What An Idiot / Mass Effect

  • Mass Effect 2:
    • Warden Kuril, the head honcho of the Purgatory prison ship, welcomes Shepard and two other armed companions (who are any of the following ) on board with aims to kidnap them and sell them off to slavers.
      You'd Expect: that Kuril would require Shepard and his/her companions to disarm, in accordance with standard security procedures for guests aboard prison ships, and to refuse them entry if they do not comply. Or, failing that, that Kuril would scrap the whole "kidnap and sell" plan if unable to force Shepard and company to disarm.
      Instead: Although Kuril does make an attempt at requiring the party to disarm, when Shepard refuses to do so, he lets them proceed fully armed (including, possibly, with TACTICAL NUCLEAR WEAPONS) and then attempts to capture them near a security checkpoint. This works about as well as you'd expect.
      Also: He tells Shep and the party what he's up to seconds before they step into a room that would incapacitate all of them. If he had waited another 30 seconds, he would've had all of them safely captured.
  • Mass Effect 3 gets a bunch of them.
    • Kai Leng's special ability seems to be channeling Idiot Balls, since everyone who goes near him starts acting in ways that often seem stupid:
    • Overview: Shepard and his squad are en route via aircar to intercept Cerberus as they move towards the Council members, when Kai Leng suddenly jumps on the roof of their car.
      You'd Expect: Shepard to start swerving the car to attempt to send Kai Leng flying, or make him smack into one of the many underpasses that the car is flying past, and at least heavily weaken his Deflector Shields as he uses them to hang onto the vehicle.
      Instead: Shepard opens the door and starts shooting with a Predator pistol, Kai Leng then sabotages their car and causes them to crash, allowing Cerberus to get a head start on the race to the Council.
    • An in-universe example pops up with the Geth Consensus when they are attacked by the quarian Migrant Fleet.
      Overview: The Geth Consensus is attacked by the Migrant Fleet, which destroys the Dyson Sphere they were building around Rannoch, and their territory is being overrun quickly. The destruction of the Dyson Sphere deletes the majority of the geth "species" and thus reduces their collective cognitive ability.
      You'd Expect: The geth to call for assistance from Shepard to prevent the quarians from overunning them.
      Instead: Following their emergency survival protocols, the geth seek out immediate assistance from the Reapers, who give them upgrades to their coding to render them immune to the quarians' weapons, at the expense of being enslaved or exterminated by the Reapers once their usefulness runs out. If Shepard points out that the geth made a rather poor long-term decision, Legion agrees with that assessment.
    • The quarian Migrant Fleet, in turn, makes its own equally stupid but justified in-universe decision in attacking the geth.
      You'd Expect: The quarians, aware of the Reaper threat, to direct their military buildup to counter the Reapers, instead of launching into a destructive and costly war with the geth.
      Instead: The quarians, sensing a chance to completely destroy their old enemy and recover their homeworld, launch an attack with the new weapons that render the geth helpless. While initially successful, the quarians damage the geth's overall cognitive ability, and the greatly reduced Geth Consensus turns to the Reapers for immediate help. The upgraded geth trap the Migrant Fleet inside the Rannoch mass relay so they can't escape, and even if Shepard brokers a peace between them, the damage both sides suffered in the war reduces their ability to fight the Reapers.
    • The Reapers have invaded the Galaxy, utterly curb-stomping the Batarians and the Humans in days. They are clearly an apocalyptic threat.
      You'd Expect: The remaining military forces in the galaxy immediately put aside their differences and form a coalition for a united defense against the Reapers.
      Instead: All the galactic empires want a favor before they join the coalition. The Salarians are particularly stupid: they refuse to join the coalition unless Shepard sabotages the cure for the Genophage, out of fear that it will make the Krogan too strong in the post-war Galaxy. They don't realize that without their help, there might not be any post-war Galaxy to speak of.
    • The Attack on Earth: The allied forces need to get troops to the Conduit, the only entrance to the Citadel. The Conduit is located in London and is heavily guarded by AA cannons, Reaper ground troops, and a Reaper destroyer.
      You'd Expect: The allied forces detach a few ships from the battle in Earth's orbit to bombard the city, at least enough to take out the AA cannons and the Reaper Destroyer, which were previously shown to be vulnerable to this very same tactic on Rannoch. The way is cleared for the ground forces to move in.
      Instead: Allied ground forces attempt to zerg rush the Conduit through an enemy-infested urban area with seemingly no orbital support whatsoever. Many of the troops are killed by AA fire before they even reach the ground. The resulting assault turns out about as well as you'd expect.
    • The Citadel DLC: A villainous impostor pretending to be Shepard has just seized control of the Normandy with a squad of mercenaries.
      You'd Expect: They would kill all witnesses, ensuring that nobody could report the people inexplicably wearing CAT-6 armour accompanying Shepard, thereby easing the identity theft.
      Instead: The villain just fires Traynor and kicks her off the ship, allowing Traynor to aid the real Shepard in regaining access to the Normandy before it can leave.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WhatAnIdiot/MassEffect