Sokka: Why are you all looking at me?
Aang: You're The Idea Guy.
Sokka: So I'm the only one who can ever come up with a plan? That's a lot of pressure.
[He comes up with a plan 45 seconds later]
- In modern or sci-fi settings, The Smart Guy often has great skill with technology and engineering, in order to build and repair devices for The Team. The Gadgeteer Genius, Mad Scientist, and The Professor will often fill this role. If they're the protagonist, they'll be a Science Hero. In such cases, The Smart Guy will rarely have good tactical skills, and may lack in common sense as well. Quite often they're an alien, cyborg or robot. If all of the characters are using guns, the Smart Guy may be packing a Sniper Rifle.
- In settings where guns are rare, he might be one of those few who uses one, considering a lack of combat skill.
- In fantasy settings, he'll usually be skilled at magic and physically weak, particularly of the offensive variety, in which case he serves as the team's "nuker". His Weapon of Choice tends to be a Magic Wand, a Simple Staff, or both in one package. Alternatively, he may prefer a easily manageable dagger. Or, if magic is the de facto power of the age, the Smart Guy will probably use a sword or a gun.
- In a mystery/action-adventure/detective setting, they could know how to solve cases.
- In a Superhero setting, or any one with superpowers that don't quite fall under magic, The Smart Guy is often Weak, but Skilled or has Super Intelligence or will find ways to utilise apparently useless powers to great effect). He could also achieve Psychic Powers after reaching Brain Critical Mass. Conversely, they'll be the ones in the Powered Armor. in this case they might be a Genius Bruiser or Badass Bookworm who doubles as The Big Guy).
- Some incarnations have The Smart Guy be less of a book-smart genius, and more of a Deadpan Snarker; a wisecracking, street-smart Trickster who has traded in knowledge and intelligence for know-how and intel, and uses his guile and wits to outwit his foes.
- Savior Of Demons: Murai is the default translator for the Arcosians when they go to meet the Tsufuru. He also has elements of The Smart Guy and Deadpan Snarker.
- Sherman of Calvin and Hobbes: The Series. Though he's a bungling inventor, he's still the resident Mr. Exposition.
- Henry Wong fills this role in the Tamers Forever Series
- Lightning Bolt in Ace Combat The Equestrian War.
- Brain from My Little Unicorn, in theory anyway.
- In Horseshoes and Hand Grenades and its sidestories, we have different members. In Horseshoes alone we have Riderman, JK and Miu Kazashiro
- In Month of Sundays we have Ibuki Watanabe for the "Cosmic Hunting Dogs".
- The Super Hero spoof film The Specials from 2000 includes a brainy gadgeteer member of the titular superteam whose nom de guerre is simply "Mr. Smart".
- Star Wars: There's a reason C-3PO refers to RD-D2 as his counterpart: They split the usual Smart Guy duties between them, with R2 handling the practical side and 3PO handling the exposition side.
- Kevin Sandusky of Tropic Thunder is the one who knows what is going on the most. He recognized the Heroin Processing plant, he can read the map, and he's the only one of the actors who had actually read the script and the book.
- Lucius Fox in The Dark Knight Saga. He runs Wayne Enterprises, either invents or improves upon most of Batman's tech, and can come up with an antidote to Scarecrow's fear gas in the span of a night.
Bruce: (after Lucius explains how he made the antidote) Am I supposed to understand any of that?Fox: No. I just wanted you to know how hard it was.
- Bruce Banner in The Avengers. While the "other guy" gets his share of action, Nick Fury brings Bruce into the plot specifically because he knows more about gamma radiation than anyone on the planet. Tony Stark, Insufferable Genius extraordinaire, doesn't even mind playing Bruce's assistant.
- Breaker from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
- Lady Jaye from G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
- Pete from Neighbors.
- Hank McCoy/Beast from the X-Men films, is incredibly intelligent and a brilliant scientist who has invented most of the nifty tools and gadgets (X-Jet, Cerebro, etc.) that the X-Men use.
- In Classical Mythology, Athena is this among the Olympians. Hermes sometimes fill this role in a trickster-ish sort of way.
- Among mortals, Odysseus is the "ideas man" for the
GreeksAchaeans in the Trojan Cycle (including The Iliad and his very own story, The Odyssey). Pretty much every actual strategy mentioned in relation to The Trojan War starts with him, including (ironically) both one of the reasons for the war (the Achaean kings agreeing to protect whoever married Helen, to keep them from fighting over her) and the reason it ends (the Trojan Horse, of course). Naturally, Athena favors him and helps him out a lot (against the wishes of her uncle Poseidon, whom he had somehow offended).
- The Biblical prophet Daniel (aka Belteshazzar) was a brilliant scholar and a top-notch administrator.
- In Girl Genius, some of the Sparks are even identified by the Jagers as "da schmot guy".
- In Gil's case, it's even on his hat.
- Vaarsuvius fills this role in The Order of the Stick. Although Roy Greenhilt has more common sense and Haley Starshine is more observant, V's sheer 18 INT has them beat. Besides, Roy and Haley are The Hero and The Lancer respectively.
- Hod, god of darkness and winter, is The Smart Guy to the Norse kids in Brat-Halla, although he is a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass as well.
- Magick Chicks: Faith recognized Sandi's talents as a technopath, when she was young, and helped her learn to properly control her abilities. Now, she's so adept at her gift that she can predict the probability of future events with 97.09% accuracy; so long as she has all the available data. What's more, the cast page of the comic's print edition describes her as "a living Google", which is why Faith is chose her as her personal secretary and is genuinely surprised whenever Sandi can't find intel on something.
- Riff from Sluggy Freelance is both The Smart Guy and The Lancer, being a Mad Scientist with a penchant for destruction.
- In Dubious Company, Walter starts out as this to Tiren and after they pick up Elly. But when the team picks up Sal, she then becomes the The Smart Girl and Walter functionally shifts to The Leader.
- In morphE, Asia Ellis fills the role of smart guy through being the analytical thinker of the Five-Man Band who takes notes, makes maps when introduced to new areas and studies every text she can find to discover the many truths of the awakened world. Despite not being the most intellectual member of the party Asia fits this trope perfectly.
- Tedd of El Goonish Shive is knowledgeable and skilled in Magitek and the science of magic to the point of being able to create magic watches out of mundane toy watches that can cast spells for even Muggle users.
- In "Caelum Lex" Cyrus, the Dionysian's engineer and resident tech nerd, is often one step ahead of everyone else, coming up with ideas and plans and solutions that no one else on the crew considered
- On the group Team Kimba in the Whateley Universe, Phase is probably the smart one, even if Chaka seems to be best at coming up with ideas in the middle of a fight. Phase is over-educated for a freshman in high school, is most likely to use the big words, and is a smart aleck too. The Smart Guy they go to for gadgets is Bugs, who is a Hot Scientist.
- While not intelligent to a superlative degree, Chip from the web fiction serial Dimension Heroes proves on several occasions that his reservoir of book knowledge can prove beneficial in making it out of various tight spots the heroes get into.
- Open to debate, since none of the characters are all that bright, but in Redvs Blue, Simmons is arguably the smartest member of either team when it comes to pure common sense.
- James in ''Lightning Dust: safe to say that Klaus can go to him to ask about certain monsters/baddies in town and would probably go to him for inventions to help him while fighting if James knew about LD.
- Eugene, Matt Santoro's nerdy clone. Word of God (Matt himself) says that, if Matt's clones had a fight to the death, Eugene would win - despite being physically weak, he could build something like a tank to defend himself, because he's the only clone intelligent enough to do so.