The Smart Guy
Aang: The question is, how are we gonna stop that thing?
The Smart Guy is the guy in a Five-Man Band whose focus is on intellectual pursuits. This is the team member who will always be prepared, sometimes Crazy Prepared. They will be at the computer doing Rapid-Fire Typing. Expect some fancy talk and Techno Babble from this character. Because their role is about ideas, plans, and being Mission Control, they often leave the action stuff to The Hero, The Lancer and The Big Guy.
Physically they are usually short and wear glasses. They may even be a Child Prodigy. The Smart Guy is sometimes written as mousey and withdrawn. If not antisocial, at least non-social, sliding into TV Genius. Can be expected to play a mean game of chess.
Sometimes the Smart Guy is more street savvy then they appear. If this is the case it usually makes The Smart Guy physically as well as mentally capable. This can be done by making the Smart Guy and The Big Guy one and the same, effectively defying the two stereotypes to the utmost extreme. (see Genius Bruiser). Then there is the path of the Badass Bookworm. They remain firmly planted as the Smart Guy, but are just as ready to fight as everyone else. The results are often impressive, and usually have the advantage of surprise. Who expects the little guy with glasses to be an asskicker?
In rare cases, the Smart Guy may also be a Boisterous Bruiser.
Powers and skills common to the smart guy include:
- In modern or sci-fi settings, The Smart Guy often has great skill with technology and engineering, in order to build and repair devices for the band. The Gadgeteer Genius, Mad Scientist, and The Professor will often fill this role. If they're the protagonist, they'll be a Science Hero. In such cases, The Smart Guy will rarely have good tactical skills, and may lack in common sense as well. Quite often they're an alien, cyborg or robot. If all of the characters are using guns, the Smart Guy may be the sniper.
- In settings where guns are rare, he might be one of those few who uses one, considering a lack of combat skill.
- In fantasy settings, he'll usually be skilled at magic, particularly of the offensive variety, in which case he serves as the team's "nuker". His Weapon of Choice tends to be a Magic Wand, a Simple Staff, or both in one package. Alternatively, he may prefer a easily manageable dagger. Or, if magic is the de facto power of the age, the Smart Guy will probably use a sword or a gun.
- In a Superhero setting, or any one with superpowers that don't quite fall under magic, The Smart Guy is often a Badass Normal with Super Intelligence, or has relatively weak powers to offset their brilliance (and increasingly often will find ways to utilise apparently useless powers to great effect). He could also achieve Psychic Powers after reaching Brain Critical Mass. Or conversely, they'll be the ones in the Powered Armor (in this case, if the armor lends enough muscle, they might be a Genius Bruiser or Badass Bookworm who doubles as The Big Guy).
- Some incarnations have The Smart Guy be less of a genius, and more of a Deadpan Snarker; a wisecracking, street-smart Trickster who has traded in strength for intelligence, and uses his guile and wits to outwit his foes. This type may well be The Lancer if roles are overlapping, or the Token Evil Teammate.
His knowledge will allow him to find enemy weaknesses and to serve as Mr. Exposition in order to explain plot points to the less intelligent members of the band (and the audience).
The Smart Guy archetype is often unfairly vilified in shows where Dumb Is Good. Other times, he's not so much the Smart Guy as the Smartass Guy. The Smartass Guy will occur in a team with a Big Smart Guy. The team doesn't need another brainy guy so much, and since Big Smart Guys tend to be Gentle Giants, adding a Deadpan Snarker just seems natural. Appropriately, The Smartass Guy will probably be the "sneaky Lancer" type mentioned above.
In recent years, as casts have become more gender-balanced, The Smart Girl is the one most likely to swap genders. Since the character type is outwardly sexless and non-masculine, turning them into The Smart Girl is not that big a stretch. Mousey, shy and withdrawn work equally well on female characters, and can sometimes be appealing (see Hot Librarian and Nerds Are Sexy). When used in this way, she's usually much less girly than The Chick (see Wrench Wench). In a fantasy setting, she's often the Black Mage, or sometimes the White Mage.
In an ensemble cast, the Smart Guy is usually the last character to have a Love Interest if they even bother to give him one at all. He may or may not be Asexual. He may also explicitly be said to have no luck with women (we are frequently showed just one instance of this as a pretext to at least answer the question and to completely avoid the romance issue afterwards). When present, the shoehorned love interest character is often little more than an uninspired female version of himself, or close to it. Often, this relationship does not last for a number of reasons (a convientent pretext for the smart guy to avoid future romances) or the love interest falls victim to the Chuck Cunningham Syndrome. Invarialby, because smart and well rounded characters are difficult to write, this allows writers to avoid having to develop the Smart Guy character beyond his basic fuctional role.
If there's a Robot Buddy on the team, he's usually The Smart Guy.
Not to be confused with the series Smart Guy.
Anime and Manga
- Rowen Hashiba is described by Dais to be the smartest and most cunning of the Ronin Warriors. He probably got his smarts from his Mad Scientist father and is said to have a really high IQ.
- Seto Kaiba from the original anime plays this trope Up to Eleven.
- Daichi Misawa of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, though not for too long. Season 3 introduces Amon Garam, who functions as the smart guy among the newly introduced characters.
- Declan from Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V is similar to Kaiba, yet much more subtle, being a Chessmaster who employs both the Batman and Xanatos Gambit strategies in his plans.
- There are plenty of cases of smart women among the twelve Hi M Es of My-HiME, but the standout is the Shrinking Violet computer genius Yukino Kikukawa. This is more or less reinforced by the fact that both her Child and her Element are only good for detection and spying.
- Zelgadis Graywords of the Slayers franchise is usually this alone or is also The Lancer, depending on the adaptation. In addition to being book-smart and a strategist in battle, he also knows a good deal of scientific knowledge plausible for a fantasy setting, and can solve math problems and measure distances at near-breakneck speed.
- A more straightforward smart guy is Xellos; however, he subverts this trope by being the Token Evil Teammate that just so happens to be a part of an Exclusively Evil race of demons, so naturally, he rarely, if ever, explains anything.
- "G-4" Jinpei the Swallow from Science Ninja Team Gatchaman fills this role in the "smartass" variation of this trope. He's a Tagalong Kid who is the most prone to clever trickster style behavior and wisecracking. He often hangs out with and plays off of The Big Guy Ryu the Owl for his hijinks. As far as actually being the book smartest member, his sister Jun better fulfills that role.
- As a series with lots of characters, Mahou Sensei Negima naturally has more than one. The first, Ayase Yue, a Nakama regular and Teen Genius, took this role during the Chao Arc, going so far as giving him the counsel needed for him to fight Chao. The second one, Chisame, also took this role after officially (and reluctantly) joining Ala Alba, especially after they got separated with Yue in the Magic World, making her his sole voice of reason. Unfortunately for her, this makes him quite attached to her. Err, not in that way...for now...
- Subverted in Suzumiya Haruhi, where Yuki Nagato is designated by Haruhi as The Smart Girl. The real smart guy is actually Koizumi, constantly giving advice to Kyon in any way, while Yuki is much more of The Big Guy, being essentially the Brigades' super powerful member.
- Kurama in Yu Yu Hakusho rarely fights hand-to-hand and never wins through brute strength; he always has to take his time to devise a strategy to beat his opponent. (This is Lampshaded several times and gets him in trouble more than once.)
- Piccolo from Dragonball Z. Also The Lancer and The Big Guy.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha:
- After Fate replaces him as The Lancer in the second season, Yuuno was handed this role, which meant that he spent most of his time in the background doing research on the Artifact of Doom and telling the other characters what useful information he gathered from the Infinite Library. In effect he's Demoted to Extra.
- Teana fills this role in the third season, being recruited into Riot Force 6 for her skills as a tactician, a role that she eventually lives up to in spades.
- In several of the Sonic continuities (bar the animated SatAM and Sonic the Comic series), Tails usually plays this role.
- Christopher Thorndyke plays this role in the Sonic X series after his six year age up this caused a bit of conflict amongst fans, and Tails becomes more of a Captain for the crew (albeit one who is not always listened to, but he is trying to organize Amy Rose, Knuckles and Sonic) and a mechanic.
- Among The Allied Forces, Francis Bonnefoy aka France takes up this role. He's one really atypical Smart Guy, though, often thinking with the smaller head rather than the big one. But when he does use the latter rather than the former, he can be quite the Manipulative Bastard.
- Chobits' Minoru Kokubunji.
- Usopp from One Piece fills this role for the Straw Hat Pirates. Initially, it is arguable that Nami is the smart guy and Usopp is the chick due to both of them being smart (in different areas), but with Usopp being better in battle. However by the time Enies Lobby arrives, they are both capable combatants (though among the crew, they are the least reliant on physical abilities). Despite Oda officially stating Nami to be smarter than Usopp, taking into account his higher bounty, his ability to analyze his opponents' fighting styles, and his uncanny ability to think five steps ahead, Usopp is clearly a straighter Smart Guy when it comes to combat situations, though they both contribute intelligence in non-combat situations. Also, he is a Gadgeteer Genius who built Nami's weapon (at her request, meaning she couldn't do it herself). When it comes to more conventional sciences, Nami has him beat, but in the world of One Piece, conventional sciences are rarely applicable.
- Ishida in Bleach. Also doubles as one of Ichigo's Lancers.
- Quite surprisingly to all those who've known him for a short time, Gokudera from Katekyo Hitman Reborn. Why surprisingly? Because the guy is the essence of a bad boy, smoking at the age of 14, ready to beat up a teacher if his boss say so, etc., while getting 100 on his tests all the time. Not to mention his C.A.I system and making up his own alphabet in class out of boredom... Rarely acts like one though.
- Soul Eater has Death the Kid,a Smart Guy who's , shall we say , OBSESSED with symmetry.
- Taiboubou of Houshin Engi is also The Smart Guy.
- Many Magical Girl teams have one of these.
- Ami / Sailor Mercury from Sailor Moon (Rei / Sailor Mars in the manga is a secondary example.)
- Noel from Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch
- Fuu from Magic Knight Rayearth
- Kairi Sanjou from Shugo Chara is a male example
- A number of characters from the Pretty Cure franchise:
- Honoka / Cure White from the original Futari wa Pretty Cure series
- Mai / Cure Egert and later Cure Windy from Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash Star
- Both Komachi / Cure Mint (noticeably) and Karen / Cure Aqua (explicitly) from Yes! Pretty Cure 5
- Reika / Cure Beauty from Smile Pretty Cure
- Haruna from Corrector Yui
- Hazuki from Ojamajo Doremi
- Ink (also The Hero) from Moetan
- Lettuce / Mew Lettuce from Tokyo Mew Mew
- Shizuku / Papillon Margarette from Lingerie Soldier Papillon Rose
- Kiyomi / Venus Blue from Venus 5
- Suzume / Diva Hestia from Cyber Team in Akihabara
- Yuri / Angel Lily from Wedding Peach
- Shikamaru is certainly the series' smart guy in the sense that he has a brilliant strategic brain and improbably high IQ and a talent for utilising humiliatingly complex and cruel gambits.
- Sakura is a straighter example for Team 7 in the early part of the series. Should couldn't fight but perfecctly understood how every technique and strategy works. She was also one of the few people smart enough to answer the questions the written exam without cheating.
- In the later part of the series Kakashi transitions from being a Lightning Bruiser Mentor into being the Smart Guy when the others start to catch up to him in power, and the others catch up to Sakura in technical knowledge.
- Practically everybody transforms into this during a battle.
- In Digimon Adventure, Izzy would qualify as "The Smart Guy". As well as Ken in Digimon Adventure 02. They are geniuses after all.
- Kenny fromBeyblade is this... Though Ray or Kai can fill the role too.. Sometimes.
- Kabuto from Psyren, of the street and Genre Savvy kind. He also happens to be a Reality Warper, so he's useful on the battlefield now, too.
- From Fairy Tail, Happy fills this role, usually as a Mr. Exposition, though he also provides simple answers to complex questions. Sometimes he combines this with Team Pet.
- Lucy pulls double duty as The Chick and The Smart Girl most of the time, especially once Wendy started integrating into their Five-Man Band more often (and who also displays The Chick characteristics).
- Though a lot of people think he leads it, this is what Light's role is on the Kira investigation taskforce, in the second half of Death Note.
- Shin of Saint Beast is one of the physically weaker members of his Five-Man Band but is always carrying around a book and is the person to go to for information on the Monster of the Week.
- From Zatch Bell, Dr. Nazonazo (Dr. Riddles in the dub), a Mysterious Backer who claims he "knows everything". Obviously an exaggeration, but seeing as he knows the Answer Taker ability, he's clearly a genius.
- Donatello, he who does machines, pretty much defines this trope.
- Brainiac 5 fills this role in every version of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
- Justice League Unlimited lampshaded this:
Supergirl: So what's your power? Super Strength? Speed?
- Though the Smart Guy in X-Men can vary depending on the current roster, generally speaking it's Hank McCoy/Beast.
- On the original team, Iceman filled the role of The Smartass Guy to Beast's Genius Bruiser. It bears pointing out that he had the poorest grades of the class.
- In most incarnations of the Justice League of America, Batman is a mix of The Smart Guy and The Lancer.
- The Martian Manhunter also fulfills this role in some incarnations.
- Similarly, the Justice Society of America has Mr. Terrific, the third smartest guy in the DCU.
- Knights of the Dinner Table has Brian, who has memorized all the Hackmaster books (their version of Dungeons & Dragons) and is a master of tactics. In the "real life" of the strip makes his living building and repairing computers, trading on Ebay, and painting miniatures. In game, he tends to play wizards whenever he can and has gone to great pains to make sure each character inherits the meticulously kept journals of the previous one (amongst other Crazy Prepared preparations.)
- Taranee Cook in WITCH is archetypical of this trope.
- Reed Richards, aka Mr Fantastic, is a rare example combining this and The Hero as part of the Fantastic Four. He's also one for the larger Marvel Universe in general, being regarded as the smartest man in the world. (which is no mean feat)
- Iron Man and Hank Pym usually share this role in The Avengers, with slightly different fields. (one being the Gadgeteer Genius in the Powered Armor, the other being a more comic booky scientist with his Pym Particles)
- Star Wars: There's a reason C-3PO refers to RD-D2 as his counterpart: They split the usual Smart Guy duties between them, with R2 handling the practical side and 3PO handling the exposition side.
- The Superhero spoof film The Specials from 2000 includes a brainy gadgeteer member of the titular superteam whose nom de guerre is simply "Mr. Smart".
- Kevin Sandusky of Tropic Thunder is the one who knows what is going on the most. He recognized the Heroin Processing plant, he can read the map, and he's the only one of the actors who had actually read the script and the book.
- The Scarecrow from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
- Blackberry, of the initial refugee band in Watership Down. An amusing variant in that his skillset is basically that of an engineer, except downsized to a rabbit POV; his bright idea—which becomes the key strategem in the climactic battle—is that things which float on water can thus be used as transport out of reach of land-based enemies. It's strongly hinted that Fiver, the small seer who doesn't fight, is second smartest.
- Deconstructed in the Warhammer 40,000: Eisenhorn novel trilogy, where the savant Ueber Aemos is the walking databank he is because of a "meme-virus" that makes him compulsively pursue knowledge, culminating in memorising the Malus Codicum.
- Kirsty and sometimes Yo-less from Johnny Maxwell Trilogy.
- Harry Potter:
- Dumbledore lampshades that since he's regarded as this, his mistakes are that much greater when he screws up (which isn't very often, but massively sucks when he does). He also admits he subverts this trope a lot, because a lot of his genius (in regards to the plot) is actually a bunch of lucky guesses (read Half Blood Prince for full details).
- Severus Snape
- Also, Remus Lupin is this to the Marauders
- Sostratos in Harry Turtledove's Hellenic Traders series. He reads Thucydides and Herodotus for fun, always keeps the records of the ships cargo well and is curious about everything. He also fights with his cousin The Captain, who's the opposite..
- Mat from the Wheel of Time is an odd example of this because he's not very scholarly at all, maybe even Book Dumb. But put him in charge of an army or a tight spot you'll find out why he's one of Rand's main advisors and why his name was practically a curse in his home town. But he is very much the sneaky lancer role.
- Philiby in Kingdom Keepers, though Maybeck is noted as being good with computers in the first.
- More or less split in Animorphs between The Lancer-ish Marco and Cassie who was their go to for information on new animal forms. Both are also Manipulative Bastards in spades.
- While there is no clear Five-Man Band at any point in The Heritage of Shannara, The Smart Guy is probably Morgan Leah. He seems to be the automatic go to for strategy and sneaky plans, regularly divising ideas to get the Free-born in and out of Federation jails, cities, and fortresses. Walker Boh could also be said to fullfill this role, as the resident Druid. Both are far from weak or stereotypically geeky.
- The 39 Clues has several:
- Mention must be made of polymath, weapon-maker (and namer), Perky Goth, occasional Amazon and all-around bright girl Dess (Desdsemona, in full) of the Midnighters trilogy. You've never met anyone as good at maths - or at applying it - as Dess.
- Thomas from Malevil. He's a college educated student of science in a rural region of France. Skeptical and an atheist to boot.
- In Death: Feeney, Roarke, and Ian McNab belong in this category.
- Harry Dresden of the Dresden Files seems to be this to his allies - not because he's much smarter than his friends, but because he's often the only guy who knows whats going on. He starts to share information with his allies after making a bunch of mistakes that still haunt him, and this effect decreases to some extent.
- Beetle in Septimus Heap. While lacking both Septimus's Magykal powers and Jenna's speed, he's quite versed in knowledge of Magyk and other arcane matters.
- In both The Winds of War and War and Remembrance, none of the main heroes is dumb (after all they have to deal with advanced naval equipment just to start with). But Leslie Slote is the one that looks like a stereotypical nerd, being a skinny guy with glasses as well as a Rhodes scholar and a diplomat who evolves into a spy, and then (for despair at the possibility of rescuing his ex-girlfriend) becoming an OSS commando -- making him something of a Badass Bookworm.
- Lizzie Sutton from Lincoln Heights falls under The Smart Girl version
- McKay on Stargate Atlantis is probably the most egregious example on modern TV; often, the other characters will just sit around and threaten him until he comes up with a plan.
- Samantha Carter is more Badass Bookworm than just The Smart Guy; Zelenka is McKay's much more reserved and polite second in command. The remaining scientists tend to fit a different trope, in no small part as they are not members of the Five-Man Band.
- In Stargate SG-1, Samantha Carter and Daniel Jackson share the role of The Smart Guy. They do have their own specialties, however, with Sam being the technology expert/astrophysicist and Daniel being the archaeologist/anthropologist/linguist. Both of them can be considered Badass Bookworms.
- Early seasons of Doctor Who had the Doctor as The Smart Guy, with a male companion as the Action Guy and a female companion as the Damsel in Distress. He is still the smart guy, although since the Seventies he is always a combination of several archetypes.
- Sarah Jane is quite brilliant, although not exactly in the genius sort of way (that title goes to her son).
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer had Giles, and Angel had Wesley. Watchers are pretty much Smart Guy incarnate. Angel also had Fred, a mixture of the Smart Guy and The Chick. In addition, Anya could be considered a Smart Guy when talking about demonic matters (with which she has personal experience), although less so in most other matters (such as "how to conduct myself in human society"). Willow was also very smart, as well as magical. Giles was better educated but functioned more as their mentor, whereas Willow was clever/good with computers.
- Between Seasons 6 and 7 Dawn had taken on this role, along with a bit of Wrong Genre Savvy.
- Gunn got in on the Smart Guy role mixed with a bit of Smartass Guy in season 5 of Angel, after his brain upgrade.
- As the only crewmember on Firefly with any formal education, fugitive doctor Simon Tam fits this role to a T. This is most apparent in Ariel, in which he plans the most lucrative heist the crew has ever pulled. Unfortunately, Simon's budding career as a criminal mastermind was cut short by the show's untimely cancellation, but presumably he would have gone on to plan many other lucrative ventures, especially as the crew warmed to him, and he lost his snobbish, intellectual veneer.
- Simon's sister, River, also showed a talent for coming up with well-thought out plans, when she's not communing with cows, waxing poetic about exsanguination, threatening to kill people with her brain, rewriting the Bible, or generally living up to her reputation as the patron saint of cloudcuckoolanders, that is.
- Harris of the Chosen Men Sharpe is a former teacher who joined the army to escape debts. He speaks at least three languages and is the one who usually quotes philosophers or is found reading.
- Sayid Jarrah from Lost is an expert in communications technology. In his time on the Island, he has built several radios and fixed a computer. Physicist Daniel Faraday also counts, besides his amnesia and moments where he isn't much clear while explaining.
- It's also taken Up to Eleven in season four when he takes a look at a chopper and states that it can fly and even more when he dismantle an H-Bomb, taking its core, later in season five.
- Merlin. Just... Merlin.
- To those not familiar with the series, he fits into the third variety for the most part—something of a Squishy Wizard  and, off and on, he uses a magic staff aquired in an early episode—though he has shades of the fifth type, too. In-universe, he's generally regarded as 'mentally afflicted' and enjoys taking jabs at... pretty much everyone. This does not go unpunished.
- Also Gaius
- Hardison is the computer hacker geek of Leverage's Three-Men-and-Two-Women Band, and pinchhits as the Deadpan Snarker when needed.
- Noah's Arc: Chance fits this role, being a college professor continually in pursuit of his academics. He also is a bit more withdrawn compared with the rest of the cast, and often will explain more complex matters to the rest of the group (often doubling as Mr. Exposition in the process). Though he doesn't wear them often, hes also the only one of the main cast who wears glasses, and is fairly thin compared to the more muscular (and in Alex's case, thicker) cast members.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation's Data. Given that he's an android, with a super computer in his head, he can usually come up with solutions that would be at best impractical if they didn't have an android on the crew.
- Geordi LaForge and Dr. Crusher both have elements of this as well. As the ship's chief engineer, Geordi is the resident Gadgeteer Genius and the one who usually repairs Data. Dr. Crusher is obviously The Medic and is also the mother of Wesley.
- Star Trek: The Original Series has The Spock.
- Star Trek: Voyager does not have one clear cut Smart Guy, but several members of the crew display various aspects of it. Tuvok is a Vulcan and therefore is naturally The Spock. B'Elanna Torres is the chief engineer and therefore the most tech savvy. The Doctor is obviously The Medic and, like Data, his "brain" is a literal supercomputer. Finally, as a former Borg drone, Seven of Nine has access to the combined knowledge of every alien race that the Borg have ever assimilated.
- Charlie Eppes in Numb3rs.
- James May on Top Gear, whose interest in detail and facts borders on obsession and alternately amuses and bores his non-scholarly co-presenters.
- Dr. Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds fits this to a T. Although, ironically, he's the tallest person in the cast.
- Although many of the workers in Dollhouse are intelligent, Topher is the one who best fits this trope.
- On The A-Team, Face filled this role as the scrounging Con Man who always had a financial scheme up his sleeve. There are episodes where he geeks out over the intricacies of his latest con, and he was shown to be great with doing math in his head quickly. Ironically, Face was also the team's handsome womanizer.
- Billy Cranston was the first Power Rangers smart guy, and it's hard to find one since who's embodied the trope as much as him.
- Trip from Time Force is also a good example.
- At first it looked like Artie would be The Smart Guy for Glee}}'||s New Directions, but lately[when?] the role has started to shift over to organiser extraordinaire (see: 'Le Jazz Hot', Burt and Carole's wedding, the 'Barbra Streisand' flash mob) and genuinely bright kid Kurt Hummel.
- Chloe Sullivan was Smallville's original Smart Guy. As the show progressed, the role was shifted to two people: Gadgeteer Genius Emil Hamilton (who was also The Medic) and Tess Mercer, a reformed villain and Evil Genius who served as the team's Chessmaster, computer hacker, backer, and resident Manipulative Bitch.
- Everyone on The West Wing was smart, but Toby was the only one who's intellect was regularly shown to rival the President's.
- Everyone on all the CSI franchise shows is smart, but each has a stand-out one or two.
- Also plenty to go around on Bones. Brennan often fills the role, but Hodgins or Zack have as well, or one of the rotating 'squinterns'.
Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends
- In Classical Mythology, Athena is this among the Olympians. Hermes sometimes fill this role in a trickster-ish sort of way.
- Among mortals, Odysseus is the "ideas man" for the
GreeksAchaeans in the Trojan Cycle (including The Iliad and his very own story, The Odyssey). Pretty much every actual strategy mentioned in relation to the Trojan War starts with him, including (ironically) both one of the reasons for the war (the Achaean kings agreeing to protect whoever married Helen, to keep them from fighting over her) and the reason it ends (the Trojan Horse, of course). Naturally, Athena favors him and helps him out a lot (against the wishes of her uncle Poseidon, whom he had somehow offended).
- The Biblical prophet Daniel (aka Belteshazzar)]] was a brilliant scholar and a top-notch administrator.
- The Toa of Earth (such as Onua or Nuparu) tend to fill this role on their respective Toa teams in Bionicle.
- In Kingdom Hearts, Donald Duck is The Smart Guy of the team, being the Disney Court's royal magician, and good at his craft. However, he doubles as the bad kind of team Lancer as well, because of how self-centered, small-minded, and short-tempered he is; he's always trying to get his way, and doesn't consider the consequences of his bullish behavior. All of the wisdom is instead found in Goofy, The Big Guy of the team, making him something of a Genius Bruiser. This pretty solidly seems a case of Dumb Is Good. Actually, considering how many evil scientists there are in the series, it could seen as a double-whammy of Dumb Is Good and Science Is Bad. Even good-guy inventor Cid can't escape the fact that his gummi ships couldn't be built without breaking off material from the shells that protect each world from Darkness. Goofy's also the only one of the trio that knows how to properly use a computer (Sora only barely knew how to type and Donald had no idea) as well as caught on to Mulan's true nature.
- Jade from Tales of the Abyss
- Jeff in EarthBound is also archetypical of this trope. With regard to fantasy settings, he partially subverts this trope, in that he is the only party member who doesn't use magic.
- Jennifer in the first Disgaea game, Hanako in the second, Raspberyl in the third.
- Vitali in Soul Nomad and The World Eaters. Lobo in the Demon Path.
- Tails fills his usual role in Sonic Chronicles, but is joined and assisted by Dr Eggman!
- Persona 4 has a few possible. Early in the game, the Lancer Yosuke doubles as this, as the only guy with any plausible investigative theories. Yukiko might also qualify. Later in the game, Yosuke relinquishes this post for Ms. Exposition Naoto.
- The Engineer, Medic, and Spy of Team Fortress 2 all fit the role. The first is a relatively goodhearted Gadgeteer Genius, the second is a crazy Mad Scientist, and the third is a haughty Magnificent Bastard. All utilize technology, and they neatly encapsulate all traditional Smart Guy skills—machines, support, and subterfuge. And all of them are arguably Bat-Shit Insane.
- Siblings Welkin and Isara Gunther from Valkyria Chronicles usually fill out the role of being smart for Squad 7. Coincidentally, they're both in the tank.
- Positron, a signature character in City of Heroes (and Author Avatar of the current lead developer, Matt Miller) is a Mutant who built a suit of Powered Armor to amplify his radiation abilities, which after the Rikti War became his seal to prevent him from exploding. Citadel also may count, being a Ridiculously Human Robot.
- Dmitri Petrovich.
- In the Five-Man Band of the Resistance Group in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, history enthusiast Shad is the official Smart Guy.
- Mechanical genius Slippy Toad of the Star FOX franchise, and egregoriously so.
- In Mass Effect, Tali and Liara serve as both Smart Guys and Chicks, though they're also Badass Bookworms in their own way. In the sequel, the team has several Smart Guys in the form of Tali, Mordin (who works on your upgrades in the ship), Legion and (in DLC) Kasumi.
- Ace Attorney: Ever since Miles Edgeworth's Heel Face Turn, he will usually fullfil this role blissfully when playable or supporting the protagonist. In the Ace Attorney Investigations games, this is even a Glame Play Mechanic, called "Logic".
- Fear Effect. Rain Qin is in this role, combined with The Chick.
- Halo: The Huragok serve as The Smart Species. They're the only ones in the Covenant who actually know enough about their technology to build and maintain it, which puts the other races in a bind when most of them vanish after the third game.
- Cortana also acts as a smart girl for the Master Chief.
- Damon Baird is the smart guy for Delta Squad in Gears of War.
- In Final Fantasy VIII, Quistis Trepe fulfills this role because she is initially their teacher. Selphie Tilmitt might also fit because of her knowledge of weaponry and explosives.
- Final Fantasy IX has Vivi as the resident Black Mage.
- Final Fantasy X has Lulu as the Black Mage of the group, and her status as Ms Exposition is lampshaded. Rikku fits another aspect of this trope as Gadgeteer Genius and Wrench Wench.
- Final Fantasy XIII gives us Hope Estheim, the youngest of the cast but with the highest magic stat.
- In Girl Genius, some of the Sparks are even identified by the Jagers as "da schmot guy".
- In Gil's case, it's even on his hat.
- Vaarsuvius fills this role in The Order of the Stick. Although Roy Greenhilt has more common sense and Haley Starshine is more observant, V's sheer 18 INT has them beat. Besides, Roy and Haley are The Hero and The Lancer respectively.
- Hod, god of darkness and winter, is The Smart Guy to the Norse kids in Brat Halla, although he is a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass as well.
- Riff from Sluggy Freelance is both The Smart Guy and The Lancer, being a Mad Scientist with a penchant for destruction.
- Sweden from Scandinavia and The World. Especially compared to Denmark and Finland.
- Tedd of El Goonish Shive.
- In Dubious Company, Walter starts out as this to Tiren and after they pick up Elly. But when the team picks up Sal, she then becomes the The Smart Girl and Walter functionally shifts to The Leader.
- This also occurs on the Imperial side, with Izor shifting the responsibility to Gary once he becomes a prominent character.
- While not part of a Five-Man Band, computer programmer Raimi definitely fulfills this function in Broken Saints.
- On the group Team Kimba in the Whateley Universe, Phase is probably the smart one, even if Chaka seems to be best at coming up with ideas in the middle of a fight. Phase is over-educated for a freshman in high school, is most likely to use the big words, and is a smart aleck too. The Smart Guy they go to for gadgets is Bugs, who is a Hot Scientist.
- While not intelligent to a superlative degree, Chip from the web fiction serial Dimension Heroes proves on several occasions that his reservoir of book knowledge can prove beneficial in making it out of various tight spots the heroes get into.
- Open to debate, since none of the characters are all that bright, but in Red vs. Blue, Simmons is arguably the smartest member of either team when it comes to pure common sense.
- Lisa Simpson in The Simpsons. Marge as well, in a few cases, but she is just a bit too oblivious to what constitutes as normal human behavior to do any discrediting.
- Velma Dinkley in Scooby Doo.
- Batman in Justice League is, as in the comics, a mix of this and The Lancer. J'onnJ'onzz is a purer example.
- Numbuh Two in Codename: Kids Next Door varies between Ted Baxter, Ace Pilot and Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass. He's generally the most technically skilled of the team though.
- In The Tick (animation), the comics, animated and live-action series, the Tick's moth-garbed sidekick Arthur fills the role of the Smart Guy.
- Code Lyoko has Jèrèmie Belpois, the team's Non-Action Guy. He is also The Captain and team leader, as well as the only one who knows how to properly use the Supercomputer.
- In Transformers: Beast Wars, Dinobot The Lancer was a Proud Warrior Race Guy with little respect for trickery. Rhinox The Big Guy was a Genius Bruiser who dealt with equipment as a Mr. Fixit. Rattrap The Smart Guy was second-in-command and more skilled in the realm of infiltration, sabotage and underhanded tactics. In fact, you could break the three of them down into a triangle of hybrids: Dinobot = Lancer/Big Guy; Rhinox = Big Guy/Smart Guy; Rattrap = Smart Guy/Lancer.
- Ratchet in both Transformers Animated and Transformers Prime.
- In Transformers Generation 1, Wheeljack and Ratchet shared this role in the first season, Perceptor joined in as a third Smart Guy in the second season, and the third season saw Perceptor become the sole Smart Guy after Wheeljack and Ratchet's deaths in The Movie. The fourth "season" (really just a few episodes) introduced Brainstorm for this role, but the show ended before much could be done with him.
- Kyle from South Park often gets this role when compared with the others boys, and even Matt and Trey have called him the group's "smart kid".
- Walden from Wow Wow Wubbzy fills this role on the show. As the theme song says, "he knows about science and books and art."
- Captain Simian and The Space Monkeys has a unique example: Dr. Splitz/Splitzy suffers from a Split Personality disorder, and both of them are very intelligent and innovative in their own right. Dr. Splitz is a textbook example—he is the ship's engineer and sometime medic, and has the true heart of a scientist. Splitzy is a Genius Ditz who is extremely skilled in mechanics and acts as translator for Dr.Splitz's Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness. Working together in combat, they make a Badass Bookworm.
- Tanya of The Mighty Ducks is the resident Gadgeteer Genius and overall tech expert, although she's no weakling on the battlefield or the hockey rink. She tends to stutter and lisp a bit, since her brain is moving faster than she can speak.
- Sam Dullard of Rocket Power is a huge computer whiz and uses that knowledge to help the others improve their sports skills every once in a while. He has also skipped a grade.
- Tako, the unofficial leader of the Sushi Pack, is the one usually called on to think of a plan to defeat the bad guys, and even has a standard "thinking routine". He also offers explanations of more complicated terms that come up in the show.
- Jimmy Neutron in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. 'Nuff said!
- Edd from Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy is this trope incarnate.
- Wade Load of Kim Possible, a ten-year-old super genius who invents all of Kim's gadgets. Oh, and, he's voiced by Taj Mowry, who also played the titular character of a TV show of the Trope Name.
- Teen Titans:
- Cyborg, a Genius Bruiser, fills this seat of the Five-Man Band.
- Raven has elements of this too, despite primarily being The Lancer. Of course, Cyborg also sometimes fills the role of The Lancer despite primarily being The Smart Guy, so it all evens out.
- Heloise on Jimmy Two-Shoes, when she decides to help Jimmy out.
- Winx Club made a half-hearted attempt to avert the "usually the techonlogically-minded character" aspect by having the girls mention that Musa and Flora get the best grades; nevertheless, the show kept using Tecna in the role of The Smart Girl.
- Sokka from Avatar: The Last Airbender doubles as a Badass Bookworm as he accumulates Character Development. He also averts the 'no romance' part of the trope - he has at least two love interests and Ty Lee says she thinks he's cute at least once.
- In Futurama super-tech is so common that the Smart Guy is actually the only character capable of running the Planet Express delivery company, in the form of Hermes Conrad, a Level 34 beauraucrat and the team's Only Sane Man. Professor Farnsworth also counts, though more in a Genius Ditz / Engineer Exploited For Evil sort of way.
- Flap Platypus in season 1 of Blinky Bill, in season 2 Shifty Dingo takes over the role and Flap becomes The Lancer. In season 3, Ling Ling the panda qualifies.
- In The Penguins of Madagascar, Kowalski is both The Lancer to Skipper, and the smart guy. While not short, he is notably the slimmest of all the penguins, and their Technical Pacifist. He's notably the Mad Scientist and Gadgeteer Genius types.
- Valerie on Josie and the Pussy Cats. Beauty and brains.
- Blossom and Professor Utonium on The Powerpuff Girls both shows some moxie in the intelligence department, but they will often get Flanderized (Blossom as egocentric, the Professor as a haplessly overconcerned parent) to keep them from being too one-dimensional.
- Twilight Sparkle takes the role in My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, though it's subverted more often than not due to her lack of real world experience to back up her vast book learning. She's certainly capable of some Awesomeness By Analysis however, along with some hardcore exposition.
- Gretchen Grundler of the Recess gang.
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003, Donatello's intelligence rises sharply to the point where he can build just about anything within a day or two (it seems to vary on how soon the team needs it), and figures out how to adapt Utrom tech, along with almost all other alien technology. He's also the guy with the Simple Staff, and generally considered the Technical Pacifist.
- Nonny from Bubble Guppies is smaller than the rest of the characters and wears goggles, and is notably shy and withdrawn for a character on a preschooler's show.
- Shy-but-sensible Austin of The Backyardigans, both in and out of character. Uniqua also tends to play scientific types, while more excitable Pablo is usually used to play with the concept.
- Dotty, Pepper's cute little sister on Clue Club. She's a computer whiz (for 1976) and has science and forensic moxie. At age 13.
- ↑ as his name implies, he's a powerful warlock but, even though he's an Iron Butt Monkey, he's not too great at fighting without magic