Despite being virtually unknown abroad, Jára Cimrman's spirit looms large over Czech culture and popular consciousness. Born in Vienna,note he was the quintessential entrepreneurial, creative and hopelessly unsuccessful Czech underdog of the late Hapsburg period.
He was an inventor, a writer, a playwright, a composer, a criminologist, and many other things. He also would have won the "Greatest Czech" poll held by the Czech TV in 2005 (following a template from the BBC), were it not for the perfectly negligible technicality that he is completely and utterly fictional.
Tropes that may apply to Jára Cimrman:
- Been There, Shaped History: Jára Cimrman is the epitome of this trope. Amongst many, MANY things he created the light bulb, brought rabbits to Australia, advised Mendeleev to rotate his draft of the Periodic Table of Elements, suggested adding a sister to the Checkhov's play Two Sisters and even invented the Internet itself (started as a telephone info-booth with a group of teachers inside, one of them being a stuttering man W-W-W.Weber). Oh yes, and he also invented the light bulb, dynamite, etc. (but arrived at the patent office a minute after Edison and Nobel, respectively).
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: Cimrman parodied Gratuitous Hungarian in Vrada v salonním kupé ("Murder in the Salon Compartment"), with a Hungarian train steward whose dialogue features a few actual Hungarian words that make no sense in context they're just there to sound Hungarian to the Czech audience. But in the play's first act (styled as a mock-academic conference), it's "explained" that Cimrman knew no Hungarian and had only two materials in Hungarian at hand when writing the play: the menu of the Hotel Petőfi, and the Hungarian railway timetable.
- Raised as the Opposite Gender: He was forced to wear girl's clothes as a child, and didn't find out he was a boy until age 15.
- Rhyming with Itself: One of the plays of Jára Cimrman Theatre in Prague contains a poem that is ALL this, containing "rhymes" like "Our old clock beats four o'clock". Jára Cimrman apparently believed that a rhyme must repeat the whole word in order to be considered perfect. The actors mention (with a straight face, as always) that it's still not a perfect solution, since the perfection of the rhyme is at the cost of "certain diminishment of the meaning".