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Carl: Let's make litter outta these literati!
Lenny: That's too clever. You're one of them!

Many tropes deal with media manipulation, misinformation, ignoring/impersonating professionals, demonizing intellectuals, and/or idolizing "stupidity". For more tropes about intelligence and lack thereof, see Intelligence Tropes and Brain Chain.

For real-life anti-intellectualism, see here. Feel free to compare it with the tropes listed here.


  • Almighty Idiot: An Eldritch Abomination is so abominable that its own rational thought is completely destroyed. Suffering for everybody ensues.
  • Aroused by Idiocy: Being smart is considered an unattractive trait.
  • Blind Obedience: People are encouraged to follow their superiors' orders without question.
  • Book Burning: Destroying books to destroy free thought.
  • Brains Evil, Brawn Good: All evil characters use brains, all good characters use pure strength.
  • Brains Versus Brawn: If brains is portrayed as inferior to brawn.
  • Break the Scientist: A character presents their faulty pseudo-science and a real scientist goes through a Heroic BSoD.
  • Diagnosis: Knowing Too Much: You're mentally sick, your "ravings" are getting to be "too much", and we must medicate you and close you off from society for your own "safety", even though you are absolutely correct.
  • Don't Think, Feel: You should always rely on intuition and not logic or rationalism.
  • Dumb Is Good: The stupidest characters in the cast that are also the nicest.
  • Everybody Hates Mathematics: It's a general agreement that math sucks because it's too hard to understand.
  • For Science!: An evil character (usually a Mad Scientist) performs morally questionable experiments and justifies them with this phrase.
  • Gravity Is Only a Theory: A well-established scientific concept is written off as "just a theory".
  • Hates Reading: Someone who dislikes reading.
  • I Don't Pay You to Think: A Bad Boss discourages his underlings from thinking.
  • I Reject Your Reality: A character eliminates the principles of logic so that he can claim anything and nobody can contradict him anymore.
  • Ignorance Is Bliss: You don't want to know what happens around you, because not knowing makes your life so much easier.
  • Ignored Expert: They got expert knowledge in their field but nobody cares even though they absolutely should.
  • Intellectually Supported Tyranny: Beware of the smart because they support the dictatorship.
  • Japanese Spirit: One aspect of it: Guts, honor, and physical power are more important than intellect, science, and reason.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: An character that is lacking in intellect or common sense, but their acts of kindness and goodness of their heart bring the best in them. This is generally used to idolize any form of stupidity in charming ways when the characters are honest about their feelings without concealment.
  • Ludd Was Right: Researching, thinking, and questioning the old-fashioned ways are useless because doing them is the best anyway.
  • Measuring the Marigolds: Measuring and researching everything destroys beauty (usually of nature), it does not enhance it.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: A villain (usually a Mad Scientist) has the title "doctor".
  • Persecuted Intellectuals: An oppressive government forces laws on intellectuals.
  • School Is for Losers: Cool people don't have to put up with wasting their time studying.
  • Science Is Bad: The work portrays science as cold, emotionless and probably as a threat to general public.
  • Science Is Useless: People believe that anything they don't understand (now) couldn't possibly be important.
  • Science Is Wrong: A character dismisses scientific work to promote their own pseudo-science.
  • Steamrolled Smart Guy: A smart or reasonable character who is always ignored, dismissed, or mocked by the others around them once they speak up.
  • Straw Vulcan: A straw man used to show that emotion is better than logic.
  • Stupid Scientist: A creator lets a supposedly intelligent person say something completely idiotic to show their worthlessness.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: Intellectuals are looked down upon with disgust and envy.
  • Thoughtcrime: Even thinking this undesirable thought is a punishable crime.
  • TV Genius: He is a smart character, but portrayed in a stereotypical way how a stupid character imagines one to be (with huge arrogance, boring hobbies, over-complicated language, No Social Skills, and so on), not how they really are.