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".
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. Instead: He shoves the flowers in Sneezy's face. Guess what happens next.
Cinderella: 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. 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 gothere, Cinderella.
In Peter Pan, after Wendy decides to go back to London, Peter recieves 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, only when Tink arrives, and almost kills herself to get rid of the bomb, does he catch on.
101 Dalmatians. When Cruella De Vil wants to make a coat out of dalmatian puppies, she goes to her old friend Anita and her family, who refuse to sell her their new dalmatian puppies. You'd Expect: Cruella would just move on, and find someone or somewhere else to buy the extra 15 puppies she needed for her coat. Instead: Purely out of anger at Roger and Anita for not selling her their puppies, she hires two thieves to steal their puppies, thus requiring her to carry out her plan in an old family home all the way in Suffolk, and has to worry about the police and the 15 stolen puppies devoted parents coming to rescue them.
The Little Mermaid: In the first movie, 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. 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.
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. You'd Expect: Ariel to just tell Melody that Morgana would kill her if she went into the sea. 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 has a wall put around the palace to keep Melody out of the sea and then decides that she can't know anything about mer-people or Atlantica. 'Cause that won't blow up in her face later, will it?
Speaking of the example above, Ariel has finally admitted it to Melody, who has stolen her father's trident. 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 wore off.
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. Melody runs away and falls right into Morgana’s grasp. Just like what happened with Ariel and Ursula!
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.
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.
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 shit out of everyone and getting himself blown up.
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.
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 van. Woody wants the two of them to sit in the boot and Buzz warns him that "There are no restraining harnesses in the cargo area." You'd expect: That Woody would realize that Buzz has a point and to sit somewhere in the front where the humans won't see him. Instead: He still chooses to sit in the boot with disastrous consequences.
Toy Story 3: When 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.
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 towerinto the blazing inferno below.
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' trainer, Phil has caught sight of Meg talking to Hades, revealing of 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 tried to warn Hercules of whom Meg is working for, pissing him off that they ended up breaking contact from one another.
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 mutinees 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 mutinees 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 mutinees. 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.
From 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. 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 festival and thus be less interested in leaving for another year. Instead: Gothel buys it and leaves more or less right away. Then: Guess what Rapunzel does.
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 NPC's of the game 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. 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. 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. Result: Ralph 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 hack into Sugar Rush's code, allowing him to, among other things, take possession of any object in the game. One day, Ralph comes into Sugar Rush, and King Candy has him brought to his 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 Ralph forcibly removed 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 has little choice other than to destroy her beloved 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 doesn't go through with it.
Elsa ended up accidentally hurting Anna during their playtime in the night. Their parents, the king and queen, visit the trolls for help. The leader, Pabbie, gives Anna a Laser-Guided Amnesia where she loses her memories of Elsa's ice powers and tells the latter 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. 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. End result: Elsa grows to fear her power, loses control of it, accidentally plunges Arrendale into an ice age, and nearly kills her sister. 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 shut everyone out.
Hans is Evil All Along as he is only using Anna to kill Elsa, and become the new ruler of Arendelle. When she shows up with the icy curse her sister accidentally inflicted on her, Hans leaves Anna to die from that, and that he shuts her in by locking the door of the room where she is left to die. You'd Expect: That Hans should have a guard outside the room where he left her to die to be sure that no one else would try to enter the room to uncover the truth, so in case this happens, he should keep her in check to be sure that she has already froze at that point. Instead: He never thinks of doing this. As a result, Olaf entered the room and escaped with Anna as they stopped his plot to kill Elsa, which led to his imprisonment in the end.
Unknowingly, Elsa has caused a winter throughout Arendelle. Anna visits her at her ice palace to let her know what's going on. Naturally, since she didn't mean to cause harm and had no idea she could even do such a thing, Elsa feels wracked with guilt and begins freaking out. You'd Expect: For Anna to be quiet at this point to give Elsa a chance to calm down and think. Instead: She keeps talking (or rather, singing), which only causes Elsa more stress and results in her having a panic attack, causing her to accidentally strike Anna in the heart.
In Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions, Grings Kodai, the antagonist, sees a vision of the future. Part of the vision tells him his assistant will betray him. You'd Expect: He would lock her up in some way, ensuring that she won't be able to do anything to keep him from his goal. Instead: They conduct business as usual.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In Wakko's Wish, when the Warners are told about the wishing star that landed near the town You'd Expect: They would leave town early in the morning, maybe around 4 or 5 A.M. when not too many people are awake yet and before anyone really notices the giant star that has fallen, and if noticed by someone also up early for whatever reason, and asked where they were going, just say ''We're leaving Acme Falls for a while, but when we get back, things are going to be better for everyone. Trust us." Instead: Not only do they leave roughly around 8 A.M., the time when most people are awake and out, but they actually tell the entire town 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.
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 unianimously let the boys join their team. Serioiusly, 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 toWoodstock.
In the first segment of Heavy Metal, Harry Canyon, the titular main character, gets into his taxi, only to find gangsters in the back of his taxi. When the gangster threatens him with a knife, Harry pushes the gangster's arm aside, saying, "Oh, come on.", he prepares to use the button that he presses to vaporize criminals who threaten him in his car. The gangster however threatens him saying, "I wouldn't do that, if I were you." You'd Expect: Harry to ignore the gangster and still press the button and vaporize him, because he (the gangster) would be dead before he would do anything else. The end. Instead: He complies and doesn't do it.