No matter the movie's genre, dumb movie characters pretty much serve a single purpose: they're funny and therefore fun.
Whether that humor is needed for comic relief amidst heavy drama or simply to keep the entire film lighthearted while providing a bumbling sidekick for the protagonist, dumb characters are effective.
Over many decades, we've seen numerous empty-headed characters whom we can't help but love—and they often don't even realize they're stupid! Here are the most lovably stupid characters in movies.
10. Thick Kevin (Pirate Radio)
Despite literally being called Thick Kevin (Tom Brooke), this guy somehow isn't the most well-known character amongst dummies.
A member of the Pirate Radio staff, Kevin is the last person you want on your team when playing charades—which is something crew newbie Carl (Tom Sturridge) finds out the hard way.
"Nice guy, really nice guy. Has lots of friends. Has long hair. No shoes," is his way of describing Jesus. But he does have one smart revelation that makes him declare the new nickname Clever Kevin!
9. Marv Murchins (Home Alone)
What's Christmas without Home Alone? As one of the most famous holiday movies ever made, Home Alone triggered a six-part franchise that's largely forgettable past the first two movies.
The first and second—directed by Chris Columbus—involves little Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) booby-trapping his house against two robbers.
One of those robbers is Marv (Daniel Stern), who's afraid of the dark, wraps his hand in tape for pennies, and frequently bossed around by his smarter-but-still-pretty-stupid partner Harry (Joe Pesci).
8. Alan Garner (The Hangover)
Although Zach Galifianakis regrets turning The Hangover into a series, we don't mind getting three helpings of the hilarious Alan Garner.
As the chunky tritagonist of the comedy classic, Alan's main role is to carry around a stranger's baby and laugh inappropriately while the main trio retrace their drunken steps.
Alan is a mama's boy who still listens to the Jonas Brothers, essentially making him a child in a man's body, which is why we love him. He's also surprisingly spiritual and good at blackjack.
7. Derek Zoolander (Zoolander)
It's a hugely reductive and unfair generalization to assume all good-looking and/or vain people are dumb. However, comedy thrives off of stereotypes, and Zoolander works that perfectly.
Derek (Ben Stiller) is a self-absorbed male model who believes he's God's gift to mankind, but his ignorance makes him the perfect target for manipulation.
The entire plot—and all of its jokes—is based around people taking advantage of Derek, who can't even spell day spa ("daiye" spa). He's alright at math, though.
6. Brick Tamland (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy)
We could have put protagonist Ron Burgundy himself on this list, but there's one character in Anchorman who's even dumber than Will Ferrell's egotistical presenter: Brick Tamland.
Portrayed by Steve Carrell before he broke into the world of drama, Brick is a third-wheeling weatherman with an IQ of just 48.
Although he's kind, Brick is a socially awkward goofball who attends his own funeral and starts crying, believing himself to be dead. The fact he makes Ron appear smart by comparison says everything.
5. Otto (A Fish Called Wanda)
Moviegoers were used to seeing Kevin Kline as the heroic, fatherly leading man before he threw a curveball in A Fish Called Wanda.
Suddenly, Kline's charm was swapped, turning him into a narcissistic psychopath who likes to blow things up. Perhaps he'd even be a feared villain, if only he wasn't so stupid!
Charles Crichton directed Kline, who struggled to play a character so hard to pin down. He has no morals or intellect to ground him! Fortunately, his dithery performance was met with praise.
4. Karen Smith (Mean Girls)
Karen (Amanda Seyfried) took the dumb blonde archetype to new heights in Mark Waters's beloved chick-flick Mean Girls.
Despite the pristine look of the entire cast, Karen is oddly the only girl who isn't driven by insecurity. She's ditzy, innocent, and lost in a daydream. In fact, she's not even really a mean girl at all!
But she's dumb and she just floats around wherever she's put, and that just happens to be with the cruel, popular kids. Karen also believes she has psychic powers that predict the weather. (She doesn't.)
3. Dale and Brennan (Step Brothers)
Step Brothers is one of those films that everyone seems to have watched a million times—a crowd-pleasing comedy starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly with quotable lines and memorable moments.
Adam McKay's buddy-comedy centers on two grown men who still live at home. When their parents decide to get married, they're forced to live together as step-brothers.
The predictable enemies-become-friends story rests on one important detail: Dale and Brennan are exactly the same. They act, dress, speak, and think the same. They're both unfathomably dense and childish, with some viewers even speculating that they're on the spectrum.
2. Lloyd and Harry (Dumb and Dumber)
The clue is in the movie's title, called Dumb and Dumber—but between Lloyd (Jim Carrey) and Harry (Jeff Daniels), which one's Dumb and which one's Dumber?
It's a close call, but we're going to say that Lloyd is dumber, mainly because he's barely literate yet ironically confident about his intellect. Their ignorance is both a blessing and a curse when they accidently get involved with the mob.
Together, they're completely hopeless, unable to read maps or clocks and constantly getting done over by old ladies. Still, at the end of the day, they're both sweethearts deep down.
1. Inspector Clouseau (The Pink Panther)
Being a detective probably isn't the best career path for someone without brains, but French inspector Jacques Clouseau walks it nonetheless.
He's the clumsiest character around, always tripping over furniture and missing clues, which provides for some great comedy gags.
He's been played by multiple actors across The Pink Panther franchise (1963–2009), including Alan Arkin, Roger Moore, and Steve Martin. Our favorite, however, will always be the original Peter Sellers.