his handsome, charming rival for Elizabeth's affections.
  • Prince Valium in Space Balls is so boring he puts himself to sleep.
  • Essentially every role ever that Ben Stein has ever had. (Examples: his One-Scene Wonder in Ferris Buellers Day Off and the Western Animation example below).

Literature
  • In Harry Potter, Professor Binns is infamous for his ability to put students to sleep as soon as he starts teaching his class. He has an unique ability of making everything sound dull, even subjects like the Giant Wars, or the violent and bloody goblin riots.
  • Gilles Ponsi in Reflections of Eterna has a tendency to bore the hell out of people near him, especially with his attempts at poetry, but is completely oblivious to this fact and takes offense at them not appreciating his company.
  • In Pride and Prejudice, everyone who knows Mr. Collins will use any excuse to avoid his pomposity and endless sycophantry towards Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
    • Miss Mary Bennett's recitations of what she's read are usually found to be tiresome by the rest of her family.
  • Star Trek: Articles of the Federation: Bera chim Gleer. President Bacco has to try very hard not to shut her eyes and nap when he gets going on one of his long-winded diatribes.
  • Agatha H. and the Voice of the Castle: Boris Dolokhov, Baron Wulfenbach's chief administrator. A footnote takes the time to assure the reader that not only is he the most boring man in the entire empire, he is the most boring man in the entire world.

Live-Action TV
  • On an long space trip in Babylon 5, Dr. Franklin divines that the trip will end in Marcus' death. Marcus offers to sing instead. ("I AM THE VERY MODEL OF A MODERN MAJOR GENERAL...")
  • Frank Pickle of The Vicar of Dibley loves to tell the story of that time the pub completely ran out of crisps and does enthralling impressions of his second cousin, before and after tonsillectomy.
  • Father Austin Purcell of Father Ted, resident Motor Mouth who the other priests despite getting into a conversation with. Inverted with Father Fitzgerald, who is aware of his extremely dreary, boring voice and actually manages to use it as a Chekhov's Gun.
    Father Austin: Now ... what's your favourite humming noise? Would it be "Hmmmm" or "Hmmmmmm"? That first one there, that was a fridge, and the second one was a man humming ... or it could have been a woman humming ... I knew a woman once ... but she died shortly afterwards...
    • Father Stone takes this Up to Eleven. After waking up from a lightning bolt-induced coma, his only reaction is to say he's fine.
  • In the Ripping Yarns episode "The Testing of Eric Olthwaite" Eric is considered extremely boring to everyone due to his interests: rain, shovels, and black pudding. After he gets a job at a bank and gets kidnapped by a bank robber who it turns out has the same interests. They go on a "crime" wave of measuring rainfall and he becomes interesting to the general public, despite not changing at all.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Commander Hutchinson's receptions are dreaded by the Enterprise's senior staff thanks to his limitless ability to talk about absolutely nothing. Fortunately for them, Data has recently written a subroutine for "small talk" that needs to be tested.
  • The Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager becomes this as he starts taking up hobbies, which involve boring the crew half to death with his slide shows. Captain Janeway occasionally ordered the bridge crew on duty to fabricate an emergency so she could leave early; they often refused, having suffered through similar slideshows without rescue.
  • The Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch Vocational Guidance Counsellor has a man who wants to change jobs, and has taken some aptitude tests to determine which one best suits his personality. On learning that this job is chartered accountant, he protests that he already is one, and he wants to change because the job is so desperately dull. It ends with an appeal by the counselor for donations to "prevent chartered accountancy."
    Counsellor: Yes, but you see, Mr. Anchovy, your report here says that you are an extremely dull person. Our experts describe you as an appallingly dull fellow, unimaginative, timid, lacking in initiative, spineless, easily dominated, no sense of humour, tedious company and irrepressibly drab and awful. And whereas in most professions these would be considerable drawbacks, in chartered accountancy they are a positive boon.
    • "The Silliest Interview We've Ever Done" had Mr. Badger.
      Badger: My wife Maureen ran off with a bottle of Bell's whisky during the Aberdeen versus Raith Rovers match which ended in a goalless draw. Robson particularly, in goal, had a magnificent first half, his fine positional sense preventing the build-up of any severe pressure on the suspect Aberdeen defence. McLoughlan missed an easy chance to clinch the game towards the final whistle but Raith must be well satisfied with their point.
      Interviewer: Do please go on. This is the least fascinating conversation I've ever had.
    • The protagonist of "Mr. Pither's Cycling Tour" is one of those terrifying people who go on and on about their favorite hobby at stupefying length, not recognizing that the person he's talking to has no interest in cycling, is not listening, or even that they are having a private conversation.
    • In "The Gits," Mr. A Sniveling Little Rat-Faced Git's wife Dreary Fat Boring Old probably qualifies.
    • One of the panelists on "Interesting People" is a man who is so boring that he turns invisible the longer he talks.
  • Barney Miller has Inspector Luger, an old cop who shamelessly exploits Barney's good nature to endlessly reminisce about his old buddies Brownie, Foster, and Kleiner. Some of these stories are quite gruesome, but having been told so often, nobody wants to hear about how they blew up Foster or gunned down Kleiner anymore.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Sheldon Cooper has this as one of his many flaws. He considers his friends' lack of interest to be evidence of their intellectual inferiority.
    • Amy Farrah Fowler originally had a case of this that was even worse than Sheldon's in her earliest appearances. Later on, because of her friendship with Penny opening up her eyes to the joys of social life, she later makes more concerted efforts to be less boring, though she still retains ideas of Incredibly Lame Fun.
  • On Friends, one of Monica's boyfriends was "Fun Bobby", who turned out to be an alcoholic. Once he sobered up, however, he became "Ridiculously Dull Bobby".
  • As Time Goes By:
    • Jean's brother-in-law Stephen, while much more pleasant than his wife, is still unbearable to be around because of his habit of intense conversation about the most mundane topics.
    • Gwen Flack, Lionel's temporary secretary while writing the mini-series, chatters so much about her dog, her old boyfriends, and how unalluring socks are that Lionel can't get any writing done.
  • Breaking Bad: Walter's life before his life of crime. You can really see this when he has conversations with old friends at Gretchen's party or any time he talks to Hank in the first season.
  • Big Brother:
    • Big Brother 14: Kara was very nice but she was super boring and dull.
    • Big Brother 15: While Howard is a good and nice guy, most live feeders found him very boring and dull.
  • Bert from Sesame Street is one of the definitive examples when it comes to children's works. His interests include "boring stories" and bland food, and many Bert and Ernie sketches involve Ernie trying to play a game with Bert, but he would prefer to do a more boring activity.
  • "Slow Roger" from My Name Is Earl. He seems to have some kind of Ambiguous Disorder, and he goes on long rambles, listing stuff from movies (and in one case, all the car parts Earl stole, instead of simply saying that Earl stole his car and slept with Roger's sister.)
  • Arnold Rimmer of Red Dwarf, when he's not acting like a smeghead, is probably being this. He's using his time to put together a complete history of pockets, and has so many stories about his thrilling victories in Risk (as in the board game).
  • Al Bundy in Married... with Children. Since he's accomplished nothing after high school and has no life, he'll usually brag on and on about his job at the women's shoe store and how much life sucks. Everyone on the show tries avoiding him.

Music

Tabletop Games
  • Paranoia adventure The Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues. Angela-G-OGO is a food processing supervisor who loves to talk about food additives. She does it so much that she has bored all of her co-workers blind on the subject, and even Internal Security finds her boringly loyal. However, this is just a front: Angela is in fact Screaming.

Web Original
  • Homestar Runner:
    • Strong Sad is dreary and depressing, and even his body is grey. Thanks to the fact that few people around him care about being polite, he's fully aware that they can't stand him, but he still makes an effort to get them interested in his poetry.
    • Strong Sad has odd friendships with Marzipan - who's often considered the bore herself due to her Soapbox Sadie tendencies - and Homsar, whom no one can understand.
    • One of the Strong Bad E-mails deals with strategies to drive off the "office dullard."

Video Games

Western Animation
  • King of the Hill: Hank Hill is the king of this trope. He literally has no life outside of his work at the propane business. He talks about propane and propane accessories as if they're something to be worshipped by the world. The show mostly revolves around Hank trying to understand normal people since he can't understand why no one cares to listen to what he has to say. This may also apply to his wife, Peggy, and friends, since their stories revolve around them trying to do something crazy so they don't become this trope.
  • The Animaniacs sketch 'Chairman of the Bored', which introduces Francis "Pip" Pumphandle. He is this, The Thing That Would Not Leave and a repeated example of The Cat Came Back, driving The Warner Brothers (and Sister) to near-suicidal (and homicidal) despair during the sketch. Voiced by Ben Stein for higher-caliber boredom.
  • Family Guy:
  • In The Simpsons, Marge is sometimes this during her Not So Above It All moments. While she often chastises Homer for being irresponsible and wild, most of her attempts to create sane and thoughtful past times are usually treated as even more unbearable by the family.
    • On some occasions, Marge is aware of just how boring she can be, recounting an incident where two Jehovah's Witnesses came to the door, and she wouldn't let them leave. They made their escape when her back was turned.
    • Seymour Skinner is a spectacular example of this on his own (witness him boring the hell out of the Springfield Police from just standing there trying to recall what he witnessed during the first part of Who Shot Mister Burns?)... many of the jokes involving him are that he works hard at being a Professional Butt-Kisser for Superintendent Chalmers, but his buzzkill, Control Freak, all-work-no-play (and hard-core Mama's Boy) personality instead makes Chalmers hate him with an absurd passion (Chalmers' own Flanderization including him being unable to say Skinner's name nor anything that remotely sounds like "Skinner" without yelling it angrily).
    • Depending on the Writer, Lisa is seen as this by the rest of her family, with her looking to do an activity that is educational, intellectually stimulating or applies to her Soapbox Sadie sensitivities and the rest of the family except Marge (and sometimes even Marge) sees it as Incredibly Lame Fun (being not as smart as she is, or acting fed up with said Soapbox Sadie sensitivities for the sake of the plot).
  • One of Rocky and Bullwinkle's Fractured Fairy Tales was about Leaping Beauty, a beautiful girl who leaps about spreading joy and cheer, until she runs afoul of a witch, who curses her to become a bore, after which she literally puts the entire kingdom to sleep with her incessant prattling.
  • Pinkie Pie's older sister Maud Pie from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. In fact, the rest of the mane six minus Pinkie could tell straight-on that Maud is a very boring individual, and even with that in mind, they still had a hard time connecting with her just because she's so boring.
  • Gearhead at the party for the season 1 finale of Rick and Morty.
  • In The 7D, Hildy Gloom competes with a childhood rival at an award show for witches over who can put the most people to sleep. The prize, however, goes to the show's emcee, who has just put most of the audience to sleep.