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[[quoteright:310:[[Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dumbassknux.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:310:[-Knuckles the Echidna, [[VideoGame/SonicRidersZeroGravity circa 2008]]: Translator of ancient runes. vs. Knuckles the Echidna, [[WesternAnimation/SonicBoom circa 2014]]: Illiterate.-]]]

->'''Caboose''': I know where you can find O'Malley. He lived inside my helmet for a while, maybe he left an address to send his mail. We were like roommates.
-> '''Sarge''': Sounds like he took some of the furniture when he left. And the carpet. And the drapes. And I wouldn't expect to get that deposit back, if you know what I mean.
-->-- ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', "Episode 39"

A specific subtrope of {{Flanderization}} (and occasionally {{Jerkass}} also). As a series progresses, characters sometimes become more and more stupid as time goes on. Usually the reason is related to the BadassDecay phenomenon, but with the character's level of intelligence rather than his ability to kick ass, following something along the following cycle: an episode in which the characters acts like a total buffoon gets good ratings, so another one is made. It too gets good ratings. So they make another. And another. Eventually the character is so dumb that you wonder how he manages to walk across a room without injuring himself, and pretty soon everyone forgets that the character was anything other than a complete moron. For this very reason and the fact that it's easier to write comedy that involves dumb people, this trope is rather frequent in any comedy series.

Generally PlayedForLaughs. Sometimes used on the supporting characters to make the hero look more competent. Or sometimes, it's just that the show gets a pack of new writers and they turn the guy into a moron for kicks. It should be noted that [[TropesAreNotBad this isn't always a bad thing]]. In some cases, viewers may find the over the top idiocy more entertaining than the original concept, or that giving them some idiotic traits make them more of a RoundedCharacter.

BookDumb characters seem particularly prone to this; it is [[MostWritersAreWriters very easy for writers]] to go from 'savvy but unintellectual' to 'just stupid'.

May result in a typical IdiotHero degenerating into TooDumbToLive. Compare ForgotAboutHisPowers and TookALevelInJerkass. Contrast TookALevelInBadass and DumbassNoMore.


* TookALevelInDumbass/AnimeAndManga
* TookALevelInDumbass/ComicBooks
* TookALevelInDumbass/FanFic
* TookALevelInDumbass/{{Film}}
* TookALevelInDumbass/{{Literature}}
* TookALevelInDumbass/LiveActionTV
* TookALevelInDumbass/NewspaperComics
* TookALevelInDumbass/VideoGames
* TookALevelInDumbass/WebComics
* TookALevelInDumbass/WebOriginal
* TookALevelInDumbass/WesternAnimation