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Literature / The Stupids

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The Stupids were the title characters of a series of books written by Harry Allard and illustrated by James Marshall. It features an unusual family that is Exactly What It Says on the Tin in that they are stupid and get easily mixed up when performing tasks, to the point that the dog and cat are smarter than them. The books were made into a film adaptation in 1996, starring Tom Arnold as the family's patriarch, Stanley Stupid, for which he won a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor. The film was critically panned and was a Box Office Bomb.


Features examples of the following tropes:

  • Actor IS the Title Character: Tom Arnold is STUPID. (Stanley Stupid)
  • Advertised Extra: Jenny McCarthy was this in the film.
  • Hand Cannon: One of the corrupt air force officers selling weapons on the black market demonstrates a pistol that is essentially a handheld Grenade Launcher.
  • Head Pet: Mrs. Stupid wears a cat on her head when she goes out with the family in one of the books.
  • Idiot Ball and What an Idiot!: Much of the humor of the books is indeed a result of the mental acuity of The Stupids — they are so inept they are unable to do even the simplest of tasks (e.g., breathing, falling to sleep) without being reminded how to do so.
  • Milkman Conspiracy
  • My Own Grandpa: The song "I'm My Own Grandpa" is the Trope Namer.
  • Spanner in the Works: As one may guess, this is the family's role in the film against the villains.
  • Advertisement:
  • Too Dumb to Live: The entire family.
  • Video Credits: Used at the close of the film.
  • What an Idiot!: In-universe and pretty much the entire point of the books and film – a family who is so idiotic that even the most mundane, everyday tasks are an overwhelmingly great challenge.


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