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  1. #1
    Member Vorthos's Avatar
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    Default Why does no TV show/anime make interesting INTP characters?

    I have returned from my lengthy absence from these forums (presumably to tremendous fanfare) to ask a question that's been bugging me for some time now: why are nearly all INTP characters so bland?

    From my observations, there are four main types of INTP characters:

    1) The meek scientist

    -As the name suggests, the character is a scientist (or generally nerdy) who is meek. They are shy and quiet. If they get angry, they'll usually either not express it, or be passive-aggressive about it. They have little self-confidence, and are almost always a supporting or minor character. They're either too nice, or bitter and cynical.

    2) The eccentric mentor

    -They're nuts. ... That's about as much characterization as the eccentric professor gets. They may be extremely energetic or excitable, but will rarely express negative emotions.

    3) The plot-device

    -This character provides story-relevent information, but might as well be a computer due to lack of any real personality. They probably only exist to advance the plot.

    4) The inhuman

    -This character either isn't human, or displays so little emotion that they're a computer in all but form.


    While these character types might be able to be developed throughout the series, and can certainly be realistic characters, these character archetypes are boring. While there might be some INTPs in real life that are like the character types I've listed, there still should be a significant number of INTPs that are nothing like those characters. Who says INTPs have to be quiet? Why are they almost always scientists? Can't they be in a combat role on a team, or be a protagonist? Why do they always seem like they're tired?

    From what I've seen, the only INTP characters I feel break the archetypes are L from Death Note, and Rintarou Okabe from Steins;Gate (I type him as INTP).

    -L is slightly quiet, but he's far from meek. He is quite confident. He isn't a professor or a scientist. While he is a bit odd, he has character flaws, and isn't completely emotionless (though he doesn't display emotion often).

    -Okabe is a bit larger-than-life while using his Hououin Kyouma persona, but even the fact that he even uses a persona is more interesting than most INTP characters. He also has flaws, but is quite outgoing and energetic. Furthermore, he's the protagonist, so that's a treat.


    Can anybody help explain why INTP characters are usually so lacklustre? Even examples of other well-done INTPs would be great.

    (Note: I reject the notion that all INTPs are boring, or simply aren't protagonist material. Some maybe, but not nearly all of them)
    (Translator's note: keikaku means plan)

  2. #2
    Schemata Architect CognitiveLiberty's Avatar
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    Watch Mr Robot if you want a cool INTP protagonist.

    Also with Okabe, I initially typed him as INTP, but I have changed my mind and now think he's a cross between INTJ and ENTP (the Hououin Kyouma persona is ENTP)
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  3. #3
    Junior Member oswinoswald's Avatar
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    I'm not sure, i still trying to figure out but i think that Oreki Houtarou from Hyouka is an INTP. Some people may say he is INTJ but c'mon i think he is almost an intp stereotype.
    Lazy, analytical, logical and etc.

  4. #4
    The Devil of TypoC EJCC's Avatar
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    I initially thought Walter White from "Breaking Bad" was an INTJ, but now I'm leaning INTP. And he is very, VERY interesting.

    (Also, a perfect example of enneagram 6 disintegrating to 3... but in a very slow-burn disintegration that takes 5 seasons to get to its lowest lows)
    ”We know a little about a lot of things; just enough to make us dangerous.”

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    I initially thought Walter White from "Breaking Bad" was an INTJ, but now I'm leaning INTP. And he is very, VERY interesting.

    (Also, a perfect example of enneagram 6 disintegrating to 3... but in a very slow-burn disintegration that takes 5 seasons to get to its lowest lows)
    Many type him ENTJ but perhaps he was simply an INTP acting through his mirror. Maybe this at least partly explains why so many of his carefully orchestrated plans still seem to backfire (eventually).
    'When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff.'

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  6. #6
    The Devil of TypoC EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starcrash View Post
    Many type him ENTJ but perhaps he was simply an INTP acting through his mirror. Maybe this at least partly explains why so many of his carefully orchestrated plans still seem to backfire (eventually).
    That's a big part of why I stopped thinking he was an INTJ. He seems like the man with the plan, in a lot of ways, but it's only when you compare him with Gus (an actual INTJ) that you realize that he has zero Ni, and is not as good at planning as he thinks he is. He actually strikes me as extremely short-sighted in later seasons.
    ”We know a little about a lot of things; just enough to make us dangerous.”

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    That's a big part of why I stopped thinking he was an INTJ. He seems like the man with the plan, in a lot of ways, but it's only when you compare him with Gus (an actual INTJ) that you realize that he has zero Ni, and is not as good at planning as he thinks he is. He actually strikes me as extremely short-sighted in later seasons.
    Yes. I realize this is a stereotype, but the INTJ's talent for foreseeing possible contingencies is not strong in White. In fact, he often misses potential outcomes of situations in an almost comical manner. He's better at orchestrating elaborate solutions on the fly, for instance when he used the phone trick to get rid of Hank when he had Walter and Jesse cornered in the RV.
    'When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff.'

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CognitiveLiberty View Post
    Watch Mr Robot if you want a cool INTP protagonist.

    Also with Okabe, I initially typed him as INTP, but I have changed my mind and now think he's a cross between INTJ and ENTP (the Hououin Kyouma persona is ENTP)
    I actually think Okabe is some feeler of sorts. I suspect eNFP. He puts on a Mad Scientist Persona, which looks xNTP. I don't think he has any INTJ in him at all. I'd even say ExFJ is a more appropriate tying over any NT. For an INTJ in this series, I'd look at Kurisu, which I think is an IxTJ 6w5 of some sort -- she's more of a classic rational, both in temperament and thought.

    Also, good call on Mr. Robot protagonist as INTP. Me think he's INTP 5w6 (strong 6 wing). I actually think he's kind of annoying and not all that cool.

  9. #9
    Member tsumatachi_san's Avatar
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    Xerxes Break from Pandora Hearts is a pretty good INTP character - in the manga at least he has a detailed backstory and character development arc. He's a bit eccentric, but is mostly quite a serious character.

  10. #10
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    It's been years since I've last watched Naruto, however I believe Shikamaru makes a wonderful example of an INTP. I remember him as being an apathetic chess playing badass, but that could be far off.

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