Follow TV Tropes



Go To

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.
  • Book Burning: Destroying books to destroy free thought.
  • Brains Evil, Brawn Good: All evil characters use brains, all good characters use pure strength.
  • Break the Scientist: A character presents their faulty pseudo-science and a real scientist goes through a Heroic BSoD.
  • Don't Think, Feel: You should always rely on intuition and not logic or rationalism.
  • Dumb Is Good: The stupidest characters in the cast 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.
  • Advertisement:
  • Gravity Is Only a Theory: A well-established scientific concept is written off as "just a theory".
  • 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: A character is dim-witted, but their kindness makes up for it. Can be used to idolize stupidity.
  • Advertisement:
  • Ludd Was Right: Researching, thinking and questioning the old-fashioned ways is 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 etc.), not how they really are.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: