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RWS Tarot 00 Fool

"Going on a journey. I've got my cell if you need me."

"Sometimes it depresses me how well dumb luck works for you."

Not the kind of fool that Mr. T pities.

The Fool has no idea what he's doing, he has a dim idea at best who his enemies are or whether he's in danger, and only has his cheerful disposition to protect him.

That and the blessing of Lady Luck herself. The Fool's strength comes from supernatural fortune bordering on Karma. Since The Fool is such a good person, nothing bad happens to them. The Big Bad may send hundreds of assassins, but each time The Fool will bend over at just the right time, or accidentally activate some Rube Goldberg-esque chain of events that leads to the villain's downfall. Occasionally their good luck will be siphoned from someone else around them so that they suffer bad luck. The Fool might even turn out to be The Chosen One, but he'd be the last one to suspect it.

The Fool was often the Audience Surrogate of medieval plays, representing the Every Man or Karmic Trickster, but typically more clever than smart. In the annual Feast of Fools, he was King For A Day.

See also The Ditz, The Klutz, Too Dumb to Fool, Obfuscating Stupidity, Cloudcuckoolander, Idiot Hero, Invincible Incompetent, and Dojikko. For the court fool, see The Jester. See Idiot Houdini for the more aggressive variant of this. When mistaken for someone important, he's the Seemingly-Profound Fool.

For the Christopher Moore novel about the character from King Lear, see Fool.

Examples of The Fool include:


  • Shinichirou Tamaki from Code Geass, whose most noticeable traits consist of being a clueless Zero fanboy and avoiding certain death often. And fandom didn't fail to appreciate it.
  • Mihoshi from Tenchi Muyo!. In fact, that's the hat of the whole Kuramitsu clan, who are legendary for their luck and, often, for being dumb as a brick. However, two most prominent examples, Mihoshi and, in GXP, her mother Mitoto, aren't really stupid but are both more of a Genius Ditz. Just don't bring Mitoto's father Minami or her son Misao to the picture...
  • The eponymous protagonist of Irresponsible Captain Tylor, unless he was just using Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Openly acknowledged as being the main (and besides cooking, perhaps only) ability of Milfeulle in Galaxy Angel, perhaps related to her usually selfless behaviour. (See also: The Messiah) This ability is so powerful that, on the day her normally good luck reverses, a black hole almost swallows the entire galaxy. She is also The Ditz.
  • Matsuri gets promoted from Dojikko to The Fool in the second Ichigo Mashimaro OVA, in which she is pressured into shooting Miu with a rubber band which knocks Miu across the room, and then accidentally blocks Miu's kick in such a way as to send Miu writhing in pain on the ground.
  • In You're Under Arrest, the sweet tattletale Yoriko Nikaido was actually the higher-ranking graduate from her police academy... through several strokes of luck: in the shooting range she aced by shooting in with her eyes closed, in the martial arts stage she slipped and this let her pin her rival to the tatami mat, etc. This REALLY upset her Friendly Rival and local Alpha Bitch, Chie Sagamioono.
  • Sonsaku Hakufu and Ryuubi Gentoku from Ikki Tousen.
  • Megumi Minami, Kintarou Tooyama, and especially Kyuu Renjou from Tantei Gakuen Q.
  • Judai (Jaden) Yuki in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Saiou (Sartorius) even designates him to the tarot card. However, in the third season, this is Deconstructed as his back story is revealed.
    • It is possible that season four's events insinuate that Saiou himself is The Fool (in an inverse connotation, Tarot-wise), allowing himself to have been manipulated by fate and demonstrating no control over the outcome of events he put into motion.
    • Regardless, the insinuation is that no matter whether The Light or The Darkness, Judai (The Fool) will always somehow prevail. (Keep in mind also that the Light/Darkness in Yu-Gi-Oh! has never been seen as Good/Evil, but instead extremes of ideology.)
  • Isaac and Miria are so much The Fool that the benefits of it seem to be contagious. For example: accidentally stealing the Elixir of Life and then, mistaking it for booze, cheerfully sharing it with twenty-odd affable mafiosos that they've just met.
  • In Gintama, Sakamoto Tatsuma pretty much epitomizes this trope. He appears clueless most of the time and reacts to everything with a cheerful disposition and his trademark laughter. Though this may be a case of Obfuscating Stupidity, as he is also a successful businessman who owns a fleet of armed merchant spaceships, and in a flashback is shown to have been a serious, intelligent resistance fighter who gave up fighting for a lost cause and turned to commerce when he saw that the latter would be a more successful and less bloody way of bringing about better relations between the inhabitants of Japan and the Amanto aliens.
  • Sailor Moon has the eponymous Moon/Usagi, who found out she was Sailor Moon after rescuing a cat (Luna) from a bunch of bullies, and survived her first battles out of sheer luck and the support of her Mysterious Protector. Character Development improves her as the series continues and she matures as a person and fighter, however, she never would have survived the early parts of the story if it wasn't for her fool's luck.
  • Femio from Princess Tutu is almost an over-the-top parody of the trope. When the Dark Magical Girl, Princess Kraehe, casts a spell on him so he'll literally and figuratively give his heart to her (so she can feed it to her father), he almost falls for it...until he declares he can't, because his narcissism makes him believe he should be available for all women to love him. Both Kraehe and the eponymous Magical Girl are left speechless by it.

Comic Books[]

  • Groo the Wanderer is probably the biggest example of them all. He's the greatest swordsman in the whole world... and the dumbest as well. Barely capable of feeding himself, Groo brings bad luck wherever he goes and has a bad habit of decimating whole towns and cities, often as a result of trying to help the local residents. Nearly every comic ends with him being chased by an angry mob while he tries to figure out why. He's so notorious for causing destruction that, in one instance, simply passing near a town causes economic collapse and a massive riot when the news of his arrival circulates.
  • Deadpool may count as a rare example of a non-goodhearted version of this trope.
  • Before Deadpool was a twinkle in Fabian Nicieza's eye, we got Longshot, whose powers were more-or-less explicitly stated to be this.
  • A rather old and underused gentleman, Ambush Bug, started off like this, with stories in which he switched bodies with Superman and foiling Kobra's plan, which he found utterly loathsome because he was going to make people destroy their TV sets , and eventually evolving into a fourth-wall challenging Meta Guy of epic proportions.
  • Both Sam and Max to some degree. Especially in the comics, where most of their cases are solved by luck. Sam is a little less of a Fool in the adventure games, where the game play relies on him having at least some idea of what he's doing, but Max rarely does.
  • Zayne Carrick from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is The Fool personified. Not only is his unique force power directly stated as causing "unexpected changes in fortune" (and note that he is considered incompetent by everyone who does not recognize this), but he is referred to as "The Fool" by several powerful people, nearly all of whom are trying (unsuccessfully) to kill him.
  • In his earliest incarnation, Johnny Thunder was an insanely lucky guy due to having been born at 7 AM on 7/7/17. A Saturday, the seventh day of the week, no less. (Yes, born in 1917; he goes way back.) By pure luck alone, he'd accidentally demolish enemies while his actual attempts to hit them missed completely; sometimes he didn't even figure out that he was being attacked because they'd take themselves out just outside his field of vision. He was connected to a genie called the Thunderbolt who was like his guardian angel, summoned by the magic word cei-u. Of course, Johnny had no idea of this, but would often yell "say, you!" at whoever he was chasing and accidentally summon him. Unfortunately, his phenomenal luck wasn't enough to prevent his Aloof Ally, a lovely blonde by the name of Black Canary, from taking over his spot as the backup story in The Flash's comic.

Fairy Tales[]

  • In The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was, the success is not exactly surprising: the boy is too stupid to be afraid of anything.
  • In The Golden Bird, the king is convinced that his youngest son is not up to The Quest, and indeed, "if a mishap were to befall him he knows not how to help himself; he is a little wanting at the best." — which leads naturally enough to his success.
  • In The Brown Bear of the Green Glen, the youngest prince is said not to be wise enough. (Before he is the one to succeed on The Quest.)
  • Many Russian Fairy and Folk Tales have the main protagonist, named Ivan the Fool (Ivanushka-Durachok is the endearment for him) who fits this trope perfectly. He starts as the village idiot and lands in some incredible adventures. Sometimes he transforms into a handsome and non-foolish prince at the end of the story, and sometimes he refuses the fortune, the Czar's daughter in marriage, and the transformation, to go back to his original village idiot occupation.
  • Puerto Rican folk tale character Juan Bobo (literally "John Fool") was one of these, OR Book Dumb, depending on the tale. Sometimes he was stupid enough to kill his own baby brother while babysitting him; other times he got the better of people trying to take advantage of his naivete.


  • Harpo Marx of the Marx Brothers.
  • Inspector Jacques Clouseau from the original Pink Panther movies is only able to solve a case through sheer luck. He'd often be moving away from whatever the clues are pointing to, it's just that in the end, the puzzle all falls together in his favor. Steve Martin's Clouseau is more of a Genius Ditz than The Fool, though.
    • In A Shot In The Dark, he irrationally refused to consider that Maria Gambrelli was behind all the murders because he was madly in love with her, despite the fact that all the evidence points to her doing it. At the end of the movie, the mansion's other occupants get in a heated argument and all of them accidentally confess to a murder each. Realizing that they're about to be arrested, they tried to escape in Clouseau's car, which incidentally was rigged with a bomb installed by his insane boss Inspector Dreyfus. The case is solved, Clouseau is alive, and the murderers all suffered Karmic Death.
  • Chance the Gardener in the film Being There is the archetype of sub-trope of this.
  • Jar Jar Binks from the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
    • There was even an early wild guess that he's secretly a Force-user, because he's suspiciously lucky:

  Jar Jar Binks takes out droids as fast as Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan do, and he's not even trying.

    • In an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a Clone Trooper captain has apparently been Jar Jar's bodyguard long enough to accurately predict when the Gungan's antics will defeat the enemy. However, the captain wrongly believes that Jar Jar isn't as stupid as he seems.

 There was a rumor that Jar Jar's character development was supposed to be highlighted into a transformation had the fan base not hated him. He was actually supposed to become a tragic character - becoming a Dark Jedi out of his grief from Padme's death and Anikin's movement to the dark side.

  • Scrat from Ice Age, although he's half fool and half desperate for nuts.
  • The main character of The People Under the Stairs, and also happens to be his name.
  • The Man Who Knew Too Little. Wallace Ritchie believes himself to be in some form of improvisational theater, but is actually involved in a cold-war era plot to prevent peace between the UK and Russia. While in one or two incidents he does show some genuine skill, most of his success is due to sheer dumb luck. The movie is even funnier if you try to watch it from the point of view of the real people, who must be assuming that Wallace is merely playing The Fool, while actually being a top-notch spy. So The Fool is playing the Spy playing The Fool.
  • Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott) in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. He apparently "got lost in his own museum" once. He's more absent-minded than outright dumb, but he still fits the character type.
  • Brick (no, that's his name) from Anchorman qualifies.
  • This is essentially the entire plot of Forrest Gump.
  • Lieutenant Frank Drebin.
  • WALL-E of the eponymous movie changes humanity's future, returns the human race to earth and gets them out of their lethargy. He meant none of it, for the entire movie, his sole goal was to hold hands with a girl he met.
  • The Party has another, less known Peter Sellers example, in which he plays the sweet but incredibly accident-prone Indian actor Hrundi V. Bakshi.
  • The Bobo is an even less-known Sellers vehicle, where he plays an itinerant singer who tries to get his big break at a Barcelona theater (note: 'bobo' is Spanish for 'fool'). The theater owner agrees on the condition that, within three days, he can seduce a manipulative gold-digger. Trope averted as Sellers is shown to be adept at concocting and sustaining an elaborate ruse to string her along.
  • The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe is an innocuous concert violinist who, unknown to him, is identified as a spy as part of an intelligence agency rivalry. He walks through the film oblivious to the machinations of the agents keeping tabs on him, and remains unscathed as they do each other in.
  • Danny Kaye played this role in The Inspector General, as a hapless, illiterate, but good-hearted gypsy who is mistaken for an Inspector General (on assignment to root out corruption from Napoleon Bonaparte himself) by a small town's corrupt city council.


  • A classical example would be Perceval, in the Grail poems of the middle ages, especially in Chretien de Troyes' Perceval ou le Conte du Graal.
  • Twoflower of the Discworld novels The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic and Interesting Times.
    • And Rincewind from the same series. Except he knows he's the Fool, and tries not to think too much about it, lest the Lady lose interest and let him die some horrible fate.
  • Dondi Snayheever (really!) from Last Call.
  • A subversion in the Realm of the Elderlings saga, in which the Fool knows precisely what he is doing.
  • The eponymous character in Voltaire's Candide. Unfortunately for him, the trope is invoked only to be totally deconstructed, since he doesn't live in the best of all possible worlds.
  • Tim Powers wrote a pair of novels - Expiration Date and Earthquake Weather which explicitly riff on this trope, and on the idea of characters being archetypically related to the Tarot generally.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero's Daughter trilogy, Mephisto after his insanity.
  • Simkin of The Darksword Trilogy.
  • Malachi Constant from Kurt Vonnegut's The Sirens of Titan.
  • Hercule Poirot's friend Hastings has some elements of this. As a detective trying to solve the mystery with Poirot, he's an abject failure. However, he's very good at pointing out the "obvious" things that sometimes slip by Poirot's notice.
    • Hasting's best performance in this role comes in The ABC Murders: The other detectives are distressed at the "bad luck" that sent one of the anonymous letters astray, causing it to reach them too late to prevent the murder. Hastings points out that the letter could easily have been deliberately misaddressed in order to give the killer enough time.
  • Plenty of PG Wodehouse characters. Bertie Wooster hung a lampshade on it in Carry On, Jeeves: "Providence looks after all the chumps in this world, and personally, I'm all for it."

Live Action TV[]

  • Callisto is not herself a character example, but she dresses up like The Fool in the first Xena: Warrior Princess Musical Episode, and behaves that way too.
  • Charlie from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
  • Eric in the later seasons of Boy Meets World.
  • Gilligan from Gilligan's Island is a classic example.
  • Peter Tork (his character, not his actual self.) on The Monkees.
  • As is Lance from Free Radio.
  • Sgt. Schultz from Hogan's Heroes.
  • Jason Stackhouse from True Blood. Partially averted, though: although he's frequently Too Dumb to Live and always ends up all right in the end, he's more of a Karmic Houdini than most Fools: he's frequently selfish, amoral and religiously intolerant. Although he does sometimes get his comeuppance (the priapism and being accused of some murders), he does always seems to come out fine in the end by no other reason than dumb luck.
  • Vince Noir
  • Mexican sitcom El Chavo Del Ocho.
  • Played with in Firefly. While most fools are depicted as happy and childlike, Jayne Cobb, easily the dumbest member of the cast (despite his talents for interrogation) is also grouchy and generally unhappy.


  • The eponymous character from Freemans Mind is anything but kind or inherently good-natured, but the vast majority of his progress through the series is through sheer dumb luck. Often times, he clears the way forward by doing seemingly random, unrelated things or just wandering around aimlessly until he finds somewhere he hasn't been already.

 Freeman: Awwright! I'm making a lot of progress for not knowing what the hell I'm doing!



  • The Fool on the Hill, of course.
  • A song by Brazilian group Titãs has the line: "O acaso vai me proteger enquanto eu andar distraído." - Meaning "Luck will protect me as long as I walk on absent-mindedly".

Tabletop RPG[]

  • Unknown Armies has The Fool as an avatar, where you can be happy go lucky, find the right item at the right time, avoid damage by accident, be in the right (or wrong) place at the right (or wrong) time.
    • This troper once played an Unknown Armies game as a Fool and ended up saving three characters' souls by tripping and falling in the right place at the right time. It is an extremely powerful archetype.
      • Also dangerous to be around, though - as that damage you avoid by "dumb luck" has to go somewhere...
  • Mage: The Awakening associates the Acanthus Path with the Tarot card of The Fool. Members of the Path have a natural affinity for Fate magic, meaning they can get really lucky.
  • Dungeons and Dragons introduced Luck feats and the Fortune's Fool prestige class late in 3.5. Although the flavor of it has them surviving in day-to-day life based purely on being incredibly lucky, the mechanics just let you re-roll dice a lot.
  • Everway, which uses a modified Tarot deck as a game play mechanic, has an Alternate Character Interpretation of The Fool: a cross between a court jester and a wanderer. The Fool is free to do or say anything and get away with it, because no one takes him too seriously, and he's not tied down with responsibilities. This doesn't imply stupidity or luck. More like "Jack of all trades; master of none." Some forms of "real" Tarot reading portray the whole deck (or at least the picture cards) as representing The Fool's journey to enlightenment.
  • In Toon the Cartoon Role Playing Game, characters can make a Smarts check to decide whether or not they can undertake a clearly impossible action. If they fail, they are presumed to be able to do it. This is one of the few examples from a tabletop role playing game where it's worthwhile failing a simple stat check.


  • Every other Shakespeare play has the Fool, usually as a Foil of some sort. In more serious dramas, he replaces the Fool with Those Two Guys.
    • In The Winter's Tale, the Shepherd's Son (for whom no name is given, but in some printings is called Clown) and to a lesser extent, the Shepherd.
    • Launcelot Gobbo in The Merchant of Venice goes from being an eccentric, useless, gluttonous, uneducated peasant forced to work for the local revenge-crazed villain to a professional jester who never has to do anything but make puns and whose new master, known for lavishing money on his servants, just won a mansion and buckets of cash. All this happens with no effort on Launcelot's part. He himself comments that, if Fortune is a woman, she must really like him.

Video Games[]

  • Appropriately enough, The Fool from the Cliff Johnson classic The Fool's Errand qualifies neatly.
  • In Kirby Squeak Squad, Kirby's motivation for starting his adventure was that his cake was missing. In Super Smash Bros Brawl, he was revived because, in his hunger, he ate one of Dedede's magic pins.
    • Kirby often gets into situations due to his carelessness (and being a Big Eater), but once he's aware of a problem, he's too active in fighting whatever miscreant is involved to be a Fool.
  • An inversion of this trope, in Persona 4, the protagonist's friends social link as the Investigation Team under the tarot of The Fool. Despite this, they grow and learn from the end of the game, and eventually re-social link under The Judgement.
    • Same in Persona 3 and you even start out with a Persona of The Fool Arcana. There's a bit of a visual shout out even, with the female character in the PSP remake, where her hairpins are arranged as XXII.
    • Both games invoke the true extent of the Arcana so hard that it becomes a serious case of Shown Their Work. The protagonists of both games "main" (starting) arcana is The Fool which grows to the Judgment and, for the protagonists themselves, The World/Universe. Additionally, they're both Heroic Mimes. This might seem like standard RPG procedure until you realize that they're mimes because they have no pre-defined personalities to speak of, allowing them to fit their personality into any mold they see fit (which is why they can have such profound effects on so many people).
  • Jen Tate in Primal.
    • Her behavior, and inappropriate comments and dialog always manage to work out.
    • When under foreign control, she manages to press Scree's Berserk Button to make him fight her. Which was the only way to free her.
    • She even appears as The Fool on an in-game collectible Tarot Card.
  • The main characters of The Prince of Tennis Dating Sims often fall into this trope and Naive Everygirl. In Gakuensai no Oujisama, the main kid was a normal second-year girl who happened to be chosen as the one organizing the School Festival with the tennis boys...
  • Colette from Tales of Symphonia.
    • In fact Colette is somewhere between the Dojikko, The Messiah and the Friend to All Living Things. Since she's not exactly "the Hero", she's somewhat bright on occasion, and she's not particularly lucky (in fact, she's quite the unlucky girl) she doesn't quite qualify for The Fool.
      • She's really only unlucky with things concerning her sucky destiny. There are sometimes she has avoided attacks sent at her by tripping. Due to similar things happening, Zelos suggests they should let Colette trip on the way to buy a lottery ticket.

Web Animation[]

  • The eponymous character from Homestar Runner, especially in the earlier cartoons, when Homestar would always beat Strong Bad, no matter how much Strong Bad cheated; Homestar was eventually flanderized into a character too stupid to know when he'd lost, which also frustrated Strong Bad's efforts.

 Strong Bad: It's like, even when we win, he wins.

  • Pretty much every character in Red vs. Blue is The Fool. Caboose starts out as one as well, but he quickly descends to pure idiocy.

Web Comics[]

  • Elan from Order of the Stick is this trope played both straight, subverted, and averted depending on the strip.
  • Though many would argue loudly against describing him as 'good', Sam Starfall from Freefall invokes this trope a lot, especially early in the series. No matter what kind of disaster he leaps headfirst into, it always works out for him. Somehow.
    • Later on we find out that Sam often - and often irrationally - counts on outside forces to bail him out if things go south. If nothing else, Sam figures, someone's going to pull him out of the fire so they can be the one to officially throw him back in.
      • To be fair, he has quite a long track record of getting into trouble and has racked up a lot of evidence that outside forces will invariably come to his rescue.
    • Sam's far more smart, canny and aware than the average Fool, though. He's closer to the original archetype as a lucky trickster and troublemaker.
  • Fighter of Eight Bit Theater - who's been known to pull off impossible maneuvers and slay nigh-invincible foes simply because he was too stupid to realize he shouldn't be able to. Arguable whether or not his undeniable sword skills (and encyclopedic knowledge of techniques) push him into Idiot Hero territory.
    • Fighter is the only actual Hero of the Light Warriors (Of the other three, one is a sociopath, one has stolen and 'acquired' more things than actually exist, and the last is not actually evil, but highly narcissistic). The only real debate is whether his collaboration with his 'friends' subtracts from his heroism.
  • Gordon Frohman from Concerned.
  • In No Rest for The Wicked, the Boy is fully as foolish as his Fairy Tale prototype, the Boy Who Set Out To Learn What Fear Was.
  • Lance from Gold Coin Comics, who is particularly unobservant and "leaps before he looks."
  • Averted very, very cruelly with Fumbles of Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes. Or at least the Blessed-by-Lady-Luck bit.
  • John Egbert of Homestuck fame makes unwise decisions on a regular basis (that even lead to his death in one alternate time line) - but without them, he'd have never been able to set up the Stable Time Loop that ensured that he and all his friends got born, among other things.
  • Jeremy from Platinum Grit has no idea what's going on, assumes everyone else is basically nice, and has rationalised away every mean thing that anyone has ever done to him. And somehow or other, he and his best friends always manage to lurch through every crisis more or less intact.
  • Julie, from Our Little Adventure very much so.
  • In Overlord of Ravenfell, Razin only has a vague idea of what being an Overlord entails, and is quite the bubblehead despite the grim occupation. Somehow he manages.

Web Original[]

  • The anthropomorphic cute-girl version of Windows ME, Me-tan.

Western Animation[]

  • Ron Stoppable from Kim Possible has elements of this, notably the "blundering towards success" part. As he puts it, upon being called on his blundering: "Not dumb luck, Kim! Dumb skill!"
    • Just call it The Ron Factor!
  • Meatwad from Aqua Teen Hunger Force occasionally fits the description. Even when "bad" things happen to him, karma pays him back almost immediately. (i.e. Shake sells him to the circus and he becomes the star attraction, Shake sticks him in the dryer and he gains super powers. etc.)
  • Subverted in Codename: Kids Next Door, "OP TRIP." Two Evil Minions stalk ditzy Kuki aka Numbuh Three on her trip to Tokyo. Kuki is too clueless to notice she's been followed, but she manages, purely by accident, to get the stalkers attacked by a mean dog, thrown in a dumpster, catapulted out of a moving train, etc. The minions give up in agony. Then they discover that the dog, the dumpster driver, the train driver, etc. were all Kuki's not-so-ditzy allies in disguise.
  • Mikey Simon from Kappa Mikey is this trope in a highly concentrated form.
  • The eponymous character of SpongeBob SquarePants sometimes classifies, especially in later seasons.
    • Patrick Star as well.
  • Dog from Cat Dog frequently causes multiple catastrophes and Amusing Injuries with his stupidity though more often than not fate is on his side and leaves him unscathed (and then punishes Cat twice as hard for the both of them).
  • A bizarre example of the trope, the band Dethklok in Metalocalypse are evil, in an apathetic kind of way. They aren't that intelligent (except in contracts) and accidentally cause death and destruction everywhere they go. Yet they're oddly immune. Oh, they'll accidentally set off explosions and laser beams and falling debris that kills off everyone around them, especially people trying to kill them; but it will miss them every time. And they won't even notice; not that they would care.
  • Homer Simpson. In the episode "Homer Defined," Homer's accidental prevention of a meltdown at the nuclear plant inspires the phrase "to pull a Homer," meaning "to succeed despite idiocy."
    • The Infamous "Homer's Enemy" episode deconstructs the living hell out of this trope.
  • Flapjack is this with a light dose of The Messiah, as he once tried to make enemies to be a good adventurer, but failed spectacularly at every attempt. He only succeeds at the end, and even that is by accident. Plus, he considers his "enemy" to also be his best friend.
  • Inspector Gadget is definitely a poster boy for this trope, in particular whenever assassins are targeting his life directly. While some of his success (and survival) comes from Brain and Penny's heroic efforts, just as many of Gadget's oblivious victories spring from his endless fountain of slapsticky luck.
  • Most of the "Golden Age" Warner Brothers cartoons (Bugs Bunny et al.) embody this trope at some point. Generally speaking, the more "innocent" the character, the better it works.
  • Cal of Undergrads, who has more friends and more sex without trying than any of his friends combined when they do.
  • Bradley is Stickin' Around's signature fool, mainly due to his interests and general personality. How he is Stacy's Black Best Friend is beyond anyone's interpretation.
    • Russell is merely the secondary one, since he's just flat out clueless.
  • Bullwinkle J. Moose is portrayed as a fool despite him starring in segments that intend to teach. In fact, when Boris used a gas to turn the whole world (including Bullwinkle's friend Rocky) into morons, Bullwinkle is the only one unaffected because he already is a moron.
  • Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic is pretty much the comic relief, quirky, airheaded and totally laid back about life. Put her in front of all but the most obvious danger and she'll dance around without a care, and it's been hinted that she's laughably bad at her job. On numerous occasions however, Pinkie has calmly and efficiently danced right to the heart of whatever problem has occurred, sped personal development in others, or demonstrated obscure knowledge that even the resident Smart Guy didn't know. After her brilliant solution to the Parasprite problem, she stated that even she didn’t really understand herself sometimes.
  • Charlotte in Making Fiends. Cheerfully oblivious to the fact that her "friend" Vendetta is trying to kill her with an army of toothy, vicious monsters who have the entire town they live in terrified into submission, she usually ends up befriending the fiends as well, and even keeps one as a pet.
  • Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender. In the beginning, he's young, naive, and playful, and seems to win fights partly out of a feeling that he can't imagine losing. And like The Fool from the tarot card, he's definitely willing to jump off a cliff, but figuratively and literally (he can fly, after all). He's lost this somewhat by the end of the series, having had to deal with the losses and suffering he's caused, and having to contemplate the choices he must make for the world.
  • Rufus and Amberley of The Dreamstone often acted as inept kids in stopping the Urpneys. Nearly everytime however they were handed the victory with barely a hair out of place, either due to the Urpneys own bumbling or some Contrived Coincidence.
  • Norb of The Angry Beavers plays with this, while he does have Butt Monkey moments, he is far less often at the brunt of things than Daggett, and sometimes in a very close or contrived manner. This was even Lampshaded in an episode where he and Dag switch roles and Dag notes he (seemingly) avoided a painful injury just like he usually does.
  • Lance from Voltron: Legendary Defender, at the beginning of the Pilot Episode, is a terrible pilot and not exactly the best Garrison recruit, fitting well into Idiot Hero. But the fact that the once-star recruit Keith was thrown out let him get into the top recruit group of the Garrison, then his impulsive desire to "play hooky" and 'recruit' his friends Hunk and Pidge leads them to realize that his missing hero Shiro has returned to Earth, and after they (plus Keith) have broken Shiro out, it turns out that the Blue Lion mecha that Keith's been tracking is only compatible with Lance himself and thus he's the one who can handle it, leading them to the Castle of Lions and Princess Allura...

Real Life[]

  • Timothy Dexter. A man who was completely uneducated, he managed to make a fortune by making a series of horrible business decisions that, due to luck, turned out to be extremely profitable. The man made the stupidest decisions possible and every one of them came out as a profit. Some examples:
    • On marrying a wealthy widow, he decided to play the stock market. By picking stocks at random. They all went up.
    • Selling Bibles, warming pans and mittens... to the Caribbean. The islands were experiencing a religious revival, the warming pans were great for straining molasses, and a Russian Antarctic expedition happened to pass through just as the mittens arrived.
    • Sending coal to Newcastle. As in a place built on the coal-mining industry (thus the phrase "Coals to Newcastle" meaning "giving them something they have too much of already"). What happened just before it got there? The coal miners went on strike.
    • He wrote a book about himself, with capitals sprinkled about at random, and no punctuation anywhere in the main text (starting with the second edition, it DID have a page of punctuation marks at the end, suggesting the readers "solt and peper it as they plese", as literal as Punctuation Shaker can get). In a case of So Bad It's Good meets Bile Fascination, it sold well.