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What An Idiot: Other

General
  • Virtually any time two people are fighting, and one of them has the power to become completely invisible to the opponent.
    You'd Expect: The invisible one to kill, or incapacitate their opponent as soon as possible, while they can't fight back as effectively.
    Instead: Often they're content with just taking potshots that, while they hurt, rarely seem to deal any significant damage to the opponent. And if they're a villain fighting a hero, this usually gives the hero time to come up with a countermeasure and defeat the villain.

Music
  • 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 – as she isn't restrained that tightly – 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.
  • The boyfriend in Taylor Swift's music video "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," a No. 1 country and pop hit in 2012. Twice, Taylor slams the door on her ex-boyfriend (the first time showing him out), who is trying to resume the relationship. Both times, she leaves the door unlocked and does not hook the chain.
    You'd Expect: The boyfriend to simply open the door, since he didn't hear it being chained or locked shut, or at least try since he was so headstrong in trying to get back together with her.
    Instead: He does not; he just stands outside the door like an idiot.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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. Or, hell, just shoot the horse!
    Instead: 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 — 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.
    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 and mildly 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 out 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 stupider 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.

Professional Wrestling
  • General Wrestling Idiocy:
    • A heel stable or alliance comes out and cuts a promo or has a match, and suddenly the music of their main face rival comes on.
      You'd Expect: The stable to stick together and wait for the face to arrive so they can all attack him together—especially if this is what they usually do anyway.
      Instead: The leader of the team sends out his stablemates to meet the face on the ramp as if they were some sort of gatekeepers.
      The Result: Naturally, every single time this happens the babyface comes from the crowd and freely gets his hands on the heel leader.
  • More Heel Stable:
    • A heel stable or alliance has collected various singles and tag team titles, but a lower ranking member is given a shot at a higher members title.
      You'd Expect: The stable to stick together, with the two members who face each other to compete strongly but fairly until the championship is decided, at which point they go back to being a complete stable, knowing that it's better to dominate a division together than be divided
      Instead: The leader of the team gets the other members to attack the challenger to secure his dominance.
      The Result: Of course, a Heel-Face Turn results and the leader loses his title and a powerful ally.
  • WWE:
    • Michelle McCool's heel-turn angle with Maria on Smackdown in 2008/2009.
      You'd Expect: After McCool losing two matches and taking it out on Maria both times, Maria would show some caution around McCool, and so would Eve after Maria gets the snot kicked out of her when McCool finally loses the title.
      Instead: Apparently girlfriends do this all the time in wrestling land? That's what she told them, and that was enough to gain their forgiveness. And they totally didn't see the asskicking they would get coming.
    • Kaval lasts five minutes in a grueling match against The Big Show to earn a spot on Team Smackdown at the 2010 Bragging Rights. Then Tyler Reks comes out to challenge him for his spot. Teddy Long comes out to stop him.
      You'd Expect: Kaval, obviously in no condition to compete after his match, to request it be postponed in order to give time for his body to heal.
      Instead: He, being The Determinator that he is, throws out all logic and accepts Reks' challenge. Only for him to be beaten quickly, thus losing his spot.
    • Following the successful completion of his plan against The Undertaker, Kane has the World Heavyweight Championship and his brother is buried alive for the fifth time. His next challenger, is one-time rival Edge. Who, in a move full of Moral Dissonance in and of itself, promptly decides to kidnap his father to try to get in his head, and after one title shot failed, to get another one.
      You'd Expect: Kane to immediately go straight to General Manager Teddy Long and threaten to walk out with the belt if Teddy doesn't force Edge to give Paul Bearer back, especially since kidnapping non-wrestlers isn't something Long is supposed to condone anyway. If Teddy refused to give Paul back, he could easily make good on his threat until Teddy finally caves or gets kicked out for someone else with some sense who will do the right thing. In other words, what CM Punk did in 2011, except more specific to a brand (Smackdown), less "Voice of the Voiceless", and more "GIVE ME BACK MY DAD!".
      Instead: Kane keeps scrambling around and running after wherever Edge showed his face last like a blubbering idiot, and is driven to the point of pleading humanity in desperation. He ends up with Teddy right in front of him at least twice, yet can only ask "Where's Paul!?" or "Where's Edge!?".
      The result: Daddy Paul gets Put on a Bus again, Kane gets trapped in a four-way TLC match at the end of the year and loses the World Heavyweight Title to Edge, promptly becoming a midcard human-like face AGAIN shortly thereafter.
    • Toward the end of 2010, Wade Barrett and The Nexus have to deal with recently fired John Cena picking them apart one by one with impunity and being treated exactly like if he was still a Superstar, primarily because security won't help them after the NXT Riot.
      You'd Expect: Well, number one, for not every security team in the country to take the NXT Riot so personally they refuse to do their jobs when it involves the Nexus. Barring that, for the Anonymous General Manager to start ordering security to do something about Cena. Barring both of those, you'd think the cunning clan of angry rookies who practically took over WWE would have a plan to respond to this after the first couple of attacks. As he technically isn't under contract, they could easily have police arrest Cena for assault and criminal trespassing. At the very least, they could employ basic defensive strategy and make sure to always walk in groups of at least two whenever they're inside an arena or hotel during Monday Night Raw.
      Instead: Nobody does anything, Cena's treated like he's still a Superstar, and Nexus continue to act like sitting ducks as John Cena attacks them one at a time. By the time they finally try to get back on the offensive with Cena, he's managed to get the entire locker room in on the plan for revenge against them and their attack backfires horribly.
      • Furthermore: This eventually leads to a confrontation in the ring when Barrett calls out Cena to tell him his plan won't work because Wade will never rehire him. Cena points out that as long as he's "fired" he can do whatever he wants to Nexus, trying to stir the pot and make Barrett out to not care at all about the other members' well being.
        You'd Expect: Barrett to immediately see through Cena stirring the shit, and cut that off at the pass by reminding everyone that he spearheaded the Nexus's rise to prominence and upheld their pledge to get every member a main roster contract, even including Harris and McGillicutty from NXT season 2. Then, either bring out cops to arrest Cena now that he's finally been drawn out, or have Nexus destroy Cena and take back the upper hand yet.
        Instead: He allows Cena to play him into showing off his true Machiavellian colors, leading to the group being so upset with him that instead of destroying Cena, they walk out on Barrett and force him to rehire Cena in order to remain a member, and then turn to CM Punk for leadership
    • As a result of the above, Wade Barrett ends up in a triple threat cage match that he has to win or else he's kicked out of Nexus. Even now, he has two of these moments, both within the same match:
      • Wade's on top of the cage with both Randy Orton and Sheamus on the floor.
        You'd Expect: Barrett to exit the cage, knowing that his place (let alone leadership) in The Nexus is on the line.
        Instead: He goes for an elbow drop on Sheamus, which he counters with his knees. But that's nothing note  compared to...
      • Wade's climbing up the cage with both of his opponents down. CM Punk runs out and climbs the cage, seemingly to help him.
        You'd Expect: Barrett to either drop down and walk out the door, or at least knock Punk away, knowing that he's been the one who has been trying to usurp control of Nexus from him.
        Instead: He takes Punk's hand, which he uses as an opportunity to strip him of his Nexus armband before knocking him back down the cage.
        The end result: Nexus becomes a cult under Punk and ends in gradual Badass Decay, with Punk leaving them behind to become the Best Wrestler in the World.
    • On the 12/5/11 airing of Monday Night Raw, Randy Orton is in a match with the Miz. They're both out of the ring and Randy slams Miz. Wade Barrett comes out and watches the match and both the Miz and Randy are close to being counted out. Randy pushes the Miz into the ring.
      You'd Expect: Randy to ignore Wade and continue the match.
      Instead: Randy chases Wade and gets counted out as a result.
    • Alberto Del Rio is cheated at Summerslam 2012 by Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship when the referee misses his foot being on the rope, then the next night on Raw when Sheamus stops Del Rio from beating Randy Orton the same way. On Smackdown, General Manager Booker T is speaking to Orton and Sheamus about the #1 contendership to Sheamus's title, and his tone towards Orton has just shifted from being excited about the match to more serious and somber.
      You'd expect: Del Rio to wait for Booker, the same Reasonable Authority Figure who forced Sheamus to apologize for stealing and trashing his car a few weeks back, to finish saying what he was going to say.
      Instead: He comes out flapping his gums in a justified-but-overblown angry tirade about being a conspiracy victim, claiming everyone else is against him and even calling Booker a peasant (King Booker?) and a criminal (Booker once spent 19 months in jail for armed robbery before his wrestling career).
      The result: He was going to be named the #1 contender, but because of his rant, he and Orton are instead booked to have it out again in the main event. Luckily for Del Rio he's able to get the job done.
    • Raw General Manager AJ Lee has been as horribly biased and erratic a Face General Manager as there has ever been. Former love interests who are sympathetic villains can expect to be pulled into defending the WWE Championship in matches that work against them or being humiliated and put into anger management classes. Anyone who says the word "crazy" around her can expect to be put into a match designed for them to get squashed. At least one WWE.com backstage interview has ended in her flinching as a result of some question about her actions catching her off guard. The site even has an article up asking if she's just a Cloudcuckoolander or Drunk with Power. And as a result of booking a match where Dolph Ziggler's hard-earned contract for a shot at a title that she claims she has no jurisdiction over (not to mention Chris Jericho's job) was put on the line on a whim, Dolph's manager Vickie Guerrero is in the ring on the 8/27/12 episode of Raw announcing her intent to go to the Board of Directors to get AJ fired as GM and outright calling her a mentally deranged child.
      You'd expect: Something, anything, of a more measured response than what she does. Even putting Vickie in another one of her "don't call me crazy" dick move matches would've been preferable to what she does.
      Instead: She comes out and violently beats on Vickie Guerrero herself, practically ensuring that the Board of Directors would have to grab their own idiot ball not to at least order her to take the same anger management classes she's got Daniel Bryan on.
      The result: Remember that "you can't hit anyone" edict Linda McMahon put on "Stone Cold" Steve Austin back when he was co-GMs with Eric Bischoff in 2003? Yeah, the board decided to do that to her. They didn't even give her the caveat Austin got about being physically provoked, either.
    • After hitting Alberto Del Rio's sidekick Ricardo Rodriguez with the Brogue Kick, Del Rio and David Otunga have returned to the lawsuit aisle, providing evidence of the Brogue Kick's barbarism and brutal hazardousness to other wrestlers' health. This has led to General Manager Booker T conceding to rule a temporary ban on the Brogue Kick, and the following Monday, a court-ordered deposition at WWE Headquarters which would be aired on Raw.
      You'd expect: Sheamus to treat the case and his defense attorney with a modicum of seriousness, provide counterpoints including other lethal finishers that have been used at least as liberally and caused at least as much mayhem as the Brogue, and make the argument that what Otunga's asking for could escalate into a deep censorship-style crackdown of wrestling moves (and/or at the very least that it's hypocritical because Del Rio broke Rey Mysterio Jr's arm in his debut with the cross armbreaker).
      Instead: He takes the whole thing as a joke, starting off with a mouthy gag about how his "last name" is "Lipshitz", mocking Rodriguez with "Si, Senor", and Daniel Bryan with a constant "YES!" when Otunga brings up their incidents with the Brogue Kick. He stops his brief "but Del Rio" argument when Otunga says ADR's not the one being deposed without even mentioning the cross armbreaker. Finally, in a move that completely defies logic, he even closes out by Brogue Kicking the camcorder at the scene.
      Furthermore: Sheamus and Otunga have a match on the actual show. Where Sheamus proceeds to hit Otunga with the Brogue Kick.
      The result: A.J. Lee goes out there to presumably make another out-of-bounds imposition on the World Heavyweight title. Booker T has to swiftly come out to tell her he'll handle it, and he does so…by ruling that any use of the Brogue Kick by Sheamus before his investigation is complete means Sheamus is stripped of the title, thus putting a proverbial trap card in front of his kill shot maneuver right before his title defense at Night of Champions.
    • The night after the widely-panned-as-godawful WrestleMania 29, a Rawactive poll is sent to see if Randy Orton or Sheamus would face The Big Show.
      You'd Expect: The winner of the poll to face Show.
      Instead: Booker T comes out revealing that he and Vickie Guerrero decided to invalidate the poll and let Sheamus and Orton duke it out amongst themselves.
      The Result: The crowd doesn't even give a shit about and blatantly ignore it. They even chant names like JBL, RVD, Randy Savage, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole and Mike Chioda!
  • TNA:
    • In late 2007-early 2008, AJ Styles is seduced by Kurt Angle's wife Karen into trying to merge Christian's Coalition together with Angle's new group, the Angle Alliance. Predictably, Christian and Kurt can't get along, Christian becomes the top challenger to Kurt's World Heavyweight Title, and Styles and Tomko are forced to choose between Christian and Kurt—until Tomko decides to wash his hands of the whole situation and pick his own side instead.
      You'd expect: For Styles to either stick with Christian, the guy who helped him get back on his feet, brought Tomko to TNA, and put the two of them together in the first place, or follow Tomko's example and become an independent actor to gain more of the audience's respect than he already has.
      Instead: He falls for Karen's charms once again and stabs Christian in the back, costing him the title shot at Final Resolution and hitching his wagon to the same Olympic Gold Medalist who, in his short time as a member of the Alliance, has watched as he was forced to wear reindeer and turkey suits as a result of losing holiday matches and proceeded to hurl insults at him for it.
      • The very next month, Christian earns yet another title shot against Kurt, who tries again to recruit Tomko. Kurt tries to seduce Tomko with Karen's charms like he did AJ, which Tomko rebuffs immediately, as unlike AJ he actually remembers the existence of his wife and child. Kurt resorts to insulting said wife, which Tomko takes violent offense to, fighting him then and there and then beating him in a match the following week with help from Christian. Christian, along with damn near every TNA fan, makes it all too clear they're behind Tomko on this one, and Tomko even appears to have Christian's back against AJ and Angle heading into the next title match at Against All Odds.
        You'd expect: Tomko to defend the now-babyface Christian against AJ's interference and Angle's underhanded tactics, presumably allowing Christian to become the champion, then to declare his independence again the following Impact, part ways amicably with Christian, make good on the world title shot that Christian has owed him for over a year, and, seeing how badly Angle treats AJ, convince AJ to do the same.
        Instead: He stabs Christian in the back like AJ did the month before and proceeds to join the Angle Alliance.
        Furthermore: Tomko's reasoning for this. He claims that Christian promised him he'd become a big star only for that to never happen. This sounds reasonable enough at first—until one considers that throughout this storyline he's been one half of both the TNA and IWGP (New Japan Pro Wrestling) Tag Team Champions, with both companies' crowds loving him even back when he was a full-fledged heel. Suddenly his character goes from having potential to be the biggest star in TNA to becoming the stupid one between him and AJ.
        Even worse: Speaking of AJ, when AJ finally does the sensible thing due to being sick and tired of all the Karen drama in addition to being Kurt's second banana, Tomko turns against AJ and continues to serve Kurt as a Sociopathic Soldier despite clearly getting nothing out of it anymore.
        The result: He becomes little more than an Elite Mook before being Put on a Bus, comes back over a year later and turns on AJ again to get a shot at his recently-won World Heavyweight Title only to be shoved into the background and released again when Hulk Hogan comes to TNA, and then…ouch.
    • The last show before 10.10.10. has Dixie Carter, finally fed up with Abyss' actions after he basically tried to "abduct" her, orders Eric Bischoff to fire him. Bischoff then brings her the legal documents to make said firing official.
      You'd Expect: Dixie to read the contract carefully before signing.
      Instead: She immediately signs it without even looking at it, letting her anger with Abyss' actions earlier note  overcome her common sense.
    • The contract she signed really was to turn over the majority of shares to Hulk Hogan, thus screwing herself out of the company.
      You'd Expect: Her to then fight the contract somehow, having been defrauded with a clear trail of what happened. (On national TV no less.)
      Instead: She just disappears.
    • The night of AJ Styles and Magnus's title unification match, Dixie Carter (who by now has been a heel for four months due to a falling out with AJ) announces that it'll be a no-disqualification match, and makes it perfectly clear she's doing it because she wants him bodied at the end of the night. AJ gets the message and warns her that he's got friends in the back that'll make sure her cronies don't get to have their way with him. Also, as seen in an #IMPACT365 video clearly taken and set before the match but posted days later, AJ talks about how guys have each other's back in this company because otherwise management will chew you up and spit you out any chance they get.
      You'd Expect: Him and/or Sting to warn, or better yet to have warned, some of the guys that Dixie could have something planned for them to make sure they can't even the odds in his favor. At the very least the guys (and girls in ODB's case) will be on guard and won't be so easily taken by surprise, and in fact maybe they could come up with a counter-plan.
      Instead: Poor Communication Kills all around. No outreach is made to bring the guys together or even to put them on alert. AJ makes no known effort to talk with any of his fellow faces nor vice versa *coughStingcough*, even after Team Dixie has started wiping some of them out. In fact it's not certain he ever knows about the carnage unfolding before the match.
      What's worse: The X-Division guys, yes, the same X-Division AJ first made his name in, is nowhere to be found all night. What?
      The result: AJ Styles vs. Magnus quickly turns into AJ Styles and Sting vs. the Carter Kingdom, the Bro-Mans, and the Extraordinary Gentlemen's Organization. For the record, folks, that's 9-on-2. Needless to say, AJ lost.
      Furthermore: AJ and Sting lasted ten minutes, complete with a couple of hope spots. This makes the out-of-universe booking decision to have the match turn into a 9-on-2 gang attack stupid in and of itself, as it doesn't reflect terribly well on the heels' competency.

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.
      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 — 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.

Comic Strip
  • Calvin and Hobbes: 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.
  • In a recent FunkyWinkerbean 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.

Other
  • 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.
Western AnimationWhat an Idiot    

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