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Idiot Ball / Fan Works

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Examples of Idiot Ball in Fan Works.

A Song of Ice and Fire
  • In Obara VII of Wearing Robert's Crown, two Dornish emissaries approach Aegon Targaryen who's planning to return to Westeros, anticipating that he can carry out a lightning assault on the capital and that most of the Seven Kingdoms will be neutral, favourable or at least unable to oppose him in taking the crown. At a time when the Wall has fallen, the king died heroically and Stannis Baratheon is uncontested as Regent to the young heir. Just to make this clear, Viserys Targaryen had concluded that his feud with House Baratheon is less important that fighting the Others! To quote one review: 'Aegon, Jonny C, The GC, and Dorne weren't just holding the Idiot Ball, they were having kinky, filthy sex with it.'


  • In Substitute School: First Semester, Tatsuki, Orihime, Sado and Ishida have had bangles placed on them by the Gotei 13 to seal their powers, prevent their reiatsu from attracting hollows and make it so their reiatsu doesn't mess with Muggles. They then decide to ask Urahara to remove them. Ichigo points out they are essentially going against an army when none of them are captain class and he can't help because he would side with the Gotei 13. They still persist their point even when Ichigo unloads MULTIPLE reasons why they shouldn't.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

  • In the Angel fic “Impact”, when Wolfram & Hart blackmail a time-manipulating demon into trying to kill Angel by abducting his offspring, after his actions cause Cordelia to swap places with her past self from two years ago, Cordelia asks the demon why he didn’t just go back in time a few hours to stop Wolfram & Hart abducting his child in the first place. Presented with that option, the demon awkwardly admits that he just never thought of it that way because he isn’t used to using his powers to manipulate history in that manner.

Calvin and Hobbes

  • There are a few of these snatched by the protagonists of Calvin and Hobbes: The Series, who are usually quite smart, don't always realize that one of Calvin's inventions could completely avert a conflict. Granted, Hobbes is very reluctant to go along with Calvin if an invention is involved, but the other protagonists don't really have an excuse. Particularly egregious is "Nighty Shut Up!", where the solution to Calvin's insomnia is to use the Time Pauser to sleep as long as he likes. This only comes at the end of the episode, while it probably wasn't very hard to figure out at all!


  • In Ace Combat: The Equestrian War, Rainbow Dash trusts Gilda who wants to talk with her about something. Considering the last time Rainbow saw her was after Pinkie Pie's party, there's absolutely no way she would do Rainbow any harm.
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  • You wanna know how bad the Captain Obvious Reveal is in The End of Ends? In Beast Boy's letter to the Titans, he lists his true name: Garfield Logan. And no one, not even Beast Boy's former group, The Doom Patrol, managed to figure out Count Logan's true identity.
  • In The Chronicles of the Fellowship, Peter tells Susan to shoot the Bal-rog as it confronts Gandalf, with Susan pointing out that a giant flaming demon is unlikely to be bothered by a wooden arrow.
  • In the Firefly/Doctor Who crossover fanfic The Man with No Name, some of the characters are hunting Reavers. When they stop, thinking they've heard something, the Doctor keeps going anyway, walking smack right into one. Even the Doctor admits it was blindingly stupid.
  • Origin Story: Everyone who reacts to Alex Harris first escaping from SHIELD and then defeating the Avengers handily with the idea that throwing more guys at her is a good idea is carrying this.

Death Note


  • At one point in the Tamers Forever Series the tamers find themselves forbidden from leaving class to go stop some rampaging digimon. Why they did not simply knock the teacher unconscious and run to the rescue anyway is baffling.
    • Ms. Asaji herself as well, for putting "rules are rules" above the threat of rampaging Digimon. Considering she turns out to be an agent for Takeru, it may have been a deliberate move to force Takato to handle the situation alone and gain more control of his powers.

Fairy Tail

  • One Fandom-Specific Plot for Fairy Tail fanfics involves the rest of Lucy's team falling for a Wounded Gazelle Gambit by Lisanna, and proceeding to beat Lucy up and/or kick her out of the team. Another Chance is particularly bad about this, as none of the Dragon Slayers present when Lucy's getting beaten up (Natsu participates, while Wendy and Gajeel don't attack Lucy but don't try to stop it) consider that Lisanna's wearing makeup, even though they have enhanced sense of smell, and even Makarov can smell it, and Lisanna's Crocodile Tears cause it to run. Lucy lampshades this when she bitterly complains about Levy, a close friend, believing Lisanna's word over hers even though the two aren't as close, and when she yell "You idiots! Haven't you heard of make-up?!"

Frozen (2013)

  • In What About Witch Queen? Weseltonian king Charlesnote  seems to catch it once Kai and Kristoff arrive. He's at war with the queen who can control ice, he knows what happened to Hans, and he knows that Elsa's patience has its limits. And he still prolongs the negotiations to get better terms and claims that Elsa's weak. Even his own son calls him out on this.

Girls und Panzer


  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Mark Russell handles it in Chapter 8 during San and Vivienne Graham's rebirth into their second hybrid form. He, the same animal expert who convinced Monarch in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) that firing on an agitated Godzilla was tantamount to suicide compared to standing down; asks why the hell Monarch aren't fencing the hybrid with a containment field to be on the safe side, prompting Mariko to remind him and the audience that Viv and San have already been fenced in by one of those for six months and doing so again here and now would likely set off Vivienne's PTSD with destructive consequences.

Harry Potter

  • Rose Potter, from The Girl Who Lived series, tends to get thrown the Idiot Ball often, due to having special powers that Canon Harry lacked, which would allow her to solve the plot before it even got started, unless she did something entirely stupid. For example, in Rose Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Rose can control her connection with Voldemort, and knows Occlumency and Legilimency. Thus, she knows that the image of Sirius Voldemort sent her was fake. What does she do? Why, exactly what Canon!Harry did, except she did it in full knowledge that it was a trap. Did she tell Dumbledore, and with him, the Order of the Phoenix? No. Did she, knowing that her going there with a few friends was exactly what Voldemort wanted, and with no reason to take the bait, did she do nothing and inform the adults who wouldn't be playing into Voldemort's hands by walking into his trap? No. She, although she has no reason to, does exactly what Voldemort wants her to do, and is considered smart for doing so.
  • The goal of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality seems to be to avert this.
    • Although, it does get a lampshade in chapter 63, when Moody mentions a drug called "Bahl's Stupefaction", the effects of which include causing the user to do extremely stupid things.
    • The fanfic ends with Voldemort having Harry, who has his wand and nothing else, surrounded by Death Eaters who are ordered to shoot Harry if he does anything. So does Voldemort take away his wand so Harry would be completely helpless? No. He instead acts even stupider than his book counterpart and lets Harry keep his wand allowing him to kill all the Death Eaters and mindwipe Voldemort. For such a smart guy he sure gripped the ball hard in his final moments.
  • The cast of Hogwarts Exposed grab the Idiot Ball frequently, but special mention has to go to the scene in which Harry, Hermione and the entire Hogwarts faculty get outwitted by Crabbe and Goyle.
  • Love Triangle is practically nothing but Harry and Hermione taking turns grabbing the idiot ball over and over again. As a result of self-doubt and largely ignoring what they know about each others character, it takes over a year for them to mend a broken relationship which wouldn't have been broken to begin with if they'd just taken more care about what they said in anger and agitation.

Jackie Chan Adventures

  • The Ultimate Evil: In the Hollowlands Penitentiary chapter, when Valerie hears that a prisoner has landed himself in solitary confinement, she assumes without any proof that it's the undercover Jackie and rushes to meet him, ending up berating herself for getting herself in a locked cell with Shendu.

Kingdom Hearts

My Hero Academia

  • The For the Want of a Nail Series provides two seperate examples:
    • In Deku? I think he's some pro..., All Might spends the entirety of the USJ attack firmly grasped onto this, dismissing the very real threat the villains pose to everyone else besides Izuku and assuming they will hold back due to them being kids until Shigaraki explcitly spelling out they're here to kill as many aspiring heroes as they can, to his shock.
    • Viridian: The Green Guide, meanwhile, has Izuku's passively suicidal tendancies lead to him picking this up whilst fighting a Trigger user with a crab Quirk, running in up close to hit him with his pipes rather than using his slingshot.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

  • The Conversion Bureau story called An Azure Future has the protagonist grasping multiple Idiot Balls. After an entire story of wanting to remain human and not undergo conversion, the protaganist pulls a complete ideological 180, joins up with a terrorist organization and helps them successfully carpet-bomb a human settlement, then gases a cop whose only mistake was trying to give him a speeding ticket. Making the whole matter worse, the only reason he decided to help the terrorists was so they would convert him in exchange - something that is their entire purpose to do anyway. Not to mention he could've walked into any of a dozen nearby Conversion Bureaus and had the process done legitimately by trained professionals at any time. He receives nothing worse than mild disappointment from Celestia for the whole thing.
  • Lampshaded in Pink Personal Hell And Altering Fate where Pinkie Pie tries to make Dominic laugh and throws flour all over him. He doesn't find it very funny... and tries to wash it off with water, ignoring Pinkie Pie's warning not to.
  • In My Little Pony: Totally Legit Recap Twilight and Spike share a "Common Sense Switch" between them, and whoever it's flipped on towards will be the rational one for the episode while the other's dumb ideas will drive the plot. Most clearly seen when Twilight attempts to babysit while running a bunch of errands, including visiting a hospital of sick children, and going through all the trouble of winning back her stolen crown instead of just taking it back (albeit with a belated justification), all over Spike's consistent and rational objections.
  • Escape From the Moon: The decision to make Spliced Genome immortal was decried by countless as an ill advised measure, including Spliced Genome herself. The people holding the Idiot Ball disagreed. In the sequel The Mare From the Moon, Spliced Genome was content to wait out her time on the moon, and had been reforming slowly after almost three hundred years of no conflict between her and her jailers. But then one of them grabbed firm hold of this trope and activated a death trap, triggering her Rage Breaking Point. Word of God is that it was done by an individual without permission and against standing orders to leave her alone.

Mystery Science Theater 3000

  • In the MST treatment of Tom Swift and His War Tank, Ned and Mr Damon keep a firm grip on the idiot ball at all times, but it seems that everyone who isn't Tom gets their sticky mitts on it at some point.
    Servo: Ah, it all becomes clear, now. The residents of Shopton, except for the Swifts, share a collective intelligence. Someone else in town must be buttoning their coat and thereby placing a strain on the town's remaining IQ resources.


  • From Escape From The Hokage's Hat, we have the advisers council (Homura and Koharu) and the Daimyo. See the council want to banish Naruto and have convinced the Daimyo to agree both saying it's part of a The Needs of the Many type situaton. This is naturally pointed out as stupid since Konoha is recovering from an invasion and kicking out the Person of Mass Destruction who can either protect the village or act as a deterrent to any attacks is just asking for trouble.
  • Naruto in That Look at times seems to juggle as many idiot balls as he can find. Perhaps the worst is that he required several explanations to understand why a reservoir that supplies over 70% of Suna's water would be a good military target, despite knowing full well that Suna is in the middle of a desert. That he spends the entire mission being insubordinate to his superior (because two years prior he learned she was cheating on him), even after she explains she could have him court-martialed for disobeying orders, further exasperates things.
    • Naruto's handling of the mission is that rather than follow Anko's plan of sneaking in, planting explosives, and sneaking out before blowing the place sky high, he summons Manda and lets him eat everyone in the reservoir in exchange for destroying the place. As Anko furiously berates him, the forces at the reservoir had plenty of time to send out a distress message including that they were being attacked by a giant snake. Suna knows full well that only three people in the world can summon Manda, meaning Naruto completely blew their cover and all of Suna knows both who attacked their base and where they are, rather than the pair having at least a few hours head start.
  • Ino in Black Flames Dance in the Wind: Rise of Naruto throws real kunai at the training grounds instead of practice ones (which have a foam tip) and nearly hits Sakura when she misses her target. What makes it worse is her sensei had previously chewed her out for that very action, citing that not only could she kill someone doing that, but one such death once caused a blood feud between two clans.
  • Hiashi Hyuuga causes Naruto to become elected Fifth Hokage in The Hat Hangs Heavy because he turns the whole thing into a popularity contest between Naruto and himself rather than just pointing out Naruto's relative incompetence and inexperience, something Jiraiya lampshades. Afterwards, Hiashi decides the only way to save Konoha is to gain some level of control over Naruto. Rather than trying to mentor the boy, he gives Naruto a Sadistic Choice that he either marries Hinata or she's relegated to the Branch Clan and branded with the Caged Bird Seal. While Naruto agrees to marry Hinata, his opinion of Hiashi deteriorates from mild dislike to outright hatred.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • The Child of Love: Sigh. Shinji. Your own unborn daughter is warning you telepathically about your father's plans and asking you being strong and being there for Asuka and her. And what do you do? Losing your nerve and breaking up because you think you are not strong enough to protect them.
  • Nobody Dies: Kaworu is very enthusiastic about maintaining the species with Rei. The Idiot Ball? The first attempt fails by loss of Ocular Virginity. The second by Defenestration. He still tries.


  • In Ash's New Look the titular character thought a place named "Salon Rocket" was a bit suspicious and went in to investigate. He then sees Team Rocket in a Paper-Thin Disguise and asks if they met before. This eventually resulted in Ash getting a makeover by them.


  • Explored in Blue Sky, wherein Wheatley discovers that he was originally designed to be GLaDOS' idiot ball in an attempt to stop her going genocidal every thirty seconds.

Sonic the Hedgehog

  • A huge portion of the central conflict in Sonic X: Dark Chaos could've been avoided if Maledict had come right out and told Sonic that he was his father and that he needed his help before Tsali got there first and tried to kill Sonic. Also, the Metarex leaders continued to trust M/ Maledict even while they were slowly losing the Metarex War. Also, Tsali grabs it in Episode 73 - he could've easily killed Cosmo and her friends by simply blowing up the Blue Typhoon, and only storms the ship because he's so Ax-Crazy that he wants to watch them suffer.

Star Trek

  • Lampshaded in Past Continuous. Eleya remarks in her Internal Monologue that the coalition could have avoided a lot of trouble by basing the effort to retake Deep Space 9 out of a nearby Bajoran military base instead of the middle of a major city.
  • In the Star Trek: Renegades pilot, everyone seems overly fond of the "vaporize" setting on their phasers, even when it might be useful to question someone. When The Man Behind the Man shows himself, Chekov's security expert immediately kills him, despite knowing that he may be the only one who can stop the portal about to destroy Earth, simply shrugging and referencing old habits when the incredulous Chekov asks why. Borrada also holds the ball when he continues to blame the Federation for something that it supposedly did before it was ever founded.

Warhammer 40,000

  • All Guardsmen Party: Nubby takes firm possession of this during the Discount Spaceship chapter - it starts with buying the hunk of junk that is the Occurrence Border and escalates from there.

Whose Line Is It Anyway?

  • In I Prooped My Pants, all of the characters get this at some point. After their mansion burns down, the Zharjeks all take minimum wage jobs at a hotel, even though they are still supermodels. And when the Mafia kidnaps Tiffany, they let her use her phone as long as she doesn't use it to call the police.

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