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The audience watching at home can see it coming...and yet, for some reason, the characters in the show can't, and proceed to do that "dumb thing" anyway. Way to go, geniuses.

  • Cold Case
    • "Justice". The brother of the girl you raped is holding you at gunpoint.
      You'd expect: That you are acting meek as hell until you get the gun away from him. You are a psychopath, not stupid.
      Instead: You call his sister a great lay that asked for it. Really, at this point it is not so much a murder as it is assisted suicide.
    • (It maybe implied in the episode that the detectives were actually goading the brother into giving a fake version of events to make it sound more like self-defense than murder because they didn't want to arrest the brother for the killing. Also, remember that the brother was just fourteen or so at the time; even if the flashback was true, when a little boy is holding you at gunpoint, it may seem like a good idea to scare and confuse him, making him run away in tears.)
  • Dark Angel
    • Max comes across a transgenic who can see into the future. At one point he tells Max several actions he can see her taking in the near future, then is shocked when he sees her die as a result of these actions.
      You'd Expect: The guy would warn Max that she'll die if she does all the stuff he just told her about.
      Instead: He keeps quiet and just starts crying, leaving Max to assume she's supposed to do what he just said. He ends up dying because of his own idiocy when he throws himself in front of the bullet she would have taken.
  • Heroes
    • At the end of Season 1, the Company captures Sylar. They inject him with a virus that suppresses his powers. That's a pretty smart idea. But then there's the question of what to do with him afterward.
      You'd expect — That they would keep him in a cell in one of their facilities, with armed guards, scientists to run tests on him, and security systems that would work to prevent his escape, and inform them if he succeeded.
      Instead — They put him in a shack in the middle of nowhere with absolutely nothing to prevent him from just walking out, and only one guard. She proceeds to have her own What an Idiot! moment when she carefully demonstrates her powers of illusion to the psychotic power-stealing serial killer, then does nothing as he acts threateningly towards her and shortly attacks and kills her. Finally, the Company apparently has no way of telling whether Sylar has escaped, as he is able to walk away from the shack for three days without any pursuit.
    • Near the end of season 1, where Mohinder has captured Sylar (whom he knows is a multiple murderer), taken what DNA information he needed from him, and then tried to shoot him in the head. Sylar stops the bullet, escapes, tortures Mohinder... Then, later, Peter shows up, and in the confrontation, Sylar and Peter are both rendered unconscious.
      You'd expect — Mohinder would use this opportunity to put a few bullets in Sylar's brain, like he already tried to do.
      Instead — Mohinder scoops up Peter's unconscious (seemingly dead) body and just leaves Sylar there, to eventually wake up and resume his killing spree.
    • Also Heroes, Season 2: Peter stands before a giant door, with a needlessly complicated lock mechanism, behind which lies a deadly virus he's intent on destroying. Adam, who Peter's been working with, claims to have the same goal, but really wants Peter to open the vault so he can release the virus. Peter has been warned repeatedly by people he logically should trust, including Hiro --who helped him save New York before.
      You'd expect — Since Peter can phase through walls he would just do so. By leaving everyone else outside, and destroying the virus himself, he could have completely eliminated trust as a factor. Or used telepathy to read Adam's mind to confirm his intentions.
      Instead — He uses telekinesis on the lock, almost squeezing his brain out in the process. Because phasing through the door would have been less interesting. Adam subsequently walks into the door and Peter blindly waits outside the door for him, not bothering to verify he's going to destroy the virus.
    • Again in Season 3: Tracy and Nathan come to see Suresh, and Tracy shows Suresh her power. Suresh knocks them out with a sedative, but they're not the idiots. Later on, Nathan and Tracy are strapped to operating tables. When Mohinder says he feels like he's becoming a monster, Tracy offers her hand for comfort...
      You'd expect- Mohinder to use the marvelous intellect he used in acquiring a degree to deduce that Tracy isn't just trying to comfort him.
      Instead — Dr. Suresh reaches out for Tracy's hand and falls to the floor actually surprised when she freezes his forearm.
    • The ending to Season 3, to the point of being completely ridiculous. Sylar kills Nathan, but is then tranq'ed. Everyone is now in a room with an unconscious Sylar and a dead Nathan.
      You'd expect — HRG to say "Hey, Claire has magic bring-dead-people-back-to-life blood. I should know, seeing as it did so for me. Let's inject Nathan's body with some and toss Sylar into a wood chipper."
      Instead — The group decides to have Matt hypnotize Sylar into being Nathan and just pretend that Sylar is dead.. Naturally, the Volume 5/Season 4 preview implies that this "solution" won't last for very long.
    • Season 4 — Peter has stolen the Haitian's power neutralizing ability and uses it to get the drop on Sylar, managing to nail-gun his hands to a table. Peter has Sylar dead to rights and knows that he killed Peter's brother and father and Claire's mother and untold others.
      You'd Expect: That he'd put a nail into Sylar's brain and then pitch him into a volcano.
      Instead: He tries to bring Nathan's personality to the surface even though Sylar already proved in that season alone that it couldn't take.
      Bonus! He completely neglects using the Haitian's memory-wiping powers to suppress Sylar again, which would make a tragically idiotic plan only largely idiotic. Or at least not to stop erasing Sylar's memories until there is nothing left, which the Haitian did in Season 1 with the guy that attempted to rape Claire.
      Double Bonus! "Nathan" realizes he can't control Sylar and decides to commit suicide. He does this by jumping off a building despite knowing that Peter/The Haitian's power only works in close proximity and Sylar has super-healing. Naturally, Sylar regains his powers mid-fall and survives it, walking away to mock Peter.
    • A less serious example: Hiro discovers a man about to jump off the roof of his company's building because he was fired for copying his butt at a company party.
      You'd Expect: That Hiro could just intervene normally to get the guy re-hired at the company that Hiro owns.
      Instead: Hiro keeps traveling back in time to physically prevent the guy from copying his butt, but the guy just does it a week later.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
    • The team finds a homeless girl and got her to give up information about her "father", a wanted criminal who has killed several people and is still on the loose after a woman is murdered.
      You'd Expect: They'd put her in the protective custody of the police and keep her safe in case her "father" wants to kill her for ratting on him.
      Instead: They release her to the head of a shelter with no one there to guard her. Predictably, her "father" comes back for the kid and kills both her and the head of the shelter. Saw that one coming.
    • This show seems to be made of this trope. In one episode, some family member comes barging in worried about their relative.
      You'd Expect: They'd learn to shut up, or at the very least hide traumatizing information.
      Instead: They clearly don't. Naming one episode would be a disservice to all of the other times this happens. Invariably, the family member will either go into an unrecoverable funk, go batshit insane, or do something else impossibly stupid.
    • And it's not just the detectives: in "Goliath," a large group of armed cops are facing down one of their own, who's just killed his wife in a psychotic state induced by drugs he was given while serving in Iraq. He's half naked, smeared with his wife's blood, and holding a gun, in the depths of confusion and despair. His son (who is at least twelve or thirteen) comes out of the house, ignorant of his mother's death. Remember, a large cadre of armed officers are present.
      You'd expect: the kid to see his father, bloody, holding a gun, and with other cops pointing their weapons at them and realize something's wrong, and react appropriately.
      Instead: he completely ignores all the guns and all the other cops, and questions his dad in confusion about his mother, wondering why his father is so upset. "Did I do something wrong?" That's the last straw that pushes his dad over the edge, and he fires the gun into his own head. (He lives, but that's not the POINT.)
    • One that seems to repeat several times. A teenage couple are arrested for some type of crime. Often, either he rapes her or he convinces her to be an accomplice to a crime.
      You'd expect: The girl would realize that a healthy relationship doesn't involve police interrogation, and would take advantage of the deal the police are giving her.
      Instead: She continues to wail about how "he loves her" and proceeds to take the fall (or cover up) for a guy who is usually only with her for sex, money, or to let her take the blame and frankly treats her like garbage.
  • Malcolm in the Middle
    • "The Reunion": Lois sees her extended family about to take their family portrait without her.
      You'd expect: That she would yell "Stop!" or something like that to allow her time to get into shot, especially since she wanted to be part of it, and had been spending the last few minutes trying to find some high-heels to replace her sneakers. Besides, even with the photographer's quick second take, she still had about nine or 10 seconds to do something.
      Instead: Those nine or 10 seconds pass without Lois saying anything, and she spends the rest of the reunion crying in her room's closet.
    • In the series finale, Lois reveals that she specifically wants him to be miserable for his whole life, working his way up from a dead-end janitor job to becoming the President of the United States. His brothers, father, and grandmother had all been aware of this, and assumed that he himself also knew, even though no one ever told him.
      You'd expect: That Malcolm would tell his family to shove it up their asses when they revealed their plans for his life.
      Instead: He accepts it, fully aware that the decisions they made were his to make. And no, the moral of this show is no excuse. Francis didn't exactly have a choice when he was put into military school, but realized how fucked up his life was, declared himself independent of Lois, and took control for himself, without any kind of guidance, essentially shattering said aesop to pieces. Honestly, will he ever come to his senses? Not like they'd be able to punish him if, in fact, does betray them since, well, they intend to ruin his life anyway.
  • Robin Hood
    • "Brothers in Arms": Guy of Gisborne confiscates a necklace from a woman so that he has a gift for Marian. Robin Hood tells Marian about its origin.
      You'd expect: Marian to return the necklace to its owner herself, and tell Guy that she does not accept stolen gifts.
      Instead: Marian gives the necklace to Robin, who returns it to its owner. Predictably, Sir Guy finds out and starts suspecting that Marian spies for Robin Hood. This starts the chain of events which ends with Marian being forced to promise to marry Guy, to dispel the suspicion.
    • In the third series Robin meets Isabella, likes what he sees, implicitly trusts her, and starts up a sudden romantic relationship with her despite the fact that she's the sister of the man who killed his wife.
      You'd expect: Robin to at least try and remember his dead wife and the possibility that the sister of the man who murdered her might be just as untrustworthy, dangerous, and unhinged as her brother.
      Instead: He doesn't, and she kills him.
    • Kate's introductory episode involves her attempting to save her brother's life by a) trying to move him in a conspicuous cart during the middle of enforced conscription instead of just hiding him in the house, b) screeching "there's nothing there, there's nothing there!" when Guy investigates the suspicious sight of a woman talking to what's meant to be an empty cart, c) sabotaging the outlaws' ambush to free her brother by rushing in and attacking the guards prematurely without even a weapon to defend herself with, d) abandoning the outlaws and sneaking into the castle by herself with no clear plan on what she intends to do, e) forgetting to take out the distinctive braid across her forehead that makes her instantly recognisable to Guy of Gisborne who orders her restrained, f) trying to cut a deal with Guy by revealing to him that Robin, the man who would have saved both her brother and the rest of the prisoners had Kate just let him, is hiding amongst the prisoners, and g) flailing helplessly when Guy ends up killing her brother when he rushes to her defense, mistakenly believing that Kate is being threatened by Guy.
      You'd expect: Kate to learn a valuable lesson about the importance of patience, timing, competence, discretion, silence, and letting the professionals do their job without interference. Or, if she does really want to help, at least try to make herself useful to the group by training, learning other skills, etc.
      Instead: The next time a tax-collector comes to Locksley, she loudly and aggressively insults him in front of a large crowd of people, resulting in the destruction of her family's pottery business, her own capture and near-rape, and the audience being subjected to her presence for the rest of the series when the outlaws rescue her and then inexplicably invite her to join the team despite the fact that she's completely useless.
      Furthermore: Why on earth did the outlaws want her on the team in the first place? All she ever did was bitch and moan at them, and act impossibly ungrateful whenever they went out of their way to save her life.
  • Roots
    • In the penultimate episode, one slave character discovers a thief in a food storage shed who messed the place up and runs off when discovered.
      You'd expect: "Virgil" to go to his masters and tell them about the thief to minimize the risk of being beaten when the thief runs off.
      Instead: Virgil nonchalantly tries to clean up the mess whereupon his masters come across the scene seconds later. They don't believe him when he tells them about the thief and he is promptly used as a punching bag by his handlers.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series
    • In the final episode, cooky Janice Lester switches bodies with Captain Kirk so she can stop being a woman and become a Starfleet Commander.
      You'd Expect: She would be very careful not to do anything that would give her away, although she seems fairly confident that she can pull it off.
      Instead: She makes official log entries as the captain, where she actually brags about how she's duping everyone. There is absolutely no good reason for her to do this. Only the fact that she's essentially insane can excuse her.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
    • In "Datalore", the Enterprise happens to find Lore, an identical twin robot of Data. At one point, when Data and Lore are alone, Lore reveals himself to be an Evil Twin by incapacitating Data, then claims that he is Data and that Lore attacked him, and he disabled Lore in response.
      You'd think: That the very blatantly obvious fact that the two are identical would make Picard suspicious, and he would ask Lore something only Data would know to find out if he was really Data or not. Even if he didn't bother with any of that, you'd think he'd at least be sure to keep a careful eye on Lore and take any advice from him with a grain of salt, just in case.
      Instead: Picard implicitly trusts Lore, believing he's Data, even when he does things that Data wouldn't do. Even worse, Wesley explicitly tries to point out the possibility to Picard, and Picard for some reason ignores him. Sure, he's a Creator's Pet, but that does mean he has a tendency to be right. The only reason everyone on the Enterprise didn't die due to Picard's appalling stupidity is that Wesley goes against orders and manages to save the day. Just for the record, Kirk would never have made that mistake.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
    • The uber-cadet group Red Squad gets to go on a training mission in a spiffy new Defiant-class vessel. Halfway through, a Dominion attack kills all the senior staff, so the cadets are all that's left.
      You'd expect: They fly home. They were not sent out as a warship. They're on a training mission. It's obviously over. They don't even have the expertise to make the ship work to its full potential.
      Instead: The head cadet, having been made acting captain before the last senior officer died, refuses to come home. Instead, he starts running missions against the Dominion, getting the orders from people who think the qualified officers are still running the show. To his credit, he manages to live a while, but eventually gets almost all of them killed in a David vs. Goliath scenario.
    • The above leads into a smaller What an Idiot! moment for Nog, who finds himself aboard this very ship. Nog joined Starfleet. Unlike these idiot cadets, he's actually made it through the academy and outranks them all. Moreover, he's got a civilian dependent (his best friend Jake) to look after. On top of that, he has proof the "captain" isn't fit to command despite all the other reasons he shouldn't be flying the ship (see above).
      You'd expect: Nog put his freaking foot down and make these people go home. He's got Jake to look out for and his own missions to deal with.
      Instead: He gets drafted, more or less, and ends up a part of said mission which sees everyone else killed. Jake was even imprisoned during the whole affair. Nog barely makes it out with Jake and a random cadet. Hindsight is 20/20 as he acknowledges that the lead cadet was a bad captain, which he had already seen signs of well before putting himself in the situation.
    • In "One Little Ship", a new generation of Jem'Hadar soldiers, the Alphas, manage to take the Defiant. One of the older, Gamma quadrant soldiers serving as Second suggests they put the crew to death immediately, lest they try to take the ship back.
      You'd Expect: The Alpha First listen. After all, the Gamma has probably done this before.
      Instead: The First not only ignores his Second's suggestions, but pretty much lets the crew work on their own schedule. The Second makes every effort to cover for his superior's idiocy, but ultimately fails. If not for a timely rescue by Dax in a miniaturized runabout, the ship would have blown up the second it went to warp because the crew sabotaged it.
    • In the two-parter "In Purgatory's Shadow"/"By Inferno's Light", Garak and Worf are captured in a runabout and taken to an asteroid prison.
      You'd Expect: Their ship be impounded, disassembled, or outright destroyed.
      Instead: The ship is left, unguarded and completely active, in transporter range of the asteroid with no other ships in the vicinity. Escape is as simple as calling the runabout and having it beam them to safety.
      ** For Added Stupidity: This was actually brought up in a later episode when Sloane is auditioning Bashir for Section 31, which means, either then or in hindsight, even the writers knew it was contrived.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • An earlier episode of The Next Generation had a wormhole with a stable entry point on one side, and a constantly jumping exit point on the other. Voyager finds this wormhole during the second season. They also find the Ferengi that were stranded in the Delta Quadrant, who have set themselves up as gods among a bronze-age people.
      You'd Expect: That they would make a beeline for the wormhole, or at least grab the Ferengi first and then hightail it back to the Alpha Quadrant, letting 5 or 6 generations of the bronze-age people undo all the damage that was done.
      Instead: They try to fix all the meddling of the Ferengi, who escape and even destroy the Wormhole.
    • Future Janeway plans to negate her own timeline by helping Voyager get back much earlier than intended. She'll have to break a lot of rules to accomplish her plan, though.
      You'd Expect: That any of the people who indirectly/directly help her mission (Barclay, Miral Paris, Harry Kim) would have gotten some sense and realized that Janeway would erase the past twenty-plus years of their lives if they allowed her to continue through with her plan.
      Instead: Barclay and Miral unquestionably go along with the plan (Miral even tests the device to make sure it works!), and even Harry Kim is somehow swayed after Janeway talks to him. Basically, everyone in the future has to act like an idiot in order for Janeway's plan to work.
    • Weighing Janeway's need to get back home ASAP with the lives Voyager could have potentially saved over the next several years makes her choices seem more suspect. Janeway is told point blank by her future counterpart that, over the next two decades, she'll only lose 26 crew members (which is an average of about 1 per year), but that Voyager will have met and helped countless races all the way to the Alpha Quadrant. Either way, though, Tuvok will still end up going insane — no one can do anything about that.
      You'd Expect: That, knowing this information, Janeway could have come back home as a legend and still kept Chakotay and Seven alive by not assigning them to away missions. Plus, the ship now has advanced Borg armor that would repel most enemy attacks.
      Instead: She (with the help of her counterpart) destroys a Transwarp Hub and sails right on home, content in the knowledge that she's saved a few more crewmembers at the cost of thousands — if not tens of thousands — of people who would potentially benefit from Voyager's assistance. Not to mention all the technology and information they would pick up along the way.
    • In the episode "Timeless", Harry Kim and Tom Paris manage to build a slipstream drive like the one on the alien ship from "Hope and Fear". Problem is, it destabilizes after a few minutes, so they have to make constant course corrections. Harry tries but can't keep up, killing the entire crew except himself and Chakotay. A future version of Harry Kim rewrites the past so that the ship drops out of transwarp after two or three minutes in its trial run, so that it doesn't crash and kill the crew.
      You'd Expect: Harry to realize the technology works in short intervals, and use it to "puddle-jump" the ship all the way to Earth. After all, if you have a proven window of stability, then you can just stop before passing that window. The crew (including Harry) know this fact for certain, and discuss it at length.
      Instead: Janeway decides the technology is too dangerous and orders it dismantled, while being disappointed that their experiment didn't work. But it did work! You just cut ten years off your journey, and were seconds away from making it back home!!!
    • "Innocence": The crew finds a planet were the people claim the "children" they have are aging backwards and so they want them back.
      You'd Expect them to be suspicious after the fact the aliens tried to kill them at every turn, refused to cooperate and provide no proof.
      Instead they hand them over.
      For Added Stupidity This already happened to the Feds... and it turned out to be an intelligence test (TAS novel).
    • In "Someone to Watch Over Me", the Doctor and Paris have a bet going to see if he can teach Seven how to go on a date without being her usual overbearing self. After an early attempt is messed up by Seven tearing the guy's ligament during a dance, the Doctor takes her himself for the "final exam", so to speak, which is a dinner being held for an alien ambassador. The Doctor's teachings work, and Seven does splendidly.
      You'd Expect Paris to wait until after the dinner to settle their bet.
      Instead He does so when Seven is literally standing right next to him, forcing the Doc to admit to betting on her performance. She is righteously pissed, and storms out.
      For Added Stupidity This can't even be excused as Paris being vindictive about losing. He seems to have completely forgotten Seven was standing there, as he hastily tries to take responsibility when she gets mad about it.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise
    • The Xindi in their arc of season 3. They hate humans, they are building an Earthshattering Kaboom gun. Now at this point they have five major advantages: Their enemy has no clue they exist, they have four hundred years to refine their prototype, they have allies who give them technology and can see the future, they live in a remote and inaccessible part of space, and they can travel nigh-instantaneously across the universe. Now they complete a Small Country Shattering Kaboom prototype of their weapon, and...
      You'd Expect: They test it on some out of the way moon or planet no one will miss. Then they use the data from that test to refine their final version, teleport it over to Earth, and destroy the planet with one shot.
      Instead: They test the prototype on Earth itself. Earth immediately sends The Enterprise after them, which: finds them, destroys their next prototype, convinces them not to blow up Earth, and murders their future-seeing allies. Good job, Xindi! You failed only because of your own stupidity.
  • Titus
    • Juanita, Titus's mom, is a psychopath (in the most literal sense of the word), but frequently gets out of mental hospitals, claiming that she's changed each time. Since Juanita has tried to kill Titus and his dad every time she gets out, Titus is naturally nervous about even being in the same room with her. The other characters frequently tell Titus to give his mom another chance, either because "it's your mother" or because it looks like Juanita really has reformed.
      You'd expect: That Titus would stick to his guns and stay hostile towards her, seeing as how she has a long history of violence, or at the very least, realize when Juanita is trying to sucker them into believing her story.
      Instead: Titus accepts that Juanita has changed for the better... only to be assaulted, drugged or abused by his mother.
      It Gets Worse: It's mentioned a few times on the show that this has been happening since Titus was born. And yet, he never learns.
      Justified: Titus's mom is a Manipulative Bitch (both on the show and in Real Life — until she killed herself in the early 1990s) and a manic-depressive who can go from acting like she's learned her lesson to doing the same crazy stuff she did before. Titus even described her as being a Batman villain (or she would have been one, if she'd just sign the release form) due to how crazy and devious she was.
  • Greek: The main sorority house is given a national consultant, Lizzi, who's there to oversee the house's recovery after a newspaper scandal takes them down a few pegs. In a slightly passive-aggressive fashion at the first meeting, she intimates that she does have disciplinary power over the house.
    You'd Expect: Casey, the president, would at least work with Lizzi, or even confront her when some decisions Lizzi makes might not get the house's damaged social standing back.
    Instead: Casey sulks silently to Ashleigh and lets Lizzi run roughshod over the house without actual protest. What power she does have is that which goes behind Lizzi's back, with nearly disastrous consequences...nearly every time.
  • The Tenth Kingdom: After losing the magic Traveling Mirror to the Huntsman and being filled with despair at the thought of never being able to go home again, Wolf takes Virginia out to dinner to cheer her up. He rents a gorgeous tux, composes music especially for her, gives her a romantic carriage ride with lots of flowers, rents an entire restaurant just for them, and then after a long, huge dinner and a wonderful first kiss, gives her a magical singing engagement ring to propose marriage.
    You'd Expect: Moved by these many gestures of devotion, true love, and romance, Virginia would realize Wolf really does love her and wish to give her anything to bring her happiness. Tearfully, she accepts the ring, agrees to marry him, and starts believing in happy endings again.
    Instead: She demands to know how Wolf paid for all of it. Once he admits he won a huge gambling jackpot and spent it on this instead of buying the mirror she throws a huge tantrum, insists Wolf is selfish and doesn't love her, then stalks out, leaving him to howl alone in the restaurant. All this accomplishes is setting up for Wolf's Face Heel Turn and Virginia's Rock Bottom moment just before the mirror gets broken.
    • Wolf. When she confronts him...
      You'd Expect: Wolf to do his conman routine, lie through his teeth, and say half of Kissing Town owes him favors.
      Instead: See above. The one time in the miniseries he doesn't even try to come up with a good lie.
    • A different reading: Everyone is trying to raise money to buy the magic mirror that would enable Virginia to go home, and Wolf wins enough for it.
      You'd Expect: He gives her the money, making the woman he loves happy, maybe asking if he can come with her, OR he keeps entirely quiet about the money (give it away, put in in the bank, whatever) to make sure she has to stay in fairyland.
      Instead: He obviously blows a fortune for the setup described above, making Virginia understandably furious.
    • The main characters have the Huntsman temporarily indisposed through a series of lucky shots.
      You'd Expect: Them to at least think about finishing off a man who murdered hundreds of innocent people in cold blood. Or at the very least to take his magic crossbow.
      Instead: They simply run off, ensuring that he comes after them again as soon as he recovers.
  • In the Drake and Josh episode "My Dinner With Bobo", Dr. Favisham has locked the boys in his closet to keep them from saving Bobo. He asks to see their cellphones to prove that it has Bluetooth.
    You'd expect: That Josh would see through this, keep his phone away and try to get him and Drake out of there while Favisham was distracted.
    Instead: When Favisham opens the door, he holds his phone out, and Favisham takes it then proceeds to lock the door again. Seriously, you can immediately tell that things are going to go bad right when he opens the door. Drake even lampshades this by saying, "Yeah, nice going, BLUETOOTH!"
  • ICarly: In the two part special, iPsycho, the trio has been held hostage in a small sound booth with nothing to do, except eat Chinese food at the time. While Nora goes upstairs to get some props to show them, Sam has been gnawing on a duck bone, and she manages to use the sharpened end to unlock the door. So they run out, and...
    You'd expect: That Carly, Sam and Freddie would hide in the small room that their bags are in. Or grab their phones, or do SOMETHING.
    Instead: Upon seeing Nora with her evil mask and real axe, they scream in horror and run back into the sound booth, only to have her immediately lock it again. Despite that, she claims to be unable to stay mad at them.
    • In the episode, iGive Away A Car, the trio is contacted by a boy who tells them their father, who owns a car dealership, wants to give away a car on their show, and sets the competition to be the first person who solves a certain riddle..
      You'd expect: Carly, Sam and Freddie would go see the father, call him, do anything that proves that this father exists, that he has a car, is willing to give it away and to come up with a better competition than a stupid riddle.
      Instead: They don't bother verifying the prize, and proceed to give away the car on the show. Nevel, their Sitcom Arch Nemesis has set the whole thing up and due to a certain law, they risk losing their webshow. They eventually check with the owner of the car dealership, who doesn't even have a son.
    • iToe Fat Cakes: Carly, who has her toe stuck in the faucet, has managed to make a rope to pull a chair that holds her phone, and some more clothes, on it. She pulls the chair over to her and grabs the phone.
      You'd expect: That Carly would hold her phone above the clothes while texting, to keep it from falling into the water and breaking.
      Instead: She holds it above the water, and needless to say, it slips out and breaks, leaving her unable to use it.
    • iPear Store: While Spencer is working for the fire department, he is about to get them chili, but when he tries to take the pot with a cloth, he sets it on fire.
      You'd expect: That Spencer would use the sink right near him and put out the fire on the cloth with water.
      Instead: He keeps flailing it and puts it right near some kitchen accessories, causing the alarm to go off. Thanks to another weird move of his, the fire extinguishers are now all outside, and when they try to get them out, they end up locked in. The place ends up on fire, and the fire department indefinitely leaves Carly and Spencer.
  • Zoey 101: "Spring Break-Up": After the girls lose one of the events because Zoey didn't recieve the combination, she discovers that her Techmate is missing. Then they find out that Chase took it (because he accidentally sent Zoey a message that he meant to send to Michael, and he really didn't want Zoey to see it. He had to delete it before she could). When the girls confront Chase, they claim he cheated, but he says that he didn't. Zoey tells him that if he just tells her why she took her Techmate, she will believe that he didn't cheat.
    You'd expect: That Chase would just make up some lie, and say that she dropped it and was going to bring it back to her after the event was over, or something like that.
    Instead: He refuses to tell her, leaving her and the other girls mad at him. In the last event, when both teams are tied, he lets her team win out of guilt.
    • In another episode, Paige at PCA, Quinn attempts to test out a gravity chamber that she made. She asks Lola for her cell phone so she can test it out.
      You'd expect: That Lola would refuse, caring for the safety of her phone, and ask Quinn if she has something she can use to test the chamber with herself.
      Instead: She gives it to Quinn without hesitation, and as it is used in the chamber, it gets smushed, and makes a mess of silver glue-ish material on the table. Then, when Paige comes in later, she uses a magnetic device that works in the chamber with no problems.
  • Charmed: The Charmed Ones are helping the half-demon Cole redeem himself by preparing a potion to remove his demon side and make him fully human. They complete the potion, but before he gets to drink it, Cole's former mentor shows up and uses magic to take control of his demonic side, forcing him to kill someone the sisters were protecting.
    You'd Expect: Them to give him the potion, to make sure this doesn't happen again.
    Instead: They destroy the potion in anger and end their friendship. Obviously, this does not end well.
  • Doctor Who, a 1970s example. In Invasion of the Dinosaurs episode 3, Sarah Jane decides to take pictures of a chained, sedated Tyrannosaurus Rex.
    You'd Expect: Her to keep pictures to a minimum, not use flashes or anything that could annoy the dinosaur, and keep to the small antechamber of the main hanger where the dinosaur is held.
    Instead: she jams on that flash hard as hell, and even when the dinosaur stirs, she just waltzes in to take close-ups, naturally awakening the dinosaur, which breaks the chains, because The Mole has tampered with them. She's hit by a falling 2x4 while screamingly trying to open the exit door, which has been locked by The Mole, as the dinosaur bashes the anteroom with its tail.
    • Also, there's the end of "The Deadly Assassin" serial, in which, after the Doctor leaves in his TARDIS, the two Time Lords he has befriended witness the Master closing the door to his own TARDIS, proving that he isn't so dead after all.
      You'd Expect: them to at least try to apprehend the Master — if not directly, then by informing the proper authorities. Even if they didn't succeed in getting him, at least they made an effort.
      Instead: not only do they do nothing, they take the time to speculate whether the Doctor will ever encounter the Master again, as the villain escapes right in front of them.
    • In The Sea Devils, the Royal Navy has rescued both The Doctor and The Master from their watery prison just in time, and have The Master under guard in a hovercraft.
      You'd Expect: The Royal Navy to keep a massive armed guard on The Master, ready to fill him full of lead whether The Doctor likes it or not. And, The Doctor might warn them about his mastery of disguise. Oh, and you think the crew of the hovercraft might keep an accurate count of their own members. AND, if that weren't enough, that they would always make sure more than one person is guarding a piece of military equipment on the order of a hovercraft.
      Instead: The Master is apparently left by himself with one sailor to guard him on a small hovercraft. He somehow has time to hypnotize the salor, place a Perfect Latex Disguise on him and palm him off as The Master's own corpse. Then, as The Doctor and the Royal Navy troops are gawking at the reveal, The Master makes off with the hovercraft. This was the serial that the Royal Navy chose, out of all Doctor Who, to endorse and lend the BBC resources for.
    • The colonists in Power of the Daleks. Daleks have conquered the Earth twice! Now there are three on a derelict ship.
      You'd Expect: The colonists would read their history and act accordingly.
      Instead: They accept these supposed servants at face value.
  • Doctor Who, new series example: In The Sound Of Drums, the Doctor, Martha, and Jack find the TARDIS, which has been turned into a Paradox Machine by the Master. The Doctor states that it's too dangerous to do anything with the Machine until it's activated and he can find out what the exact paradox is that the Machine will create.
    You'd Expect: someone, most probably Jack with his extensive military background, to suggest the following plan of action: Split up. The Doctor and Martha can go and try to take care of the Master before the Machine activates. Meanwhile, Jack goes off on his own to try to find a way to destroy the Machine after it activates in case the Doctor and Martha fail. All Jack needs to do is find a weapon, get back to the TARDIS, lock himself in, and destroy the Machine when it goes critical. He's not taking any risks in either going off on his own or being in the proximity of the Machine when he destroys it, since he can't die. Regardless of which of the two groups succeeds, the paradox fails and the Master is defeated.
    Instead: all three go off to try to stop the Master. They fail miserably.
    • In Evolution of the Daleks, two Daleks take a platoon of Dalek-controlled humans to destroy the Doctor. When the time comes to actually do so however, it's revealed that the Dalek's control of the humans is a bit faulty, and the humans promptly turn on their masters.
      You'd Expect: The Dalek commander (who was remotely monitoring the situation) to immediately realise that the humans are out of their control, and activate the self-termination devices placed in their bodies as a precaution. Once that's done, the Daleks accompanying them can exterminate the Doctor themselves.
      Instead: The humans are allowed to carry on shooting at the Daleks for a full minute, and succeed in destroying both of them. It's only after their destruction that the Dalek commander decides to terminate the humans.
    • In The End of Time, Part 2, Rassilon arrives on Earth via a temporal link set up by the Master, which will soon bring the Time Lord homeworld Gallifrey back into existence. The Doctor doesn't want to let this happen, and threatens to shoot Rassilon with a revolver. Rassilon holds off on doing anything, and then the Doctor wheels around and points his gun at the Master, the death of whom would also prevent Rassilon's plan from working.
      You'd Expect: Rassilon to take full advantage of the Doctor's back being turned, and to blow the Doctor into his component atoms (which we'd seen Rassilon do to a rebellious Time Lady earlier in the episode).
      Instead: Rassilon just stands around and does nothing, eventually giving the Doctor time to Take a Third Option and disrupt Rassilon's plan without killing either him or the Master.
    • In Cold Blood, the Doctor and the group he's stuck with have managed to capture a member of the alien race that has abducted several humans. He wants to use the alien as a hostage to get a prisoner exchange and needs it unharmed. Among those with him are a woman whose husband and son have been abducted, as well as the woman's father who has been poisoned by alien attack. The Doctor is planning on going down to negotiate with the aliens.
      You'd Expect: The Doctor, having interacted with humans for so long and knowing that they are emotional, would keep the woman and her father with him so that they can't go Mama Bear or Papa Wolf on the alien, with the consequences that would entail.
      Instead: He leaves these two as part of the group guarding the alien, and the woman snaps and attacks the alien. It Got Worse.
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: For the entire series, plus Power Rangers Zeo and a majority of Power Rangers Turbo the Rangers themselves were goody goods. Little to no negative behavior and all. But on occasion, Rita, Zedd or The Machine Empire would place a spell on the team or some members to cause problems (Such as Tommy debuting as an evil Power Ranger). Happened a good number of times.
    You'd Expect: That someone would attribute the odd behavior to a magic spell.
    Instead: The Rangers are dumbfounded by one of their own acting strange.
    • Power Rangers SPD "Recognition": The rangers have seized Wootox, an alien criminal who wiped out ninety planets off-screen, and additionally can swipe bodies with others. The rangers would normally digitize their caught criminals after every battle, but this time, big dog Kreuger also wants the villain, who can only speak English with a neck-worn translator, brought in for question. So...
      You'd Expect: The rangers card him, then release him in a jail cell. Given his threat level, the rangers ought to only deal with him in a prison cell.
      Instead: The rangers cart him off to jail unconfined. Sky, the Blue Ranger, is tasked with showing the villain to his cell; he falls victim to Wootox's body swapping, and when Wootox destroys the translator, he is left in no position to stop him. Wootox, in Sky's body, takes control of the Delta Base and even authorizes Sky's execution.
      Extra Note: Despite the fact the Japanese version, Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, has almost exactly the same episode, only the American version has this idiocy. This is because in the Japanese version, the rangers can't turn criminals into cards. But Dekaranger does introduce another one:
      • The situation is the same as the American version, in that Jinche (Wootox Japanese counterpart) needed to be detained for questioning. Hoji, the blue ranger, takes him to his cell, gets overpowered and the bodyswitch plot starts.
        You'd expect: When escorting a potentially dangerous criminal, Hoji should take at least someone with him, just in case.
        Instead: When Hoji places the criminal into the cell, he is alone. Jinche makes use of this and succeeds in switching bodies.
    • Also in Power Rangers: An episode of Power Rangers Jungle Fury has the Rangers trapped in a TV game show. Unfortunately, the show is being run by the bad guys who are saying Screw the Rules, I Make Them, with half the Rangers being eliminated from the game for petty rules violations (and of course, if they lose, the villains will have free reign to eliminate mankind). The host offers the Rangers the chance to give up some of their winnings for a trip to Hawaii.
      You'd Expect: The Rangers remember that not only are cash prizes at stake, but also the fate of the human race, so they shut up and keep playing.
      Instead: Lily jumps at the chance, claiming she's always wanted to go to Hawaii. For that, she not only loses some cash from the pot, but she's thrown out of the game as well.
    • Earlier, in Power Rangers Time Force, Wes is forced into a Ten-Minute Retirement by his Identical Grandson, Alex, who takes over his position as Red Ranger. Prior to this, Alex watched all of the rangers battles in his Mission Control, so he knows what their weapons and zords can do. When Frax unleashes his new robot, Dragontron, the team brings out their Shadow Force Megazord and its BFG. They get a clear shot, and...
      You'd Expect: Shoot him now! Shoot him!
      Instead: Alex has the team hold their fire. This allows Frax to warn his robot, thus ruining the shot and resulting in a battle in which Frax and the robot clear out.
      For extra points: He yells at the rangers and blames them for failing the mission when they just followed his orders to the letter. This only gives the rangers an extra incentive to force him out of the team.
    • Power Rangers Samurai: In the episode "Day Off", the villain Dreadhead gets giant-sized after Jayden's use of his new Beetle disc finally allows the Rangers to land a hit with their sword, and the Rangers activate their Samurai Megazord az a result. Jayden uses the orange disc to produce a Beetle Zord, which gets through Dreadhead's attacks and starts literally pulling his leg. Dreadhead summons some Mooks to take care of the buggy nuisance.
      You'd expect: He tell them to attack immediately so that maybe their laser arrows could have a chance of doing damage to the Beetle Zord.
      Instead: He has them attack on three. And proceeds to count. This gives the Beetle Zord time to attack his mooks, combine with the Megazord, and produce enough power to destroy Dreadhead.
  • Supernatural: It's a long story involving nutcases, mandroids, shapeshifters and hostage situations so let's just cut to the chase here, shall we? They're looking for the shifter, the police have got them surrounded, a guard has a heart attack and needs to leave, Sam is going to get the guard out while Dean is going to take out the shifter but then Ronald gets hit with a bullet and dies.
    You'd Expect: Them to carry on as normal. Dean can take out the shifter and Sam can let the guard out, seeing as how he's not the one wanted for almost every crime under the sun.
    Instead: Sam tells Dean to help the guard out while he goes after the shifter. Dean gets his face on the 11 O'Clock News, they're even more royally screwed to hell than they were before and, in the next episode, Sam/the show has the gall to blame Dean for all of it.
  • Smallville: In Red, Clark goes to patch things up with Lana due to his Red Kryptonite induced behavior. He states not being himself, with Lana assuming that his feelings for her weren't genuine.
    You'd expect: Clark to respond that he wanted to change his image to impress her, but simply went overboard with the image. Doing so allows Clark to be honest, without giving away his secret.
    Instead Clark says that he can't explain his actions.
    • In Pariah, Alicia Baker is suspect of attacking both Lana and Jason. Even Clark Kent suspects her, so he talks to her after the second attack. Unknown to him, Alicia was locked in an interrogation room with the sheriff during the second attack, so she couldn't have done it.
      You'd Expect: That Alicia would at least tell Clark that she was in fact locked with the sheriff in during that second attack, thus taking away every trace of suspicion towards her.
      Instead: Alicia makes a demand that means that she and Clark will go to the sheriff and explain everything, but only if Clark agrees that he will tell about his powers to the sheriff. Naturally he can't do that, so he still suspects Alicia, only to later talk with the sheriff himself, only to find Alicia dead by the time he wanted to apologize to her.
  • In My Name Is Earl the warden has been giving Earl certificates for time off his sentence in exchange for helping out with various prison problems. When the time finally comes that Earl has earned enough time off that he can leave, he panics, because he's too incompetent without Earl there.
    You' expect: The warden to just let Earl go, and possibly offer him a job as a general adviser or something.
    Instead: He panics, tears up Earls certificates, and expects him to just go on for the rest of his sentence. He throws him in solitary when he gets pissed.
  • Season 16 of Survivor had a particularly stunning example of this. Near the endgame, there were five contestants left — 1 male and 4 females. Erik won the Immunity Challenge, so the four women plotted to get him to willingly surrender his immunity. They sent one of their group to convince him that he needed to give it up to "redeem" himself. Natalie herself lampshades the absurdity of the scheme possibly succeeding, stating "who would fall for that?"
    You'd expect: Erik to tell Natalie exactly where to stick her request, knowing that this game is based upon the concept of "Looking out for #1."
    Instead: He gives her the immunity necklace just before the elimination vote. No points if you guess what happened next.
    • His move was so epically stupid that James, the guy known for getting eliminated while sitting on two hidden immunity idols, stated that Erik had beaten him for the title of "dumbest Survivor ever."
    • Africa: Lex, who has just received an unknown vote during what he believed what was going to be a unanimous vote-off against Clarence at the merge, is hell-bent on finding out who made that throwaway vote against him. He eventually comes to the decision that his former tribemate Kelly that cast the vote, when in fact it was Teresa (who was a former member of the opposite tribe).
      You'd Expect: In an era of Survivor where voting along tribal lines was the norm — even with the low justification that it was Kelly that cast the vote — that Lex would at least wait until he had significantly Pagonged the former Samburus to get rid of Kelly.
      Instead: He press-gangs his allies into voting for Kelly based on his "gut decision." Kelly, obviously pissed for being on the wrong end of a Witch Hunt, flips to the Samburus to get rid of Lex, and would have succeeded in doing so had Brandon not held an even bigger Idiot Ball than Lex's.
    • All-Stars: Lex pulls a boneheaded move just before the tribal merge. At the tribe change-up, Amber ends up separated from her Chapera tribemates, and is put with the Mogo Mogo tribe (who are now in the Chapera camp). Lex (and the rest of his tribe members) have seen that Rob is highly protective of Amber, and has already proven himself to be a superior force in challenges. At the immunity challenge, Rob goes to Lex immediately after and tells him he will be protected, provided that Lex protects Amber in turn.
      You'd Expect: That after already eliminating two good competitors (Richard and Ethan) with backroom deals, he would look out for himself and eliminate Amber at the next Tribal Council, which would (a) put his tribe ahead of Rob's team, (b) demoralize Rob and (c) give Lex an opportunity to eliminate an opposing force before he makes any more moves. After all, Lex has already seen Rob carry most of his original team through half the game.
      Instead: Lex takes Rob at his word, and spares Amber by voting out another loyal team member (Jerri). In the following episode (where the teams merge as Chaboga Bogo), Rob tells him point-blank that he's not going to help him, and Lex is swiftly eliminated that night at Council. Following this, Mogo Mogo gets Pagonged by the tight-knit Chapera. For his part, Lex does admit he seriously screwed up when he did what Rob asked.
      Later On: When they're down to five people, Chaboga Bogo heads into Tribal Council with Rob wearing the Immunity necklace. At this point, Rob has planted a lot of discord between Tom, Rupert and Jenna (with the latter two realizing that Rob is playing them).
      You'd Expect: The three players, who all know that Rob has been tight with Amber since the beginning of the game (an alliance which he has told them multiple times he wouldn't break), would eliminate Amber immediately and take out Rob at the next Council, leaving the three of them left.
      Instead: Rob convinces Rupert (who knows Rob was tricking him into fighting with Tom) and Jenna (who knows she's a liability) to vote out Tom, which allows Rob and Amber to coast through unchallenged to the final Tribal Council.
    • Heroes Vs. Villains: Late in the season, the Villains outnumber the Heroes. Sandra (a Villain) goes to Colby and Rupert (the two Heroes left) and tells them that Russell can't be trusted. She explains that he played the Heroes team for fools when they gave him their hidden immunity idol, and that he's the one who's been leading the rest of the female Villains (as well as being the one that destroyed Sandra's alliance with Courtney). She tells them this no less than three times in the span of two episodes.
      You'd Expect: That, given how Russell already played an immunity idol post-merge and knocked out J.T. (after telling the Heroes that he had previously played it to save himself, something that never happened), and already showed that he broke his word multiple times, they would at least try Sandra's advice and knock out Russell before he becomes a bigger threat.
      Instead: They don't, proceed to try and vote her out instead, and both get systematically eliminated by Russell's alliance, leaving only the Villains left in the final three. Sandra proceeds to call Colby and Rupert out on this during the final Tribal Council meeting.
    • Meanwhile, Russell goes through this hard at the Heroes vs. Villains final seven: at the time, the only contestants left are his alliance with Parvati, Danielle, and Jerri, Sandra, who's aligned with nobody, and Rupert and Colby on the outs. But Russell is beginning to become suspicious of Parvati and Danielle, on account of the two of them keeping a Hidden Immunity Idol secret from him (which wasn't all that wise, either).
      You'd Expect: That Russell would keep his core alliance with Parvati and Danielle strong, given that they've been working together from the get-go (not to mention that the two are at this point the only ones left that will talk to him), just to be sure that the three of them will go to the end.
      Instead: He decides to pit the two of them against one another in hopes of separating them. When Danielle calls him out on it at Tribal Council, he proceeds to talk to Danielle like she's crap in front of the entire jury, which — if Courtney's reaction is any indication — destroyed whatever slim chance was left of him winning.
    • Nicaragua: It's the final six, Jane feels a bit on the outs in her four-person alliance with Chase, Sash, and Holly. The alliance's immediate target Fabio wins Immunity, and he tries to protect his ally Dan by convincing Chase that Jane's the bigger threat. Chase immediately takes the idea to Sash and Holly, and the three soon resolve to vote Jane off (forgetting, incidentally, that Fabio made the suggestion in the first place).
      You'd Expect: That they would blindside Jane. Dan and Fabio want her gone, and Chase and Sash are the ones with hidden Immunity Idols, so there wouldn't be any real way that she could protect herself if votes were cast her way.
      Instead: The tell Jane to her face that she's the next to go. Not only does Jane reveal the alliance at Tribal that night, but now Chase and Sash have to take Holly with them to the Final Three, lest they have a vicious attempt on Jane's part to turn the jury towards Dan or Fabio (the latter of whom ruined that plan with an immunity win).
    • Redemption Island sees Russell getting hit hard with this trope. To elaborate, this is the first season that he's playing alongside people that had the chance to see him in action; they know exactly what he's all about. One of the first things he does is promise his tribe that he'll be playing a different game this time.
      You'd Expect: That Russell actually would play a different game this time, or at least pretend to do so until the merge, when he would likely have the superior numbers.
      Instead: He runs the exact same play in the exact same way, from swiping clues to the Hidden Immunity Idol to forming an alliance with two pretty young girls (while dismissing anyone who isn't built like a cheerleader), to tampering with the tribe's supply line. Not surprisingly, he's marked as a threat, his tribe throws a challenge to off him, and the vote is split three ways on the off-chance he did find the idol. (Oh, forgot: he didn't even bother making sure no one was watching.) On the re-vote, they have five available votes and two options while Russell's side has only one available vote and one option. (Stephanie doesn't exactly help their cause with her irritation at David's spiel or her scorching tirade at Tribal Council, which loses them a potential swing vote.) One guess as to who goes.
    • Next episode, with their sugar daddy gone, Russell's concubines are alone against the Zapatera Six.
      You'd expect: Knowing they're basically begging for their game lives, Stephanie and Krista would try to make a little peace with the enraged Zapatera. They might even be able to replace the fifth or sixth wheel and have a legitimate crack at overtaking the Ometepe (who already got rid of one fringe player). Or, if they can last until the merge, swing over to the Ometepe, and use them to get back at their former tribe and go deep into the game.
      Instead: Krista points out to the Zapatera Six the folly of their decision in a confrontational manner, albeit far from Up to Eleven. Stephanie, of course, does Stephanie things. Just like the leader of their alliance, game, set, match.
      • The only thing that saved them earlier was their challenge win, which the Ometepe used to get rid of another player on the periphery.
    • And speaking of the Ometepe tribe, they managed to pull this and held an Idiot Ball for the entire season, shattering the record set by Samoa. One tribe gets Russell, and they get Boston Rob. Now they've all seen Russell play, and they have also seen Rob play and even knew who he was.
      You'd Expect: That they'd realize that he is Dangerously Genre Savvy and should get him out ASAP because he's got a huge target on his back, has more experience, has the producers on his side, there is nothing saying you can't immediately vote him out (as Russell found out pretty fast).
      Instead: only Kristina realizes this while everyone else except Francesca seems to be staring at Rob like he's Justin Bieber and then looking at Phillip asking, "Is this guy serious?". Kristina then goes on to find the hidden immunity idol within the first three days and immediately intends to use it to get Rob out of the game. They then vote out Kristina and Francesca and let Rob do all the work for him, letting it progress into the solo game when the producers throw one puzzle after another at Rob (the only challenges he gets to compete in, mind you) and are then surprised that Rob seems to be taking someone hated by everyone else (Phillip and Natalie) over them. The Ometepe tribe definitely earns the award for the dumbest tribe ever to play the game of Survivor, as well as the most boring.
      • And Rob wins in an 8-1-0 decision.
    • Episode 7-8 of South Pacific earns Ozzy a place here due to his choices regarding Redemption Island. At the final twelve, with one person on Redemption Island, Savaii go to Tribal Council and are expected to vote someone out to join Christine on RI. Ozzy confides in the tribe that he had a dream that he would get voted out, go to Redemption Island, battle and defeat Christine, and rejoin their tribe making sure that they go into the supposed merge 6-6. This plan is insanely risky in that the merge is merely assumed to be coming up, and Christine is still there, with no telling if the challenge will be one Ozzy will excel at (given how she's even beaten Mikayla, a highly physical player). Furthermore, Christine has been seen giving the finger to her old tribe and leaves no doubt she'd join Savaii in a heartbeat if she ever came back. Of important note is that this plan also involves putting trust in and keeping Cochran, whom the majority of the tribe has been treating as a Butt Monkey/verbal punching bag for the last 21 days.
      You'd expect: The rest of the tribe to ignore Ozzy's insane plan and vote out Cochran, not taking the risk that he'd swap to the other side after 21 days of verbal jibing, swing Christine to their side, and use her challenge prowess displayed on Redemption Island to their advantage for the upcoming 6-6 voting tie the entire tribe was anticipating.
      Instead: They go through with it, keep Cochran, vote out Ozzy, Ozzy beats Christine in the duel and gets rid of her. After a tie at the Tribal Council vote Cochran flips on his high-school-esque tribe and votes out one of their members with Upolu, who have been treating him well for the time the tribes have been merged. On to the challenge where players can either duke it out for immunity or pig out on pastries and iced coffee.
      Same season: Brandon Hantz (nephew of Russell Hantz, also on this list) wins immunity right before the final Redemption duel. He then gives it to an ally and is immediately voted off, similar to Erik's entry earlier on this list (though no one appeared to have planted any seeds in Brandon's head as the Brigade did Erik's).
  • Season 13, episode 2 of The Amazing Race: The detour is a choice between a beach task and going to a shipyard to track down a specific container. Kelly & Christy chose the former, and after completing the task reread the wrong clue, which told them to find the container.
    You'd expect: That the words "container" and "yard", the apparent lack of such things, or at least several other teams coming and going in front of them without making any effort to find a container would tip them off really quick that they might have read the wrong clue. Or hell, just realize that something is wrong and reread the clue to check.
    Instead: Kelly & Christy look for that container in the water, on the sand, they use their hands to dig for it, they decide that all the other teams giving them weird looks and leaving are just "giving up", and the fun goes on and on and on...
    Additionally: This is only the worst of Kelly & Christy's mistakes. They managed to make a bonehead move almost every leg.
    • Season 1, episode 9 has even more mind-boggling examples. The first one is delivered by Team Guido: they've managed to beat Nancy and Emily to the Fast Forward, an in-game device that allows a team to skip all other tasks and proceed straight to the Pit Stop.
      You'd expect: Team Guido to hop on the next passing cab or train to the Pit Stop to arrive there in first place with a good lead on the other teams.
      Instead: They decide to rest in a hotel, confident that their lead is big enough to lounge around for a couple of hours. This causes them to arrive at the Pit Stop in dead last place. Yes, behind even Nancy and Emily, the very team they beat for the Fast Forward.
      • The sole reason Team Guido wasn't eliminated in the same episode is because Nancy and Emily suffered from an even bigger What An Idiot moment. After failing to get the Fast Forward, they have to return to completing the usual tasks. The Detour gives them a choice between searching streets for a specially-marked private car to drive to their next destination or take a slower-moving bus to the same destination. They opt for the first choice, which while relying heavily on luck, is understandable enough. Unfortunately, luck is not on their side, and they're on the verge of giving up after several minutes of fruitless searching.
        You'd expect: Them to do what Kevin and Drew did earlier in the episode and switch choices. It isn't too hard to find a bus.
        Instead: They give up entirely on the Detour and take a taxi to the destination. Even though they arrive hours ahead of Team Guido at the Pit Stop, they're penalized 24 hours for failing to complete the Detour, which is enough to eliminate them. Since Team Guido was the team everyone wanted to see eliminated and Nancy and Emily the ones everyone wanted to see come out ahead, the latter's gaffe was all the more heart-wrenching. The urge to shout at the TV screen, "Just take the damn bus!" was overwhelming.
    • Separated Couple Tara & Wil were by far the smartest and most well traveled team on Season 2. The only hiccup in their game was their physical skills.
      You'd Expect: Not making an alliance with the physically strongest team in the game, a team with no communication skills, no travel experience, and not that bright to boot, and dragging them into the Final 3 when they probably would have been dead meat otherwise.
      Instead: They do just that, making an unnecessary alliance with Chris & Alex, who proceed to pass them up on the run to the Finish Line, stealing the the million dollars right out from under their noses.
      • On Season 10, the Cho Bros., Erwin & Godwin, take this even further by making the "Six-Pack" Alliance with two other back of the pack teams.
        You'd Expect: The physically fit brothers to ditch the dead weight once they got into the top 6.
        Instead: They sit around at tasks, after already finishing them, waiting for their alliance members to finish. Unsurprisingly, they finish 5th.
    • Season 16, episode 9. Of the 5 teams left, Brent & Caite are in second place at the U-Turn, having the good fortune to have two strong teams behind them, each one having three first-place finishes on their track record up to that point.
      You'd Expect: They U-Turn one of those two strong teams.
      Instead: They U-Turn Carol & Brandy for "being rude" (yes, U-Turns do get used emotionally), Carol & Brandy being arguably the weakest team out of those behind them, with not a single first place finish under their belt. This basically meant Brent & Caite wasted their U-Turn to help their biggest rivals while shooting themselves in the foot.
    • Possibly the dumbest use of the U-Turn was in Season 12, episode 8. Kynt & Vyxsin were saved by a non-elimination leg, requiring them to do an extra task in addition to the regular leg. Naturally, this would put them behind (even if they don't know the precise rankings), and when they get to the U-Turn, the only competition they've seen was Nathan & Jennifer.
      You'd Expect: They U-Turn Nate & Jen. Even if they finished the task before Kynt & Vyxsin, they're still the safest bet to prevent the possibility of fighting to avoid last place.
      Instead: They U-Turn Nicholas & Donald (a team that turned out to be ahead of them), based solely on their placings in previous legs. This costly mistake along with Kynt forgetting the receipts in the next task sealed their fate in that leg.
  • Many of the subjects on Locked Up Abroad do this to themselves, when thinking about the mistakes they made. Such as the guy who was going to pick up a packet of drugs from the post office. That's pretty stupid in itself, but he took drugs before he went to pick up the package.
  • In the much-reviled Battlestar Galactica episode "The Woman King," Helo meets this doctor working in the Galactica's refugee camp who's prejudiced against Sagittarons. His reason for this is almost understandable, in a way, since he's a doctor and all and the vast majority of Sagittarons apparently fear modern medicine, so the antagonism is mutual.
    You'd expect: He would have a hearty respect for the Sagittarons who go against their people's superstitions and seek his care, since that's clearly the only thing about the Sags that he finds objectionable. In time, word of mouth from the patients he's cured might start to bring other Sagittarons around on the idea.
    Instead: He develops a policy of murdering Sagittarons who seek treatment from him. Yes, that is correct: he hates Sagittarons, and his plan for correcting this is to kill all the ones that aren't suspicious of doctors, which coincidentally would give all the other Sagittarons a pretty damn good reason to be suspicious of doctors, wouldn't it? His fancy Colonial med school neglected to teach him anything about basic logic.
    • The frightening thing about that episode is that that people like that exist in real life. He didn't hate them for being suspicious of doctors. He hated them because during the Cylon occupation of New Caprica the Sagittarons, as a group, wouldn't do anything to help the resistance.
    • In the "Exodus" arc during the third season, the story culminates with Lee Adama swooping in with the Battlestar Pegasus to save the heavily-battered Galactica from being destroyed while the people on New Caprica evacuate. The Pegasus is a bigger, more heavily-armored and tactically superior Battlestar, and Lee (and his executive staff) stay behind to fend off the Cylons while the rest of the population escapes (which only takes minutes).
      You'd Expect: That Lee would jump the ship out after everyone escapes New Caprica. After all, the first time Lee took command, it was against three Cylon basestars who continually pummeled the ship with nuclear weapons — and they escaped. The Pegasus has also been able to outright destroy Basestars if it has the advantage of surprise (something that was shown twice in the series).
      Instead: Because the Status Quo Is God, Lee decides to evacuate the Pegasus and ram it straight into a Basestar for no discernible reason (he even thought up the plan several hours before!). Sure, it looked cool, but the Colonial Fleet sacrificed a very valuable tactical advantage (the ability to make new Vipers at will) and their most powerful ship for the sake of leaving the Cylons with a couple less Basestars. Great work, Lee.
      ** In "The Plan", Giana O'Neill has just learned that her dead husband Simon was a Cylon and has reasoned that he must have been in contact with other Cylons and killed himself rather than follow instructions from someone.
      You'd expect: Her to put two and two together and realize that Brother Cavil can't really be Simon's childhood priest because Simon didn't have a childhood, and thus Cavil must be a Cylon himself.
      Instead: It apparently slipped her mind.
  • Veronica Mars: In Season 3, a group of Straw Feminists are accusing the Hearst University fraternities of committing the serial rapes on campus and demanding that they all be kicked off of campus. Eventually, one "victim" claims she was raped by a frat boy, but it's revealed she made the whole thing up at the behest of the Straw Feminists.
    You'd expect: The school board would stop listening to the activists' extreme demands altogether and take no action against the fraternities until there is actual concrete proof that they are involved.
    Instead: They go ahead and vote the frats off campus anyway. The dean of students reinstates them not because they're innocent, but because the school's largest booster threatens to pull his donations.
    • The murderer of Lilly Kane has been found and is in jail awaiting justice.
      You'd expect: Logan Echolls, who was in love with Lilly and hates the murderer, to do everything he can to see the murderer behind bars.
      Instead: In an extraordinarily misguided act of "loyalty" to his dead girlfriend, Logan destroys the evidence and the murderer goes free.
    • Veronica is neck and neck with another student with another student for having the highest GPA in her class, which will earn her the Kane Scholarship, allowing her to attend Stanford on the Kane family's dime.
      You'd expect: She'd do her best to earn the scholarship, and only sacrifice it if something truly important got in her way.
      Instead: She deliberately walks out on a test, thereby forfeiting the scholarship, in order to see the verdict in Lilly's murder trial. Just to hear the verdict read, mind you — there was no way she could affect the outcome, and the verdict would be all over the news seconds later. She decided it was worth giving up her dream of going to Stanford just to see the look in the murderer's eyes when he was convicted ... oh, except that, due to her boyfriend's idiocy, he got acquitted.
  • Hells Kitchen is full of these, but season six has a more clear version of this trope.
    • The blue team in episode 1 of season 6 wins the challenge and get their reward:
      You'd expect: All of the men being happy and grateful that they won and are being pampered.
      Instead: Joseph, one of the men on the blue team, does not soak up the glory and states that he only cares about winning the whole competition in the show, which makes him come off as a self centered jerk that made Gordon Ramsay look at him as to say "What the fuck, man?"
    • Later in that episode, Ramsay commented that Melinda's spaghetti looked undercooked, which prompted her to throw the whole batch in the trash instead of just cooking it for a bit longer. This is a big enough What an Idiot! moment in of itself, but then Ramsay leafed through the trash and found a huge amount of spaghetti that she had wasted over the course of the night.
      You'd expect: Melinda to admit fault on throwing away the undercooked spaghetti, but point out that the reason why she had to ditch most of the other spaghetti was because Tek kept ruining the scallops, which required the entire dish to be recooked. Additionally, she wasn't even the person who wasted most of the spaghetti; that was Lovely, who had abandoned her station for a snack break five minutes beforehand.
      Instead: She spends the next five minutes with a deer-in-the-headlights expression on her face and acts as if she's totally unaware of the fact that Ramsay is yelling at her and trying to extract an explanation. This proved fatal as, despite Amanda and Lovely making far worse mistakes in the service, Ramsay eliminated Melinda that night for her spaced-outness and the amount of spaghetti she supposedly wasted.
    • The following episode saw both teams lose. Gordon asks Joseph what two members on his team were picked to be removed and why.
      You'd expect: Joseph to give a clear cut answer.
      Instead: Joseph says in a snotty tone "They know who they are. They can speak up for themselves." This pisses off Gordon and he has to scold Joseph several times before he can get an answer from him. After that, Joseph snaps, gets in Gordon's face, and calls him a bitch while threatening to kick his ass while also telling the other chefs to fuck off when they tell him to chill out. This naturally got him kicked off the show and he was not even picked for elimination that night!
    • He also states on the Confession Cam that anyone would be proud to have him work in their kitchen. Now, he'll be lucky if he can sweep floors for a living.
  • Stargate Atlantis series finale: "Enemy at the Gates". The people at Atlantis find out that the Earth gate opens to the wraith ship attacking Earth.
    You'd expect: them to send through a gate buster nuke and "make that ship go away".
    Instead: they send through a team (I repeat, to a wraith ship swarming of life-sucking alien soldiers) on an extremely dangerous mission to overload the ZPM powering that ship.
    • And speaking of that episode: in the show, as well as real life, there is a treaty that says Antarctica will never be used for military purposes. In the show, Antarctica is home to a heavily-armed abandoned outpost of the Precursors.
      You'd Expect: the outpost would be grandfathered into the treaty. This would keep it under multinational control, and everything safe under ridiculous amounts of ice.
      Instead: the SGC is forced to remove the control chair in compliance with the treaty. They then put it in Area 51, thus under exclusive US control, and in an above-ground bunker with no AA batteries. When the Wraith do show up, all it takes is a kamikaze run by a couple of Darts to destroy the chair and disable Earth's last line of defense.
    • In the same episode, John Sheppard is brought back to Earth from Another Galaxy to use the weapon's chair to defend the planet.
      You'd expect: That he'd be carted off and strapped into the chair the second he arrives so he can protect the planet and incidentally the chair itself using the impressive weapons it controls.
      Instead: He's allowed to clamber into a fighter plane to be shot at by Wraith Darts, while the chair is left unmanned and (as noted above) undefended by even conventional weapons in a shack in the Nivada desert.
  • Victorious: In the episode, "Wi-Fi In The Sky", while Tori, Andre, Cat and Beck are video chatting, Jade signs on, angry at Beck because she left him a voicemail that he hasn't answered. After her typical overreaction, she discovers that Beck has a cheerleader's dog. Without giving him a chance to explain, Jade goes to his RV, where she arrives, barges the door open, and demands to know about the cheerleader.
    You'd expect: That Beck, given his nature of acting out on other girls and not being afraid to express that in front of Jade (i.e. the pilot, and Jade Dumps Beck), would just come clean and confess that there's nothing going on.
    Instead: He tells Jade to wait because the cheerleader will be back shortly to pick up the dog. After he and Tori are the only ones left in their video chat, the cheerleader comes in, and she turns out to be a 9-year old girl named Allie. After she leaves with her dog, Jade refuses to apologize because Beck didn't tell her that Allie was 9. Beck claims she never gave her a chance (uh, YES SHE DID), which leads to them getting all high and mighty. While Tori tries to stop their fighting, if you listen closely, you can hear Jade say, "You could've told me she was nine, I wouldn't have been upset". Out of rage, Jade signs Beck off, leaving Tori with the project herself.
    • In "Tori Gets Stuck", Tori has to donate a second pint of blood for Robbie after Jade stole the first one she donated (long story). Eventually her blood has been removed and put in a bag. Robbie enters the room, pleased to see her having gone out of her way for him again.
      You'd expect: That Tori would hold on to the bag of blood to make sure nothing would happen to it. Considering she already had to donate one pint of blood, she would have to be extra careful with this one.
      Instead: Tori holds it up, and Robbie takes it from her. He imagines that he's holding "liquid Tori" in his hands, and then holds it up to the light in the room, but drops it, which splatters it all over the two of them. Tori is then forced to give up a THIRD pint of blood, which is pretty dangerous. And by the end of the episode, she feels drowsy and faint when she tries to do her part in the school play.
    • "Andre's Horrible Girl": As the earthquake is striking Los Angeles, most everyone in Nozu is taking cover for safety, except Hope Quincy, who we see more concerned for her birthday presents.
      You'd expect: That Hope would take cover beneath the hallway, or do SOMETHING other than stand below an arch.
      Instead: She doesn't even see that, and the japanese symbol falls off the wall and knocks her out, leaving her with a concussion. Ouch.
  • The Apprentice season 2, episode 2 saw the "Apex" team suffer a major defeat under Ivana's leadership, and she was in serious danger of being fired. The safest person on the team looked to be Brad, who had won as project manager the previous week and had immunity from that, as well as having been the best salesman that week.
    You'd Expect: That Brad would keep his mouth shut and let Ivana sign her own death warrant. Even if she did bring him back into the boardroom, his immunity would have kept him from being fired.
    Instead: Displaying an almost suicidal amount of smugness, Brad suddenly told Donald Trump that he was going to surrender his immunity and put himself up for being fired, because he was so confident in his performance that week that he felt the immunity wasn't necessary. Trump accepted the offer, and then fired Brad on the spot, telling him that such an act of reckless stupidity in the real world could potentially ruin a company.
    • In the first episode of season 5, Summer, Lee and Lenny got brought into the boardroom by team leader Tarek. Summer initially looked to be in trouble after Donald Trump's assistant Carolyn accused her of not doing anything during the task, but Lenny came to her defense, seemingly saving her. Trump's other assistant, George started putting the screws on Tarek, questioning him as to why the team were giving away empty gift bags, which Tarek proudly defended as being a good idea. Before long, Lee, Lenny and Carolyn were laughing their asses off at Tarek, and even Trump said he found Tarek's decisions laughable.
      You'd Expect: Summer to say and do nothing. Hell, even join in with enjoying a few good laughs at Tarek's expense.
      Instead: She starts talking over Trump and saying that she wants to "tell the truth about Tarek" — even though Lenny had specifically told Summer prior to the boardroom to not say anything unless she was spoken to. Trump got extremely annoyed by this and Lee and Lenny kept trying to get her to shut up, but Summer kept talking over Trump, getting him more and more pissed off until he eventually fired her.
    • About halfway through the first Celebrity Apprentice season, Nely Galan ended up in the boardroom. Trump told her that it wasn't the first time she'd been in danger, adding that she had lost as Project Manager in the second task, and only avoided firing after the third because Gene Simmons committed Suicide by Cop in the boardroom.
      You'd Expect: Nely to list the more positive things she's accomplished while she's been there. Maybe throw in a little ass-kissing for good measure, since Trump likes that sort of thing.
      Instead: She snaps at Trump and says "Why the hell haven't you gotten over that?!" George Ross and Donald Trump Jr. then exchanged a brief Oh Crap moment, before Nely was finally sent packing in one of the few moments when Trump has gotten genuinely pissed off with one of the celebrities.
  • In The Apprentice UK season 4, Kevin led his team to a pretty epic defeat in a task to sell greetings cards, mostly because of his preachy sales pitches and the fact that no-one really wanted their "Save the Planet" cards. This left him having to decide who to bring back into the boardroom.
    You'd Expect: That Kevin would bring back Jenny, who had suggested the idea of "Save the Planet" cards, and possibly Alex, who had been a bit of a loose end throughout the task.
    Instead: He brings back Claire, for supposedly not volunteering to do the pitch (even though she did volunteer to do it, and Kevin turned her offer down), and Sara, for no real reason other than the fact that she's the quietest on the team and he presumably thought she'd lose it in the boardroom. What results is probably the most one-sided boardroom in Apprentice history, as Kevin gets torn to shreds from all sides (even by Sara) before being fired.
    • Bringing back the wrong person has resulted in the demise of many Apprentice candidates. In the third season, Paul was already as good as dead having lost money in the task, and he had to decide who to bring back. His choices were between Adam and Kristina, who both hated him, Katie, who he was actually in a relationship with, and Ghazal, who liked Paul and hated Adam.
      You'd Expect: Paul to bring back Adam and either Ghazal or Katie, who would have supported him in getting rid of Adam.
      Instead: He brought back Adam and Kristina, who immediately rounded on him and pointed out all the mistakes he had made as team leader. Paul nearly survived in spite of his error, as Sir Alan Sugar had major problems with Adam and was clearly considering firing him — however, the evidence against Paul quickly became overwhelming, and he was on his way out the door.
    • During a fish selling task in the first episode of season 4, Nicholas committed a mistake when he priced lobsters at £5 each, and found himself in the boardroom as a result. The team leader, Alex mentioned prior the boardroom that he considered Nicholas a serious boardroom threat because he's a solicitor by trade, and therefore should be able to defend himself well under pressure.
      You'd Expect: Nicholas to do just that by pointing out that Alex had given him the £5 figure without bothering to specify whether it was meant to apply by weight or by unit. Moreover, Alex never spotted the error, and Nicholas himself actually realised the mistake by checking another fishmonger's stand. For an added bonus, Nicholas could have pointed out that a big reason why they lost the task was because Michael sold £150 worth of fish for £45, and criticised Alex for not bringing back Michael.
      Instead: Nicholas does none of that, and instead starts talking about how he finds it difficult to get on with people who are less educated, and in particular people who like football. For reference, Sir Alan Sugar left school without any qualifications, and owned football team Tottenham Hotspur for 11 years. To the surprise of absolutely no-one but himself, Nicholas was fired.
    • In season 5 episode 6, Debra was already in serious danger after doing badly in the task, and then verbally abusing Sir Alan Sugar's adviser Nick in the boardroom. Fortunately she appeared to be off the hook after team leader Ben strangely decided to bring back James (for what appeared to be personal reasons) along with the perpetually useless Noorul.
      You'd Expect: Debra to thank her lucky stars for the let-off, and let Ben drag James back in on the flimsy rationale he gave.
      Instead: Debra actually started shrieking and demanding that she be bought back into the boardroom instead of James, because she was that keen to see Ben off. On this occasion Debra was saved from her own stupidity, as Noorul got fired instead, but her insistence on being bought back might ironically have prevented Ben's firing, as his initial decision to bring James back may have tipped the balance against him (emphasize may; Noorul was an amazingly awful candidate, after all).
  • In Flash Forward 2009, there is a group called the Blue Hand. None of the members have had flashforwards, implying that they will die between the present and the time of the flash forward.
    You'd Expect: They'd try to find out when they will be killed, and orchestrate events so that everything will be as they want it when they die, possibly using the Mosaic site or even the other members of the Blue Hand to put their plans on fast-track. In short, doing what Demetri is doing. Or they'd even consider possibilities like being asleep at the time flash-forwards were showing.
    Instead: They start committing suicide together. Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, anyone?
    • The people who did have flash forwards weren't much smarter. The flash forwards are all of the same 2-minute period, and they're all consistent with each other, i.e. if you saw yourself discussing work in a london office with a co-worker, the other co-worker had a flash-forward of themselves discussing work with you. Plus, thanks to everyone putting their flash-forwards into the FBI's Mosaic database, you don't have the Prophecy Twist excuse either; the details as well as the exact date/time of the flash-forward period should be available to everyone. Some people had bad flashforwards that seemed to predict horrible, tragic or life-altering events.
      You'd Expect: As far as Screw Destiny goes, this is the easiest one ever. To stop your flash-forward from coming true, just make sure that on April 29th, you are as far away from wherever you saw yourself at the time. Only Olivia seems to comprehend this when she suggests to her husband Mark that the family move to a different house to avoid the flash-forward of her being involved with Lloyd (and effectively separated from Mark).
      Instead: Through various contrivances, most everyone who didn't die is exactly where they should be to have their flash forward vision or some approximation of it including Olivia who doesn't sleep with Lloyd but kisses him anyway. This isn't You Can't Fight Fate, it's "You didn't even try".
  • Legends of the Hidden Temple, by nature of being a Game Show, has its' share of bad player choices. The most Egregious examples are seen in the climactic Temple run. In this series of rooms, the players are met with various challenges such as assembling a 3-piece statue, pressing an actuator, or finding a hidden key to move on to the next room, and three random rooms have Temple Guards that take away their pendant of life or remove them from the temple. Once a contestant reaches the episodes' Artifact, all the doors are unlocked and the guards vanish.
    You'd Expect: Once a player manages to reach the artifact, they would blaze through the now-empty rooms to make it back to the entrance and beat the time limit.
    Instead: One contestant forgets that the doors unlock when he grabs the artifact, and drops the artifact to smash clay pots to find the key to open a door that's already open. He makes it to the temple steps, then realizes he left the artifact in the King's Storeroom. That team didn't get to go to Mexico.
    • The Shrine of the Silver Monkey claimed a lot of players via running out the clock.
      You'd Expect: it to be an easy challenge. Three pieces of a statue that stack on one another that face the camera. Base, Torso, Head.
      Instead: You wind up with these strange aberrations. Kids trying to stack the base on the Torso, putting the torso on backwards, upside-down or sideways, the head being put on through the side of the torso, all sorts of strange things.
  • Caprica 1x02 "Rebirth": Amanda has just found out about Zoe's involvement in the bombing that sets off the plot, at a memorial service for those who died in said bombing.
    You'd expect: Amanda to sit on this information, or talk to Daniel about it, or destroy it, or almost anything other than what she does.
    Instead: She tells the entire collected populace, all of whom are bereaved family members mourning the loss of their loved ones, what she has learned. And then is almost surprised when the mourners turn into a mob. This doubles up as a What An Idiot moment on the part of Daniel as well, for allowing Amanda (who was already behaving erratically even before she found out about Zoe's role) to walk around the memorial unsupervised, which led directly to the event described above.
  • MacGyver: In "Phoenix Under Siege," a deadly assassin has MacGyver on the ropes. She is about to finish him off.
    You'd expect: While Mac is sprawled on the ground, she walks one room back to retrieve the gun she lost earlier and just shoots him.
    Instead: She waits until he gets up, and then decides to jump kick him (to death, I guess). He's standing in front of a plate glass window. Mac helps along the inevitable by leaning slightly to one side. And this after the assassin displays remarkable caution by, among other things, trying to take care of Mac herself instead of assuming the building-killing bomb will finish him. She doesn't even have the excuse of fighting honorably for her idiocy.
  • Good Luck Charlie: "The Curious Case of Mr. Dabney". A football from the Duncans' ends up outside the door of the Dabneys' house. Gabe sends P.J. to sneak over and recover it. When he gets to their porch, as he is about to pick up the football, he hears Mrs. Dabney calling out from inside the house.
    You'd expect: That P.J. would immediately grab the football and get the hell out of there, rather than listen to her babbling.
    Instead: Freaked out, he jumps behind the fence, then tries to camoflauge his face with bush. Mrs. Dabney looks outside, then goes back in. After P.J. leaves, she comes back outside and pokes the football with a grilling fork, de-inflating the air out of it and making it useless.
  • Big Brother:
    • Late into the third US season, Marcellas and Amy are both up for eviction. Marcellas wins the Golden Power of Veto, giving him the power to guarantee himself a spot in the Final 4.
      You'd expect: Marcellas decides to save himself.
      Instead: He declines to use the Golden PoV, stating he doesn't want to force Jason (the current Head of Household) to choose who to put up in his place between the two remaining girls. Marcellas ends up being evicted, by a vote of 2-1, the 1-1 tie being broken by Jason. And what reason does Jason give for evicting Marcellas? He didn't use the Veto on himself.
      "What were you thinking?": As soon as Marcellas sits down for his post-eviction interview, Julie smacks him over the head with her interview cards.
    • Though no other US BB contestants have risen to the awe-inspiring level of stupid that Marcellas did, a few have come close. An example: Jacob, in the ninth season. In the first week, the house guests were paired into "couples". The couple that won the first competition (Jen and Parker) was named the "Power Couple", and they cast the only eviction vote. Whatever couple they wanted gone, was gone.
      You'd expect: Jacob to kiss up to the Power Couple and try to align with them. Or at the very least, keep his head down and try not to cause trouble. Adam and Sheila were already causing enough drama that it looked like they would be going home, anyway.
      Instead: He goes around telling everybody, including Parker's partner, Jen, that "Parker is a snake" and "he seems gutless... heartless." He adds, "He's in here for the money," and just for good measure, "Wait till I get HOH, his ass is out." He never even considered that Jen would tell her partner what he'd been saying! Naturally, he and Sharon were sent packing, entirely because of his idiocy. His partner, Sharon, did get to return to the game a few days later because of a twist, but it's STILL unforgivable.
    • Brendon and Rachel. The two are hated by much of the fanbase and have a social game that would make Jacob and Russell Hantz blush and say "At least we're not that bad."
      You'd expect: That they would realize that they shouldn't be putting a huge target on their back and actually try not to get people to hate their guts and want them out not just because they're annoying but because they're threats.
      Instead: Rachel proceeds to act the exact same she did before, throwing the word "Floater" around without knowing what it really means, accusing everyone of having "Bad gameplay" when she's the one making an ass of herself, and only has allies out of a couple sycophants (Porsche and Shelly, not that you'd know that.) and two people who happened by fate to be put in a similar group to them (Jeff and Jordan) Brendon proceeds to immediately start playing hard from week one and paints a huge target on her back. Then, after Daniele flips for greener pastures, he tries to get her back on her side to save himself and Rachel...and tells Daniele that if he or Rachel made it to the finals that one of them would win. He apparently never took into consideration that Daniele is another returning player, finished in second place in season eight, and that he essentially told Daniele to align herself with him and Rachel because they could win in the finals. Essentially, he was digging his own grave deeper and deeper
  • Seinfeld contained numerous instances of this.
    • Example: George discovers that Elaine has a friend who knows Marisa Tomei and believes that George is just her type. Unfortunately, he is engaged to Susan.
      You'd expect: George would break up with Susan, meet with Marisa, and they would start a glorious romance that would eventually lead to a happy marriage. (But this is Seinfeld after all.)
      Instead: George has a secret meeting with Elaine and makes up a lie about her non-existent boyfriend (importer/exporter Art Vandelay) to cover up for the real reason he is going out: Marisa Tomei. Then when he does meet with her, he tells her that he is "sort of" engaged. She slaps him in the face and walks away infuriated. Even worse, Susan realizes the lie when she asks George what Art imports and exports, but the stories do not match.
    • You'd also expect: Susan would instantly call off the engagement realising George is a lying cheat.
    • Instead: She stays with him and is eventually killed by the toxins in the cheap envelopes picked out by George.
  • In the fifth season of Xena: Warrior Princess, the Fates state that Xena's death will mark the beginning of the end for the Olympian Gods, mostly at the hand of her then-unborn daughter.
    You'd Expect: Them to do everything in their power to keep Xena alive and well for as long as possible (such as giving her some Ambrosia).
    Instead: They go out of their way to hunt her down and try to kill her, Gabriel, and Joxer multiple times. Surprisingly, even Apollo, the god of wisdom, goes along with this plan.
  • In the second to last episode of Desperate Housewives season 6, Lynette finds out that Eddie, the strangler's mother, has been killed. she arrives at Eddie's house, and Eddie tells her that he just spoke with his mother and he's running away to Florida to see her.
    You'd expect: Lynette to play dumb as it appears she is ACTUALLY DOING at first, then get out of there and CALL THE POLICE.
    Instead: Lynette says that then that must not have been his mother, and Eddie now knows that she knows and the episode ends with her being held hostage as Eddie closes all the blinds.
  • In a first season episode of Prison Break, the lawyers try to figure out what to do next now that the execution's been given a two-week stay. Burrow's son LJ, who's understandably a bit cranky, what with his mother being murdered in front of him and him being chased by the police for a double homicide he didn't commit, declares that trying to work within the legal system is a waste of time. The lawyers tell him that the legal system the only way that's going to work. They then get the idea to go back to the cabin where they left Quinn to try and recover info. Upon arrival, they lower LJ into Quinn's well with a rope to get Quinn's cell phone. LJ sees that Quinn scrawled out a name on the wall.
    You'd expect: LJ to realize that the lawyers aren't being goody-two-shoes. This is an insanely elaborate conspiracy they're dealing with, one which only stopped trying to kidnap or kill the lawyers and LJ when they went public. The name of one of the people who's been chasing them would be insanely helpful for figuring out who's in on the conspiracy, especially since the conspirators don't know they have it.
    Instead: LJ doesn't tell them the name, grabs a gun from the cabin, finds the guy on the Internet, breaks into his house, and tries to kill him. Where to even start with how stupid this is...will killing this guy going to magically put a stop to Burrow's execution and shut down the conspiracy? Will it clear LJ of double homicide? Not really, no- seeing as how now he'd be an actual murderer on top of a framed one. Oh, and remember how if the lawyers had the name they could investigate and trace him to figure out who he's meeting with? Well that plan's toast, now that the conspiracy knows they're on to him. Come on, LJ. It was a long car ride back from the cabin. How the heck do you fail, so epically, to realize the colossal failures inherent in your plan when you have hours to think about it?
  • In one episode of Unbeatable Bonzuke, a contestant on Sponge Bridge makes it past the first zone with ease.
    You'd expect:For him to move right onto the next zone only failing if he falls off the boards.
    Instead: He celebrates by doing a backflip right off the platform disqualifying him!
  • In an episode of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon comes up with an extension of Rock-Paper-Scissors called "Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock," played the same way except with five choices instead of three. However, every game ends with a hung decision because everyone always picks "Spock".
    You'd expect: One of them to catch on and choose "paper" or "lizard", the two things that beat "Spock".
    Instead: It's a sitcom, so they don't. Also, everyone wants to be Spock more than they want to win.
  • In Fort Boyard, there's a game (Ventouse in French; Burglary in English) in which the player has to cross a room containing ladders, hammocks and tables without letting anything touch the floor. If at any time anything touches the floor that shouldn't, game over, the player gets locked in. Also, the key they need to get is inside a sealed container, which can only be opened using a suction cup carried with them.
    You'd expect: The lock-ins to be caused by the genuinely hard final obstacle, the unstable hammock, or the time running out.
    Instead: Quite a few times, once they get the key out, they suddenly forget the floor is alarmed. They throw the suction cup on the floor, alarms go off, locked in. It gets worse though. One player in 2006 thought that the first (about half-meter) jump onto a table couldn't be done straight, so stuck the suction cup onto the wall, began to swing from it, and looked genuinely shocked when he realised that the suction cup (that was only supposed to lift up a bit of plastic) couldn't take his body weight, it popped off, and so he dropped to the floor in what was probably the quickest lock-in ever.
  • In the season premeire of Warehouse 13, H.G. Wells asks MacPherson about the crystal necklace around his neck.
    You'd Expect: He'd tell her it was a present-day fashion trend. After all, she'd been bronzed for roughly a century and had no way of know "what's hip" today.
    Instead: He tells her what the necklace is for and pays the price later. For God's sake, James, you're supposed to be WAY SMARTER THAN THAT!
  • On Monk:
    • In Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa, Monk shoots and injures a suspect who is dressed in a Santa costume with his own weapon. Thanks to an overzealous sensationalist reporter, and the large group of children who witnessed the incident, Monk is branded as "The Man Who Shot Santa" and Monk and Natalie are harrassed everywhere they go. He attempts to clear his name by going onto said reporter's talk show and making a public apology.
      You'd expect: Natalie to prepare Monk with an eloquent line, something like "The man I shot was not Santa Claus. He was some loony dressed as Santa Claus who had a revolver in his hand."
      Instead: She offers him little more than a pat on the back. Monk gets chewed up and spit out by the hardball reporter, and makes things even worse by telling the children that Santa isn't real.
      You'd also expect that Stottlemeyer would realize that Monk would become a target for harassment and would put him and Natalie under police protection or at the very least in a safe house until the heat died down.
    • In "Mr. Monk Buys a House," Monk and Natalie are taken hostage by a handyman, "Honest" Jake, and are chained up to a clawfoot bathtub that is interestingly freestanding. They manage to temporarily knock out Jake by causing a wall to fall on him.
      You'd expect that Monk or Natalie would have enough thought of mind to disarm Jake while he was incapacitated, since he wouldn't be able to harm them, allowing them enough time to call for help. You might also expect that Natalie would have thought to have her cell phone so she could call 911, which could have likely saved the life of Jake's partner if she did.
      Instead, Monk and Natalie crawl down the hallway, dragging the bathtub with them. Natalie then lights some rags and puts them in the fireplace, then uses the flu to send up smoke signals that Stottlemeyer and Disher happen to be see from a few blocks away. By the time she lights them, notice that Jake is already starting to come around and free himself.
    • Also in that same episode:
      You'd expect that the police would naturally think it suspicious that a wheelchair bound man who can only walk short distances somehow managed to walk up a flight of stairs without even a walker, and then fall to his death.
      Instead, they only take the word of the patient's nurse, the only other person in the house at the time.
  • 1000 Ways to Die is a show that, by its very nature, has this trope pop up about Once an Episode. For example...
    • A female diver was in the decompression chamber after a spot of trouble down below. A maintainance worker was making his rounds when he came upon the chamber door.
      You'd Think: He'd have the presence of mind to ask if the chamber was occupied before opening the pressure door.
      Instead: He opened the door without asking, changing the pressure in the chamber and killing the poor bikini-clad woman inside. One can only hope that this moron was, at the very least, fired.
      Also: that episode was all sorts of Fridge Logic: why didn't the chamber have an intercom, window or some sort of signal light or sign to indicate when it was being occupied, and why exactly did the maintenance man open the door? Curiosity? Or did he have a legitimate reason to go into the chamber? As for the maintenance man opening it without asking, the occupant was presumably screaming out loud to warn him of what he was doing and the chamber was either soundproofed or so sound-shielded that he couldn't make out her words and thought someone was stuck in there and trying to free them, which again brings up another question of why there wasn't a speaker/intercom hooked up to the outside.
    • A man ends up in the hospital with serious burns all over his body after falling asleep in bed while smoking.
      You'd Think: He'd take this as a sign from the man upstairs that it's high time he kicks the habit.
      Instead: He bribes the night nurse to take him out back for a smoke. The ash from his cigarette holds enough of a spark to ignite the highly flammable ointment his bandages are soaked in. Set ablaze, he rolls uncontrollably down the wheelchair ramp and at the bottom his oxygen tank explodes into a ball of fire, burning him to a crisp.
      On Top Of That: The nurse had just told him, "Okay Mister Burns, you've got 2 minutes, don't do anything stupid."
  • Anytime a video show on Tru TV, Spike, or the like shows footage of a group of people who've just captured a live shark, alligator, or crocodile.
    You'd Think: They'd use their heads and observe the cardinal rule of handling such beasties: Never, EVER, put your hand--or for that matter, any of your extremities--in or near the creature's mouth.
    Instead: CHOMP!!!!! Nice going, genius...
    Of course: If they were smart enough not to do that, they wouldn't be on the show in the first place.
  • A group of (usually) teenagers are video recording themselves engaging in some form of criminal mischief.
    You'd Think: They'd erase the damned video, realizing it could be used as evidence to convict them if the authorities got their hands on it.
    Instead: They don't erase it, the authorities get a hold of the video, and predictably they all get arrested, convicted, and humiliated by D-list celebrities on World's Dumbest Criminals.
  • At least twice on The Next Food Network Star, somebody has had to open a bottle or jar and failed terribly.
    You'd Think: They'd open it conventionally, by, y'know, twisting the top. If it's stuck, maybe stick it under some hot water. No biggie, they're chefs, they can handle this.
    Instead: They decide to either tap it against the counter or cut off the top of the bottle with a knife. In both cases, glass got too close to the dishes they were making, forcing them to throw them out.
    • In Season 5, Eddie made an absolutely rancid watermelon-and-onion salad for a challenge, and was a candidate for elimination.
      You'd Think: He would attempt to take the criticism gracefully, in the hopes that maybe a show of contrition would earn some mercy from the judges.
      Instead: Eddie tried to save himself by claiming "It was from a Paula Deen recipe." Thereby not only admitting that he had ripped off a recipe from one of the network's highest-profile stars, but that he didn't even rip it off correctly! Needless to say, the judges eliminated his ass with extreme prejudice.
  • Operation Repo: You are driving a hook-and-chain tow truck that has an expensive BMW on the back with a cameraman inside. You have to pee badly, and drive faster than usual. Your partner suggests you slow down to prevent an overturn. You nearly have an accident when you run a stop sign. Your partner repeats his suggestion more vehemently.
    You'd Think: You slow down, and/or maybe find a McDonald's to pee in.
    Instead: You keep going too fast. The car flips going round a corner, is totaled, the cameraman narrowly avoids death, and you get fired. Temporarily.
    However: The show is all scripted reenactments anyway,.
  • Casualty (and its Companion Show Holby City), a popular BBC medical drama, has some characters played by Ghost Extras (namely Kojo, Alan the paramedic, Kath the blonde nurse, Staff Nurse Waters (a possible Captain Ersatz / Expy of Nurse Jackie, and in Holby City, Nikki, Kate, Rita and a tan-skinned nurse who has never been named who become fan favorites and unintentional Fan Service. Fans want them to be properly developed, rounded characters and have proper plotlines
    You'd Think: The BBC executives would take into account viewer feedback and act accordingly.
    Instead: The BBC do nothing about it, despite viewer protests. But they don't ignore viewer feedback on Doctor Who or Eastenders.
    It Got Worse: Still, the viewers complain.
  • Highway to Heaven, "Close Encounters of the Heavenly Kind". Johnathan and Mark drive their car into a crater left by a falling meteor, then walk out of the crater. A young boy, whose grandfather believes in aliens asks them if they're aliens.
    You'd expect: That being an angel would make you prone to telling the truth. In which case, Johnathan should have said, "No. We crashed our car in the crater."
    Instead: Johnathan tells the boy that they're aliens and gives the boy a piece of meteorite and tells him it has magical powers. Later in the episode, the kid gets into trouble with other kids because he thinks he has magical abilities, but realizes he doesn't have the rock with him. The Aesop: believe in yourself.
  • Glee: In "Preggers", Finn's strongly Christian girlfriend, the president of the school's Celibacy Club, informs him that she's pregnant thanks to an incident involving his little problem with extremely premature ejaculation and a hot tub (while they were both fully clothed).
    You'd expect: That he'd do a little research and find out that that's not physically possible, and ask Quinn what she's so afraid of that she feels the need to tell such a huge lie.
    Instead: He believes her without question.
    It Got Worse: By the time "Ballads" rolls around, he decides that the best thing to do is to tell Quinn's even more conservatively Christian parents about her pregnancy. By singing 'You're Having My Baby' to her. At their dinner table. The first time he has been formally introduced to them. The scene ends with Quinn's father giving her thirty minutes — by the microwave timer — to pack her clothes and get out of the house, and is it any wonder?
    • In "Born This Way", Santana Lopez accuses David Karofsky of being gay, her proof being that she saw him check out the bottom of Sam Evans, a boy who was getting a drink of water from a fountain.
      You'd expect: He'd either deny any memory of it, or he'd claim that he was thirsty and looked to see who was at the fountain. All she really had was that she saw him look at a person who was getting a drink.
      Instead: He claims he was just looking to see what type of jeans Sam had on. Ironically, if Kurt Hummel, an openly gay teenager, had said that he was checking out the clothes another boy was wearing rather than the boy himself, it would've likely been true and many people would've had no trouble believing him. However, when a macho athlete who has never shown any sort of interest in fashion tries to use such an excuse, then, yeah, it's going to ring some bells. Or to quote Santana, "Like that's any less gay."
  • MASH: In the episode, The Sniper, the doctors and nurses are trapped in Post-Op while six patients are in the ambulance in need of assistance. Hawkeye comes up with this master plan: to surrender to the sniper. His reasoning: if they surrender, they can help the patients in the ambulance.
    You'd expect: Someone, anyone, to question how surrendering to a sniper is even possible or how this would help.
    Instead: Hawkeye and Trapper carry a white flag out of the building and walk toward the sniper. Then, they're surprised when the plan doesn't work and the sniper starts shooting at them.
    • To be fair, a white flag is an international sign of surrender, and it is a war crime to fire on one...of course its also a war crime to fire on a red cross, so the sniper wasn't likely to respect that particular rule of war either.
  • Two and A Half Men: Judith, who is an absolute bitch to Alan and an abusive harpy in general, kicks her husband, Herb, out of her house because he stood up against her abuse. Alan hears it from Charlie and is sadistically happy about his ex-wife's trouble. Then he goes to her house as soon as he heard about it.
    You'd Expect: Considering that Judith, up to this point, stole everything from Alan in the divorce, including his house, meddled in his relationship with Kandi out of petty vengeance, gave Kandi the divorce lawyer she used to screw him even further and uses the child support money that's supposed to pay Jake's expenses for herself, you'd expect Alan to finally put her in her place.
    Instead: It's a sitcom, so he doesn't.Instead,he starts comforting her, despite laughing at her suffering from the inside.However, it ends up with Alan getting back with her,like if he forgot all the crap she put him through for her own amusement. As expected,it ends with Judith deciding to break it up again , instead of Alan having the balls to reject her in the first place, and next time we know, she's back into abusing him and Herb again.
  • 13: Fear Is Real, "Alone": Adam is specifically told by Ted and Nasser that Erica is the killer, and from then on sticks to them like glue. When the group is taking showers, Adam realizes that the others are wearing boxers, and that he didn't bring any.
    You'd Expect: Adam to either shower nude, wait for Ted or Nasser to finish and go back to the room together, or at the very least try to sneak back to his room if he's going alone.
    Instead: He rushes up to his room as noisily as possible, alerting Erica to his presence and resulting in his getting "killed off."
  • In Lost, Kate Austen is a prime example for this trope, partially because she always tries to get her way. In the Season 2 Episode "The Hunting Party", Jack tells Kate to stay behind and take care of the Button while he, Locke and Sawyer go after Michael.
    You'd expect: As Jack has a perfectly good reason for asking Kate to stay behind, she should obviously just stay behind and push the damn Button.
    Instead: Butthurt that she was refused to opportunity to go along with the guys, she decides to follow them. As she isn't pretty good at that, she gets captured by the Others who then use her later as leverage to disarm Jack et al.
  • Law & Order episode 20-9m "For The Defense": Mike Cutter is lamenting the fact that a corrupt lawyer is threatening to use a prior sexual relationship with Connie to discredit her impending testimony. Cutter goes on and on about how bad an idea sleeping with a co-worker is and how stupid Connie was to put herself in that situation.
    You'd expect: For him not to go on like this to someone who has a well-known track record of office relationships. Especially when that person is Jack McCoy, his boss.
    Instead: Cutter asks "What kind of person would put themselves in that position?" (Jack: You mean besides me?). Cutter keeps going, basically calling Jack and Connie idiots for engaging in said relationships.
  • Kamen Rider Kiva has a character named Taiga who was mourning the loss of his fiance, Mio, thinking that the titular rider did her in and vows revenge for her death. Next to him is Bishop, the true murderer, who aims to have Kiva destroyed.
    You'd Expect: Bishop would keep his mouth shut or even encourage Taiga to kill Kiva, thus eliminating him.
    Instead: He tells Taiga that he killed her. Taiga then beats the crap out of him.
  • In The Walking Dead 's second-season episode "Chupacabra", Daryl Dixon comes stumbling out of the forest badly injured and limping after his unsuccessful attempt to find Sophia. Andrea notices something in the distance and alerts Rick and the rest of the group, and Rick tells her to wait while he deals with what he thinks is a walker. Andrea is itching to prove herself with a gun, however, and takes aim at the walker in the distance (over Dale's calls to put her weapon down).
    You'd Expect: That she would do what everyone's already told her. Andrea has no proficiency with a rifle, there's sunlight glaring down the scope, she can't see her target clearly, and there are already four men who are standing directly in front of her target (therefore putting them in danger if she misses) and aren't doing anything to put it down.
    Instead: She takes the shot anyway, almost kills Daryl (she grazes him in the side of the head) and gets yelled at by Rick from a distance.
    • The first episode of season 2 features the group hiding amongst a big car pile-up as a large horde of zombies walks by. Sophia is discovered and flees to the woods, chased by two eerily quick walkers, and Rick gives chase to help her. Catching up to her, he finds a safe hiding spot for her to stay in while he handles the zombies.

You'd expect: That Rick tell Sophia to stay safely hidden while he handles the walkers and he comes back for her. You'd expect also he try to kill the zombies right where he was. Or run back towards the road where the group could safely dispose of them now that the horde had passed by. Really, a number of options were available. Instead: Rick points in some direction and tells Sophia to run back to the group while he drives the zombies away to kill them. While he's off killing the zombies, Sophia follows his instructions. This results in her getting lost, dying and being and zombified offscreen, all because Rick couldn't be bothered to think straight for two seconds.

  • Usually in the UK stand-up show Russell Howards Good News, Russell makes fun of idiots. This time he manages to screw up completely during his usual 'Guest' segment he is being given directions on how to stage a fake fight. During all this he is shown a small stool which he is told is breakable and is to be hit on the stunt-man's back.
    You'd Expect Russell to listen and work the scene as intended.
    Instead Russell, right before the scene is about to begin, decides to do a push up on the stool, causing it to collapse, with him breaking a couple of fingers in the process.
  • Chuck: The titler character's sister and brother in law are kidnapped by evil CIA agents who demand a dangerous computer virus in exchange for them. Casey and Beckham agree to give them a fake one since giving them the real one is obviously too dangerous.
    You'd expect Chuck to go along with the plan and hope to rescue them at the trade.
    Instead Chuck steals the real virus from his team, and goes ALONE to the trade WITHOUT ANY BACKUP(keep in mind he doesn't have the intersect anymore). Because he can obviously trust these villains to not kill them once they get what they want. As a result, the bad CIA agents end up getting the virus (which is later unleashed to the general public) and Chuck nearly gets killed because of his carelessness. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero
    • What's worse is that Sarah actually agreed to hand them over the real virus and he still went beyond their back!
  • One might get this feeling after yet another accident involving a rodeo on the show Untamed & Uncut. It makes another good (or possibly bad) idea for a drinking game. If one day, you find yourself watching an Untamed & Uncut marathon (or if it's simply many episodes in a row), take a drink every time an accident involving a rodeo comes up. Before you know it, you'll be as drunk as Dionysus on St. Patrick's Day.
  • Ross in Friends is known to do a lot of stupid things, but sacrificing his relationship with Rachel after he manages to get her to forgive him is probably the stupidest thing he has done in the whole series. After Ross had a fling with another girl because he believed he and Rachel "were on a break" due to their relationship being strained, Rachel breaks up with him but then decides to write a very lengthy letter to Ross, telling him that if he accepts full responsibility for his actions, she can start to trust him again.
    You'd Expect Ross to simply forget about trying to justify his actions in the past and move on so he can be with Rachel. Even Joey and Chandler point this out to him!
    Instead, Ross, during sex with Rachel while she gives him credit for manning up to his mistakes, wants to prove that he isn't fully responsible for what he did and screams "WE WERE ON A BREAK!" and then proceeds to admit that never read the letter before accepting its terms simply because it was too long and when he did finally read it, he didn't agree with it because he feels the break up wasn't all his fault. Ross and Rachel promptly break up and proceed to make each other miserable as possible for the next season or two as revenge.
  • Every single character on The Secret Life of the American Teenager is prone to at least one bout of this. For example:
    • The "Ben wants to marry Amy" arc. There are a million reasons why this is an absolutely moronic idea, not the least of which is that they have zero chemistry together.
      • You'd Expect: Amy or, really, anyone not Ben to see sense.
      • Instead: Amy, overcome by emotion, leans towards accepting the proposal. Ben's father doesn't see why two very much in love teens can't marry, but Amy's father at least retains a level head.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard: Exercised several times by Boss Hogg and Rosco:
    • An episode from the series' final season – "When You Wish Upon a Hogg" – is built around this premise: two people so naive, child-like and stupid they are unable to question what's going on. Here, Boss' unethical, corrupt nephew, Hughie, has convinced Boss and Rosco into believing that an antique oil lamp contains a genie, who will help grant them wealth and a way to get rid of the Duke boys once and for all. The whole scheme is the result of Hughie's insight into his uncle and right-hand stooge (gullible individuals with the mentality of 10- and 7-year olds, who can be tricked into believing anything with little to no convincing). Sure enough, everything unfolds exactly as Hughie plans, as the shockingly beautiful Trixie (Hughie's girlfriend, who played the seductress "genie") plays her part perfectly. Boss and Rosco – who should know that Hughie is corrupt and would normally have thrown him out of the county immediately – are so convinced that Trixie is legit that Bo and Luke can't even talk them out of taking the bait ... and the final steps toward their doom.

Of course, beautiful seductresses have caused plenty of trouble for Boss and Rosco before. Three years earlier, in "New Deputy in Town," Rosco fails to notice a simple FBI alert about a pair of criminals wanted for bank robbery and murder, one of whom is a beautiful, shapely, 20s-something woman named Linda Mae Barnes. One day, after Bo and Luke easily outwit Rosco for the day, Linda arrives and, impersonating a police officer, easily captures the Duke boys. An impressed Boss is SO turned on by Linda (as is Rosco) that he hires her on the spot ... neglecting to perform a simple background check that would have revealed many red flags. Coincidentally, Linda's arrival comes just as her boyfriend is scheduled to arrive for an overnight stay at the Hazzard County Jail... and it is left to Bo and Luke to do what Boss and Rosco should have done.

Even Enos – easily the most competent, honest lawman on the Hazzard County Sheriff's Department's force – has fallen into this trap several times. Most notably, he (along with Bo and Luke, surprisingly enough, and Boss (not surprisingly as all)) fail to immediately identify a criminal who exactly resembles Rosco as an imposter in "Too Many Roscos." Setup: Rosco had gotten into another accident during his usual daily cat-and-mouse game of the Duke boys, but this time, he is kidnapped by a trio of bank robbers, the ringleader being a man named Woody, who exactly resembles Rosco (James Best in a dual role). Days after Rosco is declared "dead," he is seen again and there is much joy and jubilation in Hazzard. Later, Rosco bungles simple facts, all while remembering in exact detail information about an expected armored car delivery to Hazzard Bank. When the fake Rosco talks about the armored car delivery, Enos – knowing that the phony had just bungled several facts about Bo and Luke – fails to call out Woody and instead begins to cry at Rosco's "weird" behavior; Bo and Luke, who normally would be very suspicious by "Rosco"'s unusual preoccupation on the armored car delivery, instead chalk it up to amnesia and a concussion and don't suspect a thing.

And what about the robbers themselves? You’d think: Having seamlessly pulled all of this off (also see the entry in Criminal Doppelganger), they would leave it at that and just hightail it out of town before anyone catches on. Instead: They bring the Dukes to their lair, where the imposter reveals himself and shows them where the real Rosco is being held. Rosco puts two and two together, and he is not pleased.