A character is trying to do a certain task, but they're absolutely terrible. They're so terrible, it's almost painful to watch them, and the other character can't take it any more, so they take over the task for them just to make the pain of watching them stop.
Blunder Correcting Impulse typically takes one of the following forms:
- Alice asks Bob to do something for her and he refuses, so she tries to do it herself and does so badly that Bobs changes his mind and does it instead because he can't stand watching her.
- Alice asks Bob to do something and he refuses, so she turns to someone else (Usually The Rival, The Ditz, or the Cloudcuckoolander) and Bob quickly changes his mind because he doesn't want either of them to do it.
- Alice insists on doing it herself, but Bob can't stand how badly she's doing so he does it for her.
- Bob sees Alice struggling and takes pity on her, so he volunteers to do it instead.
- Bob actually asks Alice to do something (Or maybe she asks him if she can and he gives her permission), but she does such a terrible job that he regrets his decision and does it himself.
This is often Played for Laughs
or used to lighten up a really intense situation, though it can also be Played for Drama
. Blunder Correcting Impulse can occur with just two people, or a group. This trope is also a key component of the Xylophone Gag
. Keep in mind, however, that this is not the same thing as Reverse Psychology
, as the character isn't trying to make someone else do it by intentionally being so incompetent.
Sometimes this is a way to show a Jerkass
character as not so much of a jerk
. They want to help, but they don't want to admit it, so they offer help in the least nicely way possible by pointing out how much they suck at it (Which may or may not be true). It can also be the also mark of a Tsundere
showing their gentler side.
Related to Fence Painting
, Stop Helping Me!
, and possibly Do Wrong, Right
. Blunder Correcting Impulse will often overlap with Suckiness Is Painful
, though the nature of the reaction for each trope differs. See Reverse Psychology
for if Alice intentionally does badly or asks someone else specifically to coerce Bob into co-operating, and Obfuscating Stupidity
for the invoked
version of this trope.
[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
- In one anime episode of Urusei Yatsura, Ran has a bad cold, and Lum comes by to help out. Among other things, she tries to cook some food, only to have the first dish overspiced. Directed to follow a recipe from "365 Recipes for the Terminally Ill", Lum finds it way too bland and tries to "improve" it. Ran catches her, and sees that Lum is not very good at vegetable chopping either. Soon, Ran's taken the whole cooking chore over, working herself back into exhaustion.
- Double Subverted in Space Brothers: Nanba's team is assigned an engineer for a rover design competition that has to do with their astronaut training. The engineer, Pico Norton, thinks they don't have a chance to win and doesn't want to help. You expect he'll help after being impressed by Nanba's ideas for the rover, but then it turns out he helps because they were going to screw up setting up the parachute that delivers the rover.
- In this Peanuts strip. Linus has taken over for Charlie Brown as the pitcher for their baseball team. When Charlie Brown sees that Linus is trying to pitch while wearing his blanket over his head, he comes out and takes over the pitching again.
- In U.S. Marshals, the local sheriff is attempting to set up a dragnet for the missing prisoner, but his plan is so inept that Gerard repeatedly interjects to offer suggestions. Eventually, the sheriff asks him, "What do you think?" and Gerard immediately lays out his own plan.
[[folder: Live-Action TV]]
- In the episode "A Landmark Story" of Elementary, Sherlock forces Joan to break into a funeral home with him to perform an autopsy on the murder victim. Joan refuses, so Sherlock attempts to perform the autopsy himself. After getting frustrated with Sherlock's evident lack of medical training, she grudgingly performs the autopsy herself.
- In an episode of season 3 of Game of Thrones, during the funeral of Lord Hoster Tully, Edmure Tully was charged to end the ceremony by firing a flaming arrow at the floating pyre. After he missed three times in a row, his uncle Blackfish took over and hit on the first try.
- The punchline of Bill Cosby's "Chocolate Cake For Breakfast" stand-up bit. His wife wants him to make breakfast for the children, and he ends up giving them chocolate cake. He implies that it was Obfuscating Stupidity to get the Unishment of going back to bed.
- Comedian Jon Richardson has a skit in his Funny Magnet show regarding his flat mates tendency to do the washing up in front of him to impress him.
Flate Mate: I'm going to do the washing up!
Jon: Yeah... So am I, five minutes after you think you've done it
[[folder: Western Animation]]
- In an episode of American Dad!, Stan tries to give a rousing speech to some of his neighbors, who have formed a rebel alliance against the neighborhood watch committee. However, he keeps stumbling over his words until he's reduced to awkwardly repeating the word "bosom." Haley then takes over for him out of pity.
- In an episode of Family Guy, paraplegic Joe Swanson gets a leg transplant and is able to walk again, almost instantly becoming as athletic as he ever was and soon becoming very cocky about it, abandoning his old friends (who can't keep up with him in his newfound interests) and eventually about to walk out on his wife Bonnie. Bonnie says she wants her old Joe back and pulls a gun, trying to shoot his spine and reparalyze him. She keeps missing and wounding him in other places, until he finally yells "STOP, I'LL DO IT MYSELF!!!" He then takes the gun and shoots himself in the base of the spine.
- Derpy Hooves in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is this in her one speaking role. While setting up decorations it's implied she's responsible for serious damage to city hall, knocks over a support beam and, when Rainbow Dash begs her to just sit there and do nothing, she breaks the floor she sits down on.
- In another episode of My Little Pony, Spike insists on being Applejack's helper to repay her back for saving his life, but he's so terribly bad at everything she asks him to do that she is immediately forced to figure out how to let him go.
- There is a variation in an episode Beverly Hills Teens, where Jett quits the band. In the end, the rest of the gang take her to Gig's solo concert. Seeing how badly he manages without her, she goes back. As she says "I can't handle all this humiliation. Even when it's someone I despise".