A specific version of The Ditz: an attractive but stupid character who gets by on his or her looks. Usually promiscuous (or at least "boy/girl crazy") and popular. Jokes about the character usually revolve around their lack of intellect and effortless romantic abilities. This is a subtrope of Beauty Is Bad.
The Brainless Beauty can be either male or female. Female examples (who are usually also The Chick) tend to be classic blonde idiots; male examples are Hunks or more rarely pretty boys. Neither has much difficulty getting the attention of the opposite sex. The Brainless Beauty is rarely the hero; they tend to be foils for more intelligent (though less successful romantically) characters. Some are sympathetic good-natured dullards, others are presented as annoying obstacles for our heroes. Either way, expect a smart but plain character to be left fuming at the unfairness of it all.
Brainless Beauty protagonists are most common in film (Zoolander, The House Bunny, Blonde & Blonder) but occasionally turn up on TV (Joey).
A Brainless Beauty even a sweet-natured one is unlikely to be the serious love interest of The Hero. In fact, they make a natural Romantic False Lead. It can happen though if the Beauty shows some form of Hidden Depths. For much the same reason a Brainless Beauty is unlikely to be Big Bad since their lack of brainpower doesn't make them that formidable unless the story is a comedy and the hero is equally intellect challenged. In fact, due to tropes like Kindhearted Simpleton and Dumb Is Good a Brainless Beauty is more likely to be good-natured than nasty though they are very likely to be Innocently Insensitive.
The interesting thing about this trope is that it is the inversion of the "long known" Real Life tendency of people, which is to assume the more attractive person will also be the more intelligent and competent one. However, that is done subconsciously, while using this trope will generally be a conscious choice of the author.
See also: Popular Is Dumb. It is a reasonably good rule of thumb that most cheerleaders will be presented as being Brainless Beauties unless the movie or show is actually focused on them. The same applies to jocks especially the nicer ones. An Asian Airhead is probably one of these. In a High School setting the Alpha Bitch usually has one of these characters in her Girl Posse though the Alpha Bitch usually isn't one herself because she needs a certain amount of craftiness to maintain her position.
Dumb Blonde covers some of the same territory but (obviously) not all Brainless Beauties are blonde, and by no means are all Dumb Blondes as sexualised as this trope. Female Brainless Beauties will often possess a Simpleton Voice.
In a sufficiently outlandish comedy, the Brainless Beauty might be literally brainless.
If this trope is set in a High School (or more rarely a university) and a female main character falls under this trope there is a fairly good chance she is secretly smart but employing Obfuscating Stupidity (because Popular Is Dumb) or at least has Hidden Depths. For some reason male Brainless Beauties very rarely turn out to be secretly smart.
- Dragon Ball:
- Sonsaku Hakufu from Ikki Tousen was portrayed like this in the Manga, although the Anime actually upped her stupidity by a large degree to the point of exaggeration.
- Jojos Bizarre Adventure:
- Suzi Q is absolutely beautiful (both is her youth and in her old age), but she's not exactly that smart. This is zigzagged however, as it's shown many time that she's actually smarter than she looks.
- Hato Higashikata from JoJolion is as beautiful as she is dumb. Don't underestimate her a fight, however, something Tamaki learned the hard way.
- Natsuru of Kämpfer is an example of one of these as a protagonist. S/he manages to achieve the unique combination of thinking entirely with his non-existent penis...and being Oblivious to Love. The result is a "hero" that just sorta stands there with a vacant expression as all the lesbians nearby start drooling, and the conspiracy involving a magical girl war he was drafted into just sorta drifts by. Notably, every adaptation makes this worse; s/he managed to have moments of competence to round out the physical attractiveness and utter idiocy in the light novels, had significantly less but still a few in the manga, and in the anime s/he has all the brains of a pile of unusually stupid (but pretty) rocks.
- 'Momo' of Kimi wa Petto is basically a big, dumb, friendly dog in human form. The UST between him, his master Sumire and the smart, rich man she's holding out for drives the plot.
- Tamaki Suoh, of Ouran High School Host Club, is one of the rare male brainless beauties that does have Hidden Depths. Heavily downplayed in that he is actually very book smart and gets the highest grades in his year next to Kyoya, but he still comes across as foolish much of the time because he has zero common sense.
- Charlotte of Princess Lover! seems to be trying to invoke this. The male lead resists it, but when she's kidnapped, she has no restraint about using her beauty against her captors. She is shown to be a little intelligent in the episodes, but in the previews, she acts completely brainless.
- Ran from Strawberry Shake Sweet spends most of her time being tall, pretty, adorable and entirely oblivious to everything -including her own feelings.
- While she wasn't too bad in the OVAs, Mihoshi became this in the Tenchi Universe continuity, driving her partner Kiyone to the brink of madness.
- Archie Comics:
- The Golden Age heroine Suzie is a beautiful blonde who draws plenty of attention for her looks. Unfortunately, she's also an epic Ditz and a Cute Clumsy Girl which means she tends to run through a lot of jobs.
- Another famous beautiful blonde is Melody from Josie And The Pussy Cats. She is an absent-minded, bubbly sort of character often taken to using silly, nonsense language, and provides much of the comic relief of the series. But she also draw all the male attention.
- The 2015 reboot of the Archie titles pushed Melody away from this trope and more into a Genius Ditz who happens to be ravishingly beautiful. A more straightforward example of this trope in the modern comics is Cheryl Blossom. She isn't as cartoonishly stupid as Melody or Suzie where but she frequently comes across as an airhead who's convinced she's brilliant, from her inability to recall the names of Archie's friends even while trying to bribe them ('Jug Handle', 'Betsy') to her attempts at staging a rescue to impress others ("wake up man, whose name I don't know!".) In #17 Veronica has to point out to her that her father's company being bought out by Hiram Lodge doesn't actually make the Blossoms poor.
- Vanessa, the heroine of the French comic Les Blondes is a literal example. She's stunningly beautiful and very nice but mind-bogglingly stupid. In one album a baffled doctor shows her an x-ray of her empty cranium and explains he found nothing at all in her head. Vanessa is visibly delighted at the all clear.
- Bizarrogirl has Supergirl's good looks but the usual Bizarro dimwittedness.
- Johnny Storm from Ultimate Fantastic Four is good-looking, but he never even managed to graduate from high school. It shows, repeatedly. He even seemed convinced he could get pregnant, somehow.
- Sensation Comics: The Heyday triplets (three of the Holliday Girls) are often referred to as the "Three Pretty Girls," and two of them are so clueless their grandmother left their inheritance to their sister figuring it would do them more good in her hands.
- Valhalla: Subverted. Frejya frequently plays the part, either to further her schemes or for her own amusement, but it is all a ruse. She is intelligent and charismatic enough to give Odin and Loki a run for their money on a good day, and is far better at managing people than most of her nominal superiors.
- From a 1995 FoxTrot strip:
Paige: Nicole, look! Bobby Whitmeyer must've transferred into our history class! He's the hunkiest hunk in the school! He is sooo hot! Sooo babe-like! Sooo to die for!
Nicole: ...Sooo stupid...
Paige: Oh, like brains really matter.
Bobby: Oops - I'm in the wrong room.
Nicole: In this case they do.
Paige: AAAA! Come back!
- In one of Charles Perrault lesser know tales "Riquet à la Houppe," or as it is known in English, "Riquet with the Tuft," or even more simply "Tufty Ricky," a princess is gifted by a fairy on her birth, the gift of beauty, however, the fairy also throws in the caveat that she will be extremely stupid. However one day she comes across the ugly, but charming, Gnome Prince Riquet, who also was blessed by the same fairy, however this time with the gift of intelligence and wit. He reveals that he was granted the power to gift one person with intelligence, and thus out of pity for the lonely and crying princess, whom all avoid due to her inability to carry on a conversation, he passes on his gift to her. A year later, the princess, now very popular in court due to her wit as well as her grace, crosses paths with Riquet once again and discovers she too has the power to pass along her gift. After thinking of Riquet's kindness, as well as his charm and wit, she is able to render him handsome, and the two are married.
- Axis Powers Hetalia fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Italy sure seems like one. After all, he seems to be oblivious to a lot of things including Germany's and Japan's obvious feelings for him. Keyword: seemed.
- The incredibly dense but drop-dead gorgeous farm girl Ragna briefly takes on the role of a Romantic False Lead in The Fledgling Year.
- Marik in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series. He's a Bishōnen with a midriff you could grate cheese on, but as an evil mastermind, he leaves a lot to be desired.
Bakura: You know, it's a good thing you're pretty. Otherwise, I'd have to suffocate you.
- In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Misty's older sisters have built up this reputation, due to their incompetence as Gym Leaders.
- The Triplets from Beauty and the Beast were also shown to be a trio of Brainless Beauties who fawn over Gaston, despite the fact that not only is it extremely clear that he's not a good person, but he doesn't seem to have the hots for them. Incidentally, their official names are "The Bimbettes."
- Vanna Pira, Dracula's girlfriend from Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf she's very beautiful but very ditzy and not very intelligent, she often doesn't get Dracula's jokes which frequently annoys him.
- Karen Smith from Mean Girls is described as "one of the dumbest girls you will ever meet", and even Regina George admits to Cady that she's the prettiest girl in the school and should really be Spring Fling Queen because of this, but "everyone forgets about her because she's such a slut".
- All the male models (except for David Duchovny's hand model - they're different from the face and body boys) in Zoolander.
- Gemma Honeycutt from Fool's Gold.
- The titular characters from Romy and Michele's High School Reunion are pretty but dumb. The popular girls who pick on them also qualify for this trope.
- Matt in The Opposite of Sex.
- Paul Metzler in Election.
- Pavi Largo from Repo! The Genetic Opera is this by way of inverted Informed Deformity; despite being horribly scarred and wearing masks made of other people faces, his admirers consider him beautiful. The "brainless" part is not up for debate. His sister Amber Sweet has had multiple cosmetic surgeries and is more conventionally beautiful. She's not as brainless as Pavi, but she's also not smart enough to know when to stop. Near the end of the movie, her recent surgery causes the skin to slide off her face. She has another surgery to replace it, while her former face is saved and auctioned off to the highest bidder... Pavi.
- Subverted in Mighty Aphrodite: Linda uses her sexual charms to get by, but she later turns out to be sadly aware of the fact, tries to improve her life without relying on beauty and deeply regrets not being able to take care of the child she put up for adoption. In the end, she gets better.
- Shelley from The House Bunny is a rare example of a protagonist who qualifies.
- Brace Channing from My Favorite Martian.
- The song "'Cause I'm a Blonde" from Earth Girls Are Easy is made of this trope.
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Rocky Horror, a blonde-haired Hunk, is almost literally brainless. He's only got half-a-brain and, quite frankly, he ain't too bright. It doesn't help that he's a day old, either.
- April Mercedes from Stuck on You.
- Peaches Page from Racket Girls.
Crow T. Robot: Ya'know, Peaches has a fresh natural stupidness that isn't forced or contrived...
- Subverted in Superman III. Lorelei ''pretends'' to be an airhead, when she's actually a genius. Alone, she delves into deep reading, and reveals she's a computer expert, too. She's so intelligent she knows behaving intelligently will get her fired since her job is to be "Ross'".
Lorelei: (reading Immanuel Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason") How can he say that Pure Categories have no objective meaning in Transcendental Logic? What about Synthetic Unity?
- Mia from Stan Helsing.
- Marcia in the '90s The Brady Bunch films. Even allowing for the uh, singular worldview the rest of the family has, she's pretty clueless and she's quite amazingly shallow:
Marcia: "I'll go first because I'm the prettiest."
- In the 1940s, Marie Wilson often portrayed this trope (e.g., the Ann Sheridan/Dennis Morgan musical "Shine On, Harvest Moon").
- In Roxanne, Chris the fireman is a nice, hunky, simple guy who knows how to put out fires but not much else. He's totally out of his depth around the erudite C.D. and Roxanne.
- Destiny Demeanor in Loaded Weapon 1 literally has nothing between her ears - at one point while making out with the hero she seductively asks him to blow in her ear. When he does so we hear an echo like someone blowing across the top of an empty beer bottle and see the hair on the opposite side of her head billow in the breeze.
- In the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy was one, though she matured out of it thanks to discovering her Hidden Depths.
- Jenna from Max Keeble's Big Move qualifies as this, or the Alpha Bitch.
- Brad the gigolo from Extract.
- Jack Bartlett (James Marsden) in Sugar & Spice, and he is close to being The Ditz as well.
- Party girl Maggie from In Her Shoes tells her sister "I'll let you do my resume if you let me do your hair."
- Cotton in the Miley Cyrus flick So Undercover is a very pretty, very sweet natured blonde with nothing between her ears. At one point the house she is in catches fire and her first instinct is to touch the flames (thankfully her friends intervene.)
Cotton: "Ooh! What a pretty fire!"
- Played with and painfully deconstructed in the film Bachelorette. Katie is a gorgeous airhead and for most of the film, her lack of intelligence is played for laughs. However, in a candid moment, she admits to her fears about her stupidity to Joe and how she doesn't actually like her life or know how to behave around people she has feelings for, other than via sleeping with them.
- Kevin from Ghostbusters (2016) is incredibly handsome and incredibly dim. The girls only hire him to be their receptionist because he was the only one who answered the ad.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: All There in the Manual: Aristotle Twelvetrees was a competent man, but his daughter, Dorcus, was as dim as she was pretty.
- Stroker Ace: Pembrook is a classic blonde beauty, but it's hard to tell whether she's really brainless or just that pure. She is largely ignorant of the crude humor around her and appears to have some very blank reactions, which lend to the trope.
- Joel from Colossal.
- Irina's sister Elena in Triple 9. Irina even comments that her sister is not very smart, but extremely good-looking, and that can make up for a lot of other deficits in today's society. Elena blindly follows all of Irina's orders, even when they concern her son.
- Missy "I mean Mom" from the Bill & Ted movies. She's very pretty but not exactly the brightest bulb in the lamp.
- Happy Death Day has Danielle, the president of the Alpha Bitch sorority, introduced in both the movie and the sequel in outfits that show off her body. She's also a moron who, for starters, confuses Helen Keller for Anne Frank.
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: Mildred's ex-husband Charlie is dating a girl named Penelope, who is stated to be at around nineteen years old. She gets polo and polio mixed up and can't read the room when she catches the Hayes family in the middle of a violent argument. However, she does state the Aesop of the film toward the end, saying she "read it on a bookmark."
- Discworld series.
- Christine from Maskerade. She's so ditzy she uses double exclamation marks all the time and has no idea what's going on, and she can't sing either, but she still overshadows Agnes Nitt as an opera singer because of her looks.
- Tawneee from Thud!. She's completely innocent towards anything romance- and sex-related because she was raised by a strict grandmother, and every man she's ever met automatically presumes she's out of his league. Well, up until she met Nobby Nobbs...
- Laddie the dog from Moving Pictures was a picture-perfect dog, the kind that can supposedly communicate complex concepts with a wrinkle of the nose. According to his manager Gaspode, he was dim as a ha'penny candle. When we hear his barks translated by other animals and/or the narrative, rather than humans, it's generally some variation of "Laddie good boy!"
- Subverted in Juliet from Unseen Academicals. She's friends with a principal viewpoint character who likes her but always has to do everything for her. Eventually, her friend realizes that it's the fact that she's doing everything for her that makes her come across as dumb, and when she's allowed to do things for herself she's actually fairly competent. Could still be a mild example, but some expectations are certainly subverted.
- Penelope, one of Miss Susan's pupils in Thief of Time is described as having a face that would one day require her father to hire guards, but which is generally unmarred by thought. She gets a gold star for coming up with important philosophical insight, although it's unclear if she meant to.
- Second Apocalypse: Serwe is almost superhumanly beautiful and is the least intelligent person in the series, falling utterly for Kellhus's manipulations without a moment's resistance.
- Tabitha, in the Delicate Fire series is a fiery-haired temptress that few can resist, but a lifetime of having everything handed to her by fawning admirers meant she never had the need for cleverness, leaving her more than a little dim.
- Exploited in Dora Wilk Series by the eponymous character in the last book, when she masquerades as Roman's Dumb Blonde busty trophy girl to get unnoticed into illegal werebeast fights. She calls the whole experience profoundly humiliating, even though no one recognizes her.
- Raziel from Christopher Moore's Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, a male angel so pretty that even straight men would want to do him if he didn't completely infuriate people with his stupidity. Biff theorizes that he's the origin of Dumb Blonde jokes. Raziel appears again in a later Christopher Moore book as the titular character. And what's the title of that book? The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror.
- Olivia Ryan from The Clique is described as a naturally beautiful blond that lots of guys in her grade like but she is considered the dumbest girl at their school.
- In Oathbreakers, Mercedes Lackey has an unusual example: it's a horse. He's apparently a very beautiful horse, but still thick as bricks.
- In the Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series, unicorns are breathtakingly gorgeous and head-thuddingly stupid. There seems to be an in-universe law that beautiful magical creatures are usually dumb as rocks, while intelligent ones are seldom beautiful.
- Subverted in Diana Wynne Jones's Year of the Griffin; minor character Melissa is both beautiful and dumb, but rather than trade on her looks she's working to learn magic, even though it's hard for her.
- Rosemary Barton from Agatha Christie's Sparkling Cyanide. Rosemary is so beautiful that virtually every male character is instantly attracted to her but so dumb that none of them can stand to be around her for very long. Pretty much all of her love interests end up with women with less beauty but more intelligence.
- In the Uglies series, the surgery that makes you pretty at age 16 turns basically everyone into these.
- Michael's crush, Rosamund, in the Knight and Rogue Series. He and her crush seem to be the only two not to realize she's not the sharpest tool in the shed.
- Subverted in The Pale King by Meredith Rand, who is well aware of this trope and annoyed by anyone who assumes she is one.
- Keifer Porter of A Brother's Price, as well as being all-around nasty. One of his wives claims she's met dogs smarter than him; another of them recalls how when he'd throw tantrums and hurl names around, they were always "childishly simple".
- Mae from Runemarks is described as one on the character page.
- Subverted with Daisy in The Great Gatsby. She may be indecisive but she is no fool and she knows how miserable her life is. She invokes this trope as a Stepford Smiler as a coping mechanism.
- In Why We Took the Car, Tschick accuses Tatjana of being this. Whether he's right or not is never confirmed.
- Miss Harriet Smith from Emma is extremely pretty and becomes popular in Highbury once Emma takes her under her wing, but she's silly, not at all clever and unable to decide for herself about anything. Emma puts ideas in her head that she has a right to get married well because of her looks, and she falls in love quite easily.
- The Eddie LaCrosse series has Callie, a minor but recurring character who works as a barmaid at the inn where Eddie bases himself. She's very attractive and very sweet, but not too smart.
Even dressed in winter clothes that covered her from chin to ankle, Callies beauty could melt icicles at ten paces. It was a shame those same icicles could probably outthink her.
- Spectral Shadows completely inverts this. There are lots of beautiful female characters that are pretty intelligent or at least not so ditsy.
- Princess Blaze from Wings of Fire is said to be the most beautiful of the SandWing sisters in the war. But she's also shown to be quite idiotic and gullible, not good traits for a queen.
- If Jane Rizzoli isn't assuming a beautiful woman is a bitch, she's usually assuming she's this.
- In the backstory of Holes, Elya Yelnats spent much of his time trying to woo Myra Menke, the most beautiful girl in town. His mentor, Madame Zeroni, continually cautions him, noting that "her head is as empty as a flowerpot." Myra proves Zeroni correct, as when she's given the choice between an ugly, dimwitted pig farmer who's forty years older than her, and a handsome and muscular young man who genuinely loves her, she decides to use the method of "I'm thinking of a number between one and ten!"
"Can she push a plow? Can she milk a goat? No, she is too delicate. Can she have an intelligent conversation? No, she is silly and foolish. Will she take care of you when you are sick? No, she is spoiled and will only want you to take care of her. So she is beautiful. So what?"
- Jessica from Sweet Valley High. Although she can be incredibly competent at getting back at anyone who tricks her.
- A Spell for Chameleon: Wynne is very beautiful and very dim. It's ultimately revealed that this is part of her magical power. Her beauty and intelligence are always at an inverse, and she slowly goes from one extreme to the other and back.
- The theme of "The Chaste Clarissa" by John Cheever. Clarissa is a sexy redhead but pretty dimshe thinks that rocks can grow, and when the protagonist, a seducer named Baxter, gets her to open up, she expresses a lot of pretty vapid, cliched opinions. All of Baxter's attempts to seduce her fail, until he says "You're so intelligent"Clarissa is so self-conscious about being dumb that Baxter's flattery is what finally succeeds in getting her to have sex with him.
- 30 Rock: Drew, one of Liz's boyfriends, is incredibly stupid, but everyone just lets him slide because he looks like Jon Hamm. He leads a charmed life without even realizing it. This whole characterization comes out of nowhere in the second episode he's featured in.
- The Big Bang Theory
- Penny is probably closer to being of average intelligence with a few ditzy moments but is effectively one in comparison to the rest of the main cast. That said, she does make an effort to learn and is in many ways savvier about functioning in the real world than the guys.
- Penny's on again/off again boyfriend Zack. Tall, buff, good-looking, and so dumb he makes the box of rocks like a college grad.
- Subverted with Sheldon's sister Missy who is drop-dead gorgeous and described by their mother as "dumber than soup". However in her only appearance, Missy seems a normal girl with average intelligence and certainly not brainless. She's probably only "dumb" in comparison to her brother.
- Played for laughs in a season six episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, in which it is revealed that Black and Nerdy Cultured Badass Captain Holt is considered to be this by his classics professor husband's coworkers - who have a bad habit of underestimating the intelligence of anyone who isn't an academic.
- Harmony. Then she becomes a soulless vampire making her stuck in this role forever.
- Glory makes Harmony look like a rocket scientist. She's the ditziest Big Bad ever. Not that it makes her any less terrifying or unstoppable. Actually lampshaded by Buffy after Glory decapitates the Buffybot and still assumes she was the real Buffy:
Buffy: You're not the brightest God in the heavens, are you?
- Cordelia Chase, on the other hand, subverts the trope; she appears at first to be a classic example but is later revealed to be quite intelligent, just reluctant to show it because she doesn't want to lose social status. (It doesn't help that she is often shown in comparison with Willow.) Lampshaded early in Season 3 of Buffy when discussing the SAT:
Cordelia: "Actually, I'm looking forward to it. I do well on standardized tests." (beat) "What? I can't have layers?"
- Unlike her movie version, Buffy has long since put this personality behind her — but we do get a brief glimpse of it in the flashback to when Angel first sees her.
- The show parodies/deconstructs this concept in the episode Regional Holiday Music with Annie attempting to seduce Jeff to convince him to join the Glee club for the Christmas pageant. Jeff points out just how creepy the idea really is.
Jeff: You are an intelligent woman. Also, you're Jewish.
- Annie then proceeds to sing about how she has no idea how Christmas works. With her intelligence dropping throughout the song. She dresses in a short-skirted costume and begins her song with an affected cutesy-dumb attitude remarkably unlike her usual intelligent, straight-A personality. This then devolves into increasingly childish behavior, until she's flopping on the ground spewing baby-talk. Even the insatiably horny Jeff is incredibly turned off by the number she intended to use to seduce him.
Jeff: Look, eventually you hit a point of diminishing returns on the sexiness.
Annie: What's a deminiminmeghh?
- Considering that the entire episode is an extended Take That! to Glee, the scene could arguably be interpreted as a criticism of Brittany's character in particular. She started out as vaguely ditzy, progressed to amusingly airheaded, and quickly crossed the line into being so childish that she could never possibly function in the real world. This doesn't preclude the series from portraying her in a very sexualized manner, which leads into mass Unfortunate Implications.
- The show parodies/deconstructs this concept in the episode Regional Holiday Music with Annie attempting to seduce Jeff to convince him to join the Glee club for the Christmas pageant. Jeff points out just how creepy the idea really is.
- Doctor Who: "Silence in the Library" has Miss Evangelista, who is an extremely self-aware example, claiming that her father told her she had the intelligence of a fly as a compliment. Anita and Other Dave explain that she mistook the escape pod for the bathroom on the journey there twice, and she ends up falling for a case of Schmuck Bait. When she's uploaded to the Library computers after her death in "Forest of the Dead", she's much more intelligent but now looks like a living Picasso painting because she was uploaded wrong, although her face gets fixed in the end.
- Drake from Drake & Josh. Possibly a case of Brilliant, but Lazy. He displays an ability to predict exactly how long it will take for him and Josh to sneak home compared to their parents' timing, claiming he could do that but is failing math because that situation was "actually important".
- Hilary Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She casually asks her father for 300 dollars in the pilot episode, gets loads of various jobs with unexplained luck, gains her own television show as a talk show host. To make matters even stranger is that while Uncle Phil and Aunt Vivian acknowledge her greedy nature, they often force other characters to work much harder than Hilary herself. However, later episodes imply that Hilary was rather spoiled when her father struck rich, and is trying to prevent the rest of his children from doing the same. Especially Ashley.
- Joey is a hunky actor who is consistently the dumbest character on the show.
- Rachel started out as one, as she was clueless concerning any real-life skills, but thanks to Character Development she became a lot more sensible and capable.
- Her sisters, however, both fit this trope.
- Brittany. Fellow cheerleader Quinn is an aversion; she's a beautiful blonde but much smarter. Santana is somewhere in the middle: smarter than Brittany (though that isn't saying much), but has her occasional ditzy moments.
- Finn is a male version.
- Sam fits this as well. He's beautiful to the point of having his shirt off every other scene, yet is totally clueless most times as to what is going on, especially with his closet lesbian girlfriend.
- Blanche of The Golden Girls (Although this seems to be more breeding/force of habit than true stupidity). Roommate Rose on the other hand...
- Hannah Montana
- Amber is just an Alpha Bitch but not a ditz, though her sidekick Ashley is a straight example.
- Invoked against Miley by Rico as well, when he tells her "It's a good thing you're pretty". He even dismisses his 'Miley is Hannah Montana' theory on the basis that she's too much of a bubblehead to pull it off.
- There's also Brainless Bodacious Becky, a Satellite Love Interest of Jackson's.
- Toyed with in House.
- House tells Cameron that he hired her because she was pretty, not because she was "the best" ... for example, she graduated near the top of her class, but not at the top of her class. House figured that, because she was pretty enough to get by on her looks but chose to study anyway, she was probably worth hiring.
- House meets a doctor when he's looking to replace his fellows and, in flirting with her, offers her a position on his staff. One episode later, it's revealed that she took him at his word and shows up at Princeton-Plainsboro having left her former job. This being TV, most characters are at worst Hollywood Homely, but she's remarkably good-looking in that several characters remark on how good-looking she is. It's heavily implied that she's been getting by on her looks because House is repeatedly Distracted by the Sexy and doesn't realize her ideas are nonsensical until it's pointed out by someone else. Eventually, he starts having Taub or one of the others repeat her statements to him so that he can judge them outside the context of her physical appearance, and winds up firing her by the end of the episode.
- From How I Met Your Mother:
- Katy Perry played one of these in one episode.
- Robin's boyfriend Nick was eventually revealed to be this. She breaks up with him for it.
Ted (to Barney): I'd say hump her brains out but someone obviously already has.
- Many women of this trope were the target for many of Barney's one night stands, particularly when you factor in the fact that they always believed Barney's extravagant lies as a three-time Nobel Peace Prize-winning astronaut spy.
- In the short-lived sitcom How To Be a Gentleman, the lead character dated an underwear model played by Desi Lydic who he at first believed to be clever and funny because he was constantly Distracted by the Sexy while talking to her. It was only when he heard her over the phone that he realised she was an airhead.
- Just Say Julie - Literally! Julie Brown interviewed moronic (and fictional) model Lake Arrowhead and after posing a 'difficult' question Lake's brain exploded out of her head from the pressure of thinking. Luckily Julie found the brain (which was about the size of a wadded up piece of chewing gum), but Lake (who seemed exactly the same despite now having no brain at all) left to go on a date without bothering to put it back in. Julie then absentmindedly ate it.
- Penny Parker from MacGyver isn't exactly stupid, but she tends to act without thinking things through and has only a shaky grasp of how the world works.
- Malcolm in the Middle has Alison, a girl that Malcolm dated briefly when he first began high school. She couldn't grasp any concept that Malcolm tried to explain to her, and she ended up dumping him after he used the word paradox in a sentence. She would move on to Malcolm's brother Reese, who is on the same wavelength of dumb as she is, and they would stay together for half the season. She would end up showing a little bit of intelligence when she realized Reese didn't want to spend money on her to go to a dance and ended up making him take her to the dance and dumping him immediately after.
- Married... with Children: Kelly is a rather ditzy, popular and pretty girl. Through Flanderization, she becomes dumber over the course of the show.
- Lampshaded and deconstructed in a season 2 episode of The Middle; Axl's boss is an extremely sexy but extremely dumb party girl who he is at first overjoyed to work with, but eventually grows to intensely dislike, even turning down a date (to his own shock) due to frustration at her thoughtlessness.
- Vince Noir of The Mighty Boosh has fabulous hair, amazing clothes, and one brain cell.
- Haley from Modern Family. Heavily inverted by Gloria who despite being drop-dead gorgeous who initially comes across as a Gold Digger is actually very sweet, smart, and genuinely loves her older husband.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus: Carol Cleveland played a lot of attractive, but fairly stupid young women in the series. For instance, the one in the Science Fiction Sketch who is so slow at comprehending her scientist boyfriend's explanation about why people are turning into Scotsmen that he eventually knocks her unconscious.
- Seth Powers from Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, who ended up with the Teen Genius Tsundere via a combination of Opposites Attract and Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends.
- NTSF:SD:SUV::: Piper clearly isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but she's overtly the Fair Cop on the team who provides most of the Fanservice.
- Erin from the American version of The Office is a mild version mixed with The Pollyanna - she's very pretty and probably the nicest person in the show but she can be completely clueless, gullible and naïve.
- Andy from Parks and Recreation, as Donna notes: "Oh, Andy. You're fine, but you're simple."
- In one episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Sabrina was temporarily turned into a literal example by a virus (literal, in that aside from becoming a dimwitted, boy crazy shopaholic, characters could look in one of Sabrina's ears and see straight out the other).
- Schitt's Creek: Alexis Rose subverts this trope, even though she is not an intellectual or a good student and has big gaps in her knowledge. She does, however, have strong social media skills, exceptional survival skills that have allowed her to escape from numerous kidnappings, multiple international driver's licenses and solid organizational skills. She also learns to be an excellent assistant to Ted, and she is able to catch a group of teens who are shoplifting from her brother's store.
- Adriana La Cerva from The Sopranos is so dumb she believes a drug dealer when he says that the money from drug dealing goes towards poor children.
- Lydia from Teen Wolf, comes off as this at first, but it's later shown that she's Obfuscating Stupidity for Jackson's sake and is actually a Teen Genius who's extremely gifted in chemistry and can read archaic Latin.
- True Blood. Jason Stackhouse: Irresistible to women, seldom fully dressed, always utterly clueless. When he starts listing out his diet and workout routine to stay so chiseled, it actually seems a little out of character for him to know that much information about anything.
- The Girls@Play song "Airhead" is all about going on a date with a male Brainless Beauty.
- Voltaire's song "Future ex-girlfriend".
"Then came you raising the bar, oh you. You won't be undone. I looked into your eyes and much to my surprise. I saw that there was nothing in them 'Cause there's nothing between your ears but air."
- 2D of Gorillaz was described in his first website biography as having a "voice like an angel and an arse like a satsuma". He is, however, undeniably dim, even taking into account the doziness from his huge painkiller intake.
- April Smith and the Great Picture Show have a song called "Drop Dead Gorgeous" in which the narrator acknowledges her love interest is incredibly gorgeous yet incredibly vapid, and if the love interest has no interest in getting smarter, than hell, neither does she.
- The page image is of CariDee Williams from America's Next Top Model, as part of a humorous "Model Stereotypes" shoot.
- The song "Macho Macho" by Austrian pop singer Rainhard Fendrich is about a male example. One memorable line is "Er war zwar in der Schul' ein Depperl, aber des stört die Hasn nie"note .
- The song "When I was a Bimbo" by Sue Wilkinson, a humorous singer/songwriter of the early 80s with a half-spoken delivery. The song is about a middle-aged ex-Brainless Beauty (clearly of the Hidden Depths type) who adopted a much more sophisticated persona as she got older. She is snarky about bimbos who don't wise up with age, while also being annoyed in a self-deprecating way about how little attention she is getting compared with her days as a sexy airhead.
- "You're Beautiful When You Don't Talk" by Steel Panther is all about this:
More beautiful than the rarest jewel
But when you open your mouth you're such a tool
When I ruminate on all the things you said
It's clear your parents dropped you on your head
- The Trope Codifier for combining this trope with the Dumb Blonde trope might have been the enormously popular late 1940s/early 1950s radio sitcom My Friend Irma starring Marie Wilson as the very pretty but oh so dim Irma. The series would spin off into feature films, a television series in the early 1950s and a long-running comic scripted by Stan Lee!
- The Boys in the Band. Cowboy.
Harold: Well, I suppose he has an interesting face and body, but it turns me right off because he can't talk intelligently about art.Emory: Yeah, ain't it a shame?Harold: I could never love anyone like that.Emory: Never. Who could?Harold: I could and you could, that's who could. Mary, she's gorgeous.Emory: She may be dumb, but she's all yours.
- The play Cyrano de Bergerac centers around one being used as a mouthpiece by a smart but unattractive character. The beautiful character, Christian, is not exactly "brainless," he just gets tongue-tied around pretty women. Not his fault that almost all the aforementioned adaptations have him dumb as a stump.
- Sophia from Fools, the prettiest girl in a town cursed to be eternally stupid.
- Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Her song "Lovely" is about how her good looks are about the only thing she has going for her.
- Hedy LaRue in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
- Lois Lane (no, not that one) from Kiss Me Kate.
- Ado Annie in Oklahoma!.
- Galinda from Wicked initially comes off as just a Dumb Blonde but she definitely has Hidden Depths. Fiyero also has good looks and hidden depths, especially when he declares that "People are so stupid, they'll believe anything!" at the beginning of Act 2.
- April from Company. One of her first lines is "I'm very dumb."
- The Ace Attorney series has a few. And almost always averts them once they're broken down.
- Ini Miney, a college student majoring in parapsychology, but very unfocused and seems to struggle with basic conversation. Rubs her temples when trying to understand something, and gives the "Silly Me" Gesture quite frequently. Also a murderer framing an innocent person completely unrelated to her motives, and in reality her own sister whose face was reconstructed after a car accident.
- Cammy Meele, a stewardess who is apparently sleeping with the plane captain. Murderer—oh, and she's the only person on the crew who can read Borginian.
- April May, who is...something to Redd White. Accessory to murder.
- Matt Engarde, 'fresh as a spring breeze' kid's show actor. Practically defines Bitch in Sheep's Clothing; he put out a hit on his rival.
- Regina Berry, child-like lion tamer who enraptures everyone around her. Totally innocent.
- Destroy All Humans!: In the second mission of the first game, Beauty Contest winner Miss Rockwell is described as "having a brain the size of a peanut", which makes her the perfect candidate for probing.
- Fallout: It is entirely possible to create a character with 1 point in intelligence and 10 in Charisma. Such a character could effectively be considered a brainless beauty. Take such a female character to Myron in Fallout 2 and implied drugging and rape ensues.
- The Galaga ship (not even kidding) in Namco High is spelled out as the most gorgeous character, and while not strictly brainless is not portrayed as particularly intelligent - quoting from Hamlet while discussing Romeo and Juliet, for example, or not noticing Cousin blundering through a Buffy Speak request to join the drama club because he was busy listening to her own internal radio. Unusually for this trope, he has actually noticed that he tends to get things without needing to earn them or put effort into it and that everyone around her is remarkably prone to telling her what they think he wants to hear and is actually rather bothered by the situation.
- The protagonist of Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle actively dislikes this type of person, having developed a "complete aversion to those with more beauty than brains". Naturally, there's a point in the plot where she needs to get answers out of such a character.
- Moldsmal's battle description in Undertale is a reference to this trope. note Despite that, this is subverted by Moldsmal being a Blob Monster.
- Hilda from Under Night In-Birth is a rare example where this kind of character is the Big Bad (or at least hyped up to be until she's later revealed to be an Unwitting Pawn). She is basically what happens if you give a brainless rich socialite with very little empathy for others a crap ton of supernatural power; she's not even any good at using it, but nearly everyone dreads the idea of fighting her because of how callous and Lethally Stupid she can get.
- The Order of the Stick:
"Huh? Oh, whatever Thor and Odin says goes for me, too. Balder, God of Beauty, votes No. I guess."
- The bard Elan. Well, he's definitely brainless, but, this being a Stick-Figure Comic, we only hear about his looks. Subverted thanks to tons of Genre Savvy that is quite useful for a webcomic character. Of course, how often Genre Savvy works depends on Rule of Funny.
- There's a scene in 2015 where all the gods are voting about the fate of the entire world, speaking through their high priests. One of them says this:
- Carol from Suburban Tribe. Slightly complicated by the fact that she has a secret identity as a very clever, highly skilled, international spy thanks to a handy bit of Phlebotinum.
- Lampshaded by Lord Elf in Elf Only Inn.
Lord Elf: Brains and beauty. Why am I the only one who has both?
- Sonya from Ménage à 3.
- Bittersweet Candy Bowl: Katie is a prime example.
- Bobwhite: Ben is rather slow on the uptake and easily distracted. When Dan Figley (hardly the brightest bulb in the box himself) thinks you're kind of slow, you've got problems.
- In Sinfest, the green succubus is told not to get any book learning but rely on sex appeal.
- Subverted and exploited by Lana in Spying with Lana, who encourages her opponents to think that she is this (if they don't already assume so).
- Jake English of Homestuck, whose good looks and lack of wit tend to make him the center of other people's schemes. Played with, as some of it seems to be Obfuscating Stupidity; Jake represses insights he has in order to avoid uncomfortable thoughts and play the part of his action hero persona.
- Grif's sister from Red vs. Blue. Sure, we don't actually know what she looks like due to wearing all that body armour, but the impression we are given from the characters is that she ain't half-bad (especially when she is seen naked on a surveillance camera). Oh and she's dumber than a rock as well.
- Survival of the Fittest v4 character Hermione Miller is often described this way. She's an aspiring fashion model, so of course, she's gorgeous. Unfortunately, she's also not very intelligent, or at least is Book Dumb. Eventually deconstructed when she realizes that people would always secretly treat her with disdain and disrespect due to her foolishness, which leads her to pulling her collar.
- In the Whateley Universe, Phase's sister Heather the supermodel, who has been compared unfavorably to Paris Hilton.
- CollegeHumor: In "The Six Girls You'll Date in College", there's 'The Dumb Hot One', who dates the Audience Surrogate simply because she once saw a Wes Anderson movie and thinks he's "quirky".
- Ty Lee from Avatar: The Last Airbender although she also gets by on her super fighting skills. She's always happy, pink and perky, flirting successfully with everyone. However, she is shown to have some Hidden Depths; she purposely does everything to get noticed after being ignored in her childhood and it appears that her overly cheerful demeanor is to avoid being hurt by Azula. At the end she is shown to be a loyal brainless beauty who sacrifices herself to save her friend Mai.
- Various Daria characters, particularly Kevin, Brittany, and the Fashion Club. Although Kevin is so dumb he probably qualifies as The Ditz. Subverted with Quinn (who is intelligent, but focuses on her looks as her primary weapon in The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry since Daria is known for her brilliant intellect) and Stacy (who lost her Extreme Doormat and Prone to Tears status in the final season as part of her and Charles/'Upchuck' both Growing the Beard). Sandi is also a mild subversion, in that she is fairly verbose and great at playing politics but on the other hand seems to be completely inept academically. Tiffany, though, plays the trope straight.
- Jillian from Family Guy. She makes Peter look like a genius with her low intelligence but making up for it with her attractiveness. Her good-looking friends could be considered like this, too.
Jillian's friend: "Gloss rhymes with hair!"
- The Nerdator, a one-shot villain from Freakazoid!, had intended to capture all the Earth's nerds (except Newt Gingrich) and absorb their intellect, leaving the running of the planet to "good-looking but vapid air-heads". Enter the star of the show to make him see the error of his ways.
- Booey Bubblehead, the literal airhead from Galaxy High. Remember, she's not forgetful; just absent-minded!
- Gravity Falls: The members of Sev'ral Timez, the boy band from the episode "Boyz Crazy", are all very good-looking, and can't even figure out how to drink water from a glass. Then again, this is possibly justified by the fact they are clones. They have been genetically created to be the perfect boyband in terms of appearance, singing and dancing talent, but are treated like performance animals by their Boss, Bratzman. They live in a large hamster cage and Mabel eventually releases them into the wild.
- Kinga the Kangaroo from Hip-Hip and Hurra. Even though she's more insane than stupid, she still has plenty of ditziness in her.
- Miss Information, the tour guide from Histeria!. As the name indicates, she's more than a little clueless about history, and her attempts at providing trivia tend to come out as Little Known Facts.
- Gil on Johnny Test. The boy's head is hollow as a coconut.
- Melody on Josie and the Pussycats. See Comic Book above.
- Kim Possible
- Shego briefly entered this trope when Dr. Drakken placed a mind control chip on her forehead, which also backfired on Drakken when Shego neglected to inform Drakken that Kim Possible was climbing up his waterfall lair because when the video feed came up, she still was trying to find a Dodo bird under his request, despite his stating a few minutes before that that Dodos were extinct and he was trying to mess with her.
- Tara also falls into this on occasion.
- Luann from King of the Hill has been flanderized into this - she used to be fairly intelligent, but a bit naive and ditsy. It didn't help that she ended up getting married to the walking, talking incarnation of White Trash. Who also became something of a Creator's Pet as time went on.
- Leni Loud from The Loud House. Despite being the second oldest Loud sibling, she is the dumbest; she often takes things too literally. On the other hand, she is also one of beauty and nice characters in the show.
- Moral Orel's Nurse Bendy is a Deconstruction as she's dimly aware of this and thinks everyone only values her for her looks and being easy. Hidden Depths reveal she wishes she had a family, as she once gave her infant son back to his father. She has a set of teddy bears at home she uses for pretend to compensate. Eventually, she's reunited with her son Joe and is finally able to be a mother to him.
- A villain in Sam & Max: Freelance Police had plans to pilot a rocket to space accompanied by a team comprised entirely of these, as opposed to people who were actually qualified for space exploration. He wasn't much of a villain, but it's a Fridge Brilliance once you realize that people thought a meteor was going to destroy the earth, and the rocket was designed to keep humanity alive.
- "Miss Springfield", Mayor Quimby's mistress from The Simpsons.
Fake Lisa: "I'm Lisa! Peppy, blonde and stunning. Sophomore prom queen five years running. Go, Lisa!"
- In the 'Spin-Off Showcase' episode Lisa refused to participate in a cheesy family variety show so was recast by a pretty blonde cheerleader of a decidedly less intellectual bent.
- Miracle from Sit Down, Shut Up is a parody of this. She literally got her high school science teaching job because of her good looks. She didn't even have a high school diploma.
- In South Park, Bebe realises that the boys only think she's smart because they all have a crush on her. Her mother, who had been pretty in her youth, tells her that this isn't true, but Bebe isn't convinced and asks her mother what eight times six is. The reply: "Oh, sweetie, those are two completely different numbers!"
- Kimmy in Sym-Bionic Titan thinks she's supposed to be this, but Newton tells her she shouldn't have to be that just because society thinks so. Turns out with his help, she is able to figure out her math homework.
- In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "Thirteensomething", when Babs leaves ACME Acres for New York to audition for the titular Show Within a Show, Buster is left to find a replacement co-host for Tiny Toons. His first candidate is Binky Bunny, a girl rabbit who may look beautiful on the outside, but does not understand the "No Relation" joke that Buster and Babs perform regularly.
- Total Drama:
- Lindsay redefines stupid. She's allegedly the most attractive character in-universe, and a good candidate for the dumbest.
- In Revenge of the Island, Dakota fulfills this role. She's also a mild deconstruction, as she gets positively elated when Sam asks her for fashion advice since nobody has ever asked her for advice before. From the same season, there's arguably Anne Maria. She's certainly not too bright, and at least considers herself quite a beauty (and is chased by two guys over the course of the season).
- Clover from Totally Spies!, however at times she can be quite clever.
- Cal of Undergrads, totally and completely. How else could he get all the chicks?