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  • In one of the Van Beuren Felix the Cat cartoons, "The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg", we see Felix donating tons of gold coins (thanks to the Goose making Golden Eggs by the dozen, which Felix grinds into coins) to the local poor folk.
    You'd Expect: Felix to try and ration the gold, so that it doesn't become so common that it becomes worthless.
    Instead: He hands out the stuff by the bagload, and by the end of the short the entire town is flooded with coins that Felix captured from the band of pirates he encountered. And yet everyone praises him as a hero for it. Wait'll they find out that all thanks to how much of it there is, all that gold has been rendered worthless and their economy is ruined as a result, all thanks to Felix and his goose!
  • In the Woody Woodpecker short Buccaneer Woody, at the end when Woody is hiding in a barrel from Buzz Buzzard, Buzz is looking for Woody through the group of barrels... and then Woody's arm pops out of his barrel and points to Buzz that Woody is hiding in a nearby barrel.
    You'd Expect: Buzz to question how a barrel could have an arm and speak.
    Instead: Buzz takes the barrel's advice and drags off the barrel he thinks has Woody in it... and as he's passing by Woody's barrel, Woody pulls the cork out of Buzz's barrel and lights the gunpowder falling out with a match. The rest is self-explanatory.
  • In Exo Squad, during the retaking of Australia, the Neo Sapiens reveal their newest weapon of war-the Neo Warriors. Due to insane regeneration or durability, they can tank laser blasts and most explosions, and could get into melee range with the Frames and effortlessly destroy them. After narrowly escaping with their lives, Able Squad returns to Exofleet.
    You'd Expect: Since lasers and other weapons were ineffective against the Neo Warriors, and that they regularly get into melee range, the engineers at Exofleet would counter with putting at least a combat knife, sword, mace, or laser cutter onto each frame to deal with close range combat.
    Instead: They continue to arm the Frames with the same old configuration, and in several battles, the Exoframes are overwhelmed by superior numbers of Neo Warriors and don't have any real way to defend themselves, and get destroyed. Things get even worse when the Neo Lords are revealed.
    • In the first early season Admiral Marcus upon hearing news that the homeworlds were getting destory by the Neos invasion.
      You'd Expect: Marcus to make sure Exofleet arrive their at full strengths to take on whatever threat.
      Instead: General Failure Marcus order the Carriers to go at full speed leaving the support ships behind fighting at half power at best. And putting JT Marsh in jail for calling his plan stupid.
      The Result: On the receiving end of a Curb Stomp Battle from the Neos that have Exofleet running away with their tail inbetween their legs.
  • Hey Arnold, "Stinky Goes Hollywood": Country bumpkin Stinky decides to turn down a lucrative soda ad contract, even though his family is poor, and he is doing so right in front of his dad, and many of his classmates.
    You'd expect: That Stinky would explain why he wasn't going to sign the contract, especially since his dad might be able to accept his reason instead of repeatedly crying, "Why???" He had just overheard a conversation at the advertising studio that Stinky was perfect to ridicule, and that's why he was picked to film the ads.
    Instead: Stinky says "I ain't signing it, you can find yourself another fool," without explaining anything. While Helga does say "What an idiot", this is because she is likely thinking "It's a million dollar contract, of course you sign it."
    • Another Hey Arnold! episode, "Arnold Betrays Iggy": While taking homework to the "Cool Kid of the School" Iggy who was sick that day, Arnold finds out that Iggy has an embarrassing secret- he wears full-on bunny pajamas: cotton tail, bunny feet, and even big floppy ears. Iggy begs Arnold not to tell, and Arnold gives his word; however, Sid and Stinky find out due to really accurate conclusion-jumping and now Iggy is a laughing stock. Arnold feels guilty because Iggy thinks that he told and will never forgive him, even after Arnold profusely apologized and told him that he didn't spill.
      You'd expect: That after apologizing and telling Iggy that he had no part in exposing his secret, Arnold would've then just moved on; the ball is now in Iggy's court, if he doesn't want to accept his honest, sincere apology, then too bad.
      Instead: Arnold completely throws himself at Iggy's feet, doing anything he can to insure that Iggy completely forgives him, including doing all of his chores and homework for an entire week. However, Iggy either can't forgive easily or just likes to see people squirm, because he still doesn't forgive Arnold. Arnold, at the end of his rope, asks what can make Iggy forgive him. It turns out in order for Iggy's forgiveness, Arnold walks out of his house in the same bunny pajamas that Iggy wore, out in front of everybody in the urban public area, and grovel at Iggy's feet. While Arnold is doing this Walk of Shame, kids and grownups are laughing, some kids douse him with water balloons, and the entire Walk of Shame is taped live on public access TV! It's only then when Iggy realizes he's gone overboard; however, Arnold doesn't forgive him...
      • The things that makes this so bad though are, for one, Iggy doesn't realize he went overboard at all, he only overhears the spreaders of his secret mention that Arnold never told them and they wormed an answer out, the same explanation Arnold gave that he wouldn't accept. And ignoring that, Arnold Accepts this massive humiliation and then begrudged Iggy for it. He is only doing this to sooth his own obsessive guilt but upon doing this he resents the guy he was trying to please for something he accepted doing. It's not like Iggy stole all of Arnold's clothes from the school locker room and only left the pajamas and then invited the entire school to see, they both arranged this to happen, so why is Arnold suddenly mad at him over something he couldn't let it go and that Iggy misunderstood?
  • Rocket Power, "Race Across New Zealand": Reggie has taken the lead in a windsurfing race. However, her dad, Ray, is still cheering on her younger brother, Otto, prompting her to think: "Maybe this will get Raymundo's attention".
    You'd expect: That Reggie would get Ray's attention by just winning the race, and in the process putting herself in contention for the main title.
    Instead: Reggie deliberately jumps off her board to ensure that both she and Otto lose the race.
  • Powerpuff Girls, "Cootie Gras": Mojo Jojo throws the girls into a pit along with Harry, a dirty boy with cooties, that the girls are mortally afraid of.
    You'd expect: Oh right, the girls have flying powers. How about, oh let's say, flying out of the pit?
    Instead: They run from Harry around the pit. Only when they realize that their fears of him were nonsense, they fly out of the pit to beat Mojo Jojo.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door, the episode with the talking baby: The KND have just defeated a minor villain with a device that changes people's ages.
    You'd expect: Numbuh One would keep this age-changing device to use against the adults, or at least to stop anyone else from getting their hands on it.
    Instead: He throws it away, and the Delightful Children From Down The Lane pick it up. Way to go there, Nigel.
  • Lilo and Stitch, the TV series. In the episode "Wishy Washy", Gantu captures an experiment who grants wishes and Lilo and Stitch have come to stop him. Gantu has captured this experiment by saying "I wish that the experiment was in my grasp".
    You'd expect: - Gantu would say something like "I wish no one could stop my plans" or "I wish Lilo and Stitch would be teleported into space".
    Instead: - Gantu wishes that his blaster was 100X more powerful and larger. This means that not only is his blaster harder to aim, it also does more accidental damage to his ship.
  • In the Rugrats: All Grown Up episode "Bad Blood", Dil has stolen a video that claims to show an alien autopsy and he invites Tommy's friends and various other people to watch it. They would be punished if his parents found out but his Grandpa Pickles is babysitting that night. However Tommy and Dil's other Grandpa comes and wants to upstage Grandpa Pickles. Eventually, Tommy and co get both grandpas to settle down. As they go to watch the video, they hear a crashing noise and have to stop the video.
    You'd expect: - Dil to leave the video in the VCR while coming up to solve the problem.
    Instead: - Dill takes the video with him and as a result, the video gets destroyed and Tommy and co are in a disaster situation. Seriously, what the hell?! So this is not just an example of "What an Idiot!", this is also an example of Deus Ex Machina!
  • In The Fantastic Four: In the 1979 series episode The Menace of Magneto, Mr. Fantastic crafts what appears to be a gun which will rob Magneto of his powers. Magneto can't take control of the gun and concedes defeat. As he is taken by the police, Reed explains that he tricked him with a gun made out of wood and thus Magneto's powers were ineffective.
    You'd expect: Magneto to take control of the situation and start attacking again, especially after such an embarassment.
    Instead: He puts up no resistance and whines about being beatened with a wooden gun.
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Mudslide", Batman is chasing down actor Matt Hagen, who has been robbing various chemical factories. Hagen is obviously falling apart at the seams, leaving muddy trails behind him as he struggles to run. Batman offers to help restore Hagen's humanity but Hagen - justifiably skeptical given that Batman nearly killed him in the past - says that he doesn't need Batman's help. It turns out he has found another doctor - a medical consultant from one of his old movies - who has found a chemical process that will restore his body... and the final chemical they need is at Wayne Enterprises, which leads to Batman catching the trail again and finding Hagen's hideout, just as Hagen is undergoing the final process to save his life.
    You'd Expect: Batman to just let this crime go. Hagen was an unwilling villain, blackmailed into crime by a corrupt businessman and unwittingly turned into a monster by the minions of the same businessman. Batman knows of Hagen's past and offered to help Hagen earlier in the same episode. Even if he couldn't justify letting the crime go, nothing stops him from letting him get cured then throw a non superpowered Hagen in jail. Besides, it wouldn't be the first time Bruce Wayne made a public show of supporting the rehabilitation of a criminal, having paid for the experimental surgery and therapies that would restore Harvey Dent to a normal life in "Second Chance".
    Instead: Batman blows up the machine that is injecting Hagen with the chemicals and says "It's all over, Hagen. The lab boys can take it from here." This leads to an all-out battle which Batman only wins after taking the fight outside where the rain further weakens Hagen. Effectively, Batman murders Clayface by denying him medical treatment...
    • Batman does this to Clayface again in the Justice League episode "Secret Society". Granted, Grodd probably wouldn't really have allowed Hagen to be cured of his condition anyway, but still...

 Batman: Always trying to find a cure, aren't you?

Clayface: Can you blame me?

Batman: No... but it's made you predictable.

    • In "Cat Scratch Fever", Batman is being chased by a rabid, infected dog through the snowy wilderness with several crooks he was trying to foil also following him. He slides out onto a frozen-over lake and manages to administer a cure to the dog. The villains arrive on the scene, armed and ready against a potentially tired and weakened Batman.
      You'd Expect: The villains to keep their distance and shoot Batman with their weaponry from afar, perhaps breaking the ice so that he falls in and guard the immediate area so that he can't get back out. This would insure an icy death for the caped crusader.
      Instead: The villains do indeed submerge Batman after shooting the ice, but not before walking out onto the ice themselves. The predictable happens and Batman comes out from under them, causing the villain's weaponry to go off and break the ice beneath their feet, disarming them and allowing Batman to take them in.
    • In Batman's Super-Hero Origin story in Mask of the Phantasm, Bruce is struggling with choosing between a life with Andrea and a life as Batman.
      You'd Expect: Bruce to be up front with Andrea and tell her about his struggle and plans and leftover trauma from his parents' death (he trusts her enough to marry her, after all), maybe even think of her as a partner after that surprise sparring match with her.
      Instead: He assumes he couldn't be Batman because she'd "always be home waiting for me." And this isn't even a universe where female characters have always stayed in the kitchen! Bruce, what gave you that idea that's what marriage had to be like? Well, they both paid the price...
    • Also in Mask of the Phantasm, Andrea Beaumont's father embezzled a lot of money from some very nasty gangsters. They've given him 24 hours to give it back, but that's not enough time. His daughter is dating Bruce Wayne, one of the richest men in the world.
      You'd Expect: Mr. Beaumont would talk to Bruce and ask to borrow the money from him to pay back what he owes. Wayne is a good guy, and Beaumont can pay him back in a few weeks.
      Instead: Mr. Beaumont and Andrea flee the country, and Andrea leaves Bruce a note breaking up with him. A few years later, the gangsters track them down and kill him.
    • In Batman and Mr.Freeze:Subzero Freeze and his partner in crime, Dr. Gregory Belson, have just discovered that the vital signs of Freeze's terminally ill wife Nora have stabilized. They take Barbara Gordon, their captive and involuntary organ donor, into the operating room, where Freeze's adopted inuit son, Koonak, sees them nearly kill Barbara to save Nora's life. Horrified, Koonak rushes to stop them, and in the ensuing chaos, Barbara escapes and runs to the outside of the hideout(an abandoned oil refining station.)
      You'd Expect:Mr. Freeze(wielding a cryogenic energy gun) to have Gregory watch over Nora and go after Barbara himself. This would be a safe way to retrieve her without causing much damage.
      Instead:Freeze sends Belson(wielding a revolver) to do it for him. Belson, being the impulsive dumbass that he is, ends up starting a fire when his bullets hit some fuel tanks, effectively ruining Mr. Freeze's chances to save his wife.
  • In Justice League, rather then a specific moment, it's a re-occurring theme for J'onn J'onzz. He'll see a missile/blast/laser or some other projectile heading towards him. He has no time to dodge; but enough time to gasp in surprise.
    You'd Expect: He'll turn ethereal to avoid the attack. Or morph into something so the blast would miss him. He's been shown to do both in the blink of an eye.
    Instead: He forgets about his own superpowers and gets shot in the face - again.
    Of Course: Jonn has done the intangible trick before, so this is more a case of Worf-Induced Stupidity
    • In the Justice League Unlimited episode "Grudge Match", Lex Luthor finds a way to mind control the members of the Justice League.
      You'd Expect: He'd use it to make the JLU members help conquer Earth, defeat other superheroes, rob banks, etc.
      Instead: He forces female JLU members to fight in underground cage matches.
    • Another one from JLU - Downpour, a pastiche of Zan from the Wonder Twins, gets into a fight. With Aquaman.
      You'd Expect: He'd run like freakin' hell, never looking back, because of his powers. Which loosely translate to "I lose against Aquaman."
      Instead: He fills the room with water. Attempting to drown Aquaman. AQUAMAN. This works as well as it sounds: "King of the seas, remember?"
    • One more, this time shared with Batman. In the original series finale, someone needs to crash a ship into a BFG, making sure that it does not burn up on entry into the atmosphere. In this series, J'onn J'onzz does not have his trademark fear of fire. His three most prominently used powers are telepathy, flight, and Intangibility/Phasing.
      You'd Expect: Batman would evacuate himself and Flash, and telepathically guide J'onn through the whole process, like they did in the series premiere. J'onn would then complete his task, and phase out of the ship, and fly away from the ensuing explosion. Doing the job well would mean there'd be no fire to be afraid of anyway.
      Instead: Batman pushes the Flash and Martian Manhunter into an escape capsule, tells them It Has Been an Honor, and prepares to go through with his suicide mission, NOT knowing that Superman would hear him and come to his rescue.
      Why does he think he can get away with being such an idiot? Because He's the GODDAMN Batman! That's why!
    • In the JLU episode "The Balance", the spirit of the sorcerer Felix Faust has taken over Tartarus with the Annihilator armor, imprisoned Hades and has him tortured by vultures in a cold, frozen part of Tartarus. While Faust is satisfying his thirst for knowledge in Hades' library, he is encountered by Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl, who have been sent by the gods to restore Hades to power.
      You'd Expect: That Faust would fight them, or somehow use his magic to... GAH, just anything but what he actually does!
      Instead: Faust teleports them away into the aforementioned cold, frozen part of Tartarus... you know, the exact same place where he has chained up Hades! Once they're there, there was absolutely nothing preventing them from setting Hades free, which they do. Hades proceeds to teleport them back to Faust, and then helps them defeat him. What... an... idiot!
  • Teen Titans episode "Trust" - The plot revolves around Robin trying to find Hot Spot, who is engaged in a fight with Madame Rouge (who can shapeshift). Now, the episode ends with Hot Spot ending up victorious against Rouge and Robin gives him a communicator so that they can keep in touch.
    You'd Expect: Robin, being the former sidekick of the goddamn Batman, to at least make sure that Hot Spot is the real deal, having seen firsthand Rouge's shapechanging abilities.
    Instead: It turns out to be Rouge and Robin ends up giving the Brotherhood of Evil the little trinket the Brain wanted so that they could use against the Titans by spying on them. So Robin nearly causes all of the Titans to go down because of his stupid mistake. Yeah... you wouldn't think this kid was the sidekick of the world's greatest detective after this episode.
    • The Brain gets one himself in the Grand Finale. He's in command of a very powerful Quirky Miniboss Squad, a large team of lesser supervillains, and a small army of Mooks and Mecha-Mooks led in the field by an immortal tactical genius. His headquarters is attacked in the middle of a victory celebration by Beast Boy and a small team of reserve Titans, who are soon joined by reinforcements.
      You'd Expect: After the initial chaos, the Brain would use said Quirky Miniboss Squad to crack a few heads to restore order, then take command of his forces and coordinate them in a truly epic showdown (remember, most of these guys have lost to the Titans previously because they're stupid/insane, not weak - and suddenly here's Brain to provide the smarts for them).
      Instead: Brain is so confident of victory that he just sits there, making the occasional snarky comment, but doing nothing else. By the time he realizes he's actually in danger, the situation has progressed to the point where retreat is the only option. And this from a guy who's normally at least on par with Slade for being the show's smartest Chessmaster.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender, "The Blind Bandit": Lao Bei Fong, a wealthy Earth Kingdom merchant, discovers that the blind 12-year old daughter he kept hidden within his estate has been sneaking out to participate in quasi-legal underground pitfights. He then witnesses firsthand how great of an Earthbender she really is when she beats half a dozen experienced adult earthbenders into submission and makes it look easy.
    You'd expect: After reading her the obligatory riot act for sneaking out at night, and probably a bonus one for associating with such "riff-raff" - he'd assign her a seeing-eye maidservant, fire the so-called instructor who was supposed to teach her only breathing exercises, and allow her to instruct the Avatar.
    Instead: He announces that he has been permitting her too much freedom by letting her wander the gardens of the family compound on her own, and that she will from now on be guarded 24/7, while ordering the Avatar and his companions to leave. When Toph bolts, he compounds matters by hiring the guy who kidnapped her, who was one of the earthbenders that she beat to bring her home by any means possible.
    • While wandering the Earth Kingdom in the beginning of season 2, Iroh, the Eccentric Mentor of Avatar: The Last Airbender, comes across a plant that is either "the rare White Dragon Bush, whose leaves make a tea so delicious it's heartbreaking!", or else "the White Jade Bush, which is poisonous."
      You'd expect: He'd demonstrate the good sense possessed by even the most scatterbrained Cub Scout and not touch the thing with a ten-foot-pole until he's 100% certain it's the right one.
      Instead: He drinks it and almost dies.
    • During one of their trips through the Earth Kingdom, we had a crazy general trying to force Aang into the Avatar State.
      You'd expect: The General would NOT try to piss off the AVATAR. Or to just realize that you CANNOT control a supernatural force.
      Instead: He has his men attack Aang for twenty minutes of the episode, and when he finally does go into the Avatar State, the crazy bastard doesn't seem to mind that he and his men are getting their ASSES WHOOPED. Even when Aang's finally finished his mad rampage, he wonders out loud how to control him when he's in that state. Thank you for interfering, Sokka.
    • In the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Zhao captures Aang who has less than a year to master all four elements if he is going to stop the villains' plan to take over the world. However, if Aang is killed he will simply reincarnate as a baby.
      You'd expect: That Zhao would realize it's extremely unlikely that a newborn baby would have time to master one element let alone all four and would thus decide to kill Aang.
      Instead: Zhao decides to imprison Aang.
    • And of course, the defining idiocy of the series comes from Admiral Zhao during the first season finale. Zhao is invading the Northern Water Tribe in order to stop Aang from learning waterbending. Zhao is also aware that the Ocean and Moon spirits (the entities that power waterbending) are in the heart of the Tribe's city in the form of relatively harmless koi fish. Killing the Moon Spirit would destroy waterbending.
      You'd Expect: Zhao to realize that killing the moon is not only a mite bit overkill, but also would hurt the Fire Nation just as much as the rest of the world. So he'd think of some alternative that isn't nearly as stupid.
      Instead: Zhao kills the moon. Brilliant. And it's pretty clear that to him, the destruction of waterbending was a bonus. He just wanted to be able to brag that he killed the moon. Fortunately, Yue is able to undo his actions with a Heroic Sacrifice.
    • The Earth King gets a major one. He has just received vital information that could turn the tide of the war against the Fire Nation, an eclipse that will happen in a few months and deprive firebenders of their power for long enough to defeat the Fire Lord.
      You'd Expect: He would tell this to only those who absolutely need to know it when they absolutely need to know it. Only top commanders and soldiers involved in the operation, and those soldiers only on the eve of the invasion. The information is useless, after all, if anyone in the Fire Nation finds out, and all that would take is an unreliable lower ranked soldier to sell what he has learned.
      Instead: He tells it to three arriving Kyoshi Warriors... who he has never met before and who just happen to be Ozai's Angels in disguise, completely ruining the surprise attack before it even gets into the planning stages. There is no reason to give them this vital piece of intelligence and he only has Sokka's word that they're trustworthy (without Sokka getting the chance to confirm their identities) before he starts spouting off vital military intelligence to them. The result is that the invasion fails and many of the Gaang's allies end up in prison.
    • What happens next is even stupider, though. The disguised enemies take over the city of Bao Sing Se, and the King is forced to flee. Team Avatar saves him, and he hangs with them for a while. The other Earth King officials who know about the eclipse plan are now prisoners of the Fire Nation.
      You'd expect: for the King to tell Team Avatar that he mentioned the secret invasion plan to the fake Kyoshi Warriors. Or at least for the Team Avatar to, upon finding out about the deceit, asked whether the King told them anything important.
      Instead: the King doesn't say anything and Team Avatar never asks. It doesn't cross their mind, either, that the officials who knew about the plan might reveal it to the Fire Nation, under torture if nothing else. So the heroes go on with their plan, only to be promptly defeated by the not-so-surprised Fire Nation.
      ** The newly minted Avatar Roku is celebrating his wedding, when he is approached by his best friend Fire Lord Sozin. Sozin tells Roku that it would be just swell to Take Over the World.
      You'd expect: Roku to try and talk him out out it, to use the experience he gained in traveling the world for 12 years to explain why taking over the world is a bad idea, to take Sozin on a Diversity Tour of the world, to latch onto Sozin's arm and not let go until he is sure that one of the 5 most influential people in the world doesn't let go of his megalomaniac ideas.
      Instead: Roku blows Sozin off and tells him to just forget it. And when Sozin implores him to listen, Roku says that he doesn't want to hear anymore of this, leaving Sozin feeling betrayed by his best friend, bitter and isolated. This war really IS your fault, Roku.
    • Zuko does a few less than brilliant things, but consider the time he finds out that Aang in in Ba Sing Se, too, thanks to the "lost pet" flyer about Appa.
      You'd Expect: If Zuko really wants to take up chasing Aang again, he makes use of Aang's address on the flyer.
      Instead: He infiltrates the base of the local Secret Police, which is made up mostly of elite earthbenders, planning to steal a huge, flying furry monster which has horns, but no reason to be cooperative, what with having defended Aang against Zuko before. And Zuko has no idea whatsoever what he'd do if he actually got Appa out of there. To top it all off, he has no idea if the Dai Li actually have Appa - He goes there on a guess.
    • Iroh's whole plan of settling down as a refugee with Zuko in Ba Sing Se is pretty stupid, if you think about it, given Iroh knows very well that Zuko is a bundle of issues in a "Well Done, Son" Guy coating. For particular irony, Iroh gives Zuko a very intense spiel about how Zuko needs to think for himself and decide upon his own course in life shortly before Zuko does just that... by choosing to grab with both hands the slim hope Azula dangles before him that he really can come back to the Fire Nation and reclaim everything he's ever wanted.
      You'd Expect: Iroh would take Zuko and give him a long talk to find out just whether or not Zuko is happy with their life, and if he is unhappy, how Zuko could possibly become happy, helping Zuko to divorce himself from his original obsession with trying to please his horrific father, Ozai and carve out a life for himself as per Iroh's lecture.
      Instead: Iroh takes it at face-value that Zuko, proud, honor-focused, dedicated, desperate to claim recognition for his own self, is happy being a faceless refugee in Ba Sing Se, lying about who he is. Zuko promptly betrays Iroh when Azula dangles a very real chance in front of Zuko that he can have everything that he believes he has ever wanted and still wanted; to go home and have things "go back to normal"... or so he thinks.
  • Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe follows right on this trope in The Movie. After a failed battle with G.I. Joe, Serpentor insults them.
    You'd Expect: Cobra Commander to shut up and take his abuse as usual.
    Instead: Cobra Commander insults Serpentor.
    • Also, in that very same scene, literally all of Cobra Commander's lieutenants stand around berating him for being a coward, an idiot, and generally just a horrible leader. Then, there's an intruder alert, and Cobra Commander orders everyone to follow him to stop the intruder.
      You'd Expect: Having just stood around enumerating his plethora of flaws in leadership, everyone would tell him to buzz off, or at least smack him once or twice.
      Instead: Everyone blindly falls in lockstep behind him, as if they weren't even listening to themselves not two minutes before.
    • In a way, the birth of Serpentor is also an idiot move by Cobra. Destro, the Baroness, and all the other main Cobra bad guys have had enough of Cobra Commander's inept leadership.
      You'd Expect: All of them of just get rid of the Commander and take over Cobra themselves. After all, all of them have command experience, and Destro and the Twins pretty much take care of the financial/weapons side of things already.
      Instead: They follow Dr. Mindbender's scheme to genetically create a new leader out of the genes of the world's greatest warlords. Yes, they decide to create someone to boss them about. And his plans are almost as awful as Cobra Commander's.
    • In yet another example of rather questionable strategizing from the Commander, comes an episode where he has his Cobra agents seize an advanced laser guidance device from a G.I. Joe laboratory.
      You'd Expect: The Commander using the device to hold either America or the world ransom by threatening to blow up random monuments or capitals with his laser device augmented with the Joes' laser guidance technology, or, in a more sensible plan of strategy, attack the Joes' headquarters with the damn thing.
      Instead: Cobra Commander uses it to deface the moon by putting his image on it, stating that he's striking fear into the hearts of the world by putting his mug on the moon. If anything, after that little scheme predictibly blew up in their faces, Destro was completely justified in calling out Cobra Commander for his insanity.
  • Superfriends has a lot of instances of characters forgetting that they have superpowers. In one particularly Egregious example, the Legion of Doom has come up with a device that can transport people into books. Toyman lures Hawkman into following him into "Jack and the Beanstalk", and flees by scaling the beanstalk.
    You'd Expect: Hawkman would remember that, not only does he have wings, but flying is his only power, and thus he would use that power to chase and apprehend the villain.
    Instead: Hawkman climbs up the beanstalk after Toyman, and has quite a difficult time of it, from the look of things. You just know that, the whole time, he's thinking "Boy, if only I didn't have these big weights on my back, I'm sure I could climb a lot faster!"
  • An episode of G1 Transformers saw Optimus Prime and Megatron agree to single combat - losing side leaves Earth. Every single Autobot tells Prime this is a bad idea, because Megatron can't be counted on to fight fair. He doesn't: using Applied Phlebotinum to transfer the special abilities of the other Decepticons into himself, Megatron routs Prime.
    You'd Think: Prime would believe his own eyes, see that Megatron was using abilities he'd never used before and call Megatron out on the deal, at least until he was sure about it.
    Instead: Until footage from Teletraan-1 shows him exactly how Megatron pulled his deception off, Prime simply accepted his defeat and prepared to pack the Autobots off to parts unknown. With every Autobot protesting that Megatron obviously cheated. "Honor Before Reason"? "Lawful Stupid"? Take your pick. Prime's an idiot, regardless.
    • In the movie, Unicron, a massive planet eating monstrosity, who can only be destroyed by the "Matrix of leadership". Galvatron brings it to him, and plans on using it against Unicron, but can't get to work.
      You'd Think: Unicron won't take his chances and destroy the Matrix right away.
      Instead: He eats Galvatron with the Matrix. In doing so Hot Rod was able to take it from Galvatron, and use the Matrix on Unicron.
    • In Episode 3 of Transformers Generation 1, Mirage has snuck aboard the Decepticons' ship, while invisible. Megatron and Starscream are fighting a duel over the leadership of the Decepticons.
      You'd Expect: Mirage would take advantage of the distraction and his own invisibility to pick off the Decepticons, take over their ship, pick up the rest of the Autobots, and return to Cybertron.
      Instead: He becomes visible, forcing a fight and crashing the ship. Sure, he survives, but so do the Decepticons.
      To Be Fair: He can't fire his weapons while invisible, as far as anyone knows.
  • In Cats Don't Dance, Darla's Evil Plan to discredit the heroes has worked: she tricked Danny into using a soundstage to try and impress the studio head. Then she sabotaged it via floods, and just drops by to drop off the hostage again.
    You'd Think: She'd feign being angry, shouting "What the hell?! How could you disappoint me like that, after that opportunity? And you trusted the controls to a little penguin?"
    Instead: She takes the opportunity to engage in some Evil Gloating that makes it very clear she's responsible, and eventually leads to her downfall.
  • In Transformers Animated, the Constructicons have recently had their memories erased after drinking a tainted batch of oil provided by Bulkhead. While their basic, generally helpful and friendly personalities are intact, they have no recollection of any of their previous dealings with either the Autobots or the Decepticons.
    You'd expect: That Bulkhead would attempt to explain, slowly and calmly, that the Autobots are good and the Decepticons are evil. This would allow him to maintain his friendship with the Constructicons and gain powerful allies for his team.
    Instead: Bulkhead, still furious from the Constructicons' betrayal, threatens them with his giant wrecking ball weapon and generally throws a temper tantrum. This frightens the Constructicons off, which eventually leads to them falling back in with Megatron and becoming true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool Decepticons. That's what happens when you are voiced by Patrick Star...
    • In a later episode, the "You'd Expect" is exactly what he does after he tracks them down again, and for a while, it actually works. Unfortunately this is confounded by a) Dirt Boss and b) the fact that at their core, the Constructicons seem to have a tendency to follow orders no matter who's giving them or what they were doing before.
    • Another episode of Transformers Animated has Sentinel Prime, on the way back to Cybertron, bringing out the captured Decepticons from their cells to interrogate them. Then he is called to the bridge to speak with the High Council.
      You'd expect: That Sentinel Prime makes sure that the Decepticons were back in their cells before leaving them alone, realizing how dangerous they are and how stasis cuffs aren't always a sure thing.
      Instead: He completely leaves them unattended, not even bothering to make sure that they were back in their cells. Thus when Swindle, who was previously Mode Locked, is revived thanks to the lightning from an Ion storm they traveled to, he frees the other Decepticons and thus proceeds to take over the ship.
    • Adding more to Sentinel's stupidity is his decision on how to deal with Omega Supreme when he transwarped on Cybertron.
      You'd expect: Sentinel to try to gain control of Omega as it would give the Autobots a massive advantage over the Decepticons. Plus all the brownie points he can get out of it.
      Instead: He orders the Fortress Maximus to fire on Omega Supreme. While ignoring Ratchets warning, that Omegas transwarp energy, plus the blast from the WMG could destroy a huge chunk of Cybertron.
  • Ben 10 Alien Force, "Kevin's Big Score" - Kevin finds out an old partner of his in the blackmarket alien tech underworld has a Holoviewer containing a message for Ben from his grandfather.
    You'd expect: Kevin to share this information with Ben and Gwen so they could come up with a plan to buy, trade for or steal it.
    Instead: Kevin steals the Rust Bucket to trade it because he doesn't want to bring up his past - a past Ben and Gwen already know about! - for fear they wouldn't trust him again. But stealing their grandpa's house with no explanation is sure to gain their trust...
    • In the original Ben 10 episode "Back With a Vengeance", Ben and Gwen are trying to escape the Null Void, a horrific pocket dimension. However Ben's arch-nemesis Kevin is trying to escape before them. Then Ben calls to him, saying "I'm over here Kevin! Come get me!"
      You'd Expect: Kevin to do, as he said a few minutes ago, "leave him stranded in the dimension with his arch nemesis, which is a satisfying enough revenge.
      Instead: He charges at Ben to kill him. A head hop and a few jumps later, Ben is home free. Kevin is just plain screwed.
      • In the episode "The Galactic Enforcers", Ben and the titular Galactic Enforcers are fighting two crazed and deadly mercenaries called Sixsix and Volcanus. Gwen and Grandpa Max are locked in the Galactic Enforcers' ship, being not allowed by the Enforcers to be involved with the business below.
        You'd Expect: Gwen and Max to stay where they are. They are both unarmed humans and Max doesn't even have access to his Plumber equipment. They are not going to be able to dent the two villains in the state they are in now.
        Instead: Max hacks and activates the teleporters and he and Gwen teleport, Leeroy Jenkins style, down to the location. Upon arrival, they IMMEDIATELY get in trouble and Ben has to save them, allowing Sixsix and Volcanus to get away with what they wanted.
    • Alien Force, the episode "Above and Beyond" - Alan comes up with an idea, but before saying what it is, believes it to be stupid. Pierce, as the auxiliary leader of the group, asks for the suggestion anyway, and it turns out to be to use the Plumber's Badge locator feature to find Grandpa Max, who is clearly trying to hide from Ben as part of the secret training for the Plumber's Helpers.
      You'd Expect: Pierce to realize from Alan's questioning of his own suggestion that Ben may be using the locator himself to make it easier for himself to find Max. If he is to use the locator, it would be better to do so to keep track of Ben's location and work off of that.
      Instead: He just goes along with the suggestion without second thought or any other sign of major caution. He gets separated from Alan and falls into a trap where he is isolated against Ben. Cue being on the rough end of a Curb Stomp Battle as a reward for disappointing sense for a leader.
    • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Darkstar manages to find a way to Ledgerdomain, a realm made of mana that can feed his need for energy. While there, he meets Charmcaster, who rules said realm and controls its power. Despite having a somewhat insane sense of fun, she is completely smitten with him. Hell, it is all but stated outright that she slept with him. In addition to that, she's willing to give him however much energy he needs to destroy his enemies.
      You'd Expect: Darkstar to realize he's hit the motherload, and not do anything to betray the trust she's put in him.
      Instead: Complete sociopath that he is, Darkstar not only persists in acting like she owes him more, but practically ignores her entirely. He boasts about taking over Earth and her dimension and continues to lust after Gwen (who, remember, wants nothing to do with him). Predictably, she depowers him then tosses him back to Earth like garbage.
      For added stupidity: The above mistakes weren't actually enough to completely alienate her. All he had to do was remember her real name: Hope. Just one simple little name. He can't even do that!
  • Kim Possible. Shego has recently fallen into a shallow trap with crocodiles, and says she can't hurt any of the crocodiles.
    You'd Expect: Shego, with her abilities to shoot plasma beams just by pointing her fingers or jumping straight several meters up the air, would either shoot the crocodiles with her plasma beams or just jump out of that shallow hole.
    Instead: She starts wrestling with one crocodile's jaw while whining about needing help...
    • In the end of The Movie, Drakken has succeeded with all his plans. He is not only mere hours away from unleashing the evil machines that he will use to take over the world, he has also captured and tied up his arch enemy Kim Possible and her sidekick though a cunning plan of his.
      You'd Expect: Drakken would a) learn by his mistakes and actually capture Rufus so that the pet does not free Kim and Ron again, and b) not take the backpack, containing a laser beam and the necessary disruptor to the transmitter to the evil machines, to the exact same room that Team Possible were tied up in.
      Instead: Drakken overlooks Rufus, again, and puts the backpack, with all the mission crucial toys, in the same room as Team Possible are captured, so naturally Team Possible escapes and not long after destroys Drakken's plans.
  • The Super Mario Bros. cartoons have plenty of these, but right now one particular scene springs to mind. In the Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode "Reptiles in the Rose Garden", Mario and friends see Bowser's Doomship hovering above.
    You'd Expect: That they'd just run for it.
    Instead: They stand there like idiots, somehow avoiding getting shot by the ship's gunshots, and as a result, get captured by the Chain Chomps that Bowser sends down after them.
  • In Captain N: both the N Team and The Forces of Chaos tend to display stupidity when an opportunity for victory is in sight. In "Wishful Thinking", the N Team discover a lamp containing a Genie with the ability to what else? Grant wishes.
    You'd Expect: That the N Team would wish for the defeat of Mother Brain and all others seeking to dominate Videoland, plus bring King Charles back. Even Lana considers using a wish to stop Mother Brain.
    Instead: The N Team members make personal wishes like Kevin's skills being enhanced, Mega Man becoming stronger, Lana falling heads over heels for Simon (literally) and Kid Icarus making himself big. By the end of the episode, no attempt is made to use a wish to permanently stop The Forces of Chaos or bring the King back home. Granted the wishes could come out wrong if not worded right, Kid Icarus managed to make several wishes without them backfiring.
    • But again the bad guys can be equally stupid. In Happy Birthday, Mega Man, The N Team accompany Mega Man on a mission to the Warp of Life which can make him human. To achieve humanity, he has to pass three challenges. The first is gaining the will to leave the Pleasure Zone (as the world is so fun due to the many games/stores/rides that no one wants to leave). After Mega Man and the N Team depart, they discover that they've been in the Pleasure Zone for three weeks.
      You'd expect: That Mother Brain and The Forces of Chaos would take advantage of the N Teams' absence and try for another takeover of Videoland. Someone from the N Team would have to consider that.
      Instead: We don't see the aforementioned villains, nor are they acknowledged.
  • In the Aladdin animated series, Genie often falls under this trope. One example that comes to mind is the episode I Never Mechanism I Didn't Like. Genie miniaturizes himself so he can get inside a robot to disable it. The villain of the episode responds by sending a miniature robot after Genie.
    You'd Expect: Genie would poof himself back to his normal size and skoosh the robot.
    Instead: He stays small and lets it chase him around.
    • In the same episode, Genie discovers he can reverse the villain's mind control. After freeing Aladdin, they set off to kick the villain's butt and save Agrabah.
      You'd Expect: Genie would use what he discovered to release everyone else.
      Instead: He leaves everyone else under the villain's mind control, forcing Aladdin to fight them off.
  • In Disney's version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frollo is clinging to the side of Notre Dame with his sword drawn, and sees Esmeralda holding up Quasimodo, thus making her vulnerable, and goes to attack her.
    You'd Expect: He'd take the second to hop over the balcony rail that's inches away from him before attacking her, or at least quickly cut off her arm if he really wanted them both dead.
    Instead: Shouting "...And He shall smite the wicked!", he raises his arms above his head and balances his whole weight on an already centuries-old gargoyle, causing it to collapse and him to fall from the tower into the blazing inferno below.
  • The Invader Zim episode "Gaz, Taster of Pork" has Dib accidentally place a curse on Gaz that forces her to taste nothing but pork. When their scientist dad discovers Gaz's condition, he quarantines her and reveals her new sense of taste to the public. Later, Dib visits Gaz in a scientific facility, where, keep in mind, she's imprisoned in a large tank. Gaz threatens to punish Dib horribly if he doesn't cure her.
    You'd Expect: Dib to realize that this is his chance for revenge. Before all this, Gaz mocked him, beat him up, verbally abused him, and even threatened to feed him to her robot dolls. Now, she's truly suffering, trapped where she won't be able to lay a finger on him for months, maybe even years. Dib flips his bitch sister the bird, than leaves her to a well-deserved fate.
    Instead: He gives into her bullying, and eventually frees her from the containment unit. From there,things only get worse.
  • In an episode of Futurama, Fry gets infested by worms that make him smarter, stronger, and brave enough to tell Leela he loves her, which ought to lead to a discretion shot.
    You'd Expect: He leaves the worms in, because they are the best thing that has ever happened to him.
    Instead: He goes inside his body and drives the worms out in order to prove to himself that Leela would love him without the worms. He's wrong.

You'd expect: that Leela finally gets a clue that Fry is exactly the kind of person she's holding out for.
Instead: the next episode/movie happens, and she's back to treating Fry like her idiot kid brother.

    • A guy Leela was dating used his city connections to sweep her off her feet, including reserving a skating rink for the two of them. A bus full of orphans shows up, and are dishearten to find the rink closed to them. Leela says "Ah, why don't we let them skate with us?"
      You'd Expect: He'd say "Sure, why not." Even if didn't have the same sympathy for the kids that Leela had, it should've at least occurred to him that doing something so nice for them would've made bedding her a slam dunk.
      Instead: Being the Jerkass that he was, he tells them to beat it and "Come back when you have connections." Not surprisingly, Leela slaps him and dumps him on the spot.
  • In the Spectacular Spider-Man episode "Identity Crisis", Venom has declared that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. As journalists are trying to get proof, Venom attacks Spidey and eventually rips off his mask as Spidey quickly dives behind a car to avoid being seen.
    You'd Expect: Venom to rip the mask in half, so Peter has no way of protecting his identity.
    Instead: Venom, holding the mask with him, checks under the car for Spidey. He get whacked, allowing Peter to put his mask back on.
    • From the same series, in "Gangland," Peter is on a date with Liz Allan on Valentine's Day. Many of his friends are also there with dates, including Gwen Stacy, who Peter has feelings for more then he does Liz. Halfway through the date, Peter has to leave early for photographer/Spider-Man reasons. Liz forgives him, but wants a goodbye kiss.
      You'd Expect: Peter to give her the goodbye kiss and go off superheroing. If he must break up with her so he can pursue Gwen, do it at a more opportune time. While there is no way to break up with someone who loves you "in a good way," it's a much better option then what Peter ended up doing.
      Instead: Peter acts like a Jerkass, not give the kiss and apologizes to Gwen for leaving early. Poor Liz is humiliated, her relationship with Peter is shattered, and Peter is to blame for being stupid.
    • And one more, this time from the episode "Natural Selection". Even though its a growth in character development and meant to establish the status quo of the Spider-Man mythos, a ridiculous situation occurs when Kurt is taking his serum and becomes the Lizard through some unforeseen side effects. Peter, as Spider-Man, manages to defeat him in the process taking some pictures for the Daily Bugle for a contest and has it printed on the newspapers.
      You'd Expect: Peter, being as smart as he is, would request he'd be listed as "Anonymous" or use a fake name since the whole affair was a private matter and keep suspicion off of him since he was suppose to be helping them.
      Instead: Like a dope, he has his name printed in bold letters on the paper. End result is he gets fired from his intership and his friends are now distrustful of him. And the funny thing he does it again in a later episode, "Persona", which leads to his falling out with Eddie Brock. You all know what happens after that.
    • At their first encounter Dr. Octopus and Spider-Man are fighting over a super-battery capable of supplying Doc's mechanic tentacles with infinite resource. Currently Doc is using a makeshift battery with another hour of charge. Finally he pinnes Spider-Man down and grabs the super-battery.
      You'd Expect: that he would finish Spidey off before changing the battery, since he still had enough juice.
      Instead: He proceeds with the change and removes his current battery thus rendig himself powerless for a moment. That moment is enough for Spidey to defeat him.
  • In X-Men: Evolution, the team is taking a boat cruise to get away from the mutant persecution. During the evening, Bobby "Iceman" Drake decides to start making sculptures out of the sea water. Now, this is already pretty dumb - considering they're trying to avoid having anyone onboard I.D. them as mutants - but Bobby is not content with just that level of idiocy. Thus, at a request to "make a big one" he declares: "name this movie" and creates an iceberg.
    You'd Expect: Bobby to create his "masterpiece" off to the side, so the ship will pass right by it.
    Instead: He creates the iceberg directly in the ship's path, despite the fact he has no way of moving it aside, or changing the ships course. Perhaps he wanted to emulate Titanic as much as possible.
    Additionally: Iceman gets extra stupid points for not even exacerbating a tense and fragile situation like most of these, but by saying "Hey, watch this!" and creating one. For absolutely no reason.
    • Jean gets one in the same episode for almost the exact reason. Later on, during breakfast, Boom-Boom decides to teach a whiny customer a lesson by covertly throwing a tiny explosive orb onto her food, causing it to explode rather harmlessly. The woman, of course, freaks out, and starts a chain of events which ends with her table being on fire.
      You'd Expect: Jean to just leave it be, or at the very least grab a fire extinguisher. It's only a table, after all, not like it'll burn down the entire ship.
      Instead: She telekinetically lifts an entire lobster tank and pours it, lobster and all, on the fire. This right after lecturing Bobby for his iceberg stunt. As a result of this overreaction, not only is she exposed as a mutant, every one of her friends are either directly or indirectly outed as mutants, too.
    • Magneto builds a machine that makes mutants much more powerful, but also brainwashes them into obedient slaves. There are two prominent groups of mutants available: the unruly, unscrupulous and pretty dim-witted bullies of the Brotherhood led by Magneto's associate Mystique and the heroic X-Men.
      You'd Expect: Magneto to secretly offer the treatment to the Brotherhood (holding back the brainwashing part of course) and other dregs of mutant society he can find and then use the resulting army of super-mutants to subdue or destroy the X-Men, at his discretion, and Take Over the World.
      Instead: He puts mutants from both factions in sparring matches to determine the "worthy" ones. This naturally leaves the defeated Brotherhood/X-Men disgruntled/determined to stop his insane scheme respectively. They team up, storm his fortress and wreck the whole operation.
    • Mystique and Cyclops happen to fight in a cellar. Having lost his glasses, Cyclops has to keep his eyes shut, but he manages to pinpoint the only lamp in the chamber and blast it, plunging the cellar in complete darkness and stripping Mystique of her advantage.
      You'd Expect: Mystique to morph into a nightsighted predator, or at least its eyes, and carry on trouncing Scott.
      Instead: She just stumbles around in the dark until Cyclops receives reinforcements and she's defeated.
  • In the 1990s X-Men cartoon, Rogue's character is defined by her sassy, flirty one-liners inability to touch people without draining their life/powers/mind. She is forced to wrestle with this in virtually every episode that gives her a serious role. Halfway through the first season, Gambit, Storm and Jubilee imprisoned on an island where mutants are used for slave labor, and controlled with collars that can disable their powers.
    You'd Expect: That when Rogue helps to rescue them, after all the enslaved mutants have removed their collars, she would take one, break the locking mechanism, and have the means to activate and deactivate her powers at the drop of a hat collar. For added convenience, she could also take a few spares so that any of her genius friends could figure out how they work and make a more discreet and secure version.
    You'd Also Expect: Gambit, having spent several days in the collar, would have at some point realized that since the only thing standing between him and the woman he loves is her out of control power, it might just be a good idea to bring her one when he escapes.
    Instead: She almost immediately tries to track down the scientist who is offering a cure (which would eliminate her flying, superhuman strength, and nigh invulnerability as well) without stopping for one second to think about the fact that the only reason she has to believe that the guy is legit is because he was the one who invented collars that can suppress mutant powers! In the process, she comes within an inch of becoming a pawn of Apocalypse. After that, the collars would show up numerous times in the series, and never once did she ever make the connection between her overwhelming desire to control her power and a device that controls powers.
    • In addition, with not only numerous collars available for use and/or study, but for an entire season a device that suppressed the powers of all mutants in the entire savage land as a major plot point...
      You'd Expect: Someone, ANYONE, would have thought to make to use of this technology to deal with the the untold number of mutants that are constantly fighting. The X-Men could easily slap a device on any of their immensely powerful mutant foes, quickly neutralizing them rather than trying to simply beat the crap out of them in a drawn out, knock-down, drag out fight. The same goes for any sufficiently intelligent team of villains. And most certainly the authorities who are more or less useless whenever a mutant goes on a rampage ought to consider adding this to their crowd control arsenal.
      Instead: The X-Men continue to fight without using any possible advantage they might have at their disposal. The only villain to use this technology for anything other than detaining prisoners is Mr. Sinister, who despite inventing the technology and being able to build a machine that can block powers over a vast area, as well as devices that grant immunity to this effect, never actually deploys the technology offensively, replaces the device when destroyed, or gives the protective devices to henchmen with even moderately useful abilities. As for the authorities, they continue to spend all their money on terribly ineffective lasers, and giant robot canon fodder.
  • Total Drama Island, "Haute Camp-ture". The eliminated contestants are given the power to vote off one camper who's still in the running. Katie and Sadie get the ball rolling by choosing Leshawna, because they want to hang out with her. The other campers object, saying that they shouldn't eliminate Leshawna if they like her. Unfortunately, just saying "Leshawna" counts as a vote against her.
    You'd Expect: Someone to figure out that they should say someone's name besides Leshawna.
    Instead: They keep saying "Don't say Leshawna... oh shit, I just did," and the votes against her continue to pile up, until she has enough votes against her to secure her elimination.
    • In the New York episode of World Tour, Heather is given a meat grinder as a reward for winning the challenge.
      You'd Expect: Heather, the master strategist and self-proclaimed Genre Savvy would keep her prize safe, even if it appears to be useless. Besides its intended purpose, it can be sold, traded, dismantled, or even used as a blunt weapon.
      Instead: She instantly thinks it's useless and throws it out of the plane, just because she can. Lo and behold, the very next challenge is to make sausage, a task that would be monumentally easier for anyone who has a meat grinder. After being on this show for three whole seasons, you'd think Heather had learned that the rewards, no matter how useless they might seem at first, always turns out to have a purpose.
  • In the Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy movie, Double D had just been pranked by the other two Eds into believing they had been killed by a supernatural figure. He is smart and has previously lampshaded his being Surrounded by Idiots in a past episode, the Eds are on the run from the kids, and he's in an abandoned factory originally used for pranking toys, with two guys known for pulling pranks.
    You'd Expect: Double D would suspect that Ed's follow-up offer, quite possibly thought up by Eddy, for a can of jelly beans was a trick. After all, "fool me once, shame on you, but fool me twice, shame on me".
    Instead: He just accepts the offer, not suspecting anything at all during the whole minute he tries opening the can. The result? The can causes an explosion of many rubber snakes being spewed all around the factory's area. Kevin, who was in the area with Nazz, realized where the Eds were hiding, although this didn't help them all that much in catching the Eds, since they move on anyway. Of course, Double D himself was propelled by the explosion, and ended up stuck to a rock high up on a waterfall.
    • In "Brother, Can You Spare an Ed?" Sarah entrusts Ed with her money to buy her and Jimmy some fudge at the candy store. Eddy, the greedy jerk he is, wants Ed to buy jawbreakers, but Edd insists that it is Sarah's money, so it should be spent to her specifications.
      You'd Expect: One of should realize the threat Sarah poses if her for once reasonable request is not met.
      Instead: Edd and Eddy argue over the proper usage of the money, representing integrity vs. Greed, respectively, until impressionable Ed enters the store and gives into temptation, only remembering that Sarah intends on kicking their asses when it is too late. Well, we would not have a show if they did not get into these jams.
    • For a majority of the show, the Eds devise a scam to get the kids' money.
      You'd Expect: The kids would eventually catch on and not give them jackshit.
      Instead: They keep falling for it. Every episode.
  • In the South Park episode "Major Boobage", Kenny has been "cheesing" (taking cat urine as part of a drug craze) and his friends came to comfort him. Kyle foolishly takes one of the cats home and his mother Sheila finds it in his dresser drawer while putting away laundry, leading to his parents having a talk about this.
    You'd Expect: Kyle's parents let him explain the whole situation and mention Kenny and blah blah blah.
    Instead: Sheila, the mom, accuses him of lying about the cat, and Gerald, the dad, grounds him.
  • In the "Porta Johnny" episode of Johnny Test, Johnny and Dukey had been transported to right outside an art museum as part of punishment by Johnny's sisters. They have been asked for help by guys wearing facehoods to put artwork in the truck. Johnny and Dukey have teleporting powers. Granted, the girls had messed with them, but still...
    You'd Expect: Johnny and Dukey to realize that these guys must be burglars, stand up against them or something which shouldn't be too hard because they have fought supervillains in the past, and if things took a turn for the worst, just teleport out of there even if the punishment the girls are dishing out would continue.
    Instead: They just help the burglars without thinking they are burglars. It only dawns on them at all when they're passing the freaking Mona Lisa by, and by the time they are aware enough of this, the burglars already get away. They get on the World's Most Wanted for this. What kind of brain fart did these two morons have to suffer to do this?
  • Justice League: the Injustice Gang have captured Batman thanks to Joker's help. In doing so, they have knocked him out.
    You'd Expect: The Injustice Gang would unmask Batman to learn his secret identity. It would have helped them a lot in taking out the Trope Namer of the Batman Gambit--not quite as much as they'd expect at first, but learning Batman to be Bruce Wayne would have Lex at least know who he is dealing with in case he escaped somehow.
    Instead: They just restrain him. Inevitably, Batman escapes with help from a mole ( Ultra-Humanite) while having torn apart the Injustice Gang from the inside. There is no subsequent sign of an attack on Bruce Wayne instead of Batman before the Batman Beyond timeline, and when the Joker does learn of Batman's identity, he ultimately gets himself killed when he tries to use it to his advantage.
  • In one episode of Swat Kats: the Radical Squadron, Mac Mange kidnaps the mayor and Callie, while dressed up as their new chauffeur. Except, he's wearing the mask based off his original face.
    You'd expect Callie would immediately recognize the face of a dangerous criminal, especially since she was the one who signed his life sentence, and alert the titular vigilantes immediately.
    Instead She's completely oblivious to him. At least the mayor noticed that it's not his regular driver.
    • "Katastrophe", and it is a significant error on her part. However, it could also be said that by that point (end of season 1) she was used to seeing them as the Metallikats, and seeing their metallic forms. It didn't even dawn on me until it was mentioned here, after I watched both the episodes in the same day once. :p
  • The first time this troper saw "Who's to Flame" from Happy Tree Friends, Petunia was making breakfast for Giggles and Mime, then she accidentally got caught on fire from the stove, Giggles tries to save her but she too got caught on fire. It was up to Mime to save them.
    You'd expect: Mime would get a bucket or something to fill water with from the sink and help put the fire out from them, or better yet use an 'imaginary' bucket of water or an 'imaginary' hose to save the girls since the things he imagine can become real.
    Instead: He gets the phone (forgets the last number for 911) and call for help, though it wouldn't do any good since he's mute (all the while, Giggles and Petunia are running around screaming in flames). When that didn't work, he went outside to try and get help, but with the same result since he's mute. Eventually the whole town exploded.
    • In "That's Off the Chain" (I think) Handy ends up getting arrested and chained to The Mole. Long story short, they end up at a logging plant and a saw cuts open Mole's head.
      You'd expect: Handy would at least attempt to cut of Mole's leg, or even the chain, or possibly even see if anyone is at the freaking plant.
      Instead: He runs away, tries to cut the chain on a railroad track with a train, and dies violently.
  • Beavis and Butthead: Beavis cuts his finger off, and the rest of the episode is spent at the hospital, where he needs said finger put back on.
    You'd expect: The doctor would, y'know, fasten it on with a cast or something.
    Instead: He simply warns Beavis just not to use it. He does right away, and it falls off again. Cue the next episode.
  • In the "Hobgoblin" episode of Spider-Man: The Animated Series Kingpin and Osborn stage a juggling competition.
    • In order to assassinate wipe out the Kingpin, Osborn employs Psycho for Hire Hobgoblin and equips him with a glider. However, Spider-Man thwarts the attempt, and Osborn decides it's too dangerous to carry on and gives Hobgoblin a boot.
      You'd expect: Osborn to install a remote-controlled shut down switch in the glider or, better else, rig it with remote-controlled explosives, so that when Hobgoblin outlives his usefulness he can be stripped of his power and easily killed disposed of. That's "Assassination 101" for Cthulhu's sake!
      Instead: Osborn basically tells Hobgoblin to fuck off, insults him and threatens to expose him. And then acts genuinely surprised when Hobgoblin has the audacity to fly away with the glider and team up with Kingpin. He should be surprised Hobgoblin didn't kill exsanguinate him on spot!
    • Having left Osborn's employ and been hired by Kingpin, Hobgoblin successfully completes his first assignment - kidnap Harry Osborn and demand payment.
      You'd expect: Kingpin to pay him. Why the hell not? Hobgoblin is obviously a useful and competent henchman, and he's just started working for him, so it'd be reasonable to give him some incentive.
      Or: Since Hobgoblin is also a dangerous lunatic with no sense of loyalty, it'd be understandable if Kingpin didn't want to keep him around and got rid of him right there and then. Hell, Hobgoblin's main asset is his glider, well, kill eliminate the nutcase and get one of your own reliable goons to pilot the thing!
      Instead: Kingpin just pisses Hobgoblin (whom he has NO leverage on) off and lets him be: "You will be paid when I say you are paid." Your team-building techniques suck, Pinny!
    • Osborn repeats his act of idiocy AGAIN: team up with Hobgoblin, give him an improved glider with no safeguards in it, act surprised when Hobgoblin betrays him AGAIN.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas - Jack, having decided to try doing Christmas himself, sends Lock, Shock, and Barrel to kidnap Sandy Claws Santa Claus.
    You'd expect Jack to employ more trustworthy people, or even perhaps ask Santa if it's okay to try doing Christmas himself, maybe even getting some tips in the bargain.
    Instead he trusts the trio to "keep him [Santa] comfortable" and they, of course, send Santa down to Oogie Boogie. This troper loves Jack to death, but dammit that was flat-out stupidity.
    Also you'd expect Jack to make sure he knows what the hell he's doing.
    Instead he charges into the holiday face-first, scaring the shit out of everyone and getting himself blown up.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Thinking the Health Inspector is a fake after hearing a news story on TV, Mr.Krabs has Spongebob make a nasty Krabby Patty. Just as the Inspector is about to take a bite, he chokes on a fly (underwater?) and passes out. Krabs later learns that the fake Health Inspector was captured.
    You'd expect that Spongebob, Krabs, or someone else would go see if he's all right. He should still have a working pulse, and they could give him a real Krabby Patty and pass the inspection.
    Instead they think they've killed him, starting a long charade of burying him and hiding him from the cops, torturing (unintentionally) him in the process, even when he turned out OK.
    • "A Pal for Gary" is pretty much the definition of this trope. The whole episode involves Spongebob getting a new toy-like thing named Fluffy, for Gary to play with, unaware that it hates being around other pets. He showers Fluffy with respect and tries to force Gary to accept him. That night, he thinks Gary and Fluffy will get along perfectly, but Fluffy transforms into a monster and terrorizes Gary throughout the house. It causes damage to Spongebob's house, and the next morning when Spongebob wakes up, he thinks Gary is responsible! He enters the living room and sees Gary in Fluffy's mouth!
      You'd expect that Spongebob would try to save Gary.
      Instead he angrily tells Gary to put Fluffy down. Uh, he can't do that, Fluffy has him IN HIS MOUTH! As he continues to rant, he is then taken by Fluffy's fangs.
    • Then, Gary saves Spongebob by using a lasso and acting like a cowboy, and knocks Spongebob out of Fluffy's mouth. Fluffy then breaks out of the pineapple house and flees.
      You'd expect that Spongebob would finally realize what Fluffy really was, and apologize to Gary for treating him so terribly, considering he, oh you know, JUST SAVED HIS LIFE.
      Instead he tries to get Fluffy back, but after that fails, he scolds Gary AGAIN. WHAT?! He neglected his own pet horribly in favor of a monster and NEVER apologized. And despite that, they make up in the very next scene with little trouble.
      Extra idiot points: Considering that at the beginning of the episode, Spongebob felt bad and that he was neglecting Gary, he should have thought of THAT while Fluffy was there, but NOOOOOOO.
      Let's just face it: Spongebob was more of a jerk than usual in this episode.
  • Phineas & Ferb: "Tip of the Day": Dr. Doofenshmirtz attaches a universal delete button to a mind reading helmet, which when he presses the button, would cause everyone to forget about whatever he's thinking. He intends to make everyone forget about that embarrassing viral video of himself.
    You'd expect Doofenshmirtz to immediately press the button the minute he puts on the helmet, while he's still thinking about the embarrassing video, then his plan would succeed.
    Instead he wastes his time explaining his whole plan to Perry while he's wearing the helmet, then ends up getting distracted when he trips, setting his mind to something else and causing everyone to forget about the aglet instead.
    • Well, alright, but there's still Isabella's crush on Phineas, and how obvious she makes it.
      You'd expect Phineas to realize her love for him.
      Instead he's just completely oblivious to it.
    • One more episode: "Phineas and Ferb's Quantum Boogaloo". When future Candace brings Linda out of the store to witness the rollercoaster, she quickly calls for emergency services to have it stopped. A chopper gets report of the rollercoaster, and heads upward. On top of the Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated building, Doofenshmirtz and Perry are trying to fend off the giant tin foil ball heading towards them. Perry tries to use his hook to cling on to the helicopter (which he did in the pilot), but it misses. Then Doofenshmirtz jumps off the roof of the building.
      You'd expect Perry to jump out of the way too.
      Instead he takes the hit and is injured, as Doofenshmirtz comes out unharmed. After the rollercoaster is terminated, Linda is furious at the boys, and punishes them without giving them a chance to explain what they were thinking. Future Candace goes back to the future, only to find that it's in such a bleak condition. She then discovers that it's because of her actions (and Doofenshmirtz getting the upper hand) that things became this way. Later, we find that Perry was in a full body cast for 18 months after being hit by the tin foil ball.
  • In the American Dad episode "The Weiner of our Discontent," Roger gets hold of some poisonous hot dogs which will kill anyone who eats them, and decides to keep hold of them so that he can feel important (and kill anyone who pisses him off by feeding them one of the poisoned hot dogs). Due to a mix-up, Steve and Toshi nearly end up eating them in a hot dog-eating contest, but Toshi's mother unknowingly prevents them from doing so. Afterwards, Stan destroys the poisonous hot dogs once and for all.
    You'd expect: Francine to be furious at Roger for nearly killing both her son and one of his friends, and to lecture him about how you don't need power over life and death just to feel good about yourself.
    Instead: She blames Stan for everything, because he was mean to Roger earlier in the episode. Stan then tries to make amends by letting Roger hold onto the adrenaline shot that he uses to stave off his lethal shellfish allergy... and the brilliance of this thinking is demonstrated in the very next scene, when Roger deliberately poisons Stan with some crawfish cookies and withholds the adrenaline shot so that he can feel high and mighty again.
    • In another episode, Hayley's kidneys fail and she needs a transplant, but Francine drops a bombshell that Stan may not be Hayley's father due to Francine having a one night stand before she married Stan. However, Francine cannot remember who she slept with, so Stan takes her and himself into the past with a time travel machine from the CIA so they can see who Francine slept with and get the guy's info so they can go back to the present and use the info to save Hayley's life.
      You'd expect: Stan and Francine to get the man's information from his dropped wallet and leave to go back to their own time with the information.
      Instead: Stan, being the jealous and overprotective husband that he is, blows his cover and berates the man that is kissing the young Francine, causing her to get upset at the mistake she almost made and leaves. This causes the past to be messed up and present Francine points out that this will cause Hayley to be Ret-Gone, so she forces Stan to get her younger self to sleep with the guy by any means necessary.
      How it works out: The couple tell their younger selves about the situation and young Stan is up for the idea to get young Francine to have the one night stand, but she refuses to do it. Present Stan then remembers he has the formula needed to create the drug, Ecstasy, so he goes to young Roger for assistance in making the drug. Once they have it, they drug young Francine and convinces the man from the one night stand to sleep with her only because she was drugged up.
    • In Bullocks To Stan, Jeff is in a diner hiding from Stan and Bullock and is telling a waitress to pretend she doesn't know him but she actually does not know him.
      You'd expect: Jeff to come up with a fake name.
      Instead: Jeff says his name, and this allowed Bullock to recognize him. If it weren't for Hayley, he would have been dead right now.
  • An episode of Totally Spies had a villain break into a lab by carving a hole into the window with the diamond tipped heel of her shoe. She jumps through the hole and the heel breaks off as she lands on the floor. She notices this and comments on it.
    You'd expect: She'd pick up the broken heel. Even if she wasn't Genre Savvy she could still super-glue it back on or something so her shoe wouldn't be ruined.
    Instead: She just leaves it there. When the spies find it they immediately track it to her, and later use it to escape the villain's trap, allowing them to foil her plan with ease.
  • In the Scooby Doo Mystery Inc episode "Howl of the Frighthound", Scooby wound up in a maximum security kennel because the mother of some kid crushing on Velma was trying to break up the gang and fix her son up with the girl he'd built a shrine to built a robot dog designed to frame him.
    You'd expect: Velma to move heaven and earth to clear Scooby's name so that he'd be beholden to her and pretty much let her have her way in the Friend Versus Lover conflict the two of them had wound up in.
    Instead: She not only did as little as possible to free the rival she claimed would get out some indefinite time in the future, she was so dismissive of Shaggy's concerns for his friend's well-being, she alienated him to the extent that he decided having a girlfriend wasn't for him at this stage in his life.
  • In Code Monkeys, Mr. Larrity is in a high-stakes poker competition against up-and-coming entrepreneur Gill Bates. He's brought Benny with him to help him cheat by staring at his competitors' hands. Benny sees Gill's hand and warns Larrity that it's really good.
    You'd Expect: Larrity to trust Benny and just drop out of the hand, cutting his losses but not making things worse.
    Instead: Larrity completely ignores Benny's advice and bets Gameavision on his hand, which includes cards not even found in a standard deck (including an Old Maid and a blue Uno Reverse). Naturally, he loses spectacularly.
  • In Winx Club (Episode 1x17), Bloom accidentally bumps into Diaspro, making her drop a hologram of Sky. While Diaspro is rude to her about it, Bloom just randomly assumes she must be one of the Trix simply because of this rudeness. She tricks Diaspro into leaving her seat in the stadium, leads her to a back room and attacks her. Diaspro doesn't fight at first, but she is finally forced to fight to defend herself. It's not until the battle is taken into the stadium and Diaspro reveals Sky's secret that Bloom sees she's not a witch.
    You'd Expect: For Bloom to have eventually realized that Diaspro was not one of the Trix due to how much restraint she was showing. Diaspro clearly didn't want to fight Bloom and only did so when Bloom refused to leave her alone.
    Instead: Not only does Bloom not realize Diaspro isn't one of the Trix until it's too late, but even after she finds out the truth about Sky, she continues to be angry with Diaspro, as if it's Diaspro's fault that Sky was two-timing her! She also never apologizes to Diaspro for this incident or realizes that she should be angry with Sky, not with the person who didn't even know she existed.
    • The 24th episode of season 4 involves an abyss and a person is volunteered to close it.
      You'd Expect: For either Riven, Bloom, Sky, or Tecna (she did pull a similar stunt in season 3 by closing an abyss in Andros) to close the Dark Abyss.
      Instead: Nabu is the person that gets to close the Dark Abyss, thus managing to collapse and dying afterward.
  • In the Donkey Kong Country Animated Series, DK has gone to ask this all-knowing tiki statue thing how to use the Crystal Coconut. It's advice? "To know everything, you must give up everything".
    You'd Expect: Ask someone else for advice.
    Instead: He gives the Crystal Coconut to King K. Rool, thinking he'll know everything about the Crystal Coconut once he gives it away (when it's not even his to begin with).
  • In King of the Hill, the Hills host Lean, Luanne's mother who is a recovering alcoholic who was in prison for assault.
    You'd Expect: Hank to either lock up the refrigerator with all the beer in it, move it to Dale's or Boomhauers, or even just hide it where she can't find it..
    Instead: Hank leaves the beer in the fridge, and when Lean can't get turned on from Bill's feet anymore due to its fungus (It Makes Sense in Context), she uses a nail to drink out of all the beer cans and gets drunk and begins physically and verbally abusing Bill and Luanne..
    • In the episode where Luanne becomes a boxer, it becomes clear that all of the people she fought had thrown the fight to get money since Luanne provides Fan Service to all the guys at the matches with her...bouncing. When she schedules a fight with Frieda Foreman, George Foreman's daughter, who is a champion boxer. Realizing how stupid this is, Hank goes to talk with George Foreman himself to call off the fight after he learned Luanne's fights were rigged. George graciously says that he'll do it, and offers some George Foreman grills for Strickland Propane to sell.
      You'd Expect: Hank to either graciously accept. Those things ARE cash cows during that time after all, and his corrupt boss would approve. If he didn't accept at least, he'd let him down gently saying they can only carry Propane Accessories.
      Instead: Hank goes on his Propane Gospel, insults Foreman's product (calling them a product for little girls) and George angrily reinstates the fight for the insult.
  • This trope is played straight with Transformers Prime episode "Metal Attraction". Breakdown and Airachnid are fighting over an artifact that magnetizes metal. Arcee and Bulkhead arrive at the scene to watch them duke it out.
    You'd Expect: Arcee and Bulkhead to sit back and watch as their most hated enemies tear each other apart.
    Instead: They immediately leap into action and inevitable results in Airachnid and Breakdown teaming up against them.
  • In The Looney Tunes Show, Daffy becomes a rich CEO and now has to make an important desicion to keep his company from bankrupticy. The only advice his predecessor gave was to always trust a muffin deliverer's advice (which works pretty well in this realm). So he looks for the muffin deliverer and asks him what to do. Daffy takes his decision to the marketing guy, but just as he leaves the real muffin deliverer appears to get his cart back. The muffin deliverer tells Daffy that was a bad decision and now his company is in peril.
    You'd Expect: Daffy to go tell the marketing guy that he changed his mind.
    Instead: He just sits there impotently and sobs about the worse to come. Predictably, his company bankrupts...
  • In The Fairly Odd Parents special Channel Chasers, Timmy wishes up a TV and goes inside, leaving Cosmo and Wanda to guard his room. While Timmy is having fun in the TV, Vicky comes along to make sure he isn't watching it.
    You'd Expect: Either Cosmo or Wanda to poof away the TV and create a decoy to avoid arousing suspicion.
    Instead: Cosmo imitates Timmy and explicitly tells Vicky that he's watching TV. Of course, this is Cosmo we're talking about here, but even he should know better.
  • In Gargoyles In City of Stone Arc flashback When Macbeth was king and Demona was his Dragon. After the defeat of the hunter army Macbeth held a secert meeting with his son Lulach and his father-in-law to decide what to do next. The father-in-law suggest to let the gargoyles be killed in order to appease the English army. Lulach doesn't agree, but Macbeth inform Lulach that a king had to look all options. All this time Demona was listening in.
    You'd Expect: That Demona would stay there and listen to find out what Macbeth final choice is. If he say yes burst in there kill everyone or quietly leave let Macbeth fend for himself. If he say no, still gave Macbeth a What the Hell, Hero? speech for even thinking of dumping your clan to the enemy
    Instead: She leave without knowing the final choice and just assume the worst
    Additionally: betray Macbeth to the England invaders and the hunter because they sure are a bunch of trust-worthy group with no Fantastic Racism against gargoyles.
    The Result: Demona is alone again and this time has a immortal Rival that want her dead even if it cost him his life.
    • In the second episode of the third season, when the everybody suddenly hates the Gargoyles, Lexington is captured, crucified (!) and put on public display, apparently to be lynched.
      You'd Expect: Him to cry out that he's innocent or try to reason with the crowd or say anything. If nothing else, it would've at least proved that he's in fact sentient.
      Instead: He says nothing and just snarles at them like a beast people think he is.
  • Monster Allergy: Zick gets trapped into a device that absorbs his powers for every zap.
    You'd Expect: He'll just have to wait until rescue comes.
    Instead: He continuously zaps the container until he loses his powers.
    • In the same episode, Elena can finally see monsters. She enters Magnacat's secret lair and pretends not to see him. This act has not only fooled him, but also Zick, who tries to warn her that Magnacat is around. She then grabs into some end of the device and starts swing over to Magnacat.
      You'd Expect: He dodges her swing, then realizing that she can see him.
      Instead: He just stands still and watches getting a chance to kick him in the face, knocking him out.
  • Huntik Secrets and Seekers: Zhalia has finally revealed herself to be the mole of the Organization. She beats the crap out of Lok and Sophie.
    You'd Expect: She finishes them off.
    Instead: She doesn't. What did she do? She just ties them down, but still plans to finish them off once it's over.
    Bonus idiocy: She doesn't again since 1) she's sided with them in the end and 2) Lok and Sophie manage to get out of this situation their own.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: Spider-Man is part of the team of young heroes formed by SHIELD and trained personnally by Nick Fury. During a previous episode, they fought with Venom, and got a perfectly good look at it, since all of them but White Tiger got possessed by it. Sure, they aren't sure of what it was, but they got a good look at its abilities. Later, when a mysterious new Spider-Man dressed in black suit that possess exactly the same scheme colour than Venom, does a better job than Peter and becomes everyones' idol, Spider-Man points out it's most-likely to be Venom.
    You'd Expect: them to at least consider the possibility Peter might be right. The similarities are suspiciously similar after all, and they all know Venom can change shape and size according to his host.
    Instead: they dismiss Peter's warning and blame him for being jealous that a guy is doing a better job than him, arguing that "Venom was huge while this is just a guy in a black suit".
  • Jem: to save her father's music production company and the Orphanage of Love it supports, Jerrica Benton uses the sophisticated hologram-projecting AI Synergy to create for herself the alternate identity of rock singer Jem, with her younger sister and two best friends as her band the Holograms and her longtime steady boyfriend Rio as their road and stage manager.
    You'd Expect that of all people Jerrica would trust her boyfriend with the secret of Jem's identity and enlist his help as her stage manager in maintaining the illusion of Jem and Jerrica as two different people.
    Instead Jerrica withholds the information from Rio, which forces upon herself and the Holograms the constant headache of keeping up the pretense in front of their own road manager, and prevents them from making use of most of Synergy's special effects capabilities because they can't explain to Rio where the effects would be coming from. To make matters worse, a few slips on Jerrica's part result in Rio developing romantic feelings for Jem. Only at this point does Jerrica consider bringing Rio in on the secret, but after her first attempt to do so is interrupted, she concludes that his pride will be hurt by the deception that the only option is to keep him Locked Out of the Loop indefinitely, a hole she digs herself further and further into every time she perpetuates the lie.
  • In The Smurfs episode, "The Smurfette", Gargamel noticed changes in Smurfette, realizing she's not anymore working with him. Therefore, he tricks her into bringing all the Smurfs to lunch.
    You'd Expect: She will realize this is a trap and decided not to follow his orders.
    Instead: She is fooled by this act and does exactly what he said. Not only this allows him to catch the titular characters, but also led them to think Smurfette double crosses them.
    • Earlier on, Smurfette tries to get Greedy to open the dam so that the Smurfs' village will be flooded. When he hesitates, she decided to have another Smurf do her bidding. Greedy, being Greedy, has flipped open the valve to open the floodgates. Suddenly, he begins to close it, out of fear that the village will be flooded.
      You'd Expect: That Smurfette has no choice, but to accept the fact that her plan foiled. That way, it would lessen the suspicious about her.
      Instead: She struggles with Greedy over the switch, resulting not only the both of them falling to the waters, but also Greedy telling the Smurfs his suspicions about her.
  • In The Flintstones' "Gameshow" Post Fruity Pebbles commercial, Barney won the "Pebble Fruit Fight" guessing game by cunningly persuading Fred to get and eat his Fruity Pebbles cereal to win the game.
    • You'd Expect: He uses one of his victory prizes consists (tons of gold) to buy his own Pebbles cereal.
    • Instead: Barney prefers his stolen bowl of Fruity Pebbles cereal as his own grand prize.