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* The protagonists of ''Villains'' are a subversion. While they’re {{Adorkable}}, easily distracted, and seemingly incompetent, the two are actually quite crafty and the only thing keeping them from being truly effective criminals is that they’re too softhearted.


** ''Series/FargoSeasonThree'': Ray Stussy's attempt to hire a dumbass criminal to commit a crime against a family member goes about as well as it did for that other down on his luck Minnesotan. And Maurice, the ex-con Ray hires to steal the stamp, really stands out:

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** ''Series/FargoSeasonThree'': Ray Stussy's attempt to hire a dumbass criminal to commit a crime against a family member goes about as well as it did for [[Film/{{Fargo}} that other down on his luck Minnesotan.down-on-his-luck Minnesotan]]. And Maurice, the ex-con Ray hires to steal the stamp, really stands out:


** The gang are tasked with organizing a (rigged) bicycle race, with competitors from twelve countries, on a track on a military base. They discover ''as the race is about to begin'' that the track has an enormous gap in it because they couldn't move the motor pool, and the crowd riots when told the race must be postponed indefinitely.
** After Kid Sally's demotion for the bicycle race fiasco, he and the gang decide to kill Baccala and his right-hand man, Water Buffalo. Their attempts lead to the deaths of four of their own members - two are run over by Water Buffalo when their attempt on his life fails thanks to their refusal to walk through a puddle in their expensive shoes, another is blown up by a stick of remotely activated dynamite that is accidentally set off by a police radio, and another electrocutes himself when he climbs a utility pole and raises a knife to throw at Baccala through his office window.
** Having acquired a lion in the course of preparing for the bicycle race, the gang decide to use the animal to intimidate an assortment of local shopkeepers for a "protection" racket. At a butcher's, they decide to order ten pounds of steak for the lion. Inevitably, the money and the steak are put in identical bags, and the gang don't realize they've thrown the wrong bag into the lion's room until after he's eaten every dollar.

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** The gang are tasked with organizing organising a (rigged) bicycle race, with competitors from twelve countries, on a track on a military base. They discover ''as the race is about to begin'' that the track has an enormous gap in it because they couldn't move the motor pool, and the crowd riots when told the race must be postponed indefinitely.
** After Kid Sally's demotion for the bicycle race fiasco, he and the gang decide to kill Baccala and his right-hand man, Water Buffalo. Their attempts lead to the deaths of four ''four'' of their own members - two are run over by Water Buffalo when their attempt on his life fails thanks to their refusal to walk through a puddle in their expensive shoes, another is blown up by a stick of remotely activated dynamite that is accidentally set off by a police radio, and another electrocutes himself when he climbs a utility pole and raises a knife to throw at Baccala through his office window.
** Having acquired a lion in the course of preparing for the bicycle race, the gang decide to use the animal to intimidate an assortment of local shopkeepers for a "protection" racket. At a butcher's, they decide to order ten pounds of steak for the lion. Inevitably, the money and the steak are put in identical bags, and the gang don't realize realise they've thrown the wrong bag into the lion's room until after he's eaten every dollar.


** The gang are tasked with organising a (rigged) bicycle race, with competitors from twelve countries, on a track on a military base. They discover ''as the race is about to begin'' that the track has an enormous gap in it because they couldn't move the motor pool, and the crowd riots when told the race must be postponed indefinitely.
** After Kid Sally's demotion for the bicycle race fiasco, he and the gang decide to kill Baccala and his right-hand man, Water Buffalo. Their attempts lead to the deaths of ''four'' of their own members - two are run over by Water Buffalo when their attempt on his life fails thanks to their refusal to walk through a puddle in their expensive shoes, another is blown up by a stick of remotely activated dynamite that is accidentally set off by a police radio, and another electrocutes himself when he climbs a utility pole and raises a knife to throw at Baccala through his office window.
** Having acquired a lion in the course of preparing for the bicycle race, the gang decide to use the animal to intimidate an assortment of local shopkeepers for a "protection" racket. At a butcher's, they decide to order ten pounds of steak for the lion. Inevitably, the money and the steak are put in identical bags, and the gang don't realise they've thrown the wrong bag into the lion's room until after he's eaten every dollar.

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** The gang are tasked with organising organizing a (rigged) bicycle race, with competitors from twelve countries, on a track on a military base. They discover ''as the race is about to begin'' that the track has an enormous gap in it because they couldn't move the motor pool, and the crowd riots when told the race must be postponed indefinitely.
** After Kid Sally's demotion for the bicycle race fiasco, he and the gang decide to kill Baccala and his right-hand man, Water Buffalo. Their attempts lead to the deaths of ''four'' four of their own members - two are run over by Water Buffalo when their attempt on his life fails thanks to their refusal to walk through a puddle in their expensive shoes, another is blown up by a stick of remotely activated dynamite that is accidentally set off by a police radio, and another electrocutes himself when he climbs a utility pole and raises a knife to throw at Baccala through his office window.
** Having acquired a lion in the course of preparing for the bicycle race, the gang decide to use the animal to intimidate an assortment of local shopkeepers for a "protection" racket. At a butcher's, they decide to order ten pounds of steak for the lion. Inevitably, the money and the steak are put in identical bags, and the gang don't realise realize they've thrown the wrong bag into the lion's room until after he's eaten every dollar.


** The gang are tasked with organised a (rigged) bicycle race, with competitors from twelve countries, on a track on a military base. They discover ''as the race is about to begin'' that the track has an enormous gap in it because they couldn't move the motor pool.

to:

** The gang are tasked with organised organising a (rigged) bicycle race, with competitors from twelve countries, on a track on a military base. They discover ''as the race is about to begin'' that the track has an enormous gap in it because they couldn't move the motor pool.pool, and the crowd riots when told the race must be postponed indefinitely.

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* ''The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight'' are aptly named; they are ''terrible'' at [[TheMafia organised crime]], whether acting on orders from their mob boss, Antonio "Baccala" Vestrummo, or trying to kill him for demoting their leader, Kid Sally Palumbo, to personal chauffeur for his ineptitude.
** The gang are tasked with organised a (rigged) bicycle race, with competitors from twelve countries, on a track on a military base. They discover ''as the race is about to begin'' that the track has an enormous gap in it because they couldn't move the motor pool.
** After Kid Sally's demotion for the bicycle race fiasco, he and the gang decide to kill Baccala and his right-hand man, Water Buffalo. Their attempts lead to the deaths of ''four'' of their own members - two are run over by Water Buffalo when their attempt on his life fails thanks to their refusal to walk through a puddle in their expensive shoes, another is blown up by a stick of remotely activated dynamite that is accidentally set off by a police radio, and another electrocutes himself when he climbs a utility pole and raises a knife to throw at Baccala through his office window.
** Having acquired a lion in the course of preparing for the bicycle race, the gang decide to use the animal to intimidate an assortment of local shopkeepers for a "protection" racket. At a butcher's, they decide to order ten pounds of steak for the lion. Inevitably, the money and the steak are put in identical bags, and the gang don't realise they've thrown the wrong bag into the lion's room until after he's eaten every dollar.
** When Kid Sally tries to kill Baccala himself as he dines with fake priest Mario Trantino, everything that can go wrong does. The bodyguards wait a ridiculously long time to order the drinks they are planning to [[SlippingAMickey spike]], prompting the nervous bartender to order them to down them at gunpoint. The van they are using as cover sits outside the restaurant for so long that they are given a parking ticket. And the bullets for Kid Sally's gun barely fit into the chambers, so that when he charges into the restaurant and aims at Baccala's head, the gun blows up in his hand.


* [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/zu/ffkidnap.gif One of the pre-web strips]] of ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'' has Helix taken by kidnappers, who start [[FingerInTheMail sending parts to Sam in the mail]]. And for some reason, they just ''keep on sending them'', until eventually, Sam has all of Helix's parts back and can reassemble him, good as new.

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* ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}''
** Sam Starfall has aspirations of being a renowned master thief, but isn't always the brightest bulb in the box. Admittedly, some of his incompetence may be attributed to culture clash[[note]]he's from a Victorian-tech planet where theft is admired, and living on an interstellar age human planet[[/note]], such as his selling shares in a meat mine for ([[WorthlessYellowRocks worthless]] on Jean)
[[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff600/fv00553.htm diamonds]].
** [[http://freefall.
purrsia.com/zu/ffkidnap.gif One of the pre-web strips]] of ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'' has Helix taken by kidnappers, who start [[FingerInTheMail sending parts to Sam in the mail]]. And for some reason, they just ''keep on sending them'', until eventually, Sam has all of Helix's parts back and can reassemble him, good as new.

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* ''ComicBook/WonderWoman1987'': A newbie villain with the admittedly dangerous power of creating localized black holes attempts to mug and murder someone about ten feet from where a significant portion of the ComicBook/JusticeLeague ''and'' ComicBook/TeenTitans are eating and chatting. He gets captured almost instantly.

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* ''Film/MegaTimeSquad'': The main character is a slack-jawed drug dealer for the would-be kingpin of a sleepy New Zealand town. All of the kingpin's flunkies are idiots. When the kingpin tries to have the main character executed for disloyalty, one flunky misses his shot from point black range and hits another flunky behind him in the eye with the ricochet. In the commotion, the main character escapes, prompting the kingpin to remark, "Well this is a bloody circus!"


Often leads to MuggingTheMonster and BullyingADragon. A GoldfishPoopGang is often composed of these. WeaponForIntimidation can show up in a subverted fashion where brandishing an unusable weapon (i.e. an unloaded gun) draws aggro from people who can fight back with greater force. For one reason or another, such characters are usually TooDumbToLive. If any such character happens to draw sympathy from their failings, that character is also likely to be an IneffectualSympatheticVillain.

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Often leads to MuggingTheMonster and BullyingADragon. A GoldfishPoopGang is often composed of these. WeaponForIntimidation can show up in a subverted fashion where brandishing an unusable weapon (i.e. an unloaded gun) [[DrawAggro draws aggro aggro]] from people who can fight back with greater force. For one reason or another, such characters are usually TooDumbToLive. If any such character happens to draw sympathy from their failings, that character is also likely to be an IneffectualSympatheticVillain.


* Observed in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' episode "Ruthless Tommy", where two bumbling criminals kidnap Tommy, mistakenly believing him to be the son of a billionaire after they mix up their ''real'' target's house address. Even then, [[PityTheKidnapper the one-year-old baby becomes too much for the two idiots to handle]] so quickly that they end up returning Tommy back to his parents before they even realized Tommy had been missing. However, as the crooks leave, their ransom note flies out of Stu's hands and [[LaserGuidedKarma covers one of the crook's face, causing him to crash their car into a hydrant and send both of them flying headfirst into the back window of a police car]].

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* Observed in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' episode "Ruthless Tommy", where two bumbling criminals kidnap Tommy, mistakenly believing him to be the son of a billionaire after they mix up their ''real'' target's house address. Even then, [[PityTheKidnapper the one-year-old baby becomes too much for the two idiots to handle]] so quickly that they end up returning Tommy back to his parents before they even realized Tommy their son had been missing. However, as the crooks leave, their ransom note flies out of Stu's hands and [[LaserGuidedKarma covers one of the crook's face, causing him to crash their car into a hydrant and send both of them flying headfirst into the back window of a police car]].

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* ''Film/TheBigHit'': The entire plot hinges on a bunch of dumb hitmen working for a crime syndicate ransoming a rich girl without approval from their boss, only to find out that ''she's the boss's god-daughter'' and [[PapaWolf he wants blood]]. Also, even if he didn't find out, the girl's father was just going through a bankruptcy. Guys, research?

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* A recurring bit on ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' are sketches involving some truly idiotic crooks. Half the time, said sketches will show they get away with it because the cops are even dumber.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeTCTARJZm8 One sketch]] has a drug lord pulling a coup on his partner to become the boss. It quickly becomes clear he has absolutely no idea whatsoever how this operation works from prices (he's ready to sell a $30,000 bag for a hundred bucks) to even knowing the difference between cocaine and heroin.




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[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/SpiritHunterNG'', Akira calls out Yakuza lackey Maruhashi on his stupidity when he tries to scout girls right in front of a police station, which is an [[EstablishingCharacterMoment early indicator]] that Maruhashi's not the brightest bulb in the box.
[[/folder]]

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* Jim diGriz of ''Literature/TheStainlessSteelRat'' purposely got into jail so he could meet incarcerated criminal masterminds and absorb their wisdom. However, any single inmate there was an example of this trope, which, as Jim [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]], is the reason they were in jail in first place.

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