Stupid Good

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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More than a few people have recognized the Fridge Logic in the behavior of the average Lawful Stupid character. After all, smiting someone merely because your magic radar told you he was evil seems more sociopathic than heroic to most. In order to avoid this however, some people take things too far to the other side; resulting in The Messiah taken to its illogical extreme.

In short, the Stupid Good character is "good" to the point of being unable to comprehend that someone else might be bad. As such, she's a Friend to All Living Things, unliving things, and things that ought not live. In short: good, but in a bad way.

This often extends to such utter pacifism that they refuse to kill, attack, or even defend themselves from anything. While most people would flee when faced with a foe which cannot be reasoned with, this person will attempt to talk down the enemy even as they're charging with swords drawn, howling for their heads. This is the kind of person who would attempt to convince the devil himself that his evil crusade is wrong and that he and his good counterpart should resolve their differences with a kind word and a handshake. It is difficult, if not impossible to reason with hardened criminals or terrorists of any sort, both in reality and in fantasy. It gets even more ridiculous when one tries negotiating with entities whose goals include the destruction/domination of the world, or pure manifestations of evil. Yet the Stupid Good character attempts to convert the Complete Monster to the side of good using The Power of Friendship anyway—cue everyone complaining when the predictable bloodbath ensues.

The other players often see this kind of character as a nuisance, especially when they just want to crack some heads and she won't let them because she doesn't want to make orphans of the "cute little baby orcs". Such a player may be bringing too much of a rigid stance into an action-adventure series where creatures can be Exclusively Evil, and thus may be ruining the other players' fun. They don't want to have a huge moral quandary on their hands every time enemies attack.

In some settings however, Stupid Good behavior may actually work—though these settings also tend to be so high on the idealistic end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism that they crap sunshine and puke rainbows. The Purity Sue also has a tendency to convert any villain -- no matter how loathsome—to the side of Light.

Suffice to say, this isn't really the intended way to play a paladin either (though the Book of Exalted Deeds did provide vows of non-violence for those who wanted to play a pacifist character). The Book of Exalted Deeds didn't provide so much advice for these players (indeed, they left a paladin to choose between "destroying evil and honoring love" when said love was between two Exclusively Evil succubi), but they did indicate a good character could ask "How big is that dragon, and does it have any friends?" with an eye towards knowing if they stand a chance at all. Guess Wizards of the Coast thought it was more important to avoid being Miko Miyazaki than it was to avoid being Piffany.

If becoming good results in Stupid Good, see Hero Ball.

Despite the implications, not actually related to Dumb Is Good, which is where a lack of intelligence means a person is innately inclined to be good, as opposed to taking Good to such extremes as to act in a stupid manner (so this is more along the lines of Good Is Dumb).

Examples of Stupid Good include:

Anime and Manga

  • In the Sailor Moon anime, Sailor Moon actually offers the Big Bad of Sailor Moon S the MacGuffin she wanted all along to destroy the world because she refuses to sacrifice anyone. The show actually acknowledges how dangerous this gambit was when two of the Sailors, who were less than thrilled with the world coming so close to assured destruction, attacked her after the battles were over as a Secret Test of Character. In Sailor Stars, she does the same thing for that series' Big Bad, though by the time she actually has to confront her, it is after the Big Bad has killed her entire Sailor Team in combat. It actually works in her universe, but had it been slightly less on the idealistic side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism, she would have just pointlessly died and failed to save the world in the process.
  • Dragonball Z's Goku: The only Big Bad he didn't let live (Vegeta), offer to spare (Raditz, Capt. Ginyu, Frieza), or hope to be redeemed and fight again (Buu) was Cell—and even Cell got a free Senzu bean, which he makes up for by nearly letting Cell beat Gohan to death (despite having first hand knowledge that Gohan's Berserk Button was seeing his loved ones in danger, not his own peril).
    • Pretty ironic, since he did pile up the corpses in early Dragon Ball (not Z). Children Are Innocent indeed.
      • It started really kicking in near the end of Dragon Ball proper, after he'd been trained by Kami. Perhaps some godly mercy permanently rubbed off on the Saiyan.
  • Fate/stay night has the stupid good Emiya Shiro, who takes his Stay in the Kitchen attitude to the point of refusing to summon his powerful epic hero Servant Saber to a battle against another servant in which he would surely die without her. Only a Deus Ex Machina saves him. Though it can be inferred from this that Shirou's Stupid Good status is more properly a case of Always Save the Girl; he's trying to keep Saber from fighting in the hopes of keeping her from getting hurt.
    • Saber is also pretty Stupid Good. She is willing to sacrifice everything about herself for others, much like Shiro is. King Arthur himself was a stupid good character in the original myth. One could argue that if she wasn't so stupid good, Shirou wouldn't have acted the way he does towards her. It is also their stupid goodness that attracted them to each other.
  • Vash from Trigun ventures into Stupid Good territory. He's absolutely iron-willed not to ever kill anyone, even if they're coming at him in droves with guns blazing. This gets him in extremely uncomfortable circumstances until he reaches his saturation point when caught in a Sadistic Choice, and pulls the trigger.
    • Vash could be argued as a sympathetic Deconstruction of this. He suffers rather heavily to save people without hurting others to the point that when you see his bare chest, it is almost all either scar tissue or metal braces holding it together. As mentioned above, he is willing to kill, but only when he finds himself in a situation where it's either kill the bad guy, or watch his friends die (and presumably the innocents he was mind controlling at the time would like have been killed as well), and he is rather shaken up by the experience.
    • Even before that, Vash had plenty of opportunities to save many lives by ending few; being forced to confront that choice concerning people he knew personally was what finally broke him.
  • Kinnikuman blunders into being Stupid Good a number of times. Some instances it's acceptable, like in the Throne arc when Kinnikuman Super Phoenix deliberately kills his subordinates who have become useless to him. Other times, like saying Warsman was the "better man" throughout their whole fight in spite of blatant cheating and nearly killing him, are not so acceptable.
  • Weed from Ginga Densetsu Weed. Hoo boy.
  • Naruto. He insists in trying to save Sasuke and that Sasuke is his friend even when it's blatantly obvious that Sasuke does not want to be saved and considers Naruto just a nuisance, if that at all (not to mention the time he shoved a Chidori through Naruto's chest without knowledge that Naruto could regenerate). This in itself is bad enough, but the fact that Sasuke has done nothing but sprint down the slippery slope like a dog chasing a bone only makes Naruto's actions progressively worse. And we're supposed to cheer for Naruto when he does something Too Dumb to Live like getting beaten up and humiliated by Karui because of his stubborn refusal to "betray" Sasuke.
  • Orihime, oh Orihime... Your heart is always in the right place: you want to save your friends, those arrancar were hurt and one was even killed because of you, and you can't just sit back and let your friends get hurt for your sake. But honey, maybe you should use the brain that we know you have in there and think: your friends have already displayed their rescue fetishes, those arrancar were trying to kill you and one was still hitting you while you were healing her, and Aizen is a Magnificent Bastard who has probably planned for you to do all of that (and you know it, heck, you lampshaded it after he showed you the Hogyoku)! There's also the protagonist Ichigo, with his habit of sparing and even saving the enemies who try to kill him. As an example of how bad Ichigo can be with this, after waking up from his Hollow-side taking over, he saw that Ulquiorra, an already viciously powerful opponent had been dismembered by his outburst. His logical reaction was to offer that Ichigo could injure himself to an equal extent to have a fair fight with him.
  • Yuuri from Kyou Kara Maou falls into this category. Even if the series is on the idealistic side, it doesn't change the fact that he forgives EVERYBODY (including traitors) and is willing to give the villains a second chance along with sparing him. It gives his friends a huge headache.
  • Suzaku from Code Geass has an instance of this, by offering to consider Ashford a neutral place for himself and his bitter rival, Kallen, even going so far as to not mention her illegal actions to his superiors. It doesn't go poorly, but he only barely avoids a violent confrontation.
  • Death Note: Poor, poor Rem, she keeps giving her love and trust to backstabbing, Ax Crazy humans.
  • The kirin of The Twelve Kingdoms are uniformly Stupid Good, but this is an accepted fact in-universe: as the kirin are supernatural creatures of mercy, it's something that is hardwired in their nature, and one of a ruler's most important challenges is learning when to ignore the advice of his kirin, since a kingdom cannot be ruled on compassion alone.
  • Emma from The Promised Neverland. Being an Actual Pacifist with a policy of If You Kill Him You Will Be Just Like Him regarding enemies is often an admirable trait, but most folks with this policy do set limits. When the villains you staunchly claim should be spared are Humanoid Abomination types who raise children like cattle in People Farms disguised as orphanages, such a policy seems a little extreme. (Most would agree that even a Knight Templar stance towards these demons would be much better than the current state of the world.) This failure to accept reality made poor Emma something of The Scrappy among fans. To Emma's credit, she does manage to eventually broker a peace treaty with the demons, but one does have to wonder if she could have rescued everyone much faster had she not been so concerned with finding a way to keep the demons from starving.

Comic Books

  • This applied to many superheroes in the Silver Age. When Super Dickery wasn't in effect.


  • In the movie Sunshine a spaceship is trying to reach the Sun (which is extinguishing) to detonate an uber-nuke into it (don't ask) and reactivate it. After a dramatic incident, it turns out there isn't enough oxygen for the crew to survive and complete the mission. The solution would be to kill one of them, who has gone insane—with his death they would spare enough oxygen to complete their task. The female protagonist, Cassie, takes the moral high ground and refuses to give her consent to the killing. Keep in mind that not only it was the sacrifice of one person versus the destruction of Earth and of the whole human race on it, but that they were all going to die anyway, since they had no chance to go back to Earth, whether they completed the mission or not.
  • Forrest Gump
    • Not always in the standard way, though. Sometimes, Forrest's efforts at actively opposing evil come off as this trope. When he sees Jenny getting groped while performing nude at a folk-music performance, for example, Forrest angrily attacks her tormentors - and Jenny herself tells him off for spoiling the performance.
  • Subverted in the movie Dogville - after being stupid good the entire movie, Nicole Kidman's character finally comes to the conclusion that arson is more fun than turning the other cheek.
  • 2012.[context?]
  • Ironically enough, Satan himself (as his human alter ego John Milton) depicts himself as this in The Devil's Advocate. Claiming that God Is Evil because he cruelly tempts human beings and then punishes them when they can't resist, Satan declares himself "the last humanist" because he accepts human beings despite all their flaws. It is difficult to judge whether Satan is outright lying or has talked himself into believing his own lie, but in either case he should know that - especially when it comes to sin - tolerance isn't always a virtue.
  • The Mystics in The Dark Crystal. Jen's adoptive father even admits he shouldn't have waited until he was on his deathbed to explain what to Jen what his quest is, and this lack of foresight requires Jen to figure the whole thing out himself, something he clearly could not have done without Kira's help. They also apparently never saw reason to teach Jen how to read, a skill which would have been very useful in said quest, something which, again, was helped by Kira having more sensible guardians.
  • Ed Roony, the Non-Giving-Up-School Guy and Determined Defeatist of Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It is debatable whether or not he qualifies as “good” any more than Ferris does, but everything he does in his effort to nab Ferris only proves what an idiot he is. First, he witnesses on his PC Ferris hacking into his records as he does it, and never even mentions this again. Second, he falls for Ferris’ trap hook-line-and-sinker in the infamous phone call scene. Does this school even keep emergency contact numbers on record? And of course, breaking and entering? Yeah, you’re not helping your case there, teach, not only does this result in him being humiliated and injured, it is likely a key factor in getting Ferris and his sister to reconcile.
  • From Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; assuming the Federation can truly be considered "good" (they've done quite a few morally shady things in the long history of the franchise) they did have nothing but good intentions in developing the Genesis Device, quite possibly the biggest black mark on their record. The Device's purpose is to "terraform" an uninhabitable planet, breaking down its terrain into subatomic particles and restructuring it into a planet with water, an atmosphere, and plant life, making it capable of supporting human life. Unfortunately, it seemed nobody involved in its development or construction realized (as Spock did in about a minute, and Khan also deduced quickly) what it could do to a planet that already had sapient life. Bluntly, it wouldn't be pretty.


  • Mackenzie the half-demon, from Tales of MU, because of demons being stereotyped as Stupid Evil. She's getting better, though.
  • Eddard Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire is bound by an inflexible code of honor. It isn't as irksome in the otherwise Crapsack World as one might expect. His flaw isn't his code of honor, but his belief that other people are better or more honest than they actually are and that they can be shamed into doing the right thing; he's willing to do the right thing, no matter how hard that may actually be.
    • His son, on the other hand, falls into this category towards the end.
  • In Twenty Years After, while on the run from the Queen (who wants to throw them in the Bastille), Athos learns that d'Artagnan and Porthos have already been captured. His response is to go to the Queen and ask her to release them, which—surprise, surprise—leads to him being imprisoned too. (And that's not even mentioning the times he stops his friends from killing the villain.)
  • The eighth book of the Sword of Truth series features a culture of people that are so Stupid Good that they won't even defend themselves when The Empire invades and starts with the evaile. When the Designated Hero shows up, some of them even serve as willing human shields for the Bad Guys, because war is bad, mmkay? Too Dumb to Live doesn't even begin to cover it.
  • Averted by the main character in Elizabeth Moon's The Deed of Paksenarrion, which was written explicitly as a guide to being a Paladin without being Lawful Stupid, because the author was tired of constantly running into Lawful Stupid paladins at conventions.
  • Two words: Liu Bei. Worse yet, he combines it with Moral Dissonance (ironically against his own Stupid Good at times) and Values Dissonance. And he's the main protagonist for at least the first half of the book, people.
  • Eve Forward's Villains by Necessity has the Balance Between Good and Evil central to its plot—if it's not maintained, the world will be sublimated into either a big light blur or a big dark blur with a possible domino effect for other worlds—but supports this mostly by populating the side of Good with Lawful Stupid Knights Templar, with some Stupid Good lackeys for variety. This has the unfortunate effect of undermining the premise, since the "good" antagonists really aren't particularly good people, and the "evil" protagonists mostly aren't particularly evil either. Notably, one such Stupid Good lackey, the centaur bard Robin, eventually clues in and performs a Face Heel Turn to side with the "evil" protagonists, and the Black Knight called Blackmail turns out to be a legendary paladin who has sided with the protagonists for the sake of saving the world and in disgust at his former True Companions's Lawful Stupid behavior.
  • Most of the good guys in the first Chronicles of Thomas Covenant to some extent except Mhoram and Covenant himself but especially the Sea Reach Giants who submit to genocide because of something they had no control over
    • With regards to the Giants, that was kind of the point. If they could now be possessed by Ravers (which they couldn't previously), they could now be turned against the Land and it's other defenders. They preferred death over becoming something they hated.
  • Notably averted by Michael Carpenter and the other Knights of the Cross in The Dresden Files. The Knights consistently offer their enemies chances at redemption, to the point of refusing to kill a Complete Monster in the hopes of redeeming him - however, the chance at redemption that they offer involves tangibly surrendering one's evil powers (as in the case of the Order of the Blackened Denarius, the Knights' primary adversaries, who are required to hand over the coins via which they make their pacts with Fallen Angels). If the enemy refuses, the Knights have no problem with fighting and killing them, and they're well aware that their enemies may also try to take advantage of their offers of mercy.
    • Explaining the Knights' methods, Michael points out that the Christian God is about forgiveness, and that mercy is what sets the Knights above those they fight. In fact, one of the Knights is himself a former Denarian, proof of the validity of the Knights' approach.
  • In the Discworld novels, Captain Carrot is an interesting aversion. In any other setting, Carrot's actions would often fall into Stupid Good territory, but since things on the Disc are governed by narrative causality and Carrot knows it, he manages to get the exact result he wants by defying all common sense on a regular basis.
    • The aversion is further strengthened by the fact that Carrot is perfectly willing to put his sword through a villain (and the stone pillar behind him) if the villain presents a clear danger and is obviously unreformable.
    • And the fact that people often will actually be convinced to stop doing evil... when a six-foot man in heavy armour and a big sword (and later, simply his reputation) is the one telling them to.
  • In one of C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower novels, Hornblower can save his ship only by lying to a French officer that Napoleon has recently died. To make the enemy believe him, Hornblower has to support the lie by taking an oath on his honor as an officer. He plans to resign his commission in disgrace at the next port, because he has permanently dishonored himself. Fortunately for him, he finds out, by Jove, Napoleon really IS dead, so the lie was the truth all along. In Forester's defense, he conveys the standards of that culture so vividly that the reader can believe in Hornblower's scruples.
    • This incident subverts the Stupid Good trope on a couple levels. Hornblower is arguably being "stupid good" in that he expects his enemies to completely ditch their plan solely because Hornblower gives his sworn word. However, he's not being "stupid" because they do take his word, and he's not being "good" because his actions are utterly shameful in his culture.
  • Bella Swan from Twilight: there are several instances in which she puts herself in mortal danger unnecessarily or to the benefit of no-one. Example: In the first book when she believes her mother has been kidnapped by a vampire. She sneaks away from her vampiric associates to offer herself up as a sacrifice for her mother, so as not to put her vampire family in danger. After receiving a thorough beating, her friends find her and quickly dispatch the offending vampire... something they would have/could have done in the first place.
  • Mikah Samon from Deathworld 2. Among his antics: placing Jason under arrest for winning hugely at dice; attempting to "Force [the murderous thug who'd just enslaved them] to give back what is mine" (the guy swiped his boots); giving the night watch over to a guy who Jason had warned him was about to betray them; betraying Jason himself when Jason tried to start a unifying war, in a feudal Crapsack World that couldn't possibly be any worse; defecting to a tribe who "assured [him] that they were a clan of honest mechanics and laborers" because the equally vile tribe Jason was allowing to Take Over the World was winning; and a general propensity toward Insane Troll Logic and resistance to the idea of moral relativism. Mikah is an odd example of being both Stupid Good, and The Fundamentalist.
  • Sisterhood series by Fern Michaels: Averted for the most part. Subverted, however, in Lethal Justice. Alexis Thorne AKA Sara Whittier goes to see Arden Gillespie and Roland Sullivan after they have been caught embezzling and are soon to be arrested. She offers them some wine and tells them that she forgives them for framing her for their crimes and ruining her life. However, after Roland and Arden drink the wine, when asked why she's not drinking, Alexis reveals that she doctored the wine with tranquilizers and states that she's not stupid! Yep, she was just pretending to be Stupid Good just to get them to let their guards down! She follows it up by having a tattoo artist put "BASTARD" on Roland's forehead, "BITCH" on Arden's forehead, and tattoo Arden's body with snakes.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe: To be honest, the New Republic and Luke Skywalker's Jedi Order have fallen victim to this. The trilogy that introduced Natasi "I Satan" Daala and Kyp Durron is particularly notable for this. Mon Mothma tried to negotiate peace between the New Republic and the Empire with Ambassador Furgen, who made it no secret that he was a Complete Monster. In fact, he throws his drink in her face and says that there will never be peace between the two governments. Then it turned out later that the drink contained nanobots that were destroying her from the inside out! You would think Mon Mothma would have had more common sense by this point in time, but apparently not. Then there is the matter of Kyp Durron going around blowing up solar systems containing Imperial citizens with the Sun Crusher. Mon Mothma and her council know what he has done, but instead of punishing him, they hand him over to Luke Skywalker, who welcomes him back with open arms. Several characters were more than happy to point that this is not how life works, and Kyp now has the pleasure of Never Live It Down for the rest of his life!
    • Mon Mothma had been fighting the Empire for what, over a decade by then? More? Can you blame her for wanting peace? And for Kyp Durron...1.) He was under the influence of Exar Kun at the time. 2.) He became a great Jedi Master and would forever remain The Atoner. 3.) It was, at heart, a Jedi Problem.
    • The New Rebellion has a character named Femon reveal in her thoughts that she considers the New Republic too weak. She feels that the NR is too lenient with its enemies by practically never punishing them for their crimes. Femon is The Dragon to Big Bad Kueller/Dolph (think Adolf Hitler), who is Putting on the Reich, and she turns on him because she perceives that he has fallen to the same weakness as the NR, and he kills her for turning on him. On one side, this seems to say that everything she thinks is supposed to be dismissed and blown off. On the other side, this qualifies as Straw Man Has a Point, because the NR has done more reacting than acting.
    • Indeed, it is remarkable that the NR lasted for around 30 years living on this trope! At least the Yuuzhan Vong series did one thing right, and that was to tear this trope into tiny shreds!

Live-Action TV

  • In Red Dwarf episode "Demons and Angels", the characters meet their good and evil duplicates. Their "high" selves are so naive and trusting that they don't realise they are being deliberately shot, stabbed and crushed, and the High Kryten thinks a grenade is a "welcome gift".
  • Highlander has a guy who called himself Methos (not the real Methos played by Peter Wingfield) who wanted all Immortals to lay down their swords, embrace peace, and help little old ladies across the street at every opportunity. He didn't last through half the episode, getting decapitated by the Villain of the Week.
  • Peter Petrelli ("Adam is my friend. I can't let you hurt him.") of Heroes.
  • In Doctor Who, the Doctor can seem to veer wildly between Lawful Stupid and Stupid Good on occasion, particularly in the new series; he can ruthlessly dispatch and/or punish relatively minor foes or those who break his rules based on a belief in "no second chances" (such as leaving Adam stuck with a piece of futuristic technology in his head for attempting to profit from futuristic technology, or denying Britain a 'golden age' by manipulating the ousting of Harriet Jones from office after she ordered the destruction of a fleet of defeated alien invaders, something which went against the Doctor's efforts), whilst at the same time demonstrating an at-times almost boggling level of compassion and attempts at mercy towards foes whose sins have been much, much worse (such as attempting to forgive and/or rescue both the Master and Davros, each genocidal maniacs with raging God complexes and an overall body-count well into the billions by this point). It's worth noting that those in the second group tend to be long-time recurring foes with Joker Immunity.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Peak Performance", Jean-Luc Picard demonstrates this attitude when he disdains the idea of participating in a war simulation, because he believes that Starfleet's primary role should be diplomacy and exploration. (But Jean-Luc, what are all those torpedoes and phasers for?)
    • A visiting scientist regards Picard as showing this in "Silicon Avatar," when he says that he doesn't want to attack a crystalline entity responsible for the destruction of an entire colony (where the scientist's son was killed), but instead wants to try to communicate with it as a means to prevent further attacks. She thinks he's naive and kills the unique entity out of vengeance.
  • Subverted in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Errand Of Mercy". The Organians appear to fit this trope for most of the episode, but it's eventually revealed that they were powerful Energy Beings and they were just humoring the Klingons when they let them take over their planet.
    • Double subverted with Edith Keeler from "The City on the Edge of Forever". She knows who's a bad risk for her soup kitchen, but does not get that you cannot negotiate with a Hitler.
  • Subverted in the Adam West Batman when Batman seems to let the gun moll for The Minstrel go simply because she said she was going to turn over a new leaf. Even Robin is aghast at how incredibly naive Batman (Even for this version) is for doing it, until Batman reveals that he placed a listening bug in her purse and let her go so she'd return to the villain's hide out.
  • Due South: Fraser often appears like this. Of course he is smarter then he looks.
  • Herschel in The Walking Dead who is very protective of Walkers and keeps several of them in his barn. He regards them as just "sick people". Admittedly two of them were once family members but still

Professional Wrestling

  • Sting's ridiculously trusting behavior earned him the Fan Nickname "The Dumbest Man In Pro Wrestling". Just count how many times he's been betrayed by Lex Luger... or look at the time he actually joined the Four Horsemen, not even suspecting that the whole thing might be a set-up to destroy him despite having spent the last two years feuding with their leader, Ric Flair. This seemed to change for a while when he adopted the Crow gimmick... and then he turned around and joined up with the Wolfpac the instant they split off from the nWo. Needless to say, they punked his ass out in a few months. Right through to his run in TNA over the last few years, Sting has virtually never had an ally who did not betray him. The most recent of his betrayals came after he made a Face Heel Turn, joining up with the Main Event Mafia to teach the young wrestlers some respect. They eventually turfed him for not being evil and greedy enough.
    • It's now been epically subverted with the advent of Immortal. Sting has pretty much gone from this trope to Dangerously Genre Savvy.
  • Usually it is more socially acceptable in pro wrestling for the WWE Divas to exhibit Stupid Good behavior - because, well, they're women, so they're "dizzy dames" who don't know any better. Special mention must go to Maria Kanellis, who was portrayed as extremely naive from day one, but who in the summer of 2009 made a judgment call that was pretty boneheaded even for her. Dolph Ziggler (formerly "Nicky" Nemeth of the Spirit Squad) was ruthlessly tearing his way up through the midcard (after himself starting out as a Stupid Evil Naive Newcomer who tried to shake all his opponents' hands before their matches). It was apparent to anyone with half a brain that Ziggler was self-centered, arrogant, and prepared to do whatever it took to win the Intercontinental Championship. But Maria genuinely loved him, accompanied him to all his matches, and constantly made excuses for his behavior, even insisting that his bully shtick was just part of the kayfabe act and that away from the ring he was a completely decent person - in short, a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. She even became paranoid of other Divas who tried to warn her away from Ziggler, assuming that they were jealous of her. Maria's stubborn defense of Dolph eventually put her across the ring from his opponent for the Intercontinental Championship: Rey Mysterio, WWE's ultimate babyface. Fortunately, Maria took a brief hiatus from WWE and broke off her relationship with Dolph before he could totally corrupt her.
  • John Cena came off as this a bit during his mid-2011 feud with CM Punk. John was adamant that he defend his WWE title against Punk at the next PPV, despite Punk saying he was going to leave the company at midnight, just a little bit after said PPV. Yes, Vince McMahon seemed corrupt for trying to meddle in it and suspending Punk, running parallels to the Montreal Screwjob. John got his way....and Punk won, leaving the company with the title, exactly what Vince was trying to prevent.

Tabletop Games

  • In the Old World of Darkness:
  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, members of the Children of Gaia tribe can be Stupid Good at times. The dichotomy of peace-loving werewolves is certainly interesting, but some of these hippies would sooner talk politics over tea with the creatures they're supposed to kill. The worst part is the tribebook for the Children of Gaia seems to encourage portraying them as the hippies of Werewolf-kind with no real pragmatism to counterbalance their idealism.
    • On the other hand, the other Werewolf tribes tend to take Lawful Stupid to gory new heights. If they so much as think someone is tainted with the slightest bit of evil, GROWLSLASHKILLBITEMAIMKILLSLASH...
  • In Hunter: The Reckoning, several groups of hunters seemed to fall exclusively into the realm of Lawful Stupid (Zeal) or Stupid Good (Mercy). This was meant to refer to the extremes in philosophy of the groups.
    • Anyone with a virtue rating higher than 7 becomes incurably insane and the Vision caste are, by design, meant to guide the others in looking at the bigger picture. So the issues with the Zeal and Mercy castes are more crippling overspecialization than anything. Furthermore, anyone who does anything has some horrible retribution waiting for them anyway.
    • The Innocent Creed (the ones who believe monsters can be people, too) had problems with this. Creed Book: Innocent had a viewpoint character who tried to help a vampire with her condition. After she ripped his legs off. As you can tell, White Wolf had problems with the "hippie" classes of the old line.
  • In the New World of Darkness, pretty much everyone with a Morality above 8 probably counts, considering you can ding a Morality 9 rating by simply refusing to do a good act when presented with the opportunity, and ding a Morality 10 rating by just thinking about doing something bad.
  • Dungeons & Dragons.
    • The Healer class. Healing is all you can do in a game where fighting is pretty much mandatory (you can only fight undead.)
    • The Vow of Nonviolence from Book of Exalted Deeds forbids attacking enemies. The Vow of Peace requires that you work to stop other people doing violence even if they're on your side. This is unlikely to go down well.
    • Some other Sacred Vows can hinder a PC more than others. The Vow of Purity forbids the PC from ever touching a dead body (fighting undead is permitted, but you must "cleanse" yourself with a ritual afterwards). This includes meat cooked as food, so your PC must be strictly vegetarian (not all that hard) but it also means you cannot steal from a tomb or grave or take anything from a fallen enemy, or approve of your allies doing so, no matter how vile or evil the slain enemy is. (Of course, stealing from living enemies is okay, it seems.) While doing this at all may be a morally grey area, it's still how most adventurers make a profit, and won't make life much easier.
    • Specific example, the Book of Exalted Deeds also profiles several godlike celestial beings, including Queen Morwel and the Court of Stars, the Chaotic Good rulers of the eladrins. One of them, Gwynarwhyf, the Whirling Fury, is the patron of Good-aligned barbarians, but one legend about her claims she showed signs of this Trope and Chaotic Stupid, that she tried to storm the Maw of Demogorgon and challenge the Prince of Demons (by herself). She was taken captive and survived only because Faerinaal (a more sensible member of the Court of Stars) was able to mount a successful rescue while Demogorgon's dual personality was in disagreement over the best way to torture her to death. Since then, Morwel has kept Gwynarwhyf "on a short leash". (As she says.)
  • The little-known Italian fantasy RPG Kata Kumbas has a playable class that is a Jesus-expy. In a game where experience is mostly gained by killing things, any player with this class forfeits ALL experience for the whole adventure if anything gets killed during the adventure itself. In other words, you lose all hope at gaining EXP if the other players kill even one of the Always Evil monsters you encounter. Thus, this trope will come into play a lot.

Video Games

  • The leader of Fisherman's Horizon in Final Fantasy VIII is Stupid Good, to the point where he tries to have a friendly conversation with the commander of the army that is currently tearing up his city and planning to KILL EVERYONE, and then chastises the player for saving him from certain death!
    • Similarly, in Final Fantasy IX, the Cleyrans that lived in a big tree in the desert for hundreds of years without any fighting, thus they forgot how to defend themselves. When Brahne's forces invade to kill everyone in the tree in order to get a MacGuffin, the Clyerans try to reason with the soldiers as the soldiers are attacking! Unfortunately, unlike the above example, this gets them killed very quickly.
  • Flonne from Disgaea. If her nickname doesn't say it all, nothing will.
  • The elves in Overlord II are incredibly Stupid Good. Excluding Queen Fay, their only concern is saving cute and fluffy animals. When Queen Fay, as part of her Enemy Mine, attempts to perform a Heroic Sacrifice to save her people from destruction by the Glorious Empire, they even try to stop her, which they attribute (correctly) to the influence of the Overlad.
  • Daniel, Mordin Solus' assistant in Mass Effect 2 is Stupid Good; if the player kills the thugs that were threatening Daniel's life, Daniel accuses the player of cold-blooded murder. Conversely, if the player lets the thugs go after they release Daniel, Daniel gets angry at Mordin, who says that he would have killed the thugs.
    • A dossier conversation given by Lair of the Shadow Broker also shows that Daniel's Stupid Good tendencies actually make him a bad doctor. During the plague, he becomes far too emotional to actually focus on treating patients effectively. He is only an assistant, sure, but the first concern of a doctor during an epidemic sure as hell isn't going to be asking about the burial or death rituals of an already dead patient - it would be on quickly moving on to save the people who can be saved. Not to mention the Stupid Good-ness of leaving the clinic in the first place. The good intentions of getting the cure to the air control are undermined by a) high risk of death for an untrained medic and b) abandoning the many sick patients who need his medical help, even if the treatment he can offer is ineffective.
    • Brilliantly averted by a Paragon Shepard. S/he may try to help as many people possible but s/he will not hesitate to gun down anyone who gets in his/her way while doing so.
  • Fenthick in Neverwinter Nights, to the point that he gets himself hung for treason because he vouched for a deceptive but Obviously Evil lunatic that turned out to be spreading the very plague that he claimed to be trying to cure. Massively averted by the rest of the cast, though.
  • Pokémon Black and White gives us N, who leads Team Plasma on a crusade to "save" Pokémon from human enslavement, according to the ideals daddy taught him as he was growing up. He falls in this category because [A] Pokémon enjoy human company for the most part (though the abused probably wouldn't want to be around their tormentors for long, just like most anyone else) and [B] daddy happens to be Ghetsis, who intends to take over Unova once humanity is disarmed and is using all of Team Plasma, including his own son to achieve this end. The kid is to be pitied; the rest, not so much.
    • It didn't help that Ghetsis made sure to expose him exclusively to Pokemon that HAD been abused by Trainers.
  • From the Mega Man series, we have Mega Man himself. He refuses to believe Bass is an enemy, even as he's attacking. He knowingly walked into a trap to save Dr. Light, even after being told it was a fake, because it might be real. When learning that Dr. Wily has a cold, he takes him to the hospital insstead of bringing him to justice.
  • Knuckles' main character trait from his debut in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 all the way to Sonic Adventure 2 (at least) was his extreme repeated gullibility concerning who the bad guy was.
  • The Pkunk from Star Control 2 edge into this territory at times, blithely accepting their fate of being wiped out by the Ilwrath and outright ignoring the danger of contacting their estranged Yehat kin because they're too busy being irritatingly benign space hippies.
  • World of Warcraft
    • Some players feel this way about the current state of the Argent Crusade. In Wrath of the Lich King, they were the Only Sane Men who were pushing the fight towards the Lich King while the Horde and Alliance bickered. Come Cataclysm, they remain on good terms with both factions. It wouldn't be a problem if the Crusade hadn't specifically stated that they've re-focused their main goal as claiming Lordaeron for the living. This comes into conflict with the Forsaken, who are quickly turning into the Scourge 2.0 by killing the living to raise as new undead, all while plague-bombing and defiling a lot of the landscape. Tirion Fordring's apathy and unwillingness to act against them has been interpreted as either not wanting to provoke the Forsaken so he doesn't provoke the rest of the Horde - thus sacrificing his values for politics - or as him believing that the Forsaken deserve a chance - thus falling squarely into this trope.
    • Jaina Proudmoore often gets similar criticisms. In a short story that takes place during the Warlords of Draenor expansion, she was trying to talk to Varian to convince him to keep peace with the Horde. This took place after the novel that made it clear that Garrosh would stop at nothing to claim the entire planet for the Horde, and considering Thrall has so far done exactly nothing about that, one has to wonder what, exactly, she expects Varian to do.
    • You are. That’s right, you, the Player Character. So many times over your character’s journey from novice to champion, he or she is tricked into trusting some villain that he obviously shouldn’t have. Abercrombie in Duskwood, Vanessa VanCleef in Westfall, Myzrael in Arathi Highlands, Kalaran the Deceiver in Searing Gorge, Teron Gorefiend in Shadowmoon Valley, Drakuru in Grizzly Hills, and Loken in the Storm Peaks just to name of few. Of course, this is hardly the player’s fault (helping them is necessary for zone progression, so a lot of Violation of Common Sense is involved) and ultimately, the PC is always forgiven after coming back and beating the snot out of whoever had tricked them.
  • In the Fire Emblem game Radiant Dawn, the main character Micaiah (who is supposed to be you!) epitomizes Stupid Good. She throws herself into hopeless battles in order to save random peasants; multiple times she spares the lives of mass murderers. Fortunately for her, the game is idealistic enough that it usually works out okay.

Web Comics

  • Although the page image up top here is of Piffany from Nodwick, she isn't this trope. While she is The Pollyanna, she is also just so Badass Adorable that she can get away with it. Or perhaps she is this trope, but she has such a "reality distortion field" around her that evil creatures in her presence can be forced to behave if they are told she would cry if they didn't.
    • She did, at one point, hire a Stupid Good paladin for the party to serve as a role model for Yeagar. Who insisted on challenging every Undead Mook they found so they couldn't harm the population, instead of making a beeline for the leader, getting Nodwick killed even more than usual. Even Piffany herself realized he was Too Dumb to Live.
    • Of course, Yeagar, Artax, and (sometimes) Nodwick can be so dumb that when the Evil Sorceress She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed turns them into her brainwashed slaves, they become smarter. Piffany, on the other hand, she gives the We Can Rule Together routine.
  • Celia of Order of the Stick has recently become increasingly Flanderized as a Stupid Good Pollyanna, though she does at least have enough sense to fight when she or her friends are in imminent danger.
    • On the other hand, Celia's reaction to the unnecessary killing of orcs could be interpreted as being the Only Sane Man; she reacts like a real person to real deaths, not like an RPG character. Her inability to recognise that Greysky City is completely evil is another matter, though...
    • Celia's Stupid Good tendencies were subverted in this strip with her rather ruthless reason for not wanting to abandon Belkar.
  • The Gods of Arr-Kelaan has Mike lampshade a subversion of this after catching a thief.
  • Helix, the robot from Freefall definitely qualifies as Stupid Good, but it sometimes works out as it causes him to derail Sam's more Chaotic Stupid schemes.
  • Pretty much everyone in the "Dimension of Lame" from Sluggy Freelance is Stupid Good—so pacifistic that one mage attempted to heal a demon that was attacking her friends, and that they can be convinced that throwing food at the demons is as bad as the demons eating people alive. Torg ends up describing them as "not as good as they think they are."
  • Grace of El Goonish Shive. Despite being a Tyke Bomb, raised in a laboratory by unethical scientists, and then later by a ruthless, murderous mutant, she's a complete pacifist, and can't stomach ANY kind of violence. In the end, facing down Damien—a mutant supremacist who intends to annihilate all of humanity, used to savagely beat her while she was a child, intends to rape and forcibly impregnate her to create a race of superhumans, killed her father and then showed her his severed head when she was five, and is now about to kill all her friends—she FINALLY snaps and goes Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass on his ass. Halfway through tearing him a new one, however, she regains her self-control, apologizes for attacking him, asks him to surrender (pretty please with sugar on top?) and refuses to attack him further. The only reason he still managed to wind up dead is that he attempted a Taking You with Me gambit, only to have Grace saved by a Deus Ex Machina. And afterwards, Grace is traumatized for DAYS about having acted violently.
    • Lampshaded somewhat later, when history-class introduces Grace to World War II, Nazis, Hitler, and concentration-camps. Making her realize that Damien was basically a second Hitler (with superpowers), and that offering him a chance to surrender and walk away was probably really stupid.
    • Those incidents apparently left their mark, since she's thrown this characterization off entirely. Perceived threats to her friends have become an official Berserk Button, and while she admits that she'd still prefer nonviolent solutions, in worst-case scenarios she's perfectly willing to use lethal force.
  • Fighter of 8-Bit Theater, who always has good intentions, but is just too dumb to notice his three fellow Light Warriors are sadistic, bloodthirsty and amoral.

Western Animation

Dave: Awww, the monster got hurted!

  • Xavier from Xavier: Renegade Angel is a near-perfect embodiment of this trope.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Lisa Simpson, in an uncharacteristic moment of stupidity, tears up a cheque for $12 million from Mr Burns because it's "the right thing to do". It's not even like an unbanked cheque is money; it's just potential money and Lisa should know that. Far better would have been to accept the money and donate it to eco-based charities to try to make up, but oh no, she's too pure even for that.
    • And after she gives up the potential money, Homer has a heart attack and has to go to the hospital. He understands why Lisa did it, but he's under the impression the amount was much smaller than it was. Lisa corrects him. Cue "Code Blue, Code Blue!"
  • Family Guy Lampshaded this in "Brian Goes Back to College." Brian is given the chance to cheat on an exam, but chooses not to and fails, trying to use the old "At least I failed honorably" and "At least I didn't quit" cliches. The entire family immediately calls bullshit on this (even Lois), saying that he should've just cheated and passed. The whole point of taking that physics class was to get a college degree that would allow him to be hired for a dream writing job he was otherwise completely qualified for.
  • Charlotte of Making Fiends is this trope incarnate. She remains convinced that Vendetta is her best friend (despite Vendetta's constant attempts to kill her).
  • The ghost character Poindexter from an episode of Danny Phantom. Even though Danny is getting his revenge against Dash's bullying, Poindexter seems to think that Dash, the muscular jock in a lettermen, is the victim.
  • In the original Transformers Generation 1, calling the Autobots "stupid" might be a little unfair, but there are cases when you wonder if they only survive because the Decepticons are Stupid Evil:
    • While any rank and file Autobot has more brains than the average Decepticon, they tend to be reckless, impulsive, and foolish. They rarely work well as a team, their conflicting opinions always clouding their judgments. Weaker Autobots will frequently attempt to take on Decepticons much larger than they are, often denying they need help from anyone else until they're way over their heads. They also tend to be naive, easily duped by villains who use them as Unwitting Pawns ("Decepticon", get it? "Deceit"? Don't trust them!), and often ignoring orders from Optimus Prime because they think their own strategies are better. And speaking of which...
    • Hard as it is to say, Optimus Prime is not the best leader, at least not for any sort of armed conflict. He tries too hard to be a hawk and dove at the same time, far too protective of earthlings, and far too forgiving towards enemies who view said earthlings as vermin and would see them dead in an instant. Worse, this extends towards his own troops; think about it, has he ever gotten angry at an Autobot who did something dumb? Had he reprimanded or punished Ironhide (to give one example) for making some rash move early on, a lot of trouble could have been avoided, but he simply can't bring himself to get tough with anyone.
    • Not to mention, the Autobots are just not well-equipped for this conflict. Their vehicle forms - mostly cars and other road vehicles - look pretty cool, but the Decepticons trump them by being able to fly. (One episode the villains pretty much rendered them helpless by rendering them unable to transform out of these forms.) Despite what the theme song says, their vehicle forms are worthless as disguises, given how long the two factions have known each other, not to mention that all of them have their faction insignia plastered on them somewhere. Optimus manages to grab the Smart Ball by building the Aerobots, so they have little excuse there.
  • Silverbolt of Beast Wars is a Maximal with a sense of honor and nobility so overdeveloped that even the most idealistic of his comrades sometimes roll their eyes at his speeches and secretly wonder if his processor has a glitch.
    • He also consistently expects the (nominally evil) Blackarachnia to covert to the light side, despite her protestations. Even after she shoots him, he optimistically notes it was non-lethal. (In the end, he's right about her.)
  • An episode of Darkwing Duck has the title character split into good and evil halves by a ray gun. The evil half becomes the first appearance of recurring villain Negaduck, while the good half is ineffective because he's unwilling to actually fight.
    • Binkie Muddlefoot tends to only be annoying (much like her husband) unless she's actually important to the plot, in which case she steers into this Trope. For example, one time when Darkwing tries to use his gas gun on Megavolt, she tries to stop him, claiming that guns are bad; even though it's a non-lethal weapon and the villain was trying to kill both of them.
  • Fluttershy from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic seems to have some Stupid Good tendencies. She has a habit of appending "please," "if it's okay with you," and "if you wouldn't mind" to every request, be it "do me a favor?", or "quit bullying my friends," or "stop destroying my home" (although the last of these was actually quite effective). In part two of the second season premiere, she snuck up on a sleeping Rainbow Dash who had been Mind Raped to be disloyal and hateful to her friends, only to politely wake her and ask if she wouldn't mind sitting still so they could forcibly tie her up and remove the curse, prompting a facehoof from Twilight Sparkle.
  • Due to his naïveté, Butters from South Park can teeter anywhere from mildly oblivious and gullible to Too Dumb to Live. This happens especially in "Butters' Very Own Episode".
  • An episode of Rocko's Modern Life began with a fairy breaking Earl the Tough Dog free from the science lab in hopes that he will mend his ways. As soon as she does, he promptly eats her.
  • Phineas from Phineas and Ferb is such an optimist that he has a hard time comprehending that the bad guys aren't his friends.
  • In the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: E.N.D." Chad appears to betray the organization and join the villains, attempting to have the Sector V team decomissioned, and as a final way of proving it, uses a code that detaches the Moonbase from his foundation and sends to hurtling towards the sun, and act that seems to push him past the Moral Event Horizon. A later episode, however, shows that Chad is, in fact, a Fake Defector, having done this to prove loyalty to the villains while assuming - rightfully - that Numbuh One would manage to save the day. Still, in hindsight, this was a pretty dumb plan, because while he did convince almost everyone... "What if Numbuh One couldn't save the day?" While Numbuh One is Famed in Story, he would be the first one to tell you he is not the Boring Invincible Hero type, there are many episodes where his paranoia and impulsiveness have caused him to make mistakes that caused a mission to be botched. In this specific case he was the only member of Sector V who had not gotten the Laser-Guided Amnesia treatment, meaning he was the only one who knew where they were and how anything on the base worked, while Numbuh 86 and her crew had no plan except panicking like actual children. There were so many potential ways this could have gone wrong that would have done more damage to the KND than any actual villain could have.
  • Mavis from Hotel Transylvania. Sure, she’s a Nice Girl and has good intentions, trying to establish peace between humans and monsters, but her reaction to her dad’s attempts to dissuade her shows that she is sadly very gullible, and being over a hundred years old, you start to think she isn’t very bright. The biggest example occurs when he uses a bunch of zombies disguised as human to pull off the whole Torches and Pitchforks routine, and botch it by setting themselves on fire. Not only does Mavis not get the hint, she panics because she thinks she inadvertently killed them.