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

Compare and contrast Blunder Correcting Impulse.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • 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.
    • This is actually Sir Crocodile's Fatal Flaw; 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.
  • In 3-gatsu no 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.
  • Vegeta in Dragonball Z. He has spent most of his life dealing with Nappa, and gets extremely pissed at him for his idiocy during his fight against Goku (to the extent that he murders him in cold blood for being an embarrassment after Nappa gets himself crippled while defying one of Vegeta's orders). He also constantly expresses anger at the perceived stupidity of most of the other Z Fighters (though ironically it's his pride that allows the Cell and Buu situations to escalate the way they did). Also, when Goku says or does something stupid, Vegeta yells at him with the phrase "you idiot!"
  • 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!"
  • The image shown on the page came from Vento Aureo, specifically when Fugo got enraged after Narancia answered 16 x 55 = 28... after previously having correctly answered 5 x 6 = 30. His response is to stab Narancia in the face with a fork.

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

    Comic Books 
  • Deadpool — consciously or not — uses this to great effect on his opponents, distracting them with babble until they lose focus.
  • This is Atomic Robo's Berserk Button. It's one of the more notable reasons that he hates Talkative Loon Dr. Dinosaur.
  • 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 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 The Pink Panther film series, Clouseau's constant bungling actually drives his superior, Chief Inspector Dreyfus, to try and outright murder him.
  • 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.
  • 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 drugs and prostitutes), horsing around while the SEC is visiting the office, and all the other idiotic things they do.
  • 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.

  • 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 he had all but gift wrapped the evidence and capture for them.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Blackadder: Later incarnations of Edmund Blackadder are usually quite resigned to being Surrounded by Idiots. Whenever he does snap, however, it's usually because of Baldrick, George, Percy or The Queen doing something profoundly stupid.
  • In the early days of Breaking Bad, Walter was prone to extensive ranting at Jesse's screw-ups.
  • One of the main sources of humor in El Chavo del ocho is how Chavo's and Quiko's (lack of) intelligence will often exasperate, or infuriate the other characters that have average intelligence.
    Said by several Characters: I better leave, it (stupidity) may be contagious.
  • Doctor Who: Luke Rattigan, from season 4 of NuWho. He's an Insufferable Genius who, among many things, hate it when people refer to his creation as the ATMOS System. "It's a tautology! It stands for Atmospheric Omission System so you're just saying Atmospheric Omission System System!" Note: that's not a tautology.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Tywin Lannister. He's perpetually unamused, given that his standards are high, he has no tolerance for incompetence and Joffrey's rule has been a long parade of follies and disasters. Given that many of his subordinates (including Joffrey) are frequently Stupid Evil, it's little wonder Tywin sees himself as Surrounded by Idiots.
      Tywin: Madness, madness and stupidity! (regarding Ned Stark's execution)
    • Tyrion as well, his habit of bitchslapping Joffrey for outstandingly foolish decisions even earning him the Fan Nickname "Kingslapper".
  • Uther in Merlin. Most of the time it just results in an angry tirade and Merlin getting sent to the stocks, but he isn't above having someone imprisoned or killed if it went too far.
  • By his own admission, Kevin from the US version of The Office (US) has very little patience for stupidity.
  • In The Outer Limits (1963) episode "The Sixth Finger"
    Gwylim Griffiths: Your ignorance makes me ill and angry.
  • QI: Stephen Fry went off on a tirade on this theme after Lee Mack repeatedly attempted to use the word "ceiling" to disprove the former "i before e except after c"-rule.
  • Dr. Cox of Scrubs, habitually.
  • In an SCTV skit of Kent Brockman News, the anchor shouted that he was annoyed because "I'm surrounded by incompetence!".


  • 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 
  • 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.
  • In Mortal Kombat X, this trope is basically Kotal Kahn's Fatal Flaw in a nutshell.
  • 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.

    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 have 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:
  • 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.
  • The Most Popular Girls in School: Brittnay Matthews' reaction to Cézanne-Marguerite's, how you say, Verbal Tic is largely this.

    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 apparrantly 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.
  • 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 
  • 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 antics create problems for the park.
  • An episode of Dan Vs. is dedicated to the title character's annoyance of everyone's stupidity.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show: Ren simply cannot stand Stimpy's stupidity. There's a very good reason why his Catch-Phrase is "You eeeeeediot!"
  • The Simpsons:
    • Frank Grimes in the episode "Homer's Enemy".
    • 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.
  • Col. Nozzaire to Lieutenant Gadget on Gadget and the Gadgetinis.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kaeloo:

    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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