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...
    • After throwing everything they have at the Hulk, Ross orders Blonsky to fall back. Blonsky personally emptied a grenade launcher at the Hulk, and while he did an admirable job at not getting killed, he did no lasting damage.
      You'd Expect: Blonsky to fall back, get bigger guns, and try again later. At this point, the biggest weapon he may have is a pistol, which might tickle the Hulk.
      Instead: He lets his love for a good fight get the better of him, so he asks "Is that all you've got?" as if to tempt the Hulk.
      As A Result: A single kick from the giant green rage monster basically breaks just about every bone in Blonsky's skeleton.

  • 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. There are some fans, though, who actually believe that the mistakes in the mock recovery room were intentional.

  • 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. If anything, just relocate to another place as soon as possible.
      Instead: Tony sits around and waits for the attack, and the only precaution he takes is going into an ineffective lockdown.
      Just To Add the Icing on the Cake: It turns out JARVIS is capable of controlling all of the Iron Man suits at once. Meaning Tony could have had an army defending his house but decided to keep all of them in storage.
    • 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 Secret Service guys 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.
      Additionally: This very suit being hijacked was a major part of the plot in the previous movie.
      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, Col. 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 (save for Frigga) 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 up to his old tricks.
      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
    • Steve receives a top-secret flash drive from Nick Fury after he is shot by the Winter Soldier. The flash drive contains S.H.I.E.L.D. secrets of the highest priority, and Steve is advised to not trust anybody. Shortly thereafter, at the hospital, after Nick is presumed dead, he's told to report to a meeting and doesn't want to have whoever's there finding the drive. Looking around, he spots a vending machine that currently open to be filled with snacks.
      You'd Expect: If hiding it in the vending machine is the only option, for Steve to hide it where it would be completely hidden, such as the last row of bags of chips.
      Instead: Steve hides the flash drive in the vending machine amongst two packs 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
    • The Avengers have just captured Baron Strucker's HYDRA base, which is filled with advanced technology and even captured Chitauri tech. This tech is apparently more advanced than anything any other HYDRA branches have, and they're usually not slouches.
      You'd Think: The Avengers would make sure to secure this trove of perilous technology. Sure, Loki's scepter is the most dangerous item there, but none of this should really be left lying around.
      Instead: They take the scepter, and just leave everything else there. Ultron uses said tech to build himself a small army and a Doomsday Device.
    • 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 and enact his plan to ravage the planet.
      Instead: He keeps her alive to gloat to and she calls for backup. Ultron gets the climactic fights against all the Avengers he wanted, but risks his plan failing when he was all but guaranteed victory earlier.

TV Shows:
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • in "Yes Men", the team have to capture an Asgardian criminal named Lorelei. 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 for an all-female assault team before moving on Lorelei. Note that he does do this later in the episode, after what we're about to describe here.
      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 behind 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 real 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:
    • In "Into the Ring," having narrowly escaped being both framed and murdered by Fisk's men, Karen Page has to get a thumbdrive of evidence against her employers at Union Allied.
      You'd expect: Her to find someone else to go or get an escort, or at least let someone know what she's up to, so that if she goes "missing", 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 Elena 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. Now, in fairness, Karen did have a pepper spray can when she went there, but she should've had it more easily accessible or assumed that the men in question could've jumped her.
    • Anatoly Ranskahov, the leader of the Russian gangsters, decides to accept Wilson Fisk's offer from Fisk's right-hand man James Wesley.
      You'd think: Anatoly would leave it up to Wesley for making the arrangements in solidifying a partnership so the Russian gangsters have better funding from Wilson Fisk's resources and organization.
      Instead: Due to the Russians' kidnapping of Claire and Matt's subsequent rescue of her, Anatoly rudely barges into Fisk's dinner with Vanessa. This enrages Fisk to the point he beats Anatoly unconscious, then decapitates him with a car door.
      As a result: Anatoly's younger brother Vladimir mourns for his death and swears vengeance against Fisk, plus the Russian gangsters are all eliminated by Fisk to prevent further retaliation for their leader's death.
    • When a non-crooked cop, Officer Sullivan, finds Matt with Vladimir in an abandoned building, Matt overpowers him, and tells Officer Sullivan to tell dispatch it was a false alarm.
      You'd think: Matt would let Officer Sullivan know the situation, as the cops in this precinct are overwhelmingly corrupt. 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 would let him know that Sullivan is preparing to speak 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 shouts his location. Matt is forced to knock the cop out. Sure enough, the ESU team that eventually enters the building is one in Wilson Fisk's pocket, and sure enough, they kill the incapacitated Officer Sullivan by stabbing him in the neck.
    • 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 the 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 to death.
      To Make Matters Worse: He never told anyone, not even Fisk, of where he was going or what he was doing, thus the valuable intelligence he had on who knew Fisk's secrets died with him. He even told her this, unintentionally telling her that she's pretty much off the hook if she escapes.

    • Frank Castle goes to a pawnshop in "Dogs to a Gunfight" to buy a police scanner. At his request, the pawnbroker leaves himself completely vulnerable, selling Castle the shell casings from his shotgun, and disconnecting the video camera (and giving the tape to Castle). Considering the incredibly illegal sale he's just conducted (of stolen police equipment), this is already pretty dumb.
      You'd Expect: That the owner would now just let Castle go.
      Instead: As Castle is walking out, the owner tries to sell him child pornography. Now, Castle has demonstrated literally nothing to indicate that he's interested in that. All he's demonstrated is that he's a professional criminal. And it should be worth noting that many real criminals despise child molesters and child pornography in general. Now, if the buyer was the average criminal, this probably wouldn't end well for the seller. But this is The Punisher. The seller is so dense that even as Castle turns around and flips the sign in the door to "CLOSED" to prevent any witnesses from walking in, he still thinks he's making a sale, not about to get beaten to death with a baseball bat.

    • In "Penny and Dime," Frank Castle is tortured by Finn Cooley and his Kitchen Irish goons. He gives up the location of a stolen briefcase of money to them. A couple of guys are sent to retrieve it.
      You'd Expect: That when they open it, they consider the possibility that it might be booby-trapped.
      Instead: They don't. And indeed, Frank had stuffed a bomb under the money, which explodes once someone tries to grab some cash out of the briefcase.
      At the Same Time: Castle had pointed out that Finn was little too interested in getting his money back, so this sort of thing could be overlooked.

    • In "Guilty As Sin," Karen visits Matt's apartment. She manages to make it to Matt's room, where he's talking to Elektra.
      You'd Expect: That in the time from Karen showing up at the door, Stick letting her in, and presumably bringing her to the door, Matt would realize that it's Karen and seeing Elektra in his bed is a bad idea and try to shoo her away.
      Instead: He doesn't. So Karen sees Elektra in Matt's bed, recovering from the injuries she took in that fight with the Hand.
      You'd Now Expect: That as Karen knows Matt is a reasonable, sweet, and overall decent man, she notice that Elektra was clearly not well. The fact that he was at her bedside, and not say, lying in it with her seems like a pretty big tip. And again, Stick was right outside the door and she met him on her way in, so Matt wasn't even alone.
      Instead: Instead of even considering he and Stick were taking care of a friend, Karen instantly assumes he's a sleaze.

  • Jessica Jones
    • Hope has been commanded by Kilgrave into shooting her parents. Jessica wants to prove that she was under Kilgrave's control at the time of the shootings. So she and Jeri Hogarth decide to find people who've been mind-controlled by Kilgrave in order to have them testify in Hope's trial.
      You'd Expect: That they subpoena the staff from the restaurant that Kilgrave took Hope to. AKA people who have very little reason to lie and can positively say "that woman right there walked in with a creepy British guy who made us do things we didn't want to do."
      Instead: They just go out and get a bunch of random people who at best can only testify that someone exists who can force you to do stuff (no proof that Hope was under his influence) and are far less believable, because at this point they're all mentally unstable or have good reasons for wanting to excuse their actions by lying about someone else making them do it.
    • So a bunch of Kilgrave's victims are located and brought in.
      You'd Expect: That Jessica and Hogarth would work to isolate each victim, so that they could be interviewed separately and without anyone or anything around to influence them.
      Instead: They put the victim all together in a support group, thereby weakening all their stories because they've had time to be influenced by each other.
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