Who Would Be Stupid Enough
If anyone says "Who would be stupid enough to fall for that?" or anything like it, you can be almost guaranteed that we'll see someone show that, yes, they are
stupid enough, no matter how obvious the Schmuck Bait
. This is also useful for summoning The Ditz
to volunteer to do the aforementioned stupidity.
If you don't want someone to do it, you are clearly Tempting Fate
. Anything too stupid for even a single person to think of hasn't been invented yet.
In some universes, this is a very dangerous
trope to invoke.
May be followed by a Gilligan Cut
, Answer Cut
, or Inadvertent Entrance Cue
You may ask yourself "Who would be stupid enough
to ask questions like that?" There's your answer
Closely related is someone showing up unexpectedly and others refusing to be surprised. "Yeah! I know you did this! Who else would be crazy/stupid enough to do this?
" Another variation is the subverted-inversion form "Not even (character) would be stupid enough to do that!" followed by the reveal that, yes, he was.
Sometimes it will be deliberately invoked by someone whose enemies know they're not that stupid
and allow them to catch the bad guys off guard.
See also Schmuck Bait
. For the case when a character innocently mocks some action in the presence of someone who did
said action, see Oblivious Mockery
. For the case where people believe that a certain character is
stupid enough to do something, see No One Else Is That Dumb
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- An M&M's commercial for the 2012 Superbowl featured a Brown M&M at a party with a few guys snickering at her. When she asks why, a girl explains that they think she's naked. She chastises the guys, explaining that her shell is simply brown and that only a fool would think that she would show up to a party naked. Cue Red barging in and saying, "Oh, so it's that kind of party!" He then pulls off his shell and starts dancing. Brown was not amused.
Anime & Manga
- In one episode of Eyeshield 21, Sena watches a TV program on his team's new secret player, and there's a bit where Hiruma, posing as Eyeshield 21, gives an "obnoxious tough guy" speech. Kurita tries to assure him "No one would take that seriously", but then we cut to Monta watching the same program, talking about what a jerk Eyeshield 21 is.
- In the first season finale of Sailor Moon, the youma create an illusion of a captured Tuxedo Mask, which Sailor Moon rushes toward. After the trap is exposed, they create the same illusion again. Sailor Mars says, "Do you really think she's stupid enough to fall for it again?", only for Sailor Moon to prove that she is.
- Ranma One Half
- In the anime episode that introduces Gosunkugi, he digs a pit in an attempt to trap Ranma. Two unnamed students ask each other who would make such an obvious trap, and who would fall into it. Enter Kunō...
- In the manga, Ranma says this when Akane wins a bathing suit that supposedly makes anyone capable of swimming like a pro Olympian just by wearing it. Shortly afterwards, it turns out that it really does work.
Ranma: There's no such thing as a bathing suit which makes a person able to swim. There is no one in the world dumb enough that would believe such a thing!
Akane: Hey! How do I look?
- A Badass version of this occurs when episode twelve of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann pits the crew against Spiral King general Adiane. The fight ends up with Adiane's mecha on the deck of Team Dai-Gurren's battleship. Adiane taunts them with the fact that they wouldn't be stupid enough to fire on her when they're so close to one another.
Yoko: Unfortunately, we are that stupid.
- A variation happened in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni where Satoko said that only Keiichi would be dumb enough to fall for her mud Pit Trap. Cue a mud-covered Rika crawling out of the ground.
- Played with on Slayers, where Lina sees a trap and tells Gourry that he'd be the only one stupid enough to fall for it... then Lina herself walks right into the trap about ten seconds later, after being Distracted by the Shiny.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX gives us the following lines
O'Brien: There's no way he'll attack head on.
Judai: Battle! Featherman, direct attack!
- The dub does one better, and changes the first line to "There's no way he's dumb enough to attack me."
- In Dragon Ball, whilst going through Pilaf's castle to retrieve the last Dragon Ball, Goku, Bulma, and co. follow arrows through a maze — leading to them being trapped. Pilaf remarks that he couldn't believe there were people stupid enough to fall for that.
- A variant appears in Haruhi Suzumiya.
Kyon: Who would ever believe that?
Koizumi: I was hoping that you might.
- In the first episode of Dominion Tank Police, a mook in a stolen prototype tank is confident he's escaped the heroine's older model by climbing an elevator shaft, because she'd have to be some kind of lunatic to fire straight up at him. They both end up buried in the rubble.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!'s Spin-Off Babies series Negiho has the girls trying to force out Konoka's "stalker" by doing annoying things to her (like Face Doodling and Tickle Torture). Off to the side, Yue wonders how stupid the stalker would have to be to actually show up for such an obvious trap. Cue Setsuna blasting the lot of them with her Shinmeiryuu techniques, Neck Lifting Asuna while shouting "What do you think you're doing to Ojou-sama!". She's quickly caught in a stalker-snare afterwards.
- This is practically a Running Gag in Gintama whenever Hijikata would ask who would be dumb enough to (action), cue Kondo doing said action.
- In Shinryaku! Ika Musume, to demonstrate to Nagisa that Ika isn't a threat, they give her a fishing pole with a shrimp as bait. Nagisa just finishes telling herself that there's no way an invader like Ika would fall for something so obvious when she feels a tug at the other end of the line.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Wing episode 3 has a scene where an Alliance commander declares "Only an idiot would challenge this base's defenses"; Zechs snarks "Well then, here come the idiots!" just before Heavyarms shows up and starts trashing the place. (Though in this case, the real idiot was the commander thanks to his Suicidal Overconfidence.)
- In the last panel, Charlie Brown is standing on third base, asking himself whether he should try to steal home. And he eventually does try, too... which works out about as well as Charlie Brown's ideas usually do.
- The plot element was featured in the TV special Charlie Brown's All-Stars.
- A variant occurs during a Story Arc in the comic strip Bloom County, where Bill the Cat becomes a televangelist and claims if people send him $50 million, the Lord will "call home" Jimmy Swaggert, Oral Roberts, Jerry Falwell, and Jim Bakker. In the last frame, Milo says "Wipe out the gang of four, eh? Who knows who would fall for such a seductive pitch!" just as Opus is rifling through a wad of dollar bills. (This was a parody of Oral Roberts' fund raising appeal claiming that God would "call him home" if he didn't get a certain amount of money in donations.)
- In Hsu and Chan, rival game designers Satoshi and Akira Yamamoto discuss how the only way for the Tanaka Brothers to stop them from stealing the game innovation of the century would be to plow through security, rush the stage, and physically smash their computer. Akira remarks that "No sane man would—" before realizing who he's dealing with. Cut to Hsu and Chan discussing their plan to plow through security, rush the stage, and physically smash the computer.
- In a FoxTrot comic, Jason asked every member of his family if they wanted to have a Snowball Fight with him. They each reply "Do I look like an idiot?"... until he gets to Roger, who says "Let me get my coat." before Jason can even finish the question.
- In one Garfield strip, a TV-commercial is blatantly stating "Are you a complete loser without any taste? Then we've got the thing for you!". Cue Jon coming in the room: "Hey, I've got three of those."
- In Hotpoints New California Dreaming, Coyle refuses to take a less-than-safe quest from Moira Brown. A few weeks later, some poor sucker from Vault 101 comes along...
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series
- Although not with the exact same words...
Yami: Does anyone here really believe that guy is a ghost?
Tristan: I do!
Yami: Anyone besides Tristan?
Tristan: I do!
Brisbane: You can't mean that you're about to step on that map!
Yugi: No,I was just gonna leave.
Brisbane: So you're stepping on the map, then?
Yugi: No, I'm leaving.
Brisbane: ... Step on the map.
Yugi: Make me!
Brisbane: Oh, come on. I'll be your friend.
Yugi: Look, there's no way I'm stepping on any freakin' map!
Brisbane: What if I told you there was candy inside the map?
Yugi: You've got to be kidding me! I'd have to be an idiot to fall for—
Tea: Hey, candy! That sounds pretty good!
Tristan: Yes, let's go get the candy!
(cue Tristan and Tea dragging a protesting Yugi onto the map)
- Also subverted in another episode of the same series, where you'd expect Tristan to follow this trope again:
Yugi: Man, Duke! I can't believe you actually thought that crappy little dice game would sell!
Joey: Yea, it was just a carbon copy of Duel Monsters! You'd have to be as blind as my sister to not notice the similarities!
Tristan: (holds up dice) This is going straight up my nose!
Films — Live-Action
- In Spaceballs, the villains' plot relies on them discovering the pass code to the defenses protecting the heroine's planet. Dark Helmet eventually manages to get it:
So the combination is 1 2 3 4 5? That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage! (later...) President Skroob:
What's the combination? Colonel Sandurz:
1 2 3 4 5. President Skroob:
1 2 3 4 5? That's amazing! I've got the same combination on my luggage!
- Though in the President's defense, he does later ask someone to remind him to change the combination on his luggage.
- Played straight by The Chechen in The Dark Knight: "Who's stupid enough to steal from us?" Turns out, The Joker. Although "stupid" doesn't really factor into it. Try "supremely confident".
You think you can steal from us and just walk away?! The Joker: (deadpan) Yeah
- When the Nazis demand that Indy hand over the Grail Diary in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Henry Jones Sr. laughs at the idea that they'd assume his son was stupid enough to bring it with him after he'd mailed the diary to him in the first place to keep it out of the Nazis' hands. Unfortunately, Indy didn't quite get the memo....
- Although you figure his dad could have sent a note or something, saying "keep this away from the Nazis."
- Scooby-Doo: in the airport scene, Shaggy walks up to Fred and the girls without Scooby, prompting Velma to ask where is the dog. Shaggy explains big dogs aren't allowed on the plane. Cut to Scooby, wearing woman's clothes. This earns a "You've got to be kidding" from Velma and "Nobody is stupid enough to believe that" from Daphne... and then, Fred asks who is this "ugly old broad".
"No one would be that stu—"
Susan stopped. Of course someone would be that stupid. Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible do it. If you put a switch in a cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying "End-of-the-World switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH," the paint wouldn't even have time to dry.
Any true wizard, faced with a sign like "Do not open this door. Really. We mean it. We're not kidding. Opening this door will mean the end of the universe," would automatically open the door in order to see what all the fuss was about.
- Mustrum Ridcully (normally quite sensible and level-headed, for a wizard) does precisely this in Hogfather and finds... a bathroom. Designed by Bloody Stupid Johnson.
- In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Ron wonders what teacher would be dumb enough to fall for the trio's planned deception about why they want a potions book in the Restricted Section of the library, having apparently temporarily forgotten that Lockhart is their Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher that year.
- In Order of the Phoenix, Arthur Weasley (recovering in hospital after a snakebite from a magical snake) mentions that he's become interested in a branch of muggle medicine called 'Stitches' as a possible cure. Mrs Weasley scoffs at the idea, saying it sounds like he wants to sew his skin back together and not even he's stupid enough to try that... Harry hears her screech "WHAT DO YOU MEAN, THAT'S THE GENERAL IDEA?!" from the corridor outside the ward.
- In Storm from the Shadows, Admiral Byng says something to this effect, thinking that Michelle Henke and the Manticorans will not actually make good on their warnings to punish the Solarian aggression. It doesn't end well for him.
- In Norman Spinrad's Alternate History novel The Iron Dream, the author analyzing the work of metafiction around which Spinrad's story is framed notes that some fans may yearn for a decisive and iron-willed leader like the one depicted in the work of metafiction to save them from Soviet domination, but concludes that no rational person would ever stand such a clearly delusional, bloodthirsty tyrant. Considering that the in-universe author of the work of metafiction is Adolf Hitler, well, I think you see Spinrad's point.
- Shadows of the Empire
- Several of the good guys' common-sense violating tactics are cited to work because the opposition wouldn't expect anyone to try them in the first place. Lando eventually lampshades this.
Lando: (on the subject of infiltrating Xizor's palace) Let me get this straight; you want us to wade through sewage to get into this place?
Dash Rendar: Exactly what the guards would think. Who'd be that stupid?
Lando: Us. Who else?
Lando: That's the problem with our opposition — they keep thinking nobody could possibly be as stupid as we are. Fools 'em every time.
- At one point, the Empire tries this method themselves. The ship transporting intel on the second Death Star is being moved on;
"A freighter full of fertilizer. That is devious. Who'd wanna hijack that?"
- Michael gets hit with this a couple times in the Knight and Rogue Series. On one occasion his reason for being at the scene of a murder (following orders to meet someone in an unadressed letter) isn't believed because the law enforcement can't believe anyone, especially someone without legal rights who knows something shifty is going on, would be stupid enough to get framed with such an obvious trick.
- Harry Dresden gets a beautiful one by proxy when Ebenezer McMoy figures out Harry's plan in Turn Coat.
Wile E. Coyote. Suuuuuper genius.
- In Septimus Heap: Syren Septimus says that not even Milo would be stupid enough to acquire five thousand warrior jinn without knowing the Codes to control them. Turns out that Tertius Fume deceived him into doing so by promising to give the Codes later.
- Any use of this type of question on The Goon Show is invariably a cue for Eccles and/or Bluebottle to show up. The audience will often start giggling in anticipation before the question can even be finished.
Seagoon: Who would be idiot enough... Who would be idiot enough! To be dressed up as a German Admiral, and thrown overboard from a submarine?
Lew: Don't worry! Look, I got an idiot in this box here who's been specially drowned for the job!
(box is opened)
Eccles: 'ello folks!
- In The Music Man, the salesmen's discussion of Harold Hill and his scams on the train concludes with Charlie saying that at least there's no business for him here in Iowa: "Even the great Professor Hill wouldn't try to sell them neck-bowed Hawkeyes out here." The stranger who has been quietly playing cards with them then speaks up, telling them that they've convinced him to give Iowa a try. As he alights the departing train, he flashes his briefcase, which has "Prof. Harold Hill" written in big letters on its side.
- In Chrono Trigger, one of the earlier bosses is described as "basically invincible, as long as no crazed idiot gets the bright idea to run up and hack at the head with a sword." Guess how you beat it. Go on, guess. Although you don't need to hit the head at all. It's just that in the first play through you can't do enough damage to overcome its Healing Factor. You can also shoot it in the face with a pistol.
- In Final Fantasy VII, when the player is told by a conniving thief to pull one of two levers. It obviously makes no difference which is pulled, as the party is captured and the materia not returned either way. But Thou Must...
- One town in Breath of Fire IV is filled with traps designed to scare away intruders. Fall for one particular trap and you'll be told by an amused villager that "not even the animals are dumb enough to fall for that one!"
- Endless Frontier has this exchange.
Haken: You don't get it, Aschen. This kind of stuff is what gets you a lady's heart! Hell, they might even take the reward to the Zeit Krokodil for us, just for the chance to meet me again.
Suzuka: You're an idiot, Haken. No woman would fall for that stupid attempt at manipulation.
Kaguya: Haaakeeeennnn! Eeeeeee!
- The copy protection material (a joke newspaper) for Space Quest 5 has an advertisement that clearly invokes this trope: "Are you a complete moron? Do you anything people tell you to? That's great! Send a copy of all your banking information to..."
- Lampshaded and parodied when Elaine gives Guybrush her wedding ring in Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 2: The Siege of Spinner Cay:
Aw, come on. Who's absent-minded enough to lose TWO wedding rings? Pyrite Parrot:
*Squawk* It's me, Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate! Guybrush:
Shut up, you!
- Portal 2
- Sandor's campaign in Might and Magic: Heroes VI has an example of this trope, when Sandor and Kraal are trying to rescue Irina from a hunting lodge in the Wolf Duchy's territory. Sandor notes that the hunting lodge is not as well defended as he expected it to be, and Kraal responds that no-one is crazy enough to lead an army this far into Wolf territory. In the next cutscene, The guard outside Irina's cell tells her that no-one is crazy enough to try and rescue her; within seconds Sandor's army have stormed the hunting lodge and the guard has an arrow from Kraal's bow sticking out of his chest.
- Homestar Runner
- Homestar himself usually fills this role. For example, in the Strong Bad Email "candy product", Strong Bad designs a chocolate bar in the shape of a pair of pants with a bite taken out of them "for security, 'cause who's gonna steal a pair of half-eaten choco-pants?" At the end of the cartoon, an Easter Egg features Homestar, dressed in Burglar Wear, finding one of said candy bars on the ground and remarking "Ooh, pay dirt! A pair of half-eaten choco-pants!"
- In "record book", Coach Z attempts to set a record for "longest time singing the 'I'm Just Me' song while hopping on one foot with nine pieces of bubblegum stuck to your face". While Strong Bad is in the middle of decrying the record as "random crap that nobody would ever do", we cut to Homsar doing exactly what Coach Z described.
- Goblins gives us the Treasure Plants.
Kin: They were first created long ago by a wizard who hated trespassers. Now they grow wild in some areas. They're only a danger to the dumbest of individuals.
(Kin and Forgath share a look)
Kin & Forgath: MINMAX!
Minmax: (both legs sticking out of the carnivorous plant) MM! MMHMM! MMM!
- A strip◊ of Narbonic features this.
- The Order of the Stick
Roy: This desert is so unbelievably large that anyone with more than two brain cells would know better than to try searching the whole thing.
(a few panels later)
Elan: OK, so how do we search the rest of the desert?
Roy: Elan, I just said that anyone with more than two-... Elan, the desert is too big to search the whole thing.
- Inside Draketooth's complex, Varsuuvius falls into a trapdoor while distraught over the fact that hir was responsible for the death of the entire Draketooth clan. Every so often someone asks about hir and we get a cutaway panel to hir unconscious at the bottom of the pit. At one point they start discussing how since all the illusions are dispelled, all the traps are trivially easy to spot...
Yeah, but what kind of a moron would fall into one now? (beat panel) Roy:
Huh. I really felt there was going to be a cutaway panel there.
- In a strip of Penny Arcade, Tycho's niece Annarchy wonders what sort of "pea-brained monkey man" conventions like E3 are supposed to appeal to. Apparently, Gabe is one of those pea-brained monkey men.
- In Sluggy Freelance, Torg and Riff visit a space station in the Star Trek dimension, where Riff is warned that they must be discreet in this dangerous world. Riff replies that, "Discretion is our middle name." Cut to Torg shouting at a Klingon wielding the traditional blade, "No, YOU have no honor!"
- In Rusty and Co., Yuan-Tiffany asks who would be fool enough to come to a vampires' castle without an amulet to protect from being spotted by the undead. Cut to Madeline, who took INT as her dump stat. (Though, to be just, neither she nor the three intrepid adventurers with her knew it was vampires behind it all.)
- In Commander Kitty, after firing a pair of warning shots to no effect, the Triple-I decide to let escaped convict Nin Wah go (due to budget constraints) as long as the ship she's on doesn't try anything stupid. Cue CK loading up the torpedoes to return fire.
- Garfield and Friends
- In an episode, Garfield gets a TV fitness guru kicked off the air by using cue cards from other shows to trick him into doing ridiculous things on camera, like wearing a dress and hopping on one leg while honking like a goose. As Garfield heads home, he asks himself "Who would be stupid enough to do all that stuff?" Once he gets home, he finds his dimwit owner wearing a dress and hopping up and down on one leg while honking like a goose.
- Throughout the series, Odie has repeatedly made his first appearance in an episode after the use of this trope, to the point that Garfield began lampshading it. "Six seasons and he's never missed a cue." Also lampshaded in a segment on comedy method, where at one point, Garfield talks about comedy timing, and demonstrates by using some variation on this trope, followed by Odie jumping in, with some kind of costume.
- However this is subverted at one point, when Garfield asks who would be dumb enough to be out in the middle of a blizzard... and Odie appears right beside him, causing Garfield to comment that not even he was stupid enough to be out there.
- In the episode "Why Must I be a Crustacean in Love", the following exchange occurs, after Zoidberg has gone berserk in a New New York City health club:
I wonder why Dr. Zoidberg is acting this way. Out of all of us he always seemed the most normal. Zoidberg: (with rubber bands holding his claws shut)
I am normal. Amy, take off these rubber bands and I'll show you how normal I am! Amy: (whose clothes have been ripped and torn)
Fool me seven times, shame on you. Fool me eight or more times, shame on me. (later...) Amy: (holding two rubber bands)
Dr. Zoidberg said I should hold these while he's gone. Bender: (facepalm) Zoidberg: (warbles ferociously) (everyone else screams in terror) Bender:
- Also, in the episode "The Series Has Landed", while they're at a theme park on the moon and browsing the souvenirs:
Leela: Who buys this crap?
Bender: Idiots who need gifts for other idiots.
(Fry walks in from off screen, holding two moon-themed T-shirts)
Fry: Hey, look what I got you guys!
- And again in "Bender Should Not Be Allowed on Television":
- In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "Super Rocksteady and Mighty Bebop", Shredder complains to Krang when Krang's mind control device makes its victims act like children instead of becoming willing slaves, and Krang protests "only a complete idiot" would invent something like that. As he realizes what he'd just said ("A complete idiot?"), he hollers at Rocksteady and Bebop, who sure enough had earlier accidentally damaged the device without telling their bosses.
- Family Guy hung a lampshade on this trope in the episode "Too Sexy for His Fat," in which Lois responds to Chris's decision not to undergo liposuction: "That was a very grown up decision! I mean, what kind of lazy, narcissistic, irresponsible moron would even consider doing something as unbelievably foolish as getting liposuction? Who, I ask you? Who?" This line is immediately followed by the appearance of a newly svelte Peter.
- Transformers Animated
- From the episode "Garbage In, Garbage Out":
- And from "This is Why I Hate Machines":
(Megatron, Starscream, and Lugnut currently on board Omega Supreme without any weapons) Starscream: (to Shockwave) Lucky
you! Meantime, we get to float up here and get picked off by the Cybertronian Defense cannons! Megatron:
No Autobot would be foolish enough to fire on their greatest weapon. (cut to Autobot Council meeting) Sentinel Prime:
I say we fire on Omega Supreme!
- This happens at least twice to Bumblebee in season one ("You mean they actually sell spare parts on the open market? What kind of malfunction would be crass enough to buy this stuff?), and he does it to himself in the Grand Finale.
Who'd be crazy enough to volunteer for that mission? (beat)
Why's everyone looking at me? Why's everyone always
looking at me?
- The Simpsons
- In the episode "Homer's Barbershop Quartet", we learn that his band's picture was put on a can of something called Funny Foam.
Homer: Yeah, they pulled it off the market when they found out it was toxic. But I figure, if you're stupid enough to eat it, you deserve to die. BART!
Bart: (spraying Funny Foam into his mouth) What?
- "You said 'no one's dumb enough to pay a twenty dollar processing fee'!"
- Also from "You Kent Say What You Want"
Apu: Now, these hot dogs have been here for three years. They are are strictly ornamental. There's only one bozo who comes in and buys them!
Homer: But I eat...oh.
- The pilot to The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo:
Vincent van Ghoul:
Don't worry, only a complete dimwit would open that chest. Daphne:
Speaking of dimwits, where are Shaggy and Scooby? All: Uh-oh
- Invoked by Don Karnage in TaleSpin.
- In the "Joker's Millions" episode of Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn finds out that Joker has replaced her, and decides to escape from Arkham to get her revenge. When they realize she's missing, the following exchange occurs:
Maybe she went down the laundry chute. Dr. Leeland:
None of these yahoos are crazy enough to pull that old stunt. Poison Ivy: (in her cell and upon hearing this)
Ha! (cut to Harley Quinn in a washing machine) Harley Quinn:
Help help! Ivy! Anybody! Get me out of here!
- Inverted in an episode of Batman Beyond where Ten (of the Royal Flush Gang) robs The Derby, an annual high-stakes poker game held by big-name mobsters. When Terry questions why they didn't have better security, Bruce suggests, "Maybe they just didn't think anyone would be stupid enough."
- In The Venture Bros. Season 3 premiere, we learn in a flashback that The Monarch used to work as Phantom Limb's henchman while moonlighting as The Monarch and seduced Dr. Girlfriend during this period. When Phantom Limb catches them in the act, he doesn't recognize him (as he's off uniform) and demands he identify himself. The Monarch then makes up the name "Manotaur" on the spot after looking at the big "M" on the hood of the Monarchmobile. Phantom Limb is then summoned by the Council and before leaving tells "Manotaur" he is now on Phantom Limb's "shit list". The present Dr. Girlfriend, who is learning of this via video footage, claims it's impossible that Phantom Limb (probably the most competent and intelligent villain on the show) would be stupid enough to fail to recognize his own henchman. In the episode's epilogue, we see a still living but injured Phantom Limb descending on a retired, completely innocent, and looking-nothing-like-the-Monarch Manotaur...
Phantom Limb: No one "retires" from Phantom Limb's shit list!
- In Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow, when the gang infiltrates Ultron's base:
Azari: There's no-one here. Maybe Ultron assumed no-one would be dumb enough to sneak in.
Pym: HA! We showed him! We are dumb enough!
- In the Peanuts special Charlie Brown's All-Stars, Linus and Lucy are looking out the window at a heavy rainfall:
Lucy: I've never seen it rain so hard for such a long time.
Linus: I'm just glad I'm inside.
Lucy: Well, good grief. Only a real blockhead would be out in a rain like this.
(cut to Charlie Brown standing on the pitcher's mound)
Charlie Brown: Where is everybody? We're supposed to have a ballgame today!
- This joke (and the whole scene) was actually recycled from a week-long series of old Peanuts comic strips.
- The reverse happens in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. Grim gives Billy a gumball machine that yeilds a limitless supply of gum, but warns him never to swallow it; he does anyway, but Billy starts reacting oddly (not getting the "unimaginably horrible rash from another dimension" that Grim claimed it would cause). When Grim and Mandy tell him to hand the gumball machine over, he refuses, and threatens to eat the whole thing - and he does. When Mandy asks what it will do to him, Grim says, "I don't know! No-one's ever been stupid enough to swallow the whole bottomless gumball machine!" What happens is hilarious: It causes Billy to vomit a huge quantity of gum with such force that it propels him like a rocket, circling the Earth, and covering several major landmarks - and Grim and Mandy - with gum. When he finally lands, then he gets the rash.
- In the Animaniacs version of Twas The Night Before Christmas, Thaddeus Plotz says exactly this about Ralph the Guard when deciding who should deliver presents to the Warner Bros. (and Sister):
Mr. Plotz: There must be someone who can deliver this stuff / But where can I find someone stupid enough?
- In the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Escape from Leprechaupolis", Frylock receives an obvious scam in his email.
- Happens in an episode of Atomic Betty after Maximus steals a decoy treasure chest. it turns out to be Minimus instead
Sparky: You really don't think Maximus is stupid enough to open that chest, do you?
(Maximus' ship explodes.)
X5: Yes, apparently he is stupid enough.
- Used indirectly on Invader Zim. The episode "Bad Bad Rubber Piggy" opens on an episode of Professor Membrane's show about time travel. After demonstrating the consequences of time travel, Membrane proclaims "anyone who would build a space-time object replacement device is a complete moron!". Guess what Zim's doing at that exact moment?
- In the Beach Episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes, when seeing people dancing on TV, Heloise mutters "Who dances like that?" in a clearly condesending tone. Naturally, Jimmy and Beezy provide the answer.
- Lampshaded in an episode of American Dad! ("Finances with Wolves"). The family is in a mall and Hayley is griping about the consumerism run rampant. She asks what kind of idiot would buy into all this; Steve sighs heavily and says "And we widen to reveal...", at which point Stan enters the scene covered in useless junk (and a jacket made of money).
- Rocky and Bullwinkle: At least once, the narrator would ask "But who would be stupid enough to [plot contrivance]?" as a lead-in to an entry by Bullwinkle — "I would!"
- In the South Park episode "The Tooth Fairy's Tats 2000" the kids are running a tooth racket where they collect the money from under other kid's pillows. A sting operation is set up to catch them in the act, with a news report about a kid getting $600 and his exact location.
Naw, come on. D'ya really think anyone will fall for somethin' that stupid? Cartman:
Six hundred dollars, you guys! Come on, get your stuff together!
- Danger Mouse: D.M. gets wind of the Mexican bandit El Loco on the loose, having smuggled himself in our heroes' luggage. He addresses Colonel K:
D.M.: I mean, what sort of idiot would do such a thing?
Penfold: (sheepishly) How about a little fellow in a striped tie and glasses... and a tall fellow in a white suit and an eye patch?
D.M.: Yes. (beat) Penfold, that sounds very much like us. (Penfold nods)
- The Hair Bear Bunch episode "Goldilocks And The Three Bears" has spoiled actress Twinkles Sunshine re-writing the fairy tale (with the Bunch in the movie) to accomodate an evil prince as a chew toy. The director asks where he can find somebody dumb enough for the part. Enter zookeeper Peevly.
- Astérix Conquers America, where Gaius Julius Caesar outlines his plan to have Getafix thrown off the edge of the world:
Lucullus: But who would be so stupid- I mean, so courageous to sail to the end of the world?
- In the Pound Puppies (2010) episode "Nightmare on Pound Street", Squirt wonders "what kind of goofball" would be afraid of the Halloween decorations Olaf is hanging up. Cue Niblet cowering from some rubber spiders.