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Playing With / It Can Think

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Basic Trope: A simplistic creature, monster or inanimate object possesses more intelligence than it appears to be capable of.

  • Straight: A zombified Alice intentionally leads an unprepared Bob into an ambush.
  • Exaggerated: Alice, despite being a rotting Zombie, knows Shakespeare, still retains the ability to speak coherently, and is a winner of the Nobel Prize despite her infected state.
  • Downplayed: Despite being and acting like a rotting, shambling zombie most of the time, that she can open doors shows that there is a little more going on upstairs than "Bite, kill, destroy."
  • Justified:
    • The Virus hasn't affected her brain as badly as the other zombies, allowing her to retain a portion of her intelligence.
    • The virus is slowly repairing her brain, thus allowing her to slowly regain her mental faculties.
  • Inverted: Someone that looks and acts humans turns out to be a philosophical zombie incapable of thought.
  • Subverted: Alice appears to lure Bob into an ambush, but then loses interest and wanders off into the corridors...
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...but was circling around for a surprise attack.
    • Alice loses interest in Bob because she heard Carl, Daniellle, and Ezta coming, and is scurrying into position to ambush them.
  • Parodied: Alice is smarter undead than she was alive.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice's' intelligence fluctuates rapidly, as she is both rotting and regenerating at the same time, so the quality of her brain is scattered at best.
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  • Averted: Alice is nothing more than a braindead, flesh-hungry zombie.
  • Enforced: The cast regularly face many powerful types of zombies, but not smart ones. The executives want to take advantage of this.
  • Lampshaded: "Since when did they start becoming clever!?"
  • Invoked: The virus evolves to make the zombies retain higher brain functions and make them intelligent hunters in order for their chances of catching and infecting more victims and thus spreading the contagion to increase.
  • Exploited:
    • A ragtag band of misanthropic misfits who believe this is what humans deserve discover Alice’s behavior, and begin modifying the virus to increase zombie intelligence.
    • Alice is intelligent enough to realize that humans think she's only as intelligent as an animal, and uses Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Defied: Out of boredom, a Mad Scientist decides to make a virus he can test on human subjects. However, he explicitly avoids making zombies smart because he wants the humans to have a slight chance.
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  • Discussed: “Wait, she can think?”
  • Conversed: “I think those producers realized the heroes wouldn’t have gotten close to dying anytime soon without a serious upgrade in zombie smarts.
  • Deconstructed: Because Alice's mind is active, she's more vulnerable to distraction and indecision than a mindless shambling corpse would be.
  • Reconstructed: Eventually, she wises up to the distractions and learns to ignore them and instead focus her attention on the person using it.
  • Played For Drama: After Bob leaves her body, unable to bring himself to Mercy Kill her, Alice reanimates as an zombie with little-to-no intelligence. But as time goes on, as residual memories slowly start seeping in and she starts remembering things again, she slowly realises her current state and seeks Bob out, having both grown curious as to why her memories have him in them, and also to provoke Bob into helping her stay dead for good.

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