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.

2 Answers 2


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.


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.

  • I think that dialogue is a bit too different from the very common phrase the questioin asks about.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Jul 6, 2014 at 14:08
  • 1
    That's saying "brave and stupid", not "brave or stupid".
    – Urbycoz
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 15:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .