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Gentleman and a Scholar

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Sometimes, the only smart people in a work are TV geniuses, absent-minded professors, insufferable geniuses, or representatives of some other variety of "brilliant-automatically-equals-socially-awkward". One of these may have Einstein Hair or otherwise seriously neglect his appearance. In those works, you can expect him to be more concerned with abstract equations or other intellectual problems than with the real human beings around him. Maybe his intellectualism is just a way of hiding his evil character.

Not so with anyone who is a Gentleman and a Scholar. He manages to be both a highly intelligent expert in his chosen field and a pleasant, well-adjusted, and socially engaging human being, sometimes being even more attuned to the nuances of social etiquette than many less-intelligent characters. Frequently, his emphasis is more on the humanities than on the natural sciences (he is probably fluent in dead languages and always handy with an apropos quotation from Aristotle, Saint Augustine, or Dante), but this is not an absolute rule. Whatever his field, he is always striving to learn more, but never allows himself to fall victim to Crippling Overspecialization. He is always well-groomed and neatly dressed, unless extraordinary circumstances dictate otherwise. Simply put, this is what happens when The Smart Guy is also a Nice Guy.

Sometimes, the aforementioned socially awkward intellectuals can fit this. Simply because someone is socially inept does not mean he is rude. Professor Frink and Dr. Brown would never hurt a fly.

This character may not necessarily be an actual Blue Blood or Quintessential British Gentleman, but his adherence to the Good Old Ways, his graciousness as a host, and his intelligent and erudite conversations make him seem like one. Unlike the slightly-infantilized geniuses one may see in other works, a Gentleman And A Scholar is always mature and maintains his composure. He is typically older, but if not, expect him to be Wise Beyond His Years. That maturity may or may not make him a Badass Bookworm, but he generally tends to eschew direct physical confrontation if it can be avoided. He frequently strays into Antiquated Linguistics, and possibly the better-done sort of Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness. His alma mater is probably a school with a long history and Gothic towers.

He is more often unwed, but if he has a family, expect him to be a benevolent patriarch. If he goes off to war, expect him to receive a commission and become an Officer and a Gentleman (and a Scholar).

This trope is commonly seen in conjunction with Genius Book Club (expect to see many leather-bound books and a bust of Pallas) and Smart People Play Chess. May or may not smoke a pipe. Glasses are common, but many such characters tend to be older, so perhaps it is justified. Shares a few characteristics with the Gentleman Snarker. Will usually be at least a bit of a Renaissance Man, though what makes him a gentleman and a scholar is not his diversification into multiple fields per se, but rather his ability to maintain his dignity and be socially well-adjusted even while intensively studying an academic subject.

Note that this is not always a man, but neither is it strictly a unisex trope. It is possible for a woman to be a Lady and a Scholar, but because women were not common in academia until the 20-21st century, the archetype has not had proper time to develop an easily recognizable Distaff Counterpart. There's also less expectation of Insufferable Genius associated with female academics, so their being warm and well-mannered is less likely to be a defining trait.

Also see Good Is Not Dumb. Contrast Kindhearted Simpleton. Polar Opposite Trope of Insufferable Imbecile. If he has magic, he's a Gentleman Wizard. An existing character can be upgraded inexplicably in this way via Instant Cultured.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Masaki Ichijou from The Irregular at Magic High School is intelligent, analytical, a tactical genius, highly respected by his peers, charismatic, and on more than one occasion he is seen in a group with his peers.
  • Light Yagami from Death Note is considered one of the most prodigious students in Japan and has no problems in socializing. That said, as soon as we know him more thoroughly, the "gentleman" factor is nothing more than a facade; in fact, he is a childish opportunist with a Hair-Trigger Temper and a misogynist whose treatment towards Misa is absolutely despicable. Not to mention his Villainous Breakdown at the end of the story...
  • Negi Springfield from Negima! Magister Negi Magi may be just a 10-year-old kid, but that doesn't stop him from being a prodigious scholar in spellcasting, martial arts, and language among other things as well as a kind young boy.
  • Taichi Hiraga Keaton of Master Keaton.
  • Dr. Emil Lang of Robotech II: The Sentinels. He was both the father of Earth-based Robotechnology as well as a shrewd politician, elder statesman, and father figure. Unlike typical scientists, he gets along well with the military (especially since it consists of friends like Rick Hunter, Lisa Hayes, Gunther Reinhardt, Max and Mirya Sterling, Vince and Jean Grant). The Sentinels character design also did away with the weird all-black eyes and made him look more dignified.
  • Dr. Tenma from Monster is a highly accomplished brain surgeon and an incredibly caring and selfless man.
    • Dr. Reichwein also has shades of this, and Johan comes off as this to hide his true colors.
  • Maoyu has a female example of this trope, the Demon Queen. Her fields of expertise are Anthropology and Economics and may be awkward in romantic matters, but she is a natural at social events and a master of negotiation. And yes, she is one of the good guys.
  • Amadeus Seal in the Ace Attorney Investigations manga is not only a Van Koff art scholar but is also polite, well-mannered, and friendly. Or at least the member of the Gentlemen art thieves impersonating him acts like this in order to lower Edgeworth's guard- and succeeds, as Edgeworth only realizes his true identity too late.
  • Kyoya Ootori from Ouran High School Host Club definitely qualifies. His composure is nigh-unflappable, he's courteous to a fault and is by far the most intelligent member of the club. He also has a darker side, but it's mostly Played for Laughs.
  • Jonathan Joestar from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood is a totally Nice Guy and a university student who attempts to write a scientific thesis on the Stone Mask.
  • The Silver King in K. As a teenager, he was a prodigy running experiments on the Slates, and he definitely fits the "gentleman" part as King.
    • Izumo Kusanagi fits this, unexpectedly for a HOMRA member. In the novels, it talks about how he went to a top school, and he seems to speak at least four languages, plus he's the one to organize a lot of the planning for HOMRA and all of the Clans, once they make their alliance.
    • Reisi Munakata, the Blue King, fits this to a T. Eloquent speech, fine artistic knowledge, formal aesthetic (check his office)...
  • Parodied with Shirogane in Kaguya-sama: Love Is War. His fellow students consider him an expert in a variety of subjects, unbeknownst that he's only good at studying. What he is indeed is a tremendously lucky master of winging it with a poker face, so whatever counsel he dispenses sounds as expert opinion. However, he is truly a gentleman, which is one of his many virtues.
  • Moriarty the Patriot: Genuinely Affably Evil William and his incredible aptitude for numbers is matched with his fascination with chemistry, botany, religion, philosophy, theatre, history, and astrophysics at a minimum. William seems to genuinely enjoy his time spent in intellectual pursuits and while he may be evil and introverted, he is also quite kind and friendly.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • The Bolt Chronicles: Bolt, Mittens, Rhino, and Penny are portrayed as avid consumers of art and culture in all forms. Penny’s mom is presented as being a former high school teacher prior to the TV show’s run, with a specialty in cultural appreciation; she has a huge collection of vintage pop and classical music compact discs, and fondly remembers a summer backpacking trip through Europe visiting museums.
  • Alim Surana in the Dragon Age fanfiction Dragon Age: The Crown of Thorns seems to come across as something of this sort. The dwarven noble protagonist also seems to be one.
  • The Simpsons: Team L.A.S.H.: Simon is the best student in class, and possesses a high intellect. He's also shown to be very polite. In fact, his politeness is stated to be the reason Anastasia is attracted to him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Doc Emmett L. Brown from the Back to the Future trilogy seems to be nearly a lunatic; who just happens to be a brilliant engineer. But in Back to the Future Part III he is revealed to be quite the gentleman, and ladies' man, as well. Even more impressive if you consider that he decided to become a ladies' man only relatively late, in the second movie. Not to mention how different the standards of formal etiquette were between the 1980s and the 1880s. The original draft for both the first film and the sequels have Doc as being quite the ladies' man in the 1950s. It would have also been revealed that he was engaged to the daughter of the Dean of the university he worked at before it had been broken off when he refused to help design biological and chemical weapons for the Army.
  • Benjamin Gates from National Treasure and its sequel. He fights villainy not with brute force and a gun, but rather using his wits and his knowledge of American history (albeit a wildly inaccurate version of it that only applies within the confines of the film). In the second film (and to a lesser degree in the first), his goal is simply to restore the honor of his family name—a name that goes back far into American history, making him the closest American equivalent to a Blue Blood. He also manages, despite a little hint of social awkwardness, to comport himself around a gorgeous woman without acting like a jackass or a complete fool.
  • The movie Gettysburg and its prequel, Gods and Generals, depict the transformation of a Gentleman And A Scholar into an Officer and a Gentleman, through the character of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. This is Truth in Television; Chamberlain was a respected professor of rhetoric at Bowdoin College who volunteered to fight in the War Between the States, in which he repeatedly demonstrated gallant heroism.
  • Professor Maurice Phipps (Laurence Fishburne) in 1995's Higher Learning; he is genuinely interested in the well-being of his students, dispensing sage advice, but holds them to high standards, accepting none of their lazy excuses. He even smokes a pipe.
  • Red Pollard's father in 2003's Seabiscuit seems to echo this trope; a respected family man, he makes his children memorize poetry and encourages them to cherish reading and books.
  • Indiana Jones
    • Henry Jones, Sr., from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, is a fair example. He is a little socially awkward, but it is strongly implied that most of this is due to trauma over his wife's death. He fits the trope even better in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, where he is, for all his many faults, a good and decent father, and an expert on Medieval Chivalry.
    • Indiana Jones himself, on the other hand, is a major subversion of this. In his classroom, he looks the part, but in actuality, he is a rough-and-tumble cowboy who has just as many problems adapting to normal society as a typical bookworm... they're just the opposite problems.
  • The Professor in The Ladykillers (Professor Marcus, played by Alec Guinness, in the 1955 original; Professor Dorr, played by Tom Hanks, in the 2004 remake) is a subversion. He is a charming, erudite, and gentlemanly man who studied classics and wishes to use his hostess' house as a place for his friends to practice playing classical music... except his friends can't play a single note, and he is actually the leader of a gang of desperate criminals.
  • X-Men Film Series:
  • Corporal Miller in the film version of The Guns of Navarone, as he's played by David Niven.
  • Professor Bernstein in the 1957 Hammer production The Curse of Frankenstein is described as one of the most brilliant minds in Europe, but reminds Dr. Frankenstein that men of science are human, too, and must take time out of their work to enjoy life and the company of others. He appears to be an engaging conversationalist and a pleasant houseguest.
  • Stephen Maturin in the 2003's Master and Commander: The Far Side of The World. He is an excellent ship's surgeon, a brilliant naturalist, and a damn fine cellist. Further, while most of the crew sees him as rather an upper-crusty sort, his empathetic and kindly behavior towards all of them, not to mention saving a fair number of them from certain death, earns him their love and respect. (In the books he's more pinch-faced, miserable, and socially awkward, but still much-loved by the crew. And women.)
  • The Social Network has Cameron Winklevoss, one of the Winklevoss twins, the men who felt that Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea.
    We are not starting a knife-fight in the Crimson. And we are not suing anyone. Because we are gentlemen of Harvard. This is Harvard, where you don't plant stories and you don't sue people!
  • Dr. Seth Brundle in The Fly (1986) is a "socially-awkward but polite" example prior to his Slow Transformation into a Tragic Monster and, eventually, Villain Protagonist. Indeed, one of the early signs of his transformation is that he stops being a gentleman when it comes to his relationship with Veronica, who became attracted to him for his personality and honest passion for his work.

  • Azoth Express: Volfram Volkov is a seemingly all-knowing professor with a taste for classical music, philosophy and politics, and an Amateur Sleuth to boot. At the same time, he's an extremely mild-mannered wolfman, always trying to explain things clearly and never boasting about his own intellect.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo opens with Edmond Dantes as a young, naive sailor; his transformation into the suave, educated, and urbane Count began with his meeting (in prison) the Abbe Faria, who educates him and reveals to him the location of a great treasure. Edmond made the most of both.
  • C. S. Lewis:
    • Professor Digory Kirke from The Chronicles of Narnia novels fits like a glove. He slightly resembles an Absent-Minded Professor at first glance, but this is probably just a thin layer of Obfuscating Stupidity. In any case, he is gracious enough to allow the Pevensie children to stay in his home and dispenses sensible, mature advice based on keen and sound observations about human nature. It helps that he's already been to Narnia himself.
    • Elwin Ransom from Space Trilogy. The character was very loosely based on his friend J. R. R. Tolkien, who was a real-life example of this trope. Ransom (like Tolkien) is a philologist, a professor at Cambridge, and a linguist par excellence. As for the "Gentleman" part ... it wouldn't be out of line to say Ransom is a saint in the literal sense.
  • Roald Dahl:
    • Matilda is a genuinely sweet-natured kid, and never thinks of herself as superior for her brains. If she's asked anything intellectual, she will respond in a polite fashion. She really only dislikes people who are annoying or rude to her. The book carefully emphasizes this.
    • Dahl's most famous character, Willy Wonka, also qualifies as this. He does love to boast about and show off his many wonders, and he does tend to brush off questions, but that generally stems from happiness and excitement rather than the superior manner of an Insufferable Genius. He is a whimsical Trickster (and the Trope Namer for eccentric authority figures in general), but he's also highly intelligent and fun to be around — provided you behave. If he had actual magical powers, rather than simply being a Renaissance Man Mad Scientist, he'd fit the Gentleman Wizard trope like a glove. (Note that this does not apply to his portrayal in the 2005 film adaptation — there he is an Insufferable Genius Manchild instead.)
  • Abraham Van Helsing in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, where, despite being "one of the most advanced scientists of his day", he has nerves of steel, an open mind, a kind heart, and a wry sense of humour.
  • Albert Campion. Although he usually pretends to be stupid when people meet him so they'll underestimate him.
  • Scheherazade in the Arabian Nights is a Lady and A Scholar as well as being The Storyteller. As are many of the women in the stories she tells.
  • David Malter in The Chosen. Reuven and Danny as well. Rebbe Saunders is "gentlemanly" enough but is hard to get to know. Especially for his son which is the point of the plot.
  • Sostratos in Over the Wine-Dark Sea is likable and gentlemanly. He would fit this trope except he has trouble getting along with sailors. He is probably a cross between this and Intelligence Equals Isolation.
  • Lord Peter Wimsey. Expert on rare books, fond of obscure facts, World War I veteran who won the undying devotion of Sgt. Bunter (who becomes his valet), skillful in unarmed combat, an aristocrat with a self-deprecating sense of humor, an oenophile with an encyclopedic palate, legendary cricket player, keenly intelligent amateur detective, and (until he falls in love with Harriet Vane) definitely a ladies' man.
  • In the Left Behind books, prominent politician Nicolae Jetty Carpathia is supposed to be the epitome of this, being a master of politics, linguistics, business, social sciences, and other fields, as well as being a total charmer, supernaturally eloquent speaker, and very well-cultured all around. At least until he reveals his true nature as The Antichrist.
  • Sherlock Holmes is quite eccentric, asocial and arrogant, but he is perfectly capable of behaving like a gentleman when the situation calls for it (particularly when aiding young ladies in distress). Many adaptations, however, ignore this. In addition, his Arch-Enemy, Professor James Moriarty. Despite being the ruthless Mastermind of the criminal underworld, Moriarty is a renowned scholar of mathematics and those who encounter him find him to be charming and fatherly. He is even gentlemanly enough to personally offer Sherlock a chance to back down and allow Sherlock to write a letter to Watson before the final fight over Reichenbach Falls.
  • In Darkness Visible Lord Henry Lewis and William Marsh both qualify, due to having impeccable manners and an enormous breadth of knowledge. Part of the reason the book is so full of shout outs is that Lewis is the narrator, and naturally refers to everything from Mythology to Charles Dickens.
  • Faramir in The Lord of the Rings. Highly intelligent and scholarly, he is also a gracious host and very pleasant individual, able to have a good and friendly conversation with various people from very different cultures and background (Frodo, Sam, Éowyn, Merry, etc...).
  • Harry Potter:
    • Remus Lupin is a good example of the trope: a mild-mannered, pleasant, scholarly figure who genuinely cares about the children under his care and is generally well-liked. The only area he doesn't fit is in terms of presentation (he's always described as very shabby, with patched robes and a dilapidated suitcase), but this is a symptom of his extreme poverty, the cause of which is beyond his own control. He's also a frickin' werewolf, which makes his fitting this trope all the more remarkable. A lot of werewolves turn their back on wizard society, but he is a loyal member of the good guys and a genuinely good man.
    • Dumbledore, who remains polite and well-mannered in all situations (even to his enemies), and is a renowned scholar known to have worked with Flamel, credited with the discovery of twelve uses of dragon blood as well as known to speak Gobbledegook and Mermish.
  • DCI Nightingale in Rivers of London, a fine gentlemanly old wizard of the London police service. A stark contrast to the Gene Hunt-types that are otherwise represented.
  • Ben in The Leonard Regime is both the most intelligent member of the team and the most sophisticated.
  • Khalid Sayeed in the Venus Prime series is both a brilliant geologist and consummate gentleman, although he's also a bit of a religious snob.
  • Heinlein was fond of these, along with the Renaissance Man types. Many of his protagonists were learned and witty intellects, and when they were more rough-and-tumble types there would be Gentleman Scholar as a contrasting supporting character.
  • Doc Savage is this as well as being a Genius Bruiser. He is never less than polite, no matter what the provocation, and is at ease in most social situations. Ham Brooks may fit the mould even better than Doc, as he is Havard's smartest law graduate and regularly tops the best-dressed men in the USA lists.
  • Jaan Vikary, perhaps the most likable person in Dying of the Light, is one of these.
  • Lord Colefax in Murder at Colefax Manor appears to fit the bill, as he always remains polite to the player and dabbles in a mixture of historical, medicinal, and musical studies. Subverted when it is revealed that he runs the cult of Legrys Mor.
  • Rama II: General O'Toole, a religious man, well-read, and with nuclear launch codes, and most of the other cosmonauts as well. Hired for their brains, two play chess in their off time, a third makes robots that perform Shakespeare, and these three and the medic get along well in their day-to-day.
  • Ossian Bergman in "De skandalösa" by Simona Ahrnstedt is a brilliant (if nerdy) scholar, and he also seems to be morally superior person compared to his Chivalrous Pervert friend Gabriel.
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Dr Henry Jekyll tried to invoke this trope so hard it led to his downfall: He managed to get three doctorates, one in medicine and two in law, and he was part of the Fellowship of the Royal Society (FRS), an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of London judges to have made a substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science, and medical science.note  His two best friends, Doctor Lanyon and lawyer Utterson, were inseparable when they were young students. That means that Jekyll studied at least two doctorates at the same time. He has been so committed to his studies that he literally cannot enjoy his vices. That is the reason he develops the potion that converts him into Mr. Hyde. However, notice that Jekyll cannot confess what his vices were, but he confesses Hyde's acts of cruelty without doubt. Jekyll never really mastered the gentleman part of this trope.
  • Gender-flipped in The Stormlight Archive. Among the Alethi (and the culturally very similar Vedens) scholarship is considered an almost exclusively feminine pursuit, so male scholars are rare and generally poorly regarded. However, upper-class women are expected to be at least conversant in history, literature, the sciences, the arts, and other intellectual pursuits, and they make up the bulk of serious scholars. Jasnah is the most obvious example of a Lady and a Scholar but there are many others; Shallan is in training to become one of these.
  • Marcus in The Arts of Dark and Light. Before he became an officer, he was a church scholar, as well as a diplomatist, picking up the skills of both professions, and kept them with him in the Army.
  • Marvelous Dagon from Space Glass is very well kempt, and also brilliant. He's polite even to the people he's brutally interrogating.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played with Bernadette in The Big Bang Theory, who is a doctor in microbiology and generally very nice and sympathetic in early seasons. As the show went on, however, her Hair-Trigger Temper becomes one of her most frequent traits.
  • Rupert Giles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer is surely the epitome of this trope. As a well-spoken Englishman, he is deliberately calculated to stand out in the show's California setting. A librarian and former curator of a/possibly THE British Museum, Giles is a little awkward, but mostly charming, and serves as a repository of information without which Buffy would be unable to complete her mission.
    • Although, when the situation calls for it (mainly when something seriously threatens Buffy or the other Scoobies), he can be quite violent.
    • Also, his slightly awkward nature comes as a backlash to his violent teen-to-twenty-something rebellion, which left a wake of chaos, death, and destruction.
  • In Chinese Paladin, Jinyuan.
  • Criminal Minds has Aaron Hotchner. Anyone on a team with Spencer Reid is going to fade into the background, intelligence-wise, but Hotch is a talented profiler and an extremely smart man who's often only a step or two behind his genius co-worker. On top of that, he's calm, kind, impeccably polite, and always well turned out in a suit and tie. He's more earnest than charming, but manages to be well-liked and respected by most everyone he encounters.
  • In Doctor Who, the Doctor is nice enough to most people, and will frequently give his enemies a silly amount of chances to redeem themselves. He often behaves as though he had No Social Skills, but is nonetheless charming, and, at least in most incarnations, generally polite. He's also cultured and seemingly tries to be well-dressed, but his wardrobe is at best anachronistic.
    • The Doctor who probably suits this trope the most would be the Third Doctor. Always charming, suave, polite, and well-dressed, once he finally got back full control of the TARDIS that is.
    • River Song is a female example of a scholar and a gentleman: she is an academic doctor and later professor, is charming and witty, empathetic towards others like Amy Pond, and can move in a variety of social situations. She is also dangerous, but unflappably so.
    • Professor/Major Palmer from the series 7 episode "Hide" seems a good, human, example. Genuinely remorseful for the death and destruction he caused during WWII, and a professor of Psychology (and ghost-hunter). Dresses the part, too.
  • Frasier: Frasier and Niles Crane are pompous and snooty enough to push the limits of this trope, but are still polite, scrupulous, charming, cultured, devastatingly witty, and are two of the foremost psychiatrists in Seattle with respective IQs of 129 and 156. Their mother, Hester, also qualified for this trope and was less snobbish than her sons.
  • Game of Thrones: Shireen can be a bit stern when teaching Davos, but she is never mean to people who aren't as cultured as her.
  • The Professor on Gilligan's Island.
  • Legion (2017): Charles Xavier is an upper-class English gentleman with impeccable manners who's always well-dressed, and he's a scientist who also dabbles in the arts. Although his academic field of study isn't specified onscreen, the fact that he can invent and construct the Cerebro machine (a Telepathy-enhancing mutant-detection device) on his own indicates that he has an engineering background.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Elrond is Gil-galad's right hand and a talented diplomat. He manages to arrange a strategic meeting between Dwarves and Elves thanks to his links, and is the only person who can somewhat soothe Galadriel's stubborn character.
  • Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote is a successful novelist, a retired professor (although she still gives lectures from time to time) and a brilliant improvised detective with an incredible eye for the detail. This goes along with an almost unfailing politeness and a frequent compassion towards the murderer once their identity and motives are revealed.
  • Detective Murdoch in Murdoch Mysteries is every bit a gentleman and a scholar. He is intelligent, observant, scientific, and clear-headed, using methods that are advanced and unusual for his time (the 1890s). He is also a gentleman and polite to a fault. He loses his love interest Dr. Ogden because he is too polite to unambiguously state his feelings to her. (He was also, for a time, smitten with, and manipulated by, Sally Pendrick, but what kept him from falling completely for her was his impeccable manners.)
  • NCIS:
    • Played straight as an arrow with Ducky. He's very smart and well-read, and usually has some interesting historical tidbit to bring up. Despite this, he never comes across as a know-it-all and is almost always nice to his assistant Palmer.
    • Downplayed with Abby; while she does occasionally brag about how smart and skillful she is, she does it rarely enough that it doesn't get annoying, and is an extremely kind person to boot.
  • Noah's Arc: Although a bit awkward compared to the rest of the cast, Chance still manages to be quite charming and educated in social etiquette (and in specific situations, very social and suave).
  • In Person of Interest, Harold Finch may avoid social situations, but he is a very well-read computer genius who is incredibly polite and courteous, prefers to be well dressed whenever possible, and basically fits this trope to a T.
  • Of course, The Pink Panther is a gentleman, a scholar and an acrobat.
  • Magnus from Sanctuary would be an example of a Lady and a Scholar, being an extremely brilliant scientist and also a genteel, charming, and witty person who is enviable to have as a guest, host, or boss.
  • Daniel Jackson from Stargate SG-1, at least after he got over some of the awkwardness of the early seasons.
  • In some iterations of Star Trek, the ship's Chief Medical Officer tends to fall into this, in various flavors:
  • Artemus Gordon from The Wild Wild West is an eminently charming, immaculately dressed gentleman as well as a scientist, inventor, walking encyclopedia, and all-around genius.
  • President Bartlet in The West Wing who is for the most part both a brilliant man and a very kind-hearted, well-mannered and fatherly figure, at least to those who work for him in the West Wing. He does have a slight tendency to slip into Insufferable Genius from time to time (particularly when he's lecturing on one of the pedantic little avenues of trivia that he loves so much) and the nature of his position means that he can be quite forceful and intimidating.

  • Irene Melissenos from Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues is a high-school version. She's upper-class, sophisticated, and highly intelligent, but does try to be polite when interacting with her peers.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Vampire: The Masquerade has an entire Bloodline - the Kiasyd - who are the epitome of this trope. Admittedly, they generally look like seven-foot-tall elves with black eyes, but they're polite, scholarly, and cultured seven-foot-tall elves with black eyes.

  • Both Lucentio and his servant, Tranio, in The Taming of the Shrew. At the beginning of the play, they're headed off to study at the famous University of Padua, but they get derailed by a Zany Scheme to get Lucentio a girl. Nonetheless, the fact that Lucentio is effortlessly able to impersonate a tutor, and Tranio is effortlessly able to impersonate his high-class master, shows them both to be textbook examples. (In fact, Tranio is arguably more educated than his master, being able to speak Latin and casually name-drop Ovid.)

    Video Games 
  • Professor Layton is a professor of archaeology, a master logician, and a Quintessential British Gentleman.
  • Speaking with her former tutor in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess pretty well confirms that Princess Zelda is a Lady and a Scholar. The game's resident nerd Shad may also qualify for this trope, though he doesn't get quite enough screen time to prove it.
  • Miles Edgeworth, most visible in Ace Attorney Investigations. Aside from the perfection fixation and being set up to be arrested for his father's murder, being raised by the von Karmas wasn't too bad for him.
  • Gale from Baldur's Gate III is not only a genius wizard, he's also a brilliant scholar, wine connoisseur, amateur poet and a Nice Guy (if occasionally a bit dishonest).
  • Artemus from Thief is intelligent, well-spoken, and even-tempered, making him this even among fellow Keepers.
  • Canas from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade is a scholar, married his wife to learn about anima magic and understands it himself, and is noted to have a thirst for knowledge that he knows is very dangerous. He's also nice enough to teach an illiterate fourteen-year-old how to read and write, and to let another character keep the last copy of an extremely high-quality book that's been passed down through his family because the other character thought it was interesting.
  • Front Mission has Hans Goldwin, a professional hacker who finds out helpful info for anyone who needs it and is a good friend in general.
  • Kraden in every installment of the Golden Sun series, with his outgoing nature and enthusiasm for every new (or old) thing the heroes encounter. In Dark Dawn his student Rief is one as well, in a more soft-spoken and cute way.
  • Wayne the postman from Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns. His personality is that of a complete charmer and while his ability to charm ladies can make other men frown in displeasure, they can't think of anything bad to say about him. And he admits in his love events that he's studied astrology since childhood, being fascinated by it.
  • The Spy of Team Fortress 2 is portrayed in this manner. He apparently speaks five other languages and is often the only sane member on the team.
    • The Engineer is sometimes portrayed this way as well, especially in the Tie-in comics. He can not only build any machine imaginable, but he is polite and knows fine art when he sees it.
  • Sir Hammerlock of Borderlands 2. A Quintessential British Gentleman who is introduced with the subtitle "Hunter, Scholar, Gentleman" who has journeyed to Pandora to risk life and limb to study the deadly and beautiful native life. And by "life and limb" we're not talking hyperbole here; he's lost an arm and a leg to a Thresher named Old Slappy. He's been loath to go out into the field ever since that incident, though. That is until his DLC, Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt, where he travels to a jungle continent along with the Vault Hunters for a hunting expedition.
  • Gentlemen in Empire and Napoleon: Total War are researcher units that are spawned from certain intellectual buildings like Universities and Observatories. You can send them to universities where they speed up the research of technologies, or you can send them out to duel rival gentlemen as well as rakes. One can even become a Badass Bookworm after gaining enough dueling skills.
  • Gallus Desidenius in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the deceased former Guildmaster of the Thieves Guild. Before his murder by Mercer Frey, he was a highly intelligent Gentleman Thief, scholar, and linguist, who authored several books on the history of the Nightingales, Thieves Guild and Queen Barenziah, even becoming fluent in the ancient and near-forgotten language of the Snow Elves. In addition to his scholarly pursuits, his status as a Magnetic Hero allowed the Guild to gain friends and contacts across Skyrim and made one of his life-long friends after being caught breaking into his lab, having gotten distracted by the research on display.
  • In Bravely Second, Yew Geneolgia eventually reveals he is a SIX-star scholar in a school/city where even five-stars are treated like nobles. This doesn't stop him from being nice to his fellow students (even after he's long graduated) and he only ever pulls rank for a brief moment in the defense of a friend (from a five-star bully, by the way).
  • The base game of Dragon Age: Inquisition gives us Frederic of Serault, and the DLC Jaws of Hakkon adds Kenric of Starkhaven. Both gentlemen are professors at the University of Orlais, where Frederic is one of Thedas' foremost experts on draconology and Kenric is an authority on ancient history. Both are extremely friendly, personable individuals who are unerringly polite and respectful to the Inquisitor and his/her friends. Frederic can be recruited to the Inquisition as an agent, while Kenric assists the gang in their efforts to find out what became of the Inquisitor's predecessor eight hundred years ago.
  • The main protagonist in Vampyr (2018) Jonathan Emmet Reid is both a scientist and a doctor who is unfailingly polite to most people he interacts with, even during an evil route.
  • Clarissa Snowflake of Sakura Wars (2019) is a rare female example of this trope in play. A Luxembourg-native brimming with curiosity, good manners, and a kind heart, but also a practitioner of a deadly magic called libromancy.

  • Henry Jekyll of The Glass Scientists is the spitting image of a charming socialite, and is also a doctor and expert on the magical and supernatural.
  • Being university dwellers of relatively good upbringing, Luther and Lucien of Family Man both typically fit this, though Luther can edge towards awkwardness. Lucien, however, is particularly charming. Ariana is a Rare Female Example.
  • The Oswald Chronicles: Oswald, scribe, and gentlemouse.
  • Several characters of Tower of God, among them Khun and Lero-Ro, but Shibisu takes the cake. Not only is he able to solve the riddle that brought Khun to his knees and at several points proves himself being well-read and a keeper of great general knowledge, is also the funniest, most social, and responsible characters of his batch of Regulars. Good job for someone who runs around in a purple tracksuit.
  • Minor character Jansen from The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! appears to be this. The art history professor at the school where Jean teaches, he's an older gentleman, unfailingly polite, somewhat verbose and clearly well-schooled, and passionate about his chosen topic. Described as "charmingly bohemian." Has been known to smoke a Bubble Pipe.
    • Though she's got a temper, Dr. Jean Poule herself could qualify, as Bob observes that she's "so smart, but so down to Earth about it."

    Web Original 
  • Phase, of the Whateley Universe. Once an heir to the largest fortune on the planet, he now copes with his mutation with aplomb, and a ruthless determination to fix himself. He speaks four modern languages, reads Latin and classical Greek and Old English, is currently working on several journal articles with a professor of world literature, and is single-handedly attacking the Reed Richards Is Useless trope across Whateley Academy.
  • The Art of Manliness is based entirely around this trope, offering readers advice on how to achieve these goals.
  • Professor Lambert of the Neopets War of the Obelisk is extremely intelligent and seems to be a genuinely nice and polite person as well.

    Western Animation 
  • Daria:
    • Tom Sloane is one of the clearest examples of this trope. He's intellectual, but unlike Daria and Jane, he is socially active and nice to anyone who interacts with him. (To their face, at least)
    • Jodie is one of the most popular girls in school with a tight social schedule and is also among the students with the best grades, was invited to a prestigious school for the gifted and then to an interview for a complete scholarship, subverted slightly since she has mentioned in some occasions that that situation is tiring since she is seen as the ideal of the perfect African-American girl and wishes to focus more on her academical goals and forget about the social part a bit.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: Double D, while having his rare Insufferable Genius moments at times, is mostly a kind-hearted kid who never looks down on anyone and does whatever he can to help them out while being the brains of the titular trio's operations. He also tries his best to make sure the scams the Eds devise are legitimate and safe for the other kids, though he is often ignored by Eddy whenever he warns him of a particular flaw that might cause the scam to backfire.
  • The title character of I Am Weasel is a genius Renaissance Man who saves the world like it's a reflex. He's also a ladies' man, a skilled diplomat, and a general charmer. This all contrasts him with his bitter rival, a selfish, egotistical, dull-witted baboon who can barely speak in full sentences.
  • The Simpsons: In the episode "Lisa's Wedding", Lisa sees an alternative future that she would have a relationship with a young man who shows traits of this trope. While at first this seems to be, it's immediately subverted at the end of the episode, with him turning out to be a Jerkass.
    • Lisa Simpson herself, while by no means immune to the Jerkass Ball, is generally portrayed as one of the nicer members of the family (along with Marge) and easily the smartest.
  • Twilight Sparkle is this most of the time in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, but tends to slip up whenever it will suit the plot.

    Real Life 
  • In Russia, this is often called intelligentsia. This is the original, pre-Revolutionary meaning of the word, still used sometimes today. After the Revolution, many intelligents were opposed to the Soviet rule (not necessarily to Communism itself—see Leon Trotsky as an example), and the word came to mean a politically rebellious intellectual.
    • "Intelligentsia" usually is applied to the economically insecure, well-educated formation that evolved in Russia during the late 19th century as university arose, partly due to the Russian problem of a very small middle class. Many members of the intelligentsia, especially if they could not snag a civil service position, did not have enough money to live the life of a gentleman and a scholar, and so the younger intelligentsia also became a breeding ground for rebellious political movements pre-1917 as well. There are good reasons why many civil uprising in the 20th century started as student revolts.
  • Stephen Fry. While not really an expert in any given field, he shows great interest and fascination in nearly any topic. He has been described as a Renaissance man and a national treasure of Britain. Russel Howard referred to spending time with him as "like hanging out with Google."
  • Sir Michael Redgrave is another example from the acting profession. Redgrave went to a public school, was Cambridge-educated, and taught at the prestigious Cranleigh School before taking up acting. He wrote two acclaimed books on acting, one book of poetry, one novel ("The Mountebank's Tale"), and an autobiography.
  • Christopher Lee also almost certainly counts, as well as being quite the Cultured Warrior in his youth.
  • This is, according to Confucius, the ideal state of a man, and has accordingly affected much of East Asia's cultural expectations of men. Ever wonder why there's a huge focus on study in China, Japan, Korea, and other East Asian countries? Confucius. There's also elements of the Warrior Poet, as the Six Arts of the Gentlemen are Rites, Music, Archery, Charioteering, Calligraphy, and Mathematics. To a lesser extent Daoism also approves of gentlemanliness; the Chaotic to Confucianism's Lawful, if you will.
  • Emilie du Châtelet may have been a female version of this: a brilliant mathematician and physicist, she was also a woman of the world who was accepted by the heavily masculine milieu of European science, managed to seduce and keep two famous men as her lovers. Some people mocked her for her dedication to science, but she was never so crude as to take the bait.
  • Jack Kirby fit this trope somewhat despite his humble roots and lack of formal education past high school (something that wasn't unusual for his generation). He was kind and approachable despite one newspaper describing his appearance as that of a "foreman" on a construction yard (in comparison to Stan Lee's hip, smiling, flashy persona). He was a World War II veteran, was very well spoken (despite assumptions that might have come with his characteristic New York accent), and had a wide range of interests, especially regarding science, religion, and mythology. His home had a vast library of books on many subjects. Kirby and his wife often graciously welcomed guests to their home, even, reportedly strangers who dropped by unannounced. Author Ronin Ro's biography "Tales To Astonish" gives much insight into what kind of man Kirby was. There is much damning evidence that suggests that Kirby was the more talented half of the famous duo that created the Marvel Universe.
  • Dorothy L. Sayers fits this trope as a Lady and a Scholar. She was one of the first women to attend Oxford, was fluent in French and Latin (not to mention in her own native English where she was known to be eloquent and more than capable of handing out gentlewomanly snarks that deflated more than a couple of egos), was a writer of some of the most well thought out mysteries of all time, a playwright and lay-theologian, and translated into English both "The Song of Roland" and most of Dante's Divine Comedy before she died.
  • Tom Hiddleston, he has a double first from Cambridge, studied acting at RADA, reads Ancient Greek and Latin, and seems to have a knack for picking up languages. He's also preposterously nice and endlessly optimistic.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis were both good friends and strong proponents of this trope as they were both war veterans, scholars, and British Christian gentlemen.
  • Thomas Jefferson, of course.
  • Carl Sagan was by all accounts very gracious and courteous.
  • Mathematical genius Leonhard Euler, whose published works totals about 75 volumes (600 pages each) and a conservative estimate of 4,000 letters between his colleagues, was described as a "jovial fellow, witty and enjoying life." Combine this with his happy marriage and his many children and grandchildren ("amidst them, he would do his calculations with a child on his lap and a cat on his back... [rolling] with laughter at a puppet show and [indulging] in horseplay with his children and grandchildren, his fantastic mind calculating away..."), his knowledge of 5 languages (He enrolled in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew in college, and knew French and his native German because he was Swiss), and his reputation as the greatest mathematician ever, and he quite fits both roles.
  • The last emperor of Brazil Pedro II was a man of science, progress and advocate of arts and free speech, notorious for being friends with several geniuses of his time like Alexander Grahamn Bell and Wagner to name a few. He is also regarded as The Good King by his contemporaries as well as modern people.
  • Marie Curie was both a brilliant scientist who discovered radiation and quite a Nice Girl by most accounts. At one point she even helped provide French soldiers with medical aid (such as x-rays) during World War I.

Alternative Title(s): Lady And A Scholar, Gentlewoman And A Scholar, A Lady And A Scholar