The word "fool". Try it out. When someone disappoints you
or does something stupid, throw the word out. C'mon, give it some gusto. You fool! You...(deep breath, now) FOOL
! Got the hang of it yet? No? It just sounds silly
in real life? Well, get used to it, because fiction? Fiction loves
this word. It's the ultimate insult. Every villain uses it, every hero with a hasty friend uses it... hell, if we were to list every example we could find, that would take up too much webspace. It's so common. Only really prominent examples should be listed.
Interestingly, we may have the Hays Office's old Production Code
to thank for this. In the olden days, most mainstream works couldn't use profanity. How to show that your villain is one bad dude when his language is carefully scrubbed with bleach? Well, according to The Bible
, whoever says "You fool!" is liable to fiery Gehenna. (Matthew 5:22) Thus, having your villain call his rival a fool allowed the audience to know that this guy was bad news without resorting to using any verboten words.
This also serves to elevate the villain above their underlings (and often the hero as well), since most "Fool!" users tend to be characters of a higher social class/state of being. In other words, the villain is simply above the use of such vulgar colloquial terms as "idiot", "moron", or "stupid dumb***".
- "FOOL! Did you really think you could harm me!?", as said by the Bad.
- "You fool! You've doomed us all!", as said by the Bad's advisors to him when he activates the superweapon.
- "You really think this is about money? Don't be a fool," in cases of motive misidentification.
- "Foolish mortal!" in case the one who said it is a greater being than human.
- "Foolish Fool!" for when the person and their actions must be lauded.
- "Foolish earthlings!" when you Can't Argue With Space Elves.
- "I pity the fool!" whenever someone is referencing Mr T.
- "Silence, You Fool!" When they talk too much or say something particularly inept.
Not really related to The Fool
, despite the similar names.
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Anime and Manga
- This is pretty much the stand-out word of Excalibur from Soul Eater.
- The Japanese and English dub variants commonly used are "BAKAME!" and "FOOL!".
- Black Star once made a history report on Excalibur which consisted of this word and nothing else.
- The Yu-Gi-Oh! dub. An overly high amount.
- In the Japanese Sailor Moon anime, Jadeite's brief tenure gave him the catchphrase "Orokana ningen", which translates to "Foolish humans".
- Gundam Wing: Zechs Marquise: FOOLLLLLSSSS!!!
- In Dragon Ball Z, Son Goku yells this at Frieza just before finishing him off with an energy wave when he refuses to give up the fight. This was Frieza's second Backstab Backfire, after Goku had both invoked Cruel Mercy and then saved Frieza's life after he cut himself in half.
- Dragon Ball GT's Super Android 17 says this when Goku tries to kill him with a Kamehameha, thinking his absorption ability will cover it. Trouble is, Goku just put a gaping hole in his midsection, so he's in no state to absorb anything. In video game adaptations this becomes one of (both normal and Super) 17's go-to phrases when countering attacks.
- Raven had a rather interesting Catch Phrase, she'd say "curse me for a fool" whenever she missed something blatantly obvious.
- Doctor Doom does this a lot, especially when talking about Reed Richards.
- Played for drama in ''Universe X'' by the Toad, who's gained Magneto's powers. "I never resented calling you master, and I never resented what you called me. Dolt! Idiot! Brainless! inconsequential! clod! Sniveling! spineless! fawning! fool! And you were going to save me from humanity?"
Films — Live-Action
- Vizzini calls the Man in Black this in The Princess Bride:
"I switched glasses when your back was turned. Haha, you fool!"
- Star Wars villains seem prone to this:
- Makkabeus in Damnatus, in a last ditch attempt to stop the heroes from dooming the planet:
Makkabeus: You misguided... you fools...!
- Before he falls into the abyss in The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf yells to the remaining members of the Fellowship, "Fly, you fools!"
- Earlier, he also made the following remark due to Pippin's curiosity in the Mines of Moria giving their position away, "Fool of a Took."
- Later, Boromir uses it when Frodo refuses to give him the Ring: "You fool! It is not yours save by a happy chance! It could have been mine! It should be mine! Give it to me!"
- Mr T's immortal line from Rocky III:
"No, I don't hate Balboa, but I pity the fool."
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show had Frank order a Large Ham by saying "Quake with fear, you tiny fools!"
- SLC Punk!: "SINK! SINK, YOU FOOL!"
- The Ten Commandments
Memnet: You fools! Talk of empty hearts before the Pharoah's daughter.
- Nefertiti later does it in a more teasing way to Moses "...You stubborn, splendid, adorable fool..."
- The Wizard of Oz: The Wicked Witch yells it at her henchmen as they're chasing the main characters around the castle.
Wicked Witch: STOP THEM, YOU FOOLS, STOP THEM!
- Inspector Clouseau says "You feul!" quite a lot.
- Mortal Kombat: Shang Tsung says this a lot whenever someone fails him. Also said it when Liu Kang punched him in the face. Ironically it made Shang Tsung look like the fool not Liu, since the whole point of Mortal Kombat revolves around hitting your opponents.
- Willow: "Rool, you fool, get out of the road!"
- Colossus The Forbin Project. Done in a Machine Monotone after a failed attempt to stop the Master Computer with a Logic Bomb. The program is loaded into Colossus by scientists Johnson and Fisher, who wait with bated breath. Mere seconds later...
Colossus: Johnson...Fisher...you are fools.
- Robin Hood: Men in Tights uses this for comedy (naturally) after the Sheriff is impaled on a sword at the climax of a dramatic Errol Flynn-style swordfight. His Abhorrent Admirer runs up next to him wailing, asking him how he feels...while he has a longsword embedded in his torso up to the hilt.
) I'm dying, you fool!
- In the Buffy episode The Wish:
Anayanka: You trusting fool! How do you know the other world is any better than this?
Jenny: Uncle, this is insanity! People are going to die.
Jenny: You are a fool. We're all fools. (rushes out)
- This trope had its own reality TV show...
- This classic Hollywood Squares clip, where the Epic Fail of the contestants led to the panel calling them fools as a Running Gag. (To elaborate, Gilbert Gottfried was the last square available and a contestant would only have to answer his question correctly to win. They couldn't, failing seven questions in a row. The first time, Gilbert shouted "You fool!" mimicking Penn Jillette's Chewing the Scenery; and soon the entire panel was joining in.)
- Star Trek: Voyager. One of the favourite sayings of Mad Scientist Dr. Chaotica from the holoprogram "The Adventures of Captain Proton!".
- Another one in Next Generation: The Enterprise encounters a Klingon vessel whose crew had been placed in suspended animation almost a century earlier and doesn't know about the truce with the Federation. Worf and Klingon Emissary K'Ehleyr are placed in (temporary) command of the Enterprise to deceive the crew into thinking the Klingon Empire was victorious.
Worf: You fool! Did it not occur to you that the war would be over by now?
- Star Trek: The Original Series episode Day of the Dove. Kirk has just explained to the Klingon captain Kang that the Enterprise is under the control of a creature that feeds on hate and wants the Klingons and humans to fight for its entertainment for the rest of eternity. Kang decides to fight Kirk anyway, at which point his wife Mara exclaims "You fool!".
- Later, Kang himself admits "Only a fool fights in a burning house."
- In the last episode of The Middleman, when the Middleman learns what the doll's eyes were made of, he shouts " Eyes Without a Face! You fool!"
- A favorite insult of Avon from Blake's 7.
- Around the start of the 8th season of Scrubs, one of JD's fantasies, didn't end well for Dr. Cox. When he snapped out of it and looked at his mentor, he commented, "You proud fool!"
- Lord Dread has done this at least once in Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, most notably when Hawk's diversion prevented the Bio-Dread Soaron from destroying Power's ship during the run on the Icarus Control center.
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd would frequently call their minions fools when browbeating them.
- In an episode of The Drew Carey Show, Kate caught Drew cheating on her with an old girlfriend. Later in the episode, Drew drops in on Oswald and Lewis and tells them that Kate's pissed and looking for him.
Lewis: You fool! You've killed us all by coming here!!!
- Played for Laughs in one sketch on Monty Python's Flying Circus, in which a gangster accidentally leaves his car on the meter too long.
Stand Up Comedy
- In a stand up act done by Bill Cosby, he recounts how he and his friend "Old Weird Harold" went to see a horror movie marathon and had to walk home after dark. They were frightened by the sudden appearance of a wino and beat him up before running away. Bill imagines the wino making an accident report:
Cosby: Now I'm sure, while filling out the accident report on this man, that the doctor said, "What happened?"
"I don't know. It's just, four feet ran right up my chest, danced on my head for a half-hour and then ran straight down my back, doctor."
"Well did they say anything?"
"Yes, they said, 'WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!'"
"Did you see them at all?"
"Yes, there was a little kid riding on top of a tall skinny one and he was beating him with a stick saying, 'Faster, faster, you fool, you fool!'"
- Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar:
Fools! You have no perception
The stakes we are gambling are frighteningly high
- "The Olive Tree" from Kismet tells a parable about a fool, and ends on this note:
If you have heard
And do not heed,
There is a word
For what you are,
And oh, my friend,
The word is "fool!"
- Shao Kahn's signature catchphrase from Mortal Kombat II. YOU WEAK PATHETIC FOOL!
- Franziska von Karma from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney took this to new levels by not only turning it into a Catch Phrase, but making it redundant to the point where every few sentences would be something along the lines of "Foolish fool with the foolishly foolish ambitions of a foolishly foolish fool..."
Franziska: Foolishly foolish fool with foolishly foolish fool ideas of foolish tomfoolery...
Franziska: ... You're so foolish, you've even made me sound like a foolhardy fool...
- Edgeworth gets at least one instance of this as early as 1-2, in response to the bellboy revealing, on the stand, that Edgeworth instructed him not to reveal that there were two people at the hotel.
- Dragon Age II: Orsino declares "You fool, you've doomed us all!" after Anders destroys the Chantry.
- Dragon Quest I: "Thou art a fool!"
- Robotnik, in Sonic Adventure, says it a few times:
You know nothing, fool! It's Chaos, the god of destruction! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
You fool. Away, before I make mincemeat out of you.
- There was a Mother 3 example, Alec to Lucas.
- Super Mario RPG: Chef Torte doesn't like it when your party stands on his cake.
Chef Torte: YOU FOOLS!!
- The Shadow Queen in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door likes to use this word a lot.
- Don't forget the "curse" chests!
- Commander Kielbasa to Roger Wilco in Space Quest VI:
Kielbasa: WILCO, YOU FOOL!
- Used in the original Myst and Myst IV by Magnificent Bastard Sirrus, the former as a number one in a Downer Ending (You've done the right thing. You stupid fool! HAHAHAHAHA...), the latter as something of a number two: (No, you fool! My performance was perfect!)
- Gen in Street Fighter Alpha: "You are big fool!"
- Many of the tablets in La-Mulana call the player a fool. One repeats "Thou art a fool" four times.
- Ecstatica II had a female voice tell you "Cease this madness, you fool!" if you tried to hit switches before they were able to work.
- Xenosaga: Episode III: At the end, KOS-MOS breaks Shion's Mineral MacGuffin, the Cosmic Key of Reset. Wilhelm says, "You fool." It's notable not just for coming at the climax, but for how softly it is said. The delivery fits the deliverer perfectly.
- If you screw up entering the dimensional portal near the end of Half-Life: "Freeman, you fool!"
- And in Blue Shift: "You fool, you took too long!"
- The Curse of Monkey Island:
You fool! You've given cheese to a lactose-intolerant volcano god
! Do you know what that means? You've brought about the coming of the Divine Dysentery! Run for your lives!
- Ursula is fond of this in Kingdom Hearts. "Insolent fools!"
- Xemnas is even more fond of it, considering during one of his fights, he shouts "Cursed FOOOLS" at the party.
- Saix utters a simple "Fool" when Maleficent summoned Heartless to attack him, and then summoning Nobodies to dispatch them afterwards.
- Emil pulls this on Marta in Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World during her depression induced stupor regarding Ratatosk's Core and its possible effects on her. The "You fool" bit tips her off that it's really Ratatosk-Emil talking, not regular Emil.
- In Eternal Darkness, Pious calls Ellia a fool twice, first for being so close to Mantorok and then for not following his advice to run away.
- Garland from Final Fantasy I calls out the Light Warriors as impertinet fools right before the knockdown.
LIGHT WARRIORS?? You impertinent fools. I, Garland, will knock you all down!
- In Diablo II, Tyrael uses this when Marius takes Baal's soulstone. 'You... FOOL! You have just ensured the doom of this world!'
- Kerrigan in Starcraft II will repeat this phrase or a slight variant of it many, many times during the campaign.
- In Kid Niki Radical Ninja, the fifth boss, Mad Monk, uses this phrase as his primary weapon. He can say it softly and drawn out ("Fooooooooollll..."), extending across the top of the screen to drop Os on you; he can shout it out as a large kanji with which to crush you; or he can scream, "GET HIM, YOU FOOLS!" to summon some mooks to take you out, or at least keep you distracted enough to fall for one of the first two.
- Lord Victor Nefarius, aka the Black Dragon Nefarian from World of Warcraft gives us this Genre Savvy line when he berates his incompetent minions:
- Subverted, though, by the time you face Nefarian himself, he has forgotten his own advice for your convenience.
- It makes sense, though - when you're watching a fight, figuring out who the biggest problem is easy. When you're the one getting smacked upside the head by a guy wearing plate armor, but the guy in the dress is doing nothing visibly harmful to you, which would you reasonably go after? He makes up for it somewhat, though; instead of trying to kill the medics first, he screws with them in various ways (Priest heals can suddenly start to cause damage over time to the targets, druids can be forced into cat form, etc.).
- Used by the Spy in Team Fortress 2 as one of his responses, upon dominating an enemy Spy. Given the air of sophistication and competence the Spy tries to maintain, he treats this this as a grievous insult.
"You are an amateur and a fool!"
- Shows up in Half-Life 2 as Doctor Breen's final words.
- THE COWARDS! THE FOOLS!
- The Elder Scrolls:
- In a Mages' Guild quest in Oblivion, a count's steward informs you that the count wishes to meet you outside of town at 2 am. The steward shows up there with a couple of necromancers, tells you that he tricked you, and tries to kill you. The count himself arrives and helps save you. Afterward, he angrily says: "You impossible fool. What possessed you to think I would suggest a meeting here, of all places?"
- In Skyrim, a Dunmer trapped in a Giant Spider's web offers you a MacGuffin for cutting him loose. When he's freed, he says, "You fool. Why should I share the treasure with anyone?" before running further into the dungeon (most likely to get to the door the MacGuffin is supposed to unlock). If the player doesn't get him, the draugr or the booby traps will.
- Tiger Joe from Widenyo uses it plenty in his over the top speech.
- Darn near a Verbal Tic for earlier versions of Sima Yi in Dynasty Warriors, where he would dismiss almost everyone for a fool in his cutscene appearances, and even as part of his Beam Spam Musou. Similarly, Date Masamune of Samurai Warriors will use any chance to call people imbeciles. Needless to say, during the crossover Warriors Orochi games, the two tend to get grouped together.
- The Witch's House: If you actually try on the red shoes, as per the bloody writing's advice, the message changes from "TRY THEM ON" to "YOU ACTUALLY PUT THEM ON! AHAHAHAHAHAHA!" upon reloading.
- Wild Dog in Time Crisis II before blowing himself up: "V.S.S.E.! YOU FOOLS!"
- Aku from Samurai Jack has made "FOOLISH samurai!" a meme.
- Gandalf called himself a fool for not figuring out the word to open the Doors of Durin... in the rather flawed Bakshi animated movie, that is.
- "Fly, you fools!"
- Or the Sev cartoon parody, "I can't fly, you fools!"
- In the Irregular Webcomic! parody, a character remarks that he always knew the character who said that would go out with an insult.
- "Fool of a Took!"
- 80's Cartoon villains!
- Megatron - "Foolish Autobots!" "Starscream, you fool!"
- Cobra Commander - Foolish Joes! (insert minion's name here), you fool!
- For that matter, most of Megatron and Cobra Commander's high ranking minions would call whoever was thwarting their plans a fool too.
- Skeletor to Beast Man: "You furry fool!" Also, memorably parodied by Bam Margera's band, Gnarkill.
- I think Venger, the big bad from the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon, would often call the heroes "Foolish Mortals".
- Well, you are half right—never "mortals" that I can recall, but he called everyone "fool" or "foolish". I think he even says "foolery" once.
- For that matter, pick any stock villain from the Alex Toth Hanna-Barbera action shorts from the 60s - 70s. (Space Ghost, Galaxy Trio, Birdman, The Herculoids... etc.)
- Also shows up in live-action shows for kids as well. After Hawk buys Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future time to get to Icarus Control by going after Soaron, Lord Dread, overseeing the whole thing, utters "Soaron, you fool!"
- In the Beast Wars episode "Gorilla Warfare", Optimus Primal yanks a viral mine off of his chest while inside the Predacon base, prompting Megatron to yell at him "You fool! You'll destroy us all!".
- Most Disney villains have called either their enemy or their minions fool at least once, likely for similar reasons to the founding uses: Disney, having earned their reputation by providing family-friendly animation in the first place, court G and at most PG ratings instead of avoiding them. So instead of profane insults you get a lot of "you fool!" and "you idiot!"
- Phineas and Ferb: At the end of "Invasion of the Ferb Snatchers", Candace once again fails to bust Phineas and Ferb, and she laments her apparent hubris in believing she could succeed in doing so.
- Also it echoes the last line of the movie she was watching earlier in the episode.
- Commonly screeched by the White Witch in the Animated Adaptation of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has the pilot-only Big Bad Nightmare Moon subtly switch out the word for "foals".
- One of Futurama's TALES! OF! INTEREST! has former Vice President and protector of the space-time continuum Al Gore shouting "You fool! You foolish fool!" at Fry, after he's just caused a time paradox that will destroy the universe.
- Shredder of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has said it a couple of times.
- From Courage the Cowardly Dog, Di Lung's Catch Phrase is, "Watch where you're going, you fool!"
- The Real Ghostbusters episode "Halloween II 1/2" saw the guys faced with a newly freed Samhain.
Samhain: You didn't actually think you could keep Samhain, the Spirit of Halloween, locked up forever, did you, Ghostbusters?
Peter: Well, yeah, actually we did.
Samhain: Then you are fools! And fools deserve a swift demise!
- Homer Simpson on April Fools day. "You couldn't fool me on the foolingest day of your life if you had an electrified fooling machine."
- Sir Raven in "My Fair Mandy" when Mandy smiles and all hell breaks loose as a result: "YOU FOOLS! YOU'VE MESSED WITH THE NATURAL ORDER!"
- Bugs Bunny lights up his underground cronies in "Tortoise Wins By A Hare" after they keep him (dressed as a turtle) from winning the race and helping Cecil Turtle (as a rabbit) win:
Bugs: You fools!!! What're ya doin'?!! I'm the rabbit! THE RABBIT!!! (sobbing loudly, as he sheds his disguise) LOOK!!! I'M THE RABBIT!!!
Underground rabbits: Eh...now he tells us! (they blow their brains out)
- In Knighty Knight Bugs, he's a court jester telling the king that "only a fool would go after the Singing Sword!" To which the king retorts back to him, "A good idea...fool!"
- In an animated segment on Sesame Street, this is used to teach about words that begin with the letter "f," using a flea circus.
Filbert the Flea: ... as I light the fuse - (lights a miniature cannon)
BOOM (the blast destroys the entire circus table, leaving a singed mess)
Flea Circus Ringmaster: Filbert, you fool!
Filbert: Oh, phooey!
- Similarly, the (for now) defunct Star Trek: The Experience attraction in Las Vegas had one of these on each of its two shows. The Klingon Encounter featured Korath angrily spitting at Riker, "Fools! You will regret defying me!" The Borg Invasion show featured the Borg Queen's admonishment when her threat of employing a self-destruct sequence is questioned, "You're a fool, Janeway! There will always be more drones."
- This was the standard insult for the first few years of BIONICLE, but has lately been replaced by "idiot" and "imbecile".
- "Climb you fool! Climb!" was shouted in futility at the B-25 bomber that mistakingly crashed into the Empire State Building in 1945.
- This is what happens when Roman Reigns feels the need to demolish an announce table with the enemy's broken body.
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