Once againDon’t. Ever. Stay.
, Captain, your stupidity has doomed us all.
around a Lethally Stupid character. Anywhere they go, havoc will go: properties will be destroyed, accidents will happen, people will die if they go near them. No matter how bad it gets. they won’t notice how dangerous they are.
This character accidently causes a disaster because of a stupid idea, didn’t think of the consequences, or because he/she made a terrible mistake. It is often Played for Laughs
, because of the Slapstick
and Dark Humor
it may involve.
A Lethally Stupid character causes chaos by ACCIDENT. It’s never intentional. Because they don't realize they're at fault, they don’t learn from their mistakes, and so repeat them time and time again. Even if the character doesn't care about the harm he or she causes, the character may still qualify since intentionally harming others around them may not be the character's goal. The Damsel Scrappy
, The Ditz
, The Load
, and The Scrappy
are often this, because of the problems they cause. See also Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds
This trope is close to Lethal Klutz
, though a Lethally Stupid character doesn't have to be clumsy to cause disasters. Not to be confused with Too Dumb to Live
, when the character's stupidity gets himself
killed (he might bring others down with him, but that's not a requirement). Also, Lethally Stupid may not always cause death, but they can make you want to kill them!
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Anime and Manga
- Vegeta from Dragon Ball has a dangerous amount of pride, as it has led to unleashing all three Big Bads. To sum up, Vegeta a) invited Frieza to transform, b) let Cell absorb 18 (even fighting his son Trunks in the process) and c) fought Goku fully knowing it would wake Majin Buu. Every time, a planet is threatened, and in the first and last case, one exploded (all three times if you count King Kai's). Not to mention he also died in the aforementioned first and last cases because of it.
- Goku also qualifies, since like Vegeta, he lets his most dangerous opponents transform to their strongest level of power even when the entire planet's at stake, and gave Cell a senzu bean right before he was about to engage in a fight to the death with his son! In Goku's case, it's all for the sake of a fair and challenging fight, although for both of them, this may all be because of their Saiyan blood.
- Goten and Trunks aren't that bad on their own, but when they fuse into Gotenks, all bets are off. Thanks to the rash decisions he makes in an attempt to make himself look cool, Gotenks unwittingly caused himself and Piccolo to get trapped in the Room of Spirit and Time, Super Buu to eat his friends and loved ones out of desperation, and allowed Super Buu to eventually absorb his power and give him an edge against Gohan.
- From before this, Pilaf releasing Demon King Piccolo in hopes of mooching off his conquest. Also a case of Too Dumb to Live overlapping with Evil Is Not a Toy.
- Many characters in Ranma ½. It's a miracle nobody dies onscreen.
- Priscilla from Claymore caused her own awakening, and a shitstorm of epic proportions, this way. She insists on fighting Teresa fairly, instead of delivering the Back Stab as planned, or collaborating with her colleagues at all. End result: the most dangerous Awakened Being ever on the loose, and the 4 women most qualified to stop it (at that time; just flat out ever in Teresa's case) dead. Also, the former Knight Templar devotee of the Organization is directly responsible for the death of a very large portion of the population they were supposedly protecting and indirectly responsible for the Organization's own demise.
- In The Walking Dead, Patricia frees a Serial Killer out of mercy, while he had already murdered two kids. It’s a miracle he didn’t get to kill anyone.
- In Tintin, whenever Captain Haddock gets drunk, he will do something stupid and dangerous. Especially in the album of his introduction, where he gets Tintin into lots of trouble.
- In the movie, Haddock can be this while sober. He accidently hits a dam with a bazooka, causing a massive flood in a town.
- Pr. Calculus can be this to Haddock, who often gets Amusing Injuries from his clumsiness, inventions, or simply gets irritated by the deaf scientist who never hears what the Captain yells to him.
- Gaston Lagaffe. It is the whole point of his stories. In French, “La gaffe” even means “the blunder”.
- Minor Popeye character Oscar veers into this trope at times. During the Eigth Sea arc, when Popeye's crew mutinies, Oscar's big idea is to sink the ship, thereby drowning the mutineers, and actually goes to it until Popeye tells him to knock it off and plug the holes. And later on, when the ship starts to sink because of a storm, he puts life preservers on the gold because "gold's harder to find than women". And in the Search for Pappy arc, when a man has fainted and needs water, Oscar just throws him into the sea.
- In Finding Nemo, Darla killed her last pet fish because she shook the bag too much. Did she learn from it? Nope, she does the same with Nemo.
- Scrat in the Ice Age films. He caused the ice age, a volcano explosion, and the continental drift simply by planting an acorn. He also destroyed an Atlantisesque civilization because of his compulsive need to grab an acorn.
- Sid brings more problems than help to his friends. He is at his worst in the third movie, where he steals three dinosaur eggs, which did not please their mommy.
- In two films of Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin goes to school and leaves a message to tell his friends he’ll come back soon. Both times, Owl misreads the note and makes the others believe the boy has been kidnapped by a monster, sending them on a completely useless and dangerous quest.
- Harry Potter: Do you remember how often Hagrid put his pupils in danger by showing them creatures WAY too dangerous to study for kids? Or when he sent Harry and Ron to get help from Aragog? He doesn’t even seem to understand how
cruel hostile the creatures are.
- Adults in general in A Series of Unfortunate Events are so stupid and oblivious that they leave the Baudelaires, other children, and themselves open to danger. Olaf of all people lampshades this in the movie, showing how many problems they would solve by just listening to the heroes. This goes double for Poe.
- Bella Swan. Falling for a guy with all the hallmarks of a serial killer is just the start of it.
- Of Mice and Men: Lenny kills his pets and a woman accidentally, because of his great strength and little mind. This is Played for Drama, as he is actually mentally retarded.
- Space Voyages: Bob Sandals, and NASA in general. Seriously, who sends three teenagers on a space mission launching at "the same time, just a couple miles apart" from another identical spacecraft piloted by two astronauts who happen to be in the service of an evil alien emperor?
- Steve Urkel in Family Matters. A boy genius who is still so clumsy and stupid, Carl is lucky to be alive and sane (most of the time).
- This the point of 1000 Ways To Die: many idiots are responsible for killing other idiots.
- Mr. Bean. He never seriously hurts anyone, but still…
- In The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon may be a genius, but is so self-centered and narcissic he doesn't realize or understand how much he annoys people. Many of his antics are caused by his social ineptitude, so often that it would be difficult to call Sheldon a mere Jerkass. He simply doesn't function like most people. Because of that, he is responsible for many catastrophes, and doesn't even see it most of the time.
- Leonard once made a dangerous experiment that resulted in the elevator being permanently broken. Thanks to Sheldon, only the elevator suffered. That he saved all their lives (Leonard in particular) is implied to be the reason why the three other nerds put up with so much of his behavior.
- Kenan & Kel, and not only Kel. Few stories featuring these idiots end well.
- Kate in Robin Hood, who has put herself in danger dozens of times, and gotten other people killed, because of her own stubbornness and stupidity.
- The plot of Mob City is kicked off by Hecky Nash trying to blackmail Ben "Bugsy" Siegel with photographs that show Siegel killing a man. Hecky is so blinded by his hatred and contempt for the mobsters that he does not care that he is pretty much signing his own death warrant and that of everyone connected to the scheme. By the time the first season is over, almost everyone involved is dead — including Hecky and Siegel.
- On Justified, the Crowes are a whole clan of Stupid Crooks, but Dilly Crowe is particularly dimwitted. The family are running a profitable sugar smuggling operation which is low-key enough to keep them off the radar of any local or federal law enforcement. Even if caught, they will not be facing serious jail time for smuggling sugar. Dilly screws this up in a spectacular fashion. First he loses the family's profits gambling on dog races. In an effort to get back the money, he takes money that is supposed to be used to pay off a crooked Coast Guard officer and loses half of it in a casino. When the Coast Guard officer gets upset over this and starts mocking Dilly, Dilly shoots him. He single-handily turned a low-key smuggling operation into murder of a federal officer and brought the federal authorities right into their backyard. Now they are all looking at lengthy federal prison sentences. This is implied to be just one in a lengthy series of screw-ups that put the Crowe family in danger. Daryl Crowe manages to get the feds off their back, but it costs them their business and criminal connections. Fed up with Dilly constantly endangering the family, Daryl has Dilly murdered.
- Star Trek: Enterprise was supposed to be about humanities first forays into exploration of space, which would necessarily involve them learning from their mistakes. Unfortunately, Captain Archer regularly makes mistakes even when the correct course of action is obvious or even explained to him.
- In Strange New World, the Enterprise manages to find a previously unknown Earthlike planet. T'Pol (the Vulcan representative and science officer) says that standard Vulcan policy for examining a new planet is to perform surveys from orbit for a week before flying down. Archer says that those are Vulcan protocols, not Human. Human protocols, apparently, involve flying down to the planet right away and walking around without any safety gear. Needless to say this results in disaster. Furthermore, the technobabble explanation as to why the environment was bad for human biology is something that would have been picked up almost immediately, implying that absolutely no scanning at all was performed before they started breathing the air and drinking the water.
- In Breaking The Ice Trip and Reed end up in danger when investigating a comet. The Enterprise cannot save them, but there is a more technologically advanced Vulcan ship nearby. Archers refusal to call them is not a "We must learn to not depend on the Vulcans" stance, but rather his refusal to ask for help from those goddamn Vulcans as a point of pride.
- In A Night in Sickbay the Enterprise has run out of spare parts for their warp engine. They need to get a replacement which will both help the ship run smoother, and ensure that they have enough spare parts to not get stranded in space. The Kreetassens have a spare part that is remarkably compatible with the Enterprise, however after Archers dog pees on their sacred trees, they kick them out and eventually demand a formal apology before diplomatic relations can continue. Archer is far more concerned that his dog caught a disease while on the planet. Even when T'Pol points out to him that he is acting far more concerned about the health of his pet than the safety of his ship (which his dog just so happens to live on) he still doesn't capitulate. While the Kreetassens are unreasonably uptight, they are also perfectly helpful once they are sincerely apologized to, providing an additional spare part beyond what they needed, making Archer look even more petulant by comparison.
- In Observer Effect, Trip and Hoshi are infected with a lethal disease when they go literally digging through garbage without so much as wearing rubber gloves, or even using tools. The episode later confirms that an environmentally sealed suit would have protected them when Doctor Phlox is able to examine them without apparent risk while wearing a hazmat suit.
- Wheatley of Portal 2 is this trope, and sometimes a Lethal Klutz as well.
"Okay, no, don't worry, don’t worry, I've got it, I've got it, this should slow it down! No, makes it go faster..."
- Ben from The Walking Dead is indirectly responsible for:
- The death of Doug/Carley, Duck, and Katjaa, in Episode 3, after the bandits force him to steal medicine for them. When Lee finds a bag of stolen medicine just outside the gate, he takes it to Lilly, meaning the Bandits don't get the bag and attack. While the whole group manages to escape, Lilly will either believe Carley to be the thief and shoot her, or believe Ben to be the thief and accidentally shoot Doug as he stops Ben getting shot. Later, Katjaa reveals Duck was bitten by a walker during the bandit attack, and when he has to be put down, she commits suicide out of grief.
- The death of Brie in Episode 4. While the group is trapped in an abandoned school due to hordes of Walkers outside, Kenny attempts to break through a door to a room believed to contain weapons. He sends Ben to find a tool to hack the door open, and he brings back a hatchet he found stuck in the handles of double doors leading outside. The hatchet was put there by Lee to stop the Walkers getting in. Brie gets killed when the Walkers break in.
- Many reviewers are this in That Guy with the Glasses.
- Lumpy in Happy Tree Friends. You want to know how dangerous this moron is? He has a higher kill count than Flippy!
- Splendid causes more accidental deaths in "Breaking Wind" alone than Lumpy does over the entire course of the series.
- Pop's carelessness tends to be the reason for Cub's deaths.
- The Mole is a Justified example because of his blindness.
- Bronco and Silo, two students at Superhero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. Vamp's first exposure to them is when she is nearly hit with several hundred pounds of packed snow that get launched from the other side of a small hill and land on the sidewalk near her. This would have killed most of the students at the school. They are constantly getting detention for doing dumb stuff like this just because they can.
- Rowdy little children. In schools and at home, many children unintentionally wreak havoc and destroy things in their path, for the purpose of having fun. This is justified, as little children may not know wrong from right.
- Animals, especially common house pets like cats and dogs.
- People with mental disorders; they can cause harm to themselves or others and not realize it because their disorder prevents them from doing so.
- In regards to technological health; a script kiddie is considered more dangerous than a hacker because at least a hacker knows what he or she is doing. On the rare occassions that they don't, and manage to destroy something important by pure accident, a hacker usually has sufficient knowledge to fix whatever it was they broke, even if they have to resort to a scorched-earth format-and-reinstall.