Movies & TV Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for movie and tv enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

You're either very brave, or very stupid

It's a common as dirt line from basically every action or drama movie ever, some examples from the top of my head would be Spooks S05E08- Agenda, Star Trek DS9 S05E23- Blaze of Glory and Red Dwarf: S06E03- Gunmen of the Apocalypse (mighty instead of very, to fit in with the western theme of the episode).

I've had a google around but I couldn't find any information on this, and surprisingly TVTropes doesn't have a page for it.

Does anyone know where this phrase came from? It must be something famous because it shows up everywhere. From those I remember the earliest is Red Dwarf in 1993, so that's the number to beat.

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Here's a book from 1945:

The pilot was either very brave or very stupid

Experiment with Google n-gram viewer to find other/closer versions of the quote.

share|improve this answer

I think The Sea Hawk (1940) might qualify as an origin, at least in film.

You were very brave, trying to take this ship single-handed.

Thank you, sir.

Brave but stupid.


I would venture to guess that something very similar was written in a book long before.

share|improve this answer
I think that dialogue is a bit too different from the very common phrase the questioin asks about. – Napoleon Wilson Jul 6 '14 at 14:08
That's saying "brave and stupid", not "brave or stupid". – Urbycoz Jul 10 '14 at 15:55

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.