Follow TV Tropes


Constantly Curious

Go To
"But there was one Elephant — a new Elephant — an Elephant's Child — who was full of 'satiable curiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions. And he lived in Africa, and he filled all Africa with his 'satiable curiosities."
Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories, "The Elephant's Child"

A person, usually young, who is full of questions. (All in total innocence, of course.)

Curiosity Is a Crapshoot even for them, but tends to be good; if nothing else, they have Improbable Infant Survival protecting them.

Not the Mouthy Kid; generally perfectly polite except for their questions, and completely oblivious to the fact they could be considered rude or insensitive.

Often features as The Watson, to make Mr. Exposition a Justified Trope, since the child doesn't actually know what is being Infodumped on them — that's why they're asking the question. But perfectly capable of being just a characterization trope. Also frequently the source of the Armor-Piercing Question — not so much because of insight as being Too Dumb to Fool.

Contrast Curious as a Monkey, which describes someone who believes in discovering how things work by experiment. A Constantly Curious person is a more persistent nuisance but doesn't make trouble on quite so grand a scale. Will often be palmed off with Lies to Children, but this frequently doesn't work as the next thing they do is poke holes in the simplified explanation. If they ask the same question over and over to the point where it annoys someone else, and they're a kid, they're also an Annoyingly Repetitive Child.

Repeat offenders when it comes to Derailed for Details and Sidetracked by the Analogy.

See also Little Jimmy, who has no characterization except his ignorance.

They might happen to be clingy as well.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Fruits Basket: Kagura's first meeting with Kyo had her pelting Kyo with questions — despite a total lack of answers from Kyo.
  • This trope manifests itself in the form of a hitchhiker personality in the manga Gacha Gacha Capsule. She's not quite all that innocent, though.
  • Eru Chitanda of Hyouka is essentially made of this trope. Once something catches her interest, she can't stop thinking about it.
  • Kamisama Minarai: Himitsu no Cocotama: The Cocotama Sui has a habit of asking questions about everything, often to the extent that she won't give the others time to provide an answer before she asks another question.
  • Kemono Friends: Serval responds with her catchphrase ("Su~goi!!" (Amazing!!)) to any new discovery.
  • From MÄR, when Jack is KO'ed in his first match, 14-year-old girl Snow (who's been on the run for the last few years) turns to one of her friends and asks if it (getting hit between the legs) really hurts that much.
  • My Hero Academia: Nejire Hado, one of U.A.'s Big Three, is a bubbly and curious girl with lots of things to ask everyone, usually switching to the next question so fast that she doesn't even get to hear the answer to the first.
  • Nia from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
    What, exactly, is a human?
  • Yotsuba&!: The titular protagonist Yotsuba is full of questions.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • From Robin Williams: A Night At The Met:
    "My son is three, he wants to know everything in the goddamn world! He looks up: 'Why is the sky blue?' Well, because of the atmosphere. 'Why is there atmosphere?' Well, because we have to breathe. 'Why do we have to breathe?' 'WHO ARE YOU, CARL SAGAN? A year ago, you were sitting in your own shit! You were eating boogers five months ago! Now you want to know the nature of the universe, Baby Buddha?! Go ask Mommy, she's omnipotent, she knows everything!'"
  • Louis C.K.:
    Daughter: Why?
    Louis: Well, because some things are and some things are not.
    Daughter: Why?
    Louis: Well, because things that are not can't be.
    Daughter: Why?
    Louis: Because then nothing wouldn't be! You can't have fucking nothing isn't, everything is!
    Daughter: Why?
    Louis: 'Cause if nothing wasn't, there'd be fucking all kinds of shit, like giant ants with top hats dancin' around... there's no room for all that shit!
    Daughter: Why?
    Louis: Aw, fuck you, eat your French fries, you little shit. Goddammit.
    • The set-up here is that whenever you see a parent snapping at their child to shut up, it's best to just assume this part came first and mind your own business.
  • Dylan Moran also uses this in Monster.
    Son: What do you call the space in between the bits that stick out of a comb?
    Dad: I don't know.
    Son: Then, what do you call the place underneath the kettle?
    Dad: I DON'T KNOW! Bedtime, bedtime...

    Comic Books 
  • Astra from the First Family in Astro City.
  • Back in the 1930s, Atomic Robo proved to be obnoxiously curious when it came to pulp noir scenarios.
    Robo: Holy socks, gangsters! Do you know Al Capone? What's he like? What's he eat for breakfast? Wow, and a gunfighter! Is that a Smith and Wesson? A Colt? Remington!... Why do you wear a mask? Are you deformed? Or are you part of a secret order? Ooh! Is it for assassins?
  • Posy Simmonds' Benji Weber: "But why has that lady got big boozums?"
  • Hilda: The titular character, because of her adventurous drive, is always eager to know and understand the fantastic creatures around her, sometimes even to her own detriment.
  • Impulse, who was depicted on one comic cover asking The Riddler dozens of questions at superspeed.
  • It's implied in Neil Gaiman's story "When is a Door" that The Riddler was exactly this as a youngster, much to the irritation of his parents and teachers.
  • The Sandman (1989): In the story arc "Brief Lives", Dream is more or less guilted into chaperoning Delirium around trying to track down their missing brother, and all through the sequence Del keeps asking "What's the word for [insert thing there isn't a word for]?" She's generally ignored, to the point that the reader usually gives up trying to find answers to questions that clearly don't have them. Eventually she asks "What's the word for things not being the same always?" as they're driving away, and Dream answers "Change." It's quite nicely done.
  • Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman: In a flashback in "Generations", a very young Diana asks rapid-fire repetitive questions of her mother when Hippolyta informs her that punching people is not acceptable in response to something Diana had said. Unlike most parents, Hippolyta says she's happy for the questions and the opportunity to teach her daughter about the Amazons' near Actual Pacifist vows on non-violence.
  • Star Wars: Kanan: Caleb is constantly asking questions, wanting to understand the reasoning behind everything, so much so that Billaba jokes that he was somewhat infamous for doing this in the Jedi Temple. She also admits that it was his trait of not just accepting things without question that motivated her to choose him as her Padawan.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin tends to be like this now and again — a fact that his father has some fun with by giving false answers.
  • When Mafalda isn't acting as a Soapbox Sadie, then she acts this trope. Later, this is somewhat passed to her little brother Guille.
  • Scamp in the story Little Sir Question Box. He doesn't ask nearly as many questions in any other story.

    Fan Works 
  • In Fraterculus, Harry throws acorns at his younger brother because the kid won't stop asking mostly-unanswerable questions.
  • In The Parselmouth of Gryffindor, curiosity, and a tendency to start asking strings of questions without letting the other fellow take a breath, remains one of Hermione's trademarks well into the first year, for all that Harry and Ron help her work on it.
  • In the Pony POV Series Dark World Arc, Inquisition, a young Hippogriff, has this as her Special Talent. She is constantly curious and good at asking questions. This trope is why she becomes the new Element of Honesty according to Loose Canon.
  • This exchange from Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, episode 18:
    Yami Bakura: Hand over the boy, Tristan, or I'll swallow your soul!
    Tristan: But... why?
    Yami Bakura: Ever since Yugi defeated me in a duel, I've been looking for a new body. One without a soul. Mokuba's should do just fine.
    Tristan: But... why?
    Yami Bakura: Because I'm evil!
    Tristan: But... why?
    Yami Bakura: I don't know, I'm just evil! What do you expect?
    Tristan: But... why?
    Yami Bakura: Well, I suppose my parents never loved me enough. They were always dressing me like a girl. Do you know they wanted to call me Florence? Who names a boy Florence? Idiots, that's who!

    Films — Animation 
  • Fievel Mousekewitz from An American Tail. Because of his curiosity, he ends up separated from his family.
  • Kirikou from Kirikou and the Sorceress.
    Kirikou: [after asking a lot of "Whys"] Why?
    The Wise Old Man of the Mountain: You're quite right to keep asking me "why", but from one "why" to the next we'll go right back to the Creation of the World — and beyond that knowing you. We'll never have time to talk about Karaba, the Sorceress.
  • In Leroy & Stitch, Experiment 003, also known as Howcome, was created for this purpose.
  • Luca: The titular character is a young sea monster who is eager to learn about the surface and how humans live.
  • WALL•E: After spending 700 years doing what he is programmed to do (collecting and disposing garbage to clean the planet), Wall-E develops a personality of his own, causing him to collect and hoard in his house everything that catches his fancy.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Vanellope when she first meets Ralph.
    Vanellope: Why are your hands so freakishly huge?
    Vanellope: Are you a hobo?

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 2010: The Year We Make Contact:
    [Heywood Floyd is jogging, while Christopher Floyd is riding a go-kart alongside him]
    Christopher: How far away is Jupiter?
    Floyd: Far.
    Christopher: Why does it take two and a half years to go and come back?
    Floyd: 'Cause it's so far.
    Christopher: Why don't you go faster?
    Floyd: Can't.
    Christopher: Oh. Are you gonna forget about me?
    Floyd: No. I love you.
    Christopher: I won't forget about you.
    Floyd: We'll be able to talk to each other, see each other on television.
    Christopher: Oh. ...Daddy?
    Floyd: What?
    Christopher: Mommy said you're gonna be asleep for a long time.
    Floyd: That's true.
    Christopher: Are you gonna die?
    Floyd: What?
    Christopher: Are you gonna die?
    Floyd: Why do you say that?
    Christopher: When Jamie's grandfather died, Mommy told me that he would be asleep for a long time.
    Floyd: No, no, no. This is different. They're gonna wake me up... but you have to sleep on the way up, and sleep on the way down, otherwise... you'd go cuckoo... and there wouldn't be enough food aboard on the flight for everybody.
    Christopher: Oh. [Beat] I don't understand.
  • From Big Daddy:
    Julian: Hey Misto, why are you sitting on the gwond?
    Homeless Man: This is where I live, little man.
    Julian: Why?
    Homeless Man: Well in retrospect I made some really bad choices after high school.
    Julian: Why?
    Homeless Man: This was during the so-called "disco era" but for me, it was more like the doing mushrooms era.
    Julian: Why?
    Homeless Man: I never really thought about that kid, I was never "Mr. Popularity" in high school and I watched Fantasia a lot, and so one day it just clicked.
    Julian: Why?
    Sonny [interrupting him] Hey yappy, could you just end the conversation and I'll get you an Egg MacMuffin.
  • In Religulous, Bill Maher uses this tactic during his interviews with religious believers:
    Bill: So, you believe that when you die you'll be in a better place?
    Believer: I'll be with Jesus Christ.
    Bill: And that's a better place?
    Believer: It's a better place.
    Bill: So why don't you kill yourself?
  • In Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker.
    Yoda: There is no "why." Nothing more will I teach you today. Clear your mind of questions.
  • Uncle Buck:
    Miles: Where do you live?
    Buck: In the city.
    Miles: You have a house?
    Buck: Apartment.
    Miles: Own or rent?
    Buck: Rent.
    Miles: What do you do for a living?
    Buck: Lots of things.
    Miles: Where's your office?
    Buck: I don't have one.
    Miles: How come?
    Buck: I don't need one.
    Miles: Where's your wife?
    Buck: Don't have one.
    Miles: How come?
    Buck: It's a long story.
    Miles: You have kids?
    Buck: No I don't.
    Miles: How come?
    Buck: It's an even longer story.
    Miles: Are you my Dad's brother?
    Buck: What's your record for consecutive questions asked?
    Miles: 38.
    Buck: I'm your Dad's brother all right.
    Miles: You have much more hair in your nose than my Dad.
    Buck: How nice of you to notice.
    Miles: I'm a kid, that's my job.
  • In Lust for Gold, a flashback shows Mrs Bannister as a young girl, who pesters Walz with questions till he scares her off by tricking her into firing a loaded rifle.
  • Marvin's Room: On the car ride from Ohio to Florida, Charlie asks Lee some questions about Marvin and Bessie. After a while, Lee tells him to shut up and read his book.
  • Stealing Heaven: Héloïse is like this, asking a lot of difficult questions in regards to the Bible or theology. To some, it's distressing. Others such as the abbess, archbishop, and later on Abelard find it charming though.

  • Angela Nicely: In “Neighbourhood Watch!”, Mrs. Nicely complains that Angela’s questions go on “forever”.
  • In Quentin Quokka's Quick Questions, part of the Animal Antics A to Z picture book series, Quentin Quokka is this.
  • Dave Barry brings this up in Babies and Other Hazards of Sex in a conversation with his son, Robert.
    Robert: What are those?
    Dave: Those are goats.
    Robert: Why?
  • The little Whistler kids in A Brother's Price gleefully go through the luggage of their guests and plan to try and break open a locked portable desk. Their older sister Summer is aghast.
  • The Cat Who... Series: Book #10 (The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts) features Baby, the little girl who lives near Iris's home and is always wandering about and asking questions of people. Unfortunately, it leads to her getting seriously injured, though she gets better.
  • In Diana Wynne Jones's Chrestomanci story "The Sage of Theare", the Sage of Theare is a child prophesied to bring about the end of the world by constantly questioning the way things are done in a world that runs on order.
  • The eponymous monkey of Curious George always gets into mischief due to his curiosity, largely from being removed from his native environment. It's common for the narration to say, "George was curious."
  • The Death Gate Cycle has Limbeck, who is the exception to his people's strong tendency never to wonder much about why things are the way they are. He's motivated by genuine, innocent desire to know how things work rather than by rebelliousness, but his constant asking of "Why?" about everything (including entirely apolitical things) is considered to be an attack on the foundations of society, and therefore tantamount to treason and blasphemy. It gets him sentenced to death (and leads to revolution when he survives and returns).
  • In Eragon, Brom complained that Eragon was this, even though all of his questions seemed reasonable. A bit of irony there, as later on, Oromis stated that Brom ( later revealed to be Eragon's father) was this way when he was his pupil.
  • Isaac Asimov's Franchise: Linda Muller, Norman's daughter, is more excited than curious, but this excitement feeds into curiosity and she asks plenty of questions, mostly about the implications of daddy going to vote.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's Friday has the title heroine ordered to become this halfway through.
  • Littlest One ( or Gossamer, as she is later known as) from Gossamer is this.
  • In John Habberton's Helen's Babies, "Budge has a terrifying faculty for asking questions" — and sometimes blurts out the answers again, later, at awkward moments.
  • Her Crown of Fire: Subverted, on a cultural scale. Absolutely none of the people that Rose and Tyson meet show the slightest interest in The Other (i.e. Earth).
  • Rudyard Kipling:
    • In The Elephant's Child, the Elephant's Child is driven by his insatiable curiosity, which gets him into trouble when his curiosity fixes on the question of what crocodiles eat for dinner (and the answer almost turns out to be him).
    • In Kipling's "Six Honest Serving Men", the serving men are a metaphor for asking questions to learn things. The narrator notes that although he knows that there are times to ask questions and times to keep quiet, he knows a small child who "keeps ten million serving-men, who get no rest at all!"
    • Kipling's Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is a member of a mongoose clan whose motto is "run and find out," and shows elements of this, except the humans can't understand his questions.
  • The Little Prince not only is full of questions but never gives up on a question until he gets an answer.
  • Little Sophie from Els Pelgrom's Little Sophie and Lanky Flop (Kleine Sofie en Lange Wapper in the original Dutch) starts out at this. Her constant questions include "Why is the grass green?", "Why are people poor?" and "What is death?" Entirely subverted when the book turns into something rather a lot like Achewood and her questions are answered through ruthless demonstration... It's written for 10-year-olds.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings:
    • While Merry is riding with Gandalf:
      Pippin: Did you get any news, any information out of him?
      Merry: Yes, a good deal. More than usual. But you heard it all or most of it: you were close by, and we were talking no secrets. But you can go with him tomorrow, if you think you can get more out of him — and if he'll have you.
    • Pippin during the ride with Gandalf to Minas Tirith. Gandalf tries answering questions, but finds each answer just leads to more questions:
      [Pippin asks several questions about Shadowfax and the Palantiri]
      Pippin: But I should like to know—
      Gandalf: Mercy! If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?
      Pippin: The names of all the stars, and of all living things, and the whole history of Middle-earth and Over-heaven and of the Sundering Seas. [laughing] Of course! What less?
  • Little Miss Curious from the Mr. Men series.
  • Of Fire and Stars: In Zumorda Mare meets a thirteen year old girl named Fadeyka who's prone to following her around asking long streams of questions.
  • Sal Lifton in Reaper Man, who asks "Mr Door" questions about how being a skeleton works, although the fact she has "an attention span of less than three seconds" means she's only partly listening to the answers.
  • Fawn from The Sharing Knife is full of curiosity and wonder. Dag takes it as a sign of her intelligence, that she doesn't accept the world at face value but wants to know how it works. Unfortunately, Fawn's hidebound family thought it was a sign of stupidity, that she could never just get on with her life but had to stop and harp on about trivial details.
  • This is the primary reason Dr. Watson in the Sherlock Holmes stories follows Holmes on his cases, although being an adult, and a remarkably patient one, he's content to just puzzle over the mysteries himself until Holmes is finally ready to fill him in.
  • German humorist Spoerl described himself as this in his memories:
    Boy: Why do I have to eat?
    Mother: So you'll grow up big and strong.
    Boy: Why do I have to grow up big and strong?
    Mother: So you'll be able to earn your own money.
    Boy: Why do I have to earn my own money?
    Mother: So you will always have something to eat.
    Boy: Why do I have to eat?
    As he concluded, "after this, our nineteenth nanny quit."
  • In Storyteller, the grandchild is constantly asking the grandfather various questions about the story at the start of every chapter.
  • Warhammer 40,000 novels:
    • In William King's Space Wolf, Ragnar asks many questions of a "wizard" they carry on their ship. And when the man saves him after his heart had failed, he still has questions.
      "Always questions, eh? You haven't changed much, boy."
    • Much later, in Lee Lightner's Wolf's Honour, when Bulveye lays out the plan, Ragnar asks him about until he says,
      "By the Allfather, you ask more questions than a Blood Claw!"
    • In Dan Abnett's Ravenor novels, the Street Urchin Zael blossoms into this when he stops being unnerved by the inquisitor's retinue.
  • The heroine of the picture book Why? (Lindsey Camp/Tony Ross) does this, and inadvertently saves the planet from alien demolition.
  • Kitty from The Secret Life of Kitty Granger. The plot starts because she's curious about why a passenger on the bus was acting oddly and followed him, then is curious about a misaligned brick on a wall near a chalk mark and removes it, then is curious about the film canister inside and takes it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5:
    • Mr. Morden asks one question ("What do you want?"), over and over again, to a rather creepy effect.
    • The Inquisitor also asks one question ("Who are you?") over and over again to a much creepier effect.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Spike dates one of Buffy's former classmates, Harmony, who was turned into a vampire at graduation. Unfortunately for him, she's soon asking incessant inane questions while he's trying to focus on finding the gem of Amarra. And making dumb comments, such as "My heart's not beating."
    • Buffy herself takes on this role upon joining the Initiative; constantly interrupting the Mission Briefing to ask questions as opposed to the strong, silent, need-to-know only soldier types around her.
  • It could be said that the entire purpose of the Cosmos: A Personal Voyage documentary series was to inspire a generation of curious kids to appreciate science by feeding them current theory in words they could understand, along with groundbreaking visual effects. It worked.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): Claudia is much less content than Louis to settle with paltry information. As a young fledgling, she is constantly abuzz with questions, to Lestat's exasperation, and when older, she still wants to know more about other vampires and undertakes her own research. She wants to leave the United States and travel across Europe to find out whatever she can.
  • Subverted in Malcolm in the Middle with Dewey, whose perfectly innocent questions serve to unnerve other characters by pointing out their follies.
  • The title character of Oobi.
  • Almost all of the humour from Outnumbered is based on this trope. Especially if it involves Karen.
    Woman: A woman can be any shape she wants.
    Karen: What about a hexagon?
  • Lampshaded in Raines, in the episode "Inner Child". Raines asks Emily "Why are you so annoying?" after she keeps bombarding him with intrusive questions, to which she answers "Maybe it's easier if I'm annoying... You know, that I'm dead for no good reason. That I was murdered..."
  • In Scrubs, when JD's brother gets mad at him, he likes to pretend to be a person he likes to call "The Constant Questioner"
    Dan: Who's that? Where's he going? What's that thing? Wanna see me do a funny dance? Wanna see me do a funny dance around you?
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Worf's son Alexander in his introduction episode asks so many questions that Worf eventually snaps at him.
    • Lal, Data's daughter asked an enormous amount of questions because she really just didn't know and was trying to learn.
  • Star Trek: Picard:
    • Elnor's habit of constantly asking questions is alluded to in "The Impossible Box", and he's aware that it exasperates his crewmates.
      Elnor: What Artifact?
      (Picard and Jurati glance at him without answering)
      Elnor: Maybe that's none of my business, I should out-butt.
      • In "Broken Pieces", Elnor is very curious about the queencell, but Seven of Nine doesn't have time to indulge in his queries.
        Elnor: Is this where the Borg Queen lived?
        Seven: No.
        Elnor: But she used to visit sometimes?
        Seven: (irritated) I can explain or I can steal this Cube.
        (Elnor rolls his eyes in a "Fine, I'll shut up now" gesture)
    • In "Nepenthe", Kestra continuously asks Soji questions about her android abilities, much to Soji's annoyance.
  • In the Supernatural episode "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part Two", Dean says that when Sam was about 5, he started asking questions about why they didn't have a mother, why they moved around, or where their father was. Dean did not want to answer because he wanted Sam to still get to be a kid.
  • Parodied with Bobby the Inquisitive Boy in The Weird Al Show, who exists simply to bombard Al with questions. One episode opens with him launching a stream of questions at Al (including "Why can't we breathe gravy?"), even though Al keeps saying "I don't know" - to the point of bringing in a gospel choir to announce "He doesn't know!"
  • One purpose served by Donna in the early seasons of The West Wing was to ask Josh questions about whatever political process the senior staff were wrangling that week, so that Josh could explain things to her and the audience at the same time.

  • The Bobby Timmons-Oscar Brown jazz standard "Dat Dere" has a kid peppering his father with questions during a trip to the zoo.
    Hey, what dey doin' dere? An' how you work dat dere?
    An' oh, Daddy, oh, hey, Daddy, hey, what dat say up dere?
    Hey, Daddy, what is fair? How come i gotta share?
    An', Daddy, can i have dat big elephant over dere?

  • Starlee Kine, host and creator of Mystery Show. Apart from the actual mysteries, she often finds herself distracted by interesting people and falling into long conversations with them.

  • Roger McGough's poem "Tell Me Why".
  • Michael Rosen's children's poem "Who? Why? Where? What?" from Don't Put Mustard in the Custard.

  • Fanny Brice's Baby Snooks was somewhere in between this and the Mouthy Kid. Her sole reason for existence appeared to be to drive her father to the very brink of insanity, but she did it without apparent malice — just pure innocent mischief.
  • Teeny, the little girl who chats with Fibber on Fibber McGee and Molly. "Hey, mister, whatcha doin', hmm?"
  • Although only informed, Elizabeth Moore from New Dynamic English said that she worked on the radio because she loves asking questions.

  • Don, Ciro's younger brother from Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, is endowed with a naturally curious personality, spouting out question after question on anything that interests him.

  • Little Sally's role in Urinetown lampshades this.

    Video Games 
  • Owyn from Betrayal at Krondor. Heavens help you if you run into an NPC who knows anything about magic.
  • Shimazaki Tōson from Bungo to Alchemist; a Running Gag is made out of his habit of incessantly asking anyone he sees questions in order to gather as much information as possible. He is also especially fixated on finding out what death feels like, and not infrequently pesters others, especially his friend Katai, about this (this one is Truth in Television by the way).
  • The Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark: According to Dooley family lore, a Dooley girl was once abducted by The Fair Folk but they let her go unharmed after she drove them mad by asking "Why?" about everything.
  • Solas from Dragon Age: Inquisition is an apostate mage who spends most of his time sleeping in old ruins because it allows him to see the past and he enjoys watching the memories of spirits. He's prone to asking Armor Piercing Questions and answering those asked of him with Brutal Honesty. He also loves being asked questions, because it shows that you value knowledge as well; your first companion conversation includes at least a half-dozen questions to choose from and he gets a small approval increase each time you ask one, even when other companions would likely be wondering when you'll be satisfied already.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, the promise of new knowledge for their "transcendent minds" is the one thing that can consistently entice the Ea. It's customary for them to start debates and intellectural discussion between them with a battery of more than 350,000 questions. N-7000 is on the verge of snapping from impatience after two Ea ask it 81,120 questions in succession.
  • NieR: Automata:
    • Scanner-model Androids, like Deuteragonist 9S, are used by YoRHa Command as combat hackers and intelligence agents due to their advanced intrusion abilities. The problem is that their natural curiosity, combined with those abilities, can lead them to break into even their own side's classified information to learn things that YoRHa might not want them to. Enter the Executioner-model Androids, commonly assigned to Scanner-models as minders in case the latter learn too much.
    • A minor sidequest NPC, the Little Sister Machine, has the personality of a young girl and the curiosity to match, constantly peppering 9S with questions (including one rather awkward one) throughout her Escort Mission.
  • The main character in Planescape: Torment. Justified, in that grilling total strangers on their life stories is really the only way to advance in the game, but they show realistic surprise at your lack of social restraint. This is actually true for most RPGs (or any game with dialogue trees for that matter). Expect at least one NPC to lampshade this.
  • The Curiosity Sphere from Portal is obviously not a child but definitely has a Constantly Curious personality.
    Who are you? What is that? You're the lady from the test! What's that over there? What's wrong with your legs? Do you smell something burning?
  • In Super Robot Wars V, Nine's constantly "observing" human behaviour and collecting data in order to better understand the world.
  • An interesting variant in Tears to Tiara 2 in that Tart, the curious one, is Really 700 Years Old. She's curious because she's a God/Elf and spends most of her time living underground.
  • Transistor: Void()'s information says that Asher never outgrew his childhood curiosity:
    Most children learn to stop asking 'why', but Mr. Asher Kendrell never outgrew it. His hunger for knowledge and his eagerness to spread it made him a prolific writer, who enjoyed a career as a culture-and-current-events editor for OVC.

  • Shadowchild from Digger, who spends most of its early appearances asking questions of the form "Am I a ____?"
    Digger: Okay. We have established that you are not poison oak, nor sorrel, nor a raspberry, nor one of several species of fish. You are not a cloud, not a pickax, and you are rather too ambulatory for a tree.
  • Elijah and Azuu has two of these: Izza will occasionally ask "Why" repeatedly in response to various questions or requests (whether or not it makes sense), though she seems to use the response simply on autopilot and doesn't particularly care if the conversation is abruptly cut off. Fish, on the other hand, is very curious about the world, but since he kind of struggles with short-term memory, he tends to repeat himself.
  • The Last Human In A Crowded Galaxy: Sarya is constantly asking questions.
    Drone: Excuse me. Do you ever get tired of asking questions?
    Sarya: You sound like my mom. Ooh! What's that?
  • Five-year-old Vincent of Litterbox Comics has a tendency to annoy his parents with constant weird questions. His insistence even irritates terrifying monsters!
  • Nebula: Earth, in total innocence, asks the questions no one else wants to- like what's beyond the solar system, or what Jupiter plans to do if he succeeds in replacing Sun as leader. This really doesn't endear her to the others, especially since Sun makes it clear that he thinks questions are irrelevant at best and dangerous at worst.
  • In Question Duck, the punchline is always the duck asking an off-the-wall question.
  • The other students in Surprising Octeal are pretty quick to start bombarding main character Suzanne Incirrina with questions about her distinctive powers.
  • In Yokoka's Quest, Grace is constantly trying to learn about the new world she's found herself in. Yokoka has her curious moments, but can't hold her interest in topics that don't interest her.

    Web Original 
  • In Crossing Kevin's Crossing the narrator does this to all of the other characters, the reader, and themself.
  • As it's name implies, the Curious Cat from RWBY is this. And they HATE IT. They spend the entirety of volume 9 trying to psychologically break Ruby in order to take possession of her, hoping to escape the Ever After and find their creators in order to demand an answer as to why they abandoned them after "cursing" them with curiosity, with their primary method of doing so being to constantly pepper her with questions that remind her just how badly she's failed at stopping Salem's plans.

    Western Animation 
  • Mindy from Animaniacs. Her usual questions are "What's you doing?", followed by a series of "Why?"
  • Bingo from Bluey in a few episodes, most notably "Takeaway".
  • Wonderheart Bear on the CGI Care Bears series Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot and later Care Bears & Cousins is designed specifically to be this.
  • Luna from Earth to Luna! Her curiosity drives the plot of every episode.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: In "Shoo Ed", one of the ways Eddy trains Johnny 2x4 to be more annoying is to suggest he say "Why?" all the time.
  • The title of Elinor Wonders Why pretty much gives it away. Elinor is very curious about the world around her and wants to learn as much about it as possible.
  • In the Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes episode "Impossible", this is one of Impossible Man's major characteristics.
  • Goo from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, mixing with her being a Cloudcuckoolander.
  • On Guess How Much I Love You, Little Nutbrown Hare is childlike curiosity personified, exploring and enjoying whatever he can find in nature.
  • One MGM cartoon — House of Tomorrow (1949) by Tex Avery — about inventions has a device designed to answer children's incessant questions; the child turns it on and asks an unending series of questions until the machine roars, "Oh, shut up!" and fires a plunger to cover the child's mouth.
  • Max and Ruby: Max becomes one throughout "Max's Christmas", always asking Ruby about their Christmas traditions (usually "Why?"). In the morning after Santa pays Max a visit, it's Ruby who starts questioning Max.
  • Kaeloo: Stumpy's sister Violasse is always curious to explore new places and try new things. This, combined with her terrible luck, is constantly landing her in trouble.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Porky Pig has a nephew who once behaved much like the MGM child above. But Porky was more patient.
    • The semi-recurring character Little Blabber Mouse is like this. At the end of each cartoon, the W.C. Fields Mouse would do something to make him shut up like stick a piece of tape to his mouth.
  • Mindy from Ready Jet Go! is this; it's her main purpose in the show. Her questions often are what prompt the older kids to go to space to look for an answer.
  • Sonic Boom: In "Multi-Tails", one of the dim-witted Tails clones drives Sticks crazy by responding to everything she says with "Why?" It gets to the point that when Tails sees Eggman is mad at him at the end of the episode (after the Tails clones ate all his pudding) and wonders why, Sticks goes berserk on him.
  • Peridot from Steven Universe, to the point where this serves as the cornerstone of the character's Heel–Face Turn, as they begin to see the Earth as a place far too interesting to let be destroyed.
  • In the Transformers: Animated short "Career Day", Optimus Prime introduces himself to schoolchildren, only to be bombarded with questions about how he transforms by Daniel Witwicky.
  • Work It Out Wombats!: Since Zeke is so young, he asks lots of questions that drive the episode's plots.

    Real Life 
  • Socrates pretty much lived his life walking around the Agora asking people questions. The Socratic Method, in which you debate with someone by simply asking them questions, is named after him. He was essentially brought to trial and sentenced to death on false charges just because he was so annoying.
    • And because two of his students betrayed Athens to the Spartans, so he became a scapegoat.
    • Clarification: The Socratic Method in action. The teacher is asking questions (75) of a class of third graders and illustrating its usefulness as an educational tool.
  • Many, many toddlers. "No," "Mama," "Papa," and "why" are among the first words children learn.
    "Eat your vegetables."
    "Because they're good for you."
    "Because they've got the things big kids need to grow."
    "Because they're colorful."
    "Because they're vegetables."
    "Because they're... just eat them."
    • Studies have shown that a child will stop asking why if it's an actual answer, but they keep asking 'why' if they're given the brush off. In other words, kids aren't stupid, just ignorant. If you do your best to provide an explanation within the scope of their understanding, they'll stop trolling you. If you give them bullshit to shut them up, they'll bug you until you provide an explanation within the scope of their understanding.
    "Eat your vegetables."
    "Meat makes muscles, milk makes bones, vegetables make everything else."
Note that the final answer is still mostly bullshit, but it's not totally false, it's an attempt at a middle ground, and it provides a comprehensive explanation that positively responds to the child's inquiry.
  • Asking questions might be a uniquely human ability. Apes have been taught sign language, and they are able to answer quite complex questions, but they never ask any.
  • This is applied in business settings, where it's known as 5 Whys. Apparently, by asking "Why?" five times, you'll reach the root cause of a situation.
  • The mathematician Kurt Goedel was given the nickname "Herr Warum" (Mr. Why) by his family when he was young because it was what he said most often. Similarly, the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell is said to have always said "What's the go o' that?" about nearly everything when he was three.
  • This is included in many Jewish Passover Seders. Part of the ceremony is for a child at the table to ask "Why do we ______?" to prompt an explanation of the significance of the traditions.
  • Jeopardy champion and general living braintrust Ken Jennings said that he was one of these growing up. He also went on to say that he still was, and firmly believes that being like this is a very admirable trait. He says that you should find the answer to any question that shows up in your head whether it's "How does photosynthesis work?" or "How does the water get in a toilet bowl?" He says knowledge is power, arm yourself.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Elephants Child


Mines of Mystery

Thomas is curious about his surroundings in Italy and nearly gets in trouble.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / ConstantlyCurious

Media sources: