troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Kickstarter Message
TV Tropes Needs Your Help
X
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
View Kickstarter Project
Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard

"Mr. Madison, what you've just said... Is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point, in your rambling, incoherent response, were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."
High School Principal, Billy Madison

Sometimes when a plan or idea is proposed, the regular insults and even a facepalm just don't cut it. Nope, they've crossed the line into what can be called a Crowning Moment of Stupidity, and the witness feels the need to comment on this.

Variations can include "dumbest", "most idiotic", "most ridiculous" etc., but the same basic message applies.

However, if it's said too liberally or about something that everyone in-universe knows actually isn't stupid, they in turn open themselves to ridicule.

May be combined with Who Would Be Stupid Enough. Contrast Crazy Enough to Work. If the person being castigated winds up being correct, this can become The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right. If a prediction we know comes true is met with this, it's a form of It Will Never Catch On.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In the dub of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Haman says this when Kamille suggests that killing Earthnoids isn't justified.
  • In Hunter ◊ Hunter, Kurapika says this when Leorio asks why he would need to be a Hunter to take revenge on the Phantom Troupe, ignoring all the benefits exclusive to a Hunter that would help him.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men
    • Danielle Moonstar uses this against Cyclops early in New X-Men: Academy X, when the latter suggests keeping from their students that the corpse of their recently deceased teacher has been stolen, and that he might return as a brainwashed zombie.
    • Not the Exact Words, but in Astonishing X-Men, Kitty Pryde attempts to inspire one of the students with a heartfelt speech about how mutantkind would never want a cure for their mutation. The kid's response, understandably, is "Ms. Pryde, are you fucking retarded?" since mutants in Marvel are the subject of bitter Fantastic Racism (to the point where we've once seen mutant children being lynched by fundamentalist anti-mutant bigots), and, to cap it all off, mutation is quite often Blessed with Suck in its own right, dipping into either Body Horror, What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?, or both at the same time.
  • Ambush Bug once related Superman about his origin - an alien scientist decided to save his greatest possession from his exploding planet and loaded it into a rocket, sending it into outer space. Supes thought it was the dumbest thing he'd ever heard.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • Oh God, Not Again! has some:
    Harry: [Dobby's] apparently gotten it into his head that Hogwarts is a walking death trap and therefore I'm better off with my Muggle relatives and in particular my Muggle uncle who could snap at any time and try and strangle me. Therefore, he sealed the portal to the platform and Ron and I got bored so we decided not to wait for everyone to fix the mess and just fly here.
    Draco: That has got to be the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

    George: Besides, the Slytherin team apparently couldn't find anybody to spy as they showed up in person. And full Quidditch gear.
    Harry: Why in the world are they wearing their Quidditch robes to practice in? That has got to be the stupidest thing I've seen all day.
    Fred: All day isn't very long, Harry. It can't be more than ten.
  • Said by Yugi in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series when Tristan said card games will be played on motorbikes.
    Yugi: THAT is the stupidest thing that has ever come out of your mouth. Card games on motorbikes. Come on!
    *promotional image of 'Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds' displays*
  • Turnabout Storm has a double example: Phoenix pulls this out the moment Trixie brings up a storm cloud as "decisive evidence". It bites him back when he discovers that yes, that cloud could perfectly be moved around by the defendant, and this is common knowledge in Equestria.
    Phoenix: She can't honestly think someone can control weather. It's ludicrous!
    Trixie: You have to be the biggest imbecile Trixie has ever laid eyes on!

    Films — Animation 
  • The Simpsons Movie:
    Marge Simpson: Homer, in every marriage you get one chance to say, "I need you to do this with me."
    Homer Simpson: That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
    • Note that this is Hypocritical Humor, since Homer delivered the exact same line to Marge not half an hour earlier in the movie.
  • In Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius, this exchange occurs after Sheen relates the current situation to an episode of Ultra Lord:
    Nick: Well, folks, that is just about the stupidest thing I've ever heard!
    Sheen: No, this is the stupidest thing you've ever heard! (starts jabbering)
  • Played for laughs in The Lion King.
    Pumbaa: Maybe he'll be on our side?
    Timon: That's the stupidest thing I ever heard, "maybe he'll be on..." Hey, I got it! What if he's on our side?
  • When Kris Kringle hears about the toy-ban in Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, he rolls his eyes and remarks, "That's the silliest thing I've ever heard of!"

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Billy Madison provides the page quote, which was a response to Billy comparing the Industrial Revolution to a completely unrelated children's book that dawdles on into a tagent, and the question wasn't even about comparing it to a book, it was about discussing modern novels that got their influence from the Revolution.
  • In X-Men, after Professor X tells Wolverine about the X-Men and their mission to protect the humans who hate and fear them, then tells him several of the team's code names:
    Wolverine: What do they call you? "Wheels"? This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
  • In Dr. Strangelove, after they get the codes from the psycho General Ripper to trigger a nuclear strike on Soviet Russia:
    Major T. J. "King" Kong: Well, I've been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones. You sure you got today's codes?
  • Fight Club
    Guy #1: I heard Tyler Durden was born in a mental hospital, and sleeps only one hour a night.
    Guy #2: I heard he has full facial reconstructive surgery every three years.
    Narrator: (deadpan) That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.
  • Spaceballs:
    Dark Helmet: So the combination is... one, two, three, four, five? That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! The kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!
  • From Dungeons & Dragons:
    Snails: I got a new name for "dumb": "Ridley"! This is the Ridleyest thing I've ever heard!
  • Murder by Death has Sidney Wang after Dick Charleston presents the theory that Lionel Twain murdered himself.
    Sidney Wang: Very interesting theory, but leave out one very important point.
    Dick Charleston: And that is?
    Sidney Wang: Is stupid. (laughing) Is most stupid theory I ever heard.
  • At the end of the film Whats Up Doc:
    Judy: Love means never having to say you're sorry.
    Howard: That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.
    • (Also an Actor Allusion, since Howard is played by Ryan O'Neal, who starred in Love Story, where the line comes from.)
  • In Heathers:
    Veronica Sawyer: I'd like to ask you a stupid question.
    Jason Dean: There are no stupid questions.
    Veronica: Okay. So, aliens land on the Earth and say they're going to blow the whole place up. The same day, you win the lottery. What do you do with the money?
    (beat)
    J.D.: That's the stupidest question I've ever heard.
  • In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Chekov has traveled back in time to the 20th century and been captured by the Feds. But they don't quite know what to make of him:
    Agent #1: What do you think?
    Agent #2: He's a Russkie.
    Agent #1: That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life. Of course he's a Russkie, but he's a retard or something.
  • The Adventures Of Shark Boy And Lava Girl is often thought of as one of those movies that's So Bad, It's Good by viewers, but one line at the end was rather hilarious:
    Mr. Electricidad: OK, kids, who's next? Remember, there are no dumb ideas.
    Linus: Maybe we can freeze his circuits!
    Mr. Electricidad: That's the dumbest idea I've ever heard. We're in the middle of Texas in August!
  • In Dirty Dancing, this is Johnny's response when inexperienced Baby suggests to fill in for Penny.

    Literature 
  • Used in Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix.
    Sirius: Our information from inside the Ministry is that Fudge doesn't want you trained in combat.
    Harry: Trained in combat? What does he think we're doing here, forming some sort of wizard army?
    Sirius: That's exactly what he thinks you're doing. Or rather, that's exactly what he's afraid Dumbledore's doing — forming his own private army with which he will be able to take on the Ministry of Magic.
    Ron: That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard, including all the stuff that Luna Lovegood comes out with.
    • Of course, Harry decides to do exactly that, train his fellow students in a group he calls "Dumbledore's Army". Not that they are going to take on the Ministry of Magic, but Voldemort.
  • Sean Devine in Mystic River says this when his partner Whitey suggests a theory for the murder they're investigating, that Dave Boyle, Sean's childhood friend, killed Katie Marcus. In the end Sean was right, and while Dave did kill someone, it wasn't Katie.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Even the mild-mannered Gil Grissom of CSI once said this. Grissom's tone while saying the line is quite possibly the closest thing to Facepalming in vocal form.
    Brass: Let me get this straight, Larry. An old man refuses to let you steal his money, so you jack a Hummer and try to run over his taco stand?
    Lawrence Lafontaine: Maybe.
    Grissom: I think this is the dumbest thing we've ever heard.
  • From the Cheers episode "Little Sister, Don't Cha":
    Sam Malone: She can do whatever she wants with her sex life. It's in the Bill of Rights.
    Diane Chambers: Where is it in the Bill of Rights?
    Sam Malone: Well, you know, the part about the right to assemble and bear arms.
    Diane Chambers: That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
  • Felicity had Megan propose a long theory about how Felicity's song preferences show she likes Ben, at which point Ben delivered this line.
  • From the Full Frys episode "Inga delikatesser"
    Sture Bergholm: [re: the shop's alarm systems] This is the most stupid thing I've ever heard of!
  • Magnum, P.I. episode "Memories Are Forever: Part 1" :
    Rick: I would like to propose a toast... to the luckiest couple in Saigon. Me and TC.
    Magnum: (laughs)
    Rick: No I mean it, we are the last of the bachelors. Everyone else we know is married.
    TC: Orville, I've heard you say some dumb things in my life, but that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard you say.
  • Mork and Mindy
    Exidor: Look, business is a little slow but we're gonna have our two-for-one sale. Buy two, get one. Who could resist that?
    Mindy: That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.
  • In The Cosby Show, when Cliff confronts Theo about his grades, Theo goes into a spiel about how being an educated professional was fine for his parents, but that wasn't the path he wanted in life and his family should accept him the way he is. The anticipated "Awww" hug scene is averted when Cliff tells him "Son... that's the DUMBEST thing I ever heard in my entire LIFE! No WONDER you get Ds in everything!" The audience was supposed to realize that Theo was talking nonsense. Mr Cosby ad-libbed the line to shift their reaction.
  • That '70s Show has a scene where Kelso explains to Jackie that he cheated on her because she would always insult his intelligence. She responds that it was the dumbest thing she ever heard. Surprisingly, however, Kelso realizes she's still insulting him, and then states that he isn't sorry he cheated on her, and proceeds to break up with her.
  • The Colbert Report has an occasional feature called "The Craziest F#@king Thing I've Ever Heard," a parody of Bill O'Reilly's "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." One example was an event where strongmen pulled trucks by their ear-lobes, prompting Colbert to speculate on the future of "ear-powered" transportation, and the inclusion of "ear-only" traffic lanes. A one-time variant was called "The Most Poetic F#@king Thing I've Ever Heard."
  • In an episode of House, Thirteen says something profound and House tells her "that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard." As soon as she leaves the room, he adds two extra points to her score, even though she was already on maximum points.
  • Subverted in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Graduation Day":
    Cordelia: I personally don't think it's possible to come up with a crazier plan.
    Oz: We attack the Mayor with hummus.
    Cordelia: I stand corrected.
  • From Chuck, the title character has an antidote for a deadly poison in his blood, and the needle broke. So he kisses his (male) infected friend.
    Jill: What are you doing?
    Chuck: I had a theory that the cure might be able to spread by saliva!
    Jill: ...that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. No wonder you failed bio.
  • From Coupling:
    Bartender: Have you actually told her that you're gonna marry her?
    Steve: In my own way...
    Bartender: Your own way?
    Steve: She accidentally overheard me saying it on the phone, when I thought I was talking to my ex-girlfriend.
    Bartender: No offence, and, of course, it's none of my business, but that could be the worst proposal in human history.
    Sally: Steve, you're gonna have to be my husband. Patrick prefers blondes!
    Bartender: I love this bar!
  • Super Human Samurai Syber Squad: In one episode, Amp's idea to prepare himself for a test was literally eating the books. Malcolm stated it was the dumbest idea he ever heard and that's considering Malcolm heard Amp saying really dumb stuff before.
  • Line spoken at least twice per week by Judge Judy.

    Video Games 
  • Subverted in Left 4 Dead 2. Coach comes up with an idea to start up a band's pyrotechnics in order to call for a helicopter. After hearing this, Nick drops this line.
    Nick: Coach, that has got to be the stupidest idea I have ever agreed with.
  • In Sam & Max: Freelance Police, after hooking it up so he can do so, Sam proudly declares that he can control the rotation of a rotating restaurant on top of the world's largest ball of twine via a pair of mounted binoculars. Max informs him that this is the most ridiculous thing he's ever heard. It may very well rate pretty high in that category. Even better, since Hit The Road was made during the dark ages long before Microsoft caught on to the concept of hardware abstraction the UNIX world had years earlier, it had its own audio hardware configuration tool. The sound clip used as a test to make sure your hardware was working correctly was Max saying that very line. So yes, this can even be considered a meta-example of sorts.
  • Most of Black Whirlwind's stories in Jade Empire allows your main character to respond with this line.
  • In Escape from Monkey Island, Guybrush talks with Ignatius Cheese, who tells him that keeping Ozzie Mandrill out of the Scumm Bar has taken all of his Insult Arm-Wrestling skills. Guybrush comments that "If it weren't for the whole, 'Wife being declared dead' thing, I'd say that was the strangest story I'd heard all week." This gets a Call Back later when Meathook tells him how he taught himself to paint using his hooks and coloured candle wax. Guybrush replies "That's the silliest story I've heard in hours."
    • A funny bit also comes in The Secret Of Monkey Island, when Guybrush Threepwood introduces himself to a pirate in the Scumm Bar.
      Pirate: Guybrush Threepwood?(Laughs)That's the stupidest name I've ever heard!
      Guybrush: What's your name?
      Pirate: (beat) My name is Mancomb Seepgood.
  • In Mass Effect 3, Shepard uncovers a hanar diplomat selling out its planet to the Reapers. Upon being informed of the hanar's rationale (Hanar worship the Protheans → the Protheans were turned into the Collectors and obey the Reapers → thus the Hanar must worship the Reapers):
    Shepard: You BIG! STUPID! JELLYFISH!
    Kasumi: I support religious freedom for all species, but that's just crazy.

    Web Animation 
  • From Red vs. Blue episode "Heavy Metal", when Sarge proposes charging the enemy base single file:
    Grif: Sarge, while that's the most retarded idea I've ever heard, I just wanted to thank you for not putting me in front of the line.

    Web Comics 
  • The Order of the Stick, "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night":
    Roy: Well, I would say that's the dumbest thing I've heard all day, but as I've been talking to Elan since morning, it might not even crack the top ten.
  • 8-Bit Theater: Red Mage tends to trigger this in his "comrades", but the best example may be 1150. "That is quite literally the least practical plan put together by an allegedly thinking creature." According to Black Mage, it's the stupidest thing anyone has ever heard, not just him.
  • Uttered by a villain in a strip of Super Stupor in response to a minion warning him about the resident Little Miss Badass, and how heroes don't send out kids unless they can kick serious ass. He ignores the warning and promptly gets fried.
  • Hamleto the Hasmter:
    Orazio: You know, we should do something to protect us against predators!
    Laerte: Why don't we dig a moat around our tent and fill it with crocodiles?
    Orazio: This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard!
    Hamleto: That's right! Were do we get crocodiles at this hour?

    Web Original 
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd, when reviewing the godawful Superman video game (not that one, one for the NES) and realizing that he has to buy a subway ticket when Superman can fly.
  • Atop the Fourth Wall
    • On the X-Men story "Holy War":
    Linkara: This is quite possibly the dumbest plan I've ever heard in my life, and I've seen someone deciding to make twin clones of Hitler!
    • Ironically, he would then say the same thing about the evil plan in Future 5: Dr. Know plans on becoming the smartest and most powerful man on Earth by... convincing everyone to not go to college. Linkara saying this is Tempting Fate in its purest form.
  • The Spoony Experiment
    • The villain from the 1970s Captain America serial get this reaction from Spoony when it's revealed that he wants to nuke Phoenix Arizona to get at the gold repository under the city.
    • And again when Wakka in Final Fantasy X compares the destruction of the Al Bhed's Home to "happy festival fireworks":
    Spoony: ...Happy... Festival... Fireworks!? That could be the STUPIDEST, MOST INSENSITIVE, IDIOT THING any character has ever said in ANY WORK OF FICTION! That's like trying to cheer people up after Hurricane Katrina.... by saying it's a giant happy waterpark!
  • Not too surprisingly, The War Nerd isn't avert to this kind of hyperbole:
    There's this Australian wannabe war nerd who says the drones make us look weak, like we're supposed to go in there and hack it out with scimitars like real men. This is about the stupidest fucking thing I have ever heard, and considering I've been reading war news all through the Cheney years, that's saying something.
  • From Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series:
    Yugi: Tristan, I'm going to regret asking this, but why do you have a motorbike?
    Tristan: Because in the future, card games will be played on motorbikes.
    Yugi: That is the stupidest thing that's ever come out of your mouth. Card games on motorbikes—come on!

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad! episode "Finances with Wolves":
    Francine: If you gave me $5,000 of your bonus, I could start a business selling my muffins.
    Stan Smith: ... this is the worst idea I've ever heard.
  • From the Justice League episode "Panic in the Sky":
    Batman: This is the single dumbest plan I've ever heard!
  • South Park as this as a stock line delivered whenever Cartman gets an idea.
    • "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe"
    Farmer: People's been saying they've been seeing UFO's around the black Army, CIA helicopters and trucks.
    Officer Barbrady: That is the silliest thing I've ever heard.
    • As well as:
    • In the 6th season episode "Red Hot Catholic Love":
    Kyle: Cartman, that's the dumbest thing you've ever said... this week.
  • Freakazoid! gets this opportunity after The Lobe tells him all about his plan to use a giant cloud to turn people into zombie clowns. Freakazoid scowls, and simply replies, "Well, if you don't mind me saying so, that is the stupidest plan I've ever heard of!" and rants about its ridiculousness until the Lobe is reduced to tears. This is almost immediately subverted when, after the Lobe leaves, Freakazoid immediately starts laughing and exclaiming that the plan is a brilliant one.
  • Hey Arnold!: Helga treated everyone to dinner at Chez Paris and didn't realize until they received the check at the end that her coupon was for Chez Pierre across the street.
    Phoebe: The wrong restaurant?! Well, Helga, I suppose the only thing to do would be to tell the management the truth.
    (beat)
    Helga: That is the stupidest idea I have ever heard in my entire life!
  • The Secret Show: When Doctor Doctor infiltrated a contest to pick a world anthem, Victor Volt theorized she intended to hypnotize everyone with her song. His fellow agents scolded him for believing someone would use such a ridiculous idea. Doctor Doctor proved him right.
  • In the Futurama episode "The Cyber House Rules", when Leela says that she's getting an eye surgery:
    Zoidberg: Wonderful. And while you're under the knife, you could also get an ink pouch to help you escape your enemies.
    Fansworth: That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard, you imbecile! (raises a rolled-up newspaper to hit Zoidberg, Zoidberg sprays ink at his face and runs off)
  • In The Critic, this is Jay Sherman's reaction when he learns about the "Cabbie Exchange Program", where cab drivers from New York are switched with drivers from Iraq, to ensure that no cabbie speaks the language of the city they're in.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door
    • In episode "Operation: L.O.C.K.D.O.W.N.", Numbuhs Two and Four are discussing the Quadruple Emergency Bypass Code.
    Numbuh Four: Why didn't you say so before!? You have to use that code so we get out of here!
    Numbuh Two: I can't! Only Numbuh Five has the code, and she's not even allowed to use it.
    Numbuh Four: Why in the name of crud not?!
    Numbuh Two: It's the rule! The code's so important, no-one's allowed to use it.
    Numbuh Four: THAT'S THE STUPIDEST THING I'VE EVER HEARD!
    • Subverted in Operation: F.L.A.V.O.R. After Numbuh Five is kidnapped by the Delightful Children's ice cream men mooks, she is taken to the legendary Temple of the Fourth Flavor, where several mooks have tried - and failed - to get inside by guessing the "Flavor of the Day". After watching the rather unpleasant fate of one mook who gets it wrong (by saying "bannilla minty ripple", obviously a wild guess), the Delightful Children make Numbuh Five try it. After thinking for a minute, her guess is "sundae". At first, the Delightful Children think that's the stupidest guess yet, but they are interrupted in the middle of saying so by the door rumbling open. (Clearly, Numbuh Five's guess wasn't so stupid, as it was the right answer, and she may have well told them that You Were Trying Too Hard if she didn't have to take that chance to run into the temple ahead of them.)
  • Subverted in one episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. Billy, Mandy, and Nergal Jr are training for a track meet. Junior is doing excellent (having demonic powers helps) but Billy isn't doing so great. Then Billy remembers that Junior can shapeshift, and asks if he can turn himself into anything. When Junior says yes, Billy suggests he turn into a pair of pants so that the two can win the hundred yard dash together. Prompting this response from Mandy:
    Mandy: Billy, that has got to be the dumbest idea... (beat) Actually, Billy, that has got to be the smartest idea you've ever had.
    Billy: I know, that's why I wanna do it.
  • From the King of the Hill episode "Hilloween", when Luanne has been brainwashed by a delusional Moral Guardian.
    Luanne: Miss Harper says that haunted houses are the Devil's mousetraps, and that fun is the cheese.
    Hank: (beat) Luanne, just when I thought you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep right on talking.
  • Similar to the Jimmy Neutron example above, the Spongebob Squarepants episode "I Had an Accident" has this when SpongeBob announces he'll never go outside again for his own protection.
    Sandy: What? That's crazy talk!
    Patrick: No, this is crazy talk. (babbles incoherently)

    Real Life 
  • During a question and answer segment after a debate about porn and ethics, Ron Jeremy was asked how the pornography industry can continue functioning despite it resulting in things like bestiality and child pornography. Ron Jeremy's response was simply that that was the stupidest question he had ever heard in his life.
  • A judge used the Billy Madison line above in his closing words of a case where the man (incompetently) defended himself at his own trial.
  • During one townhall meeting, Congressman Barney Frank interrupted a woman who was comparing a government health care program to Nazism by informing her that it was the stupidest thing he'd ever heard and that the table he was at was capable of more rational comments. Not the people at the table. The table. To realize how absurd the comparison to Nazism is, recall that Barney Frank is both Jewish and gay.


Stop Being StereotypicalInsult TropesTake That
The Strength of Ten MenStock PhrasesSuch a Phony
Stealth InsultImageSource/Comic StripsTradesnarkô

alternative title(s): ptitleodw1s7zo
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
56605
5