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Too Dumb To Live: Live-Action TV

Note: As a Death Trope, all spoilers on this page are unmarked.


  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. recurring character Agent Victoria Hand. Juggling the Idiot Ball all season got her close, but the last straw was in "Turn, Turn, Turn". She's transporting the newly revealed Big Bad — who's part of a network of enemies who've infiltrated SHIELD under the guise of loyal agents — to prison when his former protege asks to help, supposedly feeling betrayed that his mentor was actually a traitor. Blithely accepting this, a little later she hands the protege a gun, expecting him to execute the guy who pretty much single-handedly trained him, brought him into SHIELD, and mentored him for years. When the protege shoots her two henchmen and then her, you can't help but feel this one might be classified as "assisted suicide."
  • Andromeda: In "Immaculate Perception", Tyr says sending the DNA of Tamerlane Anasazi for comparison with Drago Museveni's could not be kept a secret. He says that he is leaving with his son and wife while the rest of the pride can perish from its stupidity.
  • Angel: A vampire cult in Season Three confronts Angel, Darla, Fred, Gunn, and Wesley while Darla (a vampire) is pregnant. Since the vampires say they will protect Darla's child, she decides to sit out the fight. Then the cult leader tells her how they plan to dismember her after she gives birth. She changes her mind.
  • Animal Face Off: Animals in the virtual fights tend to act extremely dumb simply for the fight to turn out a certain way. The biggest example is with the hippo vs. bull shark episode. The bull shark bites the hippo, but fails to inflict any major damage (they tested a model shark mouth molded off a real one, and it couldn't open wide enough to bite a kayak, that's where it not being able to damage the hippo came from). The shark's response is to keep trying, and it achieves no success. The hippo, being surprisingly inactive at first, has enough and goes under to face the shark, which stupidly rushes right in the hippo's mouth and gets its skull crushed.
  • Babylon 5: In a tragic example, the entire Markab race, which was wiped out by a plague in episode 18 of Season 2. Instead of going through their own quarantine procedures, they routinely sent out people carrying the plague to different planets, eventually infecting all of their known colonies. Know the reason? For the dark age belief that the disease only targets the 'immoral' and the immoral people are getting divine retribution. Many of the first outbreaks were covered up due to this dark age belief. Were humans the only race in this show to go through an Age of Enlightenment and an Age of Reason? Even Doctor Franklin lampshades this through the episode. At the end, all 5000 Markabs on the station were dead, two billion on their homeworld were dead, and millions more throughout their colonies were dead. Too. Dumb. To. Live.
  • Being Human: A particularly stupid example: Mitchell's ex-girlfriend sends him a DVD of what is essentially vampire porn (a recording of a man having sex with and then being murdered by a female vampire) and, in a moment of weakness, he decides to actually keep it for God-knows-what reason. The moment when he gets really stupid though is when he opts to hide the DVD in the box for a Laurel and Hardy movie. And then tells a young boy he's befriending to go ahead and borrow any Laurel and Hardy movie he wants. Cue the Pædo Hunt. George is rightly angry at this all, asking Mitchel "What else have you got up there, some German scat inside Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?"
  • Being Human (Remake): A similar story is used in the American remake, with the DVD being amongst The Three Stooges.
  • Blackadder: Practically everyone who isn't Eddie. One of Baldrick's somewhat less than brilliant "cunning plans" to escape a life-threatening situation involves waiting until they've all had their heads cut off before they spring into action. George and Baldrick whilst crawling across No-Man's Land randomly stand up just as a flare is going off. The first George is so stupid that he can't work out how to put a pair of trousers on — and tries putting them over his head. Percy fails to recognise Baldrick in drag and hits on him, despite Baldrick having his normal rich odour ("What an original perfume!") and normal appearance — including a beard.
    • Only in Season One, it's everyone who isn't Baldrick.
  • Black Hole High: Marshall Wheeler, who never seemed to realize that taking old technology made by a company known for suspicious dealings from the basement of a school that has a wormhole in it might not be the safest idea.
  • Blue Bloods: Dick Reed, a serial rapist in the episode "Re-Do", attacks Erin Reagan, the DA who convicted him only to have it thrown out on a technicality. Erin is not only a DA, but a woman who has not one, not two, not three, but four cops in her immediate family. Why Reed thought this would end well for him is anyone's guess.
  • Boy Meets World: Eric in the slasher-themed episode, where it is Played for Laughs. He agrees to stand out in the hallway by himself when he knows there is a killer running around the school. However, this is not what actually kills him.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The residents of the town are hilariously aware and in denial of the presence of vampires and other demons.
    • Given a Lampshade Hanging in one episode where Larry gleefully predicts that if there aren't as many mysterious deaths on the football team this year, they're going to rule!
    • Consider Deputy Mayor Alan Finch: this is a guy who knows all too well about the dark creepies in Sunnydale, and he's got some important information about the Mayor he needs to share with the Slayers. So what does he do? He decides to approach them in a dark alley in the middle of the night while they are being attacked by vampires. Guess what happens. Faith mistakes him for a vampire and stakes him, only realizing she's killed a human when he bleeds instead of puffing into dust.
    • And then there's Dawn, who is way too eager to get out of the house at night-time either alone or with strangers, despite knowing perfectly well what lurks outside. For her defense, she's a teenager, a species not known for its rationality. There may also be other reasons.
    • Principal Snyder nearly succeeds in this nomination when he attempts to leave a safe room besieged by vampires and then succeeds with flying colors when he attempts to tell a 100-feet long serpentine demon that its behavior is "unacceptable".
    • Spike does a lot of crazy things because he's a little psychologically unbalanced and (from series four onwards) vaguely suicidal, but he gets special props here for constantly setting himself on fire by going out in daylight. He also gets bored and pulls a Leeroy Jenkins on his own scheme ("I had a plan. A good plan. But then I got bored") and he dated Harmony and invites her along on his schemes, despite how she messes up every one. Harmony holds the Idiot Ball every time the two work together. Also, it's revealed in Angel that he was once captured by the Gestapo because they invited him to a free virgin blood party. He tells Angel never to go to one of those parties later because "it's probably a trap". When he tries to stake himself, he goes about it in such a stupid fashion that it obviously won't work, so he might also be Too Stupid To Die. At other times, he's pretty perceptive and comes up with decent schemes, so his shenanigans might have something to do with boredom and his suicidal tendencies rather than terminal idiocy. Harmony should get special mention, too, for trying to kill Buffy by using nothing but three vampire mooks, long after much larger groups of vampires had ceased to be a serious threat.
    • Lampshaded in "Once More With Feeling" when Xander reads a newspaper with the headline "Mayhem Caused: Monsters certainly not involved, officials say."
    • And that's not counting the countless vampires who decide they'll be the ones to kill the Slayer. You know, the one being on Earth made specifically to kill them.
    • Billy Ford from Season 2. Want to cure your cancer? All you have to do is ask some nice vampires to turn you into a vampire in exchange for giving them the Slayer. Nothing wrong with this plan AT ALL. Somewhat justified in that he was dying anyway and had nothing to lose, but his plan was flawed and ultimately he ended up staked.
  • Canada's Worst Driver: True to its title, this show depicts some SHOCKINGLY clueless drivers. Some of them are lucky to be alive.
  • Caprica: In the series finale epilogue, Clarice Willow. She may have genuinely believed that it was God's will to convert the "differently sentient" (Cylon robots) to monotheism, but when she outright encourages a robot rebellion and declares that there will be "a day of reckoning" for humanity during her prophecy, she can be described as misguided at best and suicidal at worst. Or she just forgot what species she belonged to.
  • Carrusel: Cirilo had neither book smarts nor common sense. He did poorly in school and did not always make the best decisions in his daily life.
  • Cheers: Classic moment:
    Rebecca: Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute you guys. Let's not jump to any wild conclusions here. Let's just look at the facts. Now, all we really know is that Robin is using my secret password to break into my corporation's confidential files, and from the date on these, well, it looks like he's been doing it since, well, since the day after we first slept together. So all I think we can conclude by this is... I AM TOO STUPID TO LIVE!
    Sam: Hey, now, Rebecca. It's not like he ever tried to screw us over — no, wait, he did that to me once. Well, it's not like he ever cheated on you, no, he did do that. Hey, maybe this is the last scummy thing he'll ever do.
    Rebecca: (hopefully) Do you think so?
    Norm: You're right, Rebecca, you are too stupid to live!
  • Chuck: Happens with disturbing frequency in the 3rd season. Even if the CIA Agent about whom you've BEEN BRIEFED has convinced you that he's harmless, he's still a CIA Agent... perhaps you shouldn't uncuff him before you kill him?
  • Copper:
    • A dentist tries to poison his wife's lover by poisoning a cake and making the lover think that it was a gift from the wife. However, the lover does not like that type of cake, so he gives it his landlord. The landlord then gives the cake to his dentist, the same guy who poisoned the cake in the first place. The dentist fails to recognize that this is the same cake he poured half a can of rat poison into, eats it, and dies in a gruesome way.
    • The stupidity is compounded by the police officer who comes to investigate the death. He is extremely lazy and corrupt, so he simply orders the wife arrested and does not bother checking the body, which shows tell-tale signs of poisoning. Instead, he starts stealing all the valuables in the dead man's apartment and tops it off by eating some of that delicious-looking cake that is sitting on the table. Cue another gruesome death by arsenic poisoning. The detectives who come to investigate his death find the entire affair hilarious and use it as an object lesson for new coppers as to the dangers of being sloppy in the performance of their duties.
    • In season 2, Orrin Lansing is a business rival of Corrupt Politician and former Four-Star Badass Brendan Donovan. Donovan makes it clear that he would like for Lansing to withdraw his bid to build the new aqueduct, but Lansing refuses. Donovan sends his hatchetman to give Lansing An Offer You Can't Refuse, which the man executes by dousing Lansing in alcohol and threatening to set him on fire. A sensible person would have either acceded to Donovan's demands or used his fortune to hire bodyguards to protect him from future attacks. Instead, Lansing personally breaks into Donovan's office, kills his assistant, and steals some documents from the safe. He then fails to enact any of the usual blackmail tropes that would safeguard him from Donovan's retribution. By the end of the episode, Donovan has recovered his files and Lansing is Buried Alive.
  • Criminal Minds: When the victims in the episode "Roadkill" decided to run straight down a highway to get away from a truck trying to run them over, they were Too Dumb to Live.
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation:
    • In the episode "Boom" from season 1, the team is investigating a bombing and receives offers of help from a guy who says he's a real amateur bomb enthusiast. Said guy is, of course, the primary suspect. The guy ends up blowing himself up by going to retrieve a bomb the real bomber placed in a high school.
    • Taking the cake is the deer hunter from "73 Seconds" who tried to clean out a wound with a high-power air hose after getting gored by a Not Quite Dead deer, inflating himself to death. For further impact, look at Catherine's face as she tries to comprehend this utter stupidity.
  • CSI NY: In the episode "Vacation Getaway", we have the horrendously Genre Blind uniform officer who lets himself get goaded into approaching the Serial Killer Shane Casey. There's a reason unis fulfill the function of Red Shirt in Crime and Punishment Series.
  • Desperate Housewives: Susan Mayer is way Too Dumb to Live. Add her uncanny ability to misinterpret absolutely everything about everyone with her ungodly clumsiness and you just ask yourself how did she manage to live up to be twelve (let alone thirty... something). Oh, the characters of the series also ask themselves the very same thing.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Daleks have an unfortunate habit of becoming this, particularly when their "VISION IS IMPAIRED!!!". Naturally, as they are unable to see, they will begin shooting wildly, in one case causing the Dalek to destroy itself when in a hall of mirrors in "The Five Doctors", and making for very annoying gameplay in the 2010 Adventure Game, City of the Daleks. Apparently their vision isn't the only thing that is impaired when they are damaged.... Lampshaded in "The Stolen Earth". A Dalek's "eye" is blinded, but the Dalek remedies it and says "My vision is not impaired."
    • Then there are the Cybermen who locked the Doctor up in an explosives storage closet... without searching him for items that could be used as a detonator. Guess how he got the door open?
    • Every so often, the Doctor's pacifism sends him into this territory. While his desire to avoid death is understandable, any time he tries to save long-time enemies such as the Daleks, Sontarans, and Cyberman just make people want to slap him. He himself admits that they are bred to do nothing but hate and kill, yet he keeps walking up to them and yelling "Let me save you!", often while they're pointing a gun, laser, etc. at his head, usually risking himself, his companion, and the world in the process. Worse still, if you decide that maybe you don't want to do it this way, the Doctor will see fit to punish you.
    • Shooting a fleeing ship can be seen as a thuggish, medieval scare tactic (comparable to decorating city walls with the severed heads of your enemies, to be honest) and is quite different from killing someone in self-defense (although it still counts as Too Dumb to Live in an Honor Before Reason way — meddling with beneficial established events simply for the sake of principles). For example, he's somewhat disappointed when Agatha Cristie and Donna kill the Vespiform but doesn't blame them for doing it. And when UNIT tries to mow down an attacking Sontaran army, his main concern is that the UNIT troops will die because they won't listen to his insistence that Sontarans can render bullets useless, even though he had been bitching about guns and violence earlier. He also isn't angry at Lucy for killing the Master in retribution, despite being utterly grief-stricken over the prospect of... uh... not having to deal with the Master being a complete psychotic for the rest of his life. So he's mainly just too stupid for himself to live.
    • Once, when the Doctor was carrying out the typical "go towards something you should probably be going away from" version, River Song tells one of her crew to go with him and "pull him out when he's too stupid to live."
  • Elsewhere in the Whoniverse, in The Sarah Jane Adventures, Sarah Jane has a habit of marching into villains' offices, etc. and telling them she knows what they're up to. Somehow this never goes well, though she always gets away in the end.
  • El Barco: The entire crew of the Estrella Polar. Nothing makes this clearer than the fact that the solution to their problems usually comes from Burbuja, the only crew member who is mentally retarded in the medical sense of the word, yet he is usually still smarter than the others on the ship. Considering that the crew members are actually fighting for their survival and the survival of humanity as a whole, the situation doesn't look promising.
  • ER: In one episode of the hospital drama, a couple is brought in suffering extreme hypothermia ... from driving into a freezing Lake Michigan. In their defense, their GPS directions said it was the shortest route to Canada. In spite of Lake Michigan being the only Great Lake that doesn't border Canada AT ALL.
  • Fatal Attractions: The American Midwest and Canada can be a boring place, with huge stretches of open land where one can go miles without seeing anybody. There's little to do, and winters can be brutal. There is, however, an advantage, in that the residents don't have to worry about being eaten by tigers or bitten by vipers. This show is a documentary show about people who have solved that "problem", who build their own private zoos and then get eaten by their own lions.
  • Flash Gordon:
    • Joe Wylee, the police detective, attempts to expose Mongo’s existence without reliable evidence and is surprised when he is suspended. Later, he steals a rift key to gather evidence and nearly dies on Mongo.
    • He never considers that his evidence will be viewed as a forgery. However, after traveling to Mongo, he does say that he would not have believed the truth about the rift portals if he had not experienced it.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Eddard Stark has become emblematic of this. What do you do when you find out the queen's been shtupping her twin brother? Tell her, of course! Littlefinger tells you not to trust him? Trust him completely! No wonder his head ended up on a pike. This is also Too Cool to Live. Eddard may be the only character on the show to behave honorably at all times. His big mistake is he assumes others will do the same.
      • In Eddard's defense, not giving the queen advance warning will result in the king killing her or ordering her killed... which would touch off a massive civil war anyway, given who her father is. Add in that giving her sufficient warning to get out of dodge also avoids the execution of her children, two of whom were actually innocent, and Eddard is not quite a total idiot for combining pragmatism and compassion here. He is still quite careless in not realizing that the queen is not as powerless as he estimates she is, and has options other than 'using the advance warning time to flee before the hammer comes down'.
    • Viserys counts for this trope. He strides up to a Dothraki warlord, demands that he invade Westeros to "give him his crown", and threatens to kill his wife (who happens to be Viserys's sister also) if he doesn't. Viserys gets his crown all right; it just also happens to be one of molten gold.
  • General Hospital: Damian Spinelli, with his Rain Man-esque computer skills, has to compensate somewhere... and it appears to be his common sense. For instance, he became trapped in a utility room in the eponymous hospital while it was on fire... because he was searching for a better Internet connection.
  • Heroes:
    • Mohinder Suresh. For someone who's supposed to be so intelligent, he manages to be pretty darn stupid. Perhaps the best example is how in the third season premiere, he decided to inject himself with a serum that he just randomly created without ANY regard to possible side effects. Too Dumb To Live indeed.
    • The worst Too Dumb to Live of Heroes HAS to be Peter Petrelli 2nd season. Not only does he end up with the villain of the season, but he repeatedly encounters trusted individuals straight up telling him that Adam is evil, including several of the people who worked with him to save New York earlier. Not to MENTION the fact that he watches as Adam casually and calmly BLOWS SOMEONE AWAY without any kind of comment on Peter's part. Only at the very end does he put two and two together and realize he is about to assist in genocide.
      • And let's not forget that Peter has the ability to read minds, so he could verify the claims of anyone in a couple of seconds.
    • The runner-up is everyone's reactions to Sylar. The guy is/was provably evil. He should be dead by now. They've had more chances to off that sadistic bastard than they've had hot dinners. And yet everyone lets him live or keeps him alive. Surely — surely — they could forego vivisection in favor of dissection? Just once?
    • Joseph Sullivan. When confronted by his unbalanced and highly-dangerous Earthbending brother Samuel, he not only admits to lying to Samuel all his life by keeping him in the dark about the potential of his power and betraying him by calling in a government official to bring Samuel in, he does this IN THE MIDDLE OF A DIRT FIELD IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, far, far away from anybody else, and without having alerted anyone to where they were going. Naturally, Samuel kills him and blames the government official.
    • Good Thing You Can Heal, Claire. Good thing, indeed...
    • Hiro and Ando. Cheating at Poker in Las Vegas by switching your cards with those of your opponent at the last possible moment? How on earth is that not a plan to end up in a shallow grave somewhere in the desert?
  • iCarly: Sam's mom drove her car after getting eyedrops that distorted her vision, causing her to crash through a wall. This action was a nod to Drake & Josh, where Josh's boss, Helen, does the same thing. Sam and Melanie were born on a bus because she took one while having labor pains instead of calling a cab.
  • Its Always Sunny In Philidelphia: Mac and Charlie teaching kids to defend their schools... by arming them and telling them to go to town on each other. Cue Gilligan Cut to the two barely escaping from the building with their lives, expressing amazement at how quickly the situation spiraled out of control.
  • Kenan & Kel:
    • Honestly, it's surprising that Kel survived to the end of the series. He should have died 10 times over. He goes STRAIGHT into Scrappy territory due to his stupidity.
    • Kenan isn't exactly bright as well; his crazy schemes which get him and Kel into trouble always go awry. All of which could have been avoided if he had listened to Kel and not done it.
  • Kings: Princess Michelle Benjamin. A bunch of armed religious fanatics holed up in a warehouse, what does she do? Walk in sans bodyguard or wire to negotiate with them. What do they do? Take her hostage. Then in another episode, she goes to comfort a quarantined plague victim without any protective gear! However, the dumbest thing she's ever done was taking naked pictures of herself on her phone. While this is stupid in any case (note to all women in the audience — do not advertise yourself to potential rapists), Michelle Benjamin's father is the King, and he has been known to fly into a murderous rage over pettier things. So, when he finds out, the results are not pretty. The capper? Michelle knew that her father would probably be driven into a murderous rage by that act, and did it anyways.
  • Knightmare: Many many many teams lost because of abject stupidity, like responding to an attacker by turning off the lights or seemingly taking great care to walk their dungeoneer off a cliff. Especially in the corridor of saws: "Right! No, left! No, right!" Ooh, naasty...
  • Lassie: Timmy. While he never actually fell down a well, he got himself into a LOT of situations (many of which were much worse than falling down a well) to the point where you wonder why he's allowed to go even a few minutes without adult supervision.
  • Leverage: Several of the marks, after the team gets through with them. But especially the judge who, after disarming a pair of bank robbers, held everyone in the bank at gunpoint.
  • London's Burning: A lot of examples. In one episode, a commuter at a tube station climbs down onto the track to retrieve the contents of his briefcase. Guess what happens next.
  • LOST: In the pilot, some of the survivors find the cockpit of the crashed plane complete with pilot, who is still alive. Suddenly, they hear something that is obviously a very, very large animal crashing around outside, roaring and generally acting seriously pissed off. So what does the pilot do? He sticks his head and upper body out through the broken cockpit window to see what it is. Seriously, is anyone REALLY surprised when he gets dragged out through the cockpit window to his death?
  • MacGyver:
    • A fair number of antagonists are undone by their own stupidity: in the very second episode ("The Golden Triangle"), a dictator dies when he lunges at Mac with a sword, trips, falls down, and impales himself. In "Partners", Murdoc, who would become a recurring nemesis, is undone because when Mac throws a rock at him, Murdoc, one of the world's most notorious assassins, panics and drops a lit stick of dynamite. In "Kill Zone", a risk-taking scientist cavalierly waves around a container of mutated super-virus while insisting that nothing could possibly go wrong until her dog (for some reason, it's "Bring Your Dog To Work Day" at the xenovirology lab) concludes she wants to play fetch. It gets bad enough that in the Clip Show episode "Friends", Mac actually has a 10-Minute Retirement when he realizes that the only reason he's still alive is through an unlikely string of luck and the stupidity of others. And that's not even considering Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard.
    • There was also the female antagonist in "Phoenix Under Siege", who throws a flying kick at Mac, misses entirely, and catapults herself right out of a high rise window.
    • Murdoc, supposedly a master assassin, lives and breathes this trope thanks to his chronic inability to just shoot MacGyver (and, well, you know). So, Mac's standing two feet in front of a sheer drop? Great time to run him over with a car, Murdoc!
  • Malcolm in the Middle:
    • Season 1, each of the four brothers does something incredibly moronic:
    • Reese pounds a nail into a spray can.
    • Francis flips a knife high up into the air and extends his hand out to catch it.
    • Malcolm hangs his head over an open pair of scissors while Reese stands behind him, about to pop a balloon.
    • While one of the brothers cranks the pedal of an overturned bicycle, Dewey takes a bite out of the spinning wheel.
    • All of these are from one episode in a montage showing why the brothers are well known to the hospital emergency ward staff.
  • Married... with Children: The episode "Hi, I.Q." had a subplot of Al assembling a workbench with Jefferson's aid. They are attempting to light a blowtorch with the nozzle aimed in Al's face.
    Peg: Wow. Can't you just hear the Looney Tunes theme?
    • And the reason they were using a blowtorch? The instructions for the workbench called for using several L-shaped pieces of metal, but all they could find were 7-shaped pieces.note  So they decided to use the blowtorch to make them into L-shaped pieces.
  • Merlin:
    • Uther, to the point that you start to wonder how he and Arthur managed to stay alive until Merlin arrived.
    • Nimueh. Granted, Merlin can't seem like much of a threat. But she decided that, rather than avoid angering Merlin by choosing a victim he would not know, she would go for his mother, which she knows is a Berserk Button of his. And then she lures him to the Isle of the Blessed for a face-off. And when he gets up unscathed from a fireball to the chest, she just smirks at him patronizingly. The worst part? Unlike most villains, she actually knew she was fighting the greatest wizard of all time, and it doesn't even occur to her that this might be a really bad idea. Merlin proceeds to show the audience just why this was a bad idea: by exploding her with lightning in what some fans consider the best Crowning Moment of Awesome in the entire show.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: Parodied in the "Upper Class Twit of the Year" sketch.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • In one episode, the guys spoof a road safety movie from the 1950s. At the end, the protagonist's brother dies because he and his girlfriend are too distracted looking over his shoulder and waving to notice the oncoming train. You can imagine the jokes made at his expense.
    Tom Servo: The cop never said anything about doing intensely stupid things!
  • NCIS: Sure thing, Rick Azari, taunt the Marine whose buddies you killed, tell him that he doesn't have the guts to shoot you. Remind him that you've never been convicted before. Good plan.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Rumpelstiltskin, now the most powerful being in Fairy Tale Land, confronts his ex-wife Milah, who abandoned him, and asks how she could abandon their son. She insists she regrets it, and she let her misery get the better of her. He looks at her and says "Why were you so miserable?" in a tone that suggests pissing him off even further is a VERY bad idea! She looks him right in the eye and says "Because I never loved you!", so he rips out her heart and crushes it, killing her.
    • The centuries-old Genie of Agrabah that allows himself to get talked into murdering the King using an Agraban Death Viper, never once stopping to think that suspicion might fall on him being the only guy from Agrabah in the castle.
    • When King George and his wife can't conceive a child, he makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin for a son. How does Rumpelstiltskin provide this son? He goes to some peasants and offers to pay all of their debts in exchange for their new-born son, which he then gives to King George (who knows full well the child is not his own) and exacts whatever terrible price he wanted. What makes this so stupid is that if a random peasant's child was an acceptable solution for George, then as King he had the power to make the same deal with the peasants that Rumpelstiltskin did, and could thus have avoided indebting himself to a demon.
  • 1000 Ways to Die:
    • Features a lot of deaths that come from sheer stupidity: Some highlights:
    • The guy who broke the cardinal safety rule when working with a woodchipper (i.e., "Don't stick a body part in the machine unless you want it to come out the other end ground into bits").
    • The two frog lickers who licked a poison dart frog.
    • A biker who tried to drink gasoline from his motorcycle's gas tank as a substitute for real booze note  and puked on his campfire.
    • The "braintrust" who tried to rob a jewelry store, but went into a gun shop — where everyone (including a sweet old lady) was legally armed and acting in self-defense when they shot his ass.
    • The two college kids who locked themselves in a helium-filled basketball court. With absolutely no oxygen. Predictably, they suffocated.
    • One paint huffer who covered himself with highly flammable industrial grade solvent to get high from the stronger fumes. When they got rid of his body heat, he asked for a lighter to get warm. Do the math: A man covered in highly flammable solvent + flame. What does that equal?
    • The two stoners who ran out of pot and tried smoking anything they could get their hands on. What did they get their hands on? Poison sumac.
    • A guy tries to impress a girl by serving live escargot. Except the snails came from his garden. And were covered in BRAIN-EATING PARASITES. Also contains a surprise twist: on their deathbed, the man confesses that he's a homosexual. The woman confesses that she never liked him.
    • The guy who pissed on an electric fence.
      • Though MythBusters' experiments indicate that this story is bogus. When they first tested it on the electrified "third rail" of a train track, they found that urine streams tend to be too broken for an electric current to pass through. A second experiment, on an actual electrified fence (at close range, to ensure a laminar flow), gave Adam a minor shock, but it was only a fraction of the ampage that he would have received by, say, touching said fence, and even that would not have been lethal.
    • Two Ozzy Osbourne fans heard a story about how Ozzy snorted ants to prove how "hardcore" he was; they decided to do the same because they wanted to be "hardcore" like their idol. Pretty damn sure that Ozzy was smart enough to not use fire ants.
    • A chef working at a black market restaurant which served endangered animals tried to recapture a King Cobra, by hand. While getting his face near the giant poisonous snake.
    • A Nazi spy thought he was caught, so he swallowed a cyanide pill; it turns out it was just a man returning his notebook.
  • Leon Tao on Person of Interest has his number come up (meaning his life is in imminent danger) three times; all three have been for stealing from people who like to kill people who steal from them. Guy just can't seem to learn his lesson.
  • Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue: There's one episode when a young girl's mom is captured by monsters. When the little girl asks for another woman's help, the older woman says that there's no such thing as monsters. This was midway through the season, after dozens of monsters had attacked the city. Not to mention that just a few years ago, Earth was temporarily taken over by monsters. And this was the team-up episode, confirming that, yes, the last seven seasons of monster attacks did happen. Not to mention this girl says her mother has been kidnapped. It shouldn't matter if she says it's a monster or human — her mom was kidnapped and the woman walks away giving no help, which is insanely cruel. It's with good reason that Linkara named this lady "DUMBEST PERSON IN POWER RANGERS EVER."
  • Power Rangers RPM:
    • In the final episode, Venjix. After Gem and Gemma destroy the Control Tower's supports, it takes about 45 seconds for it to fall from the roof of the dome to the ground. He just stands directly under the tower, preparing for his demise, when all he needed to do was survive it was to simply move out of the way. It's rather unbelievable that this was the being that destroyed the Earth, yet he can't even see danger coming from a mile away.
    • Of course, this ends up being a Subverted Trope in the end, as Dr. K shuts the briefcase containing the Ranger Series morphers... with a familiar red glow emitting from Ranger Series Red's morpher, and with the Venjix leitmotif playing softly in the background.
    • Dr. K, a supposed child genius, painstakingly created a sentient computer program that she knew was capable of taking over large parts of cyber-space. Through various flashbacks, we see that she programmed it to hack the most sophisticated security in the world. When she unleashes this weapon in order to escape the government facility holding her, she doesn't put the safe-guards necessary to keep it from spreading beyond her target until after the virus is already up and running. The resulting collateral damage, billions dead and a planet destroyed, are the result of her not having the foresight to take basic safety precautions or exercise common sense. She is truly the dumbest mentor and arguably the dumbest person ever in the history of Power Rangers.
  • Pretty Little Liars:
    • Basically every decision they make dealing with A. Let's not tell the police about being stalked. Oh, look, they now have a video that could be evidence in a murder case, let's not make copies when they know A's been breaking into their homes and stealing their stuff.
    • All of them have taken another level in season 3, but Hanna has to take the cake at the moment. She's already a suspect in Maya's death. Naturally, she then proceeds to cut herself with Maya's knife and get her blood all over a bag of Maya's things.
  • Prison Break: Veronica Donovan spends the first season being too dumb to live, culminating in walking alone straight into the house where the Vice President's secretly-alive brother is being held captive and ignoring him when he warns her not to let the door close. This doesn't end well.
  • The Red Green Show: Most of the cast suffers from this trope to some extent, but by far the best example is Bill. Whether it's pouring gasoline into a go-cart while the engine is still running, using his finger to test the sharpness of an axe, carrying chainsaws around in his coveralls, attempting to pole-vault off the roof of a moving vehicle, or sitting on a beanbag chair filled with propane and using a lit match to blow himself into the air to catch something that had drifted off into the sky, it's a miracle that Bill is not only still alive, but has all his limbs still intact.
  • Rescue 911:
    • Features some rather surprising cases:
    • Sealant overdose. A kid huffs butane and scotch guard.
    • Three inexperienced cave divers explore a cave without training. Two survive.
  • Revolution:
    • In "No Quarter", the "well-trained" militia has just stepped out of a fatal battle where they got their ass handed to them by a lone sniper and tripwires and they proceed to walk right up to a choke point (a bridge) in a two-column formation with no scouting party, rear guard, or dedicated prisoner guard. Naturally, they get waylaid by a tripwire right next to the exploding bridge and lose the prisoner.
    • In "The Love Boat", Mr. Austin falls victim to this. After Grace Beaumont gets the Tower's elevator working again, he decides to handcuff her to a chair and go straight down to level 12, where he'll turn the power back on behind his boss Randall Flynn's back. He's going down the floors, when it suddenly stops halfway. He thinks Grace is messing with him, and then the camera on the elevator mysteriously shuts down, and his death screams are heard. After a pause, the elevator goes right back up to the first floor and opens. The camera is angled so that we see the elevator walls coated with blood, but not who or what killed him.
  • Robin Hood: Kate. She abandons the outlaws in order to try and rescue her brother on her own. She tries to cut a deal with Guy of Gisborne. She blunders into fights without a weapon. She mouths-off at a tax collector. She refuses to follow Robin's (perfectly reasonable) orders. When an entire room full of outlaws, nobles, and castle guards are searching for Prince John's crown, she grabs it and begins waving it above her head, yelling: "I've got it! I've got it!" She interrupts a peaceful protest in order to scream abuse at the soldiers and dare them to kill her. She joins the outlaws despite having no useful skills whatsoever, and doesn't show much interest in acquiring such skills either. (Like learning self-defense, or at least some medicine.) She wears an ankle-length dress in a forest. She's the only female character to survive the show! Gah!!
  • Rose Red: Joyce. She knew from the start that the house had killed nearly two dozen people before everyone learned to stay away from it. She, unlike the others, knew that it wasn't dead but simply sleeping. She deliberately brought along multiple psychics for the express purpose of waking it up. Really, what happened to her in the house wasn't so much murder as much as assisted suicide.
  • The Shield: Shane Vendrell. He put his and his entire corrupt team's necks on the line due to his attempts to work the system like his mentor, Vic Mackey. Never mind that twice, those schemes have cost innocent lives and given the worse guys reams of blackmail material. Oh, and he killed teammate Lem because he was afraid Lem was going to rat them out to the Feds. Never mind that they were making plans to sneak Lem to Mexico.
  • Smallville:
    • Basically everyone at one point or another, but especially Lana Lang. (Honestly; going swimming, after dark, in the school pool, in Smallville?)
    • One of Robert Anson Heinlein's sayings by way of his longest-lived character fits her perfectly: "Live and Learn. Or you won't live long." (The interested can look it up in The Notebooks of Lazarus Long.
  • The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest...: TruTV's show. The comedians commenting over the stupidity of each episode's subject matter [dumbest criminals, drivers, partiers, brawlers, competitions, daredevils, hillbillies] also makes the entire series one great big Crowning Moment of Funny..
  • The Sopranos: After Vito gets brutally murdered by Phil Leotardo for being gay, one of Phil's men, Fat Dom, goes to visit Silvio and Carlo, who were Vito's crew members, to apparently show sympathy for the death... only to start making crude jokes that imply they were involved in gay sex with him. Guess what happens.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Senator Kinsey in the first season is an interesting case. At first in his episode, he looks like a Living Lampshade, pointing every trope the series uses against the Stargate Program, then he gets through Genre Savvy to Dangerously Genre Savvy to Genre Blind and lingers in the last one until the last minutes of the episode, when he suddenly becomes Too Dumb to Live when he openly states that even if the Goa'uld do get to Earth, God will not let anything happen to America.
    • The Go'auld!! The epitome of Too Dumb to Live. They could've pounded the Earth to dust in 36.4 seconds, but the morons decide to sit back, eat berries, and speak in that ridiculous vocoder-style. They figured the Tau'ri were simply no match for them... no matter how many times SG-1 personally served them their asses. When it did finally dawn on them that maybe, just maybe, these feeble humans and their reverse-engineering capabilities, nuclear weapons, and special forces training might actually be a threat... the Asgard stepped in and made them sign a Protected Planets Treaty — which is actually a big bluff, as the Asgard are too tied up fighting the Replicators to enforce it — which ended any hope of a direct assault against Earth, and gave Earth time to start building better weapons, discover the Ancients' base in Antarctica, and build actual starships. Dumbasses for sure.
    • SG-1 and the Stargate program get passed the Idiot Ball a fair bit too. Perfect example is with Big Bad Adria — they had an episode where she had lost her powers and they were standing at the top of a really tall cliff. So what does Daniel do? He lectures her and then does exactly what she wants. One episode they had her and Ba'al in the same body. Shoot them? Nah! We'll try and take over Adria's body too until she gains back her powers and... well, Hilarity does not Ensue. Ba'al's request that SG-1 find all his clones and gather them in the same room is another example of Too Dumb to Live — big surprise, Ba'al was only out to help himself like the last million times.
    • And anyone who doesn't guard their stargate. Which most people don't. You don't need a fancy Taur'i-style iris. A few ordinary soldiers will do. Even a child with a loud voice could have foiled SG-1's plans many times if he'd just been in the gateroom. It's not like the owners of these stargates don't know an enemy could step through at any time. Or like they don't have soldiers to spare.
    • And the time that a beautiful, strangely-dressed woman turned up at the entrance to the secret base, talking weird. Despite all obvious evidence shrieking at them, they failed to notice she was a Go'auld and arranged for the top brass of the base to meet with her alone, then were surprised when she drugged them into doing her bidding.
  • Stargate Universe: Chloe Armstrong seems to be taking up this mantle. Frankly, if you hear a noise, investigate it, see the ceiling above you (mind you, this is on a spaceship) being cut through with a laser, and don't even have the common sense to run, you deserve what happens next. Abducted by aliens, in case you were wondering.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • One Girl of the Week had a guy obviously in love with her who was Too Dumb to Live. Given that said girl had to spend four years on Vulcan to retain her sanity, I'm sure trying to make her feel strong emotions is a wonderful idea! Oh, and what better way to get a girl to like you than by ruining her career by murdering the ambassador she's accompanying? The ambassador is an Eldritch Abomination the mere sight of which can make humans go mad. Just walk up, look it straight in the whatever-seeing-organs-it-possesses, and kill it. What could possibly go wrong?
    • Almost every Red Shirt on Star Trek: The Original Series seems Too Dumb to Live in a way. (Except in the cases where their deaths were the direct result of the orders or actions of a superior officer.) To expand on the example, let's examine just how well Starfleet Landing Parties/Away Teams are designed to kill the men and women assigned to them: They carry no protective gear of any kind (helmet, armour, gas mask, etc), no emergency food or drink, no misc survival equipment such as a knife or stove, no emergency shelter, no storage capability beyond a small belt, refuse to change out of their thin brightly coloured uniforms into anything resembling camouflaged and/or practical wear, and they never ever carry a back-up communicator/combadge despite it constantly being broken or lost.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Tasha Yar frequently loses her temper with great potential for lethal results, including screaming at Q until he freezes her. Could be argued that her stupidity is what finally got her killed.
    • When someone is hurt, Dr. Crusher is prone to just run right up to them and start administering treatment, WITHOUT bothering to take simple precautions like scanning the area for hostiles, toxins, and so forth, or just beaming the person and herself directly to the ship right at the beginning. This tendency has gotten her kidnapped and/or nearly killed several times.
    • There was an inversion in which an alien was too dumb to die. He attempted a Thanatos Gambit by shooting himself with Riker's phaser in order to frame Riker for his murder. There were a couple of holes in his story: Riker was near death at the time of the supposed murder and Crusher could tell from the angle of the blast that the shot was self-inflicted. On top of that, his suicide attempt failed because he didn't know how the Federation's phasers worked and shot himself with the phaser set to stun.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Red Squad ends up on a Defiant-class ship behind enemy lines during a training mission, and the actual officers are promptly killed, leaving the cadets in command. The ranking cadet, naturally, decides they should just run the ship themselves, despite having ample opportunities to get home. While this in itself is dumb, he later decides to pull a David Versus Goliath against a new type of Dominion battleship. Never mind that even getting close enough to potentially succeed was a one-way trip, he doesn't even seem ready to give up after the plan fails. Predictably, they all die.
      • Even worse, the decision to engage the Dominion battleship goes directly against the mission's standing orders, which were to gather intelligence on the new design and return with them, rather than to confront the enemy. Jake Sisko deserves stupidity points for not using this argument when attempting to talk Acting Captain Redshirt out of the self-assigned suicide mission.
      • Ensign Nog (and the Red Squad "CO") gets even more Too Dumb to Live bonus points for not recognizing that an Ensign outranks a Cadet (Acting Commander) when the officer by whose authority the cadet has been acting is deceased, or otherwise removed from the chain of command. (Although, to be fair, there were a whole shipload of cadets and only one of him; with the mindset they were in, would they even have listened to him?)
    • Two people were fighting in front of a group of armed, angry Klingons. The first accused the second of being a shapeshifter, with whom the Klingons were at war. The second then shapeshifted his arm to choke the first, promptly getting shot and destroyed by all the Klingons, thus spoiling a year-long undercover operation.
      • Justified in this case. Klingons take accusations very seriously, with their legal system bordering on "guilty until proven innocent." Knowing there was no way out, the changeling likely tried to take Odo with him.
    • When a couple of powerful dissidents escape Cardassia and hide out on DS9, Gul Toran is dispatched to execute them. He tries to manipulate Garak into assassinating the dissidents on his behalf. Although Garak doesn't want them to die, when Gul Toran tells him the Central Command will end his exile if he does it, he agrees. Toran was fully aware that Garak had been one of the most dangerous and powerful men in the whole of Cardassia before his exile. Despite this, when Garak (reluctantly) captures the dissidents (and Quark who was helping them), Gul Toran intervenes so he can kill them and take the credit and taunts Garak to his face with the knowledge that Garak's exile will never end, and certainly not from a trivial matter such as this. Unsurprisingly, Garak kills Toran instantly and promptly helps the dissidents escape Cardassia entirely.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • Seven of Nine's parents. A pair of scientists who plan to study the Borg by sneaking onto Borg Cubes. This could be considered TDTL all on its own, but they also bring their young daughter along with them on their expedition. The Doctor actually gives this a Lampshade Hanging by expressing his disgust over their blatant disregard for their daughter's well-being by bringing her along on such a dangerously idiotic quest.
    • Also, the Borg themselves could arguably be considered Too Dumb to Live. Namely because of their tendency to ignore intruders on their star ships until the intruders go out of their way to present an obvious threat (such as by shooting a drone). Of course, this makes it absurdly easy for Star Fleet officers to do stuff like wander right into the very heart of Borg ships, plant a bunch of high explosives, steal valuable Borg technology, and beam safely out. Especially impressive in "Unimatrix Zero", when the Borg Queen adopts the policy that when it comes to a handful of renegade drones on any given ship, she should blow up the entire ship because It's the Only Way to Be Sure.
    • And therefore, any Star Trek captain who fights Borg ship-to-ship (the Borg have repeatedly been demonstrated as invincible that way) instead of just asking nicely if they might beam over, and then setting a bomb and then beaming out.
    • Neelix has a remarkable gift for doing suicidally stupid things, then surviving because the universe hates the crew of Voyager enough to continue inflicting Neelix upon them. In "Twisted", for example, his reaction when the ship is being distorted and rearranged so that nobody has any idea where any given corridor leads, with no detectable way to escape is to bumble around the corner in complete disregard of the buddy system and disappear.
  • Supernatural: Numerous victims of the week die in ways that can be considered Darwinism taking its course.
  • Survivor:
    • It happens a lot in this show:
    • The entire cast of Samoa, with the exceptions of Russell Hantz, Brett, Natalie, Marisa, and Betsy. They never learned to keep an eye on the idol-hunting Russell, repeatedly changed their votes, didn't think that maybe the minority tribe might actually have a hidden immunity idol in their grasp, or that they're actually a tight knit alliance. (Hm, we have a 8-4 majority...let's ignore them and take out our own, first!) Perhaps most egregiously, members of the Galu tribe were practically shown a map to the Hidden Immunity Idol...and they didn't look for it. Really? Russell had just played two hidden immunity idols...yes, let's just stand there! Marisa and Betsy were voted out because they weren't Too Dumb to Live (Russell Hantz said that he went after them first because he knew those two could beat him), Natalie realized what was going on and feigned stupidity, and Brett merely kept his mouth shut while everyone else got themselves voted out.
    • James had two hidden Immunity Idols. At that point in the game, he had a free pass to the final five (The rules were changed after the Idol was a Game Breaker in Cook Islands). What does he do? Not play the idol.
    • Yes, J.T - give the idol to Russell Hantz. Maybe he's on the wrong side of an Amazon Brigade. Whoops!
    • Let's see, Erik is on the wrong side of an all female alliance. What does he do? Give up the immunity to one of them. Great move.
    • Phillip manages to actually become too honest and flat out spilled everything going on at the first tribal council. It's amazing he's still around!
      • Of note, he claims to just be Obfuscating Stupidity. Considering he's got a plan to make it into the finals. And it's working. As it hasn't killed him yet, and moreover may have actually helped him, this is more of a What an Idiot moment.
    • And in Redemption Island, Russell Hantz comes back for the third time. He doesn't have the advantage of being a newcomer/not having any of the other players view Samoa like he did the previous times. So now everybody knows his game and has finally learned to keep an eye on him and watch out for his harem. Russell then tells them he's playing the game differently... only to assemble his usual harem and hunt for the idol without even making sure he wasn't in plain sight or being tailed by people who want his ass gone. Then he tried to ask someone to flip and vote out someone who is physically strong while making them become a third wheel in the alliance. (Oh yes, you're going to take her to the finals? When you already have two people with you, there can only be three in the finals? No Shambo here. And no Natalie W or Parvati, either.) Amazing - one of the most Manipulative Bastard types in the game who is often considered the best fitting in this category? The Galu tribe probably got a great big hoot out of that.
      • And one of his girls, Stephanie, intentionally proceeded to put a huge target on her back. She's already in the minority because almost everyone else wants Russell Hantz gone, knowing how good he is at the game (and that the producers will forget about everyone else.) So what do you do? Say that everyone else will backstab each other and that Russell wouldn't... Uh, Stephanie? Claiming a guy who wantonly bullied and betrayed his way through two seasons in a row is not going to backstab anyone? There's a reason they threw that challenge (which wasn't too bright, either).
    • The Ometepe somehow managed to outdo the cast of Samoa in terms of pure stupidity and Reality Show Genre Blindness. You're put on a show with someone who is one of the most famous players, known for being Dangerously Genre Savvy. What do you do? Only Kristina had the insight to get him out ASAP, while everyone else shut off their brains and practically handed Rob the million. Much to the fandom's displeasure.
    • The South Pacific season had two glaring examples:
      • Cochran and Christine are the outcasts of their respective tribes. Christine has made it perfectly clear she's ready to jump to the Savaii side to get back at the Upolu. Problem: the Savaii side has made a Butt Monkey of the little nerd, making him wonder whether he's better off on the Upolu. Easy decision, right? If those two face off for the duel, the Savaii could wind up with the upper hand and sweep out the Upolu. The Disaster Dominoes begin when Ozzy has this insane vision and asks to be sent to the duel against Christine. The icing on the cake is the re-vote at the first merged Tribal Council, where Cochran does what Christine wouldn't have hesitated to do. Guess who gets swept out.
      • Oh, and then there's Brandon Hantz. Wins immunity with only a few players remaining. Erik Reichenbach probably got a good laugh out of what happened next.
    • Sure, Manono, hand tribal immunity over to the women! That's right: TRIBAL IMMUNITY. You know what happens next.
  • Teen Wolf:
    • By default, anyone who doesn't watch their step, there being at least one serial killer throughout each season. Special mention goes to Scott and Stiles:
    • Half of Derek's conversations with them start with something like "You idiot! You could have gotten yourselves (and me) killed!".
      • Hell, Scott got the bite because he and Stiles were looking for the body of a woman that had been cut in half. They were deep in the woods before it occurred to them that the killer MIGHT still be prowling around. It is. It finds Scott...
      • And Stiles uses this very reasoning to explain why Scott should listen to him.
    Stiles: "How about I’m always right, and you should never disagree with me ever, ever for the sake of your wolflihood."
    • Lydia went to the lacrosse field alone at night when there had been a multitude of 'animal attacks' in town, to the point where there even was a police enforced curfew. Yet she goes to look for Jackson in a place where no one was likely to hear her scream for help. Little surprise that she gets attacked by Peter.
  • Time Commanders: Horse archers go in front! Do something about their horse-archers! NO, DON'T CHARGE THEM WITH HEAVY CAV!
  • True Blood:
    • There really must be a God, and He must love these people a lot.
    • Sookie, oh Sookie... She is just a little over eager to associate with people who want to eat her, although that might just be a Death Seeker thing.
      • How about getting the upper hand on a guy who wants to kill her by whacking him with her (unloaded) shotgun...and then, instead of loading the gun or hitting him again, running away. And tossing her only weapon into the bushes as she goes.
    • Bill fits here too. At the end of series one, when Sookie has been captured by the serial killer (Arlene's boyfriend Rene), he pulls himself out of the ground in broad daylight to go rescue her. He's a vampire- what exactly does he think will happen?
    • How did Jason Stackhouse manage to keep himself alive? It's almost offensive, especially since he never has to answer for the terrible things he does. One example: In series one, just before helping his sociopathic girlfriend Amy abduct and murder a vampire (a pretty stupid decision itself, considering that the whole thing could be fairly easily traced to him), he wanders into a vampire bar and asks for the drug V (vampire blood), knowing that the vampires kill anybody who uses, then completely botches up any attempt his girlfriend makes to cover his tracks.
    • Marnie, a medium channeling an necromancer with power over the dead (i.e. vampires) has gotten the best of Eric Northman, a very old and strong vampire. So what does his child, Pam, do? Why, she blusters and threatens this witch, and when that goes about like you might expect, she tries a frontal attack.
    • See Roy, Marnie's toady. When Bill is poised to shoot her, Roy steps in front and declares that they'll have to go through him. They do.
  • The Twilight Zone episode "The Jeopardy Room" features a sadistic Commissar who traps a rebel defector in a room with a hidden bomb and gives him three hours to find it - or die. The bomb is in a phone and will only go off if someone calls the line and then someone lifts the receiver. The Commissar explains this to his sharpshooter, and near the end of the three hours calls the line. The rebel thinks twice, doesn't pick up, and escapes. Then the Commissar and the idiot sharpshooter go into the same room and are discussing their "worthy adversary." The rebel calls the room and both the Commissar and the shooter are killed when the idiot shooter picks up the phone he knows has a bomb in it.
  • The Walking Dead In a series where quite a few people have met their end through their own stupidity or inattentiveness; Andrea must take the prize. If she had just stopped talking for five seconds she would have escaped her captivity and killed the recently resurrected Milton before he ate her. That is literally all the time she needed. Instead she just kept twittering away about stuff that was extremely irrelevant at that point in time (such as Milton's expired friendship with the Governor) or pausing to gaze reflectively into the distance whilst slowwwwwly working at her binds.
    • Lizzie in the fourth season is a kid who believes that the walkers are misunderstood and attempts to feed and "play" with them. She eventually kills her younger sister in the belief that she will come back as a friendly zombie and prove to the adults that the living and undead can live together in harmony. Carol is forced to execute her as this level of idiocy makes her a total liability. It is implied that there may be an element of mental illness to her poor decisions though.
  • V: The Original Miniseries: Robin Maxwell first wanders out of hiding, to be discovered by collaborator Daniel, which leads to the Maxwells having to move, Daniel's parents being arrested, and his grandfather being killed. Having learned nothing, she leaves hiding again, this time getting captured by the Visitors, which leads to the Resistance camp being attacked and her mother being killed. Not to mention actually falling for one of the Visitors' sweet talk — very dumb, even if it did lead to a useful Half-Human Hybrid. In the series that followed the mini-series, Robin passed this trait on to her daughter, Elizabeth.
  • The Vampire Diaries:
    • In S3, vampire Caroline has been imprisoned in a dark cell and manacled to a chair by her estranged father. And if that wasn't enough, a debilitating vervain gas has been pumped into the cell to further weaken her and she's been starved of blood. Dad asks how she is able to walk in sunlight without harm. Caroline...tells him. Honestly, is anyone surprised by what happens next? He opens a metal plate covering a window and begins torturing her with sunlight. Possibly a Justified Trope. She doesn't seem to believe yet that her beloved father might actually hurt her.
      • There's also that time where instead of using her ya know, supernatural speed to run from a recently turned Super Vampire Alaric she decides to use her car. It's no surprise that she dropped the keys and got captured.
    • Jeremy as well, especially in 02x10. Arguably also Love Makes You Dumb.
    • Tyler's attempts to take out Klaus even tough he knows the guy is a lot stronger and more powerful than him, as well as vengeful and holds grudges like no else, can be consider this.
    • In season 4, Rebekah drunk the supposed cure in front of a vampire who hates her guts and wouldn't waste a minute before killing her, which he tried, but luckily it was a fake.
  • The Wire: Lots of examples, but one of the strongest examples is in Season 1. Wallace, a teenage low level drug dealer, talks to police about the murder of Brandon. He tells the police that Stringer Bell was responsible. In exchange he's given witness protection and relocated to his grandparents house in another state. Stinger Bell finds out and sends Wallace's drug dealing partners and friends, Bodie and Poot, to silence him. Instead they let him go and promise each other to tell Stringer Bell they can't find him. Stringer Bell, himself, was more concerned with other matters, so he pretty much forgets about Wallace. So what does Wallace do? Before even getting settled in his grandparents house, he leaves and goes back to the Barksdale corners to reunite with his friends. Now afraid Stringer Bell might find out he was lied to, Bodie and Poot have no choice but to the kill him, which they do in a heartbreaking scene.
  • The X-Files:
    • Agent Mulder, several times during the run. It's a miracle he only died twice in the nine years the show was on the air.
    • In possibly the worst example, he learns that there are shapeshifters who are immune to gunshots and other conventional attacks and whose blood releases a toxic gas when exposed to air. Later in the same two-parter, he handcuffs himself to a suspect, who then changes to look like someone else. Mulder's response? He shoots him!
    • Also, anyone who tries to separate Mulder and Scully to get them to do something. Seriously, it happens at least once a season. Since "someone is always watching", shouldn't they know that it doesn't work? Do they all have a death wish?! You would think after a few times of it just inciting bloodshed rather than cooperation, they'd find another tactic.
  • The Young Ones:
    • The entire cast of the British comedy falls into this trope. The amount they don't know, and then the amount they presume to know, boggles the mind, but it's all harmless fun. Watching them try to sell a nuke to Libyan dictators was especially hilarious.
    Vyvyan: (hits bomb) Why won't it go off, Mike?
    • Luckily for them, they never permanently die. The permanence of their deaths in the series finale is debatable, though.
  • The 10th Kingdom:
    • Everything Virginia's father does makes him Too Dumb to Live. Starting with the idiotic use of wishes. This is, however, part of the point of his character. There's a reason the Gypsy fortuneteller draws The Fool for him. Also the Buffoon and the Village Idiot.
    • Subverted when he "foolishly" throws the frog through the door rather then think through the puzzle.
  • 24:
    • Kim Bauer is a character who seems to be a deliberate attempt by the writers to create a character so frustratingly dumb that it becomes almost impossible to enjoy the rest of the show. There's a reason she was once the Trope Namer for Damsel Scrappy.
    • In Season 1, she gets kidnapped by boys she doesn't know, but trusts enough to make-out with. She has various chances to escape, tries, and always fails until she is saved.
    • In Season 2, Kim Bauer gets into a series of avoidable, ridiculous scenarios.
      • In every situation, (with a merciful exception in a later episode) Kim could avoid the entire ordeal by stating the truth plainly, instead of getting defensive or just standing there for an awkward amount of time with a dumb look on her face. She gets accused of kidnapping, child abuse, and murder because of this.
    • She gets better in later seasons
    • Let's not forget the stupidity of the one man who could put even Kim Bauer to shame; Chinese Consul Koo Yin from Day 4. Let's see, if your men are shooting at people who have kidnapped someone from your consulate, what's your best course of action? Walk out in front of your men, allowing yourself to get killed in friendly fire.
  • 666 Park Avenue: Annie, literally. You have the power to write obituaries that magically come true. There's a scary hitman after you. And you don't even think about trying to write the scary hitman's obituary?

LiteratureToo Dumb to LiveMusic

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