Playing With / Too Dumb to Fool

Basic Trope: Character is hard to trick because he's too unaware to notice the bait.
  • Straight:
    • A captured Evil Empress Alice tries to seduce the guardsman, Bob into restoring her dark powers. He has such a poor grasp of flirtation that Alice's words fall on deaf ears.
    • "Evil Empress" Alice is a fighter that can mind-game people like it was going out of style. But when she tries to bluff Bob with faked bad defenses so she can punch him, Bob doesn't understands anything about her bobbing and weaving and just hits her over the head, Bud Spencer-style, knocking her cold.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed: See Straight, but Alice is a store customer looking for a discount, while Bob is an aloof manager.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted: Alice's attempts to charm Bob are clumsy. Bob, usually quick-witted, vigilant and perceptive, sees her as no threat and falls right into her trap.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob gets caught sweeping several women off their feet later that day, so it's clear his encounter with Empress Alice was a ruse.
    • Alice realizes her plan isn't working and switches to bribing Bob, in very small words, with promises she'll bake him a tasty cake. That works.
  • Double Subverted:
    • A few hours before, Bob got a crash course in talking to girls by some bemused, but grateful town The Casanovas. He's doing it all by rote.
    • Bob only likes dry chocolate cake. Alice's entire operation gets demolished by an angry Bob, starting with her getting her custom-ordered $15,000 replica of Princess Diana's wedding cake splattered all over her face.
  • Parodied: Bob's unintentional rejection wounds the Empress's pride. Forgetting the point of seducing Bob, Alice tries to get him to notice her in comically overblown ways, before finally breaking down and screaming "Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?" at him. None of this works.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob's idiocy is his "hammer", and he keeps noticing or missing plots as the series goes along because he either can't make sense of any of the clues given to him or because the enemy keeps underestimating their much Obviously Evil they are.
  • Averted: Bob is shown to have no understanding of flirtation, but this doesn't make him any less vulnerable. Empress Alice goes in to seduce him and get her powers back, and comes back an hour later making a smug remark about taking candy from babies.
  • Enforced: "The ladies in the audience think Bob's innocence is cute and really hate that vamp Alice...hmmm..."
  • Lampshaded: "Wow," says Empress Alice. "Even if I was genuinely interested in you, you'd be too stupid to get anywhere with me. What a shame!"
  • Invoked: Knowing Empress Alice is as charming and sexy as she is evil, the rebel forces deprive their soldiers of social interaction to keep them loyal and hard to blandish.
  • Exploited: Bob and Alice's encounter was engineered in a scheme to help Empress Alice fall in love and mellow out. The rebels know that she likes her men simple and determined, like Bob.
  • Defied: Before seducing Bob, Alice sends a minion to spell it out for him: "Dude, I heard Evil Empress Alice is into you. Go talk to her!"
  • Discussed: "Good ol' Empress Alice, she's got a way with men. Few of us are smart enough...or dumb enough...not to fall for it."
  • Conversed: "See, the real 'fantasy' aspect of this show is that any heterosexual man wouldn't be putty in this chick's hands!"
  • Deconstructed: While Bob is Too Dumb to Fool by exotic tricks, he is still The Ditz, and can still be manipulated by very basic tricks that wouldn't fool a six-year-old.
  • Reconstructed: Bob is a Fake Ultimate Hero, looks smarter than he is, is so stupid that his luck is overcompensating to the point he's winning the Superpower Lottery or otherwise he comes off as competent so no-one realises he's an utter dullard until it's too late.


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