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Enraged by Idiocy

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Nappa: You okay, Vegeta?
Vegeta: Yes, jus—just an aneurysm out of sheer stupidity.
Nappa: Wow. Didn't think you were that stupid, Vegeta.
[Vegeta screams in frustration]

Have you ever heard a remark so spectacularly dumb that it just made you angry? Do you have a low tolerance for Cloudcuckoolanders or ditzes?

While some might respond with sarcasm, pity or even despair, these characters just can't handle the dumbness around them. They seethe, they rant, they curse or even resort to violence.

When this trait kicks in it can be the last straw for a normally reasonable person or an intense enough irritation to be their Berserk Button — especially for the Only Sane Man or those Surrounded by Idiots. Of course, this reaction is sometimes totally justified when the act of foolishness is or has put people in danger.

The results of becoming Enraged by Idiocy can vary from a Dope Slap to a Cluster F-Bomb to acts of violence. As with any loss of temper, this usually becomes a weak point or dangerous distraction for the angry party — making it a handy tactic for anyone merely playing dumb.


A Sub-Trope of Berserk Button. Characters who are the Only Sane Man or Surrounded by Idiots tend to have this, but it is also one of the main Jerk Justifications. You can expect the Tsundere to have this characteristic, especially if she's around the Idiot Hero. They may also show someone to be The Comically Serious. This is also a central trope in a Boke and Tsukkomi Routine, where both the boke's idiocy and the tsukkomi's resulting frustration are Played for Laughs. If used excessively, this Trope can turn the Straight Man of the cast into a straight-up Jerkass, whom although gifted with intelligence, is an emotionally hollow brick wall with an exasperating "cup half empty" attitude towards life, refusing to see the good in people favor of justifying his sarcasm and hate for the world by arrogantly accentuating every little flaw in everyone else but himself.


If both the persistant idiocy and the inability to treat the anger go on for too long, it can go into Madden Into Misanthropy territory.

If the enraged character is a leader and the idiocy was committed by a mook, this can lead to You Have Failed Me.

Compare and contrast Blunder-Correcting Impulse.

Compare and contrast Fury-Fueled Foolishness; this trope is when anger is caused by idiocy, whereas Fury-Fueled Foolishness is when anger causes idiocy.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Light Yagami from Death Note frequently gets annoyed by Misa Aname's frequent acts of stupidity that constantly puts them at risk of being exposed as Kira. In fact, Misa's actions lead to Light commonly saying "Misa, you idiot!"
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • While enraged is stretching it, Jotaro Kujo doesn't seems to have the patience for people who do silly things, with Joseph Joestar being a frequent offender.
    • The image shown on the page comes from Vento Aureo, specifically when Pannacotta Fugo got enraged after Narancia Ghirga answered 16 x 55 = 28note ... after previously having correctly answered 5 x 6 = 30. His response is to stab Narancia in the face with a fork.
  • In March Comes in Like a Lion, Rei becomes incensed when Yasui doesn't learn from his mistakes both inside professional shogi (choosing not to learn from his losses) and outside (opting to once again drink his loss away instead of spending his last Christmas with his daughter as a family and initially pretending to forget about the presents he bought). Implicitly blaming Rei for the latter is what sets it off.
  • One Piece:
    • While Luffy's extreme stupidity is enough to make all of his friends lose their patience now and then, Nami is the only one to really flip out every time he says something really stupid (which is half of the time; the other half he just says something somewhat stupid). She gets equally angry at the other crew members when they act idiotic. Usopp is becoming similar to her, though he seems more enraged by the inability to think normally than stupidity per se.
    • Sir Crocodile's Fatal Flaw is that he's so incredulously enraged by Luffy's antics that he leaves himself vulnerable by attacking him physically instead of making his usual smart use of his Touch of Death.
  • Naofumi from The Rising of the Shield Hero is regularly (and quite justifiably) pissed off when it comes to Motoyasu and the Three Heroes Church. None of which is Played for Laughs, by the way.

  • George Carlin dedicated a lot of routines to stupid human behaviour.
  • Lewis Black seems to constantly suffer from this trope.

    Comic Books 
  • This is Atomic Robo's Berserk Button. It's one of the more notable reasons that he hates Talkative Loon Dr. Dinosaur.
  • Deadpool — consciously or not — uses this to great effect on his opponents, distracting them with babble until they lose focus.
  • Lucky Luke rarely gets angry, but the prison guards once again letting The Dalton brothers escape from the Cardboard Prison is one way to do it. Once, when he was telegraphed about yet another breakout, his only reply was "idiots".

    Fan Works 
  • Vegeta, Piccolo and Freeza of Dragon Ball Z Abridged, usually thanks to Goku or Nappa. The page quote is the best example in the series to date.
    • Vegeta had a hard enough time in the anime/manga version, but Nappa and Goku are even stupider here and much to his displeasure they are incredibly hard to kill and tend to come back. His pride prevents him from admitting his own stupidity enrages him as well.
    • Freeza thinks he's found a worthy opponent in Goku, and he has... physically. But prolonged exposure to Goku's unique personality slow drives him to greater and greater rage and sanity slippage. It's incredibly satisfying for the audience watching his cold, taunting demeanor dissolve into childish insults and tantrums.
    • Piccolo deals with it the best, though he still flips out over his student being unable to dodge anything. Goku and Vegeta do make him angry, though he deals with their stupidity through sarcasm and insults later in the series.
  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality: While neither of them tolerate idiocy well, Professor Quirrel tends to react much more strongly than the main character, whose reaction is usually more in line with facepalming. As it turns out, being able to do whatever he wants with idiots is essentially the main reason Riddle went fully evil.
  • Imperial Servant: When Dabbler, a succubus who was called to perform a "good deed", realizes her summoner doesn't have a "banishing anchor" for her, which is a safeguard to send any summoned creature back where it belongs in an instant, she shows him why banishing anchors are important by attacking him with a flaming sword.
  • Akihiko Kayaba of Sword Art Online Abridged has been bottling up two years' worth of rage at the prospect that the lion's share of his player base simply cannot function at a higher level of thought process than "group up and hit it 'til it dies". Part of the reason he took on his Heathcliff alias is to alleviate the massive number of player deaths that resulted from a glitch of his own sleep-deprived creation; that a massive number of players died in incredibly stupid ways despite this does not help his temper one bit.

    Films — Animation 
  • Strange Magic: After a line of talking mushrooms creates enough Gossip Evolution that the message "An elf is in the dark forest" becomes "A tall chef is into shark storage", the Bog King gets so frustrated that he physically beats his way through the line of mushrooms until he reaches the original.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Big Short, investor Mark Baum has no tolerance for anything he suspects is bullshit, and will immediately respond with a barrage of F-bombs.
  • In Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), King Ghidorah's middle head is very dissatisfied with the antics of the left head, which is clueless as a toddler. He constantly tries to bite on his horns and make him pay focus to their main target.
  • In the The Pink Panther film series, Clouseau's constant bungling actually drives his superior, Chief Inspector Dreyfus, to try and outright murder him.
  • Star Wars: Darth Vader has no tolerance for incompetent officers, though he doesn't typically shout or make a big emotional scene. Instead, he prefers to Force-choke them when they fail him for the last time.
  • The Wolf of Wall Street has Max Belfort, Jordan's father and Stratton Oakmont's unofficial CFO. He is frequently seen yelling at his son and his cronies for their behavior such as racking up thousands of dollars in business expenses (read: Hookers and Blow), horsing around while the SEC is visiting the office and all the other idiotic things they do.

  • Animorphs: Visser Three. He has little tolerance for incompetence, and more often than not, it ended with whoever was being stupid getting offed (usually by Visser 3 eating them whole).
  • In Dragon Bones, Ward has been Obfuscating Stupidity for seven years. His father is enraged by Ward's stupid facial expression and overall stupidity - quite ironic, considering that Ward started to pretend to have more brain damage from his father's violent beatings than he actually had because he feared his father would kill him if he seemed too dangerous.
  • The title character of Franny K. Stein occasionally gets quite furious when she has to deal with stupidity.
    • A chapter in Attack of the 50-Ft. Cupid has Franny try to talk to a friend from school named Percy over the phone about her latest invention. Percy doesn't pay attention and only babbles about how much he likes corn chips, which causes Franny to angrily hang up the phone while imagining that Percy has a safety pin for a head.
    • In The Invisible Fran, Franny gives her classmates Erin, Lawrence, and Phil an earful for attempting to make improvements to her two-headed robot and instead making the robot into a highly destructive idiot that's now going around vandalizing the school. She also gets really infuriated when she sees that the two-headed robot is going to destroy all the books in the school library.
  • In the Kharkanas Trilogy, this is the biggest reason the artist Kadaspala Enes behaves like a Jerkass. He often sees through people and hates it how they shower him with praise when he's looking and call him a pretentious brat when he's not. Add such remarks while he's painting, and he's this close to stabbing people with brushes.
  • In The Leonard Regime, Nick demonstrates this whenever Brandon says or does something stupid.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, Peregrine ("Pippin") Took accidentally makes a potentially enemy-alerting noise in the Mines of Moria (namely, dropping a stone down a deep well — exaggerated to a bucket with chains in the movie). The usually calm and compassionate Gandalf's response is uncharacteristically upset. (Considering what happens next, it's hard not to sympathise with him.)
    Gandalf: Fool of a Took! Throw yourself in next time, and rid us of your stupidity!
  • Known for his "impatience with a less active intelligence than his own," Sherlock Holmes' exasperation at the police's bungling could drive him into condescending rants. The only mention in the entire canon of Holmes cursing comes by his frustration at the police for failing to capture Professor Moriarty after Holmes had all but gift-wrapped the evidence and capture for them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Dr. Cox of Scrubs, habitually.
  • Almost anyone who encounters Frank Spencer of Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em may be calm and collected to begin with, but his seemingly boundless dimness and ineptitude inevitably send them into fits of frothing rage of which they didn't even know themselves to be capable, sometimes followed by blubbering, gibbering insanity. For example, in "The Public Relations Course", PR guru Mr Watson leads a five-day training course, but on the first day, he asks Frank to participate in a role-playing exercise as first a dissatisfied customer and then a PR representative dealing with a dissatisfied customer played by Eddie, a fellow student who has taken Frank under his wing. For the former, Frank simply fires off insults that he heard from Lang, a militant who thinks public relations is pure hokum, and for the latter, he blithely agrees that the dissatisfied customer has grounds to sue his hypothetical employer. Mr Watson flies into a rage, and when Eddie intervenes and says Frank was only trying to help him, Mr Watson snarls, "He's not supposed to help you! He's a public relations officer!"... thereby convincing the entire group that Lang is right about PR being pure hokum, leading them to storm out en masse.
  • Tony Soprano of The Sopranos has a Hair-Trigger Temper in general, but the stupidity of his mooks and his Son ranks near the top of his list of triggers. In "Remember When", he considers murdering Paulie for his annoying and dimwitted tendencies.
  • One of the few things to make Malcolm Tucker of The Thick of It lose his cool. Witness.
  • The Tribe: Ram murders one of his Techno mooks in front of Ebony after the minion presents him with a set of nonsensical programming orders that would actually erase most of Ram's computer systems.
  • In The Vicar of Dibley, this seems to be David Horton's default setting. Geraldine dabbles frequently but tends to keep herself more composed.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess appears to experience this while she, Gabrielle, Joxer, and Callisto (who is currently a god) are on their way to defeat another mad god. Joxer falls off his horse (again), and Xena becomes enraged and kicks him out of the party. In reality, she needed to get him away from the rest of the party so that he could retrieve a god-killing weapon without Callisto noticing.
  • Major Hochstetter from Hogan's Heroes gets enraged by simply being in the presence of Colonel Klink and Sergeant Schultz.


  • Brand, when the quite ditzy bailiff does not grasp the meaning of Brand`s speech pattern for the umpteenth time, Brand reacts almost with an Aaaargh - or he would have if Henrik Ibsen had read enough comics to get the reference. This instigates a big Berserk Button when his superior, the provost, acts and talks just as stupid.

    Video Games 
  • Pick an MMO. Any MMO. Chances are if you participated in any team-based events or dungeons, you've either met someone like this or been that person yourself. Goes double for MOBA players.
  • In Ashe's recruitment event of Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia, Penelo asks her to join by saying how much better it will be to be part of a group in the dangerous wilderness. Unfortunately, right behind Penelo are Laguna and Yuffie. Ashe takes one look and turns around to keep traveling on her own.
  • In Mortal Kombat X, this trope is basically Kotal Kahn's Fatal Flaw in a nutshell.
  • Wess from Mother 3. When his son Duster brought back the wrong artifact from Osohe Castle, Wess FLIPS OUT AND SMASHES IT ON THE GROUND, then comes with Duster to Osohe Castle to guide him so he gets the correct artifact this time. For the rest of the game, he refers to Duster as "Moron."
  • Leon Magnus in Tales of Destiny. A lot. In the original, he'd use shock tiaras on whoever the perceived idiot is or storm off in disgust.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines: Mitnick has a moment with this trope when you first meet him.
    Oh my god, are you kidding me? What are you using for security down there, a Trash-80? Guys, it's called "encryption." This is too easy; I'd let you off the hook, but stupidity always brings out the asshole in me...

    Web Animation 
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device: Magnus, being the Insufferable Genius he is, finds it hard to tolerate both more simple-minded Kitten (who isn't even dumb; just not Primarch-tier) and letters from the Imperial citizens (who are rather unfortunately slow and absurdly ignorant). The former makes him break into lectures and generally snap at him constantly, the other has him fly into rages. Notably, this also applies to events that he finds are stupid, such as when he thought it really was reuniting Vulkan's artifacts that brought the man himself back, meaning a prophecy that had no reason to work was true after all:
  • The Most Popular Girls in School: Brittnay Matthews' reaction to Cézanne-Marguerite's, how you say, Verbal Tic is largely this.
  • Neurotically Yours: This is mostly Foamy's shtick. He is a squirrel who often rants about humans being stupid and annoying. He even sings about it.
  • This happens a lot in Red vs. Blue, usually when the Only Sane Man of the hour loses their patience with The Ditz. But for specific examples:
    • Agent Carolina's interactions with the Reds and Blues in Season 10; her impatience to find and kill the ex-Director of Project Freelancer, combined with the teams' usual ineptitude makes for some very loud outbursts on her end.
    • In Season 11, Sarge builds another robot, Lopez Dos-Point-Oh. Unlike the original Lopez, who just sank into immense cynicism, Dos-Point-Oh becomes so stunned by the Red Team's stupidity (Particularly Sarge's) that he uploads his mind into a Humongous Mecha and goes on a shooting spree.

    Web Comics 
  • Black Mage of 8-Bit Theater. As with most of life's problems, he responds to it with extreme violence.
  • The Bedfellows: Be the idiocy in the form of an Ear Worm, or Being Touched, or who knows what else, you can count on Sheen to yell and curse and become violent on a hair-trigger whenever it happens.
  • Alex Williams of Captain SNES: The Game Masta apparently hates stupid people so much that the Anthropomorphic Personification of his "hatred" is, consequently, an utter moron.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Durkon, Roy and Vaarsuvius have each had "moments" thanks to Elan. Thog considering himself to be Roy's Evil Counterpart also drives Roy to distraction.
    • Redcloak also finds himself exasperated with Xykon's impulsiveness and refusal to think deeply or strategize.
    • Hilgya Firehelm, a cleric of Loki and the mother of Durkon's child Kudzu, also has no patience for idiocy. This was her main problem with her arranged husband Ivan, whose only seen fault was how incredibly dense he was. She also killed a newly de-vampirized and resurrected Durkon when he proposed to her, raising him again right after and stating that she reserved the right to respond to idiocy with cleansing divine fire.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: This seems to be a factor in Lalli's dislike of Reynir. Lalli is a grown-up Child Soldier with a few years of magic practice behind him, if little training in it. Reynir is a Sheltered Aristocrat with just a few days (a few weeks after a the Time Skip) of even knowing he's a mage, causing him to still be Easily Impressed by the Invisible to Normals aspect of it. When an omen that only the two of them can see appears, Lalli's reaction to Reynir's gawking at it is to scold him for "looking stupid".

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • In a Codename: Kids Next Door episode, after Number 1 gets stranded in a jungle and becomes like a monkey, the team's attempts at getting him back yield no results, until they learn the mission they were sent on was for the purpose of learning the answer for a contest to win a decorative keychain as a prize, causing Number 1 to snap back and rant how no mission could ever be so idiotic.
    Number 1: A STUPID KEYCHAIN?!?!?!
  • An episode of Dan Vs. is dedicated to the title character's annoyance of everyone's stupidity.
  • Daria: Mr. DeMartino has a Hair-Trigger Temper as a general rule, but few things will send him into a frothing rage as readily as the ignorance of some of his students.
  • Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory is always angered by his older sister Dee Dee messing around with his experiments and breaking things in his laboratory as well as her ditzy behavior.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
    • Eddy sometimes gets annoyed by other people's idiotic behavior around him, especially Ed's. On occasion, though, Eddy seems to be amused by Ed's idiotic antics (as long as they don't ruin one of his plans, obviously).
    • Downplayed with Edd, based on his last lines at the end of the episode "Dim Lit Ed" but he was more annoyed than enraged. And he's usually much more tolerant of Ed's idiocy than Eddy is.
    • Sarah, probably even more than Eddy. Unfortunately, she is related to the biggest idiot of the Cul-de-Sac and this makes her almost always angry.
  • Col. Nozzaire to Lieutenant Gadget on Gadget and the Gadgetinis.
  • In one sketch on Johnny Bravo, Johnny faces a supercomputer in a game of chess. Johnny's childishness and stupidity end up frustrating the supercomputer so much that it malfunctions.
  • Kaeloo:
  • Hank Hill on King of the Hill is this rather frequently. He even said as much on an episode where he had to go to anger management classes to end a restraining order filed on him by Dale, saying that he didn't have an anger problem, but an "idiot problem".
  • Benson from Regular Show takes this trope to new levels whenever Mordecai & Rigby's (especially Rigby) antics create problems for the park.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show: Ren simply cannot stand Stimpy's stupidity. There's a very good reason why his Catchphrase is "You eeeeeediot!"
  • The Simpsons:
    • Frank Grimes in the episode "Homer's Enemy", who comes to work at the Springfield nuclear plant and is driven crazy by Homer’s dangerous incompetence and laziness. Grimes serves as a deconstruction of Homer’s comedic incompetence by being the Only Sane Man at the plant who isn’t desensitized to Homer’s antics, and by demonstrating how quickly a real person would be driven insane if they actually had to work with Homer.
    • Lisa is like this too sometimes.
      Lisa: [to Homer] You, sir, are a baboon! BABOON, BABOON, BABOON!!!
  • Squidward from SpongeBob SquarePants. It doesn't help that his house is located smack dab in the middle of complete morons SpongeBob and Patrick's. For Squilvia, this is what makes her attracted to him.
  • Grand Admiral Thrawn from Star Wars Rebels may be a No-Nonsense Nemesis to the Rebellion, but his plans largely fail because he's Surrounded by Idiots. In one example, Governor Pryce blows up the fuel depot for his TIE Defender factory in a (failed) attempt to eliminate a rebel cell. Thrawn (who's on Coruscant at the time) is barely able to restrain his fury as he tells her what the consequences will be.
    Thrawn: I...will deal with you...when I return...Governor.

    Real Life 
  • Admiral Hyman Rickover, the father of the American nuclear navy, could not stand incompetent subordinates or superiors. One of his men said that Rickover believed if a man was stupid, that man should be dead. However, this attitude was in some ways a positive thing given his profession and job, as Rickover was absolutely determined to have a safe nuclear fleet and it appears to have rubbed off on his successors. To this day, the U.S. Navy has never had a nuclear accident.


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