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No Social Skills

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"What is 'a normal conversation'...?"
Kiyotaka Ishimaru, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

For some reason, the character is mostly ignorant of and often confused by common social conventions and behaviors. They usually grasp enough to minimally function around other people most of the time, but any circumstances outside of their limited experience fluster, puzzle, or (at worst) upset or enrage them.

Someone with no social skills is not necessarily stupid — just unfamiliar with how human beings act around each other. Consequently, they will tend to be blunt, straightforward, and Brutally Honest. They will expect everyone else to be totally honest, too. From a writing point of view they are an asset: they say things that everyone is thinking but no one would dare say out loud.

One background that can lead to this trope is to be Raised by Wolves — growing up with animal parents. They may be an intellectual (from a nerd, up to an Absent-Minded Professor) who thinks more about their favorite subject than interacting with people. Alternatively, they may have had an isolated or abusive childhood or Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training. Or all three. They may be bamboozled by the opposite sex and ask What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?. Alternately, they may have had social skills in the past, but after being away on The Quest or some other mission for an extended time, may find themselves unable to reintegrate due to being a Shell-Shocked Veteran or a Stranger in a Familiar Land.


Quite often a point is made of stating that this character is very intelligent or "learns fast" to make sure the audience doesn't just write them off as dense and to justify characters trying to help them adjust, or as an excuse for why they've adjusted as well as they did. If done poorly, either of these versions of intelligence can become an Informed Ability.

An extreme form of Fish out of Water, milder cases may result in Cloud Cuckoo Lander, Creepy Child, Innocent Fanservice Girl or No Sense of Humor. Homeschooled Kids are usually portrayed this way. If they stay this way, they may become The Hermit, The Shut-In, or Hikikomori.

Related to: Friendless Background and I Just Want to Have Friends when the character isn't happy about this situation.

In Real Life, people with dyssemia and nonverbal learning disorders fit this trope. It's a symptom of certain forms of autism, including Asperger Syndrome; a differently wired mind can make it hard to grasp neurotypical social cues, which can give the unfortunate perception that Loners Are Freaks.note  Media is aware of this but tends to exaggerate its prevalence and intensity. A mild form is also common in people involved with academia. That said, No Real Life Examples, Please!


Compare Not Good with People, where a character has more of an affinity for non-human lifeforms. Also compare Socially Awkward Hero. Contrast with The Social Expert.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Seiichirou Kitano from Angel Densetsu. He's got a kind personality but a terrifying face, which results in him being avoided by most people and thus lacking in social experience. His resulting bizarre behavior serves to freak people out even more in a vicious cycle. He always speaks extremely literally and without deceit, and assumes that everyone else around him does as well, is completely unaware of the Delinquent reputations of himself and his friends at school, and he's an Actual Pacifist whose reaction to physical attacks (which he usually interprets as something quite different) is to rapidly dodge and try to calm down the other person even if he has gotten noticeably injured during the attack. This has resulted in him having a reputation as an unusually resilient thug at best and as an unkillable Humanoid Abomination at worst.
  • In Aruosumente, Legna has had a sheltered upbringing, with the Senate taking great measures to make sure he has as little contact with people as possible to keep the past events from him. This means that while he is quite competent at his job and organizational affairs, he has no clue about how to deal with people. He also lacks imagination, so his demeanor comes off as blunt and straightforward, however, as soon as those around him realise that he's honest and determined, they tend to warm up to him somewhat.
  • Guts of Berserk is horrible at talking to people and hates being touched on account of being a loner mercenery with some serious trust issues. This is before everything goes to shit and he goes on his quest for vengeance
  • Creed Diskenth, the Big Bad of Black Cat, combines this trope with Lack of Empathy, No Sense of Humour, and Evil Cannot Comprehend Good for truly awe-inspiring results. He can't understand or relate to other people at all, is an utter failure as a Manipulative Bastard, is prone to Freak Outs when he doesn't get his way, and honestly doesn't understand why killing The Hero's Not Love Interest would cause him to hate his (Creed's) guts. He frequently misunderstands people, doesn't get why his Bad Boss tendencies are causing his underlings to flee, is oblivious to his right-hand woman's blatant crush on him, and is convinced that Train will realise how much Creed matters to him once all his friends are dead. Unlike many examples on this page, it is never played for laughs.
  • Although Yuno from Black Clover seems cold and aloof, he's actually just quiet and has problems communicating with most people except Asta, his best friend and foster brother who he grew up with. He doesn't care about befriending any of his squadmates at first and his Brutal Honesty causes him to provoke some people. He does improve over time, becoming closer to his fellow Golden Dawn members like Klaus and Mimosa.
  • Blood+ has this in the Schiff. Having been created to be and raised as Living Weapons, the very concept of just asking for help or for something they need rather than taking said something by force is completely alien to them.
  • Blue Exorcist has two examples:
    • The lead Okumura Rin definitely has no clue how to interact with people, especially early on. He tends to miss social clues and be especially blunt about things, though honestly he's a very kind person. This makes sense; pre-series he had no friends and never interacted with his peer group outside of his brother Yukio (when he wasn't off being an exorcist) so it's more like his social skill level is that of an elementary school student despite being a teenager. And then there is the other issues he has on top of that.
    • Moriyama Shiemi is more shy than Rin, since she never really left her house due to having been sickly and then being manipulated by a demon. She's faster on the uptake than Rin at times though, being naturally extroverted underneath her shy nature and taking steps herself to move past her awkwardness.
    • Yukio is a downplayed example. He's good at faking things, but most normal interactions outside of exorcist business leaves him clueless. Like not understanding he should text ahead that he's going to be late or not knowing the correct response to a joke. Understandable really, since he's always been aloof from his peer group due to being a Child Soldier and previously a Shrinking Violet.
  • In Creo the Crimson Crises we have Kiki, who's never even worn shoes or underwear until she joins the main cast. Her idea of making friends is to grope the first pretty girl that walks by, announcing her intentions, and breaking off a store sign as a gift of friendship.
  • Death Note:
    • L. He's socially awkward, dresses like a bum, and is the greatest detectives on the planet. note 
    • Near is also quite awkward and seems unlikely to get by if he had to fend for himself in the normal world. Oddly, despite their practical problems, they both possess great theoretical knowledge of people. His rival Mello left the Wammy's House orphanage where they were both raised at the age of 14 and is quite street-savvy in comparison.
  • Inosuke in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba lived most of his life alone in the mountains, with only a little human interaction when he was an infant, with that he had little to no experience and knowledge of social interactions; that makes him seem quite insensitive in his early appearances, but it is progressively shown that most of it isn’t done out of real malice, he really had no idea on how to be sensible towards people, from there on Tanjiro, the protagonist, becomes quite the mentor on how Inosuke develops in his empathy towards others.
  • Goku in Dragon Ball was raised by his grandfather in the wilderness until he was 12 and said grandfather died. He had been so sheltered that he never truly assimilated into society, and the division is very evident until he is an adult. The worst symptom, however, would have to be his complete inability to assess gender from sight, which leads to some Accidental Perversion. Bulma is the first girl he had ever seen in his life, so she gets the worst of it. His grandfather had told him to be nice to girls — but it was apparently up to himself to figure out how.
    • The sequel Dragon Ball Z also revealed Goku is a Human Alien known as a Saiyan. Saiyans are revealed to be natural born fighters, are usually aggressive and are drawn to strength. (Goku's kind heart is the result of his mother Gine and his head trauma as a baby. The other Saiyans we see, while liking companionship, function a bit differently than humans do.)
  • Nana from Elfen Lied is an innocent girl raised in a lab. She knows absolutely nothing about the world outside the complex where she used to live, to the point of burning a "bunch of papers" that turned out to be money. And being gullible enough to believe that the money when kept together would attack her in her sleep.
  • The heroine Eureka from Eureka Seven. She doesn't have any friends and doesn't open her heart to anyone prior to meeting the protagonist Renton. In the first episode, she did an insensitive thing by burning Renton's house down and she does not seem to comprehend why Renton reacted so miserable about it. She does not even know what is "cool", what love is and how to be pregnant with a baby. It is this lack of social skills that she had a hard time being a mother to her 3 kids. She eventually become a more sociable person towards the end of the series, thanks to the influence of her lover Renton.
  • Shin of Eyeshield 21 could pass as a football expy of FMP's Sousuke because of this trait. He was basically a complete loner until he joined the football team in middle school. It actually makes his dedication to football a rather unintentional heartwarming moment, it was through football that he was able to make friends.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Natsu was raised by the Fire Dragon Igneel. While Igneel taught him things like Fire Dragon Slayer magic and speech, he clearly wasn't able to teach Natsu typical human social customs. Then Igneel vanished when Natsu was still little. Natsu was then taken in and raised by the mages of Fairy Tail, and all of them are to some degree crazy (and awesome).
    • Gajeel (being the Vegeta to Natsu's Goku) plays the other side of the coin: he acts like a complete Jerkass on account of being raised by Metalicana (who is hinted to have been a lot more abrasive than Igneel) and ended up with Phantom Lord who put a lot more stock in just being horribly strong and powerful and didn't ever bother to fit in or learn the need for a family. From time to time though he shows that he cares about his new guild mates.
  • Food Wars!: Erina Nakiri. At one point, while complaining to Soma about his narrow-minded view of cooking, he completely ignores everything she has to say just to point out that she is really hard to talk to despite his own ability to get along with others. She doesn't have any friends, only an assistant that worships her and a cousin that likes making fun of her. Her poor social skills are a result of her father Azami intentionally isolating her as a child to have more control over her, including destroying letters to and from Alice, the closest thing she had to a friend.
  • Shou Tucker from Fullmetal Alchemist prefers to be engrossed in his work than socialize with others, and he turns out to be one of the more horrific examples of a character with no social skills. How bad are his social skills? He uses alchemy to transmute his wife and later his five-year-old daughter and her dog into chimeric abominations in constant agony in the name of science, completely fails to comprehend that he did anything wrong to the extent that he honestly thought his unethical experiments would be rewarded, and decides that the reason others are enraged at his actions, place him under house-arrest and charge him as a criminal is because "no-one is capable of understanding me".
  • Tasuki of Fushigi Yuugi, the resident Jerk with a Heart of Gold, who was raised by a matriarchal family with a very meek father, a dominant mother and five sisters, then ran away from home as a teenager and continued to be raised by a gang of thieves. In pretty much any given situation, if there's an insensitive remark, indelicate observation or obnoxious joke to be made, it will come out of his mouth. Such blunt force honesty also makes him surprisingly credulous for someone who ostensibly rose to the leadership of a gang of thieves.
  • Kobayashi Sumisugu from Harlem Beat is a stoic Perpetual Frowner armed with Death Glare and Brutal Honesty. He either scared people with his aloofness or pissed them off until Imagawa and consequently Johnan team befriended him.
  • Ruru from HuGtto! Pretty Cure doesn't understand normal social conventions and doesn't understand why people would do things inefficiently. She herself notes that due to this, people interacting with her decreased by 80% after a week.
  • Inuyasha, as a defining trait. He was orphaned at a young age, his only remaining family is a full demon half-brother who hates his guts and because of his half-breed status is ostracized by both human and demonic society. Small surprise that his personality is coarse and is known for speaking his mind no matter what the situation; not to mention a willingness to respond to any perceived slight with his fists.
  • Sexy Mentor Shigure Kousaka of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple is a borderline example. She spent her formative years in the wilderness with her swordsmith father; though he did love her, he was so absent-minded that he never even bothered to give her a name. In the present, Shigure is shown to sometimes lack social graces and speaks very slowly, with a second or so passing between one word and the next, and she rarely ever reflects any emotion in her speaking habits outside of combat.
  • Sawako Kuronuma from Kimi ni Todoke is so unaware of how much other people care about her, she spends the entire 2nd volume of the manga ignoring her friends to preserve their popularity.
  • Shouko Komi, title character of Komi Can't Communicate, cannot talk directly to other people without extreme stuttering. If she's put in an unusual social situation, she freezes up and her mind becomes blank. The series is based on her wanting to make friends despite these issues.
  • Rei Kiriyama from March Comes in Like a Lion isn't particularly good at socializing with people, especially at school. He opts out of class events, and every lunch, he eats alone at either the roof or the stairwell leading to it. If it wasn't for his teacher dropping by every now and then, he wouldn't be talking to anyone.
  • Medaka Box: The titular character Kurokami Medaka is introduced from the get-go as a super-talented genius whose amazing abilities have rendered it nearly impossible for her to relate to other people, even though she desperately wants to. For example; when she tutored a class regarding national exams, what she ended up teaching was how to write "1" and "7" in a way that wouldn't confuse the examiners. She assumed from the start that people didn't get questions wrong, they just made mistakes in writing those answers, as she herself had always gotten full marks in every test she'd ever taken. Zenkichi remarks that Medaka just can't understand people who try and don't succeed, and so a lot of her attempts at interacting with or reforming people tend to be rather over-the-top and... well, generally strange.
  • Lucia in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, is a mermaid in the human world. When she is in mermaid society she has No Social Skills there either! In the manga she was raised on the surface, but in the anime, she was just as clueless about the society that she had been retconned to grow up in. What's more, she's the princess.
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam: Domon Kasshu spent the latter half of his twenty-year life being raised in the woods by ludicrously badass but eccentric Master Asia. As such he's good at being passionately Hot-Blooded, really good at beating things up and...well, not much else.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing's Heero Yuy. Anybody who rips up an invite to a girl's birthday party, wipes away the resulting tear, and then states that he will kill her hardly counts as normal.
  • My Roommate is a Cat: Subaru, who tends to avoid people, shows a few signs of this. When buying cat food for his new cat, his mistakes a store employee asking him for his cat's name and age for asking about him. He also doesn't get around giving the cat a name until one of his acquaintances presses the issue.
  • The title character from Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water qualifies. Having spent thirteen years of mistreatment by a cruel ringmaster, she's suspicious of everybody, detests killing, and adamantly opposed to eating meat. As such, she doesn't know how to interact with other people. She either lashes out in a rage, misunderstands others' actions, and stubbornly refuses to see beyond her calls of judgment. Worse still, she is not able to admit what her problem is and expects her friends to just "read her mind." Nadia becomes a much more sociable and trusting character, however, as a result of starting to form close relationships with Jean, Marie, Grandis, and, to a lesser extent, the Nautilus crew.
  • Naruto:
    • Naruto was always shunned and avoided like the plague because of the Kyuubi sealed within him, which left him with not too much social practice. He likes to shout and insult people who can blast him away without him as much as feeling it. He can't get obvious behavior signals such as Sakura punching him; to Naruto, this isn't a massive hint to back off, it means he should try harder. He doesn't understand Hinata's shy behavior or the reasons behind it. For him, it means "she's just weird".
    • When attempting to be sociable, Sai (who has been raised to suppress his emotions, and the Only Friend he had prior to meeting Team 7 died) usually winds up insulting someone. He eventually learns his lesson; people seem to like it when you tell them the opposite of what you think of them.
    • Gaara, thanks to having a similar childhood, is not much better than Naruto—in fact, he might be even worse. Gaara Hiden reveals he was completely unaware of Shikamaru and Temari's sexual tension (something that even Naruto noticed), and thus was the only one surprised when they got together. Further interactions with his fiancée reveal that as great a leader as he is, Gaara has little-to-no idea on how to interact with other people on a more familiar level (besides his family).
  • Natsume from Natsume's Book of Friends initially finds it very hard to open up to people because of his ability to see youkai.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Kotaro, a half wolf who was abandoned as a child who has little sense of being polite, or ever spent time doing anything normal besides training to fight.
    • Princess Arika spent her whole life confined in the royal palace of Ostia, the result being that her social development was somewhat stunted, turning her into The Stoic. She didn't even know what ice cream was until Nagi showed her.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Shinji Ikari is a shy, lonely kid with awful social skills. A good part of the drama of the show would have simply not happened if he had realized when someone needed his help — when he was capable of giving it — or when someone cared about him. In fact, the End of the World as We Know It had been averted if he would have realized that his Fiery Redhead Tsundere Battle Couple reciprocated his feelings.
    • Asuka Langley Soryu is a traumatized, insecure kid with no self-esteem that has no idea of how to interact with other people and is frightened of them. So that she resorts to being loud so that nobody ignores her and intentionally acts obnoxious so that nobody wants to befriend her.
  • As the show progresses, it becomes increasingly obvious that Shinji's estranged father, Gendo, is ultimately not that different from his son. He clearly dislikes having to deal directly with other people for prolonged periods of time and never says a single word more than what he feels he absolutely has to. It is also ultimately revealed to be his reason for abandoning his son: After his wife's death he didn't know how to take care of Shinji because he was afraid of Shinji. His self-hatred made him frightened of the idea that he could be loved by anyone, even his own son; so he foisted Shinji off on other people.
  • In the beginning of New Game!, Kou appears to be quite funny and outgoing. But in Chapter 14/Episode 5, it's revealed that she was much less sociable when she started, having I Work Alone tendencies and an aversion to people, plus a side order of Brutal Honesty and (in Rin's case) Oblivious to Love.
  • Tomoko Kuroki from No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! has this as the main plot. The girl's so socially awkward that she thinks emulating anime tropes would make her more popular.
  • One Piece:
    • Luffy, due to his simple-minded and straightforward thinking. He has a habit of asking random strangers if they poop and calling people idiot to their face. However, he's incredibly charismatic and pure example of a Magnetic Hero. His lack of social skills is part of his charm.
    • Zoro. When he is not in combat, he is fairly shy and awkward in social situations, usually getting frustrated when things get out of his comfort zone. His relationships with Sanji and Tashigi exemplify this.
  • PandoraHearts:
    • Oswald/Glen Baskerville was never much of a talker to begin with, but the first time he meets Jack really drives his antisocial nature home: He blatantly tells him that he is an unreadable and therefore untrustworthy person right to his face and then is genuinely surprised when Jack retaliates by splashing a glass full of water in his face. Somehow, the two end of being the best of friends. That is, until Jack betrays and murders Glen.
    • His successor Leo wasn't that much better, especially owing to a rather lonely childhood. The first time he met Elliot, he snapped at him for disturbing him while reading a book, starts comparing him to the self-centered protagonist of said book, and eventually calls him a bore. Elliot, of course, did not take this very well. As time went on, they became Vitriolic Best Friends and Leo got better from this.
  • Pokémon:
    • The Kangaskhan Kid is about a kid who was raised by the titular Pokemon. He was lost by his parents when they were on vacation. One of the first things he does when meeting Ash and the gang is asking Misty if he can nurse off her. This line didn't survive in the dub. It was changed to him asking whether they are Pokemon or people, but they left in the shot of him clearly staring at her chest and her hitting him in anger.
  • In Rebuild World, Akira has spent so much time looking out for no one but himself that his social skills are nonexistent. His Brutal Honesty to people he doesn't know does nothing but piss them off and drive away potential allies, while his awkwardness and lack of candor around people he's more comfortable with prevent him from forming deeper relationships. His cynical train of thought also means that he has trouble reading anything other than ill-intent, assuming Reina wanted more of the reward money when she was actually surprised that he was splitting it equally between them.
  • In Saki Shinohayu -dawn of age-, Kanna Ishitobi is this, largely as a result of being left at home by herself quite often. After angrily lashing out at her friends over losing a game of mahjong to them (she had been undefeated before), she overhears them complaining about her, and ends up having to look at a website to find out how to apologize.
  • Serial Experiments Lain: Lain talks in a halted staccato, doesn't seem to understand basic social conventions, and spends most of her time on a cyberpunk version of the internet.
  • Lonely Rich Kid Kagura Tennouzou from Speed Grapher is kept isolated from the world, so male lead Saiga has to teach her about it when he frees her from her evil family.
  • Because she grew up in the ocean, Ika Musume from Squid Girl doesn't know anything about humans when she first comes to the surface.
    Ika: What's a military?
  • In Tamayura, Fuu is supposedly very awkward around strangers, but aside from the occasional stuttering and blushing she manages just fine most of the time.
  • Nia from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann falls between this and Sheltered Aristocrat, having been raised in isolation for her entire life until she was literally put in a box and left on a landfill. She's completely oblivious to any kind of negative mood... which isn't a good thing when one of the cast members has just died.
  • Both Yuuto and Kotone from Tonari no Kashiwagi-san have trouble with interpersonal interactions, which makes their relationship all the more awkward. Yuuto is a little better at it if it doesn't involve Kotone, though.
  • Vinland Saga: Thorfinn begins the saga as a violent, apathetic, antisocial Jerkass who can't even have a civil conversation with the man who knew him from before his time growing up in Viking band, although he gets better after the time skip.
  • Saori Chiba from Wandering Son is both a realistic example and example not Played for Laughs or cuteness. She has no friends at the start of the manga, later chapters reveal that she Hates Everyone Equally, and even when she becomes more friendly her social skills are rather awkward. She Cannot Tell a Joke and when she's having friendship issues her first thought is to destroy her two-year friendship and ignore that person.
  • Cheza in Wolf's Rain, a "flower maiden" created by blending human and plant DNA, has grown up in a laboratory, spending most of her time semi-comatose in a glass vessel. Ironically enough, or perhaps appropriately, when she is finally released from the lab she is mutually drawn toward real wolves (albeit intelligent talking wolves who can pass for human) and leads them on their quest to find Paradise.
  • Keima from The World God Only Knows doesn't know certain social basics like how to make friends or cheer someone up, courtesy of a Friendless Background. His vast experience of dating sims lets him play the suitor, but when it comes to befriending someone, he's at a loss.
  • Ya Boy Kongming!: Kabetaijin is shown to be extremely shy and socially awkward outside of rap battles. In fact, the whole reason he got into rap was because he found he could express himself that way when he couldn't in any other. When rapping, he's confident, cool, and popular. When not... he's barely able to start a conversation.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: In a small way, Yami Yugi fits this trope. While good at cheering up and supporting Yugi's friends when the occasion arises, he flounders when Yugi forces him into a 'date' with Anzu. Justified in that he sees himself as Yugi's protector, is out of his time, and is sharing a life with someone else.
    Yami Yugi: Yugi! I'm not... you can't... this isn't a duel! [notices Anzu] ...Hello.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS:
      • Yusaku became this after his Dark and Troubled Past that turned him to a revengeful person that barely interacts with anyone and has no friends. Kusanagi even teases him that he can't talk to girls, the dub takes it further that he can't talk with anyone.
      • Earth too, it's practically his catchphrase. Considering his Origin is also someone who can't interact with people normally...
      Earth: "I am socially awkward."
  • In Yuri is My Job!, Mitsuki Yano(Ayanokouji in the salon) is a relatively understated and realistic case of this. In early chapters, and even during a flashback to how she met Hime in elementary school, she seems like she's merely a case of Brutal Honesty, but later chapters reveal that she struggles to read between the lines in social situations. As a result, she has a hard time gauging what people's real intentions are or when it's more appropriate to tell a lie, so she prefers to say what's on her mind.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • Cassandra Cain, a.k.a. Batgirl II, is pretty dysfunctional. The first eight years of her life were spent in a bunker learning the killing arts in isolation from spoken language. The next nine were spent on the streets, unable to comprehend spoken language and fleeing the man who raised her. It shows, even after telepathic intervention enabled her to speak and she got over her death wish.
      Cassandra: [speaking into an audiorecorder/diary] They say you are supposed to... dress up for parties, [looks at conservative business suit in mirror] But this is just... wrong.
    • Damien Wayne — the fourth Robin — falls into this as well, especially during the earlier part of his tenure as Robin. Having been raised by the League of Assassins his whole life, adjusting to life as part of the Batfamily was rather difficult, especially trying to drill in the Thou Shalt Not Kill policy. He is aloof, headstrong, and rebellious.
    • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl Barbara Gordon alias Batgirl makes main universe Batman seem psychologically stable in comparison. She is rude, harsh and tactless, and she doesn't work well with other people (with the exception of Bruce Wayne and Supergirl).
  • Vlad in Hack/Slash was abandoned as a baby due to his deformity and brought up in seclusion by a kindly but reclusive Czech-American butcher, causing him to be innocent, very good with cleavers, and not very good at English.
  • Secret Six: Most of the Six had unusual/horrendous upbringings, and as such have no gauge for what is "normal". Upon discovering the body of an assassin that one of their friends has just tortured to death:
    Deadshot: Okay, I don't know what normal people think: Is this ***ed up?
    Scandal: Thomas hates traps and torture. Yes, it's ***ed up.
    Ragdoll: Why is everyone so sad? Are you hungry? Is that it?
  • Marv in Sin City admits to having few to no social skills. Dwight once mentioned that he would've gotten along with people if he was born in an ancient battle field, though.
  • Spider-Woman: The original Marvel Comics version of Jessica Drew Spider-Woman had her raised among the High Evolutionary's menagerie of Beast Men — meaning that she had no idea how to interact with normal humans when she finally entered the outside world, and tended to creep out everyone she met. The Retconed version of her origin eliminates this, though.
  • Watchmen: Rorschach is an extreme case. He never bathes, he thinks it's socially acceptable to break into people's houses and steal their stuff and has the nerve to tell Laurie that her mother almost getting raped by the Comedian could have been a moral lapse. Even Dan has problems dealing with him to the point where he finally lashes out at Rorschach. This leads to a handshake that Rorschach finds very awkward. The only time Rorschach feels at ease with anyone is when he's breaking people's fingers. He at least has the decency to try to avoid doing shit like that in front of children (probably because of his own past experiences with Abusive Parents). It's made clear to the reader that while Rorschach is ultimately a good person and genuinely wants to help others, his total lack of proper social skills and his abundance of disorders will probably end up destroying him. In the end, he sacrifices himself before that possibility ever comes up.
  • Laura Kinney, a.k.a. X-23, is the female counterpart to Wolverine in the Marvel Universe. She is an example of the "synthetic" subtrope. She was cloned in large part from incomplete samples stolen from the Weapon-X project and raised as an assassin-for-hire. She is literate, multilingual, and a superb actress — when she sees the need. However, her post-escape attempt to go to ground at her aunt's place did not work out at first. Her first day at school was marred by faux pas and attempts to discuss matters far outside her peers' experience. She also failed to even pretend to be intimidated when called in to the Principal's Office.

    Comic Strips 
  • In a week-long Garfield storyline, Jon falls in love with a woman in a rec center who had been Raised by Wolves. She has only been in civilization for a week and she has tendencies like scratching her head with her foot, messily devouring her food, trying to bite off her foot when her shoe was too tight, and howling at the moon.

    Fan Works 
  • Advice and Trust:
    • When they open up in chapter 1, Shinji and Asuka remark that neither of them has social skills due to their childhood trauma and growing up with no friends. Asuka realizes that is the reason that Shinji never got her hints.
    • When the three pilots are ordered to spend time together Asuka — and Shinji — find out that Rei is weirder and more socially unaware than previously thought: she does not understand the concept of modesty, does not know what a double entendre is, does not know anything about relationships between boys and girls... and she has never known her mother. Oh, and NERV is drugging her. Rei's social awkwardness is what leads Shinji and Asuka to suspect that NERV is up to something real bad.
  • Armani at first in the Broken Bow series, so much so that he strips right in front of some of the girls in the second book.
    Annabeth: Are you really that dense?
    Thalia: He is.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: Brought up in the first chapter of the fourth story, The Diplomat's Life, in a scene at Canterlot High. According to Sunset, Adagio Dazzle apparently lost her sense of tact when she lost her Mantle as Hatred, and as the human Applejack adds, she managed to make the nurse blush by asking x-rated questions in health class.
  • In Worm crossover Echoes of Yesterday, Armsmaster feels very uncomfortable in social situations. He would rather tinker with his gadgets because, unlike people, he can understand their workings and predict their behavior.
    Armsmaster: You want me to try and convince her? Me?
    Dragon: You are the leader of the PRT, it comes with the job.
    Armsmaster: (grumbling) I don't handle people well. You remember what happened with Kid Win, I nearly drove him out of the Wards.
  • The protagonist of Jael.Rice.1's The Hunger Games fanfic The Bombshell, Ada, has this as a pretty big part of her character. She had a complete breakdown when her mentor/resident Alpha Bitch, Liana, chews her out for not jumping on joining an alliance, kick a girl for surprise hugging her when she was in kindergarten, and plenty more. She has an autism-spectrum Ambiguous Disorder.
  • Several of the characters in Brainbent to varying degrees. Karkat has a decent amount of social insight, but his Hair-Trigger Temper trips him up a lot in his interactions with others. Jade was raised in the middle of the woods by her survivalist grandfather and has very little experience with modern mainstream culture or interacting with more than one person at a time. Nepeta is a very nice girl, in an eccentric sort of way, but has difficulty keeping up with social conventions. Gamzee is also very nice for the most part, but doesn't have much sense of personal space, is prone to Innocently Insensitive moments, and curses like a sailor even when he doesn't intend to.
  • The Child of Love: While they open up during the Obon festival, Asuka and Shinji talk about how she pushes people away and Shinji runs away from them because they are two lonely kids, frightened of getting hurt by other people.
  • Child of the Storm has Maddie Pryor a.k.a. Rachel Grey in the sequel, who has very little grasp of normal behaviour, having been raised as a Living Weapon - and what grasp she does have comes mainly from a relationship with Gambit. As a result, she's quiet, withdrawn, and as emotionally vulnerable as she is psychically formidable - she's comfortable facing down gods, and the gods of gods, but she breaks down when she has a spat with Jean, after choosing a very poor time to out the fact that the other girl's boyfriend was cheating on her.
  • Children of an Elder God: Shinji is meek and not good interacting with other people (especially pretty girls who are apparently taking an interest in him). He admits that in chapter 4:
    Shinji Ikari was not a people person. He lacked severely in people skills. This went doubly so for girls that showed signs that they liked him. With Asuka's arm entwined with his and her warm tone of voice, his mind turned to mush. "Um, well, you see..."
  • When Karai tracks the Hamato Clan down at April's farmhouse in The Chronicles of Karai Getting Her Shit Together, she struggles to integrate herself with the household. Most of them don't trust her on account of having been their enemy, her Super Hearing ends up causing her to hear things she shouldn't and she has trouble reading certain situations, having been an only child most of her life.
  • A Crown of Stars:
    • Shinji and Asuka never got any social skills, but their capability to interact with other people got even worse in the post-apocalyptic world. They were nearly completely withdrawn and insolated when Daniel met them.
    • Later they use this to their advantage as they are plotting against their former boss: they remain locked into their cabin and order the ship crew to not bother them. Since the crew knows they are not sociable people, they leave them alone and never suspect anything.
    • Rei's nonexistent social skills later pose a problem because she believes Asuka hates Shinji, so she refuses to help when they need her assistance or at least her non-interference. Shinji guesses that she still has a hard time understanding other people's emotions, even after Instrumentality.
  • Doing It Right This Time: After returning to the past the three pilots talk about how they are so socially inept that they run away from other people (Shinji), push them away (Asuka) or don't know how interacting with other persons (Rei). However they agree to try to get better at socializing.
  • Evangelion 303:
  • In Friendship is Witchcraft, Princess Luna is a parody of awkward fangirls. She's clingy and over-affectionate to ponies she's just met, and her idea of socializing is forcing others to look at her fan fiction and fan art.
  • Ghosts of Evangelion: Adult Shinji and Asuka are functional but they still have a hard time socializing and understanding other people, and they are very dependent on each other. Shinji's self-flagellating habits and Asuka's hot temper don't help matters.
  • A Hero takes Homura Akemi's lack of social skills and runs with it. To the point that Dalek Sec, the resident Imperialistic Space Nazi, is considered to have the better social skills of the two of them.
  • HERZ:
    • Asuka never was good with people, and her social skills get poorer after being disfigured by the MP-Evas, since she becomes angrier, more hostile and more resentful.
  • Higher Learning: Neither of the three main characters — Shinji, Asuka and Rei — have any social skills whatsoever. And their new teacher Kaoru is determined to change that.
  • Superman in Kara of Rokyn. It's several times noted by both Kal and Kara that most of his personal problems stem from his inability to open up to and empathize with someone on a personal level. Helping total strangers, he can and will do. Being honest with his non-powered friends, baring his soul to his life's love, reaching his cousin out... he cannot do.
  • A Knight's Tale as Inquisitor presents Arturia having shades of this, as a result of throwing away any notion of being a normal being in order to properly rule her kingdom as the perfect king. While she is currently putting in the effort to become a more personal person and wants to bond with the people she's working with in this new life, she tends to come across as stiff and no-nonsense all the time without even noticing it, while others who DO notice it from an outside perspective see her attempts as both hilarious and pure cringe-inducing.
  • Last Child of Krypton: Shinji is shy and quiet, but he is somewhat better at socializing than his canon counterpart because his altered backstory. So, when Asuka comes along, and she is as socially inept as her canon self, he is better prepared to deal with her mood shifts and see the real Asuka under the "leave me alone" mask. Even so he completely misses many clues hinting Asuka's feelings.
  • Metro: The titular Metro, due to Abusive Parents, and Child Soldier training.
  • The Mountain and the Wolf: Zigzagged with the Wolf, who does have the social skills to navigate polite society... he just rarely if ever uses them, on top of his constant antagonizing of everyone he talks to (whether he seems to intend to or not). Even the people he respects enough to address by what he thinks is their last name (Snow, Seaworth, Worm) or non-derogatory nickname (Dragonqueen, Shield-slayer) have to deal with his Innocently Insensitive remarks, Blood Knight tendencies, and the fact that he leaves when he decides he has nothing left to do there rather than ask permission to leave or even say goodbye. Then again, this is probably the most diplomatic a confirmed champion of the Chaos gods will ever be.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide Shinji, Asuka and Rei are awful at socializing. They had gotten a little better at interacting with others at the beginning of the War, but as their traumas piled up, their mental scars got worse. At the beginning of the story they're barely functional and they have to relearn how open up to other people.
  • Once More with Feeling: Due to Character Development Shinji grows a spine and some few social skills before returning to the past. His attitude utterly befuddles his father, since Gendo expected him being meeker and more pliable. However Shinji keeps being bad with people. It comes up several times, such like Shinji realizing — too late — he might have given several female classmates hints he was interested in them, or blurting out to Hikari that he knows she likes Touji.
  • The One I Love Is...:
    • Shinji knew he was not good with people, but he thought Asuka was more sociable. However he slowly realizes he is very, very wrong: Asuka is popular but she has never dated anybody, has very few real friends and has a hard time to open up.
    • Rei is lonely and asocial at the beginning. After opening up to Shinji she gets better and she even makes some friends (she eventually befriends Asuka).
  • Some examples from Pokémon Reset Bloodlines:
    • In Ash's group, there's Iris, who was abandoned by her birth parents as a baby and raised by a family of Dragon-type Pokémon. As a result, she doesn't quite know how to interact with humans, and can be quite blunt on how she says things. One of the biggest examples is asking Misty, without any kind of preamble or subtlety, what was her relationship with Ash, then stating that she plans to put the moves on Ash once she figures out how human courtship works, depite knowing that Misty has indeed a crush on him as well (albeit in her defense, Iris thought that, like with Dragonites, poligamy is the norm with humans).
    • Red as well. He's a bit of loner and doesn't seem to like getting too close to people more than necessary, and as a result he lets Yellow handle the talking for him.
  • In Shadow Snark, due to self-caused isolation, the titular character has no way to gauge his normality.
    Shadow Snark: My desire to run out of here screaming and possibly causing over-the-top violence is barely contained.
    Rainbow Dash and Rarity: ...
  • In The Second Try, Shinji and Asuka had no social skills whatsoever. Ironically, they got better at socializing after all remaining humans were gone.
    • Near the end of the story, Shinji comments that he and Asuka were so bad, that despite spending the first three years of her life with only her parents for company, their daughter Aki makes more friends on her first day of school than either of her parents ever had.
  • Seventh Endmost Vision has one true example and one kind-of example. Aerith was awful at social stuff; she was a bad leader while she was in SOLDIER, mostly only doing Dirty Business, and coming off as a weird combination of passionate preacher and whipped dog to everyone around her. Nobody who reminisces about her has a high opinion of her social skills. Tifa, meanwhile, has a sort-of case; she's socially awkward at fic's start, but it's because she's still reeling from the Nibelheim Incident and trying to construct a new personality after Aerith betrayed her. She's normally more socially adept, but her unwillingness to get involved with other people's problems now makes her stilted and cold, which combines poorly with how easily violence comes to her after years in the War.
  • Zephyros Veloi Sonic, in Sonic Boom: Beyond the Black Horizon. He's spent thirteen of his eighteen years living a solitary life in the forest, and the only person he's ever interacted with up until the beginning of the story is Dr. Eggman. The first time Sonic's approached by friendly people (namely Amy, Knuckles, and Tails), he locks up and retreats for his house; even as he adjusts to their presence, there's some things he has trouble wrapping his head around—for instance, Sonic manages to startle the bejeezus out of Knuckles twice (first by sneaking up on him, then jumping onto his doorstep via someone else's roof) without understanding how or why.
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: At the beginning Asuka is the most popular girl in her school, but in reality she is frightened of other people, so that she uses her anger as a shield to keep and drive everyone away. However she changes during her super-heroine tenure, becoming a little more sociable with a bit of Shinji's help.
  • In Thousand Shinji, Shinji had no social skills whatsoever before being raised and trained by his teacher. Asuka and Rei were horrible at socializing, and their inability to talk with each other was the origin of a massive disaster that the main characters had to fix after the Time Skip.
  • Marina and Riko in Twilight Pretty Cure have this in varying degrees due to their friendless backgrounds. Marina does have some social insight in regards to normal people, but not with autistic people, and her Hair-Trigger Temper tends to get the better of her. Riko is a very nice girl in her own eccentric way, but she tends to be Innocently Insensitive and has trouble understanding and keeping up with social conventions, which has caused a lot of problems when she was younger. It doesn't help that she grew up in a closed-minded city that didn't want to properly understand her, so they just assumed she was a bad kid and constantly treated her as such.
  • Having spent ten years with no one but her uncle and a living house, Mirabel from Two butterflies: gone with the wind. comes across as rather blunt when reunited with the rest of her family.
  • In Ultra Fast Pony, Princess Luna is a Nightmare Fetishist who shouts "Blooooooooood!" at everyone she meets, without even realizing that she's doing it. When pressed to say something normal, her first attempt is "I will devour your soul!" And when she finally does make some friends, she has no idea how she did it: "Wait, I don't know what I did! What did I do?!"
  • Jade Chan from Web Work still acts like a child much of the time despite spending eight years in a demon dimension slowly turning into an Oni/ Jorogumo hybrid, because her teachers had more important things to focus on at the time than teach her how to talk to people and act like an adult, and realises this may present a problem to their future plans.
  • White Sheep (RWBY):
    • A great deal of the comedy comes from Jaune's almost complete naivety in regards to normal interaction. Since his only human interaction growing up was with his family and his mother's minions, he doesn't understand almost any form of slang, metaphor, or simile (a comment from Ruby about not wanting to be "the bees knees" and wanting to just be "normal knees" causes him to assume people compliment each other on their knees). Jaune frequently comes off as flirting or insulting (calling Yang pretty and offering Cardin a cookie respectively) when he's just trying to have a friendly conversation.
    • Turns out that most of Jaune's sisters (except for Sapphire, the eldest) are even worse. Coral's idea of a normal social interaction is to show a man a smutty book and hop into bed with him, Lavender plays up her cuteness because it lets people excuse her weird behavior, and Amber set a flock of nevermore on a boy who was making fun of her friend. Weiss dryly notes that while Jaune managed to hide at Beacon for months, his sisters barely lasted a week at a normal school.
    • Penny Polendina is a Robot Girl who does a terrible job of hiding it, often uses words that sound sexual out of context (such as using the word "intercourse" for conversation), and fully expects she can make friends just by walking up to random people and asking them. And even she can tell that her father, Doctor Polendina, has no social skills whatsoever. When General Ironwood asked Doctor Polendina to provide Penny with material on how people her age interact, he gave her porn. She did watch it, but wisely deleted it after.
  • In X-Men: The Early Years, Cyclops doesn't know what this "social skills" thing is that everyone harps on about but he's sure he hates it.
    Scott: I don't do one-night stands and I don't have time for a relationship. I almost have too much on my plate with school, community-service hours, and saving the world from evil mutants. Figuring out women takes too much time and energy. That, and most people just manage to irritate me.
  • Mako Tsunami from Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series is portrayed as having very bad social skills, as his obsession with the ocean and enjoyment of throwing harpoons at people earned the nickname "Freaky Fish Guy". In fact, when Mako first met Yugi and his friends, he threw a harpoon at them because he wanted them to stay and didn't know how else to get their attention.

    Films — Animation 
  • Eggs from The Boxtrolls, was raised by Boxtrolls. Due to this, social skills are completely alien to him (i.e licking a person's hand while doing a handshake), and overall comes across as socially awkward.
  • Mater from the Pixar Cars films. He's socially awkward and socially inept. He has a hard time communicating his thoughts and feelings to others and doesn't know what topics to talk about in front of other people. He has a hard time with others' opinions too, either not understanding them or thinking that if they don't like his friend McQueen they must be bad people. He sometimes says inappropriate things at the wrong times and unintentionally embarrasses his friends in public places when talking to new people. It's been speculated that he might be on the autism spectrum.
  • Encanto: Bruno is very socially awkward. By the time Mirabel meets him, his eccentricity has been enhanced by years of isolation, but it's implied that he had this problem in the past; Pepa's wedding went awry because he made a well-meaning but ill-considered joke that Pepa may have confused for a prophecy.
  • Frozen:
    • Blunt, grumpy Kristoff, who decidedly prefers his reindeer Sven to humans, and was raised by trolls. They even Lampshade it during "Fixer Upper" when one of the trolls calls him "socially impaired" while covering his ears.
    • To a lesser degree, Anna, who stumbles over her first conversation with a boy (adorably) and believes it is perfectly acceptable to marry said boy, even though she's only known him for a day. This too is Lampshaded several times.
      Anna: This is awkward...not you're awkward, but just because we're—I mean, awkward. You're gorgeous. Wait, what?

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Born Free: In a non-human case, Elsa, a lioness who was Raised In Captivity, has no understanding of how wild lions behave and interact with each other, which initially makes it difficult for her to interact with them. For instance, after initially getting off to a good start with a young male lion, Elsa ends up putting him off because she doesn't let him eat first as is expected of a lioness — one of the norms that Elsa, growing up with humans and no other lions, has never been exposed to.
  • Danny in Unleashed aka Danny the Dog was raised like a dog—locked up in a cage and with a leash around his neck. He has no social skills whatsoever other than some basic English language skills.
  • Simon in the film The Double. He's incredibly timid and has trouble speaking to other people at all. This is to contrast with James, who is great with social situations and getting people to like him.
  • Edward Scissorhands is an odd example: despite being taught by his inventor about manners and politeness, the title character has no idea whatsoever how to live outside his castle. On top of that, while he is very kind and gentle, his understanding of ethics is a bit...sketchy. Edward's "father", for lack of a better word, actually intended to fully educate him and would have left him with a workable, if outdated, method of interaction with people. Sadly, he died before Edward's education was finished. It didn't help that, being a Mad Scientist (or at least highly eccentric), he thought teaching him manners took precedent over giving him proper hands.
  • Eternals: Sprite is immortal but forever stuck in the body of a teenage girl, meaning she can only spend so much time around humans before they start to notice she isn't aging. As a result she's bitter, rude and acts like a permanently annoyed teenager. After Sersi uses her boosted powers to turn Sprite into a mortal, Kingo insists she enrolls in school so she can finally learn some much-needed social skills.
  • Ghostbusters:
    • In Ghostbusters (1984), one frequently gets the feeling that Egon Spengler is more comfortable with the machinery he invents and the "spores, moulds and fungus" that he apparently collects than with human interaction. Ray Stanz isn't as bad, but his Manchild enthusiasm can at times override his social skills.
    • In Ghostbusters (2016), while neither Erin, Holtzmann or Abby excel all that much at social interaction, Erin appears to have this trope worst, mainly because she tries hardest to appear normal and socially well-adjusted while simultaneously being terrible at being either. Holtzmann is in theory the one with the least apparent awareness of acceptable social mores, but she's both more disinterested in them to begin with and naturally quite charming and cheerful regardless, while Abby is naturally more confident in herself and assertive / aggressive towards others.
  • Griff the Invisible: Both Griff and Melody. Griff's very shy and childlike, so basic daily interaction with other people is quite a struggle for him, and he's so wrapped up in his own world that he's usually barely paying attention to anything else anyway. Melody's more confident, but has very little comprehension of social rules or other people, which makes it hard to communicate, or understand what others are feeling or why they're acting a certain way.
  • The Hunger Games: Something that Haymitch frequently mocks Katniss Everdeen over is her lack of people skills.
  • Leave No Trace: Both Will and his daughter Tom are lacking in social skills, he mostly because of his war experiences, she due to not having much interaction with people who aren't her father.
  • Abby in Let Me In, due to being a vampire who has lived a nomadic life for centures. She's cold and standoffish to people. Despite needing to keep a low profile, she doesn't make much attempt to hide her undead nature, i.e., walking in the snow barefoot. She doesn't seem to understand why people see her behaviour as odd. When she sneaks into the main character's room at night through the 2nd story window, strips naked and crawls into bed to cuddle with him before outright telling him she flew, she doesn't seem to understand why the boy is understandably confused.
  • Up until she came to the school, Cady from Mean Girls lived in Africa and was homeschooled, thus winding up with absolutely no clue about how things worked in "Girl World". Her parents appear to be clueless every time they appear:
    Mom: Where's Cady?
    Dad: She went out.
    Mom: She's grounded.
    Dad: Are they not allowed out when they're grounded?
  • Ludlow in Pixels is absolutely terrible with people, with others' reactions to him ranging from "what the hell is wrong with this guy?" to "uh, get him away from me!"
  • Stéphane from The Science of Sleep is an odd example. He uses his imagination to cope with a lot of the outside world but does have some friends, equally as strange as him, but when meeting Stéphanie it becomes clear he lacks some very basic social interaction. He goes into Stalker with a Crush mode in sincere innocence, unaware that he's doing anything bad.
  • The eponymous character of Nell. Raised completely isolated with only her mother, who had a speech impediment due to a stroke, she spoke a language called "Nellish" that was almost unintelligible to anyone else. Initially, she is completely terrified of strangers, but she gets better.note 
  • Replicant: The Replicant clearly has no experience with social customs and is rather childlike in his behavior, having only been born a few days prior.
  • The title character in Starman is an alien who doesn't know very much about Earth and its inhabitants.
  • Shine: David after his breakdown—one notable example being that he thinks nothing of groping the breasts of the elderly lady who is looking after him in church while she is playing the organ (getting understandable stares from those present).
  • In Soldier, Sergeant Todd was raised from birth to be a completely obedient, emotionless soldier. When he is left for dead by his superiors, he tries to reintegrate into a small community, but ultimately can't due to his underdeveloped social skills. He barely talks and except for some fleeting moments is a paragon of stoicism and actually dangerous to be around.

    Light Novels 
  • Ako in And You Thought There is Never a Girl Online? is very shy in real life with most people, even to those who are nice to her. She also doesn’t understand why Hideki and Akane don’t want her talking about their MMORPG in class. Her net game is one of the only places where she is comfortable. Improving this was one of the reasons her guild started the Net Game Club.
  • Pascal from Daybreak on Hyperion. Due to a combination of growing up with very few companions of his own age and Intelligence Equals Isolation, he's aware of the formal manners required of his noble rank but has trouble grasping the little social graces that make interaction with his peers go smoother. Correcting this issue is an ongoing project for his familiar Kaede.
  • Shizuo Heiwajima from Durarara!! grew up with very little in the way of positive social contact due to his anger and impulse control issues. As a result, he does not have much in the way of social graces.
  • Sagara Sousuke from Full Metal Panic!. He's been in the military since birth. Someone once described Sousuke as that character in a Tabletop RPG who traded in all those "worthless" character points in social skills and instead put them into combat abilities. He is a nice guy, he just has no concept at all of what's expected of someone in a high school environment. Naturally, the writers put him in a high school environment, often. This turned out to be so popular that an entire season with this as the main premise was produced: Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu.
  • In Katanagatari: Shichika grew up in a island with his exiled father and his big sister, and was already a young adult when he met another human being for the first time. Because of this, at the beginning of the series, he is unaware of most social norms and can barely tell two people apart even if they look absolutely nothing like each other.
  • My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!: The reason for Atsuko "Acchan" Sasaki's Friendless Background, but mostly an Informed Flaw. She had difficulties interacting with people, which made her isolated at school. And given that this made her very lonely, the trope was Deconstructed.
    I don’t know how to speak to my classmates... or how to try to be friends with them. I don’t understand things like that.
  • Mashiro of The Pet Girl of Sakurasou knows absolutely nothing but drawing. Thus Chihiro-sensei assigns the Only Sane Man Sorata as her handler.
  • Shana from Shakugan no Shana. She was raised for combat, and her caretakers failed to see the importance of pretty much anything besides that, not even a name. This helps explain why she reacts to romance the way she does. At one point, she starts asking everyone about kissing and how babies are made, which makes for some really awkward moments...
  • Spice and Wolf:
    • Holo matches this trope to a glimmering 'T'. She is a wolf spirit/god of the harvest. She's a lot savvier about the way humans live than the others, though. She has lived with humans several times in the past, and spent centuries watching the people of a single village. Indeed, she often understands people better than they understand themselves, and isn't above emotional manipulation when it suits her. She is carefree about certain human conventions, but not because she doesn't understand them — she just doesn't care. She also goes centuries without interacting with humans, so her social awkwardness often stems from being so out of touch with the times.
    • Lawrence's social skills are quite poor as well. While he's adept at communicating at others of his trade in the process of various business deals, he doesn't have much experience with people outside of the field of economics. He's especially ignorant of the courtship process.
    • Lawrence and Holo are good examples of different ways this trope can be applied. Lawrence knows a lot about contemporary society and social institutions, but isn't very savvy about human nature. Horo is the exact opposite, and both are intelligent enough to cover for each other as necessary.
  • Tres Iqus of Trinity Blood displays this trope every now and then in his interactions with Abel. Especially in the manga, he is often heard uttering the phrases like, "Does not compute." Of course, it's questionable if this is because Abel has an extensive vocabulary or simply because he's crazy. However, Tres also fits into the "brutal honesty" classification quite snugly. Considering Tres is a robot, it is more like he is one of the wolves.

  • Parn Barre of Annals of the Western Shore's Gifts'' by Ursula K. Le Guin. Her gift is Animal Talk, and she's much more interested in that than socializing with people or being affectionate towards her daughter Gry, although she's good for quiet company.
  • Spider Robinson's Callahan's Crosstime Saloon series: Reverend Tom Hauptmann from the short story "The Time Traveler". Hauptmann had spent more than a decade in a Central American prison; the decade in question was the 1960s, and upon his rescue/release, he was completely unprepared for the complete and bewildering sea-change the United States had undergone in that time.
  • Chris in The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime. The author has said that the book is not about Asperger's Syndrome and Chris' condition is not stated (although it's known that he attends a special school), but the blurb of the book commonly refers to high-functioning autism or Asperger's Syndrome. Chris doesn't have any friends and he can't understand facial expressions.
  • In The Dark Tower series, Roland spent a very long timenote  alone in the desert, obsessing over the tower and chasing the Man in Black. This causes him to forget how to deal with people. Lampshaded in an incident where he is being charming and funny while talking to some elderly villagers, and Susannah wonders if this is what he was like "before the desert turned him strange".
  • Detective Lane Mysteries: Colin Weaver, aka Dr. Fibre, is a brilliant forensic scientist with the face of a male model and no idea how to interact with other human beings.
  • Discworld:
    • Stanley from Going Postal is very, very good at doing things by the book, but doesn't think along normal social lines at all. He was raised by peas.
    • Mr. Nutt from Unseen Academicals. He once, when asked by his friends if he was ill, said that he wasn't and had indeed had a normal bowel movement that morning. Prior to the age of seven, he wasn't raised by anyone at all, and after that spent most of his time reading, so you can probably understand why he's got problems understanding what constitutes Too Much Information. He also has a tendency to speak in formal paragraphs when he's not terrified someone's going to object to his very existence, and has a tendency to get Sidetracked by the Analogy ("There appears to be so much I might inadvertently pull!").
    • Death (The Grim Reaper) is notable, particularly in the later novels, for his fascination with and (often hilarious) attempts to imitate humans.
    • Jeremy Clockson in Thief of Time is very similar to Stanley, except that instead of Post Office Regulataions and pins, his defining obsession is building very accurate clocks, and he doesn't really know how to relate to anyone who doesn't grasp this, including other clockmakers. At one point, the narrative notes that he considers Mr Soak the milkman to be a friend, because they exchanges brief sentences once every few weeks.
    • Susan Sto Helit, at least in her first appearance, has very few friends because she has no patience and doesn't hesitate to explain to others why they're wrong about things. In later books, she's still got aspects of this but, much to her own surprise, has turned out to be very good with kids.
    • Granny Weatherwax is an interesting example; she's the mistress of "headology", which means she probably has a better understanding of human beings than anyone else on the Disc. But that doesn't mean she can relate to them. In fact, quite the reverse; she knows how silly and easily led the people around her are, and they know she feels that way.
  • Ignatius in Don't Call Me Ishmael! is blunt, more interested in sciences than people and often rattles off random facts that have nothing to do with the conversation the others are having. His mother makes him join the debate team so he will develop social skills, but he doesn't get much better over the course of the series.
  • Oskar in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Sometimes when they played "Reconnaissance Expedition," his father would deliberately set up missions in which Oskar was forced to talk to people, because his father wanted him to get better at it.
  • Finding Snowflakes deconstructs this trope. The main character, a teenager so socially awkward he barely holds a conversation, far from being seen as adorable because of this is avoided at all costs, and he is also to blame. He has problems filtering his thoughts and thus ends up with many cases of Brutal Honesty, some funny, some downright destructive. He doesn't seem to empathize as well with others for the same reason, despite him being kind. And there is also no "magical" cure for him getting social skills: gaining this is something he has to work, and with great effort, over the course of the book.
  • In the Firekeeper Saga novels, the eponymous character was Raised by Wolves, talking intelligent ones. She never manages to fully master elementary grammar, writing, or table manners, but elsewhere she's far from naïve.
  • The appropriately-named Hunter in the Gone series. After accidentally killing a friend with his mutant powers, he is brutally hit in the head by Zil, leaving him partially brain-damaged. Because of this, he slurs his words a lot and doesn't understand some things. He is trained by the nearby coyotes (who are mutant, and can speak somewhat) on how to hunt, so he's the primary food bringer for Perdido Beach along with Quinn and his fishermen.
  • Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter. She's brutally honest, dropping some uncomfortable truths, and is either completely uninterested or completely clueless about social interactions. She also in the fifth book abruptly comes up to Harry and says she believes him "without so much as a preliminary hello".
  • Alistair in Heart of Steel has spent the last ten years on a remote island up to his eyebrows in mad science and plans for world conquest, with no company that he didn't build himself. Needless to say, his attempts to woo Julia, the first woman he's seen in that time are...spectacular failures.
  • The Hunger Games: Something that Haymitch frequently mocks Katniss over is her lack of people skills.
  • If I Fall, If I Die: Once Diane's agoraphobia got so severe that she couldn't leave the house, her social skills quickly atrophied, causing other people to become one of her phobias. She has her son Will answer the door when the deliverymen arrive.
  • In Kit Whitfield's In Great Waters Henry/Whistle is Raised By Deepmen. His lack of adjustment once on land isn't helped by the fact that he's also a Half-Human Hybrid.
  • The Johnny Maxwell Trilogy has Kirsty, who isn't good at making friends and considers this to be a character flaw ... in everyone else. Extremely intelligent, she has a tendency to explain to people how stupid they are until they wander off. (Johnny doesn't wander off because he knows how stupid he is.)
  • Julian's uncle Constantius is this despite being Emperor of Rome. He is very shy and very dull and can only interact with others as an emperor.
  • Kindling Ashes: Giselle's only companion for over a decade was the dragon soul living inside her head so she has trouble relating to people living outside it. Sara had a time and a half teaching her how to say "thank you".
  • Dondi Snayheever from Tim Powers' Last Call is socially incompetent. He was walled up inside a giant Skinner box by his father for virtually his entire childhood, surrounded by over-sized paintings of playing cards and books about poker. His father was trying to condition his child to be the ultimate poker player, but lack of human contact left Dondi unable to judge other players' intentions.
  • Lone Huntress: A One-Man Army spending virtually all her personal time aboard her ship, battling a Dark and Troubled Past, and suffering from Muscle Angst and paranoia has difficulties with socialization? Say it isn't so.
  • In MARZENA we have Dr. Lauren Hackenhoek who mostly listen but don't say a whole lot, unless you want her to explain to you how neuroscience and neurosurgery works, there's no problem there.
  • Adelia in Mistress of the Art of Death is blunt to the point of rudeness, often abrasive, and honest even when it would be much, much safer to lie.
  • The narrator of Karen Hesse's The Music of Dolphins was the only survivor of an airplane crash in the Caribbean as a very young child, and was taken in by a pod of dolphins. She's reasonably healthy when she's found by (aside from minor considerations, such as having barnacles all over her) and, unlike other Wild Children in the center that's taking care of her, she can connect with people and understand language, because dolphins are that awesome. However, the betrayals and confused feelings from the scientists studying her turn her away from them, and eventually she is allowed to return to the sea and her dolphin family.
  • August from Of Fear and Faith. His attempts to fraternize with his comrades at first prove to be so painfully awkward that it drives him to drink.
  • Petaybee: Cita, a character in the second book, was raised by members of a cult and, for months after being freed, refers to herself as "goat-dung".
  • The eponymous character in J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, having been raised by The Fair Folk, is an occasionally-sadistic Trickster.
  • In Rally Round the Flag, Boys!, Captain Walker Hoxie spent his whole childhood being abused by civilians, explaining why he treats "feather merchants" with undisguised contempt.
  • Reaper (2016): Michael, a.k.a. Hawk, does not know how to deal with people, especially girls. That's why he entered Game, as one of the very first players. Hawk is his public persona, and only the other Founder Players know Michael. At least until he draws Jex and Nathan into his investigation, falls for Jex and wants her to know the real him.
  • In Scavenger Alliance, Tad is the youngest of the Wallam-Crane family, pretty much royalty on his home planet of Adonis. As such, he's grown up surrounded by luxury, being pandered to by everyone he meets (he's initially attracted to Blaze because she's the only girl he's met who doesn't immediately throw herself at his feet). Between that and his emotionless, mercenary grandfather who uses Tad as a pawn for his ambitions, it's amazing Tad is even as tactful as he is, but his tendency to blurt out questions and utter inability to read a room nearly gets him thrown off a roof. But under all that is a genuinely caring, compassionate man.
  • Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: Harry Wong most certainly has this problem. He is rather rude, impatient, and violent. One time, he went to his pal Jack Emery's house in the middle of the night, knocked on Jack's door, kicked it in when Jack didn't answer it fast enough, causing an alarm to blare for the whole neighborhood to hear...and then simply punched out the alarm system to make it stop.
  • The eponymous character of Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land: Valentine Michael Smith. His naïve approach to society makes him a strange saintly figure. He's coming to it all cold: as a baby was the only survivor of the first crewed mission to Mars, and was subsequently raised by Martians.
  • In Super Powereds, Vince and Chad are both severely lacking in the social department, partly due to them having Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training. Vince has spent much of his life as a vagrant and hasn't had any meaningful interaction with anyone after his adopted father's death. His father has also spent much of the time training him in hand-to-hand combat. As a result, Vince is an All-Loving Hero, who can't comprehend someone else being dishonest (except by necessity). After his father's murder at the hand of his best friend, Chad has devoted his time to training to become the best Hero ever. His power of total body and mind control allows him to train his body to be the ultimate fighting machine and to focus his mind, blocking off emotions he considers unnecessary and eschewing normal human contact. When his mother visits him at Lander, she is worried that he has zero friends. The boys he hangs out with are his sparring partners, nothing more. When Angela expresses an interest in him, all her hints go right over his head, as he takes everything at face value. As does Vince, when Chad explains to him the stated reason why Angela invited him to a club (i.e. she didn't want to invite anyone who would grope her all night long). When Vince's friends find out that both Vince and Chad both honestly believe her reason, they are speechless for a few seconds before trying to figure out how it's possible for there to be two such clueless guys. Vince doesn't understand what they mean, and Nick points out that this just underscores their point. They both get better, though, with Chad even starting to come out of his shell and trying to do more with his friends than exercise and spar.
  • Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note:
    • Aya zigzags this trope to the point that viewers aren't really sure if she's really lacking in social skills. Her Friendless Background is basically due to being on a "different bandwidth" of her classmates, and her inability to sustain small talk, which indicates this trope. On the other hand, she doesn't really have any problem handling the rest of Detective Team KZ...
    • Kozuka is a straight example when he was younger; he had a hard time communicating with his peers, especially girls; although he seems to have improved at Present Day.
    • Nanaki is still this at Present Day, but then one should expect this from a person who live most of his life as The Shut-In.
  • While a decent enough liege lord, the Dragon in Uprooted appears to be a huge Jerkass when dealing with people personally. Turns out that after a century or so of near-isolation and magical workings in his tower, he's just really that bad at dealing with people.
  • Reed Lazar from Vampire Academy did not socialize. In gathering he either stayed silent or said very rude things.
  • In Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series, Clayton Danvers was bitten and Changed into a werewolf when he was five years old. He spent two years as a Wild Child in Louisiana's bayous before being domesticated by another werewolf. He eventually relearned human customs such as "privacy" and "physical contact", but does not understand them and chooses not to observe them unless absolutely necessary. His thoughts are more wolfish than those of other werewolves, as he was Changed at five instead of fifteen. As a child, he was often assumed to be mentally handicapped since he rarely spoke and even then rarely in complete sentences.
  • In Brooks' World War Z, this phenomenon becomes a lingering social problem after the Zombie Apocalypse which ravaged western society, as orphaned children who were separated from their parents (by death or worse) and who managed to survive in the wild grow up feral.
  • Very common in Worm. Superpowers come from trauma, so most people who have them are messed up in some way or another. Basically every member of the Undersiders has some sort of reason that they struggle with interpersonal stuff, such as Taylor being being brutally bullied by her former best friend once they got to high school. The case that stands out the most though is Rachel Lindt AKA "Bitch" — a neglected and abused foster child who ends up gaining dog-related powers. Her upbringing is enough to result in general social incompetence, but one of her Required Secondary Powers is an implicit understanding of dog social cues, which comes at the expense of her ability to read human social cues.
  • Princess Ida from Piers Anthony's Xanth series was accidentally left with the nymphs by the stork. As a result (due to the magic surrounding the nymph territory that wipes the previous day's memories away), she has absolutely no memories past her 12th birthday, at which she was rescued and raised by the (never mentioned again) Otterbees (basically sentient otters with a typically punnish name). Other than her lack of knowledge about human culture (mostly courtship and mating), she's stunningly well-adjusted.
  • David of you could make a life devoted virtually all of his energy and passion to his NHL career and hence had very little time or interest in having a social life or hobbies outside of hockey. The result being that he struggles to come up with anything when he's asked about what he likes/does other than hockey and assumes that Jake having sex with him is just a "buddy" thing he does with everyone.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 7 Yüz: The mousy Pınar of "Hayatın Musikisi" demonstrates a basic lack of conversational skills, which makes her a social outcast at the office and the subject of ridicule. Her awkwardness and shy nature consequently prompt her boss, Arzu, to sideline her from taking the lead on projects, which would necessitate presenting to a client.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Grant Ward. Maria Hill gave him the lowest rating in this department, even drawing a small porcupine (which Coulson mistook for a "little poop with knives sticking out of it") on his assessment sheet. Completely subverted when Ward turns out to be The Mole, however. He’s actually very good at reading and manipulating people, and had crafted the “socially-awkward Ineffectual Loner“ facade to endear himself to the team.
  • Gary Bell from Alphas, justified as he is outright stated to be autistic. He can be very sweet, but tends towards Brutal Honesty, literal-mindedness, and he Cannot Tell a Lie... though he's working on the latter.
    Gary: I do lie, I've been practicing. It's a social skill. Like the other day when I said I was gonna have a pudding pop, I was lying 'cause I don't like pudding pops... that was a lie, I do like pudding pops. I just knew we didn't have any.
  • Arrowverse:
    • Arrow: Felicity has her moments. In particular, her mouth tends to run away from her. On one of her guest appearances on The Flash (2014), shortly before Barry's wedding, she starts rambling about how statistically most marriages end in divorce. Harry (who, it should be noted, got kicked out of his universe because he's so annoying) tries to signal for her to shut up.
    • The Flash (2014):
      • Dr. Harrison Wells, despite being a popular and seemingly well-loved celebrity scientist (before the particle accelerator explosion, that is), was described in his biography as "arrogant, prickly, brusque [and] at times contemptuous". He admits to Barry that he's not very fond of the vast majority of people, but he does describe Barry, Caitlin and Cisco as his "closest friends". (Although, given his lack of anything approaching a social life, it's likely that they're his only friends.) In fact, this Wells is really Eobard Thawne, the Flash's enemy.
      • Harry Wells, the Harrison Wells from Earth-2, is worse. He is constantly acerbic, talks down to absolutely everyone, and constantly blunt. After his daughter became a superhero, he was unfailingly supportive, helped her recruit a team to help her, and worked to make her the greatest hero in the world. He was still so blunt and annoying that the team eventually voted him out, and he came back to Earth-1 since there was no where else to go.
        Cisco: You'd think the serial killer version of him would be the bigger dick...
  • Angel: Illyria. Can't talk to me during your meeting? Then I'll kill everyone at the meeting.
  • Most of the humor in The Big Bang Theory is about how utterly inept the four main characters are at functioning outside their own nerdy society. Leonard is probably most well-adjusted but still has serial foot-in-mouth tendencies, Sheldon shows some autistic tendencies and is also a Jerkass, Raj cannot speak around attractive women unless drunk, and Wolowitz is best left unsaid. note 
    • Fast forward a bit in the series and you have Sheldon's Distaff Counterpart Amy, who doesn't quite understand that making weird pseudo lesbian comments about her "bestie" Penny is a tad bit uncomfortable for her, and Leonard's mother who is also just like Sheldon—the irony being that she's a psychologist and frequently calls out social problems in others.
    • Sheldon's mother, too, in her own way. She's the sweetest, kindest, most caring person on the planet—but she lives so much in her own little bubble that she doesn't realize how offensive the things she says are. (To her credit, when the offensiveness of something she says is pointed out to her, she'll try to avoid saying it, although it is clear she doesn't quite understand why.)
  • Bones:
    • Temperance Brennan is a loner, a workaholic, and completely ignorant of pop culture (she responds to most movie and television references with "I don't know what that means"). Her grasp on social niceties is also tenuous, but she sets herself apart from most TV characters by being willing and able to learn how to deal with people. She seems to be a combination of a mild degree of Asperger's and an academic detachment from reality.
    • Zack Addy is another one with No Social Skills, a textbook loner nerd who understands that social politics are occurring, but can't figure out what to do with this information.note . He also exhibits Asperger's Syndrome; which made the revelation that he was Gormagon's apprentice completely and totally out of character.
  • The Brittas Empire: The titular Gordon Brittas has no understanding of the idea of subtext, will go up to people whilst they're having a shower and getting dressed to try to talk to them, will spy on people for non-creepy reasons without any apparent understanding of the concept of privacy, and generally annoys people through his tactlessnesss.
  • Saga from Bron|Broen is an extreme By-the-Book Cop with no apparent understanding of jokes, unwritten laws or comforting lies. She refuses to promise a missing girl's relative that they'll find her alive, picks up a guy in a bar by asking if he wants to have sex, and has no idea why her partner's weirded out when his eighteen-year-old son spends the night at her place. She doesn't even get why she should tell him they didn't actually have sex until a co-worker suggests it — at which point she explains in front of everyone.
  • When it comes to anything outside of work (and even inside it at times), the detectives in Brooklyn Nine-Nine run the line from "functional but have some slightly odd quirks" to "don't appear to understand how humans work at times". Each character has their own eccentricities which tend to interfere with social interaction; Jake is an immature Cloud Cuckoolander, Captain Holt is an impassive robot with several odd tastes, Amy is easily flustered and tends to babble nervously, Rosa combines Holt's offbeat impassivity with added anger issues, Charles has no verbal filter and seems determined to find the creepiest way to express every thought he's ever had, Gina is a Narcissist with no interest in anyone else whatsoever, and Scully and Hitchcock basically live in their own odd, rather stupid world. About the only character who seems capable of interacting with other adults with a consistent level of social competence is Terry, which frequently puts him in the Only Sane Man role when it comes to social interaction.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Anya was very much one of these characters. She was a 1000-year-old demon trying to learn how to be a passable human. At least, at first it was that simple; later on, it was revealed that she was born human (1,000 years ago in Sjornjost). Still later, it was shown that she'd always talked and acted like an eccentric, even in her original human life.
    • BuffyBot also exhibited this behavior, though, obviously, it was because her programming was too limited to give her natural responses.
  • Spencer Reid in Criminal Minds has a hard time fitting in with people other than the team, being a mix of an Insufferable Genius and Child Prodigy. However, his knowledge of pop culture is varying and extensive, though he doesn't know about Twilight.
  • Daredevil (2015): For a powerful crime boss, Wilson Fisk is not a very social person, almost stumbling his way through asking Vanessa out to dinner when he first meets her, and having to rely on James Wesley for wine reccomendations.
  • DI Helen Morton from DCI Banks, to the extent that she asks Banks' advice on how to better fit in with the team, and then takes notes as he is talking. She is gradually getting better, but it is a slow process.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor has moments of acting like this, more so in some incarnations than others. It's partly Obfuscating Stupidity, partly the fact that a time-travelling alien can hardly be expected to understand the social mores of every time and place he visits, and sometimes just the way he is:
      • The First Doctor is like this in a more subtle way — instead of coming across as demented, like later Doctors, he comes across generally as a very rude Grumpy Old Man, but we slowly realize that he's making a real effort to be nice to people, and just isn't very good at it. His gestures tend to be very small and shy compared to later Doctors, and when he tries to reconcile with Ian after nearly getting everyone killed in "The Edge of Destruction", there's a brief scene where he reaches out to touch him affectionately, but then has second thoughts and just lets his hand drop, staring at Ian awkwardly. At the end of "The Sensorites", Ian makes one sarcastic comment about the Doctor's driving skills, and the Doctor loses his temper and tries to drop Ian off at a random point in time, but soon realizes this was an overreaction. In "Planet of Giants", he spends a whole scene snapping at Barbara for no reason, but goes up to her at the end of the conversation and apologises for being so rude, explaining he misjudged his own tone. And then there's the scene in "The Aztecs" where he gets accidentally engaged to someone...
      • The Fourth Doctor pretends to have no social skills as Obfuscating Stupidity and offers people jelly babies as a kind of social litmus test but actually has a very calculating social intelligence, and is just a bit of a weird person, with a nasty sense of humour. Generally, when he does react in a completely inappropriate way to a situation, it is Blue-and-Orange Morality or disgust with the idea of behaving appropriately in general.
      • Particularly strong with the Eleventh Doctor — his interpersonal skills are actually very, very good, especially by Doctor standards, but his understanding of human culture and what kind of behavior is inappropriate in the setting is minimal. For a classic example, see "The Lodger".
      • The Twelfth Doctor is even worse than the Eleventh, by some magnitude. For starters, unlike the Eleventh Doctor, he tends to be unintentionally very rude to people and has extreme difficulty saying encouraging words or apologizing (Clara issues him with cue cards; they don't help). He doesn't understand how faces work and he has trouble recognizing people if they have changed their clothing or hairstyles, thinking that putting on an orange coat instead of a blue one would make him unrecognizably disguised. He treats humans with occasional naked contempt and sees no point in hiding the fact that he's an alien. He doesn't understand why, if someone asks you to get them coffee, you don't give it to them a week later. He is by far the least socially human incarnation yet — as if this was now the time to stop pretending he could ever be anything other than a Time Lord. It was intentional: the Eleventh Doctor spent nine hundred years on one planet prior to his regeneration, outliving the people he knew there again and again, being strongly reminded he wasn't human, and he let that show through in his next incarnation. However, by Series 10, at least seventy-odd years into this incarnation, he's apparently learned how to deal with faces and his social skills have developed to the point he now comes off as a stern but compassionate old man.
    • First Doctor companion Steven Taylor was living in a People Zoo, cut off from anyone of his own kind, with only a stuffed panda toy and emotionless, faceless robots for company for two years, and his social skills have suffered. Though he's good at bluffing people, when he's himself he repeatedly struggles to phrase reasonable opinions in non-confrontational ways and tends to interrupt people or accidentally upset them. His skills notably improve as his run goes on, until he's eventually Put on a Bus as a mediator between two feuding groups on a distant planet.
  • Jayne in Firefly. Joss Whedon compared him to Anya in that they both said things that everybody else might be thinking but would not dare say out loud.
  • Walter Bishop in Fringe is awkward as a central character trait: he's locked up in a mental institution, completely isolated from the world for the past seventeen years. And he is missing key parts of his brain — that he had someone else take out.
  • Game of Thrones: Stannis, as he is acutely aware. Whenever Shireen hugs him, he looks awkward and surprised.
  • Hymie the robot from Get Smart. Despite having superhuman abilities, he has the tendency to follow orders too literally.
  • In The Girl From Plainville, Michelle isn't entirely without social skills, but she's oblivious to Conrad's family and friends feeling uncomfortable with her inserting herself as she's essentially a stranger. She struggles to really connect with her friends at school, overwhelming them with her emotional neediness.
  • Dr. Sean Murphy on The Good Doctor is on the autism spectrum and struggles with interacting with colleagues and patients.
  • Poor Ed Nygma on Gotham, as part of his Ambiguous Disorder. He's blissfully unaware of how weird his Nightmare Fetishist tendencies come across, and he usually fails to notice basic social cues, often standing around smiling after people have stopped speaking to him, not realizing that they non-verbally want him to leave. He only has this to say to a visibly upset coworker after invading her work space and rearranging her things: "Ok...I'm getting the sense that this was somehow inappropriate." Interestingly, he becomes far more capable of interacting with people after his Face–Heel Turn, even though he keeps his dorky and eccentric personality.
  • Roy and Moss in The IT Crowd, being rather "standard nerds" running an IT department, naturally fall into this trope more often than not, Moss in particular. Jen is supposed to subvert this, seeing as her role is supposed to be the sociable one who can help the other two actually connect with other people, but actually she's just as socially inept, awkward, and consumed with her obsessions as the other two. The only real difference is that Jen's obsessions are considered more socially mainstream, which enables her to get away with it more.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Kiva: Wataru Kurenai is a violin loving Hikikomori, who starts out capable of leaving the house only when wrapped up in protective gear like someone going grocery shopping in 2020 and using a notebook with written phrases to communicate. In the first episode, he gives a written apology to a cat after taking stinky fish bones from it to make lacquer for violin repair. Naturally, getting excited over experimenting with making and using weird, smelly concoctions doesn't make him any more appealing to outsiders, who consider him to be an obsessive creep.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Hiiro Kagami is the best surgeon in the hospital, always perfect specimen of his profession despite his pragmatically awful and brutally honest bedside manner. Try to rope him into anything remotely personal and he has absolutely no idea what to do, because he is basically a singleminded sweets-fueled surgery bot. It's never explained whether this is a result of some undiagnosed condition, spending his life studying or just trying to hide natural awkwardness to the point of Becoming the Mask.
    • Kamen Rider Zi-O: Geiz Myokoin /Kamen Rider Geiz is dour and brutally straight forward with Hair-Trigger Temper, though he can definitely do better around Tsukuyomi. Despite his intelligence, he is mostly unaware of why he sents people running just by trying to approach them with the intent of normal conversation. The lack of awareness and planning puts him at disadvantage against Sougo Tokiwa / Kamen Rider Zi-O, a socially capable Cloud Cuckoo Lander.
    • Kamen Rider Saber: Rintaro is polite and friendly bookworm, but his idea of what that entails can be hilariously off the mark sometimes. He has a fair share of theoretical knowledge, but due to the sheltered upbringing inside Sword Of Logos, his actual experience in the real world is limited to fighting Megid and occasionally wandering around like a tourist. Unsurprisingly, it is easy to manipulate him into remaining loyal to the concept of the Guild even when others start questioning the actual authorities behind it.
  • Parker from Leverage. Quite possibly the world's greatest cat burglar; requires cheat sheets and extensive coaching to carry on a passing-for-normal conversation, and doesn't see why her male teammates freak out whenever she whips her shirt off in front of them to execute a quick-change. As a child, she thought that being buried alive was an appropriate way to get over her fear of the dark. As an adult, she compared it to Eliot locking himself in a shed for a few nights to get over his claustrophobia. "That's NOT the same thing. What's wrong with you?" Word of God is she has Asperger's, explaining her behaviour. In the show itself, it's mentioned that Parker is capable of acting relatively normally (such as a wine-dispensing member of the wait staff at a formal party), but only when she's fully aware that it's an act designed purely to deceive a mark.
  • Charlie Crews in Life, having spent the last twelve years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. The most common is his unfamiliarity with things like cell phones and instant messaging.
  • In Li'l Horrors, Duncan Stein is friendly, but also dim-witted and sorely lacking in social skills. Of course, he has only been "alive" for a relatively short period of time.
  • Lost: Ana-Lucia openly admits that she's not very good at connecting with other people. She's blunt, irritable and usually makes people think she doesn't like them. Unfortunately, this trait worked a little too well and many viewers struggled to enjoy her as a character.
    Ana-Lucia: People don't like me. I tried to get them to most of my life. I guess I just gave up a while back. I mean, I am what I am.
  • May I Please Enter?: The Cowboy acts very oddly, from demanding entry into other people's homes, to alternating between moments of deadpanned seriousness to casual humor, and being overly curious in general about Amy and John's place and lives, making his hosts seem uncomfortable or put-off by his strange behavior at several points.
  • Dash in Minority Report (2015). He's only come into the public world in the past few weeks — and the fact that he was imprisoned for most of his life and never saw anything but visions of murder certainly didn't help matters.
  • Monk:
    • Monk struggles to have a normal conversation even with cue cards. A few episodes have subverted this, though, by showing that he can actually be reasonably personable at times, it's just buried under layers of neuroses. For example, a large part of the plot of "Mr. Monk Is On The Air" is devoted to Monk's concerns about his deficient sense of humour. The episode ends with him watching his wedding video, and in it, he's laughing uproariously. It doesn't help that Monk's mother is shown to have been far more obsessive compulsive, and raised her sons to fear and obey her obsessions. Monk's father left the family because of her obsessive behavior, leaving the two sons to be Raised by Wolves.
    • His brother Ambrose is even worse, to the point of being a shut-in.
    • Interestingly, there are rare times when Monk seemingly forgets his phobias and awkwardness and just acts like a normal person. However, this happens rarely, and he has no memory of it. This is revealed when a rapper (played by Snoop Dogg) shows up to ask for Monk's help in clearing his name. Monk starts acting gangsta and eagerly accepts the case. After the rapper leaves, Monk goes back to his old self and assumes he said "no".
  • Mr. Bean: Mr. Bean himself lacks a knowledge of social conventions, never demonstrates normal human thought processes, and even occasionally shows a lack of natural fear (shushing people while he's on a rollercoaster). In one set of titles he is beamed down from space, but possibly this is metaphor for his unearthliness.
  • Mr. Mayor: Arpi's default ranges from Brutal Honesty to simply insulting people, sometimes even those supporting her views. She's an elected LA city council member and passionate progressive activist however, so there are enough people who like her very blunt style it seems.
  • There's one My Name Is Earl episode where he found a guy he left out in the woods who seemed completely wild (even though he was a full grown adult when it happened). Part of the reasons for his behavior was eating berries in the forest, and things had gotten so bad that he married a raccoon. It drew comparisons between him and Tarzan, until the end when it turns out that the man had an acute case of schizoid or avoidant personality disorder and would never be able to assimilate into regular society without drugs. Earl decided the best thing to do would be to release him into the wild where he was happiest.
  • NCIS: Ziva David is ridiculed by moviephile DiNozzo for her unfamiliarity with pop culture references and idioms: she once wanted to take a quick "bat nap" and referred to a rare mistake as "once in a blue lagoon". It's hinted in one of the later seasons that she actually is learning these idioms, but keeps it up as Obfuscating Stupidity, leading people to underestimate her.
  • Many of the characters on The Office are... awkward, but on the American version, Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute seem tangentially acquainted with human society at best. Michael was clearly raised by pop culture, and expects everything to work out in real life the way it does in movies and on television. Dwight was raised on an insular beet farm without most of the niceties of civilization:
    Dwight: She introduced me to so many things. Pasteurized milk. Sheets. Monotheism. Presents on your birthday. Preventative medicine.
  • In The Outer Limits (1995):
    • In "The Haven", people have become so heavily dependent on the artificial intelligence Argus, which provides for all of their needs, that they can largely avoid social interaction. Many choose to do so insofar as possible.
    • In "Skin Deep", Sid Camden is a socially inept, lonely accountant with only one friend, his former co-worker Deb Clement. He believes that life has dealt him a bad hand. When he begins to use a Holographic Disguise to imitate his fellow accountant Chad Warner, it goes to his head and the experience brings out the worst in him to the point that he threatens Deb when she says that she will tell Chad what he is doing.
    • In "The Human Operators", a sentient spaceship keeps a lone human man as a slave to repair and maintain it when needed. One day, a female slave is brought on board and the ship orders them to mate and beget the next generation of slaves. The man, having lived on the ship his whole life, has no idea what to do and has to be coached by the female. There's a scene where, after the woman guides his hand over her breasts, the man double takes and looks down at his first erection.
  • The Outpost: Janzo is quite socially awkward, having a great reluctance to meet people's eyes at first, standing hunched over, and has little knowledge of how to interact with people, let alone romantically approach them. Naya in Season 2 tries to help him get more adept.
  • Pandora:
    • Ralen is a Zatarian with very limited knowledge of Earth's social norms.
    • As a clone, Atria had a very sheltered upbringing by her master, who would not let her attend formal education, as is customary for the Adari masters. As a result she is hopelessly naive or clueless about many things on Earth (such as that casually having a threeway with a man and woman after she starts dating Tom would upset him).
  • Mark Corrigan in Peep Show is a neurotic mess in social situations of any kind. His flatmate Jez is much better when compared to Mark, but has plenty of neuroses of his own which can also lead to this trope kicking in for him from time to time.
  • Power Rangers RPM has Doctor K, who was raised in a top-secret government think tank where her entire life consisted of research ever since she was a toddler. It shows.
  • Jarod, the eponymous character from The Pretender, is a super-genius who was raised in a lab. When he escapes, he has to learn about common everyday things like Pez at roughly age 35. While his talents include picking up new skills quickly, he tends to be over-analytical about things like The Three Stooges (which he eventually decided was funny anyway).
  • Maura Isles of Rizzoli & Isles is very much this trope. She's also very sweet. Luckily, she has her street smart best friend Jane Rizzoli to help:
    Jane: Did you ever like the same boy as your best friend?
    Maura: No.
    Jane: Did you ever have a best friend?
    Maura: [beat] No.
    Jane: [laughing] You would tell me if you were a cyborg, wouldn't you?
    Maura: [thoughtfully] No, I don't think I would.
  • Luke Smith from The Sarah Jane Adventures is at a loss in social situations. Thankfully he becomes more sophisticated so as time goes on. After all, he's being raised in a "normal" high school environment and is a quick learner due to both his age and his genes. He was grown by aliens: human but created to be a "Human Archetype" so that they could do tests on him. He has the absorbed intelligence of the thousands of people but not their social skills.
  • The four supergeniuses who comprise two-thirds of the cast of Scorpion have enough brain power for seven ordinary people and enough social skills for maybe one.
  • Sherlock: The main character himself. Although handsome, intelligent and insufferable about it and the world's greatest detective, he's no good at dealing with other people, even his friends, at times. However, he awkwardly (and genuinely) acknowledges his friend's bravery after the whole bomb vest thing.
  • On Silicon Valley, billionaire investor Peter Gregory is portrayed as this. He thinks on a completely different level from other people and doesn't seem to care about how they react to him. He loudly hacks if anything goes even the slightest bit out of whack. Additionally, most computer programmers are portrayed as being either overly abrasive or overly timid with little in between.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Data's android "daughter" Lal. She was well-versed in "book learning", but not in social interaction. When she saw a couple kissing in Ten Forward, she exclaimed "That man is biting that female!" Data had No Social Skills himself, during the early series.
    • "Suddenly Human" featured a human boy raised by aliens with a violent culture who couldn't fit in with human society.
    • In his youth, Worf was unskilled when visiting his family in the Klingon Empire, after being raised by humans. He's apparently gotten better as an adult, but is still considered rather uptight and overly serious. When he acts according to Federation values (like mercy, democracy, humility, etc) he tends to get odd looks and confused reactions though. He also learns about Klingon culture largely by reading about it, which shocks him when he starts to interact more with actual Klingons, who are far less noble, honorable, and stoic than he expects. During the Klingon civil war, he has trouble grasping the idea of sharing a drink with the other side's soldiers in the lull between the fighting.
  • Star Trek: Voyager
  • Earlier, there was the Holodoc, whose bedside manner in the early seasons could be boiled down to "Please identify type of pain: burning, stabbing, stinging..."
  • Icheb is even worse than Seven, having been assimilated as a baby. When working close with B'Ellana, he misinterprets her behavior and several physiological readouts as indications that she wants him. Later, when she faints, he scans her with a tricorder and diagnoses her with a parasite of some sort. Seven (slightly more versed) explains that this "parasite" is called a fetus.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: The episode "Charlie X" featured a human child raised by incorporeal aliens who has no concept of how to interact with his fellow humans, especially women.
  • Stranger Things:
    • Seeing as she's a psychic child prodigy raised from infancy as a secret government scientific experiment to develop a perfect human weapon, Eleven does not exactly have a strong grasp of social cues or appropriate social behaviour... as witnessed in the second episode when, after being offered a clean change of clothes by Mike, Lucas and Dustin, she prepares to strip off in front of them much to their mortification. She gradually gets a bit better, however. It should also be noted that several of the previously mentioned boys, being rather dorky social outcasts, also have their moments of poor or inappropriate social behaviour without the benefit of this excuse (particularly Dustin).
    • Jonathan Byers is a rather shy introvert, who lives through observing other people and taking pictures of them. Working with Nancy to find Will and investigate Barb's disappearance slowly gets him to come out of his shell.
  • Supernatural:
    • Castiel is an angel who hasn't spent a lot of time down on earth, so he tends to lack basic knowledge of human etiquette, as well as failing to grasp the concepts of sarcasm, rhetorical questions, and metaphor when he's first starting out. He also doesn't quite get the point of goodbyes or even of ending conversations in a conclusive manner. Once he's done saying what he wants to say, he goes poof, even if the other person isn't done yet. And he takes it the other direction, too — popping up next to people or behind them, or often in the passenger seat of Dean's car while Dean is driving, consistently ignoring the startled reactions to his sudden appearances.
    • Jack is a newborn that looks like a teenager. Because of his looks, people assume he can be interacted with normally. But because of his actual age and life experience, he doesn't understand slang, subtlety or pop cultural references which results in very literal and awkward responses. He often mimics those around him as he tries to figure out the appropriate response, sometimes with comical effect.
  • Super Sentai has several characters lacking basic social skills. Most of them are either not human or haven't had much interaction with people during their childhood. Examples are:
    • Sion in Mirai Sentai Timeranger, an alien who was raised on Earth in a laboratory. He has a strange sense of what's socially appropriate, including, in one memorable incident, stating that he "loves" Domon—right in front of a crowd of girls that Domon was trying to pick up.
    • Jan Kandou from Juken Sentai Gekiranger, raised by pandas and tigers. He calls himself a "tiger boy" and demonstrates incredible strength, such as having a tree fall on him with no effect. It takes him a few episodes to master the concept of things like doors. His defining trait, though, is that, while he can speak proper Japanese, he colors it with made-up babytalk words such as "nikiniki" (happy) and "zowazowa" (danger).
    • The Gosei Angels in Tensou Sentai Goseiger suffer from this to some extent, though the Landicks are slightly less affected than the other three. They come from different sort of reality and didn't get to interact with people so much before being stranded on Earth. They get better through their stay.
    • Hiromu Sakurada in Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters, who is blunt, rude and Brutally Honest often with no idea that he's said or done anything wrong; and has little idea of how to interact with others. Interestingly, he is the only team member who grew up outside of EMC, whereas Ryuji and Yoko (who have spent most of their lives there) are fairly normal. However, they do show occasional signs of this, such as in one episode where they don't seem to know how to dress outside of uniform and wear very outdated clothes to go to an amusement park.
    • Uchu Sentai Kyuranger has two examples, both dramatic and hilarious:
      • Naga Ray, who comes from Spock expy race that supressed their emotions to achieve peace. Naga himself wants to have emotions and tries to learn how to express them and be as good with people as his partner, Balance. He practiced smiling in the mirror and tried to match up the correct expressions and feels to the situation at hand. The effort payed off in the end.
      • Stinger. Suicide mission? No problem. Apologize to his team? Impossible without stuttering and looking like anxiety eats him from inside out. He Used to Be a Sweet Child, but being bullied by other tribesmen and watching his formerly kind brother slide towards becoming a power hungry Blood Knight messed him up a bit even before the really bad stuff happened. Opening up to his team and spending time with them helped him become less awkward as time passed.
  • Cameron from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, since she is a terminator. Skynet's human disguise program: hot on the visuals, crap with the chat.
    • Interestingly, in the pilot, before she is revealed as a Robot Girl, she seems like a normal teenage girl, trying to make friends with John Connor. Then in the next episode Cameron is electrocuted and given a forced reboot, awakening as emotionless and socially awkward, meaning she possibly forgot how to behave convincingly.
      • Cameron's shown the ability to fake human interaction long enough to get information out of people. It's only when she's being herself that she struggles.
  • The Thick of It contains several examples. Olly, himself book-smart but not streetwise, asks hapless press officer John Duggan "I'm not being horrible, but are you actually autistic?". Further along the autism spectrum is unseen Prime Minister Tom Davis, whose social skills are so lacking that the press officers doubt that they should let him out in public.
  • Artie of Warehouse 13 has spent so much of his career in the Artifact Warehouse that he is often considered uncouth by the new agents Pete and Myka. One episode reveals that he deliberately gives himself appendicitis every year in order to see a doctor he likes, until it nearly kills him and he finally has the guts to ask her out properly.
    • Claudia also has a lot of social awkwardness and has no idea how to behave with a boy she likes. Being locked up in a mental institution for years probably has something to do with it, as well as her being a genius.
  • An episode of The X-Files features the monster of the week as an entire feral family. It's hinted that the family has lived down through the centuries like this, and are the source of the legend of the Jersey Devil.

  • Evelyn Evelyn: The titular sisters are awkward and painfully shy, and have a tendency to speak in monotone. This is the result of their limited human contact and frankly abysmal childhood. Luckily, they are able to express themselves quite well through their music.

  • Several characters from Cool Kids Table games deal with this.
    • Stege from Small Magic lives almost exclusively in the woods and rarely interacts with other people, which contributes to him being a shitty teen. His clothes are tattered, he's very blunt to other people, he hates being bathed, and he tends to eat with his hands.
    • Yoshi from Here We Gooooo! comes off this way since he was raised surrounded only by Yoshis. His grandpa the OG Yoshi told him many stories of the secrets in Peaches Castle, leading Yoshi to believe all castles were like that and begin randomly slamming his tongue into windows in Princess Caramel Seltzer's palace.
  • Many of the stories in the Vent or Repent segment of Were You Raised by Wolves? concern strangers who have no clue about regular social conventions or who unwittingly disrupt social norms.
  • Wooden Overcoats: The Funn twins, in different ways.
    • Rudyard just straight-up doesn't understand people at all, and is often taken aback when people are offended by his rude comments, or weirded out by the fact that he carries a mouse around in his pocket. So far as he's concerned, he's perfectly normal, and everyone else is either overreacting, misunderstanding him, or the real weirdos.
    • Antigone is a Shrinking Violet Nightmare Fetishist who often makes morbid and bizarre comments, but she does at least understand why people are freaked out by her. It's just that her lack of experience with people leads to her blurting out whatever's on her mind, only realizing after the fact that what she just said is rather off-putting.

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • Jacob has no time to slot socialisation into his schedule, thus he acts rudely to anyone who takes up much of his time. Because his social skills are so underdeveloped, he struggles to understand when people act emotionally rather than logically.
    • Vivian had a sheltered upbringing, and so she's completely lacking in social graces. She's awkward, stutters a lot, sometimes shouts her words when she's nervous, and tries to avoid people.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In a bit of an inversion, at tables whose GMs insist that every (important) social interaction be roleplayed out without involving dice or other mechanics, it's potentially quite possible for one or more characters to formally have no social skills whatsoever without that making any difference in practice because they're just using those of the players instead.
  • Eclipse Phase: AI characters and the occasional transhuman have the Real World Naïveté trait, which causes them to hugely misunderstand ordinary events.
  • Pathfinder: Munavri have little reason to engage in spoken conversations with one another and have thus very little familiarity with common social etiquette. When non-telepaths have to interact with them, munavri will routinely go off on lengthy tangents, overshare personal problems and private information, and completely miss their speaking partners' cues to end the discussion. In general, conversations with a munavri tend to be both rather uncomfortable and a lot longer than they need to be.
  • Ravenloft: In Heroes of Light, a caliban (mutant) paladin born with a tiger's head was abandoned at birth in a Japanese-themed domain, and was raised by the kami animal-spirits that found him. Although they taught him the idealized conduct of a samurai and holy man, they couldn't teach him how to deal with the less-than-ideal behavior of ordinary folk.
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: Werewolves are always born to wolf or human "kinfolk", awakening to their true nature later. Lupus-born werewolves are thus technically wolves who can take human form, with all the foreseeable consequences when they try to blend into human society. Oddly enough, it's usually assumed that after their first transformation most of them can automatically speak whatever language was prevalent in the country were born in, just as Homid-born werewolves instinctively know wolf language, but they can't necessarily speak it well. It's a lot of fun to tell a Werewolf NPC that the Lupus was raised by wolves when he shows a distinct indifference to conventional standards of politeness. Or hygiene. The degrees to which Lupus Garou assimilate human customs and language varies with the individual. Red Talons, a human-hating all-Lupus tribe, are generally the least knowledgeable about humans and prefer to stay that way. The other tribes all include both Lupus and Homid Garou.

    Video Games 
  • Yuuki Terumi from BlazBlue is a crass, crude, rude, loud and extremely self-absorbed Politically Incorrect Villain who's also pretty outspoken about his rather controversial goals. All of this kinda, sorta, totally gets in the way of his attempts to be a Manipulative Bastard, but he's also aware enough of his flaw that he has an artificial human made for him that he then takes Demonic Possession of, allowing the construct to speak for him while filtering out most of his unpleasantries.
  • The Silencers from the Crusader games may like this. Depending on which version of their creation and training is true, they may be either taken from their parents in their youth and trained in a completely isolated facility or grown in vats, and then raised and trained in a completely isolated facility.
  • Victor von Gerdenheim, of the Darkstalkers series of fighting games, is a Frankenstein's Monster who was barely raised at all before the Doctor's untimely death. Victor is so unacquainted with the very concept of death that he takes his "father"'s unmoving silence to be disappointment, and is extremely perplexed at his "sister" Emily's refusal to wake up. In the comics, Victor and Emily both mistake the Professor's lack of movement and silence as sleeping, then after a few months feel it must be sickness.
  • Rozalin from Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories, due to her being raised in complete isolation from the real world. Which was intentional on the part of the Big Bad so she would remain a social idiot completely devoted to him for her entire life.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Morrigan of Dragon Age: Origins was raised alone in a swamp by her mother Flemeth the Witch of the Wilds. Flemeth taught her two things: 1) Shapeshifting, and 2) that she could trust nobody except herself in order to make it easier for Flemeth to steal Morrigan's body. Small wonder Morrigan isn't very good with people (to put it lightly).
      • If you earn high approval with Morrigan as a male character but do not romance her, she will comment that she literally did not know it was possible to befriend a man.
    • Dragon Age II:
      • Merrill in is a Dalish elf with absolutely no experience with humans. She is somewhat socially inept among her own people, but among humans with no grasp of concepts like 'laws' she has a lot of trouble. It doesn't help that she's casually using Blood Magic.
      • Fenris of the same game spent the entirety of his life, as far as he remembers, as a slave to one of the horrifically evil Tevinter Magisters and only recently escaped. As such, he has difficulty relating to other people at best, plus a lot of rage issues, especially with mages. This is most evident with his often hostile interactions with Merrill.
    • Cole from Dragon Age: Inquisition is a spirit-like entity that spent most of his existence being unable to interact with others. Most people who talk with him forget about him shortly after, with only vague recollections of speaking to someone. Small wonder that he lacks understanding of social norms, like not blurting out people's hidden hurts and traumas in an awkward attempt at helping them.
  • Ensemble Stars!:
    • Souma was raised in a family that lives as if it were still the Edo period and he hasn't quite acclimated to modern-day Japanese life - for example, he doesn't seem to grasp that nowadays, it is not considered acceptable to take out a sword and threaten someone with it if they offend you. Keito does try to keep him in check, though. In a less obvious way, he also tends to assume social rules that no longer exist, particularly when it comes to the 'masters' he swears loyalty to, making him quite prone to exploitation, which unfortunately happened the previous year.
    • Kanata had an even stranger upbringing - he was raised to believe he was a literal God of the Ocean, complete with fawning worshippers. This left him very separated from ordinary people - for example, until he was fifteen he didn't realise that all people have names. While that's in his past now, he still has almost zero experience interacting with people as an ordinary guy and so is a massive Cloud Cuckoo Lander that nobody else really fully understands.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Played with by Cloud in Final Fantasy VII Remake. At first, he talks like an edgy coolguy hero, but it soon becomes apparent that his rudeness is an awkward attempt to push people away to protect himself while also impressing them, and that in real emotional or romantic situations he's hopeless. However, other scenes in the game make it clear his social skills are in some ways very good - it's just that he exploits them to play a heel instead, in order to inspire positive changes in people. This can be seen in the way he starts insisting on extortionate payments to return a key, in a scene that's intended to be read as Cloud encouraging the man to take care of his own problems, and also in him riling up Gwen of the Neighbourhood Watch into organising her community by demonstrating that she can't rely on mercenaries to be on their side.
    • Several of the main cast members of Final Fantasy VIII spent at least part of their childhoods in the training academy of a mercenary company. The ones who enrolled around the age of ten or so got away with relatively mild emotional issues, but Squall, who enrolled at about the age of five or six, was given no help getting through his separation trauma, and immediately began a form of training which eroded his long-term memory, might as well have been Raised by Wolves. Atypically for the trope, Squall is perfectly aware (and frankly doesn't care) that he's not behaving according to social norms...but, having never bothered to learn how to act like a normal human being, when he tries, he's generally horrible at it.
    • The Warrior of Light from Dissidia Final Fantasy is a downplayed example. All of the other characters have identifiable personalities, but the Warrior of Light seems to have no personality or ability to interact with the other characters outside of a grandiose heroism, and comes across as rather robotic. Since he has no memory of a life before the war, being that he was a manikin created during the cycles, this is less than surprising.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance: Ike. He's a common mercenary raised by his father Greil to be honest and treat others equally, which is all very good until he arrives at Begnion with its divided classes and strict customs. He ultimately ends up yelling at their beloved apostle before the entire senate without even knowing the gravity of his actions. Fortunately his Raised by Wolves nature makes him one of the few beorc to gain the laguz's trust.
    • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade: To a degree, Lyndis aka Lyn is this. Being the daughter of a Lorca chieftain and a Lycian princess, she found herself at quite the loss after meeting her Lycian grandfather and staying with him in court. more information is in her supports with Eliwood.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses gives us Bernadetta and Marianne, who both have trouble talking to people, though for opposing reasons: Bernadetta's abusive upbringing left her emotionally stunted and while she desperately wants to make friends, her abysmal self-esteem has her believing that nobody would want to be friends with her. Marianne meanwhile prefers to be left alone and worries that any potential friends might come to harm, as a result of having a different Crest from the rest of the cast who possess one.
  • Genshin Impact:
    • Due to both her shyness and her focus towards her alchemy work, Sucrose struggles with interactions with others. Her character story mentions that she would probably understand more about Diona's Cat Girl traits if she just asks the bartender directly and nicely, but she would rather do what she does best: observing from a distance. She also says that this makes interacting with Kaeya awkward.
    She finds the discipline of social interaction to be far more difficult to master than that of alchemy.
    • Xiao, as an Adeptus who usually shuns human interactions as much as possible frequently voices his difficulties understanding human customs, emotions and motives, making him talk as little as possible and being brutally honest when he does.
  • Rell of League of Legends was sold off by her parents and raised as a Child Soldier experiment in a brutal Noxian/Black Rose facility. Not surprisingly, this has left her social skills a tad stunted. With her mood seeming to consist of 1 of 2 things: Bloodthirsty anger at any Noxian or Black Rose member she can find, and bumbling attempts at flirting with champs she finds cute.
  • At one point in Neverwinter Nights 2, Duncan comments to the PC that the latter's foster father Daeghun is so inept at dealing with such things as "people" and "emotions" that the PC might have been better off if he/she had been Raised by Wolves. In this case the trope may or may not apply to the PC, who adhere to it depending on background choices such as "Wild Child" or subvert it with other, more socially adept ones that the player can choose during character creation, but without a doubt applies to Daeghun.
  • The Players in Magicka grew up in an isolationist School of Magick supposed to keep wizards away from sane people. Their lack of ANY kind of social skills expresses itself in them being silent protagonists, which causes three of the Boss fights when they are unable to mention that Vlad sent them with an errant and instead slaughter their way through the servants of their Allies. Vlad even complains about it.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: Alec Ryder is one of Earth's first N7s, a One-Man Army with the skills to homebrew his own AI... and the social skills of a particularly dead rock. Even those closest to him admit he's a "prickly bastard", making it all the more astounding he managed to marry and have kids. According to the story his wife told their daughter, she thought Alec's fumbling was adorable.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 3: It's never exactly clear how Elizabeth was raised, but she has no idea how the world outside the Velvet Room functions when you take her out on dates in FES. Among other things, she thinks you're supposed to kill the people on a "Wanted!" Poster, believes a manhole is a pitfall trap, and gets trapped inside a jungle gym when she tries to play on it. Her younger brother Theodore in Persona 3 Portable is similarly clueless; it's indicated that neither sibling is human to begin with, considering that Theo can drink a can of machine oil with no ill effects and tell to the degree the temperature of water by dipping his hand in it. In contrast, their eldest sister Margaret in Persona 4 seems well aware of how the world works, although she only leaves the Velvet Room once, to speak to the protagonist in private (whether her savviness is due to greater experience with the world or whether Elizabeth and Theodore are simply quirky by nature is left open to Wild Mass Guessing).
    • Persona 5: Futaba Sakura (appropriately enough, the Hermit Arcana) is a recovering Hikikomori who's been relying solely on the Internet for any socialization while also healing from depression. As such, she's awkward and withdrawn around most people, and tends to be incredibly tactless whenever she does try to socialize. As such, she relies alot on Joker (even hiding behind him when dealing with new people) and to a lesser extent, the rest of the Phanton Thieves to help her. Her Confidant revolves around her learning to be a part of society again, such as doing things on her own and reconnecting/saving an old friend. Interestingly enough, we hear from her adopted father Sojiro that her mother was actually similar to Futuba.
    • Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth: Hikari, the main OC of the game is outright stated to be not being able to properly communicate with people, as she simply shuts down when seeing people and can't talk directly to them at all, only using Nagi as a medium. It turns out that beforehand her entire childhood was consisted of Jerkasses emotionally abusing her for being different, and she couldn't get her message clear to such a situation, leaving her an easy target to be emotionally manipulated by them. Even when socizalizing with the party, she only talks about movies when they are bought up and nothing else. However, it does make it endearing when she begins opening up to them bit by bit (a notable example is a mission where she has to find a prized possession and has interact positively with Junpei, Yosuke and Ryuji.)
    • On the whole, characters whose Personas are aligned with the Emperor Arcana tend to be socially lacking. This is pretty ironic since the major traits of the Emperor tarot card are excelling as a leader, wisdom, and fatherly/brotherly behavior. The sole exception thus far is the protagonist of the original Persona, who was a Heroic Mime in his game and was socially competent in his spinoff appearances.
      • Persona 3: Akihiko Sanada. As a result of his misguided need for power, his only real relationships are a professional one with Mitsuru and a heavily strained friendship with childhood friend Shinjiro; the latter in particular is killed late in the game, and due to a lack of communication on both their parts, their friendship never really recovered before then. As the Yakushima trip and early game interaction shows, he's aloof, completely oblivious to both his popularity in school and to the girls who fawn over him, and when casual conversation comes up, he'll either be the game's Exposition Fairy or talk about obscure fitness facts. The PSP re-release has a new social link that the female protagonist can get with him, and he gets really tongue-tied around her, which escalates if you choose him to be her Love Interest.
      • Persona 4: Kanji Tatsumi, albeit not nearly as much as the others on this list. His extremely brutish personality is a facade hiding deeply-rooted insecurities over his talent for handicrafts; said talent made him a bully magnet and, to a lesser extent, made him question his sexuality, especially since he has a crush on Naoto. He's very much aware that his behavior is off-putting, but he has a hard time dropping it and tends to either accidentally scare people off or be on the wrong end of his friends' jokes.
      • Persona 5: Yusuke Kitagawa, which can be partially attributed to his upbringing — he had been raised by his elderly mentor, an artist named Madarame, since the age of three, and said mentor is very old-fashioned in many respects alongside being very abusive. Art is pretty much one of the only things on Yusuke's mind, to the point that he initially stays with the Phantom Thieves not necessarily to help others, but because the other world they raid will provide new subjects for him to paint. He has no tact in public, tends to be insensitive to others, and some of his antics when painting tends to scare off other people. Not surprisingly, he and the above-mentioned Futaba tend to bicker whenever they're around each other yet hilariously enough, he was the first to get to interact with them extensively as a result.
  • N Harmonia from Pokémon Black and White is like this due to being raised in nearly complete isolation from other people.
  • Lucia from Shadow Hearts: Covenant has a tendency to say awkwardly rude things without understanding how they'll affect people. It's not so much a matter of how she was raised (she's actually quite good at Cold Reading) as her having the IQ of a sock monkey.
  • In Shop Heroes, Nya is rather odd in her interactions with you — an unsuccessful attempt at complementing her causes her to talk about your disturbing aura, and even a successful compliment still causes her to call you strange.
  • Fina from Skies of Arcadia fits this perfectly, having no concept of things like shopping. Her big brother, Ramirez, ends up suffering some pretty tragic consequences due to his similar upbringing.
  • Béluga of Solatorobo has such poor social skills that even just asking the locals simple questions ends up with them all mad at him. However, when interacting with his teammates, he doesn't seem all that awkward. Once he does his Heel–Face Turn, he decides to leave missions involving socialization to Red and Elh.
  • Daryl Whitelaw of Super Daryl Deluxe never speaks, almost never changes his facial expression, and does not use body language. People asking him direct questions and receiving no response at all is a Running Gag.
  • A few characters from Super Robot Wars have shades of this, especially Artificial Human Lamia Loveless. In a milder example, Ascended Fanboy Ryusei is occasionally shown to have trouble getting his head around things that don't involve Humongous Mecha, but he might just be an aspie.
  • In Tales of Legendia, Jay was raised by a ninja, and then hundreds of talking otters. He's an antisocial "information dealer".
  • Under Night In-Birth: Mulitple:

    Visual Novels 
  • Kent from Amnesia: Memories is highly intelligent but so utterly lacking in social skills that he consults guidebooks on how to act in a romantic relationship, thinks a math workbook is a good gift for a girlfriend, and genuinely didn't realize that telling the girl he liked that it was her fault that her dog died and that death is an inevitable outcome not worth getting upset over might make her mad at him.
  • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney:
    • Vera Misham is a hikikomori of the highest caliber. She and her father have lived in their apartment for all of her life. He only ever went outside when it was absolutely necessary, and she had never been outside her apartment except for one time when she was taken to see a troupe of performing magicians. As a result, she usually expresses her very basic emotions by drawing them in the form of a smiley face on her art pad.
    • Of the main cast, Miles Edgeworth is this—he's blunt and tactless to almost everyone, Maya has to teach him that the appropriate reaction to someone getting you acquitted of murder is to say "thank you", and wouldn't notice someone hitting on him if his life depended on it.
  • Danganronpa:
  • The Fruit of Grisaia: Despite his many (semi) reasonable sounding monologues about how to deal with people (especially women), it is made clear numerous times that Yuuji is not exactly at the top of his game when it comes to social interactions. This usually comes out as Innocently Insensitive, thanks to his extremely blunt personality. At one time he meets Michiru, acting somewhat out of character, he immediately jumps to the logical conclusion of "must be that time of the month", and to put his question as delicately as he can, he whispers this into her ears:
    Yuuji: "Are you menstruating?"
  • Little Busters!:
    • Natsume Rin is incapable of having anything even remotely resembling a conversation with anyone except her brother and Childhood Friends, and even then, her behaviour seems extremely awkward at times. When someone who isn't her brother or childhood friend attempts to talk to her, she will either try to hide behind Riki's back or run away. If you make the right choices, however, she can get better.
    • For a subtle example, Haruka tends to act very wild and weird and insensitive to other people. She admits in her route that this is because she hardly ever met any other kids her own age when she was a child, being forbidden from going to school, so she finds it hard to understand how she's expected to act in social situations.
  • In Magical Diary, Toad and Snake Halls are reserved for "strange" characters, including melodramatic goths and basement-dwellers fascinated by watching mold grow. The semi-Secret Character Big Steve appears completely unable to deal with social situations or even talking to people unless it's about one of his odd favorite topics. Like coffee.
  • My Magical Divorce Bureau features several people with poor communication (which is why they ended up in the titular divorce bureau). Lexis and Jeska stand out, particularly in their attempts to get closer to Lillum. Lexis thought that negotiating a contract with Lillum's minions was a good approach when trying to get a date, while Jeska, who wanted a pact, thought that trying to invoke Stockholm Syndrome was a good way of softening Lillum to the idea.
  • Umineko: When They Cry:
    • Maria Ushiromiya. She acts much younger than her age of nine years, keeps using a Verbal Tic that annoys her mother and causes her to be bullied and friendless at school, and is a firm believer in the occult to the point that her bizarre reactions to the murders greatly disturb everyone else. Of course, she thinks that everyone will just be revived in the Golden Land later, but still. However, despite her strange behaviour she isn't actually evil, just very socially maladjusted.
    • A scene in EP8 shows Bernkastel fretting with the simple act of calling someone with a phone, and how to speak with someone over it. This is at stark contrast with the overall much more serious mood of the scene, and particularly since she has always been shown as being in control and competent throughout the rest of the series.
  • Frank Doyle of the Thrilling Adventure Hour's "Beyond Belief" segments is typically rude to anybody except his beloved wife Sadie. In the first episode he says to an old friend's face that he never bothered to try to remember his name and several episodes have him trying to shoo whatever supernatural threat visits their apartment out of the door.
  • Arcueid Brunestud, the vampire princess in Tsukihime, has an abnormal way of interacting socially. She was created as a living weapon. Despite living for centuries, she's only been awake for a year or so; and she tended to erase her memories when going back to sleep. While she does get some cultural information via psychic osmosis, she remains awkward.

    Web Animation 
  • Every Faggot Ever: The titular faggot is not well versed in the art of interacting with other people. He usually walks up to people and tries to rope them into conversations only he's interested in, and made a very vulgar come on to a woman in episode 5.
  • In RWBY, Ruby Rose is hilariously awkward, especially when it comes to introducing herself to new people. She has to be forced to interact with other people when she's first enrolled at Beacon (although it probably doesn't help that the people she's forced to interact with happen to be Blake and Weiss), and her reaction to being informed that she'll have to find a partner during the initiation borders on "Oh, Crap!" Really, the only people she's able to engage with to any degree are Yang (who's her older sister, so naturally) and Jaune (who's just as clueless in social situations as she is, so presumably there's common ground). By season 3, Ruby seems to have gotten fairly comfortable around her own team and Jaune's, but when we see her trying to socialize with someone outside of her comfort zone (Weiss's sister Winter) the result is a hilariously inappropriate attempt to sound sophisticated while Weiss tries and fails to cue Ruby to shut up.

  • Bastard: Jin, not having much social interaction with his peers (due to finding him creepy) has little clue on how to act around other kids his age, and has only a child's understanding on certain topics such as sex, even flat-out asking Kyun what porn was without realizing how it could have been interpreted as a perverse gesture. This works to his Dongsoo's advantage of keeping him under control.
  • Black Adventures plays N this way. He's never heard of Christmas and isn't doesn't understand how to deal with jealousy.
  • Bomango: Gogo speaks in broken English and has a tendency to act like a gross jerk. She also doesn't seem to know that a talking plushie of herself saying "I paw at mine crotch in public" among other things is embarrassing.
  • Arianna from Castoff had a bad childhood and no mistake. Then her luck turned and she became a member of a mercenary group, a professional Bounty Hunter - not a job where "nice" pays. Consequently, she's bluntly distrustful, even paranoid, towards pretty much everyone, and when she genuinely wants to be nice, she stumbles. A lot.
  • The eponymous Dawn of Time: her behavior is far more primitive than other humans in her time period. One strip implies that she was raised by a Neanderthal.
  • Dina in Dumbing of Age. She doesn't understand human interactions at all, and needs coached on things like "how to show sympathy via light physical contact". At one point she befriends Riley, because Riley has "simple, identifiable desires", but fails to recognise that Riley is a pre-teen. Interestingly, this seems to give her greater insight in very specific situations where most people's knowledge of human behaviour lead them to making incorrect assumptions. For instance, all the behavioural tics that tell everyone Amber can't possibly be Amazi-Girl? She doesn't see any of them, just two women who look identical, only one's wearing a costume.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Grace spent most of her life in a laboratory, where she was treated as a something between an experimental animal and a weapon project by most of the scientists (as were her brothers). After Damien 'freed' them, she spent several more years more or less imprisoned in an underground base. She is implausibly well-adjusted despite this, but is unfamiliar with many aspects of mainstream culture, and is often quite naïve.
    • Side character Noah also doesn't seem to grasp social convention. He doesn't really comprehend the concept small-talk, and he doesn't understand appropriate conversation topics for a person you just met. His first conversation with Elliot was more than a little awkward. The audience hasn't yet learned what kind of background he had to result in this.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court
    • Antimony spent her childhood, up to about age eleven, wandering Good Hope Hospital while her mother was bedridden. Her only company was her parents and various incarnations of Death. As a result, upon beginning school at the Court, Annie has more difficulty engaging in normal small-talk with students her own age than she does dealing with mythological beasts and other weirdness.
    • Red is ignorant of haircuts and words like "chair" and "room", due to being a fairy for most of her life. However, it's implied that she would be able to fit in had she paid better attention during her "So You're a Human Now" orientation classes.
    • Zimmy was forced to raise herself in the back alleys of Birmingham, due to the immense psychological trauma her uncontrolled powers can inflict on the people around her.
  • Jade Harley, Nepeta Leijon and Gamzee Makara in Homestuck. Though in Gamzee's case it might just be the effects of Faygo and sopor slime. Though he's much worse when he doesn't have the slime...
    • Also, Meenah, who is the Brutally Honest type. Rose lampshades this in the first Act 6 Act 3 Intermission walkaround flash by telling her that she isn't very good with other people, is she, but admits that she isn't really as well, though that might just have been politeness. Either way, Meenah completely ignores the comment. Aranea could be seen as this as well, given that she admitted she never really had any friends other than Meenah because she was kind of a wordy show-off who always turned conversation back to herself.
    • Jake is similar to Jade due to their near identical upbringings, but Jake's tendency to ramble on about his own problems and remain oblivious to other's feelings is to the point that it resembles some sort of disorder and colossally annoys the people around him to an extent never seen with Jade.
    • Kankri, who is completely oblivious to the way his preaching grates on the other players in his session.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Galatea was raised as a lab specimen by a Mad Scientist who never showed her any affection. When she escaped, she was wildly paranoid and her social skills were non-existent.
  • Faevv of Juathuur has been an outcast her whole life, and as a result she seems incapable of acting nice.
  • Hisaki from Kuro Shouri doesn't quite get how to socialize. He's often rude to people as a result, even in basic introductions.
  • Taku from Mitadake Saga has no tact whatsoever. Not to mention he continues to pop up at the most inopportune of times.
  • Asia Ellis from Morphe is completely oblivious to simple social conventions to the chagrin of her fellow captives. There have been significant hints dropped as to what caused her to be this way.
  • Questionable Content:
    • Brun is a downplayed example. She is quite socially astute when she can understand what social cues are given, but has severe difficuly reading non-verbal social cues except when they are very obvious. She also has strong tendencies towards Brutal Honesty and rarely if ever emotes. Later strips confirmed that Brun is on the autism spectrum.
    • Hannelore doesn't have the greatest grasp of normal social behaviour when she's introduced. Her upbringing is probably more to blame than her Super OCD; she was primarily raised on a space station by a mad scientist, after all. Later updates indicate that she was literally raised by the space station's sapient AI, as her father was too busy with his work. And even then, the Ship states that Hannelore spent most of her childhood huddled in a corner, terrified of everything.
  • Brian from Rhapsodies plows through life oblivious to the chaos he leaves in his wake, and how much he confuses and terrifies people, missing every clue hurled his way with great force.
  • According to Word of God, Sakana's Genji Sakana would love to not be a complete jerk to his family, but he has no idea how to be not a complete jerk to anyone.
  • In Sluggy Freelance Aylee is a Justified case since she is an alien from another dimension. Her social blunders range from the awkward: thinking that women check out guys' butts because they want an efficient pooper, to the highly dangerous: forgetting that humans need to breathe, or thinking that driving a car works like the video game Carmageddon.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent:
    • Lalli doesn't like spending much time around other people and managed to get a job as a night scout that let him do just that, which causes him to be lost in social situations due to a mix of lack of practice and his Ambiguous Disorder. This leads to a lot of Brutal Honesty, Innocently Insensitive moments and generally having a behaviour that takes a little getting used to for people who meet him for the first time.
    • Emil has trouble hitting a middle ground between overthinking things and letting the self-centered Rich Jerk habits he acquired before his family's Riches to Rags episode bleed out profusely. The worst part is that he actually means well behind all of it and is actually a quite caring and patient person. He actually ends up in an Odd Friendship with Lalli, with whom he doesn't share any language on top of everything else, of all people.
  • Mahahah in Undead Friend spent a long time as a invisible ghost and has no memories of being alive, so when she finally starts interacting with people who can see her she is very awkward and has no sense of boundaries.

    Web Videos 
  • The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: Jane Eyre, the protagonist of this Setting Update web series. She's really shown to behave a bit strangely around people, and she openly acknowledges it to camera when she's shooting. She has troubles to come up with a good opening line.
    Jane: First I'm awkward to people, now I'm awkward to inanimate objects, too...
  • The entire cast of The Guild have various social quirks either caused by their video game obsession or enhanced by it. In no particular order:
    • Codex: On medication for depression and cannot form relationships not related to the game. In the first episode her therapist fires HER for not being able to make any progress.
    • Zaboo: Funny, loyal, and cares deeply about Codex — as only a stalker could. His personal knowledge of her definitely required some illegal hacking which he considers harmless homework.
    • Vork: The oldest member of the group who cannot refer to anybody by their real names. His every word is in game-speak. Is also a hoarder.
    • Clara: Seems fine in most circumstances, but only because she forgot she's a mother of three again. Where she left her husband and kids is a recurring distraction.
    • Bladezz: All the charm of a slacker teenager. Does not know how to politely talk to women and doesn't seem interested in learning.
    • Tinkerballa: Sarcastic, vindictive, and doesn't want to be talk to her teammates in the real world. She may be the most well-adjusted of the group.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time:
    • The Earl of Lemongrab definitely fit this trope. Lemongrab has no social skills because he's mentally maladjusted from being the product of a failed science experiment and raised in isolation.
    • The Ice King was a once-ordinary man driven mad by a cursed magical crown. Now he's an ill-tempered, senile hermit who lives alone in his palace of ice with only penguins for companions, which has rather put a damper on his social skills. Finn and Jake develop something of a friendship with him, even though the Ice King gets on their nerves.
  • Zuko and Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender were raised in a royal court and have little experience with casual interaction. Zuko, mainly through Character Development and the positive influence of Uncle Iroh, is better off, but Azula is far worse, to the point that it's almost painful to watch — she has NO ability to socially function outside of a battle or when not manipulating others. Aaron Ehasz states that if there was a Book 4, Azula would've had a Heel–Face Turn and received mental help, and she would've become the dorky variant of this trope (i.e. randomly spouting out how she feels).
    • In The Legend of Korra, Korra, Avatar Aang's reincarnation, was whisked away to a compound deep in the south pole where she could master the four elements in complete safety and security. The only problem? After coming to Republic City with only her best friend Naga (a Polar-Bear Dog), she is almost completely tactless when it comes to dealing with the locals of the city and proves to be Innocently Insensitive when she winds up involved in a Love Triangle. A lot of people are able to influence her because of this.
    • While Zuko is much Older and Wiser, he still has his moments, as shown in season three where he talks about the time he hired the Combustion Man to kill the former Avatar... in front of the current Avatar's father. Although he speaks about his assassination attempt against Aang at that time, given the nature of Reincarnation and how the show stresses how different yet so similar the Avatars are and generally all of them are the same person ever since Wan and Raava fuse together to create the Avatar Spirit, said current Avatar's father has every right to be feel uncomfortable.
      Zuko: ...It didn't work.
  • Tina Belcher of Bob's Burgers is generally socially inept and doesn't fully understand the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior. "Human Flesh" shows several of the other Belchers outright admitting she's not good with customers (punctuated with Tina repeatedly scratching her crotch in public and Louise calling her autistic), and her tendency to write "erotic friend-fiction" weirds out everyone who learns about it.
  • In Captain Sturdy: Back in Action, the hyper-intelligent hero Cerebro curtly says "You're old" to Captain Sturdy. Cyber Master explains to Captain Sturdy that Cerebro is lacking in social skills because he skipped a few grades as a result of his advanced intellect.
  • In Castlevania (2017), after his family's defamation and exile by the Church, Trevor Belmont had spent much of his life since his early teen years wandering alone, and, as a result, developed a somewhat surly personality that tends to rub people the wrong way. Even his attempt to comfort Sypha when she makes the decision to separate from the rest of her family goes badly:
    Sypha: Isn't it silly? They're heading into who knows what danger, and I'm standing here sad and angry because they're together and I'm alone.
    Trevor: Hmm.
    Sypha: ...This is where you're supposed to tell me that I'm not alone, Belmont. You are really not very good at this.
    Trevor: I learned to travel alone early in life. Maybe I just got too used to it.
    Sypha: You had a family, though.
    Trevor: Not much of one, and not for long. Okay, look, I know a little bit about what you're feeling. I'm sorry, but we have a thing to do now. All I can do is try and make sure it doesn't get you killed so you can see your family again.
    Sypha: ...That's your encouraging talk?
    Trevor: Or, you get killed, and they get eaten in the forest, so none of you have to be sad. How's that?
    Sypha: I was right about you the first time, you know. You are rude.
    Trevor: I've been called worse.
    Sypha: Oh, I'm just getting started.
  • Code Lyoko have Jeremie and Aelita, or 'Mr. and Mrs. Einstein' as some call them: both being very intelligent and not particularly socially skilled, if in different ways. Jeremie had no friends before the series began and struggled, particularly early on, with being anything but professional with them. Aelita meanwhile being believed to be an artificial intelligence who is quite unfamiliar with the real world. Aelita managed to grow out of this trope fully as the series went on, while Jeremie also improved if not to the same extent.
  • The trio that is Ed, Edd n Eddy. All three are social outcasts who have difficulty mingling with the other kids.
    • Ed is a pretty nice guy, but he is also a large Cloud Cuckoo Lander who's rather lacking in book smarts and his interests (horror-themed comics and monster movies) don't relate to the others. He can often annoy the others with this, especially his sister Sarah and Eddy.
    • Edd is a sweet young man and the most endearing, but he is your classic nebbish and orderly intellectual. He can come as condescending at times, he's a neat freak and quite by the rules. So much so he can be lost in what the other kids like, even with Ed and Eddy.
    • Eddy is a bit of a mix. Due to his primary role model being his his bullying scam artist of an older brother, Eddy tries emulating him to earn the "respect" he believed his brother got. This along with Eddy's short temper and occasional abrasiveness makes him the hardest for the kids to get along with. On the other hand, he does have some measure of understanding how his peers work and outside his interests in scamming, is the most normal of the three (having a fair bit in common with Kevin even.)
  • Gravity Falls gives us a bit of an odd example with Pacifica Northwest. Daughter of the wealthiest family in town, she seems to be your normal rich popular girl, but over time, it becomes clear that her background has left her with some social skills lacking. She has never had any real friends or enjoyed in doing acitvities such as sharing, which often means Hilarity Ensues when she interacts with her Sitcom Archnemesis turned friend Mabel. As such, while she seems capable in understanding how people work in general, she never really established bonds with people.
  • Reagan Ridley of Inside Job (2021) is a Mad Scientist who graduated at the top of her class from MIT at the age of 13. She's also a Bunny-Ears Lawyer who's extremely competent at her job, but her abrasive personality and lack of social skills frequently alienate her coworkers, and it's implied that she may have some kind of disorder as well. It's for this reason that the charismatic Naïve Newcomer Brett Hand is brought on to help her improve team morale.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Twilight Sparkle starts out like this due to her voluntary asocial lifestyle. Half the reason she's in Ponyville is so she can learn about friendship. She needed a book to tell her what a slumber party was and how to throw it! In the episode "Baby Cakes", she casually (and innocently) tells Pinkie Pie that she pretty much expected Pinkie would be out of her depth caring for twin babies. She doesn't appear to notice that Pinkie is offended by this statement even as Pinkie kicks her out of Sugarcube Corner. She gets better as the series goes along.
    • And then you've got Princess Luna, though that can be excused for being sealed in the moon for a thousand years. She's bombastic, dramatic and a bit over the top, but she comes off as a big dork when she begins settling in. The comic books also add to this and we also see she was not as good with her subjects as Celestia was. Her lack of social skills, especially compared to Celestia's, when it came to interacting with their subjects and viewing them, may have been part of why Celestia was preferred to Luna.
    • As Discord never really had any friends, he does not have much social skills, being more socially awkward and acting outwardly strange and loud.
  • One episode of Police Academy: the Animated Series features a young man who was literally Raised by Wolves. Most of the episode is spent by the heroes teaching him human behavior or trying to find his parents.
  • Mitchell from Ready Jet Go! is often shown to have a lack of social skills and can pretty timid and even robotic at times, especially in "Solar System Bake Off" where he acts awkward around the main cast while trying to gather information on their baking contest entry. Literally the first thing he says to them is "Hi, can I borrow a cup of sugar or salt, whichever is easier to borrow?" In fact, this is shown to be the reason why Mitchell acts the way he does — he doesn't know how to fit in. Luckily, he gets better.
  • Rocko's Modern Life features Heffer the steer, who has constant trouble with social conventions. He was literally Raised by Wolves, in this case a dysfunctional family of lupine suburbanites.
  • Entrapta in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power has very poor social skills, preferring to spend most of her time alone, making robots. She tends to mention extremely disturbing facts regardless of other people's feelings, gets distracted whenever she's around tech, likes getting into people's space and taking things without asking, never seeming to notice her comrades' frustration. However, it turns out she's actually well aware of her poor people skills and is insecure over her inability to maintain relationships, having been abandoned multiple times by her friends. Nonetheless, she decides to put her skills to use to help them in ways she can. Justified in that Entrapta has been confirmed to be autistic, and therefore has difficulty interacting.
  • Steven Universe, Peridot has incredibly poor social skills in regards to humans and the Crystal Gems due to being new to the planet. She's revealed to not understand why she feels bad (small) when she accidentally hurts someone's feelings. She also doesn't understand why Garnet chooses to stay fused or why the others don't treat Pearl as she was taught a member of her Slave Race should be treated. Though it's shown that this is a result of her conditioning on Homeworld, as she quickly learns all of them spending time with the Crystal Gems.
  • Teen Titans (2003) has Starfire. She is an alien from another planet and thus, Earth culture is quite new to her. Additionally, her people, Tamaranians, are quite open with their emotions and how they feel, so there's often a lack of subtlety in her actions. However, it makes her endearing, especially contrasting with her older sister, who while much more socially aware and seemingly cool, is a hedonistic jerk.
  • We Bare Bears:
    • Ice Bear almost never directly speaks to the other characters and is typically mute for most of the time. It's implied it may have been the result of his cubhood before meeting his brothers.
    • Charlie is unable to fully understand social cues due to the fact that he has always had to fear and run away from people all his life.
  • Young Justice (2010):
    • Superboy is a clone of Superman who was grown in 16 weeks and fed information via telepathic genomorphs. Suffice to say he finds it difficult to deal with people, particularly his new teammates, when he's just beginning to adjust to life outside of CADMUS.
    • Also, M'Gann who had learned about Earth by watching TV and is ignorant of more common social behaviours and struggles to learn what is appropriate with regards to telepathy and privacy. This comes up with a case of Deliberate Values Dissonance when M'Gann shapeshifts into Black Canary while kissing Conner. J'Onn says that it's common to shape-shift for a partner since everyone can read minds and wouldn't be confused. Black Canary is still very upset.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Socially Inept


Mya-nee is Afraid Of Intracting With People | She's Anti-Social | Mya-nee Embarrassing Moments

Miyako is made to buy clothes at a mall, but fails miserably because of having to interact with the clerks.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / NoSocialSkills

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