Too Dumb to Live

Ummmmmm... can I use a lifeline?

"Okay Marge, you hide in the abandoned amusement park! Lisa, the pet cemetery! Bart, spooky roller disco! And I'll go skinny dipping in that lake where the sexy teens were killed one hundred years ago tonight!"

The character who puts life and limb at risk by doing things that no sane human being would do. Walking down the alley alone to tell his friend about the Serial Killer. Telling everybody in earshot he has vital evidence that he'll be taking to the authorities very shortly. Hovering in a known dangerous area without backup. Not telling the rest of the heroes about the upcoming trap laid out for them. Bullying a Dragon or Mugging the Monster. Touching buttons when told not to. Juggling Loaded Guns. Refusing to believe his glory days are behind him. Blackmailing someone who has murdered before without some "if-I-die-the-truth-will-come-out" mechanism. Not only possessing Genre Blindness, but putting Zaphod Beeblebrox's Peril-Sensitive Sunglasses on over it. Even close friends have to facepalm upon hearing of his or her exploits. (Though it never penetrates their own heads.) This trope is, surprisinglynote , Truth in Television, as many people can attest to, although we won't.

If the character's actions are motivated by romantic feelings, be extra careful when labeling a work with this trope. In this instance, a character putting him- or herself in harm's way for the sake of their love interest may not be enough. Love Makes You Dumb or Love Makes You Crazy may better cover this scenario, and to apply those tropes alongside this one is perfectly redundant.

If a character is stupid, but does not put himself at an obvious risk of harm, it's not an example of this; see instead What an Idiot, The Ditz, or Idiot Ball. Compare Artificial Stupidity, the video game equivalent of this which is a result of AI rather than the script being against them. Contrast Death by Pragmatism and Let's Get Dangerous. Not to be confused with Evilutionary Biologist or The Social Darwinist, although they generally consider it a Moral Event Horizon to not kill the dumb. See also Suicidal Overconfidence, another video game version. Lethally Stupid is when someone's stupidity simply causes havoc, instead of being the cause of their demise.

Note: This trope has been subject to some misuse. If you see any examples or pot holes to this page in which the character's stupidity does not result in their demise, please remove them or point them to one of the alternative idiocy tropes.

As this is a Death Trope, expect unmarked spoilers on the subpages.

For Real Life examples, see the Darwin Awards and What the Fuck Is Wrong with You?.


Alternative Title(s): Too Stupid To Live, Dumbass Victim