Playing With: Idiot Plot
Basic Trope: The plot can only proceed by having characters (not portrayed as fools) act like idiots.
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- Straight: Jack sees Jill embracing a man and, although a reasonable and good-tempered man, storms out without hearing he is her long-lost brother.
- Exaggerated: Jack sneaks into the castle to steal the MacGuffin even though the king is a Reasonable Authority Figure and Jack needs it to save the kingdom.
- Downplayed: Idiot Ball, for times where the plot is not started by by the holder but just elongated, even more so if it was a mistake that was reasonable but the person holding the ball should have known better despite it.
- Jack (and possibly everyone else) has a monstrously huge personality flaw or two (or gazillion of them) that affects the ability to think straight, eg. being a thrill-seeker, a hopeless romantic, paranoid, easy-going, any personality trait taken beyond extreme.
- One issue of the plot is getting rid of a gas leak that makes everybody irrational while exposed to it. The second half of the plot is trying to fix the effects of being idiotic for the first half of the plot.
- The characters are emotionally compromised (dealing with family members, being a Shell-Shocked Veteran, suffering from a secret mental disorder, etc.) and weren't thinking straight in a particular situation.
- Inverted: Jack, normally The Fool, can deduce everyone's motives at a glance because the plot needs it.
- Subverted: Jack and his friends work out, in detail, a plan of action that sounds as if it will be the major action of the story. However, his five-year-old adviser is one of those present at this planning session, and comes up with a simpler and better plan.
- Double Subverted: Jack and his friends work out, in detail, a plan of action that sounds as if it will be the major action of the story. However, his five-year-old adviser is one of those present at this planning session, and comes up with a simpler and better plan, which Jack ignores in favor of his original plan.
- Parodied: The Wand of Plot Device appears at random intervals to bop characters up and down the IQ range as the plot requires.
- Zig Zagged: While executing the plot, the characters make changes to it to make it work better only to change the good ideas as well.
- Averted: Characters always use their best judgment, and the writers just work harder on the plots.
- "We're only the first chapter, so we can't possibly talk now."
- The characters state that the plot wouldn't work if they made smart decisions.
- Invoked: When Jack goes over his plan with Jill, Jill tells him that that will only work if everyone suffered massive head trauma that day.
- Exploited: ???
- Defied: "I know I hate King Horatio, so I will ask my friends who are more level-headed about him what I should do."
- Discussed: "Does it seem to you like everybody's been taking stupid lessons lately?"
- Conversed: "You see last night's episode?" "Yeah, half an hour of Jack acting like an idiot because of a lazy writer." "I think I'll give it a miss, then."
- Deconstructed: During or after the Idiot Plot, one of the characters takes it upon themselves to point out what the characters would have to do in order to solve their problems intelligently (in the case of the former, only to be ignored by the other characters).
- Reconstructed: ... because the point of the episode was such that doing things intelligently would have made no sense in context.
- Plotted A Good Waste: People act like idiots, and The Fool deduces what drained their intelligence — the true villain.
- Played For Laughs: All the characters are The Fool, The Ditz, the Brainless Beauty etc. and the point of the story is the ridiculous convolutions they get up to.
- Played For Drama: The Big Bad is Dangerously Genre Savvy, and the heroes' stupid plan gets them captured and/or killed.
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