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Idiot Hero.jpg

The idiot hero is a protagonist who makes up for the lack of brains with heart & talent.

Why This Trope Rocks

  1. Similar to anti-heroes, idiot heroes are shown to be quite relatable.
  2. They represent the fact that everyone has their own shortcomings and we can all make up for them with our own positive qualities.
  3. With that said, the way these kinds of characters are written often shows how you are able to root for the dimmest characters around.
  4. This trope also adds comedic effect to the characters' personalities with their stupidity, silliness and/or obliviousness.

The Only Bad Qualities

  1. It can be overused, especially in anime, specifically when it comes to shonen protagonists.
  2. Some idiot heroes can be quite unlikable, unfunny and/or unsympathetic because of how obtuse they can be.

Examples of well-written idiot heroes

  • Ash Ketchum (Pokémon)
  • Asta (Black Clover)
  • Bullwinkle J. Moose (Rocky & Bullwinkle)
  • Boyfriend (Friday Night Funkin')
  • Chuck (Angry Birds) (Who isn't really an idiot, just more unattentive than anything)
  • Crash Bandicoot (Crash Bandicoot)
  • Dexter (Dexter's Laboratory) [An example of "Ditzy Genius", being a boy genius who makes a lot of dumb decisions]
  • Dudley Puppy (T.U.F.F. Puppy)
  • Earthworm Jim (Earthworm Jim)
  • Ed (Good Burger)
  • Finn and Jake (Adventure Time)
  • Forrest Gump (Forrest Gump)
  • Firey (Battle for Dream Island)
  • Freakazoid (Freakazoid) [a lunatic who is rather street smart, but not quite as book smart and is usually scatterbrained, manic, and acts like a doofus most of the time.]
  • Fred Figglehorn (Fred)
  • Goofy (Disney)
  • Greg Heffley (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) [a kid who can be smart at times, but otherwise dumb in a naive, inexperienced way]
  • Homer Simpson (The Simpsons)
  • Horrid Henry (Horrid Henry)
  • Jack Skellington (The Nightmare Before Christmas) [Not an idiot by intelligence, but naive and sometimes too excitable to use common sense]
  • Jaune Arc (RWBY) [Not too much of an idiot, more of a naive underachiever]
  • Jimmy Neutron (Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius/The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron:Boy Genius) (Another example of a "Ditzy Genius", having very little common sense despite having high intelligence)
  • Johnny Bravo (Johnny Bravo)
  • Katarina Claes (My Next Life As A Villainess!)
  • Michelangelo (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
  • Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece)
  • Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto) (not too much of an idiot, but rather a redeemable troublemaker than anything)
  • Natsu Dragneel (Fairy Tail)
  • Oscar the Sharkslayer (Shark Tale) (A fish who is actually cunning and street-smart, but can be impulsive and short-sighted.)
  • Otis the Cow (Back at the Barnyard)
  • Patrick Star (SpongeBob SquarePants)
  • Po Ping (Kung Fu Panda) (being a goofball who can be insightful and wise rather than just an idiot)
  • Rango (Rango) (More of a scatterbrained goofball than a downright idiot.)
  • Riley Freeman (The Boondocks) (Not a dumb kid, but a reckless wannabe gangster)
  • Sheen Estevez (Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius/The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron:Boy Genius) (before Planet Sheen, he was not too much of an idiot, but rather a comedic & redeemable troublemaker like Naruto)
  • Son Goku (Dragon Ball)
  • SpongeBob SquarePants (SpongeBob SquarePants)
  • Usagi Tsukino (Sailor Moon)
  • The Tick (The Tick)
  • Tommy Pickles (Rugrats) (not necessarily dumb, but is oftentimes a naive and reckless baby)
  • Timmy Turner (The Fairly OddParents) (not as much of an idiot but rather a naive butt-monkey all things considered)
  • T.J. Dettweiler (Recess) (A kid who is street-smart but not as book-smart)
  • Travis Touchdown (No More Heroes)
  • Yusuke Urameshi (Yu Yu Hakusho) (A teenager who is street-smart but is not book-smart due to skipping school)

Examples of poorly-written idiot heroes

  • Bubsy T. Bobcat (Bubsy)
  • Coconut Fred (Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island) (Being a SpongeBob rip-off)
  • Gord Brody (Freddy Got Fingered) (Being more of an idiotic, maniacal manchild aside from just than an idiot)
  • Jake Spidermonkey (My Gym Partner's a Monkey)
  • Reggie the Great Turkey (Free Birds)
  • Sheen Estevez (Planet Sheen)

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