People not thinking things through in movies.
- In Aladdin:
Genie: It's all part and parcel of the whole "genie" gig. PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER!...itty-bitty living space.
- Jafar is defeated when Aladdin tricks him into wishing to become an all-powerful genie. Jafar either forgot or was not aware that genies in this setting are bound to a magic lamp and obliged to grant wishes by nature.
- Aladdin too. He gets the genie to turn him into a prince and win the heart of Princess Jasmine. He didn't think about the fact that with Jasmine came the throne of Agrabah. The look on his face says it all.
- In Beauty and the Beast, when Gaston gets a mob of villagers to take Belle's father Maurice to a lunatic asylum for saying Belle was being held in a castle by a Beast, Belle uses the Magic Mirror to prove the Beast exists...which then makes Gaston rile up the villagers to kill him.
- The last line on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, spoken by the Mayor, who is adrift at sea after eating the food boat he was escaping in.
- Also, Flint's invention of Spray-On Shoes. It seems like a great solution to the epidemic of untied shoes until he's asked how he'd be able to take them off.
- Gill's plan to escape to the sea in Finding Nemo succeeds past the audience's expectations. Too bad he didn't account for the fact that they'd all be stuck in plastic bags when they got there.Bloat: Now what?
- In Frozen II, Anna grabs an ice sword from one of the ice sculptures around them when they find themselves threatened in the forest, and brandishes it defiantly. When Kristoff asks her what she intends to do with that sword, she answers she has no idea.
- The Incredibles: Syndrome's Evil Plan involved the Omnidroid, a robot programmed to adapt to techniques used to defeat it in order to beat opponents. The plan was that he would order the Omnidroid to attack a city, and then defeat it in order to set himself up as a superhero. He fought the robot using a remote control. Unfortunately for him, the Omnidroid, following its programming, realized that the remote was a threat and immediately acted to remove it. Without the remote, Syndrome went down pretty fast, leaving the real heroes to stop the Omnidroid.
- The Iron Giant: Mansley, singlemindedly obsessed with destroying the Giant, personally orders the Nautilus to launch a nuke at the Giant after his lies are exposed, failing to realize at that moment that the missile was locked on to the Giant's current location as the Giant is standing right in the middle of Rockwell—about 5 feet away from Mansley. Thus, the nuke will vaporize not only the Giant, but also the entire town, including Mansley himself. Fortunately, the Giant intercepts the nuke itself and saves the town, at the cost of his life. It turns out he's still alive and reassembling himself in Iceland.
- Kung Fu Panda 2: Po's plan to rescue the Furious Five where he admits he hadn't thought what he would do when he got close enough to do that. Mainly due to the fact he didn't expect to make it this far.
- The Lion King: In the elephant graveyard scene, Shenzi, Banzai and Ed stuff Zazu into a steam vent which blasts him to kingdom come. Simba offers to teach them a lesson. Keep in mind, he is a cub at this point.
- A Strange Minds Think Alike-style gag in Meet the Robinsons often said to Bowler Hat Guy. When a CEO, a frog, and a Tyrannosaurus Rex think your evil plans need work, you aren't doing that well."It's just, I have this big head and little arms. I'm just not sure how well this plan was thought through!"
- Quest for Camelot: After finally obtaining Excalibur, Ruber fuses it with his arm to make sure nobody would take it from him—despite knowing that Excalibur is a sword that, once stuck into a certain stone, cannot be removed from it by anyone other than the rightful King.
- In Ratatouille, this is the cause of the Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure between Rémy and Linguini in both sides. Linguini kicks Rémy out of the restaurant so he can focus on pleasing Ego, only to find out the next day that he is being bombarded by special orders for unique dishes that only Rémy knows how to make. Rémy, meanwhile, is upset that Linguini won't reveal him to the public, ignoring how the entire kitchen and the health inspector would react to this.
- Recess: School's Out: Why did Prickly call Dr. Benedict insane? Maybe because creating another ice age to end summer vacation forever would bring forth The End of the World as We Know It?
- Or because of the fact that nobody told him about snow days, which would probably become the new summer vacation anyway.
- Or that summer itself isn't the primary cause of summer vacation, at best those vacation days would be rearranged, not removed. In fact, TJ outright says this to him as "You might get rid of summer, but you'll never get rid of summer vacation", but by that point, Benedict had gone so far without realizing the pointlessness that he just went ahead anyway.
- In Shark Tale, Oscar takes credit for killing a shark, thus reaping much fame. It doesn't occur to him until much later that the other sharks might take offense to this showboater bragging about how he killed one of their own.Angie: YOU LIED! EVERYBODY THINKS YOU "SLAYED THE SHARK"! How could you lie to me, Oscar?! ME?!
Oscar: Ang, please! Don't take it personal! C'mon, I lied to everybody! Alright, look, I'm sorry. I totally betrayed you. But listen—I just got one little problem I gotta take care of.
Angie: Oh, really? And what's that?
Oscar: SHARKS! Are COMING! To GET ME!
Angie: And they should! I mean, really. What'd you expect? You just take credit for killing a shark, and then everything be fine and dandy for the rest of your life?
- Shrek 2 Harold's promise to the Fairy Godmother that his daughter would marry her son so he could become king. However, when they are brought together, he sees that Fiona is genuinely in love with Shrek and that nothing is going to change her mind. He even laughs at how absurd it is to think you can force someone to fall in love.
- Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas: After braving many dangers, Sinbad and Marina finally make it to Tartarus and come face to face with Eris, the goddess of discord. The faces they make really show that they didn't have any plan whatsoever past that point.
- Snoopy, Come Home: Lila entices Snoopy to leave Charlie Brown and live with her again. The one problem: a sign on the entrance reading "No dogs allowed in building", which Snoopy is more than happy to point out. Cue Face Palm from Lila.
- Storks: Junior says it word for word after he stuffs the baby machine full of letters, thus creating millions of babies.
- Teen Titans Go! To the Movies: When Jade Wilson says that, unless Robin has an arch-enemy, she won't make a movie of him even if he's the last superhero on Earth. He decides to tamper with the origins of Superman, Aquaman, Batman and Wonder Woman with help from the other Titans. They don't realize it's a bad idea until they see a reality with villains going around without anyone to stop them.
- In Toy Story, Woody lights the rocket strapped to Buzz as a last resort to get back to Andy and this realization hits him seconds before it goes off.Woody: Wait a minute, I just lit a rocket. Rockets EXPLODE!
- In Andhadhun, the plan for the drop-off didn't consider the possibility of Manohar dropping the Duffel Bag Full of Money into the elevator and taking the stairs himself. This gets Murli killed.
- In Aquaman (2018), Orm/Ocean Master's plan is to unite the seven seas against the surface in revenge for pollution. However, he fails to take any precaution against Superman, meaning even if he did somehow manage to beat Aquaman, it would only be a matter of time before the Man of Steel decided to intervene - and considering Orm isn't a Kryptonian (like Zod) and doesn't have any Kryptonite (like Batman), Orm wouldn't stand a chance against Supes even if he had the whole of Atlantis backing him up.
- In Batman & Robin:
- After Robin and Poison Ivy share a kiss and Ivy reveals her true colors to Robin, expecting him to die, Robin reveals that he was wearing rubber lips and is therefore immune to her deadly kiss. However, he does this by taking off the lips while laying right next to Ivy, their faces still only inches apart, instead of leaving them on and tackling her when she doesn't expect it. This leaves him wide open for what comes next (see below).
- Poison Ivy doesn't do much better. After realizing Robin has tricked her, she stares in shock for a moment and angrily shoves Robin off her throne and into the lily pond to have her vines drown him. She does this instead of simply grabbing Robin and forcing a second kiss on him, which would have guaranteed his death. Instead, she leaves him to drown and taunts him as if she's breaking up with him over a bad kiss. Robin ends up surviving and now knows what Freeze is planning thanks to Ivy.
- Booksmart: Amy and Molly hide in the back of a pizza delivery man's car and then try to "mug" him of a house address he's delivered to that night. The pizza delivery man starts yelling at them for how stupid their plan is. As teen girls in a stranger's car with no weapon or way to protect themselves, they could very easily get themselves raped or killed. After he takes pity on them and gives them the address, they ask if he can drive them there, causing him to again yell at them for not heeding his warnings. And he's right to warn them, since later they realize that he's a wanted serial killer.
- In Cinderella (2015), when the Fairy Godmother decides to transform a pumpkin into a carriage, Cinderella has about enough time to point out they are inside a shed before the expanding pumpkin pins them against the wall. They manage to escape just as the completed carriage destroys the shed. Ditto for turning a goose into a coachman for the carriage; as the goose quickly points out, he has no experience when it comes to driving.
- The Dark Knight: When a Wayne Enterprises employee tries to blackmail Lucius Fox with Batman's identity, Fox replies, "Let me get this straight. You think that your client, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men on the planet, is secretly a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands. And your plan is to blackmail this person?...Good luck." The employee immediately backs down.
- When the President has a massive stroke, Chief of Staff Bob Alexander refuses to give up his own position and thus gets Dave to impersonate the President full time. Bob naturally thinks he can easily manipulate Dave. However, he quickly realizes it's not so easy to publically contradict the man everyone else accepts as the leader of the free world.
- When Bob finally has enough, he tries to fire Dave. He's utterly confused when Dave says "fine"... then horrified as Dave dryly asks which one of them will tell the media how an impostor has been posing as the President of the United States. Too late, Bob realizes there's no way he can expose the truth without going to jail for a very long time.
- Deadpool 2: Deadpool's plan to save Russell from Cable is to have his new formed X-Force team dive in from a plane and parachute to the cargo truck. However, everyone else points out the dangerously strong winds he's clearly ignoring. Deadpool himself would have no problems with the wind thanks to his regenerative abilities, but the rest of his team probably wouldn't be as lucky; his team consists of a mutant who is always invisible, someone who has acidic vomit, and a man whose only major qualities is that he has Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes. Unsurprisingly, only Domino, who has the power of good luck, survives a gruesome death. Not to mention, the wind blew everyone away from the truck and Cable.Deadpool: I'll be the first to admit: this did not go according to plan. I'll also be the first to admit that that plan was written in crayon.
- In The Devil and Miss Jones, Joe O'Brien protests inside his former place of work, and handcuffs himself around some pipes convinced that security will have to cut through them to get him out. But they easily slide the handcuffs up, freeing Joe; the pipe has an end to it, not continuing to curve around somewhere else like the others. Should've looked, Joe.
- Dog Day Afternoon practically runs on this. It was supposed to be just a quick bank robbery. But Sonny—the so-called mastermind—never thought to double-check the information about the cash shipments. The vault's supply has already left for the day, and there's almost nothing left. Sonny attempts to black out the security cameras (he was too short to really reach them) only after the robbers had been inside, unmasked, and glove-less for nearly five minutes. Then he tries to cover his paper trail by lighting the traveler's check register on fire...which causes enough smoke to alert people outside that something strange is going on. He didn't think far enough ahead to consider hostages, getting a full layout of the building, the possibility of one of his cohorts backing out of the plan a few minutes in, or that his remaining partner was too psychologically unstable to handle the ensuing standoff with the authorities. He even tells people his real name, his background as a bank teller, and his service in Vietnam, thus making it very easy for the authorities to figure him out. These problems are just the start of Sonny's horrendously-botched heist and his desperate attempts to get everyone out of it alive.
- In typical Coen style, Fargo's plot revolves around Jerry Lundegaard's plan to hire two criminals to kidnap his wife so his wealthy father-in-law will pay the ransom money. Half will go to the criminals, and half will go to Jerry to get him out of an unspecified tight spot. He failed to consider that the criminals might try to blackmail him for more money, his wife might be hurt or killed, his stingy, distrustful father-in-law (who, by the way, doesn't like Jerry at all) might not listen to Jerry's directions and try to repeatedly interfere, and his teenage son might be traumatized by his mother being kidnapped and held for ransom.
- At the climax of Ghost Rider, Blackheart absorbs the souls of the damned of San Venganza, which makes him incredibly powerful and incredibly susceptible to the Ghost Rider's Penance Stare (which he had shrugged off in their previous encounter).
- Godzilla (2014):
- Some soldiers open fire on Godzilla in Honolulu. They quickly realize the pointlessness and give a face that says this trope.
- The female cocoon is taken to a nuclear deposit. Serizawa realizes that was a mistake when checking the data for the male's communication.
- The military underestimates the speed of the male and it makes it to the nuke well before it goes off. The nuke is taken to the middle of the city and a plan has to be hatched to get it out.
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019):
- Emma Russell and Alan Jonah wants to awaken the Titans to give back the planet to them. However, they chose King Ghidorah to be their "champion", who wants to terraform the Earth to his own liking and kill every human while at it. Ghidorah is all but stated to be an alien, meaning he even has less rightful claim to Earth than humans.
- The ORCA works by communicating an Alpha Frequency rather than some magic that compels obedience. Despite being aware that Ghidorah is most likely an Alpha rival to Godzilla, it didn't occur to Emma that Ghidorah may have a "different" response than the Titans in general. Oh he hears and understands it, he just thinks it should be killed.
- Subverted in Goldfinger. 007 thinks that Goldfinger hasn't thought his plan through, and points out to him that even if he used his nerve gas on the whole population of Fort Knox, he'd never have enough time to transport the gold from the vaults before military reinforcements came. What he doesn't know is, as Goldfinger explains to him, stealing it isn't part of the plan; his true goal involves detonating a bomb to render the gold in Fort Knox radioactive and unusable, thereby making the value of his personal foreign holdings in gold skyrocket. (In short, Goldfinger's scheme was intended to be an insider trading scam, taken Up to Eleven.)
- The Hangover III has Chow parachuting out of the hotel in order to escape the Wolf Pack. He says this trope by name when he lands on Phil's limo.
- Alan secretly let Chow of the trunk in order to save him from Marshall, but he didn't think about taking his gun away. He had to pull a Go Through Me to stop him from shooting Phil.
- Hermione says this very thing to Harry in the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie when she saves their past selves from the werewolf... by luring it over to their current selves.
- Interstellar has NASA choose astronauts for the long-term Lazarus missions that have no strong relationships with people on earth, so they aren't leaving anyone behind when they leave and potentially never come back. This results in one such astronaut, Doctor Mann, being willing to endanger the mission, and by extension all of humanity, because he has no one he values over his own survival.
- Carried over from the Grimm version of the story, in Into the Woods, Cinderella's stepmother mutilates her daughter's feet to fit the golden slipper. Really? You think your daughter's future husband—or anyone else, for that matter—won't notice at some point, or care? Worse, she repeats the process with the second daughter after the first one is caught.
- In It's a Boy Girl Thing, Woody (in Nell's body) decides to get her a reputation for being easy. So he decides to have her sleep with this really sleazy guy. Just before the deed is to be done, Woody realizes that he is going to be the one to experience the drunken sex with a guy. Also counts as an Oh, Crap! moment.
- Jurassic Park; Grant grabs a road flare to distract the T. rex that is attacking the kids' car. The T. rex roars at Grant in response, which causes him to falter slightly. He recovers quickly when he realizes that the T. rex is seeing the flare and throws it off and watches as she follows the thrown flare.
- Which was his plan, knowing the T. rex would follow the movement. What he didn't think about was Ian grabbing another flare and leading her away. By the time Ian threw his flare away, he was running so the T. rex ignored the smaller moving target to get the larger one (Ian).
- Little Giants: Danny actually thought he could keep Spike and his Dad from finding out he's not the "Coach O'Shea" they're looking for.
- Looper: Loopers all know that, once their contract is expired, they have 30 years to spend their earnings before they'll be assassinated. Joe notes that most Loopers arent forward-thinkers; if they were, they probably wouldnt have taken the job in the first place.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- The Avengers. Tony Stark slaps around a gigantic killer flying alien turtle thing by detonating a bunch of small missiles in its face, getting it to attack HIM instead of the bystanders: "Okay, we've got its attention. What the hell was step two?"
- Avengers: Endgame: The main flaw with Thanos' plan is that he seems to think that after it's in motion, and half of everyone is dead, they'd all see his point and the remaining half would immediately prosper without trouble. Maybe even thank him in time, when they saw he was right. He never did stop to think that maybe people wouldn't take that lying down and would miss their loved ones that died. He does realize this once he notices they're trying to undo it all with time travel, but his reaction is... less than ideal.
- Almost every problem Scott and his friends face in Ant-Man and the Wasp are the direct result of his carelessness in Captain America: Civil War, where he jumped at the chance to help Captain America without considering what would happen after he revealed himself and the existence of Hank Pym's shrinking technology to the world.
- In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, when King Arthur's knights attempt to copy the Trojan Horse ploy with a giant wooden rabbit, Bedevere (who came up with the plan) doesn't remember to mention that they're supposed to get inside the rabbit until after it's been taken into the castle. Of course, given the French knights' predilection for catapulting every animal they can find, actually getting into the rabbit might have been even worse.
- In Mr. Right, while fighting Francis, a mook pulls the pin on a grenade and prepares to throw it. Francis points out they are in a small room so if he throws it, he'll be caught in the explosion. The mook panics and asks what to do. Francis puts the pin back in, puts the grenade away, and allows the man to live.
- Murders in the Zoo: While trying to escape from the zoo, Eric pulls the switch that opens all of the cages in the carnivore house; releasing all of the big cats. This does cause his pursuers to hurriedly back off. However, only after he has done this does he seem to realisethat he is now inside the building with all of the escaped predators.
- Hilariously subverted in Mystery Science Theater 3000 The Movie with Crow's plan to tunnel out of the Satellite while it's in orbit. As it turns out, Crow did think it through, but as he puts it: "I calculated the odds of this succeeding against the odds I was doing something incredibly stupid and... I went ahead anyway."Crow: Oh, wow, this is confusing! Hey, Mike! Can you hand me my calculations? [paper flies into his mouth] Thank you! Oh, well, look at that: "Breach hull, all die!" Even had it underlined!
- The entire plot of Operation: Dumbo Drop. A group of American soldiers accidentally get a villages prized elephant shot by the Vietcong. Feeling responsible, they promise to reimburse the village by getting a new elephant and bringing it to them. Its only after they make this agreement that they realize that they have absolutely no idea how theyre going to wrangle and deliver an elephant. Hilarity Ensues.
- In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Elizabeth stabs her host/captor captain Barbossa with a knife. He survives by virtue of being a Ghost Pirate, but in the heat of the moment it slipped her mind that even if she'd succeeded she would've still been on a ship full of vicious pirates whose captain she'd just killed, in the middle of the raging sea. Lampshaded by Barbossa:"I'm curious. After killin' me, what was it you were plannin' on doin' next?"
- In Plan B, Bruno tries to break up his ex-girlfriend's new relationship by seducing her boyfriend Pablo but apparently doesn't consider that Pablo might want to have actual sex with him as a result of said seduction. When he responds to Pablo saying he wants them to try out sex by claiming that it'd be too weird, Pablo gives him an incredulous look and says, "Weird? Did you read the [love] letter you gave me?"
- In The Rundown, the sidekick's "Thunder and Lightning" attack never works. He becomes dumbfounded when it does work and needs a moment to think up the next stage of the attack.
- The Running Man sets one up but then lets it go. After being told to fire on an unarmed demonstration, main character Richards refuses. When the copilot goes to pull a gun on him, Richards knocks the guy out cold, whereupon the three ground pounders in the passenger compartment haul Richards out of his seat and subdue him, leaving the unconscious co-pilot to fly the helicopter. How that plan was supposed to work is anybody's guess.
- RV: When the RV gets stuck on a pinnacle of a steep hill, Bob repeatedly tries to rock it, to no avail. He then climbs to the front and tugs on the wipers to get the RV moving. Eventually, he manages to get the RV on the ground and moving. Bob is relieved—until he remembers he's still clinging on the windshield as the RV rolls down the hill at top speed!
- SpaceCamp: The NASA robot JINX never stops to consider in his rush to give his friend Max his wish to go into space that sending him up in a barely-ready shuttle that doesn't even have enough oxygen to make it to re-entry could be detrimental to his health.
- Implied in Spider-Man 3. Eddie faked a photo about Spider-Man robbing the bank to get the photographer staff job at the Daily Bugle, and didn't seemingly plan for what would happen if the truth came out that the picture is a fake. When Eddie begs Peter not to tell anyone what he did since he will lose everything and no paper will ever hire him again, Peter smugly tells him that he should have considered this beforehand.
- Another hole in Eddies plan: the photo he faked originally belonged to Peter, the only other person in town who photographs Spider-Man. It apparently didnt occur to Eddie that hed recognize his own work.
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope:
- Zigzagged with Luke and Han going to rescue Leia from the Death Star detention center. On one hand, their "plan" was rather ill-conceived (going into a place they knew nothing about, not planning a way to get out, cutting off their escape route, and setting off an alarm, escaping only because Vader wanted to let them go and follow them). However, on the other hand, they didn't exactly have time to think of anything better. One could consider Vader's gambit as this, since it doesn't take into account how dangerous it is to let the heroes escape with the Death Star's blueprints, but Star Wars villains tend to suffer from terminal overconfidence and never seem to cotton on to their exploitable weaknesses anyway. Of course it nearly worked since Leia, having worked out the ship was being tracked... proceeded to head directly to the Rebel base anyway.
- Luke blasts a door's control-panel to seal out his and Leia's pursuers, only to realize that the force-field bridge across a chasm on the other side can't be extended without those controls.
- Lampshaded in ¡Three Amigos!. Dusty Bottoms has found Carmen in her place of imprisonment:Dusty: We have a plan.
Carmen: What is it?
Dusty: First, we break into El Guapo's fortress.
Carmen: And that you've done. Now what?
Dusty: Well, we really didn't expect the first part of the plan to work, so we have no further plan. Sometimes you can overplan these things.
- In WarCraft, Llane orders Garona to kill him so that she may gain respect among the orcs and thus a chance at forging a peace between the two species. This part works without a hitch, but Llane didn't count on Lothar coming back to reclaim his body and thus finding Garona's knife in Llane's back, pretty much ensuring that the human side won't wish to negotiate.
- In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Roger pulls a pretty boneheaded move when he tries to "convince" Eddie to protect him from Judge Doom's weasels: he uses a pair of handcuffs he finds in Eddie's closet to cuff them together. Eddie calls him an idiot, telling him, "I don't have any keys to these cuffs!" — and when the weasels do show up (about five minutes early), actually keeping them from finding Roger requires some very fast thinking on Eddie's part. To summarize, when the weasels force their way in, Eddie pretends to be washing his laundry in the sink while holding Roger underwater as one of them interrogates him and the others search the place; however, because he has to let Roger breathe a couple of times, he has to wait for the leader to be distracted each time, coming within a hair's breadth of being discovered.
- The whole reason the weasels show up early is that beforehand, Roger went around town asking where Eddie's office is, resulting in one of those places, or all of them reporting Roger heading to Eddie's office.
- In X-Men: First Class, Sebastian honestly believes that he can convince Erik to join him, despite having murdered his mother to activate Erik's powers and knowing that he has spent his entire life hunting him down. Magneto even says as much:Magneto: I'd like you to know that I agree with every word you said. We are the future. But unfortunately, you killed my mother.