What An Idiot: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Movies:

  • The Incredible Hulk:
    • General Ross has received word that fugitive Bruce Banner will be at Culver University. This is his chance to capture him.
      You'd Expect: Ross to order his men to try to capture Bruce stealthily, so that he'll have less time to become agitated and thus transform. Once captured, Bruce will be unwilling to transform because he knows he's in an area full of civilians. No one will know they were there.
      Instead: He orders all his men to charge into the university in broad daylight, alerting Bruce and Betty, causing panic amongst the students and teachers, and agitating Bruce enough that he transforms soon after they get to him. Then that leads to several million dollars in property damage...

  • Thor:
    • Thor's Awesome Moment of Crowning is interrupted by an attempt by Frost Giants to steal the Casket of Ancient Winters from Asgard. Thor is furious at the Frost Giants for ruining his big day and making Asgard look weak, and wants to take action, despite his father Odin, who happens to be the King of Asgard, showing open disapproval of such ideas.
      You'd Expect: Thor to sit tight in Asgard and not do anything reckless, or maybe continue trying to persuade Odin that the matter needs further investigation.
      Instead: He lets himself be manipulated by his brother Loki into storming into Jotunheim with the Warriors Three, which causes a fight to break out between Thor and Co and the Frost Giants. These actions cause the Frost Giants to issue a declaration of war on Asgard, and get Thor stripped of his powers and banished to Earth, in order to undergo Character Development and become a better person.
      Also: Thor seems to have no idea of the fact that Odin isn't a fan of war; when Odin shows up in Jotunheim, Thor immediately assumes he's there to help him destroy the Frost Giants. As Odin rightly admits later on, he was a fool to think Thor was ready to succeed him.

  • Captain America: The First Avenger:
    • Steve Rogers is recovering from about 70 years on ice. The powers that be elect to lessen the shock by placing him in a mock-up of a recovery room and not letting on how much time he had been out until they could perhaps break things to him gently.
      You Would Think: At bare minimum, they would have the "radio" playing period music or if they insisted on a "live sports broadcast" they would take painstaking research to pick one that took place after Rogers vanished.
      Instead: They have a Brooklyn Dodgers home game from 1941 playing. Even if they did not know Steve had attended it is a matter of public record that he was still living in Brooklyn at the time.
    • When Dr. Erskine is killed, Steve Rogers is left the only living super soldier. His fate up in the air.
      You'd Expect: That Colonel Chester Philips, who oversaw the project, would try to utilize Rogers as best he can by giving him as much training as possible so that he can be used to defeat the Nazis and HYDRA.
      Instead: Due to his arrogance, Philips allows his personal dislike of Rogers (and the fact that Rogers wasn't his candidate for the project; he wanted someone like Gilmore Hodge to be subjected instead to the project) to blind him to what needs to be done and benches him, ordering him to become a lab rat, for no better reason than Rogers was not his preferred choice for the formula and makes derogatory remarks about Rogers whenever he can. Even though he asked for an army of super soldiers and all he got was one, one was better than zero. But apparently he is Genre Blind to the one man army thing and decides that one is not enough, which leads to Senator Brandt "promoting" Rogers to become a somewhat unhappy propaganda figure. It isn't until a year later, in 1943, on the European front, does Rogers ultimately prove him wrong by doing what Philips himself believed could not be done, but Philips is a graceful enough loser to accept it and put Rogers in charge of the Howling Commandos, a group dedicated specifically to smashing HYDRA bases wherever they can be found.

  • The Avengers:
    • Loki arrives at Earth and brainwashes Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye), Eric Selvig, and another agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fury is the only person in the room that is not brainwashed, and Loki wants the Cosmic Cube.
      You'd Think: Loki would find value in Nick Fury and also brainwash him as well, since he is the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. He can then have Fury as his puppet and manipulate S.H.I.E.L.D. so that he can get away with his plans. And then the Avengers would never have been assembled. If he eventually thinks Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. is no longer valuable, he could then pull off a "You Have Outlived Your Usefulness" on both SHIELD and Fury.
      Instead: He doesn't value Fury at all, only viewing him as an ant. He only takes the briefcase, having Hawkeye kill Fury. He fails to do so, and Fury survives to lead the fight against him.

  • Iron Man 3:
    • After the explosion at the TCL Chinese Theater, Tony Stark personally declares war on the Mandarin and dares him to attack Tony, and then goes home.
      You'd Expect: Tony to take precautions and ready his house for defense at all times, and put on a fully operational and perfected Iron Man suit (i.e The Mark VII), in case there's the off chance the enemy suddenly attacks. Either that, or at least get Pepper Potts out of harm's way.
      Instead: Tony sits around and waits for the attack, and the only precaution he takes is going into an ineffective lockdown.
    • Rhodey gets captured by Aldrich Killian's men, and is forced out of the Iron Patriot suit by Killian's Extremis Heat. They then knock him out unconscious.
      You'd Think: Killian or one of his goons would either:
      a.) Tie him up so that he can't escape the mansion.
      or...
      b.) Since he was a commando, and a potential enemy, shoot him in either the heart or the head and kill him, so that he won't wake up.
      Instead: They just leave him there, and he eventually regains consciousness and links up with Tony, who also has escaped captivity as well.
    • After the above moment, Eric Savin, Killian's main henchman, uses the Iron Patriot suit to pose as Rhodes and infiltrate Air Force One. He arrives at Air Force One as President Ellis gets on board.
      You'd Expect: Before taking off, the security guards to make the guy take off his helmet to confirm that the man in the Iron Patriot suit is in fact Rhodes (especially since Rhodes had been AWOL for about half a day, and the exact suit had been commandeered in the previous movie), and find out that it's Savin and incapacitate him, thus averting disaster.
      Instead: They don't even bother to check and just assume Rhodes was still in the suit.
      The Result: Savin manages to attack and destroy Air Force One, and have President Ellis kidnapped in the Iron Patriot suit.
    • The final battle. On Tony's side we have Tony, James Rhodes, and a load of Power Armors much like the ones Tony wears, remotely controlled by J.A.R.V.I.S., while on the Big Bad's side we have a load of superhumans who can regenerate from damage, and make parts of their bodies extremely hot. Tony has encountered them before, so he knows what they're capable of, and he's here to rescue two hostages.
      You'd Expect: J.A.R.V.I.S. to keep the suits out of range of the minions, and bombard them with repulsor rays, in order to keep them distracted while Tony and Rhodes rescue the hostages.
      Instead: The suits controlled by J.A.R.V.I.S. are often seen getting into punch-ups with the minions, and a number of them are torn apart a a result, with only a few memorable ones surviving.

  • Thor: The Dark World
    • A multi-pronged surprise attack leaves Asgard damaged (but not crippled), with their Red Shirt Army having taken not insignificant losses, but with almost all named characters fine and Asgard still in possession of the Aether. Odin, enraged at the attack, wants to take the fight to the Dark Elves to eliminate them.
      You'd expect: Knowing that the Dark Elves' attack relied on their element of surprise, and their numbers still nowhere near that of Asgard, the Aether is still safest there and to put Jane Foster into protective custody until the threat is dealt with.
      Instead: Thor disagrees with Odin on hunting the elves, and instead decides to take Jane Foster to the Dark Elves' home turf himself against Odin's orders, in the process knowingly losing every single ally they have other than Loki, whom they free specifically for this mission.
      As a result: The Dark Elves get the Aether, Loki is seemingly killed (but in reality he faked his death and usurped the throne of Asgard by taking Odin's place).
    • When Thor and Loki go to Svartalfheim so that Malekith and the Dark Elves don't go to Asgard to launch another attack, Thor and Loki get into a brawl with Malekith's main henchman, Algrim (who at this point, is the monstrous Kurse). Kurse stabs Loki before he is killed by an activated black hole grenade on his belt. Loki however is not really dead, and fakes it in a Died in Your Arms Tonight moment with Thor.
      You'd Expect: Thor to check for a pulse at the very least to check if Loki is Faking the Dead, after all, he tricked the Dark Elves into believing he cut Thor's arm off earlier, and he is The God of Mischief, so he's probably faking his death.
      Instead: Thor falls for the Faking the Dead, doesn't even check for a pulse, and thinks Loki died, and leave him on Svartalfheim while he and Jane Foster find a way back to Earth.
      End Result: Loki escapes Svartalfheim disguised as an Asgardian soldier, and usurps Odin (whose ultimate fate is unknown) while Thor is busy fighting Malekith on Earth.

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
    • After Nick Fury is apparently killed the Winter Soldier, Steve inherits the flash drive containing S.H.I.E.L.D. secrets of the highest priority from him, and is told to not "trust anybody".
      You'd Expect: If hiding it in the vending machine is the only option, for Steve hide it in somewhere it would be completely hidden, such as the last row of bags of chips.
      Instead: Steve hides the flash drive in the hospital vending machine amongst two pieces of gum left. And he leaves the drive tilted such that, if anyone actually wanted to purchase said gum as they scanned the machine's wares, the drive is clearly visible. He gets lucky in that one of his allies, Black Widow, finds it first, but it was a close call.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy
    • Near the end of the movie, Ronan the Accuser's ship crashes onto the surface of Xandar, he survives the crash, and is going to annihilate Xandar with the Infinity Stone.
      You'd Think: Ronan would immediately use his Infinity Stone and annihilate the planet without gloating, especially since Quill and his buds are still alive, and still would pose even the slightest threat to his evil plans.
      Instead: Ronan takes his sweet time to gloat and mock the Guardians before annihilating Xandar, giving our heroes enough time to improvise a distraction so they can separate him from the Infinity Stone.

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
    • During a fight with the Avengers, Ultron's drones capture Black Widow. He has no use for her.
      You'd Think: Ultron would kill her since he knows how dangerous she is.
      Instead: He brings her to his fortress just so he can have someone to gloat to and locks her in a cell full of communication equipment. Naturally, she uses this chance to radio to the Avengers where she and Ultron are.

TV Shows:
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • in "Yes Men", the team have to capture an Asgardian criminal named Lorelei. Fellow Asgardian Lady Sif warns them that Lorelei can use magic to bend any man to her will - for most men, the sound of her voice is enough - but her powers have no effect on women.
      You'd Expect: Agent Coulson would arrange of an all-female assault team before moving on Lorelei. Note that he does do this later in the episode, after this bit of idiocy.
      Alternatively: If that isn't feasible given the time frame, he should at least have the male agents stay back and deal with Lorelei's minions from cover, while the women (May and Sif at a minimum) go to catch Lorelei herself.
      Or At The Very Least: Issue a "shoot on sight" order since his team both has stun guns and Asgardians are far tougher than a human.
      Instead: For some bizarre reason, Ward goes around the back without any backup, orders the superhuman seductress to stand down instead of just shooting her outright, and gets himself seduced by her and under her control. Coulson at least learned his lesson the next time he tried it.
    • In "The Only Light in the Darkness", Erik Koenig, trained S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, expert interrogator, and Nick Fury's hand-picked housesitter, is interrogating the members of the team to determine if any of them are enemy agents of HYDRA. One character starts giving vague answers that set off every alarm on Koenig's super-sensitive lie-detector, to the point where he draws a gun on the suspect and demands answers. Unfortunately, The Mole (Grant Ward), uses Exact Words to give an evasive explanation that turns off the alarms.
      You'd Expect: Koenig to either keep the suspect under detention and get further clarification on the matter. Or, at a minimum, talk to Coulson or another already-established-as-trustworthy S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and have them watch the suspect for any signs of treasonous behavior.
      Instead: After the alarms turn off, Koenig lets bygones be bygones and gives the suspect full access to everything, no (further) questions asked.
      The Result: The Mole, Agent Grant Ward, kills Koenig offscreen after May leaves the team, and while Coulson, Fitz, Simmons, and Triplett are occupied with protecting Coulson's cellist friend, Audrey Nathan, in another location.

  • Daredevil:
    • Karen Page in "Into the Ring". After narrowly escaping being both framed and murdered by Fisk's men, she has to get a thumbdrive of evidence against her employer.
      You'd expect: Her to get someone else to go or get an escort, or at least let someone know so that if she "disappeared" in the process people won't assume she fled.
      Instead: She sneaks off in the middle of the night to her apartment alone, only to be attacked again. If Matt hadn't have followed her, she'd have died there.
    • Karen does this a lot. Another instance is when she is going off alone to investigate Ms. Cardenas's tenement case.
      You'd think: She'd bring someone else with her, or at least be prepared for trouble, given she's investigating men menacing people on the very block she's investigating.
      Instead: She goes on her own.
      As a result: She is jumped by the same goons she was asking about. This time, she's saved by Foggy.
    • When a non-crooked cop finds Matt with Vladimir, Matt tells the cop to tell dispatch it was a false alarm.
      You'd think: Matt would let the cop know the situation, as the cops are overwhelmingly crooked. He is, after all, trying to convince the cop to waive any hope of backup coming for him, a dangerous proposition given he's alone with the "Devil of Hell's Kitchen."
      Additionally: If he's not going to agree, you'd think Matt's Living Lie Detector abilities, as well as his super senses would let him know the cop's preparing to yell loudly.
      Instead: Matt tells him to tell dispatch without giving him any context, and only ominously to let the cop go "eventually."
      As a result:: Matt lets the cop speak into his radio... and he immediately screams his location. Matt is forced to knock the cop out, and the crooked cops eventually converge on the location and kill the incapacitated officer.
    • Wesley is threatening/negotiating with Karen Page, trying to get her to join him, or at least stop opposing him and Fisk.
      You'd think: Wesley would restrain Karen in any way, as even if he has a gun, if she runs, it's less convenient if he shoots her in back.
      Instead: Wesley leaves the loaded gun on a table in reach of an unrestrained Karen Page.
      As a result: She grabs the gun that's right in front of her. When he tries to talk her down, he even asks her if he would be dumb enough to make such a mistake. Apparently he is. She shoots him.
      Also: He never told anyone where he was going or what he was doing, thus the valuable intelligence he had on who knew the Kingpin's secrets were lost with his death.