50 Playing Dumb Quotes For Smart People

Feel smarter with our playing dumb quotes! 

People pretend to be different things all of the time; let’s learn more with our quotes about playing dumb quotes. 

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What does it mean to play dumb?

The idea of playing dumb is an American idiom. 

Idioms are phrases or expressions that present figurative or non-literal meanings. 

Some phrases become figurative idioms while retaining their literal meaning. 

The American idiom of playing dumb means to pretend to have little or no knowledge about a subject or to act ignorant and uninformed about something despite having a deep understanding of it. 

Check out these facts about playing dumb below:

  • There is a science behind playing dumb. 
  • Researchers find that people seem more likable when they play dumb.
  • High-status people often attempt to play dumb to seem more approachable to others. 

Why do people play dumb?

People play dumb for all sorts of reasons, usually to gain an advantage over someone else but also to protect the feelings of others or to avoid confrontation. 

For example, a friend may ask, “Did you tell our coworker that I wanted to go on a date when they asked about me?

The other friend may respond, “No, I decided to play dumb about it because I did not want to get involved.” 

People play dumb to protect the feelings of others all of the time, particularly when it comes to dating or romance. 

What are the advantages of playing dumb?

There are many advantages to playing dumb, and playing dumb is not unique to human beings. 

It might seem surprising to you, but animals also exhibit this behavior.

Monkeys are mammals that people study to understand human psychology better. 

When scientists study rhesus monkeys, they find that monkeys choose to play dumb. 

When scientists hid peanuts and bananas for the monkeys to find, they observed that socially dominant and nondominant monkeys were able to solve the puzzle of where the food was located. 

However, they also observed that when in the presence of dominant monkeys, the nondominant monkeys would not exhibit their ability to solve the puzzle and find the hidden food.

Instead, the nondominant monkeys would play dumb until the dominant monkeys were out of sight. 

If the dominant monkeys were present, they would take the food.

However, if the nondominant monkeys pretended not to know where the food was, they could secretly access the food on their own. 

Humans are similar in this way. 

We use the concept of playing dumb to our advantage. 

To learn more, check out our playing dumb quotes below. 

Short playing dumb quotes for smart people

Many people use playing dumb as an advantage to determine the true intentions of others. 

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1. “Play dumb and act smart.” ― King Rodgers

2. “It takes a smart guy to play dumb.” ― Mr. T

3. “Lay low, play dumb, keep moving.” ― Roger Stone

4. “It takes a smart brunette to play a dumb blonde.” Marilyn Monroe

5. “I’m not dumb; I just play dumb to protect myself.” ― Toli Persona

6. “The trick to being smart is knowing when to play dumb.” ― V. Alexander

7. “Sometimes playing stupid opens your eyes to the truth.” ― Anthony Liccione

8. “I love playing dumb; it allows me to see people’s true intentions.” ― Kavisha Bhatt

9. “A smart girl is one who knows how to play tennis, golf, piano and dumb.” ― Marilyn Monroe

10. “The advantage of wisdom is that you can play dumb. The opposite is more difficult.” ― Kurt Tucholsky

The top act dumb and play smart quotes for finding success

Sometimes we have to play dumb to determine our best course of action. 

11. “Don’t play dumb with me” — Mallory O’Brian, The West Wing

12. “They asked me a lot of questions about you. I played dumb.” ― Rick Riordan

13. “No, honestly, I am dumb. Most of the time, I’m playing smart.” ― Sam Seaborn, The West Wing

14. “I play dumb like Jessica Simpson plays dumb. But we know exactly what we’re doing. We’re smart blondes.” Paris Hilton

15. “I always said that you have to be really smart or really dumb to play this game well. I just don’t know where I fit in.” ― Beth Daniel

16. “Intelligence is sexy. Don’t play dumb, especially young girls. Don’t play dumb. And let people see that you are intelligent.” ― Iman

17. “The rich girls steal, the pretty girls lie, the smart girls play dumb, and the dumb girls spend their days trying to be all of the above.” ― Caleb

18. “We can’t play stupid hockey, dumb hockey, greedy hockey, selfish hockey. We have to put the team ahead of our personal feelings.” ― Terry Crisp

19. “The guys who play it [soccer] are kinda dumb. Why don’t they just kick the crap out of the guy in front of the net? Then they could score all they want.” ― Tite Kubo

20. “You have to be smart to play a dumb blonde over and over again and keep the audience’s attention without extraordinary physical equipment.” ― Judy Holliday

The best playing dumb quotes for people who think too much

There are advantages to playing dumb because sometimes we overcomplicate things by thinking too much. 

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21. “You’ve got to have brains to play dumb.” — Helen Ellis

22. You don’t know it, but you can play dumb – right!?” — Deyth Banger

23. “I know it comes easy, Geels, but try not to play dumb with me.” — Leigh Bardugo

24. “Oh, Homer! You don’t have to play dumb anymore! You’re not at school now.” — John Marsden

25. “The trouble with me is I think too much. I always said you have to be dumb to play good golf.” — JoAnne Carner

26. “I always said you have to be really smart or really dumb to play this game well. I just don’t know where I fit in.” — Beth Daniel

27. “People can play dumb all they want, but they always give themselves away in actions. In the small moments like that.” — Stephanie Perkins

28. “People assume actresses are afraid to get older; the truth is the roles get a whole lot more compelling once you’re too old to play dumb.” — Olivia Wilde

29. “American politicians who dwell on American exceptionalism only dishonor us by suggesting we play dumb to our past.” — Jay Parini

30. “The rich girls steal, the pretty girls lie, the smart girls play dumb, and the dumb girls spend their days trying to be all of the above.” — Caleb

Playing dumb quotes to quiet the naysayers

Every now and then, we have to remind detractors that we are not stupid. 

31. “I’m crazy, but I’m not stupid.” Jackie Chan

32. “I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid.” ― Terry Bradshaw

33. “Don’t waste my time– I’m not stupid, and I’m not gullible.” ― Laura Schlessinger

34. “You can’t hold the record forever, and I know that. I’m not stupid.” Janet Jackson

35. “You shouldn’t believe everything you hear; you’re young, not stupid.” ― Terry Brooks

36. “I was smart, to tell you the truth. I’m not really bright, but I’m not stupid.” ― Bobby Vinton

37. “Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.” Bertrand Russell

38. “If your intuition is telling you not to do something, then don’t. Your intuition is not stupid.” ― Martin Niemoller

39. “Cutting is not stupid. Stupid is being bad to someone and get them to the point of bleeding” Demi Lovato

40. “I may be fat and ugly, but I’m not stupid. If anyone had ever gotten past my looks, they might’ve noticed I have a brain.” ― Julie Anne Peters

Playing dumb quotes to make smarter decisions

Playing dumb has some advantages, but it also has disadvantages, and these quotes tell it like it is. 

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41. “The downside of playing dumb is that you sound dumb.” — Rachel Maddow

42. “There is nothing modern about doing dumb things for dumb reasons.” Hunter S. Thompson

43. “I think metal draws dumb people. It’s not exactly a thinking man’s genre.” ― Blake Judd

44. “I keep re-watching Friends. It’s so dumb. There’s so much good TV, and I’m really into all of it.” ― Lissie

45. “I’m like, If you do something dumb, I’ll write about it. If you put something out there, to me, it’s like you’re kind of asking for it.” ― Wanda Sykes

46. “It’s fun to be the subservient character who is too dumb to know when to stop trying to win against the awesome superhero.” ― Kyle Cassie

47. “Donald Trump says five things: everyone’s dumb, he’s going to make America great again, we’re going to win, win, win. He’s winning in the polls.” ― Marco Rubio

48. “If you’re squeezed for information, that’s when you’ve got to play it dumb. You just say you’re out there waiting for the miracle, for the miracle to come.” Leonard Cohen

49. “Sometimes you just have to play dumb, listen to all the critics, taunts and just put down your head and work hard. And when your time comes, drop the curtains and let see all those people go gaga over you.” ― Dilip S Gowda

50. “There’s things people say in the barbershop they won’t even say in their own living room, because it’s just one of those zones where nobody’s going to judge you too much about your dumb opinion.” Ice Cube

What are the negatives of playing dumb?

Some people advise others to play dumb as a power play strategy.

They might say if you want to extract information from another, play dumb so the other person will feel superior and flaunt their superiority by telling more than they usually would. 

This strategy is advantageous sometimes, but it also comes with disadvantages.

The problem with chronically feigning ignorance is that people will perceive us as ignorant when we do it too often. 

There is a difference between encouraging others to perceive us as dumb and choosing to be a lifetime learner. 

Lifetime learners are naturally curious, ask questions, and want to know more. 

You do not need to hide your intelligence to be a lifelong learner. 

You can still allow others to teach and share things without having to come across as dumb to receive new information. 

What is your favorite quote about playing dumb?

Please be sure to let us know in the comment section below. 

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2 Comments
  1. Nazeri

    June 6, 2023 at 5:21 PM

    Yes, i have played dumb before..when i was younger i ate my moms candy and when my mom asked me i played dumb and acted like i didn’t know what she was talking about.

    • Danielle Dahl, Managing Editor

      June 7, 2023 at 12:21 PM

      That is funny! Thanks for sharing!

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