What An Idiot / Other

  • Toby Keith in "A Little Too Late," a top 5 country hit in 2006. In the video for the song, Keith plays a revenge-minded man who intends to commit the ultimate abuse: seal his ex-girlfriend (Krista Allen) in a small, windowless, bricked-in room inside his basement and leave her for dead. She has been tied to a chair, and stripped to a strapless white T-shirt and jeans.
    You'd Expect: The man to know his own basement and position the woman in the room where she would indeed be sealed in.
    Instead: In his desire for revenge and to get one last upper hand, he fails to notice he is actually working from the inside side of the brick wall, and instead begins sealing himself in. None of this becomes evident (to either him or the viewer) until after he places the last brick and begins verbally taunting the ex. However, in the ending musical bridge, the woman's eyes go from petrified to realizing she is in no danger ... and Toby realizing what has happened. As he begins trying to apologize, the woman simply knocks over the record player (a vinyl copy of the song had been playing) and walks out, presumably to call the police ... just as Toby meekly calls for help.
    Speaking of which, You'd Expect: Allen's character to realize her predicament sooner (that she is on the other side the wall) and Ė as she isn't restrained that tightly Ė try to escape once Keith can no longer easily climb over or through the brick wall
    Instead: She sits there until the wall is completely built. She does her own Oh Crap! moment as the final bricks are being placed, making viewers believe she has been "bricked" in and will be left to die.
  • Shaquille O'Neal is smoking a cigarette in the music video, "Biological Didn't Bother".
    You'd Expect: As the The Music Video Show points out, he could smoke in his room with the windows open or smoke somewhere where no one knows who he is.
    Instead: He smokes a cigarette right in front of his house where his father figure catches him.
  • Carrie Underwood's Signature Song "Before He Cheats". In the song, Carrie trashes her ex-boyfriend's car as revenge for him cheating on her.
    You'd Expect: For her to realize the car is fair game as long as he doesn't know who destroyed it.
    Instead: One of the things she does is carve her name into the seats.
    For Added Stupidity: She doesn't even know if he's cheating, she wrecks his car on an unfounded suspicion.
  • Peter Schikele says of one of P.D.Q. Bach's compositions that the two main instruments were totally incompatible, as any of the major composers of the time could have told him. However, for various reasons, P.D.Q. at the time was not on speaking terms with any of them.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic: In the third segment of "A Complicated Song", Al decides to go on a roller coaster. The operator warns him not to stand.
    You'd Think: Al would listen to the operator and remain seated on the ride.
    Instead: He stands on the roller coaster and winds up losing his head.
    However: This is Weird Al, so it's probably Rule of Funny.
  • Peter and Gordon's "Lady Godiva" is a modern take on the legendary noblewoman. A Hollywood director hears about her infamous ride and offers her a movie contract that she doesn't want.
    You'd Expect: Lady Godiva to refuse by saying "No".
    Instead: She shakes her head. Lampshaded with "That was Lady G's mistake".

Myth and Legend
  • Pecos Bill. On their wedding day, his bride Sluefoot Sue tried to ride his horse Widow Maker. Widow Maker throws her off, and her bustle starts bouncing her higher and higher; she can't stop herself because her wedding dress was made to be removed by her husband, and she's not carrying her knife to her wedding.
    You'd Expect: Pecos, being a sharpshooter supreme and a true master of the lasso, would either shoot out the bustle to stop her bouncing or throw a rope around his beloved and brake her down. This is, after all, a man who can shoot a star from the sky or rope and ride a cyclone.
    Instead: There are two main versions of the myth. In the first, Pecos actually does do what You'd Expect... after Sue has spent several days bouncing and possibly even whacking her head against the moon. She survives, but is so pissed off that she breaks off their engagement and never speaks to him again. In the second version of the myth, Pecos shoots her so she won't have to suffer a horrible death from thirst. Yep.
  • Every "I fear my son will upstage me" scenario in Greek Mythology. A god/king learns from an oracle "your son with this woman will one day kill you".
    You'd Expect: That God/king to avoid the woman like the plague and find someone else, or eventually raise the child with the kind of love and affection that would diffuse thoughts of patricide.
    Instead: That God/king will continue to have kids, then attempt to kill or disown their son, usually picking the laziest method possible rather than one that's guaranteed to work - an act which will only justify their kid committing patricide.
  • And how 'bout probably the most famous one in mythology? Paris has been chosen as a judge to determine whether Hera, Athena, or Aphrodite is most beautiful. All three try to bribe him ó Hera offers World Domination, Athena offers genius smarts and martial skill, and Aphrodite offers the love of the most beautiful woman in the world.
    You'd Expect: Paris to choose Hera and gain a royal harem as part and parcel of World Domination, or to choose Athena and use his smarts to gain World Domination and aforementioned harem. Just about every person who has read the myth has thought this at some point.
    Or: If Paris won't have any woman but Helen, he could still choose one of the other goddesses and use their bribes to get her. In Hera's case, the idea of being given World Domination does suggest that you'd get sufficient military resources on hand to keep the world in line, which he could use to sort out anyone who tries to get Helen back. In Athena's case, you'd think that he could use his smarts to come up with a way of getting Helen without causing a huge amount of trouble.
    Or: Toss the apple to Hestia (she who tends the hearths of Olympus), Demeter (she in charge of all plant life), or maybe even Persephone or Amphrite, to Take a Third Option.
    Or Even: Paris could say that he, a mere mortal, cannot be great enough to choose who, out of the three Goddesses is the most beautiful (not to mention realizing that, no matter who he chooses, two powerful Goddesses will be angry with him for not choosing them).
    Instead: Paris chooses Aphrodite and gains the hand of an already-married queen, with most of the armies of Greece bound to rescue her, as well as the enmity of two of the most powerful goddesses in the pantheon. Cue The Trojan War.
  • And then there's Jason, former leader of the Argonauts, he who retrieved the Golden Fleece, and a hero actually under the divine patronage of Hera. He returns from the journey victorious, since he had the love and assistance of the powerful, Cute and Psycho princess Medea, who has gone so far as to murder her own brother as a distraction so Jason and his crew could escape her father's wrath.
    You'd Expect: Jason would return to his father's kingdom and settle down in peace with his lover.
    Instead: Jason decides to marry a princess named Glauce so he could have wealth and fame and the like, even though Medea has already had two children by him (and is, as mentioned above, Cute and Psycho to the extreme) and the man's patron goddess is HERA, also known as the goddess of marriage and the most vengeful of the Olympians. So Medea kills Jason's new bride by burning her alive, the bride's father (by accident: he tried to save his daughter, and failed. He also set the royal palace on fire with his attempt), and their two children in revenge before taking off. Jason dies alone and forgotten many years later, when the Argo's ancient, rotting prow breaks right over his head.
    • It gets worse. Jason had taken a vow to be faithful to Medea, and the traditional divine punishment for breaking oaths, according to Herodotus? Killing off the oathbreaker's entire family, which makes Jason's anger at Medea for doing just that very a much a what an idiot moment.
    • In the original version Medea didn't kill the children; that's the result of the townsfolk of Corinth being even dumber and the children delivering the poisoned dress that caused the fire (yes, Medea was that good). The Corinthians knew Medea was an incredibly powerful witch with a bad temper, but, as long as she wasn't provoked, she was very nice, and her magic had even saved the entire city from starvation during a famine.
      You'd Expect: They would lynch the king and make Jason their new king to avoid whatever revenge Medea would think of. Alternatively, assuming they found out too late, they'd just beg her to leave or make a show trial and sentence Medea to exile with her children.
      Instead: They lynch the children as the material executors of the assassination, with Medea seeing them because she was about to take off on her own. Corinth is promptly hit by an earthquake and a plague, and the fire of the royal palace spread to the whole city.
  • As told in The Odyssey, we have Odysseus and his men come across the island of Polyphemus the Cyclops. Odysseus outwits his ravenous foe by getting him drunk and then jabbing him in his eye. In a blind rage, the Cyclops accidentally lets them free and they escape. To make it work, Odysseus introduced himself to Polyphemus as "nobody."
    You'd Expect: Odysseus to just get to his ship, set sail and never look back.
    Instead: Odysseus takes time to gloat at his foe and gives him his real name. Unfortunately for him, Polyphemus is the son of Poseidon, the very sea god who's already pissed at Odysseus's lack of humility. Poseidon then ensures that the trip home is a living nightmare.
  • Theseus and Pirithous want to marry daughters of Zeus
    You'd Expect: They nicely and humbly ask Zeus if he has any daughters to spare. Considering that both are powerful kings, decorated heroes and sons of gods themselves, itís not such a stretch to presume that Zeus would actually grant their wish and give them two of his low ranking daughters - some demi-goddesses or nymphs.
    Or: If they donít want to bother with asking Zeus, then they at least go after women who are not bound to cause a lot of trouble when they are kidnapped.
    Instead: Theseus chooses Helen of Sparta, a princess whose kidnapping causes a political shitstorm to roll over Athens. Pirithous chooses Persephone, the beloved wife of Hades and a powerful goddess in her own right. This goes as well as expected, with both Theseus and Pirithous imprisoned in the Underworld. Even if thanks to some miracle they actually managed to carry away Persephone, this is the woman whose mother threw a tantrum of epic proportions and starved most of the world the last time her daughter was kidnapped, and whose husband also threatened to release the dead if she was taken from him. Itís safe to assume that Greece would have to deal with both Endless Winter and Zombie Apocalypse this time around.

Puppet Shows

  • Thunderbirds:
  • "30 Minutes After Noon":
    • At the beginning of the episode, a man named Thomas Prescott is asked by a strange man to take him to the hospital, when they get to the man's destination, the man gives Prescott a bracelet, which is really a bomb. (The man works for the Erdman gang, and he's planning on using Prescott to destroy important files on the Erdman gang.) The man tells Prescott that the key to unlocking the Bomb is in his office.
      You'd Expect: That upon unlocking the Bomb, Prescott would disregard what the man said and throw the bomb out of a window.
      Instead: He leaves the bomb in his cabinet, thus leading to the building, and him getting trapped in the cellar of the building, thus leading to International Rescue having to save him.

Tabletop RPG
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • In Angron's backstory, he was an escaped gladiator who was trapped with his army of fellow escaped gladiators with a huge army coming at him. The battle barge of the Emperor is in orbit, and the Emperor could probably destroy the army and rescue Angron's comrades in no time.
      You'd Expect: The Emperor destroys the enemy army. Orbital fire, armies of Space Marines, doing it personally. You've got a lot of options when you have spaceships, troops, guns and enough Psychic Powers to make the gods themselves get nervous. Or at the Very least, Teleport as many of Angron's comrades as he can up.
      Instead: He rescues Angron and retreats with his ship, thus killing most of the gladiators and giving Angron a grudge that would later cause him to join the traitor legions.
      • The Emperor really did a lot of these, to the point that the Horus Heresy comes off almost as Pay Evil unto Evil. See the situation with Lorgar, primarch of the Word Bearers for another excellent example.
    • In a similar manner, at the start of Warlord Ghazkhull's first invasion of Armageddon, the planet was under the rule of Overlord Herman Von Strab, who was once described as "the greatest waste of flesh and bone born in the last 500 years". So the Orks start to invade.
      You'd Expect: Von Strab to pull his finger out and deal with it the moment the first hulk appeared ó after all, these are the Orks, who live for war and aren't really sure how their death-spitting war machines work anyway.
      Instead: Von Strab sits on his ass doing absolutely nothing as the Orks happily establish a beachhead. He then sends his army piecemeal to be happily slaughtered, sends out a legion of titans unaided to try and destroy them, then virus bombs the major cities when the Orks get to them. Needless to say, when the Space Marines turn up, they aren't happy.
      So: The idiot becomes a war criminal and is turfed off of Armageddon. He comes back in the Third War on Armageddon, supported by the Orks, and claims he has divine right to rule over Armageddon. We're really not sure why anyone believed him, but some did.
  • Warhammer
    • Caledor II the Warrior, Phoenix King of the Elves, is a one-man reason for the decline of the once great Elven Kingdom. Malekith, the Witch King of Naggaroth, took advantage of this elf's mountainous arrogance by sending a bunch of dark elves disguised as high elves to attack a dwarven caravan. High King Gotrek of the dwarves sends an emissary to Ulthuan, demanding an explanation for the attack and compensation.
      What you'd expect: Caledor being surprised that his people are accused of something they haven't done, ordering his people to investigate on the attacks to find the perpetrators and offer compensation to the dwarves for the lost caravan.
      What happens instead: Caledor arrogantly responds that he will only answer to pleas, not demands, and sends the emissary back to Karaz-a-Karak with nothing.
    • But Wait, There's More! Gotrek is monumentally pissed, but he sends the emissary again. The emissary then says that he will return to his king with double the compensation he asked or a shaved beard (Shaving their beard is the biggest insult you can perform on a dwarf!)
      What you'd expect: Caledor coming back to his senses and doing what you expected at first.
      What happens instead: Caledor orders his retainers to shave the emissary's beard, then sends him back to Karaz-a-Karak, with a message to Gotrek stating that, if he wants compensation, he can come to Ulthuan personally to get it.
      The result: The War of the Beard. The dwarves took a very big hit because of it, but the elven empire ended up on the verge of annihilation, and Caledor died by Gotrek's hand. To add insult to injury, Caledor's Phoenix Crown, the most prized elven artifact, was taken from his corpse and is still on public display in Karaz-a-Karak to this day.
  • Basically every scientist in Bleak World is this, but the scientist who created the legion really takes the cake, they were tasked by the church to help perceive the afterlife.
    What you'd expect: Anything but what they did.
    What happens instead: They put 108 demons and ghosts into a single body and it went insane and killed everyone.
Comic Strip
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Calvin and Hobbes want to set up their G.R.O.S.S. headquarters in the garage where a car is taking up most of the room. Hobbes suggests that to Calvin that he could ask his mom to move the car out of the garage.
      You'd Expect: Calvin to do just that. If mom says no, they can set up their club somewhere else.
      Instead: He and Hobbes push it out of the garage where it rolls down the driveway and ends up in a ditch.
    • Calvin finds Susie's Binky Betsy doll on the sidewalk and decides to hold the toy for ransom. He drafts an anonymous ransom note demanding $100 if Susie wants to see Binky Betsy again.
      You'd Expect: Calvin to avoid drawing attention to himself on the ransom note or to at least figure out that "anonymous" means nameless.
      Instead: He signs the note "Sincerely, Calvin", at the end.
  • FunkyWinkerbean: In one arc, it's revealed that Lisa left behind a journal detailing her brief relationship with the father of her child Darin when they were teenagers. The journal entries make it clear that he had previously pressured her into sex, that he had hit her in the past and that she intends to break up with him.
    You'd Expect: Her to, at the very least, do this in a public place during the daytime with plenty of people around. Even if she's a social outsider she could still do this at some place where people would notice if he grew violent and where she could call for help.
    Instead: She tells him alone, at night and in an isolated alleyway. The only reason he doesn't beat her up is that Pam and Jeff just happened to be heading home at that time and went through that exact alley. Really the only way Lisa could have put herself in greater danger would have been if she had gotten him drunk first.
  • Little Nemo: Nemo is constantly awakened by his parents due to an Acid Reflux Nightmare.
    You'd Expect: Nemo's parents to stop feeding him before bedtime.
    Instead: They keep letting him eat and after every nightmare, they merely tell him to stop eating and threaten to beat him if he keeps having nightmares.
  • Peanuts: Linus hands her security blanket to Eudora to hold but she mistakes it as a gift. After a while, he gets Snoopy to retrieve the blanket but Eudora tells him she gave it to the cat next door.
    You'd Expect: Linus to ask Eudora why she would do such a thing and ask her to get the blanket back from the cat.
    Instead: He, Snoopy and Woodstock steal the blanket from the cat themselves. They first attempt to do so with a long pole which results in the cat smacking them from Snoopy's doghouse. Then, they hover with Snoopy's helicopter ears which is successful but they still get mangled by the cat.

  • In BIONICLE, Takanuva, Gali, and Pohatu are fighting giant bugs. Business as usual for them really, but Takanuva is worried that his regular light powers won't be powerful enough. He does have a bunch of new toys, though!
    You'd Expect: That he'd just use his new power-amplifying weapon if he was that worried. Or if he didn't want to drain his light powers, he has a blaster that could do it for him.
    Instead: He uses his new shadow power without the amplifier, winning the fight but freaking his friends out and making them think he might be one of the evil shadow-slinging shapeshifters flying around.
    • In another story, Telluris has just spent an entire chapter running away from an Eldritch Abomination that looks like a miniature sun with tentacles, and is a Dream Eater. Finally, he and his companions manage to make it out of its cave.
      What You'd Expect: That he'd keep running the hell away from it some more, or find cover like his partners have and stay there.
      What Happens: He randomly starts charging back at the creature, despite knowing that it's nearly impossible to defeat. He is instantly zapped to dust. His friend then remarks that that was a stupid and pointless way to go. Apparently being a mechanical genius doesn't make one a genius in other areas.
  • The titular monarch in the song "There Lived a King" from The Gondoliers, who was grieved that not everyone was as well-off as he.
    You'd Expect: He call together the best minds on economics and try to work out a policy that prospered as much of the population as possible, and revisit it from time to time.
    Instead: He promotes each person in the kingdom to the top of the hierarchy of their chosen métier.
    "That king, although no one denies/His heart was of abnormal size/Yet he'd have acted otherwise/If he'd have been acuter."
  • One commercial has a pair of teenage boys calling their mother and complaining they are hungry. The mother says to go make themselves Tostino's (a frozen pizza snack), with the boys complaining that they don't have any.
    You'd Expect: The boys to actually look around the freezer first before declaring whether or not they have the said snack.
    Instead: Their eyes are glued to their right while the snack is just a few inches away on their left. The mother seems to know the boys are too lazy to actually look so she says "Front, left, Tostino's!" God forbid anything happens to these kids should their mother be gone for an extended period of time.
    Also: When the boy finds the Tostino's, he puts the phone down in the freezer and closes the door.
  • Parodied in a commercial for Geico. A group of teens in a slasher film setting are on the run from a killer. They find an Old Dark House and contemplate hiding in it one of the girls suggests getting in a running car and driving away.
    You'd Expect: The teens to do just that without any hesitation.
    Instead: One of the boys shouts, "Are you crazy?" and forces them to hide in the garage where chainsaws dangle overhead. The killer is in there and even he can't believe what he sees.
    For Added Stupidity: Their next stop is the cemetery. The killer must be facepalming at this point.
  • The story of the Goose that Laid a Golden Egg: A farmer and his wife discover a goose that, as the title suggests, lays a golden egg every day.
    You'd Expect: The pair of them to just let the goose do its thing. Or, if they're worried about the goose running out of eggs (as stated in some versions of the story), just save some of the gold.
    Instead: They decide to cut the goose open to try and get all the gold at once. The "autopsy" reveals the goose to be no different than any other, and the couple now have no more golden eggs.