Cool but Stupid

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The intersection of the sets "Stupid things" and "Awesome things", which, surprisingly, are non-disjoint sets. A field mainly occupied by the obsessions of 8-year old boys, but one that can be surprisingly fertile for all that.

Examples should be confined to things that are acknowledged in-show as being stupid or ridiculous, yet are treated as being awesome or cool anyway or because of.

Differs from So Bad It's Good and So Cool Its Awesome by being the localized case; those apply to the whole show. See also Achievements in Ignorance, a Sister Trope: when the "impossible" is achieved due to not knowing it's impossible; frequently, cases of Cool but Stupid are acknowledged as being stupid, but carry on regardless "just to see what will happen".

Examples of Cool but Stupid include:


Calvin: "This is so cool!"
Hobbes: "This is so stupid."

  • The Alt Text for this strip of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja (in which Doc focuses his energy to fight ghosts by humming the Ghostbusters theme) reads, "Very stupid ideas taken very seriously. Dr. McNinja."
  • Flavor text from Dungeons & Dragons suggests that most of the gnomes' most brilliant inventions started with astoundingly dumb ideas. For instance, the Gnomish Magnetic Armor, which repels magical attacks, was originally intended to repel metal debris on workroom floors.
  • Many of the things Jeremy Clarkson builds on Top Gear. Past examples have included a V8 powered blender, a flamethrower mounted on a snowplough, and modding a car so much it caught fire. Although May and Hammond once converted a Reliant Robin (very small plastic three wheeled car) into a space shuttle. It is also their opinion of the Pagani Zonda. The Top Gear equivalent of Cool but Stupid, frequently leveled as a judgment on their own projects, is "Ambitious but rubbish."
  • Many a "carry the myth to its logical conclusion" test on MythBusters. Past examples include a car with dimples like a golf ball and a boat made out of duct tape.

Adam: I've just had one of those "what the hell are we doing" moments.

  • In Atop the Fourth Wall's review of Brute Force, Linkara acknowledges this about the comic.
  • Kamina from Gurren Lagann could be considered this as applied to characters rather than ideas. If there's anything to prove that being an Idiot Hero does not prevent you from being a Rated "M" for Manly Memetic Badass, it's him.
  • Sword-chucks in 8-Bit Theater. Every character except their inventor is fully aware of how completely idiotic this is, but they end up working perfectly.
    • In a guest comic, Fighter even makes staff chucks for spells, which are considered even more ridicilous and turn out to spray destructive magic uncontrolably when used. Since he made them as a gift for Black Mage, it all works out.
  • Toby Keith said that he decided to record "Red Solo Cup" because it was both the stupidest and most awesome song he had ever heard.