Stupid Is As Stupid Does: What Does this Funny Idiom Mean?

Last Updated on March 21, 2020

The phrase “stupid is as stupid does” is a phrase you may hear or see often in conversation and writing. Here you will find the meaning of this phrase and information about its origin. You will also find examples of how to properly use this phrase in conversation and suggestions regarding other ways you can say this phrase while still conveying the same meaning.

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Stupid Is As Stupid Does Meaning

The phrase “stupid is as stupid does” means that the actions of someone often are an indicator of their intelligence or lack thereof. It says that even if a highly intelligent person does something stupid they are still stupid.

Origin of the idiom

The phrase “stupid is as stupid does” is a variation of an older phrase that says “handsome is as handsome does.” The latter phrase first appeared in writing in 1862. The phrase “stupid is as stupid does” became popular in 1994 when the film Forrest Gump was released and has been widely used since.

“Stupid Is As Stupid Does” Examples

Examples in Statements

A statement made in the local paper about a driver during a recent incident.

  • “Of course that old drunk caused that accident! Stupid is as stupid does!”

A statement made by a hunter being interviewed for a story in a hunting magazine.

  • “Well, knowing that guy and his practices, I am not shocked that he fell out of his deer stand. I mean stupid is as stupid does!

Examples in Conversations

A conversation between two friends at school.

  • Friend 1: Did you hear about the fight today in the cafeteria?
  • Friend 2: No, what happened?
  • Friend 1: Well, Clark got in Jim’s face about something concerning his girlfriend and the next thing we all know it was a knockdown drag out fight!
  • Friend 2: No way! Did they get in trouble?
  • Friend 1: They were both sent to the principal and no one has seen them since.
  • Friend 2: I can’t believe Clark would jeopardize graduation so close to the end of the year, but I guess stupid is as stupid does.

A conversation between two co-workers in the office.

  • Co-worker 1: I can’t believe Becky was trying to act like she knew what she was doing today. That is not her area of expertise and it shows.
  • Co-worker 2: Well, you know what they say. Stupid is as stupid does!

Other Ways to Say “Stupid Is As Stupid Does”

As with most phrases, there several alternative ways to say the same phrase and still convey the same meaning. Some alternative suggestions for this phrase include:

  • He/she might be intelligent, but he/she is still stupid
  • If you do something stupid, no matter how intelligent you are, you are still stupid
  • Even the smartest people do stupid things sometimes

Stupid Is As Stupid Does | Picture

Stupid Is As Stupid Does Pin

3 thoughts on “Stupid Is As Stupid Does: What Does this Funny Idiom Mean?”

  1. hmmmm

    I always thought it meant that people tend to judge the actions of someone based on their reputation. So if everyone “know” little forrest is stupid, then anything they see him doing they will call stupid

  2. That’s a fair description. I always have seen it as,
    “If what you are doing is stupid, you are being stupid.”


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