[[folder:Anime & Manga]]

->Papa is not a stupid man. It takes calculation to decimate another human with a word. He measures others carefully. He only feigns being crude and dense.
-->--'''Masaru "Kodama" Kodaka''', ''{{Manga/Bokurano}}''

->'''Soyogi''': [[ManChild She's]] coming up? In that case, I'm going down.\\
'''Nagi''': You can't deal with her either, huh?\\
'''Soyogi''': Yeah... especially when she ''[[TricksterMentor pretends]]'' [[TricksterMentor to be a fool]].

[[folder:Films - Live-Action]]
->I can't tell if you're really fuckin' dumb, or really fuckin' smart.
-->--'''Wendell Everett''', ''Film/TheGuard''

->No one is as dumb as I appear to be.
-->--'''David "Mo" Rutherford''', ''Film/TheStuff''

->He brilliantly lowers our expectations and then jumps without a chute. Remarkable!
-->--'''Lana''', ''Film/TheLibrarian''[[note]]While she continues to think this way, Flynn wasn't pretending. He ''is'' a genius, just a clumsy and chaotic one[[/note]]


->All warfare is based on deception.

->'''Pollio''': Do you want to live a long and busy life, with honor at the end of it?\\
'''Claudius''': Yes.\\
'''Pollio''': [[ApparentlyPowerlessPuppetmaster Then exaggerate your limp, stammer deliberately, sham sickness frequently, let your wits wander, jerk your head and twitch with your hands on all public or semi-public occasions. If you could see as much as I see, you would know that this was your only hope of eventual glory.]]

->A truly advanced being might realize it's best to approach lesser species in a nonthreatening way -- as a ridiculous-looking creature who comes across as a pompous jerk barely able to keep his foot out of his mouth. It puts you at ease, doesn't it, when you say, "This Pollisand guy isn't so scary; he's not the swaggering supergenius the rest of the universe thinks he is." You catch me making a few goofs, you throw my words back in my face, and after a while, you relax cuz you think I'm not smart enough to pull the wool over your eyes.
-->-- '''The Pollisand''', ''[[Literature/TheLeagueOfPeoplesVerse Ascending]]''

->A certain combination of skill and ignorance is very effective, you do not suspect it, and you accede to it.

->We must be so intelligent that he does not suspect us of being intelligent at all.
-->--'''Hercule Poirot''', ''Literature/TheMysteriousAffairAtStyles''

->Where people wish to attach, they should always be ignorant. To come with a well-informed mind is to come with the inability of administering to the vanity of others, which a sensible person would always wish to avoid. A woman especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.

->Thinking I'm a moron gives people something to feel smug about. Why should I disillusion them?
-->--'''Charles Wallace''', ''Literature/AWrinkleInTime''

->She drummed her fingers against the table, crossing one leg over the other.\\
“She plays it up well, the clumsiness and the slurring, but no matter how much hard liquor she puts away she’s never been more than tipsy.”\\
“You think she’s deceiving us,” William frowned.\\
“I think she’s playing it up for her audience,” Thief replied. “Isn’t that what [[TheBard Bards]] do?”\\
“She’s a heroine,” the Swordsman eventually said. “That much can’t be faked. Why would she bother to trick us when she’s on our side?”\\
The other Callowan passed a hand through her short hair, ruffling the tomboy cut as an uncomfortable look settled on her face.\\
“When we left for Summerholm, there were five heroes in our band,” the heroine said. “And we all knew going in that one of us would die to the Warlock – monsters like that don’t go easy. [[LawofNarrativeCausality It couldn’t be you, because you have a mirror on the other side. Hunter was meant to be your right hand, ill-suited as he was to the role. You needed me to get into the city and to get out afterwards]]. That left…”\\
“Almorava and Simeon,” William finished. “Your point?”\\
“Both of them are bumblers,” Thief spoke quietly. “There was a redundancy. But how much of an impression did Conjurer make, compared to the Bard? He barely talked while she was always in the background, larger than life, drinking and badly strumming her lute.”

->There was always something like that, Lawrence was realizing. Parson would make some mistake, be labeled an idiot for it, and then everyone would forget. Or at least, Lawrence would. Only in retrospect did it become clear that most of those "mistakes" had since been vindicated in some way.

->I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then tolerate me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting. In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool. ... You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise!
-->--'''St. Paul''', ''Literature/TheBible'', [[Literature/BookOfCorinthians 2 Corinthians 11:16-19]]

->"Joffrey and his mother say I'm stupid."\\
"Let them. You're safer that way, sweetling. [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Queen Cersei]] and the [[MagnificentBastard Imp]] and [[TheSpymaster Lord Varys]] and their like, they all watch each other keen as hawks, and pay this one and that one to spy out what the others are doing, but no one ever troubles themselves about [[UpperClassTwit Lady Tanda's daughter]] do they?"
-->--''[[Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire A Clash of Kings]]''

->"I don't think you're half as dumb as you act, Dox. And you might not even be as dumb as that."
-->-- '''Literature/JohnRain''', ''Winner Takes All''


[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
->I never run around in the bushes in a ski mask when I'm breaking in some place. Somebody catches you, what are you gonna say? You wanna look like a legitimate visitor until the very last minute. If you can't look legit, confused works almost as well. Maybe you get a soda from the fridge or a yogurt. If you're caught, you just act confused and apologize like crazy for taking the yogurt, nothing could be more innocent.

->'''Mrs. Scarlioni:''' My dear, I don't think he's as stupid as he seems.\\
'''Count Scarlioni:''' My dear, nobody could be as stupid as ''he'' seems.
-->--''Series/DoctorWho'', "City of Death"

->An unintelligent enemy is far less dangerous than an intelligent one, Jamie. Just act stupid. Do you think you can manage that?
-->--'''The Second Doctor''', ''Series/DoctorWho'', "The Dominators"

->You have the mouth of a prattling jackanapes, but your eyes tell a different story.
-->--'''Sharez Jek''', ''Series/DoctorWho'', "The Caves of Androzani"

->'''Davros:''' Still you play the fool.
->'''Twelfth Doctor:''' Well, by now that should make you nervous.
-->--''Series/DoctorWho'', "The Witch's Familiar"

->Calm down. Do what I do. Empty your mind.
-->--'''Grace King''', ''Series/HowToRock'', "How to Rock a Good Deed"

->As for being half-witted, well, what can I say? Except that I have survived to middle age with half my wits while thousands have died with all of theirs intact! Evidently quality of wits is more important than quantity!
-->--'''Claudius''', ''Series/IClaudius''

->Rule 15: Acting stupid is often smart.
-->--''The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition'', ''Franchise/StarTrek''

->Day after day,\\
Alone on a hill,\\
The man with the foolish grin is keeping perfectly still\\
But nobody wants to know him,\\
They can see that he's just a fool,\\
And he never gives an answer,\\
But the fool on the hill\\
Sees the sun going down\\
And the eyes in his head\\
See the world spinning 'round...
-->--'''Music/TheBeatles''', "The Fool on the Hill"

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
->''The wise man knows when to play the fool. You know when to blabber out what you know and when to hold your tongue. You know that something is amiss at [[MageTower Ceoris]], and you intend to learn what it is without being slain.''
-->--Roleplaying Hints for '''Biturges, A Fool For All To See,''' ''[[TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade Vampire: The Dark Ages]] - House Of Tremere.''

->It is a profitable thing, if one is wise, to seem foolish.

[[folder:Video Games]]
->I'll show you the truth.
-->--'''"Tobi"''' activating his [[SuperMode Awakening]], ''VideoGame/NarutoShippudenUltimateNinjaStorm2''

->I don't know why I even bother pretending to be [[ValleyGirl a ditz]], it's not like you actually listen to a word that comes out of my mouth.
-->--'''Dame Lettuce''' ponders the futility of this trope, ''Webcomic/CucumberQuest''

->How big of a dumbass do you think I think you are?
-->--'''Kit''' not buying it, ''Webcomic/TheDreadful''

->AC: :33 < then look like a fool!\\
AC: :33 < but don't be one

->I've always found that declaring something at Customs makes it much easier and faster to get through. The people who declare nothing tend to be the ones pulled over for complete luggage inspections, whereas if you say you're carrying a bag of jelly babies and a wooden souvenir elephant, the Customs officers just look at you as though you have no idea what you're doing and wave you through.
-->--'''David Morgan-Mar''', commentary for ''WebComic/IrregularWebcomic'' [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/2481.html #2481]]

->It's great how all these morons think ''I'm'' the one who's too naive.
-->-- '''Revolver Ocelot''', ''Webcomic/TheLastDaysOfFoxhound''

->'''Tarquin''': Remember, Nale: Who knows that you know is just as important as knowing in in the first place.\\
'''Nale''': But you look like a fool for being ignorant!\\
'''Tarquin''': So what? Better to look the fool than be one.

->'''Agatha''': But she's '''''completely useless''''' -- at least... she '''''seemed''''' useless... oh dear.\\
'''Tarvek''': I can't '''''believe''''' it! The Order has '''''obviously''''' been planning this for '''''years''''' -- and you '''''completely underestimated''''' the girl they groomed to be the '''''Heterodyne'''''?\\
'''Agatha''': You '''''obviously''''' haven't met her.\\
'''Gil''': '''''Oh, yes he HAS!''''' Your fake Heterodyne is '''''Zola la Sirène Dorée'''''.\\
'''Tarvek''': What?! No, that was that '''''idiot''''' from the island of the --\\
'''Tarvek''': She '''''is''''' good.

[[folder:Web Original]]

->When you are considered dumb, or at least not a threat, people stop looking to [[TallPoppySyndrome undermine your abilities.]] It’s natural for anybody in the work environment to feel threatened by a new hire, a lateral hire, or a superstar colleague. We all have our insecurities. The more you can pretend not to know as much as you do, and the more you can include other people in your successes, the better you will be.
-->--''[[http://www.financialsamurai.com/are-you-smart-enough-to-act-dumb-enough-to-get-ahead/ Are You Smart Enough To Act Dumb Enough To Get Ahead?]]''

->While he's said to be as dumb as UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush, one key difference makes him ''more'' dangerous - he knows how to break your jaw, because he takes advantage of his opponents' ability to underestimate him; the [[UsefulNotes/{{Texas}} Lone Star State]] is a graveyard of people who were undercut by the man they felt was too moronic to do such a thing.
-->--'''''Wiki/RationalWiki''''' on Rick Perry (R)

[[folder:Western Animation]]
->That's when it hit me. I realized that if I let him think he was smarter than me, I could make him do anything I wanted.
-->--'''Grandpa Phil''' on dealing with Nazis, ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold''

->'''Mr. Mxyzptlk:''' If you can make me say, spell or otherwise reveal my name backwards then I'll split, until our dimensions come into alignment again in... oh, three months, give or take.\\
'''Franchise/{{Superman}}:''' I can't even say your name forwards - how am I supposed to say it backwards?\\
'''Mr. Mxyzptlk:''' No, dope, ''you'' don't have to say it, you have to get ''me'' to say it!\\
'''Superman:''' Say what?\\
'''Mr. Mxyzptlk:''' [[OutGambitted Kltpzyxm!]] Gosh, you're thick! Now, for the last time... [[OhCrap ah, nuts!]] (''vanishes'')

->"[=SpongeBob=], you can't always expect my usual brand of stupidity. I like to mix it up, keep you on your toes."
-->--'''Patrick Star''', ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'', "The Card"

->"And I nearly risked revealing everything to get it. My infiltration into the Berkian world. Years of building trust. Behaving as if I was some buffoonish fop!"
-->--'''[[spoiler:Trader Johann]]''' to Viggo and Krogan, ''WesternAnimation/DragonsRidersOfBerk'', "Sins of the Past"

->"I was double-crossed by the one man I assumed was too stupid to even single cross!"

[[folder:Real Life]]
->It's like these people are programmed by Karl Rove. What he wants is to have liberal critics ridicule [[UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush Bush]] because he says "nucular" and "misunderestimate" and talks with a probably fake Texas accent and so on, because then can come back with the big propaganda apparatus saying, "See, those elite liberals who run the world and are sitting around [[SlobsVersusSnobs drinking French wine and eating quiche]] don't understand us ordinary guys;" regular guys like the guy working on the assembly line and George Bush, who is going [[CallToAgriculture back to his ranch to cut brush]].
-->--'''Noam Chomsky''', ''What We Say Goes'' (2007)

->To be looked upon as a fool by an idiot is a true connoisseur's delight.
-->--'''Georges Courteline'''

->It takes a smart guy to play dumb.

->[The Spartans] conceal their wisdom, and pretend to be blockheads, so that they may seem to be superior only because of their prowess in battle ... This is how you may know that I am speaking the truth and that the Spartans are the best educated in philosophy and speaking: if you talk to any ordinary Spartan, he seems to be stupid, but eventually, like some expert marksman, he shoots in some brief remark that proves you to be only a child.
-->--'''Creator/{{Plato}}''', ''Protagoras''

->[[UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower Eisenhower's]] career demonstrated how it is possible to fool all the people all the time... "I may be stupid," he once said at a press conference, "but at least I'm sincere!" Actually, he was neither, but it suited his purpose to play the part of the bumbling man of good will who was "[[SimpleCountryLawyer not an expert in these matters]]" but somehow would do his best.

->The thing about Colbert is he's fucking brilliant... He was always the smartest guy in the room, and he was always smart enough not to let you know he was the smartest guy in the room.
-->--'''Scott Wherry''' on long-time friend Creator/StephenColbert

->The advantage of being intelligent, is that we can always play stupid, however being the opposite is completely impossible.