What An Idiot / Animated Film
aka: Animated Films

Some animated film characters' actions can get so dumb, one might wish for the directors to re-write the script in order for the character to get it "right".
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     Disney Animated Canon and its direct to video sequels 
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs:
    • The dwarfs inspect their cottage after finding out it had been broken into while they were mining. Bashful discovers some freshly-picked goldenrod flowers in a vase.
      You'd Expect: Bashful to keep the flowers away from Sneezy, since as his name suggests, Sneezy has allergies.
      Instead: He shoves the flowers in Sneezy's face. You can see where this is going.
    • Also, the dwarves near the climax leave Snow White alone at home to go to work at the mine and to surprise her with a new bed. They all warn her not to let anyone into the house or talk to strangers, since the Queen wants her head on a platter, or at least her heart in a box.
      You'd Expect: The birds and animals would appoint themselves as an informal day watch for Snow White and keep an eye out for the Queen, or anyone that may appear suspicious. The dwarves could also do this, leaving one dwarf like Dopey behind for the day until they have an alarm system in place. Dopey may be, well, Dopey but even he can swing a hammer like nobody's business. Snow White is only fourteen, and while she's an Action Survivor she also is too kind for her own good. The birds are shown as highly able to fly long distance in a short amount of time.
      Instead: The dwarves do not think of leaving one of their own behind, because they don't think of changing their routine. In addition birds help Snow White make blueberry pies for the dwarves, setting up no guard whatsoever. When the Queen does come, disguised as an old peddler, she surprises everyone in the kitchen, animals included. The birds immediately spot the danger given the vultures and go on the attack. Snow White then shoos them away, and is forced to abide by Sacred Hospitality when the Queen feigns a heart attack and begs for water.
    • Also, Snow White has been warned about the Queen wanting to kill her. The birds and animals have been protecting her for a good part of the movie and have good instincts.
      You'd Expect: Snow White to shed her naivete and kindness for some self-preservation instincts and trust the animals.
      Instead: Snow White gives into her kindness, shoos the birds away, and lets the peddler into the house to give her water. This gives the Queen the perfect opportunity to poison Snow White with the apple.
  • Pinocchio:
    • Pleasure Island is a theme park that lures troublemaking boys with the promise of never having to go to school and being able to cause trouble without being stopped...but after a few hours. The coachman hires two con-men named J Worthington Fowlfellow and Gideon to lure boys to the park, promising to pay them handsomely. They just happen to stumble upon Pinocchio, whom the two had recently sold to a puppetmaster named Strombolli. After giving him a false medical examination, they tell him that he is ill and the only cure is a vacation on Pleasure Island.
      You'd Expect: That since taking their advice previously almost landed the him in a life of slavery as the Strombolli's star attraction with all profits going to Strombolli, that Pinocchio would immediately refuse and leave. Not to mention if he was a touch wiser, he'd realize that the medical terms the two were giving were all mostly gibberish, even telling him that his medical condition was that he was "allergic", and see through their clearly obvious ruse.
      Instead: He chooses to take their advice again, resulting in him almost meeting the exact same fate he had just narrowly escaped earlier.
    • The other boys lured to Pleasure Island deserve special mention as well. Although most lose their ability to speak after being transformed into donkeys, a handful of them retain their ability to speak, which the coachman checks for by asking each donkey their name. If they have lost their ability to speak, they are put into crates to be shipped to circuses and salt mines. As for the few who retain the ability, the coachman puts into a pen with their ultimate fate being unknown.
      You'd Expect: The donkeys who can still speak to pretend that they have lost vocalization when interrogated by the coachman so that they will be able to leave the island and tell the humans they are sold to about Pleasure Island (after all, who wouldn't believe a talking donkey?) Not to mention that with the coachman arrested, they might be able to get information out of him about how to turn the donkeys back into boys.
      Instead: The ones who can still talk all foolishly speak when the coachman asks, telling him their names and begging to be returned home. They coachman then enacts on said fate for the donkeys, thus allowing the wicked coachman to continue luring more boys to Pleasure Island and selling them.
  • Cinderella:
    • Once upon a time, a Gold Digger with two daughters married a man with a girl. Her husband then died, and Lady Tremaine squandered his fortune, hoping that when her girls grow up that they can marry into money.
      You'd Expect: Her to realize the benefits of including her stepdaughter in these benefits, since having three girls marrying into wealthy families would be better than two. It's never too late to start on her stepdaughter joining these soirees, since Cinderella has natural good looks and grace while the stepsisters despite their best attempts cannot appear ladylike.
      Instead: Out of an unnamed spite, she and her daughters treat young Cinderella as an unpaid servant up into adulthood, and impede all of her efforts to go to the ball and then try on the slipper that would fit the prince's mystery girl, despite the fact that doing the latter would give her a one-way ticket to the royal palace. As a result, Lady Tremaine loses her chance to marry into money, and she's caught violating royal decrees in the Grand Duke's presence. At best she will never rub noses with royalty, but at worst she could be tried with treason.
    • On the day after the ball, Cinderella finds out that she still has a chance with the prince because the grand duke will travel around the town to find the girl who fits the glass slipper.
      You'd Expect: For Cinderella to act natural and pretend she has no clue what's going on, help Anastasia and Drizella get dressed as they order her around, and sneak down the minute the Duke arrives so that her family can't deny her presence. She gets a chance to try on the slipper. Easy happy ending.
      Instead: She acts all lovey-dovey in front of the stepmother. Thus allowing her stepmother to find out that she was the girl that the prince danced with.
      The Result: The stepmother locks Cinderella in her room so she won't be able to try on the slipper.
    • In Cinderella III, a Twist In Time, when Cinderella is confused about the slipper supposedly fitting Anastasia...
      You'd Expect: For Cinderella to calm down, keep her mouth closed, and to keep the other slipper away from her evil stepmother's sight, and sneak to the palace with the evidence while the stepmother isn't looking.
      Instead: Cinderella panics and shows the other glass slipper to her evil stepmother!!
      Then: The stepmother snatches the other glass slipper from Cinderella and drops it, causing it to break. Way to go there, Cinderella.
  • Peter Pan
    • Tinker Bell isn't happy that a human girl that tried to kiss Peter is coming with the two of them to Neverland. She makes her Green-Eyed Monster tendencies blatant.
      You'd Expect: That Peter at some point would reassure her that Tink means more to him than to anyone else, as he does later in the movie. Humans come and go, but there's only one pixie.
      Instead: Peter doesn't do this. He smacks Tink on the butt to get pixie dust for the Darlings and ignores her during the flight to Neverland.
    • Tink then gets the bright idea that she needs to get Wendy out of the way, to have Peter to herself.
      You'd Expect: That Tinker Bell would, if she's going to go Yandere, make Wendy's death look like an accident and make sure the trail doesn't lead back to her. Or, she could let Neverland do the job for her. The mermaids are just as Yandere and try to drown Wendy merely because she's with Peter, and the natives put her to collecting firewood for a ceremonial bonfire.
      Instead: In keeping with the source material, Tink Didn't Think This Through. She goes to the Lost Boys and tells them that Peter has ordered them to shoot down a "Wendy-bird". When Peter finds out after saving Wendy from crashing onto rocks, the Boys immediately tell him what Tink said, which leads to her getting banished. He could have easily done worse if Wendy had actually been killed. Either way, Peter is now royally steamed at Tink.
    • After Wendy decides to go back to London, Peter receives a "present" from "Wendy" (In reality, it's a bomb sent down by Captain Hook), the tag says not to open it until six o' clock.
      You'd expect: That Peter would be suspicious.
      Instead: He still assumes it's a present, and only when Tink arrives and almost kills herself to get rid of the bomb, does he catch on.
  • Sleeping Beauty:
    • After the three good fairies taking the infant Princess Aurora into hiding after a curse was placed on her in which she would fall into a deep sleep if she pricked her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday, Maleficent has her henchmen look for Aurora to ensure that the incident does take place.
      You'd Expect: Her henchmen to realize that Aurora would start to get older and search for girls that would be around Aurora's age (or at least a trio of ladies that would resemble the three good fairies).
      Instead: A good sixteen years of searching is wasted all because Maleficent's henchmen assumed that Aurora was still a baby.
    • Also, on Aurora's sixteenth birthday, Merriwether puts her foot down and insists on using magic to make Aurora's cake and gown because doing it by hand isn't going well and will appear as a mess to their foster daughter. Flora reluctantly agrees and the fairies close all the doors and windows and plug up most of the holes in the house. As Merriwether cleans up the room, she's disappointed to see that Flora has chosen pink for the dress color instead of blue.
      You'd Expect: Merriwether to wait until the dress is done, and then surreptitiously turn it blue before Flora can notice. She actually does do this later on, and Flora doesn't realize until the end of the movie.
      Instead: Merriwether carelessly turns the dress blue, and starts a color war with Flora. This alerts Diablo the crow, who he sees the magic pouring out of the chimney, the one place the fairies didn't plug (which also begs the question of why they didn't double-check to make sure that they had sealed every opening in the house before using magic). As a result Maleficent finds out Aurora's location and makes the curse come true.
  • 101 Dalmatians.
    • When Cruella De Vil wants to make a coat out of dalmatian puppies, she goes to her old friend Anita and her new husband Roger, correctly guessing that both of their dalmatians will have puppies. However, they politely but firmly refuse to sell the puppies, in part because Cruella was extremely rude to them.
      You'd Expect: Cruella to just move on, and find somewhere else to buy the dalmatian puppies that she needed for her coat.
      Instead: Purely out of anger at Roger and Anita for not selling her their puppies, she hires two thieves named Horace and Jasper to steal their puppies. She assumes that no one wiil give much of a crap about some puppies being stolen, but soon almost the whole country starts hunting for them, and she is forced to hide them out in an old family property while worrying about the police finding them. In the live-action version proper, she actually gets arrested after the police conduct a raid on her house and find the illegal furs she's kept there.
    • After Cruella kidnaps the puppies, in the animated film the dogs in London all decide that the police can't help them, because they don't have any leads. They use the Twilight Bark to locate Pongo and Perdita's puppies, and to lead the parents to their puppies. This goes off with minimal hitches, since Pongo and Perdita are a Badass Family.
      You'd Expect: That once the puppies are found and reunited with their parents, that some dog on the Twilight Bark would notify Scotland Yard that about one hundred and one puppies are traversing the countryside. This would mean that the dogs have more manpower against Cruella, Horace and Jasper. It would also mean they get a ride home to London sooner rather than later. The police actually do help rescue the puppies and their parents in the live action film.
      Instead: The Great Dane who helps Pongo and Perdita with directions declares that the humans have done all they could and don't consult them, or signal that the missing puppies in the news have been found. As a result, Pongo and Perdita have to take the kids through freezing snowstorms, have to hide their tracks for fear of Cruella finding them, and stow away on a truck to return to London. They're also Alone with the Psycho when Cruella catches up with them.
    • In the live action remake, Cruella offers a huge check for the puppies, and calmly says "take it." Anita looks at the check, and seems to actually consider it.
      You'd Expect: For Cruella to continue to be calm and friendly, as it looks like Anita just might agree, and not do anything to blow it.
      Instead: She eventually loses patience, and roars TAKE IT!!! (with dramatic thunder in background). Naturally, this blows all her chances of getting the puppies.
  • The Jungle Book
    • The movie's conflict starts when Shere Khan returns to the wolves' territory, and he is targeting their feral man-cub Mowgli. Rama, Mowgli's adoptive father, protests having to give up his child to the man-village but Akeela the pack leader tells him that the wolves are unable to protect the boy from the tiger.
      You'd Expect: If Rama cares so much about Mowgli, that he talk to him first and explain why he must leave. Mowgli would be upset, but if he has longer to process the situation then he could understand. You would also expect Rama and his family would escort Mowgli to the man-village so that they can say a proper goodbye, and protect him in case Shere Khan intercepts them en route. This actually does happen in the book, where Mowgli finds out from his wolf brothers that Shere Khan is planning a pack mutiny, and counterattacks by stealing fire from the village.
      Instead: The wolves don't think to break it to Mowgli gently why he must go and make sure he understands that Shere Khan won't listen to reason that Mowgli won't ever grow up to learn how to hunt, ESPECIALLY if he remains a jungle boy. Bagheera the panther, who is an outsider and the one who found Mowgli, volunteers to escort Mowgli on the pretense of walking with him as per routine. Mowgli on hearing that his usual night stroll with Bagheera is a permanent goodbye, doesn't react well to learning he needs to leave his home. As the movie shows, he can handle himself against threats like Kaa, so he's not completely defenseless. He puts up a huge fuss the next day, wastes time by hanging out with Baloo, and ultimately encounters Shere Khan anyway in the middle of vultures cheering him through Heroic B.S.O.D.. Bagheera doesn't help at all during this encounter, and Baloo nearly dies from protecting Mowgli.
    • On the other side of the equation, Shere Khan returns and makes it clear his intention to kill Mowgli. His reasons are that soon the man-cub will grow up and become "another hunter with a gun".
      You'd Expect: Shere Khan to realize that if Mowgli stays in the jungle, with most of the animals being his friends, that he would never become a hunter or logically have access to a gun since to get those you'd need to steal it from a human or reenter civilization. Mowgli himself says he wouldn't grow up to be a hunter and they should just tell Shere Khan that, and Baloo says that Mowgli wouldn't be able to get a gun. Surely a compromise could be reached.
      Instead: Shere Khan at some point off-screen ignores this logic and pursues Mowgli, forcing the wolves, Baloo and Bagheera to escort him back to humanity. Mowgli also discovers fire and uses it against the tiger, meaning a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy ensued with him learning to use weapons against animals. Now that Mowgli is in the man-village, likely to become a homesteader, he's even more likely to get a gun!
    • A pillar that was holding up an ancient palace fell apart, leading to King Louie holding it up to keep from falling.
      You'd Expect: Baloo to use this opportunity to grab Mowgli and run off.
      Instead: He goes to Louie to tickle his armpits as he's holding up the palace, giving the other monkeys time to intervene and charge towards Baloo with a large battering ram, intending to save their leader and stop Baloo from doing anymore harm.
      Although now you'd expect: That given the current dilemma that King Louie is in, the monkeys at least take care not to have their own leader come to any harm as they charge straight for Baloo by charging at Baloo from an angle out of King Louie's way, giving time for another group of monkeys to directly assist Louie where he is and hold up the building.
      Instead: Not only to they recklessly charge straight into Baloo without taking any care not get Louie by accident, but this ends up knocking Louie straight another pillar that crumbles, winding up with Baloo in the same spot that Louie was in earlier and Louie now stuck holding up another part of the doomed building. Only now does Baloo decide he's had enough and runs off with Mowgli and Bagheera while Louie just stays there hoping to keep his building from falling; just as the whole palace is splitting in half and nearly flattens our heroes.
  • In The Aristocats, the plot kicks off when The Butler Edgar overhears his Madame making out her will. To his dismay, he finds that she's leaving her fortune to her cats before he can inherit. Edgar firmly believes that cats have nine lives and thus he will outlive all of the cats.
    You'd Expect: Edgar to realize that this gives him her fortune by default. As the cats' caretaker till the end of their lives, he'd double as their guardian and thus would have access to Madame's millions.
    Instead: Edgar decides he'll get rid of the cats to inherit the fortune, by drugging them and ditching them in the French countryside, and he makes several mistakes. First, he fails to make an alibi for himself, although Madame and the cats trust him too much to suspect wrongdoing. Second, he leaves a lot of evidence in the countryside, which he has to retrieve the next night and does so with great labor. Third, when the cats return he has the bright idea of mailing them off to Timbuktu so that they can't return after Madame nearly hears them meowing. As a result of this waste of effort, combined with the efforts of the alley cats that Duchess and her kittens, leads to Edgar being mailed off to Timbuktu after a Humiliation Conga and stricken from the will because Madame believes he ran away.
    • After they encounter a tomcat, Thomas O'Malley offers to help the family return to Paris. He hitches them as stowaways on a milk truck, by scaring the bejeebers out of the driver.
      You'd Expect: He would make sure the kittens and cats stay out of sight until the milkman reaches Paris. Otherwise they have to walk the rest of the way.
      Instead: Thomas suffers No Good Deed Goes Unpunished. He opens a milk can for the kittens so they can get breakfast. The milkman sees through the rear-view window, slams the brakes, and shoos the "tramps" out. The cats then find themselves walking the rest of the time.
    • The cats return home from the countryside but the kittens discover the pet door is locked. They try meowing to get Madame's attention only to be interrupted by Roquefort who warns them about Edgar.
      You'd Expect: The kittens to trust Roquefort and get away from the mansion before Edgar catches them.
      Instead: They can't hear him through the glass window and interpret Roquefort's jumping around as excitement out of seeing them back. They continue to meow until Edgar opens the door and puts them in a sack.
  • Robin Hood
    • Robin and Little John successfully steal from and humiliate Prince John. Vengeful and a Not So Harmless villain, John sets the perfect trap: an archery contest where the prize is not just a golden arrow, but also a kiss from Maid Marian, Robin's childhood sweetheart. On hearing "kiss to the winner," Robin decides that they'll go since he is an expert archer.
      You'd Expect: Friar Tuck and Little John to realize that this is an obvious trap. When something is Too Good to Be True, it usually is. Tuck could have simply kept quiet about the tournament and let it go on with Robin none the wiser.
      Instead: Friar Tuck talks about the tournament, kiss and all. Little John's concern is that the place will be "crawling with guards". He and Robin decide to attend, albeit in disguise, so Robin can earn that kiss. Robin ends up winning the tournament while dressed as a bird, but Prince John quickly captures him. If not for Little John pulling a knife on the prince, Robin would have lost his head to the executioner.
    • Also, Prince John and Sir Hiss are in on the plan. They watch the proceedings with amusement. The Sheriff of Nottingham is also competing, despite the conflict of interest.
      You'd Expect: Prince John would tell the Sheriff that he's expecting Robin Hood to win the contest, and that he's going to capture the latter. Thus the Sheriff should hold back and let whoever the disguised outlaw is win. Or you think the Sheriff would deduct this, due to the Wanted Posters and archery contest.
      Instead: The Sheriff either isn't aware or doesn't care that the Prince of England is looking for Robin Hood. After earning a place as a finalist, he tries to fix his win and sabotage the disguised Robin's shot. Robin Hood ends up able to shoot the arrow in the center anyway, but it would rob Prince John of his opportunity to humiliate and capture Robin Hood for being the winner and the loser, as he puts it.
    • After this, Prince John is furious that despite his plan, Robin gets away due to sheer luck and having allies like Little John and Cluckie. Also, all of Nottingham hates him, and the Sheriff knows it.
      You'd Expect: For the Sheriff to have more tact about the prince's losses, since Prince John is his boss and tried to kill Robin for saying the crown belonged to King Richard, and not be stupid while doing his job.
      Instead: The Sheriff overhears the "town hit," a ditty that calls Prince John "The Phony King of England," and foolishly teaches it to Sir Hiss while delivering the taxes. Prince John happens to overhear, and nearly hits the Sheriff with a wine glass.
    • Thanks to the Sheriff's mistake about the ditty, Prince John's taxes land all of Nottingham in prison, since they can't pay their debts. Friar Tuck only has a farthing in the church's poorbox, and is doing what he can to keep the prisoners' spirits up by ringing the church bells on Sunday.
      You'd Expect: The authorities in Nottingham to remember that churches are tax exempt, and that only the Catholic Church can punish their priests. The murder and martyrdom of Thomas Beckett happened around this time, and John knows it. Also if Friar Tuck is sent abroad or even to another city for remonstrance, it means that Robin Hood and Little John can't rely on his help.
      Instead: The Sheriff pettily takes the farthing from the church's poorbox and says he's Just Following Orders. Friar Tuck then shoves him out of the church and starts assaulting him in a rage. Then when Friar Tuck is imprisoned for this, Prince John gets plans to hang him, "a man of the church" as Sir Hiss puts it with horror]], to lure out Robin Hood. Not only do Robin Hood and Little John rescue Friar Tuck and the debtors before the hanging can happen, but also King Richard returns and makes an example of Little John, Hiss and the Sheriff, by setting them to work in a rock pile, ostensibly for damage control with the Church.
  • The Great Mouse Detective:
    • The plot kicks off when Mr. Flaversham, a toymaker, is kidnapped on his daughter's birthday. The Big Bad Ratigan has his Dragon Fidget do the job. He also anticipates that Flaversham as a loyal subject to the crown will not cooperate unless he has a little "persuasion".
      You'd Expect: That Ratigan would have ordered Fidget to capture both father and daughter at the same time, to tie up the loose ends, and that if Fidget doesn't see her at first to go through the tiny flat looking for her.
      Instead: Fidget doesn't even think about Olivia until long after her father has been installed in Ratigan's lair. Ratigan writes her down on a list and assumes Fidget will find her, while Olivia goes searching for Basil since only the best detective can find her father. Fidget only finds her again coincidentally at Basil of Baker Street's lair, and then at the toy shop where he steals toy soldiers' suits, and gears. As a result, Basil learns about Ratigan's scheme after many dead ends, and gets on the case.
    • When Olivia finally tells the detective about her father being kidnapped, Basil takes interest because the "peg-legged bat" works for Ratigan, and Fidget happens to appear at Baker Street. She insists on going along when Basil recruits Toby, a basset hound, to go after Fidget, so that she can find her father. Basil has said that Ratigan boasts about drowning widows and orphans and doesn't want her to come along because he's not a nursemaid.
      You'd Expect: That Olivia should realize that it's safer for her to stay at Basil's place since she would be The Load even if he finds her father. Given how much of a Bunny-Ears Lawyer Basil is, as Olivia sees firsthand, it's best to not distract him from his methods.
      Instead: Offscreen Olivia has her way, so that Basil takes her along reluctantly as The Load. Fidget then takes the opportunity to kidnap her at the toy shop, which forces her father to build the robot Ratigan wants, while Ratigan uses Olivia's wraps to lure Basil and Dawson to a certain spot in the lair and have them surrounded by minions. In the climax Ratigan then uses her as a hostage to get away from the Royal Palace when Basil unravels his scheme, and Basil then has to put her safety above his when Ratigan goes feral in Big Ben.
    • Basil and Dawson have discovered the location of the nefarious professor Ratigan's lair in the sewer. Olivia, has also been taken to Ratigan's lair, so they want to rescue her.
      You'd Expect: Basil, knowing that Ratigan is much bigger and stronger than him and has a relatively large number of minions, to have the city police accompany him to the hideout for backup.
      Instead: He goes with just his well-intentioned but inexperienced partner Dawson to catch Ratigan and rescue the Flavershams. It turns out that Ratigan was expecting him after learning that Basil had got his hands on the list and had set up a trap for him, resulting in the two being quickly captured.
  • The Little Mermaid has a few infamous moments in the first and second movie:
    • So Triton angrily blasts all of Ariel's treasures all because she said she loved Eric. When he's finished, he visibly looks remorseful about upsetting her.
      You'd Expect: Triton to swim up to her and apologize, and maybe have a heartfelt moment. Even if we are to assume he's gone beyond Ariel's forgiveness by this point, and she might have told him to fuck off (like she did to Sebastian), he could have at least tried.
      Instead: Triton just swims away after that, leaving her to cry. This gives Ursula's minions a chance to exploit her emotional vulnerability, leading to her making an impulsive Deal with the Devil with Ursula.
    • Eric in a matter of minutes learns that a sea witch hypnotized him into a marriage and has stolen away his true love, the mute girl he had taken in who transforms into a mermaid.
      You'd Expect: As a prince with a loyal kingdom, he would bring in The Cavalry, including the sailors that told him the myth of Triton (and Ursula in the deleted Spoiler Opening), which he does do in the stage version. He already knows that Ursula can do dangerous magic, and has the strength of a large octopus at the least.
      Instead: He goes alone in a dinghy, only armed with a harpoon, with no idea of what he's up against. He gets in way over his head as a result and only turns the tides with quick thinking, but before that the harpoon only gives a flesh wound to Ursula. She nearly drowns and disintegrates him in revenge.
    • On that note, Ursula pins down Ariel with her newly-acquired trident for attacking her, and then sends her eels Flotsam and Jetsam after Eric when he launches his offense. Before Ariel can help Eric, Ursula grabs her in a tight hold, so that Ariel can only scream at Eric to look out and swim for it.
      You'd Expect: She would keep Ariel in that grasp, since Ariel can't break free, and make her watch Eric die by the trident's blast. Ariel has previously been established as an impulsive Action Girl and Spanner in the Works who protects the ones she loves with righteous fury.
      Instead: Ursula for no reason at all releases Ariel before gloating, "Say goodbye to your sweetheart." Ariel manages to throw off her aim so that the trident's blast hits Ursula's eels instead, disintegrating them into scattered body parts.
    • In the beginning of The Little Mermaid 2, Ursula's sister Morgana shows up at the celebration of Ariel and Eric's daughter Melody's birth, still angry at them for killing her sister. Out of revenge, she threatens baby Melody's life by snatching her in a sneak attack and dangling her over a shark, demanding Triton's trident. Triton prepares to surrender it since he doesn't want his granddaughter hurt.
      You'd Expect: She'd stay out of range from Ariel and Eric, especially since Eric took down her sister with his wits and a wrecked ship, while holding Melody hostage.
      Instead: Much like Ursula, Morgana can't resist Evil Gloating. She comes closer to the royal boat to explain that she's vengeful about them killing Ursula. Ariel uses Eric's sword to cut a rope that leads to a mast hitting Morgana in the face, and Eric catches Melody as she sails through the air.
    • After this happens, Undertow the shark prepares to eat Melody after Morgana loses her hold on her. Triton still has his trident, which can reduce living beings to fragments and do much more damage.
      You'd Expect: Triton would just kill Undertow when he has a clear shot. He's a Papa Wolf as well and has previously shown no compunctions for causing collateral damage.
      Instead: Triton uses the trident to turn Undertow into a pathetic, tiny shark, who escapes with Morgana. Years later he seeks out Melody when she runs away from home to learn about the locket, and leads her to Morgana's icy lair.
      • After Ariel and Eric save their baby, Morgana escapes and vows to return.
        You'd Expect: Ariel to just tell Melody that Morgana would kill her if she went into the sea, and to have Triton establish a guard on the sea part of the kingdom so that Morgana's return would raise red flags. Or, if not wanting to scare the heck out of her, say there's a threat out in the sea and no one can go out there until it's taken care of.
        Instead: Ariel decides that Melody not only can't go into the sea while Morgana poses a threat, but also can't know about Morgana or her mermaid heritage in general because...um... Therefore, Melody does not understand why she is forbidden to go into the sea, and continues sneaking out under the huge wall Ariel and Eric have built to keep Melody from the water.
      • Speaking of the example above, Ariel has finally admitted this to Melody, who has stolen Triton's trident because Morgana claimed that a bad man took it years ago, after two catch each other in mermaid form.
        You'd Expect: She'll finally understand what's going on and hands over the trident to Ariel. Happy ending, indeed.
        Instead: She (albeit understandably) gets really pissed from all that secrecy that she gives the trident to Morgana. Of course, the latter reneges on her deal with Melody of making her a mermaid permanently by locking her under the sea until the spell wears off and Melody nearly drowns.
      • Ariel discovers her daughter was sneaking out and found a medallion with her name on it, clearly showing that mer-people and Atlantica exist. Now, naturally, Melody has some questions.
        You’d expect: Ariel remembers how badly her own argument with Triton ended and calmly tells Melody the truth, explaining why she was lied to her whole life.
        Instead: Ariel snaps at Melody for disobeying her and refuses to answer any of her questions. Just when she calms down, talks with Eric and decides to tell Melody the truth, Melody runs away and falls right into Morgana’s grasp. Just like what happened with Ariel and Ursula!
  • Beauty and the Beast:
    • Gaston in a fit of jealous rage realizes that Belle has feelings for a random Beast. He decides to steal her magic mirror and raise an angry mob to Storm the Castle and kill this Beast . . . so that he can win Belle over by mounting the Beast's head on his wall? The castle residents fortunately get enough warning due to the mob being so loud and shouting, "KILL THE BEAST!" They manage to raise a successful defense even with their master in Heroic B.S.O.D..
      You'd Expect: That one of the servants would stay with the Beast as every other castle object attacks. Mrs. Potts comes to warn him about the invaders. He's Not Himself and not willing to fight, possibly welcoming Death. Also, a mob wants his head on a platter, and the castle must protect the master.
      Instead: No one stays with the Beast, so that he's alone when Gaston pierces through the castle's defenses to get to the Beast in the West Wing. This means he nearly gets killed, and would have died if he hadn't seen Belle return.
    • Despite the fact that Gaston attempts to kill the Beast for petty reasons and is about to fall off to his death, Beast saves Gaston and is given the chance to leave.
      You'd Expect: Since he is completely overwhelmed by the Beast and that Belle shows no interest in him in favor of the former, he just cut his losses, rally any survivors from the castle, and get the hell out. Afterwards he either moves on with his life after realizing that he has no chance with Belle or try and study the Beast and attempt another attack, this time with perhaps more manpower.
      Instead: He proceed to backstab the beast right after he saved his life which led him to fall to his own death.
    • Belle knows Gaston is a complete creep, or at least suspects it from the way he talks about her dad, treats her books, etc. When Belle's father leaves town for the fair, Gaston shows up at her house wanting to propose.
      You'd Expect: Belle to lock the door and barricade herself in the house after checking the peephole and seeing Gaston. And if you think that would spoil the rest of the story, she could always do her running-and-singing-on-the-hillside thing later after he gave up and left.
      Instead: She lets Gaston in and engages him in conversation, up to the point that he tries to pin her against the door and forcibly kiss her. Good thing she was in a position to grab the doorknob, or else that could've ended badly.
  • Aladdin:
    • Aladdin leaves Abu alone with Carpet on the bank of a lake in the Cave of Wonders, and crosses to retrieve the lamp. Abu attempts to steal a piece of the forbidden treasure, to Carpet's horror.
      You'd Expect: Carpet to tackle Abu and fly him over the lake or something, since the stakes are too high for that kind of mindless tomfoolery.
      Instead: Carpet forgets he can fly and tries stopping Abu by grasping his tail. Abu slips free and touches the treasure, pissing off the Cave of Wonders. Aladdin, Abu, and Carpet have to rapidly retreat the ensuing tidal wave of lava, and the three come close to dying on multiple occasions.
    • When the guards arrest Aladdin on Jafar's orders, Jasmine tries to get him released. The guards refuse, so she confronts Jafar about the arrest and demands that he free Aladdin. Jafar says that the charge was "kidnapping the princess," but Jasmine reveals that she wasn't kidnapped, that she ran away.
      You'd Expect: Jafar to tell Jasmine what he tells her in the Disney California Stage version, that he let Aladdin go, or that he will be let go now that he knows that the "kidnapping the princess" charge is fake. It's the truth, and it means he remains on her good side. She is the princess, after all.
      Instead: Jafar counts his chickens before they hatch. He cruelly tells Jasmine that he has already executed Aladdin by beheading, while planning to steal her kingdom with the lamp. Jasmine then tells the sultan what happened after he sees her crying, leading to the sultan reprimanding Jafar and Jasmine promising that when she's queen she'll get rid of Jafar.
    • Jafar has promised Aladdin that he will get a reward if he cedes the lamp. He also helped the latter break out of prison for "kidnapping the princess".
      You'd Expect: Jafar to hold his end of the deal. Aladdin is just a harmless street rat with nothing to lose but with ample Sticky Fingers, only wanting a way out of prison which he got and some money. Not to mention there's Abu, a monkey that doesn't tolerate his human being threatened.
      Instead: Jafar clutches the Villain Ball and immediately tries to kill Aladdin when the latter barely escapes the Cave of Wonders. Abu attacks Jafar and steals the lamp surreptitiously, which allows Aladdin to find out about the Genie and become a prince.
    • Also, Jafar's plan B is to marry Jasmine by hypnotizing the Sultan. "Prince Ali," Aladdin in disguise, arrives wanting Jasmine's hand as well. "Ali" makes a bad first impression on her by treating her as a "prize to be won," and the Sultan has to tell Ali to leave until she's calmer.
      You'd Expect: Jafar to just let Prince "Abububu" make an ass of himself and become tiger meat, and focus on hypnotizing the Sultan. Even if on the off-chance Ali manages to woo Jasmine, Jafar could change the rules through the Sultan to make her go through an Arranged Marriage to the vizier- him. All of the chump princes have failed to win Jasmine over, and this one should be no different.
      Instead: He has the royal guards attempt to drown the prince while he hypnotizes the Sultan to gain Jasmine's hand. Even without Aladdin having the lamp, it's not exactly a good idea to murder a foreign prince, especially when you have a whole squadron of gossiping guards. Aladdin survives thanks to the Genie and outs Jafar as a traitor. Jafar only notices the lamp by luck, while he becomes a fugitive.
    • Aladdin quietly sneaks into Jafar's throne room while Jasmine is distracting the villain, and is mere inches away from the lamp. Abu pins down Iago and keeps him from screeching, but causes a ruckus. To keep Jafar distracted and to help out Aladdin, Jasmine pulls Jafar into a kiss.
      You'd Expect: Aladdin to take advantage of this and grab and/or rub the lamp, then wish for the Genie's freedom like he'd promised. Since the Genie is a nice guy, he would likely stick around to help fight Jafar out of gratitude to Aladdin, and there would be no threat of Iago or someone else stealing the lamp and wishing for worse things. Happy endings all around!
      Instead: Aladdin freezes up at his girl kissing the villain and doesn't go for the lamp. When Jafar pulls back from the kiss after about five whole seconds, he sees Aladdin's reflection in Jasmine's tiara. Things get worse, Aladdin has to fight for a tough victory, and then pays for it again in the sequel.
    • In Aladdin and the King of Thieves the Oracle tells Aladdin that his father is alive and "trapped" in the world of the forty thieves. Aladdin decides to follow the trail and rescue his dad.
      You'd Expect: For Aladdin to go with the Genie. The Genie is a powerful being who managed to chase off the thieves when they invaded the first wedding ceremony. He also has a strong interest in keeping Aladdin alive, since Genie is the "best man" and Aladdin is his friend.
      Instead: Aladdin takes Iago, Abu and Carpet. Abu can pick locks and Carpet can fly, but Iago can only snark. Genie stays behind to cheer up Jasmine and establish a security detail on the second wedding ceremony. As a result, Aladdin only gets spared when Kassim argues for Aladdin to "face the Challenge" — a Duel to the Death that Aladdin wins reluctantly with his Orphan's Plot Trinket dagger.
    • Aladdin finds out that the titular king is his father. Kassim like Aladdin is a lovable thief with standards, who wants to get to know his son again. After he and Kassim talk out their issues, Aladdin invites Kassim to the wedding. Iago points out to Kassim that it would be a prime opportunity to use the Oracle, since everyone will be distracted, and he can confirm the Oracle knows everything.
      You'd Expect: That Kassim wouldn't disrupt the ceremony, or at least he would be open about his intentions since he's been searching for the treasure for a lifetime, and his argument with Aladdin could be that the Hand of Midas could benefit everyone, including the Sultan, Jasmine and his band of thieves so they'd never have to steal again. He'd wait until his son and daughter-in-law tie the knot, and then ask to use the Oracle.
      Instead: He and Iago decide to steal the Oracle during the private ceremony. The Genie immediately tracks him down, which means even without the trap the guards have set that Kassim would have been busted for violating his son's trust.
      • The head guard Razoul also has a major Idiot Ball moment. After the first wedding's disruption, he has a great incentive to catch the forty thieves. Saluk, who has survived a great fall and a shark attack, comes to him with information on how to catch the King of Thieves and claim his incentive is to make Agrabah safer. Razoul is suspicious but gets useful information.
        You'd Expect: He would recognize Saluk as one of the forty thieves that attacked at the wedding and humiliated the Royal Guard, since not many people go around wearing brass claws, and take him into custody. They should then interrogate him more forcefully later. They can work out a plea deal once Kassim is caught, and once the Sultan has time to sentence all the prisoners after the wedding. The other thieves call out Saluk for being a traitor when he goes to see them in prison, so the guards should obviously figure out that Saluk is one of them.
        Instead: Razoul trusts Saluk after he learns the "Open Sesame" password wasn't a trick, and the Guard captures all but seven of the thieves. After Saluk reveals that Aladdin's father is the King of Thieves, Razoul lets Saluk go to set a trap for Kassim with the Oracle. This leaves Saluk free to go and turn the remaining seven thieves against Kassim when he returns.
      • Also, Aladdin drops the ball when he doesn't consider that his father desires the Oracle due to wanting the Hand of Midas for years on end. He just wants his dad to visit Agrabah, attend the wedding, and be his father. Genie has to point out that it's not a wise idea to just parade his father, a wanted fugitive who crashed the first wedding, in front of the Sultan and Jasmine.
        You'd Expect: That Aladdin would remain suspicious and tell the Sultan what he found out: that his father is the King of Thieves, but that Aladdin is watching him strictly to make sure that he doesn't repeat any of his criminal behavior. The Sultan can have a few guards and the Genie around as Betrayal Insurance so that nothing goes wrong. Aladdin knows that you can change someone's clothes, but you can't change who they are; he can speak from experience from having posed as a prince.
        Instead: Aladdin follows the Genie's lead of acting like his father is just his father, and not Agrabah's most wanted. The Genie changes Kassim's clothes so he looks like a trader, and his story that he was a prisoner of the Forty Thieves. Aladdin immediately believes his father has changed on seeing him get along with the Sultan and Jasmine and takes no precautions to watch his father. He ends up betrayed and heartbroken on seeing Kassim tried to steal the Oracle again, deciding to end his relationship with his father after freeing him from prison. Kassim then steals the Oracle anyway after Aladdin breaks him out, claiming I Did What I Had to Do and Aladdin tells him he had a choice to not do it.
  • The Lion King:
    • Just after killing Mufasa, Scar goes down into the canyon to confirm that Mufasa is dead, running into Simba. Since Scar's plan relies on both Mufasa and Simba being dead, Scar's plan is only half-finished.
      You'd Expect: Scar would try and kill Simba right then and there. After all, the only witnesses around are the hyenas, who are loyal to Scar, and Simba has proven no match for them on his own. With all three of them, plus Scar, they could easily overpower the young prince.
      Instead: He manipulates Simba into accepting the responsibility of Mufasa's death and tells him to run away. Scar then waits until Simba is out of earshot, then he sends the hyenas after Simba to kill him. Perhaps Scar didn't want to personally shed any blood, but that seems like a strange thing to be stubborn about, considering he'd just committed fratricide. In any case, Simba escapes the hyenas, and runs away into the wild.
    • In the film's climax, Simba returns to the Pride Lands and confronts Scar over Mufasa. By getting Simba to accept the blame for his father's death yet again, Scar gains the upper hand and dangles him over Pride Rock.
      You'd Expect: Scar to finish off Simba then and there by letting him fall off the rock.
      Or: If he doesn't want to kill Simba, Scar could enforce his authority as king of the Pride Lands by laying down some ground rules. He could also manipulate Simba even further by telling him the other lions will never respect him since he is still saddled with the responsibility of Mufasa's death.
      Instead: He pulls Simba close for some Evil Gloating and tells Simba that he killed Mufasa. Furious, Simba gains his strength back and forces Scar to confess the dirty deed to the other lions of Pride Rock. After a fierce battle, Scar is then attacked and killed by the hyenas whom he tried to blame for Mufasa's death.
    • Once Scar took over the mantle as the king of the Pride Lands, the whole land seems to suffer to he point that every single animal including the hyenas themselves loathes him and wishes that Mufasa would be around to stop him.
      You'd Expect: That the whole group of lions along with the other animals team up and overthrow the childish tyrant.
      Instead: They never considered this choice until after Simba returns years after Scar becomes the ruler of the land.
  • Disney's Pocahontas:
    • Governor Ratcliffe has an obsession with gold, but his first few days of plundering Virginia have yielded no results. His men dug up a large area without finding a speck and through his captain, he is informed the natives do not know of the existence of the shiny metal.
      You'd expect: After a few days, Ratcliffe and his men would leave Virginia and sail further south. From there they'd settle in uninhabited lands closer to where the Spanish found their own gold, where there'd be a better chance for the English to discover some. If unsuccessful, he would give up and sail back to England to be dishonored, having failed his mission.
      Instead: Ratcliffe constructs the Powhatan Tribe's attack on his camp as them acting in defense of the gold they have already mined and stored and proposes to annihilate the Native Americans in order to get their gold, choosing to make war with the people that could show him and his settlers the lands.
    • John Smith is shot in the abdomen protecting Chief Powhatan from a bullet fired by Governor Ratcliffe. He is heavily wounded, but survives.
      You'd expect: The Powhatan Tribe patches him up and lets him rest, knowing his chances for survival are slim but not nonexistent, since it is shown the tribe has adequate medical knowledge to treat wounds, even those that are "strange to them". Aside, at least a few of the Britishmen must know how to tend to gunshot wounds including the victim himself.
      Instead: Everyone agrees the victim has a better chance of surviving if he is sent across the ocean on a lengthy voyage of several months, to be treated in 1600s London. The victim and his lover have a teary farewell and the British ship leaves, also leaving the remaining Britishmen unable to escape or return to England for at least a year.
  • In Disney's version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frollo is clinging to the side of Notre Dame with his sword drawn, and sees Esmeralda holding up Quasimodo, thus making her vulnerable, and goes to attack her.
    You'd Expect: He'd take the second to hop over the balcony rail that's inches away from him before attacking her, or at least quickly cut off her arm if he really wanted them both dead.
    Instead: Shouting "... And He shall smite the wicked!", he raises his arms above his head and balances his whole weight on an already centuries-old gargoyle, causing it to collapse and him to fall from the tower into the blazing inferno below.
    Even Better: He'd cut through that very gargoyle with his own sword minutes beforehand.
  • Hercules:
    • Hades wants to kill Hercules by stealing his immortality. He lets his minions do this.
      You'd Expect: Being the God of the Underworld, he searches through his many souls to see if Hercules is among them. And he keeps in contact with his brother so that he'd have confirmation about Hercules being gone from Olympus.
      Instead: Hades somehow never talks to his brother and the rest of his family, never learns that Hercules is still alive and living on Earth as a mortal, and finds this all out some eighteen years later, resulting in an epic Spit Take.
    • Hercules's first great battle in public (saving Meg from the river centaur was rather private) involves a hydra that he accidentally released when saving two boys (Pain and Panic in disguise) from a cave-in. During the battle he cuts off the hydra's head after it swallows him, only to find that three heads regrow in his place
      You'd Expect: Hercules to try other tactics than beheading: he could aim his sword at the belly, or to do what he did in myth and cauterize the severed heads so that they can't regrow.
      Instead: Hercules keeps slicing the heads until he's facing hundreds of them. Phil lampshades this while telling Hercules to stop beheading the monster.
    • Hercules' trainer, Phil has caught sight of Meg talking to Hades, revealing her employment to him.
      You'd Expect: That he would listen to the entire conversation to see if she will go through with his plan or not. If he caught sight of her rebelling against Hades, then there's no need for Phil to worry about her since he spent most of the film seeing her as a distraction for Herc.
      Instead: He just runs off and warnx Hercules of whom Meg is working for, pissing him off and causing them to break contact from one another.
  • Mulan:
    • The Chinese army that have defeated Shan-Yu have discovered that their hero, "Ping," is a woman. Captain Shang is ordered to kill Mulan but spares her since she saved him and the entire army, leaving her and her horse with enough supplies to ride home. Mulan then comes to find them in the city to tell them the Huns are alive and coming for the Emperor.
      You'd Expect: Shang to realize that Mulan would have no other reason to return. She's been disgraced and told to go home. Although it may have not made much difference in fending off the Huns' ambush, at least the army could have put up a better defense.
      Instead: Feeling hurt about the law putting him in a difficult position to kill Mulan, who did save him, Shang dismisses her and says he can't trust her. The Huns proceed to attack and take the Emperor hostage in his palace. Only then does Shang wise up and let Mulan take the lead, knowing that her ideas are Crazy Enough to Work, in rescuing the Emperor and stopping Shan-Yu.
    • Also, Mulan's plan is essentially distract the guards and incapacitate them so that Chien Po can escort the Emperor to safety and Shang can take on Shan-Yu to defeat him, thus earning the glory due to him.
      You'd Think: The plan would involve Ling and Yao staying behind so that they can help their commanding officer. While Shang is a Badass Normal, he still is only one man against China's greatest foe.
      Instead: Mulan doesn't consider that Shan-Yu, being larger and more experienced than Shang, can overwhelm her captain. Despite the latter putting up a good fight, Shan-Yu manages to beat Shang to a pulp as Yao and Ling escape with Chien Po. She cuts the line to safety as Yao and Ling encourage her to follow them, so that Shan-Yu can't go after the Emperor, and has to use her brains to save Shan-Yu from skewering Shang in revenge.
  • In Treasure Planet, the hero, Jim Hawkins, hears a conversation that John Silver, the only one of the ship's crew who gets along with him, will start a mutiny when they find Treasure Planet. However Scroobs, a vicious crew member, taunts him about his friendship with Jim which leads Silver to claim it was just to not get him suspicious, so to not be seen to the rest of the mutineers as his weakness. After the mutiny of the ship, Jim and his partners are trapped on Treasure Planet and John Silver eventually finds them.
    He goes alone to negotiate with Jim outside their hideout. Silver admits he said those things about Jim because if the other mutineers knew about his weakness, it would result in another mutiny against Silver and they would most likely eviscerate him and the others. Silver proposes a plan to betray his own comrades and join forces with Jim to find the treasure themselves.
    You'd Expect: Jim to understand the odds of not siding with Silver and accept his plan. He may even convince Silver to bring along his friends as they can help against the mutineers. Silver finds his beloved treasure, Jim gets a share of it to rebuild his home, and his friends are A-OK. Everybody is happy.
    Instead: He still resents him for having said those things about him (or the greed gets the better of him) and rejects the offer. He even goes as far to tell Silver he won't get a piece of HIS (Jim's) treasure as he has the map.
  • Tangled:
    • It's Rapunzel's birthday, and she very clearly tells Gothel that she wants to leave the tower to see the lights that only appear on her birthday. Gothel refuses, and Rapunzel instead asks for Gothel to get her special paint that will take several days to obtain rather than reveal the person in her closet (a locked-up Flynn Rider).
      You'd Expect: Gothel, who is a very good liar, to see through this obvious deception and make some kind of excuse to put off her trip for a day or two, causing Rapunzel to miss the lantern festival and thus be less interested in leaving for another year.
      Instead: Gothel buys it and leaves more or less right away. Predictably, this makes Rapunzel leave the tower, setting off a chain of events that ends up costing Gothel her beauty and her life.
    • Flynn starts the movie helping to steal the crown that belongs to the Lost Princess. He wants the crown so he can buy his own island and never worry about money again.
      You'd Expect: He stay as quiet as possible when making the raid, since the guards aren't the most competent and could take hours to notice the crown is missing.
      Instead: While stealing it, he snarks about one guard's hay fever after the latter sneezes. This reveals his and the Stabbington's brothers' plans, giving them less of a head-start to escape, and enough time for the guards to put up Wanted posters.
    • Also, the horse Maximus wants the crown back, and he leads the hunt for Flynn Rider after the guards get a lead that Flynn's in a tavern with a longhaired blonde accomplice. Eventually the hunt leads Flynn, Rapunzel, Maximus and the guards to a nearby dam. Flynn and Rapunzel manage to make the long jump over a gap where the horse can't follow.
      You'd Expect: Given the dam appears old and rickety, that Maximus would find a way across without compromising its structural integrity. The guards have rope and chains, after all, and you can't arrest Flynn if you're dead.
      Instead: Maximus kicks down a beam supporting the dam so as to create a makeshift bridge. This more than Flynn riding down on the dam's supports leads to the entire damn collapsing, and the ensuing flood nearly drowns everyone.
    • To ensure that Rapunzel will be traumatized by going outside so that she'll return to the tower, Gothel proposes an alliance with the Stabbington Brothers, as part of her Batman Gambit. She hands over the stolen crown to the Brothers, but mentions that she knows of a treasure worth several times more, and that her plan to get it would involve revenge on Flynn Rider.
      You'd Expect: That after Flynn double-crossed them the Stabbington Brothers would try to figure out the catch, and turn Gothel down. She's a random stranger who happened to have the MacGuffin. They have the crown, and have essentially cut Flynn out of the deal. They could easily go on their way and settle down.
      Instead: They decide to trust Gothel to get their revenge, not commenting when she sings to the long-haired girl that calls her "Mother". She tricks them into delivering the valuable crown to the Royal Guard with a knocked out Flynn, then double-crosses them so that they don't end up with the treasure she mentioned— Rapunzel's healing hair. They realize that they messed up when Flynn confronts them and they confess it was the "old lady's" idea.
    • Much later on, at the Festival of the Lanterns, Flynn realizes that he has started to fall for Rapunzel, and she has feelings for him as well. She gives him back the satchel with the crown, nullifying their earlier deal but it doesn't matter to him anymore. Just as they're about to kiss, he sees the Stabbington brothers waiting onshore. Earlier they had tried to kill him and Rapunzel to get the crown.
      You'd Expect: Flynn to point out the Stabbington brothers to Rapunzel and tell her that he's going to give the crown to them so that they won't go after her and him anymore. She may object and insist to go with him, but he in turn could point out he promised to escort her back safely to the tower, and that's what he's going to do. Also you'd expect he would tell her that if anything goes wrong to run, row away, or wield her frying pan. It's not like Rapunzel is a Damsel in Distress; she can take care of herself if she knows the danger.
      Instead: Flynn doesn't do any of this. He tells Rapunzel to wait by the boat, and goes to give the crown to the brothers without informing her of their presence. They knock him out, tie him up in a boat with the crown, and make it appear to Rapunzel that he's betrayed her while delivering him to the Royal Guard. Flynn nearly gets hung, and Rapunzel's not ready to fight off two grown men while emotionally distraught.
    • After all of this, Rapunzel by studying the sun handkerchief she got and the imagery she's painted all over the tower, as well as flashbacks from the Festival, realizes she's the lost princess. Rapunzel confronts Gothel, whose Oh, Crap! response reveals that she's not really Rapunzel's mother and has been keeping her prisoner for selfish purposes.
      You'd Expect: Rapunzel by this point realizes that Gothel is a monster and possessive about her flower leaving, and thus should not make her suspicious. She should pretend to accept her mother's justifications about protecting her and hightail it out of the tower as soon as Gothel is distracted and make it back to the kingdom.
      Instead: Rapunzel delivers an epic Calling the Old Man Out, refusing to listen to her adoptive mother and turning her back on Gothel after knocking her down. This gives Gothel, who realizes that Rapunzel will no longer listen to her, an opportunity to sneak up on her and chain her.
  • Wreck-It Ralph:
    • At the 30th Anniversary party for Fix-It-Felix, Jr., Ralph, the game's villain, is trying to argue that his decoration has just as much right to be on top of the celebration cake as the others do.
      You'd Expect: Ralph to avoid doing anything to disrespect Felix, the game's hero, and the guy that every other character in the game loves.
      Instead: He takes the decoration of Felix and plonks it right down in the mud next to the building, where his decoration originally was. The Nicelandersnote  are all understandably offended.
    • The Nicelanders aren't much better. While Ralph does repeatedly wreck their home as part of the game, outside of the arcade's opening hours he's actually a pretty nice guy. Also, he needs to play the bad guy role because without Ralph, there's no game.
      You'd Expect: That at some point during a period of 30 years, someone would have talked to Ralph and figured this out, and that they'd show him a bit more respect as a result. Even from a pragmatic standpoint, you shouldn't isolate or insult your coworkers when they're essential.
      Instead: They refuse to have anything to do with him outside of gameplay. And while Felix is civil towards Ralph, he doesn't make any attempt to befriend him or build bridges between Ralph and the Nicelanders. When they refuse to invite him for the game's thirtieth anniversary and Ralph crashes the party, Gene says that Ralph isn't heroic enough to get a medal and sarcastically says he'll give him the penthouse if Ralph wins a medal.
      Result: Ralph hits his Rage Breaking Point and gains a desire to become a hero, after seeing the respect and adoration Felix gets, and leaves. Not only does this nearly cause the game to be unplugged but Ralph sets off a chain of events that nearly includes the corruption of an unrelated game, and could have wrecked the entire arcade.
      Worse: At no point do we see the Nicelanders acknowledge their responsibility for what happened. Sure, things were partly Ralph's fault, and they do start treating him better at the end of the film, but still.
    • King Candy has a colossal one soon after he's introduced. It's revealed that he can use the Konami Code to gain special user privileges in Sugar Rush, allowing him to, among other things, take possession of any object in the game. Ralph comes into Sugar Rush, and King Candy has Officers Wynchell and Duncan capture him and bring him to the castle. When asked for an explanation on what he's doing in Sugar Rush, Ralph explains that he's trying to get his hands on a medal that Vanellope stole from him, and used to buy her way into a race.
      You'd Expect: King Candy to simply hack the code to get Ralph's medal back, give it to him, and then send him on his way.
      Instead: He lies about not being able to get it back, tries to have Wynchell and Duncan forcibly remove Ralph from the game and then expects him to stay out afterwards. The result is that Ralph escapes from his clutches, and stays in Sugar Rush long enough to team up with Vanellope (in order to get his medal back), and ends up causing King Candy quite a bit of trouble that he could have avoided if he'd just given the medal back in the first place.
      Worse Still: King Candy does resort to this, but only after Ralph has forged a bond with Vanellope and thus has a greater investment in her success than he would have if King Candy had been polite about the intrusion to begin with.
    • In the scene after King Candy tells Ralph what will happen after Vallenope wins the race, Ralph is upset and Vanellope discovers he has his medal:
      You'd Expect: For Vanellope to listen to Ralph and understand why she can't win the race.
      Instead: She gets angry at Ralph and calls him a traitor.
    • Ralph then decides to explain why she can't race: if she finishes high enough, she'll become a selectable character, but players will see her glitching. Because of that, gamers might think the game's broken and it'll be unplugged, killing Vanellope as a result.
      You'd Expect: Vanellope to actually take this explanation seriously.
      Instead: She pretty much ignores it and insists on racing, even when Ralph had warned her of the consequences of doing so. As a result, Ralph is practically forced, against his own wishes, to trash the kart.
    • After retrieving his medal, Ralph returns to his own game, only to learn from Gene that after Felix disappeared trying to find him, all the Nicelanders have abandoned it, knowing that the game will be unplugged in the morning. When Gene asks what Ralph was hoping to gain from this, Ralph explains that he didn't want to have to live alone in the garbage.
      You'd Expect: Gene would realise that he and the Nicelanders also had a role in causing this mess, and either apologise to Ralph or acknowledge it.
      Instead: "Now you can live alone in the penthouse."
      • The racers of Sugar Rush have previously been downright horrible to Vanellope, who eventually ends up in the perfect position to make them suffer for what they did. The racers acknowledge that what they did was wrong, and Vanelope starts to talk about what she'll do to them.
        You'd Expect: That it would occur to the racers that whatever Vanellope has planned for them is probably going to suck.
        Instead: They get EXCITED, then gasp in shock when Vanellope declares that she'll have them all killed. Luckily for them, she's just joking.
  • Frozen:
    • Elsa ended up accidentally hurting Anna during their playtime in the night. Their parents, the king and queen, visit the trolls for help. Grand Pabbie gives Anna a Laser-Guided Amnesia where she loses her memories of Elsa's ice powers and tells Elsa that she must control her powers.
      You'd Expect: The king and queen would get to learn more about Elsa's powers and teach her to control them. Or that the trolls would train Elsa, since Grand Pabbie knows how to use magic.
      Instead: They keep Elsa in isolation and hid her powers from everyone, including Anna, while telling Elsa to do everything she can to suppress her powers rather than control them. As a result Elsa grows to fear her power, loses control of it, accidentally plunges Arendelle into an ice age, and nearly kills Anna.
      Additionally: Why did they feel the need to remove Anna's knowledge of Elsa's powers when Anna was clearly fine with them before? All that did was make it much harder for Anna to understand why Elsa is shutting everyone out. Most fanfics suggest that the memories had to be removed in order for the physical damage to Anna's head to be properly healed.
    • So Hans, being the youngest of thirteen brothers, has no prospects of owning a kingdom. He goes to Arendelle in the hopes of courting Elsa but finds her younger sister and heir Anna falling for him. Hans comes up with the plan of marrying Anna, killing off Elsa years later to leave the throne free for him to claim, leaving Anna as a Trophy Wife.
      You'd Expect: That after causing Anna to fall for him that Hans would follow traditional royal etiquette, that is to court her over a matter of months rather than hours and undergo negotiations with Elsa for a marriage. Such negotiations weren't taken lightly among the higher class. This would also endear himself to Elsa, who tries to be a Reasonable Authority Figure as queen.
      Instead: He proposes to Anna after spending several hours with her at the coronation ball, and says nothing as she argues with Elsa about how she deserves a blessing for marriage because "it's true love". If not for Anna angering Elsa and accidentally outing her ice powers, he wouldn't have been in any position to inherit Arendelle's throne.
    • The Duke of Weselton wants stronger trade negotiations with Arendelle that he can exploit. He also has a Fantastic Racism of "witchcraft," as shown when Anna accidentally outs Elsa's powers by taking her gloves and baiting her. Elsa then flees in a panic, leaving the country in eternal winter.
      You'd Expect: The Duke to prioritize his ambition over his prejudice and fear, and not antagonize any of the Arendelle royals. No matter how unstable the Queen of Arendelle and her sister are, magic or not, they hold the bargaining power.
      Instead: He orders his royal guards to assassinate Elsa once they find her. Elsa tries to flee and mount a defense, but she nearly kills them, and recognizes their crest. As a result, when she returns to her rightful rule, she cuts all trading ties with Weselton.
    • After Hans succeeds in capturing Elsa and bringing her back to Arendelle, in the hopes that she can undo the eternal winter, a half-frozen Anna returns. She manages to explain that Elsa attacked her, but that a kiss from Hans can save her because it would be an act of true love. Hans at this point doesn't truly "love" Anna in that he wouldn't make a great sacrifice for her, though he did ride out into the ice to find her when her horse returned.
      You'd Expect: Hans would try to actually kiss her, and muster up all the positive feelings he has for Anna. He needs her alive to make his claim to the throne legitimate, since they haven't actually gotten married, and she put him in charge only until she returned from finding Elsa. It's the perfect Xanatos Gambit: if the kiss works, then Anna is indebted to him and will follow through on their engagement. And by all accounts it should work: Hans and Anna are attracted to each other, he cares for her well-being as much as she does for his at this point, and she makes him happy during their few moments of courtship. If it doesn't work? At least Hans tried, and he can manipulate the situation so that Anna hands him Arendelle on a plate before she dies, with long-lasting legitimacy. He could even stay with her until the end, with witnesses to his grief.
      Instead: Hans decides to cut his losses, telling Anna You Have Outlived Your Usefulness. He gains a Slasher Smile and cruelly reveals to Anna he never loved her. Then he douses all the candles and fire in the room and leaves her to die, claiming that once he kills Elsa and brings back summer that no one will care that Anna is dead.
      You'd Then Expect: That he makes sure that Anna actually died, leaving no witnesses to his claim that Anna died in Han's arms.
      Instead: He just leaves Anna to her death without double checking, completely gambling on the fact that Anna will die rapidly, that no one will hear her faint cries for help, and that no one knows where she is. Olaf, the Spanner in the Works for Hans, rescues Anna in the nick of time, and when she saves Elsa from Hans, every local and foreign guest sees his cruelty. As a result, Anna breaks off the engagement, and Elsa sends Hans back to the Southern Isles in disgrace for trying to kill them.
    • In relations to the above thing, Hans tells the Arendelle royal council that Anna has "died" (well, she hasn't yet croaked), and that they said their wedding vows right before she took her last breath.
      You'd Expect: Someone to go to collect the body, or someone else to point out that a marriage has no legal meaning without witnesses and someone presiding over it.
      Instead: They just go along with everything Hans says, even the part where he thinks Elsa has to be killed. Granted, Elsa has scared them with the whole eternal winter thing and they want to repair it as fast as possible, but that's no excuse for them not to go fact-checking Hans's story at all and let him take over despite the fact that he has absolutely no legitimate claim to the leadership of Arendelle.
  • Big Hero 6 has some notable moments as well.
    • At the Student Expo, Hiro wows everyone with his microbots, including CEO Krei. When Krei makes an offer to buy Hiro's bots and hire him, Professor Callaghan steps in and accuses Krei of being a Corrupt Corporate Executive who cuts corners with science.
      You'd Expect: Krei would offer more than money to Hiro, like offer to cover his tuition for the best university possible and learn there or funding microbots for a huge community service project. And if Hiro doesn't accept the offer then, wait for a few months and keep trying to recruit. In addition, Krei should, being who he is, hire lawyers to defend himself against Callaghan's accusations since later on, according to the video footage Hiro and the others find, we only have Callaghan's word that the transporter was tested too early. He has a reputation to uphold, after all.
      Instead: He only repeats his offer and says that he and Callaghan agree to disagree, and later on doesn't follow up with Hiro when the latter doesn't register at the "nerd school", who then considers him responsible for Tadashi's death as a potential identity of Yokai. He also doesn't help his case by trying to pocket one of Hiro's microbots.
    • After Hiro's success at the Student Expo, the brothers hang out on campus, up until they see a fire in the building that breaks out. Tadashi is worried when someone says Callaghan is inside.
      You'd Expect: Tadashi to just wait outside and let the fire department handle it. Given San Fransokyo is in the United States, where fire safety is taught everywhere, it's important that civilians never try and mount a rescue.
      Instead: Tadashi runs into the fire to save Professor Callaghan. He dies, leaving Hiro, Cass, and his friends bereft. And as it turns out later, Callaghan faked his death.
    • After unmasking Callaghan, Hiro and his teammates are in denial. Hiro in particular calls out Callaghan for letting Tadashi die, and for trying to kill them at different points in the movie. At this point they've unmasked and depowered the villain.
      You'd think: Callaghan would Know When to Fold 'Em and try not to anger a grieving Hiro while surrendering. He's seen Hiro as a potential bot fighter, and a kid who hasn't shown up to classes, and given he tried to kill the latter AND his former students, doesn't have much of a defense. Also, need anyone mention the robot that knows karate?
      Instead: He's Brutally Honest in saying that Tadashi's death was the latter's mistake and that he wasn't responsible. Hiro, who in his Establishing Character Moment crushed an opponent's robot to bits, takes away Baymax's healthcare chip which turns the latter into a killing machine. Callaghan barely escapes with his life, only because the others operate on Thou Shalt Not Kill.

     Other Disney Animated Films and Films from Pixar 
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas - Jack, having decided to try doing Christmas himself, sends Lock, Shock, and Barrel to kidnap Santa Claus.
    You'd expect: Jack to employ more trustworthy people, or even perhaps ask Santa if it's okay to try doing Christmas himself, maybe even getting some tips in the bargain.
    Instead: He trusts the trio to "keep him [Santa] comfortable" and they, of course, send Santa down to Oogie Boogie.
    Also, You'd Think: Jack would make sure he knows what the heck he's doing.
    Instead: He charges into the holiday face-first, scaring the crap out of everyone and getting himself blown up, and would've stayed completely dead if Zero, his ghost-dog, didn't put him back together again, and if that didn't happen, Oogie would've killed Santa and Sally, and without Santa, Christmas would have to be cancelled forever.
  • Toy Story:
    • A major moment of this type occurs in the first movie. Buzz and Woody are trying to find Andy when they see that their only chance is to use a Pizza Planet delivery vehicle, a small pickup truck. Woody wants the two of them to ride in the bed, notifying that "no one will see them there." However, Buzz warns him that "There are no restraining harnesses in the cargo area." As it turns out, despite Woody's warnings, there apparently happens to be a stack of pizza packages between the driver's seat and the passenger's, which is enough to obscure Buzz from the driver's view.
      You'd expect: Woody would realize that Buzz has a point and to sit somewhere in the front where the humans won't see him.
      Instead: Scoffing the page quote out of spite, He still chooses his idea of hiding from the humans, which is to sit in the bed; with disastrous consequences.
    • Later on, when Buzz gets separated from Woody on the moving truck, Woody plans on using RC to drive him back.
      You'd expect: Woody to tell the rest of Andy's toys that Buzz is out there and to prove it by using Lenny (a pair of toy binoculars). That way the rest of the toys can help him bring Buzz back to the truck.
      Instead: He doesn't say a thing and the moment he pushes RC off the truck, the rest of the toys, still upset that he knocked Buzz out the window turn on him. Their antics almost cause Buzz to get knocked off RC and they eventually throw Woody off the truck. When they look through the binoculars and realize he's telling the truth, all their subsequent efforts fail.
  • Near the beginning of Toy Story 2, Woody has ended up found by a toy collector named Al in Yard Sale while trying to save another toy from being sold, but Andy's mom refuses to sell him as he is still her son's favorite toy.
    You'd Expect: Mrs. Davis to hold onto Woody or take him back up to Andy's room.
    Instead: She merely locks him in her money chest for the yard sale and leaves. Al distracts Mrs. David by knocking over some stuff with a skateboard and then picks the lock to the chest and steals Woody.
    • In the middle of the film, the toys are looking for Woody in 'Al's Toy Barn', where early on, Rex picks up a magazine that tells him how to defeat Emporer Zurg in the 'Buzz Lightyear' Video Game, and then afterwards, they get a toy van to explore the toy store's different aisles in, with a 'Tour Guide Barbie' on the wheel. During all this, Rex is spending time looking at his magazine in the back seat.
      You'd Expect: that Rex keeps the big magazine to himself without doing anything to disrupt Tour Guide Barbie while she is at the wheel.
      Instead: Upon finding something on the magazine that tells him how to defeat Zurg, he -for no good reason- shoves the whole magazine in front of the driver's view, resulting in them accidentally hitting a large tub of bouncy balls, further causing the van to spin out of control and for Rex to have his 'Source of power,' the magazine fly out of his 'little arms' and underneath one of the lower shelves out of his reach. He even almost gets left behind as he tries to catch up with the van that veered off without him.
  • Toy Story 3
    • Andy is leaving for college, and his mother tells him he has to clear out his room. She gives him instructions that garbage bags hold trash, like his apple core, and cardboard boxes hold sentimental items for storage in the attic.
      You'd Expect: Andy to follow his mother's instructions. Despite having outgrown all of his toys, he's deeply attached to the ones that survived his childhood.
      Instead: He puts his toys in a garbage bag and leaves them below the attic door. Mrs. Davis on seeing the bag puts it in the trash. Later, Andy can't find his toys, and when he explains to his mother, she goes Oh, Crap!. Fortunately, the toys make it back before Andy leaves for college, and he thinks he just misplaced them, but still!
    • Woody runs with a pair of scissors to save his friends, who manage to escape the garbage truck. By the time he catches up, however, they believe that Andy has abandoned them. Jessie is particularly hurt since it triggered her abandonment issues and claustrophobia. Woody tells them that Andy was putting them in the attic.
      You'd Expect: That they would believe Woody, and return to the attic on their own, before Andy notices they're gone.
      Instead: The toys don't believe Woody, especially since Andy's taking him to college. Jessie decides to go with Molly's abandoned Barbie to the local daycare. They soon find that the daycare is a False Utopia for new toys, and its leader Lotso won't let them return when Mrs. Potato Head sees through her missing eye that Andy is looking for them. Jessie apologizes to Woody when he comes back for them, lampshading that the toys were wrong.
    • Woody, Buzz, and the other toys are on the conveyor belt at the dump. At first they think they're approaching daylight, but it turns out to be an enormous incinerator, which burns all the trash that falls into it. But they see a ladder which leads upward, and avoids being pushed into it, with a stop button that will halt the conveyor belt if pressed.
      You'd expect: That Buzz or Woody themselves would try to climb up the ladder and hit the stop button before it's too late.
      Instead: They trust Lotso to climb up it and press it himself. So he does climb up there...only to pointedly not hit the button, leaving them to die.
  • The Incredibles
    • As a result of being sued by the public as a whole despite having their lives saved, all the heroes have to go into hiding, making them unable come into action when a supervillain shows up.
      You'd Expect: Realizing that there are no more superheroes to stop them, the villains would team up and declare an all out war against the world and thanks to the superheroes negative reputation, can either kill off mass number of people or commit several bank heists unhindered.
      Instead: For some reason, the villains also just as mysteriously disappear with the sole exception of Syndrome giving the general public even more reason to hate on the heroes because they blame them for any disasters going on essentially making the whole populace a massive Karma Houdini.
    • The supers following a series of lawsuits have to go underground; the government helps them build civilian identities and find new jobs.
      You'd Expect: The government would put supers in jobs that they want to do, and where they will excel and where they won't arouse suspicion. Bob would do great as a cop or firefighter, for example, due to his durability and desire to help people, and no one would think twice of him helping to carry fire victims due to his bulk. A private business owner (like Syndome) could easily hire away supers to use their powers as secret police or for an army, and that would be a liability.
      Instead: The government job placement is incredibly terrible. Bob is stuck in one dead-end office job after another; his latest is working for a Corrupt Corporate Executive who hates that insurance clients are finding loopholes to get the claim they want. Bob ends up sending that executive through about ten walls after the latter refuses to let him help a man getting mugged outside, and the loss of his job makes him vulnerable and desperate enough to accept the mysterious offer from Mirage. Judging by the number of other supers that Syndome has hired away and killed, the government has been doing a terrible job with it.
    • Bob due to this terrible job placement loses his position at the insurance company. He doesn't dare tell Helen this, or that he's accepted a better paying position with a private employer that knows his secret identity. This new job pays triple his previous salary, which is enough to buy two new cars, and makes him happy. He doesn't know that his employer Syndrome will kill him in good time.
      You'd Expect: That eventually he would tell Helen that he "got transferred" to another company, or at least to give her updated contact information for when he goes to the island to do odd jobs. This way if there's an emergency, like Jack Jack running a fever or the kids being in trouble, then she can contact him and he can jet back to the mainland.
      Instead: Bob never tells Helen or gives her updated contact information, which he admits that he should have with hindsight. When Syndrome tries to kill him, he has no way of calling for backup, since Helen was also a hero and as it turns out a licensed pilot. Helen as a result finds out much later that he was fired, and has no way of contacting him when suspecting him of having an affair. Edna Mode tells her to activate the tracking device in his new suit, which causes Bob to get caught and tortured when Syndrome thinks that Mr. Incredible is dead.
    • Following this, Syndrome profiles all of his super victims so that his robot can be the perfect patsy for his Fake Ultimate Hero ploy. Mr. Incredible for him is a personal project, given Incredible was once his hero and who disappointed him in a Broken Pedestal moment.
      You'd Expect: That Syndrome would keep all tabs on Mr. Incredible, including finding out about his family and their powers. This isn't just being a collector; super powers are genetic, which means his family might be able to save Mr. Incredible, and Syndrome can anticipate setbacks to killing and later imprisoning Incredible.
      Instead: Syndrome leaves this up to Mirage, who discreetly leaves Mr. Incredible's family out of the picture when sending Syndrome his information; it's implied that Even Evil Has Standards given her horror when Syndrome plans to blow up a plane with children aboard— INCREDIBLE'S CHILDREN. This allows Helen to save herself and the kids given she's Elastigirl, something Syndrome finds out much later, and for Violet to bust her family out of their force-field prison.
    • The whole "shoot the plane" down scenario happens when Elastigirl accidentally activate a tracking device in Incredible's suit which gets him caught in Syndrome's secret lair. Mr. Incredible is honest when he says he didn't know about that, and he says Please, I Will Do Anything! when he realizes that Helen's the pilot asking for permission to land.
      You'd Expect: Syndrome to realize that having live hostages to torment Mr. Incredible would be more valuable than dead ones, especially since he knows "Helen," the pilot, and the "children" aboard, and that they might be in the know about Incredible's secret identity. In addition, he can make sure that no one else knows about the island by interrogating the plane members. He could pretend to give her permission to land, invoke I Have Your Wife and forcibly interrogate Helen about Have You Told Anyone Else?. Mr. Incredible won't fight back if his family is in danger.
      Instead: Syndrome for petty reasons gives the orders to shoot the plane down, and taunts Incredible about how he "works alone," has nothing to lose and still refuses to snap Mirage's neck after taking her hostage. This leads to Helen and the kids surviving the crash, Mirage turning on Syndrome for disregarding her life, and Mr. Incredible nearly killing Mirage for real after she frees him. All these parties when they work together contribute to Syndrome's inevitable downfall.
  • Brave
    • The whole plot kicks off when Queen Elinor receives notification that three tribes will send suitors to win her daughter Merida's hand. Merida's not keen on the idea, and the two have a row about it. Fergus convinces Elinor to practice speaking with him as if he's Merida, and Merida carries on a similar conversation with her horse Angus.
      • You'd expect: Elinor after practicing talking to Merida with Fergus would seek her daughter out, and Merida would do the same. They both have good intentions, each not trying to hurt the other, and they can find middle ground, which they later do find.
        Instead: Elinor keeps her words to herself while dressing up Merida for the occasion, and Merida keeps her mouth shut in hopes of devising a means out of the situation. Merida invokes Loophole Abuse to win her own hand which threatens a four-way war, Elinor in a fury throws her daughter's bow into the fire, and Merida runs away in tears.
    • A worse mess ensues because Merida meets a stranger, who she soon realizes is a druid. Despite knowing absolutely nothing about magic, she bargains with this stranger for a spell to "change her fate".
      You'd Expect: Merida to listen to the witch about "unhappy customers" and her hints of warning such as, "Are you sure you know what you're asking for?" She could take her time to think about the wording of the spell as well if she's going to go through with it, since "change" can lead to so many possibilities. Witches were also considered wisewomen, so she could simply pay for advice on how to get out of an Arranged Marriage.
      Instead: Even after the druid ominously warns her that all magic has consequences, Merida insists on purchasing the spell, as well as all the witch's carvings, and pays no mind to the hints that the witch is dropping. Then the spell turns her mother into a Brainwashed and Crazy bear.
    • Following this, Merida seeks to undo the spell by going back to the witch's cottage with her mother. That in itself is reasonable, but the witch has left behind a message with potions and a Curse Escape Clause that is coded with vagueness.
      You'd Expect: That Merida would become a little more cautious about magic.
      Instead: She immediately tries to fix her mother by...grabbing potions at random and pouring them into a nearby hearth. As her previous experience with magic clearly shows, this only makes the problem worse. note 
    • Once Merida and her mother figure out the Curse Escape Clause that the witch left behind, Merida realizes that she has to mend the tapestry that she ripped earlier with her sword in a fury. That means going back to the castle, getting the tapestry, and sewing it.
      You'd Expect: Merida to have her mother wait outside the castle after the latter shows her the secret entrance, and mend the tapestry quickly before bringing it out to drape over her mother. As Merida put it earlier, Bear!Elinor in Fergus's castle is as good as dead if anyone sees her, and Elinor could easily revert into feral bear form as she did by the river.
      Instead: Merida brings her mother with her, and barely gets her into the room with the tapestry. While Elinor helps Merida negotiate a compromise with the lords with some creative charades, she also reverts to bear form just when Fergus discovers his wife's torn dress in their room and Merida needs her mother's help to find the needle and thread. Fergus on seeing what he thinks is a feral bear attacking his daughter, and Merida defending said bear, draws his sword and a fight ensues. The end result is that Fergus is on the bear hunt again, Merida and her mother haven't mended the tapestry or broken the curse, and the sunrise deadline is closer than ever. Merida then has to stop her father from killing her mother, and mend the tapestry on horseback.
    • Also after this happens Merida tearfully confesses to Fergus what happened with the spell and the witch.
      You'd Expect: Fergus to take a moment to listen to his daughter, since even though he doesn't believe in magic it's odd that someone like Merida would protect a bear that slashed her, not to mention that said bear ran off in a fright after attacking him and her which isn't what Mordu did.
      Instead: Fergus pays no mind at all to what Merida says and locks her in the tapestry room for her "safety". He leads the lords on a bear hunt and nearly kills his wife. He then fights Merida when she stops him from shooting Bear!Elinor and cuts off his wooden leg, instead of listening to her, until the triplets tackle him in bear cub form and confirm her story, which makes him vulnerable when Mordu, the actual bear threat, appears.
  • Ratatouille:
    • Alfredo Linguini, a young clumsy man whose mother has died recently, comes to Gusteau's asking for a job. Chef Skinner doesn't like him, but he accepts his second-in-command hiring Linguini for the menial garbage boy position. However, while mopping he accidentally knocks a pot of soup over.
      You'd Expect: Linguini to take responsibility for the mistake and promise to be more careful in future. It's not likely that he'd be fired for a single relatively minor mistake..
      Instead: Linguini on an impulse decides to recreate by throwing in random ingredients making the soup taste terrible. He nearly gets fired because Chef Skinner catches him with a ladle in his hand, and would have lost his job if Remy hadn't been watching and fixed the soup in record time. Chef Skinner decides to hold a grudge against Linguini as a result and watch him closely while hiring him as a chef on probation.
    • Following this, Linguini and Remy form an alliance so that Remy can cook for Linguini in the kitchen. They come up with a system so that when Remy pulls on Linguini's hair, Linguini's body moves like a marionette.
      You'd Expect: That Linguini while working with Remy would start writing the recipes down, or figure out a way to communicate with the rat. Remy can't write but he can read, and Linguini can understand most of his miming. Practically speaking there may be occasions of them getting separated, or even Linguini wanting to give Remy a night off. If on the off-chance their relationship goes sour, which it does, Linguini will be able to tell the other chefs how to replicate the dishes like Linguini's Sweetbread. Linguini also has the capability to take notes and listen, as he does when Collette mentors him.
      Instead: Linguini doesn't think this far ahead. While he accuses Remy of treating him like a puppet after a silly argument over the press and the reviewer Anton Ego and then kicks him out of the kitchen when Remy leads hordes of rats into the restaurant out of spite, the next day he realizes that without "Little Chef"'s recipes the kitchen can't function and impress Ego with a new dish. Collette manages to do this, by cooking alongside Remy when she talks to him and he shows her his way of making ratatouille.
    • After customers tire of Linguini's soup, they ask him to make something new. Skinner is shocked, and suspicious that Linguini is Smarter Than You Look after reading the letter from Renata that Linguini is Gusteau's son. Skinner is waiting on a DNA test to see if this is true.
      You'd Expect: That Skinner would realize that sabotaging Linguini on preparing a new dish could easily cause the restaurant to lose another star.
      Instead: Skinner spitefully orders Colette and Linguini to prepare a sweetbread recipe that Gusteau considered "terrible". He hopes this will discredit Linguini, at the cost of the restaurant's reputation. Fortunately, Remy fixes the recipe and prepares it before Colette can stop "Linguini" from changing it. Skinner only then realizes how "good" this is and the near miss he had, before interrogating Linguini with wine.
    • After the night of success with changing a sweetbread recipe, and Remy reuniting with his family, he returns to the restaurant to find Linguini passed out on the kitchen floor after a night of cleaning while drunk. Remy hears Collette entering as well.
      You'd Expect: Remy to let Collette find Linguini sleeping. It's not a bad thing given the kitchen is clean and that he performed double duty as garbage boy and chef, which means that to Collette either Linguini is a dedicated worker or the boss's puppy to kick.
      Instead: Remy uses his marionette skills and a pair of sunglasses to feign that Linguini is awake, and Collette takes offense with how Linguini won't talk about his night talking to the boss since if not for her, he wouldn't have made it so far.
  • Inside Out has a few moments as well.
    • While making the long trek back to headquarters, Joy and Sadness run into workers that send an Ear Worm as a joke through recall tubes.
      You'd Expect: Joy would send several of the core memories up to tide Anger, Disgust and Fear using those same tubes, as How It Should Have Ended noted, so that the remaining personality islands don't collapse as Sadness and Joy make the long trek back, using the Train of Thought.
      Instead: Joy insists that she has to personally take the core memories back to headquarters, not even letting the possibility cross her mind since the core memories are too valuable. This oversight ends up costing her and Sadness crucial time; when she thinks to use the recall tubes to transport herself and the memories much later on, they collapse due to Honesty Island collapsing at the same time.
    • Bing Bong points out a "shortcut" that says "DANGER- Keep Out". Bing Bong can't read, but Joy very well can. Sadness realizes what the danger is and warns Joy not to go in.
      You'd Expect: Joy would listen to Sadness's worries and bypass the "shortcut," given the sign and all.
      Instead: Joy and Bing Bong go in, with Sadness reluctantly following to help them out when they get turned into abstract thought. Cessation of Existence nearly ensues.
    • The Train of Thought stops for the night, since Riley needs sleep. Joy is frantic since without the train they have a long journey ahead of them. They sneak into the dream-making studios to try and wake Riley up.
      You'd Expect: Each emotion has alternating dream shift duty; Joy in fact was on one, and the dreams tend to be repetitive. Joy and Sadness after crashing the dream could try and send a message to Fear, Anger or Disgust through the images to not do anything rash and that Joy and Sadness are on their way back to headquarters. The dream has a Weirdness Censor, but even Fear can see through most of it and criticize the quality.
      Instead: Joy and Sadness only focus on waking Riley up, and Fear has no idea what's going on when he sees the strange nightmares that the other two emotions cause. Anger and Disgust chide him for waking Riley up during a nightmare, not realizing Joy's intentions due to miscommunication, and plant the idea for Riley to run away.
  • In Recess: School's Out, the Big Bad is upset that the students are falling behind in the academic tests in the 1960s and wants to do something to improve it. He decides that the best thing to do is to cancel recess, first at Third Street School and then as Secretary of Education. Neither of these attempts go well and get him fired.
    You'd Expect: That he change his tactics, study what the high-performing countries like Japan do with testing, and simply try to enforce several strict rules such as either be more punctual, a punishment such as a detention for receiving low grades or simply gave them a pre-school tasks such as one to do in a summer vacation. You'd also expect that he recognize that sometimes, students and teachers needed breaks and thus he keeps continue to allow summer vacation as a relief from the school pressures. In fact, one episode of Recess showed that getting rid of recess leads to lower test scores and morale. It says something if you lose your job twice due to an overly strict mandate, so best to refine your methods.
    Instead: He refuses to learn from his mistakes, first blaming Principal Prickley for getting him fired, stealing his job and girlfriend Muriel Finster; we don't hear his opinion on the president firing him. Later on somehow he thinks that it's a good idea to create a global Ice Age just to get remove the summer vacation and recesses all because he thinks that with ice and snow that kids will just sit inside and study. He also believes that working all day is going to improve the marks and get him promoted into a president because of his Insane Troll Logic that countries like Canada, Iceland and Norway have colder seasons. Safe to say, if his plans ended up being executed perfectly, he would have done a hundred times more harm than good in the long run. TJ also points out that kids will find ways to have fun in the snow: "You can get rid of summer, but you can't get rid of summer vacation!"
    • Also in the film Benedict's plan involves using a stolen tractor beam to move the moon to another position, to create permanent winter in the United States on the day that the moon is closest to the Earth.
      You'd Expect: He would make sure the location is out of sight, and in a prime place to move the moon, say an observatory in the mountains where no one will notice. Also that he would cover up any misdeeds efficiently.
      Instead: He chooses Third Street School, which his hired scientists say is not suitable for the position, due to his obsession with having lost his job there. TJ, one of the two kids left in town after summer camp, sees the green glow from the tractor beam in broad daylight, and his friends later see it in the evening which makes them suspicious. Then after kidnapping Prickley, Benedict tosses the principal's golf pants in the trash and the bald guy impersonating Prickley unmasks himself in broad daylight while gloating about taking away the pants. The end result is that TJ and his friends find out about Benedict's plan and foils it.
      • While this has been going on, three parties have informed the police about the strange things going on at the school: TJ, his friends, and Ms. Finster. TJ talks about the school safe being levitated, his friends mention scientists with a strange beam, and Ms. Finster reports ninjas.
        You'd Expect: TJ and his friends are one thing, but Ms. Finster is a respectable adult. At the very least the police can open an investigation and set up a stakeout at the school.
        Instead: The police take a report from TJ, but they laugh. Each time, even with Ms. Finster. This means the kids have to rely on themselves to form an army from their classmates, and Finster follows suit with the teachers.
  • Finding Nemo:
    • The dentist plans on offering Nemo to his young niece as a gift. Unfortunately Darla is an uneducated Spoiled Brat who accidentally killed her last fish when she wouldn't stop shaking the bag.
      You'd Expect: The dentist to offer her something she can't accidentally kill, or at least teach her how to properly care for her pets to ensure the same thing doesn't happen again.
      Instead: He decides to go ahead and offer Nemo to her anyway. Then, after Nemo pretends to go belly-up, he leaves the bag right there where Darla can see it. What does she do? Why, she proceeds to start violently shaking the bag to "wake up" the fish. If it weren't for Gill's intervention, Nemo would have surely died.
  • The Good Dinosaur:
    • In a world where the dinosaurs survived and have become settlers, Henry and his wife have three children. The Runt at the End, Arlo, is trying to earn his mark like his older siblings by feeding the hens. The only problem? The hens are bigger than him and keep attacking him. He also messes with his siblings' chores while running from the chickens. Eventually Arlo gets tired of this and tries to face the hens and shove down his fear.
      You'd Expect: That his siblings wouldn't mess up Arlo's chances. Or, alternatively, they could help him not fear them because while his fear is rational, it does make him The Millstone.
      Instead: Buck, a Big Brother Bully, plays a prank on Arlo with the hens, which messes him up. He then knocks over Arlo when the latter gets understandably angry at him. This ends up starting a chain of events that leads to the father Henry dying and the family farm going to ruin.
    • After this point the whole family sees Arlo raging at Buck. It's obvious that Buck played a prank on Arlo and has sabotaged the one time he's tried not to be scared.
      You'd Expect: Henry and his wife would give Buck a What the Hell, Hero? speech and to help Arlo work smarter, not harder. The siblings should be supporting each other, and Arlo needs more time and confidence to make his mark.
      Instead: Buck doesn't get lectured, making him a Karma Houdini because Jerkass Has a Point. While Henry does cheer up Arlo by taking him out at night to see fireflies, he decides it would be a bright idea to have his youngest son capture a pest that's getting into their food, rather than help him with the hens. Arlo when he sees the pest, a tiny human he names Spot, can't kill it and frees it. Then when this happens, Henry takes him on a trip that ends up killing Henry and stranding Arlo far away from home. Arlo then has to make the trip with the human Spot, while dealing with his dad's death.

    Other animated films 
  • The Animated Adaptation of Animal Farm: While the animals fought against the invading farmers, Jones sneaks into the windmill, fills it with explosives, sets it on fire.
    You'd Expect: Jones to get away from the windmill as fast as he can.
    Instead: He stops to drink a bottle of wine and the windmill explodes. We never hear from Jones again.
  • The Land Before Time: Cera, one of the main protagonists, while trying to find her way to her family through an empty ravine, lands on a giant T-Rex named Sharptooth, who is unconscious and does not wake up.
    You'd Expect: Cera would get out of there as fast as she could before he wakes up.
    Instead: She mocks him while he's asleep by ramming into him, which wakes him up and nearly gets Cera killed
  • In the Transformers Generation 1 movie, Megatron is stalling Optimus, who has some exposed wounds on his left side, so he can grab a gun to shoot him while Optimus is busy talking instead of executing him. Hot Rod sees this and tries to stop Megatron.
    You'd Expect: Hot Rod shoots the gun, shoots Megatron in the back, or yells at Optimus "He's going for a gun!"
    Instead: He tries to tackle pound-for-pound one of the strongest and most dangerous Decepticons in the series, who easily overcomes him, thereby giving Megatron an Autobot shield from which be can blast Optimus with ease without fear of retaliation. Optimus dies as a result.
    Alternatively: Optimus could've kept his own mouth shut and killed Megatron as soon as he leveled his gun on him. Or positioned himself so that his injuries weren't in Megatron's line of fire. Especially since Optimus knows from personal experience that Megatron has multiple built-in weapons.
  • Shrek:
    • Lord Farqaad wants to create a perfect kingdom. To do so, a magic mirror tells him he has to marry a princess to become a king. The mirror suggests three options, and Farqaad chooses Princess Fiona. The mirror then tries to add a caveat that she's cursed.
      You'd expect: That given how Genre Savvy Farqaad is later in having other knights go to rescue Fiona, that he would pay attention. You'd also expect that the mirror would keep trying to warn him.
      Instead: Farqaad dismisses the mirror's warnings that Fiona turns into an ogre at night, and the spell can be broken with true love. During the time he waits for Shrek to return, and Mirror either can't or doesn't warn him.
    • Lord Farquaad's marriage to Fiona has been interrupted by Shrek and just as he's ordered both of them to be detained, Dragon crashes through the church and begins lunging at him.
      You'd Expect: He would run away from Dragon so that he could avoid being eaten. Donkey and Shrek managed to do so earlier in the film.
      Instead: He stands in place screaming, giving Dragon enough time to swallow him whole, killing him.
  • In Watership Down, a film that portrays the grim and realistic life of a rabbit, a prologue at the very beginning reveals that the reason for this is a very prominent example of this trope. In the very beginning, all of the animals lived together in peace and harmony, until the rabbits population started increasing rapidly and the rabbits started claiming most of the food and resources for themselves. Eventually the animal God Frith tells the leader of the rabbits El-ahrairah to get his people under control, or else he will find ways to control them
    You'd Expect: That since Frith is an all-powerful god and that his ways of controlling them will undoubtably lead to big trouble for all of the other rabbits, El-ahrairah would take Frith seriously and order the other rabbits to be more thoughtful with how much food they consume.
    Instead: The egotystical rabbit brushes of Frith's warning and tells him that his people are the strongest in the world. A pissed Frith then gives all of the other animals a strong desire to devour rabbits, resulting in the the dangerous life a rabbit has to go through in general.
  • In Rock-A-Doodle, at the beginning of the film, a flood began to ensue and Edmond's family goes to stop the flood. Edmond asks his mother if he could help.
    You'd Expect: She would take Edmond with her and her family. After all, they're all facing a deadly flood. They need to get to a raft immediately.
    Instead: She just tells Edmond to stay in his room and pray for Chanticleer.
    • Shortly after Edmond calls for Chanticleer, the Grand Duke of Owls shows up to kill Edmond.
      You'd Expect: The Grand Duke of Owls would just simply kill him immediately (i.e. strangle him to death).
      Instead: He turns him into a kitten and decides to eat him, which ultimately fails when Patou shows up and eventually has to deal with the consequences.
    • While trapped in a chest underwater, Snipes gets claustrophobic.
      You'd Expect: Snipes would try to realize what situation he and the others are in and do nothing until they can find safety.
      Instead: He panics and tries to break his way out by using his beak to break open the chest, which nearly causes him, Patou, Peepers, and Edmond to drown.
  • Hoodwinked has a few case:
    • The Wolf and Twitchy manage to use the emergency brake stop their mine cart at the bottom of the drop out of the tunnel after accidentally blowing up part of the track (due to Twitchy mistaking a stick of dynamite for a candle). After this, Red's cart comes barrelling through the same tunnel and approaches the dead-ending track:
      You'd Expect: Being that she's smart enough to take care of herself and escape from the Wolf, that Red would manage to find the same emergency brake handle to stop her cart before it could reach the end of the tunnel or consider even jumping.
      Instead: She holds on for dear life, and does nothing to stop the cart as it flies off the end of the track and goes airborne.
    • Red's attack on Boingo at the tramway terminal lair:
      You'd expect: Considering that Red is a black belt in karate, she would know aim her blows at Boingo's vulnerable spots and use her reach as she was taking on a smaller opponent in body size.
      Instead: She aims all her blows at Boingo's head, and he blocks them with his prehensile ears. She is defeated, tied up and nearly gets blown up for her attempt.
  • Kung Fu Panda:
    • The Furious Five and Shifu are angry and disappointed when Oogway chooses a random panda that fell out of the sky as the Dragon Warrior. Po, a naive kung fu fanboy, doesn't believe he's the Dragon Warrior but does want to learn about his passion. He keeps gushing to the Five about how he's a big fan, and in fact expects that Tigress was the one who was chosen.
      You'd Expect: That Tigress and Shifu would realize that Po isn't treating kung fu as a joke and it wasn't his fault Oogway pointed at him. Po is knowledgeable about the weapons used in the craft but lacks the years of discipline and training the Five received.
      Instead: Shifu does all that he can to scare Po off, by torturing him during sessions and literally tossing him out of the Jade Palace. Tigress keeps accusing Po of treating kung fu and the Dragon Warrior status as a joke. Thus, when Tai Lung escapes, Oogway ascends and Shifu has to train Po by necessity, Po freaks out and tries to run away because he knows he can't go up against Tai Lung, who has murdered needlessly. He calls out Shifu for trying to get rid of him and then suddenly changing his tune, while saying that he was hoping that Shifu would change him into someone better. This causes Shifu to have a Jerkass Realization, fortunately, and he figures out how to train Po competently. Tigress in the meantime goes off to stop Tai Lung, and nearly gets killed despite putting up a great fight with her friends' help. Po's silliness also helps him distract Tai Lung during their climactic battle, and to ultimately gain the upper hand.
  • Kung Fu Panda 2:
    • Lord Shen has just thwarted the heroes' attempt to stop him from leaving the harbor with his fleet to conquer China. Most of the heroes are left injured and completely helpless except for Po, who stands up to face the fleet himself. Shen orders his men to fire one of his cannons at him, but Po uses his newfound Eleventh Hour Superpower to catch the cannonball in midair and redirect it into the water. The next few attempts to shoot him end the same way.
      You'd expect: Shen to realize that this isn't working and try a different plan of attack, like just siccing his wolves on him.
      Instead: He continues to fire at Po, even as he starts redirecting the shots into his own fleet, until he gets himself blown up.
    • Po himself suffers this earlier in the film after the Five chew him out for letting Shen get away (another idiotic, but forgivable, move). After finding out that Shen knows something about Po's real parents, Tigress orders him to stay behind, knowing that this battle is too personal for him.
      You'd expect: For Po to understand that and stay put.
      Instead: He goes anyway, inadvertently foiling the Five's plot to blow up Shen's foundry and nearly dooming all of China.
  • South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut: Kyle stands up to his mother, Sheila. He criticizes her for starting the American-Canadan War and wanting Terrance and Phillip dead, all because of foul language. The soldiers all around him tearfully admit that he's right and agree to stop fighting.
    You'd expect: For Sheila to admit that she was wrong and share a heartfelt moment with her son.
    Instead: She lets out a Big "NO!", snatches a commander's gun and fires at Terrance and Phillip. When their blood touches the ground, Satan and Saddam Hussein emerge from Hell and begin their reign of terror. Oops.
  • In Wakko's Wish, when the Warners are told about the wishing star that landed near the town...
    You'd Expect: The Warners to realize that if anybody else finds out about the star, they will definitely try to get to it as well and keep their mouths shut about it.
    Instead: They actually tell the entire town via song about the wishing star and what you have to do get the wish (touch it), and naturally, they all immediately start racing to try to get to the wishing star first.
    • This is actually Lampshaded:
    Dot: Maybe we should've kept this our little secret.
  • Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown Lucy, Sally, Marcie and Pepperment Patty form a group for the race together and resolve dilemmas by paper votes. This essentially becomes their Idiot Ball.
    • It all begins when they vote on a leader.
      You'd Expect: They'd consider their choices wisely and pick someone that would best represent their group.
      Instead: They vote for themselves...or at least Marce does. She tallies the votes and upon reading her name, she blushes.
    • Just after the race begins, the girls come to a fork in the river.
      You'd Expect: That they'd take the left or the right way without any trouble.
      Instead: They have a vote and it turns out to be a tie.
      Immediately Afterward: Their raft crashes into the bank that divides the river.
    • After the bullies sabotage their raft, the girls get back on and leave Charlie Brown, Linus, Schroeder and Franklin wading in ice cold water.
      You'd Expect: That they'd help the boys climb aboard with no hesitation.
      Instead: They take a pretty long time before deciding to vote, Charlie Brown screaming in frustration all the while. After some deliberation they unanimously let the boys join their team. Seriously, voting over whether to allow an outside party to freeze to death?
      Later: The entire group has pulled ahead of the bullies, Snoopy and Woodstock with the finish line in their sight.
      You'd Expect: That they'd just cross the darn finish line.
      Instead: The girls exclaim in early jubilation, causing the boys the fall out of their raft. They go back to help them because they have decided on finishing as a team.
      You'd Then Expect: That this rescue would go smoothly as they have already saved the boys once before.
      Instead: The boys pile up on one side of the raft, causing it to capsize.
      The Result: They lose the race to Woodstock.
  • Bon Voyage Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!). During the chateau fire sequence, Linus and the Baron's daughter are trapped on a window ledge. Linus throws down his blanket, telling the gang they can use it as a makeshift life net. The Baron's daughter jumps off the ledge and lands on the blanket safely.
    You'd Expect: The gang to catch Linus with the blanket.
    Instead: They take off without the blanket, leaving Linus on the ledge! Snoopy does save him by dragging a Soft Water pool underneath the ledge but still...
  • In the first segment of Heavy Metal, Harry Canyon, the titular main character gets into his taxi, only for a gangster to enter the back of his taxi. When the gangster threatens him with a knife, Harry pushes the gangster's arm aside, saying, "Oh, come on" and prepares to use the button that he presses to vaporize criminals who threaten him in his car. The gangster's boss — who caused the story's conflict — enters the backseat and says, "I wouldn't do that, if I were you."
    You'd Expect: Harry to ignore the gangsters and still press the button to vaporize both, because they would be dead before they could do anything else. The end.
    Instead: He complies and doesn't do it, though the gangster with the knife leaves and his boss makes a nonviolent proposal.
    • Later, Harry meets with the aforementioned mob boss and exchanges the Loc-Nar, the MacGuffin of the story which is shown to melt one of the workers who discovered it and is thus safely encased in a protective capsule.
      You'd Expect: The mob boss to leave it in its casing.
      Instead: He opens the case and picks up the Loc-Nar, which melts him.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie: So Squidward finds out that Plankton has stolen the Krabby Patty Formula and King Neptune's Crown, and framed Mr. Krabs in the process, and he decides to take action.
    You'd Expect: Him to go straight to King Neptune and clear Krabs' name once and for all. Granted, he likely would have been completely ignored and fobbed off, but it would have been worth a shot. He still could have gotten help from Princess Mindy to fix the situation, though.
    Instead: He charges straight into the Chum Bucket, brags that he's going to expose Plankton, and gets cornered and brainwashed as a result. Plankton even dubs the stubborn, outspoken octopus "Inspector Looselips".
    • How does Plankton frame Mr. Krabs for stealing the crown? Simply by leaving a note saying I stole your crown signed Eugene Krabs.
      You'd Expect: Neptune to realize that this clearly an attempt to frame somebody as probably nobody on earth would do something so stupid, and instead try to look for clues, like checking for fingerprints or possibly asking the guards if they noticed anyone strange in the palace.
      Instead: The note totally convinces Neptune that Krabs did it.
  • Strange Magic: Roland is cheating on Princess Marianne who he is about to marry for her armies.
    You'd Expect: Him to wait a single day until he's married to Marianne before he continues cheating on her.
    Instead: He cheats on her right before the wedding, in broad daylight! It's a wonder that she didn't catch him before.
  • The Simpsons Movie
    • When Homer is taking Spider Pig/Harry Plopper's waste silo to the be disposed, of gets a call from Lenny telling him that they're giving away free donuts at the shop but they're going fast.
      You'd Expect: Homer to go to the donut shop first and THEN dispose of the silo.
      Or: Ask Lenny to save him some donuts.
      Instead: He goes and dumps the silo in the recently cleaned up Springfield Lake right when the EPA was investigating Springfield's pollution. The lake now is so badly polluted that Springfield is sealed under a giant glass dome.
    • When the citizens of Springfield find out Homer was responsible for their imprisonment in the dome, they form an angry mob to try and kill him outside his house...but are heading in the opposite direction!
      You'd Expect: The Simpsons to take advantage of the situation and get out of the house before they realize they're heading the wrong way.
      Instead: Homer loudly mocks them for it, and they start heading in the right direction.
    • The family finds out that the EPA plans to destroy Springfield, but Homer is reluctant to go back and save the city. Marge attempts to convince Homer to come back by repeating what Homer told Marge earlier when he tried to convince Marge and the family to come with him to Alaska: "In every marriage, you get one chance to say, 'I need you to do this with me.'"
      You'd Expect: Homer to remember to realize that he was using the exact same tactic Marge and the rest of the family are using to convince him to come back to Springfield, and that he is being a hypocrite for ripping the family apart when he tried to repair it after the family escaped from Springfield's angry mob.
      Instead: He calls it "the stupidest thing he had ever heard" and still refuses to go, leading to his whole family abandoning him in Alaska.
    • Bart, Marge, Lisa, and Maggie are on the train on their way back to Springfield & the EPA are keeping track of what everyone is saying by using hidden microphones.
      You'd Expect: For Bart, Marge, and Lisa to keep quiet during the ride to Springfield.
      Instead: They run their mouths and the EPA is able to hear them! They get captured, and end up back in the dome. Way to go there, guys.
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
    • In the near future, Joker returns spry as ever, while Bruce Wayne has retired and Terry McGinnis has taken over as Batman. Bruce and Barbara Gordon insist that the Joker is dead, and Terry understandably wants to know why. He also wants to know how to save Gotham.
      You'd Expect: For Bruce and Barbara to explain to Terry immediately what happened with the Joker as soon as possible: that Joker and Harley Quinn kidnapped and tortured the second Robin, Tim Drake to insanity; Tim while ordered to shoot Batman shot the Joker instead, but not before he had been forced to reveal all of Bruce's secrets. When Terry does hear the story, much later, he's shaken but able to think about it logically. He also asserts to Bruce that he's not like any of the Robins.
      Instead: Bruce makes Terry quit as Batman for fear that the Joker will kill Terry in the suit, and Barbara keeps mum while talking to a grown-up Tim Drake. Joker then proceeds to attack a defenseless Bruce in the Batcave, and send his new gang against Terry in civilian identity, because he figured it out. Terry fends them off, but his girlfriend Dana gets injured during the confrontation. Terry then barely arrives in time to save Bruce, who ends up bedridden for most of the third act.
  • FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue: While Pips and the Beetle Boys are distracted by a carnival and are invited to stay in a girl's trailer when they're supposed to be rescuing some kidnapped animals, Batty is able to locate the animals and tries to tell Pips, even screaming this right in his face at one point.
    You'd Expect: Pips and the Beetle Boys to realize that they have gotten distracted and get back to work on rescuing the animals.
    Instead: "Oh, Budgie's gonna take us on some rides later. You're welcome to join us."
    • This even gets lampshaded by The Nostalgia Critic:
      Nostalgia Critic: Has your child been kidnapped by unspeakable evil? Well, we'll do our best to eat your ice cream and flick the lights on and off until your child is rescued! WHY WASN'T CRYSTA THE HERO AGAIN?!
  • Storks:
    • While flying in Tulip's homemade hovercraft, Tulip, who is flying the craft, becomes concerned about the baby when she starts fussing. Junior tells her not to worry about it, but Tulip's conscience gets the better of her and goes to check on the baby, causing the craft start losing altitude.
      You'd Expect: That either Junior or Tulip would press the auto-pilot button to stabilize the craft.
      Instead: Out of panic, neither one thinks to do this and the craft ends up crashing in the Arctic as a result. The two of them lampshade this moments later.
  • Thumbelina gives a major one early into the movie. After an encounter with Mrs. Toad and her sons, Thumbelina meets Jacquimo, whom Thumbelina tells about her situation about getting back home.
    You'd Expect: Either A) for Thumbelina to realize that Jacquimo is a bird who can fly and would ask for him to fly her home, or B) for Jacquimo to offer to fly Thumbelina back home. Either scenario, Thumbelina would be reunited with her mother and Cornelius.
    Instead: The thought never once comes to the two of them, and all Jacquimo can do is to tell Thumbelina to "follow her heart" back home and leaves her to walk back while he goes to find the Valley of Fairies, leading Thumbelina to have a series of encounters with multiple villains who want to take advantage of her in multiple ways.
  • Megamind
    • The movie starts with two alien babies landing on Earth. One is a white, angelic Superman Expy who ends up at a millionare couple's doorstep. The other, a blue-skinned sapient genius with a talking fish, lands in a prison yard. Both are found immediately because the landing impacts were quite loud.
      You'd Expect: That child care services and the government science agencies would take away a blue skinned alien baby that comprehends so much at a young age to study him and give him a proper home, and do the same with "Mr. Goody Two Shoes". There's life on other planets! You have two babies from two different dying planets!
      Instead: Reed Richards Is Useless and Rule of Funny come into play. The millionaire couple adopts their child, who grows up to become the disillusioned superhero Metroman. The jail inmates, with their stern warden's permission, adopt the little blue baby, who becomes the playful supervillain Megamind, who views criminal activity as a game. In time Megamind gains multiple life sentences, while Metroman develops a Hollywood Midlife Crisis and leaves the city to Megamind and a new "hero"'s mercy. The whole movie could have been avoided with a little common sense and decent government oversight.
    • Metroman after a point resents his role as Metrocity's savior. He hates how his life is full of nothing but "going through the motions" with his old buddy, and that he doesn't have time too explore who he is or what he wants. Thing is, he started their whole "playtime" by putting a young Megamind in the corner for attempting to make popcorn in class. Thus, Megamind thinks this is how things are, that he is the bad guy and Metroman is the villain. No one's ever told him he could be someone or something else.
      You'd Expect: He would call a truce with Megamind while the latter is (temporarily) in prison. The villain considers that place his home, and isn't stupid. (Most of the time.) They could discuss that the game is over, so that Megamind could do something with his life other than try to kill Metroman and take Roxanne Ritchie hostage. Metroman could then find time to develop his music career, as he does later.
      Instead: Metroman decides to fake his death on the spur of the moment, giving Megamind control of the city and the means to create a new "hero" that ultimately goes rogue. Even though he has the power to stop Titan, he refuses to because he's not a hero anymore, and he tells Megamind that "good will step up," when a self-loathing Megamind doesn't think he can ever be a hero. Roxanne for a good reason calls out Metroman for his selfishness, when Megamind created Titan and an ensuing citywide rampage.
  • How to Train Your Dragon
    • Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third is his father's beloved and frustrating child, on the Viking island of Berk. As a teenager, Hiccup keeps getting into trouble with his attempts to catch a dragon during a raid. Stoick relegates him to blacksmith duty, to keep his son out of danger and to keep the village safe from Hiccup. In addition, Hiccup reveals that he is a whiz at repairing weapons and inventing them, and the work gives him hidden muscle.
      You'd Expect: Hiccup would apply himself smarter, not harder, and show more self-preservation if he's going to catch a dragon. His dad is mainly concerned that Hiccup keeps running into danger more so than anything else, and Stoick has a point. Hiccup just needs to lie low during one raid to earn his father's trust, and make sure to stay away from the food supplies.
      Instead: Hiccup doesn't seem to learn about valuing his life, being as stubborn as his father. He insists on doing things impulsively, and risking his life without consequence. In the first part of the movie, he does catch a Night Fury with his weapon, while shooting it in a spot isolated from the village, but he also loses the sheep that the village needs to survive through the winter when a Monstrous Nightmare gives chase. Stoick after saving his son calls Hiccup out for his selfishness in front of the whole village, and sends him home while the other teens except Astrid and Fishlegs laugh.
    • Later on in the movie, Hiccup while riding his trained dragon Toothless with Astrid discovers the dragon nest. They also discover that a dragon queen, the Red Death, hypnotizes the dragons into stealing food for her. They have to tell Stoick, since not doing so would count as treason in Viking times, and Stoick is looking for the nest so that he can stop the raids and keep the village alive. Hiccup convinces Astrid that he'll take care of it, during the Final Exam.
      You'd Expect: What Hiccup did in a deleted scene: ride Toothless into the arena to show that dragons can be tamed and taught, and then cut a plea bargain with his dad about the nest, so that the village can attack with dragons, to stop the Red Death. Astrid points out how cool Hiccup was for being the first Viking to ride a dragon , and Stoick recognizes greatness even when it contradicts his belief.
      Instead: Hiccup, fearing for Toothless's safety, goes alone into the Kill Ring without planning to tell his dad anything. He drops his mother's helmet and his knife, announcing loudly he's not a Viking, and tries to tame the Monstrous Nightmare peacefully. Stoick, who watches with surprise and dismay, orders for the fight to stop right when Hiccup shows the Monstrous Nightmare can be trained, the latter action nearly getting Hiccup killed, captures Toothless when the latter shows up to save his human, and disowns Hiccup when the latter blurts out that you need a dragon to get to the nest. Hiccup can only watch as his dad sails off with Toothless on a Suicide Mission.
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
    • At the beginning of the movie, Hiccup tells his father that he ran into Dragon Hunters who are working for a man named Drago Bludivist. Stoick the Vast gets an Oh, Crap! expression and orders an immediate lockdown for the island.
      You'd Expect: Stoick would quickly tell Hiccup who Drago is: a madman who nearly murdered him and a group of chiefs for laughing at the notion that a man could control dragons. This conveys the danger perfectly.
      Instead: Stoick doesn't, not at this juncture anyway. Hiccup then flies out of Berk to find the Hunters, so that he gets a chance to meet Drago and reason with him about dragons. Stoick does tell hi s son later, but only after "rescuing" him from the Hunters' ship and after Hiccup stubbornly clings to his idea that he has to make peace.
    • Hiccup by the time of the third act has heard three people give opinions on Drago Bludivist: his father, Dragon Hunter Eret son of Eret, and his mother Valka. They all say that Drago can't be reasoned with, that he doles out severe punishment, and that he murders and hurts dragons.
      You'd Expect: This to mean that when Drago attacks Valka's Sanctuary, that Hiccup would let Toothless shoot him after getting enough berth. Stoick and Valka are one thing, but Drago's own battered employee Eret makes it clear that you can't change Drago's mind.
      Instead: Hiccup tries to reason with Drago and stop the battle with the Bewilderbeast before more dragon and human lives are lost. While this does save his parents from getting killed via the great dragon, Drago takes the opportunity to use the Bewilderbeast to control Toothless. A brainwashed Toothless then fires at Hiccup, killing Stoick who takes the blow.
  • Justice League: Doom:
    • After a battle with the Royal Flush Gang, Batman gets in the Batmobile only to see Mirror Master briefly in the rear view mirror.
      You'd Expect: Given Mirror Master is an established villain in this universe that, despite seeing no one behind him when he looks, Batman would think his car is compromised and take measures to keep Mirror Master from getting into the car.
      Instead: The main plot of the movie happens because Bruce dismisses it as exhaustion and as a result, the League is almost killed by the Legion of Doom after Mirror Master steals his protocols.
    • During the final battle with the Legion of Doom, Wonder Woman is fighting Cheetah.
      You'd Expect: Diana to try to avoid smashing her archenemy into a shelf full of weapons.
      Instead: Cheetah is able to grab a gun because Diana sent her into a gun rack.
  • The Swan Princess:
    • In the second film, Escape From Castle Mountain, Derek has managed to steal the Forbidden Arts back from Clavius and orders his friends and mother into the balloon so they can escape.
      You'd Expect: Clavius to try and shoot the balloon down with a bolt of magic.
      Instead: He leaps onto the balloon and tries to climb the rope. As a result, Derek drops the Forbidden Arts and Clavius falls down with it. When the Forbidden Arts hits the floor, it explodes, killing Clavius.

Alternative Title(s): Animated Films