Main Brains Evil Brawn Good Discussion

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09:35:45 AM Jul 21st 2012
I'm not sure whether it should belong here, since it depends on the way we interpret the conflict, but wouldn't the NCR vs Caesar's Legion war count as an inversion? Caesar's Legion uses melee weapons, and values physical strength more than brains, and the NCR is an organized army using sharpshooters (First Recon), traps (trapping and blowing up Boulder City with the Legion in it), and sometimes guerrilla warfare (if I understood well what the Rangers are supposed to do). Some might root for Caesar's Legion, but wouldn't NCR be at worst the lesser of two evils compared to the Legion, at best corrupt but with a lots of good people? I'm not sure if I should post that, so I take it to the discussion page.
06:45:23 AM May 7th 2011
Excuse me but, do we really need this trope? It just seems to be exactly the same one as the "Dumb is Good" one, with all its flaws and quirks. Maybe I'm missing something, but I think we should just get rid of this trope and move the examples to others that can cover it just as well, "Dumb is Good", "Sissy Villain", "Evil Genius" etc.
09:56:33 AM May 9th 2011
edited by neoYTPism
It is similar to Dumb Is Good and Dumb Muscle, but the overall point is that evil uses brains, and good uses brawn. That alone makes it distinct.
08:00:40 AM May 10th 2011
So basically, "Evil is smart, while Good is stupid"? That sounds exactly like "Dumb Is Good".
09:03:24 AM May 10th 2011
edited by Aielyn
Curious that you insist that Brawn = Stupid. neoYTPism said nothing about the good guys being stupid. In fact, Brains doesn't necessarily mean smart, either. It's more about the "standard", as the article puts it, than the actuality.

In fact, quite often, the "brainy" villain is outsmarted by the "brawny" hero.

Note that I'm not actually arguing in favour of keeping the trope (or getting rid of it). I'm neutral on that, but your argument for getting rid of it is illogical.

EDIT: Personally, I'd suggest making the trope slightly more general, in the form Brains Vs Brawn. Sometimes, rather than Brains being evil and Brawn being good, it's the other way around. Sometimes, they're on the same side, but have a natural antipathy towards each other. Essentially, the inverse of Brains and Brawn.
03:29:54 PM May 10th 2011
I did not insist that Brawn=Stupid, I thought that the article implied that Brawn=Stupid, since it's stated to be in opposition to "Brains" which is supposed to be "smart".

I don't see how it's "illogical" to point out that this trope says the exact same thing as "Dumb Is Good". The only difference is that here we have the hero being strong while the villain is smart which, while not specifically covered by Dumb Is Good, can easily be merged into it, along any other quality like good looks, moral fiber etc. that is supposed to be in opposition to "intelligence".
07:38:54 PM May 10th 2011
In that case, I'd suggest that this indicates a need to adjust the article's tone. One of the examples, for instance, is Superman vs Lex Luthor - Superman is anything but "dumb", but he is clearly the brawn to Lex Luthor's brains, nonetheless, frequently favouring a physical solution to things, where Lex Luthor prefers to plot and hatch schemes rather than getting his hands dirty.

Think of it more as "evil prefers to scheme, good prefers to fight", rather than "evil is smart and weak, good is stupid and strong".
07:36:12 AM May 15th 2011
Propose an alternative description then @ Aielyn07
12:50:14 PM Aug 19th 2011
isn't there a contrast to this trope. i hate the trend that this trope and the 'good is dumb' trope represents. i wish it would change.
01:33:27 PM Feb 2nd 2012
edited by Stoogebie
So would an aversion be a Badass Bookworm as The Hero? With the bad guys varying in degree of brain-to-brawn ratio? Ironically, I think one of my stories falls into this trope despite the fact that the "hero" is a rather immoral pyromaniac.
10:32:33 AM Jun 9th 2012
edited by R.G.
In other words, Brains = Good, Brawn = Evil?

That certainly would be novel.


The hero is a Science Hero, Badass Bookworm or Guile Hero while the villain is The Brute or The Bully. Kind of like David Versus Goliath.
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