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Idiot Hero / Western Animation

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  • Homer on The Simpsons is one of Western Animation's most iconic examples.
  • SpongeBob is also one of Western Animation's most iconic examples. He exemplifies this trope too. Although in the earlier seasons he was more of a naive Cloud Cuckoolander than an Idiot Hero.
  • The titular character from T.U.F.F. Puppy. He is shown to be capable of having some intellect, but he’s still mostly a reckless dog who often endangers his teammates due to his carelessness.
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  • Inspector Gadget. He regularly bumbles around getting himself in trouble, being unable to put two and two together, and flat out being Too Dumb to Live while his ten-year-old niece Penny and their dog solve every case for him and lead him to the bad guys, while he takes the credit for it.
  • Action League Now. Every character is Too Dumb to Live. Even Thundergirl and Bill the Lab Guy have their moments.
  • Launchpad McQuack, of DuckTales (1987), who in many episodes, saves his friends, or even the whole world while remaining a certified idiot. He's even admitted it on more than one occasion. In the new comics, his search for a job since Darkwing Duck went out of the vigilante business is displayed by but a single panel from his interview with the Rescue Rangers. No, Launchpad, you cannot, in fact, fly the Ranger Wing.
  • Toby in Gormiti: The Lords of Nature Return. He's courageous, selfless and a Determinator, but also quite frivolous, impulsive and Book Dumb, and has a tendency to pull pranks at the least appropriate moments, such as during a battle. Which becomes especially apparent when compared to his one-year-younger brother Nick.
    • Ironically enough, Toby is the Lord of Water, and Water Gormiti — especially Carrapax — are usually depicted as calm and wise.
  • Hot Rod (until becoming Rodimus Prime), Cheetor (pre-Character Development), Hot Shot (grows out of it), Ironhide (mostly grows out of it), Hot Shot, Bumblebee. If they're the Kid-Appeal Character in Transformers, they're most likely this.
  • Mahad in Skyland.
  • Most people would be forgiven for thinking that The Flash from Justice League Unlimited fits this trope. (He fits a bunch of others normally associated with this trope, too. His name is Wally, for goodness sakes.) It came as something of a surprise for many fans when he turned out to be a forensic scientist in his day job. Plus there's the fact that he's one of the most powerful members of the League under the goofiness and whenever you push him that little bit too far things tend to get broken.
    • An example of this is faking his own death, on camera, while hooked up to a heart monitor. He speeds up his heartbeat so the monitor can't sense it and flatlines. Even Batman is impressed.
  • Fry from Futurama is a Cloudcuckoolander on a good day. When it's not a good day... well...
    • His 'lack of a Delta Brainwave' is the one thing that allows him to save all life in the universe from annihilation on more than one occasion.
    Nibblonian: "There is but one being that can resist them. A child of destiny whose bizarre brain wave pattern makes him immune to the Brain Spawn attack. He is the hope of the universe. The fate of your world - perhaps all worlds - rests in his special mind."
    Leela: "Now, when you say 'special'..."
  • Walter Melon. (Not that Walter Melon.)The ad for the show says "He knows no fear. He knows no danger. He knows... nothing!" And... he really doesn't. He's the ultimate mercenary: whenever a character needs to be replaced, he can replace them. And he gets the powers. (Whether he can USE them remains to be seen, he displays varying levels of ability every episode.) This being a comedy, he almost always relies on Dumb Luck.
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  • Hong Kong Phooey, though calling him a hero is a stretch, since it's always his Hyper-Competent Sidekick who actually saves the day. Most of the time HKP's idiocy proves to be a hindrance.
  • Timmy Turner on The Fairly Oddparents. He barely passes in school, and never, never learns to Be Careful What You Wish For, yet he saves the Earth and Fairy World multiple times. Granted, he causes many of the problems himself.
    • This happened so much that Jorgen, in the later seasons, has become savvy enough to know that a typical world disaster is just another day in the life of Timmy Turner.
      Jorgen: (During the Fairy Baby special) There has been a disturbance in the fairy force! Someone was just about to wish for the B word! (poof in Timmy, Cosmo, and Wanda) Ah, Turner. ''Biiiig'' surprise.
      Jorgen: (During the second Christmas special) It's the day AFTER Christmas! Where is all this wishing coming from?! (Scanner show the magic is being pinpointed to Dimmsdale) Turner. Of course.
  • Mikey Simon from Kappa Mikey is prone to being this trope.
  • The titular character in Earthworm Jim veers well into this territory more often than not; when he's not a Cloudcuckoolander.
  • Palmer and Sasha from Titan Maximum are this with extreme emphasis on the idiot part.
    • And the fact that Palmer is regarded as genuinely heroic despite being a gigantic moron who barely knows what he's doing is what motivates Gibbs into becoming evil.
  • George of the Jungle, in the eponymous television series. But Tom Slick (from the same show), a parody of the original Tom Swift, fits the trope even better. He only wins his races because his True Companions aren't morons, and the villains make Dick Dastardly look rational.
    Tom Slick: Fear? I don't know the meaning of fear!
    Granny: He also doesn't know the meaning of 'broccoli'.
  • The titular character on Jimmy Two-Shoes is dumb (or at least extremely naive), yet he remains the only person Lucius can't break.
  • Wakfu gives us Sadlygrove, resident knight-errant and infamous Iop-head. Also puts the emphasis on the idiot bit, at least until episode 22. He is actually a Deconstruction, as he is aware he isn't very smart, and is frustrated by it.
  • Finn from Adventure Time, by his very own admission with the page quote. Though he's more impulsive than outright dumb—he occasionally wins challenges through craft, for example ("The Limit," "It Came from the Nightosphere," "Memory of a Memory.")
    • When asked why he's missing some teeth, Word of God said "he bites trees and rocks and stuff. He's stupid."
  • Lion-O from the eighties Thunder Cats series. A pretty justified case since he aged to physical maturity in a sleep capsule during the long journey to Third Earth;Lion-O is a kid stuck in an adult's body and is fairly naive at first. As a result, he has an inflated sense of responsibility as "Lord of the Thundercats", often charging recklessly into bad situations that the others have to bail him out of. He eventually becomes a good leader over the course of the series.
  • Lion-O from the ThunderCats (2011) series. The reboot centers on his coming of age travails. His Cloudcuckoolander beliefs alienate him from his own people, but endear him to the rest of Third Earth. He relies on the Indy Ploy and the fortunate intervention of magic stones for many of his successes.
  • Rudy Tabootie from ChalkZone is downplayed a little. While he's not outright stupid, he's naïve and Book Dumb, being around a C-student in school. He also causes a lot of the problems he has to solve, like in "Gift Adrift" (though Snap kind of made it worse), "Waste Mountain", "The Wiggies", "Hole in the Wall", "Power Play", "Draw and Let Draw", and The Big Blow Up.
  • Rodney J. Squirrel from Squirrel Boy.
  • Tak in Tak and the Power of Juju.
  • Eric from Sidekick, his friend Trevor also.
  • Gerold Goode from The Goode Family.
  • Coop of Megas XLR fits this to a T. The guy might know how to customize a giant robot, but no one ever said he knew how to pilot it. Or pilot it enough that it didn't level Jersey City more times than your typical Power Rangers episode!
    Evil Coop: You know you don't have a chance.
    Coop: I don't know NOTHIN'!
  • One has to question the logic of these so called "child geniuses" like Dexter or Jimmy Neutron or the Test sisters who resort to mundane efforts of acquiring money such as lemonade sales or selling candy despite the fact that their technology would be worth a fortune, or could make far more valuable products. They probably have the technology to replicate whatever they could want to buy.
    • Come FusionFall, both Dexter and his rival, Mandark, have started their own technology businesses with now publicly known laboratories.
  • Ben Tennyson from Ben 10, though this case is heavily justified: after all, he is a 10 year old kid using a highly advanced alien weapon he barely understands himself, and he's teamed up with a ridiculously precocious cousin (who is later revealed to have an innate talent for magic); anyone in such a situation and with such allies would look dumb in comparison, unless you are a genius yourself. By the time of Ben 10: Alien Force, he has grown out of his idiocy and is revealed to be much smarter than he seems, while his idiotics moments are more caused by his narcissistic tendencies following him becoming a Living Legend.
  • The titular character from The Legend of Korra falls into this category. Korra is far from stupid, but she is portrayed as completely oblivious, hot-headed, and impulsive. Usually, her strokes of idiocy stem from narcissistic tendencies developed from early childhood. At best, Korra is perfectly capable of being smart, but lacks the maturity and patience to bother doing so. By the end of Book Two, though, she's grown out of it almost completely.
  • Bessie Higgenbottom from The Mighty B!.
  • Adam Lyon and Jake Spidermonkey from My Gym Partner's a Monkey.
  • Mr. Bogus occasionally falls into this territory Depending on the Writer.
  • T.J. Detweiler from Recess, though his unintelligence comes more out of laziness than actual stupidity. He's a genius when it comes up to coming up with plans, but he's extremely Book Dumb.
  • Wally and Gus from Rocket Monkeys. Gus is the more sensible of the two, but that's not saying much.
  • Arguably deconstructed by The Pulverizer in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), where his idiotic tendencies and desperate desire to become special leads him to not only join the Foot Clan, but deliberately expose himself to Kraang mutagen, despite the efforts of the turtles to stop him. This turns him into the 2012 version of Mutagen Man... aka, an amorphous blob of corrosive goo with his organs floating around inside of him.
  • Both Robot and Monster, Robot is the smarter of the two but he's Genius Ditz.
  • Cat and Dog from CatDog, with Dog definitely the worse of the duo.
  • Flapjack from ''The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. Especially in "I'm a Believer".
  • Scaredy Squirrel
  • Maggie Pesky from The Buzz on Maggie.
  • Brain Newport from This Just In!.
  • The titular character on The Tick.
  • Bud from Bordertown, a bumbling Butt-Monkey cop who would let others push him around for making poor choices.
  • The titular character in Johnny Test. Especially in the episodes that has Hugh as the Big Bad.
  • Tommy Goodman from Mr. Pickles is portrayed as the show's Fat Idiot and the protagonist.
  • Steven Quartz Universe of Steven Universe is very much an example for the first half of the series. A small, naive child who is easily manipulated by the adults around him, he doesn't even realize his entire race is from another planet until the end of the first season. His childish antics frequently get him and the rest of the cast in trouble. However, as the series goes on and Steven learns more about combat and the minds of other people, he eventually (very gradually) grows out of this trait, and at this point in the series (season 4) stands as a Badass Pacifist / emotional Chessmaster with only occasional moments of weakness.
  • Kaeloo: While she's certainly not as stupid as Stumpy, Kaeloo is still pretty dumb.
  • The Ant Hill Mob on The Perils of Penelope Pitstop certainly could fit the bill as while they try to save Penelope from the machinations of The Hooded Claw, they tend to trip over their own fourteen feet. Special shout-out must go to Dum-Dum, who twice came through on Penelope's behalf and scored a kiss from her each time.


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