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Dork Knight

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"Link is dripping with visual personality, entirely distinct from the player's actions. He's profoundly thick, almost to the edge of the special-school spectrum, but he's earnest and endearing with it. He doesn't put on the green uniform because he was destined to by the will of The Force, or whatever it is, but because his Nan was forcing him to take part in Ocarina of Time cosplay."

Bob's a great guy. Why? Well, for one, he's brave, determined, good at what he does, genuinely nice, and, most importantly, his moral fiber has a higher tensile strength than spider silk. Sure, he's a bit socially awkward and has a few other harmless quirks, but that's all part of his particular charm.

An obvious play on Dark Knight, the Dork Knight is The Ace, The Cape, the Knight in Shining Armor or a similar character type infused with Endearingly Dorky, where the endearing awkwardness serves to humanize an otherwise idealized hero. (It can also work in reverse, where an established lovable dork shows unexpected courage and prowess.) See also Badass Adorable and Socially Awkward Hero (which tend to overlap). Goofier examples of this trope may overlap with Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass.

Compare the Super Loser, who's superpowered, but not necessarily endearing.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Syaoran Li, beneath his supposed arrogance, turns out to be one. Arguably Sakura herself evolves as such, both her competence as guardian of the cards and cluelessly innocent persona upped as the series goes on.
  • Delicious in Dungeon: Laios the warrior is the leader of an experienced dungeon explorer team. He's also a massive dork, is a living encyclopedia on monsters, and is awful at reading the mood.
  • Dragon Ball: Son Gohan has a bad case of Chronic Hero Syndrome, perfect grades, superpowers, and grew up in a tiny, isolated house up in the mountains with absolutely no frame of reference to tell him that no, normal people cannot jump eight meters into the air. Becoming a superhero with really clear Sentai influences really was the only option.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Izuku Midoriya is armed with the Quirk of the world's greatest hero, granting him incredible Super-Strength at the risk of smashing his bones to pieces. Through his hard work and dedication he becomes one of the best fighters in his class at a school filled with promising young Heroes. On top of all this, his grades are excellent and he boasts considerable popularity among his peers and the rest of the people in his neighborhood after the Sports Festival. He's also an extremely dorky Socially Awkward Hero who gets flustered around girls, is an enormous Hero Fanboy, and is prone to Tender Tears.
    • His mentor, All Might, also has a bit of this, although it's not nearly as visible due to his charisma and showmanship. He's a Superman Substitute who's officially recognized as the greatest hero in the world. His actions have inspired a generation of would-be heroes and his mere existence reduces the crime rate through deterrence. He also frequently makes extremely bombastic entrances to ordinary social situations ("I am...coming through the door, like a normal person!") has a tendency to privately Squee over Midoriya, and has to carry around a "Teaching For Dummies" book.
  • Nurse Angel Ririka SOS: Seiya is a hyperactive, clever, absolutely fearless goofball who doesn't have the best control over his powers (it's a work in progress,) but is always ready to help his Magical Girl Warrior best friend. Villains actually refer to him as a knight.
  • Pokémon: The Series: Cynthia. In addition to being Sinnoh's Champion, she's a scholar who studies Sinnoh's myths. Oh, and she also has a silly personality and a child-like obsession with sweets (particularly ice cream), treating them like Serious Business. This even gets exploited by the bad guys on occasion.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Akemi Homura is revealed in a flashback to have started off life as cute and dorky. She turns to Take a Level in Badass to prevent Madoka's death, and gradually sheds layers of dorky charm in each iteration of her "Groundhog Day" Loop to become a hardened badass dedicated to protecting her at all costs. However, when her feelings for Madoka bubble up to the surface, she's still the same person at heart.
  • Read or Die: Yomiko Readman is a bookworm. A very huge bookworm. Such a huge bookworm that she lives in a big apartment building covered from top to bottom with books and is the top customer of every bookstore in the district. She begins her quest to defuse a plan to cause The End of the World as We Know It by chasing after someone who stole one of her books while asking him meekly to hand it back. She can also kill you with a bookmark.
  • Rosario + Vampire: After taking a level in badass, Tsukune Aono fits squarely in this. Taking on some of the most deadliest monsters one minute and being a cute dork the next.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: Sweet, kind and cuddly Himura Kenshin. That's not to say he isn't a skilled disciplined Samurai with an unflappable sense of right and wrong, defender of the innocent, etc. etc.
  • Trigun: Vash the Stampede. He's a completely unstoppable (and non-lethal) warrior and one of the silliest men committed to animation.

    Comic Books 
  • Captain America: Captain America is very much a Nice Guy and kind-hearted boy-next-door type who genuinely cares about others more than himself and isn't afraid to proclaim the ideals he fights for, namely The American Dream. There are some cynics who would sneer at this, but Cap honestly doesn't care. He'll still keep fighting for his ideals no matter what. On one occasion, Cap provides encouragement to a despairing Spider-Man by telling him "This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — No, YOU move." There's a reason why the Avengers know they can always trust Cap.
  • Captain Marvel: Former Ms. Marvel Carol Danvers. Credited as 'Earth's Mightiest Hero', a Flying Brick on-par with Thor, a trained Air-Force pilot (even being a Colonel Badass) and a decorated soldier with years of experience, and she named her cat Chewie, uses the 'Jedi Mind Trick' as a distraction, and after cooling off from being mad at the uninvited visit, she geeks out at having Lila Cheney, a super-powered rock star, on her ship. Generally, Carol is good at keeping her geekiness in-check, but in recent years it's become far more blatant that she's something of a nerd.
    • Her successor, the current and third Ms. Marvel, aka the ever-dorky shapeshifter and superhero fangirl, Kamala Khan.
  • Shazam!: Captain Marvel definitely qualifies. He's a hero on par with Superman both in terms of physical power and nobility, and is completely unafraid of standing up to beings more powerful than himself (up to and including the Wrath of God) if he feels it has to be done. Yet he's also unfailingly polite, kind, friendly and compassionate, with a good (sometimes self-deprecating) sense of humor who tends to get completely flustered when women take interest in him. The fact that he's really a 12 to 15 year old kid in an adult superhuman body goes a long way towards explaining this.
  • Spider-Man: Peter Parker is an endearingly awkward everyman ever since he was a teenager. Which never stopped him from being one of the most capable superheroes in the Marvel-verse.
    • In the mainstream comics, he remains this way even as an adult. It's best seen when he interacts with the other heroes (who see him as something of a young sibling yet deeply respect him) and also when it comes to younger heroes (who look at him in awe for being in the hero game when he was their age and now doing his best to guide them).
  • Superman: Superman's secret identity certainly has dorky tendencies. This could be the result of Obfuscating Stupidity, being an Alien Among Us, or something else. In the modern comics, it's usually just because he's a farmer's son who moved to the big city. He doesn't really count as Alien Among Us, since he came to Earth as an infant.
  • Watchmen: If the comic took place in a straight-up superhero universe rather than a Deconstruction-fest Dysfunction Junction, Dan Dreiberg (Nite Owl II) would have been this character type. But given the nature of the setting, he's more a Classical Anti-Hero than The Ace. It is worth noting that despite Watchmen's very dark take on most of the superhero archetypes it explores, Dan retains his endearing dorkiness and is probably the most idealistic and conventionally likable of the costumed heroes.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Phantom: He's become less so over the years, but Lee Falk's original depiction of the Phantom had definite moments of this, particularly around the woman he loves.

    Fan Works 
  • Amazing Fantasy begins with Izuku Midoriya (who in this universe got Spider-Man powers) giving the audience the "do you really want to know my story?" narration of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, only to stop and beg the audience to stay when he seems to be scaring (or boring) then away. His typical personality also clashes quite noticeably with Peter Parker's.
  • Bucky Barnes Gets His Groove Back & Other International Incidents makes it absolutely, abundantly clear that Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson, Natasha Romanoff, and Bucky Barnes are just humans under their superhero-slash-unwilling-supervillain identities and abilities, and total dorks.
    • Steve had a Drag Queen phase back in the 1930s that involved him wearing lipstick during sex, swears himself blue if he breaks an art pencil, attempts to leave the hospital with a catheter still in, and once cut himself trying to shave his crotch with a straight razor.
    • Barnes develops a taste for trashy Paranormal Romance novels, unironically listens to dubstep (the harsh sound helps to quiet his mind), names a spaceship with enough destructive power to qualify as a WMD Motherfucker, and loves hot baths and washing his hair.
    • Natasha plays Never Have I Ever on long road trips, once tried jerryrigging her own hair dye while on an op, organizes HYDRA intel in a glittery pink notebook with a fuchsia pen with pompoms and a charm dangling from the top, and nearly squees in delight when Barnes, Steve, and Sam steal her a monster truck snowplow.
    • Finally, Sam develops crushes on jacked white blond dudes, the dumber the better, changed his parents' dog's name to Barf, traded his iPod Touch to a mentally unstable super-assassin in exchange for macaroni and cheese with bacon, and has placidly accepted his new life of espionage, wetwork ops, and government watchlists.
  • In Jonathan Joestar, The First JoJo, Jonathan definitely qualifies as this, keeping in line with his canon portrayal.
  • In Thieves Can Be Heroes!, Izuku Midoriya retains most of the traits of his canon counterpart. He isn't quite as popular due to the stigma of the criminal record he earned while trying to save a woman from a drunken rapist, but the friends he does have will gladly put their lives on the line for him and they unanimously nominate him as the leader of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts for his overall strength, moral fiber, intelligence, and bravery.

    Films — Animated 
  • Some DreamWorks Animation films have featured this, backing away from its image of using Idiot Heroes as protagonists.
    • Po from Kung Fu Panda, who is simultaneously a kung fu master and a kung fu fanboy.
    • Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon is another one. Lacking the traditional Viking strength and bluster, he became a first-rate Guile Hero and Badass Bookworm by understanding how dragons think and taming them instead of just fighting them directly. And then tames a freaking Night Fury as his partner. Sure, he's badass, but only when he has to be. Little wonder why he's so popular with the female fanbase.
    • Sherman from Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a bookworm who saved a Damsel in Distress from marrying a Pharaoh, joined the Trojan army, and controlled a time machine. He's just like his dad.
    • "Z" from Antz (DW's first CG production) is a neurotic and pessimistic ant (this being Woody Allen, no less), who saved his entire colony.
  • Mickey Mouse in some of his earlier more abrasive years pre-Flanderization into The Everyman (though it comes back on occasion, e.g. Runaway Brain).
  • Rio: Blu. He even has a "legal name" to put it that way (Tyler Gunderson).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Back to the Future: Marty McFly hardly is the toughest guy around, and he does have his "nobody calls me chicken" problem, but he mostly is a good guy.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger. Brave, determined, the film's Mr. Fanservice, and a bona fide Super-Soldier. Also humble, kind, a terrible liar, awkward about romance, and dorkily cute.
    • S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson counts, too. A Promoted Fanboy of Captain America (complete with a set of vintage trading cards!), he's like a dorky math teacher in a nice suit. However, he is a S.H.I.E.L.D agent (and Nick Fury's Number Two), who is completely unflappable facing down any number of threats ranging from H.Y.D.R.A terrorists to alien invaders. One of his Establishing Character Moments was casually threatening Tony Stark with being tazed, and then watching Supernanny while Stark "drooled into the carpet."
    • Thor in his first movie. Complete and utter naïve dork with a big, goofy grin on his face when there isn't any danger about. Much of it comes from having little clue about Midguard customs and being as excited and happy to learn as a Golden Retriever let loose in a dog park.
    • The MCU's version of Peter Parker. He's played by a younger actor than other cinematic versions of the character, and his personality has less angst and more youthful energy and fanboyish enthusiasm.
    • Vision is one of the stronger Avengers, and a hyper-intelligent artificial humanoid, but due to his (relative) youth, he's also not quite got the hang of human customs, so when not being an Avenger, he hangs around in casual sweaters, getting confused by cooking instructions, and is completely tongue-tied trying to talk to Wanda.
  • Star Wars:
    • Luke Skywalker starts off like this. Over time — maybe because of The Reveal in The Empire Strikes Back — he becomes more composed and sober. Parts of the Star Wars Expanded Universe prove, though, that his dorky side didn't really die.
    • Rey is a Wrench Wench who can kick your ass (and is something of a Plucky Girl, too), but she is still a Nice Girl that's a huge fan of the heroes of the rebellion, as seen with her interactions with Han Solo.
    • Finn from the same film. A compassionate, earnest former Imperial Stormtrooper who can actually shoot pretty well, Finn's upbringing as a Child Soldier for the First Order didn't give him the best opportunity to develop anything like suavity, but it couldn't extinguish his kind heart.
  • TRON: The titular character is a badass in a combat situation, and a completely earnest Religious Bruiser dork outside it. Urgent call from his personal deity on the line? Nope, he's going to go and find his counterpart (wife) first. The Deleted Scene? He's mostly oblivious to Yori's intentions until she all but puts on some lingerie and starts incorporating the planning into the foreplay! His Kingdom Hearts II incarnation celebrated victory by hugging everyone. Unfortunately, anything past that first film was a Trauma Conga Line; by the time TRON: Uprising rolls around, he's become incredibly cynical, with the occasional flash of dorkiness. And then there's TRON: Legacy, where he ends up as little more than a brainwashed attack dog for Clu.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): Diana is a fierce and brave warrior, but also a truthful, sincere, kind and honest girl who positively squees at the sight of a baby. Unfortunately, she loses this trait after seeing the worst of mankind during World War I.

  • Sir Gawain in the older stories of Arthurian Legend. He's a fierce warrior and the paragon of knightly virtue, and he has no idea how to talk to a girl.
  • Ossian Bergman from "De skandalösa" by Simona Ahrnstedt is a nerdy scholar, who seems to be awkward when it comes to women. But he also seems to be a better person than his Chivalrous Pervert friend Gabriel, and in the end, he does get a woman after all.
  • Discworld:
    • Carrot Ironfoundersson. Polite, scrupulous, charismatic, rather literal-minded, and, particularly in his first appearances, a Fish out of Water. He's a bit like the Disc's equivalent of Benton Fraser. People who meet him tend to go through a phase of realizing he believes everything he's saying, then searching for "tells" that it's a joke. They will never be certain.
    • Dorky, earnest young minister Mightily Oats gradually becomes one of these in the course of Carpe Jugulum. References to him in later books indicate that he eventually becomes a full-blown Badass Preacher.
  • The Dresden Files has short stories showing how Harry Dresden looks from the outside, like a flaky spaz when investigating a crime scene, and in battle, a terrifying demigod who wields fire and lightning "like they were toys created for his own use".
  • Magic Ex Libris: This trope is exemplified by Isaac Vanko, who often takes time from running for his life or fighting to geek out over whatever is trying to kill him.
  • Super Powereds: Vince is so stubbornly optimistic that he often brings out the best in people before they even knew it was there to be brought out.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: Miles Vorkosigan is a tiny, hyperactive, Genius Cripple snarker with the soul of a Knight Errant and frightening levels of determination.

    Live Action TV 
  • From Angel, we have the Groosalugg (a title meaning "The Brave and Undefeated" - Groo for short), a champion from a swords-and-sorcery alternate universe, who is always eager to please his "princess".
  • Commander Jeffrey Sinclair, commanding officer of Babylon 5. Badass Rules Lawyer Ace Pilot who is, in fact, a complete and utter dork. His successor, John Sheridan, was no better. If you piss Sheridan off, he will nuke your ass. But he'll go from nuke-slinging badass to rushing over to his second in command's room in the middle of the night because he had a great idea, and being completely oblivious to her being dressed in nothing but a flimsy nightgown. (Justified somewhat because they are Like Brother and Sister).
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Xander Harris is a nerdy loser of the first water — hugely into comics and science fiction. And he's got a moral center as strong as tungsten steel and, when pushed, the sheer unbreakable will to back it up. Angelus referred to him — sarcastically — as "Buffy's White Knight" not really comprehending just how corret he was being.
  • Criminal Minds has Aaron Hotchner, although you wouldn't necessarily know it if you met him on the job due to his stoic nature and Perpetual Frowner glare. But get him at home with his young son or in a social situation with his team, and you'll realise that he has quite the adorkable side hidden underneath his Comically Serious demeanour.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor in most, if not all incarnations. Special mentions go to the ridiculously awkward Fourth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, who can't seem to get the hang of holding a normal conversation, but have destroyed civilizations. Some might also consider Rory Williams, after he took a level in badass.
  • Due South: Constable Benton Fraser, the quirky, unfailingly polite, straight-arrow Fish out of Water mountie.
  • Firefly: Simon Tam. An intelligent and chivalrous but very socially awkward doctor who can be surprisingly resourceful and dangerous when his little sister's in danger.
  • The Flash (2014): Barry Allen is a forensic scientist prone to geek-outs, sometimes socially awkward. He's also the fastest man alive and a superhero.
  • Glee: Blaine Anderson has become known as "Dapper" in the fandom for a reason: he constantly wears bowties, cardigans, polo shirts and sweater vests. He doesn't like to wear socks for some odd reason and has a passion dancing like Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to songs by Katy Perry. He also is willing to take on football players about twice his size if they mess with his boyfriend and probably could have taken him down considering he boxes and started his private school's chapter of Fight Club.
  • Heroes: Hiro Nakamura considers it his personal quest to "Save the cheerleader, save the world." He is absolutely giddy over the fact that he gets to be a hero just like his favorite anime and comic characters, and his enthusiasm tends to spill over into fanboying "Flying Man" because he has cool powers, too (though Nathan really wishes he didn't and certainly doesn't want Hiro yelling "FLYING MAN!" where everyone can hear).
  • Kamen Rider:
  • The Lone Gunmen: All of the gents qualify to some degree or another. They certainly are dorks, and they're completely incorruptible underground hackers and journalists operating with the motive that Information Wants to Be Free. However, Byers and Jimmy Bond fit the mold best. Byers is a soft-spoken gentleman who used to be a loyal worker for the FCC and still believes that America can one day live up to the Eagleland Type One. The other two derided him as a "narc" until he stared down armed members of the Conspiracy and chewed them out, demanding to know who the hell they were and what gave them the right to pull these stunts. Jimmy Bond, their last recruit, is a Book Dumb puppy dog of a man who is Too Dumb to Fool, but gifted with a surprising amount of compassion and intuition that makes him see things that the otherwise intellectual Gunmen are apt to miss.
  • Ohsama Sentai King-Ohger: Rita Kaniska/Papillon Ohger is the stalwart king of Gokkan and Chief Justice of the International Criminal Court, who is also a fierce swordsman and archer in battle. They are also incredibly awkward and obsessive fan of a yeti mascot behind the scenes.
  • Power Rangers: The legendary Memetic Badass Tommy Oliver absolutely qualifies.
  • Sherlock: John Watson has some elements of this, particularly in fandom portrayals. Both his sweater-wearing cuteness and his badassery have become memes. They definitely have. BBC has him portrayed as an adrenaline junkie, but overall a likeable guy, don't mess with his friend. It'll end badly if you do. And he'll look adorable while doing it.
  • Spock in Star Trek. Julian Bashir in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Malcolm Reed in Star Trek: Enterprise.
  • Supergirl (2015): Kara Danvers/Zor-El is a cute, awkward, and idealistic Flying Brick. Lampshaded by a shock-jock DJ who mocks Supergirl's adorkable and wholesome persona.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 has the iconic cleric, Jozan. He's a competent fighter, spellcaster, and orator, and very morally upright, but he's also The Klutz when it comes to being sneaky or anything else dexterous. In the iconics feature novels he suffers near-permanent Crush Blush around the paladin Alhandra, as well as Gibberish of Love and grinning like an idiot whenever she praises him. In the "Creature Feature" stories, meanwhile, he's the D&D equivalent of a good little Christian boy, so saintly sweet and gentlemanly he gives the rogue Lidda sugar overdoses. Then add on a tendency to be the No-Respect Guy, and yeah.

  • Shakespeare's Henry V is a fine leader and a victorious conqueror, effortlessly eloquent when rallying his troops to snatch victory from sure defeat. He is also full of awkward when trying to talk to the French princess (who doesn't speak English) and sounds like a total moron when trying to speak to her in French. This kind of depends on the actor playing Henry, but it's a common interpretation.

    Video Games 
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum: While obviously not an example of the trope himself, Harley Quinn uses this as an insult to Batman.
  • Beyond Good & Evil has Double H, whose dorkiness is actually directly tied to his badassery: He's fanboyishly obsessed with his Badass Creed, to the point of using its name as his Battle Cry ("CARLSONNN AND PEETERSSSS!") and applying quotes from it to everything he does, regardless of the circumstances. It helps that he's also an obsessively loyal Bruiser with a Soft Center.
  • Blazblue: Through training alone, Bang Shishigami has enough speed and stamina to keep up with characters who have special powers and deadly artifacts, and in some cases, immortality. He also protects the innocent, risks his life for others, considers no good deed to be beneath him no matter how mundane, and dedicates much of his life to helping out his community.
    • While this makes him a beloved hero in his community, his tendency to talk and act like a hero from a Sentai series with no volume control makes it impossible for any of the other characters to take him seriously.
  • Dragon Age: Alistair. On the one hand, he's brave, noble, and heroic (making him a distinct rarity in the Dragon Age verse) and approves of the player being so as well — on the other, he's a bit of a Manchild who can barely get through a sentence without slipping into bad humor and/or Buffy Speak, especially if he's talking to a woman.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VII: Zack Fair is strong, handsome, loyal, determined, honorable, friendly, and all over a nice guy. He also is a serious badass and one of the strongest fighters in the series. However, as seen in Crisis Core, he's also 16-18 for most of his game and has the attention span of a hyperactive Labrador. Puppy, indeed.
    • Final Fantasy IX: Steiner is not the main hero, but he is a Dork Knight at times. He leans more towards being more of an Idiot Hero.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Roy from Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade is a brave and skilled swordsman, and a very charismatic leader and highly intelligent Teen Genius Guile Hero to boot, but he definitely has his awkward teenager moments; especially in his supports with any of his potential wives. His father Eliwood from the prequel game can fall into this sometimes, too, but to a lesser degree.
    • In Fire Emblem: Awakening we have Sumia. A submissive badass in the battlefield, a Cute Clumsy Girl outside of it.
      • Prince Chrom, too. And his daughter Lucina (who can be mothered by Sumia) can have her moments.
      • In truth, almost every character in Awakening counts to some degree. Characters like Severa and Henry are very upfront about it, while others like Frederick and Panne require a little more digging to reach their dorky sides.
      • It seems that Chrom and Lucina's dorkiness comes from somewhere; even Prince Marth from the games taking place 2000 years before theirs had moments like this as well, mainly due to his rather childish and naive personality.
    • Applies to the Avatar aka Corrin, of Fire Emblem Fates. An unstoppable, badass Determinator on the battlefield, but a cheerful, socially inept dork off of it.
    • Alm from Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia takes the usual "badass on the battlefield, dork off of it" nature of Fire Emblem heroes up a notch with his love of corny jokes and bad puns. Celica is fairly stern and serious much of the time, but she too isn't without her silly moments, such as chuckling at the word "booty".
  • Immortal Souls: John looks and fights the part of a badass '90s Anti-Hero, but he's really a softie who is a bit naive and cares about saving innocents and doing the right thing, though you do have to initially push him into it. He also gets absolutely tongue-tied talking to his Love Interest Allison and whenever the Black Witch tries flirting with him. Or when talking about Allison. Or when thinking about Allison.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising: Pit is captain of an army of centurions, has mastered nine different weapon types, and was able to defeat Medusa (Twice, in fact) and Hades, by himself. He also happens to be easily flustered, a jokester, and has Undying Loyalty to his goddess Palutena. It helps that, despite being at least 25+ years old, he looks and acts like a thirteen-year-old.
  • League of Legends has Poppy, Keeper of the Hammer, an unbelievably strong yordle tasked with delivering a legendary hammer of Orlon to a fabled "Hero of Demacia" and is remarkably and suspiciously capable with wielding it herself. She's also a complete dork with No Sense of Direction, a chipper sense of humor (but ironically Cannot Tell a Joke), and is so humble that she genuinely doesn't consider how she might actually be the hero she was looking for.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link loves this trope. No matter which incarnation he's in. Here are a few examples.
    • Described by the page quote is the Link in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker; he may be brave, kind, and heroic, but he's still a huge dork of a Kid Hero with especially cartooney facial expressions, even for the art style.
    • Similarly, the Link in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is a good example as well, being a somewhat klutzy Sleepyhead, especially around Zelda; both of them have slayed monsters, saved the world, shown unbelievable amounts of determination stronger than titanium, and are overall very capable at what they do.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Link started off in the backstory as very stoic and serious, but he's loosened up considerably by the time you get to control him. He often makes cheesy puns in dialogue, he hums excitedly while cooking food, and should you choose to sleep on the waterbed in Zora's Domain, Link can be heard bouncing on the bed and giggling like a little kid.
  • Mass Effect: Garrus Vakarian is of the Number Two/Friendly Sniper variety. He is a highly trained sniper who (1) aided in stopping a full scale assault on the galactic seat of government, (2) led a group of vigilantes on a space station that would put Mos Eisley Spaceport to shame, and (3) became the leader of a task force designated to prepare for the inevitable genocidal alien invasion. During the course of all of this, he has a bad habit of saying Innocently Insensitive things, and turns into a shy, stuttering confused mess when either making or receiving romantic/sexual advances.
  • Octopath Traveler II: Crick starts out as a very earnest Naïve Newcomer who is constantly getting teased by Temenos for his awkwardness. However, he's also extremely dedicated to his job, and even the antagonists note how strong he is.
  • Shadow of the Colossus: In many odd ways, Wander could count as this. The narrative (what little there is) never calls attention to it, but for a guy who's capable of slaying Colossi, he seems really unprepared for it; he doesn't know how to handle a sword beyond awkward stabs and clumsy swings that throw him off balance, and even when he's running normally, it's less of a composed sprint and more like a frantic scramble as if he's about to trip over everything (ironic considering how well he does vertically). It appears that Team ICO was counting on this clumsiness to endear himself to audiences, almost assuredly to create dissonance once the tone of the game begins shifting against him and his Colossus-slaying.
  • Space Ace: Dexter; normally, he's The Ace, but thanks to Borf's Infanto Ray, he spends most of the game as a skinny, awkward teenager.
  • Super Mario Bros.: The titular bros, Mario and Luigi, each in their own way.
    • Mario constantly risks his life to save Princess Peach and the Mushroom Kingdom, goes out of his way to help anyone he meets and is unfailingly brave and noble. He's also a happy-go-lucky, excitable guy who possesses an extreme optimism and enjoys all sorts of activities, no matter how childish they might seem.
    • Luigi is a flat-out cute dork and Lovable Coward, he would rather stay out of trouble and is constantly overlooked in favor of his more famous, older brother. However, that doesn't stop him from being the best person he can be and his moral fiber is just as strong as Mario's.

    Web Animation 
  • Dreamscape: Soya. Anjren points out at the end of the first episode that he can shift from a goofy nice guy to a serious badass just like that.

  • Homestuck: John Egbert starts off as a goofy dork. He quickly grows into a badass and the team's leader, without ever becoming less of a dork.
    • On a more literal note, both Karkat and Dave are dorks, and they are knights. Bipbopbam. Dork Knights.
  • Unsounded: In life, Duane Adelier was a skilled warrior, an exceptionally competent tacit-casting mage, and responsible for training young soldiers in the ways of battle pymary. He was also a noble, slightly goofy man who held on to an idealistic view of peace between the two major religions, the castes, and the political viewpoints of his country when few held the same, and was quite fond of dramatic operas and plays. The character currently still retains most of these personality traits, however the horrific trauma of the past six years has caused an air of hopelessness with all he does due to the loss of his loved ones, the betrayal of his country, and the firm belief his soul is now damned. Nevertheless, he still retains many of his idealistic and goofy traits and his competence in a fight.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Sir Archibald Wavell. A quiet unassuming man with an eccentric but likable disposition who wrote an anthology of poetry. He was also the British commander in the Mediterranean theater and under his command, the Allies won their first victories, and the Italian Empire was reduced to a sort of flypaper for the German army. He is a large part of the reason for Italy's persistent reputation for limited prowess in World War II.