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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

In the Ben 10 example, Ben couldn't change into Stinkfly to save Max and Gwen; Stinkfly can barely carry Gwen aloft.

Cassius335: Not always true: Stinkfly carries them ok during Cannonbolts debut ep. He certainly has much less carrying ability than Four-Arms, though. (ETA: And at least the watch didn't turn him into Grey-Matter...)


Pro-Mole: I'm pretty compelled to retort with the Voldemort example. First, because he's a Villain, and he's just as supposed to include flaws on his plans as a ditz is supposed to act dumb. Second, because JK's justification about his pride(Villain, again) works pretty well for most of those acts. The part where he doesn't create hundreds of Horcruxes, though, puzzles me.

Seven Seals: Well, if you accept that Voldemort only made Horcruxes out of things that were significant to him because he's prideful, it's not unreasonable to assume that he just ran out of things he considered significant. And it does explain why he doesn't create hundreds — he doesn't need to, because he's so great that it's inconceivable for any enemy to get far enough in destroying his Horcruxes to be a threat to him.

There's also the idea expressed in the books that you become less human with every Horcrux you create — although Voldemort clearly didn't give a rat's ass about his humanity, he might have felt some negative effect nonetheless, and stopped when he thought he had enough. All that soul-shattering can't be good for you, even if you are an evil bastard. Maybe he felt himself get stupider with every Horcrux... That would explain a good deal of things.

Kizor: In a setting where The Power of Love eventually binds you and yours into a stronger power than you can take by force, plunging into the latter means making yourself into the kind of person who would do so, utterly mutilating your worldview.

Not that I can think of works where this happens beyond Harry Potter, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

Lord Voldemort was a man obsessed with his own power and superiority before he started obliterating his own humanity. There's no way that he'd come out of that with a realistic grip of his prowess and a capacity of relating to others' ways of thought. Of course this kind of evil overlord makes mistakes and is at times his own worst enemy - he wouldn't be in that position if he wasn't deeply and irrevocably broken.

Voldemort wanted specifically to make six Horcruxes because he thought seven was a magically significant number of portions to split his soul into (one in him and one in each Horcrux). This doesn't excuse his choices of hiding place though, as he doesn't appear to need any of the Horcruxes near his person, there's no excuse for not getting, say, one of the later Apollo missions to take one along and leave it behind, as his main period of activity was in the 1970s.

32_Footsteps: Now, I haven't read Harry Potter at all, but the Justifying Edit in there seems like someone is a bit too obsessed with Fanon. Sure, you could assume certain things about why Voldemort did what he did with Horcruces.. Horcruxes... Soul Jars. I could also assume that Batman kept him from doing anything else - doesn't make it what actually happened. Could someone familiar with the series edit the Justifying Edits so that all the info in there is actually justified in the books?

Pro-Mole: So, I tried to accomplish it. Go check it.

Re: Sonic Adventure 2's Security Hall stage. Rouge has five minutes to complete Security Hall, then gets stuck in the safe. Shadow then has ten minutes to complete his next stage (White Jungle) to get back in and save her, arriving in the nick of time because even villains get to be Big Damn Heroes occasionally.

Lord Seth: Agreed; while I generally am against outright removing trope examples from this page, that example isn't just debatable, it's a flat-out incorrect claim. What does happen is Rouge has fifteen minutes left, gives herself five minutes to do the task, and then after getting trapped Shadow has ten minutes to save her, which would be impossible if Rouge did wait until there were five minutes left. (exactly how this works with the boss battles taking up more time is unclear, but it's still obvious, even from the animation, that Rouge starts searching for the emeralds right away) Removed.


Caswin: Removing the last comment on Lord of the Rings - it honestly sounds like whoever wrote it didn't even read the "wall of Justifying Edit after Justifying Edit," which had nothing to do with overconfidence.
  • As amusing as this wall of Justifying Edit after Justifying Edit is, it doesn't change the fact that the entrance to Mount Doom was left completely unguarded. He didn't even bother putting in some kind of door. That's not overconfidence. It's just stupid.


Geese: I dislike the Justifying Edit only a little less than the next guy, but it's neither surprising nor necessarily counterproductive to have them on this page. While Tropes Are Not Bad, the Idiot Ball is. Some bits of Natter could certainly do with a clean-up, but others are legitimate counterpoints to things that could be easily seen as stupid, but, well, make sense given the situation.

Caswin: Bearing in mind that, by definition if I'm not mistaken, a Justifying Edit is more of a knee-jerk reaction than something that actually justifies a scene, should we really be referring to all these genuine reasonings as "Justifying Edit"? I like "However: better, and if there's no objection (or no one beats me to it), I'm changing it.


Pro-Mole: Just a consideration:

  • "And killing heirs didn't save Cronus, did it?"

Actually, it was exactly failing in killing his heirs that caused his death. Had him not trusted his wife to fetch the younglings and deliver to him, he'd probably succeed.


Robert Trimmed this page down a bit. Most notably, the Harry Potter Horcrux and LOTR Mount Doom problems would fit better on It Just Bugs Me!. The Marmalade Boy example was an act of deliberate malice, which may be stupid, but isn't this trope.
In the Death Note examples, is anyone else bothered by the implication that it's somehow unknown whether L was "really" speaking Japanese or English? —Document N


Masami Phoenix: I have to vent about the 10th Kingdom example. I think it's ridiculously unfair to claim that Virginia should have realized Wolf loved her and "only wanted what was best for her" and should have just chosen to lived happily ever after with him, when he had just denied her the one thing she'd been going after since she got here, possibly forever dooming her to live in a world not her own, where not one, not two, but three dark forces (Huntsman, trolls, and the Witch) are actively seeking her destruction, all to try to woo her into marrying him. Yes, his heart was in the right place, but that doesn't change the fact that he just screwed her over royally to get what HE wanted.


Servitor_2152: Pruned the various M. Night Shyamalan examples. While the examples regarding The Village and the aliens from Signs truly are What an Idiot moments, the rest are mostly a combination of Genre Blindness (Bruce Willis not realizing he's dead or that Samuel L. Jackson is evil) and Complaining About Movies You Don't Like.

  • M. Night Shyamalan's The Village: A girl finds out that her community is, actually, an assbackwards collection of neophobes who have sheltered themselves from technology and logic. Her father is one of the stupid fuckwad Elders who conceived of this plan.
    You'd expect: Her to demand that her father return them to civilization, where they can enjoy the benefits of technology and medicine (the village has neither.)
    Instead: She enters the logical world for 10 seconds in order to get some medicine, then returns.
  • Sixth Sense: The main character is dead.
    You'd expect: Him to notice that the one who communicates directly to him is a psychic. He should, also, have noticed that this happened shortly after he was shot in the stomach.
    Instead: He completely ignores all the evidence until the end.
  • Unbreakable: The main character is a superhero being trained by a mentor.
    You'd Expect: Him to realize that the mentors in comic books and movies (except Professor Xavier) are always evil and be very suspicious.
    Instead: He trusts the mentor and is surprised when he proves to be evil. This is for some reason, considered a twist ending.
  • Signs: The main character's wife's dying words are, "swing away." Her death causes him to become an atheist, until his son hits an alien with a baseball bat and saves the family.
    You'd Expect: Him to realize that his son would have done this regardless, thus the words made absolutely no difference. God, obviously, did not speak through the wife.
    Instead: He believes that the statement saved the family and regains his faith in God. A God who almost allowed the world to be destroyed.
    • There is a species of aliens for whom water is a lethal acid.
      You'd Expect that these aliens would stay far away from a planet that's over 70% water. Or, at the very least, they'd stay in their advanced interplanetary spaceships for the duration of the invasion, or they'd wear some sort of environmental suits to protect from the deadly acid that exists in gaseous form in the air and frequently falls from the sky.
      Instead, the aliens invade water-soaked Earth, on foot, naked.
      • You'd Expect that aliens advanced enough to conquer interstellar travel would be somewhat intelligent, or at least technologically superior to humans.
        Instead, these aliens are unarmed (except for gas-shooting talons that require close combat), are outmatched by baseball bats and glasses of water, and are outsmarted by closet doors.
      • Finally, you'd expect that these hydrophobic creatures would finally be repelled in a scheme that makes use of the planet's prodigious water supply.
        Instead, news reports say that the invasion is repelled in the deserts of the Middle East.
      • Clearly, the "What an Idiot" here is M. Night Shyamalan.
    • Please thank this troper for saving about 10 hours of one's precious time from incredibly shitty B movies.


Dentaku: I don't think that the Mai-HiME example really qualifies. Sure, what Yuuichi did is highly impolite, to say the least, but I feel that the "cardinal rules" he is supposed to have broken are just pulled out of thin air. All's fair in love and war, see. He did manage to stop Mai and Reito from kissing. At the time he also clearly didn't care about his own date, who pushed herself upon him, so he wouldn't care if she'd be upset. The only thing that might not be smart is upsetting Mai at that moment, since she is the only one who really matters to Yuuichi.


Blork: Deleted this example, the whole point of sending that girl was that she was blind and thus wouldn't notice the change of setting. As far as she knew, she went to a nearby town to get some medicine.
  • M. Night Shyamalan's The Village: A girl finds out that her community is, actually, an assbackwards collection of neophobes who have sheltered themselves from technology and logic. Her father is one of the stupid fuckwad Elders who conceived of this plan.
    You'd expect: Her to demand that her father return them to civilization, where they can enjoy the benefits of technology and medicine (the village has neither.)
    Instead: She enters the logical world for 10 seconds in order to get some medicine, then returns.

Lale: Cut because the explanation, which is most likely accurate, renders it moot. Not idiocy, just typically unpredictable Imported Alien Phlebotinum.

  • Ben 10, "Ultimate Weapon": The Forever Knights take Grandpa Max's weapons and utility belt, and throw him, Gwen, and Ben into a pit to fall to their deaths.
    You'd expect: Ben uses the Omnitrix to turn into Stinkfly (who, as the name implies, can fly), saves his grandpa and cousin, and flies out of the pit.
    Instead: Ben transforms into Four Arms, who can't fly. Sure, he actually makes it out, snatching Gwen and Grandpa Max out of midair and scaling the side of the pit via brute force. However, it would have taken a minuscule fraction of the time and effort to just fly out.
    • However: Over the series, the Omnitrix is shown to turn Ben into whatever the hell it feels like, whether it's what Ben wanted or not, so there's no guarantee he'd get Stinkfly whether he selected it or not.


Peteman: I wanna nominate a scene in The Dark Knight movie, I just don't know who to nominate. It's the judgement of leaving a lone policeman in a room with the Joker without him bound and several weapons trained on him, but I'm not sure how to word it or who was the biggest idiot.
Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Cut these and put them here because of the justifying edits. If it's truly justifiable, it's not the sort of sheer idiocy we want to list here.

  • Firefly: the episode "The Message," where Mal and Zoe's old war buddy Tracy is being hunted by organ-pirates after his expensive innards. Tracy comes into the bridge and overhears Mal talking about giving up and letting the bad guys board the ship. Tracy wigs out, grabs a gun, and takes Kaylee hostage because he doesn't hear the whole plan, which is that they were going to lure the bad guys on board and either kill them or indimidate them into leaving. Now Mal and the rest of the crew have Tracy at gunpoint.
    You'd Expect: Mal tells Tracy the actual plan, calming his fears and getting them all out of this alive.
    Instead: Mal draws out the standoff unnecessarily, argues with Tracy about how stupid he is, and eventually fatally shoots him.
    Justifying Note: Mal was a sergeant in the war, with Tracy under his command. Furthermore, Tracy actively sought him and Zoe as the people he could most trust to help him. Given all this evidence, it's only reasonable for Mal, not to mention the viewer, to expect that Tracy would follow orders and trust the sarge. When Tracy overhears the plan, he instead goes from zero to panic mode in about half a second, and becomes drastically less reasonable about things. Mal could probably have tried, but chances are it would have turned out largely the same.
    • In the episode Bushwhacked, Mal & company encounter a ship that they determine, upon further inspection, to have been scoured by Reavers. After noting that Reavers are not known for leaving survivors, they find a living guy aboard babbling about slaughter.
      You'd Expect: They peg him as a Reaver and either kill him on sight or leave him and hightail it back to Serenity.
      Instead: They take him aboard and leave him in the medical ward. Sure enough, the man turns out to be Ax-Crazy and tries to kill the crew, forcing them to kill him anyway.
      Justifying Note: He didn't start babbling about "slaughter" until they'd brought him back to the infirmary - before then he'd just been babbling about "no mercy" - and it only became apparent he'd actually been transformed into a Reaver when the cruiser's commander pointed out how he'd been self-mutilated, something Mal never saw. Mal also makes it clear he'd like nothing better than to put a bullet in his head for mercy the moment he dopes the man, but holds off, presumably because of the rest of his crew's presence.

Bionicman: I put back the first one due to the justifying edit not holding up. Just because a character doesn't fully think things through, that doesn't give other characters carte blanche to act like utter morons.

—- About the Minority Report 2nd example, I doubt that Anderson's move was that idiotic. If he would avoid the predicted murder site, the whole precrime project would fall, as there would be an incorrect prediction As in the end of the movie.. In order to prevent that, he must find out what is going on. Sitting on his ass and turning up at the last minute would have save him, but not the project.

—- About the Malcolm in the Middle example: while Mit M certainly has a lot of moments that would qualify, I'm not really sure that one fits. It seemed fairly realistic to me, in that the whole thing was a set up by her ridiculously bitchy sister in law...and when she's standing there, she realizes how deliberate of an insult the whole thing was. It's just the last straw. There's no way for her to win- making a fuss, or just quietly accepting it.
  • I always felt that she was simply in complete shock, since she had clearly been making an effort to endear herself to Hal's family (who had been repeatedly stated to hate Lois before that episode) and that they had seemed to be responding to it, only for it to turn out to have been to keep her out of the family picture. The crying in her closet afterwards was because the sisters-in-law then proceed to cruely mock Lois.

Dentaku: What is the any reason for the removal of the Black Lagoon examples?


Coolnut: My deletion reason was supposed to say "wouldn't work in practice". My mistake.


TheLaughingFan: Naruto example -> I removed the Tenten vs Temari entry ('CAUSE IT'S WRONG!) and trimmed down the Naruto vs Pein entry. Including the Justifying Edit against my former Justifying Edit. Now on to delete the One Piece entry.

The Sword of Thruth example. While it seems to be common on this wiki to attack Goodkind, the fact that the Boxes of Orden does not work the way Richard learned in the first book is possible for the reader to discover as early as Temple of the Winds. We are told earlier in the series that the magic of Orden and the Book of Counted Shadows were supposedly created at the same time, the book being the manual. In Temple we learn when the confessors, mentioned in the book, are created. That is after the book was supposed to have been written.


Both Lucky Star examples are not What an Idiot moments by any stretch of the imagination. They both have justifying edits already present, but I think they should just go entirely. The first one (about downloading shows from bittorrent if they are cancelled because of live events) seems like whoever wrote it didn't get what Konata was talking about (perhaps a case of Lost in Translation).

The second example (about dad being drug away with Konata not intervening), even if it wasn't explicitly stated in the anime, is it really that hard to imagine that a daughter is embarrassed by her dad?

With this in mind, I took the liberty of deleting both examples. Here they are for posterity:

  • Lucky Star: Konata complains that she can't get to watch the most recent anime because a lot of baseball games have been going to extra innings. When the other girls point out that she could get cable TV, she says she somehow can't get it.
    You'd expect Konata to find a way to download the raws of any chapter she missed, maybe with Bittorrent or something similar.
    Instead, she just keeps complaining that she can't watch her daily dose of anime without doing anything about that.
    However, this is most likely because no producer would like to see someone in TV actively promoting copyright infringement. In this case, this is a consequence of Executive Meddling.
    In addition, there are no raws because these are Japanese premieres in Japan! When the premieres get pushed back by sports you can't bit torrent it because there is nothing to bit torrent.
    • Also in Lucky Star: Konata's dad is taking pictures of high school girls in the sports festival. He's spotted by a couple of guards. Cut to Konata watching his dad being dragged away while he's saying "But I thought my daughter was there!".
      You'd expect Konata to say "I'm his daughter, leave him alone!"
      Instead, she lets them drag him away.
      However, being the daughter of a Dirty Old Man would make the authorities suspect Konata's being abused by her dad, so maybe it was better off this way.
    • To this troper's memory, Konata wasn't even present, but watching the event on TV, and seeing her dad dragged by the cameras. It's a bigger mystery why her dad was dragged away in the first place, since it's a public event, and he's certainly not the only one with a camera. Unless he tried to get panty shots or something equally creepy, they shouldn't have had any trouble with her.
      • She was there, competing in the festival. Her attitude suggests this is nothing new.
      • Konata mentioned in the manga that she was embarrassed whenever her dad comes to school. It is obvious that she highly disapprove of her dad's pervertedness...


I Like Crows: Would an example from a Let's Play count as Video Game or Web Original?


Dentaku: I think there are a bit too many "howevers" floating around, turning legitimate entries needlessly into natter. Maybe we should clean this page up a bit.


ccoa: Removed the following Thread Mode example:

  • The party comes across the Staff Chick after the aforementioned disappearance, and when Cloud goes up to check on her, he behaves erratically, as if under mind control again. They stop him from carrying the deed out, however.
    You'd expect the entire party to take this as a not-so-subtle hint that Sephiroth will be in the area shortly, if he wasn't there already, and kabob Aeris should Cloud prove himself inadequate, and prepare to protect Aeris accordingly.
    Instead they twiddle their thumbs and watch Aeris die.
    You'll note they had all of about a second and a half, if that, between when Aerith looked at them and Sephiroth stabbing her. I'd love to know exactly how they were going to stop him given they were A. quite surprised that he'd shown up, and B. focused more on having stopped Cloud from doing it.
    As you wish: Cloud had signed for them to stay back when he checked on Aeris alone, just like how he went down alone to grab the Black Materia at the Temple of the Ancients after it had finished condensing. And that incident didn't happen too long ago. Is the collective memory of the entire team THAT BAD to forget about such a thing? You'd think that letting Cloud get near Aeris alone, especially given how it ties in to Sephiroth's plot, would be the last thing on everyone's minds. Screw Barret's advice on not traveling in a large group; the more on hand in this place, the more lookouts they could have had for Sephiroth's ambush, and they could have spared a few to [A] physically restrain Cloud and [B] get Aeris to safety as soon as possible! No matter how you look at it, the whole incident reeked of Idiot Plot for everyone who wasn't Sephiroth. And that's without touching the whole Phoenix Down shitstorm, thank you very much.
    Sure: If all he characters were psychic, maybe. Between when they stopped Cloud from doing it and when Sephiroth stabbed her, there was, maybe, three or four seconds. By the time anyone even has time to say, "What the hell, Cloud?" Sephiroth's already mid-stab. There wasn't time to discuss or even mention things like, "Sephiroth's around here somewhere, we better get Aerith out of that specific spot, because I somehow have some precognitive sense that he's going to attack her in this specific manner!" Think about it. Up to then, Sephiroth had been perfectly content to send monsters at the party any time he showed up. Him actually showing up and personally killing one of them was completely unexpected; by the time they process "Oh crap, he's here!" Aerith is already dead. Yes, all of those plans and precautions make sense in hindsight if you already know what's going to happen. You are seriously underestimating the element of surprise here.
    O RLY? Who said the team needed psychic powers? It comes down to pattern recognition. Why do you think it's called a Batman Gambit?
    [A] The aforementioned Temple of the Ancients incident showed that Cloud could be mentally influenced by Sephiroth. As soon as Cloud drew his sword (which the game forces the player into doing) before a prone Aeris, alarms should have gone off in everyone's head; instead, they went off just as he swung. Seconds do count, as you argue, and a couple more could have meant a successful defense.
    [B] At the same incident, after turning over the Black Materia, who did Cloud beat the shit out of? That indicates that Sephiroth knew what kind of threat Aeris represented, and since Cloud didn't pull it off the first time...
    [C] Cloud knew, as soon as he woke up, that Aeris was on her way to the City of the Ancients (see above). Given how easily he could manipulate Cloud, Sephiroth had acquired THIS knowledge as well. The location of the City, at the time, was highly sought by, if not already known to, Sephiroth. I needn't iterate on the implications of that.
    [D] Let's sum up all the appearances that Sephiroth made, even those where he's not before the party - the murder of President Shinra introduced him, the death of the Midgar Zolom showed how powerful he is, then there's the massacre aboard the Junon ship where he partly reveals his motives, his brief appearance at the Gold Saucer served no strategic importance, his conversation with Cloud at the Shinra Mansion revealed much more about his motives than is to be expected so soon in the story, and then the whole Temple clusterfuck showed the methods he had at his disposal to fulfill his ambitions. The whole thing was a cookie crumb trail, and the party didn't even half-piece it together until well after Aeris' death. Cloud not piecing it together I can understand; he's the Xanatos Sucker. But Tifa is smarter than she appears, as is Nanaki/Red XIII, and Reeve pulled off a heist of the Keystone in recent memory, yet not any of them could even attempt to comprehend the whole rotten plot in play before them. Strike four; that's enough outta you!
    The reason this debacle drives tropers to ire, besides the Phoenix Down shitstorm, is that the whole thing is a gigantic Idiot Plot for everyone who isn't Sephiroth that Square Enix played for maximum drama. The level of genre savviness required to comprehend this isn't that great, either.

There may be an example of this trope in there, but it's buried in natter. If anyone wants to dig it out and phrase it in such a way that won't be a natter magnet, be my guest.

Anaheyla: Sephiroth is the Word of God defined single most powerful being in the FF 7 universe. Even given mountains of prep time, there's no conceivable way they could have protected Aeris if Sephiroth wanted her dead. While it is mildly Wall Bangerish that they didn't at least try to do something, it likely would have ended up with more people dying and it's hardly a What an Idiot moment for them to accurately recognize that there's nothing they could do even if they tried to do something.


Removed an example of the Villain Ball:

  • In one episode of Samurai Jack, Aku agrees to spare the village of a genius scientist in exchange for said scientist building him some really powerful robots to kill the title character with. The scientist does so.
    You'd Expect: He'd take them and leave. He has what he wanted, and the village is harmless to him.
    Instead: He decides to "test them" by destroying the village anyway for no reason whatsoever. This naturally leads to the scientist giving jack the means to defeat the robots.

Aku would break deals. He did so with the fish men when they captured Jack for their cities being allowed to go back to the surface, which resulted in them managing a rebellion and rescuing Jack.


Cyn Wakefield: What on EARTH is the second page quote referring to ... ? Okay, "basketball," but it doesn't make any sense as a quote for What an Idiot without context.

Semicorrect: It's a reference to the 2009 Orlando Magic, who lost in the NBA Finals to the Lakers in 5 games (which can be seen because of the references to beating the Celtics and the Cavaliers). It's probably from one of two sources: somebody who picked the Magic to lose both series and felt like an idiot in hindsight, or picked the Magic to win in the Finals and was then embarrassed as they lost. Either way, without attribution or context it should go, and even with both, it doesn't seem to fit What an Idiot. It should go.