|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
Meet Bob. What a guy! Bob's brave, he's determined, he's good at what he does, he's genuinely nice, and, most importantly, his moral fiber has a higher tensile strength than spider silk. Sure, he's a bit socially awkward and has a few other harmless quirks, but that's all part of his particular charm. The title can be taken as a play on Dark Knight.
In tropese, the Dork Knight is The Ace, The Cape, the Knight in Shining Armor or a similar character type infused with Adorkable, where the endearing awkwardness serves to humanize an otherwise idealized hero. See also Badass Adorable and Socially Awkward Hero. The goofier examples of this trope may overlap with Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass.
Anime and Manga
- Yomiko Readman of Read or Die is practically the inventor of Adorkable. She can also kill you with a bookmark.
- Trigun: Vash the Stampede. He's a completely unstoppable (and non-lethal) warrior and one of the silliest men committed to animation.
- Rurouni Kenshin: Sweet, kind and cuddly Himura Kenshin. That's not to say he isn't a skilled disciplined Samurai with an unflappable sense of right and wrong, defender of the innocent, etc. etc.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Akemi Homura is revealed in a flashback to have started off life as a Moe Adorkable Meganekko. She turns to Take a Level In Badass to prevent Madoka's death, and gradually sheds layers of Adorkable in each iteration of a Groundhog Day Loop. However, when her feelings for Madoka bubble up to the surface, she's still the same Moemura at heart.
- Syaoran Li, beneath his supposed arrogance, turns out to be one in Cardcaptor Sakura, arguably Sakura herself evolves as such, both her competence as guardian of the cards and cluelessly innocent persona upped as the series goes on.
- Surprisingly common in Tiger and Bunny, especially with Wild Tiger/Kotetsu T. Kaburagi, Origami Cyclone/Ivan Karelin and Sky High/Keith Goodman.
- Keith is the Ace, Kotetsu aspires to be the Cape, Ivan can manage a bit of Badass and is definitely Adorable, and all three are Adorkable.
- Son Gohan, represent. Has a bad case of Chronic Hero Syndrome, perfect grades, superpowers, and grew up in a tiny, isolated mountain village with absolutely no frame of reference to tell him that no, normal people cannot jump eight meters into the air. Becoming a superhero with really clear Sentai influences really was the only option.
- Spider-Man is this. Dorky awkward teen with super powers. Trying to be a hero while trying to figure out his hormones at the same time.
- In Superman, the title character's secret identity certainly has Adorkable tendencies. This could be the result of Obfuscating Stupidity, being an Alien Among Us, or something else. In the modern comics, it's usually just because he's a farmer's son who moved to the big city. He doesn't really count as Alien Among Us, since he came to Earth as an infant.
- He's become less so over the years, but Lee Falk's original depiction of The Phantom had definite moments of this, particularly around the woman he loves.
- Captain America is very much a Nice Guy and kind-hearted boy-next-door type who genuinely cares about others more than himself and isn't afraid to proclaim the ideals he fights for, namely the American Dream. There are some cynics who would sneer at this, but Cap honestly doesn't care. He'll still keep fighting for his ideals no matter what. On one occasion, Cap provides encouragement to a despairing Spider-Man by telling him "This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — No, YOU move." There's a reason why the Avengers know they can always trust Cap.
- Dave Malkoff from the Troubleshooters series. Mike Muldoon may also qualify.
- Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon is one. Little wonder why he's so popular with the female fanbase.
Film: Live Action
- Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger.
- In the Hellboy films, Agent John Myers.
- In Condorman, Woody, mostly due to his being a Cloudcuckoolander.
- Luke Skywalker starts off like this. Over time - maybe because of The Reveal in The Empire Strikes Back - he becomes more composed and sober. Parts of the Star Wars Expanded Universe prove, though, that his adorkable side didn't really die.
Live Action TV
- Chuck: Chuck from season 3 onwards.
- Due South: Constable Benton Fraser, the quirky, unfailingly polite, straight-arrow Fish Out of Water mountie.
- Doctor Who: The Doctor in most, if not all incarnations. Special mentions go to the ridiculously awkward Fourth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, who can't seem to get the hang of holding a normal conversations, but have destroyed civilizations. Some might also consider Rory Williams, after he took a level in badass.
- Spock in Star Trek. Julian Bashir in Deep Space Nine.
- Simon Tam on Firefly.
- John Watson in Sherlock has some elements of this, particularly in fandom portrayals. Both his sweater-wearing cuteness and his badassery have become memes.
- Blaine Anderson from Glee has become known as "Dapper" in the fandom for a reason: he constantly wears bowties, cardigans, polo shirts and sweater vests. He doesn't like to wear socks for some odd reason and has a passion dancing like Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel Air to songs by Katy Perry. He also is willing to take on football players about twice his size if they mess with his boyfriend and probably could have taken him down considering he boxes and started his private school's chapter of Fight Club.
- Sir Archibald Wavell. A quiet unassuming man with an eccentric but likable disposition who wrote an anthology of poetry. He was also the British commander in the Mediterranean theater and under his command the Allies won their first victories,and the Italian empire was reduced to a sort of fly paper for the German army. He is a large part of the reason for Italy's persistent reputation for limited prowess in World War II.
- Space Ace: Dexter; normally, he's The Ace, but thanks to Borf's Infanto Ray, he spends most of the game as a skinny, awkward teenager.
- Final Fantasy IX: Steiner is not the main hero, but he is a Dork Knight at times. He leans more towards being more of an Idiot Hero.
- Alistair from the Dragon Age series. On the one hand, he's brave, noble, and heroic (making him a distinct rarity in the Dragon Age verse) and approves of the player being so as well - on the other, he's a bit of an Adult Child who can barely get through a sentence without slipping into bad humor and/or Buffy-Speak, especially if he's talking to a woman.
- Homestuck: John Egbert starts off as a goofy dork. He quickly grows into a badass and the team's leader, without ever becoming less of a dork.
- The Tick: Arthur wants to be a super, and definitely has some dorky qualities, but is overshadowed by The Tick. The Tick, by contrast, is an Idiot Hero.
- Mickey Mouse in some of his earlier more abrasive years pre Flanderization into The Everyman (though it comes back on occasion, e.g. The Runaway Brain).
- Rufus of The Dreamstone starts off as a pretty straight played example, being Mr. Imagination, The Klutz and a sword-wielding Badass Adorable rolled into one, however he gets diluted somewhat in later episodes.