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Jerry "The King" Lawler: I heard he took an IQ test and the results came back negative.
—WWF Attitude

Your typical dunce (at least in fiction) has the intellect of a snail. But attaching numbers to everything is fun, so why not stick him or her with a lower IQ score to prove his or her stupidity?

Unlike the opposite end of the spectrum, it's much more rare to see one of these scores reach ridiculous levels that don't match up with real world IQ testing. Of course, when it does get ridiculous (to the point of giving negative scores), it's much more jarring. On the other hand, most really ridiculously low IQs - single digits, or negative numbers - are found in comedies, where the Rule of Funny can be blamed, or in-character hyperbole.

See Idiot Hero, The Ditz, and The Fool for character concepts that may invoke this. If the character isn't managed properly, this may be an Informed Flaw and result in fans calling Obfuscating Stupidity.

Contrast Improbably High IQ. For more information about IQ testing, go here.

Examples of Improbably Low IQ include:


  • In Forrest Gump, Forrest has a somewhat more probable IQ of about 75, which is considered the lowest for "normal" intelligence, or mildly retarded. While low, someone with an IQ of 75 could still go to school, get a job, get married, etc., just as Forrest did.
  • From Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory:

 What do you get from a glut of TV?

A pain in the neck and an IQ of 3

  • Brick Tamland from Anchorman has an IQ of 48.
  • Idiocracy demonstrates this. The two intelligent people who never bred had a believable IQ of about 130, while the football player and the trailer park people, had scores in seventies and eighties, which are believably low-average. However, five hundred years later, the average score was five. Granted these people were so stupid that their society was collapsing around them and most of them probably would qualify as retarded, but given how IQ is defined, it's impossible for the average IQ to be anything other than 100, since the norms are adjusted to ensure that average.
    • Justified, as they may be too stupid to realize that.
  • In one of the spoof trailers for Tropic Thunder, the main character of Simple Jack is stated to have an IQ of five.


  • In the Discworld novel "Thud", the rather drug addled troll named Brick is described at one point as having a possibly negative IQ for comedic effect. Sergeant Detritus is at least once jokingly commented to have a room temperature IQ, but in fact he is no fool and an excellent policeman, if not especially bright. Also subverted in that the comment can be taken literally, as Troll's brains in Discworld work faster in low temperatures, so his intelligence really is likely to be affected by the room temperature.
    • It has been theorized that if a troll would actually sit down in a chair and take an IQ test, it would score lower than the chair it was sitting in.
  • In C. M. Kornbluth's The Marching Morons, a character states that "the average IQ is now 45". As The Other Wiki (and our Useful Notes page) point out, this is nonsense.
    • Less so if it's interpreted as a shorthand way of saying "the average (contemporary for the speaker) person would, on a (contemporary for the protagonist) Stanford-Binet IQ test, score somewhere around the point at which the results become too low to be reliable, say 45." This still seems awfully low, though.
  • The narrator of Stuck in Neutral has no conscious control of his muscles, and is typically assumed to be mindless, so his IQ was once measured at 3. (From his narration, he seems to be of above-average intelligence--he's just completely uneducated.)

Live Action Television

  • Hazel Wassername of Thirty Rock has an IQ of 70 - which she seems to think is pretty high.

Newspaper Comics

  • Garfield once gave us this list of beings, in order of intelligence (from 0 to 1000): Amoeba - slug - dog - stone - ape - human - kitchen machine - cat.

Web Comics

Web Original

  • The animation "Tramps Just Wanna Have Fun" reveals "an IQ of 1".

Western Animation

  • Homer Simpson of The Simpsons has an IQ of 55 (taking a crayon out of his brain raised it 50 points to 105), but lives in a normal (not really, but within the show, yes) suburban home without any assistance.
  • Billy of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy has an IQ of -5.
  • Another character with ridiculously low IQ: Elmyra Duff, who has "no detectable IQ" (presumed to mean an IQ of 0). This in comparison with a jar of mayonnaise, which is stated to have an IQ of 1.
  • As identified on the wiki, Scratch and Grounder of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog have IQs of 40 and 25, respectively.
  • Peter Griffin of Family Guy has an IQ of 40. (The episode "Petarded" puts him on a graph below both normal people and the line for retarded, but above creationists.) The episode in which this is revealed blatantly said Peter was retarded, and he can't live without assistance, temporarily losing custody of his kids after Lois was injured. However, he still does a little more than he should be able to. While his job performance is very poor, he apparently is good enough to keep it. Also, he's legally allowed to drive and consent to major surgery, even though his "informed consent" to the latter is complete guesswork.