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If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough/If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough!
When you get knocked down, you gotta get back up/
I ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer but I know enough, to know/
—The Smut Peddlers
The tendency for strength and intellect to be inversely proportional. The Big Guy and The Brute are usually slightly dim at the very least. Typically afflicted with a form of Hulk Speak. This is a common assumption: there's a reason Genius Bruiser is meant to be a shocker. Overlaps with Gentle Giant in some areas because Dumb Is Good. A subtrope of Personality Powers. Often Played for Laughs.
- A series of commercials for Planet Fitness airing in early 2011 play this for laughs. One commercial features a muscular man who gets so excited from tying his shoelaces correctly, he runs into the gym cheering. A second features a man who likes to make gunshot sounds when he writes. A third has a guy who replies "I lift things up, then put them down." when asked what he does for a living, then repeats it without prompting. Each commercial then explains that Planet Fitness is "not his planet".
Anime & Manga Edit
- Otawara from Eyeshield 21 is extremely stupid and extremely strong (and incredibly fast for someone his size). He's the only one of the White Knights who's never missed practice, because of a saying about idiots never getting colds. He's also barely literate. Shin (who can actually bench press more than Otawara at the beginning of the series) isn't exactly dumb, but he's so clueless about technology that he broke a GPS by trying to open it because he thought it was a map. This has since become a running gag, where Shin breaks all new technology he comes across.
- Homer of the NASA Aliens, as well. He's explicitly described as possessing "stupid strength".
- Gaoh was assumed to be this by other players, what with him being only able to wreck the enemy line. However, Hiruma and Kid easily figured out that he's much smarter than he looks, since he knows when to stop being a dinosaur and play by the rules. (ie. whenever the quarterback he's trying to kill makes a pass, thus making it illegal to trounce him.)
- Aki "Achilles" Reisuke and Hara "Hercules" Kureji of the Teikoku Alexanders both possess physical prowess befitting their nicknames, but are comparatively lacking in mental faculties (though they're both noted as smarter than total idiot Taki).
- Subverted by Gateau Mocha in Sorcerer Hunters; he's got the muscles and can be a bit of a silly party guy and a goof, but he's quite a bit smarter and more insightful than he lets on.
- Also subverted in Fullmetal Alchemist with Alex Luis Armstrong and Sig Curtis. Armstrong acts foolishly carefree, but he is smart enough to fool intelligent characters like Ed or Mustang. And when Sig talks is usually to say something important. Between the two, they have more muscles than the rest of the cast together.
- Getatsu/Gedatz in One Piece. One of Enel's big guns and the second most powerful of his minions, Gedatsu is an extremely imposing figure. But he doesn't know how to cross his arms properly, his intimidating Monochromatic Eyes are the result of him rolling his eyes into the back of his head, he attacks his own allies by mistake, and has absolutely zero focus. His fearsome Jet Punch can destroy you utterly with only one hit... if he remembers who you are long enough to try it on you.
- Second most powerful? He's the weakest of the 4 priests, and quite possibly weaker than Chief Enforcer Yama; still not a chump in a fight, but yeah
- Mr. 4, too dumb to think on his own, but can wield a 4 ton bat like it was a normal one.
- Damuramu from Dragon Half is an even bigger moron than any of the other villains in the series. Despite having a somewhat impressive vocabulary and a flair for the dramatic... well, to put it in his own words, "Damuramu's brain is very compact!" This is how he survived being impaled through the head with his own sword. He later resurfaced as an even more powerful cyborg, with such devastating moves as "Damuramu Punch", which is clearly actually a kick.
- Nappa and Recoome from Dragonball Z.
Piccolo: And that would make you, no doubt, the big, tough, stupid one.
BTSO: You take that back or I'll kill you!
Piccolo: Alright, alright! You're not tough!
BTSO: That's better. *long pause* Hey!
- Tetsugyuu in the Giant Robo OAV, who is explicitly identified as much more immature and childish than the 11-year old Daisaku Kusama
- Rei in Urusei Yatsura, a slow-witted Big Eater who could tear a man apart with his bare hands. Oddly enough, he's also a Chick Magnet Bishounen.
- Ryu "The Owl" Nakanishi in Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. Though to be fair, he's not dumb so much as he's a simple country boy, and on a team consisting of two brains, a sophisticated bad boy and a charismatic ninja this tends to make him stick out like a sore thumb. (He has fallen asleep on the job more than once, though.)
- It's repeatedly implied that this is the case for Marechiyo Omaeda in Bleach, being that he's a gigantically large and intimidating Upperclass Twit and all... but this is actually just a ruse; He's the lieutenant of the second squad for a reason.
- While he may be hiding his skills and intelligence, the fact remains that even when he does reveal them he's still something of a goof, but not as useless.
- Played very straight with the 10th Espada, Yammy, who's thick as a brick but tends to instantly kill people with his tree-trunk thick arms. Unfortunately for Yammy, everyone he's done this to has been on his side. Even when he reveals his ultimate power as the strongest of the Espada, his method of fighting is so predictable it ends up boring Kenpachi.
- "Little Cho" from Domu: A Child's Dream is slow mentally but also enormous and protective.
- Durarara's Shizuo Heiwajima, while not as dumb as some examples, is quite simple-minded, easily distracted and forgetful. Shinra jokes that all the calcium that ought to go to his nervous system instead went to his bones.
- The title character of Kinnikuman and his son, star of Kinnikuman Nisei. "Kinniku" means "muscle", and let's just say the big guy's not exactly firing on all cyllinders. This is the most consistent source of humor in both series.
- Jorgun and Balinbow of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann are twin examples of this trope, complete with excessive size, excessive strength, excessive enthusiasm, and a few hilariously demonstrated instances of both Hulk Speak and implied-to-outright idiocy. Contrast with Lordgenome, the series' resident Genius Bruiser.
- Fairy Tail Loves this trope Elfman believes that everything should be settled by fists. With all his manly talk, he still cares for the guild members and his sister; Mirajane. and Gray when he unconsciously takes off his shirt. Which half of the members seem to be turned off by this
- Milly Thompson of Trigun is a female example of this trope. She's bigger than most men, carries a giant "stun gun", and tends to be dumber than the average housecat. However, this makes her Too Dumb to Fool fairly regularly. She also has a healthy dose of wisdom and emotional intelligence.
- The Incredible Hulk is usually portrayed as childlike in his simplicity. His original characterization, circa joining The Avengers, had him as more of a temperamental, rebellious teenager. Though note there is a difference between childlike and stupid, and the Savage Hulk can be remarkably cunning and shrewd when the situation calls for it.
- Although, really, most Hulk villains besides the Leader and MODOK are brawny, brainless monstrosities.
- This side of him is played up considerably in Twisted Toyfare Theater, which also features Bizarrobama, the Prime Minister of Canada and an imperfect clone of Barack Obama.
- Captain Marvel's naïveté tends to come across this way, but since he's a kid in an adult's body, it's excusable.
- Captain Everything in normalman. Cap is, well, a moron who has been known to forget how to fly in midflight, but he's so childlike it'hard not to like him anyway. So, while he causes needless destruction and fights his own friends just because he thinks the scene needs action, he's still completely guileless and doesn't have a mean bone in his body.
- The Tick himself is a combination of this and Cloudcuckoolander.
- Several Marvel Comics villains like the Rhino, the Sandman, the Blob, and the Ox.
- The Ox can trounce She-Hulk with minimal effort and punch colossal holes in brick walls but doesn't grasp the concept of figurative language; when his and Boomerang's lawsuit against the Vision is settled "for an arm and a leg", he violently insists he wants cash and couldn't care less about having a robot's limbs.
- Most incarnations of Killer Croc in Batman, particularly in Batman the Animated Series and current comics. The exception here is The Batman, which, in addition to a Race Lift making him Cajun, made him a bona fide criminal mastermind of his own. This was actually truer to the original version of Croc introduced in the comics of the early '80s, before Flanderization set in and writers portrayed him as nothing but a savage brute. Though, on the other hand, Killer Croc in Batman: The Animated Series did pull off a very intelligent frame job against Harvey Bullock in his first appearance. Then he basically just became comic relief Dumb Muscle.
- Other villains in the DCAU, like Rampage, Solomon Grundy, and (the first) Blockbuster, also count, as do their comics counterparts (though Rampage and Grundy are occasionally good guys).
- The second Blockbuster started this way, but eventually got an intelligence upgrade to Genius Bruiser via Deal with the Devil.
- Not to mention poor, misguided Bizarro...
- There's also Ra's al Ghul's perennial henchman, Ubu.
- And another Batman villain, Monsoon, who is very nearly but not quite retarded and responds to most prompts with a slurred "RIGHT RIGHT!"
- As well as Amygdala, who is missing the part of the brain he's named for.
- And their fellow Blackgate inmate Titus Czonka, the Baffler. Very stupid but phenomenally powerful, he made the mistake of trying to be a more traditional Batman villain as The Baffler, a second-rate ripoff of his cohort the Cluemaster who was himself a second-rate ripoff of the Riddler. So the stupid guy starts leaving ridiculously simple clues for the authorities to catch him with...
- The Superman villain, Doomsday, barely has any mind to speak of at all. Due to the multiple deaths he suffered during the experiments that created him, Doomsday is little more than a frightened and enraged baby. Imagine an infant trying to swat away something scary with his little baby fist. Now imagine that said baby could topple a mountain with that swat and you've got Doomsday. The one time he was given intelligence it rendered him weaker because it exposed his true nature as an infantile coward terrified of death.
- Moose from the Archie Comics.
- Though you wouldn't know it most of the time, this role is often filled by Wolverine of all people in the X-Men. Yes, the expert survivalist who speaks 17 languages. Of course, Wolverine's a moron in a more social sense, and while he is very knowledgeable in areas concerning, to be frank, killing guys, he can have trouble with almost anything else.
- And several other X-Men, as well. Sunder of the Morlocks (virtually retarded, mountainous size and strength), Basilisk (in Xorn's "special" class, giant-sized, weight off the charts), Rockslide (a muted example; not the strongest X-Man around, but just a tad above "moronic" intelligence wise), and Onyxx (who seems to have stopped developing mentally around age 12).
- Dumb Bunny, aka Mrs. Ambush Bug, from the Inferior Five. The name says it all.
- She meets her match in the first issue of their own series: Mr. Mental is an extremely powerful telepath who is really really really stupid. "Try your helmet! Hit 'em with a blast of telekinetic power!" "Oh, is that what this is for? I thought we'd been playing soldier!"
- Prester John (yes, that one) in Cable and Deadpool, a gigantically muscled man who dwarfs even Cable in size. Among other things, he is utterly perplexed at the motive behind the murder of the Marvel Comics equivalent of Osama bin Laden. As it was explained to him, "He wanted him to stop being the world's most wanted terrorist." His reply? "Well, it worked."
- Dengar from Star Wars. A big, beefy lunkhead, he at least has the excuse of having suffered brain damage in a swoop bike race with Han Solo.
- Gamoreans are a species whose entire Hat is being Dumb Muscle.
- Flash villain Big Sir, who was born with severe mental deficiencies and a glandular problem that caused him to grow into an extremely large man of over eight feet. Extremely childish but always feeling left out, he was considered a prime thug for criminals in Central City because he'd do anything to make friends, always did what he was told, worked for free because he didn't understand the value of money, and could tear a man apart with his bare hands. No prison could properly contain him... but he never thought to escape because he was told to stay put.
- Block in Hero Camp, who is almost completely illiterate; When we're shown a book from his perspective, it's almost entirely gibberish and he can only understand a single sentence on the page. He's also so slow that he thinks his incredible weight is due to obesity, when he's actually made of solid rock without an ounce of fat on him.
- Maul of the Wild CATS actually gets dumber as he gets bigger. He once got so big he forgot how to return to normal size.
- Maul is a bizarre case: while his power is that he can swap brains for brawn, in his "normal" form he's a nobel laureate: so, when he doesn't grow too much, he retains enough smarts to be more like a Genius Bruiser.
- Gorgilla and Elektro of the Fin Fang Four; Elektro is a robot with a 32k processor (later upgraded to 64k; as Elsa Bloodstone puts it, "I've got JPEGs smarter than him."), while Gorgilla has grade-A Hulk Speak and intelligence. Both are also incredibly powerful and destructive given the proper motivation.
- Mongrol and Mek-Quake from the ABC Warriors; Mongrol is a battered, punch drunk colossus whose mind was scarred by war and torture until he considered his brain to be a second party that he must occasionally parlay with, while Mek-Quake is a one mek wrecking crew whose only aptitude and only joy is in violent acts, known to him as "big jobs".
- The Lifter (an airheaded superhuman weightlifter) and Mover (a Gentle Giant who lets his girlfriend Shaker do that thinking) from Wildguard. American Icon and the Romancer are arguable examples as well, while the Human Shield is a giant beast who only recently overcame his lifelong struggle with illiteracy.
- Jitterjack from Astro City. To wit: his first words on panel are "HURR HURR". The combined version of two men, whose minds were turned to mush as they were unified, but with strength far beyond that of any two ordinary men.
- Lead of DC's Metal Men is a very strong example, being incapable of completing a thought without stumbling through it with several "Uhmm"s as well as being the toughest of the group (though Iron is slightly more powerful).
- Very much averted by the X-Men character The Beast AKA Dr. Henry Philip 'Hank' McCoy. Despite his superhuman strength and beast-(duh)-like nature, he holds a doctorate, and is the authority on biochemistry and genetics, as well as teaching math and science at the mutant school.
- The mysterious Zombie, alias John Doe, from Nick Fury's Howling Commandos. Big, strong, and with extremely stunted intelligence. This might actually be a Stealth Pun: Zombie could use some brains.
- Played with in Sin City. Marv is not educated and considers himself stupid but he displays a knack for solving mysteries and figuring out a way to defeat a skilled opponent.
- Yeagar from Nodwick is the party fighter and has sub-par intelligence and wisdom scores. In-story he tends to get confused by big words, metaphysical concepts, or most things that cannot be treated by stabbing, imbibing, romancing or looting it.
- In It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Lennie Pike and Sylvester both qualify.
- Bane in Batman and Robin is a dumb, hulk-speaking, simpleton that can only follow orders. He's a Super Soldier powered by chemicals, though, so whatever. That's just the version Joel Schumacher used, though.
- The comics version is quite intelligent, using a refreshingly simple plan to wear down Batman, as opposed to the borderline absurd Xanatos Roulettes used by most Bat-villains. By engineering a massive jailbreak at Arkham Asylum, Bane forced Batman to wear himself out catching all the escaped prisoners in one night, at which point Bane himself stepped in and broke Batman's spine. He also figured out Batman was Bruce Wayne, just by watching him and his movements.
- Michael "Lurch" Armstrong in Hot Fuzz. Body of a gorilla, mind of a child, Lurch is also a subversion because while he's dumb, that doesn't mean he's innocent; When Nicholas asks him if he really wants to be part of the evil Sandford conspiracy, he replies with his typical "Yarp."
- Mongo in Blazing Saddles, though he subverts it with the thoughtful line, "Mongo only pawn in game of life."
- 8 in Nine.
- Blaster, the lower half of MasterBlaster in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
- Fezzik from The Princess Bride is a good example of this.
- Sloth in The Goonies. It seems that he was dropped as a baby.
- Circus strongman One in The City of Lost Children -- Hulk Speak is his first language, and it's strongly suggested that he's developmentally challenged.
- Loz in Final Fantasy VII Advent Children embodies Sephiroth's strength. He's also dumber than a box of rocks. That an aspect of freaking Sephiroth is caught bawling for his mommy like an idiot child is a pretty extreme example of this trope.
- Bedazzled capitalizes the undermentioned basketball player stereotype when the main hero gets turned into one. He can barely put two words together and those tend to revolve around "pushing yourself to 100%...for victory".
- Jason Nesmith makes this (wrong) similar assumption about the bad guy in Galaxy Quest.
Jason:(not realizing the viewscreen is still on) I've dealt with his kind before, he's as stupid as he is ugly.
Jason gives his crew instructions as they try to get Jason's attention
Jason: Okay Gwen, put me back on with him.
Gwen: That's what I've been trying to tell you, Jason. You ARE back with him.
Sarris: Perhaps I am not as stupid as I am ugly, commander.
- Charlie tries to be this in Mystery Team. He just fails at the muscle part
- Lenny the dopey gremlin from Gremlins 2.
- The Golem in the silent movie The Golem is incredibly strong, but also painfully dim.
- Karl in Sling Blade is a mentally handicapped man who is noted by his employers as being surprisingly strong.
- In There's Something About Mary, Mary's mentally handicapped brother can toss people around like ragdolls.
- Wallace, Angel Eyes' torturer from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is big on the brawn, but not so much with the brains.
- Discworld examples abound, though they are usually at least partly subverted. Here are a few:
- Banjo, from Hogfather
- Paul Perks, Polly's brother from Monstrous Regiment
- Detritus the Troll, more so in his earlier appearances. Most Discworld trolls are Dumb Muscle, depending on the weather.
- So far as the weather goes, trolls use silicon-based brains, much like computers. In warm climes, their brains overheat, and they become stupid. It's been said that while smart trolls come down from their cold, cold mountains, dumb trolls arrive on the warm, warm plains. Detritus got his intelligence upgrade when a friend figured this out and built a fan into his helmet.
- Mr. Tulip, from The Truth
- Terry Pratchett often subverts this trope by putting clever or profound statements in the mouths of Dumb Muscle characters, often with the smug addendum, "I may be slow, but I ain't stupid."
- From The Truth:
William de Worde: "William de Worde. Ankh-Morpork Times."
Detritus: "I don't read dat."
De Worde: "We'll put out a large print edition."
Detritus: "Ho, ho, dat very funny. But fick as I am, I'm still the one saying you can't go past."
- The elder brother and classmates of William de Worde, from the quote above, are likewise described as Dumb Muscle, albeit blue-blooded Dumb Muscle who'll actually be hiring lower-class Dumb Muscle to do the Dumb Muscle work for them someday.
- The titular character of Archer's Goon certainly acts this way.
- Tiny (Wolfgang Creutzfeldt) from the WW 2 novels by Sven Hassel.
- Averted in Conan the Barbarian: Conan is cunning, and in the original written portrayals, he is quite knowledgeable about anything within his fields of interest; military tactics both land and sea, navigation, the customs of various lands, all manner of thievery, and could read and speak multiple languages. He's just not a scholar, having learned these things through extensive travel and the school of hard knocks. Most derivative works parody him as stupid, though.
- Lennie from Of Mice and Men is an archetypal example.
- Jabor from The Bartimaeus Trilogy.
- Subverted in the Dragonlance series with Caramon Majere. Although at first glance he seems like a Dumb Bruiser, content to just hit stuff and let Raistlin or Tanis do the thinking, he is quite insightful and the authorial annotations remark that although he may not be smart, he has always been very wise and capable of making good decisions if he thinks things through.
- Gamorreans in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, especially Jabba the Hutt's Gamorrean Guards, who include such powerhouses as Thok, the incredibly appropriately named Thug ("When you need muscle for a job, a Gamorrean makes a good choice"), and Gartogg, who was dim even by Gamorrean standards, having Hulk Speak while others do not.
- A Song of Ice and Fire: Hodor, the retarded giant, and Small Paul, the simple-minded soldier. Other big and strong characters tend to display less than exceptional intelligence, and the race of actual Giants in the series is noticeably low-tech. On the flip side, the series's smartest characters, Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish and Tyrion the Imp, are quite short.
- Subversion: This is how most characters in L.A. Confidential perceive Bud White. Dudley Smith ostensibly drafted him into his enterprise based on his scary looks and propensity for violence. Turns out, however, that he is both smarter and more noble than anyone (himself included) gives him credit for.
- In the third Artemis Fowl book, Mulch is taken away by two of these, Pex and Chips. They were not hired for their brains, and are not allowed out of Chicago, "as this could involve map reading." When they're taking Mulch away, their conversation is them figuring out the other's nicknames-after much discussion, they figure out that one has huge chest muscles, and the other eats-oh, never mind.
- Crabbe and Goyle in Harry Potter are thicker than trolls and built about the same way.
- The Honorverse has the Scrags (formally, Sacred Brotherhood), a decayed group of Super Soldiers that, as of the present, are rarely used as much else. The Amazons (Scrags who didn't care for the whole "women are slaves to do with as men please" thing of Masadan theology) attached to Thandi Palane, in Crown of Slaves, though, were put through schooling to correct their educational deficit, though socially they're still not quite up to speed on "subhuman" social skills.
- Boxer from Animal Farm is probably stronger than all the other animals on the farm combined, but it's noted that he's pretty Book Dumb. Nevertheless, he is a very hard worker who steadfastly believes in his leader. Unfortunately, as time goes on, he ages and loses the muscle, so the pigs sell him to the knacker.
- Justified in Area 7. Goliath has a steel plate in his head. The other Giant Mooks in later books are about as smart.
- In Narnia, giants may be good or evil, but they're never clever. The "Gentle Giants" of the northern wastes try to be deceptive, but they're no good at it.
- Hoppy Uniatz, regular companion of The Saint.
- Adus, The Brute in The Elenium, is a barely literate thug who struggles to say any word with more than one syllable, eats raw meat, spurs his horses to death on a regular basis, and communicates with his Mooks through kicks, slaps, and grunts. He is something of a savant when it comes to small unit tactics, ably deploying his Zemochs in pairs and trios to fend off the Church Knights despite his lack of communication skills, but in the words of the author is, in "most other respects profoundly, even frighteningly stupid."
- The independent, overmuscled thug known as Tony Donuts in "Callahan's Lady," by Spider Robinson. Tony is actually so stupid that he's difficult to con; against him, a character warns, a plan has to be not just foolproof, but moron-proof. This comes to a head when he demands his counterfeit money back and a con artist tries to give him real bills; the trouble is that all of Tony's bogus bills have the same serial number -- it was too much trouble to change the plates -- so that he instantly recognized he was being tricked.
- In Edgar Rice Burroughs's The Monster Men, the created men.
Your greatest error was in striving at first for such physical perfection. You have overdone it, with the result that the court of mystery is peopled by a dozen brutes of awful muscularity, and scarcely enough brain among the dozen to equip three properly.
- Nicko Heap in Septimus Heap is described as being unusually strong but also often as careless.
- In terms of the Achaian warriors of the Trojan War, Ajax Telamon is this. He is the largest and strongest fighter in the war, and the Achaian's second best fighter after Achilles. He is also noted for being less cunning and eloquent than the other big name heroes. His downfall comes when Odysseus defeats him in a debate on who should get Achilles' armor. The stories differ, but all agree that he ultimately kills himself in shame.
- Br'er Bear in the Uncle Remus' stories.
Live-Action TV Edit
- Babylon 5: The Legend of the Rangers. "My name is Tirk. I carry heavy things."
- Ronon from Stargate Atlantis. Played for Laughs at times and sort of justified because of his past. His "plans" often contain simply Stuff Blowing Up or killing the enemy instead of (necessarily) working together and he's very unwilling to try a more intelligent method. However, he seems to work great with McKay.
"Mission Report: Michael invaded Atlantis. Tried to blow it up. We stopped him. End of report."
- While he never actually appeared on camera, the character of Moose Thompson was described this way on The Red Green Show. Red described Moose as being physically stronger than an ox, while mentally it was too close to call.
- Dagwood, the flawed Dagger prototype, from SeaQuest DSV.
- Firefly Jayne can be animalistically clever, but not very, or very often, and his skills are limited to things that involve stealing, shooting and hitting.
- Finn from Glee is a 6 foot three athlete who isn't exactly the brightest bulb in the bunch.
- Ogrons, a species of gigantic cave-man types used as muscle by the Daleks in the original Doctor Who.
- Troy on Community is a classic example. God bless him, he is not the brightest bulb in the box.
Jeff: I want you to clear your mind-
- Subverted somewhat on Leverage. Plenty of people think that Eliot is just the dumb muscle. They're wrong.
- Rito Revolto is dumb muscle incarnate in the Power Rangers world as he is dumb as bricks majority of the time but when in battle he is more powerful than Goldar as symbolized by him destroying the Thunder Megazord and the Tigerzord in its Battle Mode along with the Rangers' original powers.
Newspaper Comics Edit
- Moe from Calvin and Hobbes fits this nicely; Calvin relies on the fact that Moe will not understand any of the florid insults that he (Calvin) heaps upon the bully. Though it doesn't prevent Moe from messing up Calvin's face on numerous occasions.
Religion and Mythology Edit
- Heracles from Greek Mythology was stereotypically portrayed this way in Attic comedy (for example in Aristophanes' The Birds). In the "canonical" version of the myths, despite being prone to fits of irrational rage, he is not dumb, and occasionally pretty sharp -- one of his most famous stories is the Twelve Labors, in which he is forced to find clever solutions to twelve seemingly impossible tasks.
- The titan Atlas. After getting Hercules to take over holding up the sky (heavens) for him while Atlas did him a favor, Atlas decides not to take it back as he likes his freedom. Hercules admits defeat then asks for Atlas to take the sky back long enough for the Hercster to put a pad on his shoulder. Atlas agrees, and Hercules walks away. And this was the guy the other Titans picked to lead them against the Olympians after Cronus fell out of favor with the rest of them. No wonder they lost.
Tabletop Games Edit
- Shadowrun features this, with Orks and Trolls being a little and a lot more strong/stupid stats-wise. In the third edition intro to the races, the guest troll writer complains about the trope.
- In Warhammer Fantasy there are lots of these. Orcs, trolls, kroxigors, sauruses and ogres can all be this.
- In Warhammer 40000, the semi-intelligent Fungal race, 'Da Orkz' fit this trope to a T. They're loud, they're strong, but they're not very bright. They do, however, tend to possess a certain animal cunning. In any case, Orkz which exhibit unusual intelligence are called 'Oddboyz', and would be outcast, if not for their obvious usefulness in a fight.
- Ogryns, who are humans who have evolved into being very tall and strong, at the expense of their intelligence (which is about the same as an average ork). The Imperium is quite fond of them due to their Dumb Is Good philosophy, in addition to their great size and strength for a non-Space Marine human, making them powerful, loyal soldiers.
- Small mind is easily filled with faith. One of the main reasons ogryns are allowed to join the Imperium and not destroyed as mutants is their unquestionable faith in Emperor. They are simply too dumb to think about betrayal. In cases of chaos corrupted ogryns it's always their leaders who turn to chaos and then lie to ogryns. They still think they are fighting on the right side.
- Ogryns, who are humans who have evolved into being very tall and strong, at the expense of their intelligence (which is about the same as an average ork). The Imperium is quite fond of them due to their Dumb Is Good philosophy, in addition to their great size and strength for a non-Space Marine human, making them powerful, loyal soldiers.
- In FATAL, if your intelligence is under a certain level, you can end up with a sizable strength bonus. This being FATAL, they actually call it "Retard Strength".
- In Dungeons and Dragons, most Demon Lords of the Abyss are Genius Bruisers, Chessmasters, Magnificent Bastards, or some combination there of. The exception is Kostchtchie, a Psychopathic Manchild who may or may not have been a former frost giant, which is ironic as he's a textbook case of Hot-Blooded.
- Of the player races, Half-Orcs are consistently portrayed in this fashion, receiving as they do a racial Intelligence penalty and Strength bonus.
- Of the classes, Barbarians fit the mold better than any other. Before 4th Edition, anyone rolling a Barbarian had to spend points for their character to how to read. Naturally, the popular Half-Orc Barbarian is often both a mental midget and a paragon of power.
- The Orc god Bahgtru is stupid even by Orc standards with one of his nicknames being "the awesomely stupid." He is so stupid intelligence draining attacks have no effect since he cannot get any dumber. On the other hand he is so strong he is immune to strength draining spells and can bypass spells that protect from physical damage.
- In Orcworld the orcs war god is the ultimate in this, so stupid he actually tells a dragon that he doesn't care whether he woke him up. At one point his (much weaker) Pugg openly says, "It's true, he knows nothing." and he doesn't even realise the insult.
- Fire Emblem is quite fond of this trope:
- Seisen no Keifu: Arden to some extent
- Thracia 776: Marty
- Fuuin no Tsurugi: Gonzales, Ward to an extent
- Rekka no Ken: Bartre. "Big words... make head hurt. I'm gonna go over there and punch that rock until my head feels better."
- Guy in Final Fantasy II, who is barely capable of speech (except with beavers, for some reason).
- Gaira Kafuin in Samurai Shodown is a parody of the Martial Pacifist mold, being a Buddhist monk who is actually a violent knucklehead.
- Balrog from Street Fighter. After Bison's disappearance, Balrog was left in charge of Shadowloo, and promptly ran it into the ground.
- And then there's Hugo...
- Zangief is another example. He's fairly lacking in intelligence and seems to be more brawn than brains, yet is a proud nationalist of Mother Russia and a gentle giant.
- Rufus arguably qualifies as well; While there doesn't appear to be an ounce of actual muscle on him, he's quite the imbecile in his own way, though the comics apparently makes this as part of a Bunny Ears Lawyer aspect since his size and nonsensical ravings makes him easy to underestimate.
- In the same universe we also have Bratken, the Frankenstein's Monster-like manchild and unwitting pawn of Mad Gear in Final Fight II.
- Ogres in World of Warcraft. Most of them, anyway; Two-headed ogre mages are utter geniuses even compared to other races. To Ogres, might makes... might, and leadership is decided by who can beat up who.
- Chang Koehan from the King of Fighters series is a colossal numbskull with unbelievable physical prowess.
- Titanic Tim of the Saturday Night Slam Masters series of fighting games. One of his prefight quotes is "No one can sink the Titanic", which certainly sounds intimidating until you examine it for one second (hint: the Titanic actually did sink, but it's that exact sort of boasting that made its sinking memorable).
- And King Rasta Mon, who was actually an original rejected design for Wild Child Blanka from Street Fighter. His Japanese name is "Missing IQ" Gomez.
- Sabin from Final Fantasy VI. He seems a pretty clever fellow up until the point when he's taken to the opera.
- Umaro is probably a better example, using Hulk Speak on the rare occasions when he speaks at all. His main solution when he sees something he doesn't like is to repeatedly bash away at it until he destroys it. This can be the enemies he beats with his giant club, or the walls in Kefka's Tower that he smashes down to clear a path for his friends. Which, in its own way, is almost clever.
- Bud Bison from Mega Man Star Force, though, atypically, he's very sentimental and is easily manipulated from an emotional angle.
- Ayla from Chrono Trigger, a rare female example of this trope.
- Victor von Gerdenheim in Darkstalkers, a childlike behemoth who doesn't understand the concept of death -- or the fact that his appearance is frightening and monstrous.
- Big the Cat from the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
- Knuckles is also portrayed as a bit slow - considering all the times he's been tricked by Eggman it's not a surprise.
- If you play as a fighter in the Quest for Glory games, your intelligence and communication skills start out lower than the mage or thief, and characters will sometimes remark about the lack of refinement in your speech. There's one scene in the fourth game where you read a book in the adventurer's guild about climbing, and the narrator notes that it was "obviously meant for fighters" as it is written in very simple language.
- Bully has Russell, who pretty much defines this trope.
Russell: Russell... likes to hurt people... for peace.
- The Heavy Weapons Guy from Team Fortress 2 is a subversion; he's eloquent in Russian and even has a PhD in Russian literature (if you take his appearance in Poker Night At the Inventory as canon). The Soldier, on the other hand, spent years fighting World War II after the war had actually ended, repeats everything the announcer says, and has trouble remembering the password of '1111'. And he gets Sun Tzu confused with Noah.
- He also collects the heads of his enemies, has tea parties with cardboard cut-outs, and wore a costume made of household rubbish, thinking he had fooled the police into believing he was a robot. Safe to say, he's none too bright.
- In-Game, bad Heavies and, most of the time, W+M1 Pyros also qualify.
- City of Heroes/Villains. Wretch. Oh, Wretch.
- Cirno, the Strongest
- Also the oni, for obvious reasons.
- Neither are perfect examples. Cirno isn't that strong compared to the rest of the cast, and she's mentally on par with the average fairy. For the oni, Suika is fairly intelligent, as seen in her story path of Immaterial and Missing Power, Kasen definitely isn't dumb and her status as muscle is dubious, and we just haven't seen much of Yuugi. A better example would be Utsuho, who is extremely powerful, being essentially a living sun, and not all that much smarter than an actual crow.
- Minsc, from the Baldur's Gate games, is a blend of Dumb Muscle, Gentle Giant, Boisterous Bruiser, and Crazy Awesome.
- Beat from The World Ends With You. His ridiculously slow wit is balanced by his equally overwhelming abundance of power.
- Berserker from Fate/stay night, along with all other Berserkers in the Nasuverse, where becoming stronger at the price of getting dumber is an explicit ability of members of the class.
- Little Eddie, the first boss of MadWorld. Little Eddie loves his big bada-booms! He also promises to "murderlize" Jack, and the slurring of his speech suggests actual mental impairment to some degree.
- And Frank. Kreese specifically describes him as "dumber than a box of blondes but strong as shit. Clumsy fucker, though; Jack can take him if he plays smart and fast." Both Little Eddie and Frank are several times larger than Jack, by the by.
- Kreese himself is implied to be at least as strong as Jack (since he talks about performing feats Jack can perform) and is completely illiterate. And he's not too good with numbers, either. He blames our schools.
- Goren from Guild Wars qualifies, being large and stupid are pretty much his main bits of characterization.
- The Hunters and Brutes in Halo.
- Somewhat subverted in the expanded universe, which shows that the Hunters are Warrior Poets and that the Brutes are one of the few Covenant species who don't consider modifying Forerunner technology to be blasphemy.
- Spark Mandrill in Mega Man X is actually aware of the fact that he's not so bright, and is also, you know, a punishing apelike robot. "Now, X, you never thought that maybe Sigma was right and you were wrong? I don't like thinking, either. Maybe we can find the answer together, in battle!"
- Dekar from the SNES' Lufia II is a classic cutout for just the two words "Dumb muscle" put together.
- Flay in Mana Khemia falls pretty blatantly into this category, most of the time.
- Almost every Golden Sun character indicated to be Dumb Muscle, (by Nintendo's strategy guide, even) turns out to actually be pretty bright, just Hot-Blooded or careless. Even Agatio. Especially Agatio.
- Completely and totally averted in the case of the Qunari of Dragon Age. They are certainly big and strong, but while they tend towards the xenophobic and unimaginative they are in no way dumb. Every Qunari Hawke meets in Dragon Age 2 is perfectly capable of countering every argument Hawke makes against the certainty presented by the Qun.
- Played with by Dr. Mundo from League of Legends. On the one hand, he's a genious chemist capable of enhancing his own body to many times its physical limit and granting himself a massive Healing Factor. On the other han, he forgets his own name if he doesn't constantly say it to himself.
- In the Visual Novel Dating Sim Hatoful Boyfriend, you start with 1 wisdom, 800 vitality, and 5 charisma, and you do not get more than about 35 to 40 possible points of stat increase throughout the game.
- Arche, the main character from Fortune Summoners literally gets called "Dumb Muscle" at one point. Might have to do with the fact that she's a little girl, but even compared to her classmates she has a hard time with math or understanding some words (butler/butter, for instance).
- Taokaka and Makoto from Blaz Blue are both very physically strong and rather dim. Although you probably couldn't tell from looking at them.
- Levi, the Material of Power in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha As Portable: The Gears of Destiny. She's as strong as her title suggests, but comes with a very childlike and simple-minded personality. As in, 'easily pacified with a lollipop' childlike and simple.
- The first two Fallout games are renowned for allowing you to not only play as this trope, but actually finish the game with it. Of course, you miss out on a lot of content, but people's responses to you are funny enough that it's worth it.
Web Animation Edit
- Strong Mad from Homestar Runner. His idea of reading is looking at a waffle with "BUG" written on it in syrup. "THIS BOOK IS TOO LONG!"
- In The Fear Hole episode "All Hallows Adam", the character antagonizer is a parody on Nemesis with the brain and personality of a small child. And he is adorable. Too bad about what happens to him though...
- Thog from Order of the Stick, who proves to be the exception rather than the rule when it comes to half-orcs. Of course, being a barbarian, INT was his dump stat.
- In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja this is shown to be Martin Monster's (a Captain Ersatz of the Hulk) fatal flaw, in that his Super Mode leaves him dumb and easy to manipulate, resulting in him accidentally betraying his college buddies and leaving him in debt to Mafia leader King Radical.
- It's also an inherent effect of having too much muscle. Eventually the muscle forms into a jetpack, and when you're flying around all the time your oxygen-starved brain becomes less efficient, causing you to speak solely in bodybuilding cliches.
- Fighter, Black Belt, and Bikke in Eight Bit Theater. Black Belt is a Genius Ditz, a master of hand to hand combat who can't navigate a straight line, while Fighter and Bikke are all around morons (though still smarter than people give them credit for); Among other things, Bikke insists on being known as "The Claw", on account of the fearsome claw in place of his right hand. Except he actually has two perfectly normal hands, at least until he acquires a claw that he simply slips on. Meanwhile, Fighter simply doesn't understand that Black Mage hates him.
- Blake from Gold Coin Comics, who is also Lance's Rival.
- Chappy Chappy from Irritability rarely tries to solve any problems without violence.
- Minmax of Goblins traded all of his skills and intelligence points for attack power. As a result, he could not do very much other than fight.
- Junior, the Frankenstein's Monster Expy from Nosfera defiantly qualifies.
- Gurf from Spacetrawler.
- Death Elves in Elf Blood tend to get this treatment, having absorbed some dwarfy/orcy qualities from other fantasy lines. A possible exception is JN, who is strong and has not yet been shown to say anything profoundly stupid. He hasn't exactly been shown to be doing anything unduly smart, either.
- Cale in Looking for Group assumes this of trolls, after his first meeting with Tim. As it turns out, most of their species are quite intelligent, Tim's just been hit on the head with a mace a few times too many.
- Bloodspill from The Black Blood Alliance is a rare female example.
Web Originals Edit
- In Everyman HYBRID, Evan is noted as the most technologically dumb of the group and he even seems momentarily confused by the concept of a keycard as a method of opening an electronic lock. He shies away from technology to the point where Vince describes him as an "RL-troll" because he's got a Troll mentality (although he's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold at worst) but only checks the Internet once or twice a month. It's considered a big deal when he gets a laptop. He's also a martial artist, he carries a giant bayonet around everywhere, and he even went after Slender Man with a baseball bat.
- Captain Hammer has super strength, but fundamental deficits in the intelligence department.
- Whateley Universe example: the giant super-strong regenerating monster Killbot (who isn't a 'bot, even if his skin is partly metallic).
- Caboose in Red vs. Blue seems to get dumber as time goes on, but he's blessed with seemingly superhuman strength, as evidenced when he effortlessly lifts Andy the Bomb. As Tucker says: "We think it's God's way of compensating."
- In Recreation, Sarge comments on Caboose's strength when he effortlessly flips a warthog.
- Guts in Berserk Abridged, One of his moments is thinking that menstruation is a myth, along with women stealing men's bodily fluids to create leprechaun. He also thought that the Hawks were literally going to impregnate a castle.
- Bogdan, from Water Human. Speaks mostly in single words, and even is lauded when he manages to compose a sentence for the first time.
- Bamm-Bamm from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe. He is perhaps the third (or maybe fourth) strongest person (either hero or villain) in the world, Nigh Invulnerable, devoted to his older brother (the supervillain Eightball), and has Down's Syndrome. A member of Hard Corps, his brother's super-villain team, but only because this lets Eightball keep an eye on him. Want to press Eightball's Berserk Button really, really hard? Make fun of Bamm-Bamm's condition or use any variation of the word "retard" in his presence. Go head. I double-dog dare you.
- Carpathia, a government-sponsored Ukrainian superhero from the same setting, is another example. She's nearly ten feet tall, and lift large trucks in one hand, is effectively bulletproof, and is mentally somewhere around eight years old... Her government handlers get her to fight villains by convincing her its all just a fun game, and give her candy afterward as a reward.
- In Something Awful's "WTF, D&D" column, occasionally they run an actual Dungeons and Dragons module. In one of them, "Journey to the Rock", Steve "Malak" Sumner played Dean Snakehands, a level 4 elf with stats specifically meant to suggest the barbarian class he wasn't allowed to pick because this was Basic. Raised by frost wolves in the frozen tundra of the north, Dean Snakehands is "a muscley, savage, brutarded elf" with a meager intelligence score of 6. Dean does everything wrong because he's an idiot, but kills giant rock monsters who greatly outnumber him because he's a freaking beast. Despite playing the character for comedy, Malak was applauded for a fairly realistic depiction of an unsupervised slow-witted behemoth.
- Ares in Thalias Musings. He's usually paired with Love Goddess Aphrodite, but also with Brainy Brunette Calliope.
- Menelaos in Greek Ninja sometimes appears dumb, although he's more of a goofball rather than actually dumb.
Western Animation Edit
- Both Jorgen Von Strangle and Francis from The Fairly Odd Parents qualify, but especially Francis.
- The Dinobots from Transformers. People say Grimlock is smarter than he lets on, but he still wants Kup to tell him about the petro-rabbits, even in the middle of a firefight. Sludge is also particularly dim, and, as the largest of the Dinobots, particularly strong. All of the Dinobots have an idiosyncratic form of Hulk Speak that lends itself to this image.
- In later issues of the comics this is subverted. Depending on the writers, the Dinobots are either street-savvy bruisers, or regular Autobots who feign ignorance as an act. Grimlock is consistently portrayed as being a temperamental leader who prefers direct action.
- In Transformers Animated, Grimlock is almost toddler-like in his temperament and speech; Swoop and Snarl don't seem to have enough processor power to talk at all, either.
- Animated also includes Lugnut, who is delusionally devoted to Megatron, Mixmaster and Scrapper, who are barely aware of their surroundings, and Blackout, the largest Decepticon in history, who needs to be closely supervised in order to be of any use.
- It's not so much that Lugnut is dumb, he's just blinded by his extreme loyalty. He has his moments, like "Decepticon Air" when he led a small band of Decepticons in taking over the Elite Guard flagship.
- Also, in Generation 1, most combined robots were extremely crude mentally. Menasor was decidedly Hulk-like, for instance, only being able to act on things all of his component robots could agree on. Superion, similarly, had exactly two things he could do or think about: Fight and Protect. Even the super-smart Computron took so much time processing data that he was useless in battle. Motormaster and most of the original Predacons, as well, especially the hardheaded Headstrong, the easily enraged Tantrum, and he hyperactive Rampage. Bruticus (and, speaking of, Brawl) and Predaking are even more pronounced examples. And then there's Beastbox, an interrogation expert who is often faced with extracting information from an Autobot he had beaten to death seconds before.
- Outside of the cartoon, the true animal combiners (Predaking and Piranicon) subvert this. The explanation is that the component robots have a shared love of the hunt that completes the persona of the combined form.
- What the Firecons lack in intelligence and direct physical power, they make up for in, ahem, firepower. The exception is their commander, Sparkstalker, a twisted genius wasting away babysitting moronic stooges Flamefeather and Cindersaur.
- And Skullcruncher, who is specifically described as "slow (in more ways than one) but powerful." This is the guy who eats his enemies after defeating them, even though Cybertronians don't get nutrition of any kind that way and he admits to hating how they taste. However, the surprisingly sophisticated symbolism of cruelly absorbing his foes isn't lost on Skullcruncher's Headmaster partner Grax, who can do enough thinking for the both of them easily.
- And Stranglehold, whose strength has always outweighed his intelligence by a hefty margin. While he's a genius fighter, he's a moron when it comes to everything else, making him ultimately a liability and only welcome on the Mayhem Attack Squad, a team of misfits with similarly bad reputations.
- And Tidal Wave from Armada, who is basically only capable of saying his own name, and Demolishor's later incarnation in Energon.
- Crumplezone from Cybertron. With his big forearms and short legs, he also looks like an ape. He's literally the largest mechanoid on Velocitron. And while compared to the rest of the natives he's very slow in a couple of different ways, he's much quicker than his size suggests.
- BB from Beast Wars II subverts this slightly; His alternate mode is a stealth bomber. A gigantic stealth bomber equipped with a similarly enormous gatling gun. He's roughly three times as wide as your average transformer in robot mode, has strength and firepower ratings of 9 and an intelligence rating of 4, and can only say "Roger!"
- Blastcharge in Beast Machines, and Tankor, until Rattrap roots around in his head.
- Somewhat with Beast Wars Rampage... but he is more like "insane muscle".
- In the Shattered Glass Mirror Universe, Buster and Spike Witwicky are the dumb muscle of the family gang, while oldest brother Butch is the brains.
- Wild Kratts has Davio, henchman to Donita. Leads to a good Brick Joke in Fireflies when Donita tells a joke at the beginning of the episode, and then Davio gets it in the end... right when Donita is too angry about being foiled again to care about it any less.
Davio: "Glowrious! I get it! Haha, very funny Donita. LOL."
Donita: "You don't say LOL, you just laugh. AUGH!"
- Ned from The Venture Brothers, who is actually developmentally disabled.
- Not to mention Humongoloid, whose tremendous size comes at the apparent cost of having Down's Syndrome. At least until he gets shrunk, at which point he displays average intelligence.
- Hummongoloid wasn't developmentally disabled, he had gigantism. His slow, slurred speech (pre-shrink) was simply a result of his tongue being too big to manage.
- Mr. Larrity's son, Dean, from Code Monkeys. Though he's strong, he has the same type of mental weaknesses played for laughs. "I love Japan! Except for their Reggae music, cause it has the word 'gay' in it."
- Kronk from The Emperors New Groove. However, he is an excellent chef, and he does occasionally bring out closer to Earth insight.
- Word of God says he's not stupid, he's just not always focused on the same thing everyone else is at the time.
- Big Billy of the Gangrene Gang in The Powerpuff Girls.
- Also the short-lived fourth Powerpuff Girl, Bunny.
- The Infraggable Crunk (and actually Val Halen and Major Glory as well, to some extent) from the Justice Friends, the shorts from Dexter's Laboratory. Incredibly strong, but with the psyche of a 5-year old... literally. "TV Puppet Pals! TV Puppet Pals! Lots of fun for boys and gals!"
- And Crunk's Distaff Counterpart, the supervillain She-Thing. She promises to write every day from prison, prompting Crunk to promise to learn how to read.
- Captain Hero, a Shallow Parody of Superman in Drawn Together.
- Several in He-Man, especially the 2002 series. Ram Man makes an impressive showing for the good guys, but he's eclipsed easily by Clawful, whose voice alone comes on a little too strong about the fact that he's an utter moron. As it happens, in the original series, he was actually a Genius Bruiser, a role that was taken by Tri-Klops... who was Dumb Muscle in the original show, himself. Then there are guys like Beast Man and Grizzlor, who are frankly just bestial and have a lot of know-how related to their skills, and Spikor, who manages to be a Ted Baxter Large Ham who strikes poses while boasting about his imminent victory in addition to being an idiot.
- Numbah Four of the Kids Next Door is the idiot of the team, but also the most inclined to physical violence. His actual combat ability varies greatly between episodes, usually switching between Rule of Cool and Rule of Funny.
- In Gargoyles, Broadway's clone Hollywood (and, indeed, the Clone Clan as a whole) is a straight example of this trope. Broadway himself at times seems like this compared to Brooklyn and Lexington, but he's too smart to be a completely straight example.
- Mammoth, Cinderblock, Overload, and Soto in Teen Titans.
- Subverted with Cyborg and Monsieur Mallah, who use brute force the most of anyone on their respective teams, but are both highly intelligent as well.
- Ed from Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy.
- Korgoth of Barbaria himself, a pastiche of Conan minus the ingenuity and ambition.
- Pipsqueak from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- Torvald and Harold in Hey Arnold; Torvald, in particular, has been held back several years and the best grade he ever had in his life was a C- from kindergarten.
- Red Menace from League of Super Evil is around this line, and Doctor Frogg became one after using a device to convert his brain power to strength, until they needed to disarm a self-destruct mechanism and needed someone smart to do it (when Red needed to "re-educate" him).
- Stan's Ax Crazy sister, Shelley, from South Park.
- Beezy from Jimmy Two-Shoes.
- Cliff from Cat Dog.
- Dean's prisoners from The Goode Family.
- Gene from Bob's Burgers.
- Ranger Stu.
- Both Lok and Slog from Tak and the Power of Juju.
- Rondo Jr. from Yakkity Yak.
- The Bullnerds, Thor Thort and Brick Buster in Chalk Zone.
- Susan Strong, in Adventure Time, is almost a rare female example, but actually could be considered a subversion. She can't speak English right off the bat and is very confused about life on the surface, but that doesn't make her dumb; she learns very quickly.
- Rico in The Penguins of Madagascar talks exclusively in garbled grunts.
- Angela Anaconda 's older brothers. Probably because they're always banging their heads together...with no helmets.
Real Life Edit
- Dinosaurs like the Giganotosaurus and the Carcharodontosaurus.
- Constrictor snakes. More muscular and larger than their venomous cousins and kill their prey by suffocating it; but very little to speak about brains.
- Many professional athletes are considered this.
- Applying this stereotype to Greg Ostertag has become a running joke in the basketball world; he couldn't shoot. Or pass. Or run. Or dunk. His calf tattoo of Fred Flintstone flying through the air with a basketball was an apt description.
- Comedian Jimmy Kimmel often applied this trope to Karl Malone, as well.
- Older Than Feudalism example: The philosophers of Ancient Greece universally depised Olympic athletes as dumb and called them "meatbags" because of their high protein diet.
- In military humor, infantrymen (and the ground combat branches as a whole) are often stereotyped as tough but stupid/unsophisticated.
- The decidedly un-PC concept of "retard strength" is the idea that mentally handicapped people have unusual strength.
- While they're anything but dumb by animal standards, the other Great Apes are considerably stronger than humans. This would make humans the wimpy nerds.
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's surname originated from an ancestor who was nicknamed "motz," which means "fool" or "dirt-for-brains." At some point down the line, the fool's ancestors tried to dignify their surbame by added "-hart," which means "hard" or "tough." The resulting surname essentially names Dumb Muscle.