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Didnt Think This Through / Western Animation

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People not thinking things through in western animation TV.

  • 101 Dalmatians: The Series: In "Mall Pups", when the other three express reluctance to skip Bark Brigade to go to the mall, Lucky says they can just get the First Dog to give them an official pardon. Of course, that plan hinged on them actually getting to the First Dog, which they ultimately fail to do.
  • In The Adventures of Puss in Boots, after failing to answer the riddles of the Sphinx to win the Hourglass of Eurythion, and being overpowered by her when he tries to fight her instead, Puss settles for momentarily distracting the Sphinx to make a quick getaway with the Hourglass. As the Hourglass is nearly as big as Puss is, he doesn't get very far at all.
  • Adventure Time:
    • In "Her Parents", Jake decides to invite Lady Rainicorn's parents over to the treefort so they could finally met him. Thing is, there apparently was a war between rainicorns and dogs, and since Jake is a dog himself, Finn fears that Raincorn's parents might not let her see him again.
      Jake: Nah... that could never happen...
      Finn: You didn't think this through enough. IT COULD HAPPEN!
    • In "What Was Missing", Princess Bubblegum explains to Finn that they used to lock up Door Lords, but they broke out, 'cause they're door lords.
    • In "Beyond This Earthly Realm", Finn is trapped on the astral plane, and only the Ice King can see him. Ice King offers to help Finn get back to normal if Finn will help clear out some mischievous spirits that have infested the Ice King's castle, but afterwards goes back on his word, expecting that Finn will be forced to turn to the Ice King (the only person he knows who can see him) for compansionship. Finn's response is to threaten to unplug the hole into which he'd stuffed all the spirits and let them back in.
      Ice King: No, wait! My plan fell apart!
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    • In "Lady & Peebles", as Princess Bubblegum explains to Ricardio the Heart Guy:
      Bubblegum: See, I know a thing or two about making a body out of biomass, and you DON'T leave your heart exposed!
  • American Dad!:
    • In one episode where Francine gets poorly-aimed Laser-Guided Amnesia, she runs off to Burning Man with Hayley's boyfriend. This exchange happens when Stan meets up with Hayley at Burning Man:
    Hayley: Mom stole my boyfriend!
    Stan: Your boyfriend stole my wife! Let's get back at them by dating each other! Wait a minute. Daddy didn't think that through.
    • In one episode, Stan arranges for a bunch of Serial Killers to be imprisoned in glass cells in an effort to make his haunted house scarier. After Francine points out that they're not scary behind glass, Roger sets them loose in the house to rectify it. After he's done so, Stan and Francine point out that now that the prisoners are loose, they're going to come after the Smiths and kill them.
      Roger: Scary, right? [beat] Ahh, I never think things through.
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    • In "American Fung", Stan has Francine put in a mental hospital for a few days, so he can avoid facing her wrath for forgetting their anniversary. It never crosses his mind that Francine would put two and two together, and figure out who put her there. Not helping matters is that Stan kept forgetting his anniversary even after Francine was committed and tried to half-ass it by greeting her at the mental hospital with a bucket of fried chicken. Francine finally snaps and gets committed for real when she starts screaming that she hates Stan.
    • In "Point Breakers", Stan's desire to keep working undercover with his new surfer friends leads to him framing them for bank robbery. He fails to realize that this will upgrade them from "suspects" to "wanted criminals" until it is pointed out to him.
  • In Aqua Teen Hunger Force, after mangling his neighbor's body and several false starts, Frylock rebuilds Carl by giving him a military suit and arming him with weapons of mass destruction. You know just how bad of an idea this was when it's Shake who calls him out on it:
    Frylock: I give you the ultimate in military hardware. Complete with laser cannon, indestructible titanium exoskeleton, and motion-activated plasma pulse rifles.
    Shake: And you're gonna plug him in!?
    Frylock: ...You're right. Damn, what the hell was I thinking?
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Zuko, such as when he kidnaps Aang in the North Pole (alone, in a blizzard, with the closest Fire Nation ships all being hostile) in the first season finale or when he tried to steal Appa from Lake Laogai. He gets better, eventually.
      • Zuko's so bad with it that it's contagious.
        Zuko: I thought you thought this through.
        Sokka: I thought you told me it's okay not to think everything through!
        Zuko: Maybe not everything, but this is kind of important.
      • Aang and Sokka write a letter to Katara from Toph in hopes of reconciling them when they're squabbling. Katara, not fooled, reminds them that Toph is blind and can't read or write. The next plan is to write a letter to Toph from Katara, before realizing that that's going to run into a similar obstacle.
    • First season antagonist Zhao never considers any other possible side effects destroying the moon itself would've had on other nations or people aside from "No Water Bending." Iroh straight out says the Fire Nation relies on the Moon too and that everybody relies on the delicate balance of nature.
    • Azula, for all her intellect, never rubs two brain cells together and wonders why treading the path of the "monster" means she can't have any friends with her or that anybody would respect her for it. Unlike her brother, she never introspects on this, and it begins to create an inescapable conflict in her mind, which leads to her breakdown by series' end.
    • In The Legend of Korra, this is a notable character trait of Korra's for most of the first season's run. And Amon takes advantage of this at every turn.
      • In the third season, new airbenders start to appear, and, naturally, Korra and Tenzin want to collect them to rebuild the Air Nation. Their approach is to go to these airbenders and ask them to become air nomads. Somehow, the offer of leaving their homes and families to live a monastic, vegetarian life of meditation on a mountain does not get many takers. Or any.
      • The Red Lotus becomes very guilty of this by seasons 3 and 4. Their plan to kill Korra was botched because they didn't take to account how powerful she was. Even as a berserker, she was still too strong for them. They also failed to realize that trying to free Vaatu was a very bad idea. And finally, their assassination of the Earth Queen in order to bring true freedom only resulted in an even worse regime taking its place. And to add insult to injury, their would-be victim spells this all out for Zaheer as he is chained up in prison, being the only member of his group to survive the ordeal. The look on his face shows that he realizes she's absolutely right.
      • Bolin never thought of the full consequences of siding with Kuvira, and especially of Opal's reaction. Early in season 4, she made it clear to Bolin that she does not trust Kuvira or approve of him working with her. When Kuvira takes power and Bolin stays with her, it appears he never considered how Opal would react and thinks they still would be good. To Bolin's credit, in the episode "Enemy at the Gates", when Kuvira inducts Bolin into her "inner circle" on the basis that he would do a better job of reaching common ground with Suyin, when they arrive at Zaofu with the rest of the Earth Empire army, he points out that it would send the wrong message. Arriving in the city, Bolin and Kuvira are led by Baatar Jr. to the room where the rest of the Beifong family is awaiting them. Upon noticing Opal, he enthusiastically greets her and moves to embrace her, though he is angrily told off, as he had "chosen [his] side". Surprised about the outburst, he tells everyone that there should not be sides. The negotiations fail and when he learns the truth about Kuvira, he deserts Kuvira's army. Even so, he loses the trust and respect of his girlfriend Opal that he worked hard to regain.
  • In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! Absorbing Man occasionally absorbs things he really shouldn't. When fighting the Hulk as metal, he absorbs rock. The Hulk promptly breaks his arms off. The metal form might not have let him win, but was at least keeping him in one piece. Much later he absorbs Mjölnir, and Thor reveals that he can now control Absorbing Man just like he does Mjölnir, and starts hitting people with him.
  • Balance: Five men identified only by the numbers on their back are precariously perched on a platform that tilts around a balance of support at the center. They are fighting over a music box, their only possession. #23 kicks the last of his companions, #51, off the edge of the platform and now he has the music box to himself. But he had to leave the music box on the other side as a counterweight so he could march to the edge and kill #51. Not until he's done that does he realize that he has no way to get back to the music box, and in fact has marooned himself on the side.
  • The Welsh tunnel burning plan in Castle was dependent upon the towers being weak enough to collapse under a caved-in tunnel. They didn't anticipate the possibility that the walls of the tower would be so thick as to withstand even that tactic.
  • Central Park:
    • In Season 1 "Dog Spray Afternoon":
      • Helen brings in Shampagne's worm medicine and Bitsy's heart pill on a silver tray, but their pills look identical to each other and she can't tell them apart. She even questions herself why would she place the pills on the tray in a way that she can't distinguish them apart. She was planning on doing "Eeny Meeny Miny Moe" on to decide which pills goes to who, but Bitsy tells Helen to save the pills for later.
      • After Owen and Molly figures out the "Shart" tagger's next location, they decide to do a stakeout at the location while they wear ghillie suits at night, but they screwed it up with the following: 1) They told a random person what they were doing, despite telling that person it's supposed to be a secret, and that random person just happens to be the "Shart" tagger, 2) They don't bother to remain silent during the stakeout, 3) They leave their supplies right next to them in the open, and 4) They turn their flashlight on so they can see in the dark despite disguising themselves at bushes. Paige and Cole easily found them and calls them out on this.
    • In "Rival Busker", Dmitry accidentally set the hotel he was planning to have his daughter's wedding at on fire because they made the wedding theme fire. It would have been fine if they had the wedding outside the hotel, but they decided to do it inside.
  • The Cleveland Show: In the episode "Yemen Party," Cleveland disguises himself as an Arab woman named Fatima to infiltrate Donna's woman support group. While there, "Fatima" ends up accepting an invitation to dinner at the Brown house to meet Cleveland, and it's only when he's standing at the doorstep to his own house as Fatima and Donna calls for Cleveland to answer the door that Cleveland realizes the obvious flaw in that plan.
  • In the Danny Phantom movie The Ultimate Enemy, Danny's evil future self traps Danny in the future while he goes back in time to make sure the events that lead to his existence still happen. Danny can't travel back to the past until he removes the time travelling medallion his future self fused inside him. The only person he can go to for help is the future version of Vlad Masters, who's now become The Atoner. While the plan makes perfect sense and ultimately works, it's clear Danny never considered what a big risk he was taking putting himself at the mercy of his Arch-Enemy.
    Danny: I'm guessing if you could reach into me and rip out my humanity (which, by the way, sounds totally gross), you can get the medallion out, too. Then I'll pop back to my present like Tucker and Sam did.
    Vlad: Or I could just destroy you now and prevent this future. Didn't think of that, did you? (Fortunately for Danny, he didn't go through with it.)
  • The Dark Lord Chuckles The Silly Piggy from Dave the Barbarian has a tendency towards this that puts even those of Sheldon J. Plankton and Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz to shame.
  • In Dexter's Laboratory, this was very often one of Dexter's fatal flaws despite being a genius.
    • In "Morning Stretch", he used a time-slowing helmet to turn thirty seconds into thirty minutes, allowing him the time to get ready for school. He failed to realize that the slowed time would prevent him from properly taking a shower or making breakfast, and his homework ignited from Friction Burn when he tried to finish it. He barely manages to finish by the time the effect runs out, only for Dee Dee to inform him it's a snow day.
    • "The Continuum of Cartoon Fools" consists of Dexter trying to keep Dee Dee out of his lab permanently. He gets desperate enough to destroy every conceivable entrance and eventually resorts to locking the front entrance behind his bookcase and eating the key, not realizing until it's too late that this course of action would also prevent himself from entering the lab.
    • The episode "Comic Stripper" has Dexter discover that Mandark has been beating him by patterning their mecha battles after the comic book Mister Misery. Dexter attempts to beat Mandark at his own game by buying every copy of the comic's next issue so he'll know exactly what Mandark is planning. Only to be caught off guard and defeated by Mandark anyway. When Dexter demands to know why he didn't follow the comic this time, Mandark tells him that he chose to copy the events of a different comic called Dangerous Duck since "Mister Misery" was sold out. When Dexter boasts that Mandark couldn't buy an issue because he bought them all, Mandark points out that wouldn't be able to copy the next issue of Mister Misery if it was sold out. Upon realizing the flaw in his own reasoning, Dexter promptly morphs into a donkey.
  • Duck Dodgers: In the episode "Fins of War", Dodgers learns both armies of Aquarium take the preservation of the planet's surface above war. Figuring this would be the solution to stop the battle between the two, Dodgers decides to destroy the surface with a hole large enough for the armies to restore, only for the entirety of the armies and a chunk of Aquarium's water getting sucked out into space. Afterwards, Aquarium once again gets unified, this time for their hatred towards Dodgers.
  • DuckTales (1987):
    • In one episode, the Beagle Boys manage to get inside the Money Bin and trap Scrooge outside. When they call Glomgold to gloat, Glomgold points out that they have no way to transport the money ("What are you gonna do? Carry it in your wallets!?") and that Scrooge will have an army ready to take his Bin back.
    • In the episode "Allowance Day" Huey, Dewey, and Louie want to buy an on-sale scooter, but don't get their allowance until the day after the sale ends which is Saturday in the episode. They trick Scrooge into thinking it's Saturday, which leads to Scrooge convincing his business associates that it's one day later than it is. Not only does this cause mass confusion but it also causes the store to end their sale and the price of the scooter to go back up.
      • To make matters much worse, the nephews cause an overseas business deal to go sour.
  • DuckTales (2017):
    • Dewey's impulsiveness is one of his biggest character flaws, getting himself and his family into all sorts of trouble. For instance, in the premiere episode, he immediately challenges Flintheart Glomgold when he sees that Glomgold has his Uncle Donald hostage.
    Dewey: Give me back my uncle!
    Glomgold: No.
    Dewey: I wasn't prepared for that.
    • In "How Santa Stole Christmas!", Scrooge is convinced by his old rival, Santa Claus, to take over giving gifts when he is injured. However, there's one problem: this was a Wounded Gazelle Gambit by Santa to get Scrooge to enjoy Christmas for the giving and the warm feeling it gives. Scrooge, however, decides to reinitiate his old plan to give out coal for a price, once more falling back into his greedy ways while he wants to help people keep warm. He doesn't realize the error of his ways until Webby tells him that coal's a gag gift for naughty children now - Scrooge just gave the entire world coal for Christmas.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: Aside from Pride and Greed, this is Eddy's signature flaw. If there's a way for him to get something he wants RIGHT NOW, he'll leap without thinking of the problems. Kevin's grounded and can't retaliate? Taunt him! Sarah sends Ed to buy fudge for her and Jimmy with her allowance? Spend it on jawbreakers instead! What Could Possibly Go Wrong??
    • In "Knock Knock Who's Ed?", the Eds plan to create a cube of gelatin and let kids pay to swim in it, but it falters when they find that it's not viscous enough to swim through, as Ed dives into the cube and immediately sinks to the bottom.
      Edd: I must have overestimated the viscosity of the gelatin.
      Eddy: The greatest scam in the world! Gone.
    • Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show: Eddy's entire plan for sparing himself and his friends the wrath of the other cul-de-sac kids hinged on locating his older brother's current residence so he could protect them from their pursuers. It's clear that he didn't account for the possibility that his brother would beat him up instead. Justified, because it implied that Eddy was lying so long about his brother being a cool older brother that he started to believe it and he was that desperate to go to his brother because he and his friends were running for their lives.
  • The Fairly OddParents:
    • In "Timmy's Secret Wish!", Foop, having become a lawyer, exposes the secret wish Timmy made to freeze the world in Comic-Book Time so he would be able to keep Cosmo and Wanda forever, as part of his latest plan to get rid of Poof—since Poof only exists because of a wish Timmy made, he would be undone like all of Timmy's other wishes. Foop succeeds, but it's only afterwards that he remembers that, as Poof's Evil Counterpart, he would be undone as well.
    • This is Timmy's main flaw: most of his wishes are intended to improve his life right now, and he doesn't think about the consequences further down the line. Wishes like being an adultnote , having Christmas every daynote  and being alone with his crushnote  usually end up turning against him because he didn't foresee a usually obvious flaw. Even by season 10, he still hasn't realized this, claiming that thinking doesn't solve anything.
    • "Inspection Detection" plays this more seriously than usual: Timmy never tries to hide the things he wishes for, leading to him getting accused of shoplifting when he can't explain where he got them. Later, he offers to plug himself into a lie detector to prove his innocence, but this falls apart when his parents ask him where he got the lie detector.
  • Family Guy:
    • In the episode "Blind Ambition", there is a clip of one (or both) of Peter's Siamese twin ancestors each fighting opposite sides in the Civil War. The one who fought for the Union killed the other, who continued decomposing until he was a skeleton. "Yeah... did not think that one through," he said to a bartender who asked about the skeleton.
    • In "Don't Make Me Over", Peter, Quagmire, Cleveland and Joe form their own rock band after a successful karaoke night at the Drunken Clam. They get together to perform their first gig at a prison and this gaping mistake hits them just as they're about to perform:
      Peter: Oh my God, we don't know any songs!
    • Peter records a date for his future self. He tells "future Peter" to look outside and see a grown tree that he has planted. A cutaway shows future Peter watching the tape and giggling when he see the tree. The tape then says "now look at your hand. It's just numb because i'm gonna cut all the fingers". Future Peter replies "Oh yeah I too can play that game" and then cuts his arm.
      Peter: Take that! *sneers* Oh wait a minute...
    • In "Brian's a Bad Father", Peter and Quagmire have a falling out after Peter shoots Quagmire in the arm during a hunting trip. Eventually, Peter offers Quagmire the opportunity to shoot him to make them even, thinking Quagmire would decline and consider the "thought" as being what counts. He never once considered that Quagmire would actually take him up on the offer, and tries to back out when he does.
      Peter: But... but just the fact that I would make the offer is so meaningful to you.
      Quagmire: Your offer means nothing, Peter. The only thing that means anything to me is a bullet in your arm.
  • Fanboy and Chum Chum: In the episode "Chimp Chomp Chumps," Fanboy and Chum Chum buy the last three tickets for a Chimp Chomp movie, intending to give one to their friend Oz only to find he can't make it. When Boog asks for the last ticket, Fanboy and Chum Chum use it to their advantage to force Boog to do all manner of humiliating favors for them, since the entire time they were waiting in line for the tickets, Boog relentlessly tormented them. When all is said and done, Boog takes solace in the fact that while watching the movie, he'll be able to bop the boys senseless as payback. Fanboy and Chum Chum quickly come to this realization:
  • Follow The Sun: The snow cones were apparently so obsessed with exacting their vengeance that they forgot that, well, they're snow cones and snow cones melt in extreme heat. It doesn't long for their faces to fade from their paper-wrapped bodies, and if that's not enough the lake of blood they unleashed quickly grows beyond their control and they ultimately drown in it.
  • Played with and then subverted in an episode of Freakazoid! Dexter Douglas' mother, father and brother are held hostage by a supervillain in a secure fortress, so Freakazoid teams up with his friends to save his alter ego's family and take down the mastermind. The infiltration goes well until they actually have to escape from the prison, at which point Freakazoid announces he has a plan, and then calls the supervillain and proceeds to tell him exactly where he, Freakazoid is and what he's doing, while insulting the villain like a third-grader. When asked what his plan from there is...
    Freakazoid: *beat*... okay, I know you're going to be mad, but I forgot the rest of my plan.
    Everyone else: (groans)
    Freakazoid: But let's do ''this'' instead!
    Cut to new plan
    • In "The Freakazoid", Freakazoid realizes the superhero code he's been following is false when he notices the Lobe Industries copyright note at the code book. When confronted about this, the Lobe admits he shouldn't have put it there.
  • In The Garfield Show episode "Land of Later", a race of sloth people from beneath the Earth attempt to take over the surface world by using a device to turn everyone there into a procrastinator and then enslave humanity once they've taken over. One of the sloth people points out to the king that procrastinators are useless as slaves. The king concedes the point, but decides to simply undo the effects of the device after the invasion is complete.
  • In Gargoyles, Demona caused pretty much everything bad that happened in the backstory (and to her, specifically) with two stupid moves motivated by paranoia, Fantastic Racism, and an inability to understand how humans capitalize on opportunities. She lost her first clan when she betrayed their castle to Viking invaders, thinking they'd stop at killing all the humans in the castle. Instead, they immediately started smashing gargoyles while they were asleep and helpless. She later found a new clan and allied with Macbeth... only to overreact when one of his advisors suggested turning on her and betray him to Canmore. She never considered that Canmore hated her just as much as he hated Macbeth, and would use the opening that she gave him to kill all of Demona's second clan.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: In "The Secret Snake Club vs. P.E.", all the boys work on a plan to try and eliminate gym class for good so none of them have to work out. However, none of them realized that all the girls had a completely different opinion of P.E., finding it as a proper outlet for their own aggression. So when the boys completely trash the gymnasium, the girls promptly beat them up.
    Mandy: Did you idiots even stop to think that we girls want P.E.?
  • Hey Arnold! made use of this trope in the episode "Suspended", where Harold gets himself suspended on purpose so that he can spend a week without going to school. His intentions were to spend the rest of the day watching television and eating junk food, but he didn't consider that an emergency broadcast would appear over all the networks or that he'd be all out of the junk food he liked to eat on the day he decided to get suspended on purpose. Another failure to think things through is when he tried to hide his suspension from his parents so he'd have the house to himself, not realizing that his parents would lock the front door if they thought he was at school.
  • Invader Zim:
    • Zim has this as a personality trait; as The Other Wiki once described him, "Zim has a crafty sort of intelligence, but he tends to think precisely one step ahead of his current problem". For instance, Zim builds a stasis-field device in one episode which subsequently explodes, but the fireball is slowed by the stasis field until it's expanding at less than walking pace. However, it will eventually grow to the point where it'll consume Zim's base along with the entire city. The Tallest might call back soon and Zim really doesn't want them seeing an embarrassing screw up like this (though they actually dislike him and so wouldn't really give a crap). Basically Zim has to get rid of the explosion, do it in a way that doesn't destroy his base, and do it quickly. Zim's brilliant plan to handle this problem? Simple. He'll just cancel the stasis field under the assumption that once the field is canceled, the explosion will be gone forever. This is true, but this will also annihilate his base and the whole city. Despite being warned by his computer, his arch-enemy, and even his Cloudcuckoolander sidekick that this is a really, really bad idea, he goes ahead with it. Hilarity Ensues.
    • The Tallest also seem to suffer from this, resulting in conquered planets being turned into massive parking lots because they didn't know what they'd do with the planet after conquering it. They also ordered enslaved races to build weapons for them, resulting in the Megadoomer needing a massive extension cord and cloaking everything but the pilot and said extension cord.
  • The Jimmy Two-Shoes episode "The Big Drip" has Lucius destroying every washroom in Miseryville to torment Jimmy during a Potty Emergency... including his own.
    • And pretty much any plan Jimmy and Beezy devise (alone or together) without outside input.
  • Justice League
    • "Tabula Rasa" had Lex Luthor attempt to defeat the Justice League using A.M.A.Z.O., an android built by Arthur Ivo that had the ability to replicate the powers of anyone it scanned, by lying to the android that the Justice League were evil. Before long, J'onn J'onzz is the only member of the Justice League whose powers haven't been copied yet, and Luthor encourages A.M.A.Z.O. to replicate them and complete the set. Unfortunately for Luthor, he forgot that J'onn J'onzz had telepathy, and A.M.A.Z.O. was able to use the telepathy to find out that Luthor was deceiving him.
    • In "Only a Dream", Copperhead attempts to gain leverage for an escape by jumping onto Hawkgirl's back, positioning his poison fangs near her neck, and ordering her to fly him out. She flies up a few hundred feet and stops. When Copperhead demands to know why, she notes that his threat is no longer as effective, since if he bites her neck she'll fall to the ground and they'll both die. Copperhead decides not to reenact the scorpion and the frog. "Didn't really think this through, did you?" After she touches down, Green Lantern congratulates her on the bluff; her reply is a deadpan "Who was bluffing?"
    • In the Justice League Unlimited episode "Ultimatum", Downpour, a pastiche of one of the Wonder Twins, tries to kill Aquaman by hitting him with a torrent of water. Aquaman just stands there with a raised eyebrow: "'King of the Seas', remember?"
      • Downpour's follow-up wasn't particularly well thought out, either. He rushes up to Aquaman and punches him. Ineffectually. Aquaman responds with a backhand slap that takes Downpour out instantly.
  • Kaeloo:
    • In Episode 93, Quack Quack gets stuck inside a burning building, and Stumpy rushes into the building to save him. By the time he reaches Quack Quack, the flames have spread and both of them are stuck inside together. What makes this especially ridiculous was that they were undergoing firefighter training, and had a fire engine right outside with a hose and ladder which Stumpy could have used.
    • In Episode 134, when Stumpy gets several clones of himself which annoy everyone else, Kaeloo, Quack Quack and Mr. Cat hatch a plan where they claim that Stumpy got a package in the mail from Ursula and only the real Stumpy can sign it, so the original will get rid of the clones. The plan works, but they then realize that they forgot what would happen once Stumpy asked for the package. At the end of the episode, Stumpy punishes Kaeloo and Mr. Cat, though Quack Quack gets away.
    • In a Greek mythology-themed episode, Hades steals innocent souls and puts them in Hell for no reason. Zeus demands that Hades release everyone. To spite Zeus, Hades releases literally all the souls, including the ones who deserved to be there.... including their father, Chronus, who wanted to eat his kids. Zeus sees Chronus roaming free and remarks that Hades has been really irresponsible. From inside Chronus' stomach, Hades remarks that Zeus is right.
    • In one episode, Kaeloo gets mad at Mr. Cat and goes on a rant about how she will give him the Silent Treatment; halfway through the rant, she realizes that he's a Living Emotional Crutch to her and it would break her heart if she actually stopped talking to him. She gives up on her idea within mere seconds.
  • This happened to Bonnie Rockwaller at the end of the Kim Possible episode "Number One", where she replaces Kim as the school's cheerleading captain. Her gloating is short-lived when she comes to the (at least for her) crushing realization that she's going to have to continue doing the hard work she had done to gain the position. Ron figures that Bonnie will only last about a month while Kim figures two weeks at the most — by the time all the cheerleaders are seen together again, Kim's back to being the captain.
  • In the first episode of Lazer Tag Academy, Draxon Drear travels back in time to capture his ancestor who invented the Starlyte (which he used to travel back in time) and threatened to kill her if the authorities in the future did not surrender. The flaw in his plan should be self-evident.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes: Alexis sics her personal robot on Superman, who immediately slices it apart with his heat vision.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series: Gantu becomes so fed up with Nosy's gossip that he pawns him off onto Dr. Hamsterviel, only to belatedly realize that the gossipy experiment will tell Hamsterviel the insulting nicknames Gantu made up for him (Ratface, Hamsterjerk, and Kiesterviel). Hamsterviel, in turn, is so infuriated by those names that he sends Nosy back to insult Gantu without realizing that Nosy now has all kinds of juicy gossip about him (starting with the fact that he sleeps with a pacifier).
  • Looney Tunes:
    • The Bugs Bunny cartoon Jack Wabbit And The Beanstalk has Bugs challenging the giant to a duel. "Take twenty paces, toin, and fire. Got that, shorty?" As the giant takes his paces, he disappears into the horizon and Bugs thinks he's outsmarted the giant. But then the giant reappears over the other horizon—the twenty paces were enough to circumnavigate all the way back.
    • Daffy Duck and the Dinosaur: You know, maybe that giant inflatable duck wasn't such a hot idea after all.
    • Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production: Wile E. Coyote tends to go for a more complex solution to simple problems, with "Aromatherapest" showing why it's not a good idea. He and Bugs are sprayed by a skunk, but instead of going with tomato juice, he argues that concrete mix would get the smell off faster. He covers himself with it and... you can guess what happens next.
  • The Loud House: Lincoln Loud is the self-proclaimed "man with a plan" of the household who can come up with rather ingenious schemes to get what he wants out of his sisters. Unfortunately, being an 11 year-old, he can forget that his sisters are capable of coming up with schemes, seeing through him, or "copying" his current scheme which screws him over.
    • In "The Sweet Spot", after months of planning, and hours of negotiation in the dead of night, Lincoln manages to get the best seat in "Vanzilla". When the girls confront him over it after getting suspicious, he tries to brush them off, only for them to get in the van and beat him, and each other, up over it.
    • In "Friendzy", Lincoln keeps inviting Clyde over because of the "friend card", which allows him to get what he wants on account that Lincoln has a friend over. Eventually, the sisters figure out his scheme and start inviting their own friends over before Clyde shows up so they can get first dibs on things like the TV or the badminton court. But, having anticipated that his sisters would copy his idea, he sidesteps them by inviting more friends so the can still get what he wants by way of "majority rules”. So they also start inviting more and more friends over to the point where their house is overfilled. It eventually escalates into a major fight between all of the kids, which results in the police showing up to break everything up just as Rita and Lynn Sr. return home with Lily and the Louds getting fined $200 for noise violation.
    • In "Sister Act", Lana and Lola start switching places so they both can avoid doing things that one twin wouldn't like but the other one wouldn't mind doing (such as Lana pretending to be Lola so Lola can avoid doing the Gym Class Rope Climb, and Lola pretending to be Lana so Lana can get out of taking a bath). They manage to pull it off for a few days until they pretend to be each other so Lola can get out of a doctor's appointment and Lana can get out of a dentist appointment taking place the same afternoon. It backfires on both of them the next day because Lola gets a bad case of the flu and Lana gets an abcessed tooth, ailments that wouldn't have gotten as serious as they did if they had attended the medical appointments they were supposed to. This forces the twins to confess what they did to their parents, which not only gets them both scolded for their irresponsibility, but they end up having to do the appointments they were trying to avoid as themselves so both of them can get healthy again.
    • In "Yes-Man", Lincoln teaches his sisters how to get money from their parents. But when he finally asks them for money, they're all out.
  • In the Mighty Max episode "Cyberskull II: The Next Level", Cyberskull tried to steal all the Earth's electrical power and use it to activate a giant robotic shell for him to inhabit. When Max succeeds in bringing down Cyberskull's robotic shell, Cyberskull attempts to retreat into cyberspace, only for Max to point out to the villain that stealing all of the Earth's electrical power also shut down all computer networks, so there was no cyberspace for Cyberskull to escape to.
  • Mighty Mouse:
    • The 1961 cartoon "Cat Alarm" has the underground cats staging an emergency news bulletin that the Cheeseville Dam has burst, sending Mighty Mouse into town and ushering the mice population out of the city. The cats send the mice into a "shelter" (actually their hideout), but they did not count on Mighty Mouse rushing to save the dam and seeing that it was still intact. Cue face-off with and beatdown of the cats.
    • Another instance of failure to think things through happens in Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures in the episode "Heroes and Zeroes", where the villain Big Murray attempts to steal all the numbers in Mouseville and hold them for ransom. The problem with this scheme is that without numbers, no one is able to tell if they have enough money to pay Big Murray's ransom.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Bridle Gossip", Applejack, who has been mysteriously shrunken, catches Apple Bloom going off into the Everfree Forest in search of the shaman Zecora to get a cure. She tags along by hiding in her mane which seems to work until she demands for her sister to turn around (every other character is under the false assumption that Zecora was the cause of Applejack's, and everyone else's, curse). Apple Bloom then leaves her on a branch and in response, Applejack threatens to tell Big Macintosh on her. She then realizes that, since she's only a few inches high, she has no safe way to make it back to town. For that matter, it's hard to imagine what telling the most easy-going and level-headed character in the show was supposed to accomplish anyway.
    • Applejack has another in "The Best Night Ever". She brings her home cooking to a high-society event to try and raise money for Sweet Apple Acres, despite the gala naturally having free food for the attendees, and the "hoity-toity types" that attend these events being unlikely to buy such food anyway. She realizes this only as the Gala winds up.
    • Celestia's plan in the season 4 finale fails at every step. Send Discord to capture Tirek? They become allies because the former was Reformed, but Rejected. Transfer all the alicorn magic to Twilight? She trades it for hostages. Prevent Tirek from knowing about Twilight? There's a giant stained glass window with her image in the throne room. Tell Twilight not to let her friends in on the plan for their own protection? They immediately suspect that something's wrong, and get captured by Discord soon afterward. The only way Twilight was able to win was by unlocking the Harmony Box, and it was Discord, not Celestia, who told her how to open it.
    • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games and Crystal Prep's Principal Abacus Finch's plan to win the titular games. Blackmailing the very shy and insecure Twilight Sparkle of that world into competing in the games. Then, upon finding out that Twilight has been unintentionally collecting the lingering Equestia magic with a magic amulet, pressuring her to use it to win the games. What could go wrong? Well two things actually. 1) The contest deals in both academic studies and physical challenge. So while Twilight passed the first one, no problem, and give her school an early lead, she's near useless during the second event because she's not an athlete in the slightest. and 2) Oh, how about Twilight losing all control of the magic, being transformed into a force of evil that's willing to destroy the universe!
      • At the end, when Cinch threatens to bring accusations of CHS cheating to the school board, it's pointed out that, given that the basis of the accusation is "they used magic", there's no way they'll believe her.
    • In the season 5 finale "The Cutie Remark", Starlight Glimmer concocts a revenge plan against Twilight by traveling to the past where Rainbow Dash preformed her Sonic Rainboom and stops her in one form or another to keep the rest of the Mane 6 from becoming inspired and receiving their cutie marks at the same time, thus preventing them from coming to Ponyville later in life and forming their friendship. That's what Starlight pretty much wanted with the endgame of her plan. However, she didn't take into account For Want of a Nail. In the original timeline, the Mane Six had been integral to the defeat of several major threats to Equestria. Them not becoming the Elements of Harmony meant there was nobody around strong enough to stop the major villains of the series from running rampant, resulting in alternate timelines where Sombra, Queen Chrysalis, Nightmare Moon, Tirek, Discord, and even the Flim Flam Brothers take over Equestria with little to no opposition. When Twilight finally shows Starlight first-hand the result of her meddling in the past, Equestria has been reduced to nothing but a barren wasteland devoid of life. In addition, she attempts to destroy the scroll with the spell on it to trap Twilight and Spike in the past forever, but if she were successful without Twilight showing her the way, she would've been trapped as well.
    • Later Starlight becomes one of the main characters and we find out it's chronic and has been her whole life. Whenever she has a problem, she tends to immediately go with what she assumes will be the quick and easy solution (usually magical in nature), only to realize too late it only exacerbates the problem.
    • In "Parental Glideance", Scootaloo needs to get up to Cloudsdale, the city of the pegasi, but can't fly up herself because of her weak wings. So she has her friends help her set up a giant slingshot to fling her up there. She insists that it's the only way, but Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom list off half a dozen easier and safer ways. Just as Scootaloo starts to agree with them, the slingshot snaps and flings her up to Cloudsdale.
    • In "The Mean 6", Queen Chrysalis creates evil duplicates of the heroes in order to use the Elements of Harmony as a weapon. She doesn't know where the Tree of Harmony is, doesn't know how the Elements work, and doesn't realize that the duplicates are only loyal to themselves. As an added addition, she didn't know the Elements would immediately recognize the clones as not their true bearers, and in return, the Tree destroys them to protect itself.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Doof falls into this a lot. Once he tried to drill a tunnel to China and forgot about the lava in the center of the Earth.
      • In the Second Dimension movie, Doof mentioned that he once tried to use an army of robots to conquer Danville, and put the self-destruct buttons on their feet so no one could reach them. You can guess what happened when they started walking...
    • Phineas and Ferb themselves sometime fall into this by not considering the implications of their inventions.
      Phineas: A brain booster: in hindsight, not our best idea.
  • In an Animaniacs/Pinky and the Brain short Brain devises a plan to infiltrate Fort Knox and make off with all of its gold. The duo actually succeed in getting into the vault, but Brain forgot about them having to carry the gold, and since they're mice you can see where this is going.
    • In general, Brain's plans to take over the world tend to be thwarted by something he failed to consider when they're not being thwarted by Pinky's stupidity. One example was when he planned to star alongside Pinky in a popular children's show and then go in suspended animation so he would awaken in a future where the show's fans would be fully-grown and accept him as their leader out of nostalgia. Unfortunately, the show's fans end up resenting Brain for unexpectedly leaving them so many years ago and promptly turn on him.
  • In the Pound Puppies (2010) episode "The Pupple's Court", Niblet brings in Lucky's owner Dot as a witness for Lucky's trial, not realizing that revealing Lucky had spoken to a human and revealed to her that dogs could talk would land Lucky in more trouble than he's in already. With that said though, Dot ends up causing the higher-ups to consider the negative consequences of not making exceptions to their rules.
  • The Powerpuff Girls,
    • Turned into a Running Gag with Mojo Jojo to the point where, when a spree of robberies occurred in Townsville, the girls quickly ruled him out as a suspect because it was too well thought out. Case in point: in the episode "Monkey See, Doggy Two," he re-uses his old Anubis Dog Head plan to turn the world into dogs under his control, but he doesn't turn the girls themselves into dogs because he believed that was the Fatal Flaw in the original plan. Instead, the still-human girls just beat the crap out of him, causing the plan to fail even worse than before. What makes this plan this trope even more is that Mojo Jojo did think this through - he solved the original problem by protecting his rear with a metal plate. He just thought hard enough that it circled back around into this trope when he opted to not turn the girls into dogs.
    • In the episode "A Very Special Blossom," this applies to Blossom. She thought it would be a good idea to just steal the golf clubs, the expensive clubs that were displayed on the store's window. It's obvious that she didn't think that anyone (Bubbles, Buttercup, or the Professor) would ask how she was able to afford the expensive clubs when they are ridiculously high priced nor did she think that the owners of the store were going to find out that the clubs were stolen. This was what led to the Professor getting wrongfully jailed and Blossom having to do community service hours for punishment.
    • In the episode "Bought and Scold", Princess Morbucks ends up bribing The Mayor into making her the Mayor of Townsville. Her first order is to make crime legal and crimefighting illegal to prevent the Powerpuff Girls from stopping her schemes. The girls are lost as to what to do before they realize that the crime being legal thing also applies to them and Princess. So, the Powerpuffs sneak into Princess' home and steal everything, forcing a panicky Princess to approach the girls to get her stuff back. They're able to trade her stuff back for getting the law repealed and the Mayor back into his position. When she finds out that they were the ones who stole her stuff, she demands their arrest before Blossom points out there's no Grandfather Clause to the law, thus they get away scot-free.
  • Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja: In "The McHuggers Games", the Ninja stole a McHugger from Hannibal McFist before the product was available in stores. Knowing the Ninja, like every other highschooler in Norrisville, would be attracted to the publicity event created to advertise the McHuggers, Viceroy sent a robot to the event and programmed it to attack whoever was wearing McHuggers, thinking the Ninja would be the only one. He forgot that, given the publicity campaign's goal, the spokesman would be wearing one as well.
    • In another episode, McFist made Viceroy make a giant robot that was just like an armadillo after watching a documentary. Armadillos have very poor eyesight, so until Randy showed up to destroy it, it was mostly flailing around blindly.
    • McFist fall into this a lot. Randy and Howard can be a bit impulsive as well.
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Kid-Kart Derby", Mitchell finds the plans for an ion drive, and puts it in his kid-kart, but it does not work because Mitchell didn't read farther down in the plans.
  • Robot Chicken: In one sketch, the mayor's assistant of Des Moines, Iowa, hires Godzilla to destroy seaside national landmarks (like the Statue of Liberty and the Hollywood sign) so that Des Moines will get more tourists. When Godzilla receives his payment, he realizes he can't cash the check because he's a giant monster.
  • Rugrats:
    • In the episode "The Inside Story", the babies imagine shrinking down and traveling into Chuckie's stomach to take out a watermelon seed he accidentally swallowed. Angelica however reveals her intention to actually water the seed so it grows and causes Chuckie to explode. She succeeds and gloats evilly, until Tommy points out it's going to explode with her inside it.
    • In "All Growed Up", which later led to the show's spinoff All Grown Up!, a pre-teen Tommy Pickles is coerced into taking his father's lucky medallion and giving it to Angelica so she can convince Samantha to reciprocate Chuckie's feelings for her. He tries to deceive his dad by replacing the missing medallion with a fake one made by wrapping gold paper over a dog treat, but the phony medallion ends up eaten by his dog Spike because he was able to smell the dog treat used to make the fake medallion, resulting in Stu freaking out over his medallion going missing.
  • Big City Greens:
    • In "Supermarket Scandal", Cricket and Tilly decide to add in some fake produce made from household materials so they can make a huge profit; it seemed well until Bill warned them of the consequences the fake produce would bring if someone ate it.
    • Hit hard by Cricket big time in "Homeshare Hoedown". When he registers his home for a Bed and Breakfast appointment, he thought it would be easy and the money would just pour right in; he didn't know the guests that stayed over would have a need and want for any situation, thus he has to attain to whatever request he is given. Lampshaded by Bill earlier as he tried to warn Cricket money doesn't come that fast and he has to commit to the job, but he didn't listen.
    • In "Hiya Henry", Cricket is bothered by the dummy Tilly chose for her open mic act but cannot bring himself to tell her he doesn't like it because he doesn't want to ruin her fun; so he decides to violently bury the dummy in the backyard while she's sleeping. However, Phoenix found the place the dummy was buried and dug it back up, and Tilly proceeds with her performance.
    • In "Shark Objects", Cricket decides to pull a prank on the beachgoers by pretending to be a shark in the water; too bad he didn't know of the horrible consequences that followed, and this even led the lifeguard to believe there really is a shark and was almost harpooned to death.
    • In "Desserted", Cricket takes his family out to a dinner at Crispy's and claims he's paying for the meal. However, he didn't tell them why he's paying for it — he makes them order a rather large meal then has the meal be for free by taking on a Mega Meal Challenge by wolfing down a humongous sundae in one hour. Unfortunately, the Greens are too full from all the food Cricket ordered, and to make matters worse, Cricket replaced all of Bill's money with fake cash in case they found out the truth. Thus there's no way out of it, and Bill promptly calls him out for ruining their dinner.
    • In "Time Crisis", Remy believed his violin audition for the Youth Metropolitan Orchestra was just a "single sheet of music"; turns out there was a whole lot more than just one page to study.
    • Lampshaded in "Gramma Driver" when Cricket falls victim to his own smartphone prank.
      Cricket: I can't believe that yet again, my actions have had consequences!
  • Blaze and the Monster Machines takes this trope Up to Eleven every time Crusher cheats. All of his schemes to stop Blaze will always have a minor flaw in them that allows Blaze to drive straight past them and get back on track. For example, when he blocked Blaze's way with giant pipes, he didn't realise that Blaze could just drive right through them, selecting the one that's big enough for him to fit through. And when he sent space bighorns to stop him, he forgot that Blaze could just use his thrust to steer around them. The biggest example would be in "Power Tires", since no matter what Crusher did, he seemed to forget that Blaze could use the titular tires to turn into something to get right past the cheat — to drive across the proper surface, to get through a slot in the gates on the walls and ceiling, and even to drive right through lava to the finish.
  • In Samurai Jack, The Scotsman leads a massive army into battle against Aku, apparently having forgotten that none of their weapons are capable of harming him. Aku subsequently curbstomps their offensive with little effort.
    The Scotsman: You know wha'? This was a bad idea!
    • Also, Ashi washes off the ash covering her body, only to then remember that she doesn't have any actual clothes she can wear once the ash is gone. So she makes herself some clothes out of leaves.
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: "A Clue For Scooby-Doo" has Shaggy and Scooby underwater (with scuba gear, of course) trying to ward off the ghostly sea diver (the ghost of Captain Cutler) with a cannon on the deck of a sunken ship. Shaggy tries to ignite the cannon's fuse with a match, then forgets matches don't light underwater.
    • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: In "The Horrible Herd", Scooby and the gang hatch a plan to dispose of the eponymous herd by luring them into the ocean. It's only when the plan succeeds that the gang remembers that Professor Pericles used piranha DNA in the herd's creation, and thus, the monsters can swim. The episode ends with Shaggy and Velma dreading the long-term consequences.
  • A Filmation animated Shazam story had Dr. Sivana displaying a particularly stupid version of this trope: he tried using a machine that would make the Marvel Family in their normal forms forget their magic word, "Shazam" to become their Marvel forms. However, despite being warned by Mr. Mind, he completely forgot that Freddy Freeman says "Captain Marvel" to trigger his change into Captain Marvel Jr. and so is able to smash the machine.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Dog of Death":
      Homer: I've figured out an alternative to giving up my beer. Basically, we become a family of traveling acrobats!
      Marge: ...I don't think you thought this through.
    • "Homer The Heretic" has a prime example as the episode opens in the middle of a roaring blizzard. It appears that Homer is the sensible one who chooses to stay home that day. Meanwhile, Marge and the kids go to church and it is miserable as hell. First, the sermon is super long, then the doors are frozen shut to the point that Groundskeeper Willie needs to use a blowtorch to defrost them, and Marge and the kids need to walk home because the car wouldn't start.
      • The tables are turned in the episode's third act when Homer is caught in a fire in his own house, but he is saved by Ned Flanders.
    • "Bart's Comet" offers a four-for-one:
      • The rocket launched from Fort Springfield misses the mark and takes out the only bridge out of Springfield, seemingly dooming the city.
      • There's only one bridge out of Springfield.
      • Rather than face certain death from the comet's collision, several people try their luck with the ruins of the bridge. Arnie Pye even lampshades it by calling it "a silent testament to the never-give-up and never think-things-out spirit of our citizens".
      • Artie says this while in a helicopter, suggesting that, bridge or no bridge, the people of Springfield could still (a few at a time) fly out of town.
    • In "Lisa the Simpson", Homer gathers together all the relatives he can find to try to prove to Lisa that Grandpa's "Simpson gene" theory is absurd. Unfortunately, his plan only proves the opposite, because all the male family members are bigger losers than he is. (As Bart tells him, "You probably should have researched this first, eh Dad?") Fortunately, he inadvertently does manage to get Lisa her confidence back, as the female family members are very successful and intelligent; as one of them explains to Lisa, the Simpson gene is in the Y chromosome.
    • In "Trash of the Titans", Homer runs for the position of Springfield's sanitation commissioner, but after being elected, he ends up spending his entire year's budget in one month because he didn't realize how expensive his campaign promises would actually be. Then he figures he'll solve everything by just forcing the garbage collectors to work without pay - until the mayor makes clear there's no way in hell they're going to stand for that.
      • His solution to the budget crisis turns into this as well: He earns more than enough by selling the right for other cities to dump their garbage in the old mines underneath Springfield. Unfortunately, he didn't take into account what would happen when the mines were full, and ends up turning all of Springfield into a massive landfill to the point that the town has to relocate 5 miles up the road.
  • Sofia the First:
    • In "Once Upon a Princess", Cedric tricks Sofia into using a sleep spell that'll make everyone around her sleep so she'll have to give him the Amulet of Avalor (which she refuses to take off due to a promise she made with the king) in exchange for the counter-spell. By the time he realizes he should stay out of the ballroom to avoid being affected by the spell, it's too late.
    • In "When You Wish Upon a Well", Amber saw how the wishing well twisted her second wish (it turned Sofia into a cat, which is what Roland is allergic to) and yet doesn't expect any twists when she uses the third one to wish Sofia was no longer "a purple cat" (it turned her into a pink cat instead).
    • In "Cedric Be Good", Cedric finally steals the Amulet of Avalor but, by putting it on, he subjects himself to its rules, which means he'll be cursed for doing bad deeds like stealing the amulet from its chosen bearer. The curse he receives as punishment for the theft indirectly causes the destruction of the potion that would enable Cedric to use the amulet's blessings without putting it on.
    • In "Lord of the Rink", Prince Hugo takes up the enchanted ice-dancing class but wants to keep it a secret from his friends, who are on the hockey team with him and think ice-dancing is for girls, but he doesn't realize until Sofia points out that the ice-dancing class and hockey practice meet at the same time, meaning the other boys are sure to notice that Hugo isn't at hockey practice. To keep them from knowing about his participation in the ice-dancing class, Hugo fakes sick, and it works...until his father announces that he's the new assitant hockey coach, meaning Hugo has to be at hockey practice, and there's no way he can fake sick any longer to get out of it.
  • Sonic Boom:
    • In "The Sidekick", Sonic fires Tails as a sidekick after he gets hurt and decides to hire a new one to replace him. The auditions utterly fail because not only does Tails comes back to audition for it again, Eggman decides to do so as well (the rules had a lot of Loophole Abuse). Sonic, in desperation, decides to put the two through a massively dangerous race that Eggman hijacks by bringing in Burnbot to attack. After Sonic rescues Tails again, Tails calls out Sonic for the whole thing, forcing Sonic to admit the plan had holes.
    • In "Translate This", Tails charges into Eggman's base to rescue his Universal Translator. Unfortunately, he didn't quite think through how he was going to make Eggman give it back.
      Tails: Give me back my robot!
      Eggman: Or what?
      Tails: ...That's a fair question.
    • In "New Year's Retribution", Eggman builds a slow-motion device to invoke Time Stands Still, putting Sonic at normal speed. However, everything else is slowed to a crawl— including Eggman's weapons. (Eggman, for some reason, is unaffected by it, which is of little comfort to him.)
  • South Park:
    • Cartman pretends to be retarded so he can win $1,000 in the Special Olympics in "Up the Down Steroid", thinking it would be easy to beat handicapped people. Handicapped or not, the participants spent time training for the events. Combining that with Cartman's own poor physical health, he winds up coming in last in every event he participates in.
      • He also forgot that he was made aware of the event by Jimmy and Timmy, handicapped people who know him and thus know he isn't handicapped. So when Cartman manages to get awarded anyway through pity, Jimmy confronts and exposes him.
    • "Summer Sucks": Fireworks are banned, and the Mayor attempts to glorify the use of ash snakes with a giant-sized one for the Fourth of July. It works and creates an enormous display of ash... and keeps going... and going. The now somewhat nervous Mayor asks the creator when it will stop, he explains that he has no idea since he never made one this big, leading him to quote this trope to the exasperated Mayor. He makes a quick calculation after the Mayor presses him, and estimates that the snake will probably burn out by November... of next year!
    • There is also a variation in "Cartmanland" where Cartman inherits money from his grandma and buys a failing amusement park with the expectation of having the park all to himself. However, the plan blows up in his face because he needed to hire a security guard to keep Kyle from entering. To be able to afford this, Cartman needs to let at least a few people in at a price. Then he needs to let more people in to be able to afford to repair rides, serve food, etc. This continues until the park is bustling with activity and Cartman decides to sell the park back to the original owners at a loss. The sale also counts as this, since the IRS informs him that he owes money on inheritance taxes, and money to Kenny's family for his death on one of the rides.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series: During the X-Men crossover, anti-mutant scientist Herbert Landon whips up a chemical meant to poison and kill mutants. When Spidey and Wolverine save Beast from the experiment, Landon is exposed to the chemical himself and is mutated into a grotesque monster; as Beast points out, Landon was so fixated on making a formula toxic to mutants that he never stopped to think what effect it would have on normal humans.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • This trope is a key reason why Plankton's Evil Plans almost constantly fail; he repeatedly overlooks glaring flaws in them and fails to notice until it's too late to do anything about it. Most brilliantly and succinctly illustrated in "Plankton's Army", after Plankton successfully infiltrates the Krusty Krab:
      Krabs: Plankton! You knew I'd never distrust a dollar!
      Plankton: That's right, Krabs! Now hand over the Krabby Patty secret formula!
      Krabs: ...or what?
      Plankton: I don't know. I never thought I'd get this far.
      Krabs: Well, allow me to suggest your next move. [seizes Plankton and flushes him down the toilet]
    • Mrs. Puff falls victim to this in the episode "No Free Rides". Sick and tired of having to go through SpongeBob's chaotic driving tests, she comes up with a bogus extra credit test so she can just give him his driver's license and get him out of her classroom. It's only after she does so that it hits her that she has just given SpongeBob free reign to drive on public streets and wreak havoc there.
    • Puff falls into it a second time during "Demolition Doofus." After SpongeBob's latest driving test failure leads to her inflation sac being ruptured, essentially ensuring she'll never puff again, Mrs. Puff enrolls him in a demolition derby hoping he'll be killed. However, she completely forgot two important things about him which in turn lead to SpongeBob surviving every blow and becoming the champion; firstly, he's a sea sponge, which are invunerable invertebrates, evidenced when the first opponent that gets knocked out is slingshot back against his soft body. It also didn't occur to her that since he Drives Like Crazy, he's an impossible target for the other contestants.
    • In the episode "Good Neighbors", Squidward, after putting up with SpongeBob and Patrick's stupidity and antics for most of the episode when he just wants to enjoy his Sunday, installs a security system to keep them out for good, only for Sponge and Pat to just walk in right after he installs it in an attempt to give him an apology cake; Squidward failed to consider that just because he considers SpongeBob and Patrick a threat doesn't mean the security system would as well. Worse, Squidward gets angry and starts kicking the security system, which then considers him a threat and kicks him out of his own house.
  • In Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Marco suspects that the school guidance counselor might be working for Star's demon ex-boyfriend, Tom. In hopes of tricking Tom into revealing himself, Marco goes back to the guidance counselor and lies about making out with Star. An enraged Tom reveals himself immediately. Marco has just enough time to start congratulating himself before he is dragged off to Tom's hell dimension for torture and execution. Whoops.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "Deal No Deal", Trace Martez, having learned that the job her sister Rafa has gotten her involved with is to transport unrefined spice to the ruthless Pyke Syndicate, panics after Ahsoka Tano mentions that the Pykes might seize her starship and ejects the cargo into hyperspace. Despite their other disagreements, Ahsoka and Rafa immediately point out this was a terrible idea, as the loss of the spice means the three girls no longer have anything to pay the ruthless gangsters with.
  • This is the stock in trade of one in Steven Universe.
    • In "Bubble Buddies", his plan to get him and Connie out of the bubble is to get hit by a roller coaster. Obviously if it works, they'll get run over, but Steven doesn't seem to realize that.
    • In "Fusion Cuisine" he has to bring one of his adoptive alien mothers to a dinner with his best friend's family. Each of them has both positive and negative traits for the role - Garnet is cool but isn't good with people, Pearl is very motherly but finds eating repugnant, and Amethyst is fine with eating but is a goofball to the core. He thus concludes, having spent just a bit too long ass deep in magic, that the correct response is to get them to fuse together, meaning he shows up with a six-armed giantess and is bewildered at the concept that this may not be the most subtle.
    • In "Nightmare Hospital", Connie wishes she had more time to practice sword training. Steven gives her Rose's sword, not once considering that Connie's parents may object to their daughter owning an actual sword, which becomes a plot point in a later episode.
    • In "Made of Honor", Steven de-bubbles Bismuth to invite her to Ruby and Sapphire's wedding. However, he does so in the bubble room and when Bismuth sees the bubbled gems, she assumes that Rose poofed and bubbled them for disagreeing with her. This results in her releasing a corrupted Gem, which attacks her and Steven.
    • Steven ends up pulling off a LOOONG game version of this in "Marble Madness." When the gang is faced with trying to repell a bombardment of scout robots sent by Homrworld, Steven suggest they just let one of them do what they were sent to do and deal with it once they know. This leads the gang into the depths of the abandoned Kindergarden where the robot's task is revealed to be giving the Homeworld technitian Peridot a direct communuication link into the Kindergarden's control room to work on...something. Rather than just assuming she's up to no good and finding a way to cut Peridot off from the Earth, Steven suggests they just ask her what she's doing and immediately exposes himself to Peridot and freely offers up information about the state of the Earth and a list of all his friends and family. Things go south however and when Peridot tries to squish Steven after she's finished probing him for information and the Gems are forced to expose themselves, making it know to Homeworld that Gems from the Crystal Gem movement still exist. Not only does this result in Peridot returning half a season later with backup in order to finish her mission and aprehend the rouge gems, but the fallout of handing over information on his friends and family comes home to roost two seasons later and results in the attempted abduction of all of Steven's loved ones and ultimately Steven having to turn himself in to Homeworld and face judgement for his mother's crimes, with one of his friends still managing to get caught in the crossfire.
    • A mounting pile of these kinds of decisions are what creates the greater conflict of Steven Universe: Future
  • In Sym-Bionic Titan, In order to contain a mutated and violent Ilana, Octus traps her inside the barrier that is his body. However, he failed to consider that it would allow her to attack his "head", and pretty much names the trope.
  • Teen Titans Go!:
    • "Puppets, Whaaaaat?" Robin, tired of his teammates not listening to him, makes a deal with the Puppet Wizard to "make the other Titans as easily manipulated as [Robin's] puppets." This turns all the other Titans into puppets. The one flaw in the plan? Robin is turned into a puppet too.
    Robin: Come on! You're puppets! You're supposed to do what I say!
    Raven: Uh, yeah, but you're a puppet too!
    Robin: Oh. Right. I guess I didn't think this through too well. Maybe this was a bad idea.
    • The episode "Boys vs. Girls", Robin tries to break up Beast Boy and Cyborg's new respect for Raven and Starfire by infecting them with a disease named after the Cooties. He intends to have the two admit boys are better than girls if they want to be cured. His plan failed because, as they point out, they could just infect him to make him give the cure.
  • In the ThunderCats (2011) episode "The Forest of Magi Oar," the young hero Lion-O begins to recognize and lampshade his own lack of forethought. When he uses his gauntlet's grappling hook to latch onto a retreating Giant Flyer Viragor, Lion-O has just enough time to realize "maybe this is a bad idea" before he gets violently dragged along for the ride. Shortly thereafter, he faces down the charging a Giant Flyer after tossing his weapons aside. Again, he muses, "probably another bad idea," seconds before it grabs him in its talons. The latter gamble pays off, since, on a hunch Lion-O is betting Viragor proves Dark Is Not Evil.
  • In the Thunderbirds Are Go episode Signals Part 1, the Hood's minion Havoc manages to steal Thunderbird 3, but in Signals Part 2, it turns out she did this out of impulsive opportunism without an actual plan to keep her acquisition, something the Hood calls her out on since he made the same mistake in the past.
  • In El Tigre Manny accidentally activated a giant robot Granpapi created. He explained the robot was supposed to be activated after his death so it could wreak havoc and enact his revenge over the whole city. When Manny asks how was he supposed to activate the robot after his death, Granpapi admits he didn't think about that.
  • In the premiere episode of Time Squad, the trio discover that instead of the cotton gin, Eli Whitney created an army of flesh-eating steampunk robots that have ravaged a town and bit the flesh of several villagers. When asked why he created such machines, Whitney says he wanted to create something to benefit mankind. When Otto asks what is the logic of how and why these robots would be beneficial, Whitney admits he has no idea and didn't think things through.
  • Total Drama
    • Harold revenge on Duncan in "Basic Straining" by rigging the votes against Courtney to have her eliminated becomes this once we see the fallout from his actions. First, he spends all of "Camp Haunt-ture" hiding from Courtney wanting revenge for her unfair elimination and second Duncan's bullying on him becomes more vicious the following season once he found out.
    • Much like when Harold rigged the votes to eliminate Courtney in Island as revenge on Duncan for bullying him, Alejandro didn't really seem to think about the repercussions that would come with his deception in order to eliminate Heather in All-Stars as revenge for what happened in the finale of World Tour. After he succeeds in doing this, his gameplay strategy is severely hindered by how nobody is willing to become his ally or form an alliance with him, which ultimately becomes his final undoing in "The Obsta-Kill Kourse" when he's unable to convince anyone to believe him about Mal and is quickly eliminated in a very unsurprising 5-1 vote. Downplayed as, if he didn't go through with it, he would have been eliminated instead.
    • Sky did not think to tell Dave that the reason that she cannot date him is that she has a boyfriend she plans to break up with back home and she wants to focus on winning the game right now. To her credit, when she and Dave were talking, she tried to explain that she does like him, but Dave interrupts her, saying they should see where things go, and before Sky can tell Dave she has a boyfriend, Chris announces the challenge. The next few episodes, Sky foolishly thinks that Dave knows that she does not want to date someone while they are in the game, while Dave tries to do different things to get closer to her and impress her. Finally, in episode "Hurl And Go Seek", Sky outright rejects Dave despite both of their feelings for each other and calls him out on not listening to her. But she still did not tell Dave she has a boyfriend she plans to break up with. This comes to head in the final challenge, where Dave was brought back as a helper for Sky. Sky kisses Dave to motivate him, telling him that she does really like him, and she just wants to focus on the challenges, because it's hard to team up with someone she wants to date. At first that works, and Dave is determined to win the challenge for her, but then Chris shows a clip from home that reveals Sky's boyfriend Keith. Even when Sky tries to explain that she plans to break up with Keith, Dave refuses to listen to her and turn against her.
  • In the Transformers Animated episode "Sari, No One's Home", Sari gets trapped alone in the Autobot base with Mixmaster and Scrapper. Unable to contact the Autobot team (her cellphone was broken), she decks herself out with a helmet, roller blades, and a hockey stick to drive them out herself. As soon as the eight-year-old human attacks the two-story robot, her hockey stick breaks.
    Sari: Okay. That's as far as my plan got.
  • Verminious Snaptrap, the leader of the evil organization D.O.O.M. from T.U.F.F. Puppy is a constant victim of this trope. Nearly all of his evil plans have some kind of flaw. Some, however, are just plain dumb; one example includes heating up the Corn Belt with a space laser to make and sell popcorn as high-priced movie theater snacks. Among all of the flaws with that plan, the biggest is that the laser will destroy the Earth in the process. The Chameleon calls him out on the absurdity of his plan, and it is even lampshaded by Snaptrap's henchmen that this is a common occurrence.
    Chameleon: Wait a minute. This is your plan!? You do realize that the laser's going to blow up the planet, right?
    Snaptrap: Okay, where are you going with this, Chameleon?
    Chameleon: I am not going, I am already there! This is a crazy plan! You haven't thought this through at all!
    Ollie, Francisco, and Larry look down distraught
    Ollie: (sighs) Welcome to D.O.O.M.
  • Villainous: Flug makes a security system around the building....without a way to turn it off on the outside.
  • Wacky Races: Every single time Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat. It's never enough that he is ALWAYS miles ahead of every other racer, he not only has to stop to lay a trap, but also stays behind to see the payoff, which ALWAYS puts him in last place. The most absurd example was the episode where he got stuck in the mud, and pulled out by a farmer with a donkey. He decides to buy the donkey, thinking that the farmer will no longer be able to pull the other racers out. Never mind that 1) almost half the racers have some gimmick that allows them to get out on their own, including a dragon that can dry it up completely, 2) the farmer OBVIOUSLY has several beasts of burden besides the one he sold and 3) Just what the heck will he do with a frickin' donkey?!
    • 4) after Dastardly's first opponent (Penelope) crossed the mud (with help from the farmer), he actually waited until all others passed before trying to resume his racing.
    • In answer to 3, he rode the donkey to the finish line because the donkey destroyed the Mean Machine.
    • Lampshaded in the unaired pilot for Wacky Racers Forever, where after Muttley pointed out that they're close to the finish line, Dick pointed out that they're villains, and thus, have to cheat in the race.
  • In We Bare Bears, this is a typical display of Ditzy Genius/Child Prodigy Chloe Park; she thought it was a good idea to lurk around an occupant bear cave or jump into an alligator's pen to feed it a sandwich. Granted, she is still just a naive child and hanging out with Manchild bears didn't help.
    • In "Captain Craboo", while running from the police to protect the bears' titular pet crab, Panda ended up posting a recent photo of Craboo online without considering that the police might trace it to his phone to track them down. Apparently, the police have access to online public photos to track down criminals and Panda still thought it was a good idea to do so.
    • In "Professor Lampwick", the bears try to get the titular professor to give Chloe a second chance on her science test... by kidnapping him, and this ended up risking themselves in going to prison. Fortunately, Lampwick has already been through this before with different students that he takes it in stride and lets the bears off the hook after Chloe successfully completes the redo on her test.
  • Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner: The segment "There They Go-Go-Go!", the coyote's final attempt at getting the roadrunner involved having boulders fall on him. When they don't fall, Wile E. tries to make them fall by stomping on them and then poking them with a large stick underneath. It's only when pebbles start hitting his head does he finally realize what he's doing and even asks with a sign "IN HEAVEN'S NAME - WHAT AM I DOING?"
  • In an episode of Xiaolin Showdown, Omi wishes to use the Sands of Time to return to the past. Only, his older self took it when he returned to the future. So Omi uses an alternative, tried-and-true method that lets him effectively travel forward in time (freezing himself for a few decades) so that he may retrieve the Sands of Time from his older self. You may have spotted the flaw in this plan already: with Omi frozen, there was no Omi left to grow old. To be fair, though, he was probably hoping for a Stable Time Loop.
    • Jack Spicer also runs into this problem a fair amount of the time, one of them is even with a very similar time travel issue. With Wuya free, they all decide the only reliable way to defeat her would be to seal her in another puzzle box, but the only way to get one would be from Grand Master Dashi in the past. Jack happily reveals that he already has a time machine but never used it because he could only generate enough power to go back in time 2 seconds. The team then lends him a Shen Gong Wu that produces unlimited power letting him run the machine to its full potential and they happily send Omi back in time to get a new puzzle box. It's only after he's gone that Omi realizes that they never talked about how he's supposed to return to the present and Jack realizes that his machine doesn't even have that capability at all since it's only ever worked for 2 seconds before so he never needed to care about returning forward. He does mention he could probably get a solution working in a week or so, but then one of Wuya's Golems shows up and wrecks the time machine while he's talking.


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